I can’t remember who said it, but whoever it was that said the episodes needed titles and not just episode numbers, you were absolutely right. I’m in the process of giving the previous episodes titles, but they will be titled from here on out.
This is a work of creativity. As such, you may see words, concepts, scenes, actions, behaviors, pictures, implements, and people that may or may not be socially acceptable and/or offensive. If you are sensitive to adverse and alternative subject matter of any kind, please do not proceed, because I guarantee you’ll find it here. You have been warned. Read at your own risk.
I do not own Fifty Shades Trilogy, or the characters. They belong to E. L. James. I am only exercising my right to exploit, abuse, and mangle the characters to MY discretion in MY story in MY interpretation as a fan. If something that I say displeases you, please, just leave. If you don’t like this story or me, please don’t spoil this experience for everyone. Just go away. For the rest of you, the saga continues…
Season 5 Episode 35—She Rescues Him Right Back
“I can’t tell you what his motive was,” Alex says while sitting in my office later in the week with a very attentive Jason. “He’s married with two kids of his own, but they were recently separated. There’s a couple of domestic violence charges that were dropped. He’s got some petty theft, some traffic tickets, a DUI, but nothing on the books as serious as kidnapping. There is one thing…” He trails off.
“What one thing?” Jason says. Alex hands Jason a sheet of paper.
“Third from the bottom,” he says. Jason’s eyes travel down the page and his jaw tightens.
“Rape?” Jason says coolly.
“You missed it. Rape of a minor,” Alex corrects him. “Again, the charges were dropped, but…” And he trails off again.
“What else could he want with Sophie?” Jason says, his anger rising. “Is he connected to any human trafficking rings?”
“Not that I can see, but if he was, we wouldn’t see it on paper unless he’s been arrested… and they usually don’t get released.” Jason runs his hands through his hair.
“Where is he now?” Jason asks.
“He’s still in lockup,” Alex replies. “With his outstanding warrants, he’s going to be in there for a while and with the nature of this accusation, he’s not making bail.” Jason’s jaw tightens.
“I want every little piece of information you can find on him—where he works, who is friends are, and what he had for dinner last Friday. I want to know what time he takes a shit when he’s in the pen. Every. Little. Thing.” Alex nods.
“I’m on it,” he says, and leaves the room. There’s silence for a moment while Jason’s quiet fury fills my office.
“I know how you feel,” I begin, and he shoots a look of death at me. “All I’m saying is that I know that self-preservation goes out the window when someone hurts someone that you love. I’ll be with you every step of the way, whatever you decide to do, but please remember that people need you—your daughter, your wife… your friends.” I let that last one hang in the air for a moment before I continue. “Whatever you decide to do with the information, just keep your head about yourself. I could have killed David with my bare hands when he kidnapped Butterfly. I can’t imagine what I’d do to someone who took Mackenzie.”
His jaw twitches, but then slacks a bit after a moment. He’s gripping the back of a chair like a vice and the veins are throbbing in his temples.
“Sir, I’m bringing Ben in from the Crossing to be your detail for the rest of the day,” he says. “This information is too sudden and heavy… I can’t be effective at my job right now…”
“I understand,” I tell him. “Take the rest of the day off. Do whatever you need to do.” He nods once, takes a moment to compose himself, and leaves the room. I lean back in my seat and breathe deeply, pondering what I just said to Jason.
I can’t imagine what I’d do to someone who took Mackenzie…
I’ve got to watch this man. He’s a loaded cannon aimed right at Ruiz. I call Alex.
“Yes, sir,” he answers.
“Jason’s a pro and I know that there’s no way to put a covert detail on him, but he’s taken the rest of the day off. In essence, he says his emotions will affect his work. We need to keep an eye on him, Alex. This is his daughter. She’s already been through so much and so has he.”
“I know,” Alex says. “I’ll do what I can.”
“Make sure you keep a tight eye on Ruiz,” I add. “We need to know the very second that man makes it out of police custody.”
“Understood,” he replies, and I end the call. I desperately need to change my train of thought. I need to think of something happy.
Mother’s Day is Sunday.
We were so concerned about Val and Pops last year that we skipped right over Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, and almost skipped over our anniversary. Well, not this year. It’s hard to know what to get the woman who has everything, but I think I made some good choices
She likes her car, but I’ve already ordered her a new one—same make, but next year’s model, newer feature, deeper blue… that blue…
I’ve created a fragrance for her—a mixture of the flowery, pleasant smells that remind me of her with a hint of the evocative flavors she likes that make me want to rip her clothes off, including cinnamon-vanilla. When I mixed them, the perfumer thought I had lost my mind, but when she mixed them, she took one whiff and her eyes widened. I sniffed the fragrance and imagined it intermingled with my wife’s natural scent and couldn’t resist.
“That’s it,” I had nearly growled, not realizing that I had unleashed the Dom voice until I heard it. Unfortunately, the perfumer heard it, too. She quickly applied a bit of the mixture to her wrist and held it out for me to sniff.
“Are you sure?” she said, provocatively, while holding her arm out for me to smell it, so I did. I knew exactly what was going to happen.
“Yes, I’m sure,” I said in the same voice. “Bottle it.”
She smiled sweetly at me and mixed the creation. Once I made sure that it was correct, I gave her the name to etch on the bottle.
She was still all moony and simpering as she giftwrapped my order and handed it to me along with a personalized copy of the formula, and that’s when I dropped the bomb on her.
“Thank you,” I had said. “Do you always test the fragrances on yourself?”
“Only for special customers,” she had replied, suggestively.
“You probably shouldn’t do that,” I had told her. “My wife’s body chemistry is much, much different than yours. Each body releases its own pheromones and when the chemicals mix, the fragrance changes. As a professional, you should know that. You almost blew this sale. Think about that before you apply someone’s custom fragrance to your skin.”
