Grey Continued: Season 5 Episode 26

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 26

CHRISTIAN

My wife dances herself into an exhausted frenzy. She looks stunning out there in that gorgeous blue dress, gracefully hugging her body and flowing beautifully with every move, and $100,000 worth of custom jewelry. I don’t know where Victoria found that treasure of a garment, but more, please.

She doesn’t speak to me for the rest of the evening. In fact, not many people have too much to say to me after the evening’s dramatic disaster. I sit sipping a single malt, double Scotch when Victoria makes her way over to me.

“Not quite the celebration you had in mind, huh?” she says, sipping her own drink.

“No, I would say not,” I reply.

“I think we’re all a bit protective of Marilyn under the circumstances, but Christian…” She looks at me and just shakes her head. Hindsight being 20/20, part of me knows that I went too far, but the biggest part of me doesn’t give a fuck.

“I know more details about this than I should, Victoria, and I didn’t reveal them all,” I defend. “That woman has been suffering… horribly. We were even more concerned about her physical well-being than I even let be known.”

“I know,” she says. “She had an abortion.” I turn my gaze to her and neither confirm nor deny her suspicions.

“I have my ways,” she says. “Somewhere around Thanksgiving. I know,” she adds. Well, no use in hiding it now.

“Who else knows?” I ask. She shrugs.

“I don’t know who else knows,” she says. Who the fuck else knows that Marilyn had a pregnancy terminated? Or was it mine and Gary’s outburst that let the cat out of the bag. No matter. It’s not the prevalent issue right now.

“I don’t know what she expected with him coming at me like that,” I say, looking out at the dancefloor and at my wife dancing with her gay boyfriend like she doesn’t have a care in the world.

“Like what, Christian?” she says. “I saw the whole exchange. Who really swung first?”

I’m trying to replay the conversation in my head, but all I can see is anger and resentment. All I can see is this poor, tormented girl wasting away for months and him walking in looking fit as a fiddle, even in that department store suit that he was wearing.

“He had to choose this forum to make his appearance. He was going for shock value.”

“He didn’t choose this forum, Christian, it just happened here.” I turn a disbelieving gaze to her.

“The fuck he didn’t!” I retort. “He knew she would be here. Why wouldn’t she be here? She’s one of the closest people to my wife and has been that way for years, even before they got together.”

“Did she come to personal functions before they got together?” Victoria points out, “because it’s my understanding that Gary certainly did.”

Hell, I really don’t know the answer to that question. I know they met at Escala when Butterfly was released from the hospital after the kidnapping. I know Marilyn was her assistant long before that and Garrett—well, hell, he’s part of the Scooby Gang, so that goes without saying. If Marilyn had been a part of the social circle before then, he would have met her before then.

“I know your feelings are personal,” Victoria says. “I know you’re very protective of her because of what you’ve seen and what you know. It’s hard not to be, but Christian? You’ve got to learn when to dial it back.”

I look over at her and back to my wife, taking another sip of my Scotch.

“Where did you find that creation?” I ask. “It’s exquisite.”

“I had nothing to do with that but the jewelry,” she says, taking a swallow of her drink. “My guess is that you’re responsible for the shoes, but that dress? Grandma.” I glare at her.

“That’s one of my grandmother’s dresses?” I ask, my eyes wide. She shrugs.

“What can I say. The women in your family have great taste.” She takes another drink and stands to her feet. “I’m going to go dance with my girl,” she says, patting me on the shoulder before walking away. I look at my wife again.

Grandma Ruby’s dress. Christ, she looks so beautiful.

Allen finally tuckers out after I don’t know how many dances and he and Butterfly return to the table. She’s careful to take any extra seat at the table except the one near me, and she keeps her revelry going. She has eaten several servings of the marble nut halvah either not knowing or not caring that I have one of the most intricate German chocolate cakes known to man waiting for her.

Not to be left alone or to interrupt Butterfly’s therapy dancing, James has a dance or three with Val and Maxie and boogies a bit with Keri.

Shit, this is just like her father’s wedding where I had to sit there and watch her congregate with everyone else and ignore me for the entire night. I sat still for it then, but hell if I’m going to sit still for it now. I shoot a text over to Jason and he raises a questioning gaze at me.

You saw what I sent you. Do what I said.

He purses his lips and dials his phone. A few minutes later, my brother’s voice interrupts my thoughts.

“Montana’s really pissed at you, Bro,” Elliot says, leaving the group and coming over to me.

“Really? I hadn’t noticed,” I say flatly. He chuckles.

“Well, you’d be the only one who didn’t,” he replies.

“How’s Val doing?” I ask, trying to take the conversation to another place.

“As well as can be expected,” he says. “I don’t think she’ll ever be over losing the baby, but she’s not against trying again. I won’t rush her, though. I’ll let her let me know when she’s ready.”

Never be over losing the baby…

“How are you?” I ask. He examines me for a moment.

“It’s hard for me, too, Bro,” he says. “I know it’s not as hard for me as it is for her, but it’s hard for me.” I twist my lips as Garrett’s words come back to me.

“Lose a baby, Christian! Then you can come and talk to me!”

“You’re a good man,” I tell him. “I wish there were more like you.”

“He left her because she lost his baby?” he questions. I look at him. “He said something about losing a baby.” I shake my head.

“It… wasn’t the same,” is all I can say. All the dimes are falling for everybody now and it’s not wholly because of what I said. I’m still wondering how Victoria knew, though.

“Oooh,” Elliot says knowingly. “Well… I can’t speak to that. Val and I both wanted the baby so badly… you know the story.”

“Yeah, I know,” I tell him. “She just looked so bad. Do you see how bad she looked? Even all cleaned up in chiffon and diamonds, she was just a shell of a woman in a pretty dress. There’s just some things I won’t be able to wrap my mind around.”

“I get it, Bro, but… a little less fire next time?” he says, holding his thumb and forefinger together in that way. My phone buzzes and Jason has texted me.

**Your chariot awaits. **

“Yeah,” I say, standing. “I’ve been working on ‘less fire’ for years. I don’t think I’ll get there anytime soon.” Elliot stands with me and frowns.

“Where’re you going?” he asks.

“I think I’ve had enough fun for one night,” I say, putting my phone in my pocket.

“You sure you wanna leave?” he asks. “That might piss her off even more.” I scoff.

“You’re kidding, right?” I ask. “She’s actively engaging the 10-foot-pole rule with me right now, as is just about everybody else in this room, and you’re actually concerned that she’s going to be more pissed that I left?” I put my hand on his shoulder.

“She won’t be concerned that I left,” I say. “She’s having a great time without me, and this is her night. I won’t spoil it any more for her, but I’m not going to sit here and be ostracized because I spoke my true feelings. Give Val my best.” I squeeze his shoulder, then turn and leave the ballroom.

*-*

It’s drizzling a bit when I get back to the Crossing. I’m glad that it hadn’t rained when Marilyn collapsed in the grass at the club. I only hope he got her inside before she caught a cold.

I take the stairs down to the lower level intent to go to my study and settle in for the night, maybe check to see if any of the breeders have contacted me back about puppies. When I look out onto the lower patio, I see the back of Garrett’s head sitting on the sofa out there and looking out at the lake. I’m still really angry about what happened with Marilyn, but Elliot’s words are playing in my head, too.

I go over to the bar and retrieve two beers, popping them both open and taking them out to the patio. He’s so lost in thought that he doesn’t hear me come outside. I walk around to the front of the sofa and hand him a beer. He looks up at me with venom in his eyes, but then he takes the beer and fixes his gaze back onto the lake. I take a seat next to him and take a swig of my beer.

“You’re right. I haven’t lost a baby, but I have watched Marilyn, and these past weeks have been brutal.”

“I don’t need you to tell me that,” he interrupts.

“But I am,” I reply. “I’m sure you two have had the first of what will be several long, deep, meaningful, and probing conversations and she’s told you all about how she felt without you. But no matter what she’s told you, you haven’t seen it all. The staff at Helping Hands thought she had cancer, because she was gone for a month, and she came back looking like that. As if it was possible, she lost even more weight in the months she’s been staying here. I’ve never seen someone suffer from a broken heart like that… ever.”

You did,” he says. I look at him like he’s crazy.

“When?” I ask.

“When Butterfly got pissed at you and didn’t speak to you for a week.”

Oh, yeah, I forgot about that.

“Well, let me rephrase,” I say. “I’ve never seen someone else suffer from a broken heart like that. And my suffering only lasted for a week. She’s been going through this for, what… three months?”

“Three months, two weeks, three days…” he says, his voice trailing off. I look at him again and he turns his gaze to me. “Even though you may not think so, I’ve been going through it, too.”

