Raising Grey: Chapter 90—Phantoms

Four more chapters after this one…

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…

Chapter 90—Phantoms

CHRISTIAN

“Look, I know I haven’t seen you in a while, Grey, but marriage has made you awfully soft. Get your head in the game, man!”

Bastille’s right. I fucking hate that he’s using the same words about marriage making me soft, but he’s right… well, partially right.

“I’m not soft, you asshole,” I jeer. “I’m out of practice, that’s why I called you.”

“You called me because you’re weak and you need me to toughen you up. Now, get on your fucking feet.”

I’m pissed now. I pay this bastard to spar with me, not disrespect me.

“And get that fucking power-play chastisement outta your eyes!” he shoots. “I’m not going easy on you, Moneybags. I never have and I never will! If that’s what you’re looking for, you can go find someone else to train your billionaire butt! You’re flabby, your muscles are weak, and your form is horrible. So, you can either put ‘em up, or you can get your ass outta my gym. Either way, get it off my mat.”

I’m going to beat the fucking hell outta this asshole.

I get up, take my stance and lunge at him. He does a sweeping kick at my feet and I land flat on my face. Shit, that hurt.

“Amateur move, Grey,” he says. “Have you forgotten everything I’ve taught you?” I rise to my hands and knees to get some much-needed air in my chest since the full-frontal faceplant just knocked the fucking wind out of me.

“I think I have,” I cede. He walks over to the front of me and stands there with his wrapped hands on his hips.

“Well, at least you finally fucking admit it,” Bastille barks. “You don’t stay sharp if you don’t practice and you don’t stay fit if you don’t do the work. I can tell just by looking at you that your body fat percentage is higher than it’s ever been since I’ve known you. I don’t give a fuck about those six pack abs—you’re in shape, but you’re not in Christian Grey shape. We have to start from square one until you learn to ride that bike again.”

He walks over to the corner of the ring, wipes his face and takes a swig from his water bottle.

“I’ve beaten your ass enough today. If you want to get back on your game, I’ll see you here next week, but it doesn’t matter to me either way.”

He bends and exits the ring between two of the ropes and I’m left there on the mat, feeling soft.

You know that feeling that you get where you think everybody is looking at you? Well, I scan the gym, and nobody’s concerned about my flabby ass, but I still feel like shit. I thought I was in pretty good shape, but there’s no arguing with an Olympic kickboxer.

And the body bag at home doesn’t kick back.

I’m standing in the shower in the men’s locker room thinking about the meeting that Butterfly and I will attend tonight. I’ve sunk back into my old ways in the workplace, and it brings back thoughts of my old ways all around. My talk with Flynn when I was in Anguilla comes back to me…

“You need to put playtime on hold for a while and learn to control yourself.
“It’s time to graduate a bit, Christian.”
“You need to take a page from this remarkable woman’s book and start handling your demons in a more productive way now.”
“It’s okay to exercise the lifestyle that the two of you enjoy, but the moment that one of you doesn’t enjoy it, it’s not okay anymore.”

We promised in Anguilla that we would do research and we never did. Then we promised again after the menopause situation with my mother. Today is the day. Today we start our active research by meeting with our mentors.

When I return home, I find my wife still in her yoga gear in the middle of the family room floor with our children. Our children… it seems like ages since I spent any quality time with my kids. A wave of guilt jolts through me as I watch my wife, smiling and attentive with my son, holding both his hands as he stands on the floor in front of her bouncing on his heels to some tune on the television. Minnie is thoroughly occupied in the Pack-n-Play with an array of various toys. They look happy and carefree and I almost feel like and interloper as I enter the family-room-turned-playroom.

“Hey,” I say softly as I walk in. She frowns when she sees me.

“Your hair is wet,” she observes. I touch my hair and remember that it’s still a bit damp from the shower at the gym.

“Yeah, I took a shower after my workout. I went straight to the car, though,” I confess.

“Christian Grey, did you forget that bug that hit you after your brother’s housewarming?” she scolds. “Are you trying to catch your death?”

“No, I’m fine,” I reply, sounding like a petulant child. I lean into the Pack-n-Play and retrieve Minnie before sitting on the sofa with her. “Your mommy sounds like she’s going to spank me,” I say to Minnie and she coos as I bounce her on my knee.

“Your daddy’s going to kill himself if he doesn’t dry his hair before going out in the cold,” she retorts to Mikey, who has graduated to full-on twisting and dancing with his mother’s help. Jesus, they look so big. It’s only been a week… two if I count Australia, but I’m sure I’ve seen them in between there.

“What should I wear tonight?” she asks. I raise my gaze to hers and she’s still looking at Mikey. I know she’s asking because I told her how to dress when we went to the club.

“Dinner attire,” I say. “Not too formal, not too conservative, but nothing flashy or too provocative, either.”

“Something in between,” she says, and I nod. “How was your workout?”

“Brutal,” I admit. “Claude beat my ass, then let me have it for being out of shape.” She raises her gaze to me, her brow furrowed.

“You’re not out of shape,” she protests.

“Remember, I used to work out every weekday,” I remind her.

“Which you’ve been doing lately,” she points out.

“Lately,” I say. “I’m not in Bastille-kick-boxing shape. The bastard even called me flabby,” I lament. She glares at me and clears her throat. “What?”

“You said the ‘B’ word in front of the children,” she chastises. I frown.

“What ‘B’ word?” I protest. I didn’t say bitch.

“B-A-S-T-A-R-D,” she says. Oh, that “B” word.

“Sorry,” I say with a shrug. “Did you even catch that, Minnie?” I say to my daughter. She touches my face and babbles something incoherent, and all is right with the world.

*-*

My wife presents herself in an ensemble that I’m certain is from my grandmother’s collection. It’s a red, strapless knee-length sheath dress with an open skirt attached to the back, making it look like one of her Lindy-Bop dresses. There’s a bow right in front at her breast, and she has complimented it with a red and gold choker necklace. I’m not sure what it’s made of, but it has red balls between large gold links with what looks like charms all around it. If it’s a costume piece, it matches the dress very well. Her hair is swept up in a chignon with flirty tresses falling around her face and she’s wearing my grandmother’s ruby earrings.

She looks absolutely stunning.

“I said not too formal,” I say when I see her. She looks down at her attire.

“This isn’t too formal,” she protests. “It’s like a cocktail dress. Should I change?”

“No,” I say, taking her coat from her arm and holding it open for her. “You look beautiful.”

“Thank you,” she says as she closes her coat around her. She checks her makeup in the mirror in the grand entrance as I put my coat on, then I lead her through the mudroom to the garage.

“We’re taking the RS7,” she observes as I press the key fob and the alarm chirps. I smile and lead her to the car. I open the passenger door for her, and she gets in. Once I close the door behind her, I walk over to the driver’s side. I really love this car. It’s got a lot of power behind it and I never considered getting rid of it once that drunk driver totaled my Spyder, but…

“It’s time for an upgrade,” I say as I start the car. “I love this car, but it’s a couple years old now.”

“Is that the only reason you want to upgrade?” she asks. “Because of the age?”

“Isn’t that enough?” I ask.

“It’s basically new, Christian. You hardly ever drive it,” she says. “Besides, I have some pretty fond memories of this car… especially the hood.” I feel my mouth involuntarily forming a smile.

“Well, that’s enough reason to keep it,” I say suggestively, dropping a gear and heading to Kirkland.

We arrive at this perfectly square contemporary house in Kirkland. I’ve never been here, although I know the couple very well. Butterfly will most likely loosen up a bit when we get to the door. I pull into the driveway and turn off the car.

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“Are you ready?” I ask. She takes a deep breath and sighs.

“Let’s do this,” she says. I get out and go over to her door. She’s all legs when she steps out of the car and I’m already fighting my primal urges as I take her hand and lead her to the front door.

“Christian,” a familiar face greets me. “It’s good to see you as always. Come in, come in, it’s cold out tonight.”

I put my hand in the small of my wife’s back and usher her in out of the cold.

“Artemis,” she says with realization. “Right?”

“Guilty,” he says with a flourish and a small bow. “May I take your coat?”

“Yes, please,” she says and allows him to take her coat.

“Oh,” he says upon removing her coat. “I’m afraid we may be a bit underdressed.”

“It’s my fault,” Butterfly says. “I didn’t know how to dress for the evening. I hope I don’t make you feel uncomfortable.”

“Nonsense,” I hear a woman’s voice and we both turn to see a beautiful blonde woman approaching us.

“And this beautiful creature is my wife, Savvina,” Artemis says, welcoming his wife into his arms and kissing her cheek gently. “You’ve met Christian, of course, darling. And this is his lovely wife, Anastasia.” Savvina extends her hand.

“It’s lovely to meet you, Anastasia,” Savvina says.

“Likewise, thank you,” my wife replies taking Savvina’s hand. Hmm, no call me Ana. She’s still a bit uncomfortable.

“Let’s go and make ourselves comfortable, shall we?” Savvina says. Savvina tucks my wife’s hand into her elbow.

“My dear, you are exquisite,” Savvina says, leading Butterfly into the den. Butterfly looks back at me and I don’t say or do anything. These are our mentors and she needs to trust them without my prompting. She’s a good judge of character, so I don’t worry.

The den is an open room with two sofas facing each other and a wall of glass facing Lake Washington. The backyard is lit with track lighting and recessed ground lighting, so we get a view of the highly manicured lawn with the lake as the backdrop.

“Let’s get right to it,” Savvina says as she and Butterfly take a seat on the sofa across from me and Artemis. Oh, okay. I assumed that I and my wife would be sitting together. I didn’t think they would separate us this soon, but okay.

“So, we know why we’re here, right?” Savvina asks. I think she wants Butterfly to answer, but I’m certain that she’s not comfortable enough yet.

“We all know my history in the lifestyle,” I begin. “My wife basically doesn’t have any…”

“I have a little,” she protests. I frown and turn my gaze to her, and she looks back at me. “What you mean to say is that I don’t have any before you, but I have some now,” she corrects me. I nod.

“I stand corrected,” I cede. “We’ve… had some playtime. Some of it can get a little intense…”

“Meaning?” Savvina probes.

“There have been some punishments,” I say. “There have been more than a few times when her limits have been tested, but she’s not a seasoned submissive and I think she may be taking more than she should in a healthy BDSM relationship.”

“Which means you feel like you may be giving more than you should,” Artemis says, and it’s not a question. I shrug.

“Yes… I think I might,” I confess.

“Why do you go as far as you do?” he asks me.

“I look to her for signals, like I’ve always done with any submissive, and she doesn’t give them to me. I only know or get the sense that I’ve gone too far when her body betrays her. I didn’t really realize that she was doing this until our cruise.”

“You had absolutely no warnings before then?” Artemis accuses.

“There may have been warning signs…” I pause, “there were warning signs, but I kept thinking that we were getting it together.”

“You’re quiet, Anastasia,” Savvina says. Butterfly begins to fidget a bit.

“I just want to be what he needs,” she says. “It’s not that bad…”

“Not that bad,” Savvina repeats, “that should not be a phrase that you use to describe your relationship at all.” Butterfly rolls her eyes.

“I’m trying to say that he doesn’t abuse me,” she clarifies.

“No one suggested that,” Artemis says. “Why would you immediately feel the need to point that out?”

“Because of what we do,” she defends. “People tend to get the wrong idea…”

“Are you forgetting that you’re here because we do the same thing?” Savvina interjects.

“It’s just… when he talks about pushing my limits. I haven’t passed out. He hasn’t beaten me and drawn blood or broken any bones, so I don’t know what he means when he’s talking about pushing me past my limits.”

“Your limits mean a lot of things, Ana… may I call you Ana?” Savvina says, and it’s the first time that anyone has ever had to force the nickname. Butterfly nods. “You mentioned breaking bones and drawing blood. Have you ever seen anything like that in the lifestyle?”

“Well, yes and no. I haven’t seen breaking bones, but I did visit a BDSM club in college and I saw blood play.”

“Do you consider that abuse?” Savvina asks. Butterfly grimaces.

“To each his own, I guess,” she says, finally. “It’s not for me.”

“So, he hasn’t done anything to you that you would consider abusive, but yet, you’re here because he thinks he’s pushing you past your limits.” Butterfly sighs.

“He went to see his trainer today,” she begins. Huh? Where’s this going. “The guy told him that he’s out of shape because he’s been out of practice. Look at him!” She gestures over to me. “You can pick any part of his body and not be able to pinch a centimeter of fat. Yet, his trainer says he’s out of shape. Why? Because he’s supposed to be at a certain level of performance, and he’s not there.

“That’s how I feel,” she continues. “I feel like I just need the conditioning to be what he needs when he needs it. And yes, I know that there’s a point called ‘too far,’ but if I don’t allow him to push my limits, how will I know what that point is?”

“I see,” Savvina says to Butterfly. “So, it sounds to me that you may have a bit of a grasp of the physical, but you don’t clearly understand the mental.”

“I understand the mental,” she says, clearly affronted. “He’s a Dominant—he needs to regain or maintain control.”

“That’s not all he needs,” Savvina replies. “But what about you? What about what you need? What about your mental? Does the pain get you off?” She shrinks a bit. She’s shrinking?

“Sometimes,” she admits.

“And the other times?” Savvina presses. Butterfly crosses her legs and begins to look very small, shrinking more and I repress the urge to leap over and gather her in my arms. I hate that shit. She looks down, then casts a glance in my direction, though she never makes eye contact with me.

“In another life, you would have been a great pain whore.”

No, she wouldn’t! Pain whores absolutely get off on pain. I know that’s not Butterfly.

“We need to be alone,” Savvina announces. My back straightens.

“Why?” I ask. I thought we were in training together.

“Because you came to us for help,” Savvina says. “She’s a submissive right now and she’s clearly not going to talk with you in the room, much less be receptive to anything I’m going to be telling her. We need to be alone.”

“Come on, Christian,” Artemis says, standing. “Let’s go get a drink.”

Savvina doesn’t break her gaze with me and Butterfly won’t meet my gaze at all. I reluctantly stand and follow Artemis to another part of the house.

“What’s your poison?” he asks, and I notice that his normally heavy Greek accent is significantly smoothed out.

A double shot of Scotch…

“Sparkling water with lime,” I say. “I’m driving.” He nods and begins to fix my drink. “Your accent suddenly doesn’t seem as heavy.”

“It’s a practiced dialect,” he admits, “when I want to make sure that my English is fully understood. Thank you for the confirmation.” He places a soda water with lime in front of me and prepares one for himself.

“You don’t have to abstain from drinking just because I am,” I observe.

“It’s better to keep a level head,” he says. “I may have one drink with dinner, but nothing more.” I nod.

“Why did you offer me a drink, then?” I ask. He raises a brow.

“I offered you a drink, not the bottle,” he says, sipping his soda water. “How does it feel to be ushered from the room that way?”

Like I’ve totally lost control and I want to beat something until my arms ache.

“Fucking helpless,” I admit.

“Good,” Artemis says. “You’re going to have to let her grow on her own and that means letting go. As you both said, she had no experience before you, so you were okay to introduce her, but you’re not okay to teach her… and even though she’s on her way, she has a lot to learn.”

“I’m aware of this now,” I say. “That’s why we’re here…”

Artemis and I talk for a while about balancing life with being a Dom and a husband—he calls it Dominus—and after a few minutes, he reaches into his pocket and looks at his phone.

“Dinner is ready,” he says, “and we’re being summoned.”

I raise my gaze to him. I guess that last part means that our wives have finished their conversation and it’s safe for us to go back. I feel a bit powerless and, in light of current events, it’s not a good feeling. Not a good feeling at all.

Artemis and I go back to the den to join our wives and I get a surprise.

“Ana, why don’t you go on in and get settled for dinner with Artemis? Give me a moment with Christian, do you mind?” Butterfly is clearly hesitant.

“Um, okay?” she says and it’s more of a question than a statement. Artemis gestures with his arm and smiles warmly. She looks at me then at Artemis and leaves the room with him. He mimics placing his hand in the small of her back, but doesn’t actually touch her as they exit. Savvina turns to me.

“You’ve always had submissives that were already primed,” she says. “They knew who they were, they knew what they wanted. They had contracts, they underwent negotiations, and they knew exactly what to expect. They knew what they would and wouldn’t take from you, and it was all spelled out in black and white. They had been thoroughly trained, and some of them were pros. You’ve never had feelings for any of them except your Mistress when you first began as a submissive…”

God, I hate that she refers to that woman as my Mistress.

“You’ve never had a submissive in training, much less one that you’re in love with—seasoned or not. Do not badger that girl about what we discuss. You’ll set her all the way back and undo any progress we possibly make. My suggestion is that while she’s going through her initial submissive training that you go to your Dominus training until you’re needed for her sessions. You’ve known me for years. You know she’ll be safe with me.”

“So, you won’t tell me about the progress of the sessions?” I inquire. She shakes her head.

“You’ll only know what you need to know and nothing more. I will tell you this—she needs a lot of training. She’s balancing on a delicate rope right now and she’s full of more uncertainty than you think. I’m only telling you this because if you push her too hard, it’ll be disastrous.” I nod. I can’t do anything but train and wait.

Fuck, this is going to be tough as fuck!

I’m contemplative throughout dinner, talking as much as is necessary to be social, but lost in my own thoughts. Don’t ask about training; don’t push too hard; I won’t get any updates. How the fuck am I supposed to know what to do and what not to do? I’m going to lose my goddamn mind trying to gauge what’s appropriate and what’s not. I thought I truly had a handle on this whole Dom thing. If I didn’t know anything else, I always knew how to read a woman’s body—what buttons to push, what things to say, how to touch her. To some degree, I’ve even been able to read a woman’s thoughts…

I know when she’s displeased; I know when she’s aroused; I know when she’s angry or sad.

Now, suddenly, with my own wife, I feel like I’m completely out of my league. And it doesn’t help where now I’m fighting with my company as well, where at one time I had total and absolute control and now, it just seems like things are going haywire!

Everybody is telling me that I’m going soft, including my fucking trainer. Even my executive staff don’t respect my decisions anymore. I feel like I’m losing my grip on everything and it’s unbelievably frustrating.

We’ve spent dinner mostly in an effort to make Butterfly more comfortable with the journey we’re about to embark upon, but the entire time, I’m feeling more and more rudderless. By the time we return to the den for drinks and to discuss our next steps, I’m wound tighter than a dollar-store watch.

I’m having visions of the less-controlled things that I once did to faceless submissives in the playroom that’s now being dismantled at Escala. I’ve been having these visions ever since I held my wife down and forced her into two orgasms… or was it three?

I’m remembering with a regretful fondness the days when I was looking forward to the weekend when some fit but bony waif would call me Master and I would work her over until all the pressures of the week had been released. I wasn’t kind to those women—I respected their limits and their safewords if they used them, but I wasn’t kind.

If they ever left me feeling empty or unsatisfied in any way, I punished them. And if they did it again, I ended their contract. It was a means to an end, and it worked out nicely, until…

“Christian, you’re quiet,” Artemis says, bringing me back to the here and now. I know he’s asking what I’m thinking because I haven’t contributed anything to the conversation since we returned to the den. Well, if I’m looking for help with this Dominus thing, I have to be honest.

“This week, I found myself fighting my old… urges,” I admit, and Butterfly rubbernecks to me. Oh, hell, this may have been a bad idea, but the elephant is in the room now.

“Your old urges?” he asks, curiously. He knows what I’m talking about. He’s outfitted both of my playrooms and broke down the one at Escala.

“The pressures of life and the corporate world,” I continue without looking at anyone. “They’re… unearthing the memories of my prior coping techniques.”

“I see,” he says. “Can you elaborate for Ana?”

“I’m aware of his prior coping techniques,” my wife says, turning from me and dropping her gaze to the floor.

“Okay, then elaborate for me,” Artemis presses. I glare at him and he doesn’t falter. He’s not allowing either of us to hide. If this is what we want, we have to face up to it.

“The caning and the whipping,” I admit. “The orgasm refusal and striping the skin with a cat… the things that use to calm my frustration with… life.”

I don’t look at Butterfly, but I can see her deflate out of the corner of my eye.

“You miss those things, Christian?” Artemis asks. I shake my head.

“I just… recall my fascination with them, that’s all,” I admit. “I remember anticipating the weekend and imagining a scene, then carrying it out with a submissive. Yes, the release was liberating. When the days become more stressful than you’re accustomed to—stressful like they used to be—you remember your old coping techniques. That’s all this is.” My wife scoffs, drawing the attention of everyone in the room.

“Ana, is there something you want to add?” Artemis adds. She shrugs.

“What’s to add?” she asks, her voice laced with sarcasm. “He’s feeling nostalgic about the days when he used to beat submissives. His business is stressing him out and he’s thinking about going back to the old way of doing things, just like he did with his company.” I roll my eyes and sigh.

“I’m not thinking about going back to the old way of doing things,” I defend. “I was honest about remembering those times because the stress and the angst that I’m feeling now is similar to the stress and the angst that I was feeling then. It’s no different than smelling my mom’s chicken soup and remembering my childhood, Anastasia. It’s just something that struck a memory.”

“Oh, there’s a comparison—your old BDSM lifestyle and Grace’s chicken soup.”

Yep… yep, that sounds ridiculous.

“Okay… alright, that was a bit too simplistic, but it’s the same premise. It’s something that struck up a memory and that’s all,” I retort.

“Um-hmm,” she says, her gaze back to the floor.

“Ana, what’s going through your head?” Artemis asks.

“I knew that’s what he wanted,” she blurts out. “No matter how he tried to convince me otherwise, I knew deep down that’s what he wanted all along.”

What?

“That’s what I wanted, yes!” I say finally, firmly.

“Then why didn’t you just say that?” she nearly shrieks. “Why play these games with me like I’m what you wanted all this time?”

“Because you are what I want!” I snap back harshly, feeling attacked, “and I don’t want to be that way! It’s what I wanted! It’s what I was accustomed to! And when things get rough, it may be what my mind recalls as a coping technique. It does not mean that’s what I want now! If you, of all people, don’t know and understand that, then I don’t know what to tell you!”

“We need to back up,” Artemis says. “We’re getting into pointing fingers and losing sight of the purpose here. Ana,” he says, turning to my wife, “you’ve heard that Christian may be having some of his initial primal urges…” I move to dispute him, but he raises his finger to silence me. I fucking hate that shit, but in this setting, it’s different—another means to an end.

“How do you feel about that?” Artemis continues. “Would you be able to satisfy those urges for him?”

“No,” she says, after a pause. “I can’t be that woman. I don’t like whips and I don’t like canes, and he knows that.” Her voice is cracking.

“Christian,” Artemis turns to me, “how do you feel about hearing that?”

“I don’t want to do those things to her, and she knows that,” I retort. “That’s why we’re here—to find that compromise that works for us both without her having to push herself to limits that I know she can’t take.”

“Then when he needs the really hard stuff, he’ll just go find someone else that’ll take what he’s dishing out!” She hisses through her tears.

“Fuck! Seriously?” I roar. “You seriously think I would fucking do that?”

I launch from my seat and walk away from the conversation, over to the wall of glass and just look out at the darkness. I don’t even bother counting. It won’t help this time. I really can’t believe what I’m hearing. Does she really think I would do that to her? To our fucking family? Seriously?

“Ana, that’s not fair,” Savvina chimes in. “Has Christian ever given you any reason to believe that he would venture outside of your marriage?”

“No,” I hear her sob, “but I can’t be that woman for him. I know who he was, what he did, and I can’t be that woman! So, what is he going to do—pretend like he doesn’t have those urges? Pretend like he doesn’t want to chain me to the ceiling of the playroom and cane me until my entire body is striped pink?”

I’ve never fucking whipped any woman until her entire body was striped pink. That is abuse. Hell, I had a hard time with B&D after I spanked her until she had purple bruises on her bottom. Remember that, Anastasia?

Come to think of it, even if I was that much of an asshole to want to cheat on my wife, I could never inflict the kind of damage on any woman that I used to before I met Ana, for more reasons than I can count.

I can’t hear anything now. I’m so fucking pissed that I can barely breathe. How dare her! How fucking dare she think I would want someone else—for any reason whatsoever! Yeah, I skipped out to Madrid when things got a bit much for me to bear, but has that situation completely negated everything that I’ve ever done in our entire relationship to prove that she’s the one that I really want? Jesus H. Christ, this is a fucking nightmare.

I feel angry, I feel appalled. I feel every type of burning rage a man can feel when he’s innocent and being accused of a crime he didn’t commit. But beyond all that fury and ire, there’s one emotion that’s sticking out the worst, and I can’t put a name to it? Is it rejection? Do I feel slighted? What is this?

“What did you say?” Artemis says and apparently, I said something, but I wasn’t aware of it. I close my eyes and open my mouth and just let the word flow out on its own.

“Hurt.”

The room is silent, and I don’t turn around. I’m leaning on the wall next to the wall of glass—or I should say that it’s kind of holding me up right now. I don’t want this. I don’t want any of this. I’ll turn my back on the whole lifestyle, on everything it means to me or does for me if it means I’ll lose her. I’ll work out until every muscle in my body feels like steel before I jeopardize my family. But I think what bothers me the most is the fact that she feels like I could so easily throw that all away.

“Christian, you’re moving backwards. That’s not good…”

We’re moving backwards!” I say finally, interrupting Artemis’ statement. “We’re moving backwards in every way!”

“That may be what’s needed,” Savvina interjects and I glare at her. “To pull back all the layers of everything you’ve built in terms of your practices and dispel all the disillusions.”

I take a moment to think about what she said when Butterfly left the room; that all of my submissives have already been primed; that she’s pretty much at a precipice right now and if I push her too hard, it may set her back. I just wish I knew how the fuck this equates into I want someone else just because I confessed to feeling the same lack of control that I used to.

“I really think we’ve gone as far as we can today,” Savvina says. Both Artemis and I look questioning at her and she gestures to Butterfly. I look over at my wife and she’s as still as a statue, tears falling almost endlessly onto her beautiful red dress. I push my hands through my hair and shake my head.

“I think you’re right,” I say, unable to hide the anger in my voice. I leave the den and head to the front room and the closet where our coats are kept. I’ve never needed time alone more in my life than I do right now.

The three of them come from the den into the front room where I’m standing. Butterfly isn’t crying anymore, but she’s eying me leerily. Oh, for fuck’s sake.

“You can ride with me if you like,” I say, failing miserably to contain my ire, “or if you rather I call someone to come and get you, I can do that, too.”

She immediately drops her gaze and shakes her head, and I immediately feel like shit. I hold her coat open for her and she walks into it without raising her head.

“Next week?” Savvina asks. “The Munch?”

“Yes,” I say, my voice clipped. No way in hell I’m going to put myself or her through this without seeing it through.

The ride back to Mercer is deathly quiet. I don’t even bother to turn the radio on. I’m concentrating hard on the road and trying to get us back home in one piece. Total silence for twenty minutes and plenty of time for my thoughts to bang themselves against my skull over and over again until I can at least find the solace of my goddamn piano…


ANASTASIA

He bolts to the elevator without a word the moment we hit the mudroom. He doesn’t even bother to remove his coat… or mine.

Weeping, I take the stairs to our bedroom. I cry the entire time I rip the red dress from my body, truly hoping to never see the beautiful piece of fabric again. I kick off my stilettos and I’m careful with his grandmother’s earrings, not so much with the costume necklace from one of my prior Ana Steele collections. My hands are trembling so much as I try to remove it that I break the clasp. I reach for a nightgown, then realize that I’ll most likely be spending the night alone, and not in that bed, so I opt for a pair of yoga pants and my U-Dub sweatshirt instead.

I always feared the day would come where I wouldn’t be enough for him. In the back of my head, I always dreaded the day would come when he needed something that I couldn’t give him. That’s why I took the heavy play. It was never something that I couldn’t take, and I knew it wasn’t abuse. I knew that I could stop any of it with just a safeword, but I knew he needed more. No matter how he tried to convince me or himself, I knew he needed more, so I convinced myself to take more—to be what he needed.

The truth is that the whole thing is an unknown to me, and I’m putting characteristics on him that were never ever there… like infidelity. Mistrust is a poison pill and I can’t allow that to creep into our relationship. It’s more than the running away to Madrid because he can’t take the heat or deal with what he saw. This is actively believing that my husband would venture outside of our marriage and find satisfaction in the arms of another woman, or with another woman at the end of his whip.

I’m fighting the urge to pack my things and my babies and leave just because I don’t want to be here and I don’t know what to feel, but I know that won’t solve anything. If anything, it’ll make everything that much worse, and it’s the wrong thing to do for so many reasons. I don’t even know why I want to leave. Even now, my mind is ping-ponging back and forth between rational and irrational thoughts, and I really need to talk to somebody.

I need a friend—a confidante in the worst way.

I open my phone to Facebook and look for Laura’s name. I can instant message her and she’ll contact me when she’s online.

Hmmm, I have to download Facebook Messenger. Fine. I download the app and look for Laura. She has to approve me to message her. That’s strange. Shouldn’t I already be approved if I’m her friend? Whatever. I type a short message:

Mercer Doctor Lady: Hey, what’s up?

Short and sweet. What time is it in Sydney right now anyway? Is she even awake? I’m fucking bright-eyed and bushy tailed since my husband refuses to come to bed after I foolishly accused him of wanting to whip other little brown-haired girls if I refused to cooperate. God, the thought is so repulsive, and if he had even the slightest reaction close to mine, I certainly understand why he’s livid and needs his space right now.

Ellen Degeneres it is…

I watch three clips of her scaring her guests and playing silly games that she made up when my phone chimes with a notification.

LauraLee Kelly: You’re up late. Can’t sleep?

Very perceptive.

Mercer Doctor Lady: How’d you guess? Exactly what time is it in Sydney? Did I wake you?

LauraLee Kelly: Not even. Has it been that long, dear? It’s barely dusk here.

Oh. Well, at least I didn’t wake her.

LauraLee Kelly: I know it’s past dusk in your neck of the woods. Why the night owl?

I can’t tell her everything, but I’ll give her the basics.

Mercer Doctor Lady: I had a fight with Christian.

LauraLee Kelly: Uh oh. Can you elaborate?

She knows me well.

Mercer Doctor Lady: Only a little. Old ghosts preyed on my insecurities.

LauraLee Kelly: The Boogieman?

Hmm… no.

Mercer Doctor Lady: Honestly, no, not this time. I was just insecure about his nostalgia of the man that he used to be before he met me.

LauraLee Kelly: Okay, so I’m a little lost. Why was he nostalgic?

Mercer Doctor Lady: Because work is stressful, and he began thinking about the things he used to do as a single man.

LauraLee Kelly: I’m not trying to open a can of worms, but work stress usually doesn’t make you think about something like that. There has to be something more. You know I’m your friend and I’d really like to help you out with this, but I don’t want you to tell me more than you think you should.

Shit, should I tell her anything? I’ve already told her so much. I would normally talk to Ace about things like this, but he’s not available and I’ve pretty much told him to kick rocks until I need him…

As I’m pondering my options, my phone makes this horrible ringing-clanking sound. It sounds awful. I look at the screen and discover that Laura is calling me. That’s not my ringtone, though. I look closer and realize that she’s calling me through Messenger. Hm, you learn something new every day.

I swipe the screen and accept her video chat.

“I figured this would be easier, whether you wanted to elaborate or not,” she says when her face appears on the screen. Jesus, she’s a sight for sore eyes.

“I didn’t think I’d miss you guys so much so soon,” I admit. “It’s been a rough week ever since we’ve been home.”

“Obviously,” she says. “Why are you sitting in the dark?” I turn on a lamp on the end table. “There you are. You don’t look so good…  do you want to elaborate or would you rather not?”

I look over into our bedroom at our undisturbed bed and sigh.

“Yeah,” I cede weakly.

Without giving her too much information on our background and why we partake, I explain to her that we’re active in the BDSM lifestyle and that Christian would most likely blow a literal fuse if he knew that I was telling her. I give her the short version of our mostly vanilla relationship with the kinky fuckery thrown in, but that my most recent uncertainty stemmed from the fact that my husband was—once upon a time—into some of the more sadistic stuff.

“You’re afraid that he wants to go back to that?” she asks.

“I don’t know, Laura,” I admit. “I know he thinks about it even though he won’t do it with me. I know he would never hurt me… well, beyond what I can take and what I consent to, but he used to be into some heavier shit than what we do. This week has been stressful with some things that have been going on with the business and in our personal lives, and he admitted that he had been thinking about some of the things that he used to do with those other women.”

“Did he say he wanted you to do those things?” she asks.

“No,” I say, shaking my head.

“Did he give you the impression that he wanted to start doing those things again… with you or other women?” I clear my throat.

“Not as such,” I admit. “He just… talked about remembering those things—his old ‘coping mechanisms’—and he made it sound like he missed them.” She nods.

“Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. So, did he in any way, shape, or form make you feel like you were falling short because you weren’t doing what these other women did?”

“No,” I admit. “He didn’t, but…” I trail off.

“But what?” she presses. I roll my eyes and sigh.

“This horrible woman that he used to… be involved with, she told me when we first got together that he would tire of me—that one day, he would miss his old lifestyle and that I wouldn’t be enough. As soon as I start remembering what she said…” with the help of a nocturnal visit from the bitch, “… he comes out and admits that he misses that lifestyle.”

“He said that?” she asks in horrified awe.

“Well, no, not that. He said that the stress of the week is making him nostalgic for his old coping mechanisms.” She frowns.

“What else did he say?” she asks.

“That was pretty much it—that he was just thinking about his prior activities and the way that he used to cope.” She rubs her chin.

“Okay, I see. So… some bitch planted a seed in your head a few years ago when her time was apparently fading and yours was just beginning to bloom, and now when things aren’t so perfect, her words have come back to haunt you and you suddenly believe that your husband is no longer satisfied with your relationship. Have I just about summed it up?”

Wait a minute, whose side are you on?

“You do realize that you’re subjecting yourself to insecurity because he’s remembering the familiar, don’t you?”

God, she makes it sound so simple. It’s got to be more than that.

“We were seeing another couple in the lifestyle to try to help us find a middle-ground between our kinky fuckery and the really hard stuff.”

“Why would you need that if you guys were already practicing?” she asks. “I thought you said he didn’t expect you to do all that hard shit.”

“He doesn’t,” I clarify. “We’re seeing this other couple because he feels like he may be pushing me beyond my limits and that I’m letting him because I don’t want him to seek satisfaction elsewhere. So, we sought out some guidance.” She frowns.

“You realize that you’re proving my point, right?” she says. “If he had the slightest inclination of going back to the lifestyle that he was living before, you think he would have said anything about it while you were present? He has a woman who is clearly willing to take more than she can bear to help him stay grounded, but you guys are meeting with someone because he feels like you’re going beyond your limits. How this equates to ‘he wants his old life back,’ I have no idea, so you’re really going to have to help me with that.”

You should see him, Laura. He’s nearly inconsolable!” I say, my voice desperate. “Most people devote eight or nine hours of the day to work. If you’re the boss, maybe ten or twelve. This thing with the business has turned him into someone else entirely. This is the guy he used to be before he met me, only it’s worse—or maybe it’s not worse, because I wasn’t around then. Maybe this was who he was all the time—unapproachable for 16 – 20 hours out of the day, but nobody cared because he didn’t have a wife and children. Nobody was looking or nobody cared if he slept for maybe four hours each night, but when he did that, he let his frustrations out on the weekend on women who were trained and professional and could take a whole lot more than I can.”

I’m choking back the tears that are welling up in my throat again. My husband is nostalgic about the old days not because he wants another woman, but because life is guiding him to where he was before. If something doesn’t change, what’s to stop him from wandering into his old way… again, not because he’s unfaithful, but because it’s what’s familiar?

“Ana, my high school years were outstanding—I was popular, I had friends, and the prom was phenomenal. I remember those days with fondness, but I don’t want to go back! It was a time before all my problems started. I was carefree and young and happy, but I still don’t want to go back. All kinds of things have happened that makes me a different person now than I was then. So, this person now won’t fit in that time, no matter how great it was. Do you really think that this person that Christian is now would fit in the time of the person that he was then? Because if you do, you’ve got a bigger problem than you think.” I choke on a gasp and cover my mouth.

“No,” I sob. “No, he’s nothing like he was before… nothing at all. I don’t think he could ever be that person again if he tried. He’s… come a really long way, and the biggest part of the journey was… in the first few months that we met. The Christian Grey that I first met could never have… been a husband, let alone a father. Yes, he has his imperfect moments, but… he’s not that guy. He’s… just not that guy.”

“I’m glad you see that,” she says. “So, why are you talking to me and not to him?”

“He needs some time,” I say, wiping the tears from my cheeks. “He’s a proud man. He told me how he felt… and I told him how I felt. I don’t think either of us could really take it.”

“Mm,” she replies, “his version of sulking?”

“Brooding,” I correct her, “but he gets a gimme on this one… a big gimme.”

Laura and I talk a little more and I thank her for listening to me and helping me get my thoughts together. The incident wasn’t Boogieman status—only because I think I’ve learned how to deal with the Boogieman—but it was pretty steep, and the way I feel about Ace these days, I don’t think he would have been able to help me.