How dare she violate my memory that way? That could have been catastrophic! Yes, she was crestfallen, but I wasn’t trying to blast her. I was giving her a bit of professional advice.
Okay, maybe I was trying to blast her, too.
I have Saturday all planned. I’ve found her the most beautiful and elegant Zac Posen Moda Operandi gown—navy blue silk… or I should say Victoria found it. I’ve convinced Butterfly to have her spa day on Saturday so that she can get her hair done. I’ve already given Franco specific instructions of what I want her hair to look like—and no fragrances in any of her treatments with the exception of a gentle vanilla if she requests it, so that it won’t clash with her custom perfume.
A limousine with a hired driver will take us to the Seattle Opera House for dinner and a showing of the critically acclaimed Ariadne auf Naxos. I’ve never taken my wife to the opera, but she always seems to appreciate the finer things. It’ll also remove the only comparison I’ve ever had to myself as Edward Lewis in Pretty Woman, and that was when I was dealing with that asshole in Madrid… being an asshole myself.
Now for the jewelry. I make that call.
“Thank you for calling Cartier. This is Marvin. How can I help you?”
“Marvin, it’s Christian Grey.”
“Mr. Grey,” he nearly purrs. “Always a pleasure. What can I do for you today?”
“What do you have in the vault that’s opera-ready? Or can you direct me to a store that does have something opera-ready?” He’s silent for a moment.
“Can I get you to hold on for a moment? I’m going to check the computer and the safe,” he says.
“Okay, that’s fine.”
I’m sure this man hit speed dial and called every Cartier in the tri-state area to see who had opera-ready jewelry. In three minutes, he was back on the phone.
“Do you still have the same mobile number?” he asks.
“I have a piece available. I can text it to you if you would like.”
“I would like,” I respond. In moments, I get a notification.
“What do we have here?” I ask as I swipe the screen and open the text.
“Diamond and platinum,” he says as I examine the exquisite creation. “Convertible—the first two tiers can be removed for a more conservative look. The center stone is 34.6 carats.” Jesus, this thing is screaming armored truck. Butterfly will never wear that.
“Anything nearly as exquisite for less than eight figures?” I ask. “I want something along the same lines, but when it comes to jewelry, my wife is somewhat modest. I nearly had to twist her arm to take an $80,000 set.”
“Ah,” he says. “Extravagant, but delicate.” My phone chimes again and I swipe the screen.
“What do we have here?” I ask.
“Smaller stone, white gold, 10-carat total weight,” he explains. It’s perfect. “What color is her dress?”
“Blue,” I reply. Of course. My phone chimes again, and there’s a pair of earrings.
“Talk to me,” I say.
“Diamonds and white gold, embellished with small sapphires and emeralds.” Yes, these will do nicely.
“How do we transport?” I ask.
“The usual. Escala?” he asks.
“No, I don’t own that property anymore. Just deliver to Grey House. You can have them here on Friday?”
“Yes, sir. What time would you like them?”
The Taylors don’t join us for dinner this evening and I’m more than a little concerned about Jason and Sophie. Her actual birthday is two days away, and this is a really fucked-up memory to bring it in on. When I go to my study for the evening, I can hear her in Butterfly’s office. They’re talking about designs and sofas; the fact that they love the Brynhurst coffee table but hate the Luca ivory wood dining table. I get caught in my work and tune out their conversation, and when I’m paying attention again, I hear Sophie say something that makes the hairs rise on my neck.
“It seems like my whole life is one big close call. Do I feel okay about that—you know, that something bad could have happened but didn’t, or do I feel scared all the time?”
Why should a 14-year-old girl have to ask that question?
Immediately feeling like an interloper on what should probably be a very private conversation, I turn on the sound system that pipes through the intercom and allow the soft sounds of Keiko Matsui to pipe into my office—not too loud to arouse suspicion, but loud enough to drown out their conversation so that it may remain private.
And now, I want Ruiz’ blood, too.
Speaking of wanting blood, Sarah’s husband, Fletcher—or Fletch for short—is a mechanic with his own shop and he’s now living above the shop. He stopped paying the bills at the house as he made her responsible for the bills there since he always had a backup plan. Everything is in her name, so he could walk away with ease. He has no criminal record—he’s just a regular old wretch of a man. Fletch, the wretch.
I put her in with one of the financial advisors at Grey House to help her get her financial situation in order. With her permission to speak to her debtors, he’s helping to negotiate smaller lump sum payoffs in return for a paid in full status on her credit report, and less funds to pay back in the interest-free loan that I’m giving her, leaving more to live on and invest if she so chooses.
I offered to buy her a car—nothing flashy, just something useful to get her from point A to point B—but she flatly refused, indicating that the bus was just fine, and that she had her eye on an apartment that was actually walking distance from the office. I take a little comfort in that, but I’ll set her up with covert security for a while in case her husband decides to make an appearance. Her business mail will be delivered to the mailroom at GEH for now. I’m hoping the asshole gets brave and comes down there to harass her. I’ll rip him apart all by myself.
As she has no plans for Mother’s Day, I invited her to our house for dinner since my plans for the opera will be on Saturday.
“I’m not a mother, child,” she had protested.
“Yes, you are,” I retorted. “You’re a stepmother to two children that you helped when they needed it even though they were selfish, inconsiderate, and ungrateful, but more importantly, you’re a fairy godmother to me, my wife, and my children. Everything that you see in terms of me and my immediate family would not have been possible if it hadn’t been for you and a selfless act that you did three years ago that cost your livelihood. So, we’ll see you Sunday, Godmother.”
She was very happy to accept the invitation and the title.
Saturday has arrived and I’m happy to say that the week proceeded mostly without incident. Ruiz was indicted on attempted kidnapping charges and he’s being held without bail… another fucking trial, this time centered on Sophie. Shalane is going to have a field day with this.