“Why didn’t you talk to her, then?” I ask. If they were both suffering, why didn’t he try to reach out to her.

“Why didn’t you talk to Ana?” he retorts.

“I tried! She wouldn’t listen to me!” I shoot back.

“I couldn’t. I was in too much pain,” he replies.

“Well, that makes two of you, then, because she was dying,” I interject.

“She still is,” he says. What does he mean? They didn’t patch things up? She’s still hurting? “I don’t know if she’s at the point of no return. She’s not refusing food because she doesn’t want to eat. She’s not eating because she can’t eat. Everything makes her sick, and now she won’t even do the shakes because she can’t stand the taste of them anymore.”

I stare at him in disbelief. I didn’t know that. I’ve been trying to shove food down her throat all this time. All week long, she’s been choking down food to satisfy us and now she’s mentally and physically miserable. Jesus H. Christ, when will the poor girl catch a break? I sigh heavily and run my hand through my hair. I’m at a loss, now, too. I don’t know what to do for her. Even if she and Garrett get back together and her broken heart begins to mend, what about her broken body?

“You really care about her, don’t you?”

His voice startles me. For a brief moment, I forgot he was still here. I look over at him and he’s examining me. It’s no use trying to hide it. Even Ray could see that it’s more than just a professional relationship.

“When my wife told me what was happening, I was angry… and a bit torn,” I admit. “She asked me how I would react under the same circumstances if I were you. I couldn’t answer her. Part of me totally supports her right to choose what she wants to do with her body. The father in me couldn’t imagine life without my children. So, I was torn.

“When she disappeared for a month and my wife was pulling her hair out—over you both, I might add—I began to take the situation more seriously. Not that I didn’t before, it’s just that it didn’t directly affect me, so I didn’t internalize it. I started wondering how if you claim to love someone, you could just leave them cold that way. I realized I was being a hypocrite, so I let it drop.”

“You were being a hypocrite?” he asks. “You left Ana?” I look over at him.

“I’m surprised she didn’t tell you,” I say. “She’ll have to give you the details if she hasn’t already, but yeah, I took a little hiatus. It devastated her. She didn’t stop eating, but I’m certain that it’s only because she had to feed our babies. Nonetheless, I was the pot calling the kettle black, so I just… dropped it.

“When Marilyn came back to Seattle and I saw her, all bets were off. My wife was broken when I returned, but she was nothing like this—and we weren’t incommunicado for as long as you two were. It was serious, don’t get me wrong, but…” I trail off.

“In all the time I’ve known of her, I’d never seen her like this. She was always healthy and vibrant and sassy. Once, I tried to run that ‘I am Christian Grey, Master of the Universe’ bullshit on her and she let me have it with both barrels and subsequently told my wife that if she had to take that shit from me that she was tendering her resignation.”

“I remember that,” he says. I just nod.

“She was a force to be reckoned with and we both know that, but when she came back from her parents’ place, I was certain that she had one foot in the grave. I hadn’t seen her yet when Butterfly told me that she was going to be staying with us. When I saw her, I was livid. I was angry with her; I was angry with you; I couldn’t understand for the life of me how anyone could let another person suffer like this. Even the hearts that I’ve left in my wake before Ana, I’ve never led any of those women to believe that I loved them. I have felt and seen love rip the heart out of someone. Before this, I had never seen it rip the soul out.”

Garrett swallows hard at the analogy and sighs deeply.

“Yes, Garrett, I care for her—as a person and a human being, as someone who’s important to my wife… so, yes, she’s important to me, and probably for more than just that reason at this point. I watched her firsthand slipping deeper and deeper into darkness and there was nothing that I could do about it. It’s not an easy thing for a man with my kind of power to feel helpless.

“All I could think was, ‘What the fuck is on Garrett’s mind? How could he let her suffer like this?’ But you probably didn’t know she was suffering like this. She was in Las Vegas for over a month and never left her room unless we told her to. Correction—she left once and stood at the Bellagio fountains, but that was it. I couldn’t even tempt her with the spa, I tried. So, you’ll just have to excuse me if when I finally saw you, I wanted to rip your throat out, because this is what I’ve been seeing constantly for the last two months.”

“I guess I should thank you for caring about her when I couldn’t,” he says. “I was really angry. I felt hurt and betrayed… but I never stopped loving her, not once. You may not believe that, but it’s true.”

I look over at him and he’s looking back out at the lake. I immediately think about how I felt when I ran off to Madrid—totally betrayed… and fucking pissed!

“I can believe it,” I say, realizing now why my mother tore into my ass when she finally got me to answer the phone. I mean, I knew then, but it’s even more clear now. I didn’t stop loving my wife; I just felt betrayed and pissed.

“I don’t want to intrude on your personal life because it’s kind of none of my business, but I’m gonna, because we’re vested in that girl now and I need to know what we’re going to be facing when she wakes up in the morning.” He sighs.

“I don’t really know, Christian,” he says honestly. “We both really fucked up and there are some serious trust issues going on. Yes, she has the right to choose, but I feel like she took my choice away, and I have the right to feel that way. It doesn’t matter if no one else thinks so. Then, I left her after she made an impossible decision before her body even had a chance to heal.

“She had an abortion that morning; that night, she was on a plane. I didn’t even know until I talked to her tonight. I didn’t know that she had left and gone to Spokane; I thought she was still at the apartment until the day that Ana told me she left. I never went back to see until I knew that she was gone. When I went back to the apartment and all her stuff was gone, I felt like hell. She didn’t even take the furniture we bought together. There were little trinkets that I bought for her that are still sitting on my dresser—she didn’t take those either.

“I never once thought all those hang-ups on my voice mail were her, not once. I kept wondering who in the hell was calling me in the middle of the night and wouldn’t leave a message. I wasn’t concerned about how she was feeling at all; I was only trying not to be angry anymore. Thing is, I was only angry for about a week, then I started mourning my loss—my woman and my baby.

“She stopped eating when she was grieving. I was eating everything in sight and working out like a madman to burn it off. Besides that, all I’ve done for three months is work, sleep, and watch Game of Thrones.”

He falls silent for a moment and I’m watching him examine his nearly empty beer bottle. He’s pondering something. What is he pondering? What’s there to think about? They were miserable without each other and now they’re back.

“I know what you must be thinking,” he says. “They’ll get back together and everything will be fine now.” That’s exactly what I was thinking. “But that’s not true. There’s so much unfinished business—so much that we have to settle and talk about. The fact that she hurt me, the fact that I hurt her, the fact that she nearly killed herself immediately after having an outpatient procedure because we broke up.

“I love her dearly, but her survival can’t be dependent on whether I’m there or not. Having a broken heart and grieving, that’s one thing. She wouldn’t have lasted much longer had she kept this up, and we are going to have to go back to the doctor soon to find out how to undo this. We’re going to have to take some drastic steps beyond Ensure and Pedialyte.

“I’m still mourning the loss of my baby. Will that affect our intimacy? Will she ever be able to truly open up to me again? Do we have a future, and will it ever involve children after this? Is love enough to fix us? Can we forgive each other for the pain we’ve caused? What if too much damage has been done and we can’t recover? We’ve got a lot of ground to cover, a whole lot of it!”

He finishes his beer and puts it on the patio floor. I pause for a few moments before I speak.

“Those are very valid questions that only you two can answer. Having previously been quite the outspoken tyrant against love I can tell you this. Love is able to accomplish anything. I’m not talking about the lustful, hearts and flowers, smoochie-huggy-kissy stuff that you feel when you begin a relationship and it keeps you on cloud nine. I’m talking about that ‘this cow is getting on my fucking nerves,’ panic because you haven’t heard from her and wonder if she’s okay, turn the world upside down to make her happy, can’t see your future without her, love her even when you hate her kind of love. If Marilyn was just infatuated, this whole thing would have passed in a few weeks. She definitely wouldn’t be in the state she is now, so I think it’s safe to say that she feels that kind of love for you. If you love her, and you really want this, you’ll find a way to make it work.” I finish my beer and stand.

“You guys can stay as long as you want. I’m sure my wife would feel better if she could at least see some progress with Marilyn’s health before she moves out, but let us know if you decide to leave.” He looks up at me, then nods and looks back at the lake. I walk back into the entertainment room and find my wife standing by her aquarium, looking out the doors at us. I look at her for a few moments, and when she says nothing, I go to the bar and dispose of my empty beer bottle in the trash. I pull out a snifter and pour myself a brandy. I look over at her once more, and she’s still silent. Deciding that I don’t want to defend my opinions or fight for amends at the moment, I head down the hall to my study.