Quite some time after I began my call with Laura, I go to the nightstand in my bedroom and retrieve my iPod. I take the throw from the bottom of the bed and go back into the sitting room. Still fully dressed, I wrap the throw around me and lay on the loveseat. I’m surprised that my iPod is still charged, but I haven’t used it in a while. I turn it on and open my files. That one big file is still there of course. I open it and allow it to play. I lay my head on the pillow as I listen to him play his piano and sing to me. I finally fall asleep as his deep voice sings about being in love with me and feeling brand new…

I slept like the dead. It must have been the emotional overload from last night. I’m in the fetal position on the love seat, wrapped in the throw from our bed. I’m listening to the last bars of one of the songs Christian sang to me on my iPod—I think it’s Michael Franks, Now I Know Why. I stop the iPod and sit up. It’s obvious that he didn’t come to bed last night since I’m still on the loveseat.

It’s also obvious that he’s been in this room.

On the floor next to the loveseat is a single flawless long-stemmed rose.

I pick up the rose and take it to the en suite with me. While I’m in the shower, I think about the conversation Savvina and I had before my husband dropped the “nostalgia” bomb…

“You say that you know about the mental,” she says. “So, what do you know?” I straighten my back.

“I know that different people deal with stressful situations in different ways,” I say. “I know that my husband has been mentally preconditioned to deal with unfettered circumstances in a physical manner. It helps him to regain control and yes, it gets him off.”

“Unfettered,” she says, repeating my word. “God, you sound so clinical.”

Well! Should I be offended?

“Why are you making this relationship sound so sterile?” she asks.

“I don’t know what you mean.”

“How long have you actively partaken in a BDSM lifestyle of any kind?” she asks.

“Since the beginning,” I reply. “Well, almost the beginning. We might have been a week or two into our relationship, I don’t remember exactly…”

“And how long have you been together?” she presses.

“Two and a half years,” I confess.

“So, you two have been dabbling for two and a half years, and you don’t find it strange that your husband has not been able to identify your limits?” My defenses drop and I shrug.

“Christian was a different man when we met,” I tell her. “If you already knew him, I’m sure you’re aware of this.”

“I have helped my husband outfit a few dungeons for him. I’m aware of this,” she replies. Dungeons. He’s never called it a dungeon… but she just did.

You seem unnerved,” she says. “Does it bother you that I’ve had a hand in decorating his dungeons?”

“No,” I reply honestly, “it’s unsettling that you call them ‘dungeons.’ It conjures other impressions for me.”

“Well, that’s what they are, dear, but I’ll refer to them as playrooms if it’ll make you more comfortable.”

“Yes, please,” I reply.

“Earlier, you said the pain gets you off… sometimes. Is that why you allow him to push your limits so far?” I raise my gaze to her.

“I will speak to Christian about our progress and things that I feel he needs to know throughout our encounters, but whatever you say to me will remain in confidence,” she assures me. I stare at her for a moment or two.

“I’m not sure… what my husband wants,” I tell her. “He’s beautiful and powerful and he has spent a good portion of his life in the BDSM lifestyle, both as a submissive and as  a Dominant. He’s very good at being both. His pain threshold as a submissive is beyond anything I’ve ever seen in my life.”

“So, you’ve dominated him, too,” she observes.

“Like you said, we’ve dabbled,” I inform her. “But when he’s on the other side of the crop…” I trail off.

How do you feel going into a scene?” she asks. “When you know that he’s in full Dom mode, when he binds you or restrains you in any way, when you don’t know what’s coming, but you think you might, how do you feel? What are you thinking?”

I try to think about all the scenes we’ve done. Some of them have been passionate while others have been somewhat brutal. And yet others have been a combination of the two.

“It honestly depends on the situation,” I confess.

“Do you know what’s coming before it happens?” she asks.

“Not unless he tells me,” I reply.

“And how often does he tell you?”

“Not often,” I say.

“So, again I ask, how do you feel going into a scene… overall?” I pause.

“I trust him,” I reply. “I know that if I tell him to stop, he’ll stop. I know that he won’t hurt me beyond what I tell him that he can and can’t do.”

“That’s all wonderful, Ana, but you still haven’t told me how you feel,” she points out. “He’s in full Dom mode and you know it’s coming. You know what he’s done before, but you don’t know what he’s about to do now. How do you feel?” I swallow hard.

“It depends,” I reply honestly. “Excited sometimes, or… terrified…”

“Terrified?” she questions, frowning deeply.

“Of the unknown,” I add. “I want to be what he needs, but sometimes, I don’t know what he needs. I know he can be intense, and I just don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know if he’s going to do something that I like or if he’s going to need something more than I can take. It’s a balancing act and sometimes, it can be terrifying…”

I tell her about punishments that I don’t feel I deserved or where I think he actually may have gone too far, like the time I went outside without a jacket to stop Keri from leaving when I was pregnant. I didn’t feel like it was a huge malfeasance and could have been easily settled by a verbal lashing about going outside without a coat—like he went outside with wet hair or ran through the rain and actually did get sick—but he spanked me in the shower until my butt was purple.

Or the first fiasco in Anguilla where I was left shaking and nerve-wrecked after being ordered not to come.

“So, it’s not that you’re concerned if he’ll hurt you because it sounds like you expect him to hurt you anyway. You’re simply afraid that you won’t be able to sustain as far as he might be willing to go.”

Bells ring in my head not to respond, not to let this woman know that she’s hit this nail on the head. What does that say about my husband—that he will one day take things too far? That I will have to safeword to get him to stop? When will I know when to safeword if I keep telling myself to go further and further… for him? When will that moment come when he really does need more, and I can’t give it to him?

“No response is a response, Ana,” Savvina says. “You don’t understand the mental and what it means for you; and if you don’t find enjoyment in it, or relief, or release, then it is abuse, even if it’s unintentional.”

“But I do find release…”

“No, you don’t,” she interrupts me. “You don’t find Nirvana, peace, or even subspace until it’s over and he makes you come. This. Is. Not. Just. For. Him. As his wife, this is for you, too. Until you fully understand that, you’re in a dangerous place.”

We went in to dinner shortly after that revelation with Savvina promising to help me understand what healthy limits are as opposed to allowing myself to be brutalized—for lack of a better word—for the sake of keeping my husband from straying. And then came the timebomb…

“The pressures of life and the corporate world, they’re… unearthing the memories of my prior coping techniques… The caning and the whipping, the orgasm refusal and striping the skin with a cat… the things that use to calm my frustration with… life. I just… recall my fascination with them, that’s all. I remember anticipating the weekend and imagining a scene, then carrying it out with a submissive. Yes, the release was liberating. When the days become more stressful than you’re accustomed to—stressful like they used to be—you remember your old coping techniques…”

Who wouldn’t feel at least even the tiniest bit of doubt upon hearing that their very dominant-previously-sadistic husband is recalling his fascination with his previous BDSM lifestyle right at a moment when he’s telling me that he may need to pull back because I might be pushing myself too far?

He expressed his feelings and I expressed mine. Mine were apparently the very wrong ones…

“You can ride with me if you like… or if you rather I call someone to come and get you, I can do that, too.”

He was pissed, not that I could blame him. I let the insecurities that I got from a dream—a phantom—materialize into the real, and I threw that insecurity at my husband. That ride was probably the longest twenty minutes of my life.

That’s a lie. The seconds passed like hours when he was in Madrid, but that’s another situation entirely.

I’m blaming a bout of dream-induced temporary insanity for my feelings of insecurity. I truly don’t think Christian wants another woman, not even to release his frustrations. However, I’m not at all convinced that he doesn’t want the release of the intense playroom scenes that he once had with his prior submissives, and I don’t know what to do about that.


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

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

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~~love and handcuffs

Raising Grey: Chapter 60—Warfare

A while back, I posted on Facebook that I had written a scene that I never thought I could or would write. The scene from chapter 15 of Fifty Shades Golden is that scene. There are a lot of reasons why I thought I couldn’t write that scene, but it came out pretty good under the circumstances.

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…

Chapter 60—Warfare

CHRISTIAN

For you! I do it all for you! Everything I do, I do for you! You’ve made me crazy!

I’m grinding deep in hard into my wife. We’ve been at it for hours, but no matter how long I’ve been fucking her, my dick can’t seem to get enough.

I need to go deeper, harder, I want to feel the burn in my balls.

“Christian,” she breathes, “please…”

She’s holding on to the part of the headboard that she can reach, and I roll my hips hard and deep and thrust into her again… and again… and again…

I can’t seem to find my satisfaction.

I can’t believe what happened today. I can’t believe I let it happen. I wanted to protect my wife… and myself… but if I’m honest, more my wife than myself. I couldn’t risk something getting back to her that would throw her into a dark place. I was a kinky, cold asshole back then, and one day, I know that’s going to be revealed to the world, but not today… God, not today.

I felt completely powerless when I got home. I went straight to the gym and ran on the treadmill until I felt like my legs were going to explode. I did sit-ups, push-ups, bench presses, curls, everything—and nothing seem to tame me. I knew that I needed her. I needed to be inside her to forget what happened today.

After I showered as much of the day and the sweat off me that I could, she came into the bedroom and I just attacked. I couldn’t get her clothes off fast enough and I was glad that I was already naked…

And we’ve been fucking ever since.

Her hair is now as wet as mine, though mine was wet from the shower and hers is soaked with sweat. I was holding her hips at first and watching her body push violently up the bed with each stroke, but it seems like my dick wasn’t getting deep enough. So now I have one hand on the headboard and the other holding her leg up and open while I push my cock into her so hard that the bed is shaking. Her tits are bouncing up and down and her nipples are shiny, either from sweat or from milk. Either way, it’s urging me on. I’m wild while I’m chasing this orgasm, and she’s already had two… or three… I’ve lost count.

“Christian… Christian…” she pants, and I continue to drive into her. I’m mindlessly fucking, my dick is in control, driving deeper and deeper into that canal that brings me this pleasure. Her voice is soft, weak, surrendering, and her vulnerability makes me thrust even deeper.

“Christian!” she cries, and when I raise my head to look at her face. She throws her head back and yells out her third—or fourth—orgasm, this time a few tears come with it.

I pause for a moment at the sight. It’s so fucking beautiful. She’s so fucking beautiful. And as she trembles through her climax I push into her a few more times and finally explode powerfully deep inside her. My muscles tighten and my body trembles painfully as my dick thumps inside her pussy. God… It’s insane.

My body is stiff with pleasure while she mewls in exhaustion, and when my orgasm finally releases me, I fall exhausted on top of her, panting wildly.

It only takes a moment for me to catch my breath and realize that we’re not done yet. I roll her over on top of me still inside of her, my cock still thumping and ready.

“Christian… please…” she weeps.

“Ssssshhh,” I comfort her as I stroke gently up and into her. I lay her head on my chest, close my eyes, and wrap my arms around her so that each hand is grasping the opposite butt cheek as I slowly stroke inside her. Her gentle weeping gradually becomes rhythmic breathing and I grind myself slowly and gently inside of her, allowing my cock to rub her clit with every stroke. Her hands are on my shoulders and she squeezes them gently each time I thrust into her.

That’s it, baby, feel it. Feel that cock getting hard and stiff for you. Feel how hot I am for you… only you.

“God,” I groan as my balls start to tighten. She digs her nails into my shoulder and mewls in pleasure and I feel her legs falling slightly open.

“Fuck!” I growl at the pain and I’m trying not to lose my stroke. I grip her ass tighter and push her harder down onto my cock.

“Fuck!” I say again as the heat in her core envelops me and threatens to unman me in seconds. I move one of my hands from her ass to the back of her neck and bring her face to face with me so that I can gaze into her blue eyes, thick with passion and teetering on the edge. She whimpers with each stroke as my angry, veiny, dick pushes deep inside of her core, withdraws, and pushes again, ringing indescribable pleasure from us both.

“Oh, God, baby,” I groan as the heat and the friction are almost becoming too much for me to bear. I can’t help but to stroke faster, deeper, harder, holding her against me. The headboard is banging behind me again as I fasten my hand behind her nape pulling her down deliciously onto my anxious, heated shaft. My face is close to hers, almost forehead to forehead, and I’m breathing like a bear.

I see surrender in her eyes as her pupils dilate and turn that unmistakable shade of blue. Dear God, I’m going to blow inside her any second.

“Give it to me,” I growl, rolling my hips so that my dick hits all her walls while the shaft burns her pebbling clit. I move my mouth to her ear and move my hand to the very top of her ass crack holding her hard against me.

“Come on, give it up. You know that pretty little pussy wants to pop,” I breathe sensuously in her ear. She tries to move but I’ve got her locked, top and bottom.

Her body stiffens, her muscles lock, and she groans deep in her chest as her orgasm rips through her. Merciful God in heaven! She’s got that pussy locked so hard on my dick that I can barely move. I close my eyes and manage to pull out to the head and allow it to edge inside of her pulsing pussy. Good God, the pleasure is blinding, and I haven’t even come yet.

“Shit! Shit!” I whisper almost inaudibly as she violently flexes and contracts as she continues to ride out a massive climax. I hold her against me and push in and pull out only slightly, continuing to edge inside this violently vibrating pussy. Before I have the chance to prepare for it, my cock is springing and gushing hard. I push in a little deeper to get a little more stimulation through orgasm, and I feel like my head is going to pop off… Both of them!

“Uuuuuggghhh! Oh, Gooooood!” I groan mournfully as my dick painfully empties all that it has to offer. I’m still edging inside of her and I can feel my cum sliding out of her and down my dick to my balls. It’s the hottest, sexiest thing ever.

“Oh, fuck,” I mourn as I attempt to stay still and ride out an orgasm hours in the making. The first one was just practice. This was the Megatron!

My wife is silently trembling on top of me, drenched in sweat and exhausted when my dick finally gives up the fight. I have to catch my breath before I can think or move or anything. With my cock now flaccid and still wrapped inside of her, I wrap us both in the blankets, wrap my arms around her, and finally fall asleep.

Morning comes quickly—too quickly—and I know that I owe my wife an explanation. I slide quietly out of bed and go to her bathroom. I start a bath and fill it with her Desert Bambu Lemongrass Citrus bath soap. She hasn’t used it in a while and I’ve always loved the way it smells. It reminds me of simpler times.

I go back to the bedroom and sit on the bed next to her sleeping form. Her hair is a stringy, matted mess and she is shamelessly drooling on her pillow.

“Butterfly,” I rouse her gently and she doesn’t move.

“Mmmm,” she groans. “Please, my pussy aches.” I stifle a laugh.

“I…” I begin. “Come get in the bath.”

She moans again, then turns over to face me. She gazes at me sleepily for a moment before her gaze becomes questioning.

I know.

“Bath first,” I tell her, “then talk.”

She doesn’t protest, so I pull the covers back, pick her up bridal style and carry her to her en suite.

The tub is nearly full and the space smells heavily of lemongrass citrus. She takes a deep breath and fills her lungs, closing her eyes and no doubt, savoring the scent.

The lemongrass was the right choice. I lower her into the bubbles and retrieve the shampoo and a comb and brush.

“Too hot?” I ask. She adjusts herself in the tub after grimacing.

“Sore pussy,” she says, looking up at me. I won’t live this down anytime soon.

I climb in the water and kneel over her. Using her freshwater sponge, I gently scrub every inch of her, after which I massage key points of her body that I know would be aching the most—her shoulders, her back, her legs, and I throw in a foot massage for good measure. When she’s totally relaxed, I take to the task of tackling her hair.

And what a task it is!

I thought she cut it a while back. It’s still at least three feet long! At least it seems that long.

I don’t let on that I think the task is a bit daunting. I get out of the tub so that I can maneuver around her more easily and lather her hair with a generous amount of soap. I work the sweat-tangled portions through my fingers first. Then, using the comb, I start at the ends and work my way up, combing through the kinks and laying her mahogany mane down on her back. When I’ve worked all the kinks out, I rinse it with fresh water and add a generous amount of her conditioner.

“You soak for a moment,” I tell her. “I’ll be back.”

I look at the clock on the nightstand and see that it’s nearly noon. Any plans that either of us had of going into the office are a wash now. I slip on a pair of sweats and step out of the bedroom into the hallway.

“Activate two-way communications.” The system comes alive. “Locate Gail Taylor.”

“I’m right behind you.”

I nearly jump out of my skin.

“What are you doing creeping around like that?” I snap.

“Ssshh!” she scolds. What the…? “Jumpy much?” she hisses quietly. “End two-way communications.” When the system disconnects, she turns her attention back to me. “I just put Mikey back to bed. Now, what can I do for you?” I frown.

“Is he okay?” I ask. She raises a brow to me.

“He’s a baby,” she says matter-of-factly. “Babies sleep.”

“Well, where’s Minnie?” I ask.

“Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Keri has her,” she informs me. “Sometimes, babies don’t sleep.” I roll my eyes at her.

“What’s quick to eat?” I ask her.

“I’ll put something together,” she says as she heads for the stairs.

“Tell Jason to call the office and tell them I won’t be in today.”

“I’m sure they figured as much, but I’ll tell him,” she says as she descends the stairs. I go back to our bedroom and retrieve one of my wife’s vintage night shirts. She can get dressed later if she wants, but I want her in this right now. When I get back to the en suite, she has fallen asleep in the tub.

Geez, I really wore her out last night. If I’m honest, I could use a little more rest myself.

Using more fresh water, I rinse the lemongrass conditioner from her hair. It smells divine. She wakes as I’m squeezing the last of the water from her hair. I retrieve a bath blanket and extend my hand to her. She stands and takes my outstretched hand, ascends the stairs in the tub and walks into the open bath blanket. I dry her skin and hair before sitting her in front of her vanity. I painstakingly dry her hair, combing it through so that it doesn’t tangle again before braiding it into a long braid down her back. I slip on her night shirt and let the water out of the tub before taking her hand and leading her to the sitting room.

Gail has prepared a pastry tray with a few cheeses, some coffee and orange juice and a note to summons her if we wanted more. This would do me just fine. Butterfly takes a seat on the loveseat and I roll the tray over to her.

“We fucked through dinner,” I say, handing her a croissant from the pastry tray.

“That we did,” she says, taking a bite from it. She’s not rushing me to say anything. I pour her a glass of orange juice from the carafe before sitting on the ottoman across from her.

“One of my ex-submissives contacted me yesterday…” I begin. She stops chewing. “If you stop eating, I stop talking.”

“So, it begins,” she says as she begins to chew again.

“Natasha Gaines,” I continued. “Our contract ended when I discovered that she wasn’t a natural brunette.” Her brow furrows.

“Hmm,” she says.

“What?” I ask. She shrugs.

“I don’t know, it seems a little harsh, I guess,” she says taking another bite of the croissant.

“Yeah, she agrees with you,” I say sarcastically, pouring myself a cup of coffee. She raises her brow at me and I sigh. “I put her through a very… grueling orgasm-denial session the night that I found out that she lied, and then I dismissed her without letting her come.”

“How long ago was this?” she asks.

Years,” I tell her, “years before I even met you.”

“So, if she came back after all this time, she was pretty bitter…”

“You could say that,” I say. “She came back for what I owed her.” Butterfly frowns again.

“She wanted you to fuck her?” she asks.

“No, but she did want me to make her come.”

“What?” Butterfly hisses angrily.

“I didn’t touch her, Anastasia,” I excuse quickly.

“Well, what exactly happened?” she says, placing her half-eaten croissant back on the tray.

“You’re not eating…”

“Fuck this food! What happened?” she barks, and I know I had better spit it out fast.

“She threatened me with a flash drive,” I begin. “I didn’t know what was on it. She told me if I didn’t meet her, she would release it to the press. She kept taunting me with how you would feel if you saw what was on it. I couldn’t take that chance.”

“So, basically, once again, somebody used me to get to you,” she says angrily. I sigh.

“Yes. She did,” I confess.

“And what happened next, Christian?” she says impatiently.

“She told me that she was at the club—my club downtown, a public place—and that she wanted me to meet her there. So, I did.”

She doesn’t say anything. She just waits for me to continue my tale. I just fucking spit it out.

“She popped a couple of Ben-Wa balls into her twat and she wanted me to sext with her, Ana, right there at the goddamn table so she could cum while we were doing it.”

“And did you do it?”

“Not willingly,” I mumble.

“And what the fuck does that mean, Christian?” she barks. “Did you sext with the bitch or didn’t you?”

“As far as she’s concerned, I did!” I bark back. “She wanted me to recount that night, so I did. She pissed me off to no end and I let her know in no uncertain terms what a horrible fucking sub she was. I called her names and berated her, told her that she was conniving and deceitful. I disparaged her in every way imaginable, and you know what? That fucking cunt came—right there at the goddamn table like she was possessed! I was sitting as far away from her as possible and several other diners looked at her like she had lost her mind. And then the trick thanked me, gave me the flash drive, and left. She says it was her final step of becoming a Domme.” My wife folds her arms.

“And that’s all that happened.” It’s a statement, not a question.

“Isn’t that e-fucking-nough?” I snap. “Here I am thinking I’m giving her what for and I’m giving the bitch exactly what she wanted. She wanted the asshole. She wanted to come in my presence because I didn’t let her come all those years ago and I gave her exactly what she wanted! And there was nothing on the fucking drive! Nothing but her taunting me because she used my arrogance against me. Fucking cunt!”

I’m getting angry again and my wife is sitting there glaring at me with her arms folded. What? She doesn’t believe me?

“So, in essence, I got Natasha’s punishment fuck.” I’m too ashamed to respond. “Did you see her while you were fucking me?”

“Good God, no!” I exclaim. Fuck no! “If anything, quite the opposite. I was definitely trying not to have that bitch taking up any of my mind space whatsoever.” She rolls her eyes at me.

“I don’t know how to feel about this,” she admits. “I’m definitely not thrilled in any way, shape, or form of having any other woman be the reason why you come home and fuck my brains out, but at least it was me and not somebody else.” I run my hands through my hair in frustration.

“So, we’ve had our first test and we failed,” she says, standing from the loveseat and pacing around the room. “Why did we do this whole ‘we ain’t hidin’ come get us’ exposé if we’re going to buckle when someone comes for us? There was no one being held at gunpoint; no bomb threats; no death threats. Just some desperate bitch who wanted to prove that you didn’t have a hold on her anymore—which is a crock of bullshit, because she sure wouldn’t have come across the country if that were true.”

Damn, I didn’t even think about that.

“Did you enjoy it?” she asks frankly. I scoff.

“About as much as a Dominant would enjoy fucking a submissive he never wanted to touch in the first place!” I growl, remembering the sickening feeling I got watching that cunt come at the table. My wife falls silent.

“You were psychologically raped, Christian,” my wife says softly. “You were forced to perform a sexual act that you didn’t want to perform under duress.”

What the hell? What kind of psychological mumbo-jumbo is this?

“I’m not a victim!” I hiss.

“But you were used, and that’s what’s pissing you off!” she accuses. “That’s what made you come back home and exert control over me in the only way that you could—and that’s okay. That’s one of the terms of our relationship that we set from the very beginning… but did it work? Do you feel in control?”

I ponder her words. I think about what that bitch took from me at that table in the club. She took more than an orgasm and she knows it. She knew exactly what she was doing to me. She was stripping me of my power. She had to in order to move on from that last night with me. She’s sitting knowing this is happening right now. She knew exactly what she was doing… exactly what she was doing…

“No,” I confess, almost inaudibly. “No… it didn’t work. I don’t feel control.”

“No, you don’t,” she confirms, returning to her perch on the loveseat, “and you could fuck me all night and all day and you still wouldn’t feel it. You won’t get it from me. You won’t get it from this.” I raise my eyes to her.

“What am I supposed to do?” I ask her. She sighs.

“You have to do what she did,” she says. “She took what she needed, and it had to come from you because of what you withheld from her all those years ago. Now, she’s robbed you of something, too… and it wasn’t an orgasm. It was something else. Either you have to get it back or you have to let it go. You need to figure out which.”

Jesus. Psychologically raped… Christian fucking Grey. Don’t that beat all?

“In light of this new revelation, would it bother you terribly if I discussed this with my shrink instead of…” I trail off. The idea of discussing any kind of rape with my wife… She smiles softly, leans over and kisses me on the forehead.

“Of course, not,” she says, sweetly.

*-*

“How do you always manage to make time for me on such short notice?” I say to Dr. Baker as I take a seat on her sofa.

“I always leave a slot or two open for emergency sessions,” she says after closing her office door. “You’re not my only patient, Christian, and emergencies arise all the time.”

“Yeah,” I lament.

“So, what’s your emergency today?” she asks. “You sounded a bit anxious on the phone.”

“My wife seems to think that I’ve been psychologically raped,” I say flatly. She raises a brow at me.

“And what do you think?” she asks.

“I’d like your opinion on it,” I reply. “It’s not an easy topic to discuss with your wife, even though she’s a mental health professional.”

“And how does she feel about that,” Dr. Baker asks, “I mean about you wanting to talk to me and not her?”

“She’s fine with it,” I say. “You’re my shrink, and she knows that.” Dr. Baker twists her lips.

“How open-minded of her,” she says, but for some reason I don’t hear reverence in that statement. Nonetheless…

“Tell me what happened to bring Dr. Grey to this conclusion,” she says as she settles back in her chair.

I recount the story of Natasha and how she finagled me into doing what she wanted and the subsequent fuck-fest with my wife last night, as well as the conversation we had before I found myself here in Dr. Baker’s office. She listens attentively, occasionally taking notes on her notepad, before turning her attention back to me.

“Psychologically raped,” she says as if testing the phrase, “I’m not sure I agree with that diagnosis, but I think I know what she’s getting at.” I sigh. She’s taking little shots at my wife—tiny, almost indecipherable shots…

Almost.

“Dr. Baker, it’s obvious that you and my wife will never see eye-to-eye,” I begin. “I don’t know if your techniques are vastly different or you come from different schools of thought, but right now, I’m having a problem with a situation that needs to be solved. What my wife said sounds like it makes a lot of sense. Spend less time disparaging her opinion and more time trying to help me figure out what’s going on with me here. Is that okay with you?”

“I assure you, Christian, that I wasn’t disparaging your wife’s opinion,” she says. “I was just saying that I don’t necessarily agree with it.”

“Well then, what is your professional opinion, doctor?” I seethe. I’m starting to get a little pissed off. Noting my agitation, either she decides to change tact, or she realizes that she’s being unprofessional.

“Are you the same man that you were before, Christian?” she asks. “That’s who Natasha needed, and she manipulated you until she thought she got that man… or maybe she did get that man. But whatever she got, she got from him. Does he want it back? Does he want that life… what she stole?

“Don’t answer for me, or even for Ana. Don’t think about what anybody wants to hear. Think about yourself. Think about how you feel and what you want. You left your wife and family, you went to Madrid and you didn’t look back. You turned into that guy again even though you didn’t have sex with any women. The only thing that even made you blink was the thought of your wife dying. Her suffering didn’t mean anything to you, but the thought of her dying and being totally taken away from you—that tipped the scales. So, who is Christian Grey today, and what does he want?

“She stole a power from you that you had over women—over her—at that time. You don’t have that power over women anymore, not even over Ana, and you know it. So… what? Do you want it back? What do you want?”

I honestly have to think about the question, not because I’m indecisive, but because I really need to examine the answer. Instead of thinking of Natasha, my mind goes to my wife.

My beautiful wife, the very reason for my existence.

What I did to my wife—deserting her without a word and flying halfway across the world where she had no hope of finding me—after all the promises we made, was sadistic. It was selfish, beyond egotistical, beyond narcissistic. It was the worst thing I ever could have done to her second only maybe to cheating on her. I rocked her to her very soul—on purpose. Now, when I watch her trying to recoil from it, it makes me ill. All I want to do is take it back, make it all go away, but I can’t. One of the biggest reasons I can’t make it better is because I didn’t do it.

That old Christian Grey did it.

And he did it with no remorse. Nobody I know in the world can hurt and destroy a person like that guy can, and I set that guy loose on my wife. Yes, I was hurt and confused, and I felt betrayed, but that was no reason to unleash that asshole on my wife the way that I did. I think Natasha knew that I wasn’t that guy anymore, and her ultimate victory was in bringing him back… and defeating him.

“Hell, no,” I say definitely. “Hell, no, I don’t want that guy back. I don’t want anything to do with that guy.”

“This isn’t the last sub that’s going to try you. What are you going to do?” she asks.

“I don’t know,” I tell her. “I’ll talk to my wife, but that guy is gone…”

“Hello, Mr. Grey!” The doorman says. “It’s been a long time. It’s good to see you.”

“Thank you, yes, it has…” Been a long time. And that’s why I have no idea what your name is anymore. Jason and I walk to the elevator and I press the call button. When the doors open, I enter my express code and it takes me straight to the penthouse.

I barely recognize the place when I get there. I remember picking out everything in this apartment. It looks exactly how I wanted it to look. Now, it looks like a cave… Somewhere that someone would hide when they wanted to get away from the world. It’s dank and dark and there’s no warmth in here… no family, no love…

It’s all still furnished exactly like it was before. Nothing but our personal belongings went to the new house. I ascend the stairs and go right to the playroom.

It’s still a beautiful room. Luscious deep, red color, high-end furnishings, my Chesterfield sofa & chair, my Baroque bed. I look up at the ceiling at the carabiners and the chains hanging there, my St Andrew’s cross…

This is where I often found my solace, my peace. But every time I left this room, the same monsters were still waiting for me on the other side of the door.

Many women found themselves in this room; other women lost themselves in this room. Some of them even lost their minds.

I take one of the canes from the wall and swing it into the air. It makes a satisfying swish sound, and I imagine it falling onto the back of one of my prior submissives. The moment I see it make contact with her skin in my mind’s eye, I drop it.

Like scenes from a horror movie, the faces of different subs in this room flash before my eyes. The faces of the same subs as they were being dismissed also flash before my eyes. That man, that monster, that asshole…

Not that man anymore.

I back out of the room as if I may be snatch backed in by some unknown specter if I turn my back on the implements. I quickly descend the same stairs I ascended moments ago and note Jason standing at the breakfast bar.

“Let’s go,” I say quickly rushing to the door … to my freedom…

“Christian,” the heavy Greek voice greets me over the phone. “Good to hear from you again. You need something new?”

“No, Artemis,” I say into the phone. “In fact, I have another favor to ask of you.”

“Anything, Christian,” he says, “you are one of my best customers.”

“Thank you,” I say. “How soon can you dismantle the playroom at Escala?”

*-*

I feel like I’ve been through a prize fight when I walk into the house. I’ve got yet another monster to battle.

Myself.

Nobody can help me this time—not Dr. Baker, not my wife, nobody. I have to fight this battle all on my own.

I go in search of my wife and find her in her office. I can tell that she’s taking care of business because she has that take-no-prisoners tone to her voice.

“Yes, we’ll have you get started next Monday. You can start getting the lay of the land, so to speak. We’ve never had maintenance full-time, just the odd handyman repair here and there. So, we’ll be expecting you to educate us about a few things about the facility as well as keep things running smoothly. Any assistants as well as the cleaning staff will be reporting directly to you.”

It sounds like she’s found her new head of maintenance. I wish she would have let me send someone over from GEH to check things out before she hired a stranger.

“I hope so, too, Mr. Collier,” she says. “I look for excellence in my employees no matter their station, and I have no problem letting someone go who can’t toe the line. I trust you won’t let me down.”

Hmm, stranger or not, she seems to have this under control. I come around the opening and into the door, causing her to raise her head at me.

“I’ll have to go now, Mr. Collier. Something’s just come up. I’ll see you on Monday…? Good. Have a good weekend.” She ends the call and gazes at me.

“New maintenance staff?” I ask, sitting in the chair in front of her desk.

“Head of maintenance,” she says. “We’ll see how he works out, then build a staff around him.” I nod. The silence between us is deafening, so I break it.

“Whenever I’ve thrown down the gauntlet, I’ve never had to worry about anybody but myself. Nobody counted but me, nobody mattered but me… I didn’t have to worry about anybody’s feelings because no one else’s feelings mattered. It was so easy to be cold and aloof and obtuse because, hell, I was the king and everyone else were peasants.

“Even when I met you,” I say, raising my gaze to her eyes, “you were just someone else to bend to my will and when you didn’t, it pissed me the fuck off. There’s not a woman alive who could resist me, who could defy me… until there was.” I drop my head to my hands.

“All those women,” I say, thinking back on the sea of brunettes that have trailed through my life. “They meant nothing to me. They could have all been blow-up dolls for all I cared as long as they had brown hair. I felt nothing—nothing at all for any of them and to think, they all revered me. Some of them lost their fucking minds. Some of them lost their lives and of the ones that are left, some of them are still out to get me, and I’m only just now understanding why.”

“Christian,” my wife pushes her chair away from the desk and stands up, “you were a real asshole. I know that from experience. I met the guy. This is what I don’t understand.” She walks around her desk and comes around to where I’m sitting.

“I’d like to know what it is about these submissives that they think they’re on some other level, or some pedestal, or they’re playing by some different set of rules where they’re not supposed to get hurt,” she says.

“Unconventional? Yes. Taboo? Of course, but it’s a relationship nonetheless! So the fuck what, there’s a goddamn contract? There’s a contract involved in marriage and people get divorced all the time. People get hurt all the time in relationships. It’s part of life. Sometimes they work out, sometimes they don’t. But for some reason, your submissives act like they’re some kind of extraterrestrial beings that aren’t supposed to be crossed, or dumped, or hurt. Where did I miss the memo that these women are not supposed to feel like the rest of us do?

“I gave my heart to an asshole, and guess what happened? I got hurt. That shit happens in real life. What the fuck is wrong with these women that they can’t just walk away from a fallen relationship and move on with their lives? Why are we constantly under some kind of microscope or living in some kind of bubble because one of these nutjobs may be waiting around the corner for us with a gun or a car or a flash drive?

“We did this exposé, and now we need to let these creatures know that we meant what we said in that exposé. If there are other lovesick, forlorn submissives out there that want to come at us, let them come! But don’t you ever put yourself in a position where you’re stuck and cannot get out like you did with Natasha. If they want to blackmail you and back you into a corner, then they need to deal with both of us because that shit is not going to happen again!”

Okay, my wife is pissed. Release the Tiger!

“So, what do we do if somebody shows up and say they have this kind of information again?” I ask. “I mean this kind of thing can be damaging to our whole family. What if they have something like that on me and threaten to go public?”

“Call her bluff,” she tells me. “Let her go public.”

“What about our kids?” I ask. “Something like this could destroy any chance they have at a normal life.”

“What’s normal?” she asks. “Was your childhood normal? Was mine? We live in a castle and we can’t go out alone. What. Is. Normal? We’ll fucking make our own goddamn normal, but the whole idea of doing that exposé was to tell people that we weren’t going to be afraid anymore. You had to know some vermin were going to crawl from under the rocks. Let the fuckers crawl! You’re a powerful billionaire and a respected businessman. Nobody can ruin you. They can make it uncomfortable, but that’s it. What that woman did—holding your psyche hostage—you can’t let that happen again. We can live anywhere in the world we want, do anything we want, but we’ll find our fucking normal. As a matter of fact, call that bitch.”

“What bitch?” I ask. “Natasha?”

“Yes,” she hisses. Oh, hell.

“Baby, I have nothing to say to that woman…”

“But I do,” she snaps. “She used me to get you to do what she wanted, and I am fucking sick of this shit. I am going to be heard! Now you can call her, or I will!”

“You can call her. I’m not doing it.”

“Then give me the goddamn number.” He pulls out his phone.

“Call her Myshka. She hates that shit…”


ANASTASIA

The days of the delicate fucking flower are gone. I opened this door and a motherfucker walked in. If this is the Boogeyman, so be it. Let’s dance, asshole… show me what you got!

“Hello, Natasha,” I say when she answers the phone.

“Who is this?” she asks after a short pause.

“Seattle area code. Can’t you guess?”

“I’d much rather you tell me,” she says cockily.

“Gladly,” I oblige. “This is Anastasia Grey.” The line is momentarily silent.

“And what can I do for you, Mrs. Grey?” she says, and I can tell that she’s smiling on the other line.

“You can stay the fuck away from my family, including my husband,” I reply. I can hear her laugh.

“He must have told you about our little meeting,” I can hear her smiling. “He still has great skills.”

“Nice try, Myshka, but I know everything.” I can taste the animosity oozing through the phone when I say that name. He’s right… she clearly hates that shit.

“I got what I wanted from him,” she says. “He made me come right there in his restaurant. That’s all I needed. Now you figure out how it happened.”

“How it happened?” I laugh loudly. “Sweetheart, should I be upset with the fact you’re so fascinated with the mere thought of my man that you nutted on a seat in a public place in his presence? Are you really proud of that? He had you chained to the ceiling, cuffed to a cross, or tied to the bed and wouldn’t let you come, and you found closure in creaming on a bench like a dog in heat? You could have saved yourself the plane fare and did that over the phone.”

“Oh, no, that would never do,” she taunts. “Then I wouldn’t have had the pleasure of seeing his beautiful face… being reminded of how those hands feel on me… and that mouth…” Oh, this is good. This is really good.