“I’m not telling that bitch shit,” Jason says when he hears about the charges. “If she doesn’t find out on her own or Sophie doesn’t tell her, she’s not hearing shit from me. Have you listened to my daughter talk?”
Yes, Jason… yes, I have.
“She knows way more than she should know about life right now,” he continues. “As much as it scares the shit outta me, she should be giggling about boys with her friends right now, going shopping and trying makeup… I’ll take a million purple hairdos compared to the shit that she’s had to contend with! Who becomes a damn-near master chef at 14 from watching the damn cooking channel?”
He was furious the whole day, and I’m sure that it’s one of those days where Sophie could have asked him for anything. Instead, she asked to cooked Mother’s Day dinner for all the mothers with only a little help from Ms. Solomon.
“It’s her passion,” Jason had said. “It makes her happy.”
This kid is a strange animal and I can’t help but wonder what adulthood will be like for her. I don’t know how I feel about her mother not knowing about the attempted kidnapping, though. Granted, she’s a selfish cow and would probably use it to draw attention to herself in some way, or as some kind of ammo against Jason, but I’m still on the fence about her not knowing.
“Well, I’m not telling her,” Jason reinforces. “If it takes forever for that asshole to go to trial—like it usually does—she’ll be released, and she can see it for herself. Otherwise, she can kiss my ass.”
And that was the end of that. I don’t think I had ever seen him that animated before, even when he went to pick her up from the police station.
We’ve also heard that investigations have begun on the business dealings of one Attorney Asshole Blake. We’ll have to wait to see how that turns out.
Butterfly is at the salon as I instructed and I’m sitting in my office looking over some emails. Aggie has sent pictures of the two-week-old puppies. I have to admit, they’re kind of cute. We can still have our pick of a boy or a girl from this litter as the entire hoard survived and are all doing fine now. We’ve decided to hold off deciding if we wanted a boy or a girl from the red noses until the brindles are born, but if it takes too long, we’ve committed to a girl and we’re hoping for a healthy boy from the brood of brindles.
I’ve also gotten the list of reservations for the attractions for our trip to Italy. Looking at it, I wonder if Audrey is still interested in being my travel agent.
She has us spending two weeks in Rome, two weeks in Venice, and two weeks at the villa. She has clearly forgotten who she’s dealing with. I’ve been to Italy six times—two of those trips, she planned. Now, she’s trying to send me this bullshit itinerary with three places to visit when we’ve got six weeks in the country? Who the fuck does she think she’s fooling?
To: Audrey Law
Re: Italy Itinerary
Date: Saturday, May 9, 2015, 14:21
From: Christian Grey
Is this your idea of a joke? Is my business that worthless to you that you’re willing to literally hand it off to the next agent?
I’m sure that I’ve given you every impression that the first month of this trip is going to be a second honeymoon and you have us spending two weeks in Rome and two weeks in Venice. This sorry list of attractions that you have somehow managed to spread over two weeks in Rome, I can see in three days! An entire day at the Colosseum? Seriously?
And I’m sure that you remember me saying that I wanted to take my wife to see the David. In fact, I very distinctively remember her effectively shielding your attempts to disparage her for not seeing it. Yet, I don’t see Florence on this itinerary. And as much as I plan to take total advantage of the most romantic city in the world, exactly what do you expect us to do for two weeks in Venice?
Where the hell is Naples, Salerno, Capri, Milan? Do you really need suggestions for a six-week trip to Italy with carte blanche??
If you are incapable of doing what I’ve ask for, just let me know and stop wasting my time. You have three days to fix this or I’ll plan my own trip and book it through another agent. I’ll await your reply.
Christian Grey, CEO
Grey Enterprises Holdings. Inc
What the hell is wrong with this woman? She’s clearly pissed because I’ve never brought a woman with me to plan my trip and I brought Butterfly with no warning. But hell, she planned our shopping trip to Paris, our honeymoon in Greece, the babymoon, the Australian cruise… Did she think my wife was a figment of my imagination? The arrogance and stupidity of people truly never ceases to amaze me. Speaking of babymoon…
To: Christian Grey
Re: You’re Never Going to Believe This
Date: Friday, May 8, 2015, 16:42
From: Jason Taylor
Do you remember the sleaze Arthur Daniels from the babymoon? Guess where he is now?
Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc
There’s a link in the email and when I click it, there’s a very brief story about how Arthur Daniels has plead guilty to second degree murder charges.
“Murder?” I say, texting Jason to come to my study. “What the fuck?” He seemed like a wimp to me, just somebody trying to take a hit to get a buck. Granted, I knew he couldn’t take a beating, or so I thought. I had him pegged for maybe the guy who would take a good hit and go down, then sue for some insurmountable amount and take a payment out of court, but murder? What the hell?
“You need me, sir?” Jason says, walking into my office.
“I just saw your email from yesterday,” I tell him. “About Daniels? Murder? Is that right?” Jason nods.
“I did a little research on him,” he tells me. “I was just curious and had some time to kill—in an attempt not to put a hit out on Ruiz. Anyway, this guy left such a taste in my mouth that I ran a check and found this.”
“What the hell happened? Was it self-defense?” I ask.
“Not even close,” Jason replies. “It was a baby.” I glare at him.
“He murdered a fucking baby?” I bark. “Was it his baby?”
“Um… well… it was his wife’s baby,” Jason replies. I must be a little loopy because I thought his wife’s baby would be his baby, but of course I’m still stunned by the fact that he killed a baby.
“Okay, his wife’s baby. So, I’m assuming the baby wasn’t his,” I deduce.
“You’re assuming correctly.” Okay, that opens a whole new can of worms. He discovers that the kid isn’t his, so…
“So, he killed the baby?” I ask in disbelief. “What the fuck?” Jason sighs.
“As the story goes, Kiley Daniels had the kid and the moment he popped out black, Arthur Daniels grabbed the kid and slammed him on the ground. They hadn’t even cut the cord yet.”