*-*

I didn’t sleep at all last night. Still wound from the events of the party and the conversation with Garrett last night, I tried to work for a while, worked out a bit, even played my piano. Nothing. Not even a hint of sluggishness. This morning, I decide to go for a run. I don’t wake Jason to go with me. I foolishly run on my own, but I pretty much just lap the street and the area around the house. I discover when I get back to the Crossing that the run and the fresh air has done wonders for me, and after a shower and some breakfast, I may be able to settle into a nap.

The bedroom is unoccupied when I step in and after fetching a fresh pair of sweats from my dressing room, I’m actually relieved to just be able to get in the shower and let the hot water run over me. I do my best to rinse away my frustration from last night. So many people’s thoughts and feelings were on display and under consideration… except one. Granted, this isn’t my dilemma, but I’m very much involved. Emotions were running high all around last night and the only person who got scolded was me.

I’m not going to pout; I won’t sulk. I talked to Garrett because I felt I needed to, but I’m not willing to swallow the idea that my feelings, thoughts, and concerns don’t count. This was a very trying time for Marilyn and as I discovered last night, for Garrett as well, but they weren’t the only people involved. Their issue and breakup reached out like fingers and touched several other people. I’m one of those people, and I won’t be dismissed.

Feeling refreshed and relaxed after my shower, I step out and dry my hair vigorously. I brush my teeth and decide to leave the shave for Monday. I don’t have plans for the weekend as we don’t resume with our mentoring sessions with Artemis and Savvina until next weekend. In fact, for the first time in a long time, I plan to veg out today.

I find my wife standing next to the bed when I exit my en suite. Just like last night, she just stands there looking at me. I don’t know what she expects, but if she has no words, neither do I.

I don’t stand there and wait for a greeting. I go to my chest of drawers in the changing room and grab a fresh T-shirt. I pull it over my head as I leave my changing room.

“Don’t you think this situation requires some discussion?” she asks, her voice frank. I shrug.

“Sure,” I say, non-committal. Her head jerks a bit and she frowns.

“Not as passionate about it as you were last night, Christian?” she asks. I laugh inwardly. She’s picking a fight.

“If you wanted passion, you should have talked to me last night,” I say coldly. “That fuse is burned now.”

“That fuse,” she says, noting my emphasis. “Is that to denote that there’s another fuse alight?”

“It could be,” I say after pondering the question for a moment. “I’m just tired of everyone else’s feelings mattering more than mine,” I add matter-of-factly. She frowns.

“What do you mean?” she asks affronted. Okay, Butterfly, you asked for it…

“I mean that he just showed up out of nowhere after three months of letting this girl suffer and nearly die, and we’re all supposed to bow to his feelings, but he’s not supposed to be considerate of anybody else’s. I watched you worry about her for more than a month when she went to her parents. Then she came back, and I watched her deteriorate, so I worried with you. As much as I deplore anything to do with hunger and starvation, I watched it first hand for more than two months.

“I tried to temp that girl with anything available—‘Hey, we’re in hell for a few weeks, but it’s still the land of a million foods. Eat, drink, be merry! Hey, go take advantage of that free spa package! You can use it three times a day if you want.’ We went to buffets; we had food delivered; five-star, 24-hour room service; you took food tours and cooking classes; we went to world-renowned restaurants… She couldn’t even sit the whole night through Karaoke! She had me on such tender hooks worrying about her that for a fleeting moment, Ray suspected that something was going on between us. Did he ever tell you that?” My voice is rising and sharpening. Her eyes widen at the most recent revelation, but then she recovers.

“No,” she says, her voice low. “No, he didn’t tell me that.”

“Yeah, that happened,” I confirm. “I’ve spent all this time being concerned that she was going to collapse from malnutrition and organ failure and then out of the blue, he shows up like he’s coming to save the day… after three fucking months. If you hadn’t threatened her, she still wouldn’t be eating right now!

“Then you want to punish me for the rest of the night because I announced that you were about to have her committed. News flash, Anastasia—that’s not the big secret! Everybody within the visual radius of her could see that she became dangerously thin over a very short period of time. Some people even thought she had a fatal disease!

“No, the secret? The secret was exposed by your boy when he announced the he had lost a baby. That declaration had inquiring minds wondering if it was miscarriage or a termination. Logic leaned to termination as no one could fathom the thought of Gary leaving Marilyn because of a miscarriage. So, even though I may have let the cat out of the bag about something that really wasn’t so secret, the one who really broke a confidence here was Gary, but has anybody beheaded him and shit down his throat for that?”

My wife is silent, and I’m louder than I intend, but I don’t care. I may never get another chance to make this point, so I’m making it now.

“If you don’t expect me to become passionate about the people that you bring to this house who are in need, don’t bring them around me! We have plenty of resources and I have no problem helping someone in need, but if helping them means that I’m supposed to let them in my house, nurture them and bring them back to mental and physical health, but then turn my back and act like I don’t give a fuck when they’re hurting, then you’ve got the wrong guy.

“I’ve always been able to go from zero to 100 in 2.3 seconds and you knew that when you married me, but this empathetic fucker? This guy with all these feelings and concern for other people? This is the guy you created, and although I may become angry—I may get pissed off and say or do stupid shit, I can’t just turn that guy off at will!

“We had Harmony and Tina to worry about and I went gung-ho on that fucker Kenneth, that crook Roger, and Tina’s ungrateful children—at Tina’s fucking funeral, no less! Val was a total bitch, but when we found out that it was because she was sick, we gave her doctor a bulldozer full of what-for, and how… and brought her here to live with us! Even James was the center of my wrath when you were trying to save Thelma and Little Jimmy from starvation and a long, slow death in that condemned, mold and bacteria-infested house and what happened? After I gave him a huge piece of my mind and he lost his fucking family and his health deteriorated, I ended up helping him in the end. And let’s not forget that I almost fucking got arrested over Marlow’s father!

“If I care about you enough to get involved, then yes, I’m going to be passionate about you. I didn’t hold my tongue when any of those people were being hurt and I didn’t hold my tongue this time. The only difference this time was that both of the parties on both sides of the battlefield were your friends. So, when I did speak my mind against the party that I felt was wrong, I became the bad guy… again! So, in the future, should I distance myself from these situations so that I don’t make this mistake? Because from my standpoint, I wasn’t going to win either way.

“I care for her. She’s a good person; she’s important to you; and she’s grown on me. So, watching her suffer and not being able to do anything about it is not an easy thing to do. In fact, it was downright painful. Having him stroll in and announce that his suffering trumped everybody else’s was almost unbearable and enough to make my blood boil. But having you ostracize me for the rest of the night because I felt like what I felt and what I saw was just as important as what he was feeling, that is completely, utterly, and totally unacceptable. So, like I said, I’m tired of everyone else’s feelings mattering more than mine!”

Is that enough of an explanation for you, Dr. Grey?

“It’s not that your feelings don’t matter, Christian,” she says, her voice softening… and shaking a bit. “It’s just that certain situations have to be handled delicately. You can’t just charge into delicate scenarios like a bull in a China shop.”

“Well, once again, excuse me if I had no patience for the guy who I felt allowed Marilyn to suffer for three months, especially after he comes at me with that sarcastic, smug ass attitude. ‘What do you suggest I do, Christian?’” I say, mocking his tone.

“You snapped at him first,” she points out.

“And again, you’re taking his side. So, we’re having this conversation because…?” I trail off calmly, holding my hand out expectantly and waiting for her to finish the sentence. I’m under no misconception about her feelings—she made them quite clear. However, if she didn’t hear anything that I just said, then I have nothing else to say. She sighs and drops her head.

“This is a very worthy conversation,” she says, “and you are right. I did and I am seeing things from Gary’s point of view. If it’s okay with you, may I have a little time to consider your argument before I address it further?” She stands there silent, waiting for my response.

“I think that’s a very good idea,” I say calmly. She nods and leaves the room.

That’s the first time we’ve been passionate about anything and had a civil conversation. I don’t know if it’s because I stood my ground and refused to be sucked into any other discussion or argument, or if she really sees that I had a point and she wants to consider both sides of the coin. Either way, I’m not angry or aggravated and I’m still as relaxed as I was when I returned from my run… more, even.

I climb on the bed and grab the remote. I turn the television on and begin scrolling through the channels. I should really go and get some breakfast, but I’m truly beat. Maybe I’ll just close my eyes for a quick minute or two, then go down to breakfast…


ANASTASIA

Even when Christian is angry, it’s not like him to miss a meal, at least not deliberately. He didn’t seem angry after our talk this morning, but he didn’t come down to breakfast. His conversation was a bit deliberate, somewhat subdued in the end, but not angry. Why didn’t he come to breakfast?