“Oh my God, that is so amateur!” I laugh. “Try again, you desperate cunt. He tells me fucking everything, you little bitch, and I would have to be out of my rabbit-ass mind to believe anything that you have to say about that meeting except that he sat there looking at you and you came on the seat like a common slut. Congratulations. Consider this.

“Years ago… years ago…” I stress the years so that she can see just how ridiculous this is, “… he called you to his penthouse at which time, he used and humiliated you, then turned you away and threw you out of his mind. Years later, you lure him to his club with blackmail where he proceeds to degrade you again, and you cream all over yourself like a teenager. Then, you and your wet, stinky panties—assuming you were wearing any—walk out of the club all satisfied and fulfilled, and you call that closure? It seems to me that all this proved is that you’re still his puppet!”

“I am not under his control!” she hisses. Ooo, I’ve hit a nerve.

“If you say so, but the fact that you flew all the way across the country just to sit in his presence and nut contradicts your claims,” I say sweetly. “Like I said, stay the fuck away from my husband and don’t even consider letting the Grey name escape your lips after this conversation or I’ll make you regret the fucking day that you were born.” It’s her turn to laugh.

“What makes you think that if I wasn’t afraid of him that I’m going to be afraid of you?” she asks incredulously.

“Because you haven’t met my kind of crazy,” I say a little too calmly. “I’ve been through a hell that would make your brown hair stand up by its blonde roots—or whatever color it is today—and if you think for one second that I’m going to stand by and allow you to jeopardize my peace and happiness, you got another fucking think coming. Try me… I’ll make you wish you never met Christian Grey.”

“Oh, this is good,” she taunts. “Master has a little Fireball on his hands. You’ll give him a good run for his money.”

“You shouldn’t worry about the run for his money that he’s going to get, you should be more concerned about yours.” I seethe. “Don’t think that I can’t find out every little thing there is to know about you, crawl into every little aspect of your pathetic little life and make every bit of it a living fucking hell and have a great time while I’m doing it.”

“You’re sounding more and more like him,” she says, a bit of her confidence slipping.

“That’s the difference, Ms. Gaines. I ain’t him. He’s accustomed to his power. So, he can control it. I’m just getting a taste of it, so I’m drunk with it… Absolutely fucking insane from it. And I can’t wait to unleash it and just get all this frustration out about stupid little ex-submissives who seem to think they have power over our existence. He hurt your wittle feewings and you couldn’t get over it. Instead of being a woman and moving on with your life, you fly clean across the country and decide you want to disturb the peace.”

“Seems like I did a pretty good job, too. I got what I wanted from him and now you’re calling me,” she says haughtily. “You sound so high-and-mighty, but if it didn’t bother you, why are you calling me?” she continues to taunt.

“Oh, no,” I chuckle. “You didn’t bother me, you worthless little sow. You pissed me the fuck off. That’s why we’re having this conversation—but the more I talk to you, the more pissed I get. The more I feel the need to do something about this. I don’t give a fuck that you nutted on a leather seat in public. What I do give a fuck about is that you exploited my husband and you got off while you were doing it. Yeah, you won that round—good for you, but now I’m feeling the need to step into the ring. Maybe your conniving little ass needs to know what another woman’s touch can do.”

“That’s big talk for a bitch who doesn’t know what I’m even capable of,” she hisses. And now she’s pissed, too. Good, I broke that little façade of hers.

“Oh, where does that confidence come from, your Domme training?” I tease. “Make you feel all big and strong, does it?” She’s silent for a moment. “What are you gonna do… whip me?” I taunt. “You’re right,” I concede, “I don’t know what you’re capable of. And that’s why you should be very afraid, because I don’t fucking care.”

“Afraid of what?” she snaps. “For all you know I could have you begging for your fucking life.”

“Oh, please, Mistress, I beg you… try it!” I hiss. “Go ahead, be my guest. Do your worst! I guarantee that I can top it exponentially. If you need to be my first public example to the world that I mean fucking business, then so be it. Give it your best shot, Natasha, and I’ll make damn sure that I hit everything you hold dear. I don’t even have to see you coming to cut you down at the knees and have you groveling for mercy. If you think Master had you whimpering, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. I’ll rip your heart out and eat it in the Marketplace. So, come and get me, subby… you know where to find me.”

The line is silent for a long time and I finally realize that she has nothing else to say. What could she say? What exactly is the comeback for someone who says that they’ll physically rip your heart out of your body?

She was ready for Christian because she knows who he is, but she doesn’t know me. She just thought she did. I put my phone on speaker for my last message.

“Say goodbye, Christian,” I say loud enough for her to hear and wait for Christian to speak.

“Goodbye Natasha,” he says and nothing else. I hold the line long enough to hear her gasp before I disconnect the call.

Neither of us says anything for what feels like several minutes. He’s the first to break the silence.

“I don’t think you know what you’ve done,” he says.

“I know exactly what I did, Christian,” I say. “I’m a psychiatrist. That power that she took from you, I just took it back. She and bitches like her need to know that they’re not going to weasel their way into our lives and expect us to bend. They want a fight, they’ll get one. As far as I’m concerned, this is a test, and I plan on passing with flying colors.

“She can make a move if she wants to, and if she’s brave enough to make it, I’m brave enough to take her down. I know from experience that you may never get closure from something that someone did to you. My advice is that if you ever come for closure like she came for you, just make sure you really are the biggest dog in the yard. She came at you like a pit bull and came face to face with the rottweiler standing behind you.

“I’m all for getting closure if someone has wronged you, and what you did to her was more than a little harsh, but she came at you threatening your reputation—to expose some horrible thing to the world and your family—all because you hurt her little feelings! Who does that? This isn’t her confronting the bully who taunted her and tortured her in high school! She signed up for this! She knew what she signed up for and she knew what you wanted. She knows the rules! I’m not even that deep in the lifestyle and I know the rules!

“If a counterfeit would have sufficed, you could have hired a prostitute and put her in a wig! But you had detailed specifications and she didn’t meet them. She may have wanted to be what you wanted, but the fact of the matter was that she wasn’t. So, she wanted you to be all gentle when you called her out for breaking the rules when she knew better than that.

“She needed closure from her little humiliation all those years ago, and she got it too… But it was short-lived. Because your wife just came in and showed her just who she really isn’t when she finally thought she was somebody. Now let her come at me. I’ll rip her apart and feed her to the rats.

“So, now, all the vermin are going to crawl out of the woodwork because of that exposé. We didn’t scare anybody, we taunted them. Well, let them come! I’m tired of sitting back waiting for Armageddon! If it’s coming, bring it on. I’ve got some hell that I need to unleash.”

“But Butterfly,” he protests, “you made it look like you were already coming for her.”

“Who says I’m not?” I seethe. His head snaps back and he’s silent for several moments. I’m pacing around the room, full of anger and aggression and no way to tame it.

“I want you to tie me up and fuck me like there’s no tomorrow,” I say. He raises a brow at me.

“That won’t be a problem,” he says. “That was fucking hot… and you’re topping from the bottom.”

“No,” I correct him, my voice firm, “I’m topping from the top.” I want you to fuck me until your dick doesn’t work anymore and if you don’t tie me down, I might hurt you. He glares at me and I glare right back.

“Yes… Mistress,” he says after a pause.

*-*

I awake the next morning with some pretty brutal bruising on my wrists from trying to get out of the binds my husband put me in. He did the classic four-corner bondage and fucked me until I was insane… again, and I fought to get out of my bounds. I didn’t know until this morning just how hard I fought. It’ll be long pants and exaggerated cuffs for a while for me.

BW...precioso detalle

For some reason, I feel like my husband and I have traded places. He’s all introspective about the man he used to be and I woke up with two things on my mind…

Destroying Natasha Gaines and fucking.

No, I didn’t jump his bones again—we were both too tired from last night… but I can still fuck.

“Butterfly!” Christian seems surprised to see me this morning. He examines my attire, paying special attention to the exaggerated cuffs of my blouse. “I… thought you would sleep in today.” I chuckle softly.

“No, Tarzan,” I jest. “I’m fully able to walk.” I hear the toaster and correctly assume that Ms. Solomon is preparing my jam and cream cheese bagel. I turn to look in that direction and Ms. Solomon is concentrating on that bagel like it’s the most interesting thing she’s ever seen.

“Well, yes, but…” He trails off.

“But, what?” I ask.

“But… nothing. I just thought you may have wanted to stay home.” He looks towards my sleeve again before sipping his coffee and turning his attention back to his phone, and I deduce that he probably doesn’t want anyone to see my wrists. I chuckle and pour my own cup of coffee.

“There’s nothing to fear, Mr. Grey,” I say, “I’m thoroughly garbed,” I add softly. He raises a brow to me.

“So, I see,” he says, “almost too garbed.”

“I can put on a mini skirt and a tank top if you like,” I jest, raising my own brow.

“No, that won’t be necessary,” he backpedals, placing his phone on the breakfast bar. “You usually stay home for the first part of the day and go to the Center for the afternoon. Why the change today?”

“It’s Friday,” I reply. “I’m going in this morning, so I can see Ace this afternoon.” He nods, and I take a healthy bite of the cream cheese and jam bagel. “Oh, God, that’s good,” I say with my mouth full.

“Since you seem to be enjoying yourself so much, I won’t harass you too much about not having a real breakfast.”

“This is a real breakfast, Christian,” I quip. “A continental breakfast.” I take another bite of the delicious bagel. “Mm.”

“If you say so,” he says finishing his coffee.  “Is everything okay with Garrett?” I glare at him. What does he know about the Garrett situation? He wasn’t here.

“No, they’re not telling me your every move,” he clarifies, trying to read my expression. “A guard was kicked off the premises yesterday, and my head of security thought I should know. Is that okay with you, Dr. Grey?”

“Don’t be a smart ass,” I tell him. “I had every reason to believe someone was reporting on me and you know it.” He doesn’t respond. “And Gary is fine. By the way, when will I be getting my butler back? I miss him.”

“He’s only been gone a week, baby,” Christian scolds.

“And I still miss him,” I point out. “Admit it. You miss him, too.”

“I’ll admit no such thing,” he says indignantly.

“But you’re not denying it, so I know what that means.” He shakes his head. “Oh! I never told you. Harmony’s ex signed the papers.” He raises his gaze to me.

“He did? When?” he asks.

“I think it was Tuesday,” I tell him. “I told you he would be signing those papers by Tuesday,” I say triumphantly before finishing my bagel.

“That you did,” he says. “Now if we could just find something on him and Roger for what they were doing to Harmony and Tina…”

I thought you said you had footage,” I point out.

“We thought we did,” he counters. “It turns out that this was just a bunch of cheap recording equipment and no evidence. Wherever that stuff went, it was temporary storage and it’s most likely destroyed by now.”

“Well, that fucking sucks… nonetheless, Harmony was happy as a lark to be rid of him. Now, it’s just for Carrick to go and file the documents with the court, if he hasn’t already.”

“Well, good riddance!” Christian says. “Asshole.” He stands and kisses me on the cheek. “I’ve got word that the cars are supposed to be in town today. They’re dropping the Fairlane and the Coup at Dad’s before they head to California with the T-Bird. I promised Uncle Herman I would help him sort out the situation of the items in the storage units, so I’ll actually be working from Dad’s today. I plan on stopping by Tina’s, too. Any sweet nothings you want me to whisper to your butler while I’m there?” He raises an eyebrow at me.

“Don’t tease me, Christian,” I scold.

“You were the one who said you missed him,” he defends.

“Fuck you,” I retort.

“Don’t worry, you will,” he says shamelessly. “Jason,” he beckons without breaking his gaze from mine. Jason appears from I don’t know where and falls in step behind his boss, who turns away confidently and strides cockily out of the kitchen.

“Cocky sonofabitch,” I mumble before finishing my coffee. I know I can’t summon Chuck the way His Highness just summoned Jason, which only irks me even more about his over-confidence.

Who am I fooling? He’s not over-confident. He has just enough confidence for his station. Asshole.

“Activate two-way communications.” The system comes alive. “Locate Charles Davenport.”

“Davenport,” his disembodied voice says.

“Any day now, Davenport,” I respond, already headed to the garage.

“On my way…”

I’m still a little irritated when I get to Helping Hands. There’s no word on Ebony Carson’s background check. We got information on Harmony’s no-good husband in less than a day. Less than a week later, he was signing those divorce papers…

“Now, I have one girl with a common name, no criminal history that we know of, and maybe a gangland boyfriend in prison and we can’t find anything concrete on her. What’s the deal?” I fuss on the phone at Alex.

“Sometimes, it’s harder to find something on people that are clean than it is on people who are dirty,” Alex replies. “Take your stepmother, for instance. I think she had a traffic ticket or something, so we had something to go on, but had she been squeaky clean, we might still be looking for a definite background check on her. Even you—you had that fiasco in Green Valley that caused you to change names when you were 15… 15! Do you know how hard it is to find something on a minor? But you had something, so we had information on you in about two weeks.”

“Well maybe that’s it,” I defend. “Maybe she’s just squeaky clean.”

“Nobody’s squeaky clean,” he says. “In fact, if you find nothing on someone, you should keep digging. They’re probably more dangerous that someone with an open criminal background.” I sigh heavily.

“Are you saying that I should just let this goldmine go?” I ask defeated. “Someone who could need our help and could also be a great asset to Helping Hands at the same time, I should let her slip through my fingers because we can’t find anything on her?”

“I can’t tell you what to do,” he replies. “I can only say that I tend to err on the side of caution due to my experience. You have to make your own decision. And for the record, I never said that I can’t find anything. I said I’m not finding anything concrete. Like you said, ‘Ebony’ is a common name and so is ‘Carson.’ So, I might find one thing on Ebony Carson that doesn’t match up with something else on Ebony Carson and I have to decipher if this is a mistake or if this is two different people. Her social security number even goes to two different people with two different names, but I’ve seen these kinds of mistakes before, too. None of the Ebonys that I’ve found have any known affiliations with anybody in prison, but again, that doesn’t mean anything either. There’s a lot of information to comb through and then not enough information at the same time. Like I said, I can’t tell you what to do, but if you’re going to make your decision based on a background check, you’re going to have to wait a little longer until I can nail down something more concrete.”

I can’t afford to sidestep when it comes to the Center. There’s too much at stake, but Ebony is just so perfect for us. She’s just what we need, and she can do so much more than the glorified babysitting position that she applied for. I don’t doubt that she’s been turned down for many other positions for this same reason—that two and two just don’t equal four and she’s too afraid to be any more forthcoming with information for fear that her past may physically catch up with her one day. Nonetheless…

“Just… keep me posted on what you find,” I cede. “Look very hard, Alex, because if you don’t find anything solidly adverse on this girl, I’m going to hire her. She could have just been living in the shadows and that’s why we can’t find anything, but at the same time,I don’t want to take any chances.”

“Yes, ma’am.” I end the call and drop my head on my desk in frustration. It’s obvious that Ebony has a history—some kind of story—but don’t we all? I just don’t want her story to somehow come back and bite the Center in the ass. I also don’t want to let the opportunity to acquire a great asset slip through my fingers. This could be her chance to turn her life around and excel—conquer or overcome whatever ghosts are chasing her or holding her back. Good grief, this is a tough decision.

“Bosslady?” Marilyn’s voice brings me out of my musings.

“Yeah?” I say, raising my head from my desk.

“You alright?” she asks.

“Yeah, just pondering a conundrum,” I say, rubbing my forehead.

“What are you doing here?” she asks. Huh?

“Um, I work here?” I declare, the statement sounding more like a question. At that moment, Grace sticks her head into the doorway and glares at me like an exotic animal.

“Oh, Ana! Hi,” she says in surprise while stepping into the room. I raise my brow.

“Hi,” I say, and it almost sounds like a question, too. “Is… something wrong?” She and Marilyn look at each other,

“No… nothing’s wrong. I’m just… surprised to see you here today.” I frown.

“Why wouldn’t I be here today?” I ask, and why is everybody surprised that I’m here?

“Well, because of what today is,” she says. Today is Friday. What am I missing?

“You’ve lost me,” I say, awaiting the punchline. She and Marilyn look at each other again and now, I’m getting irritated.

“Will someone please tell me what I’m supposed to know that I obviously don’t?” I ask impatiently.

“Ana,” Grace begins, “today is the one-year anniversary of your accident.”


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

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

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

 ~~love and handcuffs

Raising Grey: Chapter 49—Finding Anastasia

My twelfth wedding anniversary was this past weekend, so posting was kind of the furthest thing from my mind.

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…

Chapter 49—Finding Anastasia

CHRISTIAN

My wife is walking to the theater room like a man walking to the gallows. I know that it’s going to take some time for her to overcome this whole impending doom thing, and she’s doing a great job of grabbing the bull by the horns with her meditation, yoga, dancing, and whatever else she’s doing to take control of it. But when that insecurity rears its ugly head, it’s really ugly… not in the sense that it’s unattractive, but in the sense that it makes my larger-than-life Butterfly appear weak, helpless, and powerless, and I don’t like that at all.

Gail and Ms. Solomon arrange refreshments while Maria attempts to explain what we’re going to see. She’s even gone so far as to have a program that outlines the order of the interview and what we can expect. She’s gone all out with full disclosure, even insuring that we’ll be left with a copy of what we see today, which is what the network plans to air—notwithstanding any changes that we request after the viewing.

Butterfly sits quietly in one of the luxury reclining theater seats, sipping a glass of cabernet sauvignon and daintily munching on popcorn, finger sandwiches, and crudité. She’s paying attention to everything that Maria is saying; she’s just not responding.

“So, things aren’t necessarily in chronological order,” Maria explains. “If you remember, the footage at the gun range was one of the last things we recorded, but it won’t be the very last thing in the segment, although it’s pretty close to chronological. I feel that I’ve put the segment together in a manner that represents both of you and presents you in the light that you wanted to be presented. In spite of what has occurred up to this point, I hope I haven’t let you down.”

Butterfly acknowledges her with an almost indistinct nod and turns her attention to the large screen. I can feel it emanating from her skin.

Shut up and let’s get on with it already.

The lights go down and the segment starts.

“By the way…” Oh, for Christ’s sake, lady, will you shut up before my wife bites your head off? “… We were approved for two hours.”

We both rubberneck over to her.

“We were?” I ask. “But I thought you said nobody got two hours… not even Obama or Bono.” She shrugs.

“The station manager loved the material. He couldn’t decide what to keep and what to cut, so… we got two hours.”

I’m impressed. Butterfly, not so much. I can’t imagine what’s going through her head right now.

The introduction starts with the gates opening at Grey Crossing, like some episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, and I already don’t like it, but the interview quickly recovers by moving almost instantly away from the mansion to an upward pan of Grey House followed by a shot of my wife strolling through the halls like the boss that she is.

GEH looks magnificent on film. The headquarters has never gotten much airtime. Press conferences or news releases were always carefully planned and released on our terms, leaving most of the whole of the company out of the proverbial limelight—except for the numbers part of it all. People have often wondered why, with all my success, I haven’t gone public. This is why. I have total control of my company. Why would I hand that control over to someone else for money that I don’t need?

My beautiful wife looks just like a female mogul, roaming the halls, offices, and departments of our company. I’ve never seen her as majestic as she looks with the power of the House behind her. No wonder women are so jealous of her—and men are intimidated by her.

I’m extremely impressed with how the one-on-one interview with me and Maria turned out. It’s just what I was hoping for—the ruthless, but shrew businessman coupled with the papa-bear that would stop at nothing to protect his family.

I watch my wife’s expressions through various parts of the interview, especially when she describes who she was before me, how she changed when we got together, me being her ultimate protector. I feel pretty shitty having dropped the ball on that duty, leaving her in the uncertainty that she feels now.

I’m quite pleased with where they placed that asshole’s footage of my wife breastfeeding our children. She’s talking about the mothering instinct that’s not so natural to some women and how her main priority is and was to protect our children inside and outside the womb. You would have thought the filming was intentional just for this moment, instead of some grip boy pervert trying to get a shot of a nip-slip.

We both look pretty bad ass on the shooting range, and we all got a little chuckle out of Maria’s obvious inexperience with a firearm…

We all, that is, except Butterfly.

Her face is stone throughout most of the segment. Even portions that brought small chuckles and reactions from Mac. She’s watching this entire thing with a highly critical eye, and she’s not even enjoying it.

When the segment is over, I feel a collective sigh release in the theater room. I don’t hear it, but I feel it.

“I secured releases from everyone who was filmed when we were last here except from your nanny… Keri, I think is her name. Forgive me if I got that wrong,” Maria informs us.

“No, you got it right,” I say. “That shouldn’t be a problem.”

“So, what did you think?” Maria asks nervously. I turn to my wife; whose face still looks like marble.

“Butterfly?” I urge.

“The segment was good,” she says, her face stoic. “Concise, honest, thought-provoking. The placement of that idiot’s footage was quite timely. I was afraid of how that would be incorporated into the segment, but I’m satisfied. Nothing was overdone, which is something that I was afraid of. I would have liked to see more of the children, but I guess there’s only so much you can fit into a two-hour segment, and that was a lot of material. Overall, I’m satisfied with the ultimate outcome.”

Timely… concise… satisfied. My wife is choosing her words carefully, not at all saying that she liked or disliked anything in the interview apart from the fact that Minnie and Mikey didn’t get more screen time. This point doesn’t get by Maria, and her uncertainty is transparent.

“Is there anything that you didn’t like, Ana?” she asks. “Anything you want to remove or change? I can get some more footage of the children added if you want. I just didn’t want to overdo it…”

“No, it’s fine,” my wife interrupts. “The overall focus was Christian and me and that’s how it should be. Too much information about the children could be dangerous.” Maria nods in resignation.

“What about you, Christian?” she says, slightly crestfallen but trying not to show it, and for once, I have to be the diplomat in the situation. I’m not sure that I can do it, but here goes.

“I liked it,” I begin. “I think it portrays just what we wanted—Christian and Anastasia Grey as a whole and not just the crap that the press or the gossip rags want to show. It had that ‘here’s what it is, take it or leave it’ vibe, and I like that. I was afraid that it was going to be some plastered-over, painted and spit-shined depiction of us and I wouldn’t have liked that at all. When the segment started with the gates opening, I was worried, but you recovered very quickly…”

“I did that intentionally,” Maria interjects. “I know that people are expecting some ‘Robin Leach, Ana descending the stairs in a diamond-encrusted robe’ presentation. So, I had a little fun and let them think that’s what they’re getting.”

Of course, they did get some of that, but it was appropriately placed and not overused, so, I can’t complain.

“I had a feeling,” I say. “I’m just glad that wasn’t the entire focus of the interview. Yes, we have a beautiful home and yes, we have money, but the hope was to focus on the people and not necessarily the situation. I think you did that well. I particularly loved the parenting segment and where you put the forbidden footage.” Maria sighs.

“I was hoping that you would be happy with that… both of you,” she says. We look over at Butterfly who simply takes another sip of her Cabernet. Maria deflates a little. “When you gave me permission to use it, I had no idea where to put it at first. My questions were, ‘where do you insert a woman breastfeeding?’ Then I thought about it being the original natural process, second only to sex, and realized that it could have fit just about anywhere that we were talking about the woman that Ana is, but best fit when we were discussing motherhood.”

“Well good for you. It looks good,” I encourage. “I’ll have to admit that I see quite a bit of me but more of Ana.”

“That’s also intentional,” Maria says. “The camera loves Ana and the press and the public gobble up every little tidbit of her that they can get. It’s been that way ever since she’s been in the limelight. That’s not to say that the camera doesn’t love you, too, but public Christian Grey is a new flavor. The viewing audience has a delicate palate. If you dump it on them all at once, they quickly lose the taste for it. Even in what appears to be a relaxed setting, you’re a force of dominance…”

Quite the appropriate description.

“You can’t push that in somebody’s face too much. It comes off like an arrogant pissing dog. So, instead, I gave you that one power segment, then introduced a segment of Ana before bringing you both together again. From there, you were still very present, but she did most of the talking. Finally, you came in as the anchor. So, I started and ended with you, but Ana was the cream filling, so to speak. As a result, hopefully, a little more Ana and a little less Christian actually gives the segment just the right amount of balance.”

Mac is nodding introspectively, and I can see that she agrees with what Maria is saying.

“Well, I agree with my wife; it’s very precise, and I feel that it’s a good representation of us—a bit of a bite at some moments as well as the softer, human side of the Greys. I’m quite satisfied.” I look over at Butterfly who finally succumbs to compliment.

“Yes, Maria, it’s a good presentation. I like it,” she says. Maria’s face finally lifts a bit and she signals for the film operator—whoever is up there with Jason—to play the promos. If this is what Mrs. Miller saw, it truly wasn’t much. There are two separate promos and in either of them, you only see a fraction of the house—pieces of the grand entry, dining room, family room, and backyard. I guess that was enough for her to call Elliot… or call Gia who called Elliot. Anyway, the promos weren’t revealing at all—some pictures of Grey House and the two of us showing Maria around, no pictures of our children at all, and that was it. I can still understand why my wife wasn’t happy that the footage was shown before we consented, though. It could have been much worse.

Maria indicates that she has to get back to New York for shooting of portions of her show that will be this week and that she will call ahead to approve the immediate airing of the promos we approved. This was the warning that if we watch television, we’ll most likely see some of our promos as soon as today as the program will air in primetime a week from tomorrow. Butterfly rises from her chair, shakes Maria’s hand and thanks her for coming and for her good work before sitting back in her seat and drinking her Cabernet. I walk a bit with Maria and Mac to the theater room door.

“Don’t take it personally,” I tell Maria in a low voice. “My wife has recently been through something and it’s taking a bit of a toll on her. Hearing about the promos before we had approved the segment didn’t help.”

“Again, I am so sorry about that,” Maria grovels. “I have no excuse for it, but I hope it didn’t completely ruin the experience.”

“If she could find her words right now, she would tell you how much she liked it. I know that because I liked it and I’m very hard to please.” I finally get the wide smile from Maria that she’s been holding back.

“Thank you, Christian. I appreciate that. The last thing I want is for the two of you to be disappointed.”

“Come on, Maria. We’ll find Keri and get that last release signed for you,” Mac says. I gesture to Chuck sitting in the back of the theater and when he meets us in the middle of the aisle, I explain that the ladies need to find Keri and that Mac will most likely want to come back here when all is said and done.

“You’re feeling better?” I ask my wife when I take my seat next to her.

“A little,” she says. “The sky didn’t fall.” I know that’s a reference to her constant feeling of impending doom as well as the theory of Chicken Little that nothing’s really wrong, but she still expected the end of the world. I simply put my arm around her and sigh.

“When I found out that I was pregnant,” she begins, “I was afraid that I was carrying two little lives inside of me—two little blessings from God—that I would nurture inside of my body and bring into this realm just so that the world could gobble them up and destroy them. As time went on, I managed to fight those demons back even though it was hard, and things were still happening to prove my point rather than dispel it. Now, they’re here—they’ve made it into the world and they’re okay. And as time goes on, I see more and more that I was right the first time.

“People are untrustworthy and as a result, horrible things happen to other people. Even when you think you’re doing everything you’re supposed to do, somehow you slip up and do something wrong—you make the wrong decision, or you don’t take an action you should have or you’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time and because of it, hell falls down on you like burning hot lava and sears your very soul.

“You go to one of your favorite places in the world to calm down and think things through and just as you’re leaving, your psycho ex-boyfriend shoots you full of drugs that should only be available to doctors and handcuffs you to a bed for four days.

“You take a left turn instead of a right which takes you a different route than you normally take, and a neurotically delusional ex-submissive T-bones your car most likely gunning for the Dom whom she felt scorned her… or maybe she was gunning for me, who knows?

“And instead of running to my husband and telling him about a situation that I erroneously thought I had under control or simply avoiding the situation altogether, he walks in and sees a man that I don’t want at all about to kiss me, and he leaves me for three weeks with no word—put an ocean, a few seas, and a continent between us.”

Shit… that hurt.

“And this,” she says, gesturing to the screen. “Grip boy records me without my permission hoping to see some tits, and then we hear through word of mouth that the promos were released before we approved them. I couldn’t even enjoy the premier because I sat here the entire time waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

Jesus, I don’t know what to say. I want to come up with something that will make this all better, but I can’t. I see a single tear fall down her cheek, quickly followed by another.

“Butterfly…”

“You were my safe place,” she says, her voice squeaking. “Everything was okay in your arms, under your protection, and suddenly…” She trails off. What’s more alarming is that she’s speaking in past tense. I am your safe place, Butterfly.

“You’re only human,” she continues, her tears dictating her voice. “You’re not perfect, immortal, or impervious to pain or mistakes, but somehow… somehow…” Her voice trails off again. She raises her eyes to the ceiling and sighs heavily before quickly wiping her face with both her whole hands to remove as many tears as possible.

“It’s an uphill battle,” she says, “fighting the Boogeyman and trying not to let fear overtake me and become a complete recluse, but I’m fighting it. I see things more differently than I’ve ever seen them before in my life, and I just have to incorporate this new knowledge into my life without crumbling to the hand of doom. That’s the hard part. Wisdom is a terrible burden to bear.”

That sounds horrible. She’s slipping into the doom again. This is exactly what we don’t want. She’s moving backwards, away from progress.

“Baby, what can I do?” I ask, feeling completely rudderless. She shakes her head.

“I’ll be alright,” she says in that flat voice that I hate. It’s that quiet acceptance of hell. “I just… need a few moments to regroup. I’ll do some yoga and meditate.” She stands from the seat and heads to the door.

“Do you want me to come and meditate with you?” I ask. We haven’t meditated together in a couple of days. It might help. She turns sad eyes to me.

“Sometimes, you have to face your demons alone,” she replies. She looks at me for a moment, then walks out of the theater room.

Jesus, I feel like a stone has been tied around my neck and I just have to carry it around until she comes out of this. If that’s how I feel, I can only imagine what she’s feeling.

“I just saw Ana.” Mac’s voice startles the shit out of me. “She’s not doing very well.” I shake my head.

“My impromptu trip to Madrid did more damage that I ever thought possible,” I say, scrubbing my hands over my face. “I’ll be honest, even looking back on my anger, had I ever thought it would cause this much injury, I would have made a different decision.” Mac frowns.

“I thought you went to Madrid on a hunch,” she says, “that you got a bad feeling about something and had to go immediately. There’s more?”

“Yes, there’s more, but I’m not going to tell you about it because it’s irrelevant and won’t do any good. I will tell you that you’re right, though. I did get a bad feeling about something and I did go on a hunch—and I was right, which is why I pulled out of the deal. But I didn’t need to go as suddenly as I went, and that’s all I’ll say about that.”

I straighten in my seat, raising to my full height and changing the subject, indicating to Mac that this topic of conversation is closed.

“What about what Stanton said?” I ask. “Did I give enough to prove that she missed a golden opportunity?”

“Oh, dear God, do you have to ask?” Mac replies. “You gave just enough of the interview that she was looking for not to bore the audience, plus you gave crisp and valuable insight into your personal life that wasn’t syrupy sweet, overly ostentatious, or Desperate Housewives. She’s going to be sick when she sees this.”

“How do you know she’ll watch it?” I ask.

“It’s primetime Monday night Sweeps Week—of course, she’s going to watch it. She’s hoping to see it flop, so she’s going to watch it the entire way through, looking for exactly what she’s expecting to see, and trust me. You guys nailed it. Maria asked the tough questions and you two came back without flinching. You got the point across that you wanted to relay as well as giving a good, solid 10-15 minutes as to exactly why you are the brilliant entrepreneur, businessman, mastermind, savant, and guru that she claimed you were. Those statistics that you threw out there in a moment’s notice—28 industries, 419 subindustries, 165 countries… that shit was brilliant. Raynell fucked up and when she sees this interview, she’s going to know it. You got the grit that she was looking for plus the fantastic human-interest piece that you wanted… Stories like this—and on Sweeps Week—are the stuff that Barbara Walters is made of. She’s going to shit herself when this airs. She pissed on the golden ticket and she’s going to know it!”

Well, I take some small amount of comfort in that. Mac and I talk for a few minutes longer about the publicity that will be generated over the next week and how to handle it, including a “no comment” press release until after the segment airs. Jason and Chuck return to the theater room after showing Maria and her reel operator to the door.

“I have the copies of the interview and the promos, sir,” Jason says, handing me a very fancy looking silver flash drive. “It really was a good segment.” I nod, hardly pacified from my angst about my wife.

“Well, I’ll be going now,” Mac says, rising from her seat. “Thanks for the great grub and… call me if you guys need me.”

“Thanks, Mac,” I say without raising my head.

“I’ll show you out,” Chuck says as he escorts Mac from the theater room. I run my fingers through my hair and drop my head. There’s that stone around my neck again.

“Do you want to be left alone?” I forgot that Jason was still here. Now, he’s standing in front of me.

“I don’t know what to do,” I admit. “It’s like she’s bipolar. Just about anything could set her off. She was my rock in Detroit, Jason,” I say, turning my gaze to him as he takes a seat next to me. “She never complained about that cold room. She was right there when I needed her. She held me together when I thought I was going to fall apart. She was everything I needed and then some. She was supportive, passionate, even playful… but the moment the slightest bit of adversity comes her way, she loses her footing. True, she did everything throughout this viewing to hold it together, so she didn’t fall apart completely, but she was so withdrawn and detached… so aloof. If was hard to watch. It was a good segment…”

“Very good, boss,” Jason says. “She depicted you guys extremely well. She even turned a bad situation into a good one.” I nod.

“Exactly, but my wife was sitting there waiting for some horrible thing to come across the screen and never absorbed how great we looked—as a couple and a family… as a team. It was just what I wanted, and she still looks like the world is ending.” I drop my head into my hands.

“God, why didn’t I see this before?” I say, still holding my head while I’m shaking it. “My wife is and always has been mostly emotion and I… I, who can’t identify what I’m feeling half the time without help from my shrink or from her or from you… had to go all mega-Dom on her and disappear for three weeks without telling her where I was. This damage may be irreparable.” Jason sighs.

“Well, you got one thing right,” he says. “You did go mega-Dom on her.” I raise my eyes to him. “I may not be in the lifestyle, boss, but I had to learn something about it working for you, and that trip to Madrid wasn’t about you at all. It was about her. Somewhere during the course of that trip, you may have gotten all caught up in your feelings and decided that you felt betrayed or hurt or used or whatever feeling you want to put in there. But the entire time that you were downing shots at the bar, vomiting on the plane, wearing a toga during the descent, and running around Madrid in sweatpants, you were pissed. You convinced yourself that she was a villain and she deserved to be punished—and that’s what you did. You went mega-Dom and gave her the biggest punishment that you’ve ever given her. Emotional warfare is far more damaging than physical, and you punished her so badly that she punished herself.

“I’m not saying that she’s blameless in this. I know that’s not true and so does she. I’m just saying that this could have definitely been handled in a better way and now, she’s paying for it. What you did was the equivalent of ‘two wrongs don’t make a right;’ they only result in an even bigger wrong and in this case, it’s astronomical. She’s suffering a form of PTSD…”

“Oh, she’s not going to like the sound of that,” I protest. “She won’t even talk to Dr. Baker without coaxing because she said the same thing.”

“Well, she may not have been suffering it at that time, but this time, she is. She emotionally or physically separates herself from any situation that may cause her discomfort; then she sits in the corner and waits for Armageddon. That’s the same as a combat soldier who can’t tolerate fireworks, who’s set off by a ceiling fan thinking it’s a chopper blade; who wakes up in the middle of the night screaming and fighting ghosts who aren’t there; a victim of a serious accident who’s afraid to drive a car; a victim of sexual abuse who doesn’t trust the opposite sex. I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. She can deny it all she wants, but that’s what she’s suffering.

“Is it irreparable? I don’t know. I’ve seen some victims of PTSD that never come out of it. I’ve seen some that just learn to live with it—that can function and control their triggers. Her behavior in Detroit gives me the idea that she has hope. It just depends on how deep her despair is and if she can control those feelings of doom. She’s going to have to find out exactly what triggers it and control those triggers. That’s the hard part, but you have to be patient and give her time… and space, when she needs it.” Did he hear her tell me that there was nothing I could do for her right now?

“Are you a part-time shrink, too?” I try to jest.

“No,” Jason says, “I’m a combat veteran. I suffer a bit of the old post-trauma myself. I just… know how to handle it.”  I gaze at him.

“I never knew that,” I reply soberly.

“I don’t publicize it,” he retorts. “If Her Highness denies that she’s suffering from the effects of post-traumatic stress, she’s never going to be able to find an effective treatment plan. She knows that.”

“Well, Jason, I can’t tell her. When I tell you that it was disastrous the last time we approached that topic with Dr. Baker, I’m saying that the silent passive-aggressive blows in that room could have caused physical carnage in a different setting.” He sighs.

“I’ll try to find a decent time to talk to her about it, but it won’t be today. She’s already triggered, so she can’t hear me right now.” I twist my lips.

“You did some shrinking somewhere, Jason. Admit it.”