Oh, fucking hell, I’m horrified.
“Jason, you’re not telling me that a man took a baby straight out of the pussy and killed it right there…” My voice is controlled. I can hardly believe what I’m hearing.
“That’s exactly what I’m telling you,” he says. “The same doctor that delivered the kid pronounced him dead right there before the wife even passed the afterbirth.
Fucking hell. I fall back in my chair in total disbelief of what I’m hearing. How can a human being have this much rage inside?
“Could it be that he just dropped the kid?” I ask, still trying to find some good in this bastard that I saw with my own eyes isn’t worth a $3-bill.
“He tried that defense,” Jason says, “that he dropped the baby in shock, but there were too many witnesses. No matter how his lawyer tried, he couldn’t get Daniels off, so he pled to second degree instead of first.
“Mrs. Daniels went into a catatonic state of shock and remained that way for months. When she came back to herself, she moved in with family. She didn’t remember being married, being pregnant, her affair, none of it. When they told her who Arthur was and what had happened, she didn’t even recognize him. Her mind had blocked the whole thing out.”
“What about the baby’s father?” I ask. Jason shakes his head.
“He never came forward,” he says. “Nobody knows how much he knew, but he just stayed in the background. I didn’t investigate enough to find out about him. I just wanted to know what happened to the asshole.”
“So, we know what’s happening with him. Where is she now?”
“Going on with her life like nothing ever happened from what sources say,” he replies. “Of course, she filed for divorce because she doesn’t know the guy, and from what she does know of him, he killed her baby. So, that’s that.” I shake my head.
“Talk about getting your comeuppance,” I say. “Damn, murder of a baby…”
“He’s been in protective solitary confinement,” Jason says. “Once they sentence him, if they put him in general population, he won’t last a day.”
“How much time do you think he’ll get?” I ask.
“I think they’ll throw the book at him. They can’t execute him because it’s second degree, but he sure won’t be shipping in pussy anytime soon.” I shake my head again.
“I could’ve gone my whole life without knowing this,” I say, closing my laptop. “By the way, don’t make any more travel arrangements through Audrey Law. Make sure GEH knows—no expensing through her. We’re going to be looking around for someone else to handle the company travel.”
“Okay… you’ve been with her for years. Can I ask what happened?” he says.
“She’s testing me,” I say. “I put her in charge of our trip to Italy and she’s coming back with bullshit. Ridiculous bullshit. She’s pissed because I’m married, and she’s trying to sabotage the trip.”
“She can’t be pissed that you’re married. She planned your honeymoon,” he protests.
“It’s one thing when you know there’s a wife,” I say. “It’s another thing altogether when you put a real face and a body to it. I took Butterfly with me—or I should say, we met at Ms. Law’s office—when I decided to start planning the trip. It was a huge pissing contest that my wife should never have had to be involved in. Law kept making snide remarks that could be camouflaged as valid questions and conversation, but Butterfly didn’t miss a swing. She kept hittin’ ‘em back at her like a pinch hitter in the bottom of the third.
“You would have thought that by the time we left, Law would’ve understood her place, but apparently, she hasn’t. She just sent me a six-week itinerary with two weeks in Rome, two weeks in Venice, and two weeks at Lake Como.” Jason frowns.
“That sounds odd,” he says.
“That sounds stupid!” I reply. “If you’re a tourist spending six weeks to see Italy, why would you want to spend two weeks in Venice and two weeks in Rome? You’ve got six weeks to see the country…”
“Hey, you don’t have to convince me. Like I said, it sounds odd. So… no more Audrey Law?” he asks.
“Nope,” I say. “I’m going to let her think that we’re not booking travel with her until she gets her act together. Then, assuming I let her fix her faux pas and get this trip right, when I get back from Italy, I’ll let her know that she’s fired. So, we need to start looking for someone to handle our travel arrangements from here on out.” He knows I want him to be part of the selection because most often, he’s the one that deals with the agent to arrange my travel.
“You got it,” he says.
“Good, I’m going to get ready for my date with my wife. You’ve reserved the room?”
“I have, and the car will be in the valet,” he replies.
“Excellent. Do you have anything special planned for Mrs. Jason?” I ask. He smiles devilishly.
“I could tell you, but I’d have to kill you,” he says, raising one brow at me.
My wife is a vision as she steps out of Miana’s. Her hair is beautifully coifed in a swooping chignon while tendrils of hair playfully brush her shoulders. The midnight blue, nearly black off-the-shoulder Zac Posen gown is so elegant and fashionable on her that she looks like she’s floating towards me. Her makeup is flawless as usual, her pouty red lips just dark enough to make them kissable, but not too dark for the occasion. My only regret is that I didn’t grace her wrist with diamonds to complement her elbow-long opera gloves, but the exquisite Cartier necklace and earrings stand out enough to accentuate the ensemble. A cuff may have been overkill.
“Mrs. Grey, you’re stunning,” I say as I kiss her hand.
“As are you, Mr. Grey,” she replies, coyly. I’m not modest. I know I’m an attractive man and I look damn good in a Brioni tux, but I always feel like a troll next to her. I open the door for her and help her inside the limo, careful of the flowing folds of her dress, and off we go to the Seattle.
The dress code is usually very relaxed at the Seattle Opera, but tonight is a special night as most attendees are coming to celebrate Mother’s Day. It’s actually more of a red-carpet affair this evening, complete with doormen to open the doors of our limousine. It’s not a Paparazzi sort of affair, but there are a few snapping pictures when my enchanting wife exits the limo. She smiles prettily for the cameras, nodding once in various directions as we make our way into the hall.
The opera is three hours long, so we have dinner at the restaurant inside McGraw Hill. I’ve reserved a cozy table in the corner so as not to be the center of attention in the restaurant, but of course there’s the odd person or three that steals a look in our direction. I opted not to bring security tonight, and I hope that was the right decision as some of the concert-goers look as if they can’t resist coming over to the table and saying, “Hi,” like they’re greeting an old friend.