“Is everyone avoiding us?” Marilyn asks, having come down and eaten a bit of eggs and drank some orange juice. Gary sits silently next to her, wearing his suit pants and a T-shirt. There’s no one else at the table, but us.

“I think they may be trying to avoid Christian,” I say, sipping my coffee.

“And who’s he trying to avoid?” Gary asks.

“Could be me,” I say with a shrug. Marilyn sighs.

“This is the very last thing I wanted,” she says, pushing her hair behind her ear. There’s silence at the table for a while.

“You’re not going to try to eat a little more?” Gary coaxes, noting that she only ate a forkful or two of eggs. Marilyn shakes her head.

“I can’t tolerate any more,” she says without looking at him. “My stomach just can’t take it.” Gary sighs and says nothing else. I look at them both staring at dishes, beverages, walls, anything but each other.

“So, what now?” I ask. I’m feeling a bit like Christian right now. After everything I’ve witnessed and the worry I’ve been through, I deserve some answers… something in the way of closure, or at least headed towards it.

“I don’t know,” they say simultaneously, then look sadly at one another. Well, enough of this shit. I’m not a relationship counselor, but I bet I’ll fucking be one right now.

“What do you want?” I ask the open-ended question to them both. Neither answers.

“Okay, that’s not a rhetorical question,” I say. “What. Do you want?”

Marilyn is still looking down at the uneaten portion of her eggs and Gary looks over at her.

“I want her to eat,” he says, examining the side of her head. Nope, too easy, Pope.

“And then what?” I ask. He turns his gaze to me.

“I don’t know,” he says, his voice a bit frustrated. “I don’t know where we’re going to go from here.”

“That’s not what I asked you,” I retort, “and dancing around the question isn’t going to make the answer any easier, nor is it going to make me stop asking it. I love you both; you’re very important to me, and this is destructive behavior. You stopped eating and you barely sleep; and you cut yourself off from people that you’ve interacted with nearly every damn weekend for years! Half the time, we didn’t know if you were dead or alive. I and everybody who care about you two who had to sit and witness that train wreck that was last night deserve to know. What. Now?”

I leave the floor open. They’re going to fucking answer me, or nobody’s leaving this table.

“I want my life back,” Gary says after several moments of silence, “and I want my girl back, but I don’t know if we can do it.”

“Why don’t you think so?” I ask.

“Look at us,” he replies. “I hurt her; she hurt me; we fucked up big. I know the fact that we hurt each other doesn’t make it even, but how do we recover from this? I still feel the same way that I feel and I’m sure she still feels the same way she does…” Marilyn is shaking her head while he’s talking. I hold up my hand to halt him.

“Why are you shaking your head?” I ask. She raises her gaze and there are those endless, silent tears that she’s been crying for weeks. Gary gazes at her with regret in his eyes.

“Everything I thought I knew has changed,” she says, her voice even. You would think she was sitting here having a normal old conversation, but her tears betray her heart. “I had never loved anybody else like this and I didn’t think anything could ever go wrong with this love, but when it did, I completely fell apart. I totally lost myself and I couldn’t find me for anything. Every day, I felt like I was just walking through a tunnel, and I knew it was a tunnel, but there was no light at the end.

“For three months, I just kind of wandered around. I second-guessed everything. For three months, every decision I made, I second-guessed it. I second-guessed being a mom, being ready, the termination, giving the baby up for adoption, going to my parents, coming back, waking up in the morning, everything! I never thought of suicide, but I can’t tell you how many times I just wanted to curl up and die.

“And now, he’s back,” she says, her voice cracking on the last word, “and I still don’t know how to find me. I still don’t have any faith in anything that I thought I knew. He says he still feels the same. Does that mean that he still hates me? He’s still hurt and angry that I aborted his baby? He wants his girl back, but he still can’t be in the same room with me? What does that mean?

“You want to know why I was shaking my head? Because nothing is like it was before—nothing. I don’t feel anything I felt before. He says he wants his girl back, but the girl I was before he left and I found myself all alone, I don’t even know where that girl is anymore.

“All of my realities have been completely shattered. This is my reality now—clawing and scratching and starving and trying to find out who I really am. If I knew then what I know now, if I had thought for one second that this is where I would end up, I’d be sitting here looking at you swollen right now. We’d be planning a baby shower and looking for a bigger place and sharing ultrasound pictures on Facebook!”

“No, you wouldn’t,” Gary says. “You would have made the same decision because you weren’t ready. Nothing, not even my broken heart, can make you ready if you’re not ready.”

“How can you understand that now if you didn’t understand that before?” Marilyn shoots through her tears. “I was healthy and fit and there would have been plenty of time for us to have children later. I just wasn’t ready now. Neither of us were ready. That’s why we were using protection and birth control. Now, you understand that I wasn’t ready and all it took was for me to go to the brink of hell!”

Gary sits silently, shamefaced, while Marilyn’s tears don’t cease. I hand her a napkin, but she shakes her head again.

“There has to be something wrong with not being able to function without another person,” she says, “with being unable to find a place of peace when I find myself on my own. I couldn’t eat; I couldn’t sleep; I couldn’t laugh or relax. All the things that are supposed to rejuvenate the body and mind, I couldn’t do.” I sigh.

“It’s called love, Mare,” I tell her, “and it’s heartbreak. You don’t get to dictate the terms of your sorrow. It is what it is.”

“What if he dies, heaven forbid?” she says. “What if something happens and he’s just not here anymore? Does that mean I’ll never be able to function on my own again?”

“These are all very valid questions, Mare, that only you have the answers to,” I tell her. “Keep in mind that the circumstances of your breakup were… quite rough. You terminated a pregnancy; you came home, and he was packed. Just like that, this relationship that you cultivated for the last couple of years was over—and it wasn’t a sudden, tragic event that ripped him away from you. This was a conscious decision to leave the relationship—a man that was still very much alive, leaving you in a situation of anguish, despair, loneliness, uncertainty… and hope. There was always hope until you finally let it go. That’s one of the worst parts of a separation—hoping for a reconciliation.

“It’s good that you realize that your life, existence, and happiness can’t be totally dependent on another person. Granted, all of the people in our lives contribute to those things in some way, but I wholeheartedly agree that you completely fell apart very much to your detriment without Gary around you. It concerns me because you’ve always been a very independent person. It also concerns me because it says a lot about how you feel about yourself—your worth and who you are on your own.

“I would be completely devastated if something happened to Christian, or if heaven forbid our relationship fell apart and we had nothing left. However, I’d like to think that I have enough of a sense of self-preservation or even the knowledge that other people need me that I would be able to overcome the worst part of my grief to have my survival instincts kick in.”

Marilyn looks at me knowingly. She didn’t have all of the details when Christian ran away to Madrid, but she knew the gist of it. I did, however, get up and take care of my babies and go to work and eat and try to remain as normal as possible, with the exception of a drunken slip off a cliff.

But this isn’t about me.

“You two are going to have to find ways to reconnect again,” I say. “It’s the only way, and it’s going to be hard. We’ve been where you are, and it’s going to be all about rebuilding the trust that you lost, leaning on the love that you have, and forging a new relationship. You can’t go back to where you were. There’s an innocence and blissful ignorance that was attached to that relationship that you no longer have. You need to take the seed that is your love—right now—and plant it in fresh ground. You’re going to need some help and it’s not going to be easy or fast. I can give you advice, but I think you should both see a marriage counselor.” Gary raises his brow at me.

“Why can’t you do it?” Gary asks. I shake my head.

“If it comes to that, I will,” I tell him, “but I think you should first talk to someone with a fresh eye on things… someone that’s not so close. My therapist was of no use to me when Christian left. I don’t know what he was aiming at, but he kept hitting the rim of the target without hitting the bullseye. I’m thinking it’s because he knows me, and he knows that I’m a doctor and he expected me to heal myself. I wasn’t in a position where I could. Our friends tried to help us and they kind of shed some light on some things, but we were in so deep that it took strangers to help us—two different sets in two different specialties. So, you should talk to someone who’s not so close first and see what happens.

“I can point you in the right direction, but you two need a game plan, and you’re going to have to take the steps on your own. The first thing you need to do is figure out what you want to do. You know that you want your girl back.” I turn to Marilyn. “You don’t know which way is up and not quite sure which direction to go. That’s where you have to start. If you’re going to be stuck in ‘I don’t know,’ then you might as well go back to your corners and forget this semi-reconciliation ever happened.”

Gary raises his gaze to me, then looks over at Marilyn who’s still crying a waterfall. He puts his arm around her chair, and she jumps like she’s startled, but he doesn’t pull away. Instead, he leans in to her.