“Nope,” he denies, shaking his head. “Any intelligent person will learn everything they can about their illness, particularly mental illnesses. They can be deadlier than any physical illness around. I educated myself on triggers, coping techniques, symptoms, medications, things like that. I’m not a shrink, Christian. I’m just informed.”

“Quite,” I cede. “I’ll let you decide when the best time is to broach this topic with Her Highness. In the meantime, I need your help with another situation.”


ANASTASIA

I’ve lost it. I’ve completely lost hold on everything that I’ve been working on—all my Zen, all my chi, all my fucking self-control… right out the goddamn window.

Get it together, Grey. Get it the fuck together.

For the first time in my life, the Bitch sounds like me. I shudder and try to compose myself. I can’t lose it. I have to maintain control and balance.

I’m walking around the house aimlessly, not sure where I’m headed or what I’m trying to do. The meditation room won’t do it right now. I need more than meditation to shake this feeling. I need meditation on steroids!

Nothing happened. Nothing even happened. It was just the fact that Maria Sanchez seemed a bit careless with our footage and suddenly, the sky is falling again. I can’t function like this. I can’t constantly walk around being afraid to think or move or breathe.

Nothing actually went wrong. It just took the hint of something possibly not being quite right for me to slip into the anticipation of Armageddon.

Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Who is this wimpy bitch before me and what has she done with the fearless Anastasia Steele?

Anastasia Steele… why did I go all the way back to her?

I know why… because I’m trying to find that independence that I once had, that ability to call my own shots and tell it like it is without pulling punches or holding back. That same woman who told David the he would never have a chance and subsequently pulled a gun on him in the parking lot. Yeah, he kidnapped me, but when I was free, I kicked his motherfucking ass with the last bit of strength I had left.

That’s the girl I’m looking for—the same girl that faced off with the Pedophile and won every time, even after she stole my gun. Yeah, she shot Jason with it, but I beat her within an inch of her life after that.

And then there’s the girl who really let Grey have it—showed him just how displeased I was with his staring and his fucking, “Google me.” Yeah, I’d love for her to make an appearance.

How did I become so weak? How did I become so dependent that I couldn’t define myself without him? Made him everything in my life so that once he was gone, I was rudderless and had no identity?

It’s my fault. I made him “perfect.” I made him the answer to all my questions, prayers, and problems. I made him invincible and incapable of disappointment, so that when it happened, I nearly crumbled.

It’s my fault. It’s all my fault.

Michel’s words come back to me…

“You two are going to be together for 100 years and sometime during that hundred years, you’re going to have a big breakup. It won’t be the end of the world. It’ll just feel like it. Don’t let it destroy you.” 

God, I hope this was the big breakup. I don’t think I can survive anything bigger than this.

All my wandering finds me in the spa room. I don’t know how I got here, but yes, this is the perfect place for me at the moment. I turn the lights on and the room looks like a haven, a nice, quiet haven. I immediately start the water running in the sunken spa. I sit on the bench in front of the wall aquarium, which easily holds twenty to thirty fish… or more. The only thing my mind can conjure right now is… who’s responsible for feeding these fish? I immediately think of that aquarium I bought with Edward… and how I couldn’t wait to get rid of that fucker once he was gone.

That of course leads me to my visit to the aquarium where he and his ex-security flunky kidnapped me.

“You’re a dirty fucking bastard, Edward,” I say aloud. “You were a wretched excuse for a human being. I’m glad you’re dead and I hope you burn in hell.”

The honesty of those statements is incredibly liberating. Fuck political correctness. For much of the time that I knew that man, he made my life a living hell even through the moments where I foolishly loved him. Now, when I find myself in my darkest moments, he comes back to taunt me—make me feel like I’m nothing or worse yet, make me feel afraid of the future. How the hell do you give a dead man that kind of power over you?

I stand from the bench and move to the shelf of bath salts. Sandalwood—yes. Evocative and soothing at the same time.

“Fuck you, Edward David,” I say as I sprinkle bath salts into the slightly steaming water, “and your little dog, too.”

That fucking keystone cop… No, not a keystone cop. I won’t insult keystone cops by comparing them to him. He was even more worthless than Edward—pissed off because he couldn’t, or wouldn’t, do his job and then blames his termination on me. And manhandling me while I was cuffed and helpless—that was really fucking macho. Your plans for success were based on Edward needing to get me alone and when that didn’t pan out for you, you raid my credit cards. Brilliant, fucking brilliant.

And you have the nerve to haunt me, too.

“Fuck you, too, you miserable asshole,” I say aloud. “I hope Satan is fucking you in the ass with a red, hot dick every night.”

Jesus! That sounds horrible.

But I don’t care. It serves him right.

I swirl my hands around in the hot, aromatic water. It’s perfect. I strip, dropping my clothes on the floor next to the spa and descend the stairs into the hot water. It feels heavenly. As I settle into the water, I practice a meditation technique I saw in one of my studies.

I wiggle my toes, stretching them wide and feeling the tension release in each knuckle as the hot water caresses them. Once my toes feel loose and light, I stretch my feet like I’m doing one of my interpretive dances. I feel the release all the way to my ankles. I close my eyes and stretch further, flexing my calf muscles—first the right and then the left. It’s like tiny fingers working the stress out of my muscles, releasing all the tension and darkness into the water and washing it away from me.

Next, I flex my feet hard, causing my thigh and hamstring muscles to stretch. I imagine all the fear and anxiety rising to the top and dissipating in the continuous bubbles, floating off in the air to somehow return to the depths of hell from whence they came. My body is beginning to feel physically lighter. I tighten and flex my glutes, feeling the release all the way in my lower back.

I control my breathing the entire time, bringing good, healthy air in and releasing the bad, burdened air that had previously invaded my lungs. Fuck this silent reservation. If the Boogeyman wants me, come at me! I got something for you, and I’m not going out without a fight.

I roll my abs, flexing and tightening, imagining more of the darkness sliding out of my soul and off my body, imagining the fear releasing its death grip on my heart and mind, clearly seeing a shiny newness that leaves no room for doubt, anguish, painful uncertainty.

The pop of each vertebra is a celebration of the releasing of the weight of doom and when the final vertebra pops and I end the dance with a long roll of my shoulders, I feel the final monkey jump off my back. I stretch my arms and wiggle my fingers, basking in the feeling of being able to roll my neck around and from side to side without the hinderance of, “What the hell is coming at me now” following me or lurking on my left or my right, making me afraid to turn my head and look around me, to walk confidently into my future whatever it may hold.

The bubbles massage my sensitive breasts and I reach up to my nipples to protect them from the flow of the jets. Good God, they’re taut! I cover them, allowing them to still feel the heat of the water without the constant pressure and stimulation of the jets. Jesus, I can’t remember the last time they felt like this—dark pink and hard like little pebbles. I’m so fascinated by how they look that I start to massage them. No wonder Christian likes them so much… they’re beautiful.

Before I know it, the stimulation sends jolts of pleasure right down to my core. I’m suddenly very aroused by my own nipple play and the water is caressing me into comfort and seduction like you wouldn’t believe. I want to find Christian, but this caress… this massive release of trouble and anguish… the embrace of the warm, aromatic water…

Do you need him to come, too?

My hand slides from my breast and locates that sensitive bundle of nerves between my legs and I stroke… again… and again… and again. I pinch my nipple to remind myself of the sensation the brought me to this point.

“Ah,” I purr as pleasure shoots back and forth between the two manipulated points. I stroke myself harder, deeper, spreading my legs wider, the warm water adding to the sensation of my building orgasm.

“Ah… ah…” I croon, pinching my nipple and stroking my clit, over and over until…

I bite my lip and groan through my climax, feeling the final weight of uncertainty fall from my body. I take more deep, cleansing breaths as my body trembles through aftershocks and slowly melts into the comfort of satiation.

Why did I do that? I don’t regret it, but I can’t remember the last time I touched myself just for the sake of touching myself. At my condo? After Christian’s first kiss… or sometime around there. I touched myself after I had the babies, then Christian interrupted me and made me feel like shit without saying a word. True, he made me come so hard that night that I could barely say my name, but the way he looked at me… I remember never wanting to touch myself again.

So, I didn’t.

But this is my body. Yes, it’s his, too, but it’s mine first. Why do I need an excuse to make myself feel good? Why should I be ashamed? It’s not like I’m letting someone else touch me—I’m doing it myself. Jesus, have I completely lost all definition of Anastasia in the definition of AnaChris?

No matter. I’m on my way to finding myself again, to finding that tiger that he fell in love with and that I admired so much. She’s not gone, she’s just suppressed, and she needs to come back. I can still be Christian’s wife without totally losing myself and who I was in the process. No wonder I’m a fucking basket case. Yes, bad things are going to happen. They happen all the time. They’ve happened to me since I was a child… but I didn’t die. Shit, somebody tried to kill me—killed the baby that I was carrying—and I still didn’t die.

I still carry my guns in my purse and in my glovebox, and I walk around afraid that someone from Green Valley is going to sneak up behind me again. Please, walk up on me… please! I will take great joy in filling their asses full of lead.

David did some horrible shit to me and to other women, and he ultimately paid with his life. Why the hell am I still holding onto that one?

And Christian, my lover and my tormentor. One day—heaven forbid—he may just decide that I’m not enough for him anymore. Am I going to roll over and die if that happens? At the rate I’m going now, yes, I will. I’m going to curl up and shrivel away into nothingness without him.

No, I don’t want to lose him. Yes, I’ll be crushed if he leaves me. But right here, right now in this space and time, who am I? Who is Anastasia besides being Mrs. Christian Grey?

The question floats around in my head as I allow the comfort of afterglow, release, and liberation to soothe me as the warm water continues to caress my body.

*-*

“Baby wake up.”

Christian’s voice is cutting through my solace. Maybe cutting is the wrong word, but I was visioning… dreaming maybe… about clouds and flying and dancing, flowers and soft spring dresses… and twirling…

“Hmm?” I say groggily. He pushes the wet hair from my face.

“How long have you been in here?” he asks, his voice concerned. I shrug. I’m still in the spa… with the warm water.

“Uhuhuh,” I make the I don’t know sound while shrugging my shoulders, because I really don’t know how long I’ve been in the water, but long enough for the heat and massage to coax milk from my breast. Sure enough, when I sit up, they’re empty and light…

Just like the rest of me.

“Are you okay?” he asks, reaching his hand out to me to help me out of the spa. I take his hand and drag myself from the comfort of the warm bath. My body is a little heavier now, but it’s no doubt from the loss of that weightless feeling from the water, and from the fact that I’m totally pruney, which means…

“I’m fine, just a little waterlogged apparently.” I step out of the spa and walk over to the closet. Retrieving one of the terrycloth robes, I wrap myself in its warmth.

“You seem to be feeling a little better,” Christian says, handing me a towel. I take it and begin to dry my hair.

“I’m working on it,” I say, wrapping the towel around my head turban-style. “I’m working through some things. I guess we’ll see how it goes.”

“Is there anything I can do?” Oh, Christian. I love you so much, but therein lies the problem. Ace has been right all along. I have to start over from the beginning… finding me. And now that I have an idea what I’m looking for, the journey doesn’t seem so scary anymore… but it’s my journey. And no, he can’t be there every step of the way because he can’t take this journey for me. What’s more is that I need to know who I am outside of him. I need to exist in my own space and my own skin… and learn to coexist with him as well, not just exist because of him or for him.

None of this gloom and doom would have befallen me had I not fallen completely apart when he went to Madrid. Yes, it was tragic, and it was going to be painful no matter how balanced or together I was, but it wasn’t the end of the world and I fell completely apart. Just like we have to find our way back to us together, I have to find my way back to me on my own.

“Just be supportive and love me. That’s all I ask.” That’s all I really can ask.

“Now, why does that sound like a massive blow-off to me?” he laments.

“Well, because when the person you’re talking to doesn’t have a cut-and-dried answer for you, they can only give you what they know, and that’s what I know. I need you to love me and be supportive. Can you do that?”

“You know I can,” he says, closing the space between us and pulling me into his arms. “You know I do.”

“I feel like having a party,” I say later that evening as I lie on my back on the sofa in the family room. Minnie is lying on my chest, breathing evenly in her slumber and occasionally suckling her binky while I play in her copper curls. Christian’s brow furrows.

“What kind of party?” he asks while rubbing Mikey’s back and attempting to gently coax him to sleep. “Food and Libations?”

“I don’t know,” I say, because I really don’t know. “I’m just in the mood for a party.” I know it’s a ridiculous thing to blurt out of nowhere. In fact, I don’t even know where that came from.

“I… guess we’ll have to see what we can do, then,” he says, squeezing my foot and smiling.

*-*

“Rosie…”

I don’t know where I am. It’s gray, not necessarily gloomy, but maybe a bit maudlin… and I hear his voice.

“Rosie…”

I focus a bit and out of the rolling gray midst comes Edward… young and beautiful, like he was when I first met him. His expression is sad—nothing like the young, confident man with the GQ model looks that I met back in college. My heart leaps and a myriad of emotions run through me, some good and some bad. They all flow into the three second funnel and produce a single thought, as always. I pull myself up to my full height, square my shoulders and ask…

“Why are you here now? What do you want?”

As if it could, his face falls even more and he appears to get shorter—shorter than me, even.

“I’m sorry, Rosie,” he says, without making eye-contact with me. “I’m so sorry for the horrible way that I treated you…”

Why the hell is he coming to me now? Is it because I thought of him today? That has to be it. I fold my arms and twist my lips.

“You’re dead. There’s nothing you can do about it now. And I know that I’m dreaming, so why don’t you go back to wherever the hell you came from.” He sighs, and his clothes become more and more tattered by the second. Is that evil bastard that confronted me while Christian was gone about to present himself to me? Well, I’m ready for you, asshole. Bring it on!

“Hell is right,” he says, sadly. “I know it’s not you, but I see you every day. You torment me every day. You and Camilla and…” He trails off. “Mostly you. I don’t know why it’s mostly you. I didn’t do to you what I did to the others.

“It was worse,” I reply. I’m not minimizing the fact that he brutally beat those women, but I get the feeling that they got the beatings because they didn’t stay around for the emotional and mental warfare that he put me through for years. And even after we broke up, there was more warfare when he kidnapped me.

“You tormented me, mentally and emotionally, but Harris took care of the beating for you.”

Edward winces, the shirt and pants he was wearing now disintegrating from his body leaving something that looks somewhat like a tattered loincloth… more like a diaper.

“I don’t expect you to forgive me…”

“Ha!” I scoff. “Forgiveness! That’s a laugh! You’re a monster, Edward. I’m glad your dead. I once said I don’t know how I ever loved you, but I do. You tricked me. You tricked me just like you tried to trick me a minute ago, walking in here all beautiful and seemingly untarnished. You did your song and dance and you sold me this performance and this lie, and when the monster came out, it was too late. I was already in love—helpless and fooled into believing that this horrible creature had taken over my man and praying that one day, he would go away and bring my ‘Eddie’ back to me. But that was never going to happen, because my ‘Eddie’ was the façade and the monster was the real you all along. You did a bait and switch on me, only the version of you that you were offering was nothing like the version of you that you originally presented—nowhere near it. You sold me swampland and passed it off as resort property, and I didn’t know it until I was sinking and dying. No, I don’t forgive you. I’m glad you’re dead and you’re obviously rotting in hell, so I know that karma really does exist. Now, go back to eternal damnation and never darken my mind again. I bind you or I cast you out or whatever it is that I have to do or say to let you know that you are not welcome! Do not come back!”

Edward’s face becomes pale… no, not pale, blue… death blue. His skin sags on his bones and the sadness he emits is nearly unbearable. That sheet is around his neck again, the one he foolishly thought would end his suffering, and darkness begins to swallow him. I hear a horrible rumbling, like a growl, but I can’t make out any words.

“Yes, Master,” Edward’s voice says, now gravelly, like he’s drowning, and the darkness envelops him. Moments later, a vision appears like a movie floating inside the black clouds. It’s a room—like the Red Room, but morbid and dark, very uninviting. Edward appears before me, on his knees, not facing me, Thank God. His hands are bound behind him and his cuffs look like hot lava circulating around his wrists. His head is down and his ‘Master’ is nothing more that a darker-than-black midst in front of him. The horrible, rumbling, growling sound comes from the midst and it chills my very soul.

“Yes, Master,” Edward’s voice says again, and I see a long, narrow flame whip out and across his back. He cries out in pain as another flame reaches out and lifts his chin. He’s weeping like a child as he looks up at the past-midnight black midst, and I look around the room that he’s in…

What looks like a spanking bench is in the corner, but there are spikes all over the portion where you’re supposed to sit…

Another device looks like a helmet inside of a vice, no doubt meant to crush your skull…

Yet another gruesome looking device consists of two large chunks of wood with large spikes on the inside and an apparatus made to squeeze them together. I shudder to think what’s supposed to go in between them…

The more I examine the room, the more horrible torture devices I see.

Some kind of rolling device with a long handle fashioned with nails or barbs or something—it looks like a homemade gardening tool. There’s even a medieval rack and an iron maiden. This is a fucking torture chamber!

Another lick of fire down his back causes Edward to scream and brings my attention back to him. The rumbling grumble that comes from the horrible mist this time is clearly a laugh, and Edward crumbles to the ground in tormented tears.

Torture chamber… Red Room… licks of fire, like a whip… could it be?

Edward is Satan’s submissive!

As the meaning of this ghostly vision dawns on me, a horrible dog with snarling, bloody fangs comes from the black mist and starts viciously biting the bound and helpless Edward. Just as I’m about to turn away from the grisly display, the dog turns to me…

And I see Harris’s face.

He growls at me, then falls to the ground, gnawing angrily at his own paws, mangling them and yowling in pain the entire time. Jesus, what was I watching before I fell asleep? What kind of craziness is this?

“Forgive me, Rosie! Please, forgive me!”

And somehow, I get the feeling that my forgiveness is directly linked to the level of torment this asshole is suffering. I don’t know how, but I think I’m right. The very thought of it rips a cackling laughter from my chest.

The sound of my laughter is still echoing in my ears when I open my eyes. Apparently, the sound wasn’t enough to wake my husband. Thank God for that—I don’t even want to begin to try to explain that dream to him. I roll over and snuggle under the covers.

“I forgive you, Edward,” I say softly with a chuckle. “You can’t do anything else to me anymore, so I really don’t care what happens to you, but I’m not holding onto this shit anymore. Now, stay the fuck out of my dreams or I’ll come in there and get you myself, and Satan’s red-hot dick will be the least of your worries.”

Within moments, I’m asleep again, dreaming about clouds and music and flying…

*-*

“I have to say that this is a pretty remarkable case. I’ve heard of them, but I’ve never had one.”

Judge Purdy looks over our petition as she reviews our case. Al is as calm as ever, as am I, but Daddy looks like he’s about to burst.

“You seem nervous, Mr. Steele,” the judge says. Daddy shrugs.

“Maybe… just a bit. I’m… excited I guess. I’ve been waiting for this for a while. It’s just… way past time we did this, that’s all.” Daddy’s words tumble out completely unrehearsed, like he’s going through the supermarket and picking the words off the shelf as he sees them. I reach over and squeeze his hand, trying to calm him.

“Better late than never, right?” the judge says with a smile and Daddy calms right down. “Tell me, because it’s not part of the petition. Why did you wait so long? It won’t affect the decision. I’m just curious.” I look at Daddy and he nods, ceding to me to answer the judge’s question.

“My mother,” I say without hesitation. “It was a rocky and unstable relationship, to say the very least. My mother legally changed my name to Steele very shortly after I was born, but never gave my Daddy parental rights. Once she decided that she didn’t want to be married to him anymore, she went about the business of ripping away from him the daughter that she gave him and had built a relationship with him for over ten years. The decade that followed was torturous—for both of us. We kept in touch as we could, saw each other whenever we could, kept our relationship going the best we could. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I was able to come to him and fully rebuild our relationship. Even though we have the love and don’t really need the piece of paper to define our relationship, different things that have happened to me over the past few years have led to the conclusion that Daddy and I do need legal documentation to solidify our relationship to the rest of the world. It’s not about what people think; it’s just what’s necessary.” The judge nods.

“Very astute explanation, Mrs. Grey,” she says. You’ve answered my question and any follow-up I was thinking of. So, if no one objects, let’s get on with it.”

“In the Superior Court of the State of Washington and in the County of King; in the matter of the adoption of Anastasia Rose Steele-Grey by the petitioner, Raymond Steele, this cause coming on to be heard and being heard before myself, the Court, and from all the evidence presented in this proceeding, makes the following findings of fact and law:

“That all necessary parties are properly before the court and that notice of the adoption petition has been served on any person entitled to receive notice of this proceeding.

“That the adoptee is eighteen years of age or older and proper consent to the adoption has been given by her in writing and has been filed with this proceeding.

“That any other necessary consent has been obtained and any other necessary documents or judicial orders have been obtained and filed with the Court.

“That the adoptee was born in the State of Washington on the 18th day of October 1986.

“That this adoption is entered into freely and without duress or undue influence for the purpose of creating the relation of parent and child between the petitioner and the adoptee, and that the petitioner and the adoptee understand the consequences of the adoption.

“That the Decree of Adoption establishes the relationship of parent and child between the petitioner and the person being adopted. From the date of the signing of the Decree, the adoptee is entitled to inherit real and personal property by, through, and from the adoptive parent in accordance with the statutes on interstate succession and has the same legal status, including all legal rights and obligations of any kind whatsoever, as a child born the legitimate child of the adoptive parent.

“Please note that this Decree for Adoption does not terminate the parental rights of any living biological parents or sever the relationship of parent and child between the individual and the individual’s biological mother as you have requested not to do so.

“Now therefore, upon the foregoing finding as a matter of law, it is hereby ordered, adjudged and decreed: that from the date of entry of this Decree, the adult is declared adopted for life by the petitioner and that said adult will continue to be known by the name of Anastasia Rose Steele-Grey in accordance with the provisions of the General Statutes.”

I think Daddy and I both hold our breath until she gets to the bottom of that document. She’s still reading, and I don’t hear a thing except “adopted for life.”

Daddy is officially my daddy!

“Congratulations to you both,” the judge adds. Daddy beams with immeasurable pride when Judge Purdy hands him the final adoption order.

“Thank you,” he exclaims. “Thank you, Your Honor. Thank you so much.” Daddy gathers me in his arms and I can feel him shaking. He’s not an emotional man, so I know he’s a bit overwhelmed right now. I squeeze him hard and sink into his chest, that strong man who has always been there for me—when circumstances allowed. No matter what came between us, my daddy never turned his back on me. We may have been kept apart by circumstances beyond our control, but he never deserted me. He came to get me after I was attacked and was prepared to finish raising me on his own until that woman and her walking moonshine still came and got me and ripped us apart again.

“I love you, Daddy,” I whisper, my voice cracking.

“I love you, too, Sunflower,” Daddy says, his voice thick with unshed tears.

“Okay, happy smiles, happy smiles. It’s picture time,” Judge Purdy says. It’s customary for new families to take a picture with the judge, so Daddy and I buck up and put on our best smiles for the camera. Al snaps a few pictures with his phone and with the judge’s phone as she wanted one for her wall. When he’s done, he’s thumbing through his phone and frowning again. I thank the judge for her services and we proceed to leave the courtroom.

“Is everything okay?” I ask. He twists his lips.

“I don’t know,” he says. “Check your phone, did you get a text from Christian?” I reach in my pocket and swipe my screen. Sure enough…

**Don’t be alarmed. I need you to come to your father’s house with Ray when the adoption is complete. **

And nothing else.

“Annie, I know we were supposed to do lunch, but Mandy just texted me. She’s says there’s nothing wrong, but that I need to come home,” Daddy says.

“I got a similar text, and I’m thinking Al did, too,” I respond and Al nods. “Meet at Dad’s?”

“Pretty much,” Al says, and I sigh.

“Let’s go see what’s going on.” Another catastrophe, no doubt… today of all days! I stiffen my back and prepare to face whatever it is.

I will not let this bring me down.
I will not let this bring me down.

I spend the time in the car meditating and trying to steel myself for whatever is about to happen at Daddy’s house. When Chuck turns the corner to my father’s street, I quickly realize that my fears are unfounded.

“He didn’t!” I laugh as we approach the house.

“Is that what I think it is?” Daddy exclaims while Chuck hides his chuckles and Al breaks out in shameless laughter.

“You should know,” I tease, a reference to an earlier time.

It's a girlOn my father’s lawn is the biggest pink stork announcement I’ve ever seen, even bigger than Harry’s! It has to be at least eight feet tall, wearing a pink cape with a pink Superman symbol on his chest. The sign simply says “Anastasia Rose” and it has today’s date on it.

“My husband is insane!” I declare. “When did he order that damn thing and how did he get it here so quickly?” Daddy is now laughing as we pull into the driveway behind Christian’s Audi—one of them, anyway. Mandy is in the door waving when we arrive, and I wonder just how long she’s been standing there. The porch is decorated with pink balloons and a banner that reads, “It’s a girl.”

“You guys are too much,” I say as I exit the car. I walk into Mandy’s arms and return her embrace

“I love you, dearly,” she says, “but still don’t call me ‘Mom.’” We laugh at the throwback to our first meeting.

“Maybe just once or twice,” I tease, pinching my fingers together in front of my eye. Mandy twists her lips in a half-smirk.

“Maybe… we’ll see,” she retorts. She releases me to kiss Daddy and I go to Christian’s arms.

“You’re too much,” I say to him, greeting him with a gentle kiss.

“What my girl wants, my girl gets,” he says. I furrow my brow. I didn’t want a pink stork. I like it and it’s cute, but I didn’t request it. He just smiles and ushers me into the house behind Mandy and Daddy.

“Surprise!”

The house is full. The salutation startles me so badly that I actually turn to run back out the house and I’m greeted by an equally stunned Al. He catches me in his arms—and against his chest—looking over my head at the crowd of people assembled.

The Scooby Gang, Gail and Keri with my precious babies, Grace and Carrick, Mia and Ethan, Marilyn, Elliot, a person or two from Helping Hands…

And Brian.

Brian was here with Christian? For how long? The house isn’t in a state of disarray—so I guess there was no brawling, but how did that happen?

Brian moves forward and grabs my father’s hand. They embrace for a long time, and Daddy closes his eyes. He has missed his friend. I feel a little guilty. Their relationship is strained because of me and I wish that I could change things…

And then I see her.


A/N: Don’t ask me where the hell “Satan’s Playroom” came from. I don’t know what kind of dark place I was in when I came up with that one. I even researched torture devices! I think somebody pissed me off that day…

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

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

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 ~~love and handcuffs

Raising Grey: Chapter 32—Lights, Camera, Action!

I love all my readers, don’t you guys forget that, but a special thanks to those who click on and read the emails and to those who follow the links to the page. I get reports on how many clicks I get, and it makes me feel good to see that people do actually click the links. So, thanks you guys. ❤ 

Speaking of which, if your email address is bouncing because it’s too full, you may want to check your emails from time to time. If my auto-email program confirms that your email is bouncing, it automatically stops sending you emails and I can’t stop it or change it if it does, which is okay if you don’t want to get the email anyway, but if you do, I would probably have to delete you and you would probably have to resubscribe. Depending on the circumstance you may even have to do it with a new email address. I moved quite a few people to an infrequent list only to find that several of them were bouncing anyway and some had already been “quarantined” by my mailer. So, if you want to continue getting the personalized emails, please open them when you see them and make sure I have a good email address for you. 

To the rest of my readers, thank you from wherever you click to get here. I love you all! 

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 32—Lights, Camera, Action!

CHRISTIAN

“So, what was last night?” I ask, drawing circles in the skin on my wife’s naked back. She’s lying on her arms in our bed, displaying an amazing case of afterglow.

“I don’t know,” she says, and her brow furrows. “It wasn’t a punishment fuck… except maybe at the beginning.”

“No, that was desperation sex,” I tell her. “I had to fuck, hard and fast, or I was going to explode. That one didn’t count.” She laughs at me. “Make-up sex?”

“We didn’t really fight,” she says. “I mean, we did fight, but that was way earlier like the day before, and the sex wasn’t to make-up from that. It was because of what happened the night before.” I nod and ponder the situation.

“We had a really good talk,” I say.

“Yes, we did,” she agrees.

“Do you feel like we really handled our issues? That we didn’t just fuck away our problem?” she nods.

“I really feel like we did,” she says. “You listened to me and how I felt and what I was thinking. You understood how serious it was, and I was able to understand the impact of my actions on you as well.”

“And then we fucked,” I say.

“And then we fucked… there’s nothing wrong with that, Christian. We’re a young, healthy, married couple in love with each other, who love sex. That’s one of the ways that we connect.” I nod.

“I was just afraid that we fucked away another problem,” I admit. “I feel so comfortable with how last night turned out. It almost seemed too easy.” Butterfly ponders the situation for a few more moments.

“Resolution sex.” I raise my eyebrows.

“Resolution sex… I like that.” I stretch out next to her. “I want to ask you a question if you’re willing to tell me.”

“I don’t have any secrets from you, Christian,” she says. I smile.

“Well, ladies have their feminine wiles and I understand if this is one of those things that you would rather keep to yourself.” She turns on her side to face me. God, she’s so fucking beautiful all thoroughly fucked and content in the morning.

“Okay, I’ll keep that in mind,” she says. I take a deep breath.

“I don’t really know how to put this, so I’m just going to jump right in, okay?” I say, and she nods. “Yesterday, when I left, you were one person, and when I came home, you were someone else completely. What happened?” She raises her eyebrows and diverts her gaze a bit.

“It’s just like we said, baby,” she begins, sitting up and pulling the covers with her, “we had a situation occur that caused you to be ripped completely out of your element. I knew the moment that you left for work yesterday that you were uncomfortable and unhappy and that was not fair to you. That was not what you signed up for. I knew that although I was firm in my convictions on how I felt about helping your family and about not being punished because I was caught in the middle, that we had to find a middle ground. We were in unchartered territory. Neither of us wanted to be there and neither of us knew how to handle it. You had to work your way down from an elevated level of aggression while I had to figure out what was going on.”

“Okay, that somewhat makes sense, but how is it that you were the one that had to make that move and not me?” I ask.

“How do you stop a charging bear?” she asks.

“I don’t know. Throw something at it?” I shrug. “I don’t often find myself in the path of a charging bear!”

“Actually, it depends on the bear,” she replies. “With brown bears, you curl up, stand still, or play dead. With black bears, you stand your ground, make a lot of noise, and fight back. With both bears, you can use bear pepper spray, but in neither case does anything indicate that the bear is just going to stop charging on its own. For better or for worse, some outside element has to calm that bear.”

“So… you became the bear calmer,” I conclude.

“Or the lion tamer,” she mumbles, but I don’t think I was supposed to hear that part. I raise my eyebrows and wait for her raise her gaze to me. Explain, Mrs. Grey. She wraps her arms around herself and the blankets around her body. This might be part of that “feminine wiles” thing that I said that she could keep to herself, so I wait to see if she wants to elaborate. She sighs.

“I’m going to admit to you that I’m way out of my element,” she says. “As much as we’ve played and as far as we’ve ventured, you know that I’m nowhere near as experienced as you are when it comes to the nuances of this lifestyle that we practice. Even when I take on the role as Dominatrix, I can only go so far—push the envelope to a certain limit—because I haven’t been trained, I haven’t done enough research, I only know so much…”

“I know that, Butterfly…” I begin. She raises her hand to gently silence me.

“You’re very accommodating to me and I appreciate that, but we may need to discuss moving forward a bit in our BDSM relationship.” My brow furrows. Moving forward? What does she mean by that? Is what we do already not enough for her? Shit, BDSM can get pretty fucking intense. She wants more?

“I’m listening,” I say.

“Good, ‘cause I’m floundering,” she says nervously, pulling her knees up to her chest. “After our talk yesterday, I realized that I didn’t know nearly enough about the dynamics of the D/s relationship to handle what was going on with you. We were on a precipice, and our next move would determine the fate of our relationship. Would we come out of this okay? Would we end up in a totally vanilla relationship? Would you have determined that I was able to give you what you needed as a wife but not as a submissive? Would you resent me and turn to others for your D/s needs? Would this be the beginning of the end for us?”

I want to tell her that there no fucking chance in hell of any of that shit happening, but I know that if I interrupt her, she’s just going to silence me again. So, I just continue to listen.

“I needed the help of someone with intimate knowledge of the D/s dynamic that I could trust, so I went to see Michel.” I frown.

“Who… is Michel?” I ask.

“Michelangelo? And Wolfgang? From the club?” she says. I think for a moment. Then recollection hits me—the mini-munch a couple of years ago, when she almost hit Elena with the beer bottle. Ah, good times…

“Oooooohh. I didn’t know you still kept in touch with them,” I say.

“Not all the time, but I have him on speed dial for emergencies. Anyway, we talked, and he explained to me the dangers of taking the D/s dynamic for granted. Although we refer to it as playtime, it’s not a game. It’s a very real part of our lives, and it’s an innate factor of your inner makeup. It’s a fundamental part of what makes you who you are. I’ve always understood that, but it came to me in blaring colors last night as you became borderline dysfunctional with the concept of being unable to punish me…”

Borderline?

“Bearing in mind that we each had problems with our roles yesterday, one of us had to take the reigns and be the voice of reason, but I didn’t know how. I didn’t even know that was what was needed. That’s where Michel came in. He helped me to see just how much I don’t know, how much I need to learn about myself—about who I need to be as a wife and a submissive; about getting in touch with myself and the things I’ve always loved about myself; about not forgetting who I am while I’m being who you need me to be. It’s no small feat being all those women—it’s very daunting, and here I am, jumping off into the Dominant/submissive pool like I know what I’m doing… it’s no wonder that, at different intervals during the course of this exercise and this relationship, we’ve been tearing at each other.”

“So…” I must interject so that I get an understanding of what she’s saying. “What you mean by ‘moving forward’ is that there’s more that you need to learn about the dynamic?”

“Well, yes,” she says, like it’s obvious. “What did you think I meant?” I shake my head.

“You don’t want to know. Keep talking.” I shake the wild thoughts from my head of the hedonistic things I’ve heard of and seen in the lifestyle that I thought my Butterfly was referring to. There’s no way in hell I planned on venturing into some of the avenues of the things that I’ve seen and heard of, and I was hoping and praying to God that she wasn’t suggesting it after I went off the rails a little because of a night of denied punishment. She momentarily examines me cautiously, but continues making her point.

“Long story short, Michel told me to reach back and remember the basics—always resort to the fundamentals when you find yourself drowning. Think about it. If you’re in deep water and you fight, you start to sink, but if you hold your breath and calm down, you float to the top. It was a little more detailed than that, but that’s the thrust. I remembered who I was when we fell in love, before life became complicated and I was in my head all the time—when things were simple, and I was simple… and… everything after that was easy.

“I remembered that crazy, dominant man who commanded a room when he walked into it and always drove me nuts—in a good way and a bad way…” she smiles to herself. “That first gray suit and that arrogant asshole and ‘just call me Grey…’”

Boy, she went way back!

“You made it clear that he was standing at the mental playroom door fighting for supremacy with his whip and his flogger, so he was the lion that had to be tamed. I needed clear, concise communication with you and in order to achieve that, I had to get past him. The only one that could get past him was the complete submissive—the lion tamer.”

So, that’s what that was about. Fuck if she didn’t get that shit perfect.

“But you didn’t tame the lion, Butterfly,” I protest. “You became the sacrifice. I wanted to eat you alive from the moment you came down those stairs yesterday, and that’s pretty much what I did before the night was over. My hairs were up and I was beating my chest every single second from that moment and through every sexual encounter we had last night. The inner me was clawing and tearing like a transforming werewolf the entire time…”

“And look at you now,” she interrupts. “Night before last, you left this room raging like a Klingon ready to do battle. Yesterday, you left the house barely hanging on to civility. I was surprised that you kissed me even on the cheek. You were ready to tear someone’s head off and although I don’t know what held you yesterday and kept you from lunch, I’m almost certain that someone at Grey House was picking pieces of their ass off the floor. Now, you’re as gentle as a lamb.” She leans forward on her knees. “I tamed the lion.”

Son of a bitch. She did tame the lion. How the fuck did I not see that? She explained it to me in plain English. She went back to the basics, became the perfect submissive—even in front of my family—without giving herself away. She maintained her poise and grace while yielding to me, allowing me to open doors for her, lead her out of the car, direct her into rooms, instruct her when it was time to leave, everything. She didn’t move without my permission. Her submission was subtle, but complete, and my inner and outer Dominant stood tall, proud, and arrogant, pleased beyond measure with her performance. When we got home, I both used her and rewarded her, like I would any perfect submissive. When the night was over, I was thoroughly sated…

And tamed.

“Well, it looks like the teacher has been taught,” I say, my voice slightly playful. “We’ve both learned some valuable lessons, I’d say, and… it appears there are still more to learn.”

“So, it appears,” she sighs.

“It’s been quite some time since I’ve instructed a submissive, Butterfly. We may have to undergo this learning together,” I admit. She shrugs, coquettishly.