Luckily, we’re able to enjoy our dinner without interruption—salt-crusted roasted leg of lamb with creamy polenta and choices from the harvest table along with Tuxedo Tiramisu, the richest confection I think I’ve ever tasted.
“I’ve never been to the opera,” Butterfly says as we sip our coffee, and again I feel like Edward Lewis.
“You know that I appreciate music,” I say, “especially classical music. Opera is a little different than classical, but it’s on the same level in that it requires a more sophisticated ear to enjoy it. The oldest operas aren’t written in English, but there are some English operas that date back to the 16th Century. That being said, whether the opera is performed in English or not, the music is usually so powerful that the performance becomes universal.
“There are screens in the auditorium that project subtitles in English, but I feel that takes away from the performance. Opera is always very emotional and generally, how you react to your first opera will determine if you ever truly love it.”
“Why does that sound familiar to me?” she asks as she finishes her cappuccino.
“Because you and I are inadvertently having a Pretty Woman evening,” I say with mirth. “This is your first time at the opera, much like Vivian Ward had never been to the opera in the movie. You’re wearing a beautiful dress, exquisite jewelry, and just like Julia Roberts in the movie, you’re a drop-dead bombshell.”
That elicits a giggle from her.
“And because Edward Lewis says something very similar to Vivian Ward when they’re sitting in their box seats, which is where we’ll be in a few moments. To this day, it’s still the best explanation of opera that I’ve ever heard. He tells her that ‘People’s reaction to opera the first time they see it is very dramatic. They either love it or hate it. If they love it, they will always love it. If they don’t, they may learn to appreciate it, but it will never become part of their soul.’”
“So… do you think this Motown girl is going to love the opera?” she asks.
“I sure hope so,” I tell her. “I very rarely get to go, but when I do…” I trail off. The experience is unexplainable, so why try?
“I will tell you that the opera that we’ll be seeing tonight is an opera in an opera, so you may—for lack of a better word—lose your place if you don’t keep up. It starts with a live orchestra and, of course, we have the best seats in the house. There are opera glasses in the box and, without telling you the story, I think it’s time we get to our seats.”
I stand and pull her chair back and we head to the auditorium. I’m stopped by a few business associates who have also brought their wives for an evening of opera, but we get to our seats without incident as once the opera starts, no one is allowed into the auditorium. If you leave, you have to watch the opera from monitors in the lobby until you are allowed back in.
I watch my Butterfly as carefully as I can throughout the performance. At first, she’s not able to follow the prologue, and without an English translation, it can be hard to follow. I move very close to her and whisper in her ear so that only she can hear me.
“That’s the composer,” I tell her, pointing to the young girl dressed like a man, who seems forlorn for most of the scene. “There are two sets of performers hired to perform after the rich man’s dinner. However, dinner has run past its time, so both performances have to go on simultaneously. The composer’s group is an opera and the other group is a comedy troupe.”
She nods and looks through her opera glasses. She points to a performer at the end of the stage without speaking and I lean in and whisper to her that he is the Music Master trying to convince the composer to make the necessary changes to his opera so that both shows can go on. She nods again and pays attention to the performance. She watches the performance with a curious eye, but not a captivated eye, and I’m concerned that she’s going to be one of the people who can appreciate opera, but not necessarily love it.
I will say that the voices in the prologue are… lacking, that’s the best way that I can put it. For her first opera, I may have wanted to introduce her to one of the shows in Italy. For some reason, this particular company is not capturing the richness in the tones that I’m accustomed to. Their voices are soft and tweeting instead of full and vibrant, and considering that the opera is in German, the audience really needs to be captured with the tones and power of the music since they can’t understand the words.
As such, Butterfly has turned her attention to the monitors that have the English subtitles. She doesn’t need me to explain the prologue to her now as she can read what’s actually going on. I’m a bit disappointed that she has opted to read the subtitles, but I can’t fault her. She tried.
The tedious prologue has finally ended and—to make a long story short—both companies have figured out how to merge the opera with the comedy show, much to the dismay of the composer who has stormed off the stage. Now, the opera portion of the performance begins, and our prima donna—Ariadne—is set on the stage, abandoned on the island of Naxos by her lover. There are three nymphs on stage who are supposed to be Ariadne’s only companions. However, the comedy troupe comes in and unsuccessfully tries to lift the spirits of the brokenhearted Ariadne.
Once Ariadne began singing, I now hear the rich, full tones that I’ve been waiting for. The prima donna’s face distorts in such anguish and despair, and her voice rings deep from her stomach and pulls you from your seat, so much so that Butterfly is now leaning on the rail of the opera box as close as she can get to the talented soprano from this far away from the stage.
This is the reaction I was hoping for.
Butterfly hangs on every word that comes from Ariadne’s lips, as if she can completely understand what she’s saying. Even when the thespians and comedic singers enter with their buffoonery trying to cheer the broken Ariadne, their voices portray the richness that I’m accustomed to. However, it’s not until Bacchus enters that I hear the booming tenor that touches even the deepest part of my black soul. Upon his entrance, his powerful voice causes my wife to gasp and if I didn’t know that she wasn’t privy to dramatics, I think she’d faint right there on the floor.
As such, the opera continues with my wife gasping and crying at various intervals, laughing when the comedic troupe vies for the affections of their saucy comedian Zerbinetta and weeping incessantly when Ariadne begs Bacchus to take her to the realm of death and end her suffering. As Bacchus falls in love with Ariadne, the opera ends with an extremely moving and powerful aria between the two, and my wife looks emotionally exhausted. As the rest of the opera goers file out of the boxes and auditorium, she just sits there with a bit of a catatonic expression on her tearstained face.
“Are you okay?” I ask cautiously. She waves me off as if to signify that she can’t talk at the moment. We sit silently in the box for about five minutes as the opera auditorium empties, and my wife has wrung my handkerchief until I’m certain that the threads are screaming for mercy.
“Okay,” she finally says, once the auditorium is almost empty. She rises from her seat and has to find her legs. I quickly put my arm around her waist, and she raises sad but grateful blue eyes to me.
“Ready?” I ask, and she nods. We leave the auditorium and stand out front with the other opera goers waiting for their cars in front of the opera house. I note that’s it’s chillier than I thought it would be and I remove my jacket and drape it over my wife’s shoulders.
“Thank you,” she says sweetly, shamelessly putting her arms into the sleeves. Even after she’s been crying, she looks lovely. I kiss her softly on the lips.
“You’re welcome,” I say, smiling at her.
“Grey!” I hear from somewhere off to my right. Seriously? I look up and see Steve Wexton walking over to me. Son of a bitch. I’ve got one of his companies on the hotplate right now for acquisition. He’s making his way over to me and I make a point of putting my arm around my wife, who now has a questioning expression on her face.
“Business associate,” I tell her.
“I figured as much,” she replies distasteful. His female companion—wife, girlfriend, I don’t know—is scurrying to catch up with him. She’s wearing a… nice dress.
“Jesus, Grey,” he says, examining me and my wife. “It’s not the Met.” I raise a brow at him. It’s not the office Christmas party either, I think to myself as I examine his off-the-rack suit and his companion’s equally off-the-rack dress.
“Maybe not, but it is a special night,” I point out, “and I like for my girl to look like the belle of the ball.” He raises a brow at my wife.
“She’s definitely stunning,” he says, suggestively, and Butterfly conspicuously grasps my arm.
“I agree,” I say. “That’s why I married her.” Down, you fucking canine. He turns to me and issues a veiled challenge.
“Easy, Grey,” he says. “It’s not like I’m going to take your girl or anything like you’re taking my company.”
“That’ll never happen,” Butterfly says, low enough that she thinks no one heard her, but Wexton’s gaze shoots to her.
“Not enough money, sweet cheeks?” he shoots. My wife is completely horrified and claps back before I can’t even stop her.
“Not enough anything, limp dick!” she retorts angrily. Oh, shit.
“Butterfly!” I scold gently.
“He called me ‘Sweet Cheeks,’” she says quickly. “How would he know?”
“How would you know my dick is limp?” he shoots back.
“Okay, that’s enough!” I snap, glaring at Wexton. “I didn’t deck you for that derogatory statement you made to my wife, so I suggest you stop now while you’re ahead.”
“No offense, Grey, but she started it,” he retorts.
“No offense, Wexton, but you’re delusional. You started it, and I’m going to finish it. By the way, you just lost your date.”
Wexton looks over his shoulder to see his date getting into the back of a taxi.
“If you hurry, you might be able to catch her,” I suggest.
“I’m having more fun here with you,” he smirks. “What do you say we let bygones be bygones and go grab a drink?” He can’t fucking be serious. Like a chariot from heaven, the limo arrives and our driver steps out and opens the door for my wife.
“No, thanks, Steve. I still got my date, and like I said, special night.” I wink at him as my wife gets into the limo, then I slide in beside her just in case this asshole gets any ideas. The chauffeur closes the door behind us and I quickly hit the lock.
“God, what a sleaze!” Butterfly exclaims when we’re safely inside the car.”
“Yeah, I can’t pick who I take a company from,” I say, fastening my seat belt and taking her hand. “I just pick the company. Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine,” she replies. “He’s a lightweight. I’ve dealt with much worse.”
“So, tell me,” I begin once we’re on our way, “what did you think?” I already know, but I want to hear her take on the performance.
“I’ll be honest and tell you that the first part moved very slowly for me, but once we got to the opera in the opera, I could feel the pain and emotion of the characters.”
“Could you tell what was happening once you stopped reading the monitors?” I ask.
“I could tell that the female lead was heartbroken,” she says. “I couldn’t really tell what the three angel-like ghostly women in the back were doing, but I knew that the four or five people in the forefront were comic relief of some kind.”
“Ariadne is the main character,” I tell her, “and she was abandoned on a deserted island by her lover. The three characters in the back are nymphs, very inconsequential.”
“Yeah, I figured as much,” she says.
“The comic relief was really the other opera being combined into the Ariadne opera. The comedic troupe were doing what they could to cheer up the forlorn Ariadne to no avail.”
“That’s odd… I thought there was one point where they were all kind of fighting for the girl among them,” she points out. Good eye, Butterfly.
“They were,” I say. “It was probably part of the original comedic routine, and it had to go somewhere.” She twists her lips.
“So… I’m assuming that the guy at the end was the lover that deserted her, but she didn’t look really happy to see him at first.”
“That’s because he wasn’t the lover that spurned her,” I say. “He was the god Bacchus, and he’s fleeing from a sorceress. He mistakes Ariadne for the sorceress and she mistakes him for the god Hermes. In the end, they go off together and that was the last duet that you saw.”
“It was quite powerful,” she says, sinking back into her seat. We have a short ride and I want to get something off my chest before we get to the hotel.
“I have another confession to make,” I say. She raises her gaze to me. “Although I wanted this to be the perfect evening for the perfect girl, there was an ulterior motive involved as well.”
“There’s always an ulterior motive, Christian,” she says with mirth. I take her hand.
“Besides the fact that I got to see you all put together so beautifully which always warms my heart…”
“… And I got to take you to the opera and watch your wonderful reaction to your first time seeing it—which was just like Vivian Ward’s, by the way…”
She giggles and blushes.
“… I got to replace a pretty bad memory with a much better one.”
She’s silent now. I sigh.
“When I left for Madrid, I foolishly spent most of the night in the first-class private lounge at the airport having a liquid dinner.”