“I know what I want, baby, and that’s not it,” he says to her like she’s the only person in the room. “I want you back. I love you. I want what we had and if we can’t have that, then I want what we can become. Do you want me?”

Marilyn never raises her head. The tears are still flowing when she takes a huge stuttering breath and nods.

“I do want you, Gary,” she says, “but I want me, first.”

Gary pauses, not quite sure—I’m certain—what to make of that answer.

“Is that something that we can work on together, or do you need time to work on that alone?” he asks cautiously. She swallows.

“Both,” she says, her voice cracking again. “I know that I have to find me again and I don’t know how long it’s going to take me to do that or what it’s going to involve and you’re going to have to allow me to do that… but I don’t want to be without you anymore.”

Gary purses his lips, then embraces her gently.

“I’m scared to hug you,” he says honestly. “You’re so thin.” She shrugs.

“Battle scars,” she says sadly. I wish she hadn’t used that terminology. Christian and I use that same phrase for our kink bruises. Scratches and bites and whelps and hickeys and… Is it getting hot in here? What was I talking about?

“I broke the lease on the old place,” Gary confesses, “and all my things are in storage.”

Oh, yeah… Marilyn and Gary.

“Just as well,” Marilyn says, her face still wet with now partially dry tears. “I couldn’t go back there anyway.”

“Well, your current address is here anyway,” I interject. “No offense, Gary, but I have to see a significant improvement in her health before I‘m willing to let her out of my sight. I’ll have to talk to Christian about you coming and going…”

“Christian already offered us to stay for as long as we needed last night,” he says, bemused. “I thought he would have told you.” My brow rises.

“Well, I guess that’s that,” I say with a shrug, “although…”

“Although what?” Gary asks.

“You two are going to need time together to rebuild your relationship… and time apart.” Marilyn raises a questioning gaze to me. “Being apart and not thinking you would ever be together again is one thing. Being apart and building yourself knowing exactly when you’re going to see each other again is another. Once you set your plan in motion, each of you is going to need some ‘me’ time to rebuild and rejuvenate to help make the ‘us’ better.” I point to them both when stressing the word us.

“Gary, why don’t you go home and get some clean clothes. Plan to spend at least the weekend here. You guys have a lot to discuss.” He nods and stands.

“I won’t be long, I promise,” he says, kissing Marilyn’s hand. She nods and watches him as he leaves the dining room.

“How do you feel?” I ask once Gary leaves the room.

“I thought you said you were too close,” she says.

“No,” I say, “I said you should start by talking to someone who’s not so close, and I can still be a sounding board.” Her head drops back, and I see the tears begin again.

“Confused,” she says. “Scared… happy, sick, tired, cautious, anxious, elated, relieved, weak, restless, you name it, I feel it.”

“That’s a good place to start.” I cover her hand with mine. “You’re absolutely right. You need to find ‘you.’ Start working on that right now.” She closes her eyes and nods.

“I think I need to go meditate,” she says. She stands from the table and heads towards the family room.

“Marilyn?” she stops in the kitchen and turns around. “I want to ask you something. Your shirt is drenched. Why don’t you dry your tears when they’re falling?”

“I did at first,” she says, “but now, my skin is too tender from the tissue. So, I just let them fall until they’re done and then wash my face.” When I don’t answer, she turns and heads to the family room.

I don’t even know how to respond to that. I’ve never heard of anybody who cried so much that they wiped their face until their skin hurt. I have to say that I’m very glad that she and Gary have decided to start to put their relationship back together. I don’t know how she would have lasted without him.

*-*

I don’t think he’s sulking, but I haven’t seen Christian all day.

I spent the first part of the morning with Gary and Marilyn. He has retrieved enough clothes for at least a week and now, he and Marilyn have been holed up in her room for the last couple of hours. I have no problem with making up for lost time, but I hope they don’t think that sex is going to solve their problems.

Speaking of problems, I take this moment of solace to consider the conversation that I had with my husband this morning. I need to get him to understand how his actions were inappropriate without discounting his feelings. He’s raw from watching Marilyn suffer and waste away these past months and before this morning, I didn’t know just how raw he was. I’m constantly seeing the CEO Neanderthal who wants the world to bow to his will and yield to his omnipotence when that wasn’t what was happening here at all. If anything, the protector was baring his teeth and that’s who we were dealing with last night.

Daddy suspected an affair—that’s a news flash. I wonder what was said to dispel that suspicion.

Yes, I was feeling extremely protective of them both last night. I still am. That could very well have clouded my judgment when it came to seeing him attacking Gary. As is stands, he wasn’t really attacking Gary so much as he was defending Marilyn.

What’s sticking with me the most, however, is the statement that he made about being the bad guy again. Do I always make him out to be the bad guy? That’s certainly not my intention. And if after all this time, he truly thinks that he’s always under attack for voicing his feelings, something’s definitely wrong with the machinery here.

But I won’t approach him while he’s sulking. So, this worthy conversation will just have to wait.

I spend the early part of the afternoon with my babies on the floor of the family room. Mikey is thoroughly entertained by watching his sister bounce around like a madman, and Minnie has taken to forming full sentences with one or maybe two decipherable words. Mikey is verbose as well, but he sticks to his one word and makes his point.

I’ve finished a late lunch with the children and Gail and I have put them to sleep when we’re greeted with a groggy, bed-haired Christian Grey walking into the kitchen still in the jogging pants and T-shirt I left him in when I left the bedroom this morning.

He’s been asleep all this time?

“No coffee?” he asks, scanning the kitchen and noting the clean and empty coffee pot.

“We… usually don’t have it in the afternoon,” I point out. His expression is a mixture of horror, surprise, and disbelief.

“What time is it?” he asks, looking around the room, no doubt, for a timepiece. I push the display on the remote.

“Almost three,” I say, just as he spots the time on the microwave.

“Jesus!” he says. “That was one hell of a power nap!”

“That was supposed to be a power nap?” I ask. “I left you at nine. I thought you were coming to breakfast.”

“I thought I was, too!” he replies. “I planned on vegging out today. I didn’t know that I was going to sleep the day away.” Vegging out? Christian Grey doesn’t veg out!

“That’s new,” I say, nonplussed. “Since when do you veg out?” His face becomes impassive.

“I guess everybody needs to relax, relate, and release sometimes, huh?” he replies. He turns to the refrigerator and begins to remove the trimmings for a sandwich.

“Here, let me,” I say, coming over to the refrigerator and gesturing for him to move. I continue to remove items from the refrigerator and stack them onto the counter. I know my husband. He doesn’t want a sandwich. He wants a meal, but he wants it fast.

I slice a hero roll in half and cover the bottom half with mozzarella cheese and let it toast in the toaster oven. Once the cheese has melted, I remove the roll and stack it with hard salami, black forest ham, peppered turkey, sopressata, and bresaola. I take some shredded lettuce and whisk it in a bowl with red wine vinegar, avocado oil, oregano, and a touch of salt and pepper.

“Soda? Tea? Water? Beer?” I ask, going back to the refrigerator to retrieve a red onion.

“Spritzer,” he says matter-of-factly. I remove a tall glass from the cabinet and mix crushed ice, sparkling water and cranberry juice with a mint leaf and give it to my husband.

I return to the chopping board and slice tomatoes, red onions, and banana peppers. I place the top half of the hero bun in the toaster oven and finish the sandwich with provolone cheese, tomatoes, banana peppers, and the coated lettuce. I remove the other half of the bun with an oven glove and coat it with a nice helping of mayonnaise. Placing the freshly toasted bun on top, I put the sandwich on a plate, cut it in half and give it to him.

“Thank you,” he says, looking at the large sandwich and trying to figure out how to attack it. He finally gets a bite into his mouth and groans his satisfaction. I nod, put the ingredients away and clean up my mess.

“I’d like to continue our conversation,” I tell him, but I’ll wait until you’ve finished your lunch. When you’re ready, I’ll be in our sitting room… unless you’d rather have the conversation somewhere else.” He pauses.

“No, the sitting room is fine,” he says. I nod and head towards the stairway.


A/N: In case you didn’t see it, there is a short one-shot of Gary and Marilyn’s point of view… mostly Gary’s. You can find it here: https://butterflysaga.wordpress.com/2020/04/19/gary-returns-after-the-breakup/ 

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

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, or 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.

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

 

 

52 thoughts on “Grey Continued: Season 5 Episode 26

  1. naturallyblonde1221 says:

    i love this chapter

  2. KJ says:

    I have been there, I was there with my girlfriend in our last year of university. I thought I was going to marry her. I didn’t even know she was pregnant, I only found out after the abortion. I fell apart. I didn’t finish university, I was barely functioning, more or less study. I went and completed my studies a year later. Changed majors entirely and went into mental health.
    No matter how much anyone tries unless you’ve been there, they will never fully understand the pain, the devastation, and the all-consuming grief. Above all that, there is anger. You are so goddamn angry all the time, and it never leaves you.
    Christian can say all he likes about seeing what Marilyn went through, but he will never understand what it feels like to lose a child. Gary did what he had to do to deal with his pain. He could not have known Marilyn would practically be on death’s door, but in my opinion, Christian can not begin to comprehend what Gary went through

    I find in situations like that everyone seems to have a fucking opinion because it gets to them too, I understand, but your fucking feeling doesn’t mean shit when it’s all said and done. They don’t wake up with it in their mind. They don’t go to bed, having nightmares about the child they lost. They don’t sit for hours on end, wondering if the baby was a boy or girl. What colour eyes would the baby have had? Take after their father more or their mother. What colour hair. Sporty or brainy. Years later, they will only remember when they see you, and even then, it might take several hours of conversation, and then they will remember the time your girlfriend aborted your baby.

    Ana sees both sides, and she has been in the thick of it with Marilyn just as much as Christian, but she can still see Gary’s side as well. Christian just seem to think Gary should have been there for Marilyn, all he feels be damned. So many discount the man’s feelings in such situations. I am an advocate for women exercising the right to do as they please with their bodies, but we men should not be discounted when half that kid’s DNA is ours. I sure some agree with Christian’s stance, but it just pissed me off.
    Then again, this is why I love your writing, thought-provoking and emotive. Sorry for the rant.

    • Do NOT apologize for the rant. I’m so proud and honored that you chose to share that with us. Thank you so much!

      The characters are in my head, and I know how Christian feels, but I’d like to think that if he could see what Gary was going through as intimately as he saw what Marilyn was going through that his opinion of Gary would have been different. There’s no way of knowing now since he has only seen Marilyn. His only point right now is that he wants people to understand his passion when they put him in a position where he has to care for people when, for so long, he wasn’t that guy.

      I’m so sorry about what you went through. I have terminated a pregnancy before. I was by choice, but we talked about it first and came to an agreement on it. I also lost a baby before, so yes, I know that pain as well. I’ve had two live births and my last baby was a problem pregnancy. She almost didn’t make it. That was VERY scary. My son’s father didn’t want him, so I had to do that all alone. So, yeah, I think I run the gauntlet when it comes down to pregnancies. I did research — again — but I hope I somewhat did justice to how Gary may have felt in the one shot. Have you read that yet? I’d love to get your opinion.

      • KJ says:

        I know exactly how he felt. I struggled reading that chapter. Took me right back to the weeks after she aborted the baby. I didn’t want to talk or see anyone. Got violent with my dad when he forced his way into my home.
        I know we were young and still studying, but it was the complete disregard for my feelings that really got to me. That is why I understand Gary’s pain so well. I don’t know what decision I would have made had we talked about it, but we didn’t so I will never know. Truth be told, I had no idea where I stood when it came to kids until that moment.
        Above all else, I thank you for that one shot because it acknowledged Gary’s pain and grief, apart from Ana, is thankfully, the right person not discounting his pain. I can’t feel sorry for Marilyn, I understand she wasn’t ready, but personal circumstances makes it difficult for me to look at situation objectively.
        I left the US and moved to London after that. I needed a new city, new faces, new sounds and smell. Hell, I needed the people to sound different. I got dangerously drunk my first week here, and my wife was the bar manager who helped me to the hospital. For months I went to that bar and got drunk. She let me, but would always stopped me drinking at some point. One night she refused me entirely and asked me to go somewhere with her. She introduced me to BDSM, it saved my life. We have three kids now, but the pain of that loss is still with me, and I doubt it will ever fully go away. Thank you for writing this subject as well as you have written it. Really looking forward to the next chapter. I also hope we insights into their healing.

      • Your story is truly moving and amazing. I’m glad you had a happy ending and so glad you decided to share that with us.

  3. LisaKabb says:

    Wow. So heavy on so many fronts

  4. falalalynx says:

    Good evening Goddess,

    I’m so out of sorts I’m pretty sure it will be reflected in my response. One thing I do feel pretty strongly about though is Christian’s comments to Ana. I do agree with him. Bravo Christian for expressing yourself without losing your cool. I always fail at this myself. My emotions take hold and off runs my mouth and I’m in need of a new filter.

    I’ll come back with my thoughts about other things later but I just can’t at the moment. This was a very emotionally heavy chapter as was the Gary and Marilyn what shall I call it, side chapter.

    Wonderfully wrought angst Goddess. My heart hurts but then it was already some what bruised.

    Love you. Stay safe. Stay home. And don’t listen to our ‘leader’. xoxoxo

    Peace, falala

    • I ain’t going NOWHERES! Daddy and I have already decided that we are staying our asses in the house!

      • Junebride says:

        Good decision, neither am I, only on as needed basis and taking advantage of the senior days to avoid as many people as possible, always with a mask and a bottle of Purell with me at all times. I already used to wash hands very often, so that’s not a problem for me.

        xoxoxoxoxoxox

    • Junebride says:

      Hi, Falala, How are you? I’m more or less the same, but when i become emotional/angry, my words leave me and can’t think of anything to say or say things I could regret later.

      Abortion is not an easy decision. I would say most women do not take it lightly. It’s hard on both the woman and the man. I’m glad Christian expressed his feelings. We’ll see what their talk leads them to. So far, our Goddess has not disappointed us. I have to admit they have grown so much as a couple, I’m proud of them. I have to read the Gary/Marilyn side chapter as you called it. Wishing them well and hoping they can go on with their lives together.

      I’m with you about not listening to our “leader.” I can barely watch TV nowadays, feel somewhat down (not related to lock down). Definitely not watching news at all.

      Take care and stay safe.
      xoxoxoxoxoxox

      • I’m shutting down the news for a while. I’m trying to keep up with what’s crucial and I get most of my news online, so it’s very easy for me to scroll past something and not pay attention.

  5. Junebride says:

    Thank you, Goddess, such a surprise to find this episode. It was enthralling to say the least. I’m glad Christian got to talk to Gary and they sort of cleared the air. I’m sorry he stayed awake all night and didn’t clear the air with Ana though. And you left me in a cliff hanger… LOL… Can’t wait to find out what they’ll talk about and the outcome. They have grown so much as a couple!

    I felt so bad when Christian started remembering the Madrid trip (and Ana did too later on). I guess that is something that neither one will ever forget, as well as her running away to Montana.

    Hope they wait some more time in opening Vegas for business. That place is open 24/7 and it’d be impossible to keep it clean. Just like they were saying about opening up businesses and they mentioned gyms, that’s crazy, that’s always been one of the places where germs are abound. Hoping and praying for a light at the end of the tunnel ASAP. Our schools, our superintendent announced will be closed for the rest of the school year (online classes as they’ve been now). Don’t know what will happen with the classes for adults, some schools need to have hands on classes). You still working from home?

    Please take care of yourself and stay safe.
    oxoxoxoxoxox

    • Yes, ma’am, I am still working from home, so it’s business as usual for me in terms of work. I just miss seeing my babies and my grandbabies. I of two minds with everything opening back up. I feel like the people that don’t need to go out need to stay their asses as home and the people who do need to go out should take precautions and do what they need to do. I feel like an extended quarantine will cripple the economy but not heeding the quarantine will promote the spread of the virus. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. I’m one of the people who can stay at home and everything will be okay, so I’m thanking God for that and we’ll just have to see what happens with everything else. 😥

      • Junebride says:

        Agree with you, Goddess. But did you see the beach in North Florida in online news (only means of some news I have at the present time and not everyday either) once the beaches in the area were opened? What are these people thinking of? Not the problem of them getting sick so much, but they’ll take it back to their kids (if any), their parents, grandparents, friends… and they’ll overburden our first responders that are already overburdened.

        I’m retired so I don’t have a problem with going to work. The daughter that lives with me is on medical leave, and her husband is working from home for now. Our schools finally decided to remain closed until the end of the school year and teachers will be teaching their classes online). Smart move since they had agreed to stay close until May 15 and classes end about a month later.

        Can you facetime with your children and grandbabies for now? I know it’s not the same but at least you get to see them for a bit. We just need to hang in there and do the right thing to see if all this can get under control. Between you and me, I think they waited too long to do something about it, but no sense in crying over spilled milk now…

      • Yes, I’m Facetiming with my babies and grandbabies. It helps a lot when my grandson says, “I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you!” ❤

  6. S. Hodgson says:

    Sorry Ana but Christian wins this round. It’s not the first nor the last time that he’ll go off on someone like that. I thought his speech in the bedroom was a perfect representation of self awareness. He knows who he is and he’s not ashamed of it. He stated it quite clearly and left absolutely no room or disillusionment. So bravo to Christian. Ana really needs to stop making him out to be the bad guy. Just because she’s super empathic doesn’t mean he is. Like he stated he’s an ass but he’s also a protector. I think if Christian learned to be more passive aggressive then he can be an ass all he wants but do it in a way that’s almost killing with kindness 😂. Oh his talk about love with Gary was a perfect representation of the honeymoon phase versus marriage. Spot on.

    • That’s a really good concept, but you and I both know that Christian is never going to be passive-aggressive, lol. His most passive-aggressive act was to stand there and say, “You’re still taking his side, so why are we talking?”

      That was one of my shining moments with Christian. I know that people may have differing opinions about it, but I’m very proud of this moment. Christian had a very volatile reaction to seeing Gary and how he felt about what happened to Marilyn. Was he right in how he reacted? Probably not, but does he have a right to his feelings? That’s his issue right now. He feels like his feelings are being dismissed because of his typical “0-to-100-Christian-Grey” reaction and he’s not having it this time.

      I’m so glad you saw the message in his speech. I really hope that people will just take that speech, set it aside, and really look at the words of that speech, because it has a lot of information in it. There were times when his tone went up and down, but it ended with, “If you don’t hear me, I’m going to stop talking.” His feelings were that he didn’t have to “win,” but if she couldn’t understand and respect what he was feeling, then he certainly wasn’t going to argue. That’s a GIANT step out of the Christian Grey persona.

      • Junebride says:

        Agree, Goddess. Love the person that he’s become. I was so proud of him. Hope Ana thinks this talk through and realizes where he’s coming from. My opinion, no matter what, she needs to think of her husband and his feelings before she does anyone else’s. He surely does her and all this remembering of Madrid is eating at him. He’s realizing what he did and doesn’t like it. No matter what Ana says, she’d be in a bad place if anything happened to Christian and she knew it was final. That’s what’s happening to me, although life must go on. At the time I really thought I’d be right behind him (like some couples have) but I’ve realized that I’m still here because my youngest daughter needs me.

        Thank you for sharing your wonderful gift with me/us. Glad you’re Facetiming with your babies and grandbabies. Almost cried when I read your grandson tells you “I love you” like that. That’s so sweet. I know you are very proud of all of them.
        xoxoxoxoxox

      • Fingdelicious says:

        So true, Goddess. As shown in my comment last episode, I hadn’t considered the whole thing that he calmly laid out for Ana – that if he’s going to open himself up to others, then he’s going to have feelings when those people get hurt and are suffering. And he’s so right that the tendency of others (not just Ana, and including some of us readers) is to make him the bad guy.

        Good for him for managing that confrontation about as well as one could – steering clear for a bit, working out to burn off some tension, then discussing it calmly but not giving in. I’ll bet the power nap helped.

        And the awesome sandwich! I had a similar one the other day and it was fantastic. Good for Ana – she heard what he said and took a step to show him that she values and cares for him and was no longer going to treat him as 100% wrong.

  7. Christian618 says:

    Wow so much emotions came out of everyone today. Christian is really out of his element here but I hate to say he’s right. Before Ana he was a recluse and happy to be that way. Now we know how much he cares about people and puts his foot In his mouth but in a good way. How we move on from here will be interesting.

  8. Tina says:

    Great story line I’m with Christian he is always being made out as the bad guy and its about time that Ana got what she deserves she is suppose to stand by her man not ostracise him when he has been there for both her and Marilyn and Gary (yes he was hurting) but Marilyn always said it was to early and she was not ready. What does Gary do but think about his little old self. Mind Marilyn has taken the easier way out by making herself ill. I’m not being bad about them both but I have been there in the same situation but I was taken by my parents who forced me to have one different but I still feel I have lost something.

    Anyway how are you doing Goddess well I hope and I can’t wait for the next chapters. I’m glad you are keeping in doors. I’m in isolation because the assisted apartments join onto a care home and they have had 3 people diagnosed with the virus. Also my family are not able to come and see me or I visit. Reading your stories keep me sane and something to do. Look after yourselves.

  9. Lori says:

    Good for Christian. He was man enough to go talk to Gary after he got home and to calmly state what he was feeling to Ana. This is huge progress for him and Ana needs to acknowledge this. In this situation he was right and Marilyns food issues have really hit so close to home for him. I loved his chat with Elliott, so touching!
    Thank you for this lovely escape with all the tragedy in our world, especially our little corner in Nova Scotia. Our hearts are broken with all these senseless deaths.
    Stay safe.

    • Yes, I heard about that. Jesus, as if we don’t have anough tragedy right now, this had to happen? And why? It appears that there are absolutely no answers for what happened. I so sorry that this happen. I think people may be starting to lose it with everything going on, specifically people who were already on the edge. We better pray, that’s all I can say.

  10. MichelleCheri’ says:

    I read Chapter 25, Gary’s chapter and chapter 26. It was a great diversion from work as i still am working full time from home.

    Funny enough I was a bit perturbed with Ana for acting the way she did by giving Christian the cold shoulder after the Gary-Marilyn meltdown show. That was childish to me. No wonder Christian left the party and I think his feelings are valid. Now was it right to have a shouting match in the party, no that could have been handled better, but I understand where Christian is coming from. ( See how good your writing is?). I also understand Gary’s point of view especially when he had already attached himself to the baby. The only thing that bothers me about Gary’s position was he didn’t seem to understand Marilyn and what she wanted until now. Such a sad situation.
    But I am external optimist and think they will make a new and better life together. I’m rooting for them!

    Excellent way you pulled Elliot and Val in to the storyline as well. They would definitely understand the feelings of loss from their situation with their miscarriage. And good on Elliot to help Christian see that.

    Be Safe and Healthy !

  11. Dee says:

    Great, great episode! So proud of Christian and the way he was able to articulate his feelings. He was spot on. Oh my! everyone hurts in this episode. Amazing writing, I don’t know how you do it! Books woman! You would be a billionaire, like our Christian 😘

  12. falalalynx says:

    Happy Earth Day my friends. Hugs to you all. Peace, falala

    • You had us worried, my beloved. Happyt Earth Day to you. Hope all is well.

      • falalalynx says:

        Hey Goddess,

        I’m sorry if I made you worry. I’m having a remote meltdown. One of my son’s is sick. He’s had a teledoc appt with the doctor and as of yet we can’t confirm anything but He’s ill with a low grade fever and a headache and one night of vomiting. I can’t help him. We are locked apart. I may never get a chance to hug him or see him. sob! no no NOOOOO! I don’t want to give in to this It may not be the virus. It may just be the flu. Never did I ever think I would wish for my child to get the flu. sigh Yeah so falala and her happy have left the building and worried and haggarded and sleep deprived zombie falala has taken over. It blows my mind that you don’t get to find out if your sick until you are really really sick. argh! This makes no sense to me none nada zip. Does it make any kind of sense to you? He doesn’t have it. He doesn’t he doesn’t. no no no no no I won’t believe it. It’s his day four of whatever this is. SO I’m sitting here imagining the worse cases and going slowly nuts. The weather is even reflecting my mood. It’s gloomy and rain is threatening. You are my only happy place at the moment. I shove all the pillows I can gather around me and pretend it’s a hug. It doesn’t quite cut it. I need sleep. It runs from me. 3:37am is the pits, absolute pit of despair. falala doesn’t have the blues. I think I’ve slipped into electric blue, ultra violet, black light. WE NEED TESTING AN WE NEED IT NOW! worried falala out.

      • Oh my dear! I’m so sorry!!! Is he in the hospital or did they test him and send him home? Is someone taking care of him? Lots of hot fluids, vitamin C–tell him to treat it like the flu. Even if it is the big 19 (and we AINT claiming that!!!), it’s not a death sentence. He just needs to get plenty of rest and take care of himself. Sweat it out if he can.

        I’m keeping an eye on Daddy right now. He’s been feeling lethargic and he was light-headed the other day. He has an awful cough, but that has been around for quite some time now. He normally gets that cough annually right around the time allergies hit, but we have to be mindful of it now. He doesn’t have a fever, but that’s subjective… meaning that his normal body temperature has always been 97.1 – 97.6 and yesterday and today it has been 98.1. That’s low for the rest of us, but kind of a low grade fever for Daddy, so we’re watching it. I have declared war–disinfecting, washing, hot and steamy showers covered in Vaporub, hydration, good and healthy food. Our apartment is small, so we can’t isolate. If he has it, I have it, but I have no symptoms. All of my symptoms are hay-fever. They hit when I lay down and go away when I get up, just like hay-fever. No “fever” for me either so knock wood, but I’m declaring war.

      • falalalynx says:

        Noo no hospital. He’s not sick ‘enough’. He’s at home and he’s not alone. Fever must get worse before they test him. I got a grumpy bear on the phone when I called. He hates all the questions even when he’s healthy so add being sick on top of it and I walk an edge to get info. Personally I don’t want him going into the hospital. He strong and young and hopefully he can dodge that bullet. He’d never admit it but being his Mom I can hear the fear/worry in his voice. Then too I have to deal with that man thing about being invincible. He’s not allowed back at work until he’s been fever free for 72 hours. I have that low temp thing like Daddy. My temp is usually between 97.1 and 97.9. The whole virus thing is driving me batty. The symptoms can vary wildly from one person to the next. High raging fever to a low just enough to make you ache. Cough no cough. Headache no headache. Lose your sense of smell and taste or not. Think it’s a sinus infection and its the virus instead. Vomit don’t vomit. So far he has no shortness of breath and I am so thankful for that. Now if someone could just tell me how to not worry and I’d be golden.

        Remember how we all couldn’t wait to put 2019 behind us? 2020 is turning out to be just as bad imo. I need to sleep but just as I’m falling to sleep I panic and adrenaline rushes through me. sigh bitch bitch bitch. Sorry falala has lost her mojo.

      • Are you getting any sleep at all, Beloved? If you don’t, you may suffer a manic episode… seriously.

  13. falalalynx says:

    Good morning Goddess,

    I slept almost 2 1/2 hours and then woke up. But I finally fell asleep again and maybe got another 2. So I call it a good night.

    Goddess I had nightmares, can’t call it dreams about your mayor. Is she for real? She suggested using the people of Vegas as test subjects against the virus? Just open up all businesses and see what happens, damn the losses. She’s appalling. grin Does she not like people? She is one scary woman, smarmy. ugh! Gave me the willies. Peace, falala

    • Yes, she did! She’s behaving like a crackhead!! If people have any damn sense whatsoever, they will IGNORE HER and keep practicing safe social distancing. If they want to go out there and be stupid fools and tempt the hands of fate, then there’s nothing the sensible can do about that. I just feel sorry for the essential workers and the health care providers who will be SLAMMED by cases from this terrible second wave if this crazy broad gets her way. The consensus is that she’s out of her fucking mind, but you know that there are going to be some that are going to say, “Yay, the strip is open!” and go their dumb asses out there! SMH

  14. Barbara says:

    What a chapter…my heart breaks for Gary & Mare. I hope they can find their way back to a “new” normal, as they will never be what they were before. Gary has legitimate feelings about what happened & I’m glad that Christian finally understood that. I’m looking forward to the next part of the conversation with Ana.
    With regards to Covid-please everyone, stay home. Go out to the store only when you must. Stay healthy, take a walk, wear a mask. Don’t hang out with anyone who is not quarantined with you. This is not over. I’m truly afraid for what will happen this fall, if Covid returns, it will return with a vengeance.
    Praying for you & your family. Prayers for you too Falalalynx! xo

  15. seralynsmom says:

    I haven’t even read Ana’s POV yet! I had to come and say this before I lost it! Did I say Christian needed to get his head out of his ass on that one shot? Because I’m sorry, I sure as shit shouldn’t have (though I was mostly joking, I swear). What I just saw here was the best CG you’ve given us yet. He’s right, his feelings are valid. Everyone’s are. They’ve all seen this unfolding, some more so than others, and they all have a right to an opinion. Perhaps he should have dealt with it more delicately but we shouldn’t forget that it’s Christian and he doesn’t do delicate when it comes to those he cares about. He’s all in 💯 it he’s not in at all, and we’ve seen that throughout the entire saga and shouldn’t forget it. This was an extremely mature Christian here and I FUCKING LOVE IT!!! Hot damn! And Ana was very mature there too. Reading his POV was just such a beautiful experience start to finish.

    I also love how Gary voices his concerns, because he’s also not wrong. Like I said, I don’t think they’re done. Not by a long shot. I also think Christian is 100% right about the love bit. But Gary is also correct. Just because they’re still in love, and they’ve decided to potentially work it out, doesn’t mean it will. They have a long ass road ahead, and hopefully everyone will be there to support them when the need and WANT it, as well as everyone leaving them go it alone when they need and want to go it alone.

    Mkay, I’m off to read Ana’s pov now! 😂

    • seralynsmom says:

      Alright, now I’m done. This was a delightfully mature as fuck chapter. Lol. Look at them all adulting like really adults. 😂

      Ana’s points to Gary and Marilyn we’re spot on and I’m glad Mare realizes she needs to find herself as much as they need to work together to find their new relationship. Because Ana is right, they can’t just go back to the way it was before because that before isn’t there anymore. They can only move forward like she and Christian did.

      I’m glad Ana is seeing that it’s an issue that he feels he’s always being made into the bad guy, as well as realizing that if that’s what she’s been doing she needs to address it. I love that she realizes that she needs to not invalidate his feelings, that he wasn’t being an asshole, just protective, and that while he went about it the wrong way (because he did, not because his feelings weren’t valid but getting into that little pissing contest in front of a room full of people who were not totally in on the situation was not the time or place) his feelings were very much valid. I can’t wait to see how she handles the conversation they’re going to have. I do hope, however, that she realizes she was in the wrong here as well, by ignoring him the rest of the night and subsequently voicing her disapproval in that way. I don’t feel that’s ok in any relationship. I mean, don’t get me wrong, sometimes I have to step away for a few minutes, or my husband does, so that we don’t say things we might regret, but she didn’t even tell him she just needed a minute or asked him if they could table it until they got home and were alone. She went right on to ignoring him. In front of everyone I might add. I’m not trying to say she’s the bad guy here, because I don’t feel there are any bad guys here, but she does hopefully see that ignoring him to the point he decided to leave like he did that time at Elliot and Val’s isn’t ok. They both have to not do that shit. Lol

      Also, that sandwich sounds delicious and I don’t even like salami.

    • When I saw your response to Christian in the previous chapter, I just laughed. I said, when she sees his point of view I think she’ll change her mind. And you’re right on the money about all of it. There’s actually nobody wrong in this scenario, but there are so many emotional responses that all of the emotional responses have to be taken into consideration, and some of the emotional responses Clash, like Christian’s response clashed with Gary’s response. So, yeah, this is going to be interesting to play out. Imagine what kind of roller coaster ride I was going through to write it…

      • seralynsmom says:

        I think that’s the hardest but about so many empathetic people around one another. Lmao. They all have their opinions and sometimes those opinions clash, but they’re all still valid opinions. I can only imagine that rollercoaster ride. 😉

  16. Junebride says:

    Thinking of both of you and hoping and praying it’s nothing. Be positive above all. Nowadays we fear something bad even if it’s the common cold. Please keep me updated and just know I’ll be worrying alongside of you.

    I haven’t read it all, but I just found this:
    https://www.tmz.com/2020/04/24/las-vegas-nightlife-return-murky-despite-mayors-comments/
    Unbelievable and crazy, hope they don’t pay attention to her. I got so upset I couldn’t finish reading it, but will do so later or tomorrow.

    Sending virtual hugs and kisses!
    xoxoxoxoxoxo

    • falalalynx says:

      Hey Junie,

      From the reports I’ve read and seen ‘no one’ is following her advice. She has been panned all over. Moron pretty well describes her and everyone agrees she doesn’t have a clue.

      Goddess I do have a question about Vegas. How is she not the major of the Vegas strip but she is the mayor of Vegas? What does the gaming commission control that? How? Then who do the police answer to? Are there separate police forces? No that can’t be right. confused falala

      • I don’t actually know that part. Supposedly the strip is technically outside of the city limits, so she has not jurisdiction. What city it is, I’m not sure, because LV Metro Police is who patrols it. To be honest, it’s a little too much research for my little brain right now, so I’ll get back to you on that.

    • The general consensus around here is “Fuck that batty bitch! We aint going nowheres! Let her carry her crazy ass out there!” But you know there are a few that will jump on that bandwagon if the city opens again.

  17. Fingdelicious says:

    Re: Vegas, yes, that mayor is batshit crazy. Interesting question about jurisdiction over the strip. Call me a cynic, but my guess is that the city gets at least a large chunk of any tax revenue from the strip, so her city budget is taking a hit and she wants to stop the bleeding. I guess people’s lives are just collateral damage to her, though.

    What do you want to bet, she was one of those people ranting about how All Lives Matter? Not only is that entirely missing the point of BLM, but it looks just a teeny bit hypocritical now, eh?

  18. Valentinesgenie says:

    That was really good see you next time take care.

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