“I’m okay with that if you are,” she says. “Remember, I’m pretty green to all of this. All I know is what you’ve exposed me to and what I’ve seen in my studies, which wasn’t much. I have a natural tendency for domination—when the mood strikes, and that’s few and far between—but for the most part, I’m flying by the seat of my pants here.”

“Well, let’s start with this…” I pull the covers from her breasts, allowing her pretty, pink nipples to pop out from under the sheets. “When we’re relaxing… like this, never—ever—cover these.” I raise an eyebrow at her. “I’m serious about that, understood?” The corner of her mouth rises slightly.

“Yes, Sir,” she answers sweetly.

*-*

I make slow love to my wife one more time before we get out of bed to face the day. There are a lot of plans to be made. Maria Sanchez is flying in tomorrow for debriefing and we’ll be doing the interview on location over the course of the three days. Mac is flying around like a bat out of hell while our staff are scurrying about like roaches setting up locations, security, wardrobes, securing NDA’s and background checks on staff at the gun range as well as Maria’s entourage. We’ll have a breakfast meeting to discuss final content and sign the paperwork on what will and won’t be allowed to be aired, just in case something gets caught in the interview or on camera that we don’t want disclosed.

Vickie is in seventh heaven fashioning my wife for the next three days, choosing colors and ensembles that will photograph well and look good on television—no loud colors or overly boisterous jewelry. The world already knows that we’re billionaires and our mansion, the fleet of Audis, and the crazy yacht that still hasn’t been moved back to the marina will speak volumes to that fact.

I don’t feel the need to call my tailor for anything new, but I did need the help of a professional stylist to get me screen-ready, so to speak. We chose pieces from my extensive wardrobe and added an additional accessory or two, but nothing too ostentatious or pretentious. Members of the family are expected to be caught in a cameo or three, so our stylists helped to design them as well to be prepared for the eventuality. And of course, the prince and princess of Grey Crossing—young Michael and Mackenzie—were both outfitted for their television debuts as well.

We were thoroughly worn out by day’s end and called it an early night, choosing to snuggle and rest for the evening since Friday would be an early morning of hair, make-up, and breast-pumping for my wife. I’ve also arranged for her to have an early-morning massage to help her relax before everything gets started as I know the weekend will be quite hectic.

I’m awake at sunrise and I summon Jason for a run to get prepared for the day. We have a few Paps waiting for us at the gate, but they foolishly attempt to keep up with us on foot instead of some motorized mode of transportation. Bad move.

When we return to the Crossing, Butterfly has just finished her shower and is preparing for her massage. I pass her on the way to mine and greet her with a kiss before proceeding to wash off the sweat of my run. Once we’re both primed and polished, we head to the Audis and to Grey House to our breakfast meeting with the broadcast journalist.

“Maria Sanchez. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you both in person.” Ms. Sanchez extends her hand to Butterfly first, giving her a formal shake, then to me. Draped in a pale peach sheath dress and an extremely high pair of stilettos, she appears warm and professional. She’s tiny—like my wife—short with a really small frame. I guess it’s a signature of short women to wear really high heels. I can honestly say that I haven’t met many women as short as my wife.

I’ve done my homework on Ms. Sanchez. That’s her maiden name. She’s married with three children and lives in New York. She’s Latin, 34 years old, born in the Dominican Republic. Her skin is a natural tan, more like a caramel, and she’s very petite. She moved to the states with her family when she was five and she’s been living here ever since. She studied at Columbia and cut her journalistic teeth with an internship at MSNBC. Although she never landed a permanent job at the network, a local celebrity spotted her and gave her a shot on staff at a morning show where she eventually worked her way up. Now, she’s prime time and nearly as big as Barbara Walters.

“So, you already know that I’m not a smut journalist,” Maria says as we sit down to a gourmet breakfast in the conference room of brioche French toast, bacon, potato pancakes, and fresh fruit. “The Paps are all over you, though—this whole Judd Rossiter thing; Ana’s father adopting her at 28; and there’s still the issue of the supposed misconduct charges that you were addressing in your interviews. Now, you guys are coming out with this exposé of sorts. It’s going to be quite the bit to bite off in an hour-long interview.”

“Thank you for getting my age correct,” Butterfly interjects. I frown. I’m not sure of what she’s referring to, but I let her continue. “I guess we’ll just have to keep our content as succinct as possible without sacrificing quality.”

“Or see if we can convince the producers to give us a two-hour time slot if all else fails,” I suggest. Maria shakes her head.

“Easier said than done,” she says. “We couldn’t convince him for two hours for President Obama or Bono.” I raise my eyebrows.

“You interviewed the President and Bono?” I ask. She shakes her head.

“I didn’t,” she answers honestly, “but two of my colleagues did, and it was a no-go on both. We’ve got good material on ice that we hope to air at a later date with their permission.” She shrugs. I don’t know how I feel about having material about my me and my wife on ice. We’ll have to discuss the logistics of that.

“We like the feel of your direction,” Butterfly points out as we continue our breakfast. “We think you can capture the essence of what we’re trying to portray without it looking rehearsed, kitschy, or ostentatious.”

“That’s the plan,” she says. “It’s going to be tricky, though. You live in a multimillion-dollar estate and you live a fairytale lifestyle.”

“People expect that,” I interject. “What they don’t expect is for us to be drinking out of solid gold goblets and our children to be sleeping in diamond-encrusted cribs.”

“Don’t they, though?” Maria jests before sipping her orange juice.

“Oh, you’ve got jokes,” Butterfly retorts. “No, we traded those for the platinum binkies.”

“Oh, of course,” Maria says, waving her hands, and the conversation continues just as lightheartedly.

Allen, Mac, and Joshua all join us throughout the course of the morning and we work out the final details of how the interviews will go for the next two and a half days. Andrea and Marilyn shadow us the entire time and we’re not even allowed—for the most part—to handle our own phones. The camera crew—and Maria—are following us around for what feels like 23 of 24 hours of the rest of the weekend and it becomes pretty clear that security is going to have to get almost violent with the Paps to keep them at a safe distance. Travel is going to be a task.

We shoot all the content for GEH on Friday afternoon. I give her a brief overview of my “humble” beginnings—the very short version of the story that Raynell Stanton was looking for. I was sure to throw in a bit of the bite, the killer instinct, and the mastermind that Raynell was sure I wasn’t willing to give… Ten short minutes of How a Bear Crushes the Competition Without Even Trying, just so she would know what she was missing. Then, we move on.

My wife had been swept away to “wardrobe and makeup” during my portion of the GEH interview. When she joins us to begin the tour of the facilities, she’s effortlessly flawless in a ruched gray skirt, black turtleneck sweater and simple black pumps with silver diamond hoops, her hair swept into a swooping ponytail. She looks classic and professional, right at home against GEH’s sleek designs and decors—once again, like she rightfully owns the place.

We visit key areas of the company before Maria requests time alone with Butterfly to see how she handles the camera on her own. I have every faith in my wife’s abilities, so I kiss her on the cheek and send them on her way, reminding them of the importance of avoiding proprietary areas and information while I prepare security for our departure.

“What’s the news?” I ask Jason when I get back to my office. “I know something is abuzz with a camera crew on site.”

“For the most part, they’re just trying to find out what’s going on,” he replies. “It’s only a matter of time, though, sir. Maria Sanchez is a well-known public personality. The moment they see her, you know the story breaks.”

“Then we have to do everything that we can to keep that from happening, or at least stall it for as long as we can. They’re not in the parking garage, correct?” He shakes his head.

“No, they can’t get pass the gates,” he confirms.

“Well, just make sure her crew goes down in the express elevators. Have them leave by the service gates while we and at least four Audis leave by the front gates. What can we do about Helping Hands? We can’t have a media circus there tomorrow. Butterfly will kill that portion of the interview before she allows that to happen and I concur.” Jason rubs his chin as he ponders the situation.

“Diversion tactics throughout the night. Have Maria’s crew meet Her Highness separately at Helping Hands,” he says. “Send a decoy entourage to Grey House in the morning to lead the Paps away from the Mercer house. Once the coast is clear, Her Highness can head on to Helping Hands. It’s rare that she goes in on a Saturday anyway, so they won’t be expecting it. Sunday, though… they’ll most likely follow us to the gun range.”

“That’s not a problem,” I tell him. “I’ve already arranged for private access to the gun range on Sunday morning. She’s leaving for New York on Sunday afternoon. By then, we can make an announcement that we were shooting footage for a human-interest piece to be aired later and they can go on their way.” Jason nods.

“Let’s just hope everything runs that smoothly,” he says. I sigh.

“Let’s just hope,” I concur.


ANASTASIA

Maria absorbs the posh surroundings as she strolls through the marble halls of Grey House with me and my husband. I’ll admit that the workspaces are open and well-appointed to maintain employee morale and reduce attrition. We want the best, and we want to keep the best, we assure her. She’s still a bit starry-eyed by the splendor of it all, but who wouldn’t be. I mean, let’s face it. Even the view of the boardroom is sexy.

Partially into the tour, she separates me and my husband so that she can get a feel for me on my own and how I function in this setting. I get it. Am I the trophy wife that everyone thinks I am, right? I don’t advertise that I also have an education in business, so no one knows, but Ms. Sanchez quickly discovers that I know my way around my husband’s company when I take over the tour on my own, describing certain projects that are in the works, carefully brushing over any delicate details that shouldn’t be revealed.

She further puts me to the test by specifically asking if it’s okay for us to visit quality control, unless there’s something too confidential in the works. I laugh to myself, thinking about the XRC90 that just got Rollins fired a little while ago and agree to show her around the department. Needless to say, she’s thoroughly impressed when I engage the new department head, Omar Braxton, in a conversation about “that transmitter” and he anxiously wants to show me his data, but I must curb his enthusiasm for another time as this information is, in fact, proprietary. It goes without saying that Maria is convinced that I’m not just Mr. Grey’s pretty little wife.

Once the tour and today’s portion of fact-finding is complete, I discover that getting out of Grey House that evening looks like something out of Mission Impossible. Jason, Chuck, Christian, and I load into one Audi SUV while various members of security load into three other Audis. Maria and her crew are loaded into her two vehicles and directed to take the back exit precisely at that time that we are exiting the front gates.

“Why all the vehicles?” I ask.

“The Paps are on the scent that something’s going on, they just don’t know what,” Christian says, and I see the flashing cameras just as we pass. “If they corner Maria at the hotel, you won’t be able to get the spot at Helping Hands tomorrow, because they’ll follow her trying to get the scoop. She has strict instructions not to come to the Center if she’s been followed by the Paparazzi for obvious reasons.” I nod.

“Yes, that could be a disaster, but I’ll be driving to Helping Hands tomorrow. What’s to stop them from following me?”

“Our hope is that they won’t act as a team and coordinate strategies, in that they’ll maintain that ‘every man for himself’ mentality that we’ve become accustomed to. If so, there’ll be enough frivolous activity with the Audis going to and from the Crossing throughout the night and morning hours to various Grey properties to raise suspicions and act as decoys. I’ll conspicuously leave in the morning and go to Grey House, drawing the lion’s share of the attention. It’s well-known that you don’t normally go into the Center on weekends, so our hope is that you’ll be free to go to Helping Hands once I leave, and Maria will be able to meet you there.”

“You’ve covered every base, Mr. Grey,” I say, patting him on the knee.

“I try,” he says with a smile. “It helps to have the best security team.” I see Jason glance at him in the rearview mirror. “How did the rest of the tour go?”

“Very well, I think. I get the feeling she wanted to make sure that I wasn’t your typical social-climbing-bracelet wife. I can’t very well be called a ‘trophy wife’ because I’m a doctor and I had my own position in my own right. She’s asked to see the condo, so I called Courtney to be sure it’s presentable.” Christian frowns.

“Why does she want to see your condo?” he asks. I shrug.

“I’m sure she wants to see where I came from before we were married. I’m surprised she didn’t ask to see Escala, but there was no need for you to prove that you didn’t come from meager beginnings.”

“And there’s no need for you to prove it either,” he says defensively.

“Yes, Christian, there is,” I retort. “There’s always a reason for me to prove it. There’s no reason in your eyes, and of course, I love you for that, but to the rest of the world, I’m a gold digger. If we’re going to expose ourselves this way, we can’t be afraid to open the book.” He sighs impatiently.

“And how are you going to explain keeping the place so spotless after we’ve been together for two years?” he asks.

“The truth,” I tell him. “I love my condo. It’s a terrible market to sell, and I’ve been subletting it to a friend who takes care of it for me.” His hand runs through his hair. “What’s the problem?” He pauses for a moment before he speaks.

“I don’t trust people, Butterfly,” he says. “If they can spin something to make it look some way other than it actually is, I expect them to do just that.”

“We’ve vetted Maria,” I remind him. “We’ve seen her work. She doesn’t operate that way. She’s even forewarned us about the impression others might get about some of the footage and the story. I really don’t think we have anything to worry about. If I did, I wouldn’t take her.” He sighs.

“Very well. We’ll see how it goes.” He takes my hand. “I just don’t want this to backfire on us in any way.”

“Neither do I, but we can’t live our entire life behind a veil. We already know that some of it has to be kept secret just because of who we are, but there must be some aspects of our lives where we aren’t constantly looking over our shoulders and waiting for something bad to happen or waiting for ‘the spin,’ or something else. We’re never going to get to that place without a little exposure. Remember what we agreed? Remove some of the splendor? The unified front?”

“Yeah, yeah, I know,” he says, squeezing my hand. “Just know that I’m still not against putting you and the kids in a bubble… and don’t think I can’t do it.”

“I know you can, Mr. Grey,” I say, rolling my eyes.

*-*

Both Carrick and Grace show up Helping Hands on Saturday morning. Carrick isn’t looking for any camera time, but he does want to make sure that his wife isn’t subjected to any undue stress. We’ve agreed not to discuss the accreditation fiasco on film—just the fact that accreditation is pending and what we hope to accomplish once it’s established. We walk Maria through what a normal day looks like at Helping Hands, careful to only show faces of low-risk families and only with their permission, doing an interview or two with mothers who agreed to be on camera and wanted to discuss how the Center is helping them.

By mid-afternoon, Christian’s diversion tactics are proving stellar as the Paps are nowhere in sight, and Maria, her crew, and I head to my condo. A quick 30-minute tour of my luxury digs overlooking Elliot Bay draws a few questions from the journalist about how such a young woman, a successful psychiatrist though I may be, came upon such lavish accommodations. I tell her the story about the bitter divorce and my stroke of luck in landing the coveted piece of real estate and that even though it was a steal for the price, it wasn’t cheap by any means.

She questions my décor, including the very masculine guest room. I could easily dismiss it with the fact that the apartment is being sublet and that could be the decorating style of the current tenants, but I feel no need to lie to her and dishonesty always comes out in the wash. So, I tell her the truth about Al being my best friend, this being his crash bedroom, and him having a key to my apartment for emergencies. When she furthers questions and discovers that this is the same Al that sat in on the meetings the prior morning as GEH’s attorney, she insists on riding back to the Crossing in the Audi with me to get more information on the relationship.

 

As I fill her in on the development of our little group, starting with me and Al as children, then adding Val and Gary in college, Maxie during my internship and Phil bringing up the rear as our Document Services guy at CCFW, Maria jokes that we sound like an episode of Friends. I humor her, but I totally disagree. Although there are six of us and six of them, I see no similarities in the personalities of the individuals or the dynamics of the group.

It’s early evening by the time we get back to the Crossing, and my boobs are ready to explode. I must excuse myself for a little while to pop a tit in the mouth of my babes or there’s going to be a flood to rival the days of Noah any second now. Mikey is more than ready for me when I get to the nursery and Minnie is just getting ready for her bath. I’m only to happy to silence his protests with an aching mammary that I am so surprised didn’t leak well before now. I relax in the rocking chair an accommodate his eager little sucking mouth, his little hand squeezing my mound as if he hopes to produce more milk. I sigh with relief as I feel my breast quickly begin to empty at my son’s coaxing, rocking him while gently humming the lullaby I often sang to him and his sister while they were inside me. He nurses for several minutes, seemingly taking only a few breaths for fear that the milk may escape if he stops suckling for even a moment, but after a short while, he calms to a steady rhythm drinking more evenly now that my breast is emptying and he’s beginning to get his fill.

I watch as his blueish-gray eyes lose their focus a bit and his little lids relax only slightly, not in weariness, but in comfort, and I can’t help but laugh to myself. He looks like his father, right after he’s had an orgasm and he’s basking in the afterglow. I don’t know what made me think of that, especially right at this moment while I’m feeding my son, but that look of contentment in his eyes couldn’t be compared to anything else. I guess it’s just that way with men… like father, like son.

I get the sneaking feeling of being watched, and just as I’m about to investigate why I feel like I’m being examined, Keri comes from just behind me with a clean and expectant Minnie Mouse, who was probably glaring at me all the way from the en suite wondering if her brother was going to suck up all the goods.

“Do you want me to give her a bottle?” Keri asks, looking down at Mikey.

“No,” I say, shaking my head. “I think Sir Michael is content. You can burp him and if he needs a little more, he can take the bottle. There’s a whole other breast that needs to be emptied.” I dislodge Mikey from the teat and adjust the emptied boob back into my bra. My chest actually looks lopsided, now. I release the other exploding mound from its prison and swap babies with Keri. Minnie latches on immediately, emptying the right boob even faster than her brother emptied the left.

“She must know she has an audience waiting,” I jest. Keri chuckles.

“I guess soh!” she says as she pats Mikey’s back, trying the help him give up gas. She takes him to the other rocking chair and we finish our task in relative silence, making sure the children are content before we take them down to the family room.

curly locks

Michael Allen Grey

Those blue eyes... (photo by Kim Jew) #toddlers

Mackenzie Anastasia Grey

The children make their television debut under the protective eyes of Christian and me, not to mention a mass of security. Maria jokes about how it’s not fair that two gorgeous people should produce such stunning children, and we don’t know if she’s only saying these things for the cameras, but we’re certainly smitten with our babies, so we can’t be unbiased. Christian took the liberty of showing Maria and the camera crew around various parts of the mansion and the grounds while I fed the children since we were running short on time and still had portions of the home interview that needed to be shot.

Elliot managed to steal some camera time, although Val opted to steer clear. She hasn’t really liked the limelight since her medical issues and such. Grace only capitalized on a moment or two to help publicize the work of Helping Hands while I was at the Center and Carrick stayed incognito, much like Val. I think he stayed out of sight because we still don’t know why he was being followed. Mia and Ethan are somewhere buried deep in wedding whatnots and never even made an appearance.

All things work and interview come to a halt for dinner and we feed the crew and staff while we eat. We then continue the interview in different portions of the house, different settings, and different topics, before calling it a night. The final segments will be shot tomorrow at the gun range and by now, the Paps are on that something’s definitely up with the Greys. There are only a few of them at the gate when Maria and her crew leave for the hotel in the evening, but we’re sure that there will be an entourage in the morning.

Unfortunately, that’s not all that’s waiting for us in the morning…

*-*

“Ana, Christian, before we begin, is there someplace quiet where we can talk?”

We didn’t have much trouble getting to the gun range in the morning. Even less trouble getting in when we get here. The Paps knew that the true story was with Maria, so they stuck to her for the night. Unfortunately for them, she had a back-up plan to get away from them as well—decoy vans to head in one direction and harmless, rented, soccer-mom-looking minivans to bring equipment and staff to the gun range. There were a few Paps who were smart enough not to fall for the decoy trick twice, but not enough to cause a problem, and they still couldn’t get past the private barricades once they got to the gun range.

Now, Maria stands in the lobby of the West Coast Armory, her face concerned, but not grave, requesting a private audience with us before we shoot the last segment, pun intended. Christian frowns.

“One second.” He goes over to the owner and has a quick word. I want to question Maria about exactly what’s going on, but I know it would probably only antagonize her and the situation further.

“We can use this office,” Christian says, gesturing us towards a door behind the counter. When we enter the office, Christian switches on the lights. There’s a desk directly in front of us and a table near the far wall. Maria gestures us over to the table and we all take a seat. She pulls out an apparatus of some kind that looks like a mini-handheld television.

“Apparently, there was a staff member that was added at the last minute to replace one that was injured—a grip from another set. Although he signed all the necessary documentation and passed all the background checks, he wasn’t sufficiently briefed on all the protocol surrounding this particular interview. Keeping in line with our agreement for full disclosure and only using pre-approved material, there’s something that I should show you.”

Maria pushes a button on the apparatus she’s holding, and the screen comes alive with a rough and uncut scene of me in the nursery with Mikey. I’m in the rocking chair and you can only see the back of me and the top of Mikey’s head, but it’s clear that I’m breastfeeding. I’m humming our lullaby to him, occasionally singing portions of the song and lovingly looking at my son as he nurses.

“I… I remember this… I came upstairs to feed the children. Who…?” I frown as I continue to watch the footage and this grip, who apparently knows his way around a camera, zooms in on my private moment with my son. Keri walks in and blocks his view of me and he curses. That must have been when we swapped Mikey for Minnie. Thank God Keri was standing there, or he might have gotten a picture of my bare breast! My fingers touch my lips and I feel myself flush for a moment, which doesn’t get by Christian.

“Butterfly?” he says, softly, causing Maria to her gaze to me. I’m still watching the screen, waiting for even the slightest slip. Christian’s hand is gently caressing my back as I remain in attentive silence.

“Butterfly, what is it?” I gently silence him by holding up my hand as I watch the footage until Keri moves. Minnie is settled, and I’m rocking and humming again. This scene plays on for a few minutes more before I hear other voices, the grip guys curses again, and the camera jolts before the footage ends.

“That’s it,” she says with a sigh. “That’s all of it. I’m really sorry. I’ve worked with every person on this team for years and nothing like this has ever happened before. This was a new addition the day we were flying out and I was assured that he had been briefed. Apparently, he had not.” I’m still sitting with my fingers on my lips. “Ana?”

“I was breastfeeding my children,” I say, finally, raising my eyes to her. “You saw, I was feeding my son.” I turn to Christian. “Mikey was on this breast and when Keri moved, Minnie was on this one.” I demonstrate moving my children from breast to breast. “What was he looking for? What was he trying to do? He sat there watching me feed my children for at least… what, 10 or 15 minutes? What was he hoping for, a nip slip or something?”

Christian’s jaw tightens as he turns his glare to Maria. He wants an answer to my question.

“I don’t know what his intentions were,” Maria says. “I could speculate and say that he might have been hoping that the bonus material would secure him a position on a more coveted show or even a promotion of some kind. He knows that our contracts and agreements are airtight and there’s no way that he could have sold the footage to anyone outside of the network without immeasurable repercussions. There’s no way he could have profited off this footage, so I have no way of knowing what he was trying to do.”

“Oh, there’s one way,” Christian retorts, his voice betraying his barely suppressed anger. “Haul his ass in here and ask him point blank what the fuck he was getting at!” Maria sighs.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea, Christian,” she says, her voice dropping a bit.

“And why not?” my husband nearly roars.

“That’s why!” she says, gesturing to him. “You’re passionate and ready to rip someone apart, and I have no doubt that you can. We don’t want to give him any kind of grounds to take action against you.”

“Action against me!” Christian says, struggling to maintain his composure. “He took unauthorized footage of my wife in our children’s nursery and we’re talking about action against me? I must be hallucinating this conversation!” Maria sighs again.

“Please listen to me,” she says, her voice firm, but soothing. “I’ve been in very close proximity to the two of you for nearly every minute of the last 48 hours. I’ve watched you eat; I’ve watched you work; I’ve watched you together; I’ve watched you apart; I’ve watched you with family and friends, with your children, and with your colleagues and subordinates. I’ve watched you in just about every setting that a person or couple could be in and it wasn’t until about five minutes ago that I discovered that you call her ‘Butterfly.’”

I look over at Christian and frown. He doesn’t take his eyes of Maria. He didn’t call me Butterfly around her? I hadn’t even noticed.

“From the expression on Ana’s face, I take it that this is a regular occurrence. Yet, you have been able to keep it from me for two days. That’s because you’re a man of control. You control yourself, your surroundings, and you definitely control the release of information about you—and that’s something that you either didn’t want made public, or you hadn’t decided yet.

“Now, your wick has burned all the way down to the wax and there is visible dynamite underneath—dynamite that I haven’t seen in 48 hours—and you want me to bring in the powder keg,” she concludes.

“You said it yourself,” Christian says, his voice even, “I’m passionate about my wife and my family, and I have a right to confront him about what he did.”

“I understand that,” Maria replies. “However, while I must protect you and your privacy, I must also assure his safety while he’s on the job. You must see how you’re putting me in an impossible situation here.” Christian sucks his teeth and nods.

“Why tell us about this at all, then?” Christian says with an angry shrug. “You could have handled this between you and your staff and your station and just trashed the footage. Why bring this to my attention if I have no say-so in it?”

“You do have a say-so in it,” Maria disputes. “I can’t, in good conscience, shoot anything in your home of you or your family, your business, your life, without making you aware of it or without your permission…”

“And you can’t use it without our permission,” I pinpoint. That’s what this is all about, isn’t it?

“I wouldn’t use it without your permission,” she says succinctly. “I have no intention of using it at all. It wasn’t part of the agenda we discussed,” she says pointedly, not taking down to my obvious accusatory tone. “However…” her voice trails a bit. And here’s the clincher. “This footage was shot on my watch. I have to take responsibility for it whatever happens to it. It’s now the property of the station, and whether it’s used or destroyed, I have to make you aware of it.”

“So, what you’re trying to tell us in a veiled manner,” Christian begins, “is that you can still use this footage, correct?” That’s what I’m getting at.

“We could, yes, but not legally without your permission,” Maria repeats. “Remember, you asked,” she says, pointedly. “You asked why say anything about it? Why not just destroy it? This is the answer. You have to know about it. I have to make you aware of it, even if I destroy it, because it was shot by one of my staff on my watch in your home. There’s no hidden agenda here, guys. This is not a reality show. I don’t set up bad situations so that I can catch you in candidly horrible moods and compromising positions. What you see is what you get. I don’t operate in shady techniques, so if there is a question or a concern or a suspicion that you have, come on out with it!”

I think the broadcast journalist lady is getting offended.

“My only question, concern, or suspicion is why I can’t confront the man who snuck around my house and filmed my wife in a semi-exposed state!” Christian huffs. “You talk about protection of our privacy and being on the up-and-up, but how would you feel if this were you? What if you found out that your privacy, your rights had been violated in the confines of your own home and the person who did it is being squirreled away and protected from you because of something someone thinks you’re going to do and you don’t even get the right to question him? How strong would your faith be in that organization?”

Maria examines Christian and then me for several moments, then rolls her eyes around the room in contemplation.

“I want you to know that I have never been in this position before,” she confesses. “I’m going to ask that you and Ana please move to the other side of the table.”

Christian and I look at each other. In any other situation, I think we would be offended. Under the circumstances, it doesn’t seem like such an unreasonable request. We stand and walk around the table. Christian pulls my chair out and I take a seat. As he sits, he immediately pulls out his phone as does Maria. They both talk in hushed voices, and in the next few moments, Jason and Chuck enter the room and stand near the desk. Oh, shit. A minute or two later, two other guys enter the office. One stands near the desk with Chuck and Jason while the other comes over to the table and takes the seat next to Maria.

“Ana, Christian, this is Reginald Blanke,” Maria says. “He’s our substitute grip guy and the one who shot the footage.”

“The unauthorized footage of my wife breastfeeding our children in their nursery in an otherwise off-limits portion of the house, correct?” Christian asks, glaring at the grip guy.

“That’s correct,” Maria says.

“I’d like to hear his answer,” Christian retorts, still glaring at Grip Boy.

“I… think I should probably have legal representation present,” he says, his voice small.

Wrong answer.

“Oh,” Christian says, his voice taking on sarcastic surprise. “Now, you want legal representation. You didn’t seem to think that was a problem while you were filming my wife and her exposed breast in my children’s bedroom. So, maybe we should just end the questions and the interview right now, withdraw our consent for this whole thing, and sue you and your network until I’ve decimated you and all your hopes and dreams, hmm? Then you can go on and seek your legal representation.

Christian sits back in his seat and waits for Grip Boy’s response. He’s pale and looks like he wants to speak. His lips are moving, but nothing is coming out of his mouth.

“Reggie,” Maria says, calmly, her head down, “answer the questions. You don’t have a leg to stand on and this man will bury you so far into obscurity that they will never find you with a birth certificate, full bio, DNA, and hound dogs.”

I almost want to laugh at the accuracy and the comedy of the statement. Yet, inside, I feel… angry. Why is he sitting here all afraid and bashful? He was behind the camera yesterday cursing at missed opportunities, so why is he sitting here today all anxious and timid? And what was he going for? If all he wanted was quiet and private moments, he got at least ten minutes of that, but he cursed when Keri blocked his view and when someone interrupted him. So, what was he looking for? What footage was he really trying to get?


CHRISTIAN

Blanke pulls at his collar a bit and adjusts in his seat while Maria mumbles something to him that I can’t quite hear. It doesn’t really matter, because I’ll pull the plug on this whole thing and just go about showing the world in my own way that my wife and I won’t be victims anymore. So, this little opportunist has about five seconds to open his mouth before Operation-Papa-Bear-Grey-Has-Lost-His-Ever-Loving-Rabbit-Ass-Mind goes into effect.

“Yes, sir,” Blanke mumbles, barely over a whisper.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that,” I say. I expect submissives to be shy and retiring, not intrusive, perverted opportunists who try to get partially naked pictures of my wife. He clears his throat.

“Yes, sir, I took the unauthorized footage,” he says, but won’t elaborate.

“Why?” I ask. He sighs and starts talking, his face buried in his chest. I can’t hear anything he’s saying.

“Let’s play a game,” I interrupt him. “Unless you want to repeat your entire story twice, let’s pretend that my face is that camera lens that you were looking through when you were recording my wife, and try telling that story one more time, shall we?” I fold my hands on the table and allow him to start again. When he makes eye-contact with me, I realize that he’s really just a kid. He’s probably only 23 or 24 years old, but I don’t give a fuck, because his dick is fully grown!

“I was just trying to get some cutting-edge footage from behind the camera so that they would consider putting me on more assignments,” he says. “I get stuck on the local stuff and the fluff pieces, shorts and stuff and I don’t get any kind of credit or anything. I just wanted to show Maria that I could get some real material.”

“And you did this without any consideration for the contracts you signed?” I retort. “We were very specific about the coverage that we wanted to use. We made our specifications completely clear to Maria and to your company before we invited you into our home, into our lives—and if you were unsure about what was acceptable and unacceptable, then you should have cleared it first before you went rogue trying to make a name for yourself!”

“I knew she would have to tell you, Mr. Grey,” Blanke defends. “I knew we would need your permission before we used any of the footage…”

“You would need my permission before you shot any of the footage,” I clarify. “Even the location of candid shots was cleared with us. Although the nursery was cleared with us and that footage already taken, my wife breastfeeding our children therein was not!”

“I took the footage straight to Maria this morning,” he defends. “I haven’t shown it to anyone else or did anything else with it.”

“You very well better hope you haven’t!” I snap. “Because if that footage shows up anywhere else, life as you know it is over.” Maria leans in to him and mumbles, “I told you.”

“You. Shot. Unauthorized. Footage. Of private. Moments. Of me. With my. Children.”

The growling, deep, menacing voice is coming from my Butterfly that silences everyone in the room. I was so focused on this Blanke motherfucker that I didn’t notice that she’s been sitting here this entire time simmering. I look over at my wife and I can see that her temper is now holding on by a spider’s web.

“You snuck around my house like a prowler; you lurked in the doorway of my infants’ bedroom and you filmed video coverage of me and my exposed breast with my babies without my permission like a sick peeping tom. You violated our rights, our privacy, our trust, and your contract. Now, besides the fifty or hundred million dollars that it would cost me for doing so, which I would gladly pay right now just for the opportunity, you give me one good reason why I shouldn’t leap across this table and rip your eyes out of their fucking sockets right now!”

Good. Fucking. Grief. She is scaring me. I reach over to touch her to try to calm her. Her fists are clenched, and the portion of her hands that are exposed—her knuckles—are like ice. She doesn’t react at all to my touch. I throw a cautionary glance towards Maria, whose brow furrows questioningly at me.

“I… um…” Blanke swallows, his eyes darting warily between me and my wife. Her fist still clenched, she addresses him again.

“You took the liberty of wandering through my home until you located me—alone, in my children’s bedroom, with my babies, in a state of partial undress. You say you were looking for cutting-edge footage. What kind of cutting-edge footage, Reggie?” She injects a heinous amount of venom into his name. “You got a solid ten minutes of a mother nursing her child. That’s real cutting-edge. I’d say that’s a whole lot more cutting edge than watching me fire my nine at the gun range, wouldn’t you?” She adds, her sarcasm evident.

A small sheen of sweat starts to bead on Blanke’s forehead and he looks to Maria for guidance, but gets no assistance from the journalist.

“You cursed when my nanny blocked your view of me,” she points out, “when we swapped the babies and I swapped breasts. You sat there for several more minutes… waiting—until somebody’s voice interrupted you and you had to flee. You got several minutes of footage of nothing but my back and me singing to my babies and you cursed both times you missed the chance to get something else. What. Were you. Waiting for?”

We all know the answer to that question, but Butterfly is trying to get him to admit it. He’d rather chew nails than admit that he was hoping to get a glimpse of her bare breast for whatever purpose—to sell, to use as leverage, for his own perverted thrill—but that was his goal, and everyone in the room knows it.

Butterfly’s fists open, and her hands flatten on the table. Her jaw tightens, and she takes in a breath and releases it. If I didn’t know better, I would swear… oh, fuck.

I turn to face my wife in the vain hope that my movement and proximity will distract her. I place one arm around the back of her chair, gently stroking her back and the other on the table just behind her elbow. I’m leaning slightly forward, my legs parted, my feet flat on the floor, my weight shifted towards my calves. I can move quickly if I must, and this fucker is not answering fast enough.

“I was feeding my son, for God’s sake!” she shoots. “I know women do it in public. I’ve done it in public, but I still cover up when I do it! I wasn’t in public; I was in private—behind closed doors, and you were deliberately trying to get a glimpse! On camera, no less!” she accuses finally. His eyes widen.

“I was no… I was…” He looks like a floundering fish searching for water.

“Don’t try to deny it!” Butterfly retorts. “You won’t admit it, and nobody here will say it, but I know. You sure as hell wasn’t looking for ten tender minutes of me nursing my babies because you got that! So, what the hell were you looking for, you fucking perv? There was no reason in God’s name for you to be in the private living area. What the hell were you doing on the second floor anyway?”

Related imageI see a huge question mark appear in Maria’s eyes almost like a cartoon and the gentleman who had been quiet and standing with Chuck and Jason chooses now to speak.

“Come to think of it,” he says, “I sent you to get shots of the aquarium on the ground level. Did you ever get those shots?”

“Y-yeah… I got… I got those,” Blanke responds.

“So, I try to give you a chance—let you out of my sight for a few minutes to get shots of the aquarium, and you go wandering around the house, taking shots of the Misses?” the guy asks incredulously. Blanke starts to squirm again.

“It wasn’t like that!” Blanke defends. “I got back on the elevator to come back to the main shoot, but I wasn’t paying attention and must’ve pushed the wrong floor. When it opened to the second floor, I heard her voice and saw her going towards the room, so… I decided to follow and… just hope for some candid shots…”

“Liar!” Butterfly’s voice reverberates off the walls and her gloved fist comes down hard on the surface of the table, causing a loud, thunderous crashing sound to rumble through the room, silencing everyone in the office and in the lobby outside. I refrain from leaping at her when I realize that she hasn’t risen out of her seat.

“Ana, he’s trying to explain…” Maria interjects.

“He’s lying!” Butterfly interrupts venomously, turning her gaze back to Blanke. “The center elevator was locked. Security made sure of it. That means he had to take the elevator on the south side of the house, at least 800 feet away. Now, unless he has the hearing of a bat and Superman’s x-ray vision to see through walls, he’s lying about hearing or seeing me go to my children’s nursery, and even if he had, what gave him the right to come snooping in on my private time with my babies? He still hasn’t answered that question!” she spits. “I am not. A piece of meat!” she spews. “And it’s because of the thinking of assholes like him that I can’t escape that goddamn stereotype!”

For the first time, I see Maria lose her composure. Her fingers rub roughly at her eyebrows and her decorum flies out the window.

“Oh my God Reggie how could you be so fucking stupid!?” she hisses in a vicious whisper all in one breath. “He told you to get panoramic footage of the aquarium… the goddamn aquarium! The only live subjects you had to shoot were the fish!” She sighs an exasperated sigh and never raises her gaze from the table… and I suddenly get a brilliant idea.

“Use the footage,” I say, flatly. Everyone’s head shoots up at once.

“What?” Butterfly says, incredulously.

“Use the footage,” I repeat. “It shows you in your best light—unrehearsed, candid, beautiful. You didn’t know the cameras were rolling. You were perfect with our children—gentle, attentive, caring, what every mother should be… totally oblivious to the fact that anyone was watching you. Anything that we did over the last three days could have been staged or rehearsed… except that.”

Butterfly still looks uncertain while the wheels are visibly turning in Maria’s head. I decide to sweeten the deal a little to help ease my wife’s fears a bit.

“I have a few stipulations,” I continue. Maria’s back straightens.

“They are…?” she asks.

“First, once this conversation is over, he’s off set,” I say pointing to Blanke. “A member of my security staff stays with him until you all board the plane. I don’t trust him anymore and that’s the only way you and he avoid a lawsuit for his breach.” His face pales.

“Done,” Maria agrees, which won’t be difficult since this is the last shoot we have to do. “Next?”

“Anything he has filmed is unusable. No matter what it is, if it needs to be filmed again, you need to let me know before you leave Seattle. If he worked as a grip, fine. If he was behind the camera, no.” Maria nods again.

“He’s probably only gotten landscapes and maybe backgrounds here and there. Grips don’t do any shooting. Like he said, he was hoping to get a foot in somewhere. Maybe now, he’ll stick to rolling the dollies,” she says.

“Good. Then that makes my third stipulation much easier. He gets no credit for the footage.” Butterfly perks up with that announcement. Blanke’s mouth falls open.

“Of course,” Maria says, with no hesitation.

“But I shot it,” Blanke protests, “and you’re using it! You have to give me credit!” Maria’s head jerks violently over her shoulder at him.

“We still have an interview and you’re not being sued, Reggie. Now, shut up and hope you still have a job when we get back to New York!” she spits. Blanke zips his lips at Maria’s command and she turns her attention back to me.

“Anything else?” she asks.

“I think that about covers it,” I say, sitting back in my seat and folding my arms. Maria nods and turns her attention to Ana.

“How about you, Ana? Are you okay with that? Is there anything you’d like to add?” Butterfly purses her lips before speaking.

“Thank you for asking me,” she says, her tone firm. “No, that’s fine with me,” she says as she stands from the table. She entwines her fingers together to press her shooting gloves down between them on each hand, and strides out of the room, those black jeans hugging that beautiful, round ass. Even with her hips swaying seductively from side to side, her entire garb and demeanor—from the bulletproof vest and black baseball cap to the black Timberland hiking boots—labels her as a force to be reckoned with and causes every man in the room to silently step aside as she exits. Maria groans almost inaudibly under her voice and I roll my eyes and sigh, causing Maria to turn her attention to me.

“Get ready for some fancy shootin’,” I say, in one of the worst deep south accents I’ve ever heard, causing Maria to involuntarily scoff a laugh before shaking her head at me. She looks back at Blanke and stands from the table.

“Get ‘im outta here,” she says dismissively, pointing a thumb behind her back to no one. I nod at Jason, signaling him to make sure that someone sticks to this asshole until he leaves the state. I pop my neck and prepare for a tense morning, hoping that Butterfly’s anger and aggression at this situation doesn’t shine through on camera. It’s not the image we’re trying to portray. Nearly everyone has left the office and Maria and I are the last to exit.

“Christian,” Maria stops me before we go out to the range. “You have to tell me something.” I turn to face her. “You know I call it like I see it. While Ana was talking to Reggie, you tried to come off as attentive and protective, but you looked more like the tackle ready to sack the quarterback… or was I misreading that?” I scratch my stubble before answering.

“Maria. My wife’s father is a Marine. If you do any research on any of her years prior to meeting me, which I’m sure you already have, you’re going to find some horrendous things. My wife got terrible news while we were on our honeymoon that she could do nothing about. My security staff and I took turns—15-minute non-stop sessions—of her whaling away at mitts on our hands with boxing gloves on hers until she wore herself out. It was a very painful experience for all of us. You saw the heavy bag in the workout room that now takes the brunt of that abuse.

“When I first met my wife, before we started dating, I discovered that we worked out at the same gym. I practice kickboxing. She practices Krav Maga. I watched her put her instructor—a martial arts specialist the size of one of my bodyguards—in a submission hold, and have him banging on the mat begging for mercy. His crime? He attacked her from behind. It took three men to coax her off him, because she wasn’t letting go.

“This part is off the record,” I preface, and she nods. “I had a crazy ex show up at my penthouse. She wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer and she was very disrespectful to Butterfly, who wasn’t my wife at the time. She was in the kitchen cutting vegetables at the time. The crazy ex threw some flippant threat at my wife as she was leaving. Butterfly launched that knife at that woman, which sliced her split ends and landed point first in the door right in front of her.”

Maria’s eye’s pierce as I tell the tale of Elena’s last visit to the penthouse.

“Oh, that’s not the end. When the crazy ex left, and I scolded Butterfly for throwing the knife, indicating that had she not missed, she could have killed the woman, she assured me that she hadn’t missed and proved it by opening the drawer and launching two more knives at my front door, both of them lining up perfectly next to the first, not a centimeter apart. Had I not ceded that I got her point, there would have been more holes in the door—which, if I remember correctly, she promptly repaired with a nail file and caulk.”

Maria is still in awe, but tries not to scoff at the last statement.

“If you saw me about to sack the quarterback, you were right, because had she leapt at that man and got her hands on him, God save him. That woman is a lethal weapon. She may be registered for those guns, but she should be registered for a whole lot more. She’s deadly gorgeous, she’s smart and intuitive, she’s strong, she can operate basic projectile weapons, and she holds a Ph.D. and knows her way around the human body and mind. She’s a whole lotta hell in a small package. She’s someone I’d want on my team in any fight—mental or physical. I was never your worry… she was.”


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

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

 ~~love and handcuffs

Raising Grey: Chapter 22—Submissive

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 22—Submissive

CHRISTIAN

I can feel myself rising to full height before I even get out of the car. The ride back to the Crossing was silent and I haven’t heard a word from my wife, which is a bit surprising considering she spent part of her morning with one of my prior submissives. I, on the other hand, spent the afternoon grilling an uneasy Jason on how Sandra Beasley was able to get so close to my wife so easily. I also set Alex to the task of finding out exactly what the hell happened to one Ashanda Beasley—information that I plan to keep on tap in case I need it to deal with Sarah Bradley in the future.

My wife isn’t home when I arrive—another fact that I find surprising, but it’s still a bit early. I head to my office to try to finish some work, but I’m widely distracted by the events of the day and the fact that Anastasia still isn’t home yet. Early in the evening, Jason requests an audience.

“I have an answer for you, sir,” he says, as he marches across the open area of my office. He hands me the file on Ashanda Beasley, a preliminary background check requested about ten days ago as protocol for the interview. Initially, everything is standard and nothing is cause for concern except for a red flag for age and date of birth. Further investigation required was returned as the outcome. I raise my gaze to him.

“This report came in this morning, sir, right before the interview. She decided to do it anyway.”

She… my wife.

“Why wasn’t I notified?” I ask.

“We didn’t know who she was,” he says. “As far as we knew, she was Ashanda Beasley with a flag on her birthdate. It could’ve been a typo. We were still investigating and as quickly as the information was filtering in, I was processing it and giving it to you. The moment I discovered that Beasley was Bradley, I turned on that cable channel. That’s when I came to your office.”

“So, we knew something wasn’t right before she went to the interview. We just didn’t know what it was.”

“Correct.”

“And because we didn’t have all the information, and this small thing got past us, she made the final call to do the interview,” I summarize. Jason sighs quietly.

“Correct.” I nod. I can’t blame him. It was a small security issue, so we thought, and he was working to handle it. My wife, who can be a force to reckon with, is the one who decided to break protocol and proceed with a yellow light on the background check.

“Thank you, Jason.”

“Sir…” I raise my gaze from the report. “You should know that this happened before.” I glare at him.

“What?” I nearly hiss.

“We had one other instance where Her Highness proceeded with an interview before a final report came in. We had a preliminary background check and we were awaiting confirmation of a few more details. It was one of the larger networks where security definitely wouldn’t be a concern and in the end, the complete background check came through okay—after the fact—and there weren’t any issues. It turned out to be a situation of a judgement call which worked out in her favor, but nonetheless… sir—protocol.”

“I get it, Jason,” I say, turning my gaze back to the blaring red flags on the preliminary background check in my hand. “Thank you.”

He leaves me alone in my office to wait… so I wait. Wait for my wife to arrive so that I can hear her side of this story.

I don’t have to wait long.

“I’m surprised you didn’t call me,” she says as she marches a bit indignantly into my office.

“I’m surprised you didn’t call me,” I retort coolly, and she’s a bit taken aback by my tone.

“You sound displeased,” she says, crossing her arms as she reaches the front of my desk. Displeased… I test the word.

“Curious,” I say. Displeased doesn’t quite describe one of the emotions that I’m experiencing right now. “That was a very uncomfortable situation with Ashanda Beasley.”

“Very,” she confirms, her voice sharp, and now I know why her tone didn’t sit well with me when she was in the studio right before she left.

She knows. And she’s cross with me. Interesting. I rest my elbows on the armrests and entwine my fingers in front of my chest.

“So, what’s your take on it?” I ask. She scoffs a sarcastic smirk.

“My take?” she says, sardonically. “Well, how about yet another catty little misinformed bitch trying to get information?” I nod.

“Perhaps,” I concede, “not to mention the curiosity of a spurned ex-submissive,” I add. She raises her brow.

“Oh,” she says, in surprise, “we’re being forthcoming.”

“I see no reason not to,” I say matter-of-factly. Her eyes narrow a bit.

“I had been saying that I had an interview with Ashanda Beasley for days. It might have been useful to know that I was facing off with one of your ex-submissives,” she says, her voice crisp.

“Well, I might have been able to forewarn you had I had any clue in the world who Ashanda Beasley even was,” I say nonchalantly, my hands still casually clasped in front of me. “That’s not even her real name, but then again, those kinds of things are revealed in thorough background checks.”

I gaze knowingly at her and wait. I can see the moment the penny drops. Thorough background checks.

“Right now, I’m trying to ascertain who’s responsible for this,” I say calmly. “I agreed that you be able to do these interviews if we take the necessary precautions so that you aren’t exposed to danger, discomfort, emotional blackmail, or being ambushed and in one way or another, I think you’ve gotten some of all of those.” I know I’m right and she can’t even argue with me. She’s standing there trying to find a rebuttal, but she’s knows I’m right, too.

“Right now, what I want to know is who dropped this ball.” She doesn’t know that I already know who dropped it. She’s going to have to tell me. “Rapping with Rob, there was no way to know that asshole was going to sit there with a pussy in your face. The ratings whore, they’re everywhere. That’s a chance that you take sitting in anyone’s seat. But an ex-sub… that can be found with a little digging. It apparently didn’t take you or me long to figure out that’s who you were sitting with this morning and a little due diligence would have told us that before you sat in that seat… so who dropped the ball, Anastasia?”

My voice is eerily calm and even and she raises her eyes to me.

“You already know,” she says.

“Do I?” I ask. “What is the protocol when you plan to do an interview? Who gets notified first? What’s the chain of communication? What’s the approval process so that we know that it’s safe for you to be sequestered in a booth with another person… or other people? Who gives the go-ahead or the red light on such actions? How do we know you’re going to be okay? Who. Dropped. The ball?” She takes a deep breath and releases it.

“I did,” she says, though unapologetically.

“You were adamant about being a part of your own security,” I remind her. “You wanted to know the protocol; you wanted to be informed; you even wanted to be present in some of the security meetings. Suddenly, you’re going into the public eye to discuss intimate details of your life and security isn’t important anymore?”

“It was a small cable station in Lynnwood. It was the last interview I agreed to do. I wanted to reach a small community of people who may have thought there were no resources available to them. I didn’t see the harm in it…”

“Except that there was harm in it,” I say finitely. “There was a predator lying in wait for you and although she wasn’t aiming to physically harm you, she was aiming to harm you—to defame you on her little show and expected you to sit there and take it. It could have been avoided had you followed protocol and waited for the clearance, and now I find that you did this more than once.”

I sit quietly and wait for her response. She stands defiantly gazing at me, not challenging me, but not taking down either.

“That’s twice,” I say, standing from my chair and walking around my desk, “twice this past life has come back and smacked me in the face in less than two weeks, not to mention the many times it’s smacked me in the face before now.” I clench and release my fists and pop my neck while looking at the floor, my control hanging on by a thread. I’ve got to do something about this.

I’m weighing my options carefully. My old methods aren’t effective anymore. Out of sight, out of mind means that opponents—in this case, these fucking ex-submissives—grow more and more brazen when you’re not in their faces all the time. Sarah Bradley was married and had moved on. She was supposed to be the least of one of my fucking worries. Hell, I have two ex-submissive that I don’t even know where the fuck they are! I’ve got to do something I haven’t done before. I’ve got to throw some water on this fire somehow or it’s just going to get bigger. But tonight…

I raise my eyes to my wife. My wife, who can’t follow simple instructions put in place to guarantee her safety. Her expression is a bit more contrite now that mine has hardened slightly, but only slightly.

“We agreed on a protocol when you decided to do these interviews and you didn’t adhere to it,” I say, flatly.

“I did adhere to it,” she retorts. “I only strayed a couple of times.”

“It only takes once to fall into the wrong hands, and you did,” I counter.

“I had Chuck with me the entire time,” she defends. “You saw that.”

“And what if this had been someone desperate, like Elena when she had your gun?” I shoot back coolly. “At that close proximity, would Chuck have been able to save you?”

Her face pales and I know that I’ve made my point. I turn away from her to indicate that I won’t take a rebuttal to my next statement.

“We’ll address this more later,” I say finally and wait to hear her leave the office. It takes a moment, but she leaves. I release the breath I’m holding and pop my neck again, that fragile control still teetering on the head of a needle. I sit down at my desk, steeple my fingers over my lips, and ponder my next move.

*-*

“Activate two-way communications.” Ding. “Locate Anastasia Grey.”

“Ana.”

“Mrs. Grey, may I see you in our bedroom, please?” After a long pause.

“Okay.”

“End two-way communications.” I go into my dressing room and retrieve a box that I’ve had for a while containing an object that I’ve only recently acquired. I come back into the bedroom and wait for my wife. She enters a minute or two later, a curious expression on her face.

“I am who I am,” I begin. “I won’t change. I’ll always require structure and control. When something interferes with that, I struggle to maintain balance.” I pause. “You broke the rules today in a big way. What’s more, you’ve done it before and you know that’s unacceptable.” I hand her the box in my hand—a large, black velvet box that can easily be mistaken for jewelry. However, she jumps in surprise when she opens it to reveal something quite different.

“Oh!” she gasps. Then she examines the object inside carefully. “It… looks like… you,” she says, her voice soft and incredulous. What she sees is a life-sized dildo—a perfect replica of my semi-erect dick.

“Yes, it does,” I confirm. “I’ve had a mold for years. I only had them made for… special submissives. I’ve done some pretty deviant things with them in the past and now… I’ve had a fantasy for a long time of doing some things to you… with you. This is the perfect opportunity.” She swallows hard. Yes, my love, you should. “I want you to shower—thoroughly—with the natural coconut body wash and the microfiber towels. Miss nothing, and I mean nothing! When you’re done, your garments will be on the bed. Put them on and come to the playroom.”

She swallows again, then drops her eyes before walking to her en suite. Good girl. I go to my closet and retrieve the bag of items I purchased a while ago for just such an occasion—a pair of black lace thongs, a short black silk robe—deliberately too short to cover anything, and a pair of sky-high black Louboutins. Yes, I know that she has several pairs, but this pair is mine! Solely for my use, pun intended. It’s a simple pair of shoes, really—whole pumps, patent leather, red-bottomed platforms. I take the rest of the items in the bag to my dressing room to change into my uniform.

If she’s as thorough as I told her to be, I’ll have plenty of time to set up. After I’ve changed, I go to the playroom to make sure all of the new items that I’ve been dying to use on her are ready to be broken in. I have a shit-ton of new toys that have been crying for my attention and today, I’m going to finally put them to use.

I’m a patient man. I place my oils, flogger, crop, wrist restraints and various other items in clear view. I want her to know that her body is mine and I plan on playing every inch of her skin like my goddamn piano tonight. Oh, the things I plan to do to her… the anticipation is succulent!

I hear her before I see her—those sky-high stilettos announcing their approach across the wooden floor outside the door. It slowly opens and there she stands. I can smell the coconut all the way over here, or maybe it’s the coconut oil I brought in with me. Nonetheless…

“Come in, Anastasia,” I command her. She walks into the room and her eyes nervously dart to the floor as she attempts to see whatever she can see without raising her head.

“You can look around, Anastasia,” I tell her. “I want you to see what I have in store for you.”

She raises her head and her eyes scan the room. She’s seen most of the things before, but I don’t think the sex sofa or the spanking bench were here before. The sex chair, the bondage chair, and some of the mechanical masturbators may be new editions as well… all waiting for you, Mrs. Grey. We won’t use them all… tonight, anyway.

I approach her and as I get closer, her eyes drop to the floor. I stroke her nipples, protruding from the silk robe and her lips part. I pull the belt holding the robe together and untie it, allowing it to fall open and reveal her beautiful breasts and that sexy thong. I begin to circle my prey.

“If you have never believed me before, believe me now when I say… I’m going to fuck you senseless.” She gasps loudly at the revelation. “I’m going to have you in every way possible, in every orifice that I can fill—several times. I’m going to bring you to your very wits ends. This will be like no workout you have ever had in your life.”

Her breathing increases as I pull the robe from her shoulders from behind her and let it fall to the floor. Yes… that ass… that beautiful, juicy, alabaster ass… well, not for long.

“You’ll feel pleasure and pain, ecstasy and torment. You can make noise—you’ll have to, trust me—but you can’t speak unless you safeword. Only two tonight. You won’t need the third, because you’re going to come so many times that you’ll be delirious before the night is over.” I lean into her and speak right in her ear. “What are your safewords, Anastasia?”

She jumps when I ask her, then in a breathy voice, says her safewords.

“Bells and whistles.”

“Bells and whistles. Very good.” I quickly attach leather and fur cuffs to her wrists. “Now, I’m going to punish you a bit for your disobedience. Then, I’m going to use you and fuck you until I’m satisfied. Don’t. Forget. Your safewords, Anastasia.” I say the words firmly. I’m going to take her to the very edges of pain and pleasure, of control and insanity. If it becomes too much for her and she doesn’t say so, I’m going to be fucking pissed. I believe my tone has communicated my drift.

“Yes, Sir,” she acknowledges. “Bells and whistles, Sir.”

“Very good.” I move her to the portable deluxe bondage frame and attach her wrists to it above her head. I twist her hair in a messy bun and secure it with a hairclip. Time for a few lashes…

“Ah!” she cries out as the first lash of the flogger wraps around her body. It was a bit of a surprise. I should have warned her, but I wanted the element of surprise. Her body responds immediately. Her breath is wild and ragged. She’s flushing in parts of her body that I haven’t even struck and she has already started to sweat… that erotic sheen that shines over her body when she’s aroused.

Anastasia likes the flogger.

She told me from the very beginning, from the first time we discussed my involvement in the lifestyle, that the flogger fascinated her. Every time I’ve used it since that day, she has responded spectacularly.

I strike again, allowing the straps to wrap around her hip and slide off her ass. She jerks in her restraints, but gasps and moans like the sexual nymph that she is. I strike again, two times quickly. Her fists clench and he head falls back. Her mouth is open, gasping for air. I strike her again and again and again, reigning blows on her back and ass. Her skin is slightly pink… and beautiful. Fuck, I’ve missed this! We haven’t been in the playroom in so long and I have fucking missed this. I strike her a few more times until her moans sound a bit tortured, then I drop the flogger, my dick literally about to explode out of my goddamn pants. I walk to the front of her panting body hanging from the frame.

I’m horny to the point of pain. She’s panting and I take her chin in my hands, lifting her face to mine. I think she started to enter subspace and I need to bring her back. I need you lucent for this session, Mrs. Grey.

Wakey, wakey, Mrs. Grey. We haven’t even started.

“Open your mouth.” She obeys without opening her eyes, and I insert a fairly large item into it.

“Suck,” I command as I walk behind her and admire her now hot pink skin—not yet as red as I want, but getting there. I pull a blindfold from my pocket and apply it to her eyes, depriving her of sight. This should be interesting… and intense.

“Stick your ass out, Anastasia,” I command. She bends slightly and sticks out her ass.

“Farther!” I bark. I know she has to stand on her toes a bit and stretch her arms to stick that ass out like I want it, so do as I fucking say! Like magic, her ass is out and ready for me.

“It’s so fucking beautiful,” I tell her, caressing the cheeks and squeezing hard. “Yes… it’s lovely.” I kneel behind her and kiss each cheek. Then I rip the lace thong from its place and toss the pieces somewhere out of my way. I kneed and kiss her ass, parting the cheeks and blowing a long gust of air against her rosette. She gasps and it puckers then pushes back out to greet me. I like that. I blow again and somehow, the heels of those sky-high stilettos lift off the floor. I knew you could bend over more, Mrs. Grey. Let’s see how far you can go.

I lick the rim of her rosette with just the tip of my tongue. She gasps loudly and lets out a surprised whimper. When I do it again, she trembles a bit. Yet another thing I know that she loves—anal play, but she’s never had it like this. I open her wide and lick deep, massaging her rosette repeatedly with my tongue. I’ve never done this to her before and she gasps, and squirms and pulls on the restraints. Her voice is high pitched, ecstatic, surprised. She loves it, but doesn’t know how to handle it. When she seems like she can’t take it anymore, I stop and come around to the front of her.

“Open your mouth,” I tell her, hardly able to contain my own arousal. She opens her mouth and releases the large butt plug I put there, one with the big black fluff ball on the end. The last time she had one of these things in her ass, she drove me out of my goddamn mind! I can barely contain myself now. I hope I don’t come in my goddamn pants.

I walk around to the back of her and slowly start to insert the large plug into her ass.

“Huhh, huuuhhhh,” she starts to whine a bit, trying to relax and remain still. I slowly push it in a bit farther and a bit farther, watching her nipples getting harder and harder until they’re almost red. When her ass accepts the plug and swallows it up to the fluff ball, I have to stop and take a moment. I’m breathing almost as hard as she is.

‘Oh, that’s beautiful,” I groan, rubbing my dick through my pants and admiring her ass. I pick up the flogger again and run it up her legs and between her thighs so that she knows what’s coming. I reign a few strikes over her body—just her back and the back of her thighs—occasionally pulling and twisting the butt plug. Her noises are so fucking carnal that I almost come just listening to her. It’s time to move on.

I release her from one frame and attach her to the adjustable frame that I have over the sex sofa. Not really a sofa at all, this wonderful piece of machinery is a super hands-free sex machine, made to accommodate two women at the same time. Though I never intend to have two women on it, I liked its versatility better than the one-person machine. It’s fitted with a masturbator, but not just any masturbator. This custom baby has 27 settings, ranging from moderate vibration to damn near electric shock, slow and circular stroke to rabbit fuck, and not only can the ribbed base move independently to massage her clit in the right position, but the shaft can be adjusted to any angle to accommodate whatever position I place her in.

Oh, but here’s the best part—it accommodates any dildo with open-end attach ability, and it has expanding sides and a lube release function. I have attached the ChrisDick dildo to it, so she will truly have the sensation of my live dick inside of her. This damn thing cost a fucking fortune, but I’m hoping it’ll be worth every penny.

“Climb aboard,” I instruct her. She can’t see anything, so I have to guide her, verbally and physically, to climb on to the sex-horse portion of the sex-sofa, then guide a dick to her opening that’s technically mine, though not attached to my body. I position her backwards on the horse and very close to the edge as the front of the machine has the seat for the second “girl,” and I want to have access to all sides of her.

“Slide down on it, Anastasia.”

Her breathing is rapid as she slides down on the life-like dildo. She has to take her time because although it’s the same size as my semi-erect dick, when it swells, it may be a bit bigger than me.

“Sit,” I command her. “All the way down.” She swallows hard and sits on the dildo, and I know that it’s filling her. Now that she’s on the horse, her arms aren’t stretched as much as they were before. Now, it’s time to test the settings.

With the controls in my hand, I start with a low hum and a small circular grind.

“Haahhh!” she breathes passionately. Fuck, she’s so goddamn sexy. I only leave the setting there for a few moments before I intensify the vibration and the stroke. She whimpers helplessly and throws her head back. I experiment with several combinations, watching her body squirm and listening to her cry out as she pulls on her restraints. Occasionally, I push and pull and twist the black puff ball hanging out of her ass, and watch her shiver.

“God, I wish you could see yourself,” I groan. “You are so fucking hot!”

I set the masturbator at a medium stroke and vibration with no clitoral stimulation. I don’t want her to come too soon. While she’s still bound I move the restraints on the frame so that her arms are straight out to the sides and slightly raised. The ChrisDick is slowly circling inside her. She tries to regulate her breathing, but watching her and knowing that she is so turned on that she can barely stand it is making me hard as a fucking rock. I oil my hands thoroughly with the coconut oil so that I can touch her. I can’t wait to get my hands on that body. I’m going to torment the fuck out of her tonight; use her sexually in every way possible; make her come until she completely surrenders and then, if I’m not quenched, make her come some more.

I stand next to her trembling body. Her legs are open on the horse, so she has no other choice but to absorb the pleasure, absorb the punishment. I look over the front of her and see ChrisDick—pink and veiny just like when I’m ready to fuck all night—sliding in and out of her, slowly teasing that sweet pussy. The way that I have her bound on the horse, she has no purchase to move. She can only sit there with her legs open and let the dildo fuck her… or so I thought.

I slide one oily hand behind her upper back, stabilizing her. She gasps at my touch. Oh yes, sweet girl, we’re just getting started. With the other hand, I spread the oil generously on her breasts, kneading and massaging them expertly by cupping the mound and with a gentle squeeze and upward rub, caressing the oil into her skin and closing my hand over the nipple before allowing each finger to run over the nipple against my thumb with a brushing pinch before I release the breast. I repeat this move several times on each breast and her breath quickens uncontrollably, pushing those soft, ample mounds into my hand with each pant. I can feel the electricity surging through her body every time my full, oily hand rolls over the nipple. I know I can make her come this way, and I torment her for several minutes while I watch her breasts pink up and pebble in my hands. She slowly starts to grind her hips into ChrisDick, imitating—and I can imagine, complimenting—its circular motion. So much for no purchase to move.

“You like that,” I groan in her ear and my voice causes an immediate tremor.

“Yes… Sir,” she pants.

“Still,” I command softly as I admire her breasts in my hand. She stills immediately, panting as if she’s run a marathon and whimpering in frustration. Oh, I could do this all night—watch her tremble and her beautiful glistening breasts, but I guess I should move on. There are so many other ways I want to torture her.

I indulge myself a little more with her breasts as I move the other oily hand from her back to her ass, spreading the oil across the cheeks and into the top of her crack. The puff hanging out of her ass is bobbing with each heated breath and I pull on it, just enough to make her rosette pucker outward a bit with the pressure. She throws her head back and cries out in unfettered ecstasy. I push the butt plug back in and turn it, then pull gently again and hold it against her puckering ass. She cries out again, like a trapped animal.

“Sir… please… ladybug!” she squeals.

“I told you not to use that one,” I warn her, still pulling on the plug and massaging her breast while ChrisDick rolls inside of her. “If you come, you come, but if you come before I tell you to, I’ll punish you.”

I hear her whining in her chest, fending off her orgasm which I make her do for a few more long minutes—not long, but probably an eternity to her. I guess it’s time for her first orgasm. This body has been through a lot and I don’t want her to be too wrung for what I want to do next.

I adjust the bondage frame and move her restraints so that her arms are above her and bent now. She breathes and audible sigh of relief when I release the butt plug and cease the breast massage. Only a brief moment to catch your breath, Lady Anastasia. She’s now slightly tipped back and I have to adjust the masturbator so that it tips with her or the stroke can be quite painful. She’s leaned back like she’s in a reclining chair, not a lot, just enough so that the horse can push against the butt plug and her clit is exposed.

“Oooooohhhh,” she laments, no doubt feeling the sensation of the butt plug inside of her.

Hold on, Mrs. Grey. I’m about to blow your mind.

She will have to use her muscles to counteract discomfort in this pose. She picks up on that quickly and grabs the frame to hold herself up. I adjust ChrisDick to a slow stroke and swell—the orgasmic pulse she’s accustomed to when I’m about to come.

“Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!” she cries, long and loud, her ab muscles tightening and her own juices beginning to coat the dildo. She’s so close.

“Fuck it,” I command. “Let me see you grind it.”

She moves her hips and that beautiful ass against the slowly pivoting dildo that looks like my dick. I could just watch this for hours, it’s so fucking hot! I quickly step out of my shoes and socks, drop my pants, and unbutton my shirt. Taking my dick in my hand, I stroke it gently, mimicking the move of the dildo and pretending that it’s my actual dick sliding in and out of her making that delicious wet sound. There’s still a little oil on my hand, so when I run it across the head, the sensation is torturous! I don’t want to come in my hand, so I stop the stroke and roll my examination stool right up to her trembling body on the horse.

“You can come, now, Mrs. Grey,” I command, and I latch my mouth onto that tender throbbing, waiting clit. The sound that rips from her is feral and primitive as I watch her ab muscles tighten and she shamelessly strokes into my mouth and against the dildo and the butt plug, restraints be damned! Oh, my fuck, this is too much even for me! I reach up and massage and pinch those aching pebbled nipples. With the sensation onslaught—her pinched nipples, the butt plug being pushed into her ass by the horse, ChrisDick slowly pulsing and fucking her like I would, and my hot mouth clamped down on her pulsing pussy while my tongue flicks her pebbling clit—she erupts into one of the most violent and explosive orgasms I have ever seen. Her biceps and forearms flex impressively as she pulls herself in a continuous chin up. You could break bowling balls on her tight abs right now, and I can visually see the muscles thumping in her pelvis.

I move her body back to an upright position after the first orgasm and the cock moves with her. She’s wheezing and breathless as I remove her blindfold. I take a few moments to admire her gorgeous body, covered in sweat and wrung from her first orgasm. Having her at my mercy revives a bit of that control I felt slipping earlier… and arouses the fuck out of me.

“Look at me,” I nearly growl as I touch my body, she slowly raises her head a bit and her hair splits like a curtain as her eyes land on my body. My muscle tone isn’t as sharp as it could be, but I’m still very well defined, and her eyes feast hungrily on me as I outline the sinews of my abs. I caress my stomach with one hand while pouring the coconut oil down my chest with the other, allowing it to drip slowly down my body undisturbed until it reaches my dick.

Her head bobs with each breathless pant, and she raises it a little more to get a better view of me. Still bound to the frame, she’s looks like a starving, horny, wet nymph hanging from a cross and gazing at a feast. I rub the oil over the skin of my stomach, causing it to glisten and my abs to look more defined. Even from here, with her hair partially blocking her face, I can see her pupils dilate. I pour more of the oil down my stomach while she watches and I see her hips start to move. The dildo is still fucking her.

My dick starts to pound, so I take it in my hand. I grip it hard and spread the oil up my shaft starting from the base and all the way up and over the head. Fuck, it feels so good as I fuck my oily hand, and I close my eyes for a brief moment to feel the burn in my cock. I can’t help but groan as I reach down and caress my tight, aching balls while pumping my rod slow and hard, punishing the sensitive skin of the head with every pass.

I open my eyes to see her focused on my cock, literally drooling and licking her lips and still fucking that dildo while she watches me masturbate. It’s almost my fucking undoing.

I quickly release my cock and watch it jut upward angrily, spilling a bit of precum in protest.

I adjust her position on the sex-horse and angle her body and the dildo so that she’s still bound to the frame, but she’s now lying forward, face down with her head hanging off the horse. Perfect.

While I set ChrisDick to an upward Doggie-style circular grind and thrust behind her with an occasional squirt of female lubricant and a gentle vibration on her clit from the ribbed base, I adjust my examination stool directly in front of her so that my dick is right at her face. I have a joyous time fucking her mouth in this position. She’s completely helpless and I get to watch her body sensuously and wetly thrusting and grinding on a hard, pink replica of my dick. I gather her hair at the nape and guide her head over my cock, thrusting slowing into her mouth and feeling my orgasm burning hot and fast in my balls. I watch that pretty round ass and that ball of fluff bouncing on the horse and I know that she’s about to come at any moment. I want to reach down and grab that butt plug one more time, but I’m too busy concentrating on these masterful jaws locked on my cock. I cup her chin and cheek at the same time and bring her mouth down onto my dick over and over, the sensation causing a freezing stillness in my spine until…

“Good God!” I grind out of my throat as I explode hard in her mouth, my knees shaking hard with the release. I squeeze my eyes shut as my dick pulses in her mouth and when it’s finally over, I open my eyes and bring my gaze down to see my wife coming a second time. Right in the middle of her orgasm, I reach down and pull the butt plug from her ass, causing her to scream and nearly weep around my dick. I always wanted to do that while she was coming. It’s such delicious torment and ecstasy at the same time and I know it intensifies her orgasm.

Her body is convulsing as she begins to descend from her climax and my cock is reloading for the next round. The Dom is alive and well and ready for action. Although it’s obvious that she’s my lover—and I’m loving the fuck out of her—tonight, she’s completely my submissive and no matter what we do, she’ll spend this night in cuffs.

I climb on the horse behind her and hear her whimper in what sounds like dismay. I squeeze the coconut oil on her ass and watch is slide over her cheeks and down her split. I rub the oil in, paying attention to her sensitive rosette and her skin still pink from the flogger. Now, that shit turns me on.

I grip my cock and spread the oil on my hand over the pink skin. I concentrate on the head for a moment, then direct it to her rosette, using her asshole to increase the stimulation of my sensitive skin. She’s a bit open from the large butt plug and I groan as my head slips in—a slow, but easy, wet, oily, hot insertion.

“Ugh!” I lament as she closes around me, enveloping my head and causing the rest of my dick to harden instantaneously. I love Anastasia’s ass. When I say I love Anastasia’s ass, I mean I fucking love, love, love Anastasia’s ass!

I grasp her hips and sink my fingers into the meat, pulling her ass back onto my dick over and over and watching the head reappear and disappear inside that gorgeous tight hole. When my dick is hard and thumping and has to be deeper inside her, I adjust her to sit up and lean back against me.

“Fuck us both,” I command her, and she grinds against my cock in her ass and the dildo in her pussy the same time. The whole time, I’m grasping her hips, rubbing her body, and tormenting her nipples at the same time, enjoying the feeling of her coming apart in my hands… which she does, exploding in orgasm once again around both my cocks.

I keep my dick in her ass, but I lift her from ChrisDick from a moment. I’m still not done torturing her, though. With my dick still pulsing inside of her, I’m able to reach to a nearby table and retrieve more tools—nipple clamps and a smooth, silver vibrator. I torment her nipples from behind her for a while, making sure the nipple clamps are one setting too tight to heighten each orgasm from this point forward. She’s more sensitive now, so she’ll need more stimulation in order to come. Once her nipples are ready to pop like squeezed berries, I turn the vibrator on and stroke it up and down her tender clit—stroke, then remove… stroke, then remove… stroke, then remove. Too much stimulation, and it’ll hurt instead of arouse.

I can hear her getting wet again; I can smell her arousal; and my dick is still hard and buried in her ass. So, I start to stroke. I thrust deep, fucking her ass, stroking her clit with the dildo, and tormenting her tits. I’m so ready to blow that I rise very quickly and, to my surprise, so does she. She’s keening with each stroke, then moaning, then crooning. Several strokes later, she tightens like a fucking vise on my dick and comes quite violently—tears springing from her eyes and sweating like crazy. I grab her tits and hold her down onto me as I blow hard into her pulsing, gripping ass.

Now, I have to wait. Her ass always knocks me out for the count, but not this time. Oh, it was magnificent and explosive, but Dom Dick is still alive and kicking. He’s just pulsing like a fucking monster. She could use a break and I need to clean up before Dicky Boy can see any more action. I slide out of her ass and adjust her—restraints and all—to lie down on the sex-horse. I use the leg rests to get off the horse and come around to her face.

“Don’t get too comfortable,” I say to her panting, weeping face before I proceed to the en suite. I almost feel a little guilty for putting her through the paces this way… almost. I close the door and take my time, washing and sanitizing my dick with soap and water and personal wipes. It doesn’t stand down, but it relaxes a bit, and the pulsing stops. I really don’t want it to stand down. I’m just trying to give her clit a little break. I moisten two clean washcloths with cold water and go back into the playroom.

bdafcb1a1580b33a0b8113faa16fb629She’s not panting anymore. She looks motionless. Is she asleep? I approach her face to see that she’s awake, but quite subdued. I adjust her on the horse again so that she’s sitting up. I scan the floor to find the clip that has long since escaped her hair, leaving her ridiculously long tresses falling wildly over her head like that girl in that one horror movie.

We can’t have that.

I find her clip over by the wall underneath the table that holds an assortment of toys. God only knows how it ended up over there. I retrieve it and gather her hair behind her head again, clipping it loosely in the hairclip.  Her eyes are downcast and her arms hang listlessly from the wrist restraints. She’s shredded, but submissives often are during a good workout. I lift her chin and wipe her face with one of the moistened washcloths. Her skin comes back to life as I clean the salty treks of tears from her cheeks.

I move behind her and remove ChrisDick from the sex-horse. It’s time for position two, my friend. I attach it to the second masturbator at a right angle to the “sofa” portion of the sex-sofa. I imagine that it’s only called a sex sofa because the seat reclines a bit. Nonetheless, I get ChrisDick into position and oil him up so that he can take her ass while I enjoy the walls of her succulent core.

I come back to my wife and release her from the bondage the frame. While she’s still on the sex-horse, I retrieve ankle cuffs and attach them to her ankles. I take her hand, help her off of the sex horse and lead her to the sex sofa.

“On your knees, Anastasia.”

She situates herself on her knees on the seat and I attach her ankle cuffs to loops the leg rests on either side of the sex-horse. There are slots in the headrests that were perfect to insert a chain, so her wrist cuffs are fastened there.

I slap her still-stripped-pink ass and command her to back up onto ChrisDick as I guide it into her anal opening. She inhales sharply as the head of the dildo breaches her rosette.

Now, it’s my turn to get into position.

I attach the control to ChrisDick to a slot on the seat next to where I’ll be sitting and crawl into the seat underneath her. Now, she’s no longer on her knees. She’s lying on top of me, in my arms, and she’s looking very vulnerable. This is intimate… too damn intimate to just be fucking, and just like that, the submissive is gone.

I gaze at her for a moment, into the eyes of the woman that I love, and I kiss her softly. Surprise registers on her face, so I kiss her again, and again, and as I deepen the kiss, I starts the dildo in a slow, torturous motion, in her ass. She moans softly in my mouth and I grasp her cheeks, opening her more to the dildo and its penetration. She whimpers and her body responds, her tongue tangoing sensually with mine. I’m getting hard against her belly and I feel her grinding against me. I don’t want her to go without me, so I adjust, pull my hips back, and slide into her. She gasps in my mouth and I gasp right along with her as I thrust into the heat of her core.

“Oh, good God, this is fucking perfect,” I hiss as I cling to her hips, find the right position, and thrust up unto her. She writhes on top of me so perfectly, so lusciously, my dick aching inside her almost instantly. She’s so hot and so beautiful and we fit together so perfectly on this goddamn machine.

“Talk to me,” I say, softly. “Tell me what you feel.”

“So good,” she breathes, “it feels… so good…”

“Good,” I say with a quick wet kiss. “Good,” another wet kiss. “That’s what I want.” I kiss her deep and sensually and continue the slow fuck in front while ChrisDick runs that beautiful ass. I can feel the push and pull through her walls; the tremor of her ass and I wonder if the front and back orgasms will be simultaneous.

I don’t know if they’re simultaneous, but I feel one of them in this position. I think it’s vaginal, but I can’t tell. I just hold her close and keep fucking her because her body feels so good against me. I don’t move into a faster stroke. I maintain a slow, deep grind and keep the same grind with ChrisDick in her ass, unrelenting even when she comes a second time on top of me. Her body is weak and I know it, but she won’t tap out. She won’t give in, and I’m glad that she won’t because I’ve only had one orgasm in this position, and I want to keep loving her this way until I’ve had my fill.

I don’t know how long we’ve been at it, staring at each other when she could hold her head up; kissing softly, then sensually; me rubbing her hips, her back, anywhere I could touch her; deeply and slowly sexing her pussy and holding her cheeks open while ChrisDick fucked her ass; marking her on her chest, shoulders and neck below her collar-line. I swear I’m nearly ready to tap out when I feel that familiar ache in my lower back that signals the approach of a paralyzing orgasm.

Fuck, we’ve been working towards this one all night.

I fight not to quicken the pace, but can’t help deepening the stroke. My wife responds immediately. I have unwittingly clamped my hands tighter on her hips and ass cheeks, holding her immobile as ChrisDick and I drill relentlessly and deliciously into her. She closes her eyes tightly and moves the only part of her body that she can. Pushing off the back of the headrest, she lifts her upper-body from mine and throws her head back, her face frozen in a horribly painful sex grimace.

She stays that way for several long moments as the growing ache in my back now traveling through my tailbone and my rectum to my prostate causes my hips to thrust a little harder. Just as the ache begins to burn lava in my nuts, she stiffens like steel and releases a blood-curdling scream from her very soul. Her body tightens around me and I only have moments to pump wildly into her and chase my own pleasure before we lock together like mating dogs and her vacuum syphons pulse after agonizing pulse of madly climaxing ecstasy from my body. I can’t even describe these sounds I’m making. I hear them, but I can’t describe them…

Long, primal animalistic, grunts? I have no fucking idea.

I hear momentary popping in my ears, probably from my wife’s screaming, or maybe from my own primitive noises, but my body is spent. If she doesn’t safeword, I’m going to.

I float down to Planet Earth and realize that I won’t have to. My wife’s body has fallen limp on top of mine. She’s no longer in any kind of kneeling position and ChrisDick is no longer inside of her. He’s just thrusting uselessly back and forth, occasionally kissing an ass cheek with the tip of his head. I push the controls to stop his thrusting and turn my attention back to my wife. She had an orgasmic tear-burst earlier, but now, her full weight is pressed against my body, her head turned so that she’s lying on my shoulder facing away from me, and she’s weeping freely and deeply, her body shaking slightly with her sobs.

I slide my arms around her to comfort her, my dick still pulsing inside of her vibrating walls, and allow her to weep.

*-*

“You’re quiet,” I say to my wife as we ride into Grey House on Tuesday morning. She’s looking out the window at the scenery as it passes by before she turns to me. I can tell that she’s searching for her words, but instead, she shrugs one shoulder and turns back to watching the buildings pass by out the window. I reach over and gently caress her hand, garnering her attention once more.

“Are you okay?” I ask, concerned. “Did I hurt you?”

“No, Christian,” she says, “of course not.”

“Did I upset you?” I ask, still searching for the answer to her melancholy mood.

“No, you didn’t upset me,” she replies.

“Then, what did I do?” I ask, “because I know I did something.” She throws a quick glance at the back of Jason’s head, a gesture that tells me two things. One, she doesn’t want to discuss anything in the car with Jason and two, I’m right… I did do something. Resigned to the fact that I’m just going to have to wait to find out what’s bothering her, I bring her hand to my lips and place a gentle kiss on her skin, which elicits a small smile from her. I place our clasped hands in my lap, where they remain for the rest of the ride into Grey House.

She’s quiet the entire time—through the walk through the lobby, the long elevator ride up to the top of the ivory tower, down the hallway to my office… and I never release her hand, afraid of what I’ve done to put her in this mood. We stop momentarily at Andrea’s desk where I give her instructions to have Mac meet us here in half an hour and Butterfly greets Andrea and Luma with a wave and a smile.

I usher my wife into my office and close the door. She finally releases my hand and walks over to my desk. Even though we were both thoroughly well-fucked last night, watching her walk in these suits that she wears to Grey House that are supposed to be business suits turns me on to no end. The fact that she pairs these suits with the sexiest stilettos known to man doesn’t help the matter, either. That Hugo Boss suit looks as if it were tailor-made for her body and that jacket is cut just short enough to give me the perfect view of that ass.

Focus, Grey.

“Tell me what’s wrong,” I say, cutting the silence. “What have I done?”

She sets her purse in one of the chairs in front of my desk and releases a sigh.

“I don’t know what to think about last night,” she says, her voice uncertain. My brow furrows.

“What do you mean?” I ask. “I thought you enjoyed yourself.”

“I did… for the most part…” I cross the room and close the space between us.

“There was something you didn’t enjoy?” I ask. She shrugs one shoulder.

“Not as such,” she says hesitantly. “I felt… and you said…” She sighs. “There was some punishment,” she says finally. “I don’t really know why.” I raise my eyebrows at her.

“You don’t know why?” I ask. “But we discussed it. You clearly broke protocol…”

“But is that why I was being punished, Christian?” she says, turning around to face me. “This meeting that we’re having, the conversation that we had yesterday, the entire tone of our scene last night and the fact that I slept in cuffs—all of that speaks to a larger intent, not a breach in protocol.”

She’s getting flustered as she speaks. I’m looking for some kind of defense and I’m finding none. I was angry that we didn’t know beforehand that Butterfly was going to be interviewing live with Sarah Bradley, but angry with whom? Sarah Bradley, yes; maybe my security staff for not keeping a closer eye on her; maybe myself for not being more diligent about background checks before Butterfly made appearances, but she’s right. Her breach in protocol may have been what brought this to light, but it wasn’t what really set me off. What really set me off was my lack of control over the whole situation…

Over these subs who keep popping up like recurring fucking nightmares…

Over my security staff who would have alerted me the second that inconsistencies showed up on a background check, but didn’t because there were only moments to make a decision and Anastasia had already made it…

Over my wife, who didn’t follow simple instructions put in place for her safety and as a result, put herself directly in the line of fire…

For one moment, I missed the unquestioned order of my old life and I needed to have it back. My wife is a smart woman. She’s a doctor—a psychiatrist at that, and as I play back the conversations and events of last night, besides what she’s already pointed out, I know what the clues were that led to how she’s feeling right now.

“I am who I am. I won’t change. I’ll always require structure and control. When something interferes with that, I struggle to maintain balance.”

“I’m going to punish you a bit for your disobedience. Then, I’m going to use you and fuck you until I’m satisfied.”

My thoughts about how much I missed flogging her, about being with a submissive. They obviously came out in my actions. I even made a mental note that she would be a submissive all night and subsequently had her sleep in the wrist and ankle cuffs. I know the moment I felt my control slip and the moment I got it back… but I wasn’t open with her about the reason for the scene, and she knew it.

I fucked up.

I run my hands through my hair. I don’t know how to explain this. I could easily tell her that it was my need to regain control over the situation—but that’s not what I said. I said something else and that’s not what she felt… and that’s not good at all.

“I’m sorry,” I breathe heavily, leaning against my desk, my chin in my chest. I feel like shit. Our relationship is never supposed to have this type of undertone—never—even when then physical outcome may be pleasurable. I can feel her staring at me, but I can’t even look at her right now.

“I should have said something,” she says, after a long silence. Yes, you should have. I wasn’t in the right mind and yes, we both enjoyed ourselves, but last night could have gone wrong in so many ways and if it left her feeling this way, it did go wrong. I don’t know if I’ll be able to use any of the toys or apparatuses on her from last night again.

“I’ll… be more careful,” I say. It’s all I can think of, but it hardly seems like enough. I almost feel like I’ve battered her or something.

“Look at me, Christian.” I can’t. I can’t even raise my head. “Christian, look at me!” I know I have to or I’m punishing her for my bad behavior again. So, I turn my head to meet her gaze.

“You didn’t hurt me,” she says, trying to assure me. “It was intense and very pleasurable, but your reasons… you have to be careful.” She walks over to me and puts her hand on my cheek. “As your submissive and your wife, I have to be able to know why you’re doing the things that you’re doing to me. I have to be able to draw the line in my mind between our activities.” I nod.

“I accept that,” I say firmly, “but as your Dominant, I need you to tell me when you’re unsure. Just like you have a problem with me imposing something on you after the fact, revealing something like this to me after the fact is unacceptable. That’s why you have safewords, Ana.” I drop my head again. This is one of the fundamental rules of BDSM—trust. She trusts me with her body and limits and I trust her to tell me when I’m going too far or breaking the rules… and she didn’t.

“I’m… sorry, too,” she says, her voice small. I can’t comfort her right now. As her husband and Dominant, I’m a combination of angry and disappointed… in us both. Neither of us handled the mechanics of this situation well at all and although it could have turned out much more disastrously than it did, the psychological impact on our relationship could be a bit intense. What’s going to happen the next time we decide to play? The next time a punishment is issued? Has her trust in me been shaken to the point of questioning my intentions each time we engage? What about my trust in her to tell me if something is unacceptable or beyond her limits?

Am I reading too much into this?

We must have stood there pondering the concept for much longer than we thought, because my intercom buzzes and Andrea tells me that Mac and Josh are here for our meeting. I tell her to give us a minute and stand up straight to face my wife. It’s only now that I realize that she’s been crying.

“I didn’t mean to do this to you,” I say, wrapping my arms around her waist. “It’s a sorry excuse and I know it, but that fucking control thing, and I didn’t exercise it the right way.” She nods as she takes in a shuddering breath.

“I know,” she says. “I know you well enough to know that’s what it was. I just needed you to realize that… and recognize that’s what it is before we start… and not label it as a punishment, because it’s confusing for me. I don’t know what to think and I don’t know how to process it… and when I question punishments…” She trails off and looks up at me, letting me know that I haven’t made it easy for her second-guess my decision to punish her, and she’s right. I nod.

“Point taken. We’ll both do better… okay?” I say, my voice beseeching. She nods and I kiss her gently on her lips. “Now, go wash your face before Mac and Josh think I’m a monster.” She nods and I kiss her again before sending her to the bathroom. When she’s in the restroom, I summon my publicity team to my office.

“Well, either you’ve just been fucked or you’ve had a rough morning,” Mac says. What the fuck?

“What?” I nearly hiss at her.

“Your hair looks like a goddamn Wildman,” she says, pointing at my head. I run my hands through my hair in a futile attempt to tame it.

“The latter,” I say, taking a seat behind my desk. “You’ve seen Ana’s interview by now.”

“We have,” Josh says, moving Ana’s purse to my desk and sitting in the chair. “I would ask what that was all about, but there are so many answers to that question.”

“I don’t think my wife is going to be doing any more appearances,” I say, “by her own choice. However, I feel that if we allow that to be her final public appearance, it sends a negative message to the media—that she can be frightened away, and I know that’s not what she wants.” Mac twists her lips and nods.

“I see what you mean,” she says. “She needs to do at least one more.”

“It needs to be strong, controlled,” I tell her. “We can’t have any more Judd Rossiter, Random Ratings Whore, local cable chicks trying to piggyback off of her. This has got to stop. She’s going to have to lay low for a while until I can find a way to gag Rossiter. With charges against him for assaulting Ray, he’s going to be talking to anybody who’ll listen and getting a gag order is proving to be harder than I thought.”

I’m considering gagging this fucker my own way.

“We could do a taped interview,” Mac suggests.

“That’s what I was thinking, but I have a bigger agenda in mind.” Butterfly comes out of the restroom, looking refreshed and ready to face the world—nothing like she did moments ago.

“How do you make everything you wear look so good?” Mac says. Butterfly smiles.

“It ain’t easy,” she replies. “So, I know my husband has a plan in light of the bitch who cornered me yesterday. Has he let you in on it yet?”

“No,” Josh says. “I think he was waiting for you.”

“I was,” I say as I bring her over to me and coax her onto my lap. “There needs to be one more interview—television. Local or national, I prefer national. It’s going to be pre-approved material; it’s going to be pre-recorded; and it’s going to be both of us.” Mac’s eyes widen.

“Are you serious?” she exclaims. “Why would you want to do that?”

“For a lot of reasons,” I begin. “First, if we give them a little of what they want, we take away some of the splendor of what they’re looking for. Remember the press conference in 2012? Things got a little quiet after that. Now, my wife has been doing these appearances and dropping little tidbits. All the while, other cans of worms are being opened along the way. Give them a tiny peek into our lives, how we met, who we are—take away some of the mystery. At the same time, press a couple of our own agendas.”

My wife looks over at me and realization dawns. She gets what I’m trying to do. Not only do we need a unified front, but we also need to send a message to stop fucking with us.

“She knows something I don’t know,” Mac says about Butterfly. Butterfly turns to Mac.

“Just like GEH knows that the Greys stand together as an impenetrable unit and enemies and oppressors will fall at our feet, my husband wants to send that message to the world.”

“And you agree with this?” Josh asks.

“Wholeheartedly,” she responds without hesitation. “I’m tired of being under attack—emotionally, physically, and figuratively—so much so that I’m willing to stand at the front gate of my mansion with a loaded AK-47 to prove it.” Mac frowns.

Physically?” Butterfly’s eyes widen.

“Hello? Car smashed into me in November? Coma for twelve days? Lost memory?”

“Oh… yeah… sorry,” Mac apologizes. “So, you’ll have your choice of networks. Any preferences?”

“I’ll let you get started on that, first. Let me know what you come up with and we’ll narrow it down,” I tell her. She nods.

“Let’s start putting together a platform, then,” she says and takes a seat in front of my desk. “This should be interesting…”


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

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

~~love and handcuffs

 

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

 

 

Becoming Dr. Grey: Chapter 65—Letting Off Some Steam

My gosh, it’s a bunch of horny women in here! I’ve already told y’all that there was a baby born from my story some years ago… Ya better watch ya’selves!

And please allow me to welcome all of my newest followers and subscribers. Thank you for joining me!

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 65—Letting Off Some Steam

ANASTASIA

I’m in the shower, washing off the grime of the day. The children have been fed and all I can think about is the promise that Christian made to have me tonight. I don’t know what he has planned, but my clit has been pulsing in anticipation for hours.

Once I’ve finished my shower, I dry my skin and put on my half robe before going back out to our room. I find him sitting on the edge of our bed.

“There you are,” he says, rising like a panther and stalking over to me. He grabs me and kisses me deeply. “I need to taste you.”

Shit! He’s grinding against me hard as a rock! I’m in fucking agony here.

“Mmmmm!” he groans again in my ear, grasping my breast and thrusting his rigid erection against me. Fuck!

“Christian… you’re so hard. You know we can’t…”

“I know… I know… we won’t… just let me taste you, baby. I’ve got the rest. I’m going to try something new.” God, Christian, if you bring that thing anywhere near me, I won’t be responsible for my actions.

“Okay,” I breathe before his mouth closes over mine.

I’m lying on our bed, naked, waiting for Christian. He’s in his bathroom and has told me that he’ll be right back. Now, I’m anticipating what’s about to happen. When he comes out, he’s wrapped in a bath blanket. It’s not doing much to hide his erection as I can see it clearly from behind the terrycloth.

“Christian…” I warn.

“I know,” he whispers. “You don’t want to see it or you’ll want it. I can’t do much about it yet, but I want you too much. So close your eyes.” I do as I’m told and he lays something over my eyes. It’s only temporary—not meant to stay. I feel him on the bed between my legs, moving something, situating something… pillows I think? After a few minutes, I ask, “What are you doing?”

tenga

“When I bought the Tenga eggs, I also bought a Tenga Flip. Yes, it’s a masturbator, but I’ve looked up a way to use it hands-free so that I can feast on this delicious pussy and relieve myself at the same time.”

redhole_int_en

Now, why does that sound so fucking hot?

“I don’t get to watch?” I say, my throat dry.

“We’ll see,” he says, his voice heavy with arousal. The next thing I know, he’s over me, kissing me deeply and making me hot. I moan into his mouth. Shit! His tongue moves to my cheek, my ear, my neck and then he’s straddling me… naked.

“No fair,” I breathe.

“You can’t see me,” he says, his voice thick with sex. “Hands above your head, just for now…” I obey, and I feel his hand on me, hot and oily, right at my breasts. He massages them thoroughly, coating the mound up to the nipples, then pinching them repeatedly between his finger and thumb until they pebble, sending fiery shocks straight to my core.

“Christian,” I whine almost incoherently.

“Mm, you like that, baby? I like it, too.” I feel him move up my body and moments later, his rock hard penis is between my breasts. I can feel every single vein and see him in my mind’s eye—red and oily from my breasts, sliding between the copious mounds of meat.

“Christian!” I cry out, tortured that he’s not inside me.

“I know!” he pants. “I’m sorry. I had to feel your skin just once.” He immediately moves his penis, but continues the torturous massage of my breast. God, I’m mindless in needing him, in needing to feel some part of him. Maxie’s warning comes to mind about babies born ten months apart. I’d bear a set of triplets if he would just fuck me right now!

I feel his oily dick slide down my body and he gently takes one pebbled nipple in his mouth.

“Ah!” I cry out as the feeling once again shoots right to my core. He continues the manipulation, sucking and pinching, and as the twins have already emptied me, I’m nothing but nerves and sensation.

“Christian… please…” I squeak as the pressure builds in my pelvis.

“Sshh,” he says, now pressing his pelvis hard against mine, but not moving—no friction, it’s just… there, and I’m immobilized, while he sucks and pinches my tender nipples.

“Christian!” I plead. He doesn’t stop. The heat is unbearable, He presses harder against me, nothing moving, just pressure—building on the inside and pushing from the outside. I’m going to explode.

“Chri… stain…” I whimper as the unbelievable pressure finally reaches its mark and causes me to tremble.

“Um-hmm,” Christian says, his mouth full. He gives my nipple one final hard pinch and sucks the other one with massive pressure. I explode into volcanic eruptions and he grinds hard into my pelvis, no friction—just repeated pressure to push my orgasm deep, deep into me… fucking me without fucking me. Holy Christ. My legs open, unable to move, my hands above my head, my husband riding me and pressing me hard into the bed, my breath is snatched from my body with the one feral cry I can release as my orgasm rips my pussy and my breasts to shreds and I try to do the same thing to the sheets over my head. My makeshift blindfold has long since slid off my face.

“That’s right,” he groans. “Give me those juices, baby.” He finally releases my pelvis from its prison and it’s pulsing violently like we just fucked. How the hell did he do that? He slides from my body and after I catch my breath, I can see that he’s on his knees between my legs, his hands are both oily and he’s looking… where?

I have to focus for a moment. He’s on his knees and there are two pillows propped between my legs. He has his rock-hard, unforgiving erection in his oily hand and he’s pumping it feverishly, looking at… my pussy!

Shit, that’s hot!

“Christian,” I whine. He had to give me an orgasm first… a huge one, so that he could look at me and get himself ready.

“I know, baby,” he says, his voice tortured and aroused. “I won’t bring it near you… I don’t… want… to hurt you.” He’s so hungry, so needy… and he looks so good. He strokes himself a few more times. God, I don’t know how it turns me on so much watching him stroke himself. It’s only now that I realize that the Tenga Flip must be situated between the pillows, because that’s where he inserts his dick stroking two or three times and moaning. I’m almost jealous, until he lies flat on the pillows grabs my hips, bringing my pussy to him and eying it like a feast. He licks his lips deliciously before he licks mine.

“Ah!” I cry out at the initial contact. It feels like it’s been forever! He licks it again, and I cry out again. Fuck! I just came a minute ago! What the fuck! He moans deep and licks deeper and I think I’m going to pass out. Fucking hell! I grind into his face as much as I can, whimper and crying. He’s pushing me hard and fast, moaning into my pussy and it’s the hottest fucking thing I’ve ever seen… felt… heard. Hell, I don’t know. He moves his head from side to side to get deeper in my lips and…

“Oh God!” I can’t stand it. He’s got hold of that bundle of nerves that controls my every thought in moments like this. His tongue rims the opening of my vagina and just breaches it slightly—not too far—to collect the juices from my prior orgasm.

“Christian,” I squeak, so much pleasure lancing through me that I can hardly get the word out of my mouth.

“You can move your hands,” he speaks into my pussy and I can’t hear the words, but I know what he said. I reach down and grab his hair so that I can more easily grind into his mouth. He groans loudly and I feel the bed moving rhythmically. I look down at his body and his finely sculpted hips are grinding deliciously into those pillows.

Lucky Tenga.

I imagine that it’s me down there, being relentlessly drilled by his hard, throbbing cock. Another moan and a thrust tells me that my pussy feels… er, tastes good to him and I lift my knees and legs in the air, still gripping his hair. He groans loudly, sucking my clit and one of my lips into his mouth, his tongue lapping at my opening, and I have another screaming orgasm in his mouth. He holds my hips down, pumping violently into his Tenga Flip until he groans loudly again and stills, his hip muscles pushed firmly into the pillows. I remain still as I catch my breath, my fingers still in his hair, waiting. He’s panting into my pussy, but his tongue starts to move again, gently, slowly.

“Christian,” I protest softly. “I’m tender…”

“Um-hmm,” he says, without raising his head, but continuing the slow, gentle tasting of my genitals, careful to steer clear of my clit. I let my legs rest back on his shoulders, and he tastes my arousal from my opening again. It sends chills through me. My God, what this man does to me. His hands move from my hips to my pelvis and my stomach… and the pressure is hot.

“Oooooo,” I say involuntarily, as he continues to explore my lips, my opening, my hood. His hips begin to move again, and I realize that he’s not finished. Between the pressure on my pelvis, the not-quite stimulation of my core, and the sexy movement of his hips, I’m getting hot again.

“Christian,” I keen. He raises his eyes to me, his tongue still tasting my vagina. The way that he has me angled with my butt just at the top of the pillow, I can see his tongue liking the hood of my clit. What I see is even hotter than what I feel.

“Hold it open,” he says, his voice powerful and thick with lust. I do what he says and use my hands to separate my lips. He allows his tongue to explore the full area of my lips, clit and core while I watch. Seeing his tongue glide hard over my exposed clitoris sends delicious chills through me.

“Don’t let go,” he says, “even if you come… especially if you come.”

His tongue continues its rhythmic journey around my lips and over my clit and I watch, helplessly trembling in his mouth as his tongue runs torture over my tender clit—over and over and over again. He moans as he continues to lick, continues to thrust, his hips moving deliciously around those pillows in the same motion that his tongue moves deliciously over my clit. I’m trying to hold on, trying to hold it open, but my hands start to tremble.

His hips and tongue move slightly faster and I groan in my throat. I can’t take it. I can’t hold it open. I throw my head back, absorbing the pleasure just a bit as I try to keep my hips still and feel his mouth on me. When I raise my head, I can see my clit. It’s gotten slightly bigger, slightly redder, and it looks like the hood pulled back and right at that moment, he closes his mouth and suckles.

“Fuck!” I can’t help it. I grab his hair, close my eyes, thrust my hips forward and ride out this orgasm. It’s so intense, watching myself come in his mouth, looking in his eyes while he sucks me off. His hands clamp hard on my breasts and he’s thrusting feverishly—hard and violent, chasing his orgasm. He’s fucking that thing so hard that I don’t know how the hell it’s staying in place. He pulls me harder into his mouth, suckling deeply from the last orgasm, not letting me escape.

“Christian!” I breathe. It’s tender—still swollen and engorged. It hurts, but he’s primal, and he can’t stop. I close my eyes to bear it… try to find my subspace, but soon, the pain fades and is replaced again with pleasure. He’s still holding me down by my breasts, his fingers digging painfully into the tender meat. He’s still suckling my clit, searching for that last orgasm hiding in my loins, and pumping like a madman into those pillows and that Tenga, searching for his.

I don’t call his name anymore. He’s lost in his primal passion, sucking the juice out of me while the Tenga sucks the juice out of him. He pulls those breasts with each stroke, like he’s pulling me into him instead of this inanimate object milking his dick. His suckle is rhythm with each stroke—suck, release, suck, release, suck, release. Our primal grunts, whines, whimpers, and cries now mimic other as my fingers tangle tight in his hair and my legs clamp around his back and neck. It’s coming and it’s huge. He’s going to suck it right out of me and I can’t stop it and when it hits, I’m going to float the fuck right out of here if I don’t hold on.

His is coming, too, and he clamps down, suckles hard with maximum pressure and pinches those nipples mercilessly. No more rhythm, just constant pressure and I’m a fucking goner.

My body is shredded and thrashed in every possible direction as my pussy, breasts, and brain are mangled by an orgasm that truly rocks the foundations of the universe. I can’t see, hear, or speak and I think I interpret screaming somewhere, animal grunting, growling, howling, I don’t know. I feel bolts of electricity flowing through me, shocking me, jerking me uncontrollably. I feel high, like I have no control over time or space, and I have no idea how much time has passed when I float back down to myself and I’m crying, lying flat on the bed unable to move. My tormentor is lying beside me, holding me close and kissing my face over and over again, using words like, “amazing,” “beautiful,” and “unbelievable,” and all I can say is “please… please, no more… no more, please…”

*-*

“You are deliciously radiant, Mrs. Grey.”

We’re snuggled on the chaise in my sitting room looking out over the lake. It’s overcast and rainy, but I can’t feel it while basking in the warmth of my husband and our microfiber robes. I’m wrapped in his arms and legs on a lazy Sunday morning and he kisses my neck and shoulder after pulling my robe back to expose it a bit.

“Last night was incredible,” he says, “but I want us to wait now.’ I look over my shoulder at him

“Wait for what?” I ask.

“No more playing… no more orgasms until we have sex,” he says. “It’s only a week, but I don’t want to feel anything else until I feel you again. I want you tight, sensitive, and ready when I enter you. I want you aching for me to be inside you as much as I ache to be inside you.” I sigh heavily.

“It’s going to be hard, Mr. Grey,” I say, turning slightly in his arms and between his legs. “You turn me on so much. You just walk into a room and I want you.” I gently caress his sideburns while planting a quick, but deep kiss on his mouth, pulling his bottom lip gently between my teeth when our mouths part. “But the idea seems so titillating, I’m all for it. I think it’ll make our experience that much more explosive and exciting.” He rubs my hips and ass through the robe.

“You’re not going to make this easy for me, are you?” he says, licking my lips with the tips of his tongue and I groan lightly.

“I’m not going to make it deliberately harder,” I vow, “but I don’t promise to avoid you or keep my hands off of you.” I suck his tongue into my mouth and caress it with my own before closing my lips over his in a wet kiss, eliciting a soft moan from him. “… Or my mouth.” The hand on my ass squeezes deliberately.

“Yeah, you’re going to make this hard for me,” he whispers against my lips.

“Not any wetter than you’re going to make it for me,” I reply, absorbing his kisses as he cups my face to claim my lips.

After spending a somewhat lazy Sunday making out with my husband—nothing past second base—and taking care of our beautiful growing twins, we plot out the course of our week. Monday, we’ll be meeting with Broadmoor and the couple that hopes to sponsor us. I haven’t informed Christian, but Tuesday, I’ll be having my six-week check-up—two days early, yes, but I need to get the IUD inserted so that it will be in place when we finally consummate the birth of our children.

We’ve decided to wait until this weekend—Friday, to be exact—for that particular consummation. We’re taking a weekend away to reconnect and refresh, but we haven’t decided where we’re going yet. We know that there will be lots of wild sex and no matter how I try to ignore it, if that two-way goes off with my cooing children, all bets are off. So Luma has agreed to bring the girls over on Friday and spend the weekend helping Gail with the twins. Grace will be on call to assist if there are any problems and wherever Christian and I are, we’ll only be a phone call away. I couldn’t thank Luma enough for being willing to give up her weekend to help with the twins. She assures me that being able to spend the weekend at the Crossing with all of its amenities is more than payment enough for being able to take care of “those beautiful babies.”

I have to admit that motherhood has, so far, not been the trial that I thought it would. Granted, I really have a lot of help and I’m just getting started, but I truly prepared myself for the very worst right out of the gate and it just hasn’t happened yet, knock on wood. The babies’ one-month check-up went without a hitch a couple of weeks ago. Their feeding schedules are fairly normal as are their weight, height and head circumference, although Mikey is still a little smaller than his sister. Dr. Nahabedian tells us not to be concerned about that since his birth weight was small to begin with. He’s not unhealthy and that’s what we’re concerned about. Heart, lungs, reflexes, joints, ears, eyes, mouth, and genitals all look normal, and the umbilical stump fell off for Mikey by the time of the appointment. Minnie’s fell off a few days later.

Their fontanels are developing just fine, although Minnie’s head is still shaped a little weirdly. Once again, Dr. Nahabedian says that it will come into its own normal shape soon enough. After careful research and talking to Grace and De. Nahabedian, we’re sticking with our decision not to have Michael circumcised. We feel like there are far more health concerns involved with having it done than there are with not having it done. As long as we teach him proper hygiene practices, we’re assured that the extra foreskin shouldn’t cause him problems. Yes, my Christian upbringing is a bit at odds with this decision, but in this day and age, I think I’ve made the best decision for my son.

We’ve decided to take a trip to a small cabin resort in Oregon called Five Pine Lodge. We’ll take Charlie Tango out on Friday evening to avoid the long drive. Chance and Chuck will come with us to be on call since Jason was on call for the last trip. We won’t be doing much mingling anyway—we’ll probably only have one activity involving other people for the entire weekend, maybe one other dinner and a spa visit or something. Other than that, this time will be all about us and it’s only a couple of days to decompress as we have to come back and face the Pedophile in court that following Monday. I’m not looking forward to her trial, to dredging up all the shit that she put us through. My memories may be a little cloudy on some things, but when it comes down to her and the hell she caused, it’s as clear as a fucking bell!

I still recall the first day I met that monstrous woman. She had the nerve to show up at Christian’s apartment in that ridiculous outfit on a fucking Sunday morning! He was a full-on Dom at the time with no submissive qualities at the time. What the hell was she trying to prove? But when she later found out that he allowed me to dominate him and not her anymore, oh, she could have shit bricks. I thought she was going to give birth to a real live baby elephant right there on Grace’s lawn!

She’s been nothing but horror and pain since the day I learned of her existence. Her malfeasances are too many to list and she has the nerve to be using some sort of diminished capacity as a defense for having someone break into my apartment, steal my gun, and then try to kill the love of my life with it right before my very eyes.

And I have to go to court and recount this shit… as if living through David’s trial wasn’t enough.

It’ll be different this time, though. Whatever her attorney throws at me, I’m going to throw right back at his ass. I’ll make no apologies and I won’t censor what I say about that horrible, wretched woman. I don’t care how many times they object! I will only stop with the threat of being held in contempt of court, but everything I know about her will be put out on display. I know they’re going to try to suppress any discussion about her “other crimes,” but they’re not going to be able to, because they directly relate to this case.

I wonder how far Christian is going to go to make sure she gets a conviction?

“Elliot is sending his crew over today to start the en suite for the playroom… playpen, whatever we choose to call it,” Christian says as we’re on our way to Broadmoor. He’s driving the one of the Audi SUV’s and Ben and Chuck are following behind in one of the others. “Jason will supervise since—let’s face it, he knows everything that’s gone on in my life for nearly a decade.” I shrug.

“I never thought in a million years that I would be involved in an alternative sexual lifestyle, much less have a third party know about it and be comfortable with it,” I comment.

“We’re as discreet as we can be under the circumstances,” he says. He pauses for a minute. “Elliot said that he couldn’t oversee the renovations himself because he’s taking Valerie to the doctor today.” I turn to face him.

“What’s wrong with her?” I ask.

“He doesn’t know,” Christian says. “He wants to rule out pregnancy.” I look at him incredulously and count on my fingers.

“Since before my birthday?” I say in disbelief. “She’d know by now.” He shrugs.

“Hey, I don’t know. I just know that my brother is at the end of his rope. I’m certain that Valerie’s not seeing anybody else, but something’s wrong. Her social life is nil; he says her health is questionable; and now her job is in jeopardy. He had to give her an ultimatum to get her to go to the doctor, and he wouldn’t let her go alone because he doesn’t trust her to do it. If the general practitioner or the shrink can’t figure out what’s wrong with her, this relationship is over. I just thought you should know.”

And then she’ll have nobody. I don’t want that for her, but she won’t let me in. So I don’t know that there’s much that I can do about it.

“He’ll keep you posted?” I ask.

“So he says.” I sigh. I guess I’ll just wait.

“So about the bathroom—any idea how long it’ll take?” I change the subject.

“I told him it needs to be ready in two weeks before the furniture arrives. I figure it’ll be done while we’re away. That’s one of the reasons I decided to take Chuck and Williams with us this time, not to mention that Jason was pulling his hair out on the last trip. I had to give him a task with that asshole to keep him from losing his mind.”

“I hope the fellas have something to do this weekend because I plan to keep you to myself as much as possible,” I say.

“I like the sound of that, Mrs. Grey,” he says.

Ilene Claiborne is a bit friendlier with my husband than I like when we get to Broadmoor. She’s not overbearing or inappropriate. She just a little giddier than she should be. I have to remember that my husband’s presence is more commanding when you meet him in person—he’s a beautiful man with a beautiful body and a beautiful voice and he reeks of power and charm. Not a lot of women can withstand that even if they try. I feel a little sorry for her because his behavior of me is extremely possessive from the moment we walk into the club. He leads me around my cupping my elbow or the small of my back or by holding my hand. He sits very close to me, often with his arm on the back of my chair. His eyes are usually on documents, some focal point in the club, or me—very rarely on Ilene, and only when she’s speaking directly to him alone to not appear rude.

It’s no use; she still a puddle of goo, but she tries to camouflage it as much as possible. I have to give her credit for that and I dare not call her on it. It’s obvious that she’s doing the best that she can.

Her relief is palpable when we are joined by the couple that will be sponsoring us. Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy. We sit down to lunch to discuss the intricacies of country club membership and exactly what sponsorship means. Our standing as members won’t be diminished in any way; we just couldn’t join without sponsors since we weren’t residents of the community. Eugene and Josephine Kennedy will be our mentors, so to speak, which I plan to utilize, but if I know Christian, he’ll take those reins on for himself once we’re members.

Overall, the lunch goes very well and my initial impression of our sponsors is positive. Like us, they are a fairly young couple, with three children instead of two. Josephine and I have a brief discussion of the possible woes of a newborn as her youngest is eight months old. She sympathizes with me that I have two at once, but sings the praises of having a good nanny and staff. She admits to being more of a stay-at-home mom with a few other projects as well, but admits that she wouldn’t be able to juggle all of the tasks of being a wife and a mother to three small children without help.

I like her; she seems very genuine. It’s obvious from her conversation that she loves her husband and children very much and takes her role as wife and mother very seriously. She will not be besmirched for not working outside of the home or for needing help even though she stays at home. I don’t blame her. I don’t think stay-at-home mothers get enough credit for the work that they do to raise healthy, happy children and keep a stable home.

Eugene is a bank executive and mentioned knowing Ethan, and not liking his father very much. That immediately fared well with Christian as he doesn’t like Ethan’s father very much either. Eugene has good things to say about Ethan and his presence in the financial community, things that Christian apparently already knew, but he admits that it’s good to hear since Ethan will be marrying his little sister pretty soon. The gentlemen comment about it being a small world and make other small talk over lunch. Their connection was not as solid as mine and Josephine’s, but knowing my husband, I didn’t think it would be. In fact, it was about as good as can be expected.

We left the country club with our application intact, having paid our dues with Christian’s Amex Black. We are now the newest members of the Broadmoor Country Club. Although we have immediate access to the facilities, we’ll be notified of the next new member Meet-and-Greet.

Meet-and-Greet… ugh!

Tuesday, I don’t want to wave the flag that I’m going to see Dr. Culley for my check-up and to get my IUD inserted, so I quietly sneak out of the house with just Chuck and leave a message with Gail that if His Highness asks where I am, tell him that I went shopping. It’s not a lie—I am going to get new lingerie for our trip and poor Chuck is going to have to stand by while I shop at Agent Provocateur. But first, the six-week check-up.

“Have you only been doing yoga?” Dr. Culley says when she sees me. I nod.

“Basic and some intermediate,” I tell her. “Nothing too strenuous. I was afraid.” She frowns.

“I don’t doubt you, it’s just…” She looks at my chart, flipping through the pages. “Ana, you’ve lost all but seven pounds of your baby weight, which is probably all milk. I think your stomach is smaller than it was before you got pregnant, unless it’s just disproportionate to your breasts and your hips.”

“That’s a definite possibility,” I tell her.

“Have you been dieting?” she asks. I shake my head.

“I’ve never been a huge eater, Dr. Culley, and you know throughout the pregnancy, I couldn’t eat beef. So it’s always been basically chicken and vegetables. I did as much as I could throughout my pregnancy to try to keep my body in shape and after the babies were born, I went straight to the belly belt and then to the essential oils and the belly binding. Not only that, I’ve got two breastfeeding babies, but let’s face it.” I point conspicuously at my stomach. “There were two people in there and they’re gone now!” Dr. Culley laughs.

“This is true. It’s just that it’s just extremely rare that I see women shrink as quickly as this without doing something unhealthy. I have to ask.”

“Well, run whatever tests you need, because the real exercising is going start as soon as you clear me. Christian likes my ass, but I feel a bit like a Kardashian.” She shakes her head.

“Trust me, you don’t look like that. Because of your small frame, I will concede that you need to tone a bit, but you look nothing like that.” She looks at my chart. “IUD?”

“Yes.”

“No penetrative sex for the last six weeks?”

“No, and I’m losing my mind!” I admit. “It’s been more like two months. Remember, I couldn’t have sex after the babies dropped.”

“Oh, yeah, that’s right,” she says, looking through my chart further. “The urine test was negative. Have you had a period?”

“No,” I reply. She nods.

“That’s to be expected with breastfeeding.” She checks some things off my chart.

“I have a question about that. Is it true that breastfeeding can be used as a form of birth control?” I ask.

“Continuous breastfeeding, yes. In laymen’s terms. The hormones being used to produce the egg are being used to produce milk, so you don’t ovulate. However, if for some reason, you don’t keep a steady regimen of breastfeeding and your body does ovulate…” She snaps her fingers to indicate that boom—you’re possibly pregnant.

“But why wouldn’t someone keep a steady regimen of breastfeeding?” I ask. “I mean, the baby has to be fed every day.”

“If the baby is being weaned or if the baby is drinking from breast and bottle; if the baby is moving to solid foods or her eating habits change for any other reason—she sleeps more as she gets older, so she’s not feeding as regularly; or if Mom goes on a trip or plans to ingest alcohol or medication, so she stops breastfeeding for a day or so.”

“That’s too many variables,” I say. “Do you know of any women who have ever used breastfeeding as a sole form of birth control?” She ponders the question.

“I’ve heard of women doing it and again, it you stay on top of it, it works. I wouldn’t trust it though.” I nod once.

“IUD for me, doc!” I say, lying down on the table. She laughs.

“Good. Let’s get started.”


CHRISTIAN

“I’ve talked to Sophie every day,” Jason tells me. “She says that Shalane has been around, but still pretty much ignores her. I know she’s been served with the papers that I’m suing her for custody, so I don’t know if that has to do with her hanging around or what. I don’t know what the hell druggies do between binges.”

It’s been so long since I was with my crack-whore mother and I was so young, I couldn’t even shed any light on this subject for him.

“Well, as you know, surveillance reports say that Shalane has been primarily at the house. Either she’s detoxing, or unfortunately, she using there. Sophie’s had to see her—do they just not speak?” Jason shrugs.

“I’ll see if I can get any other information out of her. I think she doesn’t really want to talk about it.”

“It can’t be avoided,” I tell him. “There’s a custody battle ensuing.”

“I know,” he says, scratching his head. “I really don’t want to put her in the middle of it—you know, pit her against her mother, but right now she’s the only one who can tell me what Shalane is doing and she’s pretty mum.” I nod. “And the way she spoke to Shalane before she left… she’s never spoken to her that way. It was like Sophie was the adult and Shalane was the child.”

“I noticed that, too,” I say. “Shalane looked at her for a moment like they were standing off or something. Sophie hasn’t indicated anything is wrong when you speak to her?” He shakes his head.

“She sounds fine. Except for the fact that she and Shalane don’t really speak, which is nothing different, she’s the same old Sophie. She hasn’t missed any school and she calls me every day.” We’ve both confirmed through the security reports that over the course of the last week, Sophie has, in fact, attended school every day.

“Al says that you can request that she takes a drug test based on the suspicion.”

“Not if she detoxes before we get to court!” Jason says. “I should tell you that I’m doing a little experiment.”

“And that is?” I ask.

“I stopped paying child support.” I frown deeply.

“Jason, you can’t do that. That’ll fuck up your case, not to mention you can get arrested!” I warn.

“Keep your shirt on!” he says. “I can catch up in a day, you know that. Here’s the thing. We think Shalane is using. I don’t know that she has any other source of income, but even with that small fortune that I’m paying her, her cell phones are disconnected. If I’m not paying her, she’s got to be getting that money from somewhere. If she doesn’t, she’ll be knocking on this door again. If she’s using, she’ll be jonesing for a fix and I’m not beyond blackmail to get my daughter out of that situation.” I shake my head.

“I don’t know, Jason, that’s risky.”

“Yes, it is, but if I’m wrong, I’ll pay the money to the court and call it a day. If I’m not, at least I have a bargaining chip.” I shrug.

“If you think it’ll work…”

“I don’t know if it will or not, but at this point, I’m willing to try anything. The only thing keeping me from going over there and taking Sophie from that house is the fact that I talk to her every day. I’m scared to death that something’s going to happen to her, but I don’t have any proof that Shalane is using and without a court order, I can’t make her piss in a cup. So I’ll just have to play it by ear and see where it goes.”

“Well, you know you’ve got my support.” He nods.

“Thanks, Boss, I really need it right now.” There’s silence.

“How’s the en suite coming?” I ask. He nods.

“Like you said, it’ll probably be finished when you guys get back. Have you heard from your brother?”

“No,” I say. “So that means that either he’s somewhere moping or that he and Valerie have made up and he hasn’t come up for air.”

“Maybe you should call him,” Jason says. I shrug. After a beat, I pull out my phone and dial his number. He said he would call and keep me up to speed. That was Monday. It’s Friday now and I’m about to board Charlie Tango in an hour to take my wife out of town. I’ve heard nothing. As far as I’m concerned, no news is good news. His phone goes to voice mail.

“You’ve reached Elliot Grey of Grey Construction. Please leave me a message and I’ll get back to you as quickly as possible. Thanks.”

“Elliot, it’s Christian. Just calling to see if everything’s okay. Call me.” I end the call.

“No answer?” Jason asks. I shake my head.

“Nope. Maybe she is pregnant.” Jason rolls his eyes.

“I feel sorry for the kid if she is. She’s a real goddamn harpy.”

“Tell me about it,” I respond. Jason shakes his head, then says, “I never thought I’d see the day you became a father.”

“Me, either,” I tell him. “I never even imagined. Now those two little lives and… my wife…” I sigh and drop my head. “I can’t remember my life before them… before her. I can’t see what it was.” I look up at him. “Does that make any sense?” He shrugs.

“Maybe that’s a good thing,” he says. “I’m here to tell you that your life was pretty goddamn shitty before her… and you were a real fucking asshole. You’re an asshole now, but you were a real fucking asshole then.”

“And you never spoke to me that way before her,” I point out. He twists his lips.

“No, I didn’t,” he said, “but I never took a bullet for you before her either.” We’re silent for a moment again.

“Would you have taken a bullet for me before her?” I ask.

“No,” he says without pausing. A sharp pain goes through my chest and I have to push down immediate anger as I frown at him.

“What?” I ask incredulously.

“Before you met her, I was just your bodyguard. It was my job to protect you. I could have done that without taking that bullet, but you still might have gotten hit—maybe not fatally, but you would have gotten hit. I might’ve have taken a bullet for you as my employer, the guy who pays my paychecks, but last March, that’s not the guy I took the bullet for.”

I’m confused.

“When I knew that gun was going to go off, I knew you were going to get hit. There was no doubt. You would not have been able to time the dodge fast enough—you were standing still. A moving target is harder to hit, so whichever one of us she hit, she most likely wasn’t going to get a kill shot… but I couldn’t stand there and let her shoot my friend. So although I may or may not have taken a shot for my employer, the answer is no, I wouldn’t have taken a shot for my friend before Ana, because before Ana, you weren’t my friend. But if it happened again, I’d do it again.”

I twist my lips, then bite my bottom lip to rein in my emotions a bit.

“Pussy,” I hiss, and Jason bursts out into laughter.

*-*

I have been waiting for this day all fucking week. The last time I’ve had any release was the Tenga Flip a week ago, but it’s still not the inside of my wife. Shit, if I’m honest, I’ve been waiting for this day for months! She put my mind at ease by telling me that she had her IUD inserted when she went in for her six-week check-up. That had to be Tuesday as I don’t remember her leaving the house any other time. However, I have to do my best to concentrate on everything that needs to be done—like flying Charlie Tango to Sisters, Oregon to our resort cabin—and on not fucking my wife like a goddamn rubber doll once I’m finally inside her.

She’s not making it easy for me, either. She loves these goddamn wraparound shirts and the one that she’s wearing today is a full wine shirt with slit sleeves and the damn thing plunges so deep that her tits are on full display. Luckily, she closes a leather jacket and scarf over it, but fuck—I know what’s under that thing. And what does she wear as bottoms? A pair of spandex and leather pants that grab her ass and wobble with every move. Did I mention the stilettos with heels so narrow I don’t know how she’s walking on them? Fuck a compass to get us to Oregon; my dick will point us in the right direction!

God help me.

We leave from the roof of Escala to avoid any unwanted publicity. The word is going to be out soon that the Pedophile’s trial is Monday, so I don’t doubt we’ll have to deal with that stigma soon. We’ve gone unscathed for the entire week, so we count it a true blessing that we were able to get out of Seattle without incident.

An hour later, we land at Roberts Airport in Redmond and house Charlie Tango in a rented bay there for the next two days. After retrieving a Suburban SUV from Enterprise, we’re on our way down the 126 to Sisters, Oregon and Five Pine Lodge. I can’t keep my hands off of her for the thirty minutes it takes for us to get to the resort. I have no idea how I’m going to be able to contain myself through the evening.

Once we check in, we are given the keys to the Romance Cabin which is all the way in the back of the resort, purposely placed for privacy. Butterfly walks around the cozy space while I pull Chuck aside in the cabin’s entry area.

“Just giving you fair warning,” I tell him. “You or Williams may be on food duty once we’re locked down, but for now, we have reservations at Latigo in an hour. We won’t be late because the sooner we leave, the sooner we get back.” Chuck smiles knowingly and shakes his head.

“Duly noted,” he says, leaving the cabin and closing the door behind him. I walk over to my wife and put my arms around her waist from behind.

“How do you like it?” I ask.

“It’s very nice,” she says. There’s a king sized bed to the right of us and a sitting area with two chairs facing a fireplace to the left of us. Next to the fireplace is a sunken tub for two with jets surrounded by rustic rocks, one of which shoots water into the tub like a fountain. Yeah, we’ll sure as hell be using that. The full bathroom is off the bedroom with a full wall vanity and shower. I move my hands from my wife’s tiny waist up to her ample breasts.

“No kids for two days,” I say, placing open-mouthed kisses on her neck. “Will you be okay?”

“I’ll be anxious every now and again,” she admits, “but I’m looking forward to this time alone with my husband.”

“These will be very full,” I warn.

“I know,” she says.

“We’ll manage,” I whisper. She turns her face to me over her shoulder and I kiss her solidly. She puts her hands over mine and squeezes her own breasts with my hands. I groan in her mouth.

“God, you are so hot,” I say against her lips.

“You make me that way,” she breathes. I move my hand down to her spandex clad ass and squeeze before grinding into her, kissing her deeply once more.

“We have dinner reservations,” I tell her. “We need to go so that we can get back.” She sighs deeply.

“Okay,” she breathes, cupping my face and kissing me again before she breaks away from me. She grabs a duffle bag, her overnight case, and a garment bag and goes to the en suite. I fall backwards on the bed and commence to talking down this painful boner. Just as I do, my phone buzzes in my pocket. I pull it out to find a text from Elliot.

**I’m alive, Bro. We’ll talk later. Enjoy your vacay. **

That’ll do.

Forty minutes later, I’m comfortable in a pair of black wool slacks and a charcoal gray cashmere sweater and just as I’m about to check my wife’s progress, she emerges in a simple black turtleneck sweater dress with a thin belt double-looped at the hip and a pair of platform black stiletto boots garnished with gold buckles across the foot, the back of the leg and the heel. The ensemble is so simple, yet her curves make her look so hot. Her hair is in that swooping, messy bun and she’s wearing soft make-up and nude lip-gloss.

“I’m sorry I took so long,” she says. “I needed to pump.” I take her hand.

“Don’t apologize. You look beautiful.”

“You’re biased,” she says. I take her in my arms.

“I am,” I say, brushing my lips against her cheek, “and you’re still beautiful.” I plant a soft kiss on her cheek and there’s a knock at the door, no doubt Chuck signaling us that it’s time for dinner. “Shall we?” She smiles.

“We shall.” I hold her coat open and help her into it before slipping into mine and we leave for the restaurant.

This little area of the world prides itself on the “quaint,” and Latigo is no exception. Most likely considered one of the high end restaurants of the area, but quaint nonetheless with a cozy and inviting atmosphere. We’re seated immediately as the establishment is less than a mile away from the lodge and we are right on time for our reservation. We’re seated across from each other. However, we forgo decorum and I move my seat so that I can sit directly to her left, allowing me to hold her hand, gaze into her eyes, and whisper sweetly in her ear. Her soft giggle is my reward and we have captured the attention of more than one patron in the restaurant.

“People are staring,” she says softly.

“Let them stare,” I say, kissing her hand gently. “We’re doing nothing inappropriate. I’m simply admiring my beautiful wife.” Our server comes over to the table and kindly asks what we would like to start.

“Well,” I say, “my beautiful wife recently gave birth to twins and this is our first night out in over a month. So, she can have whatever she wants.” The petite blonde raises her eyes to Butterfly.

“Congratulations,” she says. “Can I interest you in some champagne?”

“I would really love a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon if you have it,” Butterfly says, wistfully.

“We do,” the server says with a smile.

“What vintage?” I ask.

“2012 Hogue Reserve,” she says and I frown. Toilet water. Catching my expression, Butterfly says,

“It’s fine… it’s Cabernet.” She desperately wants a glass. I’m certain we can do better than that. They have to have something from the Valley.

“What other vintages do you have?” I probe. “Anything from Brandlin? Cade? Stag’s?”

“We do have Stag’s,” she stops me. “Also 2012, I think.”

“If you have the Stag’s, we’ll take the bottle.” She smiles.

“I’ll check,” she says and moves off from the table.

“I won’t be able to drink an entire bottle of Cabernet, Christian,” Butterfly says with a coy smile.

“I’ll help, but you can only buy Stag’s by the bottle.” Her mouth forms an “O” and she nods.

“Is this another $1500 bottle of wine?” she giggles. I smile.

“You remember,” I say kissing her hand.

“It’s kind of hard to forget.”

“No, it’s not, but it is about $200. The stuff she wanted to give you before was about $6 a bottle.” She makes a face.

“Thank you for rescuing me,” she says.

“Anytime.”

Moments later, our server returns with another woman and a 2012 bottle of Stag’s Leap District Napa Valley Cask 23 Cabernet Sauvignon.w677daq4b9snyldrwkfhzi4btmll-5wcgbh4zl3is7q-0

“Hello,” the woman says. “I’m Sucy, one of the owners here and I wanted to personally welcome you to Latigo. Sharon tells me that this is your first night out since the birth of your twins.”

“Yes,” Butterfly says sweetly. “We’ve been looking forward to it for weeks.”

“I certainly understand,” she says. “I have two sets of twins.” Butterfly’s eyes grow large.

“You’re kidding!” she whispers. Sucy gestures demurely to Sharon to show me the bottle of wine while she engages Butterfly in conversation. I examine the vintage and nod, gesturing for her to serve my wife. Sucy continues that her twins are 12 and 4, causing Butterfly to gasp.

“Two sets… yikes.”

“If I may say, you look fantastic. How old are your twins?”

“Six weeks.” Sucy’s eyes grow large.

“Really?” she says. Butterfly nods. “Well, whatever you’re doing, keep it up. You look great.” Butterfly smiles and takes the glass with the small amount of wine in it. After swirling it around the glass a bit, she takes a sip. Closing her eyes, she sighs appreciatively.

“That’s divine,” she breathes. Sucy smiles.

“I’m so glad you’re pleased. Sharon will get you anything you need and be sure to let me know if I can be of any further assistance to you. Again, my congratulations to you both.”

“Thank you,” I say sincerely. She nods once and leaves the table. No doubt, it’s customary to greet the patrons personally who order a $200 bottle of wine… and it’s good business.

“Sir?” Sharon gestures to me with the bottle after she has poured Butterfly’s glass.

“Please, thank you.” She pours the adequate amount and sets the bottle on the table.

“What can I get for you to eat?” she says with a warm smile.

Butterfly and I feast on Dungeness crab cakes with lemon saffron aioli; soup du jour—which happened to be salmon chowder that day; salads with chopped artisan lettuces, shallots, feta, roasted macadamia nuts, apples, radish, and a creamy pinot noir vinaigrette; filet mignon with wild mushroom and port butter sauce, gratin dauphinoise, green beans and heirloom tomatoes; banana fritters with gelato; white chocolate & cherry terrine; and salted caramel. Although we are anxious to taste of each other, we savor our meal, feeding each other off of our plates and enjoying the wine and the attention given to us by the staff. The experience was well worth the visit and the money and once we have had our fill, I’m sure to thank the chef—who happens to be Sucy’s husband—and to leave a generous tip.

Thank God the resort is less than a mile away, because I can barely wait to get my hands on this woman. I tell Chuck to be prepared to get breakfast for us in the morning, but that I may want to go to the gym in the afternoon before I dismiss him and Williams for the evening. When I turn around, Butterfly has already disappeared into the en suite again.

“Butterfly, are you okay?” I call through the door.

“I’m fine, Baby. I’ll be out in just a minute,” she says sweetly. She sounds okay, so I proceed to get undressed. I take off my sweater and T-shirt and sit down to remove my shoes and socks. Just as I get my socks off, I hear the bathroom door open. When she said she would only be a minute, she meant that she would only be a minute… but I have no idea how she did this in a minute…

“Oh. My. God.”

Agent Provocateur has never looked so good. She’s wearing this beautiful black kimono with lace trim, falling demurely over her curves like you wouldn’t believe. No Butterfly ensemble would be complete without the Louboutin platform stilettos—black patent leather with red bottoms, of course. She’s wearing red thigh high stockings that tie the red bottoms of the shoes to the robe. Thank God I’m sitting down. My knees might buckle beneath me if I weren’t.

“Come here,” I breathe. She walks shyly over to me. She’s so beautiful, I don’t know where to start. Maybe I should start by unwrapping my gift. I pull the sash on the robe only to discover that there’s another prize underneath.

“Fuck…” I breathe. She’s trying to kill me.

The red stockings were not to compliment the red bottoms. Underneath the black kimono is a short, red slip of a nighty that fits her like a second skin. God, she is so sexy. Standing there in front of me, her eyes locked with mine, she pushes the kimono off her shoulders and lets it fall to the floor.

“You are exquisite.” I whisper. Starting from her calves, I rub both hands up the back of her legs—slowly, savoring the feeling of her skin clad in fine silk stockings with back seams against the palm of my hands. My breath catches and she shivers. As I get to the top of the stockings and the bare skin of her thigh, I stand so that my journey doesn’t end. I cup her ass, caressing it softly under the short slip, thrilled to discover that she’s not wearing any underwear… not even a thong. I linger there for a moment before moving my hands over the silk of the nighty to caress her body—her hips, her back, her stomach, and her breasts. Her breathing quickens and I have to fight every urge inside of me to just take her now. I want to… I know she’ll be tight, but if I don’t prepare her, she’ll be too tight, and I might hurt her. It’s been too long.

“Undress me,” I say. There’s nothing left but my pants and boxer briefs, but I want her to remove them. Dexterously, she undoes my belt and the button of my pants. She unzips them, but doesn’t allow them to just fall to the floor. She pushes her hands into my pants, cupping my ass and very slowly, pushes them down my legs, just as slowly as I traveled up hers a moment ago. I almost can’t breathe as she squats at the same speed that she removes my slacks until she’s nearly on the floor in front of me. Looking salaciously at my crotch, she grasps my boxer briefs at the waistband and just as slowly—if not slower—drags them down and off my legs. I swallow hard as my erection springs free. She kisses up my legs, alternating from one to the other—open-mouthed… three kisses on this one, then three on that one, then one on this one, two on that one… Fuck, she’s driving me mad! When she gets to my dick, she continues the kisses… all the way up to the head until I groan in agony.

Her trail continues up my stomach, my torso, my chest, until she’s standing before me again—big, sexy, fuck-me blue orbs staring at me while I’m trying to catch my breath and rein in my libido.

“We’ll leave these on!” I say of her lingerie and shoes, my voice raspy, my soul starving for her. I grab her by the ass and press her hard against me, bruising her lips with hungry kisses. She moans into my mouth and thrusts her hands into my hair, so ready for me to take her—but not yet. I’ll hurt you; I know I will. My dick is pulsing so hard in anticipation that I know I’ll rip that poor little pussy to shreds! I lift her by her ass and lay her down, her head near the foot of the bed, and I start to travel down her body with my lips and tongue. She squirms impatiently, moaning in protest that I won’t just take her. I suck her already taut nipple into my mouth and she cries out.

“Christian, please!” she begs. Not yet, love. Patience.

I suck and bite her other nipple and her tortured sounds imitate sobs. Her body starts to tremble almost immediately and I’m nearly set off by her responsiveness.

“Oh, God, Christian!” she cries as I move down her torso, pushing her slip up her body so that I can taste the rest of her skin. She’s too impatient. She can’t wait. Her first one will be quick. I bring my mouth down to her pelvic line and kiss and lick the tender skin there. The smell of her arousal assaults my senses and ignites that uncontrollable blazing fire inside me.

“Baby, I’m trying to take my time, but I want to devour you!” I roll her over on top of me so that I’m on my back and her pussy falls in my face. I slowly and gently begin to tantalize that clit. Once she gets over the surprise, she starts to grind my face. I’m rubbing her back and her ass, lapping her juices as they slide into my mouth and suddenly, she realizes where she is and clamps hungrily down on my aching dick.

“Aw, fuck!” I groan into her pussy. She’s on a goddamn mission. She either wants to make me want her or make me come before she does. I wrap my arms around her body and hug her close to me. Opening my legs, I fuck her mouth deeply—her hot, insatiable mouth. She wraps her arms around my thighs, grasping one thigh firmly with one hand and caressing my balls with the other. I groan again, deep and hard into her pussy and she meets me with an answering moan, grinding her hips and riding my tongue. She tastes fucking divine. I watch her luscious ass roll as her vaginal lips swell against my mouth and her clit pulses against my tongue.

Fuck, this feels so good. This looks so good and tastes so good. We’re primal—fucking and making love to each other’s mouths at the same time. I lose myself in her for a moment… in how fucking fabulous this feels and my wife’s incomparable oral skills. I hold her hard against my body and tongue that pussy like I’m probing my wife’s hungry mouth, pressing her shoulders against my hips to get deeper penetration into her mouth. She meets my challenge, fucking me with deep, hard sucks and strokes of her jaws and tongue until I groan into her pussy once more. I reach up and squeeze her ass firmly with both hands, pressing her deep against my mouth and lapping her with my tongue until she moans hard against my dick causing a violent vibration to reverberate through my legs and tingle in my toes. I’m lost in the immeasurable pleasure before I come back to myself and realize that I don’t intend to come this way. It’s agonizing and heartbreaking to have to halt her infallible effort to tantalize me to a magnificent and impeccable orgasm, but I have to concentrate—hard! Really hard!

With my arms wrapped around her luscious hips and her juicy ass, I use my fingers to part her lips from behind and open her pussy to lavish concentrated flicks on that delicate clit. Her core gets wetter right before my eyes as I hold her hostage against my mouth, concentrating my efforts on massaging her clit around and around and around. She tries to move away from me, to give the sensitive bundle of nerves a slight bit of respite, but I have her locked in place. She can only rock her hips forward against my unforgiving tongue. She groans against my dick again, but I’m transfixed on her clit now and able to refocus some of the attention away from my throbbing, burning rod and the pleasure she’s bringing me. She tries to keep her rhythm, tries to maintain control, but I can feel her falter as her clit begins to throb harder in my mouth.

That’s it, baby. You know you want to give it to me.

Since my mouth has her fully exposed and open to me, I move my hand to her ass and open those cheeks, allowing me to play with that lovely little rosette. She withstands the pleasure as long as she can before she starts to tremble and moan, then clamps harder down on my dick.

FUUUUCK!

Oh, God, this is a motherfucking battle! She’s groans on my erection again and this time, the vibration sends shivers through my whole goddamn body. Fucking hell, I’m not going to make it! Time to bring out the heavy artillery.

I move my left arm around her waist, clamping her to my body and keeping her immobilized. While still relentlessly licking that clit, I bring my right arm up between her legs so that her left leg is now bent and pinned under my arm. Now, not only is her pussy wide open, but so is her ass and her rosette is fully exposed to me, I suckle that tender clit masterfully, tickling the rosette and occasionally sticking just the tip of my finger inside to make it sensitive and heighten her pleasure. Once she starts to pant and her breathing becomes erratic, I know that she’s rising. I know that I can stick my finger in her ass and have her exploding madly, but I decide to do something to blow her mind instead.

With the pads of all four fingers on my right hand, I pop that rosette directly, hard and fast.

She gasps and freezes her assault, trembling wildly. Although she’s still clamped down on my dick, she can’t move. Her body is dead weight on mine and she’s trying to process what she just felt. Before she has the chance, I pop her again. She wails hard in her throat on my dick, her clit throbbing madly in my mouth and her thighs trembling ferociously.

Victory is mine!

I pop her again… and again… and again… and again.

She yelps with every smack, involuntarily jumping at the sensation before she abandons her prior task completely, pushing her body up and away from mine and crying out in unfettered passion.

Yes, baby! I’ve got you now! Resistance is futile!

I pop her again… and again… and again… and again…

She arches her back forward and cranes her neck like a wolf howling to the moon, screeching a soul-felt painful cry from her stomach. Her whole body stiffens for several moments at first and then she’s writhing, crying out and trying to get away from the torment of my mouth. I clamp my arms down onto her body and suck deep, pulling that orgasm out of her and allowing her juices to saturate and coat her inner walls so that she’s ready for me when I slide into her, because I’m sure as fuck ready for her…


ANASTASIA

Dammit! I thought sure I would make him erupt before he made me come, especially when he started pumping in my mouth and getting so hard. It was so erotic that I couldn’t stand it anymore. I would have been panting and coming even if he weren’t licking my clit so exquisitely.

But that shit he did with my asshole… fuck! Fucking hell! Never in my life! Goddammit! I can’t see! I can’t think! Motherfuckinghell!

I’m still gasping for air and my pussy is still pulsing in pain and pleasure as he moves with speed and agility, situating me face down on the bed and shoving a pillow under my pelvis so my ass is up in the air. Seconds later, he has pushed my legs apart and has thrust himself inside of me. I cry out at the glorious intrusion, breaching my aching but hungry walls, so long left unoccupied.

“Fffffffffffuck!” he hisses deeply as he buries himself in me, swaying from side to side so that his dick hits every wall of my core. He’s hard as a rock and big as a goddamn watermelon! “You’re so fucking wet!” Well, yeah, I just came! Using my hips for leverage, he begins a grind—not too fast and not too slow, but I can feel his hips roll. I imagine him watching his swollen veiny dick sliding around my ass and in and out of my core, pink and purple with his barely contained arousal, wet and shiny—coated with the evidence of mine.

“Oh, fuck, baby!” he groans animalistically, his hips rolling more sensually, his dick hitting all the right places and causing me to rise again.

“Ah… Christian!” I cry when his grind starts to burn—so quickly after my first orgasm! I don’t stand a fucking chance! He feels so good! It’s been so goddamn long…

“Yes, baby!” he growls, his weight holding me down so that I can’t move, and he pushes me with purpose. “Oh, fuck, yes, baby!” The restraint and the probing, both are pushing me quickly to a second release. I grab the sheets with both hands and try to resist, but my body is screaming and won’t be denied.

“Aw, shit!” he hisses, and I hear the wetness from my juices as he slides in and out of me. Combined with the friction, his masterful stroke, and him holding me down so that I can’t move, I detonate in a hot, fiery, pulsing, wet orgasm around him, clinging to the sheets and crying out like a wounded animal.

“Oh, fuck! Fuck! Fucking hell!” he growls through gritted teeth, then stills, pulsing hard against my inner walls. He holds the position for several moments, emptying hard inside of me. When he’s done, he collapses on my back and we both lay there, trying to catch our breath, but his erection doesn’t wane. I’m sweating and my body is on fire! The explosions he made me feel were astronomical and my brain is having a hard time focusing. Once he has caught his breath, he drapes my hair over the bed and away from my neck, then covers my back with sweet, sensual kisses. We’ve been affectionate during our wait, but we’ve both been anticipating this coupling for far too long.

Fuck, his dick! His dick feels so good. I’ve missed it inside of me so much. I can still feel my muscles clenching and my walls tightening around him. My body shivers involuntarily and my breath comes in short as I try to control the contractions. His lips move to my neck and then my earlobe and I whimper with sensual longing. The sound shoots straight to his shaft and I feel him rising and thumping again inside of me. Oh, God, can I take this again? He tangles his fingers in mine and pushes my legs further open with his knees. He’s going to test that theory.

“Christian… no…” I whimper, no fight left in me. Part of me wants his dick in me so badly. The other part isn’t sure that I can take anymore right now.

“Yes, baby,” he whispers as he slowly begins to move, gently thrusting into me again and again. “Can’t you feel that?” he breathes directly in my ear. “Your body is still restless. You’re still clamping around me, making me hard. You did this to me. You still want me… still need me as much as I need you. You’ve got another one, baby. You’ve got to give it to me.”

Oh, God, he’s going to kill me. He’s so goddamn hot. I just want him to fuck me and hold me and talk to me and love me. I close my eyes and raise up, leaning back into his body. He turns his face into my neck and thrusts deeper. At first, I’m a little tender. Two massive orgasms will do that to you. After just a little while, a few minutes maybe, the slow burn starts again. I start to sweat immediately.

“My God, you are so sexy,” he groans, clasping my hands tighter and using them for leverage to grind deeper into me. “This red… this red is driving me fucking crazy!” I raise my head in hopes to get some more air.

“So good,” I pant, “so good…”

“Sssssssssssss, fuck!” he hisses. He moves like lightening and scoops me up in his arms, never releasing my hands and his dick never leaving my body. Somehow, we end up on our knees, him sitting on his feet and me sitting on his lap. Both our arms are wrapped around my body and his fingers are still entwined with mine. He’s holding me powerfully and possessively against him, drilling up and into me and claiming what belongs to him. I moan and keen shamelessly with each stroke, my hair falling over my face like a mask. Again, I am unable to move and must absorb every thrust, every kiss, every bite, and every tortured moan from my husband.

I swear I’m levitating… floating in a state of carnal bliss where my husband and lover has me protectively cocooned in a sphere of never-ending pleasure and bliss. His arms around me, his sensual moans in my ear, his passionate kisses and bites on my neck and shoulders, his helpless declarations of love and ecstasy—I’m helpless, totally at his mercy and completely at risk of being shattered into a million pieces when this extraterrestrial ride ends.

I have spent quite some time in immeasurable pleasure, rising so wildly and so intensely that my body breaks into the most unladylike, uncontrollable sweat. My throat hurts from several minutes of involuntary moaning and I’m exhausted from the unrestrained ecstasy that my husband has inflicted upon me. My hair is drenched and sticking to my face and body as is Christian’s and I am reduced to quiet panting and keening. The nightie that I was wearing has somehow been removed and tossed to the four winds somewhere and I’m still on his lap in my thigh-highs and stilettos. I don’t know how this has happened as I don’t remember him releasing me from his possessive embrace, and he continues to drive into me—deeply, steadily, deliciously. After an eternity of nearly unbearable pleasure and passion, the fire, friction, and stimulation begin to culminate into that familiar pull in my thighs and stomach that signal the beginning of a massive orgasm.

“Christian,” I whine, almost afraid of what this one will do to me. He doesn’t stop. His stroke becomes more earnest and he begins to grunt and groan primally in my ear in response to my tightening core, rising a little higher with each thrust to ensure maximum penetration on his upstroke as he holds my body tighter against his.

“Oh, God!” I lament as the sensation rises through my thighs and travels simultaneously from my stomach down to my pelvis. My body knows him, responds to his movements and his earnest. He rises even higher up on his knees, taking me with him and thrusting harder and deeper into me, pulling the two sensations together at my core until…

“Aaaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaahaaaaaaaahhaaaaaaaaa!” I’m trembling and crying, unable to hold anything together anymore as I cry out through the orgasm of the century. Christian’s hips don’t stop as I pant, wheeze, and suffer through an eternity of torture, pleasure, pain, passion, and tears. After what feels like forever, he groans loudly, holding me hard against him, stilling at first as he empties into me, then pumping deeply twice to complete his climax. He lays his head forward on my shoulder, never releasing me from his captive grasp, breathing heavily as he comes down from his climax. I lay my head back on his shoulder, weeping and panting helplessly in the aftermath of mine.

He’s shivering violently, holding me so tight in his arms that my body shakes with his shivers. I’m still weeping, wrung from my orgasms as he coughs air into his lungs. I don’t get it. We’ve gone without sex before and it was good when we came back together, but not like this. Never like this! Our bodies completely shattered, we fall over onto the bed as one. Christian’s arms are still clenched around me and he’s still inside of me. He’s still trembling and I’m still crying. Our bodies are fit together like a puzzle and as I continue to weep, his trembling begins to subside and he’s kissing me on my neck, shoulders, ears and back. That’s what I remember as I drift off to sleep.

I awake sometime during the night, still wrapped in Christian Grey—his legs now wrapped around mine. I’m a bit disoriented because we’re not in our own bed. However, an involuntary shuddering breath brings recognition back to me while simultaneously causing Christian to stir. He pulls me closer to him and tightens his grip on me, clasping tighter to my hands and kissing my back in his sleep. It’s like an instant tranquilizer dart and I’m gone again.


A/N: Useless information—their pediatrician’s name is pronounced Nah-hah-BEE-dee-an. That was my son’s pediatrician 28 years ago; I just felt the need for honorable mention.

Creative license used in this chapter as Latigo wasn’t open yet at the time that Christian and Ana visited Sisters, OR.

FYI, this may be TMI, but I’m sharing anyway. That last move with 69 that had Anastasia screaming, my husband did that to me! Y’all should really try that shit!

This is only part one of the hot sex, by the way. Remember, there’s a whole weekend going on, here.  

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