I don’t raise my eyes to her as I tell this story.
“I was pretty pickled by the time we were airborne. I’m sure you know that didn’t make for a very good trip.” I swallow before I continue. “I had ruined the only suit I brought with me—the one I was wearing. We had a layover at JFK and I had to wear a toga.”
My wife unsuccessfully tries to stifle a laugh. Trust me, baby, it looked even funnier than it sounds.
“When we got to Spain, I had to go shopping for clothes, so I had to wear some of Jason’s jogging pants and a T-shirt to the fashionable shops of Madrid. That, of course, went over like a lead balloon.”
Another unsuccessful attempt to hide a scoffing laugh from my wife.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had anybody in a retail outlet treat me with such disdain. It was like a roach had walked into his establishment and asked for service… which, quite frankly, was too good a term for me at the time.”
That’s another story—we won’t go into that.
“My very fashionably-dressed bodyguard had to tell this snooty motherfucker behind the counter that I was richer than Julius Caesar by comparing me to Edward Lewis in the movie. At the time, I didn’t care—the tables turned, I treated the asshole like the scum of the earth and I got what I wanted—no big deal. But as time progressed, I realized that I was the asshole, as was Edward Lewis in the beginning of the movie, and just like Vivian transformed him, you have totally transformed me.
“I don’t know if we’re supposed to believe that after ‘she rescues him right back,’ their ‘happily ever after’ ever involved them running away and getting married or if Edward went back to being the asshole that expected women to be at his ‘beck and call’ like the beginning of the movie. All I know is that I’m glad you stuck around… even when I’m being an asshole.”
I finally raise my gaze to hers and those deep, guileless blue eyes are staring back at me.
“How do you know so much about that movie?” she asks.
“It’s always been one of my favorites,” I confess. “I could relate to the power Edward wielded. I thought it was amazing that the first company he ever acquired belonged to the philandering father that left his mother. I thought he was a sap for blowing that takeover. The whole idea of draping women in beautiful things and being done with them after a certain period of time—oh, yeah, well acquainted with that practice. I just… never thought I’d meet my Vivian.”
She stares at me for a moment before she undoes her seatbelt, leans over to me, and takes my face in her hands. She presses her lips against mine in a deep and searing kiss, setting me alight faster than I can get my thoughts together. I pull her into my lap and kiss her deeply, happy that I have indeed found my Vivian.
The limo drops us at the Edgewater Hotel, and I pick my key up at the front desk before taking my wife straight to our room.
I open the door and gesture her inside. I turn on one of the smaller desk lights and it casts a gentle yellow hue over the room. Damn, that couldn’t have worked out better had I planned it. The Edgewater is one of the higher priced hotels in Seattle, but the room is modest. The hotel is mainly famous because of the famous people who have stayed here. The Beatles stayed somewhere on the second floor and fished in Elliot Bay out of one of the windows. There’s a famous picture of it, but the room didn’t look like much to me for what they were charging. This will suit us just fine—close to the opera house and beautiful views of the Sound.
She walks to the window and takes in the view of the Sound. I drop the key on the nightstand and walk over to her. Standing behind her, I take my jacket off her shoulders and toss it onto the bed. Placing my hands gently on her arms, I caress her shoulders with my thumbs, then brush my lips over her neck, allowing warm breath to tickle her skin before I pepper kisses onto her back. Her breath quickens as she shivers. She holds her head down, giving me unfettered access to her smooth, alabaster skin.
I lick and kiss her neck and shoulders, tasting her skin as I slowly unzip her dress. I want to savor her, the feel of her skin on my fingertips and the smell of that sweet perfume I created for her. God, it’s intoxicating. I put my hands under the dress and slowly push it down her body, kissing down her back the entire way. I’m almost on my knees behind her when I push it off her hips and down to the floor, kissing her ass cheek, her thigh, and the backs of her knees and feeling her shiver again. She’s only wearing underwear under the dress, and that’s all I wanted… underwear, jewelry, and shoes. I slide those pretty little things off her hips and down her legs until she steps out of them, looking all sexy and edible in diamonds and Louboutins.
I turn her around to face me and lift her into my arms by her ass. She gasps in surprise but wraps her legs and arms around me. My lips are only breaths away from hers as I carry her to the desk. I hoist her up onto the desk and kiss her deeply. My body craves her and my soul aches for her. Her soft lips only slightly soothe the fire in me and I realize I want more… I need more… so much more…
I tear my lips from hers and kiss down her body, quickly nipping her nipples on the way. I have to taste her now. I’m fucking starving for her. Once I’m on my knees in front of her, I put one of her legs over my shoulder and dive into her core licking voraciously. She leans back on her hands and cries out, high-pitched breathless pants squeezing from her throat.
My tongue is relentless. She tastes so good that I find myself drooling on her. I want it hot; I want it wet, and I want it now. I reach up to pinch a nipple and grasp a breast while I work intently to bring her to that first orgasm. One of my arms is cradled under her ass and locked over her thigh as she pushes her pelvis into my mouth.
“Christian…” she mewls, her head back, and I know she’s close. That’s it, baby. Give it to me… I need it now.
Her first orgasm comes quick and hard, just like I wanted it. I leap from my knees and press my mouth into hers, spreading her own juices from my tongue to hers. I make quick work of my pants and boxer briefs, dropping them just enough to free my cock. Without moving my lips from hers, I quickly guide my head to her pussy. She’s so fucking wet that I slide right in and thrust deeply. She cries out in my mouth and wraps her legs around me. I wrap my arms around her, pull her closer to me, and thrust deeply into her over and over. God, this is so good…
Her head drops back and my lips once again have uninhibited access to her skin. My mouth waters as I kiss her shoulders, neck, chest, and breast, my orgasm building quick and hot. I hear at least one of her shoes dislodge from her feet and fall on the floor behind me as I’m pumping into her. She’s calling my name in that sexy way that she does, her hands thrust into my hair as her pussy throbs and pulls me in deeper and deeper and deeper…
“Fuck, baby!” I bite out quietly as my cock explodes into her so hard that my back is paralyzed and my legs lock into place.
“Fuck!” I hiss into her neck as her pussy wraps around me and drains me of every little bit of juice I can possibly render. I’m leaning my hands on the desk on either side of her, taking big breaths and trying to regain my strength. Her pussy is pulsing for more and so is my dick, but my lungs won’t cooperate!
After a minute or two, I’m finally able to breathe like a human being. I lift her from the desk and reluctantly pull out of her, laying her on the bed. She squirms in protest like the horny little nymph that she is, and it’s everything I can do to hurry up and get the fuck out of these clothes. I don’t want to do a faceplant on the floor trying to get back to that pussy, so I take my time getting out of my shoes and socks, and my pants and boxer briefs which are now down at my ankles. The shirt and tie are quickly disposed of and I crawl on the bed on top of her and settle between her legs.
“I love you,” I breathe as I intwine her fingers in mine and pin her hands to the bed.
“I love you,” she replies, her voice breathy and desperate. I rub the length of my hard cock against her clit and take large mouthfuls of her skin, intent on marking her as she comes.
“Ah… God…” she breathes, throwing her head back so that I can taste whatever skin I want. “Christian…” she mewls again as she opens her legs and plants her feet flat on the bed. She’s fucking hot and that clit is pebbling against me. She’s going to come again soon. I dare not stop now.
She’s raising her pelvis to meet my cock and I’m rubbing a fire against her nub. It feels so good that it threatens to unman me and I have to concentrate so as not to blow. Still gnawing on that same patch of skin, I stroke and stroke and stroke until…
A squealing sound comes from her throat. It’s not loud or piercing, but it’s shrill and helpless. Her thighs shake violently and she almost sounds like she’s crying. I keep stroking, her clit hard as a goddamn rock against my cock and turning me on so much that I can hardly see straight.
Yes, baby, come for me! Give it all to me!
When I’m certain that she’s plateaued but still feeling the throbbing sensation, I pull my hips back and thrust into her, locking my lips onto hers and boring my hands under her shoulders and up to the sides of her face. Holding her in place, I consume her whimpers and cries as I thrust into her, her core still pulsing around me.
“You feel so good,” I say against her lips as I grind into her, high-pitched breaths escaping her lips with every thrust. Yes… yes… this is what I want.
“God, I love you,” I say, thrusting into her and chasing my second orgasm. “You’re so fucking beautiful… and you’re mine!” I growl the last word as I thrust into her, harder and deeper, now realizing that although I want to come, I want her to come again. She whimpers and gasps as I push both our bodies up the bed over the covers, rolling my hips and grinding into her.
“Christian… please…” she beseeches me. You’ve got one more… I know you do. I know your body and I know you’ve got another one.
“Come on, Pussycat,” I coax, moving my hips from side to side and pushing into her. “Give me more.”
She whines a bit, then whimpers as I grind into her again and again. She looks and feels so divine and it’s delicious torment holding off my orgasm until she has hers. I lean slightly to one side, still grinding into her, my cock and balls absolutely burning for release. Holding her hands above the bed, I clamp down on one nipple and listen to her squeal and shiver. She loves that and I know it. I suck hard and bite a little, feeling her breath quicken as her nipple pebbles in my mouth. I release it and tease it mercilessly with my tongue, feeling her pelvis rising to meet me now. It’s only now that I realize I’ve slipped into Dom mode and I briefly recall calling her Pussycat.
“Hold on to the bed,” I say, so aroused that I can hardly breathe. She grabs the duvet wherever she can and squeezes tight. I grab the headboard again and thrust deep and hard into her, determined to get that third orgasm from her before we finish. I continue to grind hard, pinching, licking, and biting her nipples and her neck, gently squeezing her throat every so often, burning her lips with deep, passionate kisses. Just when I’m about to tap out and give into the wet, velvety heat that is her core, she opens her eyes and gazes helplessly at me…
And there it is, that deep royal blue that only comes at that time. I see that gaze and I almost fucking lose it. I wouldn’t be able to tell if the familiar sheen of sweat was there because we’re both dripping in it. I don’t take my eyes off hers. I keep pushing into her, deeper, this time grinding my pelvis against hers for more stimulation. I need it… I need you to give it to me…
“Gah…! Goooooood!” she cries, closing her eyes. She releases the duvet and grabs my shoulders, digging her nails into the meat as she comes violently around me.
“Fuuuuuuuck!” I growl through my teeth as the pain sets me off. I’m buried deep inside her, coming much harder than I came before, and she’s got her legs—and her pussy—locked around me, her head pushed back in the bed, and I’m certain that her nails are drawing blood. We’re both locked in such an animalistic orgasm that the pain doesn’t even matter. We can’t do anything but ride it out.
A/N: Edward Lewis and Christian Grey are absolutely correct about the opera. Either you love it or you don’t. Ana’s feelings are my feelings about the opera. I listened to three different versions of this opera, and the first two versions were like, “Why am I doing this to myself?” But the third one had me clutching my chest! At the beginning of the opera, it was hard to follow. Once it took off, it really took off. All I can say is if you decide to go to the opera, make sure you research the opera. An opera with a theme that you may not be able to follow is a snooze fest. But if you find an opera where the singers are magnificent, even if you can’t follow the language, you’ll get it.
By the way, snippets of the prima donna Ariadne singing her aria are on the Pinterest page. It is magnificent!!! I got chills even watching her rehearse.
Pictures of places, cars, fashion, etc., can be found at https://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/grey-continued-misadventuresseason-v/
Pictures related to the progress of the Italian Villa can be found at https://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/italy/italian-villa/
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