Chapter I

Just as I dismiss Claude Bastille, he turns on his heels at the door and grins “Golf, this week, Grey,” he says, rubbing in the fact that he can kick my butt in the golf course as well. He’s one of the best mixed martial arts instructors there is, and trains me very well as he should since I pay him well for his instructions. He kicks my butt on the matt often as expected though I give him a run for his money. He was an Olympic contender. I’ve been working out with him every day in the last two months since I have to spend all my excess energy. Although he used to kick my butt five days a week before that. I reserved other kinds of work out for the weekends. If I could kick his butt to the floor once or twice a week, that would be the highlight of my day. Though I don’t like the pace of golf, it’s the game of businessmen, I endeavor to do well in it, and as it happens, often business deals are reached at the golf courses. I scowl and look outside from my twentieth floor office’s floor to ceiling windows. The weather is gray as my mood, unpalatable. I have everything under control, but it has been an ordinary existence for me lately. I haven’t had a diversion in the last two months. No exciting challenges and nothing has captured my interest. Everything is orderly, and all my affairs under control. The phone buzzes. “Yes, Andrea?”

“Mr. Grey, Miss Anastasia Steele for Miss Katherine Kavanagh is here.” I hate surprises. I should not have agreed to give an interview to WSU magazine, but then Miss Kavanagh had been quite persistent, and she comes from a business family, whose father I can do business with in return of this favor. But someone else shows up in her place? I’m petulant like a child to Andrea. “I wasn’t expecting a Miss Steele. I was expecting Katherine Kavanagh!” “It’s Miss Steele who is here, sir,” she says. I grumble, “Fine! Send her in!” Less than a minute later the door opens, and a tangle of chestnut brown hair, pale arms, a messenger bag, indistinctly dressed pale legs in brown boots roll into my office floor sprawled headlong. Although I hate clumsiness, courtesy demands that I go and help her up, and reach out and get her into upright position holding her slim shoulders. As she stands up, I meet the brightest blue, shy eyes capture mine as a jolt of electricity halt me in my tracks. She looks at me, through me, as if to dig into my soul, unnerving me, as if shining a light to the depths of my being and pulling it to the surface. She blinks, blushing after noticing my face. I grimace, but quickly smile. It’s always the same. Women react to my face that way, tongue tied. I extend my hand, deciding to have fun. “Miss Kavanagh. I’m Christian Grey. I hope you’re alright. Would you like to sit?” She blushes, her pearlesque skin changes color to her hairline blushing, bringing her gaze down, her ponytail nearly undone with the tumble she took, her voice stutters briefly as I receive her tiny hand in mine. I feel a jolt of electricity with her touch! Wow! She must feel the same way because she looks as if she got shocked and withdraws her hand with a slight gasp. “Miss Kavanagh is indisposed. She sent me. She isn’t well. I apologize for the change in the last minute Mr. Grey." Her voice sounds musical, her long lashes cast a shadow over her blue eyes which are downcast again in that shy manner. “And you are?” I coax the words out of her.

“Oh, I’m Anastasia Steele. I’m studying with Kate.. uhm… Katherine, uhm.. Miss Kavanagh at WSU.” She stutters and stumbles over her words. I’m amused. There’s something about her. She’s a brunette too. As she casts her eyes down again, I can see she’s nervous and extremely shy. She can’t even meet my eyes, she just looks around, anywhere but me. I fix my gaze on her, already feeling a distaste of her indistinct A line skirt, shapeless blouse, and cheap boots. All of a sudden I imagine her in silk and satin; I don’t even know where that thought came from. I can’t imagine her to be a journalist with her shy demeanor. She doesn’t have a single decisive, emphatic bone in her body. She’s too shy, too compliant, too forbearing… too submissive. I take a sharp intake of breath. My mind is wondering, and before I can point her to a seat she gazes up at my painting, and looks at it admiringly. I feel compelled to explain. “Local artist,” I say, “Trouton.” I don’t even know what made me explain that, I wouldn’t ordinarily care. “Lovely,” she speaks slowly, “raising the ordinary to extraordinary.” I was surprised to hear those words out of her so simply and eloquently, as that was my exact thought on it when I purchased it – in a way, she is extraordinary out of the ordinary. “Yes…” I find myself saying while gazing at her intently. She flushes all over again, as my thought wonder how her derriere color would change with the bite of my twitchy palms. I don’t know where that thought came from; I slightly shake my head, and see her making an attempt to set up her outdated mini-disk recorder on my very expensive coffee table all thumbs dropping it repeatedly. Though I find clumsiness irritating, I find hers to be endearing, and try to hide a smile behind my index finger. What the fuck! How did I not notice those lips and she’s biting her lower lip in her frustration trying to set that antiquated machine up! What I would love to do to that lip! I can’t get my gaze off of it, and my mind is wondering in all directions going crazy! I just want to reach up and release that out of her bite and put it in my mouth! I close my eyes, and take a slow breath as she finally sets up her recorder, and I am chiding myself in my head for thinking like an adolescent boy as she mutters an apology for not being used to that recorder which I could care less; I’m too engrossed watching her bottom lip.

I tell her to take her time giving myself time to gather my errant thoughts. Once she sets her recorder up, I’m disappointed by the questions she’s asking. They’re mundane, ordinary. Why am I spending my time to answer such questions? She’s flustering again noticing my distaste, and disappointment. After hearing my answer to her question she mumbled, “You sound like a control freak.” What the fuck? How right you are baby! If only you knew. I tell her looking at her intently “Oh, exercise control in all things Miss Steele.” I would love to subdue that smart mouth of yours right now! She blushes again biting her lip. She asks me a question about power; I can tell she finds me arrogant. I give her an answer which pops her mouth open. She then asks me of my interests outside of work to “chill out.” I tell her most of my interests except my two most favorite both of which would include her right now. In fact I am envisioning her tied up on my poster bed in my playroom. What the fuck! Where did that image come from? She asks me a few other questions which are public information. Didn’t she even do her homework before she came over to interview me? Ridiculous! Then she opens her mouth and asks me the question even my family didn’t dare to ask; what's in everyone's mind, but no one worded it before: “Are you gay Mr. Grey?” My eyes widen in shock with this brazen question. What the fuck? How dare she? I would now love to take you over my knees and beat the living shit out of you had you been mine with that question! I slightly change colors, but compose myself. I answer firmly: “No Anastasia, I’m not!” She has the decency to look painfully embarrassed. She flusters. “I’m so sorry Mr. Grey. It… uhm.. the question was written…” pointing to her notes, “right here?” “Didn’t you compile your own questions?” She looks chagrined. “No, Mr. Grey. Kate, uhm… Miss Kavanagh did,” she replies flushing. “That explains the questions. Tell me, how did you end up interviewing me if those are Miss Kavanagh’s questions?”

“Uhm… I was drafted. She’s my roommate, and she’s very ill.” All of a sudden I feel much better. “Well then, let me ask you some questions. It’s only fair after your less than informal, more so personal questions.” She flushes and flusters fidgeting in her seat. I look at her pointed, yeah, I like to get you squirming, and subdue you baby! There she goes again biting her lower lip. I just want to reach over and thug that chin so she stops doing it, or else I will fuck her over on my coffee table… Calm down Grey, I tell myself. I ease myself back into my chair, and rub my lower lip with my index finger. She fidgets more. Ok, she’s not a lesbian, and not immune to my charms. Andrea comes in after knocking the door. “Mr. Grey, your next appointment is in two minutes.” “Cancel my next appointment Andréa!” I say, and she freezes in her place. “Sir?” “I said cancel it,” turning my head to her gaping mouth, face getting red. Anastasia is getting ready to leave, and packing her things saying, “I don’t want to alter your schedule Mr. Grey.” At least Andrea has the decency to finally realize my command, and says, “yes sir.” “You don’t have to leave right away Miss Steele. I can give you a tour if you like.” She’s ready to bolt. “Oh, you don’t have to do that for me Mr. Grey,” she mumbles. “Miss Steele, what are your plans after graduation?” “I haven’t thought that far Mr. Grey. Just trying to get through my finals.” I find myself offering her a job; I’d never do that, “you can apply for an internship here.” What the hell is wrong with me, she’s too young, and I have a policy to never fuck the staff. But she’s not staff yet. She dismisses my offer. What’s wrong with my company? “Why not?” I ask her. “It’s obvious, isn’t it?” she asks as if it’s common knowledge, and takes her bag and stands up. Not to me! I rise up, and walk to the door smoothly, opening it for her. I don’t want her to trip over her own feet on her way out, indicating my intention, and she grudgingly thanks me as I smile.

Both Andrea and the intern’s mouth agape as I walk Miss Steele out. I ask her if she had a jacket, and the intern rushes to get it for her. I grab it out of her hand, put it on Miss Steele. My hand is on her shoulder just a second too long and I feel the jolt of electricity again as I know she does as well.

“Goodbye Anastasia,” I say. “Goodbye Christian,” she says as the door closes. I turn on my heels, and order Andrea: “Get Welch on the line!” A minute later he’s on.

“Welch! I want you to do a background check for me.” “Yes sir. Name?” “Anastasia Steele. I need it ASAP.” “Yes sir.” I hang up. Now I wait. And I don’t do waiting. I have to give myself time to see if I still want her in a couple of days. She is too young, and looks too inexperienced, but how fun would it be to teach her. I hate waiting. A couple of days later I receive her detailed but nondescript background check. She’s 21 years old, works at a hardware store part time, has 4.0 GPA, but it says nothing about her past or present relationships. Even though few days passed since she had interviewed me, I can’t get her off my mind. I have to find out. I dial my assistant. “Andrea, book me a place in Portland, for tomorrow.” “Yes sir.” I hate waiting, I don’t do waiting! I am freaking right now, but I have to find out about her. I’ve never pursued a woman before. It’s a first. I don’t even know her sexual orientation. She seemed to have responded my charms positively. What if she’s not single? Fuck! The thought never occurred to me. Only one way to find out. If she’s not, then I’ll come back and forget about that idiotic venture. But right now, I’m going out of my mind and itching to find out about her. I can’t get her lip biting out of my mind without my inside twitching like a teenage boy. Tomorrow. I’ll see her again tomorrow.

CHAPTER II

I find myself like an idiot teenage boy in front of the Clayton’s Hardware Store. She’s working today. I take a deep breath and locate her within thirty seconds. She’s at a register looking at a computer screen engrossed in her task while eating a bagel. Sometimes she’s removing the crumb from the corner of her mouth with her tongue, sometimes with her index finger. All of a sudden I have the urge to go and suck that piece of bagel from her lip. She looks just as lovely as I remember her, in fact far better in her jeans and t-shirt. Far, far better... She looks up from her task to lock gazes with me her breath hitching. I smile. I’m happy to see I can affect her the same way. That means she’s not gay. She’s surprised as her blue eyes go wider. “Miss Steele. It’s a pleasant surprise to see you here.”

She gazes at my outfit; my sweater, hiking boots, and her eyes linger a little too long on my jeans. I’m pleased. “Mr. Grey,” she manages to breathe. Questioning. “I was in the area. I need to stock up on some items,” I say by the way of explaining. She’s biting her lip again, flushing. “Of course Mr. Grey,” She stutters first, then putting on her employee smile she asks, “What can I help you with?” “I need some cable ties,” I say smiling. What I can do with those to you I think as my gaze darkens. She flushes all over again. She leads the way. She then helps me find masking tape, and rope. She asks me if I’m redecorating. I smile my secret smile. No baby, I don’t redecorate. I have people to do that. These are for other DIY projects which you probably never tried. But how fun it would be to teach you! She blushes under my gaze again. She’s just as affected by me as I am of her. I have to ask her something to keep her engaged. “Have you worked here long?” Though I already know the answer to my question. Four years, part time. She answers in the affirmative, her eyes are still cast down and shy. She shows me two different kinds of masking tape. I choose the wider one. “Anything else Mr. Grey?” she asks me in a breathy husky voice. Yes, she’s definitely affected by my presence. I find myself replying in the same tone. When she later cuts the filament rope with the efficiency of a boy scout, I ask her if she ever was a girl scout gazing at her intently. She blushes again, and in that nervous action, she looks down at her hands and rings her fingers as if the squeeze out some water. “No, Mr. Grey,” she says, “organized group activities aren’t my thing. I’m not into that,” she dares a peak under her long lashes. It’s frustrating trying to decipher her. I ask, “What exactly is your thing Anastasia?” I ask in a low voice. She gasps slightly at my question. I think I already know the answer. I bet its books. “Books,” she whispers, but her longing look says something else blushing. Dare I say Bronte and Jane Austen? “What kind of books?” I ask interested but knowing the answer.

“The British classics, the usual,” she whispers. I’m thinking she’s all hearts and flowers. Is this for me? I don’t do hearts and flowers. I rub my chin contemplating her response. But if it works, we just might have a lot of fun. I would love to try. She changes the subject going back to the employee mode. “Is there anything else you need Mr. Grey?” I need to get her engaged in talking to me. She’s beguiling me. I can’t take my eyes off of her; everything she does, her lip biting, her squirming and wringing her fingers just making me want to reach out to her, tie those hands up, and capture that lip in mine, and teach that mouth some lessons. Then we hear her name called by a guy, “ANA!” Some preppy dressed guy coming to her knowingly. Is he her boyfriend? I get the chills all of a sudden, and almost have an urge to beat the crap out of that guy. Who the hell is he? She excuses herself, and goes to him. I narrow my eyes. Maybe I made a mistake by coming. He hugs her, and drapes his arm possessively over her, but she doesn’t reciprocate. I gaze at him glacially. Maybe they’re not involved. She drags the fucker with her back to where I stand. “Mr. Grey, this is Paul. His brother owns this place. I’ve known him for a long time; but I only rarely see him as he goes to Princeton studying Business Administration,” looking at me expectantly. I slowly let out a sigh of relief. The fucker is not the boyfriend, but the owner’s brother. While measure each other out, Anastasia adds, “Paul, this is Christian Grey.” It takes him a second to realize who I am, and I can see his reveries change into one of admiration and awe. Yes, fucker, let go off her now, and skedaddle to the hole you crawled out of! He asks me if I need anything. “Anastasia has been very accommodating,” I say my eyes narrowing coolly dismissing him. He finally gets the point and leaves. I don’t know why I feel this pang of jealousy. I’m not familiar with this emotion, and it is an uneasy one. Why did I feel jealous, and proprietary towards her? She’s nothing to me. Yet… I would like her to be something to me. “Is there anything else I can help you find Mr. Grey?” she says flustering. I ignore her question.

“How’s the article coming along Anastasia?” I ask. She looks surprised raising her eyes to mine. I don’t want to be dismissed, I want to engage her. “Oh, Kate… I mean, Miss Kavanagh, my roommate is writing it. She is devastated that she didn’t get to interview you. She wishes she had some stills of you though.” That surprises me and gives me hope that perhaps I can find a way to see Anastasia again. She can see the gleam in my eyes. “Really?” I say, “Perhaps tomorrow I can be available. I’m staying here locally.” I fish out my business card out of my wallet, and hand it to her our hands briefly touching with the same jolt of electricity making me gasp slightly darkening my eyes. I have the same effect on her. “You need to call me before 10:00 a.m.” She’s pleasantly surprised and she gives me the biggest smile brightening her already bright blue eyes to a new shine taking my breath away. She really has the most beautiful smile. “Yes, we will. Kate would be so happy!” she says excitedly. I pay for my purchases as she keeps her gaze down, and I’m dying for her to look at me again. Why am I so much like a teenager, her touch moving my insides? She looks up at me again as I hand my Amex to her. Our gazes lock. When I am done, taking my purchases, I turn to her and tell her, “Oh, Anastasia, I’m glad it was you who interviewed me, and not your roommate.” I want her to know I’m interested, and I can feel her gasp and she reciprocates my feelings. She likes me. I leave the store with a renewed purpose. This will work. Taylor is waiting for me at the parking lot. “Let’s go,” I say. He drives me to Heathman Hotel. I go to my suite, put my purchases on a chair. Busy myself with work, hoping she calls. If not, I’ll leave tomorrow abandoning this pursuit. I hope she calls. I go to work out to spend my excess energy. Her shy smile is before my eyes. I work out for hours. I come back to my hotel room, and take a shower. Anastasia, and her lips are still on my mind. If she doesn’t call, what other chance meeting can I arrange? My mind is working out backup plans. I don’t lose when I’m on a mission. Only if she wants it though. She’s too young for what I have in mind for her. She looks too inexperienced. Why won’t she call? Damn it!

I decide to answer some emails as my phone rings. I don’t recognize the number. Who the hell is this? I’m in a bad temper. I answer curtly: “Grey.” A shy, nervous and husky sound replies. “Uhmm… Mr. Grey? It’s Anastasia Steele.” My heart stutters for a second, and then the beat peaks up and I find myself answering with a husky but soft tone. “Miss Steele. How nice to hear from you.” I almost thought she wasn’t going to call. I’m relieved. I hear her breath hitch. I feel elated to have that effect on her. I’m grinning like an idiot. I tell her that I’m staying at Heathman in Portland and we decide to do the shoot at nine thirty in the morning. When she says “Okay, we’ll see you there,” all breathy and excited, I feel my eyes darken and unable to wait until tomorrow, “I look forward to it, Miss Steele,” I say with laced seduction. My subconscious says “you are mine!”

******

The wait to next morning is laced with erotic dreams of Anastasia in silk stockings and handcuffs, her blue eyes expectant. “Anastasia,” I whisper, her name a prayer in my lips. “Christian,” she breathes, the voice of hers is enough to unman me. I wake up sweaty with her name on my lips. I put my arm over my eyes, then remove them uneasy staring at the ceiling. Could any other name have the same effect on me like Janet, or Mary, or Angie? I think not. Anastasia. The name is a caress on my lips, it’s magical, alive. I’m drawn, bewitched, in her grasp. I get up and go to the gym again to work out to pass the time. After my workout, I take a long shower and put on my white shirt with an open collar, and my grey trademark flannel pants hanging low on my hips. I eat my breakfast quickly, and let my hair on its own volition, leaving it wet. She calls me letting me know that they’re occupying another suite in the hotel for the shoot. Taylor waits by the door.

My gaze seeks her as soon as I enter the suite. There she stands in low rise jeans hugging her curves tightly with a white shirt showing her shape beautifully. I feel her breath hitch when her gaze captures mine, and she gives me a discreet once over. “Miss Steele, we meet again,” I say extending my hand to receive her small pale hand. With her touch I feel the same jolt of electricity palpate between us, and I know she feels it too, as her blinking increases rapidly. She’s blushing and her breathing gets erratic. She gathers her hand all too soon and introduces her roommate who is as I expected, no nonsense, sure of herself, domineering. Like me. “The tenacious Miss Kavanagh. How do you do?” I say, and thank my lucky stars in my head that it was Anastasia that came, and not her. She’s beautiful enough, but I wouldn’t like her one bit. Anastasia then introduces the photographer saying, “This is Jose Rodriguez, our photographer.” She smiles at him lovingly and he back at her, possessive. I feel anger building inside me. Is this fucker her boyfriend? “Mr. Grey,” the fucker nods. “Mr. Rodriguez,” I say glacially. I sit and stand for the photo shoot all the while gazing and looking at Anastasia. I have to find out if one of these two fuckers I’ve met in the last two days is her boyfriend. They were both possessive of her. About thirty minutes later we’re done, and we say out niceties to each other with Kavanagh, and I turn to Anastasia asking, “Will you walk with me, Miss Steele?” “Sure,” she says anxious while the friend is suspicious and the fucking photographer scowling. Boyfriend rings on my head. I have to find out. I don’t do “sharing”. She has to be mine.

I open the door and allow her out. “Would you join me for coffee this morning?” I keep the expectancy out of my gaze, but, I can feel her heartbeat increasing and her face going pink. Yes, baby, this is a date. (←Glad you came - by The Wanted)

She tells me disappointed that she has to drive everyone home. Oh, I got you covered baby! “TAYLOR!” “Please take Miss Kavanagh, the photographer, his assistant and their equipment to where they need to go.” Then I turn to her and say, “see, resolved.” “Oh, Taylor doesn’t have to do that Mr. Grey. I can switch vehicles with Kate.” She goes back into the suite; ensuing a small discussion with her friend, and comes back out. “Ok, let’s do coffee” she says flushing scarlet red. Her color makes me smile like the Cheshire cat. We have small talk on the way to the elevators. I press the button to call the elevator. As the door opens, a couple who have been making out spring apart looking anywhere but each other. What is it with elevators? Anastasia is flushed and embarrassed. I keep my gaze on Anastasia, watching the lovely red color creep up her shy face again, while I maintain to keep my smile away…barely. As the elevator dings reaching the first floor, I grab Anastasia’s hand, and walk out of the elevator. We hear the couple giggle behind us as I mutter “what is it with the elevators?” We cross the street to a coffee shop her hand in mine with the jolt of electricity a constant thrum between us. I let her choose a table and ask her what she would like. “English breakfast tea, bag out.” She says surprising me. So, no coffee. Apologetically she indicates that she’s not keen on coffee. When I go to get the drinks and something to eat, I find her gazing at me surreptitiously, and occasionally biting her lips. When I come back to the table, she brings her gaze down to her knotted fingers flushing. I would love to find out what she is blushing about. Me, I hope. “Penny for your thoughts?” I say. She flushes even as red as the Chinese flag. God! What I would love to do to you to get out what you are thinking! I put the tray on the table she picked, and stretch my legs under the table sitting opposite to her to see her beautiful shy face better. I coax her: “What are you thinking?”

She’s not giving anything away. “This is my favorite kind of tea, I like it black and weak” she says. I have to get to the point and put myself out of misery, because I can’t bear it anymore. “I see.” I say, “Is he your boyfriend, the photographer Jose Rodriguez?” “No,” she gushes, “he’s just a good friend. More like family really.” “I see,” I cut her, “how about the boy from the store?” I get to the point. “No he isn’t. I told you that yesterday,” she says. I give an inward sigh of relief. “Why do you ask?” she quizzes me. “You get nervous around men,” I observe. She looks at her knotted fingers again, flushing once more. “I just find you intimidating,” she confesses, though I realize she says that without thinking because she blushes all the way to her hairline, but not before I take a sharp intake of breath. I do affect her; the thought pleases me, and I can’t help but smile. “I am intimidating, but please don’t look down. I like to see your face,” I say, and kiss that mouth of yours that you’ve been biting. She looks up. “I want to know what you’re thinking. You are mysterious, Anastasia.” She looks baffled. I tell her that when she blushes, I know she’s thinking something, but I don’t know what exactly. She asks me if I always make personal observations. I didn’t know I was. Wasn’t she making personal observations about me last week? She shocks me by saying, I’m high handed. How right you are baby! “I always get my way Anastasia,” I tell her, “in all things.” I want to know more about her, and ask her about her family. She asks me about mine, but I’m keener to know her. But she’s not giving much away. As I tell her my sister Mia is in Paris, she says longingly, “I hear Paris is lovely,” I tell her it’s beautiful, and ask her if she’s been. She’s never left the country.

I ask her if she would like to visit. She brightens, and says, “To Paris? Of course. But, it’s England I would really like to visit.” I bet I can guess why. My index finger grazes my lower lip, as she looks like she’s barely stopping herself from panting. “Why?” I coax her. “Austen, Bronte, Shakespeare, Hardy. I like to see the places that inspired my favorite authors,” she says without blinking. Hearts and flowers as I suspected. She looks at her watch. She wants to go to study her finals. I offer her to walk her to Miss Kavanagh’s car. She thanks me for the tea. Oh, the pleasure is all on me, I smile. I hold my hand out to her, and she automatically hands it to me once again the current flowing between us. We both stroll back towards the hotel both lost in thought. I love the way her ass looks in those jeans, and without thinking I ask her, “Do you always wear jeans?” “Mostly.” She answers confused. Suits her. Very very well. Just as we stroll to the parking lot, she blurts out, “Do you have a girlfriend?” all flushing, because I think she spoke her thought out loud. I give her a half smile. “No, Anastasia. I don’t do the girlfriend thing,” I answer softly. She’s confused, of course. A flicker of thought passes her face without any words. She has a disappointed look on her face and tries to let go of my hand, walking ahead and tripping headlong onto the street. I find myself shouting, “Shit, Ana!” as I yank her hand to get her upright as a bicyclist nearly missing hitting her as I pull her to my body as tight as possible. I feel her inhaling my scent as I get a whiff of her soft feminine smell of her hair and skin. I close my eyes momentarily whisper at her ear, “Are you okay?” while grasping the small of her back with one hand, and trying to make sure she’s ok and has no scratches on her face with the other. I brush her lower lip with my thumb as a shiver runs through my body. Her breath is caught. We lock gazes, and she is intently looking at me, her body and gaze are saying “kiss me.” She’s lovely, and I am fighting against myself to control my urges to pull her the remaining inch and kiss her. I briefly close my eyes, and when I open them I’m determined. She’s too young, too innocent, too lovely. She’s not for my world. “You should stay away from me Anastasia. I’m not the man for you,” I whisper. Her face is fallen as if I hit her…hard. It’s better if she thinks it’s rejection than to have her hurt later.

“Breathe Anastasia, okay? I’ll let you stand, and let you walk.” She has disappointment, and hurt on her face. She opens her blue eyes as wide as possible as to not let any tears pooling behind to escape. “I’ve got this,” she says, “Thank you Mr. Grey.” “For what?” “For saving me,” she says nearly in tears. I’m furious at the fucker who nearly drove over her. “It was that idiot’s fault, not yours! Do you want me to take you to the hotel lobby and sit with you?” “I’m okay,” she says her voice breaking. “Thank for doing the photo shoot,” she says at the last ditch effort trying not to cry. I’m battling with some foreign emotions. I nearly concede, and try to explain myself to her that I’m a fucked up guy, and what she would get from me would make her unhappy. She’s the hearts and flowers kind of girl, and the fifty shades of fucked up Christian Grey doesn’t do that. “Anastasia… I..” I stop, with the inner battle raging within me, wanting her, but not wanting to hurt her. I’m torn. I can’t bear the hurt on her face. “What Christian?” she snaps, my name a prayer on her tongue. No, I can’t do that to her. I take a small breath and say, “Good luck with your exams,” confusing her. “Thanks!” she says nearly in tears, and walks away from me. The last thing I see her doing is wiping away stray tears from her face as I kick myself inside.

Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!

I turn back to the hotel. I have to punch something, someone, something… I am full of emotions I’m not familiar with. I can’t get her face off of my head. The look… The hurt… Fuck! It’s all my fault… I don’t do the girlfriend thing and she’s not the kind of girl who would do what I want! I’m in a fucking conundrum and I have some unknown desire, some pull towards her, and I don’t want to hurt her. She will get hurt. She’s too innocent. It won’t work with her! The battle in my head rages. How would I know it won’t work if I don’t try?

Fuck this! I’ll give myself another day. See if I can work this out in my head. Fuck! I call Claude Bastille and ask him to get his ass to Portland. I need serious workout.

Tomorrow. I will wait till tomorrow.

CHAPTER III

I can’t get her face out of my mind. The crushing look she had, and the heartbreak that was displayed on her face as if she had death in the family. I couldn’t take what I said back. It's for her own good. She's too innocent. Too sweet. Too deserving of something more than what I can offer her. But then her presence pulls me to her. I'm torn apart inside with these tornados of emotions. I just can’t introduce her to my dark world! She deserves better; she needs someone to sweep her off her feet, go hearts and flowers on her which she clearly desires. But then the idea of someone else touching her is killing me inside! (←Roberta Flack - Killing Me Softly) I hate this foreign feeling that’s eating me, clawing into my soul. I hate being this way. I'm short with everyone. Even Taylor who generally has his poker face flinches. I'm too edgy. It’s been nearly a frigging week. I’m watching her from afar like a teenage boy! She’s going to school, going to work while I still manage my world from the Heathman Hotel in Portland. I can direct my company from here until I finish my duty for the graduation commencement ceremony at WSU where I’m supposed to confer degrees to the graduating class. Including her… Anastasia. Why can’t I get her out of my mind? What am I a fucking

teenager? Diversion… What I need is diversion. But nothing is appealing to me except her. It’s like her body calls to me, her sprit, her blood, her being. I can’t fucking escape this feeling! (← Notion by Kings of Leon) I have to do something to show her I’m interested in her, but I still feel I have to warn her. She’s into British classics and Hardy she says. I decide to send her Tess of the D’Urbervilles first edition with a note. I’m sure she’s read it. I want her to stay away, but not stay away. At least give her a warning. If she rejects me at least, I can maybe move on. Maybe…

I handwrite the note: Why didn’t you tell me there was danger? Why didn’t you warn me?

Ladies know what to guard against, because they read novels that tell them of these tricks… I order the 1st edition of the book and have it sent to her house with my warning hoping she’ll get my warning, but part of me also hopes that she’ll disregard it. I’ve never desired someone as much, not by any stretch of mind, and I’ve had quite a few women. I scold myself that I can have my pick of women. Almost any woman! But I don’t want any woman! I want her! Maybe if I can hold on till her graduation and if I see her then, maybe then I can declare my hand to her. I’m fucking losing my mind! She's bewitched me body and soul! I don't want to be away from her!! (← Bruce Springsteen - Witchraft) It’s Friday night. I had my dinner at my hotel room with my brother Elliot who brought some clothes for me seeing as I wasn’t intending to stay this long. My phone rings. I look at the caller ID and it’s her! Anastasia! I answer the phone on the second ring nearly breathless, surprised but softly I inquire: “Anastasia?” She doesn’t sound good. Is she ill? I’m immediately alert and attentive to her voice. Her speech is slurred. “Grey…” she sounds off key, “why did youuu,” *hiccups* “send me the books?”

I immediately feel concerned. I get in a protective mode because she’s not well. There is definitely something’s wrong with her! “Anastasia? Are you alright? You sound off key, strange…” She giggles and slurs again. “Grey, you’re the strange one, not me!” She’s drunk! “Anastasia, have you been drinking?” I ask incredulous. “None of your business! Why should you be con… con…” she struggles to complete her sentence, “con.cerned?” “Just curious. Tell me, where are you?” She giggles, actually giggles. “In a bar!” she gushes. “Which one?” “Uh uh… It’s a bar in Portland.” “How will you get home Ana?” “Don’t know,” hiccups, “I’ll find a way”. “Which bar is it Anastasia?” “Why the hell did you send me Tess of the D.. Durb… D’Urbervilles books Christian?” “Anastasia..” I say as calmly as possible as my anger is rising to the boiling point. “Tell me where you are!” My calmness is laced with anger. “You are sooo bossy, controlling person man..” “Where the fuck are you Ana? So help me, I’ll find out one way or the other!” “Oh so far away from… from.. where you are. Yeah, from Seattle.” “Ana, please.. Where are you?” “Goodnight Christian!” and she hangs up! On me! “TAYLOR!” I yell. My brother looks at me amused. He’s never seen me in pursuit of a woman, and this is a sight to see for him.

“Yes sir!” he shows up. “I need you to track Anastasia Steele’s cell phone. Find out her location! Now!” “Sir!”

He’s got his little command center setup already to control a space mission let alone finding the location of a Miss Anastasia Steele. Few minutes later I have the location. Elliot opens his mouth to say something and I stop her with one gesture of my hand, and he grins holding his hands up in a gesture of surrender. “Taylor! Let’s go!” I say, and Elliot also grabs his jacket, sidling along. I look at him pointedly. He says grinning, “Hey bro! I always thought you were gay! This I gotta see!” I clench my teeth, but let him come along. “Yes sir.” We speed through the night from Heathman’s to the bar. I call Ana back with satisfaction as we speed through the night. “Hi?” she answers scared. That’s right! You need to be scared. “I’m coming to get you!” I hang up brewing. It’s not too far from where I’m staying, and we make it within ten minutes of me hanging up. I am able to locate her in front of the bar where the photographer is making his advances on her while she’s feebly trying to push him away. I want to hit the living daylights out of the fucker! Elliot is with me. “Go find her roommate. Cute, strawberry blonde. She answers to the name Kate Kavanagh!” “Cute and blonde? With pleasure!” he grins and smoothly walks into the bar. “I believe the lady said No!” I hiss through my teeth as I emerge from the darkness. It’s taking all my self-control not to jump at him, and beat the crap out of him. He lets go of her. “Grey,” he says tersely. As if on cue Anastasia doubles over and hurls the contents of her stomach on the concrete patio splashing the fucker who jumps back muttering something in Spanish. She’s barely able to stand up. I rush to steady her head while holding her hair back. I pull her to the flower bed where she can do less splashing while clearing out the content of her stomach in the relative darkness. “If you’re going to throw up, do it here.” I say. She pukes for a long while and even after the entire content of her stomach is gone, she continues to dry heave. I hand her my handkerchief. She takes it embarrassed, while her fucking attacker hangs by the door like a cat

that spilled his milk. He mutters her he’ll see her inside, and walks away! Walks away! What kind of friends first forces his hand on his friend and then leaves her with a complete stranger to be cared for? Ana is three sheets to the wind, but she manages to say “I’m sorry.” “What are you sorry for Anastasia?” I ask. This better be good. “Oh, you want the list? The phone call… Throwing up… but mostly for the phone call,” she looks chagrined looking down at her hands. “We’ve all been here one time or another, but perhaps not quite as badly as you are,” she looks as if I slapped her. But I push on, “Do you make a habit of pushing your limits in this manner? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for pushing limits, but not in this matter.” She’s mad at me and defiant. “I’ve never been drunk before, and,” holding her head trying to steady herself she adds, “I’ve no intention of being one again.” She staggers, and I grab and hold her close to my chest now the danger of her hurling passed. “Come, I’ll take you home,” I say. “How did you find me anyway?” she asks petulantly. “I tracked your phone.” She looks at me with an expression that says confused, and amused at the same time. “I have to get my purse and jacket.” She says. She also wants to tell her roommate of her leaving. I tell her that my brother Elliot is inside and dancing with Kate. She looks surprised but she wants to go in. I usher her back into the bar, but I don’t want her to get sick any more than she already is. So I take her to the bar, and get myself a drink and get her a large glass of ice water. I make her drink it. All of it. I can see that her glare says “you’re bossy!” and I find that kind of erotic. She stands up to me even with her glare. Once she’s done drinking her water, I pull her to me, inhale her heady personal scent that is vanilla, clean soap, and outdoors. Somehow with her personal scent this becomes an intoxicating concoction. I have a hard time keeping my hands off of her. I lead her into the dance floor swinging, and we reach my brother Elliot and Anastasia’s roommate Kate who is like white on rice on my brother dancing their butts off and having a good time. Ana tells her I’m taking her home. She waves us

goodbye grinning. As I try support Ana out of the bar and the noise, she starts swaying, and before I know it, it’s out of my mouth: “Fuck!”

She’s on the floor headlong. This is the third time. Will I always be picking her off the floor? Somehow even the thought of it is endearing though I hate seeing her fall and get hurt. I pick her up and carry her in my arms, and hoist her into the Audi SUV. Taylor drives us to the hotel. I carry her to my suite in my arms like the most precious cargo, like a child. I gaze at her beautiful face. She’s so captivating. I just want to run my fingers through her hair and face, and feel and gaze at her. When I enter my suite I take her to my bedroom. I'm bewitched by this innocent girl. Completely taken. She's here in my bed, and I'm completely helpless against her. Against this sleeping beauty. (←Bewitched by Ella Fitzgerald)

I dismiss Taylor by saying “That’s all Taylor!” “Goodnight sir,” and went back to his room. I lay Anastasia after pulling the duvet cover up. I stared at her for minutes, hours I don’t know. I couldn’t get my eyes off of her my breath hitching at her peaceful look. I kneel on the floor and untie the laces of her Converse shoes. I pull them off her feet. Then I pull the socks off. I then unzip her jeans and pull them off her revealing her flawless long legs. I pull the duvet over her; sit in the chair watch her lay in the infant position breathing slowly. It gives me an enormous amount of peace I have not felt in a long time. I just want to crawl next to her, and hold her all night. I’ve never had someone next to me in bed… to sleep with. Here’s a first. I strip off my pants and shirt. I pull a t-shirt on, and turn the side table light off. First time in my life, I sleep a peaceful sleep without any nightmares of the crack whore who was my mother or her pimp. I dream of Anastasia. (← Dream On by Aerosmith)

Being a morning person that I am, I wake up early after what felt like the most restful night next to beautiful Anastasia. I could watch her for hours, but I need to work out to get rid of this sexual draw towards her. I put my workout sweats on. I leave by the bedside table a glass of orange juice to give her a shot of vitamins and two pills Advil to get rid of her hangover.

I work out hard, sweat pours out of me. After what feels like an eternity, I get back to my suite, and knock on my bedroom door before entering to not to make her feel uncomfortable. She’s awake, and her eyes watch and trail me. As her eyes linger on the sweat stains of my workout pants, her breath hitches, and that reaction does something to me, and I feel myself harden.

“Good morning Anastasia,” I say, “How do you feel?” “Better than I deserve,” she whispers shyly, then looks up at me with her bright blue eyes. As I take the towel off my neck she gazes at me intently and asks “How did I get here?” I go to the edge of the bed and sit. I’m close enough to touch her, but I won’t. I don’t want to tell her that I wanted to gaze at her all night trying to decide if she’s what I want. I opt for a lighter explanation. “Since you managed to soil the bar’s vicinity, I didn’t want to take a risk with the car’s leather seats. I brought you here instead. It was closer,” I say passively.

She bites her lip hitching my breath, “Did you put me to bed?” “Yes,” I say with my poker face. “And undressed me?” she says in a barely audible whisper chewing that lip again. “Yes,” gazing at her lips.

“And, did we… uhm?” she arched her eye brows, and turned red before lowering her gaze. “No Anastasia. You were completely passed out. I don’t do necrophilia. I prefer my women completely receptive, and aware,” I say dryly. She turns red as recognition goes through her face. That’s right. I’m very straight! “But it was a very interesting experience to have you in my bed.” “You slept next to me?” “It is my bed,” I said wryly. “It was treat and one I won’t forget for some time,” I say. For a long time... She questions me on my stalking tendencies as she calls it. Though she sounds chiding, she looks pleased. “You should be happy I stalked you, because instead of here, you would have woken up next to the photographer who was pressing his suit on you last night, in fact rather forcefully,” I say remembering, none too pleased, and my anger rising again towards the fucker. “You sound like a courtly knight,” she says. Her incorrect observation throws me off, and brings me back to my worries. How little you know me. There’s nothing light about me baby. It’s all dark and fucked up. “Anastasia, there’s nothing light about me,” I say, “maybe a dark knight.” She looks disbelieving. I give her a bitter smile. It’s too early to talk about my dark soul, or the lack of it thereof. I change the subject. “Did you eat last night?” I question her. She shakes her head in the negative. I’m appalled. “Anastasia, that was why you got violently ill last night! You must always eat, especially if you intend to drink!” I scold her exasperated. She flinches back, but replies. “Will you keep scolding me this morning?” “Am I scolding you?” “You sure sound like it,” she says petulantly. Good, I think my palms are twitching. “Be glad that’s all I’m doing. Had you been mine, you wouldn’t be able to sit on your behind for a week after what you did yesterday!”

“What did I do?” she scowls back. “What’s it to you anyway? Who asked you to swoop in and save me?” Her answer oddly feels hurtful, yet another feeling I’m not familiar with. “You behaved badly. You didn’t eat, you drank excessively, and got sick, and would have even been raped by what you call your friend. You put yourself in a position to get hurt!” She lowers her gaze again chagrined. “Jose is my friend, he wouldn’t have hurt me. Maybe he just got out of line with too much to drink.” “Maybe he should be thought some manners!” I barely contain myself. Maybe I should teach him a lesson he’s never going to forget! She looks up at me and locks her gaze with me. “You are quite the disciplinarian Mr. Grey!” she spurts out. Baby, you have no idea! I grin. “Oh Ana, if you only knew how much!” My grin gets wider. Sometimes she sees right through me. I get up and walk towards the bathroom. “I’m going to shower right now, unless you want to go first...” I ask questioning. She gasps and holds her breath. My body responds to it like metal to magnet. I walk towards her and gently thug her lower lip out of the grasp of her teeth. My thumb grazes over her lower lip as the jolt of current passes on between us in a constant flow. I want to take her down and have my way with her right here, right now! Instead I say, “Breathe baby!” and release her face. I feel her gaze glued behind me as I move to the bathroom. I’m hooked. I shower as quickly as I can as to not to miss a minute with her. I take the speediest shower in my personal history, and come out coolly with a towel wrapped on my waist. She’s out of bed, looking around. Her jaw drops as she sees me, but then again, so does mine to see her so close to naked. One innocent, breath taking woman who is so unaware of her own beauty. She stills in her place. I tell her that her jeans were soiled with her vomit, and point to the clean clothes I had Taylor purchase for her this morning. Her eyes brighten, and eyes me trying to hide her gaze, she mutters “I’ll take… uhm.. that shower now.” And walks into the bathroom. I dress in my pants and white linen shirt. I take my morning paper to read at the table while waiting for the food to arrive. Ten minutes later there is a knock on the door. Room

service. I let the waiter bring the food on the dining table. After sending him off, I go to the bathroom door and knock letting Anastasia know that the food is here. She stutters an “okay,” making me smile. She’s very unease around men. Very inexperienced. Somehow this makes me pleased. When she comes out she looks breathtaking, innocent, but makes me frown when I see her hair damp. I have this protective urge to keep her safe even from herself. “You haven’t dried your hair!” I scold her. “I didn’t see the hair dryer,” she mutters. I narrow my eyes. She’s not mine… She’s not mine… She’s not mine… I chide myself. Not yet.. But I’d like her to be. “You look astounding in that color,” I find myself saying unable to take my gaze off of her. She blushes. “Thank you for the clothes Christian,” she says biting that lip again. “I should pay you for it.” I frown. I don’t want to be paid for them! I can afford them. I feel like I should take care of her. “You should learn to graciously accept gifts Ana,” I tell her firmly. “I can’t, see, you’ve given me some very expensive books,” she says, quickly adding, “which intend to return of course, but clothes, I don’t know. I should pay for them. I know I can’t afford to pay for the books,” she trails off, “but I can pay for the clothes.” “I can afford them Anastasia! You don’t need to pay for them,” I say to this stubborn beautiful girl before me. “I know you can Christian. That’s not the point. I’d feel better if I did, that’s all,” she looks at her fingers as if some answers are written on them. She then raises her gaze at me and asks, “why did you give me those books Christian?”

I close my eyes briefly, and exhale. When I open them back again, I say, “because I felt that you needed a warning. When I was holding you, you looked at me begging me to kiss you, and,” I said running my hands through my hair in a nervous gesture. I felt a loss for words first time in a long time, but gather my thoughts and continue “and, look, I’m not the hearts and flowers kind of guy. I don’t do that. My tastes are very singular. You should stay away

from me if you know what is good for you. Although God knows, I can’t stay away from you…” I look at her hoping she wouldn’t stay away, and hoping she would with a confused mess of emotions. I close my eyes to sort this damned feeling out. I’m not good at feelings, and if I knew what’s good for me, I would steer clear of her as well! Her proximity is bewitching, beguiling, drawing me like an undercurrent I can’t escape. Like a moth to the flame. Like her soul is calling to mine like it’s lost half seeking to merge. Even when I close my eyes, I feel her. She whispers, “Then don’t stay away from me…” I feel I owe her the protection from my fifty shades of fuckeduppedness; I don’t want to see her hurt. She’s too innocent. Like none I’ve met, and I’ve met quite a few. I close my eyes again. “Anastasia you don’t know what you’re asking for!” “Tell me then!” she urges me. “I guess that means you’re not celibate,” she whispers. That brings me out of my reveries, my eyes darken with passion for her, and desire heightens. I give her a salacious smile. “No, Anastasia,” I say amused, “I’m NOT celibate.” “Oh!” she whispers her breath catches with desire and I can hear her heartbeat like the fluttering wings of a hummingbird trying to escape her chest. That does things to my body, boiling my blood. I just can’t let her go now. Come hell or high water. I have to try! I make my decision. “What are your plans for the next few days Ana?” I ask my eyes dark with desire. She tells me she is working today after midday. “How about tomorrow?” I ask leaning forward. “I’m working all week, and Kate and I are supposed to be packing because we’re moving to Seattle.” “Do you have a place yet?” “Yes, someplace in Pike Market District.” I smile pleased. She’s going to be very close to me. “I’ve applied for internships and I’m waiting to hear from them.” “Have your applied to my company?” I ask.

“No, I haven’t,” she stutters. “What’s the matter with my company?” I think out loud. She grins, “your company, or Your Company?” God, I like her! She has a smart mouth, but unlike anyone I’ve met before. It’s a breath of fresh air. She’s not afraid of speaking her mind to me. “Are you smirking at me Anastasia?” I ask her wanton. She catches her breath and bites her lip. I just take it anymore, “God! I like to bite that lip!” I growl. Her mouth opens as she gasps with desire, squirming. I like her response. I bet she’s wet all the way. The thought makes me desirous but not as much as what she challenges me to do next, “Why don’t you then?” I make up my mind. I can’t stay away from her, but she still needs to know my terms. “Because I will not touch you until I have your written consent Anastasia,” I say smiling. “What do you mean?” “It’s pretty literal. I need your written consent before I touch you. I have to show you. When do you finish with work Anastasia?” I ask. She replies “eight.” I tell her that I could take her to Seattle this evening to enlighten her. “Why can’t you tell me now?” she asks. “Because I’m enjoying your company and I don’t want you to run to the hills, just yet.” She looks puzzled as I expected she would be. A lot of emotions pass through her face, but finally she looks resolute. “Okay,” she says determined. I arrange for a standby pilot for Charlie Tango as I have a feeling she may not agree to what I have in mind for her in which case she may want to come back home, and to my disappointment, this would be the end of our brief encounter. But I am really hoping that it’s not. “You’re very bossy,” she observes after I hang up the phone. How right she is! Yet she still doesn’t have any idea how much more bossy I can be. No idea at all! She’s unable to finish her food, whether it’s from nervousness, or excitement, but I still have a hard time with wasted food, and I tell her to eat it. I can’t help it! Doesn’t she know that there are people who are going hungry every day?

When we’re finished eating, she heads to the bathroom to wash-up. She emerges while I’m on the phone. I hang up in a few minutes, and I take her hand to walk out. There’s something about her that is drawing me to her. When she’s near me I can feel the air crackling. I impatiently press the elevator call button. In a minute or two it dings open. We enter into the elevator, and the air is even more electric and current is pulsing between us. She feels it too. Bites her lip. Our gazes lock, moth to the flame. Passion flames knotting my insides, I feel myself hardening. “Oh! Fuck the paperwork!” (←Sex on Fire by Kings of Leon) I growl, and lunge at her, pushing her to the elevator wall gripping her hands above her head with one hand, I steady her with my body pressing her to the wall, and fix her head with my other hand as my mouth explores hers. What a sweet exploration that is! She moans into my mouth, as our tongues start a tango of their own, dancing and exploring, and kissing. She wants me and I want her! “You. Are. The. Sweetest. Thing. I’ve. Ever. Met!” (← Feeling Good by Michael Buble) I find myself enunciating. I lost my sense enough to fuck her in the elevator when it suddenly dings and stops on one of the floors letting three businessmen in. We spring apart, as I don my poker face while she looks disheveled and desirous still. I eye her from my peripheral vision while slowly exhaling this pent up sexual energy. The businessmen grin as we exit the elevator on the first floor as I grab her hand, and mutter to myself, “What is it with the elevators!” She used my toothbrush as her mouth tasted minty fresh, and she smiled in the affirmative when I asked her about it. She’s one of a kind. We exit the hotel. I’m putty in her hands. Only if she knew. All of a sudden I feel elated with her next to me. I am only 27, and for the first time with Anastasia, I feel young. We are young! (←We are young by Some Nights ft. Janelle Monae)

CHAPTER IV

I open the passenger door of the black Audi SUV, and let Anastasia in. She slides in and I close the door. I go to the driver’s side, and open my door and turn the car on. I watch her from my peripheral vision. I can see a myriad of emotions are passing through her face. She looks lost. Twice she looks like she’s going to say something, but she stops herself. She is affected by our kiss. This can’t happen again without premeditation. Losing control is not in my vocabulary. I reverse out of the parking space, and ease out of the parking lot. I turn the music on. The Flower Duet by Delibes (← Flower Duet) comes on. Her eyes brighten and she beams at me. “What are we listening to Christian? This is wonderful!” “Yes it is. It’s an opera piece from Lakmé.” I tell her. She wants to hear it again, so I put the MP3 player on repeat. She asks me if I like classical music which I do, but my tastes are not limited to them. “My tastes are eclectic Anastasia. It changes with my mood. Classic, modern, church choral music, Tudor everything... whatever suits my mood at the time. How about you?” “Me too!” she gushes. Next, “Sex on Fire” (←by Kings of Leon) comes on and she beams with recognition. My cell phone rings, and I break out of my mood and get back into my business mode. I press the Bluetooth button on the steering wheel, “Grey” I say brusquely. It’s Welch. He says he has the

information I asked for. That would be the contract details I want Anastasia to read and hopefully agree to. “Fine. E-mail it to me. If you have nothing to add,” I say questioning. “No sir.” He answers. I hang up the phone and the music comes back up. She gives her “you’re so bossy” look I’ve come to recognize. The phone rings again, and this time it’s Andrea. “The NDA has been e-mailed to you Mr. Grey,” she informs me. “Great. That’s all Andrea.” I say and hang up. Soon as I hang up with Andrea, the phone rings again, and this time it’s my brother Elliot. “Hey bro! Did ya get laid last night?” “Hello to you to Elliot. You’re on speaker phone, and I’m not alone in the car,” I let out an exasperated sigh. “Who is with you?” he asks. I tell him that it’s Anastasia. He lights up over the phone and greets Anastasia as if he’s known her all his life. “Hey Ana!” “Hello, Elliot,” she responds shyly. “Kate told me a lot about you Ana!” he beams and I can feel his grin on the phone. “I hope it’s all good Elliot,” she says. “Elliot, I will be dropping off Anastasia at her place. Do you need a ride?” “Yeah!” “I’ll see you soon then,” I say, as I don’t want him to be flirting with Anastasia. I feel a sudden pang of jealousy. Anastasia asks me why I insist on calling her by her full name which I like. A lot. I simply tell her because it’s her name. She says she prefers “Ana.” “Do you now?” I tease. She blushes as if I caressed her. But my mind is occupied; I have to let her know that I have rules. As I get closer to her apartment I turn to her and say, “What happened in the elevator will not happen again without premeditation Anastasia.” Of course, I like to do a lot more of it, but in my own terms. Much much more of it... She looks hurt and disappointed. We arrive at her apartment. I pull into a parking space, and park the car. She

pouts, silent. A flush of color goes through her. She looks embarrassed as my eyes narrow on her. What I would pay to know what is going through her mind! I glance at her with a salacious smile and walk to the passenger side of the door to open it for her. She climbs out of the car and murmurs, “I really liked the elevator experience,” surprising me and hitching my breath audibly. She lets me stand there shocked and immobile for a minute and with a shy gaze back to me, she walks away to her apartment. I gather my wits about and my feet connect with my brain and I speed to catch up to her. (←The Way You Make Me Feel - by Michael Jackson and Britney Spears) We go into her apartment to find her roommate and my brother together looking very well acquainted, grinning to each other like idiots and all mussed up. The roommate gives me a suspicious mother hen gaze. I approve the protective look she has of Anastasia, but that behavior also contradicts my possessiveness of Ana. “Good morning Ana dear!” she beams, and when she turns to give me her greeting of good morning, her tone chills several degrees. I nod in acknowledgement “Miss Kavanagh,” formally. My brother always the social butterfly chides me to call her “Kate,” then turns to Anastasia beaming brightly “Hi Ana!” and hugs her making me immediately jealous. I see that Anastasia awkwardly tries to return his hug as I get a glimpse of her biting her lip. That does things to me especially when she’s being nearly groped by my brother though I know that’s not what he is doing. I still dislike his overfriendliness to her. “We better get going Elliot,” I urge him. “Alright,” he says, and turns to his girl, and dips her low like he’s Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, and gives her a long lingering kiss which oddly bothers me seeing Anastasia’s yearning as she is shyly peaking at me through her long lashes. When he says “Laters baby,” to Kate grinning that’s my cue to leave. I walk to Anastasia slowly and tuck a stray strand of hair behind her ear. She gasps at the contact as I feel the current flowing through between us steadily again. I want to take her in my arms, and it’s taking all my self-control to not to give her a kiss she won’t forget and leave her lips sore reminding her where I’ve been, taking possession of her. Yet, I just run my thumb on her lower lip. The limited connection does things to me, hardening me. I won’t kiss her, because if I do, I will lose control.

“Laters baby,” I murmur copying Elliot. She smiles. “I’ll pick you up at eight.” She nods, and my idiot brother Elliot blows a kiss at Kate like an enamored adolescent. I can see a pang of jealousy on Anastasia’s face before she turns her back. If you agree to my terms tonight, you’ll get more than a deep, satisfying kiss I say to her silently. Wait... Just a little while longer... I warn myself. As Elliot and I walk to my car, he’s grinning ear to ear. “I’m in love bro! Kate is amazing!” he says. I nod without bothering to respond. Elliot who slept with most of Seattle, in love? Hard to believe. Without waiting my response, he says, “Sooo?” he looks at me with a questioning gleam. “Did you get laid?” “No!” I say firmly. “Huh,” he says, “I thought you convinced me you weren’t gay last night!” he says without shame. “I’m not! But she was drunk! I don’t take advantage of girls who are not sentient.” He grins... “So there is hope for you two still?” “Maybe. Too early to tell.” “I heard you say you’ll pick her up at eight,” he probes. “Yes,” I say curtly. “Do you like her? I’ve never. Ever seen you with a girl! You couldn’t keep your eyes off of her. And don’t think I didn’t notice you reprimanding me with your steady glare when I gave her a hug,” he grins. I grit my teeth. “Stop being a prude bro! I approve!” “Like you had an option,” I grin. I change the topic on him, “so, how was the roommate?” “Delectable! Amazing! Beautiful! I’m enamored! I’m in love!” he breathes bright eyed. “Already?” I question skeptical. “Well, so far, yes. No one has captivated me like that before,” he says seriously. Those are my exact sentiments for Anastasia, but I say nothing. Elliot adds, “I’m seeing her again!” My

thoughts drift to Anastasia. I can’t wait for the evening to come. We reach back to the hotel in silence each lost in his own thought. I have a lot of business to conduct, but I’m in no mood to do business today. I have to be moving about, be active if I have to make through the day. I text my right hand Ros what I want her to complete. I phone my assistant Andrea, and tell her she won’t be able to reach me for the duration of the day and to hold my messages. “What are your plans for the day bro?” I ask Elliot. “Actually haven’t made a plan. What do you have in mind?” he inquires. “I was planning on going for a hike to Riverside Trail.” “Sure, I’m game!” he said. It is going to be a long wait, and I want my mind otherwise occupied, my body worked out, raring to go. ***** We come back from the hike around six o’clock. I take a shower to clean up. After Elliot gets ready we both go and get a bite to eat. Once the meal is over we go back to my room. I will be going to pick Anastasia up quite soon. “Are you going back to Seattle?” I ask Elliot. He grins, “So quick to get rid of me. But actually yes, I need to get back to business. I’ll be coming back on Saturday.” I nod. “You’re too uptight bro! Make sure you get laid tonight! It’ll loosen you up.” he gives me his biggest grin. If he only knew, but it’s none of his business. Elliot gets his few things from my hotel room, and I shake his hand saying, “Thanks man for bringing me clothes and going to hiking with me!” I say. “Anytime bro! It was worth the trip!” he gives me his boyish grin punching me on my shoulder and leaves for Seattle. Taylor and I will be picking Anastasia up from work and drive to the heliport. We arrive early at the Clayton’s and wait for her to finish her work. She emerges from the sliding double doors a few minutes after eight o’clock. As soon as she emerges, I get out of the car, and walk to her smoothly smiling warmly. She’s breathtaking in her black low cut jeans and light color shirt. So simple, yet so alluring. “Good evening Miss Steele,” I breathe softly.

“Mr. Grey,” she responds politely nodding. I open the backseat of the car and let her climb in. She greets Taylor politely, and Taylor replies in kind. I climb in from the other side of the SUV next to her and clasp her hand giving it a gentle squeeze. I feel the jolt of current passing through us as I know she feels the same way about me. I feel her body temperature rise. I ask her how her work day was. “Very long,” she replies in a needy husky voice almost too low to hear. “It’s been a very long day for me as well,” I say seriously without being able to help myself. She is barely able to breathe a question about what I did during the day trying to distract herself from my intense gaze, and I tell her that I went for hiking with Elliot while stroking only her knuckles and making sure to not to touch anywhere else building expectation knowing its sensual affects full well. I feel her pulse picking up, her breathing sharp and deep. As we reach to the heliport, Taylor parks the car, and I get out of the car to open her door. She takes my proffered hand. “Ready?” I ask, she nods unable to articulate any words as she appears both excited and nervous. Taylor leaves with the car as I take her hand and head to the elevator to go up to the helipad. As we wait for the elevator the memories of this morning comes flooding back, the air charging between us while the jolt of electricity keeps a steady current through our connected hands. The elevator door dings, and we enter. Her breath hitches also remembering this morning and knowing full well how much she liked it. I find a small smile creeping on my lips as our gazes lock. I would take her right here, but I manage to contain myself. “It’s only three floors,” I breathe huskily seeing the longing in her eyes. Pretty soon the elevator dings again and we’re on the third floor rooftop. I go into the office to make sure all the preflight checks are completed. Old Joe is sitting at the desk, and informs me that they’ve all been completed. I thank him, and give him a warm smile. Anastasia looks surprised with this small exchange, looking curious. “Let’s go,” I say making our way toward Charlie Tango, with my company name printed in blue on the side: Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. I open the door, and seat Anastasia and order her “Sit, and don’t touch anything.” I go back to my pilot’s seat. I turn to Anastasia and strap her in the four-point harness. I tighten both the straps and feel an enormous satisfaction and

get incredibly aroused seeing her all strapped. I am so close to her as I inhale and drink her scent in. All vanilla, outdoors, and woman. She looks at me inquiring. I glance up and smile at her with passion heating up my gaze. She closes her eyes to feebly escape her desire forgetting to breathe. “You’re now secure, can’t run away,” I whisper in her ear. Her breath hitches once again after getting a glimpse at my passionate gaze. “Breathe Anastasia,” I say softly, touching and caressing her cheek. I want to linger, but I only press a chaste kiss on her soft luscious lips. “I like this harness,” I whisper, and she stares at me confused. Hoping she will like it too. I’ll find out tonight. I point to the cans and tell her to put them on during flight. I go through all the pre-flight checks, clear take off with the air-control tower, and take off towards Seattle. I see Anastasia a little nervous, and she looks at me with her wide blue eyes questioning:

“Do you know what you are doing Christian?” she asks. I smile. “I’ve been a fully qualified pilot for four years. You’re safe with me Anastasia,” I say adding, “at least while we’re flying,” and I wink at her playfully. The smile she gives me is dazzling, breathtaking. She asks me how long it would take to reach Seattle. I tell her about an hour. She looks relieved. She’s concerned of flight safety at night. I tell her that we’re flying in an EC135 Eurocopter; one of the safest in its class which is equipped with night flight. “There is a helipad on the building where I live which is where we are heading,” I say. “Of course, there is,” she murmurs in a low voice almost disappointed, sad; her reaction surprises me. Why would she find that upsetting? She glances at me sideways trying to memorize my face as if she's not going to look at it long and she wants to remember it. There is longing in her eyes; desire even. The thought of it and the possibilities makes me pleased, happy. I turn to her and ask, “Are you okay Anastasia?”

Her answer is short, and clipped, “yes.” I point her to the emerging Seattle silhouette in the night. “Do you always impress women this way in your helicopter?” she asks. Oh, that's what's bothering her. Though her question brings me up short. I’ve actually never taken any woman in my helicopter, she is a first, like she was the first woman I've ever slept with, or had in my own bed. “No. I’ve never taken a girl up on Charlie Tango before. My helicopter I mean. You’re experiencing yet another first with me Anastasia,” I answer, looking at her with a renewed sense of reverence. “Are you impressed?” I find myself asking. “Christian, I’m amazed. In fact, awed!” She responds. “Awed?” I want to know more. She’s got my attention, and her words are like litany. “Yes,” she sighs, “You’re incredibly able... so.. very competent,” she breathes. I’m so enamored by her response, and find myself saying “well, thank you Miss Steele. We aim to please,” and can’t help but give her my stupid adolescent grin. She looks happy. She observes that I enjoy flying. “Yes,” I tell her, “immensely. Because it takes a lot of concentration and control to fly.. How could I not love it?” But then I tell her I like gliding even better. Seattle looks absolutely stunning in the night light, and I see in her look that she finds it romantic, though I have a pang inside me reminding me I don’t do romance. I fly through high rise buildings making my way towards Escala. A few minutes later we hover and land on the rooftop of Escala, my building. “We’re here,” I say softly. In this closed small space, the air is intense between us. She looks excited, nervous, shy and her breathing erratic making me more desirous toward her. I reach over and take her headphones off. I unfasten my seatbelt, and reach over and unfasten hers. My excitement and desire for her are hard to contain. I clench my jaw and my eyes tighten in an effort to contain my emotions I have towards her. I want her, but I want to protect her too.

“You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. You know that, right Anastasia?” I say fervently. In a way I’m desperate for her to say no and leave, because God knows I am unable to. I’m hooked on her, she bewitched me with all her being. If she only knew how much I desire her... I can’t keep the wanting and yearning I have for her off my voice or my eyes. He speaks calmly and with conviction: “I would never do anything I don’t want to do Christian.” I nod, and breathe an inner sigh of relief and say, “okay,” softly and barely audible. I still eye her warily, torn between keeping her here, and not letting her go, and taking her back to Portland, and leave her with her innocence intact and ignorant of my dark world. But then I’ve never desired anyone as much as I have of her right this moment! She takes my breath away. She looks at me with determined, and hopeful blue eyes which breaks away the last bit of all my shattered resistance and I melt. I open my door and get out. I duck and quickly walk to her side, and open her door wrapping my arms tightly around her pulling her down from the helicopter and tight against me. It’s windy up on the rooftop, and I have to shout to be heard, “Come!” I say. The wind is strong, and I have to drag her to the elevator shaft, and punch in my number on the keypad. The door opens and I’ll pull her in. Once in the elevator, I tap in the code to my penthouse. She stares at the mirrored walls of the elevator gazing at our infinite reflection with admiration, and awe. The elevator takes a short time to reach my penthouse and the door slides open. We enter into my all white foyer adorned with a dark wood table with fresh flowers, making a grand statement. My choice of exquisite paintings of Madonna and child adorning the walls. She gazes at them as she did the painting in my office wall on her first visit to interview me. I open the double doors and enter into the main living room though it’s more of a statement than an ordinary living room. The walls are double height and all white, with the outer glass walls allowing entry to a wide balcony overlooking the exquisite skyline of the city of Seattle. I have an oversized U shaped sofa in the main living area facing the open kitchen. The fireplace is also lit giving an ambient, sensual and warm feeling.

“Can I take your jacket Anastasia?” I ask softly. She shakes her head; she still seems cold. I want to warm her, but I divert myself by asking her if she would like a drink. She looks both confused, and amused. I raise my eyebrows slightly and tell her that I’d have a glass of white wine, and ask her if she’d like her to join me. “Yes please,” she responds shyly. I tell her my choice of white wine, and ask her if she would be okay with that choice. “Christian, I don’t know anything about wine. Whatever you are drinking would be fine,” she says hesitantly. She’s innocent and inexperienced in every way my conscience tells me. I nod, and pour her a glass. She’s too quiet. Is she having second thoughts? One part of me wishes that she is, and the other part desires her more than anything. But I have to ask and this has to be her choice. “You are too quiet Anastasia, pale in fact. Are you alright? Hungry?” I ask probing. She shakes her head in the negative. “You have quite a place here Christian. Very big,” she remarks absently. “Big?” I amuse. “Yes, very,” she responds. When she notices the piano she asks me if I play. “Yes, I do,” I respond my gaze locked on her like a hawk’s. I’m intent, and desirous, and enamored with her. With this innocent, beautiful girl who is barely aware of her own enticement. “Is there anything you can’t do?” she remarks nearly sadly, as if I am unreachable. “Few things...” I say. “Would you like to sit Anastasia?” I ask her inviting her to the sofa. She sits and with a gleam she smiles. I’m curious to know what is going through her mind right this minute. She’s so closed to me. I work hard to read her body language. She’s unlike anyone I’ve met. “What amused you Ana?” I remark quietly sitting close to her near enough to touch. I sit back propping my elbow behind me. “Why did you give me the Tess of the D’Urbervilles books Christian?” she asks intently. She’s hard to read as her question takes me by surprise.

“I gathered you liked Hardy and I owed you a warning about myself. That was the only way I could think of. Either to hold you to an impossible ideal like Angel Clare, or to a complete debasement like Alec D’Urberville,” (←Darcy and Elizabeth dance scene and music) I murmur slowly my gaze flickering with my inner desire laden with dark sensuality. “If you are only offering me two choices Christian, I will take the debasement,” she whispers to me biting her lip and completely shocking me. Her words and the sight of her with her lip in the clasp of her teeth hitches my breath and I have to take an audible gasp to gather my senses. She leaves me in complete awe of her. I shake my head and speak intently, “Please stop biting your lip Anastasia! It’s completely distracting me. You don’t know what you are really asking here,” I say still hoping that she says no. “I’m here aren’t I?” she says determined. “Yes you are,” I say unable to resist her anymore and hold my finger, “would you hold on for a minute please?” I say excusing myself. She has made her choice, and I’m already putty in her hands. I go to my office and print the Non-Disclosure Agreement my assistant Andrea emailed me earlier. I come back to the living room with the document, and hand it to her saying, “Ana, this is an NDA, a non-disclosure agreement. Seeing as who I am, my lawyer insists on having one signed.” I look at her determined, and tell her “if you are going for debasement, you need to sign this.” “What if I don’t want to sign it?” she counters me. “That would be fine,” I say noticing a tinge of disappointment lacing my voice, but I steady myself and add, “in that case, it’ll be the Angel Clare high ideals, and most of the book for you.” “What is this NDA for? I guess, I don’t know what it means.” “It simply means that you can’t talk about you and me and what goes between us, to anyone, about anything. Ever. At all...” I say clearly. A range of emotions crosses her face: A look of disbelief, surprise, fear, and finally curiosity. “Alright, I will sign,” she says and proffers her hand to receive the pen from me. I extend the pen to her meanwhile still unable to hide my surprised face from her. “Aren’t you going to read first?” I ask shocked.

“Nope,” she says determined. “Why not?” I ask. I feel the need to chide her, this is not a good practice if she is signing papers without reading, "Anastasia, you must always read what you sign!" “Well,” she says exasperated, “clearly Christian, this piece of paper,” holding the NDA in her hand like a piece of undesired accoutrement to get rid of, “means more to you and your lawyer - whom apparently you talked to about me - than it is to me. I wasn’t intending to disclose ‘us’ to anyone anyway. So whether I sign this piece of paper stating I won’t talk about the two of us is a moot point. I won’t talk! Not even to my best friend Kate,” she states completely disarming me. “Fair point well made Anastasia,” I say completely beguiled. She signs her name in the dotted lines in an exaggerated fashion, hands me back the NDA, and takes a large swig of the glass of wine nearly downing the whole thing. I see that she’s trying to gather courage and finally speaks her mind: “Since I’ve signed your NDA, does it mean that you’ll make love to me tonight Christian?” she asks and immediately looks regretful and flushing. My jaw drops open completely shocked at her words. She manages to shock me! I, Christian Grey who doesn’t get taken easily is shocked by this innocent girl's words! But I gather my senses and respond. “No, it doesn’t Anastasia. Let me clarify something. I don’t make love. Ever. Never have. I fuck... hard. Besides, you will have to sign more paperwork, and also, you still don’t know what you are in for.” I gaze at her. “Once you learn, I’m afraid you may still run as far away from me as possible. So, I have to get to the point and show you what I mean. Come. See my playroom.” I say finally determined to let the chips fall where they may. “Playroom? Are we going to play Wii, or Xbox?” she asks me surprised, and I can’t help but let out laughter. That’s the furthest thing from my mind. “No Ana. None of those things. Come and see,” I say and gently thug her hand and lead her to the corridor and to upstairs where my playroom is located. I take my key out to the playroom which always remains locked. I take a deep breath, and give her one last warning, “you can still leave Anastasia. If you so desire, I can send you wherever you want to go; my

helicopter is on standby, or stay the night and go home in the morning. Whatever you decide is fine.” She gives me an exasperated look, and scolds, “Oh, just shut up and open the damn door Christian!” completely disarming me and leaving me breathless. I open the door and let her in.

CHAPTER V

She steps in, and her gaze gives nothing away. She inhales the leather, wood and citrus polish scent as if it’s an intoxicating concoction. She looks around the spacious room with dark deep burgundy color, gazing the old varnished wood floors. She then looks at the wooden cross shaped like an X and the restraint cuffs hanging from it. He eyes capture the ceiling and the suspension grids hanging from it. She walks in further and touches the ropes, chains, and shackles. She walks towards the set of riding crops, paddles, and whips. She checks the drawers where I keep the various toys opening one she looks at the contents and immediately closes it. Her face still gives nothing away. Examining, looking, but not saying anything, and no emotion is crossing her face for me to read. She walks toward the rococo king poster bed with red leather cover. She eyes the cuffs, and chains hanging from the canopy. Her gaze travels around and she eyes the long polished wood table with stools underneath it. Still giving nothing away and curiosity of what she’s thinking is driving me insane. She glances at the karabiners at the ceiling.

She locates the feathery suede flogger with bushy end with plastic beads on. Her fingers caress it softly examining. Curiosity lights her eyes for the first time. “It’s called a flogger,” I say softly and quietly. “Hmmm...” she says glaring at it in shock. Her gaze drifts to me, and then back at my toys around the room. Her face looks passive, but there seems to be an undercurrent of fear, shock, and numbness. “Say something,” (←Fireworks by Katy Perry) I command softly though pleading for a verbal response from her. “Does someone do this to you, or you do this to people?” she asks. I feel relief, and smile. “I do this to women who wish me to do that to them,” I respond hoping she’ll give me something, some response. “I see. It appears you have willing volunteers. I don’t understand why I’m here, or my purpose in here,” she murmurs. “Because, I really, really, really want to do this with you,” I say almost pleading. She gives an audible gasp, “Oh!” with a questioning gaze. I expect her to run out of the room, but she walks further in looks at the paddles, and gives me the saddest, depressed look she asks, “Are you a sadist Christian?” her voice cracking at the end. “I’m a Dominant Ana,” I say with my gaze intense. “Dominant...” she tries the word out finding foreign to her lips. She shakes her head. “I’ve no idea what that is Christian, or I don’t even know if it is any different than sadist. It sounds bad,” she whispers visibly depressed and disappointed. “It just means that you as a submissive willingly surrender yourself to me,” I say softly, almost find myself pleading her to understand, “In all things.” She frowns, and glares at me firmly saying, “and why the hell would I do that?” taking me aback. I really like her. Sometimes when she looks at me, she looks through me, into me. Into the soul I think I’ve lost a long time ago. This opposition is not something I’ve encountered before, and it feels so refreshing, so admirable, so challenging. I want her more than I wanted anything else. Ever!

“Because you want to please me,” I whisper with a small smile cocking my head to the side. Her mouth drops open. Flicker of emotions go through her face, but I’m pleased to see that desire is one of them. “Please you?” she questions with genuine interest. “How do I do that?” she breathes. I close my eyes to hear an open mind and desire from her beautiful lips. When I open my eyes I gaze at her. She may yet want to join my world, as I’m eager to teach her. “I have a written set of rules I want you to follow and comply with.” “Rules? Whatever for?” she asks confused. “The rules are for your benefit and my pleasure. When you follow my rules to my satisfaction, I will reward you. But when you break them, I will punish you and you will learn,” I whisper in a soft voice. She’s still here, and has not run away at least. Still listening. She waves her hand around and asks, “These things? What about them? Where do they fit in your fantasy?” she whispers. “This is both reward and punishment as a part of the incentive package.” “Reward and punishment?” she asks skeptical. “You get aroused by controlling me, exerting your will to dominate me?” She’s calm but with an undercurrent of fear. “Essentially what I do is gaining your trust and respect, you wish me to dominate you. In return through your submission I get a great deal of joy and pleasure. It’s quite simple: The more you submit, the greater my pleasure.” She’s all business, ready to explore the offer and maybe counteroffer. “And from all of your pleasure as I see you would be collecting through my ‘submission’” she air quoted, “what’s in it for me? What do I get?” I like her! She’s a tough negotiator.

I know it’s not much, and most the time I see myself as the husk of a man, a soulless man at that, so it’s not much she’ll be getting aside from her own joy. But I am what she would be getting. I look apologetic and say, “You get me,” I say shrugging. She just gazes at me, appraising. Almost weighing if what she’s giving is worth what she’s getting back but not giving anything away, passive. I get nervous. I don’t want her to slip through my fingers. I desperately want her. Need her. Right now. “Anastasia please. You’re so hard to read. I don’t know what you’re thinking, you don’t give anything away. It's driving me crazy,” (←Crazy by Gnarls Barkley) I run my hand through my hair in a nervous gesture and ask her, “perhaps we should go downstairs. You, in here, it’s just so distracting for me. I can’t think straight.” She looks at me as if I’m dangerous, a hazard to her health. No, no! A flicker of emotion runs behind her eyes, and as if she’d bolt and run. I don’t want her to be afraid of me. I like her too much. Maybe more than what’s good for me. I proffer my hand to her but she’s hesitant to take it, questioning, scared even. “I won’t hurt you Anastasia, please” I plead with her softly. She receives my hand with that familiar jolt of electricity passing through us again. I lead her out and want to distract her. I take her down the hall and into a bedroom. The room is all white along with the furniture. I open the door and show her the room, “should you decide to do this, this will be your room. I know it’s plain white right now, but you can decorate it with anything and anyway you so like!” She looks surprised. “What do you mean ‘my room’? You expect me to move in and live here?” she says horrified. I actually would if she were to accept, but amend my request. “Perhaps not full time, but at least Friday through Sunday,” I ask in my brokering face. “You want me to sleep here, in this room?” she questions. “Of course.” I answer. “Meaning not with you, together,” she asks realization dawning on her. “No. Not with me. I’ve already told you; I don’t do sleep with anyone. Except of course that was a onetime deal when you were so out of yourself completely drunk,” I say admonishing.

Her eyes go into slits in repressed anger, you can blindfold her with a dental floss, and her pouty mouth goes into thin line. She moves on with her probing. “Where would you sleep?” “I sleep downstairs in my own room. Let’s go down, I’m sure you’re hungry.” “Not really. I’ve lost my appetite,” she sighs. I can’t have her not eating. “You have to eat Ana,” I reprove taking her hand leading her downstairs. When we come down to the great room she turns to me but says nothing. The look she gives me is one of she looks alarmed. I don’t want her to be afraid. “Look, Anastasia, I know this is different. Maybe even a dark path for you. So please, just think about it. Really, really well. Since you already signed an NDA, ask me anything. I am willing to answer any questions you might have,” I implore her. I lead her to the breakfast bar, and sit her on a stool. “Sit” I command. She narrows her eyes, giving me her “bossy” look, but sits. “What other paperwork do you have?” she jumps right in to the meat of the topic. It’s a contract stating limits Anastasia. I have mine, and I need to know what yours are; after all, this is all consensual.” She looks lost. “What if...” she starts trying to collect her mind from the overflow of information, “what if I’m not willing to do this?” “It’s fine,” I say without giving anything away, though what I feel is the complete opposite. “Would we have any sort of relationship if I wasn’t going to do this?” she asks softly. "No," I answer. “How come?” “I’m not interested in any other kind of relationship.” “Really? Why?” “This is what I’m interested in only.”

“I see. How did you choose this path?” “Is there really a reason why anyone the way they are? Hard to answer for me, because everyone likes different things. Some likes this, some like that. This is what I like, what I desire. Would you like to eat?” She looks surprised. But determined to remain on her course of action, and not going for diversion. “What sort of rules do you want me to follow?” “After dinner, we’ll go over the document,” I say. “I’ve lost my appetite,” she says softly, lost. “You have to eat,” I say forcefully. But amend with a soft question asking her if she’d like a glass of wine. She does. I push the food closer to her and she takes some fruits. “How long have you been in this..” she says pausing searching an appropriate word for her thoughts, “persuasion of a lifestyle?” she ends her speech. I give a tiny smile. “A while.” “Are there a lot of women who wish to participate in this lifestyle?” she probes further. “Amazingly large numbers of them,” I answer dryly. She shrugs, and disarms me once again. “If there are so many of them, and seeing as I have never, ever been in this lifestyle, why me Christian? Clearly you can have your pick of willing volunteers.” I give an audible gasp to her to the point question cutting through all the crap. “There is something about you I can’t escape Anastasia. You are different than anyone I’ve met before. Like a moth to flame, I can’t escape you. I desire you so much, I can’t help it! Especially now when you’re biting that lip of yours,” I say with a shaky breath, swallowing hard. The first time since my revelation, she’s had light and gleam in her eyes. “I think, I’m the moth, and you’re the flame Christian,” she whispers. “I will be the one to get burnt,” she says so low I don’t know if I heard her, or imagined. “Eat!” I command.

She looks up determined, “No Mr. Grey. I haven’t signed anything with you, and I’m hanging onto my free will for the time being.” I really like her. She goes toe to toe with me negotiating. “As you like Anastasia.” I say. She looks down her fingers, mulling over a question in her head, deciding direct approach would be the best course of action. Looks into my eyes and ask, “How many women?” “Fifteen,” I blurt out. “Long term, short term?” “Some long, some short.” “Did you end up hurting any of them?” she asks. “Yes,” I say slowly. Fear creeps back into her eyes. “How badly?” “Not badly.” “Are you intending to hurt me?” she says closing her eyes. I’m surprised by the question. I don’t want to hurt her. “What do you mean?” “I want to know if you intend to hurt me physically. Simple question.” “When you require it, I will physically punish you and it will give you pain.” She swallows hard her eyes going wide. She downs her glass of wine. She asks me if I was ever beaten, and remembering the time with Mrs. Lincoln, I answer in the affirmative. A lot, but I don’t tell her that. She looks surprised. I tell her that we can discuss this in my study, and take her hand. It’s like brokering a business deal. She’s a hard negotiator. When we get into my study, I hand her the contract with the rules on it. It is several pages long. Her eyes go wide with the extent of it. There are rules of obedience where I want her to submit total control over to me her Dominant in a fast and expeditious manner. She will participate any sexual activity I deem fit as her Dom subject to the Hard Limits without hesitation. She is expected to sleep at least seven hours a day. She will maintain her health by eating from a prescribed list of food items without

snacking in between. She will need to wear the clothes I see fit for her, and I shall allocate a budget for the Submissive to purchase the types of clothes I find desirable. She must exercise four times a week for one-hour sessions and the personal trainer will report to me with her progress. For the personal hygiene and beauty, the Submissive shall keep herself shaved and waxed at all times at a salon I choose and undergo whatever treatment I deem fit. The submissive shall not drink in excess, or smoke or take drugs or put herself under unnecessary danger. She shall also not enter into any sexual relations with anyone else. She will be respectful and modest at all times. Should she fail to follow the rules, there will be immediate punishment in a nature determined by the Dominant. She reads the contract intently, my eyes not wavering from her. Finally she raises her gaze at me asking, “What do you mean by hard limits?” she asks. Good, she’s still exploring the possibility. “Those are the limits in the contract specifying what you won’t do, and what I won’t do.” She nods. “I don’t think I want to accept money from you for clothes. The word ‘ho’ comes to mind,” she says almost inaudible. I gasp. “No, you can’t think that Anastasia! I want to lavish you, buy you things. And when you accompany me for certain functions you will need clothes that would cost a lot and when you do get a job, you won’t be able to afford the types of clothes I would like you to wear. Please, let me buy them for you.” She mulls that over, and responds. “If I don’t have to wear them when I’m not with you, I suppose I can think of them as uniforms. Okay,” she acquiesces. “I’m not going to exercise four times a week,” she says determined. “No Anastasia, you need to. You have to be strong for what I have in mind for you. Believe me when I say you need it.” “Not four times a week. My counter offer is three hours,” she says all businesslike. “I prefer four,” I say passive and determined. “I think not. You say this is a negotiation, but you won’t let me negotiate.” She has a point.

“Fair point well made Anastasia. How about a counter offer. Three days for one hour, and one day for half an hour...” I say. “No deal. Three days, three hours. It appears you will exercise me often enough.” She disarms me again making me full of desire for her instantly. I smile wickedly with relief. “Yes, right. Okay. I agree. I think you really should work for me. You’re a tough negotiator,” I say completely amazed with this young woman who is brokering with me, Christian Grey the tough nail. “Thanks, but it’s not a good idea,” she moves forward. “As for the limits,” I say handing my Hard Limits to her, “these are mine.” My limits include, no fire play, no urination or defecation, no needles, knives, piercing or blood, no instruments, no children or animals, no permanent marks on the skin, no act involving breath control, no electric current, fire or flames. Then I turn and ask her if she likes to add anything to that list. She looks lost and confused. “I’ve no idea,” she mutters. “What do you mean?” I ask. “I’ve actually never done anything like that, so I really don’t know.” “Ok,” I amend, “is there anything you don’t like to do during sex? I’m sure you have your likes and dislikes.” She blushes and squirms in her seat. I need to open her up. She’s too shy. “Anastasia, you must communicate with me and be open if we have a prayer for this arrangement to work,” I plead with her. “It’s not that,” she blushes shyly looking down her fingers and wringing them hard. “Please tell me,” I say suspense killing me. Is there something bad in her past? “I’ve never had sex, so, I have no idea what I would like and won’t like,” she finally mutters completely and utterly shocking me. I close my eyes. No, this is not happening. “Never?” I breathe barely controlling my anger. No, she shakes her head.

“Are you a virgin?” I whisper. She nods in the affirmative turning crimson. One... two... three... four... five... six... seven... eight... nine... ten... Breathe Grey. Deep breath. Shit! I’m still angry! “Why the fuck haven’t you told me that before?” I yell. She flinches.

VANILLA FLAVOR
CHAPTER VI

I pace around the room running both my hands in my hair doubly exasperated. I stop, and ask, “Why Anastasia?” I walk back and forth again. “You should have told me you were a virgin!” I say coming before her. “Well, I’m sorry Mr. Grey!” she reprimands me. “I’m not in the habit of mentioning everyone I meet the status of my virginity. The subject somehow never came up. Why should I in the first place? Or how should that have come about? I hardly know you. What did you want me to say? Hello Mr. Grey. Nice to meet you. My name is Anastasia Steele, the virgin!" she says exasperated, disappointed and upset all at once lowering her gaze. She asks me in guilt laden low voice, "Why are you mad at me anyway?” I sigh. “Because you know so much about me now. And I’m mad at myself, not at you. I knew you were inexperienced, but a virgin!” Oh God! I feel embarrassed. I open my mouth, and close it. Open it again feeling a loss for words. It happens a lot with her. “I just showed you...” pointing upstairs. “Oh Dear God! May He forgive me! Tell me, did you even get a kiss from a young man aside from me?” Am I her first kiss too? She looks affronted, “of course I have!” she scolds me.

“But, you’re a very beautiful young woman! Has no man ever swept you off your feet and claimed you?” I ask exasperated. “I’ve never met one I liked enough... Never had my fairytale...” (←Love Story by Taylor Swift) she mutters looking at her small hands again. “Why do you keep yelling at me Christian?” she asks with her innocent blue eyes wide open, hurt. “I’m not,” I say softly, “I presumed more than I ought...” All of a sudden I have this crushing feeling. She might slip through my fingers. I don’t want to take advantage of her. She’s more innocent than I thought. “Do you wish to go?” I whisper. Her head snaps up, “not really. Of course if you don’t want me, I don’t want to wear out my welcome...” she looks hurt. I gasp. I don’t want her to go. Ever. “I don’t,” I emphasize, “want you to go. I like you here. And you’re biting your lip,” noticing, I state huskily. “I apologize,” she mutters shyly. “You don’t need to apologize Anastasia. I wanted to bite that lip... hard... Since the first time I noticed it.” I say longingly. She gasps audibly with desire. I am putty in her hands. I proffer my hand to her and she absently takes it, “come with me,” I say. “We’re going to rectify your situation.” She looks puzzled. “What situation?” “Your virginity. I’m going to make love to you now Anastasia,” I say with desire in my eyes and voice to her. “I’m a situation now?” she says holding her breath. “You have a situation, but I don’t want to push my luck. I mean, if you don’t want to, we don’t have to,” I look at her with desire, pleading. She stops in her tracks with curiosity, question and desire in her eyes. “I thought you said you never make love. You just fuck hard,” swallowing. Her straightforward observations disarm me and increase my desire for her. My grin is salacious and full of desire.

“I intend to make an exception to the rule, or perhaps combine the two. But right now, I want to make love to you badly. I want this to work Ana!” I say pleading, “You’ve no idea how much I’ve desired and wanted you since the first time you sprawled into my office.” But I don’t want her to get the wrong idea that I’m a romance guy. She needs to have the full disclosure, and what I want and expect. “I’m not all hearts and flowers, and this isn’t romance, but a start for your training. It’s a means to an end. But it’s an arrangement I want to work out very badly. I hope you desire that as well!” I say fervently. She blushes to her hairline crimson. “But Christian. I’ve done nothing in your list, and know nothing, or don’t know how to fulfill your requirements for that matter. I don’t know if I’m...” she blushes more, “equipped with what you want. What you need...” she looks down. “Oh, you are more than equipped with what I want. As for the rules. Fuck them! At this moment I don’t give a shit about them. I fucking want you, and I know you want me, or wanted me. Since you’re still here, I assume you still do,” (← Tonight I'm fucking you by Enrique
Iglesias) I hear an audible desirous gasp from her confirming my assumption.

“Please Anastasia! Let me make love to you! Stay with me tonight!” I say fervently, extending my hand to her absolutely hoping that she says ‘yes’. She looks stupefied. Shocked. Desirous. But unable to move. To convince her and remind her how much I want her, I pull her into my arms, hard, and press her into me in one swift action. I am out of breath with her proximity, it’s intoxicating, heady. Desire pours over me as I run my fingers through her luscious hair down to her long neck. She lowers her gaze completely shy, hiding her beautiful eyes. I want to see them. All of a sudden I yank her hair down forcefully with one hand making her look up to me. Into my eyes without letting her gaze move away from me. I want her to see the depths of my desire for her. Her facial expression says she wants me. Desires me. We’re locked, unable to escape each other. She bites her lip absently, and I groan lowering my head down. With my right hand I release the lip from the captivity of her teeth, and take it into my mouth and suck hard slightly nipping with my teeth. She moans loudly into my mouth, and that is my undoing. I start kissing her hard, my tongue invading her mouth. Her tongue and her mouth reacquaint herself with

me, and we’re lost in each other in our kiss for a long time. My hard length pressing on her demanding. “Please Anastasia!” I plead. “I want you. I need you. Let me make love to you.” “Yes,” she whispers. Her single word of approval hitches my breath shutting my eyes in relief. When I open them back up, there is desire, want, wantonness, salacity in my entire being for her. With her approval, I take her hand without leaving my gaze off of her, lead her to my bedroom. It’s quite big with floor to ceiling windows with a view of the city of Seattle. My room is ultra-modern with white walls and pale blue furnishing. I have a grey driftwood four poster bed. The walls have the painting of the ocean. She barely glances around, but shaking like a leaf. Her breathing is shallow like a scared rabbit. I want her to feel at ease. I let go of her removing my watch. I put it on the dresser. I then take my jacket off, and put it on the chair neatly and slowly. She doesn’t leave her gaze off of me. I’ll make a show of this then knowing full well how it will affect her. She looks at my white linen shirt and her eyes linger on my jeans. Her eyes travel to my torso and finally reaching my hair. I let my shirt loose over my jeans, my gaze meeting hers. I step down and take my sneakers off. Then very slowly remove my socks. She’s drinking me in. Once I take my socks off, I stand and gaze at her softly. I just remembered an important thing. I don’t want to knock her up on her first experience. “You’re not on any sort of birth control, are you Anastasia?” I ask doubtful. She blushes, “No,” she answers. I didn’t think so. I nod. I ask her if she prefers the blinds closed, she says she doesn’t care. She is so nervous, I don’t think she would answer any differently if I asked her to make love with me in the balcony. She then blurts out, “I thought you didn’t let anyone to sleep in your bed.” Oh, I have other things in mind, and none of which involves sleeping. “I don’t think we’ll be ‘sleeping’,” I say giving her a wicked gleam. She inhales sharply saying, ”Oh.”

Now or never. The expectation and anticipation is at the brim, and I’m ready to explode. I stroll towards her, my eyes ablaze. I can see her expectation, and desire hot. She looks up to me as I stand before her looking into her eyes. She’s incredibly beautiful in her innocence. I want to peel her clothes off of her starting with the jacket. I softly indicate my intention, and slowly slide off the jacket building her anticipation. I slowly put it away. My gaze on her with desire. We’re locked. “Have you any idea how much I desire you Anastasia?” I ask her, and I see her melt before me. I’m a fireball of desire for this beautiful girl. She’s beguiled me, hypnotized me, and bewitched me. I stare at her beautiful blue eyes fervently and lean down and kiss firmly and slowly at first. My kiss becomes expectant and demanding. When I release her desire is running amuck, and I’m hers. (← I’m yours by Jason Mraz) I am completely, utterly, and hopelessly hooked on her. I want to feel her, caressing her cheek, her lips and neck desire completely bubbling within me. I find myself whispering, “Do you have any idea at all how much I want to make love to you?” even surprising myself. I lean down and place kisses on her jaw, lips, neck as she closes her eyes in ecstasy. I pull her shirt and thug and peel it off of her. She’s standing before me in a light blue lacy bra and her black jeans like the image of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, but even more beautiful, innocent, and alluring. I drink her in. Her skin is so pale and so flawless, I want to kiss and touch each and every inch of it. When I make my intentions clear to her, she looks at me shy her eyes widening, her breath taking a sharp intake. I touch her dark chestnut hair, and murmur, “I like brunettes.” I run my fingers through her hair, caress her cheeks with the tips of my fingers feeling the jolt between us once again. Her pull is inescapable. I can’t help myself and grasp her head steady in my palms and kiss her passionately, demanding. Forcing her lips apart, invading her mouth with my tongue. Her shy tongue finally meets and matches mine in their dance. I moan with passion. Squeeze her tight. My hand travels down to the small of her back pushing her close to my body willing her to merge with me, and explore her exquisite derriere squeezing it which she gives a surprised sound of liking. My erection is full, and it’s trying to push its way out of my jeans.

I lean over to kiss her again, she groans into my mouth, grasping my upper arms tight. Although touching is a hard limit for me I barely have time to think. Her hands move to my hair tugging me and surprisingly captivating, moving them to my face exploring the hills and the valleys of my face. The wait is just killing me and I make my decision to move forward. I push her towards the bed. She stands against the bed, I gaze at her beautiful body, move my fingers about her torso, her sides, and just drop on my knees grabbing her hips steadying her and move my tongue and lips on her navel at which time she gives a very audible moan. My lips move up and down and sideways travelling expertly nibbling, making her squirm. Her hands move into my hair and thugs hard which is unbelievably erotic for her to respond to me that way. My gaze won’t leave her and we lock eyes though she time to time closes her eyes rolling her head back with an overflow of pleasure which fuels me even further. Her breathing matches mine in speed, our eyes scorching embers. I lean down and take one of her foot and start undoing her lace, and take the shoe off. I repeat the process with the next foot. I then slowly remove her socks off, eyes still locked. My hands leisurely travel up her jeans making strategic stops to rub on her thighs. I reach up to her zipper, and after undoing the top button, I zip her pants down. My hands skim inside her pants, and I expertly and slowly pull them down. Her breathing accelerates, eyes blue fires. I remove the jeans, and move my hands over her now bare legs. My hands grasp her hips and I find my face buried in her apex inhaling scent to her very surprised and aroused face. I can’t help myself but tell her how good she smells. Her arousal is an intoxicating scent. She nearly convulses with my touch. I push her back onto the mattress. I grab her foot forcing her to watch me and run my thumbnail on her instep knowing its effects on her body. I give her a salacious smile without breaking my gaze from her intense stare, and run my tongue along her instep and taking her big toe into my mouth and sucking hard. I see her eyes rolled back into her head with a loud groan. I can make her come like this. The response makes me chuckle. She’s so ready for me. My hands slowly move up her glorious legs. She’s only in her panties and bra. A beautiful specimen of woman. Innocent and shy before me.

Words escape me. “Anastasia, you’re gorgeous. I just can’t wait to be inside you,” I whisper. She is completely under my influence, and I am of hers. I ask her to show me how she pleasures herself. To my surprise she says she’s never done it. Oh, the possibilities. I guess we have to correct that problem. I undo my jean’s button and zip my jean down. I grab her ankles and quickly spread her legs apart crawling onto the bed between her glorious legs hovering over her. I hold her legs to warn her to keep still and breathe, “Steady Ana,” and gaze at her with passion. I start trailing kissing inside her thighs reaching up to her panties. She squirms under me. “Oh, baby we have to teach you to be still,” I say, between my trailing kisses up her belly, her torso and up to her breast. She’s burning with desire for me clawing the sheets as I pull one of the lacy bra cups down. Her breast springs up, peaking its head under my gaze and I cup her breast inside my palm. I pull the other bra cup down as her other breast peaks itself up into a gorgeous fleshy mound. My hands knead over her breasts as we’re both lost in ecstasy, her nipples harden under my fingers. I lean my head over and glaze my tongue over one of her breasts then blow lightly over it. Her nipple responds hardening as my thumb grazes and pulls the other nipple. The thought of her never having an orgasm gives me an idea. All of a sudden I want to make her come like this, under my control, my gaze, and have her experience her first under my fingers. “I want to make you come like this,” I whisper to her. She’s breathless, and wordless. Her reaction is enough to undo me. My fingers and tongue work expertly over her nipples, sucking and kneading, and rolling over. She’s arching her back in pleasure, and begs “Please, Christian..” moaning. “Come on, baby, come for me! Let go!” I murmur as I close my teeth around her nipple and suck hard, as my thumb and forefinger grab the other nipple and knead and roll, and she shutters under my fingers and tongue as her orgasm ripples through her body arousing me so much I move to her lips and kiss her hard and deep, her moans lost in my mouth. My hands travel to her sides and torso, and through her breasts. She’s very responsive to my touch which pleases me but we need to work on controlling that, and I now know that I’m going to have a lot of fun teaching her that.

My hand travels down and around her lacy panties. My fingers rip through the delicate lace shredding it in one swift move. My index and middle finger find their way into her and the palm of my hand cover her clitoris pleasuring her. She is so wet and ready I just can't wait to be inside her finally. I pull the ripped panties off of her waist, pull my jeans and boxers off springing my erection in full. The sight of it makes her eyes widen. My fingers move inside her feeling her wetness making me want to get inside her. “You’re incredibly wet Ana! Oh God! I want to be inside you right now!” Her eyes are desirous and scared with the size of my erection. I soothe her telling she expands inside as well. But I want her to want me, want to do this, and be sure of it. I still want her permission. I want her, I want her to want me. This is where she will cross the line. To my side. I want her so badly, it hurts! (← ET by Kathy Perry ft. Kanye West) “Are you sure Ana? Do you want to do this?” “Yes Christian. Please! Don’t make me beg...” she says causing my undoing. I pull her leg up for easy access and most feeling. I rip a condom package, squeezing the tip, roll it onto my length. My gaze is burning into hers, “I’m going to fuck you hard now baby...” I say as I slam my length into her. She screams an involuntary “ah!” a pain pleasure. My erection rips through her virginity, and this is a first for me. All of a sudden I’m filled with a foreign feeling of complete and absolute proprietorship and I can’t, I won’t let go of her. She’s all mine, and no one else’s. My claim, my scent, my manhood is on her, claiming her, loving her, making love to her, fucking her. I slow down, and wait for her to adjust to the foreign feeling of having me inside her. I roll my hip once and slowly pull back and after locking gazes with her she nods, ready to receive me again. I slam into her once more, hard. She groans slowly expanding. I slow again, and look at her once more for approval. She’s desirous and ready and wanting for more. I want her verbal confirmation. I ask, “Again?” “Please, yes!” she begs, and I pull back, gyrate my hips once more and slam and slam and slam into her repeatedly completely claiming her to be mine. All the way. In every way. All. Mine. We create our own rhythm and she learns to match mine her hips lifting up to match my thrusts. I lose myself in her, lowering myself to her face, grasp her face, my mouth invade hers

kissing, taking no prisoners. I want her every way! Relentlessly. Our bodies fit perfectly, receiving and giving, and worshipping in desire and sex, covered in sheens of sweat and heat. Pleasure and tension building a new height. I am getting close and she is stiffening with building up tension of pleasure. “Come for me baby!” I growl, and with that we both come loudly. “I... fucking.... want... you! Oh Ana!” I yell, her name litany on my lips as I collapse on her worshipping her body. As the currents of pleasure still jolting through our bodies my breathing is still rugged and fast as is hers. I kiss her again once more as I pull out of her. She winces. I ask her if I hurt her. She’s blushing. Biting her lip. “Answer me Ana,” I coax her. Running my finger on the lip she’s now biting, reminding her. “I’ve, never... ever... felt this good, this ecstatic before...” she murmurs shyly. I grin. “Would you do it again?” I ask wanton. “Most definitely...” she answers. “Really?” I am pleased, “what a demanding little girl you are Ana,” I tease her. I turn her over and unhook her bra off. Run my fingers through her flawless skin. She notices my shirt still being on my back. “Why do you still have your shirt on?” she quizzes. I don’t want to be touched, but I don’t want to bring that fucked up side of me on her. I pull my shirt off remaining on her back side. I whisper to her ear with desire. “So Miss Steele, Would you like me to fuck you again?” My fingers trail on her side and breasts, cupping her sex while my lips land trail of kisses on her ears and neck. I’m not even nearly done with her. I hold her in place, and whisper her that I’m going to fuck her from behind. I hold her leg up and ease into her in a smooth move, and pinning her between my hand and my body start moving, and claiming her once again. “You. Are.. Mine...” I pound into her. With each stroke I stake my claim, make her mine, and mark her with my scent, my body and my sex. I move my finger over her clitoris while my sex is working its magic inside her. “Do you like this?” I ask her softly. My thumb and fingers in and out of her, she only moans in response. Once I withdraw my finger out of her, I make her open her mouth, and give her a taste of her

own sex. She sucks my finger. Forcefully. And desires builds in to fuck her in the mouth. I tell her that in between my thrusts. She’s spent, and wanting, and desirous, and I make this slow. I bury myself in and out of her slowly, deliberately, teasing, driving her crazy, leaving her wanting more. She feels so good! She’s ready to come, but I don’t want her to just yet. I need more. I haven’t had my fill of her. “Slow baby..” I whisper, “Not yet...” “Please Christian!” she begs. “No baby! I want you sore. So sore, you will remember I was inside you each time you walk!” I say. “Oh please. I’m coming apart in the seams!” she begs. “What do you want baby! Tell me Ana!” as I move inside her. “I want you!” she groans. That’s my undoing. I increase my speed, circling my hips I slam into her faster and faster and faster until we both come loudly. “You! Are! Mine!” I growl as I reach my peak, and with my words, she quivers with pleasure, and we stay connected with aftershocks pulsing through us. “Fuck Ana!” I say completed sated with pleasure. My first vanilla, and it was better than anything I had thought or hoped for. She’s my undoing, captivating, and this innocent girl who is falling asleep in my arms spent with my sex, and my conquest of her body and soul. She’s spent. She’s crossed sides, and I feel possessive of her now. I watch her peacefully sleeping tired face in sleep. Some unknown emotions creep up their way onto the surface. She’s mine! In every way. I can’t let go of her now. Her hands seek me in her sleep. I capture them and hold them in mine. I don’t know how long I watch her sleep, but sadness finally creeps up in my chest. She’s too innocent. Is she ready for my world? I had a mix of emotions I’m feeling for her right this moment. Do I want to taint her with my dark soul? I don’t know where this mix of emotions are coming from. I’ve never felt this way towards anyone. Ever. I slowly place her arms on the bed and slowly slide out of the bed. Pull the duvet covers over her, finally pull my pajama bottoms up, and slowly and silently walk into the great room.

I sit at the piano, and absently start playing a piece from Chopin reflecting my forlorn mood. (←Transcription by Bach). I play the song repeatedly as my mood won’t yield to happy thoughts. I feel her by the door standing before I even look at her. When I stop, she says “I’m sorry Christian... I,” she pauses, “I didn’t mean to disturb you,” quietly. “I should be the one who is apologizing,” I say, “I woke you up. You should be in bed,” I say to her chiding. She asks me what I was playing, and I tell her it’s a piece from Bach. She wants to know how long have I been playing. I tell her since I was six. I turn her and ask, “How do you feel?” “I’m alright,” she answers. “Come,” I take her hand, and walk her back to the bedroom. I pull the duvet cover back up, and see the blood, the proof of her lost virginity as a bare statement on my white sheets. She blushes, and lowers her gaze. I smile, that’ll give something to think about to my housekeeper Mrs. Jones tomorrow. I show her into the bed, and lie next to her. Once again I find myself happily breaking my rules for her. I spoon her in bed, and sweetly whisper into her ear, “Sleep, baby, sleep,” (←Lullaby by Dixie Chix) as we both close our eyes, and fall into a deep, peaceful sleep first time in a very very very long time.

MEET AND GREET
CHAPTER VII

I woke up as the morning sunlight from the Seattle skyline reached my eyes through my bedroom windows. But what woke me up first was the absence of Anastasia from my bed. As the realization of her absence dawns on me, I sit upright in my bed. Has she gone without telling me? Where would she go? I look around and locate her clothes, and find myself breathing a sigh of relief. How could I get used to her presence in my bed just by having her sleep with me twice? Oddly, I haven’t had nightmares about the crack whore and her pimp both times. Is it a fluke? I feel so much better, relaxed, and happy. Damn! She’s already gotten under my skin. I feel the urge to go and find and hold her. I slowly get up; put my pajama bottoms on, I still have my t-shirt on that I slept in. I locate her in the kitchen, making breakfast, with my iPod in the shirt pocket, ear buds plugged in her ears dancing away and cooking. Such joyful sight to behold! I’m completely enamored. I slowly make my way to one of the barstools, and sit watching her. She is completely unaware of my presence. She is in one of my t-shirts, bare foot, and she’s sporting a pair of pigtails making her look even younger and more innocent! I inwardly gasp... The sight of her carefree dancing while whisking eggs and cooking bacon brings

out a feeling of hominess, and oddly a sense of comfort in me... of her belonging in my kitchen with her bare foot, with her just fucked hair, and her youthful energy. When she sees me sitting on the bar stool she freezes in her place, flushing. Then she gulps gathering herself, and slowly takes the ear buds off her ears. He innocent reaction does something to me, I want to grin like an adolescent boy. “Good morning Miss Steele. You look very energetic this morning,” I say dryly correctly attributing it to our bed tango last night. (← Spanish Tango from Zorro) “I just slept well,” she stutters with a hidden smile. So, I am right! “I can’t imagine why,” I say pausing and remembering what a relaxing sleep I’ve had, “So did I after I came back to bed,” I say still confused about it. “Are you hungry?” she says, and this simple question by this beautiful innocent girl bare foot and in my t-shirt just brings up such powerful emotions in me I didn’t know I had. I can’t name them; they’re completely new to me. She has awakened all these foreign emotions in me I never knew I had, and they come to the surface with one of her looks, or her innocent questions, or just a simple touch. What is it about her that draws me? (← Hey Soul Sister by Train) All I can manage is to say, “Very,” to her with an intense gaze, though the hunger I have is for her. She blushes. “Bacon and eggs, and pancakes?” she asks shyly. “Sounds great,” I manage to say. All of a sudden she is looking around with barely contained desperation and flustered, “Uhm, I don’t know my way around your kitchen. Where do you keep your placemats?” she asks. I smile, “I’ll do that while you cook. Would you like some music to continue your... err... dancing?” She’s changing colors from crimson to puce looking at her knotted fingers. Then to make herself look occupied starts beating the eggs with a renewed purpose channeling all her energy into her task. It’s both amusing and incredibly hot to see her like that. I can’t help it but move closer to her and gently pull her pigtails.

“I love these,” I whisper, but with all the desire building up in me, a pair of girlie pigtails will not protect her from me, “but they won’t protect you,” I say into her ear. I’m dangerous to her. (← Dangerous by Michael Jackson) I hear a gasp as her whisking hand momentarily pauses. “How would you like your eggs?” she asks tartly, and I smile. “Thoroughly whisked and beaten,” I say, teasing her with a smirk. She tries to hide her smile. I find the drawer where Mrs. Jones, my housekeeper keeps the place mats, and take out two black place mats and place them on the breakfast bar. I watch her on my peripheral vision pouring eggs and turning the bacon over on the grill. God! Why is that so hot? My woman in my kitchen! I pour orange juice for both of us and start making coffee for myself. But she likes tea. “Anastasia, would you like some tea?” “Yes please, if you have some,” she responds. When I reach into the cupboard to pull out some Twinings English Breakfast tea, she narrows her eyes, and purses her lips. “Bit of a foregone conclusion, wasn’t I?” she asks. “Are you? I’m not sure we’ve concluded anything yet Miss Steele,” I murmur. My contract is still standing unexplored, still subject to be signed, and we just changed the perimeters a little by our recent tryst. But there is still so much to go through my mind wonders. Negotiations are still open. She looks momentarily confused with my remark, but says nothing and turns to the refrigerator to bring out the maple syrup. When she turns, she sees me standing by the breakfast bar and waiting for her. “Anastasia,” I motion her to one of the bar stools. “Christian,” she nods, and climbs up on the stool but not before I notice her wincing. That sight makes me incredibly aroused. Yes baby! That’s where I’ve been, and I’ve claimed you. All me! I’ve never had a feeling of proprietorship of this sort before. This is another first for me. “Just how sore are you?” I find myself asking as I sit next to her, my eyes dark with desire. She blushes, and changes colors, finally narrows her eyes. God! Why is her reaction so

hot? But she still answers me a little irritated by my intimate question. I want to be her first and her last. (← Save the Last Dance for Me by Drifter) “Well Mr. Grey,” she snaps, “I’ve nothing to compare the feeling to, no reference points,” she glares at me, but her demeanor changes to sweet and adds, “would you like to offer your personal commiserations?” She is sweet, and hot, and playful, and all mine. I try to stifle a smile, but it’s too hard to do with her proximity. “No,” I answer, and add with desire in my voice and eyes, “I was wondering if we should continue with your basic training.” Her fork stalls in the mid-air, she stares at me in astonishment, her breathing stalled, eyes wide, barely making an audible gasp of “oh!” God! Will I ever get enough of her surprising responses? She’s immobile. I coax her, “eat, Anastasia.” She continues to stare at me with a different kind of hunger. She wants me. But I love to build expectation. The end result is so much better for both of us. “This is delicious by the way,” I say indicating more than the omelet she’s made, grinning at her. She takes a bite of hers, her eyes on me, hardly eating, and absently biting that delectable lip again. Argh! I can’t take it, “Please stop biting your lip Anastasia. It’s very distracting. And since I know you’re not wearing anything under my t-shirt, I am beyond distracted,” I growl. (← Sway by Michael Buble) She frees her lip from the captivity of her teeth, and I sigh. She takes her tea bag out of the wrapper and dunks it into the hot water in her tea cup taking it out momentarily. Without taking her eyes from her teacup, she asks in an excited high voice she is barely able to disguise, “Uhm, what kind of basic training are we talking about?” I can feel her breathing increases, and though she tries to sound nonchalant, and disinterested, I can feel the heat rising between us. She rubs her legs together absently, tightening and pressing into each other to suppress her rising passion, and I know she is feeling a pull in her groin. Her body is like a book for me to read which I got to study very well in the past two days. I love that about her! She tries to act natural and calm. Stirs her tea, and raises it up to her lips to taste. Her eyes close briefly, to collect herself. She doesn’t lower the teacup. It hovers in close proximity of her

lips. She lightly blows on her tea trying to distract her mind, and as she reaches her lips back to her teacup again, I speak: “Well,” I say, “since you are sore,” remembering where I’ve been, my voice too rises with desire, “I thought we could stick to oral skills.” She chokes on her tea! When she manages to collect herself she turns and stares at me with her beautiful blue eyes wide, her mouth agape. Her reaction arouses me beyond belief, but I pat her back till she stops choking, and pass her the orange juice to drink. I don’t know what that reaction means exactly. Does she want to stay? Does she want to leave? I hope she stays, but I don’t want to make her. It has to be her decision. I need to confirm that, and add, “that is, only if yo wish to stay Ana.” She looks up at me trying to gauge my expression. I don’t want to give anything away. I like her too much, and I don’t want to influence her decision. I want her, and I want to be selfish, but not when it comes to her. It has to be her decision, and not my influence. I owe her that. She looks exasperated and frustrated without being able to read me. She closes her eyes for a brief moment, and opens them again. She finally speaks, “I’d like to stay for today Christian. That is if it’s okay with you,” she says, going in the same mode she was in last night, not wanting wear out her welcome her face says. She adds, “But I have to go to work tomorrow.” “What time do you need to be at work?” I ask. “Nine a.m.” she says. “I can get you to work by nine a.m.” I say. She frowns. “I need to go home tonight, so I can change. I don’t have any clean clothes here,” she says. I don’t want her to go especially because of a non-issue like clothes. We can get her clothes here. I can send Taylor to get her some right away should she so desire. “We can get you some clothes here,” I say not wanting her to leave tonight. I need her here. I want her here. I desire her here. What the hell is wrong with me? She’s mulling that over, but worried about something. In goes her lips back into the captivity of her teeth again. It’s too distracting for me. I reach and thug her chin and release her

lip. I know she is thinking and worried about something. I want to know. “What is it?” I ask. I don’t do well with worry. She closes her eyes and says, “I need to be home this evening.” I don’t like the idea. I don’t like to be contradicted. But she hasn’t signed the contract to surrender her will over to me, so I say nothing. My mouth a hard line in an effort to try to conceal my anger and discomfort. “Alright, this evening then,” I acquiesce. “Please eat your breakfast,” I order. But she isn’t eating. She doesn’t eat much, and that bothers me. I remind her that she hasn’t eaten last night. She needs to eat her breakfast. “I’m not hungry,” she whispers. That will not do. I narrow my eyes on her focusing, and trying to exert, no, force my will, “I really want you to finish your breakfast,” I enunciate. I have hard time when people waste food when so many people around the world go hungry. I was one of them. I can’t help it! “What is it with you and food?” she says exasperated. I scowl, my face changing. “I have issues with wasted food Anastasia! Eat, now!” I order. She turns to her food, and picks up her food, starts eating, very slowly. Her effort makes me happy. She’s like a small child sometimes. But, I’m glad that she hasn’t lived through what I have. I’m glad she was never left hungry. My expression softens with sudden relief. I finish my food before she does, and watch her eat. When she finally eats enough, I pick her plate and clear it. I tell her that since she cooked, I would clear even though it isn’t my style to do so. I find myself doing things I wouldn’t normally do when I’m with her. “When I’m done, we’ll take a bath,” I tell her. “Oh, okay,” she responds surprised. When her cell phone rings, she answers the call. “Hi,” she answers shyly, and walks to the balcony for some privacy. My eyes follow her like a hawk, jealousy rising in me. Is it the photographer? Or the fucker from the store, the owner’s brother? My eyes narrow. I don’t share! But I hear the name, “Kate” from her. It’s the roommate. I give a sigh of relief. But I want to make sure that she doesn’t talk about us to her. I

continue picking up the kitchen. She comes back after her conversation is over. She’s hesitant. Does she want to go? “Uhm, Christian? Does the uhm, NDA cover everything?” Is she unhappy about something? My gaze narrows as I ask, “why?” while still continuing with my task at hand. I close the pantry door after putting away the tea, and turn to her to give my full attention. “Because,” she sighs, “I have a few questions,” lowering her gaze shy, “you know, about sex. And I was hoping to ask Kate about ‘em.” She wrings her fingers and turns her hands over as if some secret answer is written on them. My gaze softens, and I slowly tell her, “You can ask me your questions Ana.” I want to be her only teacher. I can’t help it. “Christian, I can’t... I mean, with all due respect...” she drifts looking away. She sighs. “You’re too involved. I’ll just ask about the mechanics. And I won’t mention the Red Room of Pain,” she says quickly. That surprises me. I never thought of my Playroom as a place for pain. “Red Room of Pain? Is that what you think of it? It’s mostly about pleasure Ana. Believe me,” I find myself saying. She has misconceptions, and I feel they should be corrected. “Besides,” I say knowing my tone is harsher, “your roommate is making the beast with two backs with my brother. I’d rather you didn’t ask her.” I don’t want her running and telling Elliot about our ‘arrangement’. I want to keep my private life private even from my own family. It’s none of their business. As if on cue, Anastasia asks, “Does your family know about your... um, proclivity to...?” drifting off, finally adds, “to your chosen lifestyle?” “No. Of course not! It isn’t any of their business.” I stroll over to her, and stand before her. If she has any questions, I want to be the one to answer them. I want to be the only teacher, only instructor, only participant, the only lover she has. I raise my hand and caress her face with my fingers. She lowers her gaze again, and I want to see those beautiful eyes. I want to know what she’s thinking. My fingers drift to her chin and I lift her face up rather forcefully. I want her to look into my eyes. I want us to be connected. “What do you want to know Anastasia?” I ask intently. I want to be the one to give her the answers. She squirms under my gaze.

“Nothing in particular for the moment,” she whispers barely audible. “In that case, let me start by asking you this question. How was last night for you?” I want to know. Very, very badly. She’s my first virgin. First vanilla. First in my bed. First just to sleep next to. First in my helicopter. She is many firsts for me, and I want to know what she feels about me. Profoundly... I’m anxious to know. My eyes are embers burning with intent and full of desire. She has awe in her eyes. She whispers, “Good.” Her affirmation somehow pleases me and makes me happy. I feel a smile creeping up on my lips, but I suppress it. “Me too,” I murmur. “I’ve never had vanilla sex before. It’s a lot more than I expected,” I say absently, “but maybe, it’s because it was you. Because I was with you to experience it with. “My fingers trail her chin, her jaw line finally stopping on her lower lip. Her inhale is sharp and sweet. Desire builds up on me. I must have her again. Now! “Come, let’s have a bath,” I say leaning down and kissing her. I can feel the desire building up in her. Our kiss deepens. Ugh. I have to have her. I pull her hand, saying, “Come with me. Please...” I pull her into my large master bathroom. I leave her hand momentarily filling the large white stone designer bath. It’s not just a bath, but it’s an egg shaped mission statement. I fill it up with hot water, and pour some bath oil into the water. Once I’m done drawing the bath, I stand and gaze at her, my eyes filled with desire for her. She, a shy girl, her eyes cast on the floor once again. How enticing, and captivating she is! “Anastasia,” I say pulling her out of her mood, and extend my hand to her. She’s by the doorway. Wary. Her arms wrapped around herself protectively. Her blue eyes wide. My hand remains extended to her. She slowly makes her way to me. Her breathing is shallow. Finally comes before me and takes my hand. I walk her into the bathtub still in my t-shirt. “Turn around and face me,” I order her softly. She does, and I sigh with this innocent beauty before me who is biting her lip again. I groan with desire. “Oh Ana, I know that lip is delectable as I’ve tasted it and can’t get enough of it, but would you please stop biting it? It’s so distracting.” I clench my teeth. Her gaze changes to one

of confusion. I sigh, “When you chew your lip, it makes me want to fuck you, and you’re still sore, okay?” (← Ring of Fire sung by Joaquin Phoenix) Her gasp is making me full of desire, she released her lip, and her jaw drops open in shock with her eyes wide. “Yeah!” I say with her expression, “that’s right! You got the picture!” I take the iPod out of the breast pocket of the t-shirt. Then I grasp the hem of the t-shirt and lift it off her and toss it to the floor. I gaze at her beautiful body. “Birth of Venus” before me, more beautiful than Botticelli envisioned and painted. She flushes redder than the Chinese flag staring down. I want her to be comfortable with her body, not shy, and certainly not embarrassed. It’s a body to be glorified, worshipped even like the Greek Goddess Aphrodite. I pull her chin up forcing her to look at me. “Hey,” I say softly. “You should never be embarrassed of your body. You’re a very beautiful woman, a complete package. I hate to see you hanging your head in shame. You have nothing, and no one to be ashamed of. Least of all me. So, don’t. Okay?” I say softly. I hold her hand, and sit her down. She winces as her glorious derriere I’ve claimed last night merges into the water remembers its experience, and making her slightly uncomfortable. Good! She’s sore. A reminder of where I’ve been, and I’m the one who staked a claim on her. The warm water finally soothes her, and she relaxes. I watch her every move, unable to do anything else. She finally gazes up and huskily asks me, “Will you not join me Christian?” I smile. Oh, yes I will. “Move forward,” I order, “I shall join you,” I say. Gladly. I take my pajama pants off, taking my shirt off over my head and climb in the bathtub. I sit behind her, and place my legs over hers fixing her in place. I place my knees over hers placing my ankles inside of her legs. Then I pull my legs apart which in return force her legs apart. She gasps making me smile. My nose in her hair smelling her beautiful womanly scent. “You smell wonderful Ana,” I say inhaling her deeply with desire building inside me. Her body shakes with tremors with her passion rising. I reach to a nearby shelf containing bath salt, body wash, shampoo and bath oil. I take the body wash squirting some in my hand. I then

wet my other hand and rub my hands together creating a soft foaming lather. I then close my hands around her neck and shoulders working my way down. Massaging, and working my magic into her muscles. She arches her head back in pleasure and moans under my touch, firming my erection. I smile with desire for her. “Do you like that?” I whisper in her ear. “Hmm,” is the response I get, completely laden with pleasure. My finger expertly moved down to her sides, her underarms washing, rubbing, gliding. My fingers work their way to her breasts cupping and circling at first. Then I start kneading her nipples first gently, then expertly elongating them in my fingers. I know she is sore from last night, and I love to linger more, but I want to be everywhere all at once. I slide my finger down to her belly and navel. She takes a sharp intake of breath as her breathing gets faster. I can feel her hummingbird of a heart trying to escape her chest. I can feel it on my own chest loud enough. It gives me a jolt of pleasure as our connection provides a steady current of electricity. My erection is on her back, a mighty length. She pushes herself against it. She wants me. A lot! I can make her come like that. The thought gives me a lot of ideas. I love teaching her! (← Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns ‘n Roses) I take the washcloth, and squirt body wash on it. She’s already panting, her hands grasping my thighs firmly reminding me the way she clawed the sheets last night, and I’m filled with a salacious desire for her. I slowly and purposefully take the washcloth to her sex, and start rubbing her slowly through the washcloth. My fingers start stimulating her through the washcloth. Her breath hitches and then gains speed as if she can’t get enough air into her lungs. She is incredibly responsive to my touch! As the sensation builds she arches her back, her head rolling on my chest, and her mouth O shape gasping for more. I whisper, “feel it baby,” in her ear as my teeth graze her earlobe. She’s over the top, begging, “Please... Christian!” her legs stiffening, her arched back rigid trying to absorb and control the feeling, her approaching orgasm is my cue to stop here with a smile, and breathe into her ear, “I think you got clean enough,” she gasps. “What? Why? What are you stopping for?” she says making me grin. “Because,” I kiss her neck, “I have other plans for you,” whispering into her ear.

“Now, turn around. I need washing as well,” giving her a salacious grin. Time to do meet and greet. She turns and faces me. My erection is in my grasp, and I see her mouth drops open seeing the size of my length. “Anastasia,” I say, “I want you to be well acquainted with my most favorite body part, on first name basis if you will. I’m quite attached to this part of mine, and I want you to as well.” Her slight movement laps the water around my length which is substantially peaking its head above the water. She swallows. Then she smiles mischievously taking my breath away, taking the body wash squirts some into her palm. She makes a show of lathering the soap in her hand; her lips are parted, breathing heavily. And she bites her lip! Damn! Making me wanton and putty in her inexperienced, but desirous fingers. All of a sudden she reaches forward, and places her hands around my arousal; her movements mirror my earlier movements on my length. When her fingers close around me, my hands reach around hers, my breath hitches in my throat, my eyes closing. When I open them again, I’m desirous for her touch, hungry and yearning for her. My hands move along with hers, and when she gets her movements down, I release my hands off hers. “That’s right, baby,” I encourage her. Her fingers move up and down, up and down gradually grasping my sex tighter, making me groan. Fuck! She’s a fast learner, and she’s great! My head tilts back, my eyes closes with pleasure. The next thing she does completely shocks me. I feel her lips closing on my length and my head snaps up, my eyes wide open in shock. She never ceases to amaze me, and shocks me at every turn. One so young to do be so willing to learn and participate! I’m at an awe of her. My mouth opens slightly with pleasure. My breathing accelerates. She leans forward her eyes closed, her hair cascading over my manhood as her lips close and continue to suck, her tongue running and brushing over my tip. Oh God! I grip the sides of the bathtub with all my strength, and yell, ”Whoa... Christ, Ana!” She moves her head up and down, sheathing my length to the hilt, completely shocking me! Fuck! Doesn’t she have any gagging reflexes? She is fucking me with her mouth! That is beyond fucking sexy! My eyes open, and my breathing is hard. She pushes me deeper and

deeper, and moves up and down. Her thighs are flush against my legs. My hands clench and my legs tenses with pleasure. “Oh... baby... This... Is... Incredible...” I say. She shows her white teeth wrapped around my length briefly and sheaths it all the way, making me gasp, “Jesus Christ, Ana! How deep can you go?” I whisper. She comes back up and her tongue expertly, expertly licks and swirls around my tip like she would a cone of ice cream. My carnal desire builds up in me, and I can’t hold it any longer. “Anastasia, if you don’t stop right now, I’m going to come in your mouth baby!” I growl through my gritting teeth. My hips flex with her mouth’s movements, and I need her. I need this! Damn! She won’t stop. Shit! I grip her hair as she shoves my penis deeper into her mouth; I came loudly into her mouth. To my utter surprise she swallows everything I have to give her. I cry out finally stilling in her mouth. Jolts of pleasure still going through my entire body... I look at this beautiful woman in awe and I have the strangest emotion, attachment that got forged with this woman. I think I may be in love with her. Fuck! No! That isn’t right. I don’t do love. Passion, desire, infatuation, reverence even. But not love. “It’s not love!” my subconscious tells me. Definitely not! Christian Grey doesn’t do love! She opens her eyes, wiping her lips with her tongue as I glare at her. Damn! I want her even more. I move towards her, slushing the water out of the bathtub, and capture her mouth with mine, kissing her and tasting myself in her mouth. I’ve claimed her and now she’s claimed me! I’m fucking lost in her! Lost without her! When I pull away, I’m awed, and say, “Christ, Ana... that was... great, unexpected, but great.” I breathe. “You confound me! Completely amaze me!” I say with admiration in my eyes. She smiles, and I feel a pang of jealousy. Shit! Has she done this before for some fucker? I want to know. “Have you done this before?” I ask speculatively. “Nope.” She smiles. “You’re my first.” I sigh, “Good.” I say, more than relieved. She’s mine in every way, and no one has claimed her, but me.

“Yet another first, Miss Steele,” I say. “You deserve an ‘A’ in oral skills. Come to bed with me, I owe you an orgasm.” I get out of the bath, and quickly wrap a towel around my waist. I take her hand, and as she rises out of the bath with water slowly cascading down from her breasts to her torso and legs, she’s like an angel rising out of water. Completely lovely. (← Angel by Sarah McLachlan) I take another warmed fluffy towel wrapping her in it, and then I can’t contain myself and pull her into my arms kissing her fervently. My tongue invading her mouth, our tongues meet again and start their dance. I’m completely enthralled by this woman. I want her. I need her. I can’t let go of her. I can’t get enough of her... I have to have her in my life. I look at her almost begging, “Please say yes,” I say. (← Just Say Yes by Snow Patrol) She frowns not understanding. “Yes to what?” “Say yes to our arrangement. To being mine. Please baby! Please Anastasia!” I say fervently, pleading. I gaze into her eyes again, taking her into my arms, and start kissing her again, passionately, and slowly. Savoring her. I take her hand and lead her back to the bedroom. She follows me. I stare at this beauty before me. I thank whatever Gods may be for sending this woman to my office. “Trust me?” I ask her suddenly. She nods, and her gaze is serene, trusting, and something else I can’t put a name in. “Good girl,” I breathe, brushing her bottom lip with my thumb. I go to my closet, open the drawer where I keep my ties. I locate a silver silk tie, and pull it out. I come back out with it. Yes, this will do for a restraint. “Knit your hands together in front of you,” I order peeling the towel wrapping her body off. She’s before me with her glorious nakedness like goddess Aphrodite. (← She’s So High by Tal Bachman) When her hands are knitted before her, I bind her wrists together with my silver tie, knotting it firmly. I’m aroused, and beyond wildly excited and what’s more, she’s willing to play with me! I tug at the binding, finding it secure. Her pulse is through the roof her heart is trying

to escape her chest. My fingers glide over the pigtails. I caress her hair for a minute and murmur, “you look so young with these.” I walk her back until her knees are backing the bed. My towel’s off, my gaze on her, my expression full of desire. “Oh Ana!” I gasp, “Do you know how much I desire you?” Her eyes wide, she lightly shakes her head. I close my eyes, “most ardently!” I whisper. “What shall I do to you baby?” I whisper lowering her to the bed. I lie beside her and raise her hands above her head. I don’t like being touched, and this way I keep her hands securely away from my torso, and also build expectation. It gives me control, and it return it arouses me immensely. “Keep your hands up here, and don’t move them, do you understand?” I implore her. She’s breathless, excited, aroused, and speechless. “Answer me,” I command. “I won’t move them,” she breathes. “Good girl,” I whisper. My tongue deliberately travels over my upper lips grazing while my eyes fixed on her. She watches me breathless and intent. I lower myself and give her a small but expectant kiss on her lips. “I am going to kiss you Anastasia...”I softly breathe, “all over you...” I enunciate and start with her chin. She rolls her head back and I move down her throat, kissing, nibbling, sucking. I feel her body jolting with pleasure, expectation, and desire... all over. Her body temperature rises as blood rushes to the surface of her skin. She rubs her legs together with the built up intensity and desire. She groans making me wanton. Her hands move towards my hair. I know she wants to touch me, but I won’t be touched. I stop and give a warning glare and shake my head a firm “no”. My hand reaches up and places her hands above her head again. “If you move your hands, I will start all... over... again,” I warn teasing. She wants to touch me, but, it’s my hard limit. I tell her to keep the hands above her head. I start kissing from her chin and neck again. My hands move over her breast while my lips move south creating a path, kissing and nipping. My lips finally reach her nipples. I close my

lips around one and start sucking. She’s having a hard time keeping her hands above, but manages. She’s squirming and ready to have me, but I warn her against moving. My lips finally reach to her navel. My tongue dips into it and she groans as her body arches. She’s turning me on big time. “You are incredibly sweet Anastasia,” I say as my nose grazes over her abdomen. My fingers travel down to her belly and then reach over her pubic hair. My lip reaches down gently teasing her. I then sit up and grasp both her legs, and spread them apart. I take her left foot after bending the knee and start sucking the big toe watching and gazing at her. Then I bite lightly on each and every toe, and on the little toe, I bite harder and suck. She nearly convulses with pleasure. My lips travel on her instep, and my tongue teases along the way. She is barely containing herself, ready to combust trying to absorb all the sensation tingling through her body. I don’t want her to come like this. My lips travel down from her calf up to her knees but I don’t move further. I move onto her right foot and repeat the same process seductively. Her eyes roll back into her sockets, her back arches, and she groans and starts begging, “Please, Christian!” “All on its good time, baby,” I breathe. When my lips reach her knees, I don’t stop there this time, and my lips move up on her thigh. I push them apart. My lips expertly traveling up. I repeat the process on her other knee and move up on the other leg, sucking, kissing, licking, nipping softly and gently. When I reach up to her sex, I run my nose through it softly, and blow lightly. She writhes with pleasure. I need her to relax, and that is something I need to teach. I wait for her to calm down. My nose goes down to her sex again and I inhale her deep. She is beyond aroused with my action, and I softly ask her “do you know how intoxicating your scent is Anastasia?” I blow lightly on her sex again. My fingers pull her pubic hair. It pleases me, perhaps we can keep that. She begs, “Please Christian, I’m ready to combust! Oh, please...” I smile. Her begging is intoxicating for me. “I love it when you beg me Miss Steele,” I say. I blow at her sex again. “Normally Anastasia, I don’t always reciprocate as it’s not my style, but...” I pause, “but you pleased me immensely, so I will reward you in kind,” and I shall

be so pleased to do it. My tongue starts moving on her clitoris expertly. Her first oral experience and she bows and convulses under my tongue. I swirl my tongue round and round, without stopping. She’s going rigid under my tongue and lips. I slip my middle finger inside her, and feel her so incredibly wet. Oh fuck! She’s so ready for me! I groan as my lips and tongue start moving again. She’s begging and crying out. Finally climaxing. This is the part of the tango we dance together. (← Tango in Love from the Mask of Zorro) I rip a condom, and squeezing the tip roll it onto my length, and ease into her. I know she’s sore, but I am full of desire for her as I know she is for me right this moment. But I don’t want to hurt her. I want to please her as she pleased me. “How’s this?” I breathe. “Fine, good,” she whispers. I start moving first slow, and then picking up speed, fast and hard thrusts again and again and again. We’re both close to tip over the edge again, and I breathe harshly “come for me baby,” into her ear as we both reach our peak, exploding. “Fuck!” escapes my lips and my muscles go rigid as I collapse on to Anastasia. I claimed her once again, covering her, inhaling her scent, both physically and emotionally. I don’t want to leave the enclosure we have for each other, me, encompassing her, covering, uniting, and she fitting me perfectly and conquering the depths of my being without even knowing. I don’t want to ever let go of her. Not ever. I remain atop her, and gaze into this beautiful, magical young woman in awe, my gaze intense, seeking the depths of her, imploring to be with me. Always. “See how good we are together Ana,” I say with strange emotions coursing through me. I want her to submit herself to me. In all things. Be mine, without questioning. (← Surrender by Elvis Presley) “Please Ana. I want you to give yourself to me, it will be so much better. Would you trust me Ana? I can take you to places you don’t even know exist!” Her expression is desirous, curious, wanting. I rub my face and nose on hers. Her expression is one of ecstasy and still reeling into consciousness. When we were still wrapped with each other, we hear a commotion and noises outside.

“If he’s still in bed, he must be ill. Christian is never in bed this late. He’s an always been an early riser. He never sleeps in!” says a female voice. “Mrs. Grey, please.” Taylor pleads. “Taylor!” says a scornful voice. “You can’t keep me from my son!” “Mrs. Grey, please. He’s not alone in his room! I implore you!” “What exactly do you mean he isn’t alone, Taylor?” “He’s with someone.” “Oh...” I hear disbelief in her voice. Of course disbelief. She always thought I was a celibate gay. Oh, how great would it be to prove her wrong! I’m bewildered but collect myself, and amused. Will my firsts ever cease with her? My mom showing up here is so beyond horrible, it just makes it funny. “Shit! It’s my mother!” I say, and pull out of Anastasia. Well, time for another meet and greet for Miss Steele. With my mother this time.

CHAPTER VIII

After sitting up, I roll the condom off and toss it into the wastebasket slam dunk. I turn to Anastasia who is looking at me half surprised, half horrified about the arrival of my mother and I can see that she’s thinking what my mother would think of her here in my bed. I give her a wicked grin and say, “Come on baby, we need to get dressed – you will be meeting my mother.” I jump off the bed, and pull my jeans on commando. Anastasia in the other hand is still spent in the bed, struggling to move off her spot because her hands are still tied. She finally gives up and says, “Christian, I can’t move...” looking at me bewildered. I grin as wide as possible, and untie her hands, though I would have loved to play with her a little longer. Later perhaps... I like the thought of her tied up, in my bed, and at my beckoning. It's incredibly hot! And since she struggled to touch me often, the tie marked her wrists in pink. The look of it is sexy as hell and a total turn on for me. Damn! I gaze at it for a minute, but I don’t want to get a hard on before I go see my mother and introduce the woman in my bed to her. I lightly kiss her, and smile. I gaze away and close my eyes for a minute. I don’t have time to fuck her again... Not when my mother is waiting in the living room. I’m going to

have her meet my mother. I never made an attempt to introduce any woman to anyone in my family and she's already met my brother and now this. She’s my first. Oddly, I want to introduce Anastasia. There is also some weird notion of pride. It's not just my conquest of her. It's also something else. Then again, I’ve claimed her every way possible; this would be laying another claim on her. I like the thought. “Another first,” I acknowledge. I point her to the drawers and tell here that there are clean clothes she can use. Her eyes go wider in panic. Since I know that I’m the first man in her life, she’s never really met anyone’s mother in the position of a lover. “Maybe I should stay here,” she says completely crimson with embarrassment since my mother practically walked in on us. “Oh, no, you don’t!” I threaten her. “Find something out of my drawers, and put something on.” I put a white t-shirt on, and run my fingers through my just fucked hair, and I’m ready to greet my mother, but I want Anastasia to come out. I have this compelling desire to show her off, wear her on my sleeve almost. I shake my head at the feeling. Anastasia on the other hand still perched on the bed, and looking like a scared rabbit. Concerned. “Baby you can wear a sack and pull it off. Just put anything of mine, and come out within five minutes,” I say softly and sweetly. “But if you’re not out within that time frame, I will drag you out to meet her even if you don’t have anything on,” my voice threatens her. She narrows her gaze. I point at the drawer where I keep the t-shirt, and tell her that the shirts are in the closet. I indicate five minutes with my right hand to her with a warning look. Damn, I want her to meet my mom! With a final glance I look at her my gaze softening, as hers narrows, and I want to jump at her with that glare; it is so damn hot, instead I smile at her tenderly. Because Mrs. Grey is waiting in the living room; the sooner I go, the better. I close my bedroom door behind for her to get ready and walk into the living room. My mother is standing with Taylor in the living room. When she sees me I can see the gleam in her eyes, questioning and very curious. I walk to her and give a curtly kiss her on the cheeks. We don’t touch. She understood I don’t like to be touched, and she hasn’t since childhood. “Hello mother,” I say politely.

“Hello Christian,” she says speculatively. She is uneasy and I can guess why. She thinks I have a guy here in my bed. How little she knows me when it comes to my private life. She tries to continue nonchalantly, “Well, I haven’t seen you for two weeks, and I was getting worried about you. So, I came by to see if you would like to go to lunch with me?” she says making it sound like a question. “Thank you mother,” I say, “I would have loved to but, ah, I have plans for the day. I have company.” Curiosity rises in her eyes, but she’s polite, and waiting for me to explain. My mother is an impeccably dressed woman who is sporting her camel colored fine knit sweater dress with matching shoes. She’s well groomed and manicured as always. Her light make-up is in place, and her hair is in a neat chignon as if she left the beauty salon few minutes ago. “I have someone special here with me,” I say to my mother eyeing her speculatively, examining her expression. “You will meet her in a few minutes,” I say, as I politely as I lead her to the large sofa to sit on. My mother’s response is automatic and surprised, turning her head to me her eyes wide with excitement “Her?” she says. Of course that’s what she would say knowing full well that she assumed I was a celibate gay. I’m looking forward to disproving her...With Miss Anastasia Steele at that! I can’t wait to see my mother’s expression when she sees Anastasia. As if on cue, Anastasia emerges from my bedroom wearing her own shirt from the night before, her jeans, and her Converse shoes. Her jacket is smartly covering the ligature marks left by my silver silk tie on her wrists. Smart girl! Her hair is tied in a ponytail, but she still couldn’t disguise it from screaming just fucked. I like that! A lot... Somehow, I have a certain pleasure introducing her to my mother as if securing another claim on her. When I see her emerge from my bedroom, I feel a certain desire for her all over again, and I stand up to meet her and say, “Here she is,” to my mother my voice strangely tinged with pride and that is reflected in my warm and appreciate smile for Anastasia. God! She looks wonderful! Would I ever get enough of her?

As soon as I get up and turn my gaze towards Anastasia, my mother turns her head in the direction of my bedroom door, and I can see the appreciative gleam in her eyes. But they also contain some hidden relief in them. She must have thought I’d remain single all my life. If she only knew! When Anastasia gets closer to me, I extend my hand and reach her, and hold the small of her back as I pull her closer to me. My mother’s eyes miss nothing, and I can see that she’s noting everything in a barely contained excitement to convey her introduction to Anastasia to the rest of the family. I see that Elliot hasn’t seen them yet to talk about Ana and I. This thought warms my eyes, “Ana and I” as in “us.” I shake my head inwardly, and turn to my mother and formally introduce her. “Mother, this is Anastasia Steele. Anastasia, this is my mother Grace Trevelyan-Grey.” When my mother proffers her hand out to Anastasia, she behaves like any mother whose son just introduced his first girl saying, “What a pleasure to meet you Anastasia!” in all her sincerity completely gushing. In fact, she’s beaming with delight like a new mother whose baby said his first word or took his first step! Well, in a way, it is my first step. She’s meeting a woman in my life, or I hope to keep in my life for the first time. Ever! There is a lot to be said about it, and her reaction makes me inwardly happy, but I hide my smile. Anastasia reaches out and accepts my mother’s hand and says, “Dr. Trevelyan-Grey,” acknowledging her shyly. My mother too looks stunned by this shy beauty. I don’t know what she was expecting, maybe a flamboyant boyfriend? That showed her! But what she finds in Anastasia is a stunning, unassuming shy beauty and Dr. Grey is beyond pleased to meet her. To my surprise, my professional, no nonsense mother gushes at Anastasia and says, “Please, call me Grace,” I frown. She’d never allow someone she just met to call her by her first name. She’s not cold, but she usually is distant and mostly professional. Then she adds, “I’m usually Dr. Trevelyan to my patients, and obviously they call my mother in law Mrs. Grey. I’m Grace to my friends,” she beams, and winks! At Anastasia! What is it with her that captivates everyone she meets? She turns and addresses her question to both of us her eyes alight with uncontained curiosity, “So, how did you two meet?” Geez mother! I answer her.

“Anastasia interviewed me for the WSU student paper. That’s how we met, and I will be conferring degrees this week.” “Will you also be graduating this week Anastasia?” my mother turns and asks her. “Yes,” she answers softly. Her cell phone rings, and she excuses herself to answer her phone. My eyes fixed on her with barely contained jealousy. Who is calling her? She answers saying, “Kate?” as she walks away for relative privacy, but not before I catch her saying, “Look Jose, now is not a good time.” Fuck! That, would-be rapist fucker is calling her. Why won’t he leave her alone? My mother is saying something, but I can’t concentrate. My mind is reeling. She moves by the balcony, and I watch her every step like a predator to prey, my eyes narrowing. “Christian?” my mother says. “I’m sorry mother. What were you saying?” “She’s beautiful! I like her a lot!” she gushes which momentarily distracts me because I’ve never seen her barely contain herself before. I give her a polite smile which doesn’t reach my eyes. “Thank you,” I say politely, still gazing at Anastasia whisper on the phone. I have to let her know that I don’t share, and I don’t want her seeing other guys. I claimed her, and I don’t want anyone else stake claims on her. She’s mine! She has to be mine. God! I can’t contain this jealousy in me! I want to just send my mother off and take her again, so she knows who she belongs to. She’s mine! How long will she talk to him? Hang up already! Fuck! What the hell is wrong with me? When she finally gets him off the phone with her, I slowly breathe out a sigh of relief my eyes still fixed on her. She walks back to me as my mother is muttering something about Elliot. “...anyway, Elliot called and said you were around... I haven’t seen you for two week darling.” Elliot called, huh? Did he tell her about Anastasia? Is that why she’s here? “Did he now?” I murmur, still gazing at Anastasia without giving anything away to either of them. My passive face is in place.

My mother continues to speak to me. “As I said earlier, I wanted to see if you wanted to have lunch with me since you were in town, but I see that you have other plans,” she says smiling. “I don’t want to interrupt your plans,” she says gathering her coat, and getting ready to leave still smiling and offering me her cheek for a kiss. I kiss my mother briefly. “It was great seeing you mother, but I have to drive Anastasia back to Portland.” “Of course darling,” she says, then turning to Anastasia with barely contained adoration she gushes, “Anastasia, it has been such a pleasure to meet you! I hope I get to see you again!” She extends her hands to Anastasia sincerely completely glowing. Anastasia is shy as ever takes my mother’s hand with a surprised look on her face, she finally nods. Taylor comes from his office knowing my mother is about to leave, and shows her out the door. The last thing I hear from my mother is her thanking Taylor politely. As soon as she’s out of the earshot, I turn to Anastasia and glare at her with my risen anger. “So the photographer called?” She looks a little scared. “Yes,” she says her voice is barely audible. “What did he want from you?” I say evenly, all business. If the fucker was here, I’d show him a lesson he’d not forget a long time. (← I'll be Watching You by Police) “He called to apologize,” she murmurs, “you know...for what happened on Friday,” she says drifting off. “I see,” I say, and did she accept the apology? That’s it? He apologizes and she forgives and everything is honky dory with the would-be rapist? Just as I was gathering my thoughts to remark again, Taylor comes back and tells me that there is an issue for the aid shipment to Darfur. He nods at Anastasia, and professionally greets her. She smiles at him. My jealousy rises in me again. I don’t want her smiling at every guy she sees! Even if it is out of politeness. Can’t she see that she belongs to me? Fuck! Not yet. But she needs to know. That’s why I want her to sign the contract. That way she doesn’t need to think about any of these issues that are bothering me. She just has to follow my directions and my lead. “Does Taylor live here?” she asks bringing me out of my reveries though my gaze never left her.

“Yes.” I say in a clipped tone. She looks at me taken aback. I will deal with her in a minute. Right now I have to attend the Darfur business at hand. I get my Blackberry from the kitchen counter, and call my right hand person Ros. “Ros, what’s the problem?” She tell me the problem with the food shipment through land where warlords are known to hijack aid shipments which in return putting both the American and local crew in danger. I listen to Ros while still watching Anastasia my eyes fixed. I have to take her again and remind her just exactly who she belongs to. She looks confused, lost and incredibly small in my great room. She lowers her gaze again, wringing her hands nervous. Half my mind is listening to Ros, but I'm mostly occupied watching and thinking of Anastasia. I slowly drift back to Ros when she says, “What is your order Mr. Grey?” she says. “I’m not putting either crew on risk.” “Do you want them to try a different route?” she consults me. “No, cancel... We’ll just air drop instead...” “As you wish sir.” “Good.” I say and hang up my gaze not left Anastasia for one second. Even the few minutes on the phone dealing with something else didn’t help and my anger hasn’t subsided. Had Anastasia signed the contract, she would be punished right now for receiving a phone call from that fucker. As it is, she hasn’t. So, she needs to read and do that as soon as possible. I look at her once again, and then I head to my study to bring back the printed contract. I hand it to her curtly. This is the contract,” I say firmly, “I want you to read it. We’ll discuss it next weekend. May I suggest that you do some research on what’s involved to better acquaint yourself?” I take a breath. “That is if you agree,” I acquiesce, but anxiety rises in me with the possibility that she may not accept, and my eyes soften and when I speak again, there is a slightly hidden plea in my voice, “I really hope you do agree Anastasia...” “Research, how? ”she asks.

“You can find a lot of the information on the internet.” I say, and all of a sudden her face falls. She doesn’t want our arrangement? What’s wrong? Her facial expression gets me concerned. What if she finds me overbearing and decides against what I’m asking of her? “What’s wrong?” I ask. “I don’t have a computer. I’ll ask my roommate Kate if I can use her laptop.” Oh... I can solve that problem easily. I hand her the large envelope containing the contract. Knowing her reservations against receiving gifts, I say, “I suppose I can lend you one. Get your things, we’ll drive back to Portland now, and get a bite to eat on the way. I’m going to get dressed now. Excuse me.” I say. “I’m going to make a phone call,” she murmurs. I frown. What if she’s going to call him? I have to know. “The photographer?” I ask my jaw clenching in barely contained anger. She blinks and looks confused. “Just remember Miss Steele,” I said sharply, “I. Don’t. Share!” enunciating. She’s taken aback, giving me a “what is your problem?” stare. But I don’t budge. “Just remember that.” I say in a chilling tone, all of a sudden feeling distant. I go back to my room to get dressed, leaving her standing in the middle of the room her mouth agape with my brief scolding. I put a few clothing items into my carry-on bag since I’ll be staying in Portland for the graduation ceremony. Then I quickly get dressed ready to go, but still angry under the surface. I grab my bag I’ve packed and walk out into the living room. My mind is still reeling. She still hasn’t signed the contract. Had she signed it, I would have a grip of the situation. But right now, I have no control over it. It’s making me angrier, but I do my best to be polite. She’s still standing where I left her when I come out of my door. And this feeling of not having any control over her affairs, and her being a complete stranger to my expectations, wants and demands is making me uneasy. I want her to know my rules, learn and follow them. If she gets out of line as she did today by speaking to that fucker, I can correct her behavior by way of punishing her to my satisfaction, so she learns to behave within my boundaries. I stand by the door and glance at her. “Ready?” I ask. She nods uncertainly, my eyes narrow. I put my leather jacket on over my low hanging jeans. I see her eyes conspicuously

appraising. I approve. I see her try to hide a small sigh. I’ve calmed down, and not giving anything away. She frowns. “Tomorrow then,” I say to Taylor reminding him that he is to come and meet me in Portland. “Yes sir. Which vehicle will you be driving sir?” he asks. “The R8.” I respond. “Have a safe trip Mr. Grey. Miss Steele,” he says. Taylor’s odd look at Anastasia puzzles me. Perhaps he too became fond of her in a short time. She’s hard not to like. Knowing my devious ways, he may have his opinions of my lifestyle, but I don't care what they are. He's part of my staff. I'm his boss. Taylor’s been with me for four years. He knows what my Play Room is for, and he’s known almost all my subs. But he also knows that Dominant and Submissive lifestyle was their chosen path. It gives me a pang of guilt that it isn’t so for Anastasia. She’s never had sex before let alone being in the kind of relationship I’m interested in. Taylor opens the door for us without giving anything further and his is expression flat. I summon the elevator. Anastasia is thoughtful. She’s chewing something over in her mind. I’ve come to know that side of her well in the past couple of days. She’s an over thinker. But I can’t let her just overthink something and then decide to leave me, without me having my say. We need to communicate. I want this to work so badly. I need this... In fact, I never wanted, or needed anything more before! There are these foreign emotions coursing through my body and my mind. What I know is that I desperately want her. I can’t take the suspense and ask: “What is it Anastasia?” “What are you thinking?” She looks at me surprised to find out I know she’s mulling something over. Ugh! That delectable lip goes back into the captivity of her teeth again. I groan, and reach out and pull her chin to release that lip. “Stop biting that lip Ana. Or so help me, I will fuck you in the elevator and I don’t give a shit who gets in with us!” (← Tonight by Enrique Iglesias)

Her jaws drops opens and she turns beet red. Why is her reaction so fucking hot to me? All of a sudden, she looks younger, more innocent to me and melting me inside. I can’t help but smile at her softly. With one look, one blush she shifts my mood from the depths of despair and hell into heaven. She’s such a beautiful witchy, magic woman. I’m in awe of her! (← Black Magic Woman by Santana) She finally says, “Christian, I have a problem,” deciding to talk about what she’s been mulling over. A problem? I’m all ears. What sort of problem? “Oh?” She has my complete attention, and I’m holding my breath. When the elevator arrives, the door dings opens and I let her in, but still waiting for her to tell me what the problem is. I press for the Ground level. I raise my eyebrows to coax her talking about her problem. “Please, go on,” I say. “Uhm... Well, here’s the thing...” she says, and stops, looking down at her hands, and wringing those hands again as if they hold a secret clue as to help her what to say. Then she finds her resolve, and speaks: “Look. I really need to talk to Kate. I need to ask her some questions about sex, and seeing as how involved you are, I don't think it’s a good idea for me to ask my questions to you. You see, you want me to do a list of things, and perform...” she says blushing and drifting, then brings her resolve and adds as my eyes burning embers gazing into her fully, and completely paying attention trying to read what she says and what she omits in her expression and words. “I just need to speak to her. I have no points of reference, no experience, and you, not letting me talk to anyone but to only, well, you, doesn’t help...” She looks pleading. “I really need her help. You know, girl to girl. Well, you don’t know. But I just have to talk to her... Please?” she asks pleading. Oh God! How can I say no to her pleading, and begging? I roll my eyes. If it’s that important to her, I acquiesce, “Alright. You can talk to her if you must,” I say. She makes me exasperated sometimes. But I have to remind her about Elliot’s involvement with her roommate. She must not mention anything to my brother. All of a sudden I feel that she gets is

like a porcupine, raising her quills up defending her roommate, her best friend. She fully stands behind her. I approve. She's loyal! “Kate wouldn’t do that!” she defends her. “Besides, if she were to tell me anything about Elliot, I wouldn’t come running to you to talk about it.” I shake my head. “See, I don’t really care about my brother’s sex life, who he sleeps with or how he does it. Essentially, what he does is no interest to me. But, I am an interest to him in the other hand,” I murmur. “My brother is a nosy bastard, and I can tell you that he is deeply interested what we’ve done so far, or what we would do.” I give her a warning. “If Kate knew what I plan to do with you, she’d have my balls on a plate,” I say softly. She’s just like me. Determined, no non-sense, and a ball crusher. “Okay, fine,” she agrees shaking her head. Her response makes me smile. The sooner she submits to me, the sooner I can tell her what to do, instead of trying to negotiate a behavior, and get exasperated in return like I am now! I really want her to sign her contract, and soon. “The sooner I have your submission the better, so we can stop all this,” I say softly. “Stop what?” she asks confused. How could she not know what she’s doing? She’s going against my will despite the fact I kept telling her I want to be the one to answer her questions. I want to be the teacher, the instructor. She has signed an NDA to not to discuss anything to anyone, yet she wants to go to her roommate and talk to her about things that she signed she wouldn’t do. She’s exasperating. I sigh, and say, “So you stop defying me!” She looks disbelieving and confused. I reach down and lift her chin up, and plant a kiss on her lips as the elevator dings open. I hold her hand and walk her out of the elevator. I walk her to my black R8. “Nice car,” she murmurs dryly when she sees it. Is she making fun of me? I love her teasing ways. It does something to me I can’t explain. I find myself grinning. “I know,” I say. It’s my other baby, besides Anastasia of course. No matter how much she boils my blood with her defiance, her carefree observances and her innocent behavior just takes my breath away, and I feel like another young man with her. Just me, Christian... no soul crushing fucked up shit from

my past. Just a young man taking a young woman out for a drive on a lovely day; so plain and simple... So ordinary. (← We are Young by Fun ft. Jeanelle Monae) All of a sudden I have this crushing desire to show her everything. I want to bring the world to her feet. I take her hand, and walk her to the passenger door, opening it for her. She climbs in, and “whoa...” she says finding it surprisingly low. I smile. It’s a sports car baby, low center of gravity for speed. I walk to the driver’s side, open the driver's door and ease inside the car. “What sort of car is this?” she says. “It’s an Audi R8 Spyder. Seeing as it is a beautiful day, we’ll take the top down. I have couple of baseball caps in the glove box. Would you get one for each of us please?” “You can use the sunglasses there as well,” I add. She nods. When we settle in with our seatbelts, she is getting the baseball caps for us, I turn the car on. The MP3 player comes on automatically and it’s Bruce Springsteen playing. What a lovely song on such a lovely day with such a lovely woman. I can’t help myself but grin with joy, and say “Gotta love Bruce,” as I back out of the parking space and out of the parking garage of Escala. It’s a beautiful May morning in Seattle. We drive through the traffic. I’m lost in thoughts of her. Of this beautiful woman sitting next to me. So close, yet so far. What will she think of the contents of the contract? Will she agree to them? Will she be scared, and run for the hills? I slightly shake my head out of my reveries, and focus on Bruce’s song. (←I’m on Fire by Bruce Springsteen) I drive on I-5 heading south towards Portland. The top down on the convertible, the wind sweeps through our heads over the caps and sunglasses. When Bruce says, “I can take you higher... Oh, I’m on fire,” I turn my gaze on Anastasia. She has no idea how apt this song is defining my feelings for her. I too wake up in the middle of the night with my sheets soaking wet from the nightmares, and the residual feeling of my past just like he described: “like a freight train roaming through the middle of my head,” and hasn’t Anastasia been cooling my desire? How can I let go of her? Doesn’t she realize how much I desire her?

How could someone I have just met mean so much to me? How could she make room for herself in my dark soul, if it is even still present, make room inside me so fast? How could someone so innocent like her do that? I am on fire for her! Only if she knew! Damn! All I can do is to gaze at her. I am on fire, desire and need of her, my lips twitch into a smile. I reach out to her with my right hand slowly and place it on her knee only, gently squeezing. Her response is automatic. As soon as we touch, or connect in any possible way, the current starts flowing, and jolting between us. “Are you hungry?” I ask huskily, with desire in my voice. “Not particularly,” she says. I am displeased because she hardly eats anything though I did detect that she is hungry for me. But still... It’s one of my rules that she has to eat properly to keep herself healthy. I remind her that she must eat. “I’ll take you to a great restaurant near Olympia.” She sighs, I hide a small smile, I squeeze her knee again hungry for her reaction. And soon enough her breath hitches. She wants more. I remove my hand and put it back on the steering wheel. Expectation. That’s half the fun, and sex is only amplified with it many folds. It’s a great tool for control as well. One I’ve mastered very, very well. I put my foot down on the accelerator and speed through the freeway, while Anastasia looks at me with a different kind of hunger. We reach the restaurant. It’s not a big place, but a small charming locale with mismatched chairs and random table cloths. The food however is great though it too is simple. “What sort of food they have here?” she asks suspiciously. “Oh, whatever they catch or gather. But it tastes good,” I make a face and she starts laughing at my mock expression. Such a beautiful, carefree, and youthful sound! I love it! The waitress comes along to take our drink order. She sports her blonde bangs and looks frustrated as she tries to get my attention, but I ignore her as Anastasia is inconspicuously trying to observe her behavior and my reaction. I approve! She’s jealous, and that does something in me, and I feel my erection stirring. Seeing as Anastasia doesn’t have much of an experience in choosing wine, I order two glasses of Pinot Grigio, but she purses her lips as if disapproving. I get frustrated. I know wine, and she doesn’t. I find myself snapping at her saying, “What?”

She flinches, lowers her gaze as if hurt, “I wanted Diet Coke,” she whispers. No. That is not a good choice. First of all, it has saccharine which causes cancer. And my choice of wine is a decent one; and it goes with anything this place can offer. I explain that to her. She acquiesces. I feel taken aback by her acquiescence as she normally would rebuttal with her own opinion. “My mother liked you,” I say to her changing the topic, and she is completely surprised by that. “Really?” she says turning red. Even compliments are hard to accept for her though she is well deserving of them. “Yes,” I smile, “my mother always thought I was gay, and I believe she was expecting a guy to walk out of my room.” She frowns. “Why on earth would your own mother think that you were gay?” she asks confused. “Because she’s never seen me with a girl.” Her head slightly snaps up, and she blurts out: “Not any of the fifteen?” I smile. She remembered. She was paying attention. “No, none of the fifteen. It’s a first,” I say. “You are the first one ever she's met. In fact, this week had been a week of many firsts for me,” I say deep in thought what it could mean. “Really?” she says softly and innocently. “Yes,” I say just as softly, “you’re the first woman I slept with. You know, sleep sleep,” I say smiling, “first one I had sex with in my bed,” I say with desire and fire rising in me, “first girl ever to ride in Charlie Tango, and first girl I introduce to my mother. What are you doing to me? You’ve bewitched me completely!” I say disarmed, my gaze intense. Can I even imagine being without her even after just this short time of knowing her? My subconscious tells me “sadly, no.” (← Hard to Say I’m Sorry by Boyz to Men)

After our wines arrive, she takes a quick sip to gather some courage for something she wants to say. My gaze is intent on her. “I’ve really enjoyed this weekend Christian,” she

whispers. My eyes narrow as my breath hitches. How could she make me gasp with six simple words? Why is my name coming out of her lips so damn sexy? She bites her lip absently. “Stop biting your lip Anastasia,” I growl knowing full well that this is going to be my undoing with my rising erection, she gasps and her teeth release her lip from captivity. “I’ve enjoyed the weekend immensely as well,” my voice husky. “Uhm, Christian, can I ask you something?” she whispers as if she doesn’t want others to hear her. “Of course,” I say with my gaze on her intently. Her voice dips into even a lower octave, “what is vanilla sex?” she asks making me smile wide. “It’s just straightforward sex with no toys involved. No extras. You know....” I smile remembering. She doesn’t know. Giving me another unexpected pleasure. I’m her first. “Well, you don’t know. But that’s what it is.” “Oh,” she says still speculating and mulling over something in her head. When the food comes, I ignore the waitress. Not that I’m even slightly interested in her. Like I could be interested in anyone besides Anastasia? When she leaves our food and go, Anastasia giggles, and that’s just about the most beautiful sound I’ve heard. So carefree, so melodic, so befitting of her. Perfectly lovely! “Christian?” she asks, “Why haven’t you ever had vanilla sex before? Have you always been... you know, with your particular predilections?” I slowly nod, and sigh. How can I explain her that Elena seduced me at a young age, and I’ve known nothing else? She looks at me for an answer. I finally go for the truth and say, “My mother’s friend seduced me when I was fifteen.” Her mouth drops open, her face falls, saddened. “Oh,” I hear along with an escaped gasp. I read her lips to say, “my God!” but no sound escapes it. Her stare changes. “She had singular tastes. I was her submissive for six years,” I shrug. Past tense, done deal. Her mouth is still open. For once, her smart mouth is lost for words. “Which is to say, I know what is involved Anastasia.” She continues to stare unable to digest the news, like she ate something bad, and its making her sick.

I roll my head, “look Anastasia, I didn’t have the normal introduction to sex.” Her mouth finds its voice finally. “Let me ask you this then; you’ve never... ever dated anyone in college?” “No,” I shake my head. “But why not?” I don’t think she really wants to know the answer to that. But I ask anyway. “Do you actually want the answer to that?” “Yes!” she says firmly. Hmm, she’s curious about me. “I just didn’t want to. She was all I wanted, all I needed. And besides if I had, she would have beaten the shit out of me,” I smiled fondly at the memory. She’s been beaten me so much, it’d be a walking bridge from Seattle to Hong Kong. Her eyes darken with anger, her jaw sets, but she speaks calmly. “You said she was a friend of your mother’s. How old was she?” Where is she going with that, but I answer. “Oh, she was old enough to know better,” I say with an afterthought. She asks the question that is burning her now. “Do you still see her?” “Yes,” I say calmly. She has disappointment in her eyes, and worry. “Do you still...uhm... do...?” trailing off, eyes intent, and full of worry, her face turning puce. I haven’t seen her this sick since, she watered the flower bed in that bar’s front yard. “No,” I shake my head. I am actually happy to see the rising jealousy in her thinking of a competition. “She’s just a good friend,” I add. She then asks me the dumbest question. Dumber than “are you gay Mr. Grey?” question. “Hmm. Does your mother know?” “Of course not.” What is she thinking? Oh mother, by the way, one of your good friends seduced me when I was fifteen, and we had a six year running relationship. Now we're just good friends. My mother wouldn't understand the complexity of our relationship.

She grows silent again. She’s thinking, overthinking. Mulling what she heard and it’s not to her liking. She takes a sip of the wine. The food arrives, but she’s just staring at it as if the waitress brought a plate of dung. “Full time?” “What?” “Were you her submissive full time?” Oh... “Yes, but I didn’t see her all the time. It was difficult. First I was too young and in school, and then of course I went to college.” She just stares, speechless once again. “Anastasia, eat please,” I say. “I’m not hungry Mr. Grey,” she says distant. “Eat!” I say firmly, slowly, threatening. She just glares at me. She doesn’t seem to care about my threatening tone of voice. “I need a minute,” she says, and surprises me. She’s right. Too much information to absorb. “Sure,” I acquiesce. She’s thinking again. Overthinking. I don’t want my shitty past to affect her decision. She seems worried. I wait for her to speak. She finally looks up. “Will our... uhm...”trying to find to right word, ”...relationship be like that?” “You, just bossing me around, giving orders?” “Yes,” I confirm. But it’s more than that. “I see,” she says flatly. “It’s more than that Anastasia... When you start submitting to me, you really will want to do that,” in a low fervent voice. She looks skeptical. Her face says, “Yeah right buddy!” her eyes narrowing. She lowers those beautiful blues down to the table again staring at her small hands, this time even the hands are unable to move, and motionless, lost, like her. “It’s a big step for me,” she says and takes a bite of her food absently. “I know it is,” I say. As I close my eyes, I don’t want her to slip through my fingers deciding against our arrangement. I want her to keep an open mind. But I can’t, I won’t sway

her decision one way or the other. She deserves better. This is all on her. She has to be the one to make the final decision. “Look Ana, you need to do your research, read the contract, and go with your gut feeling. If you have a hard time understanding something, or some concept, I’d be more than happy to explain it to you. I’m going to be in Portland until Friday. So if you want to talk about it, before then I mean, call me,” I say. I’m nervous before this beautiful woman. She’s smart, she’s beautiful, she’s talented and what’s more, she’s a tough negotiator, unexpected of one who looks submissive but too independent. “Would you call me Anastasia? Perhaps we can have dinner on Wednesday?” I ask. She says nothing, gives nothing away. That blank stare again. She does impassive better than I do right this moment. Shit! What if this isn’t impassive, and if she’s deciding against our arrangement. I can’t take it. She has to at least consider. “Anastasia?” I ask. “I really, really, really want to make this work. In fact, I never wanted anything as much as I want this work.” Not when I started my company, not when I found any other woman, not any acquisition. It’s her! This woman I claimed every which way. I want her. I need her! My eyes are burning with desire for her! “Say something Ana...” my voice is pleading. Her question surprises me: “What happened to the fifteen?” she blurts out. “This and that... It boils down to this Anastasia. We were incompatible.” That’s it really. I wasn’t compatible with any of them. She has worry in her eyes. Why? Disbelief. “If you weren’t compatible with trained submissives, and fifteen of them at that, what makes you think...” she says voice going low with worry trailing now barely audible, “what makes you think that I who knows next to nothing can be compatible to you?” “You are!” I say fervently. “Believe me I know!” I want her to know that, and believe me, because it’s the truth. “Are you still seeing any of them?” she asks with another worry with an undercurrent of jealousy. She still likes me despite all my disclosures.

“No Anastasia! I’m not seeing any of them. I’m a monogamous man in my relationship. I don’t have multiple partners.” I want her to know that she will be the only one when we have our arrangement. She gives nothing away, “I see,” she murmurs. Is she relieved? “Just do your research, you’ll get a better picture,” I say. She puts her fork down, and done eating. I can’t have her not eat. She has hardly eaten anything in the last two days. I don’t know how she manages to function with barely eating any food. That’s another reason she needs to sign the contract, so I can make sure she takes care of herself. “That’s all you’re eating?” I question my mouth a thin line. She says nothing, only nods. I don’t want to push my luck here. I have to pick my battles with her. And food right now is not in the top of the list. I eat and clean my plate while she’s squirming in her seat uncomfortably. She’s full of thought, and I know she’s analyzing my disclosure but a lot of other things are passing through her mind as her face changes and changes. What I would give to know what she’s thinking right now! And she’s squirming...uncomfortably. That could be attributed to my conquest of her. “I’d love to give anything to figure out what you are thinking right at this moment,” I whisper. And she blushes to the hairline. I see. That is what she’s thinking. Where I’ve been, how I claimed her, and it pleases me to know that I have that effect on her. I give her a salacious grin. “I can guess what you are thinking,” I whisper. “Are you sure you’re not a mind reader?” “No, I’m not. But I know how to read your body. I’ve been reading your body past couple of days remember? I think I’ve learned it quite well,” I say suggestively. I want this woman. I remember our experience too. It’s not only her who is affected. It’s me too! I motion the waitress for the check. I pay, and we get up to leave. I proffer my hand to her to receive hers. When her fingertips touch, the connection is made again, and that damn pleasurable current finds its path through us. She feels it too. It’s in her gasp. I take her back to the car, open the passenger door for her. She climbs in. She’s quiet and thinking about all my revelations to her this morning. I want this to work so damn badly! What if she says no? Will I

let her go? Will I be okay if she’s with some other fucker like the photographer, or the preppy Princetonian at the store, or someone like them? I have to let her make her own decision, but I’m dying with jealousy. God! I give her a sideways glance. The proximity is intoxicating. The air is charged with electricity, and her scent is heady. All pure, all homey, all woman, all Anastasia! I give my signal and get out of the freeway. I make my turn into her street and finally into her apartment complex, and pull into a parking lot, turning off the engine. For a moment we gaze at each other wordless. Finally she collects herself and says with some unknown emotion, “Do you want to come in Christian?” Is it want? Desire? “I can’t. I have to work. I have too much piled on,” I say. I want to, but I can’t be that close to her. I have to give her space, and I have to give myself space. Test myself. Test my will. I have to know if it is an actual desire, want, or something else. She’s too bewitching in this proximity. My response makes her sad, but she lowers her gaze again to her hands not willing to show her emotions. Damn woman! I can’t take it! I take her right hand, and pull it to my lips and kiss each and every knuckle on her hand making her gasp. I find myself doing things I normally wouldn’t be doing with her. She has awe and adoration in her eyes with my gesture. We’re locked once again in our own little planet, a bubble at that. My brain finally connects with the rest of my body and my legs find their function. I get out of the car move to the passenger side. I open her door, hold my hand out to her. She accepts it. I’m full of these foreign emotions again. “Thank you for this weekend again Anastasia,” I breathe fervently. “It’s been the best!” I say. Yes, simply the best. I don’t remember having a better one. Ever! “How about Wednesday? I’ll pick you up from work, or wherever you want me to pick you up from...” I trail off softly. “Wednesday then,” she says simply. I kiss her hand again. She turns her head to the side. She’s in an emotional turmoil too. She looks bereft, confused and sad. But she hides her face from me, and turns to walk away holding her button of a nose in the air. Reminding me the way

she walked away in the street after the photo shoot. What is wrong? As she walks away, she turns to me with an afterthought. “Oh, Christian,” she brings me up from my tangled web of thought, “I’m wearing your underwear,” and shows the waistband to my boxer briefs. My jaw drops open. I’m completely shocked! She shocks me yet again! She, in my underwear, in my boxers is so fucking hot! If I didn’t have work to do, and if we weren’t in an open parking lot, I’d fuck her on the hood of my car! (←I don't Wanna Fall in Love by Wicked Games) She smiles playfully seeing my face, and turns back smug, and walks away leaving me standing in my shocked gaze after her. By the time I manage to gather myself with the south of my body with its own idea, I make my legs walk back to the car, and buckle up and pull away from the parking lot. I make my way to the Heathman Hotel. Taylor should be waiting for me at the hotel. I reach to the hotel, and a valet rushes up to me reverently. I toss the keys to him. “Mr. Grey!” greets the doorman. I take my Blackberry out, press the speed dial. “Yes sir,” answers Taylor. “I’m here,” I say. “Yes sir, your usual suite is ready. I brought everything you asked for.” “I’ll see you momentarily. I need to be briefed.” “Yes sir,” Taylor says. I hang up. Another waiting week. Fuck! I hate waiting. And this time I’ve tasted Miss Steele. It’ll be so much harder to wait till Wednesday. I walk into the hotel with the thoughts of Anastasia. I’m already missing her. Damn! I hate waiting with a passion! It's not my style. Wednesday then. I can’t ‘not’ have a way to stay in touch with her, not know what she is doing, who she is talking to, the thought of it is already killing me. I don’t think I can give her up. No matter how fair I want to be to her. She’s claimed me as much as I’ve claimed her. For now, get a grip Grey! I walk into the hotel building, go through the lobby, and find the elevators. Press the call button. The memory of her in that elevator is still fresh. I've made up my mind. If I don't have

her, I’ll go out of my mind without her! As it is, I’m wound tighter than the girdle on a Baptist minister at an all you can eat pancake breakfast! Breathe Grey, breathe. I walk into the elevator, and its doors close on me with my thoughts of Anastasia. (← Principles of Lust by Enigma)

HERE’S TO YOU MRS. ROBINSON
CHAPTER IX

(the bookmark is courtesy of: http://www.forestadesign.com/bookmarks/)

When I arrive at my suite Taylor is waiting for me as I’ve discussed with him over the phone. “Mr. Grey,” he nods by the way of greeting. “Taylor,” I say curtly. “I need you to do a few things for me today.” “Yes, sir.” “I want you to order a MacBook Pro for Miss Steele. Top of the line, even if it isn’t available to public. With the largest hard drive, RAM, video graphics, and best motherboard available, and I want it be equipped with the fastest internet on board. Even if she has to travel to the remote corners of Africa, it has to function, have all the newest best bells and whistles. Have her set up with an e-mail account. I want all this to be setup and, delivered immediately. It must be delivered by early tomorrow morning the latest even if they have to fly it from their

main factories. I’m sure their Cupertino, California factory may have what I have in mind. Have them overnight it if they must. The setup should be enough to rival yours,” I said knowing his equipment not only could control a space ship, but also was equipped to do global monitoring. “I also need to have her e-mail account set-up today. I want laptop to be delivered to her apartment, and have it set up for her ready to use.” “Yes sir. Anything else sir?” “Yes, I also I need to have her set up with a Blackberry. The latest model.” “Yes sir. Anything else sir?” he says. “Is Charlie Tango back at the Boeing field?” “It is sir.” “Has Gayle gone to see her sister duration of my stay?” “Yes sir. Do you require her to come back earlier?” “Not for the moment. I’ll let you know.” “Yes sir.” My ‘I’m your boss’ gaze soften just a touch, and I say, “Taylor, how’s daughter? Are you and her mother happy with the school she’s attending?” His eyes shine with the mention of his little girl. “She’s very well Mr. Grey. Thank you for asking. We are very pleased with her school. It is one of the best. Thank you for providing for her tuition. We’re very grateful sir.” I nod. I don’t do well with pleasantries. If I pay for Taylor’s daughter’s private school, it's only as a perk so he gets to stay and work for me. I may be a demanding boss, a slave driver if you will; a control freak as Miss Steele would put it, but I make it worth their while. If the employee is a valuable one, I reward her or him very well. But in return I demand hundred percent loyalty, and I am in control of them at all times. In old west they would be called “riding for the brand.” You eat, sleep, breathe, work, live and die for the ranch and its brand if you will. I expect nothing less. If they’re not willing to do that, or fall short, I fire their asses. I don’t have time for dramas, neither do I need them.

Getting to where I am, being the top dog doesn’t happen if I don’t have hundred percent control, a hundred percent of the time. I can’t forget nor forgive mistakes. They are costly to me, they reflect badly on the company and inadvertently on myself as I am the sole owner, sole proprietor, and sole person in control. The mistakes are dealt with swift action, so the offender doesn’t forget it for the next time; and it won’t be repeated. Nice guys don’t win. Taylor is an exceptional handpicked employee among hundreds, if not thousands of possible candidates. He is 6’3”,with military style closely cropped hair, well defined jaw, 215 pounds of muscle with green eyes and a calm demeanor. If it moves, he can drive, fly or sail just about anything from M-4 Sherman, Merkava, T-54, Challenger, to F-22, F/A 18 Hornet, F-16 to amphibious boats. He was a member of the Delta Force. Delta Force is so secret, even the Army doesn’t even acknowledge its existence like the next generation weapons or aircrafts. They’re super soldiers! He’s been in one of the SMUs (Special Mission Units) and had been to some well-known, and some ‘you never heard of but because of it you sleep well at night’ kind of missions. He’s one badass bodyguard and head of my immediate security at 35 years of age. Having been to assault missions as well as impossible rescue mission and have completed them successfully under heavy assault with more fireworks than 4 thof July, he’s well-seasoned, and he hardly ever gets nervous under any tough situation. I’ve seen Taylor in action; he’s fast like a viper, stealthy like a silent shadow, and extremely efficient. I’m not easily impressed and he impressed me as soon as I laid eyes on him. Can one man do all of these things? Taylor can; I only hire the exceptional. He’s one of the best of the best; a rare diamond among all jewels. I would have never found him until a college acquaintance and business associate Alex Pella who sold me my jet and helped me handpick Charlie Tango recommended him. Alex is another man who is similar in his business understanding and I suspect his other predilections. You come to recognize the other “control freaks” as Miss Anastasia Steele would have said. Alex Pella has the biggest privately owned aircraft sales, lease and brokerage corporation out of LA, but he has his fingers in all sorts of pies when it comes to luxury and commercial aircrafts for rich clients like me to the corporations and airlines with clients all over the globe from the continental U.S. to South America to Asia to Europe to Africa. He’s always in

his element wherever he goes, and some of the places he goes require a private army of his own. He hired some of the former members of Taylor’s team, and he would have hired him as well, but that required frequent out of the country travels with extensive absences. Alex, being a bigger megalomaniac than I am, doesn’t want any sort of family attachments from his security crew. Despite Taylor’s impeccable resume and skills, he wouldn’t have made the cut for Alex under normal circumstances solely for having a child, though I suspect he would have made an exception for him because of his exceptional skills if he accepted the position. When I was scouting for a person like Taylor he just sort of fell into my lap about four years ago. It worked out well for the both of us. Taylor’s calm, weighs risks well, though sometimes he can be overprotective. He’d also been a private military contractor, but he wanted to be close to his family though his marriage didn’t work out. It rarely does for a soldier who was in his position where first requirement is to make the military your girlfriend, your wife, your family, and your child, but working for me allows him to take care of his ex and his daughter well, and he gets to see his daughter often. Taylor loves his weapons, and he understands them very well. But that’s a point we disagree. Growing up in a home where weapons were abhorred since my mother the doctor had to patch up a lot of gunshot victims, I too am for weapons control; in fact I support two gun-control initiatives in the state of Washington. Gun control is a point Taylor and I profusely disagree. Ordinarily, I would want him not to carry a weapon, but he negotiated that in when I hired him. It was his hard limit, and hard limits are something I understand well. He had to have weapons, and I knew he’d become a valuable employee, so I acquiesced. They say that people find love in all sorts of odd places which is certainly true for Taylor. After he started working for me, he found love right in my kitchen in Mrs. Jones, my housekeeper who is a widow. She’s another exceptional employee, few years older than Taylor, but then again some men like older woman. The thought of finding love in odd places brings my thoughts back to Miss Steele. What is it I feel for her? I’m afraid to name it. I, Christian Grey who is hardly afraid of anything, am afraid of feelings for an innocent young woman. What I feel for her truly scares me! Icarus to sun. She’ll burn me down, yet I can’t escape her captivation. (← Break Your Heart by Taio Cruz)

“If that’s all you require sir,” said Taylor bringing me out of my reveries, “I’ll go make the arrangements for Miss Steele’s computer,” I nod. He leaves. I have a lot of business to complete today, so I jump into work on my laptop. Before I know it, it’s already six p.m. I go and work out for an hour, then come back to my suite take a quick shower, and order dinner in with my thoughts of Miss Steele. Has she read the contract yet? Will she run for the hills? What would I do if she does? Can I handle it? I need a backup plan to convince her. What if she doesn’t want our arrangement? I badly want her. I never wanted anything as much! After all these women all these years, nothing really worked to my satisfaction, and yet here she is, a diamond in the rough, but a diamond nonetheless, where some people spend a lifetime to find is right within my reach! I can’t settle with something inferior after I’ve held her, tasted her, loved her, fucked her, and claimed her. “She’s mine!” growls my subconscious. I’d die if I see her in someone else’s arms, someone else’s care who wouldn’t value her like I do. I have to have her hundred percent, and I can’t do it without her agreeing with my terms. That’s the only way I know how. But I can’t have her defying me. She has no sense of self-preservation! I could see that when she got drunk senseless, when she accepted calls from the would-be rapist, and knowing how he feels for her, she’s still in contact with him under the guise of some misguided friendship, and she doesn’t eat! What’s up with that? No, once I have her agree to the contract and have her signature, I can watch out for her. Should she get out of line, I’ll enjoy getting her back in line. The thought makes me smile. My palms are already twitching with the thought and it does something to my insides, twisting and tugging. I eat my dinner in my suite. Taylor comes in. Clears his throat. “Mr. Grey?” “Yes Taylor,” I say. “Miss Steele's laptop is being shipped from Cupertino, California. It should be delivered early in the morning to her apartment by a technician to set it up for her ready to go.” I nod. “And her e-mail account?”

“It’s already been set up. Details of her login information of her ME account has been emailed to you sir.” “How about the Blackberry?” I ask. “The version you requested is going to be delivered this week though it isn’t available yet.” “Let me know when. That’s all Taylor. You can turn in if you like.” “Good night sir,” he says. I nod. I fire up my laptop and get to my e-mail account excited like a school boy sending a girl his first e-mail. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I can’t help myself but grin ear to ear! I have this peaceful feeling when I think of her as if she’s all I want, all I need, and all I desire! Will it ever get old? (←Nocturne from The Secret Garden) I get her e-mail account information and type up an e-mail to her: _______________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Your New Computer Date: May 22 2011 23:36 To: Anastasia Steele Dear Miss Steele I hope you slept well. I like you to put this laptop to good use as we’ve discussed. I’m looking forward to our dinner on Wednesday. Should you have any questions before then via e-mail, I’d be happy to answer them.

Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

_______________________________________________ I go to bed laying there still. My mind is reeling, thinking of Anastasia. I can’t sleep. I toss and turn. What the fuck is wrong with me? This must be a fluke. I get my iPad, and scroll

through my digital books. Absently, I find The Tess of D’Urbervilles. I scroll through chapters. She opted for the Debasement. Brave girl... “The influence that had passed into Clare like an excitation from the sky did not die down. Resolutions, reticences, prudences, fears, fell back like a defeated battalion. He jumped up from his seat, and, leaving his pail to be kicked over if the milcher had such a mind, went quickly towards the desire of his eyes, and, kneeling down beside her, clasped her in his arms. ..” Damn! That’s what I’d like to do right now. I close my eyes and randomly scroll through the pages, open my eyes again and I stop when I see the quote that says, “Thus, the thing began. Had she perceived this meeting's import she might have asked why she was doomed to be seen and coveted that day by the wrong man, and not by some other man, the right and desired one in all respects..." Am I the wrong man for her? I’d like to be the right one. I want her too much. What if I hurt her? Not physically, but emotionally. She’s not used to my dark ways, and dark soul, but when I see her, I see the sun. I feel my youth. I feel her presence body and soul! And somehow I forget about the world though my fifty shades of fuckedup self is nicely tucked beneath the surface. I scroll through a little more and see the quote that shivers me to the bone: “Out of the frying pan into the fire!” Fuck! That’s not what I want to do to her. But, if she reads her contract, and understands it well, this won't happen to her! She’s an adult woman for God’s sake! She can make her own decisions. Why can’t sleep claim me already! Would I rather take the nightmares laden with the crack whore that was my mother and her horrendous pimp? What a hard place I am in! “My life looks as if it had been wasted for want of chances! When I see what you know, what you have read, and seen, and thought, I feel what a nothing I am!" Oh fuck! Double fuck! What will she think of me when she reads the contract in its entirety? Will I disgust her? Will she hate me for it? Will she understand? Would she want to give me a chance to try with her? As I scroll through the chapters, I read “I agree to the conditions, Angel; because you know best what my punishment ought to be; only - only - don't make it more than I can bear!" My breath hitches. I’m strangely filled with hope. She went for debasement, and she just may, just may

agree to my terms. Just the thought of her is tearing my life into pieces and there is not a thing I can do about it. I close my eyes and hug my iPad as if it was Anastasia, and slowly drift into sleep. ***** “I want you!” whispers Anastasia fervently, her blue eyes fire. My breath hitches. She wants me? My subconscious asks. Me? even though I’m completely fucked up! She wants me! My hands reach to her face, my gaze fixed on her, looking, seeking, probing, and trying to decipher this beautiful young woman. She wants me! Me! The husk of a man who doesn't deserve her! “Why Anastasia?” I ask her intently. “Why do you want me?” “I love you Christian!” she whispers lowering her gaze looking at her small hands. My breath catches up, and I am unable to breathe for a minute as if someone sucked out all of the air from the room. I close my eyes savoring this moment, savoring her. “Why would you love me? You don’t know how fucked up I am. So badly that it disgusts me! All fifty shades of it! I’m nothing...” I drift off. “You’re NOT nothing!” she speaks fervently. “You are the air, and the sun to me. And somehow I was asleep until you showed up in my life sweeping through with your presence. You are a GOOD man Christian,” she says with a sweeping gesture of her hand, "and now that you’re here, in my life, for the first time in my life I feel I’m awake. Please don’t send me back to nothingness Christian!” she pleads. How could I resist her when she pleads with me like that? “Anastasia,” I inhale her. “I’m just the husk of a man,” with sadness in my eyes. “I can’t give what you want. I don’t know how... I don’t know if I’m capable of it anymore. I’m too broken inside. So fucking broken, it may be impossible to fix it!” “I don’t care! I’ll take you anyway I can!” she says, and her words were my undoing. I close the last inch to her face so fast, I was already invading her mouth with my demanding kiss. I was devouring her, claiming her, savoring her, and it wasn’t enough! My hands were all over the place. My right hand lost in her hair, fingers tangled within the strands pulling them down, forcing her head to tilt up, to yield to me, to my will, to my exploration and to my manhood.

Agh! I groan. I swept her off the floor without breaking the kiss, her legs instantly wrapped around my torso. I like that. I push her into the walk while kissing and fondling her. She captures my lower lip within the grasp and captivity of her teeth. She nips and sucks it, hard! I am about to convulse with this. “Anastasia, if you keep doing that,” I growl hoarsely, “I’ll fuck you whether you want to be fucked or not! You understand?” She sucks me even harder, completely ignoring my warning! What a woman she is, what a demanding girl! I move my hands, lower her and my hands peel her shirt off, undoing her bra, springing her breast up to life. My eyes ablaze with desire, I grasp her breasts into my palms, lowering my head captured one of the nipples with my teeth as she gasps with pleasure. My tongue brushed over it, my lips blowing lightly. Her head arches, her eyes rolling back in their sockets. My thumb and forefinger brushes the other nipple while I pleasure torture this one with the relentless assaults of my mouth. “Christian!” she screams with pleasure, though my name a barely comprehensible word laced with her moans. “Take me now! Please!” she begs. “All in good time baby...” I whisper. She grinds her hips into mine. She tries to touch me in the torso her hands absently moving. I capture them one swift move within one of mine. “Hmm...” I smile. We’ll have to do something about this. I sweep her off the floor putting her topless torso over my shoulder and carried her to my bed. I stand her by the bed, kneel down and unlace her shoes, and take her socks off. Then I nearly rip her jeans and panties off. “Arch your back for me!” I order. She looks confused. “Anastasia, arch your back for me!” I order again. “Okay,” she whispers with anticipation. She moves back, and crane her body on the mattress. The idea that I am going to be inside of her causes my erection to grow. I reach down and brush her nipples only with the tips of my fingernails as she gasped with pleasure. My fingernails travel expertly down on her torso and I pause when I reach her bellybutton. My fingers circle her navel, with just enough pressure to let her know what is to come, making her

desire me more, want me, expect me, and demand me with an all-consuming passion. My fingers travel over her pubic bone and stop. “Oh please! Don’t stop Christian! I beg you!” she groans. I give her a salacious grin. “Oh baby, the stopping time has passed. I won’t stop even if you begged me...” I whisper. And my palm cups her sex and she arches her back even more. I lean down forcefully putting her legs wide apart forcing my way in. My jeans and boxers are already off, and my erection has his own mind trying to capture and claim Miss Steele again. I lean down and inhale her sex like a bouquet of rare flowers. Her particular perfume which happened to be my favorite brand... My tongue darts out to taste her, and she is delectable. She gasps, arching her hips right into my mouth and my expectant tongue. My hands reach down and support that amazingly round derriere of hers. I give them both a squeeze. And my tongue invades her inside as pleasure jolts through her. I swirl inside her expertly. Then I quickly insert my index and middle finger inside, finding her wet to the core, and expanded. “Christian! I’m begging you!! Please! I’m combusting!” she screams. “Baby, I’m going to go down in on you, and I won’t stop! Are you prepared for that?” “Yes! Just shut up and fuck me!” I grin as wide as possible, “Yes, ma’am!” (←Sex on Fire by Kings of Leon) “Spread your legs wider for me baby!” She does, and push and open them even farther. And rip the condom, covering my length and slam into her. Taking her, pulling on her, arching her, my thick need for her sex. “I’m going to make you sore and utterly blissful baby!” I say as I slam and slam and slam into her claiming her over and over again. All of a sudden I pull out of her, and flip her by the legs, and lift her ass up in the air ready to receive me one again. I can’t get enough of this woman! I insert my length into her again, and claim her. “Oh baby! This feel so deep! So close! Oh fuck!” Claiming her, merging with her as if nothing is enough, I slam into her hard over and over again. Her moans and groans get louder. “Come for me baby!” I scream which is her undoing and we both come together, loud, and spent. I roll her to the side without pulling out of her, spooning, while holding her tight my hands absently traveling over her sides and her breast.

There is sheen of sweat between the two of us. Her hand reaches back as we are lying down, and grazes my face. I close my eyes to her touch, leaning into it. I turn my hand, and kiss her palm. I feel her tired smile. “Sleep sweet Anastasia...” I say holding her. I pull out of her, take the condom out tossing it to the floor, then turn to pull the sheets over, still touching her spooning while a steady jolt of electricity passing through our bodies. I rub her hair and inhale her scent deeply. All woman, soap, vanilla, and my Anastasia! My hand rolls to the side as I turn. A loud noise... Clunk! The noise jolts me back into my body. My eyes fling open. Damn! I dropped the iPad onto the floor. My hand absently checks beside me to discover that Anastasia isn’t here in the bed. I look around. Was she here last night? I groan as the realization dawns over me. She even invades my dreams, confounding me! She’s bewitched me body and soul! And I fucking had the hottest wet dream of my life! My eyes drift to the alarm clock by the bedside. It reads 6:12 a.m. She’s probably still sleeping. I kick the covers off me. Usually it’s not my habit to take a shower before working out, but seeing what a hot night I had with Miss Steele, in my dream at that, a shower is in order and a must. “Along with new sheets!” My subconscious says. After my shower, I go to the gym and run 10 miles, and lift weight and work out as hard as I can to get rid of this pent up energy. Every place I turn, I imagine her, and it just amplifies what I’m feeling for her, and the fucking desire just fills up like a never ending river! After my hard work out, I make my way back to my suite, and take another shower. I put my grey flannel pants with my white trademark shirt. I put my socks and Converses on. My breakfast comes in. I read the Seattle Times and WSJ while having breakfast. Taylor comes in to be briefed for the day’s plan. As I’m about to answer him, my Blackberry buzzes with an incoming e-mail. I hold my finger to Taylor to hold on a minute slightly irritated for the interruption. But my face changes as soon as I see who the sender is. “Taylor, you may go. I’ll talk to you when I’m done with this,” I say passive. He nods, “yes, sir.”

Anastasia sent an e-mail from her new laptop for me! I nervously open the message. I frown. She is incorrigible. Why can’t she accept a gift? Why must she look at the gift horse in the mouth? _______________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Your New Computer (on loan) Date: May 23 2011 08: 18 To: Christian Steele Dear SirFor some strange reason I slept very well. I was under the assumption that this laptop was on loan, ergo not mine. Ana _______________________________________________ Well, her tone tells me that she either read the contract, or looked over it. That pleases me. I find myself nearly tripping over the food cart while running to my laptop to type a response. I don’t want to waste my time with the small keys of the Blackberry. _______________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Your New Computer (on loan) Date: May 23 2011 08:21 To: Anastasia Steele The laptop is on loan indefinitely Anastasia. I gather from your tone that you have read the contract I gave you. Have you any questions thus far?

Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _______________________________________________

I’m waiting anxiously for her to send me a response. She is contacting me. That’s good. She’s not running to the hills. Gives me hope that she’s considering it. I’ll go out of my fucking mind with this wait. A few minutes later, my e-mail dings again, and she typed me a response. “Get a grip and stop acting like a fucking adolescence!” my sub-conscience scolds me. _______________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Enquiring Minds Date: May 23 2011 08:24 To: Christian Steele I have quite a few questions sir, but they ought not be on an e-mail, and you know some of us have to work for a living you know. I neither want nor need a laptop indefinitely, good Sir. Until later, good day to you Mr. Grey. Ana _______________________________________________

Oh, you teasing, teasing girl! What I would love to do to you to tame that smart mouth of yours! I type a response immediately. _______________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Your New Computer (on loan) Date: May 23 2011 08:27 To: Anastasia Steele Laters, baby. PS: I work for a living too.

Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _______________________________________________

She’s going to work soon. I’m done with breakfast, and am sitting at the large table. “Taylor!” I call. He immediately shows up, “Yes, sir.” “What’s the status on that Blackberry for Miss Steele?” “No ETA yet sir.” God, he makes it sound like a rescue mission! “What is it that they can’t produce on one single phone?” “It isn’t out yet sir, and this one has to be shipped from the manufacturing.” “Fine,” I say flatly feeling petulant. “Let me know when you get their ETA, and have it all set-up with the e-mail, and my contact information.” “As yo wish sir,” he says politely. I nod curtly. “I plan to go to WSU’s farming project today. Pick me up in ½ hour in the lobby,” I say, and that’s his cue to be dismissed. The rest of the day is boring tending business, keeping people in order where I make large sums of donations. My mind is constantly reeling on Miss Steele. Although I know she’s at work, not knowing who she is talking to, whether the owner’s brother is still hanging on her possessively, or the fucking photographer finally got through to her to see her. I’m about to go out of my mind. I have to have contact with her at all times. Finally when my work day is over, I send her an e-mail. She too should be home soon if she hasn’t gone any place else. She has a mountain of documents to read. She had better come home, and get to studying them already. I hastily type her an e-mail. What do I say? I mull that over my head. “Dear Anastasia, I’ve missed you all day. I couldn’t wait for you to get home.”

No! Cross it! Sounds like a teenage boy! “Hello Ana How was your workday? I kept thinking of you all day. I couldn’t concentrate.”

Fuck! What the hell is wrong with me? Rule #1. Those are the things you don’t say to a girl right away even if that’s what you’re feeling. Try again: _______________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Working for a living Date: May 23 2011 17:20 To: Anastasia Steele Dear Miss Steele I hope your work day was great. Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _______________________________________________

That’s better. Simple, interested, but not over the top. I hit send. 10 minutes... No reply yet. Hasn’t she come home yet? Where the hell is that Blackberry already? Are they redesigning it from scratch? 20 minutes... I find myself pacing in the suite, and making Taylor uncomfortable. He knows I’m edgy. 25 minutes... I open the mini fridge. Find the white wine, and pour myself a glass, still pacing. 27 minutes... My Blackberry buzzes with an incoming e-mail message. Even from the corner of my eye, I see Taylor exhale a sigh of relief. God! This woman can make all men nervous! Including my security detail who has been to a real war!! Taylor quietly leaves the room when he sees the relief in my face after I confirm the sender of the message. It reads: _______________________________________________

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Working for a living Date: May 23 2011 17:47 To: Christian Steele Dear Sir... I had a very good day at work. Thank you for inquiring. Ana _______________________________________________ I grin ear to ear! Then I groan out loud! What is she doing to me? How could two simple sentences arouse me, and make me horny? Argh! Ana, read the document, sign it, and put me out of my misery already! _______________________________________________

From: Christian Grey Subject: Do the Work! Date: May 23 2011 17:49 To: Anastasia Steele Dear Miss Steele I’m very glad you’ve had a good day. But would you please do your research? You can’t be doing it while you messaging me. Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _______________________________________________

I hit send. Less than five minutes later my blackberry buzzes again! _______________________________________________

From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Local pest Date: May 23 2011 17:52

To: Christian Steele Mr. Grey, there is a local pest who keeps e-mailing me and keeping me doing the task at hand. He really must be stopped. I’m trying to work towards another A here. Ana _______________________________________________

What the fuck! She’s going to combust me here! I grin so wide my face hurts, and had she been here, I’d peel her off her clothes and tie her up and have my way with her already. As it is, she is determined to torture me. Oh the comeback possibilities... Anastasia baby, you don’t know what I can do to you... How I can have you beg for me, and tease and torture you for a completion like you are doing to me right now! She’s a tease... _______________________________________________

From: Christian Grey Subject: Impatient Date: May 23 2011 17:54 To: Anastasia Steele Dear Miss Steele Would you please stop e-mailing me and do your assignment? The sooner you finish studying, the sooner I can have the chance to award you another A. I’m still reeling in from the first one as it was so well deserved. ;)

Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _______________________________________________ Put that in your pipe and smoke it Miss Steele. Two can play at that game... Another buzz... Come on! You’re killing me here! _______________________________________________

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Search topic Date: May 23 2011 17:58 To: Christian Steele

Mr. Grey, I’m at a loss here as to what kind of search string I should enter on the search engine. Ana _______________________________________________

Oh! She needs help with her homework. That’s great. I can help. _______________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Impatient Date: May 23 2011 18:00 To: Anastasia Steele Dear Miss Steele Start with Wikipedia. There’s a lot of information there. And don’t send me any more e-mails unless you have questions. Got it? Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _______________________________________________ Another buzz! God! Does she ever listen? Is she at all submissive? Even a tiny miniscule bit? _______________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Bossy! Date: May 23 2011 18:02 To: Christian Steele Alright! You are so bossy... oh yeah, Sir!

Ana

_______________________________________________ She’s after mine own heart. What do I do with her playful, teasing ways? I’m being tortured here by a twenty-one year old innocent girl! I’d like to be reciprocating, if she at all finishes her work. I hit reply. _______________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: In control Date: May 23 2011 18:04 To: Anastasia Steele Baby, you have no idea. Maybe you may just have some inclination. Do the work.

Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _______________________________________________ Now I wait again. I hate waiting. I try to occupy myself with my piled up work, going through business acquisitions, and new business ventures. That should occupy half my brain for the time being. I spend the next two and a half hours working. Then I jump with the buzzing from my Blackberry. She has a question. She probably got through a lot of the documents. I anxiously open the message, and she manages to drop open my jaw! _______________________________________________

From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Shocked of WSUV Date: May 23 2011 20:33 To: Christian Steele

Alright, I think I’ve seen enough. It was nice knowing you. Ana _______________________________________________ What?!? No, No, No! I'm doubly exasperated, both my hands running through my hair. She can’t just drop me without giving me a reason! Well, ok, there is a reason. She may not be ready for what I’m asking of her, but I don’t want her to do that over an e-mail. She’s running! I can’t take it! I have had a fucking hard day not seeing her. My mind has been freaking out and I’ve been freaking Taylor out here with my edginess. God, no!! I feel my heart constricting, and I can’t breathe! I want her to tell me she doesn’t want me to my face. I better fucking remind her how good it was to know me. If she doesn’t want me after I’m through with her... No, I can’t think about that. She has to know that we’re good together. Good for each other! I speed dial, “Taylor!” “Yes, sir,” he responds after the first ring. “I’m going to Miss Steele’s apartment,” I say a little edgy. He gets concerned with the tone of my voice, “Is everything alright sir? Is she well?” Why is he getting all concerned and mushy over her? I speak through my gritted teeth. “Yes.” I hang up. I make it to her door within fifteen minutes. I ring the doorbell, and roommate answers. She narrows her eyes. “Grey,” she says by the way of greeting. “Miss Kavanagh,” I say curtly. “I’m here to see Anastasia,” I say explaining my presence. “She’s in her room,” she says and opens the door wider to let me in. I have my car keys in my hand twirling them as a nervous gesture. I slowly walk to Anastasia’s door. I quietly open it as if not to disturb her. She’s sitting at her desk, her hair is in pigtails hitching my breath, with her ear buds in her ears listening to her iPod and studying the contract I gave her! My heart leaps with a sigh of relief. She might still be considering it. But I still have to persuade her.

She senses my presence in the doorway, and looks up from her task. Slowly taking her ear buds off, completely shocked to see me there. “Good evening Anastasia,” I say coolly greeting her. My expression guarded, and unreadable. There is a volcano brewing underneath, but it’s an expression I’ve mastered. My breathing soft. She looks hot, sweaty from a workout, run? I’m pleased. Confused, but pleased. She worked out. It has possibilities. She’s also speechless. I walk a few steps into her bedroom. “I felt that your e-mail message warranted a reply in person,” I said dryly. “Ah,” a nearly inaudible whimper escaped her mouth. She’s still speechless, dumbstruck, and a complete turn on. “May I sit?” I say pointing the bed. Her "for once I’ve lost my smart mouth” face expression does things to me inside. I have a wicked gleam in my eyes. Oh, baby, do I have ideas of what I want to do to you! I coolly look around. “I always wondered what your room would look like Anastasia,” I say. It’s a simple room, functional, and homey. She has simple wicker furniture, a single bed, and a quilted bed spread. Clean, simple and peaceful. “It’s very serene and peaceful here,” I say absently. She’s looking around for an escape route. Baby, you're not fast enough for me! I could catch you in my sleep! You’re not escaping me! Not till I give you all I got, and then let’s see if you still want to leave me? “How?” she breathes without being able to finish her sentence. I smile at her. “I’m still in town at Heathman.” Did she just roll her eyes at me? She shakes her head, and asks, “Would you like something to drink?” “No thank you Anastasia,” I say politely, smiling. Her breath hitches. I cock my head to the side. Let’s get down to business Miss Steele. “So, it was nice knowing me?” I say gazing at her. I don’t know what she reads in my expression. Do I show hurt? I hope not. I’ve mastered to cover my emotions a long time ago. She gazes down, and looks at her small hands. “I thought you’d send me an e-mail as a response,” she says absently, and starts chewing her lower lip.

Damn! Is she trying to torture me here? If she is, she is doing a great job at it! First she e-mails me saying it was nice knowing me, like she doesn’t want to see me, and when I show up here, she uses all her innocent feminine wiles completely without effort and intention to torture me, and now chews her lower lip calling me to fuck her! She knows what it does to me! Why is she such a tease? “Are yo biting your lower lip on purpose?” I ask my passion darkening my voice. She gasps and releases her lip. “Oh, I’m sorry. I wasn’t aware I was doing it,” she breathes softly. In this small room, with her close proximity, the air is thick with static, and passion. It’s worse than the Heathman’s elevator! I can barely contain myself. She’s close enough to touch. I sit forward putting my elbows on my knees, pushing my legs apart so she sees what affects she’s having on me. Her breath hitches. Damn! I can’t take it anymore! I lean forward and reach to her hair. She has pigtails, and I slowly pull them from the hair scunci’s captivity. They fall free over her shoulders. Both of our breathing shallow. She looks hypnotized while bewitching me herself. I run my fingers through her hair. Once again noticing her sweats, I breathe, “So you decided to do some exercise,” I say with approval and pleasure in my voice. I tuck her hair behind her ears. I want to know why she wants to leave me. Why she is deciding against us. Am I so bad for her? “Why Anastasia?” I breathe with a hard effort to hide my worry. My fingers work their way down to her earlobes softly circling and rubbing them rhythmically. I know she’ll feel it in her groin, and her sex. She leans her head into my fingers absently. “I just need time to think,” she whispers, her eyes desirous. Am I like Icarus willingly running into the sun? Doesn’t she know that? Because that is exactly what I feel... That I can’t escape her captivation. Like a moth to flame. I’m willing to burn for her! Doesn’t she know that? “What do you wish to think about Anastasia?” I ask softly. “You,” she whispers softly. I gave her a bitter smile saying, “and you’ve decided that it was nice knowing me? Knowing me in the Biblical sense?” She flushes remembering what we’ve done together. How

perfectly we fit, and tango, and reach to places that neither of us can go alone or with someone else. She remembers. And me? I couldn’t get it out of my head, not even in my dreams. She shifts, and whispers, “I didn’t know you were familiar with the Bible, Christian.” “Oh I went to Sunday school Anastasia. The things you can learn there...” I drift off. “Really?” she says dryly. “Which version of the Bible did you read about the nipple clamps and butt plugs? I guess you have had the reformed version. Mine was kind of outdated compared to yours.” This woman’s smart mouth is so fucking refreshing, I can’t get enough of it. I love it! She stands up to me though she blushes all the way through. I can’t, I won’t, I can’t leave her. She just can’t leave me! We’ re so great together! My smile is salacious and wide. I lean into her ear and whisper, “Well Miss Steele. I thought I should come in person and remind your delectable self how nice it was knowing me...” and run my nose through her hair, and her cheek and finally over her nose. “What do you say to that Anastasia?” My eyes blazing into hers, my challenge is standing. My lips are parted with desire. I am so full of desire for her, one touch from her will be my undoing. I’m like a coiled cobra ready to strike. She looks at me desire building in her eyes. She too can’t escape it. We’re meant for each other. She wants me too. Oh baby, what I will do to you tonight! I can see in her eyes that she can’t take the pent up desire in her and she’s ready to jump me, and that pleases me immensely. So, you want to attack. As she jumps at my arms, I move quickly and she’s on the bed, and I’m on top of her pinning her beneath me. Holding her hands above her head with one hand, and pinning her face with the other while my desire filled mouth finds and invades hers. My tongue is relentless, finding its way into her mouth, staking its claim and possessing her, and declaring her mine once again. I exert all my will, all my desire, all my force on her. My length is a hard press on her making its desire known. I want her so badly, I will combust if I don’t. I need her. This is the only way I know how to show her my wantonness and desire for her.

My desire for her is so tangible you can touch it. My eyes are smoldering, I’m going to combust if I don’t have her tonight. I gaze down at her. I want her to trust me. I want to show her how good we can be together. What we cannot do alone or with anyone else, I want her to see the heights I can take her to. I gaze down at her intensely. “Do you trust me Ana?” I breathe fervently. She nods, her beautiful eyes going wide. Both of our hearts are ready to jump out of our rib cages to merge together to do a tango of their own. (← Passion del Tango)

I take my silver silk tie out of my pants pocket, the one I first tied her with. I’m quite fond of this tie now. It’s laden with her scent. I sit astride on her, and tie her wrists quickly and to the metal headboard so she can’t move them. The binding is secure. I glance at her. The sight of it such a turn on. She’s aroused beyond belief, and I’m ready to claim her mine again. But first, tit for tat. She’s made me suffer all day, and now it’s her turn for a little while. I slide off her, and stand beside the bed, but I still have an immense desire to have my way with her right here right now. But I have to exercise control. I feel victorious, and relieved that she still wants me. I may not be a lost cause after all. “This is great,” I murmur, and smile wickedly. I slowly bend down, and sensually undo her shoe laces, and slowly pull them off. She knows what I am going to do. Oh! What I can do to you Miss Steele. She starts kicking, knowing. I stop, and smile. “Oh baby, go ahead and struggle, because if you do, I’m going to tie your feet as well. And darling, if you make a single noise, then I’ll gag you. Keep quiet. Your roommate is probably listening to us right now.” She’s bewildered and quieted down. Once I take the shoes and her socks off, I slowly and efficiently peel her sweat pants off. I lift her sweet behind off the bed and pull the duvet and sheet down and put her back down on the bed again. Oh what a sight! “Now then,” I say licking my lip slowly, and she started biting her bottom lip again absently with desire. “Oh baby! You’re biting that lip again! You know what that does to me...” I say, she gasps, and makes a sound of desire. I place my finger on her lips to remain silent.

I then remove my shoes and socks off making a great big show for her while she’s lying in bed helpless, wanting me, desiring me, and ready to jump my bones, but unable. I slowly undo my pants, but leave it on. I pull my shirt off and put it aside. “I think you’ve seen enough of a show baby,” I say, and chuckle because she’s expectant, and wanting and wanton. I pull her t-shirt up and over her head, keeping her mouth, and nose open, but completely covering her eyes. This is beyond hot! I love the way she looks right now... (← I Got a Feeling by Black Eyed Peas) “This just gets better and better. Mmm. You’re just yummy... I’m going to get a drink.” Grinning salaciously, knowing she’s surprised. I make a noisy show of walking through the room, open the door, and go to the living room. The roommate sees me half naked and surprised. Kate's gaze narrows but appreciative. She knows her roommate is having fun. I give nothing away. “Hi Kate,” I say, “Do you have any wine in the house?” She looks surprised, but nods, “Yes, we should have some white wine in the fridge.” “Ice?” “The freezer has an automatic ice maker,” she grins, but turns to her task at hand. I take the wine bottle from the fridge, and put some ice in a water glass, and taking an additional water glass, and leisurely walk back to Anastasia’s room. She knows I’m back because I make a show of creaking the floor boards, and my feet padding across the bedroom floor. Once I return to the room, I put my finds on the side table. I shut the door, and remove my pants, making enough noise to let her know what I’m up to. Then drop the pants down to the floor. I’m completely naked. I drop a few pieces of ice into the water glass loud enough to make her hear, then slowly pour some chilled wine over it. I take the glass in my hand, and climb over the bed sitting astride over Anastasia making her feel me. Her desire is through the roof, and not seeing what I’m doing is only amplifying her want and wantonness. (← Fireworks by Kathy Perry) “Are you thirsty, Anastasia?” I ask in a teasing voice. Tit for tat baby! You will beg me to take you.

“Yes,” she breathes. I swirl the glass with the wine in it so it cools down. She hears the ice clinking on the sides of the glass cup. Then I take a swig of it into my mouth, leaning over, I kiss her, and pour the crispy cold wine into her expecting mouth. “More?” I whisper into her mouth. She nods. I give her another sip from mouth to mouth. She’s writhing in pleasure. “I know you can only take so much liquor,” I say, “I don’t want to overdo it baby.” And her beautiful lips grin. I shift down and lie on her side, and now my erection is pressing to her side, and she know my carnal intentions. “Is this nice?” I breathe into her ear. She tenses with desire. Then I take another swig of wine with small shards of ice, and kissing and depositing the contents into her mouth. I then slowly trail cold kisses down the center of her body, slowly, painfully, at my own leisure starting at her throat. Then I move my chilled kisses down between her breasts, to her torso and to her belly. I put a piece of ice into her navel and a little bit of wine. “Now you must keep still baby,” I whisper her. “Because if you don’t, you’ll get wine all over this nice bed,” I say slowly. Her hips flex automatically. “Oh no baby! If you spill the wine, I will punish you.” She groans and thugs at the restraints. She’s ready to beg. I smile inwardly. My index finger trails up to her bra cup, and thug at it leisurely, freeing and pushing her breast up from the confines of the bra cup. I do the same for the other breast. Now they’re both exposed and at my beckoning. I tug and kiss each of her nipples with my cold lips. She tries to arch in response, but she is not supposed to spill the wine. “How nice is this baby?” I breathe as I blow chilled air to one of her nipples. I take another piece of ice, and swirl it around and around over one of the nipples while I thug and suck on the other one. She moans and struggles against the restraints, and full of passion and sweet torture. “If you spill the wine, I won’t let you come Anastasia,” I say threatening. Then comes the begging, “Oh... please Christian... please Sir... I need you... Please” she begs going insane. I smile. Yes baby. That’s what you made me feel like. Helpless, combusting,

desirous, and unable to get fulfilled. All this waiting, all this wanting, and not having you! This is what you do to me! You torture me ever since I’ve met you, and you don’t even know it! The ice in her navel starts melting with her rising body heat. She’s hot, she’s cold, she’s wanton, she’s desirous. She wants my sex! My fingers trail over her belly lazily. Her over sensitized skin responds and flexes automatically, and the wine seeps over from her belly. I move quickly lapping it with my tongue, followed by kisses, and sucking, and biting and sucking again. “Oh baby, you moved. What am I going to do with you?” She starts panting, and her body is on sensory overload. She’s writhing beneath me, and I slip my fingers into her panties, and push two fingers inside. Feeling her wet to the core for me turns me on beyond belief, “Oh baby, you are so ready,” I murmur. She tilts her hips up to meet my fingers. Her desire for me sets fire within me; I want to rock her world. (← You Rock My World by Michael Jackson)

“You’re such a greedy girl,” I mock scold her, and my fingers work their magic circling her clitoris. She groans and lifts her hips, and her body bucks beneath me. “Please Christian! I want to touch you,” she breathes. “I know baby,” I say, knowing what she wants, desiring her touch, but unable to receive it, because I am so fucked up! But I can’t dwell on that shit right now. All of a sudden I have an immense desire to have her, fuck her, claim her, make her mine, and stick my flag on her, short of branding her! That’s how much I damn well desire her! I just grab her hair; lift her head off the bed closing the gap between us with my mouth, claiming her inside her mouth. While my fingers move expertly over her clitoris, my mouth mirrors the actions, twirling, dancing, claiming, inhaling her. I’m infused with this woman, and I can’t get enough of it! I relentlessly assault her mouth and her sex with my fingers and tongue. “This is your punishment, so close yet so far. Is this nice?” I breathe into her ear. She’s tormented me, and I’m giving her a taste of her own medicine. “Please Christian!” she begs, and that’s my undoing.

“How shall I fuck you Anastasia?” I growl. All she can say is “Please!” begging. “What do you want Ana?” “I want you!... And I want it now!” she cries out. I continue to tease. “There are just so many ways to do that. Shall I fuck you this way, or that way, or the other way... Choices are endless.” I take a packet of condom, and rip the foil. I kneel between her legs, and painfully slowly pull her panties off. The sight before me is so sweet, I can’t contain myself any longer, and roll the condom on. I pull her shirt off her head, so she can see what she’s up against. Then, I make a show of what she could have, but still too far from having. “How nice is that?” I say stroking myself. “Please Christian! I meant that as a joke.” She pleads, her eyes says, “Just fuck me already!” She tortured for a joke? I was going out of my mind, and it was just a joke? “A joke?” I say softly menacingly. “Yes, just a joke. Please Christian!” she begs. “Are you laughing now?” I ask. “No,” she whimpers. Tens of emotions are going through my head, and I’m so pent up with this sexual desire, and I was a toy in her hands. Well, you’ll get your first taste of punishment Miss Steele! I suddenly push her knees up off the bed into the air and slap her butt as hard as I can. And before she can make a single sound, I plunge into her. She cries out with the ferocity of my assault. I fuck, and fuck and fuck her repeatedly making her come many times over! Again and again and again! I don’t stop. This is her punishment fuck! She’s spent, and she’s going against me, absorbing all I have to give her... She’s building and coming again.. Once more.. “Come on, Anastasia! Again!” I growl at her through clenched teeth, and she convulses again, and climaxes anew with another shattering orgasm, finally I find my release collapsing on top of her, my breathing rugged. “How nice was that?” I ask through gritted teeth.

We both lie in bed panting and spent. I am on top of the pleasure mountain, and though I gave her a punishment fuck, I can’t get enough of her. I haven’t had my fill of her. I close my eyes, and slowly pull out of her. I rise out of the bed immediately, and dress up. I climb back on the bed, and untie her hands, and pull her t-shirt off. She readjusts her bra, and I cover her with the duvet. She looks at me completely bemused and dazed. I can’t help but smirk at her expression.

“That was very nice,” she whispers. Damn woman! I gave you all I’m worth, and I only made it to “nice”! “There’s that word again,” I say. “What word?” “Nice,” I say. “You don’t like that?” “Nope, it doesn’t do for me at all.” I say dryly. “Oh, I don’t know, it seems to have a very beneficial effect on you.” Can you insult me any more than that? “Am I a beneficial effect now Miss Steele. You’re wounding my ego.” I say. “Mr. Grey, there’s nothing wrong with your ego.”

“Is that what you think Miss Steele?” I say, and slowly lie next to her fully clothed. “Why don’t you like to be touched Christian?” she asks. “I just don’t,” I say brusquely, but soften the blow by planting a kiss on her forehead. “So the email was your idea of a joke?” She smiles apologetically and shrugs. “Does that mean that you’re still considering my proposal?” I ask. “Do you mean, your indecent proposal Mr. Grey?” she asks smiling, and her tone changes to serious, “Yes, I am, but I have issues.” I can deal with that. A contract can be negotiated. I just don’t want her to leave me altogether. “Anastasia, I expect you to have issues. I’d be disappointed if you didn’t.” “I was going to email you those, but you sort of interrupted me,” she said smiling shyly. “Coitus interruptus.” I say, then she gives me a genuine smile. “I knew you had a sense of humor somewhere in there,” she says. But my eyes turn serious. Some things are funny. But not her leaving me! I can’t handle it! It’s like ripping out my heart and laughing at the results. “Some things are funny. But, I just thought that you were saying ‘No’ to me without even giving any consideration, with no discussion. No say from me at all.” My voice drops reflecting my forlorn mood all of a sudden.(← Sensual Mix by Enigma) “I still haven’t made up my mind yet Christian. I don’t know yet. Will you collar me?” I raise my eyebrows, she has been studying, “You’ve been studying up. Uhm. I don’t know. I’ve never collared anyone.” “Were you collared?” she asks me surprising me. “Yes,” I answer truthfully. I’m all full disclosure for her. “By Mrs. Robinson?” “Mrs. Robinson?” I laugh out loud. She sometimes just takes my breath away with her innocent observations. She smiles back at me. “I’ll tell her that you said that,” I say. Her answer is surprised, and disappointed, “Do you still talk to her?” “Yes,” where is she going with that?

She looks jealous, and disturbed. “I see,” she says in a tight voice. “Isn’t it funny that Mr. Grey can talk his alternative lifestyle with someone, and I am not allowed to do that.” How does she do that? She can just jump into the core of a matter baring all the shit.(← Rolling in the Deep by Adele) “I don’t think I thought of it that way, ever. But then again, Mrs. Robinson is part of that lifestyle. She’s just a good friend now. I can introduce you to her if you so desire. Or if you wish you can meet one of my former subs. You can talk to her.” I say. I want to do everything I can to help her to make her introduction easy. She gives me a look of ‘have you just lost all your marbles, and what sort of crap are you giving me?’ Boy, she doesn’t have to say a word. She’s mastered talking through her expressions. “Is this your idea of a joke?” she asks. “No, Ana. I’m trying to be helpful.” “Save it!” she says nearly in tears, and upset. “I’ll do my own research, thank you for your offered help,” she snaps at me, pulling the duvet covers over up to her chin, protectively. I look at my damn shoes. How can I get that great big foot and wash it down through my mouth? I’m for once lost for words. I don’t know how to apologize. “Anastasia, I...” I’m lost. Fucking lost! And kicking myself. What an asshole I am! “It wasn’t my intention to offend you.” “Offend me? I’m not offended! I’m appalled.” What? Why? "Appalled?” “Let me make this simple and clear for you Mr. Grey! I have no desire to speak to one of your ex-girlfriends, slaves, subs... You choose the proper pronoun for them if you will. Least of all your pedophile! I don’t give a shit about them. So, save it!” I’m surprised at the strength of her emotions. She does have feelings for me. She’s jealous. And that makes it so frigging hot! “Anastasia Steele – are you jealous?” I ask without being able to keep the smirk out of my voice. She flushes beet red.

“Are you staying?” she asks instead. “I can’t, I have a breakfast meeting tomorrow at Heathman. Besides, I told you, I don’t sleep with girlfriends, slaves, subs, or anyone. Friday and Saturday nights were exceptions. It won’t happen again.” I say resolutely. She purses her lips. “Fine. I’m tired now. You can just go. There’s the door, just in case you don’t know how to find it,” and turns over in bed on her side away from me. “Are you kicking me out?” I say amused. “Wow! You figured that out Sherlock?” she says mocking. Then softly adds, “Yes, that’s what I’m doing.” “This is another first for me Ana. I’ve never been kicked out before.” I say, and add, “Do you have anything to discuss or talk about the contract?” “Boy, you know how to show a girl good time by bringing that up. No!” she says. “God! I like to give you a good hiding! You’d feel a lot better and so would I! You’re driving me insane!” I say exasperated. “You can’t say things like that... I haven’t signed anything yet.” “A man can dream Anastasia,” I say leaning over and grasping her petulant chin. “Wednesday?” I murmur. “Wednesday,” she agrees. “Please pass me my sweat pants,” she asks. I pick it up off the floor, and say “yes, ma’am” handing it to her. She narrows her eyes at me tight enough to blindfold her with a dental floss while putting her pants on. She leaves the room ahead of me, walking across the living room, and opens the front door for me. I have an uneasy feeling something is wrong. “Are you okay?” I lean down caressing her bottom lip. “Yes,” she replies softly, sadly. “Wednesday,” I confirm kissing her softly. But, I feel something is wrong. I want her to know I want her, I desire her, I need her. My kiss grows more urgent, deeper, and more

demanding. My breathing accelerates, hers matching mine. Once I’m out of breath I slow down, and put my forehead against hers. I’m completely bewitched, and confounded with her, and I don’t know what takes over me when I ‘m near her. “What are you doing to me Anastasia?” I ask bewildered. “I could say the same to you,” she whispers back. I kiss her forehead once again, and leave to my car, glancing back once more. Her smile doesn’t reach her eyes, tainted with sadness. I’m uneasy. But, I slide into my car, and drive away.

(Bookmark is courtesy of http://www.forestadesign.com/bookmarks/)

SHOUTY CAPITALS
CHAPTER X

(Bookmark is used with the courtesy of http://www.forestadesign.com/bookmarks/)

I drive away from Anastasia’s apartment complex with an uneasy feeling tugging inside me. She looked forlorn. Was she unhappy about something? It’s hard to tell with her because she doesn’t communicate her feelings. Her mood switches so fast from hot to cold I can’t figure her out! (← Hot n Cold by Kathy Perry) She needs to communicate with me more. She’s so mercurial making it so hard for me to understand. Or is it my own mercurial mood reflecting on her? I’ve had many women before, but never had to deal with any one of their moods since having full control over them. When they didn’t have to think or analyze, and accept the decisions made for them, they forego of their moods. Once she signs the contract, I can make her to be a lot more forthcoming. But I love her smart mouth. I love her the way she is. The way she looks at me, the way she talks to me with her facial expressions, and her attitude. And the way she kicked me out! No one, NO ONE had kicked me out before! Ever! It is so damn hot! If I

had less control over my own feelings, I would just turn around and claim her again, but I have a meeting in the morning, and I can’t lose control. But, why do I like her so much! When I’m not with her, my mind is completely occupied with her as if she’s in my presence. When I tried to stay away from her, tried to not have any contact with her, I was completely miserable as if an essential part of me was missing. I gave myself five days after I’ve met her, yet at every corner, I imagined her! Even after I started pursing her I tried to quit her once again, knowing who I am, knowing my own predilections. Knowing how innocent she was, I tried to protect her from myself... Yet, I find it impossible to stay away from her captivation. When I’m not near her, I’m miserable, mean, nervous and an ogre to everyone around me. God knows I’ve tried to stay away! I tried to forget her. Yet, she kept pulling me like the moon would call the tide. And when I’m near her, she’s like the sun; both captivating with her allure and her gravity. When I see her, I want to touch her. When I even touch her fingertips, she’s captivated me and I’m nothing but a toy in her hands to do as she wishes. If she only knew! I’m tortured by knowing that she’s out there for someone else to take, because I have this horrendous fear that she may just slip away from my fingers. But if she signs the contract, it’s as if she’s giving me her word, her binding word even if it isn’t legally binding. It will show an understanding between us. The only way I understand, comprehends and know how to deal with. I know no other way. I know nothing but control. It is what I understand, what made me who I am. But here she is confining me, binding me with just one of her stares... one of her words that just laying out and clearing away all the shit. She’s both exasperating and refreshing. Both poison and antidote which I willingly take... Both pain and pleasure which I understand well... Nobody ever made me feel that way! Trying to stop her is like trying to contain the wind, or holding something with greased hands. This makes me afraid, because it may just make her slip off my fingers. I would die if I lost her, if I didn’t have her completely or if someone else laid a claim on her! I may feel proprietor towards her, but this is not about owning her. It’s beyond any sort of ownership. It’s merging our souls, being one entity as if never to separate again. When I see her, I see beyond her face. I see the depths of her soul. I have no one to compare her to, or what I feel for her,

how fervent my desire is for her! It is not just lust, though good Lord knows it’s ever present. It’s beyond that. I feel alive! I feel like I can take on anything, tackle anything, do anything, achieve anything and yet completely helpless because she’s so damn a life force of her own! She looked like a spring breeze, but God damn it! She’s an F5 tornado in my life wreaking havoc in my already tormented soul! I’m afraid that any little thing might harm her. Like that would-be rapist she’s allowing to call, or her boss’ brother like white on rice as if he’s ready to tackle her in isle 7 right between the electrical wires and the plumbing fixtures, or that she drinks herself senseless, or she eats a total of three bites within the course of two days! The thought of her getting hurt without my protection is driving me out of my mind! What was it that Catherine Earnshaw said about Heathcliff in the Wuthering Heights, “If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained and he were annihilated, the universe would be a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it.” I would die! Let alone being a part of a universe she didn’t exist, I wouldn’t want to be in it. I’d want to be wherever she is! What is it that makes me desire her so? Can Catherine Earnshaw tell me? “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same. Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He’s always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but my own being.” That’s exactly how I feel for Anastasia. She’s me, not because we’re alike, but because she’s my missing piece. The piece that makes me a whole person out of my whole fuckedup fifty shades... She is what completes me! Until she sprawled with all of her five feet seven inches of her into my life, I never knew she was what was missing out of my life. Now that I’ve seen her, now that I’ve tasted her, claimed her, made love to her, fucked her; there is no way out, no going back for me. Losing her would be beyond torture for my already tortured soul. I wish I knew what she wanted! I wish she spoke to me, communicated with me more explicitly. Getting her talk to me is like pulling teeth out of her. I have to use all my skills to get her communicate with me. I have to read her body language, her facial expressions, and combine it with her words, and then I try to make sense out of it, because she can be cryptic.

With the thoughts of her clouding my mind, I make my way to the Heathman Hotel. The valet is waiting ready to park the car. I toss my keys to him. I try to make my way to the elevators to get to my suit after the doorman’s greeting. I walk to the back and press the call button for the elevator. When the door dings open, I walk in, and here she is again in my mind! I close my eyes until the elevator reaches my floor, and I don’t open them until the elevator dings again. I walk into my suite, and send a quick text to Taylor letting him know that I’m back, and he can turn in. He types back: “Thank you sir.” I go to the fridge and grab white wine, and pour it into a cut crystal glass. I take a sip of the cool chilled wine, savoring it. It leaves a pleasant taste as it goes down. I make my way to my laptop. I want to send her a message but without being overbearing, just showing enough interest and type Anastasia a message: _______________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: This evening Date: May 23 2011 23: 18 To: Anastasia Steele

Dear Miss Steele I look forward to receiving your notes and counter offers on the contract. Until then, good night baby. Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holding Inc. _______________________________________________ I inhale deeply and walk to the piano in the suite. I sit and start playing the “Suffocation” by Chopin. Over and over and over again... Repeatedly... Until I lose myself in the piece. (← Prelude in E-Minor-op.28 no.4 by Frederic Chopin)

I hear the ding of my e-mail message while I’m lost in the piece about fifteen minutes after I send Anastasia the message. It'd better not be her! She had better be sleeping. She has work tomorrow! She needs to keep herself healthy. I make my way to the laptop within a few easy strides. Damn it! It’s her! _______________________________________________

From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Issues Date: May 23 2011 00: 03 To: Christian Grey

Dear Mr. Grey

The following are my issues with the contract. I’m looking forward to discussing them in detail on Wednesday at dinner. The numbers I’ve indicated are clause #s within the contract: 2: This clause states that the fundamental purpose of the contract is to allow the Submissive (me) to explore her sensuality and limits. Huh! How is that for MY benefit? Are you in the business of solely providing pleasure to the subs? I’m quite certain that you don’t need to give me a ten page contract to achieve that end! I’m positive that this is for YOUR benefit. 4: Is this contract a generic crap you give to every sub? Because this clause says that the Dominant and the Submissive each warrant that they suffer from no sexual, serious, infectious or life-threatening illness and you know the STDs in your list. Mr. Grey, are you trying to insult me here? You damn well know that you’ve been my first and only sexual partner. I don’t take drugs recreationally or otherwise, and haven’t had any blood transfusion. I’m most likely a very safe partner. What say you about yourself Mr. Grey? 8: Ok. I’m liking this one since I can terminate when I think you are not sticking to your end of the agreed limits.

9: WTF? The submissive shall serve and obey the Dominant in all things? And furthermore, you want me to accept your discipline with no qualms at all? Aha! Not liking this. We need to talk about this one. 11: This clause states that the contract shall be effective for a period of three calendar months from the Commencement date. No. One month trial period; not three. 12: You’re asking me to make myself available to the Dominant (you) from Friday evenings through Sunday afternoons every week during the term. I can’t commit to this every weekend. I have a life, or I would like to have one. Can we do three out of four? 15.2: The dominant accepts the submissive as his, to own, control, dominate and discipline during the term. He may use her body at any time, any manner he deems fit sexually or otherwise. This is my body you’re talking about. What does “or otherwise” entail? 15.5: I have a big issue with this whole discipline clause. I don’t wish, desire, want to be whipped, flogged, or corporally punished. I’m certain that this would be a breach of the clauses 2 through 5 in the contract. And what do you mean “For any other reason”? This is mean! You told me you weren’t a sadist. 15.10: This interesting clause states that the dominant shall not loan his submissive to another dominant. Oh buddy! Do you think that was even an option I would agree? But, I’m glad it’s in black and white here. 15.14: The appendix 1 has a list of “the Rules”. We’ll talk about those later. 15.19: Says that the submissive shall not touch or pleasure herself sexually without permission from the Dominant. Not without your permission? What’s wrong with doing that? You know I’m not in the habit of doing that. 15.21: Discipline – see 15.5 above. 15:22: Weird! The submissive shouldn’t look directly into the eyes of the dominant except when you instruct me? Why can’t I look into your eyes? 15:24: This one says that I shouldn’t touch you without your expressed permission. No touching? Why can’t I touch you? Rule issues:

Sleep: I’ll agree to sleep 6 hours. No more. Food – you cannot make me eat food only from a prescribed list. This is a deal breaker. Either this rule goes, or I will. Clothes – As long as you don’t require me to wear them when I’m not with you, fine. I’ll assume they’re uniforms. Exercise – I thought we agreed to 3 hours. This contract says 4 here. Soft limits: We have to go through these. I don’t want any sort of fisting. What do you mean suspension? I’ve no idea what that entails. Are you kidding me when you say genital clamps? Agh! Would you please let me know about your arrangements for Wednesday? I work till 5 p.m. Good night. Ana _______________________________________________ Oh dear God! She stayed up this late to type up this long list? Why is it so long? Why does she have issues with all these? She needs to go to bed. I have the rules for her benefit, and both of our enjoyment. She shouldn’t be up; she should be in bed and sleeping already. It is in direct conflict with the contract’s rule for sleep. She needs to be up early in the morning for work. She needs to be warned! _______________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: This evening Date: May 23 2011 00:08 To: Anastasia Steele Miss Steele This is a very long list. Why haven’t you gone to bed? Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holding Inc. _______________________________________________ Not a few minutes passed since I sent my message, and she types up another one instead of going to bed! She should really be spanked for this transgression! _______________________________________________

From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Burning the midnight oil Date: May 23 2011 00:11 To: Christian Grey Dear Sir, You may recall that as I was studying the list this evening, I was distracted and bedded by a passing control freak. Good night. Ana _______________________________________________ My face grins ear to ear as my heart softens for her. She did it again! Her words just enthrall me, confound me, and bind me to her. I write her a response immediately. _______________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Stop burning the midnight oil Date: May 23 2011 00:13 To: Anastasia Steele GO TO BED ANASTASIA. Christian Grey CEO, & Control Freak, Grey Enterprises Holding Inc. _______________________________________________ Take that and smoke it in your pipe Miss Steele, I say grinning ear to ear again. I should go to bed too. I have an early breakfast meeting tomorrow morning. I slowly walk into the bedroom, taking my shirt and pants off leaving only the boxers on; I go to the bathroom brush my teeth remembering Miss Steele using my toothbrush in this very place feeling her in my mouth. Her lips, her nipples her body, her sex... Damn it Anastasia! I can’t even forget you for a minute in the frigging bathroom doing a simple task like brushing my teeth! Shaking my head I walk to my bed. I take my iPod, plugging the ear buds into my ears start listening to Puccini’s “O mio babbino caro” (← O mio babbino caro – Giacomo Puccini)

I look at the ceiling as if it’s holding the secrets of the universe, and my attachment to Anastasia. I slowly close my eyes thinking of her. ***** I’m at the Heathman Hotel’s bar having a martini with olives. I feel her gaze on me before I see her. I slowly turn my head to lock eyes with her: Grey to blue. My breath hitches with the sight of her. She’s breathtaking. She has a black lace backless dress on, her hair elegantly lifted off and done up in an elegant bun showing her beautiful long neck. The dress barely reaches her knees. She has high heeled Christian Louboutins showing off her elegant legs. Her make-up is so light as if her face was born in her elegant color. My subconscious reminds me to breathe. I automatically get up and find my feet start walking towards her. Without a word I proffer my hand and also without a word she takes it. Both of our breathing shallow. “I wasn’t expecting you today,” I say finally finding my voice. “But, this is the best of the surprises Anastasia!” I say my gaze piercing hers with full of passion. She nods and shyly lowers her gaze to our connected hands visibly gasping. “Have you eaten? Would you like something to drink?” I find myself asking. “No food,” she says as my eyes gaze at her questioning. “I might want some white wine though,” she murmurs. Her hands are shaking like leaves. “Is something the matter?” I ask with concern. “You’re shaking like a leaf Anastasia,” my eyes examining her, trying to decipher her expression. “Come,” I take her hand, “let’s sit,” I pull her as I motion to a waiter to get us a private table. “I can’t stay long Christian,” she says firmly. “But you are here, why can’t you stay?” I ask my heart racing up to my throat. “I,...” she drifts off, looking at her hands again. I take her to the table the waiter is leading us in a quiet corner of the restaurant. My gaze is on her. Curious, worried, anxious. Is she here to deliver a bad news? “Anastasia?” I probe her. “Christian, I...” she cuts off, trying to gather her thoughts to word them.

“I can’t do it... I’m sorry, but I just can’t agree to your terms. They’re too harsh. Too outside the scope of anything I have envisioned for myself. I’m not judging. It may be right for some people, but not for me! I want more... More out of my life... More out of my relationship... More...” she drifts off. “Anastasia, I...” this time I feel speechless. “I’m not used to it. I don’t know any other way. This is the only way I know.” I’m nervous, and upset that she’s about to slip through my fingers. “But you’re here!” I say fervently. “In this,” I make a grand gesture with my hands showing her dress that looks like as if someone poured it on her. I’d love to get my hands on her bare back, and run my fingers through her legs. But I don’t. My knuckles just sweep through her chin, and her breath hitches, eyes closing. “Don’t Christian,” she says. “Why?” I say fervently. “I can make you stay!” “I know!” she says, “you can, but I have to leave. This, whatever we have here, isn’t for me. I’m going to get hurt,” she gets up to go. “Please Ana!” is all I can say in a pleading voice! I can’t let her go! I won’t! I care so much about her. I don’t think I can do without her! “Let me at least walk to your car,” I say. She nods. She gives the valet her ticket, and we stand in silence while my gaze is intense on her. I want to touch her, love her, hold her, consume her, but I just stare. I take a step towards her. She backs up a step. “Please don’t!” she says in a slow voice. “Why not?” I demand. “I don’t get to touch you. Why should it be any different for you?” she says in a sad forlorn voice. “Ana... I...” I say without a way to explain what is wrong with me. “I’m fifty shades of fucked up baby! I don’t want this on you.” I say. “I know. Maybe this is best,” she says without conviction. “Can I kiss you at least?” I say.

She closes her eyes, fighting with her emotions, and urges. “I can’t. Because if we do, I won’t be able to leave!” she says nearly in tears. (← The Scientist by Cold Play) I’m exasperated, and worried, and upset. Both my hands running through my hair. “Please Ana!” I plead in a low voice. “Don’t leave! Don’t do this! We’re so good together!” “I can’t stay!” “Why?!?” I say fervently, forcefully. “Why Anastasia? Why don’t you want me?” “Because you’ll burn me. Because you scare me with your intensity, with your power, and your wealth, and I know you’ll hurt me! If not physically, emotionally!” She’s in tears and leaving; leaving me! (← Lost by Michael Buble) She walks away. Away from me! My feet fixed on the ground unable to move an inch. She’s about to go out of my life and my friggin feet are frozen in place unable to move! Only when I am able to gather my thoughts they connect with my brain and I run after her to her car. The valet drives her car up which surprises me anew. It’s old, not road worthy, and looks like it won’t even make it out the parking lot let alone get her home. She eases into her car noticing me standing. “Please Anastasia! Don’t go!” I say fervently. “This car doesn’t even look like it’s roadworthy! Please, let’s talk!” “No, see, right there! How can I compete with you Christian? You have everything? You criticize my car although this is all I can afford. How can I be in your league? You’ll get tired of me like one of your new toys, and move on. I can’t have that!” “Ana! No!” She drives away in that clunker of a car with tears streaming from her eyes. I speed dial Taylor. “Bring the car up front ASAP!” I hang up. I’m not losing her! I won’t! I’m the son of a crack whore... Had it not been for Dr. Grace Trevelyan-Grey who knows what would have happened to me? I’m not any better than anyone! Certainly not from Anastasia! She can’t hold my wealth against me. This is America for God’s sake! Anyone who has ambition enough can make it big! I will get her back! (← Everything by Michael Buble) I hear the screech of the Audi SUV in the dark. Taylor swings open the passenger door.

“Let’s roll! Miss Steele just left in the clunker of a car. I want to make sure she gets home safe.” He nods without a word. The traffic is the tail end of heavy. “Right there! The yellow VW!” I point to Taylor. It’s about six cars ahead of us, trying to move into fast lane. What is she doing? That car couldn’t even make 50 mph, she’s pushing 80! I shouldn’t have let her leave so upset. “Taylor, get on the HOV lane! Maybe we can catch up to her that way! She’s getting into the fast lane.” He nods and signals quickly darts three lanes and moves into the HOV lane on the freeway. She’s now about eight cars ahead of us. What is she doing pushing so hard? We push hard, but she’s still ahead of us! How’s she doing that? “Taylor! You can drive a tank but can’t catch up with a girl’s crappy VW?” His face goes crimson, and eyes fixed on the road, he weaves in traffic pushing hard. We finally make it back into the HOV lane, and sidle her car. I open my window, and motion her to open hers. “Anastasia!” I say as calmly as possible. Her eyes are full of tears, I don’t know how she can see through them. “I want you to get out of the freeway baby! Right now...” I say with all my self-control and calmness. “Come on honey! We can talk... And if...” I broke off. It’s too hard to get it out of my lips. “And if you still don’t want me, then I’ll let you go... Okay?” She doesn’t say anything. Eyes fixed on the road, cheeks strained with onslaught of her tears, she manages to nod. She slows down just a notch. She signals to get out of the freeway. I give a sigh of relief. Nod to Taylor who also signals to get out of the freeway. Anastasia makes her way to the right most lane signaling to get out of the nearest exit. As she moves into the lane, a fast coming Chevy Impala just plows into her! Ana’s old VW spins three times before coming to a stop in the right lane shoulder. The freeway traffic comes to a halt. Everything is surreal! My heart is in my mouth, my hands are shaking, and my face is full of fury; to whom I don’t know! Maybe the whole world! Maybe the universe for screwing my life up many times over! Taylor speeds in front of Ana’s car. I rush out before he comes to a stop, and run to Anastasia’s car. She’s slumped over the steering wheel, blood gushing out of her temple. She’s motionless. My heart stops! The car door is jammed, and I can’t open it.

“Taylor! Give me a hand!” He grabs the wrench from the trunk and smashes the passenger window. Doubles his jacket and rips off the door of its hinges! I shove him out of the way, and pull Ana’s lifeless body out of the car. Shaking, crying. “Baby, why? Why do you leave me Ana?” Rocking back and forth, Anastasia in my arms. My white shirt soaked with her blood, but I don’t care. I don’t want to be where she isn’t. (← Without You –soundtrack from the Wuthering Heights) “Fuck man! I didn’t know she was gonna jump in front of me!” says a half drunk voice. Then his voice changes to a familiarly disgusting tone: “Oh! It’s you little shit! When will you stop crying whore’s brat! I’m sick of you!” I hold my gaze up to look at this man, and it’s him! The crack whore’s pimp! “I hope to God that she leaves you on the street in the cold, so I don’t have to deal with a crying wimp like you little jerk wad!” My mind is confused, and angry! I want to kill that man who killed the only woman I loved! Taylor’s face changes, and fast like a striking cobra he raises his elbow, and jumps up landing on the crack whore’s pimp striking him as hard as possible, and punches him repeatedly while I’m numb on the shoulder of the freeway with my blood soaked Anastasia sobbing uncontrollably!

My tears are flowing down and diluting Anastasia’s blood on her face. The paramedics come and try to take her away from me again. I won’t give her!

“Sir! You have to let her go!” Taylor pleads, “Sir, please!” “She’s dead Taylor! She’s dead and it’s all my fault! The crack whore’s pimp killed my Ana!” I sob and sob... And eventually my own cries wake me up. I'm in my suite at Heathman Hotel. I close my eyes with a sigh of relief. It was a nightmare. Oh God! I'm out of breath, tears streaming, my nose is running. “Thank God! Thank God! Thank God! It was a nightmare!” It’s 4:40 a.m. on the clock. And I don’t want to go back to sleep. This is yet the worst nightmare I ever had. I have to call John, so I can talk to him over the phone at least. Oh hell! I’ll give him tonight. I’ll have to do it after my meeting. I sit up in bed, my head in my hands and Heathcliff’s words come pouring down my mind after he waits all night for the news of Catherine Earnshaw’s well-being, finally finding her dead. When he holds her dead body he cries out in agony:
"'And

I pray one prayer--I repeat it till my tongue stiffens--Catherine Earnshaw, may

you not rest as long as I am living; you said I killed you--haunt me, then! The murdered DO haunt their murderers, I believe. I know that ghosts HAVE wandered on earth. Be with me always--take any form--drive me mad! Only DO not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! It is unutterable! I CANNOT live without my life! I CANNOT live without my soul!'" (←Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights)

I don’t want any harm to come to Anastasia, but, like Heathcliff, I cannot live without my soul. She gives me my humanity back, she gives me my soul. Oh, Anastasia! What are you doing to me? What can I do to keep you, to keep you safe, keep you mine? My heart aches every time I think of her. My soul yearns for her. My mind is always clouded with thought of her as if a time before Anastasia didn’t exist. As if I was a lost planet and found my sun. As if we belong together. Yes, we belong together. Always. (← The Lion Fell in Love with the Lamb by Carter Burwell)

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* * *

✿♥‿♥✿

CHAPTER XI

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Since I’m up already, and sleep departed me, I go to my laptop and read Anastasia’s last e-mail over and over again. My mood changes with the details of her response. She can communicate with me in writing so much better than she does when she is talking to me. I must have a bigger effect on her than I initially thought. But since she’s negotiating, I put on my business face on, type up her a response: _________________________________________

From: Christian Grey Subject: Your Issues Date: May 24 2011 04:58 To: Anastasia Steele

Dear Miss Steele

I have thoroughly examined your issues, and I now feel the need to bring your attention to the definition of the word “submissive.” submissive [suhb-mis-iv] – adjective 1. inclined or ready to submit; unresistingly or humbly obedient: submissive servants. 2. marked by or indicating submission: a submissive reply. Origin: 1580–90; submiss + -ive Synonyms:1. tractable, compliant, pliant, amenable. 2. passive, resigned, patient, docile, tame, subdued. Antonyms:1. rebellious, disobedient.

I would please like you to keep this in mind for our Wednesday meeting.

Christian CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

Grey

_________________________________________

What say you to that Miss Steele? (←Strange Love by Depeche Mode) I want her to submit to me, because I can take care of her, because I can protect her while she explores depths and heights of her sensuality, her passion; I can take her to places she didn’t know exist, make her experience pleasure she didn’t know possible. It can’t be done without her giving herself to me completely, creating the trust between us. This is essentially trusting the person in control. You fall, I catch. She has to let go of the doubts that I wouldn’t catch. This is about

trusting each other. I want, no, I need her to trust me for our arrangement to work. I have to have control. It’s all I know, it’s what works for me, and it’s when I have order out of the chaos surrounding me. I decide to work out. I run several miles, and lift weights and punch and kick a punching bag to get out my overnight frustration. In the past two nights, the thoughts of Miss Steele managed to do two things: Gave me the biggest wet dream I’ve had, and the worst nightmare of my life. She’s both poison and antidote. She confounds me even in my sleep. Her captivity, her pull, her gravity is inescapable. She tortures me with one of her looks, one of her expressions, one of her witty comments. Why Anastasia, why and how do you torture me so? Though I love her wittiness, and love the way she stands up to me, I would also love to subdue that smart mouth. Because it scares me to the core! Scares me that she may be gone, scares me that she may get hurt, and I may not have any power to prevent it because she’s like the wind. Taylor comes in to workout as well, seeing me punch the crap out of the punching bag, he wisely says nothing, nods, and acknowledges “Mr. Grey,” and start his workout regimen. (← Pump It by Black Eyed Peas) Once I’m done working out, I tell Taylor that I’m going back to my suite. “Shall I meet you at your suite sir?” “No. Meet me downstairs at 7:30. The restaurant,” I say. “Yes, sir.” He replies. I make my way back to my suite, take my shower, and put on my pants and white shirt and make my way to the hotel’s restaurant. Taylor is already there being inconspicuous, but ever present. He may look deceptively uninterested, or distant, or looking away from you, but he is ever watchful of the people I’m having breakfast meeting with. The breakfast meeting goes without a hitch.

An hour later I’m back in my suite, and Taylor is making himself scarce in my suite. I call John Flynn. “Hello Christian,” he answers with confidence after the third ring. “John,” I say firmly by the way of greeting. “I haven’t seen you this week. I take that you’re busy,” he says. It’s his way of probing to see what the matter is. “I’m in Portland,” I say. “Aha,” interpretation: what’s up? “I will be handing out diplomas for the WSU graduation ceremonies this coming Thursday,” I say. “But I gather you haven’t gone there nearly a week early and cancelling on our appointment for the graduation. Is this the reason you’re calling me about?” “Yes,” I say firmly. “Christian, of all this time I’ve known you as a friend, and a patient, you’ve not been this closed up with any matter. What is making you tight lipped now?” “I’ve met someone, and she’s the reason I’m here so early,” I say. I think I hear a muffled near choking sound. “Are you okay?” I probe concerned. “Yes,” his voice sounds like a squeak. Then he clears his throat, and answers in a more manly tone of “Yes, I’m quite well Christian. I was, Ahhh... anyway, you were saying?” he says with a lot of enthusiasm in his voice, completely interested where he normally speaks to me in his professional tone when we have our sessions, and given my persuasion of a lifestyle, not much phases him when it comes to me. He’s known all about my submissives, and that he

knows that I’m a dominant and am interested only in this sort of relationship as this is the only kind of relationship I know and have experience in. “I met a girl, completely by accident. She came to interview me for the WSU school paper. She wasn’t even supposed to be interviewing me! It was actually her roommate that was supposed to interview me, and she got sick you see, with cold or flu or some shit like that... And I’m really glad she did! Not glad that she was sick, but that she was unable to come! Because she asked her roommate, Anastasia,” I say with an unexpected reverence in the tone of my voice, and John notes that because he makes another squeaking sound. I should do that more often to him, as he’s never surprised with me. “and Anastasia was the one who actually came to interview me,” I say finally taking a pause to take a breath. John or Dr. Flynn as his patients know him takes my pause as his cue to ask a question. “I'm glad you're very verbose with me now Christian. And you’ve discovered that this Anastasia is another submissive? Is she a woman who prefers your lifestyle?” he asks very interested. I would have broken any other person’s nose for asking me such a question, but I pay Dr. John Flynn a small fortune to ask me such things, and he did sign an NDA, so he isn’t afraid to ask me his probing question, not if I want him to help me. “No, she isn’t,” I say as a matter of factly. I hear another choking sound. “Dr. Flynn... John, are you okay? Should I just schedule a meeting with you? I really prefer not to,” neither do I care anyway, and he knows that; I’m not in the business of accommodating others. I’m used to getting my way. “But I prefer not to, unless you are having a medical emergency John, since you haven’t stopped choking since I called you,” I say dryly. And continue, “Because I actually really need to speak with you today about this! I just had a bad night... nightmares, but this time Anastasia was involved.”

Dr. Flynn is like having a sensory overload, an equal of Freudian orgasm with my declarations. I can feel his brain reeling from all this information he’s receiving from 165 miles away! “I’ve no intention of getting off the phone with you Christian. Because, you might just have a breakthrough. Let me first get this quite clear. It isn’t this young woman who pursued you first?” “No,” I confirm. “So, you went to Portland...” he pauses, “from Seattle to pursue this young woman?” “Yes.” I say firmly. “And this young woman doesn’t share your lifestyle I gather.” “Not yet, but I would like her to,” I say. “I see...” says Dr. Flynn and pauses. “However, she is somewhat aware of this lifestyle that you’re trying to introduce her to?” he asks elaborating. “She had no idea. She is...” I correct myself, “was a virgin,” I say. Another choking voice followed by loud coughing. This time I wait. I don’t want to cause the death of my best shrink so far. “Are you alright John?” I ask really concerned this time. Coughing sounds continue away from the speaker of the phone. I hear his voice distant speaking into an intercom still half choking, “Eleanor, would you bring a glass of water please?” He continues to cough. I hear his assistant’s voice in the distance urgent, “Right away Doctor Flynn!” I wait. This could be a while. I still hear him coughing. Hard. Few minutes later, his coughing subsides, and he’s back on the phone again.

“I’m sorry Christian. You have had quite a revelation today, and of all the years of therapy I’ve been providing you, I didn’t think I’d hear those words out of you. You, pursuing a virgin!” He had a hard time keeping the incredulity out of his voice. “You are very particular with the kind of partner you choose, and an inexperienced a non-submissive, a virgin at that wouldn’t fit the bill for you. I’m very interested in finding out what changed in your circumstance,” he says. “We’ve rectified the situation. She’s no longer a virgin,” I say. “I see,” he says thoughtful. “And what did she think of your hardcore sexual practice?” “We just made love the first time. No toys...” I say but amend my choice, “well, if you don’t count my silver silk tie. But, it was my first vanilla,” I say calmly. He starts choking again. When he stops with his blast of coughs, I say exasperated, “Do you think we can continue this conversation without you dying on me John?” “Absolutely. It’s just that you’ve never revealed that you had any interest in vanilla, or making love. You have a set of rules you require all your partners to follow,” he says and I cut him off. “And that’s the thing! She doesn’t fit the bill in any way! Except maybe she’s a brunette. But other than that, even though I assumed she’d be inclined to be a submissive, because she was all ‘yes sir,’, ‘no sir’ and still is very shy, I don’t think there’s a submissive bone in her body! And before you choke again,” I give him a forewarning, “I have other revelations.” I say. “I’m listening,” he says holding his breath. “She slept in my bed three times with me. You know... Sleep sleep. We also made love in my bed. I also think of her every minute of every day, and that’s pretty much the entire time when I’m awake. And at night, she’s in my dreams!” “Curious!” utters Dr. Flynn in his Londoner accent. “What sort of dreams have you been having?”

“The night before last, I had my biggest and best wet dream. She was so fucking real! I didn’t even know, or think, or comprehend that it was a dream!” I say. “Very interesting,” he observes and sounds like he’s taking his usual notes in his leather binder. “Go on,” he coaxes. “Last night, was the worst night ever as far as the nightmares are concerned,” I say. “Have you had a dream about the pimp?” he asks. “Yes,” I say, but I can’t help my breath hitching, “he caused Anastasia’s death in my dream, and I was devastated. It felt like no other loss I felt. No loss that can compare to it! I don’t think I’d feel this much pain and distraught had I lost someone else in my family,” I say feeling guilt, barely audible. “You like her,” says John flatly. “That’s your professional opinion?” I say dryly mocking. “I figured as much.” But Dr. Flynn is unfazed. “What do you think you feel for her Christian?” he asks. “It’s not love!” I say fervently trying to make myself believe in it. “It’s very interesting that you say that,” he says interested. “Why would you draw that conclusion?” “I don’t do love John! I think it’s a mixture of like, reverence, awe, desire, lust, like...” I say drifting off. “You said that,” he interjects. “What?”

“Like...”he says, “you indicated that you liked her already twice,” he says. Where is he going with that? “I do like her. A lot actually. In fact, I find myself thinking about her, dreaming about her, wanting, desiring her at a never-ending constant, no, at a rising rate! Despite the fact that she doesn’t have a single obedient, submissive bone in her body, as I’m finding out,” I say exasperated. “And yet, you still desire to be with her... Curious!” says Dr. Flynn as if he is watching his favorite version of “Best of Freud.” “Talk to me about your nightmare,” he says. I recount him details of my nightmare. “Do you have fear of she will leave you?” he asks. “I thought she was leaving me without giving me a say the night before last. She sent me an e-mail saying it was nice knowing me!” I say my voicing raising a notch. “And how did that make you feel?” he asks, as I roll my eyes, like it’s the shrinks’ favorite catch phrase. “Freaked out! At a loss... I have nothing to compare the feeling to. Never felt this way before!” I say with emotion. “Surely, you’ve had other submissives with whom you weren’t compatible, or who wished more than you can offer, and you parted ways without any qualms or a second thought. Are you in love with this young woman?” he asks, his question totally taking me off guard. I look at my phone incredulous, “No!” I say fervently. “I don’t do love! I can’t love. I’m bad for her but I can’t seem to get myself away from her! She’s the same around me! It’s like moth to flame.” I run my hand through my hair taking a deep breath. “But yet, you say this isn’t love. Your fear of losing her is manifesting itself in your nightmares where generally your birth mother’s pimp plays a primary role. He’s the primary actor in most of your nightmares; a residual fear of your childhood if you will, and yet he

managed to insert himself into your biggest fear: the loss of this young woman in the most profound way. This is your subconscious telling you that you will need to change your ways stemming from the damages you have endured in your earlier years should you want to continue establishing a relationship with her,” he says. “You may be right. But I am not interested in any other kind of relationship, except for a Dominant and submissive,” I say fervently. “Your words may indicate that, but you are ready to accommodate her needs in the relationship, like making love to her...” he says but I cut him quickly. “That was just a means to an end. So we could move onto the next step of the introduction,” I say. “How does she feel about that?” “She’s negotiating her terms with me,” I say. Another choking sound. “John, are you eating? You seem to be choking quite a lot.” “Hypoglycemia. Small meals and often.” He says after a short while, clearing throat. “To be honest, you’ve managed to shock me often this morning Christian,” he admits humbly. “It’s not me, it’s her! She even makes my security detail nervous, because I’m always on the edge not knowing how she’ll behave!” I say exasperated again. “Let’s get to the core of the issue Christian. If this was any other submissive, any other woman, you wouldn’t have tolerated because, as you put it, you are set in your ways. But yet, you accommodate Anastasia’s wants, her needs, and you let her negotiate her terms with you,” he says. “I haven’t named the feeling yet. She’s like sun, and I’m like a planet, unable to get out of her pull...” I say helplessly.

“Yes, love does that to you. L'amour est comme un sablier, avec le cœur de remplissage, comme le cerveau vide,” he says to me. “John,” I say dryly, “Love is like an hourglass, with the heart filling up, as the brain empties... (←All about Us by T.a.t.u) What, you are a philosopher now? But I have a rebuttal: On n’aime que ce pu’on ne possède pas tout entire,” I reply. “You say ‘we only love what we do not wholly possess.’ Do you wish to possess her?” he asks. “In a way, yes. But I don’t know if she can be possessed. How can you contain a tornado?” I ask. “Let’s assume that you managed to possess her, then what?” he asks. “First I’d like to give her a good spanking for defying me at every corner!” I say exasperated. “Interesting, but do you think she’s defying you, or expressing herself in her own terms?” “It’s the same thing,” I say flatly. “But you like her being who she is. Being expressive, smart mouth as you earlier put it. How would feel if that was all gone. You’d only have a mechanical, empty shell of a woman who once was Anastasia. Is that what you desire?” he asks making me gasp. “No! I’m only trying to protect her! From herself! I do love her tenacity, and her smart mouth, and love her negotiating skills, but sometimes she can be reckless like she has no selfpreservation skills! That’s what I’m trying to protect her from. Maybe that fear was manifesting itself in my dream,” I say as an epiphany dawns on me. “Or,” says Dr. Flynn in his rebuttal, “that your fear of something will happen to her is so great, making your overprotectiveness detrimental to her well-being, and it’s manifesting itself

in your dream as a warning from your subconscious. Because you have a suspicion that it could make her run away, and she may get hurt as a result,” he says. I’m silent. “I hate your rebuttals!” I say finally feeling petulant. He laughs. “But the question becomes, how will you react? How will you accommodate her personality?” he says. “I like her personality. I don’t like defiance. You know I like control. I’m a fucked up sadist,” I say bitterly. “You and I disagree on that Christian. You are NOT a sadist. You are a young man who had to endure horrible things in the most formidable years of his life. But we can’t dwell on the past as we don’t have any control on what had happened; what’s past. We can only look forward, and create a place where you want to be: a goal, a personal ideal place and work towards achieving that ideal. The lifestyle you are in was introduced to you when you were so young, and you haven’t tried anything else, neither did you have desire to do so until you met this young woman. But, in the last week you tried so many different things that are outside of your personal scope, outside of what you are used to, and found out you like it and with an innocent young woman at that. I think this young woman has provided you the therapy that I’ve been trying to administer you for the last two years! I’m in awe of her. I would really like to meet her!” he says excitedly. Great! I make a frowning face... Another admirer! Will she ever cease to amaze me, amaze others? (← All the Things She Said by T.a.t.u) She doesn’t even have to exert any effort to impress them at all. I feel this rising jealousy in me, though my subconscious knows that I have nothing to worry about Dr. John Flynn who is very happily married and in love with his wife. “Shall we say we meet next week then?” “Yes,” I say and hang up.

I spend rest of my day tending business, and my work as my Blackberry never stops ringing; e-mails keep flowing from Ros and my assistant Andrea. My mind is always wondering what Anastasia doing. Worrying who she is talking to. Will she meet someone else today that he’ll sweep her off her feet with none of my fuckedupness? It makes my blood boil, and I pace around the suite. “Sir, Claude Bastille is here,” says Taylor. I look at him questioning. “You asked me to have him find time to see you this week, and I managed to get him today.” I stare at him. He knows I’ve been edgy and need a workout, and get this pent out energy that’s doing nothing but accumulating. I nod. Claude Bastille walks in with his impeccable muscles and ready to work me out, kick my ass. He extends his hand, “Grey,” he says smiling. “Bastille,” I say taking his hand. “I’ll meet you at the gym,” I say grinning. After last night’s horrors, today might be the day I kick his ass to the floor. Taylor understands me so well, sometimes I don’t have to say anything to him and he just knows what to do. He proves that he’s an invaluable employee at every turn. Next two hours, I work out very hard. Even though Bastille kicks my ass to the floor three times, I kick his ass twice giving me a great satisfaction. After my workout, I take a shower, order in dinner as I still have work to finish. I still haven’t received a response to my e-mail from last night. What could she be doing? Is she out with someone? The thought makes me jealous so much that I want to punch something and drive over to her apartment and claim her. But I control my impulses. She’s probably eating dinner. I don’t want her to write to me before she eats something, she eats so little already. I get back to my work again. My e-mail dings! I scramble to open the e-mail program and to my disappointment it’s from Ros. God! I’m like a teenage boy who is waiting to receive a simple nod from the girl of his affections. As I’m reading Ros’ message about a shipyard we are thinking of purchasing, my email dings again, and this time it’s Anastasia. I abandon the message I’m typing to Ros, and switch to Anastasia’s message.

_________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: My Issues? What about the Issues YOU Have? Date: May 24 2011 18:30 To: Christian Grey Dear Sir

Did it escape your impeccable attention that the date of origin of the definition you so kindly sent was 1580-90? May I respectfully remind you that we are in 2011? In the last 430 years, a lot has changed, and we’ve come a long way. In retrospect, I would like to offer you another definition which you ought to consider for our Wednesday meeting: com·pro·mise [kom-pruh-mahyz] noun 1. a settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles, etc., by reciprocal modification of demands.

2. the result of such a settlement.

3. something intermediate between different things: The split-level is a compromise between a ranch house and a multistoried house.

4. an endangering, especially of reputation; exposure to danger, suspicion, etc.: a compromise of one's integrity.
Ana

_________________________________________

God! How does she do that? I love that smart mouth of hers! I love that she’s interested and negotiating with me. No one has ever done that! Not that I would allow them to do it, or

negotiate with me... It’s her! She’s doing this all to me? What is she doing to me? I type a response right away. _________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: What about my issues? Date: May 24 2011 18:33 To: Anastasia Steele Fair point well made as ever, Miss Steele. I will pick you up from your apartment at 7:00 p.m. tomorrow.
Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

_________________________________________ Her response dings into my e-mail box in a few minutes. ________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Year 2011 – Women can drive Date: May 24 2011 18:41 To: Christian Grey Dear Sir
I have a car and a driver’s license, making me legal to drive. I’d rather prefer to meet you somewhere. Where would you suggest I meet you? At your hotel at 7:00?

Ana

_________________________________________ What? Why? She’s planning an escape route. If I collect her, then, she’s dependent on me to take her back. Why is she trying to defy me again? My hand runs through my hair again exasperated. I type her a response. _________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Stubborn exasperating young woman Date: May 24 2011 18:44 To: Anastasia Steele

Dear Miss Steele Would you please refer back to my e-mail dated May 24, 2011 sent at 4:58 please and read through the definition once again? Do you ever think that you’ll be able to do what you’re told?
Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

_________________________________________ She’s not a submissive at all, although she has the demeanor of one because of her shy nature. She’s confounding me, defying me at every turn, yet I can’t escape her pull. Why do you torture me so Anastasia? Why don’t you ever listen? _________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Intractable men Date: May 24 2011 18:50 To: Christian Grey

Dear Mr. Grey
I would really like to drive. Please. Ana

_________________________________________ How exasperating can she be? She should really work for me. She’s a frigging tough negotiator! She makes me acquiesce, but not before making me mad. If she was mine, her delectable behind was red and sore till my hands got red and hurting! _________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Not so Intractable Men Date: May 24 2011 18:52 To: Anastasia Steele Fine. My hotel @ 7:00.

I’ll meet you in the Marble Bar.

Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

_________________________________________ Even my typed words reflect my angry mood. She drives me insane! She never listens. Never does what she’s told! And if she was any other woman, any sub I’ve had, I’d leave her. But, even the thought of leaving her, or yet her leaving me rips my blackened heart. A response dings back from her momentarily. _________________________________________

From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Intractable men Date: May 24 2011 18:55 To: Christian Grey
Thank you.

Ana x

_________________________________________ My fucking heart melts with her response. With one simple ‘Thank you’ and one frigging “X” indicating her kiss. What is this I’m feeling for her? Agh! _________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Exasperating Women Date: May 24 2011 19:00 To: Anastasia Steele You are welcome.

Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

_________________________________________ I can’t wait till I see her... tomorrow.

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* *

CHAPTER XII

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The next day my heart is at my throat the entire day. I’m edgy, excited, nervous, happy, did I mention nervous? I can see that I’m making Taylor very nervous. I’m brusque and short. I have to find a diversion to get through this day. I want to keep her tonight. I want to make love to her. Fuck her. Kiss her. Hold her. Seeing as I have no other bed, and I’m not at Escala, she may have to sleep in my bed. Yet another break of my rules! She’s the chink in my armor! But there is no other bed, and I’m not sleeping on the sofa when she’s in this proximity. My subconscious says, “keep lying to yourself, maybe you’ll believe it!” I shut him up. Maybe we won’t be doing any sleeping, what say you to that? God! It’s been three days since I’ve had her, and its killing me... being only six miles away from her, and not tasting her, not loving her, not fucking her! Exasperated, I yell “Taylor!” “Yes, sir,” he appears in the living room area of my suite. “I need a workout. Let’s go for a run.”

“Yes, sir!” I can run to her place from here, and I won’t be tired when I get there, and this pent up energy is driving me insane; looking for a way to get out! But of course I won't because I exercise control, and I have to be shooting on all my pistons when she gets here. So, we only run, and we run hard for several miles! When we get back, I take a shower. My pent-up energy has not subsided. I might have to save that for tonight. I put on my customary white linen shirt and black jeans, black tie and black jacket. I want to look impeccable so she won’t be able to leave. I run my fingers through my hair, leaving it tousled giving it a just fucked air. Put that in your pipe and smoke it Miss Steele! I make my way to downstairs to the hotel’s bar. I order myself a glass of white wine. I’m nervous as ever, and I don’t do nervous. I don’t do many emotions. I’m always controlled, and control gives me serenity, and Anastasia is creating chaos in my already tormented soul! I check my watch: 6:56 p.m. Will she come? My foot starts tapping in a nervous gesture on the floor. I stop it. I lean over to the bar, and take another sip of my wine. She’s here! I feel her gaze on my back! I don’t know how! But when she’s in the vicinity, I feel her as if we’re connected! I glance around still nervous, and see her standing at the entrance of the bar. She’s admiring me! My heart melts, and I still when I see her looking like that. She looks amazing in a purple dress! I have to blink a few times to make sure it really is her here! She’s stunning! I give her my smile only reserved for her, that salacious grin to show my desire, my affection, my wantonness for her. She’s in a beautiful dress and she's wearing stilettos, and damn! I have something for high heels that makes me want to take her right here! Maybe I still can. I have a private dining room reserved. She walks towards me, and I automatically get up and walk towards her. (← Can't Take my Eyes off of You by Frank Sinatra) All I can murmur to her is “Anastasia, you look stunning!” and give her a chaste kiss on her cheek. “You are wearing a dress. I approve Miss Steele.” I offer my arm and she takes it, and I lead her to a private booth area. I motion for the waiter, and ask her what she wants to drink. She gives me a sly smile, and says “I’ll have what you are having please.” I order her a Sancerre, and slide in opposite to her. The thought of her being agreeable makes me giddy. I can’t help but say “They have an excellent wine cellar here,” cocking my head to one side.

I close my eyes for a second to see if I can escape her pull, but no, I’m unable. I find myself steepling my hands and lean towards her. My eyes, my heart is full of some emotion that is ready to bust out of me, pour forth for her. She shifts nervously under my gaze. She feels the charge between us too. “Are you nervous?” I ask her softly. “Yes,” she whispers. I lean forward even further. “I’ll give you a secret,” I find myself saying conspiratorially, “I’m nervous too.” She blinks at me surprised. I’ve mastered the control element for a long time, but nervousness is a given feeling in her presence. I give her smile. The waiter arrives with her wine, olives, and some mixed nuts. She gets right to the point. “So, Christian, how are we going to do this? Do you want to run through my points one by one?” Impatient and getting down to business immediately... “Impatient as ever, Miss Steele,” I say. Then she says the simplest but most shocking thing because I think she’s mocking me. And it’s the hottest thing ever! “Well Mr. Grey, in that case, I shall ask you what you thought of the weather today,” looks at me with her big blue eyes intently making me smile. Two can play at that game Miss Steele. I make a show of extending my hand to grab an olive and pop it into my mouth leisurely. She’s watching my mouth, and I know exactly what she’s thinking. She’s squirming in her seat, and nervous. When she gets desirous of me she flushes red and looks at her hands. She must be really hot, because she's fixed on my lips and mouth, her gaze is unwavering, unable to stare away. Her chest rises up and down with desire, her breathing shallow but rapid. She’s squeezing her legs together now, because she accidentally tugs on the table cloth. She wants me, and that awakens desires I didn’t know existed in me! I want to draw that out. “I thought,” I say softly, “that the weather was particularly unexceptional today Miss Steele,” smirking at her. (← Blue Skies by Ella Fitzgerald) “Are you smirking at me Mr. Grey?” she asks incredulous.

“I sure am Miss Steele,” I smile. Take that Anastasia! She leans forward and whispers fervently: “You know the contract is legally unenforceable Mr. Grey,” she says changing my mood. “I am fully aware of that fact Miss Steele,” I rebuttal. She leans back and crosses her arms, closing up. “Were you ever going to tell me that fact at some point?” Does she not trust me? Does she think I’d take advantage of her? I frown. Does she think so little of me? “Anastasia, do you think that I’d coerce you into something you wouldn’t want to do, and then pretend to have a legal hold over you?” I ask with fervor in my voice. “Well... yes.” She answers, and oddly her answer is hurtful. I don’t get hurt! Where is that feeling coming from? Two simple words, yet, they stick like a knife to my dark soul. “You don’t think very highly of me Anastasia,” I say trying to hide the hurt from my voice, “why?” “Mr. Grey, you haven’t answered my question. You don’t answer a question with another question.” I sigh. She deserves an answer. “Anastasia, the purpose of the contract is not whether it’s legally enforceable or not. It represents an arrangement I’d like to make with you. It states what I expect from you and what you can expect from me in clear terms. If you don’t like what you see, don’t sign. But if you do sign, and later on decide that you don’t like it, or that it’s not for you, you can simply walk away because I have number of get out clauses in place. And if there was even a chance that it was remotely possible to legally enforce it, do you think I’d drag you through the courts should you decide to run?” She gazes at me for a moment digesting what I had just said to her, and without taking her gaze from me she takes a long draft from her wine. I want her trust me. Always! I would never take advantage of her. If anything I have this strange desire to take care of her. We have to trust each other if we have a prayer for this arrangement to work. (← A matter of Trust by Billy Joel)

“These types of relationships, in fact, relationships in general are built on honesty and trust. If you don’t trust me, trust me to know how I’m affecting you, how far I can go with you, how far I can take you...” I say. I lean further in, and gaze into her eyes and say, “if you can’t be honest with me, then we really can’t do this,” with fervor in my voice. “So, it boils down to this Anastasia: Do you trust me or not?” My eyes are burning into hers willing her to be honest with me. She cocks her head at me and totally disarms me with her question: “Did you have this discussion with, uhm... the fifteen?” “No,” I say. “Why ever not?” she asks. “Because they were all established submissives, and understood what I expected and wanted out of a relationship. So, it was a matter of fine tuning the soft limits, and such details.” She shakes her head. “Is there a store you go to get one of these girls? Like Submissives R Us or Target Submissive Special?” I laugh, “no, not exactly,” I answer disarmed again. “Then how?” “Anastasia, is this what you want to discuss or get down to nitty-gritty of your issues?” She swallows. A lot of emotions cross through her face. She looks down at her hands. I need to distract her from overthinking. She’s always overthinking. “Are you hungry?” I ask. She looks up. “No,” she answers meekly. I bet she hasn’t eaten. She hardly eats anything. “Have you eaten today?” I ask her. “No,” she says in a barely audible voice. My eyes narrow. Why is she always avoiding food? “You must eat Anastasia. We can eat in my suite or here. Where would you prefer?” I ask. “I think we should just stay in public areas, to be more neutral.” I give her a cynical smile leaning into her.“ Anastasia do you think being in a public venue would stop me?” I say

sensually, softly, gazing into her; my eyes are burning ember with desire for her. Not in a million years. I’ve been dying for her in the last three days! Her eyes widen and she swallows. “I hope so,” she whispers. “Come,” I say, “I have a private dining room booked. No public.” I get out of the private booth, and take her hand asking her to bring her wine. A hotel waiter takes us to the private, intimate dining room. It’s a small luxurious room with old world sophistication and charm. The waiter pulls her seat for her, and places the napkin on her lap. I sit opposite to Anastasia. She finally peaks up at me from under her long lashes. I close my eyes for a brief minute and whisper, “Don’t bite your lip.” She looks up surprised. “I’ve ordered our meal. I hope you don’t mind,” I say. “That’s fine,” she acquiesces. Her acceptance finally gives me a well-deserved sigh of relief. She can be amenable, and I tell her that. “Now, where were we?” “The nitty-gritty,” she responds automatically taking a sip from her wine. “Yes, you have issues,” I say taking a copy of her e-mail out of my pocket. “Clause 2. I agree. It’s for both of our benefit. So, I shall redraft this.” She looks at me blinking. Opts to take a sip of her wine again as if her glass of wine is going to provide the courage she lost outside of the hotel building. “As for my sexual health; all my previous partners have had blood tests, and I have regular tests every six months for all the health risks in the contract. All my tests are clear. I’ve never taken drugs, and I’m vehemently anti-drug. In fact I have a no-tolerance policy in my company, and insist on random drug testing.” Her mouth opens with a shocked face as if to tell me “what a control freak you are!” I continue, “I never had any blood transfusions. So, are we clear on this clause?” She nods impassively. “The next clause is what I had told you earlier. Yes, you can walk away any time Ana. I won’t stop you,” I say even though my heart twists inside when I say that. “If however, you decide to go – that’s it. Just want to make this point clear,” I say looking into her eyes willing her to understand me. “Okay,” she answers. A bed of oysters arrive.

“I hope you like oysters,” I say softly. She indicates that she’s never had one. “Really?” I ask salaciously. “Well, all you do is, tip and swallow. I think you can manage that very well,” I say remembering her oral skills. She turns crimson. I grin at her response while squirting some lemon juice onto my oyster tipping it into my mouth. Then I encourage her to do the same. “So, I don’t chew it?” she asks so innocently. I love that about her! When she’s like that, everything disappears, every crap, every worry, just Anastasia and me. “No, you don’t Anastasia,” I answer her with a gleam in my eyes. She bites her lip again! Damn woman! Are you trying to combust me here? I give her a warning look. She copies me by squirting lemon juice on her oyster, tips the shell and down goes her oyster. She licks her beautiful lips making me desirous and wanton, my eyes dark. “Well?” I ask for her opinion. “I’ll have another one,” she responds dryly. I’m so proud of her. She’s so open to try new things, and willing to learn to enjoy them. It makes me hopeful about us, “Good girl,” I find myself responding proudly. “Did you choose oysters on purpose? They’re after all known for their aphrodisiac qualities,” she says. “No,” I respond honestly. Like I would need any sort of aphrodisiac in her vicinity? “They were the first on the menu, and I know that you know I need no aphrodisiac near you. And I also know that you also react the same way near me,” I say, and move one, “so where were we?” “Oh yes, Obey me in all things. Yes, I want you to do that. I need you to do that. Think of it as a role-play Anastasia,” I say. I have to have control. She’s too defiant, and this is the only way I know how. “Christian...” she looks at me with fear, “I’m worried that you’ll hurt me.” I’m surprised at her worry. “Hurt you how?” “Physically,” she says, but her looks say more. “Ana!” I chide her, “Do you really think that I would do that? Would I go beyond any limit you can take?”

“But you’ve said you hurt someone before.” “I have, but that was a very long time ago." “How then did you hurt them?” “I suspended them from my playroom ceiling. In fact that was a question of yours. That’s what the karabiners are for. Rope play, you know. One of the ropes was tied too tightly.” She holds her hand up not wanting to hear anymore. “I don’t want to know. I don’t think I want to be suspended. You won’t suspend me, will you?” “Not if you don’t want to. This can be a hard limit.” “Okay,” she gives a sigh of relief. She was clearly terrified. “But can you manage the obeying rule?” Please, I beg inside. I need this. I have to have control. She looks at me, trying to decipher my expression. “I will give it a try,” she whispers. “Good,” I smile giving an inward sigh of relief. “One month of term instead of three is no term at all Anastasia. If you don’t want one of the weekends, can we agree to meet during the week? I don’t think I can stay away from you for that long, and as it is, I’m barely managing now, please?” I look at her. Her expression changes to one of awe. “What do you say, I’ll give you a weekend day but in return I’ll get a weekday? Would that be workable?” “Okay,” she whispers. “Also, can we please try for three months Anastasia? If you don’t think it’s for you, you can then walk away anytime. Please?” I ask. “Three months?” she says as if the words are leaving a bitter taste in her mouth. She looks upset. She takes another sip of her wine as a nervous gesture. Takes another oyster to perhaps fill the silent pause she would have been having. I continue, “The ownership thing; the terminology belongs to the principle of obeying. So you can get in the right frame of mind to understand where I’m coming from. I want you to understand one thing: As soon as you cross my threshold as my submissive, I will do what I like to you. You have to accept it and do it willingly. That’s why I need you to trust me. I will fuck you anytime, anywhere, any way I want. If you screw up, I will discipline you. I’m going to train

you to please me. Since I know that you haven’t done this before, I’ll take it slow and we’ll build up certain scenarios. You need to trust me, and I do know that I need to earn your trust. And believe me I will. The ‘or otherwise’ thing is to get you into the right mindset; meaning anything goes,” I say passionately. She just keeps staring at me wordlessly. “Ana, are you still with me?” I whisper warm and seductive. When the waiter comes back in, I ask her if she wants more wine, but she opts for sparkling water since she will be driving. “You’re very quiet Anastasia,” I whisper. “And you are very loquacious Christian,” she whispers back. I smile. “Discipline clause. Anastasia, you need to understand that there is a very fine line between pain and pleasure; like the two sides of the same coin, one doesn’t exist without the other. I want to show you how pleasurable pain can be. Maybe you don’t believe me now, but this is why I need your trust. There will be pain, but nothing you can’t handle. Do you trust me Ana?” I ask her with intensity. She looks up at me when I call her name, and says, “Yes, I do,” spontaneously. She trusts me! I’m relieved beyond belief. “Okay, the rest are just details then.” “Yes, but they’re important details.” The waiter re-emerges with the food: black cod, asparagus, mashed potatoes with hollandaise sauce. I hope she likes the food. “Speaking of food, you say that food is a deal breaker.” “Yes,” she responds. “Can I change it to say you will eat three meals a day.” “NO,” she says vehemently and firmly. “I need to know you’re not hungry Anastasia,” I say with concern. “Guess, you’ll have to trust me,” she responds completely disarming me. I gaze at her, and I do trust her. The thought of it relaxes me. “I concede with food and sleep then,” I respond. “I want to know why I can’t look at you,” she says. “It’s a Dom/Sub thing. You’ll get used to it.” She looks at me disbelieving.

She gazes at me as if to defy me in this and asks, “Why can’t I touch you?” How can I explain her that I’m fucked up? “Because you can’t,” I say firmly. “Is it because Mrs. Robinson?” she asks surprising me. Of course not! “Why would you think that?” I question her. “Do you think she traumatized me?” She nods! “No Anastasia, she isn’t the reason. Besides, she wouldn’t take any of that shit from me.” She pouts. “So, this has nothing to do with her then...” she says with a tone of question. “No. Also, I don’t want you to touch yourself either.” “Just curious but, why?” she asks. “Because Anastasia,” I lean in with passion, “I want all your pleasure,” in a husky and determined voice. “You have a lot to think about,” I say. “Yes, you gave me a lot to consider,” she agrees. “Would you like to go over the soft limits?” I ask. She looks sick. “Not over dinner,” she says making me smile. “Are you squeamish Miss Steele?” I whisper. “You can say that,” she whispers back. “You haven’t eaten enough.” “Actually, I have had enough,” she says with meaning. But I know how much she ate. I have a mental inventory of it. Three oysters, four bites of cod, one stalk of asparagus, and nothing else. When I relay that to her, she looks shocked that I can recall all she has eaten. “You said I could trust you,” I look into her eyes questioning. “Christian, it isn’t every day I have a conversation such as the one we’ve had. So, I would appreciate it if you give me a break, please,” she says fervently. Not enough reason. She needs to remain healthy. “I want you to be fit and healthy Anastasia,” I say. “I know,” she murmurs, in goes that lip again absently. I close my eyes, and take a deep breath, and when I open them, my eyes are full of desire, and want.

“Right now Anastasia, all I want to do is to peel that dress off of you,” I say huskily. She swallows. Her body shifts. I can see the desire in her as well. But she says, “That wouldn’t be a very good idea,” she murmurs too quietly. “We haven’t had desert yet,” she says. “You want desert?” I say incredulous. “Yes,” she whispers. I give her a salacious smile again. “You could be desert,” I say suggestively. God! I want her so badly tonight. When she’s sitting before me in that purple dress, with that hair, those legs, and those lips, squirming, reminding me how she squirmed with my touch, and how responsive she was. How I am near her! It’s driving me insane! I'm going out of my mine... She's so close yet so far away! I want her, need her; right here, right now! “I’m not sure I’m sweet enough Christian,” she whispers. Oh, I disagree Miss Steele! I’ve tasted you, and you are the sweetest thing I’ve ever had! “Anastasia,” I say, “you are the most delicious thing I’ve tasted.” “But Christian,” she says shyly, “You use sex as a weapon. It isn’t really fair,” she whispers staring down at her small hands. Then she raises up her beautiful blue eyes, and looks into mine, through them. Her gaze surprises me. She can see through all the crap that surrounds me. She can see the real me. My eyebrows shoot up in surprise. I take a thoughtful demeanor. She’s right of course. “You’re right Ana,” I say looking at her. “One uses whatever tool that is available at his disposal. That’s the one I know. It’s my tool, my weapon, my treasure trove, my arsenal. But doesn’t change the fact how much I desire and want you! Right here! Right now!” I say with all my passion. My gaze never leaving her, I see that desire in her rises. It gives me an idea. “I want to try something,” I say softly. She frowns, defensive, questioning. I slowly lean in, and softly and seductively say, “if you were my sub, you wouldn’t have to think about that. It would be very easy. You wouldn’t have to think if you were making the right decision, or if someplace was the right place. All those decisions would be made for you. I, as your Dom, would make those decision for you. You see Anastasia, I know for a fact that you want, and desire me, right this moment.” A surprised look crosses her face. She wants to know how I could tell.

“Baby, I can tell, because, it’s all in your body language. You’re flushed with desire, because that occurs as a precursor to sex. Your breathing changes to accommodate all that blood rushing to the surface. And right now, you’re pressing your thighs together, because you’re trying to suppress your urge for me.” She gives me a WTF look. “How do you know about my thighs?” she says disbelieving. “One pays attention. The tablecloth moved with the movement of your legs, and I’ve learned to read a body well over the years. Experience. But I’m correct in my conclusion, aren’t I?” I say, and she flushes even more staring down to her hands. “I haven’t finished my fish,” she says shyly. “You would prefer the cold fish to me?” I say incredulous making her head jerk up. She glares at me and I glare back at her with desire, and want, and fire and wantonness. “But you kept telling me you want me to eat everything on my plate,” she says. Do I look like I care about how much food she eats right now? I’m combusting before her! She’s torturing me! Denying me! Refusing me! It’s both extremely hot, and extremely frustrating! She’s my poison and my antidote! I have to have her. I know she wants me... Why is she denying me? “You don’t fight fair Christian,” she whispers. Baby, I know! This is all I know. I have to win. It’s in my nature. “I never have,” I simply state. I am the master of my game. I know how it’s played, and I’ve learned it very well indeed. And she is so innocent, and so inexperienced; she won’t be able to resist what I have to offer. Right now, I fucking want her! I’d take her over the table if she conceded. She frowns at me, and her eyelids slightly hood her eyes. She’s going to counter offensive! She picks up an asparagus. Then slowly, and deliberately bites her lip looking at me! Then taking the asparagus in her hand, sucks it in her mouth! She’s trying to get me riled up! Trying to beat me in my own game. My eyes widen. “What are you doing Anastasia?” I say through gritted teeth. She smiles sweetly, and bites off the tip saying, “I’m eating my asparagus.” My erection just shot up, and I swallow. She’s going to make me convulse without even touching. I shift in my seat to give more room to my ever growing erection.

“I think,” I whisper leaning forward, “you’re toying with me,” I say. As she always does. She bats her eyelashes, and looks innocently, like a good southern girl, she says politely, “I’m just finishing my meal, Mr. Grey.” The damn waiter enters right at that moment, glancing at me. I’m angry with the intrusion, and he knows it. But I nod at him so he can clear the plates. I crave for her. I’m dying with desire, and I’m about to combust. I need to either have her here, or take her to my suite. I don’t think I can make it to my suite. I might claim her in the elevator! When the waiter is still there, I might as well order her desert. I ask her if she would like any desert. “No, thank you Christian,” she says politely adding, and completely breaking my heart, “I think I should get going.” No, no! This is a scene from my dream! “Go? Why?” I’m unable to hide my shock and surprise. The waiter scuttles out of the room hastily scared of my reaction. “Yes, I just need to go.” My desire for her is coming out of my pores, I’m that desperate for her! “We both have the graduation ceremony tomorrow,” she says shyly. I stand up and say leaning in, “I don’t want you to go!” “Please Christian, I have to,” she responds. “Why?” Why is she leaving me? I’m scared. I remember this scene, from the most horrible nightmare I ever had! “I have a lot to consider, you’ve put a lot on my mental plate. I think I need some distance to think clearly,” she states looking at her hands. “I can make you stay,” I threaten as I did in my dream. Is this too a dream? “I know you could... Very easily in fact...” she looks at me pleading. She too, desires me, but why go baby? Why deny me? “But, I don’t want you to stop me.” I’m exasperated. I run my hand through my hair. Then look at her. With the intensity of the last two days I’ve had without her, and that session I had with John this morning, I say, “Anastasia, when you sprawled through my office doors, and were all shy, and ‘yes sir’, ‘no sir’, I thought you could be a submissive. But I now doubt that, and am discovering that you just might not have a single submissive bone in your delicious body.” I’m tense. I don’t know

how she will take my honesty. Do I want to continue pursuing her? She looks down, and back up at me again. “You may be right Christian,” she says. At that moment I make my decision. I want her. BADLY! I want to have a chance with her! Why is everything against me in this? Can’t she see how much I desire her? “Anastasia, I want to have the chance to explore that possibility, that you do have that tendency. You could have that,” I murmur. A lot of emotions cross through her face. I know she wants me! I know she desires me. I know that she can’t stand before me, with me, because she knows our attraction is inevitable, inescapable, that we won’t be able to keep our hands off of each other. But yet, she’s opting to go. She wants ‘more’ like she did in my dream. I can read that in her demeanor. I look down at her, caressing her chin and her lower lip I love so much. “I don’t know any other way Ana. This is me. This is who I am.” I whisper fervently. “I know,” she says sadly, forlorn look in her face. Another moment from my dream. I lean down to kiss her. I want her so much, I’m burning inside. I’m a man on fire! I gaze at her, seeking her approval, her permission. She reaches up the remainder of our distance meeting my lips. I start kissing her. Her hands travel into my hair twisting, puling, and trying to merge herself into me. My hand travels to the nape of her back, my other hands slides down on her back, and we’re flat against each other. Our mouths and lips exploring each other, opening, gasping, tongues twisting, and stroking. We become one with the kiss, passion rises. I want her! I need her. I have to have her. She just can’t leave. “Can’t I persuade you to stay? Please!” I breathe between kisses. (← You Give me Something by James Morrison) “No.” she says firmly. “Please stay. Spend the night with me Ana.” I say. “And not be able to touch you? I can’t.” I give out a big groan. “Baby, you’re impossible,” I say pulling back, and I see a different expression on her. She’s running! She’s leaving me. “Anastasia? Why does this sound like a goodbye?” I say. I’ve been here. I’ve had this moment before! Last night! And she died on me! My anxiety level rises.

“That’s because I’m leaving now,” she says not convincing me. I lean down and say through the gritted teeth, “that’s not what I mean, and you know it!” She closes her eyes, breathes deep. Oh God! Last night! I’ve had this moment last night! “Christian, I need to think. I don’t know I can do this. I don’t know if this can work, or whether this is the kind of relationship I want,” she says. I close my eyes. I don’t want to revisit last night. I will not chase her. I want her alive. Living, breathing, happy. I press my forehead against hers, and we both calm down. I kiss her on the forehead, deeply inhale her scent smelling her hair, trying to memorize her, remember her. I finally release her and take a step back. “As you wish, Miss Steele,” I say. “I’ll escort you to the lobby.” She spoke her terms, and I spoke mine. I don’t do love, I don’t do “more.” She may be right. This may not be for me, or for her. I proffer my hand out to her. I ask her if she has her valet ticket. She fishes it out of her purse and hands it out to me. “Thank you for a lovely dinner Christian,” she murmurs. “Always a pleasure Anastasia,” I say, but my mind is shooting on all pistons. Do I want her to go? Only tonight? What do I do? Who the fuck am I kidding? I WANT her and that’s the bottom line. When did I, Christian Grey, back away from a challenge because it was difficult? It’s not in my nature! I will see through this. I won’t let her slip through my fingers. Boundaries can always be renegotiated. She looks up to me, as if she’s looking at me the last time, as if she’s never going to see me again. She wants me too! She desires me! We have to work this out! It has to work! My heart is breaking into million pieces! I’m dying a new death every second with the thought that she may be gone out of my life. Even the thought of it, thought of not having her, seeing her, smelling or hearing her is a new stab in my dark heart! My gaze meets hers, intense, blazing. “You said you’re moving this weekend to Seattle. If you make the right decision, can I see you on Sunday?” I say hesitantly. This is the first time I have a slip in my control. “We’ll see. Perhaps,” she breathes. I feel relief for a second, with the realization that she’ll have open mind. But she’s shivering in her dress.

“Anastasia, it’s chilly now, don’t you have a jacket?” I ask. “No,” she says. I shrug mine off, and put it on her. “I don’t want you getting sick.” I see her momentarily close her eyes, and inhale my scent off my jacket. My heart skips a beat. She wants me too! Then I get the shock of my life when the valet drives her car up. It’s the crappy VW from my dream! My mouth drops open with shock and surprise. “Is this your car?” I ask appalled, with still shock lacing my face I tip the valet. I can’t help but say “Is this roadworthy?” as I did in my dream. “Yes,” she says. Oh good! Something is different, and the ominous feeling hasn’t yet left me. “But will it make it to Seattle safely?” “Of course,” she says exasperated. Oh no! Here it comes! “I know she’s old, but she’s mine, and my stepdad bought it for me, and yes she’s roadworthy!” I can rectify this situation so easily. She needn’t be in this junk, a death trap! I would worry about her even if she wasn’t with me! “Oh, Anastasia, we can do better than this.” “What are you trying to say?” she says as realization dawns on her. “You can’t, you aren’t going to buy me a car!” she says. I glare at her. How little you know me baby! You don’t want to challenge me in this. I’m a man who always gets his way. “We’ll see about that,” I say tightly. I open the driver’s door for her. She has to take her shoes off because there’s barely any floor space. Ok, I’m getting you a car! This piece of shit is not roadworthy! My eyes are dark with concern. Had she signed her document, she wouldn’t be driving away in that piece of mobile death box! As it is, she’s tied my hands up, leaving me helpless! “Drive safely,” I say quietly. “Goodbye, Christian,” she says hoarsely, forlorn. “No, no! This isn’t the nightmare. She’ll be okay,” I keep telling myself. She looked hurt, and broken. She’s deep under my skin! Made a home for herself at a level so deep, I can’t pull her off! She’s mind fucking me! I can’t do a frigging thing about it! Both my hands run through my hair in double exasperation as I watch her clunker of a car drive away.

I turn around, and have the urge to run to my suite, but I fix my impassive face on, and slowly walk back to the elevators. Press the call button. And her memory is still fresh here in this elevator once again. She’s defying me, she’s playing me in my own game, and I fucking like her immensely! I want her more than I ever wanted anything else in my life! What is that? I find myself entering my suite, and my feet make their way to my laptop. I type her a message. I want to know why she left, why she didn’t want me even though I could read the desire, the want, the yearning in her! _______________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Tonight Date: May 25 2011 22:02 To: Anastasia Steele Why did you run tonight Anastasia? I don’t understand. I fervently hope that I managed to answer all your questions to your complete satisfaction. I know it’s a lot to digest, and you have a lot to think about, but I sincerely hope that you give my proposal a serious consideration. I want to make this work badly. We’ll take it slow. Please trust me.

Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _______________________________________________ I have to find a way to convince her. When did I ever run away from a challenge? I just want her! This fact will not change. The question then becomes how much I want her. Do I want her so badly that I would go to lengths I had not gone before in pursuit of a woman? One answer to that. A definite “Yes!” I wanted nothing more before! I know she has fears. But it’s only because she doesn’t know the heights of pleasure she can climb. How can I convince her? My nightmare nearly came true, because she’s afraid of what I’m asking, and she wants more. Dr. Flynn’s question is resounding in my mind now: “Do

you wish to possess her?” She’s hard to possess, nearly impossible. But I want to possess her. Claim her body and soul as she claimed me. But, how much am I willing to compromise? There is that word again: “compromise.” Can I shift the boundaries of my rules to accommodate a compromise for her? Maybe I can try. For her! What is she doing to me? I’m breaking all my rules for a young innocent woman! The thought of her being gone, being in someone else’s possession, guardianship, love, sex is killing me! I pace back and forth in my suite. Exasperated, sexually frustrated, denied, defied, negotiated into breaking down, into near concession, although I’m still in negotiating mode: All by one young woman whose first sexual experience is yours truly! She’s had no real boyfriends, or even many kisses I suspect; yet she has this innate ability to confound me. Me! Christian Grey who denies others, whom others submit to. Then tomorrow’s graduation is crucial. She will have to see me. I have to make that count. I wait for Anastasia to write me back. I want to make sure she’s made it home safely in that death trap of hers. I text her: *Are you home safe?* 10 minutes ticks by, no response. I text her again. *Call me* I wait, and wait. No answer. I call her. She doesn’t answer. I hang up. I dial again. And once again, she doesn’t answer. Did she get home safe in that death trap? I’m nervous. I shouldn’t have let her go. Or I should have followed her home to make sure she made it there safely. No! That brings back the nightmare. I decide to send her another e-mail message: _______________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Tonight Date: May 25 2011 23:59 To: Anastasia Steele Anastasia, I’m worried that you didn’t make it home in that car of yours. Let me know if you’re okay.

Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _______________________________________________ I stay up a little longer to polish up the speech I’m supposed to give at tomorrow’s graduation. I wait for Anastasia to e-mail or text, but I get nothing. I call her one last time before I go to bed worried. She doesn’t answer. Is she okay? Did she make it home or is she simply ignoring me? As long as she makes it home, I can take being ignored. My desire builds up even further for her. The thoughts of her are ever present in wakefulness and sleep. How you confound me Ana! I walk into the bedroom, change into only my boxers, and lay in bed gazing in the ceiling with the thoughts of Anastasia. ***** The photographer is wrapped around her waist like static fabric clinging to your body. Both irritating and unsightly! I narrow my eyes, questioning her. “Why him Ana?” I ask her fervently. “Because he’s willing to give me more. More than you are willing to provide.” “She needs more than your money and your deviant sex you asshole!” says the photographer. I ignore him. “What is it you want Anastasia? Tell me!” I plead with her. “More than you’re willing to give me Christian. More than sex, more than pain and pleasure, more than a Dominant who desires to possess me! I want a boyfriend who loves me!” “And do you think that little shit can love you like I do?” Her eyes widen as he glares at me with animosity, ready to kill. He turns his Latin eyes on me and practically growls: “Of course I love her, asshole! What do you have to offer her other than what you’ve given so far? Hmm, what would that be. Oh yes, a concentrated dose of misery?” I continue to ignore him. I turn to Anastasia grasping her arm, willing her to come to me. “You don’t love me Christian! You only want what my body can give. That’s not enough for me!”

“You want hearts and flowers?” I ask. “Yes. And more. I want love,” she whispers. “Because I love you! But, you’re not willing to reciprocate,” her last declaration becomes my undoing. I’m like Heathcliff again finding myself declaring my love to her with his words. “If he loved you with all the power of his soul for a lifetime, he couldn’t love you as much as I do in a single day!” I say exasperated, and utter, “No one can love you like I can, least of all this piece of shit!” “Then why don’t you ever show it to me?” she says looking at me with her big blue eyes gaze fixed on mine. I take her in my arms, and our kiss consumes us both. (← Crazy Love by Michael Buble)

GRADUATION
CHAPTER XIII

Morning finds me with more resoluteness: Anastasia Steele, you’re going to get my best fight today baby! If I want something, I don’t lose. And right now, there is nothing I desire more, no acquisition is as great, no company is as valuable, no woman is worth pursuing! I have eyes only for you! (←For Your Eyes Only by Sheena Easton) I’m not giving up on finally claiming you to be mine, especially now when I know you want me too. I can’t let the details dictate the relationship we can have. I’ll lay all my cards, and have a few tricks up on my sleeve. I really don’t want to lose her; the thought of losing her, that she might slip through my fingers even for a minute scares the life out of me! Had she not requited my feelings, had she not desired me as strongly as I do her, had she not been my sun, had she not kiss me as passionately, make love as passionately, had she not have that look when she wants me in her eyes and that sadness when she is ready to give up despite everything she feels for me because of her own principles, I wouldn’t have pursued her this strongly no matter how much I liked and desired her! But she does, and I can’t escape her pull. I am to her, what she is to me! She’s

not only beautiful and smart, but she is also principled. She knows what she wants, what she desires. She may be inexperienced, but when she feels something she feels strongly, she acts strongly even though she may be scared to death, and she’ll go for her principles even if it breaks her heart as well as mine into a million pieces. That is the sexiest thing I have seen! That's my pain and pleasure... I like her, I want her, I desire her, I feel very strongly for her with emotions I am not familiar with of which I have no way of naming! I may not be a gentelman, I may be born of a crack whore, I may be a control freak, a slave driver, a megalomaniac; but I know and recognize honor! That’s something I work towards because it too needs a good deal of control to achieve, it's a principle I'm raised with and that’s something I see in her! She acts upon it, and I am completely and utterly enthralled! She’s a rare woman, and I’ve come to recognize that. Only someone worthy of her may claim her, and how lucky was I to have claimed her without completely understanding her worth, but she can’t be contained. I want to be worthy of her too! She makes me want to be a better man. She may be a tornado in my soul, but I love what it stirs in me; keeps me on my toes not knowing what she’ll say or do next. Although part of me would love to tame it within certain boundaries, heck, who am I kidding, I would just love to tame her, period, but ‘compromise’ would preserve her best qualities, while chiseling her rough edges. I’ll use all my negotiating skills to achieve that end today. Bring it on Miss Steele... Because Ana, baby, I’m the man for you! (← I’m Your Man by Michael Buble) I go and workout with Taylor early in the morning. Taylor holds the punching bag, and I punch and kick the crap out of it. His eyes widen at my eagerness, anger, and pent-up desire and he knows why. “Will you be seeing Miss Steele today sir?” he asks tentatively. “Yes,” I say flatly, then amend it, “not definite, but I’ll try,” I say. “Good luck sir!” he says as if I’m going to a rescue mission in the enemy territory! I pause for a second and try not to smile. I punch the bag one last time. Thirty minutes later, I go to my suite, order breakfast, and take a shower. I put on my silver suit on and accessorize with my silver tie which became my favorite in the recent weeks. Taylor drives me to the university. As I make my way to the Chancellor’s office, Taylor whispers

under his breath, but still a firm sound saying, “Go get her sir!” When I turn to look at him, he has his impassive face on; I nod as a reply. This waiting is getting on his nerves too! Chancellor drawls on talking pleasantries, and introduce me to the other staff. I make my way around quickly and say, “Perphaps I should make my way to the stage. I want to look over my speech one more time,” though I needen’t look over anything. I have a very good memory, and I can recite it after the first read. He directs his assitant to show me the way, but I say, “I know that Miss Katherine Kavanagh is going to give the valedictorian speech. If she’s around she may be able to take me where I need to be." That surprises the chancellor. I say, “Miss Kavanagh is a family friend,” by the way of explaining. She comes from a rich stock which shouldn’t surprise the Chancellor that our families would be acquainted. He instead sends his assistant to locate Kate. The assistant comes back in with her who gives me a sly smile. What has she got under her sleeve? “Hello Christian,” she says politely and unwavering of me or the company around. Her unintimidated but polite, professional and friendly approach convinces the chancellor and raises Kate’s value a notch in his eyes. “Hello Kate,” I say and she extends her right cheek for a friendly gesture and I plant a friendly, and social kiss on it. The Chancellor, and his Vice Chancellors as well as the assistant are awed at this exchange and the Chancellor politely with a little reverence in his voice asks Kate, “Miss Kavanagh, would you be kind enough to escort Mr. Grey to his seat at the podium please? He would like to look over his speech.” “Certainly Chancellor,” she says politely, and leads the way. Once we are out of their earshot, I turn and ask her, “Did Anastasia make it home last night?” fervently and worried. “Yes she did,” she says flatly. “Are you sure?” I ask frowning.

“Of course, I saw her this morning. She listened to my speech rehearsal. Why do you ask?” she says. “No reason,” I say. “I wanted to make sure she got home, but she didn’t call me,” I say. She narrows her eyes with her shark reporter gaze on me, looking directly into my eyes, “Are you treating my best friend right?” she asks with an undercurrent of threat. “Yes,” I say firmly. “Why did she seem upset this morning then?” she asks. “She was upset?” I say my voice raising half a notch. “Yes she was. Though she used her patented distraction technique, but if you lived with someone for four years, you get to learn their quirk well enough. What did you do to her to make her upset?” she gets closer her gaze threatening. I stare right back at her. “What did she say?” I ask forcefully. “Why would I tell you?” she points her finger right in my chest. I narrow my eyes to her. “Because I was worried about her in that death trap of hers she calls her car, and I wanted to make sure she got home in one piece! If you were a good friend who is worried about her well-being, you would be on the same page as I am!” I said removing her finger politely. “Oh Christian! I’m sorry! Of course I’m worried about her driving that car, but you have to understand. She doesn’t have limitless amounts of money, like some people,” she says giving me a pointed look. “You can’t criticize her like that and make her feel bad about herself!” she says. But I know my statement disarmed Kate for her to be loquacious like this about Anastasia, she otherwise wouldn’t be. “She must have been worried about something, but that’s Ana,” she says, “I thought it was just graduation jitters. She’s very closed when it comes to her feelings. Now come to think of it, she was diverting my attention, and since I was preoccupied with my speech, I didn’t pay as much attention as I should have.” I nod. We’re at the podium already. The auditorium is crowded, and we have to raise our voices to hear each other better. The students and their parents are trying to locate their seats in the chaos before the podium.

“Do me a favor after the commencement is completed,” I say firmly. “Depends on what you ask of me,” she says without blinking. “Let me put it this way then: I want you to find Anastasia after the commencement, and send her to me,” I say my gaze piercing hers. To her credit, she doesn’t waver. “Why should I do that for you?” she asks. “You’re not doing this for me. You are doing this for your best friend who will get a lot more miserable if she doesn’t get to talk to me,” I say firmly, steadily, and pointedly. “Why would she be miserable? Will you hurt her?” she asks threatening, almost daring me. I’m taken aback. “Of course not!” I say. She’s in her mother hen mode again which I’ve witnessed before. “Because if you hurt her any way Grey, I will have your balls on a plate!” she says with a malicious threat unexpected of a girl who is pretty, small and unthreatening in appearance. “IF,” I say emphasizing, “you don’t get me talking to her after the commencement, she will get hurt, and not by me either! It will all be in your hands. I’m supposed to go back to Seattle. We might have something special going between us, but she may feel threatened of who I am, of my wealth. I want her to get pass through those. But if she doesn’t,” I say gambling, “I’ll move on. I’m a busy man Katherine, I don’t have time to waste,” I say not wanting to give her too much to run off with. She measures what I'm saying to her, and I can see that she's mulling it in her head. “Just get her to me after the commencement,” I say firmly. “Fine. I’ll get her to you. But my threat stands. If you hurt her, it’s your balls...” she says with a lot of implication. And the subject is closed. “We have to wait till everyone else takes their seats,” she says changing topics. At exactly eleven o’clock the Chancellor and his Vice Chancellors come and take their seat. Professors, and others line up, and Katherine and I end up in the last row. We each take our seats, and our conversation ends.

The students have taken their seats before us in the auditorium as the parents and friends seat themselves in the bleachers. The voices are louder and after everyone has taken their seats, the students rise up and applaud the lined up protocol before them. Once the applauding subsides, we all get seated again. As I sit down, I undo the button on my single-breasted gray suit jacket revealing my silver tie. Should Miss Steele’s eyes find and gleam at me, she’ll see my meaning. The Chancellor gets up, approaches the podium, and starts the proceedings with his speech. My eyes are slowly, and discreetly searching for her in the sea of students who are wearing the same cap and robe. I search for her like a lost planet looking for its sun. Not that one... No, not that brunette. Not her... I scan the faces one by one still managing to look uninterested and casual. There she is! Our gazes lock. (←Send Me on My Way by Rusted Root) She was trying to hide in her seat! Why? I stare at her keeping the longing out of my gaze. Impassive, blank. But questioning. Even from this distance, I know I found my sun. I found my place. I located my soul. She’s here. It’s both relief, and exasperation. She’s well, but she hasn’t answered my emails, or my phone calls, neither did she return them. Why would she do that? Why is she trying to run away from me when I can see her squirming in her seat even when I’m this far away. I know she wants me. I have the same effect on her as she has on me! We’re both lost without each other! In each other we find ourselves. Her gaze goes down to my tie, and it has the effect I expected it to make. This is only the Flush baby. I still have my backup plans of Full House, Four of a Kind, and Straight Flush. Yes, I intend to win today! A small smile creeps up on my lips as her squirming in her seat becomes a little more evident though she’s trying hard to conceal it. She’s remembering exactly what we did with the aid of this little tie which is now my favorite impromptu arsenal. But her squirming is doing its job on me, and I feel that I’m getting an erection. Damn! It has to be suppressed given the present company. I close my eyes briefly trying to escape her captivation. Because if I keep looking at her, I may as well be giving my speech with a tent poking out of my pants! When I open my eyes, my indifferent gaze is back firmly, and I stare at the Chancellor whose sight is sure to douse the fire. I switch my gaze to ordinary things, and finally find the non-

dangerous inanimate object in the school logo hanging right above the entrance. It’d be impossible for me to look at her again without the obvious effects since I’ve had this pent up sexual energy for days, my overflowing desire, and given last night’s near miss, I can’t take the chance. Nothing short of having her, claiming her, making love to her – well maybe that can come later- the way I feel right now I have to fuck her every which way possible for an entire day and night just to barely dim this fucking fire that is consuming me! So I keep my gaze away from her. I’m pulled away from my reveries after hearing Katherine Kavanagh’s name called for the Valedictorian Speech. She captivates the audience which doesn’t surprise me as she has mastered to work the crowd being her father’s daughter. Yet, I’m still impressed with her delivery of her lines. Once she’s done with her speech, the audience goes wild, and she receives a standing ovation; her peers cheering at her. Then the Chancellor introduces me saying, “I now would like to introduce you to a young entrepreneur who has managed to find his place not only in the State of Washington, but in the entire U.S. as well as the international stage. He is also a major benefactor of Washington State University. Please welcome Christian Grey,” and with that introduction, it’s my turn to give my speech. Upon hearing my name, the audience present gives a polite but subdued applause. I take my place at the podium. “I am utterly grateful, and very touched by the compliments accorded to me by the Chancellor on behalf of WSU. Thank you! This presents me with a rare opportunity to talk about the School of Environmental Science at WSU is doing which is quite impressive to say the least. We aim to develop viable and ecologically sustainable methods of farming for the third world countries, and ultimately help eradicate hunger and poverty around the world. ..“ I go on to talk about African, Sub-Saharan and South American countries where the ecological destruction is wreaking havoc, and causing hunger. I also talk about my own hunger before I was adopted. This piece is for Miss Steele’s benefit. I’m baring myself for all others to see but ultimately to tell her that I’m approachable, that there is more to me than what I get to do in my, as she put it, Red Room of Pain. That I was not always rich, that I’ve made my own way. What I have wasn’t something I inherited; but I worked exceptionally hard towards making

happen. Because I don’t ever want to be poor or hungry again! Ever! I want her to understand this part of my control freakery as far as why I ask her to eat and finish what she has on her plate are concerned. This is part of my compromise to her. Although it is public record that I’ve been adopted, the details of my past are not public record; not that if you’re snoopy enough you won’t be able to find out; but it requires a lot of digging, and this part is my own to share. See Miss Steele, I can be open... I’m laying part of my dark past bare for you... This is me in all my fuckedup self! Take me as I am... (←Everything I Do by Bryan Adams) Ordinarily, I wouldn’t like to talk about what I do for others. Maybe I’m still trying to suppress the hunger of the little boy I once was, but my team tells me that it’s beneficial for the university for brining awareness from someone in my position; and it takes money to bring in money from other donors. As I close my speech, I say, “This is a very personal journey for me...”inconspicuously looking at her. I smile at the audience at the end of my speech, and even Miss Kavanagh the ball crasher is applauding me fervently. Finally it’s time for handing out the diplomas. But, there are over four hundred students to give diplomas to and her last name starts with the letter ‘S’ for God's sake! Over an hour, many diplomas and countless handshakes later, I hear her name called, and my heart stutters for a second. I’m relieved to have her in my clear eye sight. My gaze gets warm with one look at her, but I remain guarded. She walks up to me, her diploma is in my hand. I gaze down at her; and once our hands touch and get connected, the jolt of electricity start running between each other at a rising rate. “Congratulations, Miss Steele,” I say as I shake her hand, squeezing it gently. Wishing I didn’t have to let it go. I lean a little bit more in and ask, “Is something the matter with your laptop?” and hand her diploma to her. “No,” she says frowning and confused. “Then you are ignoring my messages?” I say hurt, though I push that emotion and hide it well.

“I only saw the mergers and acquisitions message,” she says confusing me. Oh, she’s talking about the e-mail I sent her last night. So, she didn’t see the other messages I’ve sent? Seeing the line is backed-up, I say “Later,” and she moves along the line. Another hour and many more handshakes, and quite a few gawking male and female students later, the diplomas are all handed out. Once they’re all done, I make sure I don’t give any attention to Miss Steele. She’s going to be desirous, and I will have her beg me by the end of the night. The occupants of the podium, including myself and Miss Kavanagh vacate the stage without a backward glance at her. Once we’re done with the ceremony, I shake the hand of the Chancellor, and excuse myself to speak to Miss Kavanagh. “Kate! I need you to go get Anastasia right now!” She glares at me, but nods and moves to get her. Once Kate leaves, I’m occupied by the Chancellor and couple of the teaching staff who are dying to acquaint themselves with me. I feel her gaze on my back as she walks up with her roommate Kate. I turn my head and see her. “Excuse me gentlemen,” I murmur to my company. I smile at Kate, and thank her. Without waiting for Kate’s reply I take Anastasia’s elbow as I have run out of all the patience I could muster, and walk her away from the crowd to find a private place which presents itself in the form of a men's locker room and I take her into it; I check to see if there are any occupants, and finding it empty, I lock the door. Then I turn on her with all my frustration that had accumulated over the week and glare at her: “Why haven’t you e-mailed me or texted me back?” (← Just Another Day Without You by John Secata) I ask fervently. She looks perplexed, and answers. “I haven’t had a chance to check my laptop or cell phone today. Just been busy getting ready.” Then she changes the topic, “But anyway, that was great speech Christian.” “Thank you,” I find myself saying automatically as years of manners my parents have engrained in on us take over.

“I understand your food issues now.” Although I’m glad that my effort worked, with less than two inches between us, I could care less. I’m doubly exasperated running both my hands through my hair. Doesn’t she understand how worried I was about her in that death trap of a car? She didn't call or write, or text me back... It was irresponsible! I had no hold over her, so I had to find out from Katherine Kavanagh to learn that she was okay! She’s putting me through the ringer, and torturing me! I pace couple of steps within the confined space, get my breathing down, and turn to her once I feel my control is slipping back in. “Anastasia, I don’t want to talk about my past right now.” I close my eyes with the pain of not having her, not having a say in keeping her safe, and her defying me and not being able to do a shit about is worrying me immensely! I look at her with all the intensity of my emotions without feeling the need to hide it: “I’ve been worried sick about you!” I whisper fervently. “Why were you worried?” she says confused. Did she not listen to me last night? She drove away in a mobile death box! “Only because you were driving a death trap! Do I need any more reason?” I utter. “What?” she says petulantly. “Wanda,” she corrects herself, “my car, is not a deathtrap. Jose services my car regularly!” she utters. The would-be rapist is also her car mechanic? The fucker who plagued my nightmare last night? My eyes grow cold. I barely contain myself. I find my jealousy growing by the bounds in a second. “You said Jose. Would that be the photographer? Your would-be rapist?” I say narrowing my gaze on her. “Yes, that Jose. Only because he knows the car well, because it used to be his mother’s car,” she says rapidly to appease my rising anger. “Of course it did!” I say, “It’s probably a family antique. It must have descended all the way from his great-great-great grandmother! That car is dangerous!” I find myself saying my voice hoarse with some unknown emotion. “Christian, you’re overreacting; I’ve driven her for over three years. I’m actually very sorry I worried you. It wasn’t intentional. Why didn’t you call me?”

How could I sit here and explain that I called, texed, and e-mailed her numerous times without a response? I have to have an answer before I combust right here in front of her. I’m losing control. It’s slipping out of my hand, and with this proximity, I don’t know if I can handle it! I take two deep breaths to find my center closing my eyes. I seem to lose every last bit of control in her vicinity. But then again, her absence does the same and worse to me! What is she doing to me like this? I open my eyes, and lower my gaze to her with all its intensity baring my soul, “I need an answer from you Anastasia! This waiting,” I close my eyes again to escape her pull, “is making me crazy!” (← I'm on Fire by Bruce Springsteen) “Oh.. Christian, look, I’ve left my stepdad on his own and he is waiting for me. “ “Ok. You have till tomorrow. I want...” I say, “no, I need your answer by tomorrow. “ I say fervently. “Alright. I’ll have my answer tomorrow,” and she blinks up at me. I want to make sure that she’s serious, and not toying with me. I take a step back and look at her. Her demeanor tells me that she’s being truthful, relieving me. I feel myself relaxing; I didn’t even know my whole body, from my toes to my shoulders were tense! “Will you be staying for drinks?” I ask. “Oh, I’m not sure what my stepdad Ray wants to do.” For the first time since I relaxed a little, I realize that her stepfather is here. I’d like to meet him, because that would give me another opportunity to get to know Anastasia better. "Could you introduce me to your step-dad?" I ask. Her look falls, disappointed. “Christian, I’m not sure if that’s a good idea,” she says. This hurts my feelings beyond belief, and I don’t even get a chance to hide my feelings. But I manage to suppress it to my hard lined lips. “Are you ashamed of me Ana?” I whisper. “No!” she says fervently. "What then?" I probe. “Christian, how do I introduce you to him, as my what? ‘Hey dad, here’s the man who deflowered your daughter, and now he wants to start a BDSM relationship with her. Meet my

prospective Dominant!’ You’re not wearing your running shoes!” she says. I like to be mad at her, but I find a smile creeping up on my lips which I unsuccessfully try to suppress it. “Just so you know Anastasia,” I say smiling, “I can run quite fast. Why don’t you just introduce me as your friend?” I unlock the door, and lead her out. We walk back to the crowd. I go to stay with the Chancellor, all three of the Vice Chancellors, four faculty members, and Katherine as Anastasia rushes to find her step dad like a bat out of hell surprising all of them who stare behind her. Not six minutes later I see her walking in the arm of her step dad. But out of nowhere this blonde good looking fucker who is full of self-confidence comes, and sweeps her off the floor twirling her around like a little girl! Katherine notices my glare out of the corner of my eye, but before she says anything I excuse myself from my company. Katherine scuttles behind me. My cold gaze locked on Anastasia as the blonde fucker’s arm wraps around her like a lover’s embrace. If looks could kill, that fucker would be dead as soon as he touched Anastasia! Kate is walking beside me as we reach to the trio, my eyes glued on the hands holding Anastasia’s waist possessively. This man can wrap around her like a snake, but she can’t even tell her dad I’m her friend? Kate surprises me by going up to Ray, greeting him and kissing him on both cheeks. “Hello, Ray!” she says cheerfully. Then she drops the bomb, “have you met Ana’s boyfriend? Christian Grey.” The look on Anastasia’s face is priceless. You know like those commercials... “Finishing a four year degree, hundred-thousand Dollars; graduation cap and gown, two-hundred Dollars, your best friend introducing your would-be Dom to your father on the day of your graduation, priceless!” And that was the tag on her facial expression: Priceless. She was short of hyperventilating, as she didn’t even have time to pick her jaw up off the floor. I think if Ray wasn’t here, it should be Katherine that should have had her running shoes. The thought of it makes it worthwhile for the introduction. In a way, I’m glad she introduced me as her boyfriend. That should get the fucker’s possessive hands off of her! But it doesn’t.

“Mr. Steele, it’s a pleasure to meet you,” I say proffering my hand for Anastasia’s stepdad. “Mr. Grey,” he says as his shock initial shock is wearing out. Then Katherine says, “And this is my brother, Ethan Kavanagh,” ever the social butterfly with the introductions. “Mr. Kavanagh,” I say coldly. We shake hands, and since the bloody introductions is over, I extend my hand for Anastasia and call her, “Ana, baby,” and pull her away from the fucker’s grip. Inadvertently his sister helped me to declare my territory, and surprisingly, I find myself rather pleased with this new title I hold. I mentally try it for size: boyfriend. Anastasia’s boyfriend. I quite like that! Maybe more than I should... Anastasia takes my proffered hand, and I pull her into my embrace where she belongs. As if on cue, Katherine says, “Ethan, Mom and Dad wanted a word,” dragging her brother away whose gaze keeps drifting back to Anastasia and me. Anastasia’s step-dad turns his curious gaze back on us and says, “how long have you kids known each other?” while managing to look impassive, and taciturn but I know the look well, as I’ve mastered it. There is a mountain of questions, and right now he wants to know his daughter is safe. Anastasia is safely in my arms, my fingers graze her bare back in her halter dress. Apparently she ditched the robe, and I approve what’s under my hand, I calmly answer her step-dad’s question: “Couple of weeks or so now sir. We’ve met when Anastasia came to interview me for the student magazine,” I say smoothly. He turns to her and says accusingly, “Didn’t know you worked at the magazine Ana. You never told me,” almost suspecting a lie. “Kate was ill, so I came in her place,” says Anastasia, and her father nods. “It was a great speech Mr. Grey,” he says finally with a tone of acquiescence. “Thank you, sir,” I reply, and go for the kill, “I understand you’re a keen fisherman,” and he’s hooked. “Yes, I love fishing!” he says enthusiastically. “Do you fish?”

“As much as I can get away. My father, my brother and I like to go fishing. You know, for some guy time...” I say, and he grins knowing the bonding element in fishing. We talk about hooks, and baits, and waters with good fishing. I see from my peripheral vision that Anastasia is both shocked at how quickly we are bonding over fishing and she’s also bored with the conversation. She excuses herself to go and find her roommate. Her absence gives me a chance to talk to her step-dad more frankly. “Please, Mr. Steele. I’m your daughter’s boyfriend. Call me Christian,” I say, and his grin widens. “Christian,” he tries it for size, and reciprocates, “a man who knows his fishing is alright in my book! Call me Ray!” he says sincerely. And that’s that; we’re bonded. “I’m so glad I got to meet you sir,” I say with all my honesty. “If I may bring a concern I have for Anastasia’s safety,” I say grabbing all his attention. “Her safety? Is she in any kind of danger?” he asks with fervent concern in his tone. “I believe so, though it’s not what you think. I got to see the vehicle she drives the other day, and it is not roadworthy. Though she seems to have an attachment to it, because you’ve purchased it. I know I can easily rectify this situation, because I would never forgive myself should something happen to her. So, I guess what I’m asking is if I may replace her current vehicle that you’ve purchased, with a safer vehicle? That will give me a big piece of mind, and I’m sure it would give you one as well,” I say. “Oh. Christian, that’s a very generous offer, but we couldn’t be able to make payments...” he says, but I hold my hand up to stop him. “Sir, it’s not a loan. It’s a graduation present for her. What good would it do for me to purchase something she wouldn’t need when I can give both of us piece of mind knowing that she’s out in the traffic safely. I worry about her a lot, and she seems to be very uncoordinated which raises my anxiety levels when it comes to her driving in that vehicle,” I say. When Ray hears about Anastasia’s coordination issue, he knows what I’m talking about, and says grinning, “In that case Christian, you have my blessing. Go ahead. It might give me a piece of mind as well!”

“Thank you sir! And I would appreciate it if you didn’t mention this to her, because I want to do it as a surprise for her,” I say, and he reaches out and pats me on the back, approving. While we’re reaching the end of our graduation gift topic, Anastasia walks back from visiting with her roommate. Her step-father asks where he can find the restrooms, and Anastasia directs him. “I’ll see you kids in a little bit. Enjoy yourselves,” he says and walks in the direction of the restrooms. Anastasia takes a look at me, and her gaze is nervous. A photographer approaches us, and asks if he could take our picture. I inwardly smile. I had three new firsts today. I met Anastasia’s father – first parent of any girl, sub, slave, or otherwise I ever met, then asked his permission to purchase a car for her, and now, we’ve had our picture taken together. I’ve never appeared with a woman in pictures before. “Thank you Mr. Grey,” says the photographer, and scurries away. “I see that you’ve charmed my father as well...” says Anastasia, but what I focus on is what she didn’t say. Did I charm her too? “As well, you say?” I ask her raising my eyebrows. She flushes. Shyness. But that’s not entirely it. She flushes most often because her desire for me has risen many notches. I lift her chin with my hand gently, and trace her cheek with my fingers. “What are you thinking Anastasia?” I ask her in whispers. “What I wouldn’t give to know!” I say fervently, cupping her face, lifting her head so that we gaze into each other’s eyes intently. Her breath hitches. Though this is a crowded tent, all of a sudden we become oblivious to everyone. It’s just me and Anastasia. “Right now,” she whispers, “I’m only thinking, nice tie,” she says in a breathy tone. (←All I Want is You by U2) I chuckle with the memory this tie is bringing to both of us, and say, “yes, it’s is nice. And quite recently it became my favorite.” She blushes redder than the Chinese flag. She’s lovely! She’s hot for me! She desires me right this moment, and wants to make love to me. It’s all in her gaze, and her body language, and the way she’s disregarding everyone surrounding us. The charge between us gets solid, palpable, tangible. “You know it’s going to be good, don’t you baby?” I whisper. She closes her eyes with the intensity of her desire for me.

“But I want more,” she whispers. I know she wants more. It’s been in my dreams for days! She wants hearts and flowers. “You want hearts and flowers,” I state, and she simply nods in confirmation. “More,” I say trying the word on for size. Its taste is strange in my mouth. I’ve used it before, and didn’t like it; I didn’t concede to it. But with Anastasia, I’m here to compromise. I can’t escape her pull. But, I don’t know if I can do it! I have to be honest with her. “Anastasia,” I could barely whisper, “baby, that’s not something I know.” “Me neither,” she says. My heart melts. That’s my baby... I smile a little. “Baby, you don’t know much,” I say. And whatever little she knows, she’s learned it in the last few days from yours truly. “And what you know are all the wrong things,” she whispers. Why would she think that? “Wrong? It’s not wrong to me,” I say shaking my head. “Please, try it,” I whisper challenging her, daring her to take the leap, and I give her my smile reserved only for her cocking my head to the side. Her breath hitches with a gasp. She looks intently into my eyes. I’m scared that she’ll say “No!” and run. But what I hear shocks me to my core! “Okay,” she whispers. I can’t believe my ears! She grabbed all my attention by the balls and I look into her eyes intently, trying not to misunderstand her. She swallows. “What?” I ask not believing my ears trying to confirm her answers. “I said, Okay...”she pauses, “I’ll try.” I’ve never been this happy in my entire life as I am right now. But I don’t want to be overjoyed if I’m misunderstanding something, and then later be disappointed. My heart can’t take it! “You’re agreeing?” I ask with disbelief in my voice. “I am, subject to the soft limits. So, my answer is yes. I’ll try,” she says in a small voice. But, third time is the charm, and I’m elated beyond belief. This is birthday, Christmas, and

unexpected and desired present all bundled in one. I automatically pull her into my embrace, closing my eyes.

“Christ, Ana! You’re utterly unexpected. You take my breath away,” I say with awe, reverence and admiration in my voice. (← Take my Breath Away by Berlin) I don’t know whether to hold her, kiss her, or just take her away from here to have my way with her! I’m beyond happy! Her step-father shows up when I’m entangled in my thoughts. When I see her stepfather, I’m overjoyed enough to not to be able to conceal my feelings that I don’t care if the Pope himself showed up to admonish me! My eyes gleam with an undisguised happiness. “Annie, could we get some lunch? I’m starved with all this waiting around,” he says. “Okay,” she says, meanwhile trying to center herself. Ray turns his head to me and asks, “Would you like to join us for lunch Christian?” Anastasia gazes up to me with her big blue eyes almost terrified with the prospect of being under the scrutiny of two men in her life. The thought makes me incredibly happy. I’m the main man in her life now! Me! I don’t think, an emperor who conquered a country of his deepest desires could be as elated and joyful and fucking happy as I am right this moment! So, I’ll give you this with your father Miss Steele. I can finally acquiesce to be apart from you knowing that I can have you in my arms, back where you belong... “Thank you Mr. Steele, but I have other plans sir. It’s been an honor to meet you,” I say. “Likewise Christian,” he says, “Remember to look after my baby girl,” he says conspiratorially. It makes me smile, “Oh, I fully intend to, Mr. Steele.” We shake hands. I turn my gaze on Anastasia. She just takes my breath away. I take her hand into mine, and raise it to my lips, kiss each of the knuckles tenderly, my eyes and gaze are ember with my salacity and desire for her looking into hers. “Later, Miss Steele,” I breathe into her ear with full of promise of what is to come, and I fully intend to fulfill that promise. (← Just Died in Your Arms by Cutting Crew) *****

Taylor as always finds me as soon as he knows I’m away from my company and its time to go. He takes one look at my face, and I can see he gives a slow sigh of relief, and mutters under his breath looking ahead expressionless, “Congratulations sir!” as if I've completed the rescue mission without a hitch. I nod in response, still reeling in from giddiness. “Where to sir?” he asks. “Take me back to Heathman’s,” I say. I need to have lunch, and work seeing as I’ve done my big share of conquering this morning. I order in, and get to work. Taylor and I go for a run in the evening to work out. Taylor’s mood is lifted in direct proportion with mine. God! This woman can wiggle her little finger and take us men all in! She’ll be the death of me. My beautiful poison, and antidote... When we come back, I take a shower. I quickly dress in my white t-shirt and jeans. I quickly make my way to my laptop to type a message to Anastasia.

__________________________________________________

From: Christian Grey Subject: Soft Limits Date: May 26 2011 17:23 To: Anastasia Steele

Is there anything I can say that I haven’t already? Anytime you wish to talk about these, I’d be happy to talk to you. You looked breathtaking tonight.

Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

__________________________________________________

I can fucking barely contain myself. Her response is instantaneous. As soon as the e-mail dings, I click on it my hands are shaking. __________________________________________________

From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Soft Limits Date: May 26 2011 17:24 To: Christian Grey

I can come over this evening to discuss if it’s convenient for you.

Ana __________________________________________________

Convenient? Baby, I’ve been waiting for you to just nod at me for a while now! I’ve been starved for your affection. If she doesn’t know how to punish with sex, or if she doesn’t have an innate ability, I’d change my name! She has a natural mastery; I’m ready to explode. But I don’t want her to drive in that death-trap for one thing, and two, if she comes, she can leave anytime. I want to have it in my terms. I type her a response right away. __________________________________________________

From: Christian Grey Subject: Soft Limits Date: May 26 2011 17:28 To: Anastasia Steele

Anastasia, I’d rather come to you. Please believe me when I say that I’m quite unhappy with you driving that car of yours. I’ll be with you shortly.

Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

__________________________________________________ I’m already dressed. “Taylor!” I call. “Yes sir,” he shows up right away. “Two things. One, call the bar, and have them ready a chilled bottle of ‘Bollinger Grande Année Rosé 1999’ and have the SUV ready to drive me to Miss Steele’s in 10 minutes. You can drop me off, and be back at nine,” I say. “Yes, sir,” he says to go and place the wine order. I print a copy of Anastasia’s e-mail, and a copy of the contract. Fold it, and put the papers in my jacket. Make my way downstairs to meet Taylor. What a woman you are Anastasia! You bring men to their knees with one glance, and wouldn't even know about it. You take my breath away. (← She's Always a Woman by Billy Joel) I close my suite door and walk away.

♥‿♥ ✿‫ܓ‬

CHRISTIAN’S REDEMPTION

(Please be warned that this section is darker: I wanted you to see what happens when love is removed from a relationship as was the case for Christian and Elena. It was purely physical. Then compare it if you will to the emotions Ana and Christian are going through. You will then realize that the attraction wasn't purely physical between Christian and Ana-a big contrast to any other relationship he had. Their love is just enhanced by their physical relationship!)

“Sit!” she orders barely moving her immaculately trimmed blonde hair. She looks down at me. I could always feel her gaze on me. My head is bowed, I’m sitting on my knees, my fingers spread apart on my lap, my face is expressionless, my head bland, waiting for her order to do her bidding. I wouldn’t dare to look up to her; especially here, at this place. She sits on the chaise lounge extending her left foot to me. I take it obediently. “Suck!” she barks another order. I take her foot reverently, without thought. Place her big toe and start expertly fallating it the way she likes it. Big toe first, then the second, then the middle. That’s the one that arouses her the most, and then move on the line. She likes her instep licked and nibbled. The effects of it go down to her groin. She arches her foot, and I move my lips to her instep willingly, without question. She leans back in the chaise; I know that though I don’t dare to look up at her. I have been used to the routine. Her left breast would be spilled out by now.

“You’re welcome to borrow my sub; if I can borrow yours after you’re completely satisfied” says another female voice. She says nothing, but she must have acquiesced with a nod to that effect, because I see the bare feet of another sub lean in and start sucking on her nipple. I pause for a short while; anger rising in me. I don’t want to share her with another sub! But what can I do? I kept telling myself not to think. Reminding me. This is to learn to master, and control myself, my emotions. When my pause grows longer, she notices it. Her tone is none too pleasant. “What do we have here?” she says in her velvet voice. “Worried about a little competition?” she sounds pleased. But I don’t trust her tone. You know how they say “her bark is worse than her bite,” that’s only backwards with Mistress Elena. The calmer she sounds, the harsher she punishes... Like the time she did by pouring hot wax on my chest, knowing how I detest being touched, she pours hot wax as my punishment! She would never take any crap from me. Ever! Giving and receiving pain and pleasure are all the same to her. She could reach an orgasm and moan when she is caning me as punishment, or for the purposes of pleasure. Right now I don't move. I don't look up. I keep my mind blank. I am a submissive, and I have to do what I am told without thinking. She extracts her foot away from my frozen hand, shifts in her seat, pats the other submissive in the head making me further jealous. No, I am not jealous. I am not supposed to be. I am not supposed think. She stands up over me. The chain on my collar rattled. “Well well well... How shall I punish you for this offense Christian?” she says in her velvety voice. I swallow. It could be anything. She could swing me from the ropes, tie me up on the cross and whip me, gag me, and cane me, hang weights, use genital clamps... Her options were endless. I say nothing. I keep my mind blank. My already fucked up mind waits for her to decree her punishment with half fear, and half anticipation. She can hurt me and still make it pleasurable. I am a slave to her. I’ve had five years of experience now, and I have been her sub all this time. She beat the crap out of me whenever she thought I got out of line, and did that often. She made me fuck her any way possible and some impossible ways.

“Mistress Stark, you may have to share my sub for this punishment session,” she says to the owner of the sub who is now sitting on his knees on the floor buck naked and looking at his spread out fingers with a serene face. “You will be roped. I think I like to suspend you today...”she says decisively. “What do you say to that?” she asks serenely but with a disguised threat. I remain motionless, and serene. She yanks the chain up on my collar, forcing me to lift my face up to look into her gaze. “You respond me when I ask you a direct question! What do you say to that?” she hisses with a threat in her tone. “Yes mistress,” I respond my gaze finally boring into her eyes longingly. “Good boy!” she says. I am still the boy here though I’ve been her submissive for the last five years and a man of twenty. “Now, stand up!” she orders yanking the chain forcing me to get up on my feet. The two mistresses criss cross the fiber ropes around my torso as I stand motionless, tying it making diamond shapes like Turkish baklava. The final loop goes around my throat snugly. The others in the large hall where people are learning how to be a submissive and dominant barely glance up from their own busy pleasures. They make me lie down on a bed. But the odd angle the rope is coiled around my neck forces my head up off the bed. If I were to put my head down, my windpipe would get restricted. I am exposed, but this is something I am used to. It’s been five years since I’ve been a submissive. They lower a pulley above the bed, turning me over. My hands are tied in my back, and my entire body is covered with ropes criss crossing each other. When I’m rolled over, I have to force my head to jerk up because it restricts my breathing. The pulley is tied with the rope behind me and I’m pulled about three feet above the bed. I’m open, exposed and completely helpless, and at the mercy of two mistresses. She occasionally shares me with other mistresses, and borrows their subs like she is doing today. Mistress Elena pulls my hair back jerking my head up. “Are you alright?” she asks with a passive face. “Yes, mistress,” I respond my voice hoarse. “What’s the safe word?” she asks authoritatively.

“Diamond,” I respond trying to keep my head up. “Good,” she says, “Mistress Stark goes first,” she says as a matter of factly. “I owe her, and you pleasure her to her satisfaction,” she orders me. I fall silent. She jerks my head up yanking my hair even harder. “What is your reply?” “Yes, mistress,” I manage to get out trying to manage the pain. “Mistress Stark’s sub is going to be in charge of the ropes, so, he’ll lower you to her level. Got it?” “Yes, mistress,” I respond hoarsely again. Mistress Stark lies on the bed, her legs spread apart. She wants to be pleasured, and my mistress orders me to pleasure her. Mistress Stark’s sub lowers the rope low enough so I can reach her pleasure point while Mistress Elena lies in the opposite direction and starts pleasuring me to get me in the mood. As my head goes up and down, my breathing is restricted which is giving me pain, but on the other side Mistress Elena is pleasuring me which is making me want to go on. I am in a conundrum. I want to stop, because I don’t want to be shared with another Mistress. But I want to go on, because Mistress Elena is pleasuring me. Mistress Stark is raising her hip up and trying to get her full due, but the rope that’s coiled around my neck is restricting my ability to give her full due that says she’s owed by my mistress, and also hurting my neck as it goes down, constantly pulling it into that odd angle to get half a breath. “Faster!” orders Mistress Stark not fully satisfied. I’m about to pass out, but I don’t want to embarrass my Mistress with an incompetent sub. But my breathing goes harsher as I have to bury my head into her pleasure point, and the last thing I remember is my eyes rolling back in my head, and lights out. ***** “Christian, you know you must be punished,” she says calmly. “You did not use the safe word, and what’s more, this reflects badly on me, as you know it is one of my rules that you must absolutely reflect your best especially when we’re among our own kind.” She gives me one of her chiding and pointed looks. I don’t exactly know what is going through her head, but the calmness of her voice doesn’t convince me one bit that she will not punish me severely.

Because she can come up with a creative way to get her revenge, deprive me of relief and gain total and absolute control over me. I’m kneeled on the floor. I wish she’d have a little love for me, more than just the punishment, or fucking. But she says “love is for the fools! It is a useless emotion. It’s a deterrent, it’s a human failure. You need control to master your destiny, and love takes that control away from people.” I always wondered how it would be liked to be kissed by Elena. You know, a kiss with emotions, with gut twisting desires, a kiss that would want you to do anything for that person, not that I wouldn’t anyway, but, she... She never showed me such an emotion! She never has it for me... “Now, you must take your punishment,” she says. “Yes, mistress,” I respond serenely. “Do you know why you’re being punished Christian?” “Yes mistress. I didn’t use the safe word, and I made you look bad in front of another mistress by not fully satisfying her and passing out,” I say. She binds me spread eagle on the cross. I can’t move, and I hate this position. She moves her flog around me slowly, but I’m not deceived. The next thing I feel is the tendrils of the flog hitting me in the family jewels. Both painful and pleasurable. I’m already gagged so I can only make a groaning sound. She moves around and hits me on the buttocks and making her way around to my jewels again over and over again. She then brings out a piece of paper which would perhaps resemble an extremely fine sand paper. I hate that, because it makes your skin nearly peel off but not enough. The blood rushes to the surface, and you feel pleasure but the pain is on the extreme. She wraps that paper around my manhood, and starts rubbing with a soft gleam in her eyes. “This is your punishment Christian! You will not disobey me again! Do you understand that?” she says. I nod my head, but pain shots through me beyond the amount of pleasure which I can forego. I barely can signal with my hand as the pain is incredible, and because I’m gagged and she’s completely occupied with her punishment phase, I force to shake my body so she notices my hand signal. She’s aroused and breathy and finally brings herself to stop the punishment.

She quickly unbuckles all my restrictions, as I collapse onto the floor in supine position to absorb the pain better. She walks around me, rubs my arms where she knows she can touch. Although she doesn’t really give a fuck where she touches... Dare I even say ‘no’ to her? She’d beat the crap out of me. “Well, that concludes your punishment for one of the offenses. I’m still not done with you Christian,” she says, no emotion, no consolation in her voice. But it is soft and melodic, hypnotizing. I roll over my back. Though I’m sore that, it’s the least of my pains. I fix my gaze on her and say with a barely audible voice through pain: “I don’t want to be your sub anymore!” Shock fills her eyes. “Christian, it’s the pain talking, you know you like this! This gives you discipline, this gives you purpose, this gives you control, and you are in charge. If not you learn to be in charge!” she says with fervor in her eyes. I shake my head. I know my limit, and I know my likes. This isn’t it! I don’t want to share; neither do I want to be shared. I like control; not to be controlled. From now on, I’m going to be the dominant. I won’t be subbing for anyone; not even for Elena! She doesn’t requite anything I feel for her. She doesn’t even hold me after she's done inflicting pain on me! “When you feel better, we’ll talk. I’ll leave you to yourself,” she says and the last thing I see is her black boots walking out of the room. I find myself doubled, and holding my privates, pulling my legs up as if to suppress some pain, and roll over and over. Tears jerking out of my eyes on their own volition. Pain is great, and there is no pleasure left. It makes me roll on the floor like child’s top aimlessly. “Ouch!” I land on my back off the bed in Heathman Hotel! My heart is nearly jumping out of my chest because of the nightmare I’ve had. The nightmare is about the last day I ever was a submissive for Elena, for anyone. I sit on the floor on my now sore butt, in the dark pulling my knees up, supporting my elbows; my hands cover my face and run through my hair. Will I ever get over this fucked up shit? Not even in my dreams, I’m not free! That’s why I have written rules. That’s why I am cautious of the needs of my partners, likes and dislikes, so I don’t hurt anyone like I was hurt.

Anastasia said she was afraid that I would hurt her. I would never do that to her! And now she wants hearts and flowers. I don’t fucking know how to do that! God knows how much I want, and desire her! What do I do? How do I compromise? How do I make it work out of all this shit that clouding me day and night? I want to make it work. I wanted nothing as much, nothing as badly, as fervently, strongly, and adamantly! But when it comes to Anastasia, all bets are off. In the corner of my dark soul, I already know she’s “more” to me. I’ve never been anything more than a sub or Dom for the last year of my relationship with Elena, and after that we just remained friends because we share a past. But, Anastasia is different. She’s unlike anyone. I think she’d kick Elena’s butt to the curb as I already know her dislike of Elena because of our past. She may be a shy girl, but there is a tiger in her ready to pounce. The year after of that incident, I quit school as well to start my own business to the complete disappointment of my family. I knew I could never work for someone else as I knew I disliked being a sub. I would be my own master. I’ve made a vow that day to be in complete charge of my life. Not to be told, but to tell others what to do. I made goals and I’ve put them into practice. Long term and short term goals. Like a chess player, I’ve calculated my future moves five sometimes six step ahead. I vowed to never be at the behest of someone else, friend or foe. I am a realist. I wanted to be successful. Badly! I wanted to be worthy of my family’s affection, though I don’t know if I could ever feel at par with them, being how fucked up I am since birth which disgusted me. I disgust and abhor myself. Maybe it’s my attempt to redeem my unredeemable soul. Nothing but music and piano gave me solace. (← Duettino Sull’aria Le nozze di Figaro by Mozart) I’ve heard people numerous times that they wished they win the lottery, or start a business, or inherit some money, or some attempt to become wealthy, but none of those people had realistic goals. I wanted my goals to be measurable, calculable, with an ETA attached to it. Since I already knew how to take control by observing those- by that I mean my Mistress and whoever she deemed to loan me to- who controlled me all those years. I have no ill will for Elena. I’m in

a way grateful for what she thought me, what she had given me, and being a friend. But, I’m never going back there again. I’ve learned how to control my emotions, and dreams, and my business to reach the end goal –whatever the next thing is for me. But with all I’m feeling right now, I have this sense that there is no next one where Anastasia is concerned. She’s always on my mind! (←Always on My Mind by Michael Buble) In my business as well as personal life as in my training, I made my long term goals to be accomplished within the next five years, some goals I have goes as far as ten years or more of goals. And my short term goals are the ones that I wish to accomplish or attain within the twelve month forecast. They’re measurable, written, and flexible. If I manage to fulfill my goal before the time I envisioned, then, I lower my time frame and up my expectations. If however, it’s coming along slower than expected; I change the boundaries and set the date further. I only employ the best, and I expect their best effort. I plan well, I manage my time well, and these are all part of my reflexive action. I don’t have to give it a second thought as to what I should be doing now, because I already know what my future moves should be. Why can’t I employ any of these skills where Anastasia is concerned? When she’s near me, all bets are off. When she’s away from me, like right now, my mind is constantly occupied with her as if my brain has no other work to do! Elena engrained in me that love is a useless emotion. What I feel for Anastasia couldn’t be love! Because when I’m around her, I find my purpose. If love is a useless emotion, then I wouldn’t be feeling purposeful. I do get lost often with her... I don’t know what she will say, or do, or how she will respond to anything simple or complex. But I love finding my way around. I feel alive! I breathe easy. I find my center. I’m no longer lost. The day she came into my office and sprawled on my floor, the Seattle skies were bleak and grey perfectly reflecting my mood. After I managed to achieve my goals, nothing really satisfied me, and I had nothing to look forward to. No acquisition made me complete, or fulfilled. No talks with Elena, or visits to my family plugged the gaping and ever growing hole inside me, inside my dark soul! My hobbies of flying and sailing only managed to put a Band-Aid

on it. I had a missing piece from the core of my being. My soul was missing, and I found it in her. How could I let it go? She’s my reckoning. (←Can’t Help Falling in Love by UB40)

She’s my new purpose. She’s my freedom out of my own bondage. Her tornado sets me free even if it gives me pain in the process. How could I let my soul go when it’s constantly calling me?

She’s my soul. She’s my purpose in life. She’s what fills the abyss, this black hole within me. She’s part of me. How could I let her go when she is part of my soul, part of me? I think of William Ernest Henley’s poem which perfectly speaks of my feelings: Invictus (← Read by Morgan Freeman) Out of the night that covers me, Black as the Pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll.

I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul. William Ernest Henley Right this moment, it’s all Anastasia, and nothing else. (← You're in My Heart by Rod Stewart)

CHAPTER XIV

The air is a bit chilly tonight, but the way I’m feeling right now, I wouldn’t even need my leather jacket on. But years of habit of taking care of myself gets the better of me and I walk out of the car with it on with the champagne bottle in my hand. I knock on her door with an enthusiasm I cannot hide. She opens the door. My heart stutters with the sight of her. The sight of her is like getting a glimpse of heaven. (← Heaven by Frank Sinatra) “Hi,” she says shyly. Her gaze takes me in, and she more than approves. “Hi,” I say back to her. She opens the door wider, inviting me in, “come in please.” “If I may,” I say amused. “I thought we’d celebrate your graduation. Nothing beats a good Bollinger,” I say holding up the champagne bottle. “Interesting choice of words,” responds Anastasia with meaning. “I really like your wit Anastasia,” I say. “Oh Christian, we’ve packed everything. I only have tea cups. Would that do?” she asks. “Teacups? They’d be fine,” I say. She heads to the kitchen to get the teacups.

When I walk into the kitchen, I find a brown parcel on the coffee table with a note attached to it. I’d recognize it anywhere, because that very quote written on a piece of paper was in my dreams. “I agree to the conditions, Angel; because you know best what my punishment ought to be; only – only –don’t make it more than I can bear!”

When she walks back in, she finds me staring at it. “That’s for you,” she says anxiously. “Hmm, I figured as much. Very apt quote.” My fingers trace the writing. I look up to her. “But I thought I was D’Urberville, not Angel. Since you decided on the debasement,” I say with a predatory grin. “Trust you to find something so appropriate.” “But, it’s also my plea,” she whispers. “A plea?” I’m surprised, but I get it. “For me to go easy on you?” I ask softly. She nods. “Anastasia, I bought these for you,” I say trying not to show my hurt. I want her to accept my gifts. I don’t know why I have this urge to take care of her, give things for her. “If you accept them, I’ll go easier on you,” I say. “Christian, it’s hard for me to accept them. They’re too expensive,” she says fervently. “This is what I’m talking about Anastasia; you are defying me. I would like you to have them, and that’s the end of discussion. It’s actually quite simple. You don’t have to think about this. As a submissive you’d be just grateful for them. You just accept what I buy you because it pleases me when you do so,” I say.

“Christian, I wasn’t your submissive when you purchased those for me,” she whispers. It worries me that she might be changing her mind. I can’t take that. “No, you weren’t Anastasia, but you’ve agreed.” She gives a sigh. Her mind is concocting some scheme, and I can see that in her face.

“You say they’re mine to do as I wish?” I narrow my eyes knowing she has a scheme up her sleeve, but concede. “In that case, I’d like to donate them to a charity working for Darfur since you like to help that region of the world. They could probably auction them up.” Since I gave the books to her, leave it to her to come up with that scheme to not to accept them, and not leave me a say! I’m displeased. She finds a loopholes in my rules, even something as simple as the gift I give her, should she not want it. I feel hurt. “If that’s what you wish,” I say. My displeasure shows on my lips which are taut like a purse string. She flushes seeing my disappointment. “Fine! I’ll think about it,” she says. “Please Anastasia, don’t think. Not about this!” I say quietly. We’re both tense now. She stares down to her fingers. I do like her, a lot. Especially when she’s shy like that. There’s something that pulls me to her. I extend my hand and pull her chin up, gazing into her eyes with a serious expression. I want to take care of her, I want to do things for her, I want to buy her things; lavish her. I want her to get used to it. I take care of what's mine! “Anastasia, I’m going to buy you a lot of things. You need to get used to it. I am a very wealthy man and I can easily afford it,” I say leaning down and planting a chaste kiss on her lips. “Please baby,” I say releasing her. “I feel cheap. It makes me feel like a ho,” she whispers making me exasperated. I run my hand through my hair. “Anastasia! Don’t ever say that." I say with fervor. "You shouldn’t think like that. Don’t overthink it! You’re placing some vague moral judgment on yourself based on what others might think. I don’t want you to waste your energy on that. This is because you have preconceived notions about our arrangement since yo don’t know what you’re getting yourself into,” I say. She frowns, getting lost in her thoughts. Oh no...she’s overthinking again, and in goes that lip into the captivity of her teeth. I reach out and cup her face, and release the lip, “Hey, stop this, okay?” I say. “Nobody can call you cheap. There’s not a thing that’s cheap about you

Anastasia. And I don’t ever want you to call yourself a ‘ho’. You’re a lady! You’re always overthinking. What we have here are some old books which I thought you might enjoy having because I thought it might mean something to you. That’s it. Here, have some champagne,” I say warmly. She smiles back at me, and the sun is up on her face. “That’s better,” I whisper. When I open the bottle and pour some champagne to her teacup, she’s surprised by its color. “Christian, it’s pink!” she says her eyes wide, astonished. And that’s one of the things I love about her. I don’t know how she’ll react, or respond to anything I do, simple or complex. “Yes, it’s Bollinger Grande Année Rosé 1999, an excellent vintage,” I say. “Such a great vintage in teacups,” she adds making me grin. “Yes, teacups are an excellent choice. Congratulations on your degree Anastasia,” I say raising my teacup to hers, we clink. “Thank you,” she says adding, “should we go through the soft limits?” she says making me smile. Are we ever eager to move on Miss Steele? She blushes. I take her hand and lead her to the sofa. “Always so eager,” I say, pulling her down next to me. But first I want her to have some champagne in her. Because, she’s always so closed up. If I want her to be open and expressive with me; she needs to loosen up a little bit. As they say in Latin, "In Vino Veritas. There’s truth in wine." “Your stepfather is a very taciturn man,” I say surprising her. “Even so, you managed him to eat out of your hand,” she responds. “That’s only because I know how to fish,” I say. “Yes, I was going to ask you that. How did you know he was good at fishing or even he liked fishing?” she asks curious. “You told me, at the coffee shop,” I say surprising her even further. She seems pleased that I listen to her when she talks. She doesn’t remember telling me about it, but pleased that I remembered. She asks me if I tried the wine at the graduation. I tell her, yes, but it was nasty.

“When I tasted it, I thought of you,” she says. “How did you get to be so knowledgeable about wine?” she asks. “It’s not because I’m very knowledgeable. I just know my own taste, and what I like,” I say. The same goes for everything else in my particular tastes. I just know what I like. Her teacup is nearly empty. I extend the bottle to her encouraging her to have some more. She holds it up, and I fill it up to the meniscus. We talk about her move to Seattle. I want the champagne to have time to work. She tells me the next day is her last day at work. The week is nearly gone, and no sign of her Blackberry, no ETA. I have to have Taylor to light fire under them. It must be delivered tomorrow. “I really would love to help you move, but as it is, my sister Mia is coming back from Paris and I’m supposed to pick her up from the airport. But I hear that Elliot is ready to give you both a hand during your move.” I say. She smiles, “Yes, he is. Kate is very excited about that,” she responds. The thought of Kate the ball crusher, and my brother Elliott is a little disturbing. I shake my head, “strange combination. Who would have thought?” I make an involuntary face. “What are you planning to do for work?” I ask still waiting for the wine to work its magic. But the response I get surprises me. “I have a couple of interviews for internships,” she says. I narrow my gaze, and this bit of information strangely upsets me. Why am I the last one to know? “When were you going to tell me about that?” I ask. “I just did,” she responds surprised. Taciturn like her step-father. That’s why I have the champagne. If I have a prayer of her talking to me openly, she needs to loosen up. I narrow my eyes on her and ask, “Where?” “A couple of publishing houses,” she says vaguely. “You want to be in publishing?” I ask, she nods. “Well?” I ask. “Well what?” she responds. “Oh, come on Anastasia. You’re being obtuse. Which publishing houses?”

“Some small ones,” she murmurs. She doesn’t want me to know. Why? “Anastasia, why don’t you want to tell me?” “I don’t want your undue influence Christian,” she murmurs making me frown. She looks at me with her blue eyes examining my expression. “Oh, I think it’s you who is now being obtuse,” she says changing my mood and making me laugh. “I’m obtuse? Lord, you are challenging. Drink up champagne and let’s talk about these limits,” I say. She drinks every last drop of her champagne, and when I ask if she wants more, she does. I’m pleased. I know for a fact that she gets loquacious when she drinks. Her drinking made her call me the first time when I went to rescue her from that bar the first time. But I just remembered that she also threw up all over the patio and the flower bed because she was hungry. “Have you eaten today?” I ask her concerned. “Yes!” she rolls her eyes. “I had a three course meal with my step-dad,” she says petulantly. Oh baby! Did you just roll your beautiful eyes at me? I lean in and take her chin, staring into those eyes, I breathe my very sincere threat, “Baby, next time you roll those eyes at me, I will take you across my knee.” In fact it’s a promise. “Oh,” she breathes. It’s an escaped whimper. “Oh,” I mirror her. I’m beyond excited. Rules darling, “so it begins baby,” I say. I fill her cup again, and she guzzles the whole thing down, staring up at me. “Do I have your attention now?” I ask her. She nods. “I want you to answer me,” I say firmly. “Yes, you’ve got my attention,” she murmurs. “Alright then,” I say, “the sexual acts. We’ve done most of these,” I say looking at the list of soft limits. She moves closer to me on the couch and glance down at it. I like her proximity. A lot! We look over the soft limits, and what is agreeable for her, most of which we’ve done already. When she looks at the list, she closes her eyes as if she’s disgusted with what we are looking at.

“No fisting of any kind!” she says firmly. “Okay,” I acquiesce, “anything else you object to?” “I’m not too keen on anal intercourse either. It doesn’t float my boat,” she says. Oh no, you don’t baby! Not with what you got! “I will agree with the fisting,” I say, “but I would really, really love to claim your round rosy ass Anastasia. But, we need to wait for that anyway. Because, you can’t just dive into that without proper training.” I say. “Training? What for?” She asks. “Oh baby, it needs careful preparation. Anal intercourse can be very pleasurable, trust me. But, if you decide you don’t like it after we try, we don’t have to do it again,” I smile at her. She narrows her gaze if she doubts that it could be fun. “Have you tried that before?” she asks. “Yes,” I respond. She gasps. "With a man?" she asks. "No. I've never had sex with a man. It's not my scene," I respond to her truthfully. She seems a little relieved. “With your...” she pauses with dislike, “Mrs. Robinson?” she asks. I look at her, and see the jealousy behind her eyes. “Yes,” I say, but move on.“ Alright, the orals,” I smile. “I remember you got an A on that,” I say, she flushes. Drains her champagne as if it will provide her the courage she’s seeking to get through this discussion. She might need more of the courage, if we’re ever going to get through. “More champagne?” I ask. “Yes, please,” she says extending her cup. We go down the list of sex toys. When she sees Butt plug on the list, her eyes go wide and she scrunches up her nose as if she smelled something foul. “Butt plug? Does it do what it says?” she asks with distaste. “Yes. Same thing goes for this as the anal intercourse. Requires training,” I say. She looks at the list. Is the use of sex toys acceptable to the Submissive?

Vibrators Dildos Butt Plugs Other

She looks up to me and asks, “What does ‘other’ entail?” she asks. “Beads, eggs... that sort of stuff.” “Eggs? What do you mean eggs?” she asks anxious. “Not what you think. They’re not real eggs,” I say laughing. Her ignorance is adorable. “I’m very glad you find me funny,” she says feeling hurt. That stops me in my tracks, and I stop laughing, trying to keep humor out of my face, but I’m quick to apologize for my transgression. The last thing I intend to do is to hurt her feelings, “I apologize Miss Steele,” I look at her. She still looks hurt. I gaze at her, “I really am sorry Anastasia,” I say willing her to believe me. She stares back at me. “Do you have any problems with toys?” “No!” she snaps. “Anastasia,” I coax her. “I really, truly am sorry. Please believe me. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. I have never had this conversation in so much detail with anyone before. It’s only because you’re very inexperienced. I’m sorry... alright?” This time my face is sincere and contrite. I do mean it. Her face warms up with my sincerity. Then we move onto the topic of bondage. She has already set suspension as her hard limit. Since she will be with me only short periods of time, there is no need to try things that will take a long time to set up. She looks in the list of bondage. Her eyes narrow when she notices an item on the list and asks. “Please don’t laugh at me, but what’s a spreader bar?” I don’t like to be told twice. I’ve already sincerely apologized to her, why does she doubt me? I don’t like to be doubted. “Anastasia, I’ve already apologized to you-twice. I promise not to laugh.” I stare at her. “Please don’t make me do it again,” I say with warning in my glare. She visibly shrinks back from my glare, with her look that says ‘bossy.’

“The spreader bar is used to cuff the ankles and/or wrists. They’re actually fun,” I say. She looks doubtful, but takes my word for it. “Alright...” she says, “about gagging me...The gagging element. I don’t think I want that. I think I’d suffocate,” she says hitching my breath. I know about that first hand. “I too would be worried about that. I don’t want to suffocate you,” I say. “How does one use safeword, if you’re gagged anyway?” This makes me pause. I don’t ever want to go so far that she would feel the need to safeword me. “First off Anastasia, I hope that you never have to use safewords. But once someone is gagged, hand signals are used for safewords,” I say to her. She blinks at my casualness. “I’m still nervous about gagging,” she says with distaste. “Alright.” I say, “I’ll keep that in mind and make a note of it.” Then she looks up at me with light bulb going up on her head so brightly it’s all over her face. “Do you like tying your submissives up so they can’t touch you?” She pegged me square. I look at her surprised, my eyes widening. “That’s one of the reasons,” I say quietly. “Is this the reason why you tied my hands?” “Yes.” I say, falling silent. “You don’t like talking about it,” she observes. “No, I don’t. Would you like another drink? It’s making you brave, and I need to know how you feel about pain.” Her eyes widen. I refill her teacup, and she takes a sip. “How do you feel about receiving pain?” I ask looking at her expectantly. All of a sudden she gets shy, and in goes her lip into the captivity of her teeth. “You’re biting your lip,” I remind her darkly. She releases her lip immediately, and flushes looking down at her hands. “Let me ask you this: Were you physically punished as a child?” “No,” she responds. “I see,” I say, “so, in other words, you have no sphere of reference at all?” “No,” she responds. My gaze softens. “It’s not as bad as you think. Your imagination is your worst enemy in this,” I whisper.

“Do you have to do it?” she asks. "Yes," I respond firmly. “Why?” she retorts. It's because I'm a fucked up son of bitch, I think to myself. “It all goes with the territory Anastasia. It’s what I do. I can see you’re nervous about it. Let’s go over the methods,” I say. When she looks at the list, her eyes widen and her breath catches.

Spanking Paddling Whipping Caning Biting Nipple clamps Genital clamps Ice Hot wax Other types/methods of pain

She blanches once she goes through the items on the list. “You decided against the genital clamps which is fine. Caning hurts the most,” I say. She goes white as sheet. “We can work up to that,” I say. “Or," she drawls on, "not do it at all,” she whispers. No, no.. I have to have this. I have to have the pain aspect. It feeds the fucked up monster inside me. “Baby, this is part of the deal, but we’ll work up to all of this. I won’t push you too far Anastasia,” I say. “This punishment thing is what worries me the most,” she says in a small voice. I’m glad she told me that, because, we can work up to certain punishments, or leave it off for the time being.

“Well, I’m glad you told me. We’ll keep the caning off the list for the time being. As you get more comfortable with this, we’ll increase the intensity, but start slow,” I say trying to appease her worry. She swallows, looking skeptical. I lean forward and kiss her on the lips. “There, that wasn’t so bad, was it?” I say. The only response she could muster is a shrug. “There’s one more thing I want to talk about, and then I’m taking you to bed,” I say my gaze intense. “The bed?” she asks blinking rapidly, her face flushing. “Come on Anastasia, all the stuff we’ve been talking through here makes me want to fuck you into next week right now. It must be having some effect on you, as well,” and she starts squirming in her seat which pleases me immensely. (←Tonight by Enrique Iglesias)

“See?” I say, “Besides, there’s something I’d like to try.” “Something painful?” she asks. “No. Stop seeing pain everywhere. It’s mainly pleasure. Have I hurt you yet?” She flushes. “No,” she says. Here’s the time I want to make my compromise, my concession... for Anastasia. “Well then. Look, earlier today, at the school, you were talking about wanting more,” I say pausing. I’ve never done this before. Never conceded. Do I want to this now? She’s half anxious looking at me. I make my decision. I clasp her hands, and look into her eyes. “Outside of the time you’re my sub, perhaps we could try...” I say, unsure all of a sudden as it’s something I’ve never done before. “I don’t know if it will work. I don’t know how to separate everything. It may not work but I’m willing to try. Maybe one night a week. I don’t know,” I breathe out. The shock on her face finally renders her speechless for once. I take advantage of her silence, and dropped mouth, and add, “I have one condition,” looking at her stunned expression warily. “What?” she breathes, anxious to accept anything.

“You graciously accept my graduation present to you.” “Oh,” she responds, her face falls. I stare down at her, trying to gauge her reaction. I extend my hand to her and murmur, “Come,” rising up, and taking her along with me. I take my jacket off and drape it over her shoulders. We walk outside. I’m anxious to see her reaction when she sees her two door compact Audi. “It’s for you. Happy graduation,” I murmur, pulling her into my arms and kissing her hair. I pull back and look at her face. A lot of emotions cross through it. Happy, shocked, angry, desperate, confused... She’s overthinking again. I take her hand in mine and lead her down the path towards her brand new safe vehicle. “Anastasia, your Beetle was old, and quite frankly dangerous. I would never forgive myself if something happened to you when it is so easy for me to make that right.” I want her to be happy. Is it too much to ask? I want to sweep her off her feet... Why does she want to deny me that? I look at her, but she gets shy, her head goes down, then turns it to the red Audi. “I mentioned it to your stepfather. He was all for it,” I murmur. She turns to me in horror, glaring at me. “You mentioned it to Ray? How could you?” All of a sudden, she’s so angry; she can barely utter the words. She looks mortified. She turns to glare at me. “It’s a gift Anastasia. Can’t you just say thank you?” I say exasperated. “But Christian, you know it’s too much!” “Not to me it isn’t. There’s hardly a price tag for my piece of mind,” I say. She frowns at me, at a loss of what to say. She turns to the car, and then turns to me, and says, “I’m happy for you to loan this car to me, like the laptop.” It’s so damn hard to get her to accept anything! I sigh heavily. “Okay. On loan. Indefinitely,” I say warily to her. “No, not indefinitely, but for now. Thank you,” she says making me frown. Then she does something unexpected and extremely sweet. She reaches up, and kisses me briefly on the cheek and says, “Thank you for the car, sir.” With this one gesture, she makes me drop all my guards, and fires up my passion like a rocket. I grab her suddenly, and yank her up against my body, and one hand holding her back, the other fisting in her hair, I pull her in.

“You are one challenging woman Ana Steele!” I say and kiss her with all my pent up passion, forcing her lips apart with my tongue, taking no prisoners. Her passion is ready to rival mine, and she returns my kiss with all her passion, pushing herself into me. I’m ready to combust, and ready to take her right here in the parking lot of her apartment complex. “Anastasia, it’s taking all my self-control not to fuck you on the hood of this car right now, just to show you that you are mine, and if I want to buy you a fucking car, I’ll buy you a fucking car!” I growl. “Now, let’s get inside and get naked,” and plant a rough kiss on her lips. My anger is transforming, and manifesting itself into this raw sexual energy. I grab her hand, and practically drag her back to her apartment, make my way straight into her bedroom with Anastasia in tow. I have done enough waiting all these days, and I’m ready to claim what’s mine once and for all. I switch the table lamp on. I turn, stop in my tracks and stare at her for a moment. “Please don’t be angry with me,” she whispers with her baby gaze. Does she have any idea what kind of tornado her gaze causes in me? I give her my passive gaze under which I can hide all emotions. My eyes are hot and cold. I say nothing. I’m barely containing myself from pouncing on her right now. “I’m really sorry about the car and the books,” she says looking away. I’m still silent, still fighting my emotions inside. “It’s just that you scare me when you’re angry,” she breathes finally looking at me. I don’t want her to be scared of me. I close my eyes to find my center, shake my head as if to shake away emotional cloud in my head. When I finally open my eyes, I see her with fractionally clear head, and that softens my gaze. I take a deep breath and swallow. She’s irresistible right now, and I want focus on her, and not on the anger I’m feeling.

“Turn around,” I whisper. “I want to get you out of that dress.” (← She's so High by Tal
Bachman)

Finally one obedient move from her! She turns around without saying anything. I move towards her, scoop her hair off her back and place it on her right side of her shoulder. I can hear her heart beating like the wings of a hummingbird trying to escape her chest. I place my index

finger at the nape of her neck, and slowly and desirously drag my finger down, my fingernail grazing down on her back. I love this body! I love the way it looks in this dress. “I like this dress,” I murmur. “I like to see you flawless skin.” As my finger reaches the back of her halter dress halfway down to her spine, I hook my finger beneath the top; pull her close to my body making her step back against me. She’s flush against me. I lean down, and inhale her hair. “You smell divine, Anastasia. So sweet,” I say as I skim my nose down past her ear down to her neck, and shoulder while trailing soft, light, sensual kisses. Her breathing becomes shallow and quick, her body full of expectation. My fingers locate the zipper of her dress, and achingly slow, I ease it down while my lips kissing and licking, and sucking my way across her shoulder. She’s so desirous; she keeps squirming under my touch languidly. “You. Baby. Are. Going. To. Have. To. Learn. To. Keep. Still.” I whisper as I kiss around her nape. I can take all I can with the dress and thug and pull at the fastening of its halter neck, and her dress drops down and pools her feet. No bra? Oh. God! “No bra Miss Steele? I approve!” I say. My hands reach around and cup her breasts, and touch her nipples which pucker with the contact of my fingers. I lean in and murmur against her neck. “Lift your arms up, and put them around my head." She obeys, and her breasts are raised and push into my hands, nipples hard. Her fingers weave into my hair, and gently tug it meanwhile rolling her head to one side giving me access to her neck. It’s so fucking hot! “Mmm...” I murmur behind her ear, and start extending her nipples while her fingers mirror my actions inside my hair. She’s getting too hot to contain. “Shall I make you come this way?” I whisper to which she arches her back in approval. “You like this, don’t you Miss Steele?” “Mmm..” she says. “Tell me,” I say continuing my sensuous torture, pulling her nipples gently. “Yes,” she breathes. Time to educate her, “Yes, what?” I ask. “Yes, Sir,” she responds.

“Good girl,” I say pinching her hard making her convulse with a jolt of pleasure/pain leaving her gasping. My erection is hard and pushing into her. She moans even louder while pulling my hair harder. “I don’t think you’re ready to come yet,” I whisper, and my hands slow and still. I bit her earlobe, tugging at it. “Besides, you have displeased me,” I say. “Perhaps, I won’t let you come after all.” My fingers return to pulling, twisting and kneading her nipples. She grinds herself against my erection moving side to side. Her desire for me makes me grin. She’s always hot for me. My hands move down to her hips. I hook my fingers into her panties in the back stretching them, and my finger rips through the material shredding them. I toss them in front of her so she can see. My hand moves down to her sweet sex, and from behind I insert my finger.

“Oh, yes. My sweet girl is all ready,” I breathe whirling her around so she’s facing me. She’s making me so damn hot, my breathing also quickens. (←The Way You Make me Feel by
MJ and Britney Spears) I put my finger into my mouth to taste her. “You taste so fine, Miss

Steele,” I say sighing.

“Now, undress me,” I command her quietly, staring down at her, my eyes hooded. She looks down at her high heeled pumps. Not knowing how to go about it. “You can do it,” I encourage her softly. She blinks fast, not knowing where to start. Her hands reach to my t-shirt, but I hold them and shake my head, slyly smiling at her. “No, no...” I say shaking my head, grinning. “Not the t-shirt, you may need to touch me for what I have planned,” I say excited. I take one of her hands and place it against my erection. “This is the effect you have on me, Miss Steele,” I say. She, in response gasps, and flexes her fingers around my erection. “I want to be inside you. Take my jeans off. You’re in charge.” I say. Her jaw drops in response. “What are you going to do to me?” I tease.

She puts up a brave face on, and pushes me onto the bed, making me laugh as I fall down. She gazes down at me as if she’s won an important battle. She yanks one of my shoes off then my socks, but her excitement, and her coordination issues making her a little clumsy, and that much hotter. She repeats the process on the other foot. I am full of desire for her to the brim. I finally got her to accept me! I feel victorious. She crawls up on the bed with on hands and knees, her breasts are in close proximity and she sits astride me to undo my jeans. She slides her fingers under my waistband. Her fingers graze my pubic hair. Her touch not only excites me, but also gives me a heavenly relaxation. A paradox. I close my eyes, and flex my hips for her touch. “You’ll have to learn to keep still Mr. Grey,” she chides me, tugging the hair under the waistband. Her chiding hitches my breath, and I grin at her. “Yes, Miss Steele,” I murmur, my eyes are ember with passion for her. This is the longest I can hold; this waiting is killing me, I have to have her. Otherwise I’ll explode! “In my pocket, condom,” I breathe. She puts her hand into my pocket slowly, searching, moving around...slowly. And her touch creates a peak of ecstasy. I involuntarily open my mouth in pleasure. She finally fishes out both condom packets, and lays them on my hip. Her fingers eagerly reach my waistband’s button, slowly, fumbling. I have the same reaction on her as she has on me. “You are so eager, Miss Steele,” I murmur, happy to know. She tugs my zipper down. She tries to yank my pants down, but since my butt is firmly on the bed, she’s unable to do it. She bites her lip in frustration raising my sexual desire several notches. She frowns. She leans over, her breasts spilling right in direct sight of my vision while her captive lip is getting tortured by her teeth right before my eyes! I just have had all I can take! “I can’t keep still if you’re going to bite that lip,” I warn darkly, then arch my pelvis off the bed, so she can tug it off which she does. Off go the pants and the boxers freeing my erect length. I kick the clothes to the floor. She looks like a kid on Christmas morning with her favorite presents before her. I am beyond pleased with her reaction.

“Now what are you going to do?" I breathe- all desire, all salacity. She reaches up, and touches me. Her touch raises our regular jolt electricity many folds over. My mouth takes an O shape. She leans forward, her hair cascading, and she starts sucking. Hard! I close my eyes with pleasure. “Christ, Ana, steady,” I groan. I’m ready to come, and I don’t want to come. I want to fuck her! “Stop, Ana, stop. I don’t want to come.” I say. She looks disappointed somehow. “Baby, your innocence and enthusiasm is very disarming,” I gasp. “You, on top... that’s what we need to do,” I say. I hand her one of the condoms, “here, put this on.” She rips the packet, and holds it in her hand. “Pinch the top, and roll it down. You don’t wanna get air in the end of that sucker,” I say panting. She concentrates like a student who is working on a new project for the first time, and carefully, and slowly rolls it down, killing me in the process. I’m going to explode just by looking at her. “Christ, Anastasia, you’re killing me here,” I groan. She looks at my length and she too is aroused, licking her lips involuntarily. “Now,” I say murmuring, “I want to be buried inside you.” She stares down at me, daunted, and then I sit up suddenly, so we are nose to nose. “Like this,” I say snaking my hands behind her gorgeous hips, lifting her slightly, I position myself beneath her, and very slowly I ease her on my length. She groans as my length fills her inside. Her mouth opens in surprise at the sweet agonizing feeling my full length is providing her with. “Oh... please,” she whispers with pleasure. “That’s right, baby, feel me, all of me,” I growl, closing my eyes. I push myself all the way in, sheathed to the hilt, and I hold her in place for a while to get the feeling of her. To feel my claim, my possession, my woman on top of me! “She’s mine!” says my inner god. “It’s deep this way,” I murmur. I flex and gyrate my hips in the same rhythmic motion, and she groans with pleasure. “Again,” she whispers, making me grin. We aim to please, baby...

She moans in pleasure even louder and throws her head back, her beautiful hair tumbling down. I slowly sink back onto the bed. “Now, you move, Anastasia, up and down, how you want,” I say, “Take my hand,” I say breathy, my voice hoarse. She clasps my hands, and we are connected on many points. She gently pushes off me and back down. Repeatedly. My eyes are burning in wild anticipation. My breathing ragged, as is hers. As she comes down I lift my pelvis and bounce her back up, we create our own rhythm. Up, down, up, down... over and over again. She’s panting hard, and I’m about to explode. Our eyes lock, we gaze into each other while our bodies have their tango. I have wonder in my eyes. She has awakened something in me I didn’t know I had. It's an absolute realization: I can’t do without her! She’s mine, and right now, she’s claiming me, fucking me, loving me. I’ve never been loved before, except by her. The thought of this brings my pleasure to the meniscus and I grab her hips, closing my eyes, tipping my head back, my jaw strained, I come quietly with the awe and full of unknown emotions; I can’t even make a sound with these strange feelings coming over me. She collapses on my chest, overwhelmed. We crossed the line between love making and fucking. It’s all one grey area now. Can I ever get back from it? Do, I even want to get back from it? In that place, she’s mine, and I am hers. (← I'm Yours by Jason Mraz)

FIFTY SHADES OF FUCKED UP

As we both ascend from our ecstasy, and come back to our senses, I’m completely awed and in captivation of this beautiful woman I claimed in every sense of the word. And she has only been mine. What a feeling that is for a megalomaniac like me! I’m barely realizing the value of it just now. In fact I didn’t even fully understand how important it was to me until she climbed on top of me fumbling with the condom trying to fit it on my length. I realized that she’s never done that for some other man. Never sat atop another man. Never pleasured another man. Never been claimed by another man. She’s mine in every sense of the word... Completely, utterly, and irrevocably! Mine... She’s lying on top of me, her head on my chest, and I smell vanilla, soap, outdoors, and our sex on my woman: there’s nothing more intoxicating, more seductive than your woman lying on top of you completed sated and satisfied and you buried and lost in her on the planet... I close my eyes completely taken by the feeling of it. Never felt this way before. Ever!

While I have my eyes closed, she stretches her hand out on my chest touching me, feeling me. Although I desperately need and want her to touch me, I can’t bear the feeling of it. My hand swoops up and grabs hers; she looks hurt. But her look softens mine and I pull her hand to my lips and kiss each of her knuckles. Then I roll over so I’m gazing down at her. “Don’t,” I murmur, and then kiss her lightly on the lips. “Why don’t you like to be touched?” she whispers, staring up into my eyes. How could I tell her what a freak of a life I had, that my mother was a crack whore, or that no one knows who my father is, or that I’m fucked up by her pimp and she did nothing to protect me! Or the part where she committed suicide when I was four, and I had to live with her dead body, sleep next to her dead body, trying to wake her up so she can comfort me, or feed me, or take care of me for four days! How could I tell her that I’m irreversibly damaged and fucked up? Instead I say, “Because I’m fifty shades of fucked up, Anastasia.” She blinks up at me. “I had a very tough introduction to life. I don’t want to burden you with the details. Just don’t.” I stroke my nose against hers, and then pull out of her sitting up. “I think that’s all the very basics covered. How was that?” I say switching from a very uncomfortable topic. After all, sex with Anastasia is my favorite topic. In fact I’m quite pleased with myself for being her one and only teacher. Her face looks frustrated with some emotion she’s not telling me about. Sadness, curiosity, desire. She wants to get to know me, know more about my issues, but how can I tell her without piquing her curiosity even further about my mountains of issues. Then I’d lose her forever...if she were to find out about the truth behind my predilections. I could never talk to her about that. Never! She'd run for the hills and never come back. I can’t lose her. She cocks her beautiful head to one side, mimicking me, and makes a huge effort to smile at me. “If you imagine for one minute that I think you ceded control to me, Mr. Grey, well you haven’t taken into account my GPA,” she says smiling shyly at me. “But thank you for the illusion.” She’s one smart woman, and just as I think I distracted her, she says something unexpected, or does something unexpected. “Miss Steele, you are not just a pretty face. You’ve had six orgasms so far and all of them belong to me,” I boast playfully. The first look

that crosses her face is surprise, realizing I kept count. She flushes and blinks at the same time, and her reaction makes me stare down at her, I furrow my brows with the understanding that she’s hiding something. Jealousy is rising in me. Has someone else given her an orgasm I didn’t know about? I don’t think I can handle that. She’s supposed to be only mine. Or did she pleasure herself? Curiosity and jealousy get the better of me: “Do you have something to tell me?” I ask, my voice is suddenly stern. She frowns, then looks embarrassed, going crimson “I had a dream this morning,” she breathes out, not knowing how I would react to this piece of information. “Oh?” I glare at her questioning. She throws her arm over her eyes in utter mortification and says, “I came in my sleep.” I am beyond relieved to find that out. Relived that no one else touched her but me. She’s all mine! She hasn’t touched herself either, knowing my rules. My instant relief makes me silent but also amused. She peeks at me from under her arm, seeing me smile. “In your sleep?” I ask. "Yes. Woke me up,” she breathes. “I’m sure it did,” I say knowing full well how it affects someone. If she only knew that she gave me the best wet dream I’ve had when she was keeping herself away. “What were you dreaming about?” I ask wanting to find out what gave her that orgasm. I hope she was dreaming about me, since she now occupies my best dreams, and sometimes the thought of losing her gives me the worst nightmares. “You,” she barely whispers. Her answer relieves me immensely. She dreamed about me – an erotic dream at that good enough to give her an orgasm! “What was I doing?” I ask. This time she throws both her arms over her eyes again. Her embarrassment makes her hide her face like a small child. But I won’t be deterred by that. This is such a hot piece of news! I have to know what I was doing. “Anastasia, what was I doing? I won’t ask you again.” “You had a riding crop,” she says color rushing her cheeks while her arms are trying to bury her face. I am beyond thrilled with this bit of information. She wants me, and what’s more she desires toys enough to dream about them. I gently move her arms and ask, “Really?” “Yes.” She breathes turning crimson once again.

“There’s hope for you yet,” I murmur, completely relieved. “I have several riding crops,” thinking perhaps we could try one of them this Sunday. “Brown plaited leather?” she asks making me laugh. If that’s the desire of her dreams, I’d be sure to find one. “No, but I’m sure I could get one,” I say my eyes blazing with excitement and anticipation. I lean down, and give her a small kiss, then grab my boxers... Her face falls. Taylor would have been waiting for me outside. I have to get back to the hotel. She turns her head quickly to the clock on the bedside table. It reads nine forty. She too rolls out of bed, and quickly gets her sweat pants and a camisole top, and puts them on then sits back on the bed, cross-legged, watching me. My mind rushes forward to this Sunday, and how much I always want to be in her. God! I could live buried inside her all the time! Which brings up another topic; does she use any form of birth control? Since we’ve started our relationship, we need to figure out a method of contraception. I intend to enjoy her a lot, and I hate those condoms. I’m looking forward to being completely commando. “When is your period due?” I ask interrupting her deep reveries. “What?!” she asks shaking her head not completely on the same page with me. “I hate wearing these things,” I grumble holding up the condom. Then I put it on the floor, to free my hands and slip on my jeans. She hasn’t answered me yet. She’s occupied with her own thoughts. “Well?” I probe her again, and she doesn’t answer me for some reason. I look at her, and she looks back. All of a sudden she looks embarrassed. Embarrassed of me! But she shouldn’t feel shy of me, not after all the acts we’ve done together. “Next week,” she says finally staring down at her hands. “You need to sort out some contraception,” I say to her. I don’t want to knock her up. It’s very important we resolve this. I intend to spend a lot of time with her. But she stares at me with a blank face as if I started speaking in Greek. The realization dawns on me. She’s very young, and she hasn’t been sexually active before she met me. It is a big possibility that she doesn’t even have an OBGYN. I sit back on the bed to put my socks and shoes.

“Do you have a doctor Anastasia?” I ask her. She shakes her head in response making me frown. Just as I thought. “I can have my personal physician come and see you at your apartment this Sunday morning before you come and see me. Or he can see you at my place. Which would you prefer?” I ask her since she doesn’t have a doctor of her own, mine can sort the problem out. She’s thoughtful. “Your place,” she answers quietly. “Okay. I’ll let you know the time,” I say making a mental note to have Andrea schedule my doctor to come to Escala. “Are you leaving?” she asks surprised with an undercurrent of melancholy. “Yes,” I answer. A questioning look passes through her face “How are you getting back?” she whispers in a small voice. “Taylor will pick me up,” I respond. “I can drive you if you like. I have a lovely new car,” she says taking my breath away with her surprising response since her initial reaction was less than welcoming. She manages to amaze me at every turn. I turn my gaze on her unable to keep the warmth out of them. “That’s more like it. But I think you’ve had too much to drink,” I say. I don’t want to put her in danger by having her driving semi-intoxicated. Ever the observant girl she is, she asks, “Did you get me tipsy on purpose?” “Yes,” I respond truthfully. I always endeavor to be truthful to her. “Why?” she questions. “Because you tend to overthink everything, and I’m convinced that you are reticent like your stepdad. But when you get a drop of wine in you, it loosens you up and you start talking,” I say. “I need you to communicate honestly with me, baby. Otherwise you clam up, shut down and I have no idea what you’re thinking. In vino veritas, Anastasia,” I say. “And you think you’re always honest with me?” she questions. “I try to be,” I say looking at her warily. She needs to understand that, relationships like the one we’re entering are based on trust. “This will only work if we’re honest with each other,” I say willing her to understand.

She looks sad all of a sudden. Her face has some hidden emotion she doesn’t want me to see or understand. Finally she pulls up some courage and holding up the second condom, she says, “I’d like you to stay and use this,” making me smile with humor. I would very much like to stay and use that condom and do all I want, but I’m breaking too many of my own rules. I can’t lose control in this. I have to be in charge. I’m letting this beautiful, captivating, enchanting woman get the best of me. “Anastasia, I have crossed so many lines here tonight. I have to go. I’ll see you on Sunday. I’ll have the revised contract ready for you, and then we can really start to play,” I say firmly. “Play?” she says blinking. Yes, baby, play. She looks anxious. “I’d like to do a scene with you. But I won’t do that until you’ve signed your contract. That way I know you’re ready,” I say by the way of explanation. “Oh. So I could stretch this out, if I don’t sign?” she asks playfully. I gaze at her assessing her demeanor. My baby wants to play. I can reciprocate. My lips twitch into a smile. “Well,” I say with a wicked gleam in my eyes, “I suppose you could, but I may crack under the strain.” “Crack? How?” she asks innocently, playfully making me nod, and grin. “Could get really ugly,” I say teasing her. She grins back in response. “Ugly, how?” she asks in her sweet demeanor. “Oh you know, explosions, car chases, kidnapping, incarceration,” I say nonchalantly. “You’d kidnap me?” she asks surprised. “Oh yes,” I grin at her. Does she have any idea how much I desire her, and how close I came to breaking down? “You’d hold me against my will?” she says in a breathy voice, raising the temperatures. “Oh yes,” I nod. “And then we’re talking TPE 24/7,” I say to her. She gives me a blank stare. “You’ve lost me,” she says in a breathy voice, her proximity is so close, I can hear her heart pounding... She isn’t sure if I’m serious. What would she do, if she in fact knew that I am serious.

“Total Power Exchange – round the clock,” I say to her with desire making my eyes bright, excitement brimming in me. “So you have no choice baby,” I say taunting. “Clearly,” she says with her word dripping sarcasm, and rolling her eyes at me! Oh, thank heavens! Baby, I’ve been waiting for this moment to come, so I’d give you a lesson. I’m beyond excited and aroused with the prospect of punishing her. “Oh, Anastasia Steele, did you just roll your eyes at me?” She looks reticent. “No,” she squeaks in a small voice. “I think you did. What did I say I’d do to you if you rolled your eyes at me again?” I ask triumphantly. I sit down on the edge of the bed, waiting for to claim my prize in the shape of her round rosy ass. “Come here,” I say softly. She blanches. She stares at me trying to figure out whether I’m serious or not completely immobile. “I haven’t signed,” she whispers.

“I told you what I’d do Anastasia. I’m a man of my word,” I say with my eyes burning embers. “I’m going to spank you, and then I’m going to fuck you very quick and very hard. Looks like we’ll need that condom after all,” I say my gaze fixed on her with a soft, menacing, and salacious voice. (←Bad Things by Jace Everett)

She’s fixed in her spot, but I can see that she indecisive with different emotions. Wanting, desirous, needy, scared. I gaze at her waiting for her to move, my eyes are desirous, my palms are twitching expectantly. She uncurls her legs hesitantly. She eyes the door, calculating her chance of escape. Thinking, weighing her options. “I’m still waiting,” I say. “Anastasia, I’m not a very patient man,” I warn her with a solid voice and a stern look. She’s panting, afraid, but also looks incredibly turned on, just the way I like it. Slowly, with shaky legs she crawls over to me on the bed, and she’s next to me. I give an inward sigh of relief.

“Good girl,” I murmur. “Now stand up,” I command her. Tentatively, she stands on her feet. I hold my hand out, and she deposits the condom into my palm. I’m so full of desire to punish her and fuck her, I grab her with the speed of a cobra, and tip her across my knee. I wanted to do that since the day she asked me if I was gay on the day of my interview with her. With one smooth movement, I angle my body in a way to make her torso to rest on the bed beside me. I throw my right leg over both of hers for fixing her in place and plant my left forearm on the small of her back, holding her body down making her completely immobile. It’s a fucking lovely sight; I’m beyond aroused, and barely can contain myself to deliver her punishment for her disobedience that has been coming since the day I met her. “Put your hands up on either side of your head,” I order to which she obeys immediately. Now, it’s time to read out the crime, and decree and deliver the punishment for her transgressions. “Why am I doing this, Anastasia?” I ask her. “Because I rolled my eyes at you,” she says in a barely audible voice. “Do you think that’s polite?” I ask firmly. “No,” she responds plainly. “Will you do it again?” I ask her. Not that she would dare to attempt after she’s received a dose of this punishment. “No,” she responds immediately. “I will spank you each time you do it, do you understand?” I say making myself very firm and clear. Then I pull down her sweatpants painfully slow, making a show of it. Remember this baby! I’m eating this up. Aroused, happy, desirous, hot, and my palms are itching to hurt her behind, and spread the pain pleasure. I can feel the rapid flutter of her heart under my touch. I place my hand on her naked, alabaster and delectable behind. It is so sweet, and soft, and pretty, soon it’ll be rosy red. The thought excites me beyond belief. I softly fondle her, stroke her behind round and round with the flat of my palm to cover the most surface, and

spread the most pain. And quick as a snake bite, I raise my palm and deliver her very first spanking – as hard as I can. “Ow!” is her automatic response to her first taste of punishment pain. She tries to rise, wiggling, but my hand moves between her shoulder blades keeping her firmly down. I caress her again where she received the blow. My breathing is excited. This is like sex to me: arousing, hot, exciting, a big turn on, like the oncoming climax – it’s louder, harsher. I hit her again and again, in quick succession. She makes no sound after her first ‘ow’. She tries to wiggle away from the blows, but no sound. I know it hurts, because my palm is aching, and that is turning me on beyond belief. “Keep still,” I growl, my voice hoarse. “Or I’ll spank you for longer,” I warn her. I rub her to spread the blood which is rushing to the surface of the skin with each of my blows making her alabaster ass rosy pink. I have perfected this rhythmic pattern with years of practice, caress, fondle, slap hard. Repeat. Caress, fondle, slap hard. She hasn’t made one beep since her first surprise ow which is turning me on even more, surprising me with her endurance. If I slap her on the same spot, body’s natural tendency is to release some hormones to numb the area which is why I caress to spread the sensation, then I don’t hit the same spot twice in succession: this provides the maximum pain. On my tenth slap she yelps out in pain. “Aargh!” “I’m just getting warmed up,” I say hitting her again then stroking her softly. This does two things: the slap provides the intended pain, but awakens some sensations inside coaxed out with sensual stroking, a pain pleasure which gives mind-numbing effects. I hit her again… I’m keeping count inside, and enjoying the hell out of her punishment; making a meal out of it. It’s satisfying the hunger, the beast in me! I stroke her gently again, and deliver my blow. This time she cries out involuntarily once more. “No one to hear you, baby, just me.” And my slaps follow over and over again. Slap, stroke, fondle. Repeat. Eleven. Twelve. I count in my head. I continue my unrelenting rhythm. The following six slaps each make her cry out making me further desirous for her. My final slap is the eighteenth. Even my hand is singing with pain, and I finally say “Enough,” hoarsely.

I’m amazed with the way she handled it, and didn’t cry. “Well done, Anastasia. Now I’m going to fuck you,” I say to her with a lot of desire. I caress her behind gently, and it’s pink, borderline red. I stroke this beautiful rosy ass round and round and down. As I stroke her behind down, I quickly insert two fingers inside her, taking her completely by surprise; my purpose is accomplished. She gasps, because this is giving her a pleasurable sensation after the large dose of spanking and stroking she received. I find her aroused and wet as I had hoped and expected which pleases me even further. It further feeds the need in me in great doses. “Feel this. See how much your body likes this, Anastasia. You’re soaking just for me,” I say with awe and reverence in my voice. She continues to amaze me at every turn. My fingers move in and out in quick succession making her groan. Then I quickly remove my fingers knowing full well that she is now full of desire… for me. “Next time, I will get you to count. Now where’s that condom?” I reach for the condom and lift her gently and push her face down onto the bed. I zip my jeans open, rip the condom’s packet, and roll it onto my length. I pull her sweatpants off, and guide her into a kneeling position, and, gently caressing her rosy red behind with increasing desire. “I’m going to take you now. You can come,” I murmur. And I fill inside her, slamming. She moans loudly in response. I pull back and move forward finding my rhythm pounding into her, with a fast, intense pace against her rosy pink behind. The look of it grows my desire many folds. Her face is down; her moans are indicating her climax is approaching. She claws at the sheets her knuckles white; this sight reaches me to the peak and the pull of impending climax tightens my insides, and we both reach and explode in an intense, body-shattering orgasm. “Oh, Ana!” I cry out finding my release, firmly holding her in place as I pour myself into her. I collapse, panting hard next to her, and I pull her on top of me and burying my face in her hair, holding her close. I’m beyond satisfied. I found my match, who can fully satisfy me, and take me. “Oh, baby,” I breathe. “Welcome to my world.” We lie there, panting together, waiting for our breathing to slow. I’m completely in awe of this woman in my arms. She’s my perfect

match in every sense of the word. How can I let her go? I gently stroke her hair while she lies on my chest again, completely worn out, and spent; just the way I like it. I nuzzle her hair again, inhaling deeply. “Well done, baby,” I whisper, quiet joy pours out of my voice. I want to dress her and I pick at the strap on her camisole. “Is this what you sleep in?” I ask her gently. “Yes,” she breathes sleepily. She deserves much better than that. “You should be in silks and satins, you beautiful girl. I’ll take you shopping,” I say. “I like my sweats,” she murmurs, trying and failing to sound irritated. Still trying to be defiant. I kiss her head again. “We’ll see,” I say. We are going to do some shopping for her. We lie for a few more minutes, and she dozes in my arms. “I have to go,” I say, and leaning down, I kiss her forehead gently. “Are you okay?” I ask in a soft voice. She contemplates my question a little. Then simply whispers, “I’m okay.” I rise from the bed. “Where’s your bathroom?” I ask her. “Along the corridor to the left,” she responds. Scooping up the other condom, I head to the bathroom to clean up. I toss the condoms in the trash bin in the bathroom, and wash myself up. I check the medicine cabinet, and find a bottle of baby oil. This will do the job in partially easing the pain of her sore behind. When I come back to the bedroom, she’s back in her sweatpants, her head in her hands. She won’t look at me in the eye. She just stares down at her hands. “I found some baby oil. Let me rub it into your behind,” I say. “No. I’ll be fine,” she responds. “Anastasia,” I say in a warning voice. She finally stands facing the bed. I sit next to her gently pulling her sweatpants down again. I squirt baby oil into my hand and then rub her sore behind with tender care. For some reason, I feel that her behind is like a shrine of worship. I can’t keep my hands off of it reverently now. “I like my hands on you,” I murmur. She nods in response. “There,” I say after finally finishing and pull her pants up again.

“I’m leaving now,” I say having Taylor wait outside for some time. She automatically turns to her side table to look at the clock. It read ten thirty. “I’ll see you out,” she says quietly still not looking at me. I take her hand, and lead her to the front door. “Don’t you have to call Taylor?” she asks, still avoiding eye contact with me. Chastisement will do that to you. “Taylor’s been here since nine. Look at me,” I breathe. She struggles to meet my eyes, and when she finally does, I gaze down at her with wonder. She’s amazing; I’m in complete awe of her. “You didn’t cry,” I murmur, then desire builds and she’s like the sun to me; I grab her suddenly and kiss her with all my passion. “Sunday,” I whisper against her lips, and it’s both a promise and a threat. I leave her by the door watching me walk down the path and climb into the black Audi SUV. “Sir,” says Taylor by the way of greeting. I nod at him in the dark. “Heathman’s?” “Yes,” I confirm. My thoughts are all of Anastasia on the short distance back to the hotel. “Taylor,” I say remembering. “I want you to make sure the Blackberry is delivered to Miss Steele tomorrow at work. I don’t care if they have to make one from scratch.” “Yes, sir,” he says firmly, and knowing Taylor, he’s going crimson because he doesn’t like inadequacy, and though it’s a simple task, it still remains unfulfilled. I need to be able to contact Anastasia at all times. I can’t let some other fucker slip in and take her away. I can’t handle it. Not after I claimed her as my own every which way-no one has taken her before. It’d kill me to know that someone else is warming her, holding her, fucking her... The thought makes me frown, and I grit my teeth. “Taylor, make sure!” I say. He knows what’s coming next. He has the ability to read me. We’ve perfected the silent communication; which is one of the reasons he’s my right hand man. He knows what needs to be done without having to be told, and follows orders to the letter. “Yes, sir! Even if I have to build the phone myself, she’ll receive it tomorrow!”

“Fine,” I say, yet I feel uneasy. Leaving her forlorn didn’t sit right with me. But I can’t break my own rules. Why do I have this fear all of a sudden as something is wrong, or that she might slip through my fingers? She’s occupying my mind all the time, in wake and sleep. How could someone so inexperienced, so innocent, so defiant yet so shy be so captivating? How could she conquer me in the course of a few weeks? I shake my head as if to empty it from the thoughts of her. When we get to the hotel, Taylor and I get off the SUV, and he hands the key to the valet. We make our way to my suite. I quickly go over tomorrow’s schedule with him as we are going back to Seattle after a week of stay in Portland. I’ll have to manage a day without Anastasia on Saturday. That makes me emphasize the point of her having the Blackberry to Taylor, and I think even if he has to invent it, he will have it delivered. He goes to his suite right next to mine, and I open a bottle of wine. I pour myself a glass, and make my way to my laptop to write Anastasia an e-mail as well as to check my messages that arrived in my absence. There’s a message from my sister Mia, giving me her flight information arriving from Paris tomorrow. I type a quick response to her confirming that I’d be picking her up.

I then type an e-mail to Anastasia: _____________________________________________

From: Christian Grey Subject: You Date: May 26 2011 23:15 To: Anastasia Steele

Dear Miss Steele

You are quite simply exquisite. You’re the most beautiful, intelligent, witty and brave woman I have ever met. Take some Advil – this is not a request. And don’t drive your Beetle again. I will know.

Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _____________________________________________

In one hand I want her to go to sleep, because she is working tomorrow, but in the other hand I want her to respond to me, acknowledging she received my message, and that I know she’s there, in her small apartment, and not with someone. I know the thought is unreasonable; I still can’t help feeling it. The ding from my e-mail announcing her response sounds fifteen minutes later. I’m anxious like a school boy getting a note from his first crush. _____________________________________________

From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Flattery Date: May 26 2011 23:21 To: Christian Grey

Dear Mr. Grey

Flattery will get you nowhere, but since you’ve been everywhere, it’s a moot point. I will have to drive my Beetle to a garage to sell – so will not graciously accept any of your nonsense over that. I prefer red wine to Advil.

Ana

PS: Caning is a HARD limit for me.

_____________________________________________

Her message makes me frustrated. Why can’t she take a compliment? Does she think so little of herself? Why is she still up? She needs to sleep if she wants to get a full night’s rest. I quickly type her a response. _____________________________________________

From: Christian Grey Subject: Frustrating women who can’t take compliments Date: May 26 2011 23:27 To: Anastasia Steele

Dear Ms. Steele

I am not flattering you; I was only stating what I think of you. You should go to bed. I accept your addition to the hard limits. Don’t drink too much. Taylor will dispose of your car and get a good price for it, too.

Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

_____________________________________________

I sigh, and hit send. Her response is quick, and this time it’s maddening. What is she trying to do to me?

_____________________________________________

From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Taylor – Is he the right man for the job? Date: May 26 2011 23:39 To: Christian Grey

Dear Sir,

I am intrigued that you gladly risk your right-hand man drive my car, but you won’t let some woman you fuck occasionally drive the aforementioned car to a shop. How can I be sure that Taylor is the man to get me the best deal for said car? I have, in the past, probably before I met you, been known to drive a hard bargain.

Ana _____________________________________________

This message drives me mad, and I’m in the right mind to drive over there, and give her the full ramifications of her ranting. I’m assuming she’s had too much champagne, and then drank red wine to sooth her sore behind. The knowledge of that is the only thing keeping me at the hotel right now. I immediately write her a response. _____________________________________________

From: Christian Grey Subject: Careful! Date: May 26 2011 23:43 To: Anastasia Steele

Dear Ms. Steele,

I am assuming it is the RED WINE talking, and that you’ve had a very long day. Though I am tempted to drive back over there to ensure that you don’t sit down for a week, rather than an evening. Taylor is ex-army and capable of driving anything from a motorcycle to a Sherman Tank. Your car does not present a hazard to him. Now please do not refer to yourself as ‘some woman I fuck occasionally’ because, quite frankly it makes me MAD, and you really wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.

Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

_____________________________________________

I’m still breathing through my nostrils when her message dings back, and my heart leaps into my mouth with what she said. So, my fears weren’t unfounded.

_____________________________________________

From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Careful yourself Date: May 26 2011 23:57 To: Christian Grey

Dear Mr. Grey,

I’m not sure I like you anyway, especially at the moment.

Ms. Steele

_____________________________________________

What? She doesn’t like me? Why doesn’t she like me? I quickly write back to her.

_____________________________________________

From: Christian Grey Subject: Careful yourself

Date: May 27 2011 00:02 To: Anastasia Steele

Why don’t you like me?

Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

_____________________________________________

I anxiously wait for her to write me back. I count the minutes and the seconds on the clock. Finally her response dings back in my e-mail box.

_____________________________________________

From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Careful yourself Date: May 27 2011 00:09 To: Christian Grey

Because you never stay with me.

_____________________________________________ I stare at the laptop’s screen for a minute. I’ve upset her! She finally said what’s been bothering her. I knew something was wrong. I’ve had the feeling, yet I left her. But she wouldn’t say anything. She said she was okay! Is she too intimidated of me to tell me how she feels except when she’s drunk and she’s writing me an e-mail? I need her to communicate with me openly, and clearly.

I had dressed down to get ready to bed, but I quickly dress up, put my pinstripe jacket on, and take my car keys. I send a quick text to Taylor letting him know I’m going over to Miss Steele’s and that I’d be spending the night over at her place. I drive to her apartment complex with the thoughts of her clouding my mind and worrying about her. I park the car, and quickly get out. I walk the stone pathway to her building, and climb her stairs two at a time. I knock on the door firmly, and in quick succession. (← You're Always on My Mind by Michael Buble)

It’s the roommate Kate the ball-crusher that opens the door. When she sees me, her face changes and she takes an angry tone, ready to rip me apart. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing here?” she bellows. “I’m here to see Anastasia,” I answer. “Well you can’t!” is her response. My heart stutters. Is Anastasia refusing me now? Did she change her mind? Did she decide what we have is bad for her? “Why can’t I?” is my response. “What the fuck have you done to her now?” she asks me. “What do you mean?” I ask her incredulous. “Since she’s met you, she cries all the time,” is her answer. It crushes my dark heart. I don’t want Anastasia to cry. I’m beyond worried that she’ll slip through my fingers because she won’t communicate with me, and that I’m too fucked up and hard on her. I have got to see her! “Kate, don’t make me force my way in,” I say firmly glaring at her. “I have to come in now to see what’s wrong with her,” and push the door open wide and walk in. “You can’t come in here!” she yells after me. I briskly walk through the living room, and burst into Anastasia’s bedroom, and switch the overhead light on to find her sobbing loudly into her pillow, she turns and squints her eyes, but not before I get a glimpse of her eyes swollen red with tears! “Jesus, Ana,” I mutter. I turn the switch off again, and I rush to her side in a moment. “What are you doing here?” she gasps between sobs. She’s unable to stop crying. I flick the side table lamp on. She squints with the onslaught of the light again. Her roommate Katherine comes and stands in the doorway.

“Do you want me to throw this asshole out?” she asks Anastasia, radiating thermonuclear hostility. I raise my eyebrows at her, clearly not having very many people to speak to me in those terms, at least to my face anyway, though I know I am an asshole. But her feral antagonism makes me think that I’ve done something horribly wrong to Anastasia, though I don’t know what. Anastasia shakes her head at her in the negative, and the roommate rolls her eyes at her. “Just holler if you need me,” she says gently to Anastasia, then turns her venomous glare at me and hisses, “Grey – your cards are marked!” pointing a well-manicured finger at me, and she turns and pulls the door to but doesn’t close it. I’m shaken to the core, because clearly I’ve done something to someone I care a lot about, and I don’t fucking have a clue what it is! I gaze down at Anastasia with a grave expression, my face blanched. I reach inside my jacket and from my inside pocket and pull out my handkerchief and hand it to her. “What’s going on?” I ask quietly, worried. “Why are you here?” she asks me in response, ignoring my question. Her tears ceased flowing, but she’s so distraught, her body is shaking with dry heaves. This upsets me, and I’m anxious to know what I have done, and how I can amend it. “Part of my role is to look after your needs. You said you wanted me to stay, so here I am. And yet I find you like this.” I blink at her, completely bewildered. “I’m sure I’m responsible, but I have no idea why. Is it because I hit you?” She pulls herself up in bed. Her wincing doesn’t escape my view. She sits and faces me. “Did you take some Advil?” I ask, to which she responds with a shake of her head. Will she ever listen to anything I ask her to do? I narrow my eyes, stand up, and leave the room to find her some Advil. I find Kate busy with her packing in the living room, and ask her if she has some Advil I can take to Anastasia. She narrows her eyes at me, and gives me ‘if looks could kill’ kind of stare. “We have some in the bathroom medicine cabinet,” she responds and adds, “remember my threat to you Grey... You better make this right!”, she says her glare not leaving me.

“I will,” I say, fill a teacup with water, and go get two Advil Gelcaps for Anastasia and walk back into the room. “Take these,” I order her, and I gently sit on the bed beside her as to not to disturb her. She puts the Advil into her mouth and chases it down with the water. “Talk to me,” I whisper, suppressing my worry. “You told me you were okay. I’d never have left you if I thought you were like this,” I say gazing into her trying to find out the reasons behind her current state. She just stares down at her hands. What’s worrying her? She says nothing. “I take it that when you said you were okay, you weren’t,” I say, apparently hitting the nail on the head, because she flushes. “I thought I was fine,” she whispers still looking down at her hands. “Anastasia, you can’t tell me what you think I want to hear. That’s not very honest,” I chide her. All relationships are based on trust, especially the one we are in. Otherwise it won’t work. “How can I trust anything you’ve said to me?” She finally peeks up at me under the cascade of her chestnut hair. I frown at her, a bleak look in my eyes. Frustration, worry, her state raises my anxiety level making me run both my hands through my hair. “How did you feel while I was hitting you and after?” I ask her. “I didn’t like it. I’d rather you didn’t do it again,” she says softly. “You weren’t meant to like it,” I tell her. “Why do you like it then?” she asks staring up at me. Her question surprises me. It’s partly because of the beast in me that likes to see her in that state, showing me I have complete control over her, and that satisfies a need in me and arouses me. “You really want to know?” I ask her. She may not like what I’m going to say. “Oh, trust me, I’m fascinated,” she says with sarcasm dripping her words. I narrow my eyes on her again. “Careful,” I warn. She blanches. “Are you going to hit me again?” she asks me challenging. “No, not tonight,” I respond. I don’t want to hurt her...right now. “So,” she coaxes me.

“I like the control it brings me, Anastasia. I want you to behave in a particular way and if you don’t, I shall punish you, and you will learn to behave the way I desire. I enjoy punishing you. I’ve wanted to spank you since you asked me if I was gay.” She flushes. I remember her being embarrassed after she asked the question at the time she asked me once she realized what question her roommate written down. “So you don’t like the way I am,” she says sadly. That’s not true! I love the way she is. In fact she’s a breath of fresh air in my fucked up life. I stare at her, bewildered again. “I think you’re lovely the way you are,” I say in complete honesty. (← You're in my Heart by Rod Stewart)

“So why are you trying to change me?” “I don’t want to change you. I’d like you to be courteous and to follow the set of rules I’ve given you and not defy me. Simple,” I say. “But you want to punish me?” “Yes I do.” “That’s what I don’t understand,” she says confused. I sigh and run my hands through my hair again completely exasperated. “It’s the way I’m made, Anastasia. I need to control you. I need you to behave in a certain way, and if you don’t – I love to watch your beautiful alabaster skin pink and warm up under my hands. It turns me on.” Her eyes widen, her gaze is somewhere between fear and reticence. “So it’s not the pain you’re putting me through?” she asks. I swallow. Actually it has a lot to do with it. It feeds my need to give pain to her. “A bit, to see if you can take it, but that’s not the whole reason. It’s the fact that you are mine to do with as I see fit – ultimate control over someone else. And it turns me on. Big time, Anastasia. Look, I’m not explaining myself very well… I’ve never had to before. I’ve not really thought about this in any great depth. I’ve always been with like-minded people,” I shrug almost apologetically. “And you still haven’t answered my question – how did you feel afterwards?” I ask her. “Confused,” she responds.

“You were sexually aroused by it, Anastasia,” say remembering. I close my eyes with the fresh memory of it as I feel my libido rising in me. When I reopen my eyes, I gaze at her with hot, smoldering passion. That look does something to her, and I feel her respond in kind. She enjoys it too. In fact, a lot of desire is pulsating between us; her eyes fixed on mine with want and feral passion. “Don’t look at me like that,” I murmur. She frowns. “I don’t have any condoms, Anastasia, and you know, you’re upset. Contrary to what your roommate believes, I’m not a priapic monster. So, you felt confused?” I ask her. She squirms under the scrutiny of my gaze. “You have no problem being honest with me in print. Your e-mails always tell me exactly how you feel. Why can’t you do that in conversation? Do I intimidate you that much?” She just randomly stares at a corner of her room. Without looking at me she whispers her answer: “You beguile me, Christian. Completely overwhelm me. I feel like Icarus flying too close to the Sun.” Her reply makes me gasp. “Well, I think you’ve got that the wrong way around,” I breathe my answer. “What?” she asks surprised. “Oh, Anastasia, you’ve bewitched me body and soul. Isn’t it obvious?” “You’ve still not answered my question. Write me an e-mail, please. But right now, I’d really like to sleep. Can I stay?” I ask her. “Do you want to stay?” she asks me with hope in her tone. “You wanted me here,” I respond, although I know the full meaning of her question. The answer is, yes, I want to stay. In fact there’s not another place in the planet I would rather be than this tiny bedroom in her small apartment she is sharing with her ball-crushing roommate. “You haven’t answered my question,” she says probing. “I’ll write you an e-mail,” I mutter nervously. I stand up and empty my pockets taking out my BlackBerry, keys, wallet, and money. I take off my watch, shoes, socks, and jeans and

put them on a chair. I walk around the other side of the bed and slide next to Anastasia. My happy place. “Lie down,” I order. She too slips slowly under the covers, wincing slightly, staring at me. She’s shocked but visibly happy to have me in her bed staying with her. How can I escape her? Doesn’t she know I’m hooked? I lean up on one elbow, stare down at Anastasia. “If you are going to cry, cry in front of me. Please. I need to know,” I say. I don’t ever what her to be miserable in my absence. “Do you want me to cry?” she asks curiously. “Not particularly. I just want to know how you’re feeling. I don’t want you slipping through my fingers. Switch the light off. It’s late, and we both have to work tomorrow.” She turns the side table lamp off, lies back down. “Lie on your side, facing away from me,” I murmur in the darkness. I slowly move over and put my arms around her, and pull her to my chest merging our bodies. The feeling is exquisite. Right now, she’s mine. “Sleep, baby,” I whisper inhaling her heavenly scent deeply. Then we both drift into a peaceful sleep. (← Lullaby by Dixie Chix)

EX-SUBS AND NEW RIVALS

Esclava is on my speed dial as always, of course. It’s one of my busiest salons. I press two numbers, and the phone starts ringing. “Thank you for calling Esclava. This is Greta. How may I help you?” answers Greta professionally. I approve. “Greta, this is Mrs. Lincoln. I need you to send Franco here within the hour.” “We’re quite busy here today ma’am. And Franco is booked with some of his regular clients for the next three hours. May I send someone else, or would it be okay if Franco comes after he is through with all his clients?” “Greta!” I bellow firmly. “Did I give you any indication that I wanted to know what Franco’s schedule is like for the next three hours? I simply asked you to send him over here. You do as you are told. You’re not in a position to tell me what to do.” “No, ma’am, of course not!” she tries to respond. “Do NOT interrupt me when I am speaking to you. Remember who signs your paycheck! Franco is to be here within the hour,” I say and I can feel her shudder as she’s gasping. “Yes ma’am,” she responds feebly. “Who shall I call to fill in for Franco, ma’am?” she asks in a meek voice. “I’ll send someone from here,” I say and hang up.

Christian only loves Franco’s haircuts, and I have a dinner date with him tonight. I have to be shooting on all my pistons tonight. So, Franco is the man to do my hair. I get out of my office, and walk through the salon. Christian and I own some of the most upscale beauty salons in Seattle catering to the crème dela crème of the city. We’re always booked in weeks in advance and our clients pay the top price. Christian is a silent partner. I run the business. “Annabel,” I call. “Yes, ma’am,” she responds politely. “I will need you when you are done with your client. Come to my office please,” I say coolly. “Of course, ma’am,” she responds. I like professionalism in my work place. I want my employees to be efficient, professional, and obedient. I had waxed and had my body cleared of any sort of hair two days ago. It’s never a good idea to get waxed on a special day. You will be red, and unsightly. My body is smooth and my eyebrows shaped properly. When Annabel comes in, I have her do my manicure and pedicure immaculately. Once I’m done getting my manicure and pedicure done, Franco comes in. “How may I serve you Mrs. Lincoln?” he says animatedly. “Hello Franco,” I reply. “I want you to give me my usual haircut, and do some color touch ups, please.” “Yes, ma’am.” Franco starts cutting my hair efficiently, and in the style I like. He starts some small talk about God knows what. But my mind is preoccupied with Christian, and the change in his demeanor. I’m not in the mood to listen any small talk at all. “Franco, turn it down a notch,” I say, confusing his little Italian mind. “Down a notch, ma’am?” he asks in his Italian accent. “Yes. In fact it’d be best if you turn it off altogether.” He’s confused further. “Turn what off ma’am?” he waves his hand flustered.

“Your voice!” I say pointedly. Franco’s hand flies to his chest in a grand gesture as if I’ve broken his Italian heart. His face grimaces. “I’m sorry dear, but I’m in a temper today, and I just like to gather my thoughts in silence,” I say. He’s a valued employee, and I don’t want to lose him today because of a mousy gold digging bimbo. Franco puts his hand holding the scissors to his hip, and the one with the comb waves in the air as he shakes his head in a grand gesture then lands his hand with the comb over his heart. “Well! Mrs. Lincoln,” he says his hand with the comb still onto his chest as if to calm his speedy heart, “you have no idea dear, how much you hurt my feelings!” “I’m sorry Franco! My head is just preoccupied today,” I say trying to save the situation. “I thought something was up ma’am” he says adding “becuz’ frankly, all my clients come to me for my skills and my grand personality! You’re bellissima Mrs. Lincoln, but your attitude today, not so bellissima!” he says with a swipe of his head. And thank God, he’s quiet after that. “Thank you Franco,” I say after he’s done cutting and styling my hair. “Grazie ma’am.” I don’t understand why I’m so nervous meeting Christian this evening. We have had dinner almost every week for years, especially since we’ve become business partners. I know it in my heart! It’s the shift in Christian’s attitude and behavior. He’s different. It’s different this time. I want to find out for sure. I hope it’s not what I think it is. I keep recalling what he said during the last phone conversation we’ve had. But what interests me is what he didn’t say. When I called him on Thursday, he was short with me. All I wanted to do was to schedule this dinner with him. “Elena, I can’t speak to you right now!” he said brusquely. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to disturb your business activities Christian,” I said to him. “I’m with Anastasia right now. Just e-mail me if there’s nothing important,” he said. “But it’s Thursday!” I protested. “And your point being?” he said callously.

“Oh.. I just haven’t seen you in a while, and was wondering if we could have dinner.” “I can’t give you a date right now Elena. E-mail!” he said and hung up on me! He’s never, EVER done that, especially on a week day. I had always been respectful of his time Friday through Sunday as he had his subs, and was busy. For the last nearly seven years, he’s never broken this rule. EVER! It’s the new sub! She’s doing it! Christian would normally discuss with me any new sub he would get under his contract. He would bring them by the salon to get made up, and I would rate them for him; almost from the beginning. But he’s not done this with this one, neither did he make any attempt to show her to me. I accidentally found out he has a new sub. I really have an ominous feeling that this one is different. I don’t want Christian to get hurt, and she might be a gold digger who wants to get her claws on him! I care about Christian. He doesn’t do well with emotions. It’s best for him to be detached. All his earlier teenage problems were due to overwhelming emotions he’s experienced. I had to teach him to channel them out. It took me a long time to have him show mastery over his emotions. I don’t want someone to get her paws on him, and take advantage of him by showing him a fucking emotion like love! I loathe it! What did it do for me? Nothing! I loved a man once. He loved me too. In fact he loved me black and blue and to the point of breaking my nose and arm for loving Christian at the same time. Extreme emotions are detrimental. Especially for people like Christian, because when he feels something, he really feels it, deep to his core. But he’s still like an adolescent in many ways. Someone needs to watch out for him. Playing the field, and having no emotional attachment has been beneficial for him, and that’s what the subs provided for him before. He’s not ready for a relationship. Someone needs to protect him, and clearly he’s not doing it himself right now. But I can’t reprimand him because he’s not my sub. Not anymore. If he was, he wouldn’t even be getting near one of them...not without me beating the shit out of him! I think fondly of those times. He was the best sub I ever had. We could still go that way, but he likes to dominate. I could be his sub should he wish. But, I don’t want to damage what we currently have. It’s a delicate water to tread. I sigh, and try to clear my mind. I need to be shooting on all my pistons tonight.

I arrive at our usual restaurant quarter to eight. The reservation has already been made. I look regal, and the heads turn. I have my black dress, low cut in the front, and lacy. I have a lace covering my face. Black pumps, and black nail polish. Light make-up. I’m a panther tonight. I aim to take no prisoners. Let’s see how this little amateur sub can match up to me! Always the punctual Christian, is four minutes late to our dinner date! He’s never late. But I try not to dwell on it. ‘Pick your battles Elena!’ I tell myself. As he arrives in his gorgeous, I-ownthe-world demeanor, I get up to greet him. I smile warmly at my former sub, and Dom and my friend. (←Corrupt by Depeche Mode) “Hello Christian!” I say softly to greet him with a friendly smile on my face. “Hi Elena,” he respond back to me with a warm smile reciprocating mine. I lean in to kiss him on the cheeks and he leans his face in to meet my lips half way as my hands connect with his upper arms. I release him and we both sit down at the same time. The waiter rushes to the table, and asks what we would like to drink. Christian, always the wine expert orders Châteauneuf-du-Pape White 2009 without even looking at the wine menu. After the waiter scurries away, I scrutinize Christian with an assessing gaze. Anxious, a little on the edge, nervous, and something else I can’t put my finger on. I try to observe it all nonchalantly. “You seem a little on edge today Christian. Is everything alright?” “Yes,” he answers me a little too brusquely. “Alright,” I say with a smile playing on my lips. “I assumed you would want to talk about her,” I say significantly since he’s not going to bring the topic up. “I’ve never seen you this on edge...” I say, then correct myself. I have seen him on edge before. When he was a teenager. That’s not good! “Well, not in so many years. What’s going on? Is it about your new sub?” I ask calmly. “Yes,” he responds monosyllabic. My eyes scan his demeanor, his body language, his speech pattern, and I try to miss nothing. I nod my head for him to go on. “Anastasia left town. So, I’m a little apprehensive because of it.” “For good? I thought you two just met,” I say surprised and his response shocks us both.

“Heavens, no! I can’t handle her absence even for a day! It’s been less than twenty four hours,” he say checking his watch as if he’s counting the minutes, and having a countdown to the time she’s going to be back in town, “and I’ve been nothing but an ogre to everyone around me. She went to Georgia to see her mother,” he says. I raise my eyebrows, looking at him anew like my Christian is gone, and he’s been replaced with this gushy clone. I’m displeased! Fucking bitch! What has she done to him? I aim to find out. “Well... How’s sex? I take that it’s beyond your expectations if you missed her that much,” I say smiling. Sex is always an easy topic for us to talk about. After all, we’ve done just about anything under the sun together. I thought him everything he knows...well, just about everything. He’s done a great deal of learning of his own, and I’d love to find out what they are. “It’s spectacular for one who’s so young, so innocent, so willing to learn considering she was a virgin,” he say looking at me with an impassive expression on his face. My head snaps up, and I’m so shocked that he actually found a fucking virgin, I choke on the Châteauneuf-du-Pape White 2009 I’m sipping. My reaction actually makes him smile. “She was a virgin?” I mutter like an expletive a little too sharply making him narrow his gray eyes on me. He’s so hot, even when he’s angry! I’d love to get my hands on that tense jaw, and bite those reddening earlobes. I try to clear my mind from these thoughts, so I can focus with the matter at hand. “Yes. Is that a problem?” he asks defensively. “No. But I never took you for a virgin man. When did this change of taste develop? All your subs were experienced and established submissives. Given her age, I had assumed that she had less experience than the other ones, but a virgin? Christian, are you sure she can fulfill all your needs dear?” I ask softly trying to rein in my rising passion and anger all at the same time. “No one has ever fulfilled my needs as much as she does!” he says defensively. (← She’s Always a Woman by Billy Joel)

“Come now! Given what you have just revealed, she was completely inexperienced in sex until, what three weeks ago...” I say raising my eyebrows questioning. “You know it takes years to master submissiveness. It took you years,” I say with a knowing smile. Not just years, but a lot of punishment, flogging, spanking, belting... What, a bitch who was in diapers and a binky yesterday meets him, and all of a sudden she’s the center of attention? She knows nothing of his needs. Not a single thing! “How do you know she’ll meet all your needs?” I say in a firm whisper leaning in. “You have needs that even a very experienced submissive can’t fulfill. Dark needs...” I say, and then lean back letting the rest of her thoughts linger in the air; letting it sink in. He knows nothing about this new territory, and it will damage him. What he does know benefited him exponentially. Feelings are for losers, and I didn’t train him to be a loser! I count to ten inside, watching the waiter pour wine at the next table. I gaze at the flowers on the table. I look at the wall art. Hmm. Serenity washes over me momentarily. Christian’s gaze darkens in rising anger. “I don’t like you speaking in those terms about Anastasia! I like her!” he says, his gaze not leaving mine. Then almost instantly his voice softens when he starts speaking about the brunette ho who is currently occupying his playroom. “A lot actually... I never know what she will do, or say which is a breath of fresh air actually. She is smart, witty, a great negotiator,” he says with the stupidest grin he ever donned on his face. Oh goody! Add the list obedient, then you have a golden retriever! What the hell has this harlot done to my protégé? “I’ve never felt this alive - ever in my life!” he says as I’m trying to occupy myself sipping the fucking wine which I taste nothing of. Where the hell is the fucking waiter? I need something stronger! Double shot whisky or vodka. I tap my finger nervously on my lap. “She makes me feel completely, utterly, significantly alive! I lose my reason around her, but then it’s a conundrum. She gives me a new purpose, a new reason for being,” he says, stupid idiot! Yes, let’s see how alive will feel when the virgin cunt drains the life out of you after she rips your heart apart and tosses on the ground before you! I smile at him. I like the slap that grin off of his frigging handsome face!

“I’m intrigued Christian. If you like her that much, I’d like to meet her,” I say coolly. Let me see if that strumpet is as good as he says she is! “I don’t think that’s a good idea,” he says with a flat expression. Why the hell not? Why couldn't I meet her? “Why is that? Don’t tell me you don’t want to introduce her to your teacher,” I say and give him a pointed look. “She doesn’t want to meet you. I think she hates you for introducing me to BDSM lifestyle when I was 15. She sees you as a child molester,” he says without expression on his face. I actually lose control for a minute and blanche, taken aback. She is competing with me! What do those amateurs say? Oh yeah... Bring it on! Except when she does, I’ll be wiping the floor with her after I give her a good flogging! “Christian! You know it wasn’t like that!” I find myself saying defensively. And the fact that I have to defend myself because of that harlot infuriates me! “I had seen you being destructive to yourself, and quite frankly your parents were exasperated trying to deal with your fighting, school issues and this lifestyle taught you to be in charge of your own destiny. To be in control. It diverted your destructive tendencies into a different channel so you didn’t harm yourself, thought you how to focus, and be goal oriented.” “I know. She doesn’t understand our relationship, and she is apprehensive about it. She’s entitled to her opinion,” he says. At least he hasn’t forgotten. There’s still hope for him. God! This is worse than I thought! “But, that’s not how you feel, is it?” I ask him concerned leaning in. “You know how much your friendship means to me. I care about you immensely. You’re the only person I care as much about...” I say pausing. “More than anyone else. Your friendship is very important to me Christian, and I don’t want to lose it. Certainly not because of one of your subs,” I reiterate. “Please don’t refer to Anastasia as ‘one of my subs.’ I care about you and your friendship means a great deal to me as well. Anastasia doesn’t understand our relationship because she doesn’t have a fucked up past like I do which I’m thankful for. I don’t think I could have handled it if she had a past,” he actually says shaking his head.

I look at him carefully eyeing him. This isn’t my Christian. He’s the same on the surface, but he’s different somehow. What has changed? What the fuck has the bitch done to him? But, since he’s here, and talking, I want to take advantage, and learn as much as I can. I find more than the anger growing in me; but what? Am I jealous of a harlot who is barely out of her teens? Can she even be a match to me? “Her absence,” he says pausing, trying to catch his breath...oh my God! He’s too far gone! “constricts my heart, like someone is about to rip it apart. And the fact that she’s clear across the country, the thought that she might meet another suitor over there makes me beyond jealous! I can’t name this emotion. It’s completely foreign to me Elena!” he finishes his thoughts out of breath. Fuck! What to do? What to do? What to do? “I see... Well, if you have such strong feelings for her,” I say putting my hand over his on the table, “and that you miss her this much, why don’t you go after her? That’s the logical thing to do... Don’t you think?” I probe for more. Opposing to Christian rarely works. In the Art of War, Sun Tzu says, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” I aim to get to know this bitch! “Fight your enemy where they’re not...” She’s not here, and I mean to take advantage of any tool available for Christian’s benefit. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel with Christian, but not when you tell him you’re shooting at him. Subtle is the keyword here, in this battle. And it’s only for his benefit. He may be hurt now, but he’ll be better off in the future. Clean cut! “She went to Georgia,” he goes on, “because she can’t think clearly around me,” he actually sighs. “Neither can I for that matter, but, I think she needs to assess her feelings for me, and decide whether our relationship would work as it is.” he says. Idiot! I think to myself. “Christian! I’m surprised at you! She’s your sub! She ought to do what she is asked to do, otherwise, dump her ass, and get one that obeys you properly the way a sub should,” I say firmly – he is a Dom, and he should act like one. Not like a pussy! He narrows his eyes on me. That’s not good!

“Elena, don’t give me your Dom shit! I don’t need that fuck, and I know it better than you do how a Sub should be!” He says through gritted teeth, and his words and demeanor makes me slightly flinch back, but I regain control. “But, I want to give her the space she asked for, wants, and needs. But today, as we were e-mailing back and forth, she said that she wished I was there. I think she misses me as much as I miss her. I want this to work between us... Badly. She’s not just any sub. She’s important to me...” I gaze at him for a long minute and say, “You have your answer then; if she said she wishes you were there, she wants you to come.” If the bitch doesn’t want him to come, there could be two reasons. 1. Either she’s really worried and scared of his Dominance, which makes my work easy, then him showing up in Georgia would scare the crap out of her, and she might end it. 2. She has some other fucker lined up, and currently fucking him, or better yet her, and that may explain why she was still a virgin, and if that’s the case Christian better find out. Being the dominant he is, and being the monogamy freak he is, he may break off with her. In either case, it’s a win-win situation. “I don’t want to screw this up Elena! I don’t want to scare her away. I don’t think I can handle of not being with her,” he states with grief laden voice. My mouth drops open, my eyes go wide. Oh, I hope to God, I’m not too late to save him from destruction! “Christian Grey! I can’t believe it! Are you in love with her?” I blurt out. He looks at me shocked, and I see his eyes going wild with fear which actually worries me. Oh no! I do care about Christian! I don’t want to see him broken. I’ve seen him broken before, and the memory of it comes unbidden. My eyes soften with the boy before me. “No! No! Definitely not! I don’t do love! I don’t deserve her love... I... I can’t love. You said it before –it’s a useless emotion.” He shakes his head. “No, I can’t... I mean, I don’t think I’m in love,” he says; I don’t know whether he’s trying to convince himself, or me. I’m truly worried about him. Maybe I’ll wait till he sorts everything out. This is not good! “Hmm...” I murmur without leaving my gaze away from Christian, “let me restate that phrase Christian. You are in love with her!” I say with unequivocally conviction of this sad truth.

He looks at me bewildered. My poor boy! “I can’t be in love Elena! I’m no good for her!” he says with fear in his voice. “Christian! You’re always so harsh on yourself with so much self-deprecation! You have to stop that dear! She should hope that she’s good enough for you! You’re a good catch Christian...” I say chiding him. “You’re handsome, rich, and talented in many venues that women are interested in. You’re one of a kind! Where would she find someone like you? Whereas you can wave your hand and find hundreds of Anastasias who would in fact run to do your bidding. You can have your pick of women... It is she who is lucky to have your regard dear,” I finish my sentence. He’s beating himself up over this woman, and I’m worried that he’s going to get hurt. But instead, Christian gets angry with me! “Elena! I don’t ever want you to speak of Anastasia as if she something dime a dozen! She’s none of those things! I have the highest regard for her, and she’s one among millions. In the course of my entire life, I have not met anyone like her! Not one single person! It’s true that I lose my reason around her, but then...” he pauses and adds, “then, I also find a renewed purpose with her presence. She’s so precious to me. I have this immense desire to protect and care for her. I have feelings which I cannot name, and it scares the life out of me! But, the thought of losing her is the worst fear I’ve ever had in my life! I can’t even handle it in the hypothetical. It’s too scary... My affection for her is soul deep.” If this isn’t a confession of love, I don’t know what is! “You really are in love with her Christian! I know you better than anyone...” I say but he cuts me off. “Not anyone! Anastasia knows me better!” he corrects me. I finally narrow my eyes on him and as a nervous gesture; I tuck my hair expertly cut by Franco only this afternoon with my finely manicured index finger behind my ear. “Better than me?” I ask incredulous without realizing I’m letting him compare me to an amateur who didn’t even know what a penis looked like four weeks ago! “You know I’m very private,” he says to me with an impassive expression. “And I’ve known you intimately since you were fifteen, Christian!” I enunciate, without being able to rein in my rising anger, I try to correct Christian.

“No Elena!” he corrects me. “No Elena! You and I were as intimate as a car collision,” he says adding, “You and I started fucking when I was fifteen and it lasted until I was twenty one. But that was the extent of it. You and I can talk about just about anything, but she’s the one person I ever allowed to know me intimately. To love me, to make love to me. You and I never made love. We just fucked!” he glares at me. “That was the best fucking...” I simply state. “Can Anastasia come up to par with our fucking?” I ask him bluntly. He grins a proud smile at me in the affirmative. “She’s better than all the women I fucked combined,” he says with that idiot’s grin I like to wipe off! “Ouch!” I say smiling. “That’s harsh.” “You asked for it. I state it as I see it, Elena.” “Well, since you have such a high regard for her Christian, and that you’re in love with her,” I say and he opens his mouth to protest again; I don’t know for what reason quite frankly after confessing what he feels... The point is moot. I hold my hand up to say what goes through my heart. “Look, you’d be the last to know, but I can see that you are in love with her. If you have even a prayer of having your relationship in the context you want working, you have to go to her. Fly out there! See your woman if you’re missing her so much. Apparently she told you she’s missing you, too. If she feels the same for you, she wouldn’t be bothered seeing you. Unless, of course she has someone or something else other than the motive she stated. Go to her. Get to your woman Christian!” I say. Let the chips fall where they may. I see the change in his face. “I want to give her the space she needs, so she can think clearly. But, I do wish to see her,” he says, but there is longing in his voice. This may not be a lost battle just yet. “Oh, baby, I can see the longing in your eyes for her. She might in fact be freaked out, but how will you find out what she’s up to,” I say, and unable to help but murmur to myself, “or whom she’s on top of,” he looks at me trying to decipher what I said, but I give nothing away. He shakes his head as I slightly raise my eyebrows and sip away my wine. Damn waiter better bring me something harder right now!

To my relief, Christian’s face takes a look of determination. Then his Blackberry must have buzzed, but I heard nothing, and he takes it out and looks at it with the same stupid grin. Yep! It’s the bitch that’s texting. She has a long leash, all the way from Georgia! She yanks, he barks! Christian tucks his phone safely into his jacket’s pocket. “What is it?” I ask him trying to look disinterested. “Nothing,” he says smiling. Nothing, my rosy pink ass! “Do you know what Anastasia calls you?” he asks. Of course! The bitch, child molester, Dominator... the list is endless. “No,” I say with a little apprehension lacing my voice. “Nothing bad or undeserving I hope,” I say politely in polite company. “No. Nothing of the sorts. Your nickname is ‘Mrs. Robinson’, “ he says. Oh, how classic! The famous cougar! I smile at him for his benefit. “Mrs. Robinson,” I say trying the name out. “She must be really special for you Christian. Because she’s the only one you’ve talked about me, or what we’ve had before among any of your subs. Though, obviously subs come and go...” I say my sentence hanging in the air between us. “Yes, subs may come and go, but Anastasia stays!” he replies firmly. His response gives me a sad smile. I may have lost him already. “Go to her,” I say taking a large gulp of my wine. “I intend to,” he says. “She’s mine!” I look at him with that sentence. Two simple words, yet so powerful. He’s never said that about anyone. Not even me... Mine... What a powerful word. I’d like him to be mine. “Indeed. If she’s trying to reassess her feelings as you say she is doing, she might get scared and run away. But, if she desires you as much as you desire her, she might be happy to see you as well. You would never know until you try, Christian,” I say. I want to say more. I'm too worried about him that she’ll hurt him, break him beyond repair. But, he’s a grown man, and he’s not my sub. This battle I will wait to fight... after he gets back from Georgia. Bring it on little gold digger... Let’s see who the mightier fighter is!

Christian and I part ways around 9:30, and sadly he doesn’t notice me beyond the surface. Hell! Not even on the surface. Every male in the restaurant gaze and ogle me either in secret, or openly, but not Christian as we make our way out of the place. He’s been here, but his mind was in Georgia with a woman who is not worthy of him. Have I already lost him? I think not. Elena Lincoln doesn’t lose! (← Right Here Waiting For You by Richard Marx)

Daedalus fashion two pairs of wings out of wax and feather for me and himself. In order to make it to the mainland from the island, I’m warned several times to stay on the flight path, and not fly near the sun or too close to the sea. Sun will melt the wax wings and the sea will get them wet making them heavy. He tries the wings first, and he stays on his flight path, and makes it to the mainland. I’m too elated, feel too invincible. I soar through the sky curiously. The sun pulls me to itself. I can’t escape the beauty of it. I’m dazzled; its beauty and warmth pulls me in. I’m on auto pilot running to it. The sun melts my wings first, and I have no feathers left; just flapping my bare arms. I reach out and try to hold onto the sun. Even though it’s hot, I embrace it, hold it. I don’t want to fall away from it. Wrap myself in it knowing I will burn. I want to embrace it. I approach the sun, expecting to be burnt...willingly at that; but when I get incredibly close at its magnificent power, its brightness gets blinding, and I expect to dissipate; but then it becomes Anastasia, and my savior. I wrap into her, merging.

The heat… it’s stifling, overpowering as well as welcoming. I feel a movement. Hands pulling her. I moan: “No! no!” Hands, taking her, yanking her away. I wrap myself around her, like a victory flag as not to let her get pulled away from me. Then finger tips move around my chest. Anastasia is too trying to hold onto me. I stir and groan to keep her close to me. I nuzzle her chest, and inhale deeply. My eyes flutter open. It was a dream. She’s here in my arms. Relief floods me. My eyes meet her baby blues sleepily as I mumble “Good morning,” to her, blinking. I find my head in her chest my arms and legs draped around her, completely covering her, captivating her in my embrace even in my sleep, making me frown. “Jesus, even in my sleep I’m drawn to you,” I say. I move slowly, unpeeling my limbs from her body as I get my bearings. My erection is against her hips. I notice her wide-eyed reaction, making me smile slowly, salaciously. (← I melt with you by Nouvelle Vague) “Hmm… this has possibilities, but I think we should wait until Sunday.” I lean down and nuzzle her ear with my nose. She flushes crimson. “You’re very hot,” she murmurs making me smile even more. “You’re not so bad yourself,” I murmur back to her and press myself against her, suggestively. She flushes some more. I love the way she reacts to me. I prop myself up on my elbow gazing down at her, amused. I bend, and plant a gentle kiss on her surprised lips. “Sleep well?” I ask. She nods, staring up at me. “So did I,” I say frowning. Contemplating. “Yes, in fact, really well,” I say. The realization of it surprises me, leaving me confused. “What’s the time?” I ask, and she glances up at her alarm clock. “It’s 7:30,” she says sleepily. “7:30… shit.” Shit! Shit! Shit! I have a meeting and I will be late!! I scramble out of bed and drag on my jeans. She looks completely amused seeing my less than ‘in control' demeanor, and watches me with that smile sitting up. I, Christian Grey am late and flustered. This never happens.

“You are such a bad influence on me. I have a meeting. I have to go – I have to be in Portland at eight. Are you smirking at me?” I ask unable to help myself but be amused at her reaction. “Yes,” she responds. I grin. “I’m late. I don’t do late. Another first, Miss Steele.” I pull on my jacket and then bend down and grasp her head, my hands on either side. “Sunday,” I say with an unspoken promise. I lean forward and kiss her quickly. I grab my things from the side table and my shoes in my hands. I’ll put them on in the car. “Taylor will come and sort your Beetle. I was serious. Don’t drive it. I’ll see you at my place on Sunday. I’ll e-mail you a time.” And like a whirlwind, I’m out of the door. I run down the stair two to three at a time, and run to my car. An older woman who took her dog out for a walk stops in her tracks thinking I’m going to rush her, but I mutter a “hello” even surprising myself, putting a smile on her face, and get to my car. Even though I’m never late to anything, and I should be nervous and upset for being late, I have this quickness in my step, and quite the opposite, and extremely elated. There’s only one reason for feeling this way. Her name is Anastasia Steele. I spent the night with her. Not because she was drunk, not because I had no other place to sleep in, but because I wanted to, because she wanted me to. I feel incredibly rested, and had not nightmares. Even the pimp was not able to get to me at night. Each time she spent the night with me, I had a good night’s sleep. This can’t be an accident! It’s the third time. I get in my car quickly, put my phone in its cradle, ease into my shoes, and dial Taylor as I back out of the parking space. He answers on the first ring. “Yes, sir,” he answers. “Taylor, I’m running late this morning. Where are you?” I ask. He pauses all for three seconds, and this is Taylor’s version of extremely shocked. He usually never shows his emotions, and he’s passive like me. “I’m at the Heathman’s restaurant sir. Your business meeting guests have arrived,” he says.

“Ok. Keep them busy. I’ll be in fifteen minutes.” “Yes, sir.” “Oh Taylor, what’s the ETA on the Blackberry?” “The delivery is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.,” says Taylor with a certain satisfaction having resolved this problem. “I’m driving back to Seattle today. I need you to dispose of Miss Steele car today. Did you already speak with the dealer?” “Yes, sir. He was surprised, but because we purchase so many vehicles from them, he was more than willing to pay a decent sum. He said he might have a collector who might want to restore it to its former glory,” said Taylor with distaste as if an old barely moving deathtrap of a car could have any restoration value. “Fine. Report me back afterwards. Meet me at the door in ten.” “Yes, sir,” he says and I hang up. I make my exit from the freeway, and drive around the Heathman’s. I come to a stop in front of the hotel, and toss the keys to the valet who takes it with a large grin. Taylor’s waiting by the door. “How many of them?” I ask without a preamble. “There are four people sir. I had them reserve a private meeting room. Ros is here. I took the liberty of texting her last night to be here early in the morning,” he says with an impassive look. I give him a sideways glance. He knows me very well. When I walk into the private meeting room, Ros is already talking to the clients. They all get up when I walk in. Taylor stays by the door, impassive look plastered on his face, he’s staring straight ahead; I know him well enough to know that his eyes and ears are open. I shake hands with each of them, and acknowledge Ros by a nod, and say “Ros,” to which she responds, “Mr. Grey.” We continue our business talks. Taylor had already set-up my laptop before my seat. I had heard my e-mail buzz when I was speaking with Taylor on the way here. I open the message which brightens my eyes. It’s from Anastasia. She took my advice, and wrote her thoughts and feelings about last night’s issues.

__________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Assault and Battery: The after-effects Date: May 27 2011 08:06 To: Christian Grey Dear Mr. Grey You wanted to know why I felt confused after you – which euphemism should we apply spanked, punished, beat, assaulted me. Well, during the whole alarming process I felt demeaned, debased and abused. And much to my mortification, you’re right, I was aroused which was completely unexpected given how humiliated I felt. But as you are well aware, all things sexual are utterly new to me. In a way I just wish I was more experienced and therefore more prepared to understand better. I was shocked to feel aroused. What really worried me was how I felt afterwards. And that’s more difficult to articulate. You see, I was happy that you were happy. I also felt relieved that it wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be. And when I was lying in your arms, I felt – sated. But I feel very uncomfortable, guilty even, feeling that way. It doesn’t sit well with me, and I’m confused as a result. Does that answer your question? I hope the world of Mergers and Acquisitions is as stimulating as ever… and that you weren’t too late. Thank you for staying with me. Ana __________________________________________ I’m completely relieved to read about her feelings in regards to the punishment she received. It really scared me a lot last night – and that she might somehow slip through my fingers, not liking how I was punishing her. She sounds completely like Tess D’Urbervilles. Obviously it isn’t surprising since she went for the debasement. I type her a response right away. Ros is leading the conversation, and I’m observing. __________________________________________

From: Christian Grey Subject: Free Your Mind Date: May 27 2011 08:25 To: Anastasia Steele This is very Interesting…if slightly overstated title heading, Miss Steele. To answer your points: I’ll go with spanking – as that’s what it was. So you felt demeaned, debased, abused and assaulted – how very Tess D’Urbervilles of you. I believe it was you who decided on the debasement, if I remember correctly. Do you really feel like this or do you think you ought to feel like this? Two very different things. If that is how you feel, do you think you could just try and embrace these feelings, deal with them, for me? That’s what a submissive would do. I am grateful for your inexperience. I value it, and I’m only beginning to understand what it means. Simply put… it means that you are mine in every way. Yes, you were aroused, which in turn was very arousing, there’s nothing wrong with that. Happy does not even begin to cover how I felt. Ecstatic joy comes close. Punishment spanking hurts far more than sensual spanking – so that’s about as hard as it gets, unless of course you commit some major transgression, in which case I’ll use some implement to punish you with. My hand was very sore. But I like that. I felt sated, too – more so than you could ever know. Don’t waste your energy on guilt, feelings of wrongdoing, etc. We are consenting adults and what we do behind closed doors is between ourselves. You need to free your mind and listen to your body. The world of M&A is not nearly as stimulating as you are, Miss Steele. Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. __________________________________________

I hit send as I nod to a point Ros is making for the prospective clients. I look interested. I lean back in my chair. Within two minutes, Anastasia’s answering e-mail takes its place in my email box. My breath hitches in well contained excitement. I move my mouse and click it open. __________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Consenting Adults! Date: May 27 2011 08:27 To: Christian Grey Aren’t you supposed to be in a meeting? I’m very glad your hand was sore. And if I listened to my body, I’d be in Alaska by now. Ana PS: I will think about embracing these feelings. __________________________________________ Aren’t we feisty this morning? Just the way I like it. She toys with me even when she doesn’t mean to. It’s unbelievably hot, and frustrating at the same time. Her post script note gives me a lot of hope making me sigh with relief. I type my response after I answer a question about some basic issues with the future markets. __________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: You Didn’t Call the Cops Date: May 27 2011 08:36 To: Anastasia Steele Miss Steele, I am in a meeting discussing the futures market, if you’re really interested. For the record – you stood beside me knowing what I was going to do. At any time during your punishment, you

didn’t ask me to stop, neither did you use the safeword. You are an adult and you have choices. Quite frankly, I’m looking forward to the next time my palm is ringing with pain. You’re obviously not listening to the right part of your body. Alaska is very cold and no place to run. I would find you. I can track your cell phone – remember? Go to work. Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. __________________________________________ Alaska... Baby, I can find you on the other side of the world. Take that Miss Steele! Put it in your pipe and smoke it. I hit send. She doesn’t waste any time to reply me of course. She has a smart mouth which reaches all the way through her laptop which I would love to tame. __________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Stalker Date: May 27 2011 08:37 To: Christian Grey Have you sought therapy for your stalker tendencies? Ana __________________________________________ And, of course this is what I expected her to say. I smile, and try not to look like an idiot to the people I’m having a business meeting with. __________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Stalker? Me?

Date: May 27 2011 08:39 To: Anastasia Steele I pay the eminent Dr. Flynn a small fortune with regard to my stalker and other tendencies. Go to work. Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. __________________________________________ Of course, she’ll stay and argue with me. __________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Expensive Charlatans Date: May 27 2011 08:41 To: Christian Grey May I humbly suggest you seek a second opinion? I am not sure that Dr. Flynn is very effective. Miss Steele __________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Second Opinions Date: May 27 2011 08:44 To: Anastasia Steele Not that it’s any of your business, humble or otherwise, but Dr. Flynn is the second opinion. You will have to speed, in your new car, putting yourself at unnecessary risk –I think that’s against the rules. GO TO WORK.

Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. __________________________________________ Does she ever listen to me? And sure enough, another message appears from her. __________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: SHOUTY CAPITALS Date: May 27 2011 08:48 To: Christian Grey As the object of your stalker tendencies – I think it is my business, actually. I haven’t signed yet. So rules, schmules. And I don’t start until 9:30. Miss Steele __________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Descriptive Linguistics Date: May 27 2011 08:50 To: Anastasia Steele Schmules? Not sure where that appears in Webster’s Dictionary. Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. __________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Descriptive Linguistics Date: May 27 2011 08:53 To: Christian Grey It’s between control freak and stalker. And descriptive linguistics is a hard limit for me. Will you stop bothering me now? I’d like to go to work in my new car.

Ana __________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Challenging but amusing Young Women Date: May 27 2011 08:56 To: Anastasia Steele My palm is twitching. Drive safely, Miss Steele. Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. __________________________________________ The meeting is over in another thirty minutes. But, Ros and I stay and go over some business plans, and discuss about our plans to acquire a new dock in Asia to save from the overhead expenses. It’s about eleven o’clock by the time Ros leaves back to Seattle. I should also be leaving soon. I go to my suite, and of course Taylor packed everything ready to go. Taylor comes in. “Sir, Miss Steele’s Blackberry is on its way to be delivered. She should have it within the hour. It’s fully charged, all set up with your contact information, as well as with her e-mail account. And I have forwarded her phone number to yours sir,” he says in a voice with tinge of slight pride. I nod. Efficiency should be Taylor’s middle name. “When Miss Steele leaves work this evening, go and collect her car and dispose of it. Then drive back to Seattle.” “Yes, sir,” he says. I type another message to Anastasia. She’ll be able to read it once her Blackberry is delivered.

__________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: BlackBerry ON LOAN Date: May 27 2011 11:16 To: Anastasia Steele I need to be able to contact you at all times, and since the written format is your most honest form of communication, I figured you needed a BlackBerry. Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. __________________________________________ Even though I know that she’ll freak out to receive yet another gadget from me, I want to, no, actually I need to be able to get in touch with her at all times. I need to know where she is, how she is, who she is with. I need control. I simply don’t know any other way. She’s mine, and I am possessive of what’s mine. I don’t share. __________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Consumerism Gone Mad Date: May 27 2011 13:23 To: Christian Grey I think you need to call Dr. Flynn right now. Your stalker tendencies are running amok. I am at work. I will e-mail you when I get home. Thank you for yet another gadget. I wasn’t wrong when I said you were the ultimate consumer. Why do you do this? Ana __________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Sagacity from one so young

Date: May 27 2011 13:25 To: Anastasia Steele Fair point well made, as ever, Miss Steele. Dr. Flynn is on vacation. And I do this because I can. Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. __________________________________________ Thinking of the things I can do, I don’t think I want my own physician to solve the contraception issue for Anastasia. For one thing, he’s a male doctor. I don’t want another guy looking at Anastasia’s privates even if he’s a doctor. I will get the best OBGYN for her. Andrea just e-mailed me the confirmation of the appointment. She’ll be coming to Escala at 1:30 Saturday. When money is no object, everyone’s schedule opens up, and make time for you. That’s one of the things I love about having large sums of money. It makes life possible in your own terms...Most the time. All bets are off when it comes to Miss Steele though. I send her another e-mail informing about her appointment time. Because I have to leave soon, I’m in a hurry to get going. I have spent here a week, and I’m anxious to get back to Seattle to tend some business, and frankly be in my own home. __________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Sunday Date: May 27 2011 13:40 To: Anastasia Steele Shall I see you at 1 p.m. Sunday? The doctor will be at Escala to see you at 1:30. I’m leaving for Seattle now. I hope your move goes well, and I look forward to Sunday. Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. __________________________________________

I leave to drive home. The drive to Seattle is smooth though a little long. I want to get to the city before the rush hour traffic hit. Music always helps. It’s Kings of Leon. Their melody is loud through my R8’s speakers. Closer... As he sings “She took my heart and she took my soul,” my breath hitches. Did Anastasia do that do me? (← Closer by Kings of Leon) I murmur along with him with the lyrics as my heart constricts: “You shimmy – shook my boat, Leaving me stranded all in love on my own, Do you think of me? Where am I now? Baby where do I sleep? Feels so good but I’m old, 2000 years of chasing taking its toll, And it’s coming closer...” Does she think of me as often as I think of her? Fear grips me just by singing along to the lyrics. She did shake my sturdy boat. I let out a sigh of relief when the song is over. The lyrics are in my head like a broken record over and over again. “Do you think of me? Do you think of me? Do you think of me Anastasia?” I shake my head to clear the thoughts. By the time I get to Escala it’s already passed 5:00 p.m. I park at my bay in the Escala parking lot, and quickly make my way to the elevators. I punch in my code, and the elevator smoothly takes me up to my suite. As I make my way to my suite, Mrs. Jones comes out and greets me. “Welcome home Mr. Grey. Shall I get your dinner ready sir?” “Yes. I’ll be ready to eat in 15 minutes Mrs. Jones.” I say and make my way to my room. I leave my jacket neatly on the chair, and take a quick shower. I put on my black jeans and white linen shirt. No socks or shoes. I pour myself some wine to pair it with delicious fish Mrs. Jones cooked. I dial Anastasia’s number. She should have left work already. But she doesn’t answer. I frown. Check the time. It’s passed 5:30 p.m. I call Taylor.

“Yes, sir,” he answers on the second ring. “Where are you?” I ask. “I have just dropped Miss Steele’s car, and collected the payment sir. I’m on my way back to the hotel to collect the SUV right now sir.” “What was Miss Steele doing?” “She and her roommate appeared to be in the middle of packing,” he responds giving me a sigh of relief. So she was busy, but at home. “Did she say anything to you?” I ask firmly. “She asked me how long I worked for you.” “That’s it?” I probe. “Yes sir. I didn’t stay long after she collected her belongings from the vehicle,” he responds. “When will you be leaving?” “I should be able to leave within 30 minutes sir,” he responds. “I’ll brief you about tomorrow when you get back,” I say. “Yes, sir,” he responds, I hang up. I finish my meal, and leave to my office. My phone rings. I grab at it excitedly thinking its Anastasia. “Hello?” I say without looking at the number a little too softly? “Oh, that is sooo sweet!” drawls Elliot. Fuck! I don’t want to give him ammo to tease me. “What’s up Elliot?” I say in the tone he’s used to hearing. “Nothing. I was just going to ask you what time Mia is coming back tomorrow.” “Oh,” I say, and give him the time. “Well, thanks for picking her up bro. But, you know I’m making up to you for picking her up by helping your girlfriend move to Seattle!” he says teasing. “What? Did your girlfriend change her mind about moving?” I ask teasing. “Of course not. You can’t even take a joke bro!” he says. “Hey, I’m going over to their apartment right now. Anything you want me to tell her?” he asks teasing, fucking bastard.

“Nothing I can’t tell her myself. Thanks,” I say hanging up. The conversation makes me jealous. He’ll get to see Anastasia, and I won’t. Hell, I can’t even reach her! It’s the third time now I’m dialing, and she hasn’t picked her phone up! It’s maddening! I want to be able to reach her via the phone, or e-mail. Is it too much for her to answer her phone or reply her messages? I try to calm myself down by telling myself she’s moving tomorrow, and she’s possibly packed up her laptop. But did she pack her phone too? I’m supposed to be going to a fundraiser tonight. My mind is completely occupied with Anastasia. This will give me some sort of diversion. Something to do. I get out of my study, and go to my closet. It’s a black tie event. I find my tux and as I look for a bow, my hand caresses the silver tie slowly. I close my eyes, and try to gain control over my breathing. What has she done to me in such a short time? What is happening to me? I’ve never, ever been attached to a woman like this. Not even when I thought I was in love with Elena, and of course I wasn’t. I put my socks and shoes on. Before I leave my suite, I call Anastasia once again. No answer. I pace around the great room both my hands running through my hair in frustration. She says she’ll call me when she gets home from work, and she doesn’t keep her word. I dial her number again. It rings four times, and her voice mail picks up. This time I leave her an angry message: ‘Anastasia, I think you need to learn to manage my expectations. I am not a patient man. If you say you are going to contact me when you finish work, then you should have enough decency to do so. Otherwise, I worry, and worrying is not an emotion I’m familiar with, and I don’t tolerate it very well. Call me.’ I hang up. It’s fucking frustrating! If she was near, I’d drive over there and let my hand ache again! Right now I have to show my face at a fundraiser. I will get there, say my hellos, write my check and get back. I rush out of my suite, my mind is occupied with the thoughts of Anastasia. ***** It’s passed 10:00 p.m. and I still haven’t received a call or a message back from Anastasia. Worry washes over me. What’s wrong? Why hasn’t she called me, or wrote to me?

She said she would. Something must have happened. I can’t handle the suspense, and send her an e-mail from my Blackberry: __________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Where are you? Date: May 27 2011 22:15 To: Anastasia Steele ‘I am at work. I will e-mail you when I get home.’ Is what you wrote earlier. Are you still at work or have you packed your phone, BlackBerry and MacBook? Call me, or I may be forced to call Elliot. I know he’s over at your place. Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. __________________________________________ With my message sent, I say my goodbyes and nod at the ogling women though that's the last thing I want to do, and leave the building in a hurry. I loosen my bowtie in the car once the valet drives it up front of the building. I drive home faster than I should. I wait the fifteen seconds the garage gate lifts up, and I drive in impatiently. I go to one of my bays and park the car. I walk out and press the call button on the elevator. They’ll never be the same for me. Every time I enter one, I think of her. I close my eyes all the way to my penthouse. Once I enter into my suite, I sigh, and pour myself a glass of wine, and taking my jacket off I lay it on the chair and go to play my piano. I always somehow drift back to playing same forlorn music...over and over again. The music is forlorn, and sad, and drowns me in some unknown sorrow. (←Suffocation by Chopin) My phone buzzes in my pocket nearly thirty minutes after I start playing. This time I check the caller ID. My heart stutters for a second. It’s Anastasia. I feel relief wash over me. She’s finally called.

“Hi,” I answer softly. She’s silent for a few seconds. “Hi,” she finally responds. “I was worried about you,” I say concerned. “I know. I’m sorry I didn’t reply, but I’m fine.” I lean towards the piano, let the relief completely cover me, and take me out of the suffocation. My eyes still closed, still trying to get to that mental shore, I say, “Did you have a pleasant evening?” And do you know the kind of storms you let loose in my tormented soul? Just the sound of your voice releases me from my internal suffocation and torment. I breathe slowly. (← Nocturne from The Secret Garden) “Yes. We finished packing and Kate and I shared a Chinese take-out with José.” When she says his name I feel the rip tide is pulling me back into the ocean of suffocation. I remind myself she’s calling me, and talking to me in that sweet voice. She’s still mine. “How about you?” she asks me. Breathe Grey, breathe, I remind myself. Eventually, I sigh, resigning... only for the time being. “I went to a fundraising dinner. It was deathly dull. I left as soon as I could,” I say unable to keep the sadness and resignation out of my voice. “I wish you were here,” she whispers. “Do you?” I ask her quietly, still utterly sad, my heart clenching. I didn’t even realize how great the fear of losing her was until this moment. “Yes,” she breathes firmly. I close my eyes willing to believe. Finally I sigh. “I’ll see you Sunday?” I ask fearing her answer. “Yes, Sunday,” she murmurs. “Goodnight,” I bid her not willing to let go. “Goodnight, Sir,” she says completely catching me unawares, as I inhale sharply, pulling me ashore from the rip current with two simple fucking words! “Good luck with your move tomorrow, Anastasia” I say in a soft voice. And we’re both hanging on the phone like teenagers, neither wanting to hang up. “You hang up,” she whispers making me smile. “No, you hang up,” I say grinning. “I don’t want to,” she says making me wish she was here... in my arms.

“Neither do I,” I say. “Were you very angry with me?” she asks worried. “Yes,” I respond. “Are you still?” “No.” “So you’re not going to punish me?” she asks worried. “No. I’m an in-the-moment kind of guy,” I respond. “I’ve noticed,” she comments. “You can hang up now, Miss Steele.” “Do you really want me to, Sir?” she says making my heart skip a beat. “Go to bed, Anastasia,” I say finally relief fully covering me. “Yes, Sir,” she says, but somehow we both stay on the line. “Do you ever think you’ll be able to do what you’re told?” I ask both amused because she’s just as affected by me as I am of her, and exasperated because she has not a single obedient bone in her body, I sigh. “Maybe. We’ll see after Sunday,” she says, and finally hangs up the phone. What am I going to do with you Anastasia? Worse yet, what would I do without you? I slowly make my way to my bedroom with the thoughts of Anastasia, and five minutes later I’m in my bed with just my boxers on drifting into sleep with her shy smile in my mind. (←With or Without You by U2)

(Christian and Mia @ the airport)

CHAPTER XVII

Sunlight from my floor to ceiling windows find me bright and early. My hand automatically rolls next to me to pull Anastasia into my arms, finding the space empty. When I realize she is in her own apartment, I groan, then roll over and check the time. It’s 6:18 a.m. Even the thought of Anastasia gives me an erection. I roll my head back and groan again. A hard workout might be able to hold my pent-up sexual energy in check and prevent me from becoming the unbearable monster that is wound up tighter than a monkey in a piñata until Sunday. I put my workout sweats on and go down to the gym. As if on cue Taylor joins me. “Morning sir,” he says wearily seeing my wound up demeanor he’s become very familiar with in the recent weeks. I nod in response. “How was the drive back?” “Quiet,” he says, than realizing the double meaning of his words, he adds, “it was night time, not much traffic.”

I give him an involuntary smile. **** Two hours later I’m back in my penthouse having completed eight miles of run, lifted weights, and utilized the punching bag with Taylor holding it in place. After I get to my penthouse, I take my shower, and get dressed. It’ll be a long day with having to pick my sister up from the airport which is something I’m looking forward to since I haven’t seen her in a long time. Then we’ll be having family dinner at my parents’ house. Mrs. Jones has my breakfast ready on the breakfast bar. Taylor comes out after I’m done with my breakfast, and wants to be briefed for the day’s activities. I ask him to have a bottle of Bollinger Grande Année Rosé 1999, and a helicopter balloon resembling Charlie Tango to be sent over to Miss Steele and Miss Kavanagh’s condo. He’s taking a note and pauses all for two seconds when I mention the helicopter balloon but says nothing. “Do you wish to add a note sir?” “Yes. Have it read, ‘Ladies, Good luck in your new home, Christian Grey’,” I say. “Would that be all sir?” “Yes, until we’re ready to pick Mia at the airport.” The day goes through very quickly until the time for Mia to be picked up at the airport. I am in my gray pants and white linen shirt. I put my jacket on since my parents like us to be dressed for dinner properly. Taylor drives me to the VIP access at the Sea-Tac Airport. We’re just on time. I barely have time to get one martini, Taylor walks back in with Mia who runs to me with open arms and jumps. We’re both grinning. I have missed my sister... that is until she starts talking non-stop. She punches my arm, making me say “ow! What was that for?” “Why do I have to hear that you have a gorgeous girlfriend from mom - and not a word from you? Were you even planning on telling me?” she asks, I see Taylor going crimson from my peripheral vision. “I would have eventually told you, but we are still very new,” I say by the way of explaining.

“Well, you don’t hide such a thing like that! You know we all suspected you were gay!” she gushes. My sister has no mental filters! She doesn’t pay attention where she say inappropriate things and doesn’t care who hears it. I see Taylor's lip quirk up only the slightest bit. He normally has very good control, but when it comes to Mia, no one knows what she’s going to say. I sigh exasperated. The drive to my parents’ house is full of Mia’s chatter. She wants to know what Anastasia looks like, what she does, what her tastes are. “How old is she?” she asks. “Twenty-one.” I reply. She beams and gushes the same way Elliot would have if the Mariners won the World Series. It never happened, though once in 1995 it came close, but never before, or since. She gushes and squeals in delight as if Anastasia walks on water which of course she doesn’t. She’s not even obedient! “She’s my age! Oh Christian! I think Anastasia and I will be the best of friends!” she says making me frown. What is it with Anastasia that people fall in love with her even without meeting her? She’s like the black magic woman. (← Black Magic Woman by Santana) We couldn’t get to my parents’ house soon enough just to save myself from Mia’s non-stop chatter. My parents meet us at the door, and they both hug Mia at the same time. We all walk into the living room. My dad makes his famous martinis handing us each a glass. When we’re sitting together and start talking about Paris, Elliot arrives. Mia runs to him, and he holds her up spinning “little sister! I’ve missed you so much!” he says. “Oh, Elliot, I’ve missed you too!” gushes Mia with enthusiasm. He shakes my dad’s hand, and gives mom a hug. He comes to shake my hand, and with a wicked grin, “your girlfriend Ana says hi!” he says to me. I narrow my eyes on him, but he ignores me. Mia gushes...again. “You’ve met her?” and she comes and punches me in the arm again. “Jerk! Why am I the only one who never heard of her until mom told me, or met her?” she scolds me. “For one thing,” I say, “you were living in Paris, until about an hour ago. Elliot met her because he goes out with Anastasia’s roommate,” I say giving him a measured look.

“Oh, that reminds me,” my mother says. “Would you both invite your girlfriends to the dinner we’re having in honor of Mia’s return tomorrow? That way we can all meet both of them,” she says smiling. “Anastasia is such a sweet girl. I’m sure you’ll all love her!” she says to the family in general. “Yes, she is,” says Elliot with a little extra enthusiasm, grinning, making me jealous. I frown. “I’m also looking forward to meeting Kate. She sounds like such a beautiful and loving girl,” she adds for Elliot’s benefit. Loving? I don’t know where she got that idea, but ‘ball-crusher’ should be her actual middle name. My frown must have remained on my face, because Elliot teases me again. “It’s like shooting fish in a barrel with you bro! You’re so in love with her!” he says, making all heads turn to me. “We’ve only been going out for a short while. She’s just too captivating, adorable. I like her a lot, but I’m not in love,” I say through barely contained gritted teeth, defensively. My mother chides Elliot, “Elliot, stop teasing your brother. Why shouldn’t he be in love with her? She’s an adorable girl,” she says. Mia narrows her eyes. She’s sure to test something tomorrow. I’ll have to be on the watch. After dinner, I spend time with my family talking about our childhood, the Mariners, and business. As the time wears on, I slowly get up and tell my family that I have a busy schedule tomorrow, so I have to leave. Mia gives me a big hug, and mom kisses me on the cheek, while my dad and Elliot shake hands. I love my family, but I can only take small doses of Mia and Elliot combination with teasing and scrutiny now that they know I have Anastasia in my life. They’ll get an eyeful of Anastasia tomorrow. As Taylor drives me home, I go through my e-mails. There’s one from Elena asking me to meet her for lunch or dinner next week. I think that would be good for us. I can tell her about Anastasia. I wonder what she would think of her. The thought makes me smile. She’s unlike any of the girls I’ve had as my subs before. I write her back telling her I could meet her after I confirm my schedule with Andrea, and I'd e-mail her back on that.

We get to Escala, and it’s quite late. I read a few business reports, and go to bed anxious for Sunday to come. ** I wake up early as usual to go to workout. As soon as my workout is over, I come and take my shower and get dressed. As Mrs. Jones fixing my breakfast, I type a message for Anastasia. __________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: My Life in Numbers Date: May 29 2011 08:04 To: Anastasia Steele If you drive you’ll need this access code for the underground garage at Escala: 146963. Park in bay 5 – it’s one of mine. Code for the elevator: 1880. Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. __________________________________________ I hit send, and head to the kitchen bar stool to eat my breakfast and drink my coffee. My Blackberry buzzes as I take a bite of my eggs. It’s from Anastasia. __________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: An excellent Vintage Date: May 29 2011 08:07 To: Christian Grey Yes, Sir. Understood. Thank you for the champagne and the blow-up Charlie Tango, which is now tied to my bed. Ana __________________________________________ How does she do that? She can interest and captivate me with simple words. I’m now jealous of an inanimate object! God almighty! What’s happening to me? __________________________________________

From: Christian Grey Subject: Envy Date: May 29 2011 08:10 To: Anastasia Steele You’re welcome. Don’t be late. Lucky Charlie Tango. Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. __________________________________________ I am in my study going over the business proposals Andrea had drafted, but I find myself unable to focus. Anastasia is coming today, and I realize I like her immensely. That also brings the fact that she’s all too new to my dark world. Is this really for her? Am I being unfair to her by introducing her to something dark like this? It’s tormenting me inside. I know she gets hurt easily. Like when I didn’t stay over at her place. I find myself breaking my own rules right and left. Do I want to keep breaking my own rules? I like my rules! It brings order out of chaos. But...but, when it comes to Anastasia, she knows no rules. She just walks through all my walls I’ve painstakingly built over the years. But then, I want to seize the moment...with her. (← Dust in the Wind by Kansas) She means a lot to me. I don’t want to see her hurt. Friday night, seeing her all torn apart, crying, and I frigging had no idea! She’s too reticent, and I’m too fucked up! I walk around my study pacing, running both my hands through my hair in exasperation. I desperately want to give her the chance to decide, and...and perhaps say ‘no’ to our arrangement. She gets hurt easily, and I’m too stuck on my rules. But in the other hand, the time to not to compromise has already passed, and I am her boyfriend...for all intents and purposes. When I think of that title, my heart constricts and floods of some unknown emotions course through my entire body. I’m divided between what I know, what is familiar, and what’s unknown, but what I fervently desire.

What I want is her: that’s plain and simple. But I also have this desire to protect her, care for her...and oddly love her in every sense of the word. Could I find a middle ground? Would she want to be in that middle ground with me? I make my resolution: No matter how hard it is, I’ll give her the chance to decide. Now that she knows what I’m about. I’ll let her decide... I don’t know if I could take it if she decided against it, but I’ll have to give her the chance. She’s innocent like a child. (←Sweet Child ‘O Mine by Guns N Roses) I’m killing myself here. What if she says, she wants nothing to do with my lifestyle? Can I even handle that? Can I handle it if she goes out with that photographer? I can’t even handle the mention of José’s name... I don’t think I can handle him holding her, kissing her, fucking her! Damn! I want to punch something! I check the time. It’s passed 11:00 a.m. I buzz Taylor’s office. "Taylor!” “Yes, sir.” “I need to workout. Let’s go!” he pauses for three seconds. Another shocked expression from Taylor, and says, “I’ll be there in four minutes sir.” This will give me time to get back in my sweats. I have to clear my head. Within six minutes flat, Taylor and I are back at the gym. I warm up, and head straight to the punching bag, and Taylor’s eyes widen just a tiny bit, and he shakes his head inconspicuously but I notice. He knows why I’m edgy. He wants to say something to me, but something in my demeanor stops him from saying anything. “I’ll hold, you punch sir,” he says. I nod. Even though Claude Bastille isn’t here, I still want to kick someone’s butt. Taylor’s the it man right now for the job. Taylor knows it’s coming, and it’s actually something he is looking forward to it. He’s been trained in martial arts and hand to hand combat; so this is something he’s actually good at. "Alright sir! Let’s have at it!" he says smiling. I grin back at him. We circle each other wearily. He makes the first attack, and he’s actually lethal, but I’ve learned a few tricks from Bastille. I counter attack him. Others who are working out, stop their workout, and watch our martial arts demonstration. In the next hour, he kicks my butt twice to the floor, and I kick his once. At the end of the hour, I feel a lot better; it’s not as good as kicking the photographer’s ass, however...

it’ll make do. I’m still worried that Anastasia might just say no to our arrangement. Nevertheless, I’ll give her the chance to refuse me today. I fucking like her too much, and the feeling of wanting to protect her supersedes the feeling of proprietorship; and don’t assume that part is small... It’s greater than anything I ever wanted to have, own, or possess. I do want to possess her, body and soul as she has possessed me. I’m putty in her hands! When Taylor and I take our last bow on the mat, we realize that the crowd is applauding us, an unexpected bonus; as we gave our all. We’re both out of breath, but I'm so much more relaxed, and both of us are grinning. We shake hands. Taylor says “good fight sir. You gave a run for my money!” “Right back at you Taylor.” When I get back to my penthouse, I take another shower, and put my white linen shirt on top of my jeans. Now I can wait for Miss Steele a little more composed and relaxed. I read the Sunday papers of Wall Street Journal, NY Times, LA Times, and Seattle Times. As I’m immersed in my reading, I notice a section on Page 8 of Seattle Times which hitches my breath. It’s another first for me. There is a picture of Anastasia and I during her graduation. I save the page to show it to her later. I hear the elevator to my suite ding open. Less than a minute later Taylor walks in with Anastasia into the great room as I’m reading the financial section of WSJ. I glance up, and see her in that purple dress I wanted to peel off of her. My breath hitches when I see her like that. She is so captivating; I find myself standing up and walking towards her like an automaton. Feeling a twinkle of excitement in my eyes, I stroll towards her without peeling my gaze off of her. I feel too excited to keep a smile off of my face. Our eyes remain locked, and everything else disappears. She stands immobilized at the entrance of the room. The charge between us is evident and is getting bigger as I close the distance between us. I feel myself pulled to her, like the gravity of the sun, and I’m a helpless planet orbiting it. I stop right before her. “Hmm…that dress,” I murmur approvingly as I gaze down at her with appreciation. I’m incredibly glad that she’s here. “Welcome back, Miss Steele,” I whisper and, clasping her chin, I lean down and place a gentle light kiss on her soft luscious lips. As soon as our lips touch the pulse between us gets stronger,

and an electric jolt goes through my body as I feel the same effects on her because her breath hitches. “Hi,” she whispers flushing. I just love that color on her. So innocent, incredibly alluring, and beyond hot turning me on. “You’re on time. I like punctual. Come.” I take her hand and lead her to the couch. “I wanted to show you something,” I say as we sit. I hand her the Seattle Times. The paper is open to page eight with a picture of the two of us. I’m like a young boy again, excited about something that relates to both of us, almost affirming us being a couple. She looks at it; her eyes go wide surprised. She checks the caption. It reads: Christian Grey and friend at the graduation ceremony at WSU Vancouver. It makes her laugh. “So I’m your ‘friend’ now,” she teases. (← You're in My Heart by Rod Stewart) “So it would appear. And it’s in the newspaper, so it must be true.” I smirk. I sit beside her, turning my entire body whole toward her, tucking one of my legs under the other. Reaching over, I tuck her hair behind her ear with my index finger. She closes her eyes with my touch as if its awakened from a long sleep, alive, all sensation and feeling, waiting and needful. I feel the same way with our connection. I’m full of desire for her. “So, Anastasia, you have a much better idea of what I’m about since you were last here.” “Yes,” she whispers with curiosity in her gaze. “And yet you’ve returned,” I say with wonder. I half expected that she wouldn’t come. She nods shyly making my eyes blaze with desire for her knowing she wants me. There is nothing hotter than a woman you desire who wants you just as strongly. I shake my head struggling to bring out the words I have practiced all morning long. I have to give her the chance to say no, to walk away... The anxiety returns as I try to control the feeling. Maybe it can wait a little longer. “Have you eaten?” I ask. “No,” she answers. “Are you hungry?” I ask trying not to look annoyed. “Not for food,” she whispers, catching me completely unawares making my nostrils flare slightly in reaction to her passion. The woman’s after my own heart, damn it! This is going to make it that much harder to get out what I had planned to say all morning. I lean forward and whisper in

her ear. “You are as eager as ever, Miss Steele, and just to let you into a little secret, so am I. But Dr. Greene is due here shortly.” I sit up. “I wish you’d eat,” I chide her mildly. She looks as if she just remembered the doctor is coming. “What can you tell me about Dr. Greene?” she asks. “She’s the best OBGYN in Seattle. What more can I say?” I shrug. “I thought I was seeing your doctor, and don’t tell me you’re really a woman, because I won’t believe you.” I know she’s teasing, but I give her a don’t-be-ridiculous look. “I think it’s more appropriate that you see a specialist. Don’t you?” I say mildly. And of course I don’t want another man looking at her intimate parts when I’m forced to stay downstairs, and he’s upstairs touching her in places I want no other man to touch. She nods. I frown with the thought of it. In fact, I don’t even like a male fly to look at her, let alone a male human! I feel incredibly possessive towards her. I want her only to be mine. Just my hands, my lips, my manhood on her. No one else’s! Oh! I just remembered. I have to invite her to my mother’s party for Mia. That’s another awkward situation for me, because, I’ve never taken a girl to my parents’ home. I feel like a school boy. Should I feel this strange about it? “Anastasia, my mother would like you to come to dinner this evening. I believe Elliot is asking Kate, too. I don’t know how you feel about that. It will be odd for me to introduce you to my family.” Her face falls with my last sentence. Oh, she misunderstood me. “Are you ashamed of me?” she says in a wounded voice. “Of course not,” I say fervently. “Why is it odd then?” she asks curiously. “Because I’ve never done it before,” I say mildly. Then she drops the ball on me. “Why are you allowed to roll your eyes, and I’m not?” I’m surprised, and look at her blinking. “I wasn’t aware that I was,” I respond genuinely. “Neither am I, usually,” she snaps at me. I glare at her completely speechless. Just as I manage to gather my thought, Taylor appears at the doorway. “Dr. Greene is here, sir,” he says. I nod. “Show her up to Miss Steele’s room,” I direct him. “Ready for some contraception?” I ask as I stand and hold out my hand to her.

“You’re not going to come as well, are you?” she says gasping, and completely shocked making me laugh. “I’d pay very good money to watch, believe me, Anastasia, but I don’t think the good doctor would approve.” She gives a sigh of relief taking my hand, and I pull her in to my arms and kiss her deeply and passionately. All her reactions take my breath away. My hand is in her hair holding her beautiful head, and I pull her against me, our foreheads against each other. “I’m so glad you’re here,” I whisper completely happy. “I can’t wait to get you naked.” Dr. Greene walks behind Taylor in to the room; her tall, blonde, and immaculate, dressed in a royal blue suit. Anastasia looks a little intimidated. Oh, this doctor has nothing over her. I don’t like blondes for one thing, and right now, I’m only into Anastasia, and no one else matters. Dr. Greene’s long hair is swept up in an elegant chignon. She appears to be in her early forties. “Mr. Grey.” She says shaking my hand. “Thank you for coming at such short notice,” I say. “Thank you for making it worth my while, Mr. Grey. Miss Steele.” She smiles, her eyes cool and assessing. She shakes hands with Anastasia coolly assessing her and liking what she sees. It appears Anastasia finally likes her as well. They have an instant rapport. The good doctor gives me a pointed stare. Oh, she wants to get on with business. I was kind of hoping that she’d ignore my presence and start her examination. Damn! It’s awkward for a minute, but I take my cue. “I’ll be downstairs,” I mutter leaving Anastasia’s bedroom. I go to my living room, I put my iPod on the stereo’s cradle, and turn on my classical music and go back to reading my Sunday papers seated on my couch. I read for a while. But my mind constantly wonders to Anastasia. The idea of taking care of my woman relaxes me. I feel serene knowing that she’s here now, and in my care. When I am contemplating that, Anastasia and Dr. Greene walks down from upstairs. I look up both of them, and smile warmly at Anastasia. “Are you done?” I ask genuinely interested. I take my remote out and point it at the stereo beneath the fireplace that houses my iPod, and the aria fades but continues in the background. I stand and stroll towards Anastasia and the Doctor. “Yes, Mr. Grey. Look after her; she’s a beautiful, bright young woman,” says Dr. Greene completely surprising me. I’m usually not easily taken aback. Anastasia even worked her magic on the no-nonsense doctor for her to give me an indirect warning like that. “I fully intend to,” I mutter, bemused. Anastasia gazes at me shrugging; she looks embarrassed.

“I’ll send you my bill,” Dr. Greene says crisply as she shakes my hand. “Good day, and good luck to you, Ana.” She smiles, her eyes crinkling, as she shake hands with Anastasia. What a bewitching woman I’ve got. She makes me proud at every turn. Taylor comes out knowing from the monitor that Dr. Greene has walked through the foyer, ready to walk her to the elevator. “How was that?” I ask. “Fine, thank you. She said that I had to abstain from all sexual activity for the next four weeks,” says Anastasia dropping my jaw in complete shock. How? What? How do I manage without any sexual activity for four weeks when she’s within my reach? But then her face changes, and she starts grinning like the Cheshire cat. “Gotcha!” she says. