Becoming Dr. Grey: Chapter 83—Grey House of Resolution

 This is the last chapter of Book III. Enjoy!

I do not own Fifty Shades Trilogy, or the characters. They belong to E. L. James. I am only exercising my right to exploit, abuse, and mangle the characters to MY discretion in MY story in MY interpretation as a fan. If something that I say displeases you, please, just leave. If you don’t like this story or me, please don’t spoil this experience for everyone. Just go away. For the rest of you, the saga continues…

Chapter 83—Grey House of Resolution

ANASTASIA

“Get us a Justice of the Peace here—I know you can. I need this woman to be my wife today. I’ll give her the wedding that she wants later, but I need her now.” Elliot is only too ready to take Val’s hand today if the mighty Christian Grey can pull it off, but even Christian knows that’s an impossibility.

“Bro…” Christian protests.

“Please, Christian,” he says, never moving his eyes from Val’s. “I need her now.” I look over at Val and she stares back at him with love and adoration, nodding her ascent. Christian sighs.

“There’s a three-day waiting period to get married once you get the license,” Christian says. “I can’t put a rush on that. You want your marriage to be legal and valid, right? I can’t even get in touch with anybody tonight.” Elliot raises his eyes to his brother.

“Okay. So, if I get the license tomorrow, that means we can get married on is Saturday. My feelings won’t change.” He looks down to Val. “Will yours? I don’t want to rush you.”

“I…” she begins. “I’m sick… and I just wanted to be better for you…”

“You are all to me,” he says gently but emphatically. “I’ll never leave you. I’ll be with you forever. I’ll love you until the end of my days no matter what condition you’re in. No one but you… only you. Please don’t make me wait.” Valerie bites her lip and nods enthusiastically.

“Okay! Okay!” she whispers desperately. “Yes! Please!”  She throws herself into Elliot’s arms. She gasps as he removes the scarf from her head.

“If you want to wear it in public, if it makes you more comfortable, that’s fine. But when you’re home with me… with your family… I want to see only you.” He caresses her bald head reverently. I can see and feel her heart melt from across the room as he presses his lips onto hers.

“Okay, now we can leave,” I whisper and quickly usher Christian out of the room. When he closes the door behind us, I let out a gasp of my own.

“What is it?” he asks.

“I have to plan a wedding in three days,” I lament. “Val will get married in a burlap sack as long as she gets to marry that man, so I have to start my miracles right now. This fucking sucks.”

“Why does it suck?” Christian asks, bemused. “They love each other. They want to get married. What’s the problem? If all else fails, we’ll call our wedding planner, tell her that she has two days—simple and sweet and money is no object.”

“That’s not the problem, Christian,” I tell him. “Your birthday is on Friday. I wanted to celebrate.” He groans audibly. “You hate your birthday, don’t you?”

“It’s just another year getting older,” he says. “We can celebrate my birthday next week. My brother is going to spontaneously combust if he doesn’t marry that girl this weekend.” I narrow my eyes at him. Yeah, you got out of it this week, Grey.

“I won’t be able to attend the meetings this week,” I tell him. “There’s absolutely no way.” He ponders the situation.

“Well, you don’t need to meet accounting and legal. You’ve already met accounting and Al is legal. You’re going to have to set some time aside on Thursday, though. That’s the day you meet the Twins’ security detail.” I rub my eyes.

“That means I’ll have to work real miracles tomorrow.”

“You’ll be interviewing for the position of executive vice president soon, too. ” I frown.

“What? What happened to Ros?”

“We need help so there will be three of us now,” he says. “Interviews begin in two weeks.” I throw my hands in the air.

“I don’t want to be executive vice-president!” I nearly screech. He rolls his eyes.

“That’s not what I meant!” he retorts.

“Well, that’s what you said! You said that I would be interviewing for…”

“What I meant was…” he interrupts, “that you, I, and Ros will be conducting interviews in two weeks for an executive vice-president.” Well, that’s not what you said, genius!

“Fine, fine,” I say, waving my hand and dismissing the situation as it doesn’t take precedence right now.

“What do you hear from Josh these days?” My head snaps toward him.

“What?” That was a quick change in topic… and we need to be talking about this damn wedding! My birthday plans for Christian have already gotten the kibosh and although I know it’s for a very good reason, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed. “I don’t know… nothing. I haven’t talked to Josh in a while. Where did that come from?” Christian rubs his chin.

“I haven’t talked to Mac yet, but I may be considering him for her assistant in the PR department, if he’s interested. I know it’s not as exciting as the freelance reporter and photographer gig, but it’ll pay a lot more. And I really wouldn’t care what he does in his spare time, as long as it doesn’t interfere or conflict with what he does for GEH.” I shrug.

“You can approach him. I have no idea how he’ll feel about it though,” I tell him. “I can say that he’s never expressed a desire to leave what he’s doing, but it’s not like we sit down and chat about our hopes and dreams.” I say flippantly. “What time will I be meeting the Twins’ detail on Thursday?”

“I don’t know yet. Let me talk to Chuck and Jason and I’ll get back to you on that.” I nod.

“Tell Marilyn,” I say. “She’ll put it in my schedule as I’m sure that I’ll be a clucking duck for the next few days. Will you or Elliot make sure that your family knows? If Grace wants to help with the planning, I’ll welcome it—but she must understand that everything is tentative pending Elliot and Val’s approval. There will be no bullying, no crying, no whimpering, no getting her way and if I see her doing it to Elliot because he’s her son, I’m going to intervene and make sure that he and Val get what they want. Val can’t have any stress and I won’t have her popping in and stressing her out because she wants some outrageous thing that…”

“Okay! Okay! I get it!” he says, grasping both my arms. “I don’t want you to have a stroke either. I know that you’re strong—stronger than Valerie right now—but you’ve had cranial trauma, too. Please remember that.” I nod and sigh. “Mom will behave or we’ll uninvite her from the wedding,” he adds, garnering a laugh and a smile from me.

“Okay,” I say after a cleansing breath. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go call Al… and gloat.”

*-*

“You’re a horrible cow! Both of you!” Al declares through the phone as I activate the contingency.

“Honestly, Al, this was so short notice,” I defend, “short notice like she decided at three and proposed at seven.”

“No excuse! That was plenty of time to call me, you heifer!” he retorts. “I’m so going to get you guys back for this! I just don’t know how yet!”

“Well, that chance might come sooner rather than later, because she wants to get married on Saturday.”

“Saturday?” he gasps. “What the fuck, Saturday?!”

“Yes, Saturday, which means the special surprise that I had for my husband’s birthday will now most likely be a bachelor party,” I huff because it still smarts.

“Why does she want to get married so soon?”

“Well, honestly, it’s not her. It’s him. She even said in her proposal that she was perfectly fine waiting until she was well so that she could be better for him, but Elliot insisted.”

“That sentimental pussy,” Al says. “It probably didn’t help that we brought our wedding to Val’s hospital room. Chocolate!” he calls out to James.

“Yeah, babe,” I hear James call back.

“What’s the name of that place where we found those yummy tuxes?” I don’t hear anything for a while.

“Why do we need tuxedoes?” I hear him ask.

“Because there’s a wedding on Saturday,” Al says.

“Saturday?” James exclaims. “And you’re just now telling me?”

“I’m just now finding out myself,” Al responds.

“Who’s getting married?” James asks.

 

“Fuck, is she dying?” I hear James’ concerned voice come into the room.

“Shit! Jewel, is she dying?” Al says, turning his attention back to me.”

“No!” I yowl at him. “I just told you that she told him she wanted to wait until she was well!” I scold. “Why would she say that if she knew she was dying?”

“Oh, yeah, I forgot about that. No, Chocolate, she’s not dying.”

“Oh. Well, that’s good,” I hear James say. “Um, we used the Tuxedo Club, but I don’t know if they’ll have something for them by Saturday…”

“Tell them it’s for Christian Grey,” Al says.

“But they’re closed right now,” James protests.

“Well, call them tomorrow,” Al says. “We don’t have any time to lose.”

“I have to work in the morning!” James protests.

“Chocolaaaaate,” Al whines and I already know he’s about to get his way. There’s a pause.

“Fine. I’ll call in the morning. Now get off the damn phone.” Oops, sounds like somebody has to go pay the piper.

“Gotta go, Jewel. Gotta earn the tuxes.” Oh, God… I think that was TMI.

“Bye, Al,” I say with no further conversation. He’s not going to be able to activate the contingency anytime soon, so I call Maxie and Gary with the news, promising to give them an update tomorrow and I don’t really know what direction I should be going in…

The cake…
The food…
The location…
The dress…

I guess the dress should probably be where I should start. Christian will get the Justice of the Peace and we’ll obviously have the wedding here as Val is not up for too much traveling. Other than that, I have no idea what Val is going to want. Is it supposed to rain on Saturday? Will she want the wedding indoors or outdoors? Will she even be up to a wedding after a full week of radiation?

The easiest thing for me to do would be to plan a family party—quick and easy. I’ve got an entire kitchen staff; they can do the cooking. We’ll have to get a cake, though—fast! I simply can’t do this without Val’s input. Even anything tentative would be a disaster if she doesn’t want it.

I go back up to the bedroom and knock gently on the door.

“Come in,” Val’s voice says softly. I walk in and Elliot is on the phone with his hand pushed on the back of his neck. Val looks a bit forlorn. I point to him and look at Val.

“Grace,” she says. “You know how she always wants a Broadway production and we can’t even put on a school play by Saturday.” I sigh, and listen to Elliot try to explain to his mother that they won’t postpone the wedding to accommodate more guests. I shake my head.

“Put her on speaker,” I tell him. He frowns, but puts his mother on speaker as I requested. She’s not even listening to him. She’s still talking when he puts her on speaker.

“… And how am I possibly going to get the Manor ready for a wedding by Saturday? You simply must postpone the wedding! I just can’t pull it off!”

“Grace?” I say, interrupting her tirade.

“Who is this?” she asks.

“This is Ana.”

“Ana, thank God! Help me talk some sense into these two!” she beseeches me. Actually, I’m here to talk some sense into you.

“Grace, my friend here has cancer. That means that she can’t have any stress. If you could see her face right now, this conversation is stressful for her. That doesn’t help the healing process, wouldn’t you agree?”

“I know that! That’s why I’m telling them to postpone the wedding and give us time to plan.”

“But, that’s not what they want, Grace,” I say, attempting to refocus her intentions. “Elliot almost lost the woman that he loves. They realize how valuable time is, and he wants Valerie to be Mrs. Grey, right now. The only thing stopping them from saying ‘I do’ at this very moment in this bed is a three-day waiting period.”

“Oh, this is absurd!” she declares. “I want to at least have a hand in planning one of my son’s weddings!” Well, I think that was a shot at me and the fact that I didn’t allow her to invite a thousand people to mine and Christian’s wedding. But you know what? We’re not going to have that fight, because it’s done.

“Well, you know what, Grace?” I say, trying to rein in my anger, “you can totally have a hand in planning your son’s wedding, as long as you listen to and do what he wants. Now, there’s a lot to be done between now and Saturday. I have two gourmet cooks on my staff, so we don’t have to hire a caterer. Your house isn’t wedding ready? My house always looks like a showplace. They can get married here… unless they chose another location. We’ll need decorations, seating, music, and a cake, and I’ll have to find something beautiful for my friend to wear on her wedding day. Al is already working on the tuxedos. There will only be family and very close friends here, so the banker from Washington Mutual will not be on the guest list. There’s plenty on that list that I’ll need help with and you can always help me with those things, but Grace? I will fight rabid dogs and wild horses to keep stress away from my friend and sister, because I almost lost her, too. So, you can get on the bus with us and we can plan this wedding and have a beautiful party on Saturday or we can call the whole thing off and Christian can contact the Justice of the Peace on Saturday, and they’ll get married alone.”

“That’s not fair!” she squeals through the phone. “Why is it that we have to…”

“Two choices, Grace,” I say, shutting her down. “This is not open for negotiation. Pick one!” The line is silent for a moment and I think she’s appalled. In fact, I know she is.

“Fine,” she pouts. “I’ll help out where I can.”

“Excellent, and now for the rules…”

“Rules?” she huffs.

“Yes, rules!” I retort. “Repeat after me… I, Grace Trevelyan Grey, will not walk around huffing like a toddler because I’m not getting my way.”

“What?” she nearly shrieks.

“A month ago, my friend was at death’s door! We could have lost her! She wants to grab the bull by the horns and live life to its fullest because none of us knows how long we have left on this big blue ball! We don’t even know if she’s going to be up to a wedding after radiation on Friday! I refuse to allow anything to upset her, not even you! Now, say it!” She’s still silent on the phone, no doubt waiting for Elliot to say something. Wrong tactic. I’ll be the bad guy if I have to.

“I’m not kidding, Grace, I love you dearly and I really mean it, but I will block your number out of every phone in this house, quit my position at the Center, and have the guards block you at the gate. Say it!” She huffs again.

“I, Grace Trevelyan Grey, will not walk around huffing like a toddler because I’m not getting my way.”

“I will also not call my sons and try to guilt trip them into doing something that I want them to do while Ana’s not around.”

“Oh, this is ridiculous…”

“Blocked at the gate, Grace,” I remind her. She sighs.

“I will also not call my sons and try to guilt trip them into doing something that I want them to do while Ana’s not around,” she hisses.

“I will remember that I’ve already had my wedding and I got what I wanted against my parents’ wishes and I need to let my children have what they want now.” She falls silent again.

“I will remember… that I’ve already had my wedding and I got what I wanted against my parents’ wishes and I need to let my children have what they want now.” Her voice is softer now. Forgot about that, didn’t you, Grace?

“I will remember that Elliot and Valerie love each other very much and they’ve crawled through hell to get to where there are right now including baby scares and death scares and they don’t want to wait anymore.” Her voice cracks as she repeats that one.

“And I won’t make Ana quit her job.” She laughs at the last one, and I can tell that it’s through tears.

“And I won’t make Ana quit her job.” I sigh.

“Good, because I really do need your help. Can you possibly secure a cake? Anything—something pretty, hopefully, but anything? Preferences, you guys?”

“Chocolate or red velvet!” Val says.

“Red velvet’s good for me… or carrot!” Elliot says.

“Ooo, carrot’s good!” Val chimes in.

“Okay, you heard it. If you can get me three tiers with chocolate, carrot, and red velvet, that would be great. If you can find something suitable in just red velvet or carrot, I can deal with that.”

Okay,” she says, her voice small. “Can I send over a picture of my wedding dress? I’d like for Valerie to wear it, if it’s a good fit and if she likes it.” I look over at Valerie, who nods.

“She says ‘yes.’ If it’s suitable, that’s two major things that we don’t have to worry about.”

“I’m sorry, you all… I… tend to get carried away with these things, but hopefully you can see why.” Her voice cracks at the end again and I feel a little badly for how harshly I spoke to her.

“Don’t worry, Grace. When I’m trying to run things at Minnie’s and Mikey’s wedding, you’ll get to sit back and laugh at me.” She laughs good-naturedly.

“I love you all,” she says through her tears.

“Buck up, little soldier, and go find us a cake.” She laughs again and says her goodbyes. Elliot ends the call and I release a huge sigh.

“Oh, God, thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you…” Elliot comes around the bed and embraces me warmly, curling his body over mine in gratitude and burying his face in my shoulder and repeating his “thank you’s.” I have a feeling that the situation was more stressful on him than it was for Val. She just sits there smiling at us as I rub his back.

“I told you, you’re my brother. I gotta take care of you, too.”


CHRISTIAN

I thought it best to postpone the meetings with accounting and legal until next week—after the wedding—since I rode with my brother to the courthouse to get his marriage license. He was excited and terrified at the same time.

“I’m going to have a wife, man,” he says. “Maybe even some kids.”

“You gettin’ cold feet?” I ask. He nods honestly.

“Maybe a little, but I can’t see my life without her,” he replies. “When I see my future… when I see Mrs. Elliot Grey, I see her. I proposed to Kate. I had every intention of marrying her, but I never saw her in that spot. When I see way down the line—gray hairs and bald and forever… I see Angel. Why wait? I know she’s what I want and it’s not going to change.” He puts the license in his inside jacket pocket. “How did you know Montana was the one?” I chuckle.

“Day one, man,” I tell him as I maneuver the car through traffic with Jason and Williams following close behind us. “She literally had me at ‘Sir.’” He frowns.

“She was calling you ‘Sir’ from day one?” he asks.

“Yeah, but not the way you’re thinking,” I correct him. “I was daydreaming—about her, no less—and she called me ‘Sir’ to get my attention. I wanted her before she opened her mouth.”

“Yeah, you wanted her, but when did you know that she was the one?”

“I’m telling you it was right then,” I tell him. “I was looking for a new submissive. I had just gotten rid of the old one because she was too damn clingy. I had the perfect one lined up—Elena found her for me because of course, she knew exactly what I liked—but I couldn’t seal the deal, because I wanted Butterfly. We were both in denial. She hated me and I hated her. We really did hate each other… but we wanted each other even more. I crashed her date; I took my helicopter on what could have been a wild goose chase to rescue her. Then, when we got there, I ran toward gunfire to find her. I may have hated her, but I knew from day one that she was the one, because I couldn’t get her off my mind.”

I stop at a bar right before you cross the bridge and Elliot and I order burgers and fries for lunch. We’re sitting at a table waiting for our food when Elliot informs me, “I’ve always known that Montana was a fireball, but now I’m convinced that she’s not from this planet!” I frown. He just called my wife an alien.

“What the fuck does that mean?” I ask, my brow furrowed.

“She handled Mom like a pro,” Elliot says. “I’ve never seen anybody talk to Mom like that. She threatened to lock her out of the wedding!”

“What?” I say, nearly choking on my beer. Elliot nods.

“I left Mom a message yesterday and she called right back in full-on barracuda mode. She wasn’t listening to anything I was saying. Montana came into the room, told me to put her on speaker and mowed over Mom like a tractor!”

“No shit? And Mom took that?” Elliot nods again.

“Montana told her that if she didn’t behave that she would block Mom’s number from all the phones, quit working at the Center, and tell security not to let her pass. And she made her swear not to call me or you to try to get things done her way behind Montana’s back.”

“You’re bullshitting me!” I laugh. “How the hell did she manage to get Mom to agree to all that?”

“I don’t remember the whole conversation, man, but I remember mostly that it’s because Valerie almost died and Montana wasn’t gonna let anything stress her out and that this is what we wanted and nothing was going to get in the way of that. She might have said something about dogs with rabies and stallions running wild, I don’t know, but when it was all done, Mom was as meek as a church mouse.”

“Well,” I begin, taking another drink of my beer, “the tiger strikes again.” I turn to my brother. “You know, you call my wife ‘Montana.’” He looks back at me bemused.

“That’s what I called her from the first day I met her… Ana Montana, you know, like Hannah Montana…” He gestures demonstrating with his hands.

“I know what you meant, but you know that’s where she ran off when she left me.” He ponders the situation, then his mouth falls open.

“I never put that together,” he says. “I’m sorry, Bro…”

“It’s no big deal, I just wondered if you ever knew it.”

“I didn’t realize it until now,” he says.

We talk for a while longer before we wander back into Wedding Central. Butterfly keeps Valerie included as much as she can, but only to a certain degree as she agreed to accompany Valerie to her radiation treatments and talk to her about wedding stuff to keep her mind occupied. Now, Valerie is worn down and trying to rest, so the dining room table has been commandeered for all parties involved to stop in, drop their responsibilities and maybe pick up a new one or add ideas.

My mom and my wife are working surprisingly well together, like a well-oiled machine. Butterfly has discovered that Saturday is one of those rare Seattle days that won’t have rain, so the wedding will be outside. I’d never seen Mom’s wedding dress before, but apparently, she asked Valerie if she wanted to wear it and Valerie said yes. Butterfly mentioned to me that the dress is way too big in some places because of Valerie’s treatment-induced weight loss and I offered to pay my tailor extra to take her measurements and have it altered overnight if Mom didn’t mind. He was only too happy to oblige.

Butterfly took a break from planning on Thursday to meet the security detail for the twins. One of them, she had already met—Tate Nixon was assigned to Marilyn, but it’s been decided that he would be a better detail for Mikey, so Carolyn Ridenoir is going to be assigned to Marilyn, now. Rebecca Peterson is going to be Minnie’s detail and I’m more than a bit surprised that both of the new members of my security team are female. Were these the “guys” giving Chuck a hard time about being soft? I like them already.

“I need you to take Elliot somewhere to decompress,” Butterfly says to me right after the meeting with the new security detail. I frown.

“Um, like where?” I ask her. He’s definitely not going to go for a bachelor party. The man doesn’t even drink.

“Um, like figure it out,” she replies. “He looks like he’s aged ten years in the last six weeks. This situation is beating him down. Now, Val has revealed that she’s not going to her treatments today and tomorrow because she wants to be sentient for her wedding and he’s having a cow. I tried to explain to him that two days of treatment are not going to make or break her in a five- to six-week regimen and that she could make them up if it was a problem, but that did little to placate him. I need him more anticipatory groom and less worried father-slash-boyfriend-slash-caregiver and I need you to make that happen. I need him to loosen up!”

How the fuck do you get a teetotaler to calm down beside drug him without his permission? Me and my wedding party went paintballing, but I can’t tell everybody to take Friday off to go paint-balling with a one-day notice. Maybe we can go alone… nah, paintballing requires a team or it’s no fun. Shit, I don’t know what I’m going to do with this short notice. She doesn’t realize that she’s asking me to move mountains.

Move mountains… there we go…

“My wife has given me the impossible task of making you relax tomorrow so that you can get married on Saturday without any problems,” I say to Elliot after I’ve made some calls to set up our day.

“You’re kidding, right?” he says, sitting on the patio and watching the garden get decorated early for part of the party.

“No, I’m not,” I reply, “Apparently, not only are you looking like Rip Van Winkle, but you also had a meltdown when Valerie told you that she wouldn’t be taking radiation for the next two days. So, now, I have to keep you from having a stroke before we get you down the aisle.” He sighs.

“Dude, imagine if your wife tells you that she’s going to stop her life-saving treatment,” he laments.

Dude, she’s not stopping it. She’s postponing it. She’s taking two days to regroup so that she can be coherent enough to tell you how much she loves you on Saturday. She’ll pick up right where she left off on Monday, and if she needs any additional treatments, they’ll tack them on at the end. My wife’s right, man, two days is not going to break her. Had it been a holiday, they would have given her a break and she would come in another day or pick up where she left off—we learned that when we were doing research for you guys to move in with us.”

“Her doctor wasn’t happy about it,” he protests.

“Her doctor also wasn’t happy about her moving in with us,” I remind him. “Tell me she’s not doing better since she’s been here than she was at the hospital.” He sighs again.

“Yeah, she’s doing better,” he admits, “much better in fact.” I put my hand on his shoulder.

“She’ll be fine, man,” I assure him. “It’s only two days. Nothing can happen in two days that wouldn’t have happened before.” He holds his head down and nods in surrender.

“So… where are you taking me?” he concedes.

“Well, we’ll get up early in the morning and I thought I’d take you soaring first.” He raises his eyebrow.

“Really?” he says, his voice lifting. “I always wanted to do that.” I nod.

“Then, after a healthy, high-carb breakfast, we’ll grab the dirt bikes and do some riding. Once we’ve had our fill of that, we’ll grab the packs and hit the side of a mountain.”

“Whoa, that sounds like my kind of day,” he croons.

“It’s not done yet,” I tell him. “We’ll pack up a 4X4 and head to that spot on the Sound that Dad always used to take us to, set up camp and do some fishing.”

“Yeah?” His eyes light up like a kid at Christmas. It causes me to chuckle.

“That means your lazy ass better catch something or we won’t have anything for dinner.”

“Oh, please,” he laughs, “You were always the one who caught the least fish, if any at all,” he teases.

“I’ve gotten better since I got my boat,” I tell him. “Maybe I’ll take the family out on the water this summer. She’s been moored for way too long.”

“I can’t argue with you on that one, Bro,” he says, then his brow furrows. “You said we’d set up camp and eat fish for dinner. We’re staying all night?”

“That’s the plan,” I tell him. “Consider this your bachelor party. I even got you some O’Doul’s for around the campfire.” This elicits a hearty laugh.

“Leave it to my billionaire brother to find non-alcoholic beer,” he jests.

“You can’t camp without beer,” I tell him.

“Well, you get to tell our wives,” he says. I smile. He’s calling her his wife already.

“Sure thing,” I assure him.

*-*

After assuring Butterfly and Valerie that we had battery back-up and chargers for our cell phones, they reluctantly agree to set us loose in the wilderness. I remind Butterfly in bed on Thursday night that it was her idea to get my brother to decompress. Not only is this what he likes to do, but he’s thrilled about the day trip—24 hours of nothing but outdoor sports with the Grey brothers. He completely let go of the fact that Valerie was skipping radiation for two days.

She’s convinced that I’m getting back at her for making me deal with my damn-near hysterical brother—who wasn’t hysterical at all, by the way. So, she bound me to our bed and fucked me within an inch of my life, coming three times before she allowed me to come once. Fucking hell, that was good!

I still manage to wake up before dawn and get Elliot to Evergreen Soaring for an acrobatic glider ride. He’s like a kid on a roller coaster! He fucking loves it and makes me promise to teach him to do it one day. He even wants to stick around and watch some other acrobatic flights, which we do for an hour or so before we go to breakfast. After oatmeal and sausage, we hit the trails with a couple of dirt bikes. My brother gives me a real run for my money. He says that kicking the alcohol was an amazing cleanse for his system and helps with his energy levels. I might do a cleanse of my own to see what it does.

Our hike turns out to be a basic Q&A session about married life…
How did we decide we wanted to have kids?
What do we do when we’re mad at each other besides fuck?
Have we made any preparations for the kids should something happen to us?

He was a little horrified when I told him that Valerie is the godmother and she takes the twins if something happens to us.

“Don’t you think I should be part of that decision?” he says.

“Yeah, you should, but you should probably have that conversation with your wife because I’m certain that this was some kind of blood oath from a decade ago or something. Come between that if you want, but I’m not touching it with a 10-foot pole.” He laughs at me.

“Pussy,” he teases.

“Why yes, I love it, and I won’t fuck with the opportunity to get it as long and as often as possible.” He laughs at me.

“My wife,” he repeats. “I’m getting married tomorrow.”

“You’re getting married tomorrow,” I confirm. He sighs.

“So, let’s get on up this mountain,” he says, and his pace picks up.

We eat lunch from our backpacks once we get to the top of the mountain. We just sit there for a while and enjoy the view and each other’s company. My brother starts to relax a bit and he begins to talk more about the future he sees with Valerie. He’s happy that he made the ultimatums that he did or they never would have found out about the tumor. He still feels guilty for the comments that he made about being glad that her behavior had to do with something physical and not that she was just turning into a raving bitch, but he maintains that feeling as the whole “raving bitch” thing is what took Kate away from him.

We make our way back down to the waiting Audi 4×4 and hit the road again, headed for the camping area. When we get there, we set up camp and go over to the fishing spot on Puget Sound where our Dad used to take us when we were kids. It’s mid-afternoon and I don’t tell him that I brought some cans of pork and beans in case we didn’t catch any fish since we usually set out fishing in the early morning hours. To our delight, we made three great catches—my brother beating me two-to-one once again—and had a wonderful dinner of fresh fish.

“I do miss beer,” Elliot says as he drinks his near-beer. “This tastes like the real thing.”

“I’m no connoisseur of non-alcoholic beer, but I did do a little research and this one got the highest reviews.” He nods as he takes another swallow his drink.

“Sorry we had to commandeer your birthday, man.” I shrug.

“You know how I hate celebrating my birthday,” I admit. “I only do it now for Butterfly. This is a pretty cool way to celebrate,” I tell him, raising my beer to him.

“Hear, hear!” he says, clinking his bottle with mine. “I didn’t know it was possible to love somebody more than you love yourself,” he says, gazing into the fire. “Isn’t that supposed to be unhealthy or something?”

“It depends on how you look at it,” I tell him. “I think you’re wording it wrong. To say that you love her more than you love yourself indicates that you have no value of your own existence and I don’t think that’s true. If it’s anything like what I feel for Butterfly, it’s that your existence—your happiness and your life—is now wrapped up in hers, too; that you would give your life to protect her, but you’re not looking for that to happen anytime soon. If she falls to harm or unhappiness, that makes you unhappy. You, in turn, will do whatever is necessary to make sure that she’s safe and happy to secure your own happiness. That’s the height of self-preservation, man.

“Butterfly is only just now fully understanding why I’m as possessive and controlling as I am, and we’ve been together for nearly two years. It’s not about me having to be in control of everything—it’s about knowing that everything is as it should be. And now—with her and the twins—my very sanity is dependent on knowing that she and my children are safe; on keeping them happy and making sure that all their needs are met. The moment you love someone more than yourself, and their life becomes more important than yours, then you’ve got real problems, Bro.

“I think it’s more that we know that we can take care of ourselves and we feel that they need our protection. So, that ‘me Tarzan, you Jane’ mentality comes out and we want to stand in front of them and protect them from the world. The thing is that we have two of the strongest women on earth—walking, talking, breathing, living pillars of strength—and when they’re brought down, we can’t see straight. So, something as major as a brain tumor or an accident that leaves her in a coma for twelve days brings their importance and their role in our lives to the forefront… not that it wasn’t always there. We just realize how precious and fragile life is when we’re threatened with the possible loss of someone we love.” He frowns at me.

“Dude, how did you… how do you know all this?” he inquires. “No offense, but before you met Montana, you were one of the most screwed up motherfuckers I’ve ever known, evidenced by the fact that you had to practice this lifestyle with random women and no feeling. I’m all for a good fuck and a one-night-stand—well, at least I used to be—but you had some intense shit going on. I seriously want some inside information, because that shit drove two women crazy, that I know of, and you’ve got a third hanging on to you for dear life, so much so that you build room in your house just for this. What the fuck, man?” I blink several times.

“Well, first, I learned from experience and a whole fucking lot of therapy. And Elliot, the right woman can set you on the right path every time. I don’t have to tell you that. As for the lifestyle…” I run my hands through my hair. “I don’t know if Ana has discussed our practices with Valerie, but you would definitely have to discuss this with her before you embark on something like this. It has to be consensual between both parties involved. You have to set definite limits of what you will and will not do, and Elliot, it can spice up the fuck out of your sex life, but it can ruin your relationship if you’re not compatible on this level. So, be very sure before you set out on this journey.”

“Well, how do you know?” he asks.

“You don’t until you try. The thing is that you may discover that you want something different out of it than Valerie does. Are you willing to take that chance?” He frowns again.

“Not… no… no. I’m not willing to do anything that’s going to make me lose her. It’s just… well… I wouldn’t mind putting some fire back into our nights, once she’s well again, that is.”

“That’s easy to do,” I tell him. “You don’t have to go full-on Dom to do that.”

“Full-on Dom? What is that?”

“Nothing,” I say, swallowing my beer. “Let that plane fly and let me just give you some pointers…”

My brother and I spend the next several hours under the stars talking about how to please a lady.


ANASTASIA

Val, Al, Maxie and I spend the night talking and eating finger foods, all of us drinking non-alcoholic beverages and going back down Memory Lane. We finally get to sleep all camped out in Valerie’s room at about three in the morning.

Of course, I’m the first to wake, with a million things still left to do before the wedding this afternoon at three. We’ve kept it as simple as possible. Christian’s tailor delivered Grace’s altered dress yesterday and it’s beautiful on Valerie. She’ll just wear some white ballet flats underneath and she’s decided to wear a crown of daisies on her shaved head just like she wore at Al’s wedding. I can tell that she feels subconscious about getting married bare-headed, but she’s trying not to let it bother her, especially since in a show of solidarity, Elliot cut all his hair off.

The garden, patio, and pool area are all decorated with spring flowers, fabrics and linens. There’s no particular color scheme, just springtime. Since the guest list consists of all the people who are usually around us on holidays anyway, we just rent comfortable outdoor furniture for informal seating. The food and drinks will be set up buffet style in the outdoor dining room.

There’s a trellis set up in the middle of the seating where Val and Elliot will say their vows. We have a wheelchair for Valerie, but she’s determined to walk down that aisle. So, we just have a beautifully decorated chair sitting at the trellis for her so that she can comfortably exchange vows with her fiancé. James had tuxes delivered for Al, Elliot, and Christian as Christian will be the best man and Al will give Val away. Elliot was easy to please as James told him what was available on short notice and Elliot just picked one. He went with the charcoal gray with matching vests, silk lapels, and thin-striped gray and white ties. Maxie and I will wear some pretty, low cut peach dresses that she found off the rack for us along with some nude stiletto sandals that match pretty nicely. We’ll have daisies in our hair, too.

Grace worked a small miracle and found a baker that did a five-tier cupcake set-up in our flavors of choice with pink roses spaced on the tiers and a top layer red velvet cake for the bride and groom. We’ve completed the wedding ensemble with a full bouquet of white roses and soft pink flowers. Maxie and I will be carrying smaller versions of the same. God has graced us with beautiful weather and the make-up team will be here at noon to make sure we are all relaxed and beautiful when the time arrives to say, “I do.” At eleven, however, another delivery comes while I’m polishing Val’s nails a soft pastel pink.

“Look what I’ve got,” Maxine says as she comes into Val’s room with a medium sized box. “It’s from Elliot for our bride to be.” I smile widely at Val, who blushes prettily. There’s are three envelopes on top and the white on says, “Open me first.” I gently open the envelope, remove the letter inside and hand it to Val so that she doesn’t ruin her nails. She reads it silently, her hand covering her mouth and her eyes filling with tears as she hands me the note.

My Angel,

The day they told you that they would have to shave your head, you cried bitterly. You cried even more to learn that you may be completely bald from the chemotherapy. You asked them to sedate you before they shaved your head. It broke my heart to see you that way and there was nothing that I could do about it.

Today, there is. You are giving me the precious, immeasurable gift of becoming my wife. I have done this small gesture to show you how much I love you and what you mean to me. I asked a special local charity to do this for you and in gratitude for their work, they asked that I make a direct donation to the cause.

So, my angel, these are my two wedding presents to you. Please open the blue envelope first, and then the gold, before you open the box.

I can’t wait until you’re Mrs. Grey.

Your love for life,
Elliot.

“Read the notes, Ana,” she says, weeping and still trying not to smudge her polish. “I’m going to cry all over them and ruin them. I know I am.”

I nod and remove the blue envelope from the box and open it first.

“This is to certify that a donation has been made to the Cancer and Research Wing of Seattle General Hospital in the amount of…” I pause and gasp when I see the number. I didn’t know that Elliot had this kind of money just laying around. “… Fifty thousand dollars…”

Valerie’s gasps and covers her mouth, tears squeezing from her eyes as she weeps quietly. I swallow my emotions and continue to read the note.

“… In the amount of $50,000 by Elliot Grey in the name of Valerie Marshall-Grey to advance the study and research of cancer and tumor treatment in hopes of one day finding a cure.” My voice goes up on the last words as I can’t hold in my emotion anymore. Maxie stands next to me, covering her mouth and attempting to hide her tears as well. I’m glad Franco hasn’t done our makeup yet or we would be runny, ruined messes right now.

“I don’t know what… he could possibly do… that could be more… loving and generous than this!” she weeps. I wipe the tears from my eyes and place the note and the blue envelope on the table next to her.

“Let’s find out, shall we?” I say, pulling myself together and taking the gold envelope from the box.

“Once you were asleep and they had to shave your beautiful hair, I asked them to save it and give it to me, which they did. I was hoping this gift would be ready in time and by the grace of God, it is.”

What the hell could he make out of her hair? We both twist our lips a bit in preparation of what might be in the box. Might as well rip off the Band-aid. I open the box to find another box inside… well, actually, it looks like a travel bag. I take the travel bag out and there’s another note on top. I gasp when I read it.

“What? What is it?” she exclaims. I unzip the front of the bag so that it falls open in front of Val. She frowns.

“He wants me to wear a wig?” she says in dismay. “It’s really pretty, but…”

“It’s not just any wig, Val,” I say, looking down and reading the final note aloud.

“Dear Angel, wear this only if you want to, but I wanted you to have it just in case. It’s shorter, I know, but it’s made entirely of your hair.” Val gasps again and covers her mouth.

“No…” she breathes as she reaches into the wig travel box and removes the mannequin head that holds her wig. “This is all my hair?” she says, her voice cracking terribly. “Oh, my God, it’s beautiful, Ana, look at it.” She touches the wig like it’s made of gold.

“Yes, it is,” I say, unable to hold back my tears anymore.

“And it’s so soft,” she says. “He really loves me.” She breaks down in uncontrollable sobs.

“Did you doubt?” I ask. She shakes her head, tears streaming down her face.

“I was such a bitch!” she weeps. “I almost lost him!”

“You never would have lost him,” I assure her. “One way or another, this would have come out, and you wouldn’t have lost him.” We cry a little longer before I fix her smudged nails and we wait for Franco to come and put us back together.

*-*

“Tell me you guys are almost ready. My brother is about to shit his pants out here.”

Christian looks absolutely delicious in the charcoal gray tux James chose for him. I stick my head out to greet him, but I completely lose my words when I see him in that tux. I bite my lip, thinking about all the things I want to do to him. My mouth is fucking watering…

“Ana,” he warns, bringing me back to myself. I shake my head like I’m shaking off a dream.

“Um… yeah… yeah, we’re ready. I was just going to call Al to bring the wheelchair. Can you send him up, please?” The corner of his mouth rises in a knowing smirk.

“I’m going to gobble you up when this party is over,” he says, his voice deep.

“Likewise,” I say, shameless, licking my lips.

“Promises, promises,” he taunts.

“One I intend to keep,” I say, crisply.

“C’mon, guys, I’m getting married! Where’s my chariot?” Val’s impatience elicits a laugh from both of us. I blow him a kiss.

“Go,” I say, lustfully. He growls in his throat and walks back down the hallway. I turn around to look at Val and shrugs.

“If Elliot looks as good as he does, you’re going to have a problem,” I warn.

“I know,” she says, half-lamenting, half lustful, although I must say that Franco and his team did a fabulous job on all of us. He has styled this custom-made wig for Val and you would never know that it’s a wig. Her eyebrows have thinned and he lightly filled those in with a pencil, but her eyelashes only needed a little mascara and she looks pretty as a picture with a soft pastel palette of colors. A few minutes later, Al arrives with the wheelchair. For a moment, he’s struck speechless.

“Oh, my God,” he breathes. “Valerie… you’re beautiful.” Val’s face scrunches.

“Al, please don’t make me cry,” she squeaks.

“Please tell me your face is smudge-proof,” he says. “There’s not going to be a dry eye in this place.” And she’s crying. I’m dabbing her face with a hanky and thankfully, yes, everything is smudge-proof.

“Let’s go get your man,” he says as he helps her into the wheelchair.

He was right. Once Maxie and I walk out of the patio door and down the makeshift “aisle” to the center of the seated guests, the sound of sniffles and weeps can be heard all across our backyard as Valerie makes her way to the arch. Elliot is completely spellbound and absolutely dumbstruck. Christian has to pat his back to make him close his mouth. He picked the song for her to walk down the aisle and it’s totally unconventional. She didn’t expect it, but when she hears it, she smiles widely at her husband to be. She and Al walk to the chair that we’ve decorated for her as Leona Lewis’ voice booms over our outdoor sound system declaring an angel being the answer to her prayers.

Al can hardly give Val’s hand to Elliot when the Justice of the Peace declares that it’s time to give her away. He just sheds a tear and kisses her on the cheek before turning her over to the man who will protect her for the rest of her life. He gestures for her to sit and she shakes her head, telling him that she’s fine and promising to sit if she gets tired.

They stare into each other’s eyes, never looking left or right no matter what’s said or what occurs around them. They never even flinch… until it’s time to exchange personal vows. Elliot asks for Val to go first. He knows she’ll want to stand and say her vows and he wants her to be able to sit if she gets tired. She’s happy to oblige.

“I had rehearsed vows, but… I can’t remember them.” She swallows hard and gazes at Elliot. “I’ve searched my whole life to find a man like you. I’ve waited an eternity to feel the love that I feel for you. It’s all-consuming and it takes over your mind and body like nothing else. Even the tumor didn’t dampen or cloud what I feel for you. Oh, Elliot, I love you with all of me… every part of my body and soul even my toes love you.” She says the last part in one breath and a slight, soft chuckle comes over the room. “There will never be anyone else for me. You are love… and hope… and laughter… and beauty… and passion… and life… all rolled up into one! I don’t know how… I got so lucky… or why you love me… but thank you!” She’s weeping now, holding tight to Elliot’s hands.

“I promise you, I swear to you, I will spend my life loving you, supporting you, and making you happy. And when I give you a hard time—because we both know that I will, please don’t forget that I love you. Please don’t forget that you are my world. Please don’t forget…” She closes her eyes and brings his hands to her lips, kissing them reverently before brushing the backs of them against her cheek as she weeps.

There’s silence for a long time and the only sound that can be heard is that of Val’s gentle weeping. She’s weakened now, either by exhaustion or emotion, but she reaches for the chair. All of the men on the groom’s side, including the groom reach for her, but of course, Elliot is there to help her to the seat. Once she’s seated, he gracefully descends to his knees and waits for her weeping to subside a bit. He releases his grip and takes her tear-stained face in his large hands. He gazes at her for several moments, well after she opens her eyes and raises her gaze to him. Finally, after a very long pause, he speaks.

“My love, my heart, my mind, my body and soul… all belong to you. Do with me as you will, because I’m at your mercy.”

That’s all he said… but did he really need to say more?

Valerie chokes and sobs in a very unladylike fashion, and the rest of the women in the room—and Al—all follow suit, weeping and sobbing and trying not to be unseemly. We all do our best to compose ourselves, but to very little avail. The bride finally regains enough composure to exchange rings with her beloved. Finally, after one of the most emotional ceremonies I’ve ever seen in my life, the Justice of the Peace pronounces them man and wife. Elliot melts into his wife, gathering her into his arms and kissing her with the passion and hunger of a starving man.

“Mrs. Grey,” he breathes between kisses. “Mrs. Grey. Mrs. Elliot Grey…” His voice is wistful and longing.

*-*

“Well, we just have you guys left,” Christian says, gesturing to Marilyn and Gary, “and you guys.” He gestures to Keri and Chuck, too.

“Hey, don’t rush us! We’re enjoying ourselves,” Marilyn proclaims.

“Hear, hear!” Gary says and he and Marilyn share a tender kiss.

“What about you two?” Christian says to Chuck. “Have you… thought about it? Love is in the air.” Keri giggles.

“Yas, weh tink about it. Weh don know yet. I luv mi Choonks and mi Choonks luv me, but weh don wan shotgun weddin to stay in da contry.” I nod.

“What about… I mean, you were sick. Have you seen a doctor?” I ask. She nods.

“Keri got a full medical work-up right after we got back to the states,” Chuck says. “It turns out that she was just… grieving. We’re keeping track and watching for pregnancy and things like that, but according to the doctor, she was just unhappy.”

“I jus miss mi Choonks,” she says, leaning on his shoulder. “Mi no gud witout ‘im. Anguilla no longeh mi home witout ‘im. Mi home wherever mi Choonks is.” He leans down and kisses her gently, gazing into her eyes and gently stroking her locks. Say what you want, I have a feeling we’ll be hearing those wedding bells soon, too.

Christian is right, though. Love is in the air. Elliot has Val sitting on his lap, feeding her red velvet cake and kissing the crumbs off every time they fall. She’s lit up like springtime and I have to admit that the wig of her own hair is not only beautiful and flawless, but it also has to be one of the most thoughtful gifts I’ve ever seen.

Mindy is asleep on her father’s lap as Maxie sits comfortably under Phil’s arm as they talk about whatever.

As Celida and Mariah play with Maggie nearby, Luma and Herman are in deep conversation. Luma blushes as Herman whispers something to her, and Pops sits sleeping and reclined in a nearby chair, not wanting to be shuttled to some room to “rest” while the party is going on. Mandy is bouncing little Harry on her knee while Daddy plays with his son and gazes at his wife. Carrick and Grace sit close while holding a conversation with Marcia, and on the dance floor, we have a canoodling Mia and Ethan, Allen and James, and… what’s this I see? Sophie and Marlow!

I don’t draw attention to them… well, not at first, but Marlow is smiling and telling what seems to be an interesting and funny story while Sophie—at least a foot shorter than he is—gazes up into his eyes with the unmistakable look of a love-struck teenager. I glance at Jason and Gail, happy that they’re caught in their own session of canoodling, before I gently poke Christian to get his attention.

“What do you make of that?” I say, quietly, bringing his attention to the young couple on the dance floor. He shrugs.

“I can guarantee you with no level of uncertainty that he views her completely platonically,” Christian says. I raise my eyebrows.

“Well, his eyes may say ‘platonic friend,’ but her eyes say, ‘teenage crush,’” I inform him. He looks at Sophie and Marlow again before stealing a glance over at Jason and Gail.

Still canoodling.

“Let’s not tell Jason,” Christian whispers. I shake my head inconspicuously.

“Let’s not,” I concur. His lips slowly cover mine and I taste delicious kisses that make me want him right here and now. Just as I’m about to sink into the kiss, my beloved Minnie starts to stir in her Pack-n-Play.

“She can’t be hungry,” I lament. “I just fed her an hour ago.”

“It’s all the activity,” Maxie says. “She wants to see what’s going on.” I sigh and move toward the Pack-n-Play.

“Seet down, Anah, I got heh,” Keri says, and she has scooped Minnie out of the Pack-n-Play before I can even get out of my seat. Relieved, I snuggle back in next to Christian. Minnie fusses a bit, but calms when Keri looks down at her and starts to sing. Chuck gazes at his woman like the sun rises and sets in her eyes, which for him, it probably does…

Res yo’ hed, chile, ees tyme to dodo,
De sun goh down behind de mounten slope,
If yoh fine it hahd to sleep,
Tuhn yo’ hed, close yo’ eyes, don peep!
Emagin dah banana boat on de sea,
Keepin’ you afloat oh so gtacefuhlly,
So many stahs shinin’ in de skies,
You can coun dem all if you close yo’ eyes…

Looking over at Keri smiling down at Minnie and singing her into contentment while my daughter coos back at her, the answer to one of our dilemmas slaps me in the face as if it had been staring at me all this time… which in reality, it had. I gasp loudly, my finger pointing straight in the air as if to say “Eureka!” Christian looks at me as if I’ve sprouted branches, waiting to see what strange fruit I will produce.

“Sophie’s here,” I say, turning to Gail. “That means you’re a stepmom.” Gail scans the room waiting for a punchline.

“Yeah,” she says expecting.

“You can’t spend as much time on your duties as we had hoped, because of this new responsibility,” I add. She twists her lips.

“We’ve already established this,” she says impatiently. “I’m doing my best. We’ve been actively looking.”

“You need a reason to stay in the States,” I say, turning to Keri, “and a job. You have experience with children. You lived with us for three months. You were here when the twins were born.” Keri stares at me, slowly catching my meaning. I look over to Christian.

“Someone that we know and trust. She doesn’t even have to be vetted.” I gesture to Keri again. “Look how good she is with Minnie.” My husband finally catches my drift and gasps, holding both his hands up in the same “Eureka” gesture as we both breathe at the same time…

“Au pair.”

Keri is stunned.

“Yu wuld do dat foh mi?” she asks.

“Would you do that for us?” I ask. “Legally, you would have to live here and I have a feeling Chuck wanted to get you back to Bainbridge…”

“Chuck will get her however he can get her!” Chuck interjects quickly.

“Au pairs don’t get paid,” I continue. “They work for room and board on a work visa. We would give you something, of course, but it wouldn’t be a salary. We would have to work out some kind of informal allowance or something…”

“Ah don cayah ‘bout da money!” she says, quickly. “Ah’ll b’able tah stey wit mi Choonks… an Ah’ll b’able tah wohk wit dah bebes! Yaz, yaz, please!” I throw my hands up, now in victory.

“That’s it,” I say, happily. “We’ll start the paperwork on Monday.” Keri squeals with happiness, causing Minnie to squeal with her and eliciting a laugh from Christian. I scan the room and catch Gail smiling gleefully at the arrangement, while Jason is frowning, looking straight ahead. I follow his gaze to the love-struck Sophie, her pretty blonde hair brushing her back and her spring dress swaying while she stares captivated up at Marlow, who’s still talking. I sigh and chuckle.

“Now, what are we going to do about that?” I say to no one in particular.


EPILOGUE

You can’t always get what you want,
You can’t always get what you want,

You can’t always get what you want,
But if you try sometimes, well you just might find,
You get what you need.

This song is such bullshit. You don’t fucking get what you need or what you want unless your goddamn name is Grey! Ruin everything for everybody and then just think you’re going to walk off into the sunset with no fucking repercussions. Money is everything. Money can buy you the world, right?

My life… my whole fucking life… ruined! Why?

Grey!
Grey!
Grey!

They eat! They drink! They’re merry! Not a fucking care in the goddamn world. Oh, and the twins that Seattle loves… fucking gag me! Born with a goddamn silver spoon in their mouths. You rob someone of everything they have, then you sit in that mansion surrounded by all those fucking Keystone cops like you’re so goddamn untouchable. Seattle’s sweetheart and the richest man in the free world—you’re fucking laughable! You think you can just ruin people’s lives? Just walk up and wave your fucking money wand and it doesn’t matter who goes down, as long as you get what you want, right?

Well, enjoy it while it lasts, Greys, because you’re going to regret the day you ever fucked with me!


A/N: So that’s all for Becoming Dr. Grey, my lovelies. Stay tuned for more drama, villains, lemons, and life in Book IV!

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

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

~~love and handcuffs

 

 

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Becoming Dr. Grey: Chapter 78—Conversions

My procedure went very well and the tests came back clean. Daddy and Baby Bronzy took really good care of me this weekend. I sincerely want to thank everyone who sent me messages, IM, emails, texts, positive thoughts and prayers, and any other little things. My cup runneth over. I love you all. 

Don’t forget to add those crucial email addresses and let me know if you’re still not getting emails. I found that some emails transferred from the new list and others didn’t, while yet others are just not getting the emails even though my mailer says they have been sent. 

bg.holmes@butterflysaga.com
AND
bronzegoddess@butterflysaga.com

If you are not getting the email, please check your spam folder and if you have Gmail, check in the “promotions” folder.

NOTE!!! If you put in the comments below that you haven’t received an email from me, you have to include your email address or I don’t know how to look for you. The best way to let me know is the “contact me” link in the menu to the left.

I do not own Fifty Shades Trilogy, or the characters. They belong to E. L. James. I am only exercising my right to exploit, abuse, and mangle the characters to MY discretion in MY story in MY interpretation as a fan. If something that I say displeases you, please, just leave. If you don’t like this story or me, please don’t spoil this experience for everyone. Just go away. For the rest of you, the saga continues…

Chapter 78—Conversions

ANASTASIA

I’ve been keeping up a maddening pace and I’m not really sure how much longer I can do it. I know that one of my biggest time hogs has been alleviated now that Al and James are married and off to their honeymoon in Bali. So, that’s one less thing I have to worry about. But I’ve still got a lot on my plate that I think is going to catch up with me soon:

Gail is still helping out with the twins as requested, but I’m not really getting the reprieve that I was hoping for since Sophie’s here now and Gail needs to be a stepmom to a twelve-year-old. This means that she has to make sure she’s up and ready for school, pack her lunch, be there when she gets home from school, help with homework when needed… you know, be a mom. Couple that with being the manager of this mini-resort that we live in, wife to her husband, and nanny to my kids, she’s walking around with one eye open about as much as I am—which means that I’m up at all hours with the twins more often that I was hoping.

Then, I’m trying to get back into the swing of things with Helping Hands with all the changes going on. As soon as I was ready to get the ball rolling, nine other things seemed to get in my way. I’m trying to do these self-defense classes a few times a week to help me get back in shape and teach women and victims to not feel so helpless, but that’s taking a lot out of me.

Then there’s Valerie. Fuck if what happened to her didn’t just knock the wind out of my goddamn sails. I’m at that hospital every day without fail. I don’t care what’s going on or what time it is; I’m at that damn hospital and she’s seeing my face. She still won’t let us contact her brother or her father, but under the circumstances, I can see why. She lit up like a Christmas tree when we showed up in the room to have Al and James’ ceremony. She was weak and exhausted—I could see it all in her face—but it was most likely the highlight of her year thus far. I pray that it’s not too late for more highlights for her.

Then, there’s all the other unfinished business in life—I haven’t done anything with the country club. We haven’t decided the safest and most reasonable course of action for taking the twins in public as I’d like to go into the office more often and I can’t do that without a feasible plan for keeping the twins safe from the Paparazzi. PR is going crazy and we haven’t made any definitive decisions about when and if I’m going to make any public appearances—and those requests are simply pouring in.

The emotional toll of all this stuff—the up and down of it all—David dying; She-Thing’s trial along with the Green Valley trials starting; Sophie moving in and the custody battle as well as dealing with her crazy ass, drug-addict mother; having my babies; caring for my babies; Al’s wedding; Val’s recovery…

… Wanting to get some semblance of my life back…

And now, after I spend the day at Helping Hands without my babies and my trusted bodyguard and checking in on Val at the hospital, I come home to find out that yet another aspect of my life may be turned completely upside down.

“Chuck is going where?” I ask in horror.

“To Anguilla,” Christian says. “He’s flying out in the morning.”

“What’s wrong? Is something wrong with Keri?” I ask, probing for more information.

“Something’s wrong, but he’s not sure. One of her friends called him in the middle of the night and told him that Keri’s not doing well. From what he described, it sounds like she’s not taking care of herself to the point of it taking a serious toll on her health.”

I sigh heavily. I love Keri. I really do, but I know how Chuck feels about her. I saw that painful goodbye at the airport. If he thinks that she can’t survive without him, he’ll leave his life and stay down there with her.

That terrifies me.

“So… he doesn’t know what to expect when he gets down there,” I say, a statement, not a question.

“No, and he’s not making any decisions until he does.” I sigh again. I know what that means. I need to prepare myself to lose my bodyguard and friend. I wouldn’t expect him to leave Keri if he gets down there and discovers that she’s deteriorating without him.

I don’t get any sleep that night for worrying about Chuck and Keri for part of the night, Val for another part, and trying to comfort irritable little babies for the rest of the it. I end up sleeping in the next day and don’t bother going to Helping Hands. I wouldn’t be of much use anyway.

“Ana, can I impose on you to help me with something?” Gail asks while I’m sitting at the breakfast bar well into the morning.

“Bosslady, Grace emailed some documents that need your attention. She said that you guys were supposed to look them over together this morning when you came in. I let her know that you probably won’t be in today because you weren’t feeling well and she understood. But she asked if you have time could you look them over and get back to her.” Marilyn in her ever-efficient manner is letting me know that she has put out that “I need Ana and I need her now” fire that always seems to be set under Grace. I didn’t know that woman was leaning on me as much as she does until I wasn’t always around for her to lean on anymore. It makes me wonder how she ever functioned without me.

“Thanks, Mare. Did you look at the reports?” She shakes her head.

“Waiting for clearance from high command,” she says teasingly. I nod with a chuckle.

“Take a look at them and let me know if there’s a fire,” I tell her. She nods and she’s off to see what needs to be addressed so urgently about Grace’s reports. I turn my attention back to Gail before taking a large gulp of my coffee.

“Okay, Gail, what can I do for you?” I ask.

“Well, we’re trying to decide where Sophie should stay in the house,” she says. “The apartment is just not big enough for the three of us, so of course she’ll have to have her own room. We were initially thinking one of the guest rooms, but they’re so far away from us. I realize that she’s not a toddler and she’d be fine in one of the guest rooms without a problem, but let’s be realistic. The guest rooms are on the second floor on the west end of the house and we’re on the ground floor on the south end of the house.”

“It’s no different than it is with the twins,” I remind her.

“Yes, but you’re right next door to the twins,” she points out. “I feel awkward with her being so far away from us even though she’s in the same house. It feels like she’s an afterthought.”

I can see why Gail would feel that way. You almost need a golf cart to navigate the inside of this place and we already have three to navigate the outside.

“The other alternative is for her to have the third apartment downstairs near us. In terms of proximity, that would be ideal… but a twelve-year-old girl in her own apartment. I don’t know how I feel about that.” I can’t resist the laugh that escapes me.

“I’m sorry, Gail,” I say to her puzzled expression, “but it’s just a cluster of rooms downstairs next door to you guys. It’s not like she’s moving to her own condo in University Place,” I say, trying to lighten the mood. “I actually think the apartment is a better idea. It’s closer to you and you’ll feel better with her being closer to you. Also, it’ll give her a little sense of responsibility. She’ll have to keep her apartment clean; she can decorate it how she wants to; she has the option of being in her space and having time to herself or coming out and being around everyone else.

“With your permission, she’ll be able to have company over in an area that allows her some privacy with her friends, but still allows you and Jason to supervise the visits and who comes and goes. It would be awkward for her to bring her visitors in through the house and up to one of the guest rooms. But once she starts to make more friends, there’s an entrance through the patio with closed-circuit monitoring. You can see who’s coming and going and when the weather gets warmer, she and her friends will have easy access to the pool. With her about to become a teenager and under the circumstances with her military dad that you know won’t allow her to step wrong, I think it’s an ideal set up.” Gail’s face twitches.

“I guess I’m a little old fashioned and the whole ‘kid in her own apartment’ idea just gives me the heebie-jeebies, but when you put it that way, it really does make more sense for her to have the apartment,” Gail concedes. “Now, how do we decorate it?”

“That, you’re going to need Sophie for,” I tell her. “It’s going to be her space and you’re going to want to let her make it her own. It’s an apartment and it’s kind of scary, so you have to make sure that she knows you’re not deserting her. By the same token, give her carte blanche. Let her have fun. How many of her friends will be able to say that they have their own apartment?” A smile forms on Gail’s face.

“You’re right. This could really be fun,” she says. “Will you help me when the time comes to decorate? You two get along so well and I just want her to feel comfortable with her choices.”

“Of course, I will, Gail,” I tell her. It’s midweek and I haven’t heard anything about what’s going on with Chuck and Keri. It’s really making me worry that he won’t come back and this will be a welcome distraction. That afternoon when Sophie comes home from school, I ask her how she would feel about living in the apartment alone.

“Well, it’s not like being at home alone,” she says. “This is a really big house and somebody is always here. It’s just a bunch of rooms that’s separate, that’s all. So, I guess that’s cool… kinda neat, really. I’ll be the only seventh grader with her own apartment!”

I had a feeling this would be how she reacted, so Sophie, Gail, Marilyn, and I do an afternoon of cyber shopping for the initial ideas for Sophie’s room. I think it’s important for her to have this time with Sophie even though she admits that Sophie connects with me more. I agree with her on that note, but as she is to be Sophie’s stepmother, there has to be a more hands-on approach with her than there has been in the past, especially since the time will come when Gail will have to discipline Sophie.

They fall easily into conversation and I’m able to examine the dynamics of their relationship more closely. They’re friends, of course, but it’s going to take some time before Gail can slide into the maternal position. She’s still handling the situation with kid gloves and I’m afraid that when the situation calls for a firmer hand, she may be in for a rude awakening. We’ll just have to see what happens in time.

We’re very surprised to learn that, when given carte blanche, Sophie’s taste for her living space is very simple and quite sensible. She likes clean lines, basic colors, and nothing too flashy. She definitely wants her electronics, like any tween would, but she’s not overly demanding or even slightly unreasonable as you would expect a child with a basically bottomless pocketbook to be.

As I watch her choices and interactions with Gail throughout the afternoon, I can’t help but feel a bit melancholy. She seems a bit too sensible—too realistic in that she hasn’t had the opportunity to really be girly. I was expecting to see the Sophie that bought the High School Musical Build-A-Bears on Black Friday. Instead, I more see a Sophie that looks a lot like the young girl who attended Chaparral High School in Las Vegas before Sophie was even born—the girl who saw only too soon how real and cruel the world could really be. I know that she hasn’t suffered anything so horrible as what I did, but that doesn’t minimize the impact of having a situation snatch away your childhood.

Sophie’s bedroom was a very easy decorating choice. She saw a model of a black and white simple setup and fell in love, telling Gail and me that she felt it would be ideal for her—plain white walls where the bed was set in a recessed cubby that held drawers and shelves on either side as storage and nightstands. Minimal wall décor so that she could plaster posters, art, bulletin boards, or what have you around the room with a small workstation against one wall painted in an accent color. This accent color was a muted purple and the area held a basic box white desk with floating shelves and shadow box shelving. The most extravagant thing was a regal looking desk chair—black with silver trim—that looked like a DIY job. She goes completely gaga over the set-up and we simply can’t deny her. We place the order for the paint and the furniture the same day.

When it came to decorating the rest of the apartment, we somewhat drew a blank. What do you put in an apartment for a twelve-year-old girl? For this task, I set Marilyn and Sophie in the library together for the evening until dinner with the instructions to build a scrapbook of ideas and just let me know what they come up with.

This turns out to be a sensational idea. Once set to her own devices, Sophie’s mind goes completely free and I’m able to see that young girly-girl I thought may have gotten lost in the “too much is going on in this poor child’s life right now” shuffle. She had things in her scrapbook like a traditional papasan, a welcome mat that read “you’re like, really pretty,” and a sign that said “babe cave.” I’m starting to feel a little better about the tween coming of age in her little space now. I even start to see her pictures of her beloved High School Musical. I just can’t get over the uncanny resemblance of that Zac kid to that asshole Cody Whitmore…

By Thursday, I still haven’t gotten the swing of things like I would like. Marilyn and I go to the Broadmoor for lunch just for the hell of it, to get the feel of the country club and just to be seen. The food and service are outstanding and it gives me an opportunity to think in a different setting than what I’ve been in—Helping Hands or my office or the nursery or the hospital. Ben is, of course, tagging along with us along with Marilyn’s guy—I can’t think if his name right now.

I lament that although my butt is tightening and doesn’t wobble so much, it hasn’t gotten much smaller. The firming is sexy, though, and I don’t look so deformed like I did before. So, I’ll keep working on it. In the meantime, it’s time to call Vickie and get started on that spring wardrobe. No use in looking frumpy.

“I’ve been waiting to hear from you,” she says when I call her from the Broadmoor on Thursday. “I’ve been seeing you in the news and wondering when I get to dress that hot new little body.”

“Watch it, Vic. I thought you liked breathing,” I warn playfully.

“What is it with you straight women?” she says. “You’re hot. We appreciate it. Get over it. So, do I have carte blanche again or do you have something in mind?”

“A little of both. I want some of the latest spring fashions, but I definitely want something that accentuates my new figure—both sensually and professionally. I used to love my Lindy Bop dresses, but with the new ass, I’m certain that I’ll come off looking more like Jessica Rabbit when I wear those. That’s not the kind of look I want for the office. Maybe an after-five thing every now and then, but not running around the Center.”

“I see… sexy professional. Got it. Plans for the summer?” I twist my lips.

“I don’t know. We were actually planning a trip to Italy, but so much has been going on now, I don’t know if it’s still a go or not. I’ll have to let you know.”

“Okay. So, right now, we’re just doing spring/summer coming out party pretty much, right?” I can hear her typing away on her computer.

“Yep.”

“Shoes and accessories?” I ponder the thought again. I have more shoes than are legally allowable.

“Accessories, definitely. Shoes, only if there’s something extremely cute and new out there and the outfit screams for them. You know I already have more shoes than Imelda Marcos.” Vickie laughs.

“That you do. I’ll put some things together for you. Need anything in a hurry?”

“No hurry. A week, maybe?” I reply.

“Okay, so I’ll need to come by and take some new measurements…”

“Tomorrow morning?” I ask.

“That’s fine. I’ll see you then.” I end the call and get back to lunch with Marilyn.

“Paps outside,” she warns looking at her phone. I raise my head to her.

“How do you know that?” I ask her.

“It’s my job to know,” she says with a smile. “But I have instant alerts on you and when I get an alert that you’re having lunch at the Broadmoor before we’ve even decided on desert, that means Paps outside.” Shit. Just what I need. I fire off a text to Christian.

**At the Broadmoor for lunch. Paparazzi outside. Will need to lock down security for the twins. **

The response is almost immediate.

**Already on that. Update on Chuck. Emergency situation needs immediate action. Meet me at the Crossing in twenty. **

Double oh shit.

“No time for lunch, Mare. Fire on the home front,” I say, gathering my purse and belongings.

“Oh, shit,” she says, putting her phone away.

“My sentiments exactly.”

*-*

“Okay, wait a minute. Why in the world do you have to go to Anguilla?” I ask. He’s going to Anguilla and he’s taking Jason. That means that the two most capable members of our security staff along with the head honcho are all going to be in a foreign country for I don’t know how long and he’s leaving his family in the capable hands of Ben and Chance? Seriously?

“It’s only for a couple of days, max,” he says. “We’re going down there to get him and bring him back. You know the trip is twelve hours and even with relief pilots, there has to be some rest time.”

“I still don’t see why both of you have to go.”

“Moral support,” he replies. “It doesn’t look good. Even though Keri’s not well, it doesn’t look like she’s going to be returning with him. And there’s some psycho fucker down there that’s vying with Chuck for Keri’s attention. I don’t have all the details, yet, but from what I understand, Chuck is staying in a hotel now because the asshole tried to kill him in his sleep.”

“Fucking hell, seriously??” I say and Christian nods as he continues to throw a few items into a duffel bag.

“He can’t stay. If he does, he’ll never get a good night’s sleep. He’ll constantly be watching his back and Anguilla’s what—eight square miles or something like that?”

“Yeah, something like that,” I concur. “God, Christian, he was in terrible shape when they said goodbye in February. This is going to damn near kill him having to do it again.”

“I know,” he says, zipping the duffel. “Now you see why I have to go.” I nod and kiss him passionately.

“Have a safe trip, baby,” I say against his mouth. He drops the bag and wraps his arms around me, pressing me hard into his body and kissing me deeply until I’m dizzy.

“I have a jet waiting,” he says, brushing my lips with his, “but when I get back, I’m feasting on this body until I get my fill.”

“Okay,” I breathe, still kiss-dazed and dizzy. I wobble a bit when he lets me go and just watch as he walks out of our bedroom. I sink down onto the bed wondering if this week could possibly hold any more surprises.

Again, sleep evaded me last night and I feel like a fucking zombie this morning. My man is in Anguilla, maybe for another whole day, and I haven’t heard anything yet. I didn’t get a chance to ask him about security for the twins. It completely slipped my mind with the whole “I’m leaving the country for a day or so” thing. So, with the Paparazzi hovering around, the children will stay nestled in their nursery, or as of late, in this adorable two-baby carrier I received as a gift from one of the volunteers at Helping Hands. It’s wonderful when they are both awake and I just want to have them near me, or for doctor’s appointments, and it’ll truly come in handy when I’m at Helping Hands.

Baby Carrier

Maneuvering being a mother of twins is turning out to be a bit more emotional than I thought. I know parents are not supposed to have favorites and believe me, I love my children equally, but I find that they need different levels and amounts of attention from me which requires me to spend differing amounts of time with them. Because of that, I’ve grown fond of each of them in different ways, but I’m still concerned sometimes when I spend time with one of them that the other may not be getting the attention that he or she needs. I tried to address that concern with Ace once and he admits that this was outside of his area of expertise and that I might want to talk to my pediatrician about it, unless I truly feel drawn to one twin more than the other—then, that would be something that we could discuss. Thankfully, that’s not the case.

Mommy’s Little Boy is the introvert—quietly taking in his surroundings while pondering the meaning of life. I have a feeling that My Little Extrovert—Minnie—however, will one day rule the world. She must be heard and won’t be silenced! I’m certain now that she was the one scoring all the illegal goals in my belly while Mikey silently stood by watching her curse the referee for “bad calls” while shaking his head.

Minnie doesn’t latch as hard—she eats, she’s done. Granted, she likes being there; she coos just like her brother and caresses the soft skin of my mounds while she’s feasting, looks lovingly into my eyes and all that. But when she’s done eating, she doesn’t have to sit there latched onto the breast. She can be held or rocked or put in her seat, swing, or napper… but no, not Prince Michael! Nine times out of ten, he has to fall asleep with a mouthful of nipple and a handful of tit! He’s going to be a breast man.

Last night’s stay at the hospital was an overnighter, though my visiting time was actually short. Val is wiped out from her treatments and Elliot looks like hell. He obviously isn’t getting any rest as he’s watching over her like a guardian and he won’t sleep. I agreed to spend the night in the hospital with them so that someone could be awake with Val and he could get some sleep. He needed it. He was going to have a psychotic episode any second if he didn’t close his damn eyes. Even then, he still slept fitfully.  As such, I got no sleep last night.

When I get back home this morning, Vickie’s at the Crossing. Shit! I forgot we had fittings this morning. I’m yawning and scratching my head when I get to my office where she, Marilyn, and Courtney are all waiting for me.

“I’m sorry, Vickie,” I tell her. “I haven’t had a shower or anything. I’ve been visiting a sick friend in the hospital.” She raises an eyebrow at me.

“Oh?” she says with a knowing look. “Who’s in the hospital?”

“My friend, Valerie,” I say, scrubbing my face. “Christian’s brother is dating her. We just discovered that she had a brain tumor…” I ramble while searching around on my desk for God knows what. “It’s a really long story, but the short version is that I stayed with her last night so that Elliot can get some sleep, which he still really didn’t sleep. We’re going to have to do something about that. That man is going to die if he doesn’t sleep. She’s in the hospital, for God’s sake—you would think they could have someone sit with her for an hour or two so the man could sleep! God, he looks like shit. I wonder when was the last time he had a decent meal. Good God, I hope he’s got somebody capable running the business during this time. I’ll have Christian look into that when he gets back. Shit, when is he going to be back…?”

“Ana!” Marilyn calls my name and snaps me out of my tirade. It’s only now that I realize that I’ve had this entire conversation out loud. I blink at the women around the room.

“I’m sorry,” I say. “There’s so much shit going on… Courtney, what are you doing here?” I say as an afterthought, only just registering that Courtney normally isn’t here.

“Good morning to you, too,” Courtney laughs, pointing at a stack of files that I haphazardly pushed aside on my desk. “More deliveries from Miss Grace,” she says. “She says that she already knows that there’s a lot going on, so just look at them and soon as you get a chance and report back to her.” I nod.

“Will do.”

“And I wanted your opinion about something, but you seem a bit swamped so, I’ll just ask you at another time.” I turn my attention to her.

“No, it’s fine. What is it?” I ask.

“Nah, I need you focused. You’re sleep deprived, overwhelmed, got files to look at, probably haven’t eaten yet… Another time, there’s no rush.” She stands from her seat on the sofa and I watch as Vickie’s eyes rake over her body. She has taken to dressing like Marilyn—pencil skirts with high waistlines and strappy sandals or modest three-inch pumps, occasionally with a matching jacket to finish off the business look. Today, with the spring Seattle weather, she foregoes the jacket, but wears a stylish pea coat over her simple ensemble.

“Catch ya later, Court,” Vickie says, suggestively. Courtney throws a shy smile back at Vickie.

“Um… okay,” she says with a wave, her voice a little shaky. She raises her eyebrows at me and leaves the room. Marilyn laughs to herself and assumes her perpetual position of looking down at her tablet. Vickie watches Courtney until she disappears out the office door.

That was Courtney Wilson?” she asks incredulously. “Fred and Addy’s bratty little entitled granddaughter?”

“Yep,” I say, nearly falling into my office chair, after not finding what I have no idea I was looking for.

“What the hell did you do to her?” Vickie probes. “She’s… pleasant and… desirable… Damn, she’s hot! You’d never know with all that yapping she used to do. What the fuck? What happened?”

Life happened,” I reply. “The Wilsons disowned her, but to be fair, I think she disowned them just as much as they disowned her.” I can’t seem to get it together. I’m so tired.

“Coffee?” Marilyn says. I nod. If I hope to just make it back up the stairs, I better have a cup.

“Should I come back at another time?” Vickie asks. I shake my head.

“No, it’s fine. You’ve come all this way. It’s not your fault my family is falling apart.” I stand from my seat. “Where do you need me?” Vickie chuckles and rises from her chair.

“Word of advice. You’re hot and I’m gay. Don’t ever ask that question again, especially since that little morsel just walked out of the room and I didn’t jump her bones. Over here, arms out.” I snicker and move in front of her, assuming the position.

“You’re a horn dog, you know that?” I tease. She raises her eyes to me as she’s bringing the measuring tape around my breast.

“And…?” she says, as if it’s common knowledge. “I love beautiful women. I love their bodies, especially their breasts…” She looks at the number on the measuring tape and whispers “Damn” under her breath.

“Watch it,” I warn.

“Shut up,” she says, touching information into her iPad. “You grew a rack overnight. I have to measure it and don’t get to grope it.” She moves to my waist. “So, will you give me her number?”

“No,” I say flatly.

“Cockblocker,” she says, moving to my hips.

“Um, at least one of us would have to have a cock for me to do that,” I tell her. “I’m not your pimp, Vickie. I’m not giving you her number. But I will give her your number if she asks for it now that I know you’re interested. And if you want to pursue her, she’s at the Center almost all the damn time.” Vickie nods.

“Well, that’s a solid. Thanks for that much… cockblocker,” she teases and I laugh again. “Goddammit, Ana, what’s with the ass?”

Oh, I needed that like I needed another hole in my head!

“Thanks a lot, Victoria!” I shoot and the negative self-image starts to rear its ugly head.

“Oh, lighten the fuck up,” she snaps, without a missing a beat. “There’s nothing wrong with it. You were just so damn tiny before. Now, you’ve got a real ass. I’m gonna make that bun look good,” she says licking her lips and checking me out. Suddenly, the self-consciousness crawls back into the darkness where it came from.

“Go make me look fabulous, you horny bitch,” I say waving her off. She bursts out into hearty laughter.

“Just so that you know, not many people can talk to me that way,” she says, putting away her tools and iPad. “Same shoe size?”

“More people should,” I say. “And yes, nothing happened to my feet, thank God.” I don’t know what I would do with all those damn Louboutins if my feet had gotten permanently bigger.

“Okay. Next week? Same Bat time? Same Bat channel?” I nod.

“See you then.” She leaves and I sit at my desk for a moment to take a look at the files Grace sent to me. Marilyn comes back with my coffee and I take a welcome sip.

“Mare, I’ve got a project for you and I need it done kind of quickly,” I say.

“So, what else is new?” she chuckles. I nod. I know that I would truly be lost without her.

“I need you to find out what needs to be done to get Valerie home,” I tell her. “She’s currently getting radiation and chemotherapy and from what Elliot says, she’s done with the chemo, but needs at least two more weeks of the radiation. The hospital is doing a really good job, as best as they can, but he needs more moral and physical support and he’s not getting it. She’s going to need around-the-clock care; we want to know how feasible it is for her to go back to the hospital to get her radiation treatments or to even have them administered at home if that’s possible. I’d like to see to getting her out of there as soon as is safely possible for her condition.” Elliot is truly going to just tap out if he keeps up this pace.

“You want to try to get her this care at Elliot’s place or at her place?” Marilyn asks.

“Neither,” I tell her. “Here at the Crossing.”


CHRISTIAN

“Wake up, baby.”

I shower my wife’s angelic face with tender kisses as she’s sprawled across one of the sofas in my den. It’s about 1pm Friday when we return to the States, and we came straight to the Crossing after touching down. I’m dying to know how she ended up in here.

“Butterfly, wakey, wakey…”

“Hmmm…?” She raises her head sleepily and unfolds like a hot little kitten. I’m glad that I’m crouched in front of her in a comfortable pair of cargo pants or I would be extremely uncomfortable from this unreal woody that has developed in my pants right now. “Christian… hey, you’re back.” Her voice is wistful. “What happened? What time is it? Where’s Chuck?” She has barely opened her eyes and the questions are firing at me faster than a speeding bullet. I find it rather funny.

“First things first, what are you doing in here on the sofa?” I ask. She shrugs.

“I honestly don’t know,” she says. “I was tired and looking for a close place to lie down. This place won.” I shake my head.

“Somebody wants to say hi.” I hold my hand out and watch Butterfly’s face light up as Keri comes into view.

“Keri!” she exclaims. “You’re here! You’re back! What happened?” She sits up and holds her arms out and Keri walks into her embrace.

“Home wahsn’t home witout mi Choonks,” she says, her voice muffled in Butterfly’s neck.

“I’m so glad to see you!” Butterfly exclaims, pulling her down onto the sofa. “Wait… does this mean… you’re staying? You’re here for good?” Keri holds her head down and blushes.

“Ah don knoh,” she says softly. “Ah’d like to,” she adds.

“She’s here for good,” Chuck reinforces from the end of the sofa, catching glances from both of us, but none more adoring than from Keri. She smiles widely and turns back to Butterfly.

“Ah guess Ah’m heyah foh gud!” she says gleefully. She and Butterfly exchange a sincere embrace.

“Oh, there’s so much I have to tell you! But first, you have to tell me why you’re so thin,” Butterfly says concerned. Keri drops her head.

“I miss mi Choonks,” she says sadly. “I no miss food.” Butterfly cups her cheeks.

“No more of that,” she says. “We have to get you back to a healthy weight. Come! Come! There’s so much that you’ve missed!” She pulls Keri by the hand and leads her toward the door. “The twins have changed so much! They’re gorgeous! You have to come and see them. Are you hungry? We’ll get you a snack first. You must be hungry after that long flight. And Al and James got married, just last weekend. The ceremony was beautiful. They were going to have it in the backyard, but at the last minute, they decided to have it at the hospital. Oh! Valerie! Poor Valerie! Wait ‘til I tell you what happened to her…”

Butterfly and Keri have long since left the den and her voice can still be heard fading down the hallway. I turn to Chuck, who looks at me and shrugs.

“Your wife,” he says.

“Speaking of which,” I say, gesturing him to the French doors that lead to my office. “Are you going to marry her?”

“If I have to,” he says, without hesitation. “I’m eventually going to marry her anyway. I’m sure she would rather her wedding not be something that’s rushed for citizenship, but if that’s the only way…” He shrugs.

“Maybe we can get her a work visa, then you can take your time,” I suggest. “She’s a teacher, right?” He nods.

“A teacher certified in a foreign country with a heavy Jamaican accent. I can’t even begin to know what kind of paces they would put her through to get a job here.”

“Well, she’s on vacation now. We’ll talk to her; find out what she wants to do then work on getting her citizenship. If I know Butterfly, she’ll spend the first week fattening her up, the second week toning her up, the third week dressing her up… you’re going to have to jockey for time with her.”

“It may be a moot point,” he tells me. “She may already be carrying my child.”

Wha…?

“You had unprotected sex?” I ask him. He shrugs.

“The first time I was ambushed…” The first time? “The next time… well, the next several times…” Show off. “It was a foregone conclusion. She wanted to get pregnant. She wanted a part of me after I was gone.”

“And now?” I ask.

“Now, it doesn’t matter. Whatever happens, happens. She’s my family.”

“But you were going to leave her,” I accuse.

“I wasn’t going to leave her leave her, Christian,” he defends. “I would have taken care of my child, wherever he or she was. And eventually, wherever Keri was, I was going to be. If I couldn’t convince her to come here and be with me…” He trails off.

“You would have lost your mind… nothing to do but monitor that one psycho beach bum day and night. You would have gone stir crazy.”

“I would have gone crazier without her.” Jason comes barreling into the office.

“Your wife must have been bored!” he declares, upon entry. I frown.

“Why do you say that?” I ask.

“The apartment? Sophie’s bedroom? It’s finished! It’s got a painted accent wall and everything—dark fucking purple! It was bare when we left!” I put my hand on my hip.

“Excuse me—that’s your daughter in the space next to your apartment. How did this become something my wife did and not yours?” I ask, perplexed.

“Because she said that she was going to ask Ana for help before we left…”

“Help!” I interject. “Keyword… help, which means if anything, my wife was an accomplice, not the perpetrator. So, roll that back, Mr. Taylor.” Chuck struggles to suppress his laughter. “What are you laughing at? You’re not far behind.”

“You two might as well can it. They were both bored,” he says. “I gave you no notice before you flew to Anguilla. That means you gave them even less.” I roll my eyes.

“Well, the bedroom is completely finished. It looks like they brought an interior decorator in there. And the rest of the apartment looks like it just exploded in Teenage Mutant High School Musical.” I can’t suppress the scoffing laugh that escapes me. I can only imagine what new trends will be the “But Daddy, I have to have it” thing when Mackenzie is Sophie’s age.

“What are you laughing at? You’re not far behind,” Chuck says, using my own words against me. I just laugh some more. I won’t admit that I was thinking the same thing.

“I’ve got a long way to go before my baby is at that stage,” I say. “You’re right there with us with the bored wife/significant other.” He nods and rubs his neck.

“I would agree we need to find something for her to do,” he says.

“She just got here,” Jason says. “Give her a chance to settle in.”

“Yes, we know that, but sooner or later, we’re going to have to make some decisions about what’s going to happen with her,” I say. “We’re just getting a jump on things before they get a jump on us.” I walk behind my desk and sit down, having had this entire conversation on my feet. I’m really going to have to look at my schedule and what’s been going on over the last several weeks. I feel out of sorts—like things have been going on without me while I’ve been trying to sort out this mess that is my life—which is exactly what’s been going on, if I’m honest.

“Listen, liaise with Alex and plan to meet with me next week,” I tell them both. “Correspond with Andrea for meeting times. I want a debrief and department meeting on current security issues—a state of the union, so to speak.” Jason frowns.

“Is something up, Boss?” I shake my head.

“A lot’s been going on. I’m just really out of touch and I don’t like it.” I wake my computer and shoot off an email to Andrea to notify department heads to prepare for a “state of the company” meeting with each of their departments. Security, accounting, legal, and PR will be first on the agenda, as well as a meeting with Ros—my second in command—to bring me up to date on important issues that I’ve been out of the loop on because of life… you know, the birth of my children, my brother’s girlfriend’s brain tumor, the Pedophile’s trial… silly little things.

“There’s not much going on that you don’t know about,” Jason assures me. “The new guards for the twins have been vetted and they’ll be brought on site next week. Besides that, everything else is business as usual.

“That’s just it, Jason. I’ve been so out of the loop lately that I don’t know what business as usual is,” I tell him. He nods.

“Okay. I’ll get with Alex, and we’ll set something up for early in the week,” he says.

“I want updates on our latest watch list. You know what happens when we become complacent,” I tell him. He nods again. Complacency resulted in Butterfly getting T-boned and nearly killed. I send an email to Ros about meeting with me next week and liaising with Andrea with a good time. She responds almost immediately with a shot about this meeting being way overdue since Al probably knows more about what’s going on in my life than she does and with GEH than I do. I fire back an email with a slight warning tone praising her for her hard work during my personal quandaries, adding a not-so-gentle reminder of who’s the boss of the company.

She doesn’t respond.

I spend the afternoon combing through more GEH business from my study, setting up meetings for next week and looking through long overdue emails while Chuck gets Keri settled again in their apartment and Butterfly heads off to her therapy session with Ace. Chuck informs me that in the near future, he and Keri will move back to his house in Bainbridge, but not yet. He wants her to stay near the familiar until they decide exactly what their next move is going to be. I assure him that I have no problem with that.

*-*

It’s well past 9pm when I finally emerge from my study. I’ve got several meetings set up with departments and department heads next week, opting to move the usual department head meeting to first thing Monday morning. This meeting will only be to announce the “State of the Company” sessions that will be in progress as well as to make one other long overdue company-wide announcement.

I will be informing my department heads of my wife’s equal ownership of the business.

I know this may not go over well with some of them as I can clearly remember the reaction of my prior panel of attorneys when I announced this intention in our prenuptial agreement. However, things have changed significantly in my life and only look to change even more as time progresses. My family is expanding; the dynamic of our lives is changing in ways I never even imagined; and I’ve never been one to procrastinate, but if Elliot and Valerie’s situation has taught me anything, it’s that life is way too short and you never know what the fuck it’s going to throw at you. When my wife was nearly ripped from me, all I could think was “Please, bring her back.” When she came back, all I could think was, “I’ll never let her go.” I wanted to hold on for dear life and just stay suspended in the moment.

Then, Valerie got a brain tumor.

Who do you blame for a brain tumor? How do you prepare for that fucking contingency? What the hell do you do if the love of your life is ripped from your arms because of a malignant growth inside of her body that’s been slowly taking her away for months? What do you do with that information? Just as I was trying to process that information, Keri subconsciously damn-near starves herself to death!

Fucking hell!

I have never felt more ready to get my ducks in a row and make sure my life is in order than I do right now. GEH doesn’t need an overhaul or anything, but everything that has been going on has resulted in small changes that I need to be kept abreast of, and as a partial owner of the company, so does my wife. So, now is the time to make the official announcement, be brought up to date on things that might have slipped past me and bring Butterfly into the loop.

I’m rubbing my eyes and walking towards the elevator. I surprised to Butterfly in her parlor as I pass. She’s sitting on her sofa and staring at a roaring fire in the fireplace.

Uh oh… that usually means contemplation. I knock on the open door so as not to startle her.

“Hey,” I say, entering the room after she looks over at me.

“Hey,” she says, turning her attention back to the fire.

“Is everything alright?” I ask. She sighs.

“I went by to see Valerie after my rambling session with Ace,” she says. Rambling session.

“You had a lot to talk about?” I say, stating the obvious.

“Too much. It wasn’t very productive. More informative than anything—information to put in the file… on the shelf, so to speak.” She twists up her hair and throws it over her shoulder onto her back. Okay, her session with Ace was uneventful, so it must be Valerie.

“How is Valerie? Doing better, I hope.” She shakes her head.

“The radiation has her depressed and wiped out. I’ve been trying to get over there every day, to sit with her and bring her something palatable to eat. She mostly sleeps, but she says that me being there makes her feel better. She’s really bummed about her hair. I know the feeling. She cries a lot.” She’s lamenting over the condition of her friend. “She still feels horrible about how she treated me when she didn’t know she had the tumor. I keep trying to tell her that nothing she said or did back then counts because she wasn’t Valerie, she was Tumor Valerie, but it doesn’t help. She missed my pregnancy, the baby shower, Thanksgiving, the birth of the twins… somewhat.” She rubs her eyes and puts her free hand on her forehead. “You would think as a shrink I would know the perfect things to say to make this all better, but she’s inconsolable.” I move over to where she is on the sofa.

“I’m sure she’s just relieved that you two have gotten things together, as am I,” I say, sitting next to her and gently stroking her hair. “Give her time. Once this is over and she’s well again, this will all be just a bad memory.” Butterfly scoffs a bit.

“Imagine that,” she laments. “I hit my head and lose my memories—some of them forever, it seems—and she develops a fucking brain tumor.” She shakes her head. “Maybe we should get matching helmets and tin-foil hats.” I hope that was a joke because I chuckle a bit. “Elliot, though… your brother is a prince among men,” she adds. “This has been utter hell for him and he hasn’t faltered one bit. I don’t know what Grace and Carrick put in your milk when you two were younger, but I thank God for how they raised you every day of my life and I’m sure that Val does, too.” She’s looking at me with glassy blue eyes and I place a gentle kiss on her lips.

“We Grey men just know a good thing when we see it, Mrs. Grey,” I say, softly. She touches my cheek gently as a tear falls from the corner of her eye.  She looks at me questioning. “What is it, baby?”

“I… I know I have no right to ask, but…” I put my finger over her lips.

“Don’t ever say that to me,” I tell her. “You have a right to ask anything of me, do you understand?” Her eyes sadden.

“This is a big one,” she says. “A really, really big one.” I sigh and cuddle her in my arms.

“Okay, lay it on me.” She swallows hard.

“I know the timing is terrible, especially with everything already going on around us, but I’ve had Marilyn doing some research and I’d like Elliot and Val to move in here with us for a while.” I freeze. She’s right, that is a big one… huge!

“Um…” I’m at a loss of words.

“I told you it was big,” she says, her voice deflated. The sound guts me.

“Have you talked to Elliot about this?” I ask. “What does Valerie say?”

“I haven’t talked to anybody yet, except Marilyn to do so initial research on what would be involved. I wanted to talk to you first.” That’s oddly comforting. I half expected her to put her head together with Valerie and make the offer, then spring in on me… just because she so considerate and wants to help her friend. She pushes out of my arms and sits up to face me. I immediately miss the closeness.

“I know there’s a lot of people in the house, but we have a huge house. We could open a fucking bed and breakfast if we wanted to. Elliot is exhausted. He doesn’t leave the hospital. I don’t know who’s running his business, but they need to apply for sainthood… as does he. He doesn’t sleep. He’s not eating well. He’s worried to death about her. I’m sure that we can get her all the care that she needs here. She’ll be around friends; we can make her comfortable; she’ll have somebody with her around the clock—good food, good company… we can get her to her treatments or even get her treatments brought here if they can be, and he can get some rest! And Christian, there’s something else.” I look into her eyes.

“What is it, Butterfly?” I ask.

“I’ve lost so much time… we’ve lost so much time. It hurts… I can’t get it back—I know I can’t get it back, but…” Her tears flow freely now as she looks down into her lap. “Under normal circumstances… if we weren’t married… if there was no Elliot… this is what I would do. I would have put all of my patients on hold or moved to part-time and moved her into my guest room. I would have hired a nurse and a caretaker and I would have been there the rest of the time. I would have known the moment she was sick, the minute something was wrong…”

And there it is. She loves Valerie, always has, and I know that she still blames herself for not knowing sooner that something was ghastly wrong with her friend.

“Butterfly, you did know something was wrong. You said it more than once, several times, in fact. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink, baby.”

“I should have done something!” she shouts, shooting up from her seat. “I was all sensitive about my feelings and my wedding, thinking that she was inconsiderate for suggesting something in front of my mother-in-law and look what was going on! We’ve been friends for over ten years, Christian… ten years! I should have known something! I should have known something was wrong!”

She buries her face in her hands and weeps bitterly, her mournful sobs saying all that her words couldn’t. Agony rips from her chest with each of her cries and I can’t stand it. I would literally crawl on my hands and knees through hell, fire, and brimstone and bring her the beating heart of Satan himself to keep from hearing the sounds that are wrenching from her soul right now.

“Baby, please,” I beseech her as I wrap her in my arms in an attempt to comfort her and end my own pain as well. “We’ll find out as much as we can, and we’ll talk to Elliot and Valerie together and see what they think, okay?” Anything… please… just stop this. My chest aches… bleeds… no, stabs listening to these sounds tearing from her heart. “Sssshhh, baby, please…” I stroke her back and kiss her forehead, silently vowing to somehow make it right. She nods, her face buried in my chest, but her crying doesn’t cease. I lift her into my arms and take her back to the sofa, sitting down and placing her on my lap. I allow her to cry for a few more moments, but I just can’t take it anymore.

Butterfly… please…

I push her hair away from her forehead and kiss her repeatedly. I continue to brush her hair from her face, gently kissing wherever my lips can reach. She’s weeping so violently that she’s starting to sweat. I try to dry the wetness from her face, still kissing her temples, her eyebrows, her eyelids.

Please stop crying, baby…

I push her long locks off her face and they fall down her back. Stray tresses cling to her skin and I push them away from her face, out of my way so that I can kiss her tears away.

I’ll make it right, Butterfly… I promise… please, don’t cry…

Her weeping only wanes slightly as I shower her face with gentle kisses. I use my thumbs to brush away the tears that have collected on her cheek. She has shrunk into my chest with her weeping, but I force her to lift her face to me to that I can kiss her cheek, her chin, her jaw… anything to distract her from the pain that making her heart ache so much right now… and mine.

It’ll be fine, baby… it’ll be okay…

Her cries are slowly morphing into soft whimpers as she lies back in my arm… vulnerable, beautiful. God, I love her so much. I want to protect her from the world—from anything and everything that could possibly make her unhappy. I never want to hear the sound of anguish that I heard from her moments ago. It was like what I heard when she and Ray fought, and I couldn’t comfort her, then. It ripped my soul to shreds.

I love you, Butterfly…

I gently cup her cheek, her face upturned to me—tearstained and weary. I close my lips over hers… once… twice… God, her lips are so soft. I kiss her again softly… again… and again… soothing her aching soul and mine. Her breathing changes, but I don’t change the kiss except to gently run my tongue over her mouth and kiss her again. Her arm tightens slightly around my shoulders while her hand flattens softly against my chest. Her lips part and I’m tempted to thrust my tongue between them. Instead, gently lick the inside and continue the tender tasting of her mouth. Her soul calls to me… softly… a brief whisper…

Christian…

My spirit responds autonomously…

I’ve got you, baby…

I’ll talk to Marilyn… and Jason… see what needs to be done to get Valerie comfortably moved into the closest and largest guest room as soon as possible… but not yet. Not right now. Right now, I gently press my hand into her hair, caressing her scar where her hair is the shortest and supporting her head, savoring the flavor of her breath and showering her with tender kisses until our lips are numb and her mourning has long since ceased.

*-*

“Hello?”

“Good morning, Marilyn. It’s Christian. I hope I haven’t disturbed you.” It’s Saturday morning and I spent way too much time last night trying to get my lamenting wife to sleep. I can’t allow her request to wait another moment. I’ve waited as long as I could already.

“Um, hi, Christian… no, not really. Is everything okay?” No. My Butterfly slept fitfully all night and she tells me that you’re the first go-to person on this matter.

“I didn’t wake you, did I? I can call back…”

“I’m fine, Christian,” she assures me. “What’s up?”

“I didn’t know if you were planning on working today. Butter… Ana’s out of it. It was a long night, but… I need your assistance if you’re available.” There’s a long pause.

“You need me?” she says in surprise. I nod, forgetting that she’s on the phone and can’t see me.

“Yes,” I say, clearing my throat. “Butte…” fuck it. “Butterfly said that she asked you to gather information about possibly bringing Valerie to live with us. I know she just asked you to do it yesterday and I’m not trying to rush you or anything, but I was wondering if you had a chance to gather any information.” Another long pause.

“Um, yeah, actually, I have,” she says. “By the time I had gotten the information, she fell asleep; then Keri came home; then she went to see Ace; then she went to see Val; it got late… you know the drill.”     

Oh, good! Marilyn is nothing if not efficient as fuck. I know she will have gotten all the information that we need to get Valerie moved in if we can get her and Elliot to agree to it.

“I know you’re not… um, probably not… scheduled to work today, but… if it’s not too much of an imposition…” Why the fuck am I stuttering? If she wants to bring the information over, she can bring the information over. If not… “You can just email it if it’s too much trouble.”

“Christian, may I ask… what happened last night?” No doubt, she’s picking up on my obvious discomfort. “I hope I’m not overstepping my bounds. If I am, I apologize.”

And now I realize why I’m stuttering. The last time we really talked, our relationship was a bit strained. If she doesn’t give me the information that she has, I have to start from scratch. That being the case, talking to Elliot and Valerie and setting up what needs to be done with the doctors and nurses and home health care aides and any equipment delivery could be delayed for days… and seeing Butterfly in the condition that she was in last night for even one more moment is an unacceptable option. Bearing that in mind, I need to get that information that she has like yesterday and since she’s done the research, it’ll be easier if she goes over it with me.

“Butterfly…” I run my hands through my hair. “She’s having a really hard time with what’s going on with Valerie. She feels responsible for not knowing sooner that something was medically wrong as opposed to mentally. She took it really hard last night and… she had a very hard time falling asleep. I’d really like to get a jump on whatever can be done to make this transition as quick and easy for Elliot and Valerie as possible, but I can’t do anything until I talk to them and I can’t talk to them until I have information… and I can’t spend another night with my wife like that,” I add. “She feels helpless. She has to do something and the longer we wait…”

“I’ll be there in thirty,” she interrupts. “Gary will be with me.” I try—and most likely fail—to hide my relief.

“I’m sure Butterfly won’t mind… and thank you.”


A/N: First, Ana extends a ginormous “thank you” to Barbara (Beachycolor) for the gift of the double baby carrier. Guaranteed that she will get lots and lots of use out of it!  

Next, Sophie is going to be a bit more prominent in other parts of the story and maybe in a one-shot or short spin-off of her own. To that end, I’ve created a Pinterest page for her scrapbook. I would love for my beloved readers to help in the development of this character and her style. I’ve pretty much gotten in my head what her personality is going to be like, but I think it would be fun for people to see a piece of their suggestions in her. How can you be a part of this? I’m glad you asked. There are several ways that you can contribute.

1) If you have a Pinterest ID, you can send me a message on Pinterest and I will make you a direct contributor of the album “Sophie’s Scrapbook.”

2) If you are on my Facebook page, you can send me a direct IM with links, pictures, or suggestions.

3) You can click the “Contact me” link on the WordPress page and send a direct email to me with links, pictures, or suggestions.

4) You can email me directly at bg.holmes@butterflysaga.com.

I look forward to what we can come up with for this bright and beautiful little girl. There will be some mentions of her in the main story, but I honestly look forward to her having a little story of her own… nothing as detailed as the any one of the tetralogy (so far), but something to get an idea of who she is and what happens to her.

Five more to go…

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

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

Love and handcuffs  
Lynn X

 

Becoming Dr. Grey: Chapter 77—Home Is Where The Heart Is

Hey folks, I had three comments—two from February and one from March—that somehow got lost in my site, but I had a notification of new comments and couldn’t find them, so I had to search for them. Staci, CJ, and Carolina—I hope you guys didn’t think I was ignoring your comments. WordPress just ate them up and I couldn’t see them until today. 

I have that procedure on Friday, so I may not post a chapter next week. It will completely depend on how I feel. Continue to keep me in your prayers.

Don’t forget to add those crucial email addresses and let me know if you’re still not getting emails. I found that some emails transferred from the new list and others didn’t, while yet others are just not getting the emails even though my mailer says they have been sent. 

bg.holmes@butterflysaga.com
AND
bronzegoddess@butterflysaga.com

If you are not getting the email, please check your spam folder and if you have Gmail, check in the “promotions” folder.

NOTE!!! If you put in the comments below that you haven’t received an email from me, you have to include your email address or I don’t know how to look for you. The best way to let me know is the “contact me” link in the menu to the left.

I do not own Fifty Shades Trilogy, or the characters. They belong to E. L. James. I am only exercising my right to exploit, abuse, and mangle the characters to MY discretion in MY story in MY interpretation as a fan. If something that I say displeases you, please, just leave. If you don’t like this story or me, please don’t spoil this experience for everyone. Just go away. For the rest of you, the saga continues…

Chapter 77—Home Is Where The Heart Is

DAVENPORT

“Hello?”

It’s the middle of the night and I don’t recognize the number or the area code. I’m never afraid to answer strange calls. In my line of work, it’s usually more hazardous not to answer an unknown call.

“Yehs, eez dees Chatles? Davenpolt?” I recognize the accent, but not the voice. It’s thicker, much thicker than hers, but I know where it’s from. I sit straight up.

“Yes, who is this?” I ask, my voice earnest.

“You don knoh meh,” she says. “I wuhk wit Keti. Shi’s my ftiend. Shi been sick. Vety sick. Shi won let nobody cahl you, tell you waht wrong. Shi won eat. Shi cont eat. E’ry time she try, her stomach jes give it up.” I throw my legs off the edge of the bed.

“Who are you?” I ask. “How did you get my number? Where’s Keri now?”

“Mah nem Tawni,” she answers. “I tek her phone when shi not lookin’. I hear about Chatles Davenpolt, but I no find Chatles Davenport. I find ‘Choonks.’ I call, and you Chatles Davenpolt. Shi sick, Chatles. Shi vety sick.”

“What’s wrong with her?” I ask, trying to keep the panic down in my voice “Does she have a virus? Has she seen a doctor? Does she still have that damn cold?”

“Shi nevah hah no cold!” Tawni says, flustered. “The doctoh no hep heh! Shi sick in heh hed and in heh haht! Soul sick! Shi lose weight like dah man put bad ju ju. Shi no wuhk. Shi no get owt de bed. Shi sleep ahl de time. Shi sleep shi sleep shi sleep till one deh shi sleep shi nawt wake up noh moh!”

What? I’m out of the bed now. Why didn’t Keri tell me that she was this sick, and why is she this sick? Did she contract something here in the States?

“What did the doctor say?” I ask, sliding into my pants.

“He noh say nuhtin’,” she says. “He tell heh get sum rest and food, dat nuhtin’ wrong with her, but sumtin is wrong! Shi no play wit da kids, no teach dem, no tahk to dem, no care no moh!”

“I talk to her every day,” I tell her. “She sounds a little tired, but nothing like this!”

“Shi only sond bettah for yuh,” her voice softens. “Shi die, Choonks… shi die.”

I cover my mouth. Keri is dying. Tawni knows. She can see if no one else can. I’m usually so happy just to hear her voice that I can’t hear that she’s dying.

“I…” I’m at a loss for words. “I need you to tell me everything. Were you there when she got off the plane? When she returned from America?”

“Shi wuz heppy to be ‘ome,” Tawni says. “Shi heppy to see heh kids and shi play wit dem, but only foh a little while. A few dez den shi sick. Shi stop eaten’ and sleepen’ an den shi sleep awl deh time. I ask, ‘Keti, you hav belly?’ Shi say ‘noh!’”

“Have belly?” I ask.

“Yez, hav belly… deh breed… dah baby!”

“Oh!” She was asking if Keri was pregnant.

“Dah doctoh say shi no breed, but shi sleep. Shi look bad. Shi crawny and shi look like Dett!”

That’s pretty damn bad. She’s been gone for two months and all this time, she’s been suffering and hasn’t told me anything.

“You’re sure it’s not a virus or anything?” I ask Tawni.

“Dah doctor seh shi nawt sick… shi just tiyed or sumtin’.” I sigh. What the fuck.

“Is this your number, Tawni?” I ask.

“Yez.”

“Keep me posted, please. I… I gotta figure some things out… and thank you for calling. I’ll be in touch.”

“Okay, Chatles, I weel,” and she ends the call. I want to throw this fucking phone across the room.

“Fuck!” I bite out. I’m only just now getting to where I don’t think about her every goddamn moment of every day; only just able to maybe sleep two nights out of seven without her next to me and not even the entire night; only just getting to the point where I can function without hearing her sweet voice in my ear, touching her soft skin, tasting her lips…

“Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” and now this! Goddammit, somebody up there hates me. I scrub my hands over my face. I had that accident and she was here in a minute. She had secured a three-month visa and she was by my side in no time—no questions asked. Across oceans and continents, she was here… but I just got back to work. The babies are here. I can’t shirk my responsibilities… but Keri…

“Fuck!”

I get fully dressed, put on my coat and decide to take a walk around the grounds, hoping the fresh air will help clear my head. What do I do? First and foremost, I have to know what’s wrong with her. The doctors are saying that she’s fine, but she won’t get out of bed, she won’t eat, and she’s sleeping all the time. When I talk to her, she sounds fine—maybe a little tired, but that’s all. She didn’t tell me that she wasn’t working. She gave me no indication at all that anything was wrong. My mind is racing a million miles a minute.

How did she ever find out that I had the accident… did Jay tell her?
She’s on my emergency contacts list now, but am I on hers?
Tawni said she basically had to hijack her phone to find me, and my name isn’t in there, just my pet name. If something really goes wrong with her, how would I know?
Just how bad off is she if her friend felt the need to invade her privacy to call some guy in the states that she doesn’t even know to tell him that Keri is sick?

The speculation is killing me. I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. I have to know what’s going on with her, I have to. If something happens to her… if she’s really sick and I don’t do anything…

But then there’s my job and my responsibilities to Ana and the babies. I love them very much and I don’t trust their safety to anyone else. They’re as important to me as my blood family… more important than some of them—one in particular. I can’t desert them now.

But Keri…

I walk around the grounds until the sun comes up. I don’t know how many times I’ve lapped the property, but apparently enough times for one of the snitches in the guard’s booth to alert Jay that I was up pacing all night.

“What’s going on, man?” he asks, walking up to me as I get back around to the mudroom.

“Nothing,” I say, not quite sure that I want to share what’s happening.

“Something’s going on,” he says. “Yancy says you’ve been walking around the estate for at least the last three hours and probably more. You want to tell me what’s up?”

“It’s personal, Jay,” I tell him. “I really don’t want to talk about it.” I wouldn’t know what to say anyway. I don’t even know what to do right now.

“Is it your family?” he presses. I think about the question.

“Kind of. You could say that.”

“That asshole Joe?” he keeps digging.

“Jay, please stop digging. I really can’t talk about this right now.” He twists his lips. I know he’s feeling a combination of things. He’s my boss and my friend and I won’t tell him what’s going on.

“Fine, but you’re grounded today.” I spin around on him.

“What?” I ask appalled. “You’re grounding me because I won’t tell you what’s happening in my personal life?” I’m suddenly angry.

“You know me better than that,” he says impassively. “Because of who you are—who we are, you’re going to tell me what’s going on sooner or later. You’re grounded because you’re obviously distracted. Whatever this is, it’s got all your mind and concentration. You’ve walked these grounds for several hours and that’s going to hit you in a while. You’re going to be tired, cold, and out of focus. Take a sick day and get some rest. Once you’ve done that, decide what you’re going to do about whatever this is. If after an entire night of walking around in the cold, you still haven’t come to a decision, you need to get some sleep and look at it with fresh eyes.”

Part of me resents him for grounding me today. The other part of me knows that he’s right. I just nod and go back to my apartment.

Trying to sleep did no good. I just lay there for hours and look at the ceiling, thinking of Keri and the reasons that Jay grounded me today. I’m no good to Ana or the babies if my mind is full of Keri. Hell, it’s been full of Keri all this time, but this is different. She was just away and I missed her, not sick with some unknown ailment that may be killing her slowly. I need some advice fast, and I know just who to ask.

*-*

“What do you mean you don’t know what’s wrong with her?” Christian asks me as I’m sitting in his den.

“I mean I don’t know what’s wrong,” I tell him. “I talk to her every day. She does sound a little tired, but nothing else. She got a cold or some kind of virus when she first got back to Anguilla, but we all chalked it up to the sudden change in climate, including the doctors. But according to this Tawni person, she never really got any better. Tawni says that she only sounds better on the phone when we talk, but she won’t eat and all she does is sleep.”

Christian frowns and stands from the sofa, pacing around the room. We’ve been talking for quite some time as I lay all the details of my dilemma out for him.

“Do you remember last year when Butterfly and I took that trip to Napa? The Wine Train?” he asks. I laugh.

“Yeah,” I reply. “You sent me to get that damn lock.” He nods.

“While we were there, we happened upon a wedding—on the deck outside of the hotel. The bride and groom saw us dancing to their music and invited us to join them. He told me the story of how they met, classic rich girl/poor boy story. Odds were obviously against them and they broke up. He moved away, but he returned five years later after he made something of himself. He found her still with her family, a shell of her former self… ailing, thin, and feeble. He took her away from her uncaring family and it took him six months to nurse her back to health. He married her two months after that. She was wasting away from a broken heart, from not being able to be with the man that she loved and being around a family who didn’t care.”

Keri’s heart can’t be broken. I love her too much. I want her with me. I begged her to stay.

“You’ve been in my employ since Butterfly and I have been together. Remember the tie incident? Ana ended up wine-drunk and almost strangled herself with my Andersen & Sheppard? Remember the subsequent week when I ended up in the hospital after a bourbon diet? Remember when Ana was brought to the hospital after the kidnapping and the four-day hunger strike?”

Fuck, he’s scaring the shit out of me right now.

“When Ana thought she wouldn’t see me again, that’s what she did. The mind is a powerful thing, Chuck. She closed her eyes, she went to sleep, and she met me in her dreams. When she woke up and I wasn’t there and she was still chained to that bed, she went back to sleep.” Oh, my God.

“This can’t be what Keri’s doing. She knows we’ll see each other again. We talk every day…”

“Keri’s been gone for two months. Someone that you don’t even know called you to tell you just how bad off she is without Keri’s permission. You talk to her every day and she wouldn’t tell you and you didn’t pick up on it. Something is not right… very not right in the worst way and she needs help. I can’t tell you what decisions to make when it comes down to your life and your future, but I can and will tell you this. You have to go down there and see her for yourself. You have to go, Chuck; there’s no question.”

I sigh heavily. I know that I have to go, but…

“Ana,” I say. “The babies…  I just got back to work. They’re my responsibility.” Christian nods.

“Yes, it’ll take two people to make one of you, and the twins’ guards are supposed to be starting soon since Butterfly wants to take a chance on taking them in public next week. We’ll do fine. I hope it’s your choice to come back, but we’ll all understand if you don’t. Right now, you need to go to her.” I nod reluctantly.

“I’ll book a flight,” I say.

“You’ll do no such thing. You’ll take the jet,” Christian corrects.

“I can probably book a flight faster than you can get the jet ready,” I protest.

“Like hell you can,” he retorts.

*-*

He’s right, of course. Seventeen hours later, I’m landing in St. Marteen when the soonest commercial flight would have gotten me here more than a day later. I take the ferry to Anguilla and begin to lament over how I would figure out who Tawni is. I look around at the faces on the peer and see a sign with my name… Charles Davenport.

That has to be Tawni.

I walk over to her and she looks right through me, somewhat perturbed that I’m standing in front of her blocking her view.

“Tawni?” I ask, wondering why she won’t acknowledge my presence. She looks at me a bit annoyed, then does a double-take, annoyance morphing to astonishment.

“Chatles?” she says in clear disbelief. I nod, uncertainly. She’s silent for a moment, then says, “You white.” Wha…?

“She… didn’t tell you?” I say, a bit dismayed.

“Noh,” Tawni answers, still dumbfounded.

“Is that a problem?” I ask. She throws a look over her shoulder to the man sneering at me like he could kill me with his bare hands, and I know immediately that it is a problem.

“Come,” she says, softly. “I tek you to Keti.” I fall in step behind her and this guy, who I don’t know and don’t trust, attempts to fall in step behind me. I freeze and turn around to face him.

thick-curly-haircut-black-men-haircut-chart“And you are?” I ask, looking down into his face. He’s got a lot of hair and it’s a bit distracting, but I focus on his angry, piercing eyes, trying to ascertain the level of threat he’ll be to me—because he’s clearly a threat.

“Nun ohf yoh cunsun!” he shoots with disdain.

“I beg to differ,” I retort. “It’s completely my concern if you think you’re going to be walking behind me.” We square off for several moments, neither of us backing down to the other.

“Eash nuh,” Tawni says, stepping between us, “ahl fruits ripe.”

“Yack!” he hisses before spitting on the ground. “Stinking fassyhole!” I smirk and lean into him over Tawni’s shoulder.

“Don you bruck out, now bredda, or I put you down, seen?” I may not imitate his accent well, but I have Keri’s to perfection. He narrows his eyes at me as Tawni pulls my arm ushering me towards the street and a parked vehicle there.

The ride is short to what I discover is an apartment shared by Tawni and Keri. It’s small, but clean and comfortable and right by the water. Then again, everything in Anguilla is right by the water. I’m led through the small, but tidy apartment to a rather large, modestly furnished bedroom. There’s a beautiful balcony and the doors are open, allowing a breeze to bellow in through the burgundy sheers. Near the far side of a pretty large bed is a very small person…

That can’t be Keri… that can’t be my beautiful, voluptuous Island Girl…

I quietly drop my bags on the floor and go over to the bed. Her skin is dull—dusty-looking. Her eyes are sunk into her face. Although she’s asleep, she looks utterly exhausted and troubled… so troubled. I squat down to the side of her bed and take a good look at her face. She looks sickly and feeble, like some horrible disease has taken hold of her and won’t let go. I squat down next to her and gaze at her face for long moments, trying to figure out what could be going on with her body that could be emaciating her so badly, but…

“The doctor says nothing is wrong with her?” I ask Tawni. “Have you gotten a second opinion?” Tawni shrugs.

“Shi tek many test. Even goh to dah Big Island to anudah doctah. Nuhtin’ wrong wit huh.” I shake my head. Something is wrong with her—they just don’t know what it is. I reach to touch her face and the guy who has silently brooded all this time while throwing threatening looks at me finally speaks.

“Don touch mi galfren!” he hisses. I raise angry eyes at him. What the fuck did he just say?

“Kibba yuh mouth, Tyree! Yu nuh knoh nuhting bout dat!” Tawni slaps Tyree hard on his chest. “Keti not yoh galfren. Neva wuz! Shi no waan yu!”

Tyree glares at Tawni, then back at me. Stay where you are, Tyree… Mi wi lick yuh inna yuh face. I turn my attention back to my ailing Anguillan beauty. I gently touch her dull locks, usually so healthy and vibrant looking. Then I gently stroke her cheek, also sunk in. I’m afraid to see her body. She’s lost a lot of weight; I can tell by her face.

Be strong, Choonks.

“Keri?” I say softly, trying to rouse her from her sleep. It doesn’t take much. Cloudy, sleepy brown eyes open to greet me. There’s my love. There’s my beautiful Island Girl. I smile softly at her as she fights to focus. I’m certain she doesn’t believe what she’s seeing, so I speak.

“Hi, baby,” I say, softly, stroking her cheek.

“Choonks?” she squeaks, her voice barely there, and it breaks my heart. “Whut ahr yuh doin’ heyah?”

“I came to see you,” I say.

“You did?” she gives me a soft weak smile.

“I did. I want to know why you’re sick.”

“I not sick… I tiyed,” she protests. “You com ahl de time… but wen I wake, yuh goh.” She closes her eyes again. She thinks she’s dreaming. I squeeze my eyes tight to squeeze out the tears, then wipe them quickly.

“Baby?” She opens her eyes again. “You’re not dreaming.”

She gazes at me for a long time, then focuses some more. Then she moves to sit up, but I can tell that her head weighs a ton.

“Easy nuh,” I say as she tries to get into an upright position.

“Tis is cruel…” she says softly. “I dream of you, but I can’t touch you…” Her accent is almost nonexistent. I frown. I take her hand and put it on my face. Her breath catches.

“You’re not. Dreaming,” I say again. Her eyes grow large and her lip trembles. She brings her other hand to my face and gently touches it with her fingertips.

“Cho… Choonks?” Again, the words barely escape her lips as tears pour from her eyes. I move to say something, but she falls into my arms weeping. I prepare to catch her weight on my lap, but she doesn’t weight a hundred pounds. That means that she’s lost between 25 to 30 pounds and most of that was muscle. I pull her effortlessly into my arms, holding her close to me while she sobs mournfully, her nightshirt falling over her like a moo moo. I recognize this shirt. It’s not a nightshirt… it’s one of mine.

“Oh, baby,” I lament into her ear as I cradle her in my arms. I don’t know how long we sit there, me squatting on the floor and her tiny frame literally sitting on my lap, but we have enough time for Tawni to warm some conch soup and bring it back to the nightstand.

“Will yuh see if yuh con geht heh to eat?” Tawni says. I nod. She’ll eat it; don’t worry.  I raise my head and Tyree has made himself comfortable in the only chair in the room. What the fuck is up with this guy? Do I have my own version of Cholometes here? I just shake my head and look down at my Keri.

“Hey,” I say, lifting her chin to me. She’s still crying.

“Yoh… rahlly… heyah…” she says, her breaths shuddering.

“Yes, I’m really here,” I say, kissing her forehead.

“How… did yuh… geht heyah…? Wheh… did yuh… com… from…?” I chuckle. I can tell her thoughts are a bit disjointed.

“Seattle,” I say, “in the big metal bird?” I tease.

“I mean… how… did yuh…” She’s weeping again. I stand up and sit on the bed with her on my lap and my back to Tyree.

“Tawni called me,” I confess. “She hacked into your phone. She was worried about you.” She nods. We hear a loud thud behind us that startles us both. We don’t have to turn around because we soon see Tyree brush past both of us out of the room. Next, we can hear him arguing with Tawni in the next room.

“Who is that guy?” I ask.

“Tawni… bredda,” she says through her shuddering breaths, her tears now subsiding a bit.

“When I reached for you, he told me not to touch his girlfriend,” I inform her. She shakes her head weakly.

“Not his… galfren,” she says, laying her head on my chest.

“I know that and you know that, but does he know that?” I ask. She sighs. I have a feeling she’s had this conversation more than she would like. There’s plenty of time for that later.

“Baby, what’s wrong? Tell me what’s wrong,” I beseech her.

“Nuhtin’ wrong, Choonks, I just tiyed,” she says, her voice weak.

“Baby, this is not tired. Something is wrong. Something is really wrong.” I hold her as tight as I can without hurting her, burying my face in neck and looking for her warmth and her scent. It’s not there. She’s not herself at all. My Keri… my beautiful Island Girl… what’s happened to you?

“Tawni brought some conch soup. It smells really good. Please eat some for me,” I coax gently. She nods, so I position her back on my lap and begin to feed her the soup. She takes it obligingly at first, but the further we get into the bowl, she begins to take it anxiously, hungrily chewing the pieces of fresh conch, yam, carrots and other vegetables. That makes me feel good. She dribbles a little down her chin. I look around for something to clean it with. Finding nothing, I gently clean it away with my mouth.

There was nothing sexual about it and we both know it. It was just tender, a gesture that I intend to take care of her. She gazes at me, her eyes full of love and gratitude.

“Tell me what’s wrong, baby,” I say softly, gently stroking her cheek with my thumb. “Why are you so tired? Why aren’t you eating? Please talk to me.” I try to see into her, try to see why she’s doing this to herself. She wanted to come home, so I can’t believe that she’s unhappy to be here. What else could it be?

“I jus…” She trails off. Her sad eyes fill with tears again. I shake my head.

“Please,” I say, kissing her eyelids before the tears fall. “Please don’t cry anymore. We’ll talk about it later, okay?” She nods and the tears fall anyway, though she’s not weeping like she was before. “Can I just… take care of you?” I ask. She nods again. I take her hand lead her from her room to the bathroom. I put the toilet seat down and tell her to sit while I run her a bath, adding some of the tropical bubble bath I had become accustomed to smelling on her skin. While the tub fills, I go to her dresser and get clean underwear and a clean gown. Looking at the gown, I think better of it and open my suitcase, removing one of my shirts instead.

When I get back to the bathroom, the tub is just about full and the water is perfect. Good. I notice a few candles strategically placed, like they’re always there for bathtime, so I light them with a candle lighter that I find in the cabinet over the commode. I look back at my beautiful Island Girl who already looks like she’s getting some of the color back in her face. Maybe I’m just wishful thinking, but she looks a whole lot better than she did when I got here a while ago.

I’m just about to undress her when I remember that we’re not alone in the apartment, a fact driven home by another pair of eyes glaring at me from the hallway. I turn to see Tyree staring at us just as I’m about to disrobe my girlfriend. This motherfucker is working my last nerve. I angrily slam the door in his face, thinking this would solve the problem.

How wrong I am.

This fucker actually opens the door and proceeds into the bathroom with his arms folded.

“Do you want to die?” I bark before I can stop myself.

“Wut? Yuh gwine cock it up befoh shi even bettah?” he accuses. I. Am. Burning! I have traveled two oceans and a sea and two countries over 16 hours for this asshole to try to cockblock me while I’m trying to take care of my girl and two people have already told me that his claim to her is imaginary, one of them being my girl? I clench my fist and walk towards this fucker. I’ve taken all I’m going to take from him tonight.

“And if I do,” I growl, my voice rumbling from my chest, “that’s nobody’s motherfucking, goddamn business but ours. Now if I were you, I’d take that misplaced sense of possession of yours, ball it up and put it back in your pocket. Make no mistake, bredda, that one is mine. If I’m here, she’s mine. When I’m gone, she’s mine. She is and always will be mine! So doah cut yu eye affa mi bwoy and quit yah tongue waggin’… before I choke you with it… Yu undastan wah mi a seh, Tyree?

“Easy nuh,” my Island Girl’s voice and gentle touch on my arm brings me back to myself. “Easy nuh, Choonks.” When I look up, I’ve backed Tyree out of the bathroom and against the opposite wall. I’m bearing down on him, waiting for him to breathe or speak or anything. He still has the same defiant look in his eyes as he sneers up into mine, not showing any fear, but not waggin’ his tongue anymore either.

“Tyree, goh,” I hear her say, but he doesn’t move. He’s still glaring at me. “Goh, now, Tyree! Tawni!” A few seconds later, I see Tawni come from another room around the corner.

“Tyree!” she says, and she bursts into a string of Patois that I can’t even begin to attempt to interpret before snatching her brother off the wall in front of me and dragging him towards the door. I take a deep breath, not even bothering to look in the direction they went and turn my gaze back to my girl. I smile and lead her back into the bathroom, closing and locking the door in case Tyree happens to return. She allows me to undress her and help her into the bathtub.

“Is the water okay? It hasn’t cooled too much, has it?” I ask her. She smiles that beautiful smile at me.

“It’s puhfect, Choonks,” she says sweetly. I want to get to cleaning that beautiful body, but the condition of her hair has me in complete despair. I’ve seen her shampoo enough to know how to do this, so I rummage through the bathroom to find the ingredients I need… baking soda, distilled water, vinegar, tea tree, and her beloved rosemary oil. I combine the ingredients except the rosemary oil and rub it generously into her hair and scalp. Her locs are brittle and I can see that they’re in danger of breaking, so I’m as gentle with them as I can be. The water and products will make them heavier than they already are, so I have to prepare myself for some of them to break while I’m caring for them.

I allow the cleaning mixture to sit in her hair for several minutes while I take a natural sponge and meticulously clean her entire body. She groans in contentment as I massage different parts of her body, bringing life back into limbs that have laid in bed for days. How is she living if she’s not working? Is Tawni taking care of her? What about her students? Who’s teaching her classes? I have so many questions.

After I’ve cleaned and touched every inch of her beautiful, but now frail body, I rinse the mixture from her hair that takes a lot of dirt and dandruff with it before I give her locs a thorough washing with her natural shampoo. I take care in wringing and drying her hair and just as I feared, we lost a dew in the process. Luckily, not many. I know that’s a combination of not caring for her hair and not eating right. I won’t leave her like this. There has to be a resolution to this issue, some kind of resolution. I can’t see her this way ever again.

Once I’ve gotten as much water from her hair as it appears will come out, I wrap her hair in a towel. We’ll allow the towel to soak some of the water for a while before I massage the rosemary oil into her locs and scalp. I help her into her panties and then into my shirt. She smells like Keri now… and me. She looks at me with those beautiful brown eyes and I’m lost immediately in my love for her. I’ve missed her so much. I cup her face in my hands and bring my lips to hers, kissing her deeply.

She moans in her chest and grabs my shirt, returning my kiss, hungrily, like her life depends on it.

Mine does.

I wrap my arms around her tiny body and try to meld her into me. When I press the small of her back like I normally do, she responds immediately and her fingers gently stroke the nape of my neck and behind my ear, sending immediate shivers down my spine. I lap deliciously into her mouth, relaying all the hurt, anguish, and loneliness I’ve felt over the last two months while trying to absorb her despair into me. When our lips part, we’re breathless and weak with want, but I rein in my hormones, breathing deeply and remembering that my Island Girl is not one-hundred percent. I close my eyes with my forehead touching hers, trying to control my raging emotions and not just the ones below my waist. My heart is beating so fast that I’m certain she can hear it. When I open my eyes, her loving brown irises stare back at me and I know I’m completely broken.

“Oh, God,” I lament, bringing my lips to her temple, then her cheek, then her neck. “What have you done to me?” I whisper, holding her close to me and caressing her back. “I won’t be able to leave you again… not after this…”

*-*

“It’s really bad,” I say to Christian after I’ve put Keri to bed. It’s the wee hours of Wednesday morning Anguilla time, so I know it’s still Tuesday in Seattle, just barely. “She looks so sick and she’s lost so much weight. I was washing her hair and her locs were coming out in my hands.”

“What?” Christian nearly barks into the phone. “What’s going on down there?”

“I don’t know. I haven’t had a chance to talk to her yet.” There’s silence on the line.

“You’ve been there for hours. What do you mean you haven’t had a chance to talk to her yet?” I’m on the balcony outside of her room where I can hear her if she wakes, but I won’t disturb her with my conversation.

“Fuck, man, you won’t believe this fucking day!” I say scrubbing my face. “Let’s start with the fact that I get off the goddamn ferry and Tawni’s looking for somebody else completely. Why? Because she didn’t know that I was white.”

“Whoa,” Christian exclaims softly.

“Yeah,” I concur. “Interracial relationships are hard enough without the element of surprise. She told me that her friends knew that I was white. I don’t know how Tawni didn’t know. Speaking of surprises, Tawni is standing there with this goon looking kid, about 5’10”, maybe 5’11”, pretty big curly natural with that perpetual scowl on his face—you know the type, like they’re always angry…”

“Yeah, okay,” Christian urges.

“So, we’re walking to the car and this guy seems to think that he’s going to walk behind me.”

“Oh, bad move,” Christian says.

“Bad move, indeed. So, I turn around to find out who he is and now, I’m squaring off with this kid and I don’t even know his name.”

“Do you ever find out who he is?” he asks.

“Oh, I find out alright,” I tell him. “When we finally get to Keri’s apartment and I see how bad she looks, I reach out to her and this fucker tells me not to touch his ‘galfren!’”

“What?” Christian roars.

“My sentiments exactly. As it turns out, the kid is Tawni’s brother and he has a thing for Keri that’s apparently not mutual.”

“How did you make this discovery?”

“It was confirmed by Tawni and Keri, but this kid has balls the size of Texas. He actually burst into the bathroom when I was about to give her a bath, and he knew what I was doing before he did it because I had just slammed the door in his face.”

“Holy fuck, did you kill him?” Christian asks.

“I would have if Keri and Tawni hadn’t been there. They both made him leave. I’m hoping he got the picture now. Here’s the problem, though. I don’t know if the kid is a past boyfriend, a boyfriend hopeful, a stalker, or what. I just know that in his head, Keri is his woman and I have no right touching her, no right near her and I need to get the fuck out of Dodge.”

“Shit, man, he sounds like Edward David,” he warns. I ponder the thought.

“Nah, he’s different,” I say. “David felt like Ana was the problem. She was the one betraying him and cheating on him. This guy feels like I’m the problem. He’s not possessive; he’s protective. I’m going to confirm with Keri later, but I think I just answered my own question.”

“And what’s that?”

“That woman is addictive. If he had slept with her, he wouldn’t only be tearing down doors to get to her. He’d be in her face, too. He’s only in mine, so there’s nothing between them. He just wants to scare away hopefuls. I don’t how long he’s been chasing her, but along comes a little white boy and…” I trail off.

“I get the idea, but you keep calling him a kid. How old is he?” Christian asks.

“I don’t really know,” I tell him. “I just get that feeling about him. He’s Tawni’s brother. Tawni and Keri are around the same age—that I do know, so I just assumed he was younger. He looks it anyway. He acts it, too. He could be older for all I know.”

“So… what’s the next move?” I sigh.

“I keep asking her what’s going on and all she keeps saying is that she’s tired. I have to get her past ‘I’m tired.’ She’s been to her doctor here in Anguilla and to a doctor on St. Marteen. They’ve run blood tests, done physicals, and they both say that nothing’s wrong with her, but something’s wrong with her. She’s lost 30 pounds at least.”

“Shit, that’s a lot of weight for two months, Chuck,” Christian says.

“You’re telling me!” I exclaim. “I thought Tawni was being dramatic when she said Keri was dying, but if you could just see her…” I trail off again.

“So, what are you going to do?”

“I don’t know,” I say honestly. “I can’t leave her like this. I have to get to the bottom of it. I have to find out why this is happening.”

“You can’t leave her like this, or you can’t leave her?” he asks. He knows the right questions to ask. I won’t lie to him.

“Right now, it’s both,” I tell him honestly. “I don’t know how this is going to turn out; that’s why I have to talk to her, but I will tell you this. Whatever happens, there’s no way in hell I’m leaving her like this.” I hear him sigh.

“I get it. Lord knows, I get it. Keep me posted.”

“I will.” I end the call and go back into the room where Keri lies sleeping. She ate a little fruit and cheese before bed, and a little bread. If I can keep her eating, get her out of bed, maybe she’ll put some of her weight back on. I take off my shirt and shorts and keep my boxers and T-shirt on before I climb in bed behind her.

God, this feels good. I had almost forgotten how good this felt, to have her this close to me, her warmth against my body. She stirs for a moment before snuggling contentedly back into me and once again, we fit together like a puzzle, like we were meant to be here. I’m defenseless against the comfort and sleep comes to me quickly.

I can feel the Caribbean sun attempting to invade my eyelids, but even more so, I feel gentle fingers caressing my eyebrows. I open my eyes and gaze on the caramel goddess lying next to me, looking longingly into my eyes.

“I ptayed dat yuh wuld com,” she says just above a whisper. “I din’t tink it wuz possible, but I ptayed anyway, and yoh heyah.”

She kisses me gently, another kiss full of love and longing… and then she crawls on top of me. I gasp.

Oh, shit.

She settles her hot cleft on my morning wood and I can feel the heat through my boxerS.

“Ah! Shit, baby. Wait… should we… be doing this?” I ask. “You’re not well.”

“Ah’m fine, Choonks,” she says, grinding against me. “Yoh heyah, now.”

“Ah!” I put my hands on her hips. If I grab that round apple-bottom ass, I’m gone. “Keri…” It’s been two months. Two whole months… Three months of wild, hot, deep, searing monkey sex anytime I wanted it, then two months of nothing—and I mean nothing. I haven’t even jacked off because I wanted her too much. She moves like a master and I discover too late that she’s already out of her panties. My cock is out of my briefs and inside of her in seconds.

“Baby, wait!” I protest in vain. “Fu-uck, baby… wait…” I’m not wearing a condom. I didn’t even bring one. She feels so good… so warm and tight. I feel like a hopeless, horny teenager.

“Is okay, Choonks,” she breathes, her voice thick with arousal as she rides me. “Is okay…”

“No… condom…” I breathe, truly helpless, totally at her mercy, the burn so deep, the tug in my balls already beginning. “I can’t… I can’t stop…”

“Is okay, Choonks,” her arousal now thick, heavy lust with her orgasm lingering moments behind. “I need yuh… please…” Her lips lock with mine and fire shoots straight to my loins. There’s that fucking kiss again, that goddamn kiss that could make me come all by itself. I mold into her as she grinds her hips into mine. She’s wet and hot and tight and I ache for her. I ache for her in my heart and my soul and my dick and my mind all at the same time. The ache is so big and so strong that I can’t control myself. As hard as I try to maintain some kind of self-control, I just want to do everything for her, be everything for her, turn the world upside down for her.

“Hold mah cheeks, Choonks,” she breathes salaciously against my mouth and without remembering why I wasn’t holding her cheeks, my hands grab her round, juicy ass, bouncing hard on my dick and molding perfectly into my hands.

I’m a goner.

“Baby… I’m gonna… come…”

“Noh… Choonks… weht… nawt yet… weht…” Shit, I can’t wait! It’s been too goddamn long!

“Keri… baby…” I warn, the torture more than I can bear. I can’t fucking wait. She feels too good. Too goddamn good.

“Keri… please… stop…” I beg, my dick already starting to come inside her. I can feel it. It’s too late, I can’t stop it.

“Uuuhh! Chatles!” My name is a high-pitched litany on her tongue and she comes madly, tightening violently around me and sucking every bit of my semen from my blissfully throbbing member, along with all of my sense of reason…

“Why did you do that?” I ask while she’s kissing my face after I’ve finally caught my breath. She stops kissing me and her eyes meet mine. I reach up and gently cup her face. “We didn’t use a condom. I could have gotten one… we could have waited.” She turns her lips to meet my palm.

“If I becum ptegnant, I will hahv a piece of yuh wit mi wen yuh goh,” she says softly. “An if I don, I don.” She smiles sadly. I bring my lips up to meet hers and kiss her softly.

“If you have my baby,” I begin, “I’m going to want to do everything for you… for the two you.” I’m hoping she catches my meaning. If Keri gets pregnant with my child, we must be together, wherever we are.

“I knoh, Chatles,” she says, “yuh will be a gud faddah.” I still don’t think she understands what I’m saying, but if she gets pregnant, she will. I kiss her again.

“I want you to get out of the house today,” I tell her. “Show me your Anguilla.” She smiles.

“Mi Anguilla is nawt ahs glahmohtous ahs wut yuh saw wen yuh stay de las time.”

“I know, but I still want to see it,” especially if I may be forced to stay here with you. She rises off me and we both wince at the sexy separation—my limp, wet dick sliding from her thoroughly anointed pussy. It was yet another sexual moment that has us grasping at and kissing each other before we get out of bed. God, I’ve missed this body.

I pull my shorts over my briefs just in time for Keri to open her sliding doors and recoil with a gasp and a yelp. I’m behind her in moments only to see Tyree standing right in the doorway. It doesn’t take a genius to know how long he’s been standing there.

“Totally mah bizness!” he hisses, scowling at me as he backs away from the door and walks down the hallway. I turn to Keri, pointing at his retreating form with my thumb.

“He’s a fucking psychopath!” I say. “He stood at the door and listened to us having sex. Who does that? What’s his fucking deal?”

“I don knoh!” Keri says, obviously shaken. I grasp her arms and look into her eyes.

“Keri, why didn’t Tawni know who I was?” I ask. She raises her eyes to me. “The night before you left America, we talked about your friends. You made it sound like they all knew who I was, but Tawni didn’t have a clue. She didn’t even know I was white.” She’s momentarily speechless, then she shakes her head as if to shake loose a thought.

“Mi and Tawni meet aftah,” she says. “I need hep wit da bills, so I get a woommate. I only knoh heh couple monts. Tytee like me, I knoh, but I don like Tytee.”

I nod. A possible Fatal Attraction fucker who hasn’t even gotten the pussy, I could move her out of here, but he would just follow her. No doubt, he knows where she works. He’s never had any competition before now, because I know she’s never given anyone on the island the time of day… at least not since we’ve been together.

“Let’s just go out and have a good time,” I tell her.

We get dressed and stay sex-funky, enjoying each other’s scent on ourselves, while she takes me to see all of Anguilla that you don’t get to see as a tourist. We eat at her favorite eatery for lunch and go by her school to see her children… and the person currently doing her job. I don’t ask if this is a permanent situation. That question will come in due time. We even go to Kel’s, still open, but there’s no Ma behind the ice cream counter anymore. I’m sad to discover that she passed away only a few weeks ago. She couldn’t wait any longer to get to her good man.

img_2252I’m also remiss to discover that Anguilla’s beaches are really quite filthy—smelly and cluttered with the world’s garbage. The high resort fees they collect mainly go to keeping the most inhabited beaches clean. I don’t know how they do it with so much beach and so much sea life, but it appears that they do the best that they can.

Keri and I talk all day about what’s been going on since she got back home, which has really been a whole lot of nothing. The more I listen to her description of what she’s doing, how she’s feeling, what’s she’s planning, and what’s been going on, the more I get images of Ana handcuffed to that goddamn bed, only Keri’s bed is an island… and it’s her home.

When we get back to the apartment, Keri and Tawni fix a dinner of curry crab and red peas soup. Keri’s appetite is back with a wonderful fury and that’s makes me happy. Then again, I know why it left. While she’s cleaning the kitchen, I take the time to talk to Tawni, to find out about her psychopathic brother, more about Keri’s behavior after she returned from the states and if she knows anything about Keri’s position at the school. None of the answers that she gave me left me felling any better about my girl’s current living conditions.

“I may need a little backup,” I say to Christian when I’m talking to him later that night. “I don’t know if or how Keri’s going to stay here without me, and I don’t know if I can stay here with her. I love her, man, but there’s nothing here for me. I would become a sick, possessive asshole and we would end up resenting each other. Not only that, for all intent and purposes, I don’t think she has a job anymore.”

“How is she paying her bills?” Christian asks.

“Her savings and her roommate,” I tell him. “Tawni didn’t know about me because they’ve only known each other since Keri came back from Seattle. Right after she fell ill, Tawni responded to an ad and moved in to help out, but she’s like a boiling turtle, Christian.”

“Okay, you gotta help me out with that one.”

“She loves her home. I know that and I understand that, but there’s nothing for her here. There’s another school, but they’re not hiring. I could probably get security at one of the hotels, but who here would need the kind of skills that I offer?”

“Only every high roller who ever turns up on the island,” he says matter-of-factly.

“Who always brings their own security,” I add. “You know how we look at hotel security. It doesn’t matter what credentials they have behind their names—we never see that. As far as we’re concerned, they’re all Hilton Rent-a-cops and that’s it. That’s no life for me. No, it’s back to the states for me. My only question now is what am I going to do about Keri?”

“So, when you said backup, you need Ana to try to convince Keri to come?”

“No, I don’t think that would work anyway. I was being funny when I said that. Tawni’s brother Tyree has officially stepped over into stalkerdom. And knowing that she only knew him for two months now… this dude was standing outside of the bedroom door while we were fucking.” Silence.

“What?” he barks into the phone.

“Yep. My girl had just climbed off my dick and had she opened that door two seconds earlier, that asshole would have seen it swinging.”

“You gotta be kiddin’ me!” he says in disbelief.

“Nope. So then, there’s him.” I shake my head. “I came planning to find one problem and I find like twelve and yes, all evidence points to loneliness and depression as the cause of her illness. It was all self-imposed. She thought of Anguilla a lot when she was with me, but she never starved or hurt herself when she was in America. This is unhealthy and unacceptable, and somehow, I’ve got to convince her of that. I don’t want her to do anything that she doesn’t want to do, but she has to see how this is no good for her. I can’t see anything good coming from her staying in Anguilla at all… especially since she acts like she’s trying to get pregnant.”

“Whoa! Goddammit! Slow the fuck down, man. Can you let me get over one shocker before you throw something else at me??” Christian exclaims. “She’s trying to get pregnant and she doesn’t even have a damn job?”

“I don’t think she’s thought this out, Christian. She’s running on emotion and pain and there’s no logic in it. She climbed on top and there was no stopping her—not that I wanted to. I was gagging for it, but I didn’t have a condom. I didn’t come down here to fuck. I did try to stop her, if you can call it that, but you tell me how successful you’ll be with getting the warm, wet pussy of the woman you love and yearn for off your dick after two months of nothing.”

“Yeah… no,” he concurs.

“When I asked her why she did that, she admitted that if I leave her, she’ll have a piece of me with her.”

“That is not smart,” he says.

“I told her that I would take care of her. Who am I fooling? If she stayed here with no job, I would take care of her, but I just don’t want her to stay.”

“Do you think that’s what this is all about?” he asks me. “I mean, we all know and love Keri, but could that be a possibility? A free ticket to the states? Citizenship? Someone to take care of her while she stays in Anguilla?” I shake my head as if he could see me.

“I begged her to stay before she left,” I tell him. “I asked her to marry me more times than I can count. I even asked her to marry me at the door of the plane and listened to her weep all the way down the gangplank. I talk to her every day and hear the longing in her voice and what I saw when I got here can’t be faked. She’s goddamn skin and bones, Christian, and her long, beautiful dreads are falling out. If this is all part of some intricate plot, then goddammit, she wins!” I hear myself getting angry at the fact that he could think something like this about my Island Girl.

“Okay, okay. I’m sorry. I wasn’t trying to offend you or insult Keri. I just wanted to make sure that you were sure,” I sigh heavily.

“I’m sure,” I say, putting my hand on my neck. “I’m very sure. I’m sure enough to damn near throw her over my shoulder, put her on a plane, and drag her back there kicking and screaming if she doesn’t come willingly.”

“Well, let’s not resort to that,” he says. “You know I’m at your disposal. You only have to ask for what you need.” I rub my eyes. I’m suddenly so weary.

“Yeah, I know…”

The hairs on my neck are rising. My surroundings seem a bit surreal, but my skin and instincts sense danger. Whatever’s going on, my training tells me that I have three seconds to make a decision or possibly risk mortal danger. I reach beside me between my hip and the sofa cushion and palm my Glock. It only takes 1.5 seconds to raise it to that fucker’s face and shove it right in his mouth.

“Move one muscle and this is gonna be a closed-casket funeral.”

For the first time since I’ve been here, I see fear in his eyes. I fell asleep on the sofa after I talked to Christian, thinking about my next move with Keri. Force of habit caused me to stuff my piece where I can quickly get to it and it’s a good thing I did because I was facing certain death and dismemberment a few moments ago.

I slowly rise to a sitting position, then stand to face him in the dark. This asshole is standing in front of me with what is easily a one-and-a-half to two-foot bladed machete, poised and ready to take me down… over some pussy he hasn’t even tasted yet.

This is the last straw.

“Move real slow and put it on the floor… one hand.” He releases the weapon and slowly moves to put in on the floor. Before he can stand upright, I kick him so hard in his jaw that I damn near dislodge it from his fucking face. Yeah, it’s a sucker’s move, but I don’t care. The son-of-a-bitch just tried to kill me. He rolls over and crawls backwards away from my Glock pointed at his forehead.

“Get up and get the fuck out of here right now. Don’t come back to this house while I’m here. If I see you on this side of that door one more time while I’m still here, they’ll have to identify you by dental records. Now get your ass out of here before I give you a third eye!”

He doesn’t bother getting up. He just crawls backwards like a crab past the threshold and doesn’t attempt to get to his feet until he’s on the porch. When he does, he scurries down the road away from me and my Glock.

*-*

“Choonks!” her voice is panicked. “You leave?”

“No, baby, I haven’t left.” I just can’t sleep in your apartment anymore because your admirer tried to behead me last night. “I’m in a hotel. I… just wanted us to have some more privacy when we’re together.” She sighs audibly on the other end of the phone. Shit. This can’t go on. This is unacceptable. It’s only a matter of time before that psycho motherfucker knows where I’m staying and one of us is going to die if we both stay here. As cliché as it is, this island is truly not big enough for the both of us.

“I’ve got a car,” I tell her. “I’ll come and get you. We’ll spend the day together and… talk.” She’s quiet on the other line.

“Okay, Choonks. Ah’ll be wehting…” I end the call with my Island Girl. I checked into a hotel the moment the sun rose and I knew that psycho fucker was nowhere in sight, but I still needed sleep and the hell if I was getting sleep at that apartment. I left Tyree’s machete at Tawni’s door with instructions to give it back to her brother. Apparently, she hasn’t passed this bit of information on to Keri or she would have mentioned it when she called.

When I come back to pick her up, I’m wearing my holster and firearm in plain view. My credentials give me license to do so and I want no more misunderstandings from Keri’s SBM that I will take his ass down if he so much as sneezes in my direction anymore. Sure enough, he’s brave enough to be on the premises when I get there, but smart enough to follow my instructions to the letter. He’s not beyond the threshold. He’s outside in the dirt with three of his friends. Their intent is to jump me, but I know the type. They’ll part like the Red Sea when I walk up with my Glock cocked. I glare at him from a distance and shake my head. He’s not giving up. My decision is made. This is just one thing in many that lets me know it’s time to get the hell out of here. I take out my phone and quickly dial the number.

“Grey.”

“Send the jet tomorrow…”

Keri and I talk all day about what’s going on. I leave out the part where her bwoyfren-hopeful tried to kill me last night. Everything else in and of itself should be enough for us not to want to be here anymore. We finished dinner in my hotel room when I try once more to convince her to return to Seattle with me.

“Anguilla mi home, Choonks,” she protests, “I love heh.”

“And I love you,” I tell her. “I only want you to be happy, and you’re so unhappy here without me, and I can’t stay.”

“But I may have a paht of yuh, Choonks,” she says, holding her stomach with hope, “a paht of you wit mi alwez.” I sigh heavily. You may not make it that long, baby.

“Please think about coming back to Seattle and being with me,” I say as I pull her to me and place my forehead on hers. “I won’t rush you. Take all the time you need. The door is always open. You can come now… in a day… a month or a year… just, please…” I let the words trail off. The pain of leaving her again is nearly more than I can bear, and I’m leaving tomorrow right after the jet has time to refuel and the second pilot is ready to go. I’m going back to Seattle… to my home.

“I tink abut it, Choonks,” she says softly. That’s not a no. Last time, it was no. This gives me hope. I brush my lips against her temple, my soul aching for her again.

“Let me make love to you, Island Girl,” I whisper against her skin. She reaches up and caresses my chest, sending warmth and chills through me at the same time.

“I mek yuh feel gud, bebe,” she says, brushing her lips against mine.

“No, Keri… you made me come, and you made me come hard, but right now… more than anything, I need to make love to you.”

She looks at me with a sadness in her eyes. She could always read me. She knows me well. She knows this means something. It does. I hope it doesn’t mean what I think it means, but if it does, I have to find a way to live with it.

But not tonight. Tonight, I just want to make love to her until we have both had our fill, then I’ll take her home so that we can both think clearly.

“Yes, Chatles,” she says, her voice cracking. “Please…”

I close the space between us and gently stroke her cheek. I need to take my time tonight, to savor her flavor, absorb her… gently… just like that last time in Seattle, in case I have to be without her for another two months…

Or three…
Or six…
Or a year…

I move behind her and spread my fingertips gently across her throat, my thumb behind her ear, just enough to hold her to me while I bury my mouth in her neck and feast hungrily, possessively on her skin. She moans quietly, seductively, and I feel my Island Girl coming back to me… and slipping away at the same time.

She leans her head back, granting me full access to her neck, her jaw, that sensitive spot under her earlobe. I lift her shirt and gently caress her navel, feeling her shiver under my touch. She doesn’t know what to do with her hands since I’m standing behind her. I reach down and untie her wraparound skirt, allowing it to fall to the floor. I walk in front of her and gaze at her with hungry eyes before gently nipping her lips while caressing her full ass over her lace panties. Still nipping at her lips, I squeeze her hips and rub the lace hard against her skin. She swallows hard, panting against my mouth. I back her up to the bed and lay her down over the duvet.

She looks delectable in her white lace panties and peasant blouse, and I can clearly see that she’s not wearing a bra underneath. Her breasts are firm and perky, so she doesn’t need one, but right now, while she’s highly aroused, her nipples are standing at full attention and beckoning me through the soft cotton. I remove my deck shoes and pull my T-shirt over my head before moving next to her on the bed. I run my hand up the outside of her bare leg pausing to appreciate her hip and the lace panties, then to softly tease her belly and brush lightly over the mound of her breasts before stopping at her neck, gently and possessively clasping it again and placing soft, sensual sex kisses on her lips that are full of promise.

Yes, baby, I plan to taste you and love you until neither of us can stand anymore.

I move my lips from her plump, juicy, tender mouth down her neck and between her breasts. Rolling on top of her, I take both of the ample mounds in my hands and torment the nipples—first one, then the other—through the cotton of her blouse until she’s shivering with need.

“Choonks,” she gasps, digging her head back into the bed and pushing her breasts into my hands and mouth, “don mek meh weht…” she pleads.

Fuck, that’s torture.

Do you have any idea how much I want to fuck you right now? To just be inside you… to mark you and claim you…

But that’s not what this is. That’s not the purpose of this exercise. The purpose of this is to give myself over to her—to completely open myself raw to her. This is a plea and we both know it. When this night is over, all of my cards will be on the table. The final play will be Keri’s…

But tonight is mine.

I force the elastic of her blouse to the side with both of my hands, exposing both of her nipples to the air—to my fingers and mouth. I suck them hard, hungrily, allowing them to pull then pop back out of my mouth. She groans in anguish.

“Chatles, please…” she begs. In due time, Island Girl, in due time.

She’s eager when I take her shirt by the hem and begin to pull it up her body. She sits up immediately and helps me to pull it over her head. And now those beautiful caramel mounds are on perfect and full display for me.

Control yourself, Chuckie…

I dive into her lips again, cupping her the flesh in both hands and running my thumbs across the nipples before dragging my mouth down her body to feast again on her bare breasts. When she’s writhing with desire, I move down to her belly button and the sensitive skin right above her pubic hairline. She trembles under my touch, my kiss, my lick, and I slowly place both hands underneath the lace of her panties and sensually drag them down her legs.

“Oh, Choonks, why… why, why, why…?” she begs silently and I know that she wants me to put her out of her sensual misery, so I kiss my way back up her legs and do just that. Normally, she likes it when I play in her pubic hair, tracing through it with my tongue, but not tonight. Tonight, I grab that beautiful ass, lift those hips to my mouth, and zero right in on that clit.

“Ah! Ah! Chatles!” she cries out, her back bowing and her fingers digging into my hair as much as fingers can dig into my cropped hair. “Chatles! Please! I come too fahst!”

Oh, no, baby, you wanted it, you got it. I suckle that tasty little button, pressing it hard with my tongue, then sucking again with my lips until I feel her hips start to tremble. That took almost no time.

“Chatles… please…” she pants, “Too… fast… ple… aaaaaahhh!” but it’s too late. Once that tender bunch of nerves starts to pebble in my mouth, I don’t dare stop. I suck, kiss, and lick that tasty little morsel until she’s clawing at me for relief. Once I know her orgasm has wafted through her and she’s on the decline, I quickly slide out of my jeans and over her until our mouths meet. I thrust my tongue deep into her mouth so that she can taste herself on me. She groans as I press my cock into her folds and let it slid between her lips.

“Baby,” I breathe, “you’re so hot and wet for me.”

“Yes,” she whispers. “Only foh yuh.”

I can’t take it anymore. I sink into her with a gasp. She’s so tight and I want to fuck her so deep and hard, but I have to concentrate. Good God, do I have to concentrate! Deep, she’ll get, but it will be slow and gentle, burning, and meticulous. Completely and absolutely mind-blowing… for both of us.

I pull my hips back slowly, gently and start to move.

“My God, you feel so good,” I choke, “I love you so much, Keri,” I say, my arms framing her face and my lips brushing hers. “You taste so good and you smell so good. Mmmmm, you were made just for me…”

I love her deep and slow, my hips rolling into hers until I begin to feel her trembling again.

“Oh, baby, you’re so hot…” I can feel her insides starting to ripple again starting to wrap around me…

“Chatles,” she breathes, pushing her head back, her lips parted so that she can breathe. “I love yuh, Chatles…”

I close my eyes and allow the words to wash over me as I thrust my fingers into her hair and my aching erection into her core. My chest tightens with the weight of the emotion that I feel and I gently bite her chin and nip down her jawline.

“Hold me, Island Girl,” I breathe when I get to her ear. She brings her arms around me and places her hands flat on my back. It actually burns. How will I live without you…?

The smell and feel of our bodies together overwhelm me more than the feeling of being inside her, of wanting to come inside of her—skin to skin having already thrown caution to the wind. She feels so magnificent around me, but more importantly, she feels magnificent inside of me.

I open my eyes and watch her otherworldly expression of ecstasy as I drive her to yet another orgasm. I can only watch for a moment as the beauty is unbearable and threatens to tip me over the edge, along with the sensual sounds oozing from her throat and chest as we move as one body. I clamp my eyes closed to fight back tears that threaten to fall as I continue to love her deeply, strongly, with all the passion that my heart, mind, and soul can muster.

“You’re so beautiful,” I breathe as I thrust. “I’ll love you forever. I’ll give you anything… everything… You’re my air… My soul…”

I love her until she weeps, then I kiss her tears away and love her some more. I pour myself into her again and again with my love, my words, my body, and my seed, filling her until she’s overflowing and begs me to stop. When I do, I hold her, kiss her, and caress her, unable to cease my professions of devotion until I finally decide as the sun is rising to take her home so that she can rest… and think.

*-*

“Dude, of all the gin joints in the world, you had to come to Anguilla and fall in love.” Jay ribs me while I pack what’s left of my things in the hotel room.

“Yeah,” I say with no mirth. “Fucking sucks.” I grab my duffle bag and suitcase and don’t even go over the room to see if I left anything behind. I’m leaving this place worse than I was when I got here. I didn’t stay nearly as long as I planned to and though I found out what was wrong with Keri, I didn’t solve anything. At the very most, I knocked her up. Nice going, Choonks.

I didn’t tell Keri that I was leaving today until this morning. I didn’t have the heart to tell her last night when we were making love. She’s brave and acted strong when I broke the news to her, but I could almost see her slipping back into that depression I found her in when I got her. We’ll stop by her apartment before we go to the pier to catch the ferry back to St. Marteen. Christian is settling the bill with the front desk when we get downstairs. I throw a look at him and he just twists his lips at me, picking up my duffle and walking out the door.

Once we get to Keri’s apartment. Tyree is sitting outside like the good little gargoyle he is. He scowls at me, but it’s soon replaced with a knowing smirk as this time tomorrow, he’ll have my girl all to himself. I shiver at the thought.

“Is that him?” Jay says, gesturing to Tyree.

“Yeah, that’s him,” I respond.

“He doesn’t look like much,” Christian says.

“Yeah, well, he looks like God when he’s standing over you with a machete,” I say.

“Duly noted.” I get out of the car and go inside to once again say goodbye to my love.

She’s sitting on the sofa—the same sofa where I nearly lost my life—looking every bit as forlorn as I found her a few days ago.

“Choonks…” she stands, but says nothing else. I can’t beg anymore. She has to make this decision on her own. I walk over to her and palm her cheek with one hand.

“I love you so much,” I say softly, kissing her gently, reverently. “I’ll love you forever. Wherever you are, I’ll always be there for you. I hope you are carrying my child, because I’ll know that I’m always with you.” I kiss her again and again. I can’t do long goodbyes like we did in Seattle. It’ll only rip us apart and prolong the inevitable.

“I want to sing the words to some corny song, something to remember me by, but I can’t think of one.” I kiss her again and taste her tears on my lips. I take her hands in mine, entwining our fingers. “Instead, I’ll just say… palm to palm.” She chokes a sob.

“Haht… to.. h… please, don leave mi, Choonks!” She throws her arms around my neck and sobs bitterly. It breaks me. It breaks every bit of resolve that I have and I nearly tell Jay and Christian to get on the plane and leave me here. How can I possibly leave my heart—my love and life—behind?

“I can’t stay,” I whisper through my own tears. “On top of everything else, it’s not safe for me here.” Her tears stop and she wrenches herself from my arms.

“Waht…” she begins in disbelief. “Waht yuh tahkin’ ‘bout?” I frown. I hadn’t intended to tell her this, but there’s really no reason not to.

“I did want us to have some privacy, but that’s not the only reason I stayed at the hotel for the last two nights,” I tell her. “Tyree tried to kill me in my sleep.” She frowns deeply. I can take him, but only when I’m awake. This motherfucker is crazy. He’ll gut me while I’m in the bathroom taking a shit.

“Watt???” she shrieks. I tell her about waking up to a near-beheading and she screeches like a banshee. She’s out of that apartment and on top of that man like a hurricane from hell. Jay and Christian are out of the car in a moment, but I hold my hand up to them to stay back. She’s screaming Patois curses at this man like I’ve never heard and beating new meaning into old words as she wails blow after blow on him. I’m stunned. He never gets off the ground—not that he could—and only covers his head to shield himself from the worst of the assault.

“Yuh too foofool fi si seh mi nuh waan yuh an yuh try to kill mi Choonks?” She spits on him, then spits on him again. “Fyah fi yuh!” She kicks sand and dirt on him as she curses him continuously. I finally wrap my arms around her to stop her onslaught. She’s so frail and petite, so much smaller than I remember, that it takes no effort at all to subdue her.

“Ssssshhh,” I soothe her, breathing into her hair. “Easy nuh, baby… easy nuh.” She weeps for a moment, all of her energy leaving her at once.

“Tek mi,” she says through shuddering breaths, “tek mi wit yuh. Anguilla is mi ‘ome, but naht witout yuh… naht witout Choonks…” She falls limp in my arms, but continues to weep. I lift her effortlessly off the ground. She’s so light that it scares me. Tawni was right… she’s dying; she wasting away before our eyes.

“Keep an eye on him,” I say to Jay as I carry Keri back into the apartment, Tawni close behind.

“Keti?” she says when we get back to her bedroom. The word is full of questions as I place Keri on the bed.

“It ahl change, Tawni,” Keri says, her voice weak. “I hav tah goh.” Tawni’s eyes are sad as she takes her friend’s hand.

“I knoh,” she says. “I knoh wen I cahl him. I knoh wen hi com.” Tawni stands and goes to the closet, pulling clothes out and placing them on the bed. There are tears on her cheeks when she turns and smiles at her friend. “Eet’s spring in America. Pick sumtin ptetty…”

*-*

She only packs two suitcases, one packed mostly with the things that she bought when she was in Seattle and the other with many keepsakes and important documents and information. She loads her carry-on with whatever necessities she feels that she may need during the 12-hour flight back to Seattle, making sure that her identification and passport are in her purse. We’ll sort out the conditions of her residency later. Right now, we just need to get her into the country.

Tawni has agreed to pack the rest of her things for her. She’ll contact us when they’re ready and we’ll have them shipped to my house in Bainbridge. I wish this was happening under different circumstances, but either way I’m bringing my baby back home.

She takes one last look around her apartment, then hugs her friend warmly before walking out the door. Tyree is still on the ground, now sitting against the wall with his legs bent and his arms resting on his knees. She looks at him contemptuously, but says nothing before walking to the car and getting inside.

Once again, the ride to the ferry is short, and this time, Christian has chartered a private ferry back to St. Marteen. Once our passports are all cleared, we board the jet, finally bound for Seattle so that I can nurse my girl back to health and begin our new life.


A/N: SBM–Single Black Male

Six more to go… and now Keri is back where she belongs.

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

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Love and handcuffs  
Lynn X

 

 

 

 

 

Becoming Dr. Grey: Chapter 63—Reinforcing the Family Dynamic

So, I’m in the process of moving my mailing list over to a new mailing service and I noticed that quite a few people have email addresses that have bounced. I’ve tried to send emails manually to you all who have bounced email and thus far, only one person has responded. So… if you do not receive an email directly from my mailing list for this chapter, please let me know. We may need to update your email address.

I do not own Fifty Shades Trilogy, or the characters. They belong to E. L. James. I am only exercising my right to exploit, abuse, and mangle the characters to MY discretion in MY story in MY interpretation as a fan. If something that I say displeases you, please, just leave. If you don’t like this story or me, please don’t spoil this experience for everyone. Just go away. For the rest of you, the saga continues…

Chapter 63—Reinforcing the Family Dynamic

CHRISTIAN

“I would never want to be caught in negotiations with that woman,” Chuck tells me during debriefing. “She is vicious, cold, calculating—she can be manipulative, and when she goes in for the kill…” He whistles and shakes his head. He describes the meeting to me, how Butterfly used her feminine wiles to torment David, took every opportunity to exploit and expose his intentions, then dropped his position in his lap and left him sitting in his own squalor.

“Her mind works like a computer if she’s opposed to you,” Chuck continues. “She’s throwing the facts at him and as she’s talking to him, shit’s just dropping…” He’s snapping his fingers repeatedly to indicate how quickly the transactions and conversation are occurring.

“She’s reading his reactions and every time he reacts to something, more shit drops and she just throws it back at him. Just from reading his reactions, she discovered more shit that the Feds are going to find,” he says. I frown.

“Such as?” I inquire.

“Most likely, Edwise doesn’t have much income that can be traced to its actual business functions. From day one, it was probably just a storefront.” My eyes widen.

“Shit! Really?”

“Really. This is probably the reason why they quickly cleared Ana of any charges. If he’s been in business for just about five years or so and she just took custody about three months ago, ran an internal audit, then replaced any money she took out of it, there’s no way she could have been aware of what was going on. It was a simple matter of process of elimination on her part. But just sitting there, she figured out that he expected to drop the apple in her lap and for her to take the fall.”

“He couldn’t have, it’s an LLC,” I point out. Chuck shrugs.

“Yeah! Duh! We don’t know how he didn’t know this could happen. But I swear, she handled that shit like a mob boss. Who set up that meeting? Did you?” I shake my head.

“Nope. She did. She got on the phone first thing this morning as soon as she got that report. I don’t know who she talked to, but she was getting dressed before she even knew the meeting was approved. I cleared the information with Welch, had a couple of security precautions in place of my own, just for my own peace of mind, and that was it. For the most part, she did this all by herself.”

I could have protested, but I knew it wouldn’t have done any good. She needed closure. However, listening to Chuck talk about how she handled this asshole—her quick thinking and ability to read signals and exploit opportunities—is making me give some serious thought to any reservations I might have been feeling about her having to make any emergency decisions in terms of GEH. Not that I didn’t think she could do it, it’s just that GEH is in fact my baby, but I really can’t think of anyone else that I would trust in a time of turmoil if immediate decisions had to be made and I was incapacitated. I know that she would consult with the appropriate people for guidance on any matters with which she would be unfamiliar and I sincerely trust that she would make solid decisions to protect our legacy. I suddenly feel very foolish for my initial hesitation.

I didn’t even see her when she got home earlier. I had to find her and when I did, she was squirreled away in the nursery looking into Minnie’s crib. I approached quietly and found her so lost in thought that she didn’t even know that I had entered the room. She was still in that sexy white tuxedo that fell provocatively over her ass and I had to stop myself from grabbing it. I was going to say something, but I heard her murmuring to Minnie’s sleeping form and thought better of it:

“I’ll make sure you know how important you are; how special you are. The wolves won’t get to you—not because I’ll keep you sheltered, but because I’ll make you strong.”

I just backed away and out of the room and let her have that much-needed moment with her daughter. Now that I hear about the details of her meeting with David, I see why she needed to reinforce this fact with Mackenzie. It’s going to be an adventure raising a daughter with Lady Anastasia in the house. I turn my attention back to Chuck.

“What about David? What do you think we should be doing now? How did you two feel when you left that meeting?” I turn to Lawrence.

“He was decimated, sir,” Lawrence says. “He was face down on that table like a chastised little boy. He never even opened the envelope by the time we left, but I’m sure he already knew what was in it. I would say that we should probably know what kind of connections he has in prison, if any, because if he does, that’s who he’s going to be reaching out to, now. He’s not going to be able to do anything in terms of outside communication without the Feds knowing unless he has connections.”

“As far as I know, he doesn’t have any connections. I’ve got Welch looking into it,” I say. “As far as any connections that he has with his business, well, they’ve been laying pretty low. They let him ride out that fucked-up trial all by himself and now, like you said, the Feds are crawling up his ass. If they have any good sense, they’re all burning and burying paper trails right now, disavowing all knowledge of that fucker, but you never know. So, we’ll just keep our eyes open.” I steeple my fingers in front of my lips. “Decimated, huh?”

“Destroyed!” Chuck reinforces. I look over at Lawrence who splays out both hands and makes the noise like a building exploding. I smile inwardly. Don’t fuck with Madame Butterfly.

“Well, gentlemen, I think this operation was a success. We’ll keep our eye on Walla Walla, Washington and await word from the federal government on progress about Mrs. Grey’s company. My only regret is that I wasn’t there to see my wife in action.” Chuck laughs.

“I think you would have rather not seen it, sir,” he says. “There was a moment or two when she taunted that poor sucker and I thought he was going to crawl across the table at her.”

“Is that so?” I say, raising an eyebrow. He nods.

“Unfortunately, yes,” he says. “My only regret is that she only allowed me to hit him three times, and not the way I wanted to… well, once. I got a good gut shot.”

“Oh, now I’m jealous.” I say, eliciting a chuckle from the other men in the room. “I still would have liked to see her bring him to his proverbial knees. From the sound of it, he was primordial ooze by the time you all left.”

“Worse,” Lawrence says. “Primordial ooze would have been an improvement. That man was really in bad shape.” I look over at Chuck who nods. Well, think about his position. He’s lost all of his worldly goods. He has no connections. The Feds are coming after him. He’s already in jail for nearly 30 years and by the time the Feds are done, he’ll most likely be in there for life unless they show some mercy and let him serve his sentences concurrently, which isn’t likely with all the charges he’s going to accumulate. He’s going to run up a shitload of fines that he won’t be able to pay. His partners are probably going to come after him. And all of this was orchestrated by a woman that he claimed to love with all his heart whom he tried to destroy. She showed up at the prison, looking like the several billion dollars that she’s worth, dropped the bomb on him and left.

Yeah, I’d say he’s less than primordial ooze, because primordial ooze had the beginning cells of life in it. He doesn’t even have that right now. I’m just about to change the direction of the conversation when Jason bolts out of his seat standing straight up, glaring at his phone. Without a word and with no regard for anyone in the room, he makes a beeline for the door.

“Jason?” I catch his attention before he makes it to the door. I haven’t dismissed the debriefing yet. Where the hell is he going? He actually turns and gazes at me like I’m interrupting him. “Where’s the fire?”

“I… um… it… I’m sorry sir I’ll be right back.” He says it all in one breath and he’s gone, obviously with no intention of stopping or explaining. That’s enough to make your hair stand on end, but it can’t be a security emergency or he would have told everyone in the room. I will definitely need to have a private word with Mr. Taylor. Seeing as to how my head of private security has bolted out of the debriefing, I decide to dismiss the meeting.

“Chuck…” I hold him back once everyone has left. “How did it feel getting back in the game?”

“Pretty good,” he said nodding. “I was itching to get my hands on that fucker almost since day one, so it felt good to be able to slap him around a little bit.”

“I wasn’t too keen on Butterfly going up there before she was cleared by the doctor, but I knew there was no stopping her once she got that report. I appreciate you keeping her safe from that fucker. I know there wasn’t much that he could do to her under the circumstances, but… well, you know how I am.”

“Yeah, I know,” he concurs. There’s a pause before I ask, “Talk to Keri lately?” He sighs.

“Every day… I think she’s got a cold or something. She hasn’t been well for the last couple of days.”

“Has she been to the doctor?” I ask.

“Nobody goes to the doctor for a cold, Christian,” he says. I raise my eyebrows at him. “And before you ask, no, she’s not pregnant. I already asked.”

“You’re sure about that?”

She is,” he says. “She got her period, so no, that’s not it. She’s just under the weather. Think about it. It’s 35 in Seattle and 80 in Anguilla.”

“Okay, but I’ve never heard of anybody getting a cold from going from cold weather to hot… just the other way around.”

“Well, I have,” he says, “and I’m worried about her. She’s a nurturer. She doesn’t tend to allow others to take care of her.”

“If it’s just a cold, what are you worried about?”

“It’s just a cold now. If she doesn’t take care of herself, you know it can get worse.” He rubs his hand over his neck.

“How are you holding up?” I ask. He shakes his head.

“Don’t ask me that,” he says, lowly. “I can’t even say.”

“But if you hold it in, it only makes it worse,” I warn. “I don’t know your personal business, but I know enough to know that you don’t have a therapist. I know that you may talk to your sponsor when you want to take a drink, but you don’t vent to anyone and Keri’s been gone for nearly three weeks after being by your side for three months. So again, I ask, how are you holding up?” His shoulders fall.

“Not good,” he admits. “Day by day, that’s all I can do. I feel like I can’t breathe without her. No one has ever affected me this way. So, all I can do is work… concentrate on my job. Keep busy. Protect Ana, protect the twins. Protect myself. Stay clean. Do everything I promised her that I would do. One day at a time… that’s all I can do.” I nod. How is it that I can empathize so well with these men who have been without their women?

“I don’t know that I could have did what you did,” I tell him. “Let her go, I mean. It took guts for you to know that your life was here and to let her go to hers, but I just don’t know that I could have done it. Wild dogs couldn’t have kept me away from Butterfly.”

“That’s so different, man,” Chuck laments.

“Yes, and no,” I tell him. “Ana might as well have been on a different planet when we first met and I loved her almost from the very beginning. You were there, you saw it!”

“Yeah, I did see it,” he says, “I thought she was going to have to get a restraining order against you, and you had me watching her!” I gesture to him as if to say, “See?”

“I know a thing or three about not being able to stay away,” I say. “That night you led us to Canlis and we dismissed you… man, I crashed a date. I’ve never crashed a date! My women were mine! I didn’t take them from anybody. If I had to take them, they weren’t mine. I’m ashamed to say this, but that woman could have had a ring on her finger and I don’t think I would have pursued her any less fervently.” Chuck frowns.

“Dude, not cool.”

Dude, didn’t matter. I loved her too much to be without her. She threatened to put me in jail and had every intention of doing so and I still had to be with her! What does that say?”

“Why was she going to put you in jail?” he asks surprised. “How??” That’s when I realized that we never told him that part of the story.

“Remember that Spyder I used to own?” He nods. “Remember it got totaled?” He nods again. “I decked the guy who hit it… in front of a cop. He was drunk driving when he rear-ended me, turned my car into a tuna can, then when he realized that it was me that he hit, he said that I slammed on the brakes and caused the accident. I was in cuffs before he hit the ground. This I Don’t Go Easy On The Rich Judge Hammerfuck wanted to make an example out of me because he was vying for his seat on the bench that year and wanted to throw the book at me. He wanted to put me in jail, but it was my first offense and he couldn’t do it, so guess who got community service and group counseling… and guess who was the facilitator?”

“Whoa!” he exclaims. “Ana was your shrink?”

“No!” I snap, feeling a bit sensitive, I don’t not why. He looks at me with mirth. “She was the facilitator of the group counseling that I was forced to attend at the community center for anger management.”

“Bullshit you had anger management!?” he says it all in one breath before he caught himself. “Sorry, sir,” he said a little sheepishly. I roll my eyes at him, but laugh inwardly.

“I know, right?” I say to lighten the mood a bit. “I bought my way out of the community service, but you know that shit wasn’t working with Butterfly. She busted my balls from day one—hated the fucking ground I walked on; walked up the front of me and down the back of me. I couldn’t understand why she felt so goddamn high and mighty and why my charm didn’t work on her, but it pissed me the fuck off… and turned me the fuck on like nothing else in the world. I was gone almost immediately, but I refused to admit it. I tried everything—charm, intimidation, domination, bribery—nothing worked. It just got worse and worse.”

“I still don’t get how this situation is the same as mine, Christian,” he says, bringing the conversation full circle.

“Tell me which is worse… loving someone and wanting to be with them so much that you can think of little else and having them an arm’s reach away, but you can’t have them because they hate you… or having an ocean between you.”

He honestly has to ponder that thought. He’s hurting because Keri is so far away and he can’t be with her, but no doubt the thought of having her near him and he couldn’t have her because she hates him would be just as agonizing if not more.

“I tried to express how I felt about her—twice—and she ran both times. The first time, she bolted. The second, she called me everything including the spawn of Satan and then she bolted.”

“That’s when you sent me to watch her?” he asks.

“No, I sent you to watch her after the first time,” I correct him. He whistles.

“You had it bad.”

Real bad… still do. I hate to say that Elena was right, but she put a spell on me. I’m lost without her…”

“I know how you feel,” he says just above a whisper. I put my hand on his shoulder.

“I’m not saying that you’ve done anything wrong or that you’re a lesser man than I am for letting her go. I’m just saying that for weeks, I was in the same position that you are right now… sick and lost because she wasn’t there. And let’s not forget that time she went to Montana and turned my entire world upside down.” Chuck winces.

“Ew! Yeah! Forgot about that,” he frowns with empathy.

“Man, I thought my life was over, I really did… not in the sense that I was going to do myself in—although had I not had my company, I have no doubt that I would have—but in the sense that I didn’t want anything or anybody near me. I didn’t want friends; I didn’t want family; I didn’t want love; I didn’t want kindness; I didn’t want light; I didn’t want anything. All I wanted to do was run my company 24-7. I was having a sleeping quarters built in my office, which is still unfinished, and it would have been useless because I don’t remember sleeping. I wanted to surround myself with business and numbers and darkness and not think about what I had lost. Every room I entered had to have as little light as possible because light meant illumination and color and I couldn’t deal with it.” Chuck looks at me almost sympathetically.

“Dude, you were worse off than I am. I don’t feel like that,” he declares. “When I think of her, I think of light, love, and good things. I’m hurting because she’s not here and she’s not with me and I want her back. That’s the only darkness… the darkness that she’s not here and I try to chase that away, not run to it. I guess the difference is that I know I’ll see her again. I don’t know exactly when, but I know we’ll be together again.”

“Well, that’s a healthy attitude,” I tell him. “And the fact that you talk every day, that’s good, too. Those are things that I didn’t have.  But you can see how I felt the loss, can’t you?” He nods.

“Yeah,” he says, “I can. It was always hard to see you as human, but then again, you wanted it that way…” My phone buzzes in my pocket and I put my finger up to pull it out.

“Excuse me,” I say as I pull it out and swipe the screen. It’s a text from Jason.

**Will you please meet me in my apartment in ten minutes? **

I frown. In his apartment? This is personal and probably not good. Has something happened? Is someone hurt?

“Is everything okay?” Chuck asks, examining my expression. He didn’t get a text, so I assume this is quite personal and I can’t betray Jason’s confidence.

“I’m… not sure, but I’ll let you know,” I say before sending a text back to Jason.

**Sure. **

I talk to Chuck a few minutes more before taking the hallway from Security Central past mine and Butterfly’s office and down the corridor towards the lower level living quarters. I’m surprised to run into Butterfly in the community sitting room, still in her tuxedo pants and a sexy black sleeveless shirt and high heels, also headed in the same direction.

“Well, don’t you look scrumptious,” I say, halting her progress. She turns around, a bit startled like she didn’t expect to see me there.

“Hey,” she says, taking the few steps to meet me. I take her in my arms an inhale her scent, kissing her gently on the lips, then the neck, indulging for a moment in the opening in her blouse and the full mounds exposed there before coming back to her lips.

You put a spell on me…

“You get a text, too?” I ask breathily. Her brow furrows slightly.

“What do you think it is?” she says softly.

“I don’t know. Let’s go find out.” I take her hand and lead her to the living quarters.

When we get there, a somewhat frightened little girl sits in the living room in the large leather chair with her legs folded under her. Gail looks at us from the kitchen and Jason is standing after letting us in. I can tell that he’s been standing the entire time.

“Sophie?” Butterfly says in a soft tone. Sophie’s blue eyes tentatively turn to Butterfly, then soften slightly.

“You’re not pregnant anymore,” she says in a small voice. Butterfly looks at Jason, who nods once at her. She steps inside and stoops in front of Sophie.

“No, I’m not,” she says softly. “I had twins, a boy and a girl.” She smiles widely.

“Really?” Sophie says. “What are their names?”

“Michael Allen and Mackenzie Anastasia.” Sophie smiles.

“I like that,” she says. “They have regular names. I’ve heard some really weird names like Lamoria and no offense, but what kid wants to go through life with a name like Andromeda? We call her Drome!” she exclaims. Butterfly laughs.

“That’s not very nice,” she giggles.

“She told us to!” Sophie retorts. “You see how weird it is? Mackenzie’ll be Kay or Kenzie or Mac—that’ll be cool… or even Ana. Michael… he’ll be Mike… or Al. Nothing weird there.” Ana nods.

“This is true. I didn’t think of that. We just liked the names. I guess we made good choices…” The two-way communications system beeps before Butterfly finishes her sentence, but nothing happens. There’s four people in this room that this thing could be summoning, but my wife springs into action first.

“Ana.”

The response is the gentle hungry cooing of one of our children.

“Well, that’s my cue,” she says, standing to her feet. “Would you like to come and meet the twins?” she says to Sophie, “if Jason and Gail say it’s okay, that is.” Jason nods and Gail comes from around the bar in the kitchen. Sophie’s face lights up as she leaps from the seat.

“Yeah!” she says, unable to hide her glee. Butterfly smiles at her. “Um, but my hands are dirty and I’m all dusty and stuff from outside.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Butterfly says. “We’ll stop by my room, get you a fresh T-shirt, and there’s hand sanitizer everywhere!” She holds out her hand and Sophie quickly takes it. “End two-way communications.” The intercom disconnects, and the cooing of my child silences. “Um… Gail, why don’t you come, too and we’ll let the gentlemen talk and… we’ll come back?”

“Good idea,” she says, taking Sophie’s other hand. The youngster is now in Seventh Heaven, forgetting whatever trouble has brought her here as she trots off with Butterfly and Gail to tend to the twins. Jason closes the door behind them, then stands for a moment with his back to me.

“I’m off duty, sir, I’m going to fix myself a drink,” he says.

“Go ahead,” I reply. He goes to the kitchen cupboard and pulls down a bottle of some dark amber liquid. He pours two fingers of the fluid into a glass and quickly throws it back, bottoming out the glass. He replaces the bottle, rinses and replaces the glass, and joins me in the living room. He’s nothing else if not efficient.

“When I left the debriefing so quickly, I got a text from Bird at the front booth that a taxi was here looking to be paid, and my daughter was inside. Of course, I told him to pay the man and got up there as quickly as I could. As you can see, she’s not hurt or traumatized, just a little scared maybe. She’s been at that goddamn house for three days—alone! She hasn’t heard from her mother. She has no fucking idea where she is. Her cell phone is disconnected. There’s no way to get in touch with her. Some fucker has been coming to the house looking for her, scaring the shit outta Sophie.

“I don’t have custody of Sophie, just visitation that this bitch barely honors. I’m paying her a goddamn mint in child support. Why is her phone disconnected? Where the hell is she and why does my daughter look like she’s wearing hand-me-downs? And what the fuck do I do now? I can’t file a missing person’s report on this bitch. I’m not her next of kin.”

“No, Sophie is. What about her parents? Siblings?”

“Her mother’s dead. Never knew her father. I know she’s got a sister somewhere in… Colorado, I think. I don’t remember.” He thrusts his hands in his hair. “What should I do? I don’t know what to do.”

“Well, you can’t send Sophie back to that house alone,” I say, stating the obvious.

“Well, fucking duh!” he shoots. Okay, I had that coming.

“Let’s call Al,” I say. He nods frantically.

“Yeah! Yeah, that’s a good idea.”

“Can I ever ask for a simple day in my life with you guys?” Al laments on the speaker phone in my office. “Does this woman have a job?”

“You mean besides full-time pain in the ass?” Jason says. “No. She gets a shit-ton of child support from me and she was getting alimony before she married Deleroy. She kept that marriage from me for a year and had to pay back the alimony I paid her. I just made her put it in a trust fund for Sophie that can’t be touched until Sophie’s twenty-one, and even then, only by Sophie. I don’t know what Deleroy’s paying her, if anything.”

“Okay, so that eliminates trying to reach her at her job. You have to notify her that you have Sophie. Send a certified letter. Leave a letter at the house. Notify the school. Notify the authorities. If there’s no word after thirty days, file for custody of your daughter. I’ll have a process server try to reach her for the next few days. It might be a good idea to have Alex try to find her.”

“Yeah, as much as I would love to see her crawl under a rock and die—and no, I’m not taking it back—you might be right about Alex finding her,” Jason says.

“Should we actually file a missing person’s report, Al, or should we just notify the authorities that we have the child because she hasn’t been seen for three days?” I ask.

“Notify Child Services. They’ll notify the police so that they’ll have location of the child. Sophie can do a missing person’s report if she wants.” I look at Jason and he shrugs.

“I’ll give her the option. She doesn’t seem too shook up that her mother is missing, just afraid to be home alone. I’ll talk to her.”

“Yes, do that. You might have a bigger problem on your hands if this is a regular occurrence.”

“Only if I can prove it,” Jason says, running his hands through his hair.

“As Sophie’s father, you may not have a choice!” Al says emphatically. There’s silence for a moment.

“I’ll talk to Sophie,” Jason says.

After clearing it with Jason, I send an email to Andrea to draft a letter to Shalane Deleroy and send it via certified mail first thing in the morning notifying her of Sophie’s whereabouts and to cc a copy to Al in legal so that he can get it to a process server to try to have it served manually. Jason simultaneously contacts Alex and gives him Ms. Deleroy’s information and description and puts him on her trail in an attempt to locate her. He’s still talking to Alex when the two-way communications come to life and we both answer simultaneously.

“We were just trying to find out where you boys are,” Butterfly’s voice wafts over the intercom.

“We’re in my office, Butterfly.” I then hear Sophie say, “Oh, my God, ‘Butterfly,’ that’s so ca-yuuute!” Butterfly giggles and softly replies, “I think so, too.”

“You’re still on speaker, my love,” I inform her.

“I know this, my dear,” she responds. “Should we join you or wait for you here?”

“Join us here, please.” Once we get things cleared with Jason and his family, there a little talk I should have with Butterfly.

“On our way.”

“Who should we call at Child Services? Are they still open?” Jason asks, looking at his watch. It’s now well into the evening and we should be eating dinner soon.

“We’ll ask Butterfly. She’ll know what to do.” A few minutes later, Butterfly, Gail, and Sophie come into my office. Butterfly has changed out of her tuxedo pants and black shirt into one of her sexy wrap skirts and a wrap shirt and belly-wrap—all wrapped up like a present—and Sophie has borrowed a gray T-shirt with burgundy writing that reads “Vegan Zombies” with stick figures walking around in search of “grains” instead of “brains.” Clever. I can’t help but wonder where she got it and how long she’s had it… she’s not a vegan.

“Oh, my gosh, Dad, the twins are adorable,” Sophie says. “Miss Ana and Miss Gail let me hold them while I was sitting in the rocking chair. They’re sooooo tiny and pink. I don’t think I’ve ever seen babies that little before.” She looks around the large room with the dark furnishings. “Your office is kind of gloomy, Mr. Christian,” she says. We all smile at her innocence and marvel. Jason stands and offers his seat to his daughter. Gail takes the seat next to her and Butterfly hoists herself up onto my desk. God, she looks so sexy up there. Jason stoops in front of Sophie.

“Listen, Baby Boo, your mom has custody of you. I only have visitation. So, there’s a few things that we need to straighten out before we can continue.”

“You’re sending me back, aren’t you?” Sophie asks flatly. He shakes his head.

“Not… by yourself, no.” he says. “We just want to make sure that we cover all of our bases so that we don’t get into any trouble, okay?”

“Okay,” Sophie says, still unsure.

“I need to ask you some questions. You don’t really seem upset about your mom being gone, just that you were in the house alone. Why is that?”

“Well, she always comes back,” Sophie says.

“Always comes back?” Butterfly exclaims horrified before she could catch herself, then quickly covers her mouth. “Oops, I’m sorry,” she says.

“No,” Jason says, looking up at her. “It’s okay. I need your help.” Butterfly nods. She climbs all the way up onto my desk and crosses her legs lotus style before she turns back to Sophie. I imagine she does this so that she appears less intimidating.

“Sophie, how often does your mom leave… like… this?” she asks.

“You mean how often does she leave for days?” Sophie says, wise beyond her years. “She didn’t used to do this. Lately, it’s more frequent. I’m almost 13. I’m okay at home alone, it’s just…” she trails off.

“Just what?” Jason asks.

“This latest guy she’s seeing. He’s creepy. He came to the house and she wasn’t there. I don’t like him and I really don’t trust him. I didn’t want to be there alone if he came again.” Jason’s jaw gets tight. Butterfly brings the conversation back around.

“You said lately it’s more frequent. How frequent and how lately?” Butterfly asks. Sophie shrugs.

“Maybe once or twice a month for the last…” Sophie squints her eyes like she’s trying to think.

“Has it been months? Years?” Jason coaxes.

“It’s been months,” Sophie says.

“Since she divorced Deleroy?” Jason asks. Sophie shakes her head.

“Before that,” she says. “Maybe just about a year. A little less, maybe.”

“Just about a year, Sophia?” Jason says. “You were 11 a year ago, not nearly 13.”

“I know, Dad, but I’m okay. Nothing happened to me. God, you’re so overprotective.”

“I’m not overprotective!” Jason shoots. “You’re here at my house and you had to take two buses and a cab to get here at night! Why didn’t you call me?”

“Because my phone is off, too,” she says softly. Jason’s frown deepens.

“What!?” he nearly shouts.

“Jason…” Butterfly cautions. He looks up at her and she shakes her head. “You’re losing you temper at the wrong person.” Jason takes a deep breath and looks at the floor.

“She barely lets me see you; barely lets me talk to you. Who do you call in case of emergency?”

“You,” Sophie says, her voice small.

“You haven’t called me, though,” he says, his voice controlled, and not raising his head. “You said she does this twice a month. Who have you called before?”

“Nobody.”

“So, if you have no phone, how do you make a call in case of an emergency?”

“I try to go to a neighbor, or to Louie’s.”

“Who’s Louie?” Butterfly asks.

“The store… down the street.” Jason throws his hands ups, turns away and starts to pace. His ex-wife has all the original earmarks of a drug addict, although Sophie doesn’t look abused or neglected, thank God. It’s beginning, though… left home alone, strange men coming to the house. She basically has to fend for herself—I could see that on Thanksgiving. I’m dying to know why Sophie couldn’t spend Christmas with her father.

“Sophie, can I ask you a personal question?” Butterfly says and Sophie nods. “Have you ever been approached or… touched by one of your mother’s boyfriends?” Sophie shakes her head.

“I haven’t been abused, Miss Ana,” Sophie says softly, but matter-of-factly. “If I had, I would tell Dad… it just… I feel like she doesn’t know I’m alive. She doesn’t pay me any attention until I’ve done something wrong or she thinks I’ve done something wrong or I have to do something for her or help her look good in front of her friends. She’s never there when I get home from school and if she is, she’s never awake… or she’s shut in her room with one of her boyfriends.”

“One of her boyfriends?” Jason asks. “How many does she have?”

“Jason,” Gail interjects, “Shalane’s love life is really none of our business.”

“It is if she’s constantly traipsing strange men around my daughter!” he retorts, and I concur. It’s never good to have strange men around a young girl, but Sophie is at a delicate age right now and very pretty—pubescent and ripe for a pedophile.

“Really, Dad, they don’t pay any attention to me and I don’t pay any attention to them,” Sophie says. “It’s not like, ten, or anything like that, but I don’t keep track. I barely see them, if ever, and when I do, they completely ignore me. Except today…” She trails off again.

“What happened today, Sophie?” my wife asks.

“Well, that’s why I came over here. This guy Reggie came looking for her yesterday and she wasn’t there. I’ve never seen him before yesterday, but when I told him that she wasn’t there, he just kind of looked at me. It made me feel creepy. Then he left. He came back today and she’s still not there. He hung around for a bit and I just wanted him to leave. He really made me feel creepy. I was gonna call Dad, so I left the house to head for Louie’s, but then I just didn’t want to be there. I didn’t want him to come back and I was there by myself. So, I came here instead.” Jason’s lips form a thin line.

“Listen, Baby Boo. Do you want to file a missing person’s report on your mom?” he asks, his voice soft. She shakes her head.

“No, she’ll be back, but you know when she finds out I not there, she’s going to come looking for me.”

“Yeah, I know,” he says. “We’re working on that. Have you eaten anything?” Sophie shakes her head. “Well, you’ve come just in time for dinner, so we’re going to eat and we’re going to talk and figure out what our next move is, okay?”

“Okay, Dad,” Sophie says.

“So why don’t you go up with Gail and I’m going to talk to Ana and Christian for a moment.” She stands and gives her father a hug and a kiss, then walks away with Gail, headed for the kitchen. “Thank you both for your help in this situation.”

“So, what do you want to do now?” I ask him. He sighs heavily.

“I want custody of my daughter,” he says. “It sounds like her mother is going on drug binges and she’s leaving her there alone! She apparently has no way to get money to get a cab to safety, and her closest hope is Louie’s? Whatever and wherever the fuck that is.” He runs his hand through his hair again. “I hope this doesn’t mean that I have to quit, but if it does…”

“Use Al,” I tell him before he finishes the sentence. “She can stay as long as you like. If and when your apartment gets too small, you can use the guestrooms… or the boathouse… whatever will make your family comfortable. Have you talked to Gail already?” He shakes his head.

“No, but it’s something I have to do no matter what. If something happens to Sophie and I haven’t done everything I can…”

“Say no more,” I tell him. “You know we’ve already got that process underway.” He nods and turns to Butterfly.

“Child services,” he says. “Al says we have to notify them because I don’t have legal custody of Sophie. Who do I call?”

“I’ll take care of it,” she says. “Go spend time with your family. We’ll be up shortly.”

“Thank you again,” he says before turning to leave. Butterfly jumps off the desks.

“So, you know this means that we’ll have another child in the house… probably indefinitely,” she says.

“Yes, I do,” I say.

“Are you okay with that?”

“I’m fine with it. Are you?” she nods.

“Yes, it’s fine by me,” she replies. “If Shalane is on drugs, she sure hid it well at Thanksgiving.” I shrug.

“We weren’t looking for it. We were just trying to get her out of the house,” I say, pinching the bridge of my nose. “If she’s been doing this for a year… Jesus.”

“I’m going call Children’s Services,” she says, moving to leave. I grab her arm and stop her.

“Do you have to call them this second?” Her brow furrows.

“Uh… no, I can call them anytime. They have a 24-hour emergency hotline to report the whereabouts of a child.” I gesture for her to sit.

“I need to talk to you for a minute.” She pauses for a moment, then sits in one of the chairs facing each other in front of my desk. “I have to talk to you about your share of ownership of GEH.” She sighs heavily.

“Okay.”

“I don’t want you as partial owner of GEH.” She swallows and steels herself. She squares her shoulders and her eyes sharpen before she nods her consent.

“Okay.”

“I need you there.” It takes her a moment to register what I’ve said, then her brow furrows.

“What?”

“I need to know that if something happens and I’m unable to make decisions that someone that I trust with good common sense, scruples, critical thinking skills, the ability and knowledge to ask for help when they need it, a sense of commitment to our legacy, and the ability to command respect from others is going to be at the helm of my baby. I don’t trust anyone else but you. It has to be you. You will protect my baby like it was your own because it is your own, so I need you there.” She silently stares at me for a long time before a lone tear slides down her cheek.

“Are you sure?” she says, just above a whisper.

“The only thing I’ve ever been more certain about was marrying you,” I respond. She launches herself into my arms and plants a stinging kiss on my lips. Our bodies are melding into each other, kneading, yearning, unable to separate as the kiss burns us into one being.


ANASTASIA

I can hardly believe it. I didn’t know how much it meant to me that Christian really did want me to be partial owner of GEH until I thought he was telling me that it wasn’t what he wanted. I had convinced myself that I would be okay with the decision when he finally made it, whatever the outcome. After all, I’ve only dabbled in finances; he’s the real businessman. He built Grey Enterprises from the ground up with the first acquisition, and even though he had Pedo-bitch’s financial backing, he still did all the work to make the company great. I couldn’t be mad if he decided that he didn’t want to share the company with me even if he may have initially thought that it was what he wanted.

Now, not only does he want me to be part owner of his “baby,” but he’s made it clear that I’m the only person that he would trust to make sound decisions for our mutual interest if, for any reason, he couldn’t do it. That was a really huge concession for my billionaire master and all I wanted to do was kiss him. My heart was so overwhelmed by his unquestionable faith and trust in me that I knew—as I always did—that together, there was nothing that we couldn’t do. I was completely unable to speak, kissing him repeatedly until his massive body engulfed my small frame, kissing and gnawing at me hungrily—a warning to control myself lest we break down and fuck right here on his office floor…

And of course, that couldn’t happen… yet.

Once I had completed my wordless, emotional thank you, we tear ourselves away from each other to deal with the situation at hand—young Sophie. Where was her mother that Sophie had not seen her in three days? How often does this happen? Home alone, no cell phone, no house phone, barely communicates with the neighbors, no emergency plan, only twelve years old… granted, she’s somewhat mature for her age and I would imagine that she would have to be. It appears that she’s had to fend for herself more often than not, but she’s still only twelve—not even a teenager, yet. Is Shalane Deleroy strung out on drugs and leaving Sophie for three-day drug binges to fend for herself?

Child Services came out to the house the next day to talk to Sophie, Jason, and Gail. Sophie was pretty tight-lipped when they got there, like she had been coached for just such an emergency. She’s cool and calm when she speaks to the social worker, giving nothing away but that she and her mother often pass each other and don’t speak, so it’s not unusual for them not to see each other for days. Having not seen or heard from her mother for three days this time, she sought out her dad. It all sounds pretty harmless per se as Sophie wasn’t in any real danger, except that she was home alone with no real means of outside communication except Louie’s. I’m sure this is how Shalane had intended it.

Satisfied that Sophie was safe, the social worker left after giving Jason her business card. He informed her of his intention to immediately file for custody of Sophie, which he did that same day. The worker let him know that it may still be an uphill battle as this is the first situation that has come to light about Shalane’s behavior. Without Sophie’s cooperation, which is not totally forthcoming at present, Shalane could very well corroborate Sophie’s story that they were just passing and she never knew that Sophie wasn’t in the house. That speaks to the fact that she should be a more attentive mother, but it doesn’t make her abusive. If the home is well-kept, stocked with food, warm, and adequate for a twelve-year-old child, Shalane could walk away from this with a few parenting classes on the whole emergency plan thing and knowing where your children are… and Sophie… and child support.

“Her lawyer argued that my lifestyle and the fact that no one would be home with Sophie made giving me custody of Sophie a bad idea, and the judge agreed. Seeing how I live now—married with a wife who works from home, in a mansion, with a staff—you’re telling me that I’m going to possibly have trouble getting custody of my child from a woman who has left her home alone for four days now?” Jason asks incredulously. “What the hell is wrong with this system?”

“I understand your frustration, Mr. Taylor,” the worker says, “but I’m only stating the facts as they are now. Ms. Deleroy has legal custody of Sophie. She shows no signs of abuse and has indicated that it’s not uncommon for her and her mother not to see each other due to opposing schedules or what have you. It’s not an ideal situation for Sophie to be home alone with no telephone, but it’s not abuse. As this is the first that Child Services as heard of this, we will reach out to Ms. Deleroy and get to the bottom this to make sure that Sophie is not living in an unsafe situation. However, as it turns out right now, this is just not an ideal situation. It’s not yet cause to remove the child from the home. We have to talk to Ms. Deleroy first and see the condition of the home. However, as it stands, if she shows up with the police, she has legal custody of Sophie. She can take her home until and unless it’s determined that home is an unsafe environment for her. Having said that, without any further evidence, you’re going to be fighting on a level playing field attempting to get custody of your daughter. I wish I had better news for you, but I just want you to know the truth of what you’re dealing with.”

So, that’s that. Shalane can just go on a drug binge for however many days and just come back whenever and claim that she didn’t know Sophie wasn’t home. Never mind the fact that two of the days that Sophie was left alone was a weekend.

By Wednesday afternoon, Gail comes to me and informs me that Sophie is withdrawn and won’t leave their apartment. I noticed that Jason wasn’t at dinner after the discussion with the social worker yesterday and neither was Sophie. Gail left midway through to see what was going on with her family and didn’t return. She asks if I could talk to Sophie as she doesn’t know what to say to her right now.

When I get to the Taylor’s guest apartment, Sophie is sitting on the floor in the living room watching television.

“Hey,” I say when I see her. “Whatcha watchin’?”

“Spongebob,” she replies. She’s not sullen or moody or detached that I can see; just a kid watching cartoons.

“Can we talk?” I ask, sitting on the floor next to her. She mutes the television and turns her attention to me. “Gail is a little concerned that you won’t leave the apartment. Are you… upset with us?” She frowns.

“No,” she says, surprised. “It’s just… there’s no other kids here besides the twins and I didn’t think you guys would want me running around the house getting in the way.” I nod. That makes sense.

“It’s been five days now,” I say. “Have you ever not heard from you mom for this long?” She wraps her arms around her knees.

“I think the longest has been four days, but she always comes back,” she says. So, her binges are getting longer.

“You don’t think that something might be wrong with her?” I ask. “That she may be hurt or sick somewhere?” Sophie shakes her head.

“No,” she says. “She’s just hanging out with her friends somewhere, probably spending the nights over at one of their houses like she normally does.” I nod.

“I don’t know, I never had a real relationship with my mother, so I don’t know what it’s supposed to be like. We had one early on when I was really little. For what it was, it ended when I was about your age, but later, when it counted…” I shake my head. “So, if she had disappeared for a few days, I wouldn’t know what the hell to do because I didn’t know how to care.” She furrows her brow.

“You hated your mom that much?” she asks.

“I think she hated me,” I tell her. “We don’t even speak right now.”

“Yeah, that sucks,” she says, and it sounds like the speaks from experience. I sigh.

“It was a tormented, rocky relationship, the details of which I think you’re too young to be exposed to, no matter how mature I think you are.” I catch a glimpse of her out of my peripheral and I can see her smiling.

“You think I’m mature?” she asks. I nod.

“For a lot of reasons,” I tell her. “You knew to come and look for your father when you felt uncomfortable. Even the first time I met you, if there was the even the slightest crush on Marlow, you told your father to chill because Marlow was older than you and wouldn’t be interested, and you did so in front of a room full of people without flinching.” She shrugs.

“It’s the truth,” she says, noncommittal. “He’s in high school. What in the world would he want with a seventh grader? If anything, he’s got his hopes set on juniors and seniors!” Her speech shows once again that she’s wise beyond her years, probably from being exposed to way too many adults and not enough children her age.

“It makes me wonder why you defended your mom’s absence today,” I say. “Not that I blame you,” I add when I see her tense up. “If that’s what you really believe, that’s fine, but don’t you think it’s wrong for her to leave you for so many days without any contact?”

“She’s just being Mom,” Sophie excuses. “Mom does what she wants. She makes sure that I have what I need, but then she just goes about her business. It’s better than those parties she used to throw.” Parties? Unless they were quiet dinner parties, they couldn’t be something appropriate for a preteenager. Was she even that old when Shalane was throwing these parties?

“Everybody likes a party,” I say, treading carefully. “How can you not like a party? Music and food and dancing…”

“No kids, no music I like, half the time her friends were drunk and cursing all the time. One time, Ms. Fatima got so drunk that she got sick and threw up all over Mom’s white sofa… and all over some other lady.” She laughs heartily at the memory. I’m sickened by the idea that Shalane would think it’s okay to expose her young daughter to this, but I laugh, too, to keep the connection we’re building.

“Yeah, that would have pissed me off,” I say laughing with her.

“No kidding. The sofa was destroyed. Mom tried to get it clean, but it was useless. I don’t know about the lady.” Okay, that was funny.

“So… Jason is working in some way with Christian all day, and you know that Gail works here, too, so why do you stay locked in the apartment all day?” I ask.

“Well, like I said, there aren’t any kids here, either, and I don’t want to get in anybody’s way.” I nod.

“I can understand that,” I tell her. “I guess we need to make the house a bit more kid friendly, especially since I have two kids, now… but it’s got to be boring down here all by yourself.” She shrugs.

“I’m used to being alone. I find ways to entertain myself.” That’ll never do.

“Well, let me show you one of the ways that I entertain myself,” I tell her. “Come with me.”

We leave the apartment and walk through the community area. On the other side, I show her Atlantis.

“I’ve seen this,” she says. “The fish are really pretty. I’d like to learn what they are.”

“Watch this.” I tap on glass a few times—not too hard as it’s usually kind of bothersome to the other fish—and, just like always, my fish gracefully swims to the front. “That’s Marty. She’s a butterfly fish. I saw a fish like her on a scuba diving adventure in Anguilla and fell in love. So, when we bought this house, we had this aquarium built and filled it with fish from that trip. To my delight, Marty took an immediate liking to me.”

“So, that’s a butterfly fish?” she asks, her attention now attuned to Marty.

“One of them,” I say. “I’m told there are others.” She looks at me and frowns.

“Who told you?” she says with a little mirth in her voice. “Are you part of a fish society or something?” My turn to laugh.

“I’ve picked up bits and pieces of information here and there,” I tell her. “I’ve learned that while goldfish have a memory that spans for a few seconds, some fish have a memory that spans for up to twelve days. That would stand to reason that maybe Marty here would fall somewhere in between. However, a NatGeo article I read indicates that there are 114 species of butterfly fish and that many of them travel in schools while others are solitary until they find a partner and mate for life. If a butterfly fish mates for life, doesn’t it stand to reason that its memory span is more than twelve days? I mean, what happens… at day twelve, he looks over and sees this fish and goes ‘Oh, hello,’ and they just keep swimming?”

Sophie laughs at my analysis and I’m glad to see her loosen up.

“I guess I say that to say this. I chose Marty when I saw the fish in the reef and decided that it was my favorite, so Christian got one for my aquarium, but after that, Marty chose me. No matter how long I stay away, she… or he… swims to the window when I show up. She does tricks while I’m watching, but always stays near the front until I leave. I would say that means that her memory probably lasts more than twelve days.”

“You’re probably right,” she says, looking at Marty. “Are they trying to get you to talk to me… to get me to talk?” Hmm, she’s not a tough nut to crack.

“Yes and no,” I tell her. “Gail’s a little concerned about you not coming out of the apartment, not even for dinner. I asked if I could talk to you to make sure that you were alright. Even though Christian and I are at home for now, Jason still has his hands full with security and Gail helps me with the twins as well as runs the house for me.” She frowns at me.

“What do you do all day?” she asks.

“You promise you won’t laugh?” I ask and she nods. “I’m a shrink.” She screws up her face.

“A head doctor?” she asks. I nod. “For kids?” I shrug.

“Not necessarily,” I tell her. “I’ve worked with some kids, but I mainly just help whoever needs it. I have an office downtown, but I don’t see patients anymore. I’m assistant director at a help center now for displaced and abused families.”

“Oh,” she says. “When do you do that?”

“Not until the doctor clears me to go back to work. The twins are only four weeks old, nearly five now. I’ll be back to work in a week or so.”

“Then Miss Gail will take care of the twins?” she asks. I shake my head.

“Not all the time,” I tell her. “She’ll help a lot, but they’re my babies. Don’t you think I should take care of them?” She nods and turns back to look at Marty.

“How long… will you take care of them, I mean?” She asks. I frown.

“I don’t know what you mean,” I say.

“Is there a time when you’re supposed to stop taking care of them?” She looks up at me with inquisitive blue eyes. I sigh.

“Well,” I begin, “I guess it depends. When they’re babies and even as they grow older, they’re going to depend on me… and Christian… for everything. The older they get, the more they’ll be able to do for themselves, so they won’t need me as much for the smaller things. But they’ll still need me for other things. Like when they learn to go to the bathroom, I won’t need to change their diapers.

“But when they get older, Mackenzie is going to need my advice on boys… and school… and how to wear make-up and Mikey is going to need Christian to help him learn to be a man. Then, one day, she’ll want to go to college and I’ll help her pick a school; she’ll want to go on a date and I’ll help her get ready; she’ll want to get married and I’ll help her pick a dress. She’ll have kids of her own and I’ll have to share the stories about how she kept me up in the middle of the night.”

I frown a bit as I listen to myself going through the life of my daughter before she’s even out of the crib.

“I assume Michael is going to have those things happen, too, and Christian is going to have to help him through those stages in his life. So… I guess the answer is… no, there’s never a time when I’m supposed to stop taking care of them. I can’t see a time ever when my children would come to me for something and I wouldn’t be there for them, so… no.” I look down into her knowing eyes before she turns her gaze back to Marty.

“That’s what I thought, too,” she says.

*-*

I’m able to coax Sophie out of the apartment for the rest of the afternoon and evening. We watch two of the High School Musical movies and she has dinner in the dining room. After helping me and Gail with the twins, it’s time for her to turn in. I never let on that I knew what she meant when she responded to my answer about always taking care of my children. That little girl may not be abused, but she’s certainly neglected and she knows it. She protects her mom, because in spite of what everyone else sees, she loves her mother. There are obvious moments where she may not like her very much, but she truly loves her. This custody thing is going to be an uphill battle and very painful for all parties involved.

The next day, we get our first taste of just how painful the battle is going to be. I’m in my office with Marilyn working on some plans for the ultimate layout of the daycare area of the center and on what will be the casting call—so to speak—for the initial teachers in the center as accreditation, as well as my imminent return to work, are just around the corner. We’re deep in when the two-way communications come to life. Noting that it’s about time for the twins to be feed I acknowledge the system. Expecting to hear my cooing or complaining children, I’m more than surprised to hear Windsor’s voice over the intercom.

“Mrs. Grey, the police are in the grand entry with a Ms. Deleroy. They say that need to speak to you and Mr. Grey on an urgent matter.”

By the tone of his voice, I can tell that he has most likely gone to the small vestibule beyond the formal living room and is speaking to me from the landline there.

“They haven’t asked for Mr. or Mrs. Taylor?” I ask, surprised.

“No ma’am. They’ve asked for you and Mr. Grey.” I sigh.

“I’m on my way. End two-way communications.” I remove my glasses and pinch my bridge, trying to ignore the throbbing that’s beginning in my scar.

“Are you going to get Gail?” Marilyn asks.

“Not yet. They’ve asked for me. I’ll see what’s going on. Come with me; I may need moral support.”

I’m not in the grand entrance three minutes and I have been thoroughly insulted in my own home. The two officers—I don’t even bother to remember their names—have absolutely no control over this fucking harpy. She’s standing in my house, the epitome of the tacky ex-wife, in a rabbit fur coat, stretch pants, and thigh-high black stiletto boots. Her hair looks stringy and oily like it hasn’t been washed in three days and she has make-up caked haphazardly on her face that’s unable to hide her sunken cheeks and dark circles as she didn’t take the time to groom herself that she took on Thanksgiving. Her clothes look like they’re a size too small, including her thigh-high boots, and I would have guessed that she just rolled out of bed after a hard night of partying and two hours of sleep and showed up at my door. I’m appalled that she didn’t have the good sense to make a better presentation after not having seen her child for so long.

“Sophie hasn’t seen you in nearly a week and you step in my house accusing me of kidnapping??” I ask, horrified. “Have you even checked with the police to know that we’ve made a report that Sophie was here? Do you know that we’ve contacted child services? Where the hell have you been? She’s twelve years old!”

“This is not a good look on you, Mrs. Grey!” she says with contempt. “I don’t know what Jason has told you, but it’s really not nice to attempt to kidnap someone else’s child. I realize that Mrs. Taylor is barren, but I didn’t know that you were just as desperate to hear the pitter-patter of little feet!” My mouth falls open and I gasp audibly, pointing at her.

“Is she serious?” I say, looking from Marilyn to Windsor to each of the cops. “Is she fucking serious? I’m all over the fucking news, for Christ’s sake! Has she been living under a goddamn rock? Was she fucking high the last time she was at my house?”

“Ana…” Marilyn tries to calm me.

“Mrs. Grey, there’s really no need for that language,” one of the officers says. I turn and glare at him. He’s basically allowed her to say anything she wants since she walked into my house, including insulting me in my own home, and now you’re going to try to check me about my language?

“Fuck fuck fuckity fuck fucker motherfucker fuck fucker fuck this is my goddamn house!” I say all in one breath before I can catch myself. I’m losing it. I’m losing it faster than I can maintain myself. I turn to Marilyn. “Do you have your phone? I left mine downstairs.” She nods and pulls out her phone.

“Christian! Christian!” I’m doing this frantic clamping, grabbing thing with my fingers. She has that phone unlock, Christian’s number dialed, and is handing me the phone in less than five seconds. He had to go into Grey House today for business that needed his immediate attention and I’m about to interrupt his day.

“Grey,” he says as the line connects.

“Where’s Jason?” He pauses for a moment before he recognizes my voice.

“He’s gone to pick up Sophie from school.”

“Is he bringing her back here?” My voice is short and clipped. I’m barely keeping a rein on my anger.

“That’s the plan.”

“You may want to get someone to bring you back before he gets here.” There’s silence on the line.

“What’s wrong, Butterfly?” I speak loud enough for the officers—and Shalane—to hear me.

“Apparently, Ms. Deleroy has emerged from her bong, needle, or pipe long enough to come to my home and create a scene. She’s standing here accusing us—me in particular—of kidnapping and harboring her child when we have already notified all of the proper authorities, including her, that Sophie was here after she left her abandoned in that house for three days!”

I’m so angry I’ve started shaking while I’m glaring at Shalane. She knows that I’ve hit the nail and she can’t even deny it, so I know that I’m right about her being on drugs. She says nothing, but stands there with narrowed eyes examining me.

“Then she had the nerve to make some snide comment about me and Gail trying to steal her daughter because we can’t have children of our own. I guess that she was so busy trying to ride your dick at Thanksgiving that she forgot that I was standing right next to you at the time very heavy laden with child!” I growl the last words.

“She’s right in front of you, isn’t she?”

“Looking down my throat, flanked by two cops, and if she says another word to me, I going to catch a case!”

“I’m on my way,” he says.

“Bring Al,” I conclude before hanging up the phone. Simultaneously, the two-way communication system comes to life. Coupled with the knowledge that my twins are now awake and my rising anger and blood pressure, I feel my milk burst forth and begin to seep from my breast. Shamelessly, I stand and turn to leave.

“Um… Mrs. Grey, we do have a few questions,” the officer says.

“Windsor!” I call, unceremoniously and he appears almost instantaneously. I turn around to face the trio, my milk now leaking through my blouse. “Ana!” I call out to the two-way, and the room is filled with the sound of cooing babies. “Feel free to wait here. My husband informs me that he and our attorney are on their way and that Mr. Taylor and Sophia will be here any moment. I’ll notify Mrs. Taylor that you’re here and to meet you when Mr. Taylor, his daughter, and our attorney have arrived. My butler will be happy to get you refreshments in the interim. However, I am unable to entertain you anymore at the moment. As you can hear, I must attend to my children and as you can see, my milk is leaking!” They all fall silent and the men momentarily glare at my ample leaking breasts while Shalane glares at me and I glare right back at her. “End two-way communications!” I hiss, and the gentle cooing sounds of my children cease. I turn around on my heels and march out of the room.


A/N: So, as you can see, Shalane has caused a shitstorm in more ways than one. Any  guesses what’s going to happen when Jason returns and Gail emerges?

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

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

Love and handcuffs 🙂 
Lynn X

 

One Shot—Goodbye, Island Girl

Chuck says a tender goodbye to Keri as she prepares to return to Anguilla.

Goodbye, Island Girl…keri-naked-by-candlelight

 

Chuck

She lays her body on top of mine, her head on the pillow next to my face. Cupping one cheek with her hand and gently kissing the other, she continues to love me. She grinds deep and hard into me, my dick disappearing into her crevice. Her stroke is so intense because I feel her moving, and me moving inside of her, but our groins never separate. She just rolls me around inside of her—whimpering, keening, and making hot sex sounds as I grasp her hips and rub her into me…

“Fuck, Keri…” I protest helplessly as she pushes herself up so that her full weight is concentrated on this part of her body that grinds into me, tormenting me. Fuck, I’ve had hot pussy before, God knows I have, but no woman in the world has ever ridden me like this… claimed me like she does… clamps onto me and holds me inside of her, working me meticulously until she’s ready to let me go. I groan mournfully as I feel that familiar feeling creeping up my thighs, up my spine…

“Oh, Chatles,” she says, her hands flat on my abs as I grip her thighs helplessly, concentrating on the part of her that’s bringing me unbelievable pleasure. “Yuh so close… I feel yuh fatten up inside of meh… You like dat, Choonks? You lek deh way yu feel in mi pum pum?”

Oh God, her hips roll relentlessly on top of me, and that fleshy fucking ass! Shit, that ass.

“Goddammit, Keri!” I protest, my dick rolling around inside of her seeking release.

“Yes, Chooks,” she groans, “es good, Choonks, es good…”

Is very fucking good! She likes to draw this shit out even though I’m as rapid fire as they get—shoot one off and I’m ready again in minutes… seconds even, but when she’s on a roll, she on a goddamn roll, and I do mean roll, like rolling that hot, tight pussy and that juicy, fat ass all over my protesting dick.

“I’m close, baby,” I warn. “I’m so goddamn close…”

She doesn’t let up. She’s primal. She’s writhing on top of me like a feral animal. Her body is so soft and round and she envelops me like a perfectly tailored glove—warm and comforting, but her hips grinding down on me so meticulous and rhythmic… it’s like fur and velvet wrapped around me. I’m not going to hold out.

She shifts position on top of me to something only she has ever done to me… a sideways kind of ride where she’s on top of me, but somehow grinding me sideways. The angle is so deep and perfect that our pelvic bones actually meet with the thrust.

“Fuuuuuuck!” I groan, helplessly throwing my head back into the pillow, but she’s unyielding. I grunt as her hips roll over me, punishing my poor cock into complete submission. This movement and rhythm… fuck, I can’t stand it! It’s like up and down, but this sideways kind of grind on the downstroke. Hell, it’s fantastic. And her hips are so round and meaty. I fucking love the way her hips feel in my hands. And that dimple right at the small of her back—my fingers fit there perfectly when she’s riding me sideways like this. I don’t know where the fuck she learned this move, but goddammit, thank you!

“Baby,” I warn. “Oh, fuck, baby…”

“Not yet, Choonks,” she breathes, leaning over and licking the corner of my mouth. “Almost… almost…” Not yet, Choonks. Fuck, I don’t think I can hold out much longer. I try to concentrate on anything… anything else but her velvety soft vagina gripping my hot, hard dick; anything else but her luscious thighs wrapped around my hips; speaking of hips, anything else but her round, meaty hips and her delicious plump ass pushing me closer and closer to my orgasm. I run my hand up her caramel thigh and squeeze the meat just under her ass cheek.

“Yes,” she breathes, “yes, Choonks… yes, bebe…” Oh fuck, I’m going to blow. I move my hands up to her hips and attempt to still them just slightly, but she’s unstoppable. She’s straddling me, now rolling over on top of me, she’s on her knees and more importantly, on a mission. Her beautiful ample ass rises and falls, bouncing deliciously on the entire length of my erection.

“Uuuuuuuuuggggghhhhh!” I moan mournfully as I’m sure to blow before she does. I can’t stand it. It feels too good, and now, I’ve added to my torment by grasping her hips and feeling her soft, sweet meat gyrating in my hands. Fuck, I love how she feels… all over!

“Baby, shi…” She silences me by thrusting her tongue into my mouth. Goddamn, her kisses! I open my mouth wide and tilt my head, attempting to give what I get, but it’s no use. Her lips and tongue are bigger than mine and she dominates this kiss—every time. When she kisses me like this, I know that she’s close… really close, and I sit back and enjoy, letting her lead me while her tongue explores my willing orifice. I try not to surrender, but her kisses are so deep and delicious that I moan in her mouth every time just from the intensity of it, and it almost always sends her over the edge. It starts with a tremble, then a downright shake. We’re always face to face because she’s always kissing me—so next, her hands move to both sides of my face and she stares into my eyes, her lips only breaths from mine.

Shit, not much longer… I can’t hold out… I’m going to blow…

As if someone somewhere heard my pleas, she gasps twice, closes her eyes, bites my lip, and tightens violently around me, stilling my hips. I grab that wonderful, supple ass and thrust into that pulsing pussy twice more before my balls tighten and explode wildly through my eager dick, firing burning hot semen up through my madly throbbing head.

“GodDAMmit!” I exclaim as I capture her mouth again, this time hungrily claiming her lips and tongue in passionate orgasmic kisses. She hasn’t stopped trembling as I use her deliciously juicy ass to press her hot body against my thumping dick, still emptying inside her.

Fuck, this is insane, I think to myself as I continue to empty inside of her for what seems like the longest fucking orgasm of my life!

“Choonks… oh, God, Choonks…” she pants, trying to free her mouth from mine. I know, baby, I know… now get back here! I grab her head with one hand and hold her in place while I continue to claim her kisses, the other hand crossing her body and holding her down on me while grasping the opposite ass cheek. She moans in surrender and sinks into the kiss and I swear my orgasm starts anew. Oh, Baby, my God… it’s never been this good.

I grind her into me as I ride out the remainder of my never-ending orgasm and begin our afterplay as usual, kissing her face and neck and caressing her beautiful body until she catches her breath. Several moments pass with her lying quietly on my chest. I know she’s not asleep.

“Talk to me,” I say, softly, hoping that she’s not thinking about the fact that this is our last night together for a long time and she has to return home tomorrow. She raises her eyes to mine and rests her chin on her hands on my chest.

“I nevah tought I’d fall in love wit a white mahn,” she says softly. “We see de touhtists all de time. When we weh yong, we laugh ahnd we tahk about de touhtists, how de bring de money to de island. Nevah once did I feel dat I wahnted to be wit one o’ dem. Den I see you at de pahty. You weh so hahndsome.” She smiles widely when she says it, caressing my cheek again. “Youh eyes weh so blue, deh flow right tru me… like de sea.”

I remember seeing her come to the table after Ana ate that banana split big enough for two people. I had seen beautiful black women before and I had just noted their beauty, but hers struck me dumb—so dumb in fact that she had to ask Ana if I could dance.

“My ftiends ahsk me silly questions, like you mayde of dif’rent matittial or sometin.” She says it with a bit of distaste. “I tell dem mind dey own bizness.” She waves the story off, then looks at me again. “But you ahh mayde of dif’rent matittial… you like noh mahn I evah know. You have gud haht, and gud spitit like I nevah met befoh. You change meh, Chatles… you are evy’tin, heyah.” She takes my hand and presses it to her chest. I take her other hand flat against mine.

“And you are everything to me,” I say, gently kissing the back of her hand. “Palm to palm…”

“Haht to haht,” she responds. I take her face in my hands and kiss her softly… and again…

“Heart to heart,” I repeat. “Marry me, Keri.”

“Noh,” she responds for the 100th time in just as many days. “Anguilla is my home. I must goh to heh.”

“I know,” I whisper without opening my eyes. I kiss her again and embrace her. She moves slightly and I feel myself twitch, still inside her. She leans down and kisses my bare chest.

“I love your natutal smell… like fresh watah…” That’s a first. Fresh water… exactly how does fresh water smell? “It makes meh tuhsty foh you.”

Hmm, I guess it doesn’t matter…

“Thirsty?” I say suggestively in her ear.

“Yes,” she whispers, grinding on my growing erection and kissing me gently with her soft, full lips. “Vety tuhsty.”

I cup her face with my hands and thrust my tongue into her mouth. God, she makes me so hungry! It’s like we didn’t fuck like horny bunnies just moments ago and I have to have more of her. Again! Right now!

I roll her over so that she’s under me, her hands to the side of her head.

“Don’t move,” I tell her, need thick in my voice. She nods and I walk to the bathroom. Cleaning myself and discarding the used condom, I catch my reflection in the mirror.

She’s leaving me. She’s fucking leaving me. This time tomorrow, she’ll be gone, and I’ll be alone… all along thinking about my Island Girl and no doubt, island rum. I splash a little water on my face and curtail the need to cry, my full-mast erection falling to half-mast and slowly dwindling at the thought of several thousand miles separating me from my beloved Keri. I turn off the light and go back to the room we’ve shared for three months.

And the sight before me has my dick at full-staff again.

She’s rolled over onto her stomach, her beautiful round ass presented to me, candlelight flickering of her gorgeous caramel skin.

I’m a goddamn dead man.

I crawl on top of her, kissing her shoulders and back and caressing her skin while my quickly hardening cock slides back and forth between her ample ass cheeks. Her bare skin feels so good against my dick. We groan simultaneously at the contact. I’m getting harder and harder as I stroke the skin with her pushing her ass back into my cheeks. It feels so good, it actually makes me shiver.

“God!” I breathe, wanting to be inside her, but feeling the anguish of having to separate to retrieve a condom.

“Tek me, Chatles,” she coaxes, her voice dripping with sex.

“One sec,” I pant, moving to lift off of her.

“Noh!” she stops me. “Tek me, now… please… Ah’ll be fine. Please, Chatles, tek me now!”

Is she asking me to do what I think she is? It would be a fucking dream come true, but I don’t want to send her back to Anguilla pregnant… alone… without me…

“Chatles, please,” she beseeches me. “Ah’ll be fine, I ptomise… please, Chatles… I need to feel you…”

Oh, shit. What man in his right mind can deny that?

I lift my hips and shift my cock so that it breaches her opening and slides right in.

“Oh, fuck!” I groan as she wraps around me like she always does, only skin-to-skin this time. “Keri, goddamn, I’m not going to last.”

“Meh eiter,” she says, groaning and pressing her head back on my shoulder. I swallow hard and breathe deeply before I start to move. Oh, God, she feels phenomenal. I steady myself with my hands on either side of her on the bed, thrusting deep, hard, and slow into her.

“Yes… Chatles… oh… God…” She almost sounds like she’s crying, fisting the sheets and pushing her ass back into my groin.

“God,” I breathe, “So tight and wet… fuck!”

I’ll take care of you, baby. Whatever happens, I’ll take care of you…

“Chatles… oh, God… oh, God, Chatles…” and just like that, she’s tightening around me. Shit! So soon! We’ve never made love raw, without protection, but she wanted it so badly that she couldn’t withstand the pleasure once she got it.

“Baby,” I croon, dragging the word along my tongue, and suddenly, nothing matters more at this moment than her pleasure. I stroke her evenly, gently through her orgasm and when it wanes, I roll us over on our sides, my throbbing dick still inside her.

Don’t forget me, my love.

She’s panting, breathless as I lift her thigh and stroke into her balls deep from behind. She starts to shiver, a gentle protest escaping her lips about her pulsing clit being tender. I’ll stay away from your clit right now, Island Girl, but this pussy is mine.

“Relax, baby,” I coach. “I won’t hurt you.”

She takes a deep breath and relaxes on the pillow as I thrust soft and slow into her, nipping at the front of her shoulder and down to her breast until I’m taking her nipple in my mouth, sucking and teasing sensually. Her hand reaches behind her and she grabs my head and softly begins to keen again. Oh, yes… that’s it, baby, feel it… let it build again.

I rest her leg on my hip and use that now free hand to caress her body—her stomach, her ribs, cupping the round and juicy breast currently in my mouth.

“Yes, bebe,” she moans. “Don stop… so good…”

I won’t stop, Island Girl… I’m just getting started.

Her voice spurs me on and I begin to roll my hips, my cock hitting all of her inner walls. Her back bows and I grab her hair, burying my face in her neck and sucking and kissing her there while my other hand possessively grips her breast.

Fuck, this is good! I have to make it last… I have to… her skin against mine, my bare dick pulsing inside her wet, tight pussy now reaching for another orgasm… God, this is outstanding. How many times can I make her come this way?

“Keri, baby, you feel so good…” I breathe in her ear and she starts to tremble. She’s close again… So soon?

originalI hadn’t paid attention to the music playing on the sound system until Sade starts the croon the words to our song. It causes me to move my hips in a Lambada grind as I thrust sensually into my girl. She groans deep and long, spurring me to do it again… and again… and again…

“Chooooooonks… pleeeeeeeease…” she cries, as Sade sings what I feel, what I want to pound into her so that she remembers this every time she hears our song:

I keep crying,
I keep trying for you,
There’s nothing like you and I, baby…

My strokes are deep and purposeful now as my hand roams all over her body, my mouth still buried in her neck, licking and sucking the skin there. She rolls over onto her back, giving me full access to her body and her pussy, her leg resting on my hip, opening her core to me. Fucking hell, she’s exquisite… and she’s rising fast with each thrust.

I want to make it hard for you to leave me… impossible for you to leave me…

“Choonks… wait…” she pants, “Ah’m gwine… tah cum…”

“Come, then, baby,” I encourage her, pressing my lips and tongue into her upper back and my hand flat on her chest as she squirms from the pleasure, presenting her back to me once more. I push her body against mine again and pound into her, her facial expression showing the anguish of trying to fend off her pending release.

Don’t fight it. Come, dammit!

“You wanted me raw, baby,” I growl in her ear, sex gurgling in my throat as the words roll out, “This is me raw!” I pound up into her again and again. My words push her over the edge and she cries out helplessly once more, pleading with me… to stop… to keep going… I don’t know, as Sade says exactly what I need at this moment:

This is no ordinary
No ordinary love…

I lick the salty sweat from her skin and slow my stroke again as she pulses around me, still riding out the aftershocks.

“Damn, baby,” I breathe, “if you come this much just from my dick, what you gone do when I touch that clit?”

“Choonks, please…” she pants. I roll her over on her back and crawl between her legs. I’m on my knees and her legs are around my hips. I stroke her clit with my hard shaft.

“God! Choonks! Please,” she cries out as her back bows, pushing that sweet pussy further towards me. Okay, I get it… pussy now, clit later. I sink deep into that pussy once more, groaning deeply at the warmth.

“Fuck, Island Girl!” I groan, “that pussy grabs me so good. Dammit, you are so hot!” She raises her hips a bit and suddenly, I need to come. I need to fuck her and fuck her until I come. I grab her around the waist with both hands and pound into her. After several delicious strokes, she grabs my wrists and holds on.

“Goddammit, Keri! So fuckin’ good,” I growl as I’m pounding her.”

“Oh, my God, Chatles…” she pants, “It’s cumming again. Please, Chatles… Ah can’t… Ah can’t…”

“Yes, you can, baby,” I coax. “Give me one more…” I’m panting with my own desire, my own rising passion and inevitable release. “Choonks needs one more from you,” I tell her as I grip her waist and pound into her.

“Ah!” she cries, “Ah love yuh, Choonks!”

“I love you! I love you, Keri! I love you…” I thrust deep into her each time I say the word, using my grip on her waist to pull her down hard on my cock, literally driving my point home. Her mouth hangs open in breathless ecstasy as she gazes at me, her sex-filled brown eyes begging me… to stop, to keep going, I don’t know, but I keep going.

I lay over her, bringing our bodies closer together and making good on my promise. My pelvis and the length of my shaft are both sliding and grinding onto her clit as I fuck deep strokes and circles into her. She groans, her voice cracking in a sob, knowing that it’s useless to resist or beg any further. I’m deep in my passion, in my need to empty inside of her when I see the tears.

“Keri,” I breathe without ceasing my stroke, “do you want me to stop?”

“Noh, please,” she says without hesitation or breaking her tear-filled gaze, “please… don stop…”

Her pleas spur me on, make me harder, cause me to feel that tightening in the base of my back.

“Keri, baby,” I groan, “Imma come so hard for you!”

“Yes, Choonks… yes…” she pants. I pump harder and faster into her as I watch her breasts bounce and her body squirm from the pleasure. It’s more than I can fucking take. She looks like a delicious chocolate nymph… my aching dick is buried inside a juicy, delicious, chocolate nymph about to milk me dry.

Her mouth hangs open in helpless pleasure as her legs stretch wide bent at the knees, her thigh muscles flex and her toes curl. This one will be bigger than the others. She’s going to be ripped to shreds.

I fall down on top of her, entwining her fingers in mine and kissing her deeply as I grind into her. It’s coming… fuck, it’s coming and it’s big. I groan into her mouth as I think I won’t be able to withstand it. She whimpers into mine and I pull back only enough to see her eyes, to feel her breath on my lips…

As I hold her hands in mine, pinning her to the bed and pushing into her over and over, I feel like my breath is leaving my chest. I’m panting, trying to get air, still thrusting deep into her. My body and mind are separating, working on different courses. She’s gazing at me—her beautiful brown eyes revealing something else… like fear, but not. Her body meets me thrust for thrust, her passionate moans and whimpers spurring my body on, but my mind and soul are somewhere else; somewhere lost in her eyes, in what I feel for her… the longing and the aching… pleading… beseeching…

Please don’t leave me… please stay with me… be mine forever…

I see my life in her eyes. My future and my demise… my everything, right here… right now… I can’t breathe. She’s leaving me and I can’t breathe…

I love you… you’re my life… please, Island Girl…

Goddammit, I’m coming hard. I’m coming so fucking hard that I really can’t breathe. I stiffen into her, unable to move as every bit of semen, moisture and pleasure empties into her. She locks her ankles behind me, her heels pressing into my ass, and fucks me through this blinding, crippling, mind-boggling orgasm until…

“Aaaaaaaaaaaauuuuuuuuuuggggggghhhhhhhh!”

The sound that rips from my Island Girl is agony. Her orgasm—fourth or fifth, I lost count—rips more violently from her than mine did from me, and mine was pretty fucking violent. Her head is back and she’s panting, almost hyperventilating, sobbing and shaking as she clings to me, her arms and legs wrapped tightly around my body and her core wrapped tightly around my dick.

For several moments, we don’t move. My dick is still thumping inside of her—tender and empty, but unable to exit just yet as it’s still swollen from its workout. Likewise, her walls are still pulsing around me, begging for mercy and reprieve, which I have no choice but to give her as we are both completely down for the count. We are both drenched in sweat and I’m finally able to lift my head from her shoulder and cup her face, completely slick with her tears. I wipe them away as much as I can and kiss her everywhere my mouth can reach, including her trembling lips.

My beautiful Island Girl… beautiful, beautiful Island Girl…

I roll over onto our sides and embrace her tightly, letting her cry in my ear as I hold her close against my body, kissing her cheek and face over and over and praying that somehow I can absorb her into me and we become one person—and she could walk around inside of me forever.

Don’t go… please, don’t go…

*-*

“American Airlines Flight 1070 to Miami, now boarding at gate 17G.”

“Dat’s me, Choonks,” she says softly. She stands and throws her backpack over her shoulder. Ana waves at us and gestures for me to walk her to the gate. She’s allowing me as much time with her as possible to say goodbye.

Goodbye… the word burns in my throat.

I snatch her back into my arms and hold her close to me. She gasps—at the closeness… because I snatched her… I don’t know.

“Baby, don’t go,” I breathe into her locs, “marry me.”

“Chatles, please,” she says, weakened, “we talked abowdis…”

“I know, I know,” I say, turning my nose into her neck and breathing in deeply. “I had to try… just one more time.”

I pull her back and look into those beautiful brown eyes. God, I love her. I hold her face and kiss her reverently, remembering the taste of her soft, full lips. She’s enchanting and addicting. Strange that I should use that word.

I kiss her again and again, and I know that I should let her go. I bring her hand to mine. We agreed not to touch the glass as she was leaving, because the other’s hand was the last warmth we wanted… not the cold glass.

“Palm to palm,” I whisper.

“H…haht to haht,” she chokes. I kiss her forehead, her face, and her hands once more, then let her go to board the plane… or at least I thought I did.

“Choonks…”

I look down and I’m still holding her hand. I can’t let her go. I can’t. I gather her into my arms again and kiss her so passionately that I lose perception of time and space.

Stay with me. Be with me. Marry me. I can’t breathe without you. Please…

We are lost in each other in this moment in time, her hands rummaging through my hair and my arms wrapped tightly around her, binding her to me. I love her; she is me and I am her. I’ll die without her, I know I will…

“Last call for American Airlines Flight 1070 to Miami, now boarding at gate 17G.”

Our spell is broken. Reality looms and we break the kiss, our foreheads touching, breathing heavily in each other’s arms.

“Heart to heart,” I breathe, and she chokes on a sob. “Go. Go on, baby.” I finally release her or I won’t have the strength to do it again. She nearly runs to the gate and hands the attendant her boarding pass, weeping.

Don’t go Keri… please… I love you… please…

She doesn’t look back as she passes the attendant. It would be too hard on both of us. She’s sobbing as she walks down the gangplank to the plane… away from me—forever, it seems. My chest burns as I watch her shoulders shake and hear her delicate cries.

Come back and marry me… please…

The attendant ceremoniously closes the door as Keri was the last passenger to board. I feel like she’s closing the door on my life. There’s a boiling in my stomach. The burn in my chest has moved lower and I fight not to lose my lunch. I stand there—I don’t know how long—watching, waiting, praying for my love to get off that goddamn plane and come running back to me. I stare out of the window forever as the gangplank begins to accordion back away from the plane.

That’s it. She’s not coming back.

I swallow hard as I watch and wait for the big offensive bird to take my heart far, far away from me. My heart—I had forgotten it existed for a long time. Granted, I wasn’t like Grey, blocking everybody out and fucking and beating little sexbots—from what I heard, anyway—but I was pretty shut down. My family didn’t want me, or so I thought. I was fine getting the regular fuck and moving on. I’ve loved somebody once or twice, but not like this… never like this. I have enough money to retire right now and live a comfortable life in Anguilla with her. I give a fleeting thought to doing just that, but I love my life in Seattle. I love my work, my friends—old and new—and I just found my family again…

… But I love Keri. God, I love Keri. What a fucking choice.

The noise of the engines burns through my soul like the jet fuel powering them. The lights flicker and blink and the big offensive gray bird with the word “American” proudly sprayed across its fuselage slowly begins to move away from the building.

I won’t touch the glass. I won’t touch the glass…

It turns and moves slowly to the runway, and when it starts to taxi faster and faster, I clench my fists and pin them to my thighs. My knees are weak and the room is shaking. I feel like the glass is gone and I could easily fall forward into the abyss and disappear forever. It lifts of the ground and it’s far enough away that I can’t see it very well. The landing gear folds into the bottom and it disappears, finally, behind the building.

She’s gone.
Only an ocean…
And a sea…
And some islands…
And a whole goddamn continent!

I broke our promise. I touched the glass, but not with my hands. I’m leaning against it, the cold burning my forehead. I didn’t know that I was leaning against it until just now. I don’t think that counts, so I won’t tell her.

Three months. I had her here for three months. It felt like a lifetime. She was there when no one else was, when no one else could be. I love her so much. One day, I’ll make her my wife. We’ll have children and build a family—here or in Anguilla, I don’t care, but she will be Mrs. Davenport.

For right now… she’s gone, and my heart is breaking.

“Chuck?”

Her voice startles me. I forgot that I wasn’t alone. I take in a cleansing breath and let it out, but it cleanses nothing. I want Keri. I want her to come back, and suddenly I feel like throwing a temper tantrum like a rotten five-year-old kid, but I won’t. I push myself off the glass without using my hands and turn around to face Ana, wiping away the tears that I know have fallen.

“Will it get better?” I ask her, already knowing my answer. She looks at me with sympathetic eyes.

“It will,” she nods, “but not right now.” She gives me the courtesy of the truth, and that’s why I love her. This would be one of those moments where I would need a drink. Keri knew that and she made me swear on her life that I wouldn’t take a drink. That’s a heavy swear, so needless to say, the need and desire are the furthest thing from my mind right now… but not Keri, not my Island Girl. I take out my phone and send her a text that I know she’ll get on her first layover.

**My heart aches for you already. Until we meet again, my beautiful Island Girl. **

I put my phone away and look at Ana, still gazing at me with those sympathetic eyes. She didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to Keri because I hogged all of her time, but I know she understands… 24/7 for three months and now… gone.

She slides her hand into mine and entwines our fingers. It’s not Keri’s hand, but it’ll have to do for now. I sigh heavily and allow the only sister I’ve ever known to walk me out of the airport and away from the place I last saw the love of my life.

 

Becoming Dr. Grey: Chapter 41—Friends, Family, and Foes

If you haven’t received a personal response to your email, comment, or post, please accept this mass “thank you” because I’m having a bit of a hard time getting to everybody. Still kind of tired and still a bit under the weather, but trying to putter on.

I do not own Fifty Shades Trilogy, or the characters. They belong to E. L. James. I am only exercising my right to exploit, abuse, and mangle the characters to MY discretion in MY story in MY interpretation as a fan. If something that I say displeases you, please, just leave. If you don’t like this story or me, please don’t spoil this experience for everyone. Just go away. For the rest of you, the saga continues…

Chapter 41—Friends, Family, and Foes

CHRISTIAN

“I need to speak to a certain young lady.”

I’m talking to Jason while we wait for Butterfly to finish her weekly de-stressing massage. She went to see Ace today and came back a little spent. I don’t know what the content of the conversation was, but she needs that massage in the worst way. I dare not tell her that her ankles are starting to swell.

“Oh?” Jason asks, with raised eyebrows.

“It’s not a social call and it won’t be pretty,” I continue. “It may be in a public place, but I need for no one to know that’s it me or that I was even in the area.” His expression changes.

“Wilson?” he asks. I nod.

“Wilson.” I confirm.

“Notice?”

“Exactly.”

“When do you want to do this?”

“When she’s alone and we know exactly where she’s going to be,” I tell him.

“I got you covered, Boss,” he says. “It may take a few days’ surveillance.”

“That’s fine,” I tell him. “If she tries anything before then, drop her ass on sight.” He nods.

“No problem.”

So, the reason why we are waiting for Butterfly to finish her massage is because Chuck has asked us to convene in the common area downstairs. Jason gave him his parents’ contact information a few days ago and he’s been remiss to call them. He’s so uncertain about their intentions and how they feel about him, especially since he’s been trying to contact them all these years. The not knowing is really eating away at him, though. He shared with us just after the security meeting that it was like agony of Prometheus waiting for the eagle to eat his liver every day. What a gruesome analogy!

Butterfly comes floating out of her massage looking fresh as a bunny and as beautiful as ever. She’s wearing this beautiful long-sleeved wrap around maxi dress that looks like the sky, and her leg pokes out of it every time she takes a step.

“You’re trying to kill me here,” I say in her ear as she walks into my embrace.

“That doesn’t sound like a good thing,” she says with a half-smirk. I kiss her cheek.

“You look lovely and you smell delicious,” I tell her.

“Thank you, Mr. Grey,” she says coyly. I look down at her feet and see that she’s wearing slides—kitten heels. She hates kitten heels.

“I like the shoes,” I try to comfort her. They really are beautiful against her legs. She sighs.

“It begins,” she says, sadly, looking down at her foot as she points it out to the side. “My ankles are swelling.” I nod.

“Okay, that means that we need to keep you off your feet as much as possible.” I kiss her cheek. “I could carry you.” She smiles.

“You’re very sweet, Christian,” she says, returning the kiss to my cheek. “I’ll be fine, baby. Let’s focus on the task at hand. Chuck is going to need us.” I nod and take her hand. After kissing her knuckles, we walk to the elevator.

“Take your time, Chuck,” I tell him once we’re all sitting in the common area on the lower level. “You don’t have to rush.”

“I know,” he says, watching the phone like it’s going to dial itself or give him all the answers. Finally, he takes a deep breath and, while clinging to Keri’s hand, he dials the number, puts the phone on speaker and sits it on the table. It rings twice before a man picks up the line.

“Hello?” Chuck doesn’t speak for a moment. I think he’s lost his nerve. “Hello?”

“D…” He chokes, then clears his voice. “Dad?” There’s silence for a moment.

“Joe?” the man says, and my chest tightens for a moment. Chuck closes his eyes, then announces,

“It’s Chuck, Dad.” The line is silent for several more moments before a broken but bellowing voice rings,

“Chuckie? Chuckie, is that you? Is that really you? Maddie, it’s Chuckie!” he yells to someone in the background. “Chuckie’s on the phone! Chuckie, are you there?” Chuck chokes laughter through his tears.

“Yeah, Dad, I’m here,” he says weakly.

“Oh, Chuckie, it’s been so long. It’s so good… we thought… oh, Chuckie, we thought…” Mr. Davenport is weeping on the line.

“Nelson, what’s wrong?” I hear a woman say on the line. There’s some rustling and then her voice rings through, “Hello?”

“Hi, Mom,” Chuck says to his mother after over a decade.

“Joseph, what’s wrong with your voice? And what’s wrong with your father?”

“It’s not Joseph Mom it’s Chuck,” he says in one breath. There’s silence again and then a gasp.

“Oh my God!” she shrieks. “Oh my God, Chuckie! Chuckie, you’re alive! Oh my God, he’s really alive… Nelson!” His parents are nearly hysterical on the phone. This is one reunion that I wish could have been done in person, but for Chuck’s sake, I know why I couldn’t be.

“Mom, listen to me, please,” Chuck begs. His mother is weeping uncontrollably and there’s rustling on the line again before Mr. Davenport comes back.

“I’m here, Son,” he says, his voice shaky.

“Dad, I really need to see you guys. A lot has happened. My life has changed so much. I can’t begin to tell you everything. I live in Washington now…”

“Yeah, the guy who called us… he said you got a job out there, a bodyguard or something. I didn’t think it was real…”

“Yes, I went into personal protection after my tour was finished. There’s a lot I need to tell you, Dad. I really need to see you. I can’t travel right now, but I’ll fly you guys out here if you want…”

“There’s no need, Son. We’ll catch the next available flight out. We’ll be there as soon as the next bird can get us there. You just tell us where to be and we’ll get there.” I think everybody is surprised now. Joseph made it seem like they were strapped for cash.

“Dad, are you sure?”

“Yes, son, we’re sure. Wild horses couldn’t keep us away! We’ll be in the air as soon as… as soon as I can stop your mom from crying.” I almost want to laugh. Chuck does. “This is your number on the caller ID, son?”

“Yeah, Dad, that’s me,” Chuck squeaks.

“I’ll save it in my phone. As soon as I have our arrangements, I’ll call you and let you know. Washington… Seattle, right?”

“Yeah, Dad, Seattle,” Chuck says.

“The next bird, son. I’ll call you right back.”

“Okay.” There’s silence for a while again.

“It sure is good to hear your voice, Chuckie,” Mr. Davenport says.

“It’s good to hear yours, too, Dad,” Chuck chokes.

“Bye, Chuckie… for now.”

“Bye, Dad.” He ends the call and just stares at the phone for several moments. “Dammit!” He says, sobbing once more. “This bitch-boy crying shit has got to stop!”

“Well, Chuck, you’re about to see your parents after more than a decade and they thought you were dead. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the bitch-boy crying shit just started.” He does the crying-laughing thing again.

“This is the happiest day of my life,” he says through his tears.

“So far,” I tell him. “Wait until they get here.”

*-*

I have no idea why I just want to spend the evening making Butterfly come, but she gently tells me to let her rest as she has come so many times in the last two days that not only would her clit be a little desensitized to the pleasure, but it would also be a bit sore from the overstimulation. She also shares with me about the meltdown that poor Keri had yesterday because Chuck was trying to fuck her brains out. I laugh heartily and tell her that it must be something in the air and simply opt to massage her swollen ankles and feet and caress her beautiful curves and plump body while we indulge in an evening of Disney classics reclined in the luxurious bed-chairs in the theater room. Tonight’s features will be Fantasia and Snow White and The Seven Dwarves.

After one night in purgatory without my Butterfly, each morning I awake with her in my arms and my nose in her hair is paradise. I inhale deeply, still smelling a hint of vanilla and cinnamon on her skin and pulling her close to me. Mmm, it’s delightful. I snuggle into her warmth and comfort and feel our children stretch inside of her. She groans a bit as they move and I know that it’s a bit uncomfortable for her. I rub her stomach gently, putting more pressure on the point where there is the most activity—my way of chiding my children and telling them to settle down. It usually works.

“Better?” I ask as it appears our little acrobats seem to be calming a bit.

“Better,” she says sleepily as she rolls over onto her back and stretches. She opens sleepy eyes to me and I’m lost in my future. I cover her mouth with mine and use my tongue to caress hers. Mmm, she tastes so good. I feel warmth travel through my body almost immediately and culminate in my groin. Shit! She turns to face me and grasps my face, deepening the kiss. Hell, is my little soldier still irritated? I don’t care. I think she’s still tender, but I need to feel her touch. I take her hand and rub it against my groin.

“Christian…” she protests into my mouth.

“I just need you to touch me,” I breathe huskily, pushing into her hand. “I don’t need to come. I just need you to touch me.” I’m kissing her again as she grasps my erection and testicles firmly outside of my pajamas and boxer briefs, causing me to moan deep in my chest.

“Baby, you feel so good,” I whisper as I pull her closer to me, absorbing her warmth, her fragrance and her essence, consuming her kisses. We fit together when we’re side-by-side. Somehow, the children move aside and we can get close—like a puzzle. Her kisses become hungry—earnest, and she pushes her hand inside my boxers. I feel her skin against me, her palm grinding against my erection while her fingers cup and manipulate my balls. Yes!

I groan into her mouth. Fuck, her hand feels so good. I slide one arm underneath and wrap both arms around her. I fuck her hand—just a bit, I won’t come. She whimpers into my mouth and almost breaks me down. I gather her little gown in my fists and feel it rise off her ass. Cupping her bare ass, I grind into her hand and now I want to come. I really want to come.

“Christian,” she breathes against my lips, “I was wrong,” she pants. “I need you to fuck me. How is…?”

“I don’t care!” I growl. I move her hand and in record time, my erection is freed from my bottoms, her leg is over my hip, and Greystone is sinking deep into his happy place.

Yeeessssssss!!!!

She gasps twice, loud and hard, like she’s been waiting her whole life for this.

“Slowly! Gently!” she gasps, clinging to my T-shirt. Her head is thrown back on the bed. I screw my eyes shut as she wraps around me. She doesn’t get it. I have to move slowly. If I move with any quickness, I’m coming in two strokes. I lay my head in her bosom and pull her close to me, very close, my hands on her bare back. She’s soft and wet and warm and tight and hot and oh my God!

“Christian, please…” she whimpers, tightening her leg around me. I push into her—gently, like she wants—and withdraw… starting a long, slow rhythm. I hold her against me, moving nothing but my hips to push my erection in and out of her core. Fuck, she’s so tight! How is she so tight?

“Christian!” she breathes, then swallows. Pulling my hair hard, she jerks my head back and thrusts her tongue into my mouth, ravaging my lips. She spurns my libido so drastically that I slam my hand against her ass instinctively, roughly grabbing the cheek and bringing her only slightly on top of me so that I can glide deeper into her. She jumps and coos into my mouth and her reaction coupled with the sting on my hand lets me know that was the right move.

She is so fucking hot.

“Fuck! Do it again!” she growls, her fingers tightening in my hair. Goddammit! Don’t thrust! Don’t thrust! My hand lands hard on her ass again and I squeeze possessively, immobilizing her, pushing her hips against me. The only movement she is allotted is the shiver of pleasure that reverberates through her body and she groans into my mouth as she assaults me with hot, delicious, passionate kisses.

Fuck, baby. You taste like sunshine and blue skies.

My dick is burning with endless pleasure as I slide in and out of her core. Her body is shaking as one of my hands has moved and is now holding her thigh against my hip while the other possessively presses against the Garden, preventing her escape. She’s pulling ferociously on my hair and our tongues are dancing a wild, wet and luscious tango while our bodies grind out a fire sure to consume Tiger Mountain Forest. Each of us feverishly composes a symphony and the recital culminates to a thunderous finale as we cling to each other, each one panting and violently attempting to devour the other.

“I’m coming! I’m coming!” I confess, unable to hold my eruption any longer, my forehead exploding in pain and fireworks as I attempt to prevent my orgasm.

“Come! Come!” she pants wildly as I feel her tighten around me, spurning my release. I take deep breaths of sweet freedom as pleasure envelops my entire body and sprays endlessly from my dick. She moans deeply with each spray, as if she can feel the same pleasure that I do. When the muscle stops squeezing ejaculate from willing testicles through the divining rod pulsing inside her, her walls slow their vibrations and her body falls limp against mine and the bed and she keens quietly with each breath. I reverently kiss her entire face, her shoulders, the exposed part of her chest, silently thanking her for being the beautiful, sexy, lustful goddess that she is.

“Come,” I whisper against her skin. “Let me clean you.”

I slide out of her to both our protest and roll off the bed. I help her out bed and lead her to my en suite.

“Do you need to use the restroom?” I ask and she nods. I gesture to the toilet and go over to the shower to give her a bit of privacy. I turn on the shower to allow it to get warm and strip off my T-shirt, pajama pants, and boxer briefs. She comes up behind me and touches my back. Mmm, I love the feel of her skin. I turn around and take her hand.

“My turn,” I say, kissing her palm before I go to relieve myself. When I return, she’s already in the shower, letting the water run over her body. God, she’s beautiful. The last time we were in this shower together…

Time to replace that memory.

I step in the shower with her and kiss her shoulder. My wife… my beautiful, fragile wife. Well, sometimes fragile. I wet the bath sponge and fill it with shower gel. When I’ve worked it into a lather, I kiss every part of her body before I gently scrub it with the bath sponge—her shoulders, her chest, her breasts, her arms, her hands, her torso, her stomach, her back, her butt, her thighs, her calves, her ankles, her feet, her shins, her knees, her hips, her pelvis, and right back to her swollen, pulsing clit until she begs me to stop. She’s breathless and wanton and sated when I rinse the soap from her body and she has to lean on me as I wash and condition her hair. I quickly clean my own body and hair and rinse them clean before making sure the conditioner is out of hers so that we can leave the shower together. Her legs are a little wobbly from our escapade, so I wrap myself in a towel and her in a bath sheet before I carry her to her dressing room to pick her attire for the day.

“What would my lady Anastasia like to wear?” I ask after thoroughly drying her beautiful skin. She giggles sweetly and sends a flush of warmth through my body.

“You choose,” she says, softly. I smile and kiss her on the nose. Going over to her wardrobe and mindful that we will have company today after breakfast and that she has an appointment later this afternoon, I choose a red tartan turtleneck mini-dress with a long red cardigan—simple and cute, and it makes my maternal goddess look dainty. After I adorn her in comfortable underwear and nice, warm tights, I help her into her dress and cardigan and she is pleased with the combination. A stable pair of thick-heeled three-inch red, leather Nicolette knee boots with a full-length zipper makes her very happy as she has the stability of the thick heel and support on her ankles without the stiletto or having to completely give up her high-heels. We will find her more boots like these to finish out her pregnancy.

I have no idea how she manages this gorgeous swooping thing she does with her hair these days to cover the spot where the scar is, so I just watch admirably as she puts her hair in a messy bun, pulls a little out on the side and swoops it easily up with the rest, securing it with some little hair pin. A pair of black and gold hoops, some black beads, and a red, black and gold art-deco bracelet later, and she’s ready to take on the world.

“You look stunning, Lady Anastasia,” I say, kissing her gently on the lips.

“Thanks to you, Sir Christian,” she says after a girlish giggle.

*-*

“Easy nuh, Choonks. You wotty yuhself to dett!”

Keri tries to calm her boyfriend as he sits bouncing his good leg nervously in the wheelchair. His cast has been changed out to a more lightweight one to help him move around more, but he’s still primarily in the wheelchair. Good or bad, this reunion will be too emotional to chance on crutches. The rest of us—Jason, Gail, Butterfly, and I—wait patiently with him in the living room for the arrival of his parents. Their plane arrived at SeaTac this morning and after breakfast and getting settled in at the Fairmont Olympic, they phoned Chuck to say they would be right over.

We don’t have to wait long. The moment the doorbell rings, Butterfly and I rise to meet them in the grand entry as we know that Windsor will have the door open and will be relieving them of their coats in no time flat. I’ve never had a butler before and I never really paid attention to my parents’ staff except to ignore Leona, but I find myself wondering how we ever functioned without him.

I’ve always wondered where certain children get their genes. Although Chuck and Joseph favor their father very much, they’re both better than six feet tall while Mr. and Mrs. Davenport couldn’t be taller than five eight. I extend my hand to him.

“Mr. Davenport?” I ask. He takes my hand and shakes firmly. Chuck’s eyes look back at me from a slightly older, more rugged face.

Chuck and Nelson

“Nelson,” he says. “This is my wife, Madeline.”  The small blonde holds her husband’s elbow and smiles warmly at us.

“Hello,” she says, sweetly. I nod and smile.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you both. I’m Christian Grey and this is my wife, Anastasia.” Mrs. Davenport beams at Butterfly.

“Anastasia,” she says, “what a beautiful name.”

“Thank you,” Butterfly says, “but please, call me Ana.” She opens her arms and gestures to the living room. “I’m sure you don’t want to wait any longer. Please…” I gesture that way as well and the Davenports head in that direction. When they reach the top of the stairs to the living room, Chuck looks up and sees his parents for the first time in over ten years. Mrs. Davenport gasps and her fingertips fly to her lips, both arms trembling and her breath coming in short. They stare at each other for several moments while the room is suspended in silence. Mr. Davenport finally puts his hand in the small of his wife’s back.

“Go, Momma,” he says softly in her ear. “Go.”

Mrs. Davenport’s breath catches in her throat before she scurries down the stairs to Chuck’s side. She takes his face in her hands like he was ten years old.

“My boy!” she weeps. “My beautiful boy! My beautiful boy! My beautiful boy!” She can’t say anything else. Chuck’s face screws into a grimace and he begins to weep. They are caught in a sobbing embrace while his mother repeats the phrase over and over again, stroking his hair and rubbing his back. Mr. Davenport smiles softly and enters the living room, taking notice of the other occupants. Jason stands and proffers his hand.

“Mr. Davenport?” he says very lowly, “I’m Jason Taylor. We spoke on the phone.”

He looks at Jason, then at his wife and son still locked in an emotional, sobbing embrace, then back at Taylor. He purses his lips tightly, then grabs Jason’s hand with his right hand and his arm with his left.

“Thank you, sir,” he chokes over his emotion. “Thank you. Thank you…” He swallows, attempting not to break down completely. Jason covers their clasps hands with his other hand.

“It was my pleasure, Mr. Davenport,” Jason says, reverently. Mr. Davenport nods.

“Nelson, please,” he says, trying to force a smile over his emotion. Jason nods once and gestures to Gail.

“Nelson, this is my wife, Gail,” he says. Mr. Davenport turns his attention to Gail and gently takes her outstretched hand after releasing Jason’s.

“Gail, lovely to meet you. Real stand-up guy you have here.” She looks up at Jason.

“I know,” she says with an adoring smile before turning back to Mr. Davenport. “Thank you, sir… Real stand-up son you have there.” He smiles sadly at her.

“I know,” he says, his voice almost gone. Butterfly squeezes my arm and I look down to see tears streaming down her lovely face.  I wipe them away with my thumbs.

“Don’t you cry, too, now,” I say softly as I kiss her nose. She smiles at me as I tuck her hand into my elbow and help her down the stairs and back to her seat. Keri has relinquished her seat next to Chuck so that Mrs. Davenport could sit and weep with her son, but the sobbing is now down to controlled sniffles as she clings to the arm of his wheelchair while his father now clings to him a manly version of the same reunion of moments ago. Ms. Solomon quietly comes in with the coffee service and agrees to return in a few moments to serve.

“You look good, son,” Mr. Davenport says once everyone has composed themselves. “Fit… well, except for the chair, of course.” Chuck nods.

“I’m a little flabby right now, Dad,” he says. “I haven’t been able to exercise, but I’m up and down. I start therapy in a couple of weeks and then I’ll be out of this thing for good.” Mr. Davenport nods.

“That’s good, son. That’s good to hear.”

“There’s so much I have to tell you guys,” he says. He reaches his hand out to Keri. Her eyes grow large, but she walks over to him without hesitation. “This is my girlfriend, Keri,” Chuck says immediately, erasing any doubt about Keri’s identity. Mrs. Davenport gasps and touches her lips with her fingers. Keri is clearly a bit uncomfortable with the gesture and quite frankly, so am I.

“Chuckie,” Mrs. Davenport says, not taking her eyes off of Keri, “she’s stunning!”

A collective sigh of relief can be heard throughout the room. Keri’s look of concern immediately changes to a beaming and sincere smile. “You’re beautiful,” she says directly to Keri.

“Tank you, ma’am,” Keri says, shyly, causing another gasp from Mrs. Davenport.

“Oh, my, where are you from?” she asks.

“Anguilla, ma’am,” Keri says, “Btitish Vuhgin Islands.”

“How exotic!” she coos. “Chuckie…” she teases her son playfully causing him to blush. Mr. Davenport’s coy expression indicates that he approves of Chuck’s choice as well. He relinquishes his seat next to Chuck and takes another seat nearby, allowing Keri to sit next to her beau, and the family is all smiles.

“Keri, along with everybody you see in this room, have been my lifeline,” Chuck begins. “They’ve been my other family. They’ve helped to keep me alive, to keep me sober, to keep me sane… Individually or collectively, each person here is an integral part of my survival.”

All of the women lose the battle to fight their tears and like the good little girl scout, Ms. Solomon is back with boxes of tissue and to serve the coffee.

“We can’t thank you all enough for being there for our Chuckie,” Mr. Davenport says. “I just wish we could have been there. We’ve lost so much time.”

“That’s not your fault, Dad,” Chuck says.

“We should have tried harder,” his father retorts, convicted. Tried harder…?

“You tried?” Chuck says, voicing my thoughts. “You tried to find me?”

“Hindsight being 20/20, I don’t think we did, Chuckie,” Mr. Davenport laments sitting back in his seat. “We left the task to Joe. He told us the trail came up dry. He even told us that he talked to the police and they told him that if you weren’t contacting us that you were either dead or homeless and unless a body popped up, there was no way to find you.” He takes his coffee from Ms. Solomon. “When Mr. Taylor… Jason… told us that you were in the military for a while, that’s when we knew. We knew Joe had lied to us because there was no way that you would have been missing for all that time, we file a missing person’s report, and they couldn’t find you in the service. There’s no way.” Chuck shakes his head.

“I went into the military right after rehab,” he says. “I sent letters to you guys at the address at Stahelin and I never got a response. I thought everybody hated me and I couldn’t go back to living the way I was. I needed structure and discipline, so… I went to the service.”

“We had no idea,” Mrs. Davenport says. “We didn’t even know you were in rehab.” He raises his head, shocked at first, then drops it again.

“He really is Satan,” I hear Jason say, referring to Joseph, loud enough for us to hear, but not the Davenports.

“Tell me about it,” Butterfly concurs before taking a sip of her ginger tea.

“I have to ask you guys something,” Chuck says, moving forward in his chair. “Did you guys know that Joseph came to see me last week?” They look at each other astonished.

“He was here?” Mrs. Davenport asks incredulously. “Why didn’t he tell us?”

“Oh, boy,” I say without lowering my voice. Here we go…

“I need a real seat. Get me out of this thing.” We all watch in amazement as Keri springs into action. She effortlessly locks the wheels of the wheelchair, raises the footrests, grabs Chuck’s crutches and has him out of that wheelchair in 90 seconds flat. Jason has to scramble to get a real chair behind him so that he can sit down. He sighs contentedly. Keri whispers something to Butterfly and she reaches behind her and hands a pillow to Keri. I reach behind me and put my pillow behind Butterfly.

“Easy nuh,” Keri says, as she kneels and puts the pillow near his foot.

“I’m okay, baby. I don’t need that,” he protests.

“Don be givin’ meh noh poblem nuh, put de pillee unda yee foot!” Mrs. Davenport is a bit shocked, but Gail and Butterfly burst out laughing almost immediately and I can’t help but wonder if the fellas of the Crossing have been left out of a private joke.

“Yes, ma’am!” Chuck says and obediently lifts his foot. Keri fluffs the pillow and he places his foot on it.

“Dere. Don dat feel bettah nuh?” she says sweetly.

“Yes, baby, it does,” he says returning her smile, and now Mrs. Davenport chuckles.

“Do you plan on marrying this girl, Chuckie?” she asks. Ah, the question of the century. The entire room falls silent. Chuck and Keri look at one another with melancholy smiles. They’ve had this conversation.

“I don’t know, Mom. I guess it’s always a possibility, but not just now.” Keri is still smiling softly as is Chuck, but they are giving nothing away. He sighs heavily and gets the conversation back on track. “Mom, Dad, Joe has always known where I was. He knew I was in rehab. He knew I was in the service. He knew that I was here. He’s been listed as my next of kin for years—all this time. When I wrote you guys and I didn’t get a response, I thought you were dead. Joseph stopped talking to me, so his purpose was to claim my body or make my final arrangements… or pull the plug. When I got into the accident, Jason contacted them just like he contacted you, but we didn’t know if you guys were even alive until Joseph showed up here.

“I couldn’t believe that my own parents wouldn’t care if I was dead or alive,” he continues. “I woke up and the only person there was Keri, and she flew here all the way from Anguilla. She got a three-month visa and put her life on hold to come and be by my side, but my own family…” He trails off and sighs. “When Joseph showed up, it was weeks after the accident. I could have been dead already, but he took a chance. When he got here, he took shots at everybody for me to Keri to Ana… Nobody was off limits. Ana cut him off right in the middle of a racial slur.”

Mrs. Davenport gasps and covers her mouth. The color leaves her face and I can only assume that she’s embarrassed that this is her son that we’re talking about. She looks over at Keri with apologetic eyes.

“It’s allight, Misses Dahvenpolt,” Keri says.

“Maddie,” she says softly, smiling at Keri and rubbing her hand. Chuck continues.

“I wanted to know if you guys knew that he came here because he said that he was coming on your behalf. He said that you needed money, but he wouldn’t tell me why. I refused him and told him that you guys needed to contact me about what you needed and I would help you and he went berserk.”

“He said what!?” Mr. Davenport roars, rising from his seat. Butterfly nearly jumps out of her skin. I quickly wrap my arms around her and she’s shaking. I’ve got you, baby. He’s not angry with you. Mrs. Davenport is equally awestruck, staring at Chuck like he just spoke some foreign language. He frowns and looks from his father to his mother and back to his father.

“That’s why I asked if you were sure you could afford your plane tickets,” he defends. “He made it sound like you were losing your house or buried under horrible medical bills or something, but he wouldn’t tell me what it was! When I turned him down and told him to have you guys call me, he insulted everything about me—my accomplishments, my life, my family, my home, my job, my sobriety, everything! He made it sound like none of you wanted anything at all to do with me; that you all knew exactly where I was all the time and you just didn’t care; that the only thing you wanted was money and that if I wasn’t going to give it to you, that you didn’t have any use for me.

“When I discovered that you guys were actually alive, I had Jason and our corporate head of security track you down. I guess because Joseph had hidden us from each other all these years, he thought he could continue to do it because he didn’t know what resources I had available to me. When I knew for sure that you guys were alive, I looked for you myself. When I found you and I discovered that you were happy that I was alive, I was going to send for you. I thought you were broke!”

“We’re not broke! Joe is broke!” Mrs. Davenport exclaims.

“What?” I ask, before I realize that I’m not necessarily part of the conversation.

“Yes, Joe is virtually penniless,” she says. “He lost everything in the divorce and he lives like a poor bachelor. He’s living in some little place above a restaurant or something in Spearfish. The kids can’t even come and see him. Sunny has to bring the kids to our house to visit.”

“I’ll be damned!” Mr. Davenport exclaims quietly. “I’ll be goddamned.”

“Nelson, what it is?” his wife says.

“Last week,” he says, raising his eyes to his wife. “The out-of-town interview, Maddie? You kept asking him who does an interview on Saturday.” She frowns and shakes her head.

“Oh!” she says after realization dawns. “Yeah. He kept evading the question. We gave him the money to go. Then he just said it didn’t go well…”

“He was here last Saturday,” Chuck confirms. “Saturday afternoon. He pissed me off so bad, I had to call my sponsor.”

“Your sponsor?” Mrs. Davenport asks.

“AA, Mom,” he says.

“You don’t drink at all?” she asks. He shakes his head.

“Not even socially.”

“Not even a beer?” his father asks. He shakes his head again.

“Not even a beer,” he says to his father. Mr. Davenport puts his hand on Chuck’s arm.

“Seeing Joseph made you want to drink again?” he asks. Chuck drops his head and sighs.

“All the feelings…” His voice cracks and he clears his throat. “I felt abandoned all back over again. I felt alone. He gave me… he gave me hope… and he snatched it away again it was worse than before.” He said the last part all in one breath. “For a brief moment, I remembered how alcohol made me forget everything and I needed a drink. I really. Needed. A drink!” He’s taking deep breaths like he’s trying to focus, trying not to slip into that same state of mind he was in a week ago today after he spoke to his brother.

“I was sinking—fast! The abyss was swallowing me up. But Christian told me that I wasn’t alone, that he… that they all had my back…” His voice is cracking again. “I knew I couldn’t let go. I knew I couldn’t go back. I wanted to be strong, but I needed some help so I called my sponsor.”

“How long, son?” his father asks. Chuck’s brow furrows. He doesn’t understand the question. “How long since your last drink?” Chuck gazes at his father for several seconds and swallows hard.

“Joe’s wedding,” he finally says.

Mr. Davenport’s lips form a thin line and he stands up straight, his fists clenched at his side and rage emanating from his pores. His wife looks at him with concern as he turns to me.

“Can you ask your guy to bring me my coat, please?” he says. I frown.

“I’ll get it,” Jason says, walking into the grand entry.

“Nelson?” Mrs. Davenport says.

“It’s alright, Momma,” he says. “Everything’s alright.” Chuck and his mother examine his father as Jason and Windsor return with Mr. Davenport’s coat. He fishes into his pocket and locates his cell phone.

“Thank you, sir,” he says to Windsor, turning his attention to his phone. Windsor looks to me and I nod, dismissing him. We all remain silent, waiting to see what Mr. Davenport is doing and his intentions become crystal clear with the next words out of his mouth after he touches the face of his phone a few times.

“Hey Joe, you got a minute?… Yeah, there’s somebody here that I need you to speak to really quick. One sec, okay?” He hands the phone to Chuck without another word.

“Hey Joseph,” Chuck says coolly. “I bet you really wish I was dead now, don’t you?” He says nothing else and hands the phone back to his parents.

“What ya know there, Joe?” Mr. Davenport says. After a pause, “I’m sure you do. I’m sure you’ve got quite a bit of explaining you’d like to do, but I can’t talk right now. I’ve got about thirteen years of catching up to do with my dead son!” He angrily ends the call and turns back to Chuck.

“I want to hear everything, Chuckie,” he says, “every little thing, whatever you have time to tell me and whatever you don’t have time to tell me, we’ll catch up later. I want to hear what you’ve been doing with your life, who you’ve met, where you’ve been, what you’ve seen… Do you have any children? Have you been married? Tell us everything, Chuckie. Everything!”

“Why don’t we move this reunion to the family room?” Butterfly suggests. “It’s so much more comfortable and less formal. You can kick off your shoes and put your feet up, we can get some music going, have some snacks and some soft drinks…”

“We don’t want to put you through any trouble,” Mrs. Davenport protests.

“Are you kidding?” Butterfly chuckles. “This is cause for celebration. Chuck is very special to us. I assure you, it’s no trouble whatsoever—that is, if Chuck doesn’t mind.” Chuck smiles widely.

“Chuck would like that very much,” he says genuinely. Butterfly smiles back.

“Then it’s settled,” Butterfly says as I help her from the sofa.

“Excellent!” Gail says, leaping from her seat. “I’ll rally the troops and we’ll whip up some munchies in no time.” She kisses Jason sweetly and scurries off to the kitchen. Mrs. Davenport’s brow furrows.

“She works here, too?” she asks. I scratch my head.

“Uh… yeah. See…” How do I explain this?

“We’re a strange little 21st Century family,” Butterfly begins. “Gail started off as Christian’s housekeeper and cook when he lived alone in a penthouse downtown. Jason was and still is his head of personal security. Jason and Gail fell in love. Enter me!” She raises her hand. “Gail and I became friends, much to my then-boyfriend’s dismay. Chuck became my personal security and we became friends simply because of all the time we spend together Jason and Christian’s relationship blossomed, so they discovered that they were best friends it helps that Jason saved Christian’s life and Christian was best man at Jason and Gail’s wedding and Jason was best man at Christian and my wedding so everybody moved here with us, although Chuck only wants to stay temporarily until his leg heals since he already has his own house and Gail is now house manager and we hired more staff so that she could be nanny and she didn’t have to do the cooking anymore but she still does the cooking because she likes it…”

Now, that’s not really how she’s talking, but that’s pretty much how it sounds to the untrained ear. Poor Mr. and Mrs. Davenport probably got lost somewhere around “Gail and I became friends” and they, along with Keri, are suffering from a case of MEGO. I put my hands on my wife’s shoulders and she halts her explanations.

“We discovered that when you spend a lot of time with people, it doesn’t matter if they’re on your payroll. You still tend to develop lasting relationships,” I say finitely.

“Too much information?” Butterfly asks, looking over her shoulder at me.

“Way too much,” I say, kissing her hair.”

“Very profound, Boss,” Jason says, raising his eyebrow in that knowing way. Yeah, I know, Mr. Employer/Employee Line is getting all sappy.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, you’re fired,” I say.

“Sure,” he says with a smirk.

“Follow the rambler,” Butterfly says, waving her hand in the air and leading the way to the family room.


ANASTASIA

So after several hours of relaxing and talking, it’s painstakingly obvious that Nelson and Maddie never sent Joseph to talk to Chuck. They didn’t know where he was. Joseph had them convinced that Chuck was a burnt-out alcoholic that was either living on the street or in and out of rehab. They never got his letters. They didn’t know that he was trying to reach them. Joseph always headed them off. Joseph led them to believe that he didn’t know where Chuck was. If they had been in need of help or money, it wouldn’t have been the first thing they asked when they found him. The first thing they would have asked was, “How are you? How have you been? Are you alright? How has your life been? Are you married? Do we have any grandchildren?” Those kinds of questions, which were of course the questions that they asked, not, “Hey, we hear you hit it big, we need some money.”

As it turns out, everybody calls him Chuckie because they love him and it’s a term of endearment—everybody, that is, except for Joseph. He took a term of endearment and corrupted it, referring to Chucky as the evil doll from the movie Child’s Play. This explains why Chuck became damn near violent when his brother called him Chucky, but never reacted when his parents called him Chuckie.

childs_play_3_poster_02

Chuck does his best to recount his life after rehab—the reasons he went to the service and the tours overseas. He tells his parents that it wasn’t all bad, but it wasn’t easy. He explains that working for us is very fulfilling and admits that it can be dangerous sometimes. It takes both of us to explain the accident that left me in a coma and Chuck in a wheelchair.

“He saved your life?” Maddie asks me with glassy eyes. I nod.

“And you’re carrying twins?” I wrap my arms around my stomach and nod, smiling softly.

“And the babies are okay?” Christian slides his arm around me as I continue to nod, now becoming emotional.

“He saved us all,” I say, my voice cracking. “He’s a remarkable and decent man, and I’ll never be able to repay him as long as I live.”

We’ll never be able to repay him,” Christian adds. “This is my whole life right here and he kept them safe at great personal risk. We’ve weighed the odds and there were other options, but he put himself directly in the line of fire to make sure that my family was safe. I don’t have the words, ma’am. No disrespect intended, but he’s part of our family, too, now.”

She smiles widely through her tears as she clasps her hands together tightly and gazes lovingly at her son.

“Oh, Chuckie,” she gushes, “I’m so proud of you! I’m so glad you’re okay!” Chuck unsuccessfully attempts to fight his tears.

“I have to tell you ‘I’m sorry,’ Mom…” he begins.

“Chuckie, no…”

“Mom, I have to,” he beseeches. “I should have led with that. It’s part of my recovery. You, too, Dad.” She looks at him and nods, squeezing his hand.

“Later, son, okay? Not at this moment. We’ll let you do it, later. Is that okay?” she pleads sweetly. He looks at her and concedes her moment. She wraps her arms around him, weeping bitterly the tears of a mother who has finally found her long lost son.

“I love you, Chuckie,” she sobs. “I love you so much!”

“I love you, too, Mom,” he chokes. Nelson pinches his lips tightly together, his chin trembling slightly. He walks over to Chuck and squeezes his shoulder.

“Good deal, son!” he says gruffly, his voice scratchy in his throat betraying unshed tears. He’s obviously a man of very few words, but of the few words he could have chosen, these were the best as they pull the reluctant tears from Chuck’s eyes that start to stream down his cheeks. I smile tightly, wiping the tears from my own eyes. Marilyn appears in the doorway of the kitchen, signaling to me that it’s time for my dreaded lunch with Addie. I sigh heavily that I have to leave this sweet reunion to go talk to this woman about her shrew, harpy ass granddaughter, but it has to be done. I gesture to Christian to follow me to the kitchen.

“I have to go,” I tell him sadly. “Extend my apologies for me. Pressing, less pleasant matters to attend to.”

“Okay, baby.” He kisses my cheek. “Did you get a chance to tour Bear Creek or Broadmoor yet?”

“Broadmoor, yes. I didn’t get a chance to see Bear Creek, yet.”

“Did you like Broadmoor?” he asks.

“I did.”

“Go with Broadmoor,” he says, “or did you want to go see the others first?” I raise my eyebrows.

“No, if you’re a proponent for Broadmoor, then Broadmoor it is!” I confirm quietly. “We’ll need sponsors.” He chuckles sardonically.

“We’ll get sponsors,” he says. “In fact, we’ll be able to choose our sponsors.”

“Really?” I ask.

“Really.” He winks at me. “This is your ball. I’ll let you run with it. You let me know if you need me?” He knows I need this. He knows that I need to be front and center on this. I stand on my toes and kiss him deeply.

“I love you, Mr. Grey,” I say, with a smile.

“I love you, too, Mrs. Grey.” He caresses my cheek before I turn and leave with Marilyn.

*-*

“Addie, I can’t do it,” I say sadly after we are seated in the club and the waiter has brought our drinks. She frowns.

“What do you mean?” she asks. Over lunch, I explain to Addie every tactic I’ve attempted with her granddaughter and the outcome, or I should say the flaming failure, of each.

“Everything I’ve heard about her is bad and everything I’ve seen of her is bad. She even threatened me. I’ve put my hands on her money and I believe that she’ll make me go away if she can. I’ve already voiced my concerns to my husband.”

“Ana, it can’t be that serious,” she replies appalled.

After School Special“Her words to me were ‘I know people, Bitch.’ How serious is that to you? She leaned in on my desk and told me to leave her the fuck alone, and that’s what I’m willing to do.” I look down and shake my head, scoffing at myself. “I was thinking that I was going to take this troubled soul and expose her to real world circumstances so that she could see…” I trail off. “I don’t know, I was expecting some ‘after-school-special connection/transformation and the one that learned the real lesson was me, because that’s just not how it works in the real world.”

“So, you’re giving up on her.” It’s a statement, not a question. I raise my eyes to her.

“She’s already given up on herself!” I snap back. “You can’t mold clay that’s already set! She doesn’t see anything wrong with how she is. She’s just fine being the snaky, classless debutante with a bad reputation too low to even be considered a social climber. Whatever legacy you have will die when you do—which is what she’s waiting for—unless you have some other plans for part of your wealth that will allow your legacy to live on.” Her head snaps back and her eyes grow large.

“That’s pretty harsh, don’t you think?” she hisses at me. “I’ll admit that she’s a more than bit misled, but you’re throwing judgments out there that are completely unfounded! Who are you to draw these types of conclusions after only knowing her for a week?” and now, she’s getting angry with me.

“And you’ve known her for ten years, which is why you asked me to take her under my wing after I had already told you that I didn’t want to do it!” Realization dawns as she suddenly remembers that conversation. Our exchange has been sharp up to this point, but has not gotten loud… yet. “And on the contrary, Mrs. Wilson, as a medical, mental health professional, I do my very best not to throw judgments or draw conclusions on anybody, because that’s very dangerous ground. I can assure you that anything that I am saying to you is based on information that is not filtered from my interpretation, but came straight from your granddaughter’s mouth!” She turns piercing, dagger eyes to me.

“What are you talking about?” Now her voice is getting loud, garnering the attention of the ladies at the next table. I don’t care. If you want them to know about your melon-clad lost cause of a granddaughter, it doesn’t make me any difference.

“Oh, surely you know,” I say in a conspiratorial tone. She throws a menacing glance at the onlookers who have all but abandoned their lunch to listen to our conversation. They catch her glance and immediately turn their attention back to their salmon fillet and chicken salad. Addie turns her attention back to me. “She’s biding her time to collect her trust fund. After that, she hopes to land a rich husband, even though she would prefer to land a rich wife. If that’s successful—or unsuccessful—she’s then just going to wait for you to die so that she can collect her inheritance from you.”

Addie’s brown eyes are still piercing, but her expression becomes more impassive.

“She said that?” she asks with a menacing calm.

“Again, her exact words were, ‘I won’t have anything to worry about anyway. My grandparents won’t leave me penniless.’”

“She could have been talking about her trust fund.” Her voice is controlled and I can hear that she’s a bit hurt by this revelation. Unfortunately, I believe that even though Addie is cooperating with this whole plan to turn her granddaughter around, she’s in a bit of denial, too.

“She was not,” I say gently. “This was her answer when I asked her what she planned to do when the money from the trust fund runs out. I mentioned that you and Fred wouldn’t live forever.” Again, her face doesn’t change, but her eyes become a bit glassy. She takes her napkin from her lap and dabs the corners of her mouth.

“Well,” she says, pushing her chair away from the table, “this has been very enlightening. I hope you don’t mind, but I won’t be able to stay to finish lunch. Please excuse me.” She stands from the table and rushes out. I frown, looking at Marilyn and now at the whispering ladies at the next table. We’re at her country club and she just left us in the room. We watch as she says something to the waiter before she dashes out the door.

“Get ready for the walk of shame, Mare,” I say to her as the waiter comes over to our table.

“Ladies, Mrs. Wilson has informed me that she was unavoidably called away and will be unable to continue her lunch with you. However, as her guests, she has asked that I make sure that you have everything that you need to enjoy your meal. Would you like more ginger tea, Mrs. Grey?”

Oh! Well, now, I’m very pleasantly surprised.

“Yes, please, that would be lovely,” I respond.

“Another lemonade for you, Ms. Caldwell?” Marilyn is taken aback.

“Yes, thank you,” she says with a wide smile. He nods and leaves to retrieve out drinks.

“Nobody calls ‘Ms. Caldwell!’” she gushes when he’s out of earshot. I’m pleased that we weren’t ceremoniously escorted off the premises, but now I feel a bit sorry for Addie and I have no idea what’s in store for her ungrateful granddaughter.

*-*

“Thanks for coming with me on a Saturday, Mare,” I tell her when we get back to Grey Crossing late Saturday afternoon. “I know it was cowardice, but I just didn’t want to face Addie alone today, especially if she brought Courtney with her. Either way, I didn’t plan to mince my words, but you see how it went with no Courtney. I can only imagine what kind of performance I would have had to endure had she joined us.”

“Yes, I think it probably would have been best-actress material,” she concurs. “My office is finished—cozy and functional. I like it a lot, thanks for the space. Do you need me tomorrow for the visit to the Radcliffs or will you and Christian be able to handle it?”

“No, I think we’ll be fine,” I tell her. “Once we establish that it was us that was sending the items that were refused, it’ll only be a matter of having the deliveries rescheduled and sent back to them. We’ll coordinate that and Monday and we’ll have to find some way to get the things that were delivered here taken to their house, hopefully before the holidays. Oh! If we have any tours scheduled for any of the other country clubs, you can cancel them. Set a reminder to call Broadmoor on Monday and let them know that Mr. and Mrs. Grey will need sponsors.” She raises her eyebrows.

“Really?” she says. “Christian’s okay with that?”

“He suggested it!” I reveal. “He said Bear Creek or Broadmoor, and when I told him that we had toured Broadmoor and I liked it, he told to go for it and he put me in charge.”

“Wow. That’s fantastic!”

“I know, right? I’m really excited. So, make sure that they know that Mr. Grey and I will want to interview the couples that would like to sponsor us and that all candidates should be submitted to me through you and not Mr. Grey. Make that clear however you need to.”

“Shouldn’t that be the other way around—that the sponsor couples should be interviewing you?” she asks. I just cock my head at her and raise my eyebrows. “Right. Sorry. Momentary lapse.”

“Forgiven,” I say with a chuckle. “They’re going to try to go over my head and call Christian—well, maybe they won’t because they were really nice, but if you get the feeling that that might, please let them know that if they do, we’re going with Bear Creek.”

“Got it, Killer,” she says, typing into her iPad. I had already written off Harbor House or Harbor Club or Harbor Ass, whatever the hell they were called, but they etched that shit in stone when they called Christian. God, I’m so tired. I need to go lie down or something. I wonder if Chuck’s parents are still here?

“Go on home, Mare. You and Gary will be at Food and Libations on New Year’s Eve, won’t you?”

“Yep,” she says, sliding into her coat. “Text me if you need me.”

“Will do,” I say, stretching my back and considering what I want to do for the rest of the evening. I should take a nap, but I’ll see if we still have company first.

I’m on my way upstairs and just as I’m passing Atlantis, there’s Keri out on the covered lounge again. I sigh. Nope, not gonna do it. I open the door and immediately garner her attention.

“Now the last time I came out here to talk to you without a coat, I got in trouble, so why don’t you come in where it’s warm and let’s have a chat?” I tell her. I’ve had the coats removed right after my session with Ace last night, so I’m not venturing out there this time, nor do I want to. It really is cold! Keri obliges my wishes and comes inside, closing the French doors behind her. “Is everything alright?”

“Yes, eve’yting is fine,” she says, looking at my aquarium. “Dat is Anguilla fish, yes?” she says, pointing at Marty.

“Yes,” I confirm. “The butterfly fish I saw when we were snorkeling.” I watch Marty with her for a moment.

“He tell his mudda eets a possibility he matty me,” she says, her arms folded over her sweater. I look over at her. “We talk about it while he sick, when he leg in de udda cast, but me have a life in Anguilla an he have a life heyah.” She stares into Atlantis. “Mah visa run out in Febuwety. De closah we get to dah deht, I die a leetle inside.”

She speaks so softly I can barely hear her words, like if she doesn’t say it out loud, it won’t come true. I know that feeling well.

“I luv him, Anah,” she says, a single tear falling down her cheek, “really much, but I can’t pick up mah life an leave. Anguilla is my… home.” She begins to weep. I wrap my arms around her and feel the pain in her chest as she covers her mouth and tries to muffle her cries. I let her cry it out for a while until her body stops shaking and she begins to wipe her tears on her sleeve. When she has composed herself for a moment and she can listen, I try to say what I can to comfort her.

“I can’t imagine having to make that choice—the man that I and the land that I love. Your children, your home, your life… But you’re here now. Love him now,” I say, holding her hands and looking into her eyes. “Love him now and let tomorrow take care of itself. There’s no use in worrying about it. Enjoy what time you have. Take pictures and make wonderful memories, and when it is time to go back home, you will tell all of your friends about the wonderful time you had in America with a wonderful man. You’ll remember all of those good times until you see him again. You’ll let them sustain you and you’ll keep them in your heart, because you’ll know that’s not the last time you’ll see him. You’ll talk to him and you’ll remember that you love him. That love will keep you strong until you can hold him in your arms. In the meantime, hold him now. Don’t shed anymore tears, not while you’re here. Take this time and only love him, okay?” She nods, hiccuping and trying to control her shuddering breaths.

“You ah vety smaht, Anah,” she says. I smile sadly.

“It didn’t come easily,” I reply. She puts her head down.

“I go tek a nap,” she says. “Chatles is still tahking to his mum and dad. If he look foh me…”

“I’ll tell him the emotion was a bit much for you.” I finish her sentence. She smiles a weak smile and heads off to their suite. I sigh heavily. I knew there would be a problem when it was time for her to leave, but I didn’t know that it would be this soon. Hearing Chuck say that the future holds a possibility of marriage for them brought home the reality to her that life decisions will have to be made in the not-so-distant future which will mean that she just may have to spend some extended time without her Choonks. If the thought of being away from him a month and a half from now does this to her now, what is actually being away from him going to do to her when she has to leave?


A/N: Greek mythology again… In the Trick of Mecone, Prometheus tricked Zeus into accepting an offering that resulted in mortals offering bones to the gods instead of meat. Zeus got pissed and hid fire from the mortals, but Prometheus stole it back and returned it to the mortals. In addition to having Pandora released on mankind (self-explanatory, I hope), Zeus had Prometheus chained to a rock and an eagle came to eat his liver out every day. His liver regenerated daily because Prometheus was immortal. So, of course, this was intended to be an eternal punishment and the torment continued for 30 years until Hercules eventually comes along during one of his “trials” and kills the eagle, rescuing Prometheus. 

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Love and handcuffs 🙂 
Lynn X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Becoming Dr. Grey: Chapter 39—Sweet Mistress…

A bit of advice… don’t hit the “next” button to move on to chapter 40. You will get caught in an infinite chapter 38-39 loop. (Don’t ask). Please, just go to the menu and manually select chapter 40. Thank you.

 I do not own Fifty Shades Trilogy, or the characters. They belong to E. L. James. I am only exercising my right to exploit, abuse, and mangle the characters to MY discretion in MY story in MY interpretation as a fan. If something that I say displeases you, please, just leave. If you don’t like this story or me, please don’t spoil this experience for everyone. Just go away. For the rest of you, the saga continues…

Chapter 39—Sweet Mistress…

ANASTASIA

My visit to the club on Mercer Island was very underwhelming. Breakfast was delicious and the manager, Chandra, was quite friendly and accommodating. Mercer is mostly a swim and tennis club with facilities for fitness and a lounge or three for private parties. Like our little island community, the club is extremely exclusive—so exclusive, in fact, that I wouldn’t be able to do nearly the amount of networking that I would like. A shame, too, because Chandra was really very nice.

Marilyn and I end up at Helping Hands earlier than expected since our visit to Mercer was pretty short. To my great surprise, Courtney is already there. She’s standing in front of my desk with her arms folded. I wasn’t expecting her for another hour if at all.

“Well, hello,” I greet her with mock pleasantness. “Fancy meeting you here.” I put my briefcase and iPad on the desk.

“Who the fuck do you think you are?” she hisses at me. Ooo, she’s pissed. “A hundred and twenty grand off my trust fund? And I have to wait another whole year for it?” I raise my eyebrows.

“Ouch! That means that it either took you twelve more hours to contact your grandmother after we spoke, or it took you six hours, you lied about it, and you gave her lip. From the numbers, it sounds like she threw in an extra ten grand. You must have really pissed her off.” I sit down.

“I tried to call her earlier, but she turned off my fucking phone! She took my credit cards. She locked my bank accounts… I can’t even put gas in my car!”

“At least you get to keep your car,” I say matter-of-factly. She narrows her eyes at me.

“You are such a fucking bitch!” she snaps. “You married your goddamn billionaire. Why can’t you just leave me the fuck alone? I didn’t ask for this. I don’t need your help. I was doing just fine without you and I’ll do just fine when you’re gone!” She’s leaning on my desk now, trying to intimidate me, I think, or maybe it’s subconscious.

“You’re going to want to raise up off my desk,” I say menacingly. “I might feel a bit threatened and there’s a few things that may make you regret making me feel that way.”

“And what things would those be, Mrs. Grey?” she challenges.

“My crazy pregnancy hormones, the bodyguard in the lobby, and the Magnum in my purse,” I say, my eyes never leaving hers. Her eyes grow large for a moment, and she wisely—though slowly—rises off my desk.

“You’re right. You don’t need me. You can get the fuck out right now. I already told you I think you’re a lost cause. You’re too far gone. You’re too goddamn selfish. You can’t be fixed because you don’t want to be fixed…”

“I’m not broken!” she shoots.

“And there lies your fucking problem!” I shoot back. “You’re too arrogant, entitled, and stuck-up to even realize that you are broken. You think somebody’s always going to be there to bail you out. What are you going to do when your trust fund is gone? You’re young! Unless you plan on living a middle-class life at best or like a princess in the beginning and a pauper in the end, you can’t live the rest of your life off of your trust fund, and I don’t care how large it is. So, you get your trust fund, you spend it, it’s all gone. Now what?” Her lips turn up in a smirk.

“Do you think you’re the only one who can trip up and marry a billionaire?” she says. “I travel in these circles. I’m raised with the kids with the pedigrees. You got lucky. You may have four-leaf-slithered your way into a rich husband, but not so with me, Doctor. It’s a virtual guarantee for me—it’s written in my blood. I’m a thoroughbred!”

I gawk at her. That’s her plan? That’s the amazing plan that’s going to have her set for life? Marry rich? Land a rich husband? First of all, she’s a lesbian—does she even like men? Second of all, she’s in her mid-twenties. When does she intend to get started with this little plan of hers?

“So I’m assuming that there must be an arranged marriage on the horizon for you to be so fucking cocky, because you can’t be this stuck-up and arrogant and not have a foolproof plan. So tell me, which lucky ‘Biff’ is it?” I ask sarcastically. She laughs.

“Don’t you worry about me, Doc. When it’s time for me, I’ll have no problem landing my fish.”

“And what if you do?” I ask, leaning forward and entwining my fingers on my desk. “What if you go to the water and the creek is dry—all the little fishies have been caught and you’re standing on the bank with your pole and your bait… and no fish?”

“That won’t happen,” she says, still smirking.

“Humor me,” I respond, “because your grandparents sure aren’t going to live forever.” She shrugs.

“I won’t have anything to worry about anyway. My grandparents won’t leave me penniless.” My brow furrows.

“I’m confused,” I begin. “Am I to understand that your plan is to inherit your trust fund, marry some poor, rich bastard who doesn’t know you’re gay and if that doesn’t work out, wait until your grandparents kick it so you can collect from them?” She smirks.

“Boy, you are new to this, huh?” she says, mockingly. “How do you think old money stays old money?”

I’m appalled. This melon trick is more twisted and selfish than I thought. I fire up my computer to start my day. Where is the filthiest place I can put her today?

“So are you here to work?” I ask, not raising my head from the computer.

“Not particularly.”

“No problem. You can leave then.” There’s silence for a moment.

“I don’t have to stay?” she asks, bemused.

“You never have to stay,” I tell her, still looking at the screen, “and if you’re not going to work, I certainly don’t want you here.” She turns around and walks triumphantly to the door, but stops when she gets there and turns back around to face me. I’m already typing into my computer after pouring water from a bottle into a glass on my desk.

“But you’ll tell my grandmother,” she states.

“Yes, I will,” I say, taking a sip of my water.

“Then I have to stay,” she laments loudly. “I mean, that’s the whole purpose of this exercise, isn’t it? Fix broken little Courtney so your climber ass can get brownie points with my grandmother?” This little girl is working on my last nerve.

“And my climber ass is going to call your grandmother and tell her that you’re a lost cause, to donate your trust fund to charity and send your ass back to East Witchafuckatuck or wherever the hell you came from if you don’t stop insulting me with every breath that comes out of your mouth!”

“It’s not my fault you’re a disagreeable, wanna-be, charity-trophy-wife, climber bitch because that’s what you are! You’re trying to make a name for yourself in Wilson’s eyes climbing on my back and I’m not going to stand for it anymore!”

Is that what I’m doing? I mean I really thought I was trying to help this girl. I gave up. I told her grandmother that I gave up and I was willing to walk away. That’s not what I’m doing, but even if I were, she’s a lost cause. She doesn’t want this. She’s got her plan. It’s foolproof, and I’m stepping back.

“If that’s how you feel, stop talking to me and wasting both of our time and get out of my office,” I say as calmly as I can.

“I can’t!” she snaps back. “The climber bitch has her fist around my trust fund.” I rise from my chair.

“I’m not going to be too many more bitches, Courtney,” I tell her.

“Bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch…” Before I know it, I snatch the glass with the water in it and empty all over her face. She gasps and she’s stunned into silence. I just wanted it to stop, but I don’t want to fight this girl. I’m eight months pregnant. Remembering that I mentioned my Magnum, I reach for my purse and just lay my hand on top of it.

“I warned you that I wouldn’t be too many more bitches,” I say coolly. She is livid. She’s so hot that I would swear the water I just threw on her face was boiling.

“I know people… Bitch!” she says through her teeth. And that was a definite threat. I tilt my head sideways and glare at her. You have no idea that you just made a declaration of war, do you?

“Is that so? Well, I am people, Bitch!” I hiss back. “You want to fuck with Grey, you got it! I’ll be sure to pass your little message on to my husband and I can guarantee you that whoever you may know, they are not Christian Grey. Now get the fuck. Out. Of my office.”

Her expression lacks the conviction it had when she first made her threat. She’s not moving towards that goddamn door.

“Now!” I growl. In moments, Ben is at the door examining the situation. In two seconds, he assesses what’s happening and places himself between my desk and Courtney, staring down at her and waiting for her to move towards the door. I can still see her and I glare at her with narrowed eyes. Get the fuck out, bitch, before I forget that I’m pregnant!

She rolls her eyes at me, then at Ben and marches out of the office, pushing past Marilyn on her way out. I see Marilyn’s hand reach out and I’m not really sure what transpired, but Marilyn’s voice is powerful when it challenges her, her finger pointing at her assailant.

“Hey! I didn’t touch you and I didn’t say anything to you, so don’t fucking push me! I’m not pregnant and I’ll bust your ass right where you stand!” There’s a moment of silence that I assume is a standoff before I hear designer heels clicking away down the hallway. I watch Marilyn for a moment as she watches Melon Girl walk away down the hall. Neither of us moves until the clicking stops on the linoleum. I take my seat and turn my attention back to my computer.

“I didn’t you know you were carrying again,” Marilyn says, walking back into the office.

“I’m not,” I say without raising my head, “but she doesn’t know that. I will be after this, however.”

*-*

There wasn’t much else that I could do at Helping Hands today as I didn’t have much time to speak of after the tour of Mercer Island Country Club. I didn’t bother calling Addie because I just don’t see the need. Let her deal with her wayward granddaughter. If she wants to talk to me about the situation, she can call me and I’ll tell her that I’m throwing in the towel. That woman threatened me. She’s been disagreeable and uncooperative, she’s constantly disrespecting me and my work and now she’s threatening me. That’s a deal-breaker. Besides, she’s right. She’s an adult. She has the right to do whatever she wants with her life, whether I approve or not and I don’t have the right to tell her differently. So goodbye, Ms. Wilson. I wish you luck in your endeavors.

The babies chose today to debate about space and authority. I swear it feels like they’re fighting in there. The entire ride to the doctor’s office, they are in a complete and utter state of unrest. I can’t get comfortable to save my life. Maybe this is my punishment for leaving Christian in that chastity cage all day. I’m sure that he won’t forget his malfeasance after this. I didn’t mean for him to suffer through the pain of his teeth, though.

As my submissive, he never ends the two-way communications when I call him. Either he doesn’t think to do it, or he just lets me do it. This morning while I was waiting, I could hear his discomfort before he went to the restroom. Right before he left the guest room, I could hear him begging something to “go down” and I’m certain that he was speaking to his erection and his ever-ready morning woody. Mr. Grey is very proud of his family jewels—appropriately named Greystone—and I can understand why a chastity device would be an effective teaching tool for someone like him.

Let’s just hope that these particular lessons are few and far between… because I like his family jewels, too.

The thought of him is making me hot and horny and releasing pheromones, which apparently have calmed my children. That’s a little creepy. At least I know that if I get all hot and bothered, they will calm the hell down. As I’m attempting to calm my thoughts of Mr. Grey’s family jewels, I hear the familiar saxophone ringtone on my phone. When I fish it out of my purse, I see that it’s Jason. We’re pulling up to the doctor’s office now. Why is he calling me? Something’s wrong…

“Jason?” I answer, concerned.

“Your Highness,” he responds calmly. “Mr. Grey has asked that I call you and let you know that there’s an accident on the Murrow Bridge. We’ve been stuck here for 45 minutes. The police have the bridge blocked in front of us because of the accident and traffic has us trapped in the back. I’m afraid we’re not going to make it to your appointment with Dr. Culley.”

My first reaction is relief that nothing is wrong with Christian since Jason rarely calls me. My second reaction is confusion… why is Jason calling me? Then it hits me. I smile to myself as I realize that my loyal and obedient submissive has remembered that he can’t speak to me without my permission, but he had to get a message to me that he wouldn’t be able to make the appointment.

“Are you and Christian okay?” I ask.

“Yes, ma’am, bored out of my skull, but nothing more.”

“Thanks for calling, Jason. You guys get off that bridge and get back home as soon as you can, okay?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“And Jason?”

“Yes?”

“Stop calling me ‘ma’am,’”

“Yes, ma’am.” Now he’s just being a pain in the ass.

“You’re fired,” I tell him.

“Of course,” he says, and I end the call.

“We can go on inside,” I tell Ben. “Jason and Christian are stuck on the I-90. They’re not going to make it.”

“Yes, ma’am,” he says, getting out of the car. God, this ma’am is going to kill me today.

*-*

“Things are looking very good, Ana,” Dr. Culley says. “Your blood pressure looks good and so far, none of the issues we are watching are a concern right now.”

“That’s good to hear,” I tell her.

“The babies keeping you up at night?” she asks. I shake my head.

“Not so much. They get more restless during the day, if anything.” She nods and takes some notes.

“Christian’s usually with you.” She leaves the statement open as she makes a few more notes.

“He’s stuck in whatever’s happening on I-90,” I say.

“I-90?” she asks. I nod. “Where?”

“The Murrow.” She frowns.

“Hmm. I usually take that Bellevue.”

“Me, too,” I say. “You know I live on the Island now. I haven’t heard anything about the condition of the westbound traffic, but eastbound is gridlocked.”

“Well, thanks for letting me know,” she says. “I’ll prepare myself for a long, boring ride home just in case.”

“Dr. Culley, the OB checker at the hospital told me that I should be careful having sex,” I say, approaching the topic gingerly. “Was she saying that because of the concern for my blood pressure or the risk of pre-eclampsia… or is there concern because I’m in my third trimester or the fact that I’m carrying twins…”

“Slow down! Slow down!” she says, holding her hands up and closing my chart. “Of course, all of those things are cause for concern, Ana. You definitely should refrain from rough sex during your third trimester no matter what the conditions are in your pregnancy. Christian wants to be careful in how he handles you, because you tend to bruise more easily when you’re pregnant. Extensive sex may not be a good idea, either, so you just want to use good judgement.”  Really?

“Extensive as in constant stimulation?” I probe.

“As in constant penetration,” she clarifies. “You have to remember, the condo is occupado right now. You don’t want to set up a urinary tract infection or anything.”

“Okay, well how much is too much?” I ask her. “I’m asking because I have know idea. I’m a young, fertile woman with a young, virile husband and I just don’t want to overdo it.” She nods.

“I understand. Always take it slow and easy. I would say that as long as you don’t feel any discomfort, you should be fine, but if you must go with a number, do go higher than three times a week. I fear that you might be getting into the danger zone if you go higher than that.” I nod.

“Don’t worry, Doc. I’ll be safe. I don’t want anything to hinder the safe arrival of my wrestlers.”

“Oh, they have a new profession, now,” she jests.

“Yes. Yes, they do…

We share a few more moments of good humor before she gives me a few more instructions and a fairly clean bill of health and sends me on my way since we will have to battle rush hour traffic getting across the bridge. Ben and I turn right to traffic radio as soon as we get into the car. Might as well know what we’re facing. It takes a moment for them to get to what’s happening on the Murrow, but they finally get there right before we get to the bridge.

“Well, if you’re looking to get off of Mercer Island to Seattle this afternoon, you might want to consider a detour. The I-90 eastbound is backed up almost all the way to the 405 spaghetti bowl and you know what that means—rush hour is going to be a monster! If you’re already on the 405 with intentions of heading east, I suggest you take the long way through Bellevue up the 405 to the 520 and hit the I-5 southbound from there. If you’re headed south, just stay on the 405 and pick up the I-5, the 518, or the 167 near SeaTac. Apparently, there’s a rollover accident on the Murrow involving three vehicles and we’re told there might even be a fatality. Police are working to clear the scene, but traffic has been at a standstill for at least two hours. Traffic coming on to Mercer Island from Bellevue is being rerouted at exit 8, so you will have to do some surface driving to get to your destination—to the dismay of Mercer residents near the I-90. Traffic stuck between exit 8 and the Murrow is slooooooowly being rerouted to exit 7. Expect gawker delays in the westbound lanes as well as additional traffic delays being rerouted off of the island back to Bellevue. Honey, the hubby’s going to be late for dinner.”

It looks like the wife may be late, too.

Moments later, my phone starts to chime with text messages. The first is from Al.

**Check in, Jewel. Just got news on I-90. Are you okay?**

Of course, he’d be concerned about me.

**I and the beans are fine. Not looking forward to trying to get across this bridge though.**

I send the message back and my phone buzzes with another text. It’s Marilyn.

**Bosslady, still at that Crossing. More deliveries came today. I was about to go home, but the bridge… you okay?**

Before I can answer her, I get a similar message from Maxie and Mia and now my phone is ringing and it’s Daddy.

“Hi Daddy, I’m okay. Christian’s stuck in that mess, but he’s okay, too. My phone is going nuts, so I can’t talk now, but I love you.” There’s a moment of silence before he burst into laughter.

“I love you, too, Sunflower,” he says, his voice full of mirth. “Glad to hear you’re okay and I’ll talk to you later.”

“Bye, Daddy,” I say with a smile before I end the call. I then send a mass message to the contingency list and Mia:

**I’m about to tackle the westbound I-90 to get home, but that accident was not me or Christian. He is unfortunately stuck in the eastbound traffic jam, but we are both fine. Love you all.**

I send off the text just in time for my phone to ring again. This time, it’s Grace.

“Hi Grace,” I say, my voice weary.

“Ana! Oh, thank God! I heard about an accident on the Murrow! Christian must be on his phone because he’s not answering and I’m frantic to know what’s going on.” She’s very worried and I dare not hang up from her now without getting her some answers.

“Ben, would you please call Jason and make sure they are okay?” I ask. He nods at me in the rearview and calls on the hands-free.

“I spoke to Jason before I went to the doctor and he and Christian were stuck in the traffic jam trying to get to the appointment,” I tell Grace. “They’re probably still trying to get out of it now.” I hear her sigh.

“Taylor,” I hear Jason’s voice over the radio speakers.

“Jay, Mrs. Grey and Dr. Trevelyan-Grey are checking on your status,” Ben says.

“We’re near the end of the line trying to be rerouted off of exit 7. There’s no way eastbound traffic is going to get moving again tonight. It’s a crime scene up there,” he says.

“Foul play?” Ben asks.

“I don’t know, but somebody died, so they can’t release the scene.”

“I have Grace on the phone,” I warn Jason. Don’t get too graphic. “She says that Christian is not answering his phone.”

“It’s charging,” Jason says. “He’s been on it the entire time we’ve been sitting here. His chops starting to bother him, so he took a couple of painkillers and now he’s napping in the back seat.”

“His chops?” Grace asks.

“He has a… retainer of sorts on his teeth. You know…” I trail off.

“Ah, yes,” she says in a displeased knowing tone. “Well, as long as I know the two of you are okay. Just tell Christian to call his mother when you guys get home, okay?”

“Sure thing, Grace. Love you.”

“Love you, too, Dear.” I end the call with Grace.

“Do you want me to wake him?” Jason says.

“No, let him rest. Sitting there must be agony. I’m sorry you guys had to spend your afternoon like that.”

“Thanks, Your Highness. We’ll live.”

“I’ll see you when you make it home,” I say, turning the conversation back over to Ben. Various people respond to my text that they are glad I’m okay. I rub my stomach. Dr. Culley says that I should start expressing colostrum in about three to four weeks to prepare for the babies. It’s not like I could deny it before, but it’s really real now. These babies are coming soon. They’re quiet again, thank God, because when they start to stir it’s truly like mountains moving around in there. I settle back into my seat and get comfortable for the ride.

I open my eyes at Grey Crossing and realize that I’ve fallen asleep in the back of the car. Twilight has fallen, and I’m starving. Ben opens my door and reaches his hand out to me. I look up at him.

“May I, ma’am?” he asks, apparently knowing that it’s going to be difficult for me to get out of the car after I’ve fallen asleep and haven’t had a chance to stretch. I take his hand and swing my feet out of the car. My attempt at graceful when I get to my feet comes off as slightly clumsy instead of bungling, and that makes me happy.

“Okay?” Ben checks to make sure I have my footing. I nod and smile at him.

“Thank you, Ben,” I say sweetly. He really didn’t have to help me.

“You’re welcome.” He smiles back and closes the door.  After he moves the car, I take this opportunity for a proper stretch before I go inside.

My heels click loudly on the marble floors and something about the silence and the stillness alerts me that he’s not here yet. Windsor is there to take my coat and briefcase, notifying me that Marilyn left only moments ago and will call in the morning for instructions. Christian has his doctor’s appointment in the morning and I haven’t yet decided if I’m going to Helping Hands once we’re done, although I am concerned about what’s going on with the Radcliffs and why all of the deliveries are being declined. Now, their phone is disconnected and I can’t even call to see what gives.

“Eating in the kitchen today?” Gail says in a knowing tone when I enter.

“Yes,” I reply sitting at the breakfast bar. “Can I get a cranberry spritzer, Gail?” She turns to the refrigerator and removes the ingredients, mixing them in a tall glass over crushed ice.

“You’re not waiting for Christian?” she asks as I look at my phone. I shake my head.

“I would, but I’m so hungry that I could gnaw off my own arm.” She bursts into laughter and startles me a bit before I realize that what I said was actually funny. “What’s for dinner?” I ask with a small chuckle.

“Quick chicken cordon bleu, skillet gnocchi with chard and white beans, and spaghetti squash with ginger-miso dressing.” My stomach is growling at the description. It all sounds so delicious.

“Oh my God, feed me!” I declare. She laughs again and fills one of the plates from the counter as I finish a text to Christian.

**Notify me when you arrive. Eat your dinner, call your mother, then take a shower. I’ll let you know what time I expect you in the bedroom.**

I put the phone down just as Gail places a plate before me full of beautiful winter colors and emitting such delicious fragrances that I almost forget that I’m a lady. I place my napkin on my lap and dig in, savoring the flavor of the chicken as Gail places two hot buttered rolls on a saucer on the counter next to my plate. I nod gratefully and look at my phone, irritated by the vibration and that someone would dare interrupt this spiritual moment.

**Yes, Mistress.**

Just that quickly, I forgot that I had texted him. I put the phone down and continue the religious journey that is dinner.

“Gail, it amazes me that we have a staff now, but you still cook dinner. Why is that?” I ask between bites.

“I like cooking,” she says. “I still want to do it when I get the opportunity, dinner in particular. When the twins get here, there won’t be as much chance to get into the kitchen, so…” She shrugs.

“You don’t regret agreeing to expand your duties, do you?” I ask cautiously.

“Of course not!” she exclaims. “I can’t wait for the twins to arrive.”

“Do you think you’ll need more help?” I ask. She shrugs.

“I don’t know,” she answers honestly. “I think that’s a bridge we’re going to have to cross when we get to it.” She puts the tea kettle on the stove to warm. “Did the doctor say everything was okay?” I feel guilty discussing my appointment with her before I talk to Christian, but there’s no significant news, so I figure no harm done.

“Everything is on schedule and going according to plan,” I tell her. “My blood pressure has levelled out, but you know I’m not out of the woods with that until the babies are born. Besides that, I have a clean bill of health.”

“Well, that’s good,” she says, tending to my ginger tea while I make quick work of what’s left of my dinner, savoring the last bite of those hot buttered rolls. The twins gratefully wiggle a bit as tasty morsels make their way through my digestive system. “Keri and Chuck seem to be hiding in their suite today,” she says.

“Is everything alright?” I ask. She shrugs.

“Keri doesn’t look distraught when she comes to get their meals, but if I were to guess, I would say it had something to do with his parents.” I sigh. Christian told me that Jason and Welch had found Chuck’s parents and that Jason spoke to them. The last I had heard, Chuck has their contact information, but there has been no communication between them.

“So you’ve seen Keri today, but no Chuck,” I confirm. She nods as she places a warm cup of ginger tea in front of me. I take a welcome sip and the warmth feels wonderful going down, assisting with my digestion and calming the twins at the same time.

“If he doesn’t come out of that cocoon for breakfast, he may require an intervention,” she says. “I don’t want to see him slip into depression and fall off the wagon.” I nod.

“Yes, that does present a problem, does…” I stop mid-sentence when I see Keri come from the family room, looking a little tired. Oh, no. This doesn’t look good. “Hi, Keri,” I say cautiously.

“Oh, hello Anah,” she says as if she’s startled to see me there. I frown.

“Are you alright?” I ask. She nods.

“Just a leettle tiyed,” she says as she loads two plates with food and rolls. She’s moving very sluggishly and I narrow my eyes at her. What’s wrong that she’s so tired?

“How’s Chuck?” Gail asks, expecting. Keri looks over her shoulder as if to see is anyone is coming.

“Insatiable!” she exclaims and I almost spew my ginger tea. “De mahn is a machine! Heh won’t let meh rest! Eve’y time I tink him done, him come back! Boing! Boing! Boing!” She makes the noise and bends her finger with each “boing” and I swear I just want to lose it. I know she is very serious, but her description of Chuck’s apparent unwavering sex drive is nothing short of hilarious.

“Oh, my,” Gail replies, attempting to maintain decorum. “So, he’s… not depressed,” she clarifies. Keri’s eyes grow large.

“Dee-ptessed!” she exclaims. “I shuld seh nawt! Him de grindsman! Him boink don die!”

I lose it—ginger tea everywhere. I have sprayed the entire counter in a most unladylike fashion and I’m covering my mouth choking on laughter. Gail is not making it any better as she attempts to clean the counter while hiding her own giggles.

“You tink dis funny?” Keri asks appalled. Unfortunately, I can’t feel her outrage. I use my napkin in a vain attempt to cover my laughter while this poor girl goes off on an American/Anguillan/Patois tangent of the woes of having a stallion for a lover.

“It nawt funny! Meh pum pum gwine fahl off! Him duggu-duggu lon time an di bruk did ah cum, I seh ‘Oh! I get rest!’ But noh! Him go eat unda sheet until hood go boink boink agin, den him rooks wi me some moh! Him even cock it up in mi punaani—hah you cock it up wit de broken lehg?”

Okay, I must admit that I understood maybe one sentence of what she just said. Nonetheless, I can’t stop laughing. I think “pum pum,” “lon time,” “boink boink,” and “cock it up” give me a vivid enough picture that our dear Chuck may be channeling his grief and anger through sex.

“Keri,” I say, trying and failing to stifle my laughter, “Say it with me… no.” She frowns deeply.

“Ya noh tell ya mahn ‘noh!’” she says, outraged that I would even suggest such a thing. “Ya noh gib ya mahn what he want him go out an find him a dancehall queen—go duhty wine wit sum udda woman! Noh!” She stands with her hands fisted on her hips, dug in that if she doesn’t allow Chuck to screw her senseless, he’ll go and find another woman. I sigh, mirth no longer in my voice.

“You need to talk to him, Keri,” I tell her. “A woman is not made to be drilled consistently for lots of reasons, the least of which is that it’s going to hurt. Talk to him. He’ll understand… or else ya pum pum gwine fahl off.” I mimic her voice and accent.

Her eyes immediately soften and try though she might, she can’t stop it. It starts with a scoff, then a cough, then a snicker. A few moments later, she’s laughing so hard that she’s crying. Gail takes my ruined tea away and cleans my spewed mess while I sit here looking at Keri and shaking my head.

“Did I rally seh dat?” she says, laughing. “Did I rally seh meh pum pum gwine fahl off?” I nod.

“You really said that,” I confirm. She covers her face, still laughing.

“Oh!” she laments. “Him buddy won goh down. We goh an we goh an him buddy won goh down.”

“You’re going to have to tell him to let you rest,” I tell her again. “Commend him on his sexual prowess and that he’s such a stallion that you just can’t go any longer.”

“Sttoke him ego,” she says.

“Exactly,” I nod. “He’ll give you a break, but you have to tell him.” Gail’s attention is drawn to her phone. She frowns. “What’s wrong, Gail?”

“I just got a text from Sophie,” she says. “Her mother is going away for Christmas to God only knows where. Sophie was hoping that Shalane would let her stay with us for Christmas, but the answer is an unequivocal ‘no.’” She sighs. “Jason was supposed to get weekends and holidays with Sophie in the custody agreement, but she crosses him every chance she gets. She’s such a witch!”

“Why doesn’t Jason protest this? He has court-ordered visitation and she won’t let him see his daughter!” I say.

“He has a high-risk job and he doesn’t want to rock the boat,” Gail says, typing in her phone again. “Shalane has threatened him more than once saying that she would tell the judge that his job is a danger to Sophie’s safety.”

“That’s ridiculous!” I declare. “If that were the case, law-enforcement agents and military men all over the world wouldn’t be able to have children!” She nods.

“I know that and you know that, but Jason doesn’t want to take the chance of losing visitation with his daughter completely.” She looks at the phone again. “They’ve finally been routed to exit 7. They have to take the surface streets home, but they should be here soon.” And that’s my cue.

“Keri… talk to him.” She rolls her eyes and sighs.

“I weel,” she says reluctantly, loading a rolling tray with food and drinks for their dinner while rolling her eyes. I shake my head and snicker again.

“I’m going upstairs, Gail. It’s been a longer day than it should have been and I’m going to take a shower.” Gail nods with little enthusiasm. “Don’t worry about Sophie, Gail,” I tell her. “It’ll all work out in the end. Women like that always get theirs. Look at my mother.” Come to think of it, I don’t even know where that woman is or if she’s dead or alive. “If all else fails, in a few years, Sophie can leave her mother and there’s nothing she can do about it.” I can’t stand when women use children as weapons against the father. Gail nods.

“I know,” she says. “I’ll help you with that, Keri,” and I can tell that she’s desperate to change the subject. I slide off the chair and take the stairs up to my bedroom.

I shower in the same vanilla/cinnamon soap that I used last night. Just as I’m getting out of the shower, the two-way communications system beeps in the bedroom.

“Yes,” I say, wrapping myself in a towel as I walk into the bedroom.

“I’m here, Mistress.” He sounds a bit weary. Jason said he was asleep in the back seat of the car. It’s obvious that he’s still groggy.

“Good. Have your dinner and your shower and make sure you call Grace. She saw the traffic report and tried to reach you. I’ll summon you shortly.”

“Yes, Mistress,” he replies. I listen as he silently leaves whatever room he’s in. I assume it’s his den.

“End two-way communications.” I say before going to my dressing room and sitting at my vanity. While Christian eats the wonderful meal that Gail has prepared, I layer my body in the candy-scented lotion again. The smell is titillating and I can’t help but wonder how Christian felt smelling it on my skin. He didn’t visibly react to it, not that he could, but something about the smell of it turns me on and makes me feel so sexy.

Black was the color of choice for last night. Tonight, it will be white. I put on a small pair of white panties with stay-put thigh high stockings and a white sheer negligee similar to the one I wore last night. This one has three-quarter sleeves and a plunging neckline that allows my boobs to sit up and fall out quite nicely. The front is adorned with seven ball buttons that hold it together. Again, I look sexy.

Please! Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires PosterI haven’t been to the salon to have my Brazilian for the last several months since the baby bump became a baby mountain and I sure as hell can’t see anything down there. I’m surprised Christian could find my clitoris last night while he was getting me off. Smokey the Bear should have jumped out of there warning him about forest fires. If it bothers him, he’s sweet enough not to ever say anything about it, but the ever-growing bush just gave me a great idea.

I have plans for Mr. Grey tonight. I think he’s suffered enough and has hopefully learned his lesson with this exercise. I’m not a seasoned Domme, but even so, I know that in any situation, overkill has the opposite effect of discipline. I go to my bathroom and set everything on my vanity for a shave—my razor, my aloe shaving cream, towels, and coconut oil as aftershave. I walk back to the bedroom and sit on the bed. I examine my stocking feet and consider wearing a pair of stilettos. No, I think not. The stockings are fine.

I relax there for about twenty minutes before I go to my bags and get the blindfold, the flogger, the crop, and the under-the-bed restraints. I attach the bed restraints to the bed legs by a hangman’s noose and keep the other items out of sight except for the wrist restraints before I summons Mr. Grey.

“Activate two-way communications.” Beep. “Locate Christian Grey.”

“Yes, Mistress.”

“I will see you now.”

“Yes, Mistress.”

“End two-way communications.” In moments, there is a knock at the door. It’s strange having him knock on our bedroom door.

“Come in.”

He looks refreshed when he enters the room, much better than he did this morning. No doubt, the nap on the way home had a lot to do with it.

“How are you feeling, Mr. Grey?” I ask.

“Well, Mistress,” he responds.

“Your gums?”

“Fine, Mistress. I took my medicine.” I nod.

“Very good. Disrobe.” He drops his robe to reveal his fantastic body—chiseled abs, well-defined pecks, rock-hard thighs and godlike calves. Oh, I’m going to have fun tonight.

Then again, so is he.

“You are one fine specimen, Mr. Grey,” I say, my voice sultry. I see him swallow hard. “Give me your hands.” He holds his hands out and I attach the wrist cuffs. “Follow me.” I walk into my bathroom and lead him to my vanity. “I’ve slacked on my grooming, Mr. Grey, and in my current condition, I need a little help. You may look at me.” He raises his eyes to mine and I gesture to the shaving products.

“I haven’t had a Brazilian in a while and in my current state of maternity, I dare not shave myself. So I’m afraid it’s a task that you will have to perform for me.” His expression doesn’t change, but his eyes can’t hide his obvious delight as his pupils dilate quickly and dramatically. “Do you have a problem with that?” I say, my voice inviting.

“Not at all, Mistress,” he replies, his voice controlled.

“Good. Take off my panties… slowly.” He crouches down and lifts the hem of my gown—slowly, like he unwrapping a present. When he gets to the top of my hips, he slides his hands under the elastic waistband of my underwear. His breath catches and I bite my lip in anticipation as he slowly and sensually peels my panties off my behind then down and around my hips, saving the front for last. I gasp when my panties separate from my core and I don’t know how I’m going to keep from coming while he’s shaving me. He drags the little white things down my legs until they get to my ankles and I step out of them. I’m almost breathless and he has a slight sheen of sweat on his forehead after that one small exercise.

“Fill the sink with hot water,” I command, my voice husky. He complies as I use a stepstool to climb up onto the vanity. When he looks at me again, I’m sitting on the vanity with my legs spread open—one hanging off the vanity and one around the sink.

I’ve paid attention to that cage around his dick… and he’s pinking up.

That impassive expression he had earlier is shot to hell and he licks his lips visibly while looking at me sprawled out over my vanity. He closes his eyes for a moment and takes a single breath and lets it out before I address him.

“Where do you want me?” I ask. He swallows again, the black in his eyes almost eclipsing the gray.

“That…” he has to clear his throat. “That’s fine, Mistress. Lean back, though.” He puts two fluffy towels under my elbows and I lean back, completely open and on display for him. He takes a deep breath, then shakes my shaving cream. He applies a very small amount over the top of my pubic hair, then makes a few quick passes, removing lots of hair quickly. I watch him intently in the mirror in front of me, but to the right and behind him. I positioned myself purposely this way. I don’t know if he’s ever shaved a woman’s genitals before, but he shaves his face without incident, so I have to trust him.

He empties the water in the sink and fills it again with clean, hot water to complete his task. Using a washcloth, he gently wipes away the remnants of the stray hair and extra shaving cream. My hungry clit is poking out a bit from my lips and the pass of his hand and the washcloth sends a chill up my spine. I have to keep still. This man has a razor at my pussy!

He applies a more generous coating of shaving cream to my slightly deforested pubic area and more slowly runs the blade over my skin—across my pubic line, the creases of my thighs, over and just inside both lips, down near my anus right at my perineum. His gentle touch and the scrape of the razor are so arousing. Once he has shaved the area, he cleans away the remaining shaving cream, residue, and excess hair clippings with a warm washcloth. I’m already hot and his touch is making me hotter. He cleans and dries the area thoroughly, including the sink, before he applies an ample amount of the coconut oil to my pelvis and begins to spread it generously over my sensitive shaved skin.

Good fuck, I’m on fire!

He’s thorough in covering the area that he shaved. I can’t tolerate any alcohol-based aftershave on my pubic area, so only natural oils will do. The thing about oils is…

“Ooohh!”

His fingers glide from my perineum, up my lips and to the creases of my thighs. I’m leaning back on my elbows, panting, listening to his breath quicken only slightly as he concentrates on his task. He covers my pubic area completely, then makes one long pass on the shaved skin just inside the lips… and across my clit. I tremble with the pleasure—searing and burning over my skin and my sensitive core.

“Again!” I breathe. He doesn’t hesitate. His hand strokes masterfully from palm to fingertip over my lips and clit, causing me to cry out involuntarily.

“Yes! Yes! Don’t stop…” I beg, my clit screaming for more. He continues his stroke, this time with only his oily fingers—up and down and along the sides of my clit. He works me into a trembling, hot frenzy very quickly.

“Don’t… don’t let… me fall…” I pant. My elbows are going to give way the moment this orgasm hits, which will be any second now. Without missing a beat on the stroke of his right hand, his left arm slides around my body, his hand thrusting into my hair and cupping my head. He pulls me close to his body and continues his delicious manipulation of my throbbing clit. When I hear the stifled moan in his chest, I’m undone. I detonate in a fiery climax, silently begging him to kiss me.

I guess it wasn’t silent.

His lips bruise mine, his tongue roaming greedily through my mouth while his fingers continue to wring a painful orgasm from my core. I thrust my hands in his hair and pull and he groans into my mouth, spurring my climax on and on. I’m trembling, shaking, useless on my vanity when orgasm has waned. I release his hair and that’s his cue to stop the kiss.

He slowly and gently pulls his lips from mine. My eyes are closed, so I can’t see him. He lays my body down on the counter and steps away from me while I try to catch my breath. When I’ve regained just enough control to open my eyes, I see him standing in position one, panting, and counting. His penis is purple, almost blue in its cage. He’s so aroused that he can hardly control it.

“Meet me in the bedroom, Mr. Grey,” I say, my voice wistful and sated. “Remove the duvet.”

“Yes, Mistress,” he replies, his full of need and longing. He dutifully leaves the en suite and I take a few moments to collect myself. I didn’t intend to come while he shaved me, but his touch—I just couldn’t take it anymore. It’s probably good that I did, because now I’m loose and ready for what’s next.

Using the step stool, I get off the vanity and go to our bedroom, taking the coconut oil with me. He’s standing there facing the bed, head bowed, hands clasped in front of him. He has regulated his breathing, but I can tell that he’s still counting.

“On your knees on the bed, Mr. Grey,” I command him. “Face the headboard.” Without hesitation, he’s on his knees as instructed. I attach his wrist cuffs to the restraints on either leg at the head of the bed.

“Hold the headboard,” I tell him. He must lean forward to hold the headboard, and his back looks glorious! The image that immediately comes to mind is Atlas holding the world. I run my fingers over his back and he shivers, his breath catching in his throat.

ussteq“You’re beautiful,” I breathe, still caressing his skin.

“Thank you, Mistress,” he pants, his control slipping into oblivion. I step away from him and retrieve the blindfold and the flogger.

“I’m going to blindfold you, now,” I warn him as I pull the blindfold over his eyes. “Are you okay?”

“Yes, Mistress,” he says, his voice a little strained.

“Your safewords, Mr. Grey.” He takes a deep breath as if to steady himself.

“Sails and knots, Mistress.”

“Sails and knots. Very good.” I bring the flogger back and let the tails spray over his back and shoulder. He gasps loudly, but I can tell that it’s more from shock than pain. I swing again… and again. He throws his head forward, his chin in his chest, panting again. His hands grip the headboard and his muscles flex with each blow. His legs have slid apart even though he’s on his knees and I can see his penis throbbing in its cage. I rain the blows from his back over his shoulders and down his ass—sensual, but swift with just enough force to leave a slightly pink welt, just like he likes it. His breath is uncontrolled and he’s starting to sweat. He’s in ecstasy and I have to stop or he’ll float away.

I step away from him again, giving him a moment to catch his breath. I put the flogger down and pick up the crop—the Chanel crop that left the lovely “C’s” all over his ass the last time we used it.

“Are you alright, Mr. Grey.”

“Yes, Mistress,” he pants, his voice husky, thick with desire.

“Shall we continue?” I ask. He grips the headboard again.

“Yes, Mistress.”

I begin with the same soft, rhythmic slaps as always. Again, his breath catches and he moans in his chest. He won’t be able to take much of this. I continue the gentle slaps with the tip of the crop, then one good swift whack right across the soft meat. He grunts hard, but doesn’t cry out. I caress his ass for a moment and go back to the fast, rhythmic slaps before…

WHACK!

He cries out this time, a breathy groan, simultaneous agony and ecstasy. I stand at the foot of our bed, raining slower blows directly on the tops of his butt cheeks with the head of the crop. He jerks with each strike—harder than the rhythmic blows, but gentler than the swift whacks from the side. He tries to moan, but each subsequent blow shocks him to where his breath is taken away. The sweat is no longer a sheen. It’s beads now, rolling off of his slightly striped back and slowly changing the color of his hair. He’s in the perfect position and so am I.

I bring the flogger up swiftly but gently between his legs, hitting his testicles but not the cage.

“Gah! Ah! Aah! Ah!” He’s panting wildly, choking on air attempting to catch his breath…

… But still no safeword.

I strike again with the same intensity. I watch as the skin on his testicles tighten and the cage restraining his erection is actually jumping now. Just one more strike…

He sounds like a wounded animal, his voice begging for release, his chest and back heaving madly. He’s had enough.

I drop the crop and release his restraints. He’s still on his knees, holding on to the headboard, puffing like a winded dog.

“Sit, Mr. Grey,” I tell him. He feels his way around the headboard and sits gingerly on the bed, his back on the headboard. His head lolls back as he attempts to catch his breath. I reattach his restraints and quickly retrieve a washcloth from the en suite. I wipe the sweat from his forehead before removing the blindfold. Hungry gray eyes look up at mine before dropping obediently to his lap. His legs are open to give him some relief as that cage has now taken on a life of its own.

I place my hand under his chin and lift his head gently. Pressing my lips to his, I relay through my kiss that I want him as much as he wants me. Instinctively, his hands reach for me, but he’s stopped by the restraints—a good thing, too, as touching me would be cause for more punishment.

I break our kiss and sit on the bed between his legs. Removing the key from my neck, I unlock the lock on the chastity device. He pushes his head back hard into the padded headboard, his eyes screwed shut and mouth open wide, breathing loudly and shamelessly as his erection is freed. I release him from the chastity device and it’s like someone is inflating a balloon! In nanoseconds, he is fully erect, his penis throbbing, veiny, purple, and angry.

… And beautiful.

I resist the urge to immediately take it in my mouth. I know it’s tender, but I also know what he likes. As he catches his breath, I oil my hands generously. When his eyes fall down to his aching erection, I grab it with my oily hands and begin to stroke—hard.

He’s choking again, heaving and puffing, panting and squirming just a little, but it’s no use, because in no time flat…

“Mistress! Please! Wings! Wings! Wi… aahhaaaahhhhhhhh!”

He’s crying out like he’s in pain. Wings. He said “wings.” I don’t remember that one. Is that a safeword? Should I stop?

His entire body is frozen, his muscles solid and veins protruding everywhere. His face is stuck in a horrible grimace and his teeth are grinding. The way that his hips are thrust towards me, his dick pulsing and purple and shiny, spurting a fountain of semen that bubbles over like lava and mixes with the coconut oil on his shaft, I think stopping right now would not be the best idea.

Several moments pass, and I do mean several, while I stroke the seed out of his dick. I use hard, tight strokes, and I know that it hurts from him being constrained for so long; but I also know that the pain spurns him on, which is why I still get a little prize on each upstroke and his dick is still throbbing and pulsing madly in my hand. Yet, he’s silent—his fists and teeth clenched, his eyes squeezed shut. He’s holding his breath and still suspended in the same statue stance he was in before. He won’t move. He won’t breathe. It’s like he’s being electrocuted, and his muscles are stuck in permanent contraction.

Worried that this might be too much for him, I release his penis with one final upstroke. The moment I release him, he sucks in a large breath like he had been underwater for several minutes. His muscles release and his head falls forward. He’s leaning on the headboard, panting, gasping, swallowing huge gulps of air while his chest and stomach heave violently.

I use the washcloth to wipe the remnants of his ejaculate from my hands and from his still stiff, throbbing dick, weaving and bobbing with each violent breath he takes.

“I’m… sorry… I’m… sorry…” he pants wildly, repeating his apologies over and over again. I cup his chin and raise his face to mine. Still restrained and helpless, his sleepy gray eyes beg for my understanding.

“Ssshhh,” I soothe, bringing my lips to his and dominating his mouth with mine. A small whimper from his throat signals his surrender to me. My tongue laps hungrily over and around his, and where he would usually take command of the kiss, it’s my turn this time. I hold his face in place and roam the crevices of his mouth, burning my ownership into him as I suck his tongue then lick and bite his lips.

You’re mine, Grey. You belong to me!

I pull back to look into his eyes, full of contentment and submission. It’s heady and it makes me feel powerful… and wanton. I bite his chin, small nips along his jawline and he closes his eyes, still gasping softly. I can hear euphoria in his breathing. My hand travels to his groin again…

… And he’s still hard as a rock.


 

CHRISTIAN

Fuck! Dom Dick is here. I’m not the Dom tonight! You can’t run this show! Shit, this thing is never going to go down, but tonight, I had another first. I’ve never come right after being released from the chastity device. I dare not ever do that for the horrid, wretched Domme that used it on me before…

“You know what to do. Take a cold shower until that thing goes down, then you can go.”

Once, she even made me watch while she exquisitely fucked someone else, my dick aching so hard to come that I later went to kickboxing practice and broke my trainer’s nose.

But never—never—has a Domme allowed me to come after removing the device. Mistress is looking ethereal and so desirable… sheer white fabric floating over her like a halo over her entire body, swollen and round and delectable. I tried to be strong. I tried to remain reverent, obedient, but when she released me, I was flooded with gratitude and need… gratitude that she wouldn’t cruelly leave me in that thing for a week and need to be touched or be inside her. Fuck the blindfold, I was already blinded with want and desire.

Then she touched me—her delicate oily hands grabbed my aching, painful, angry dick and she squeezed. Her touch is always my undoing, but I looked down at my swollen member already in agony from being released. It’s like being in cramped quarters for hours and not knowing that you are aching and uncomfortable until you get a chance to stretch. She flogged me and cropped me exquisitely, causing all of my senses to stand up and pay attention. When that thing hit my balls, my libido awakened again and the pounding started anew. I was so relieved to be released—to stretch—but when she stroked me and I looked down just in time to see the tender, red, horny head of my throbbing penis burst powerfully through her clenched, oily fist, once… twice… three times…

I lost all sense of space, time, and restraint. Every bit of my attention—my breath, my heartbeat, my sense of self, every nerve ending in my body—was all clustered in her tiny fist gripping the softest yet hardest part of my body at that moment. I could feel nothing else, nothing but the pain, the burn, the exquisite torment of having every inkling of my self-control stripped away from me in seconds. I tried to safeword, to beg for leniency, as she hadn’t given me permission to come yet, but it was no use. I cried out in defeat as my very essence oozed from every appendage of my body and erupted in endless, mindless pleasure from my loins, snatching with it my voice, my breath, and my will to fight. She held me captive as she continued to stroke, proving once again that this body wholly and completely belongs to her.

queen-of-the-damned-aaliyahThe pleasure and pain were mind-blowing, every cell in my body stuck in these inches clamped in her grasp, her grip draining life from my body like a vampire drains its prey, its victim caught in blissful Nirvana not knowing that they are willingly succumbing to their own demise.

Mistress… please… spare me….

My senses return in a second and I realize that she has released me. Fuck! I came! Harder than I’ve come in the three decades I’ve roamed this earth, but I came! Without permission. I’m weak and needy and I don’t think I can stand any more torment. Please, don’t punish me, Mistress. Please…

“I’m sorry…” is all I can think to say. I’m still throbbing from the orgasm, mindless from the pleasure and fearful of the pain. She’s exquisite and masterful and relentless and I’m terrified that her plans will be the end of me right now. Though my mind is screaming all of the perfect phrases that I would want to hear from an insolent submissive who has come without permission. I can form no other words but “I’m sorry.”

“Ssshhh…”

The soft hiss of her breath and gentle touch of her hand silences me immediately. I try to take in as much air as possible, to get oxygen to my brain to pay attention to my Mistress, but my air and will are snatched away again when her mouth meets mine and her tongue leads an erotic dance that sends my psyche floating once more. Gratitude and need once again escape my throat in a helpless whimper as she controls me and this kiss, my entire body…

Yours, Mistress, all yours.

Her lips gently separate from mine, pulling them with a gentle bite that sends shock waves all over me. She gazes at me, her own eyes full of lust and… something else…

Ownership. That ownership that lets me know that I belong to her.

Oh yes, Mistress. Yes, yes, I do.

She kisses and bites my chin, my jaw, my neck as her hand cups my needy member once again. Oh God, I can’t stand it.

Oh, please, Mistress. I want you so badly. I feel like I might expire.

She mounts me, but won’t let me inside of her. Fuck, I think I’m going to die.

Using the same key that she used on the chastity device, she unlocks my collar, but doesn’t take it off. Instead, she tightens it… one notch, maybe two. She moves nothing but her hands while she straddles me. Fuck, she owns me. She so owns me and she knows it.

My breath quickens and I feel hot as her fingers outline the collar, gently teasing my neck. Try to slow down, Grey. Try to breathe. I realize then that the collar is restraining my breath, just a bit, not too much. Her eyes meet mine again as she fondles my Adam’s Apple, bobbing from swallowing under the pressure of the tightened collar.

“Okay?” she asks softly. It’s tight; I’m a little heady, but it’s okay.

“Yes, Mistress,” I nod. Concern. Again, I’m floating. She places a chaste kiss on my lips.

“Stay put, now,” she says with a playful wink and rises from the bed. I lament the absence of her warmth and closeness. She leaves the room for a moment, but returns with what appear to be baby wipes that she places on the nightstand. A closer look reveals that they are genital wipes.

Okay.

She goes over to this magic bag of tricks and produces a butt plug that has something on the end of it. What’s that? I pompom? She puts it in her mouth and approaches me.

Oh hell, is that for me? That sucker was pretty big and I haven’t been… penetrated… in years… since… since her.

Mistress doesn’t move her eyes from mine as she approaches the bed. She slowly unbuttons the ethereal white negligee and lets it fall open, but she doesn’t remove it. I should be laughing at this pompom protruding from her mouth, but somehow, it looks erotic as it moves around, no doubt being manipulated by her tongue.

Her tongue. Christ.

These restraints are becoming more and more unwelcome. My body is once again singing with need as I watch her. I don’t know if I should, but I’m mesmerized. I can’t move my eyes. Her body, her movements, that fucking pompom. Shit, I’m throbbing yet again and I can’t control my dick, which is standing straight up and pulsing, still shining a bit from its earlier massage.

And the squeeze of the collar is not helping.

Then it dawns on me. Of course! Erotic choking… that slight squeeze that makes sex and orgasm more intense. Fuck, I’m gonna die.

She comes over to the nightstand and retrieves the coconut oil. She’s breaths away from me, standing next to the bed. She coats her hands with the oil and turns away from me, her ass right in my face. Oh, hell, I love her ass. She has the prettiest ass in the West, I swear to God. Her oily hands caress her ass cheeks under the white, sheer material. Fuck she looks good, and Dom Dick agrees, giving me a painful jerk and reminder that he wants attention. He’s not accustomed to being made to wait, but this isn’t his party. It’s hers, and I try to ignore his demands as I watch her entice me with her delicious curves.

She moves the negligee away to reveal her beautiful, shiny bare ass. Fucking hell. She pulls her butt cheeks apart, separating them and pointing her open ass right at me. Fuck! This is cruel! She holds that stance for a moment, clenching her ass so that I can watch the little pink hole dance for a while.

Oh, God, my dick is starting to hurt again.

utimi-pompon-butt-plug-stainless-steel-metal-butt-plug-in-small-size-sexual-anus-rabbit-39-s-tail-fo__41nkqvnunylMore oil on her hands, she generously anoints her rosette. Oh, Mistress, why do you tease me so? The tip of her finger slides inside momentarily and I hear her gasp quietly. If I hadn’t just come a few minutes ago, I’d be squirting all over myself right now. I hear the pop from her mouth and as she runs the tip of the butt plug over her rosette, I realize that the plug is for her. Finding her mark, she pushes it in slowly while I watch. Oh, shit, I want to rip these restraints away and fuck her this minute! She moans as she pushes it in and once it’s in place, she releases her cheeks and rubs them once, pushing her ass closed over the plug and the pompom.

My lips are parted and I feel myself panting again. I’m losing control, faster this time because of the collar and the restricted airflow. She stands there for a moment, caressing her oily ass in my face and allowing me to examine her work. This is so fucking hot; I can’t stand it. I’ve never liked tails on butt plugs, but this pompom… sticking to her ass cheeks a bit and moving as she clenches her rosette, reminding me that the other end is buried inside of her hot, tight, insides… I groan audibly, unable to shake the visual of her ass tightening over the butt plug… or over my dick.

I’m a goner. I won’t be able to follow instructions. My mind is mush.

She throws a knowing look over her shoulder at me, a small smile gracing her lips. She turns to face me and climbs astride me again. Are you going to fuck me now? Please, Mistress? Please?

I lament that my torment is not quite over when she oils her hands again and begins to caress herself, slowly—one hand travels up the center of her chest, leaving a wide shiny trail on her skin between her breasts while the other starts from her shoulder and moves down, coating her round luscious mound all over and underneath before they both meet right at her nipple, covering and coating it and her areola with the oil. Her breathing changes as her nipple hardens and elongates under her touch, her pinching and gliding fingers spurring her arousal. I lick my lips. I can taste it, feel it against my tongue as she writhes beneath me. I moan quietly, yearning to have it in my mouth, between my teeth…

“You like that, Mr. Grey?” she breathes huskily as her other hand travels down the neglected breast, coating it thoroughly with the lucky coconut oil, her fingers taunting and teasing the second nipple while her first hand still manipulates the other breast.

“Yes, Mistress,” I groan, deeply, “very much.”

“Mmm,” she moans, throwing her head back and pinching her nipples hard before hungry eyes come back to meet mine. “I like that, too.” She tweaks her nipples once more before her hands move to my shoulders. Fuck me now? Please? She kisses me softly on the lips and looks into my eyes.

“You. Are. Mine,” she growls, her voice deep and commanding, and my entire body takes notice.

“Yes… Mistress,” I choke, the submissive coming alive again taming my will, but not dousing my need or desire…

… Or Dom Dick.

“Give yourself to me,” she says softly, licking the skin above my collar, causing me to burst into intense heat. I can’t think anymore… again.

“Yes… yes, Mistress,” I breathe, surrender setting in once again.

“You belong to me. Your pleasure is mine.” I feel her moving down my body, her oiled hands, her lips—draining all my resolve.

“Yes…” I breathe, mindlessly, lost, floating once again.

“Look at me,” she says, her voice clear. I didn’t realize that I had closed my eyes. I open them and she’s gone, but not. I look down and she’s over my legs on all fours, the negligee hanging off her back and to the side of her body so that her ass is pointing in the air, and the pompom is visible from where I sit. Fuck, it’s so erotic. Why didn’t I ever think of doing this before? It’s one of the hottest things I’ve ever seen!

Of course, she’s counting on that.

She’s caressing my erection again with her oily hands, gazing up at me with fiery blue eyes.

“Submit to me, Christian,” she breathes. She used my first name. Fuck, she wants all of me. All of me… and I can give her that. “I want you, body and soul. You’re mine, only mine.” Her hands are caressing me into mindless pleasure once again and I shake my head to try to clear my thoughts.

“Yes… yes…” I pant. Yours… only, yours… only you…

“Hold out as long as you can,” she instructs me. “When you can resist no longer, come for me.” She kisses the head of my dick and it twitches madly. Fuck, her lips! So soft. “Do you understand me?”

“Yes, Mistress!” I choke, nearly weeping for her to do that again. Please, Mistress…

She’s broken me down, mind and body. She knows that I won’t be able to resist her, but I will try. I’ll try my very best.

She kisses the head of my dick again and I whimper. When she licks it softly, I groan and throw my head back.

“Look at me!” she commands, licking the head again. I drop my eyes to her, ass in the air wiggling provocatively with the pompom sticking out of it, tongue gently lapping the rim of the head of my dick. Shit, this is insane!

“Watch me!” she growls. “Don’t close your eyes!” I can’t speak. I can only nod. Her hand goes to the base of my dick and she sucks the head in—hard. I cry out. I can’t stand it. She suckles the head nonstop for about sixty seconds, causing the air to leave my lungs as I watch her—her lips wrapped around my head and her hand wrapped around the base, ensuring that the blood never leaves the shaft. It’s so fucking sensitive, still painful from its stretch from the chastity device, and she is adding to that ache with a powerful suckling of the tender head and frenulum, her eyes never leaving mine.

Her ass still dances with the pompom and I almost don’t know whether to watch her ass and the pompom or her mouth on my dick. She knows that and she likes it, so she makes my choice harder for me. Her knees fall open a bit and she looks like she’s thrusting, her hips rolling back and forth, sometimes in a circle, and that damn pompom moving up and down the muscles of her clenching ass cheeks. Fuck, that’s enough to make me want to blow, but then she reminds me of her masterful oral skills as she moves her hand and allows my dick to stand at attention on its own while she bobs madly up and down my aching, burning, needful shaft.

“Fuck!” I exclaim, forgetting my station, clenching my fists and fighting to keep my eyes open. “Ah… ah…” I choke as she watches me, her tongue and lips wetting then sucking my erection dry. She drops down on me and I feel myself in the back of her throat, her muscles squeezing my head tight as she flexes them.

“Aaaauuuhhhhh!” I cry out, quickly losing the fight to hold on. Her mouth travels back to the head of my dick, sucking and teasing, her ass still bobbing, and the visual assault pushing me faster and faster to my release. She sucks the length of my dick several times, very hard, before she drops back down on it again, flexing the muscles in the back of her throat around my head.

“Aaaugggghhhh! Aaaauuugghhh!” Dom Dick, please! I can’t take anymore. The choking of collar, the magnificent feeling of her hot, hot and I do mean hot mouth on my dick, and the visual of her bobbing on my groin and grinding this sexy ass on this butt plug… I’m going to pass out! Please!

I hear and feel her moan with my dick in her mouth. Fuck! The vibration goes straight to my balls and Dom Dick is starting to give up, for this round anyway. She moans again and again and I can’t help it. I close my eyes and try to block out the visual of that delicious ass. It only makes me concentrate harder on the humming and the sucking. My balls are so tight that they hurt and I want to come, dammit! I look down at her just before she opens her eyes and looks back up at me. My hips thrust infinitesimally into her mouth because she is totally controlling this stroke and I can’t move. I’m turned on by my painfully tightened abs because I know that means I’m at the height of my pleasure. I pull on the restraints in a vain attempt to find some grounding of some kind while she relentlessly attacks my dick. Still watching me, she brings her hand up to my face and thrusts her fingers into my mouth.

Fuck! That smell. Her hand is wet… and her fingers… I didn’t see it! She was playing with herself! She was fucking that precious pussy and manipulating that delicious, hot clit. The flavor… the wetness… she fucking came! She came while she was humming and sucking on my hardening cock. When I recognize the taste of her orgasm, she drops down on me again several times, her tongue tormenting my shaft and her throat squeezing and massaging my head each time. I suck and lick her fingers clean and as the flavor makes it to the back of my mouth and slips down my throat, I come fantastically in her mouth—hot and hard and oh, fucking hell!

And she doesn’t stop. She keeps stroking and sucking, no doubt waiting until she can’t taste my cum anymore. The thought spurns a second eruption, or maybe the first never ended, but my balls are bouncing madly and the burn is so fucking good, I feel I may lose consciousness.

Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Please don’t stop, I beg internally as my dick pulses in her mouth. Again, I didn’t know I closed my eyes until I open them and look down at her, my hips rolling against her lips and my seed streaming down my dick from the sides of her mouth…

… And she’s still looking at me.

“Fuuuuuuuuuucccckkkk!” I cry as I can’t stop moving my hips to her luscious rhythm. Yes, I just came, very hard, and I want more! My mind is submissive, but my dick is Dom. What the fuck do I do about that?

She knows.

“You make me so hot!” she says, after she releases my dick, provocatively wiping the corners of her mouth. “I couldn’t help it, I had to come,” she purrs, moving to her knees and caressing her butt again. She looks down at my dick, covered in semen and coconut oil and still standing at attention. “I love it when he’s like that,” she says, producing the butt plug from behind her. “Insatiable, untamable…” She caresses it again and Dom Dick responds. He’s angry about the chastity device and refuses to go down. Probably the only thing that will make him succumb is the cold showers he’s accustomed to after that torment, but even the thought of it won’t make him relent.

“Anguilla,” she says, still examining my dick. “You were like this in Anguilla… unquenchable.” She reaches for the oil again. “We had a lot of fun that night.” She turns away from me, her ass still exposed. “Let’s see if we can recreate some of those memories.”

Fuck… I doubt that we could recreate those. That shit was intense, spontaneous, and extra-terrestrial, but again, I’m willing to give it a try.

She’s straddling me in the reverse-cowgirl position and backs herself up almost all the way to my dick. She squeezes some oil right at the top of her ass right before she separates the cheeks and allows me to see that her rosette is slightly open from the butt plug.

Oh, hell.

The oil slides down between her ass cheeks and over her rosette, some of it sliding inside before continuing down to her perineum and dripping generously on my dick and balls.

Fuck, this is killing me.

She spreads the oil over her rosette and inside and around her butt cheeks, causing Dom Dick to weep only once, even though he’s already covered in his own juices. After a few seconds of visual torment, she pushes back against me, my messy dick sliding between her ass cheeks and mixing the oil with the ejaculate covering my shaft.

Merciful heavens! It feels so good.

I moan deep in my chest, watching my dick slide between her ass, watching the fluids mix and thicken, causing a delicious friction as she grinds against me, and it’s like the blowjob never stopped. I’m hot and hard again, ready for action, not that I ever went down.

Her hands are on my thighs and she’s holding me down as she writhes against me. I can’t move, but again, she’s giving me one hell of a fucking visual and my dick is pink and veiny once again. How he’s managed to reload after these massive orgasms, I don’t know, and right now, I don’t fucking care!

Now, it’s time for her to really blow my mind. She bends over and separates her ass again so that the head of my dick can run across her oily rosette with each grind. Fuck, it looks good and feels even better.

“Yes,” I hiss quietly, hoping she didn’t hear me. She moans and arches her back, causing the head to catch in her rosette. Fuck, yes! I tighten my eyes and try to brace myself for what’s next, then I realize…

I want to see this!

I open my eyes and look down to see just the top of my head inside of her ass. I regulate my breathing. This ain’t the damn pompom; this is my dick—and this shit looks and feels amazing! She pushes down a little more, taking more of the head, but not quite all of it. Fuck, she’s savoring this, drawing it out, tormenting me, but what sweet torment.

Come on, give me that sweet ass. Just a little more, please…

She pushes down a little further and the head slides in with a “pop.” Oh, fucking hell, my head is inside. Don’t come, yet, Grey. Don’t come… as if Dom Dick would let me. Knowing that my orgasm is not yet imminent, I watch the erotic show a little more.

Her hole is tightening around my head as she holds her cheeks open. I get to see it and feel it. “Oh, God,” I whisper, committing these visuals to memory with hopes of dreaming of them again later. She circles her ass around my head and I suck air in through my teeth. Tight inner walls massage the skin as I attempt, yet again, to regulate my breathing. My dick begins to pulse again and although I know he’s still not ready to come yet, he demands more.

She must read my body because no sooner the thought is in my head, she pushes down a little more, my head and part of my shaft disappearing into her ass. That shit is too much to watch. I’m panting like a woman in labor. I may not be ready to come, my dick feels good as hell and I can’t control this shit. She starts to move—up and down, back and forth on the small portion of my dick that’s inside her. I forget that her ass dominates me even when it doesn’t, and I quickly start to rise as I feel the head and that small piece of my dick sliding in and out of her.

“Yes, oh, yes,” I breathe. I can’t help it. If she punishes me later, it will be worth it. This is magnificent!

She releases her ass and leans forward, grabbing my ankles. Now, my head is inside of her, and my shaft gets the massage of the friction from her oily, cum-smeared ass cheeks. I die a thousand hot deaths watching her ass drop on my dick while I’m inside of it, the round luscious cheeks fucking my shaft, and after a minute or so, she pushes down on me again, taking more of me inside of her. God, I don’t deserve this kind of pleasure!

I’m groaning helplessly while she’s bouncing and grinding and rolling and for once, I start to tremble. I know this means that Dom Dick will be giving up soon… but not yet. She pushes herself up slowly, grinding into me again with each movement. I feel myself going deeper and deeper inside of her. Fuck, the trembling intensifies. She sits up and I feel her rosette hit the base of me. I hiss loudly. I won’t last much longer. She leans back onto my chest, her head on my shoulder, and she rides—deep and hard, for about five minutes… I think.

“Oh, God! Oh, God!” I pant. I’m gonna come… hard… really hard… but she stops.

What? Why did she stop?

“Breathe,” she says softly. Breathe? Fuck! I try to catch my breath, remembering who’s the Dom and who’s the sub in this scenario. Dom Dick will make you forget sometimes.

Breathing, Mistress.

She rises off of me and my dick is standing at full attention, and I do mean full—ready to blow! She removes the ethereal negligee, takes some of the genital wipes and cleans herself, front and back. Is it over? Will I be left this way? I continue to breathe, trying to talk my erection down as it looks like the end for both of us. She removes more genital wipes and cleans me thoroughly—my dick, my balls, the head, the slit, everything. I couldn’t be cleaner had she bathed me, but it didn’t do anything for this raging woody. When she’s done, to my surprise, she climbs astride me again, facing me this time.

So, it’s not over.

Slowly, she slides down onto my erection. Good God, it feels better than her ass… and that says a lot, because her ass is phenomenal!

“Mmm,” I groan. Shit, she feels good. She reaches over and releases first one, then the other restraint from my wrist. Then she just sits there, looking in my eyes, my erection inside of her. After a while, she begins to move. I close my eyes.

“Look at me,” she says, firmly, her hips gliding smoothly, flawlessly over mine. I can barely breathe. She’s exquisite. “Touch me. Feel me…” I finally get to touch her… freely. Finally! My hands caress her beautiful skin; my fingers graze across the garden and her control slips for just a moment as I feel the shiver all through her body, culminating in her nether regions and all around my still painfully swollen dick.

“Gah!” I whisper a helpless gasp. I’m lost. She’s heaven. Ecstasy.

“Again,” she breathes, never taking her eyes off mine. “Do it again!” I caress her back again and her shiver takes over her body again… and mine. Oh, God, this is it. This is the best. I hold her close to me. Somehow, our children don’t cause a barrier. I can feel her breathing, her heartbeat. My hand moves to her hip and I resist the urge to push her down onto me and thrust hard into her, but I squeeze and hold, feeling the burn and the grind deep in my loins.

“Ah!” she breathes, her orgasm hiding in her voice. We’ll come together this time. We have to. Two nights of her coming without me… two—or three, I don’t remember—orgasms without her. We have to come together this time. She scrambles clumsily to remove my collar. No! I want it. I want you! I need you!

“Leave it!” I breathe. “Please…” I beg her with my eyes as she continues to love me. She nods and thrusts her fingers into my hair, kissing me passionately. I pull her closer to me and push up into her—gently, slowly. I want to go faster, harder, but I don’t want to hurt her. So I go deep… soft and deep… we’re equals now and I get to love her, and love her I do.

We’re both at the brink of our sanity in no time, our breath staccato—no rhythm whatsoever. We’re both sweating and burning inside and I can feel that she’s about to reach her climax.

“Oh!” she whimpers, throwing her head back once before bringing her eyes back to mine. “Look at me,” she breathes, barely able to get the words out. I gaze deeper into her eyes, and there’s that blue.

“Who won?” she breathes, gliding over me, her gaze never moving from mine. My breath catches in my throat. I swallow to stop the daggers stabbing my Adam’s apple.

“Who won?” she repeats, possessively holding my face and neck, her fingertips in my hair. She’s tightening around me. I feel it. Her skin is clammy—sweating, that arousal sheen. She’s coming… she’s coming right now. Her pupils are dilating. Her eyes are the royal blue of our playroom walls. Her body shivers, but her stroke, expression, and gaze doesn’t change. Even her breathing is constant now. She’s waiting for her answer. “Look at me. Tell me!” she demands. “Who won the fight?”

The answer is clear. I have her here—with me. She’s Mrs. Grey and wherever he is, she’ll never belong to him.

“I did,” I breathe.

“You did,” she confirms, loving me with purpose. “We did.” She grinds deeper into me.

“Ana,” I breathe helplessly, calling her name for the first time in two days.

“There’s no need… to fight… anymore…” she pants, her core tightening again… how? So soon?

“Ana… God… please…” I feel the breath being sucked out of me. I’m light-headed… like I felt… in Anguilla… She said she wanted to recreate it… she did.

“I’m yours… I belong to you… only you… say it!”

“You belong… to me…”

“I belong… to Christian Grey… Say it!”

“You belong to Christian Grey,” I breathe.

“Yours,” she says, over and over again, kissing my face as I erupt into her. Dom Dick surrenders and is gladly tapping out.

“Mine,” I choke, when I’m finally able to find my voice, my seed spilling endlessly inside of her, my sex throbbing against her inner walls, her core embracing me, welcoming me as she kisses my forehead, my eyelids, my temples…

She is my home… I am home…


 

A/N: Longest chapter ever, huh?

Okay, so people tell me that they have a hard time understanding Keri, so this is one that I had to translate. I already know that I don’t have it exactly right, but I came as close as I could, which is why I called it an American/Anguillan/Patois tangent:

“It nawt funny! Meh pum pum gwine fahl off! Him duggu-duggu lon time an di bruk did ah cum, I seh ‘Oh! I get rest!’ But noh! Him go eat unda sheet until hood go boink boink agin, den him rooks wi me some moh! Him even cock it up in mi punaani—hah you cock it up wit de broken lehg?”

“It’s not funny! My coochie is going to fall off! He has sex for a long time and the semen did come, I say, “Oh, I get to rest!” But, no! He eats me out until his dick gets hard again, then he has sex with me some more! He even did doggy-style in my pussy—how do you do doggy-style with a broken leg?”

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

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Love and handcuffs 🙂 
Lynn X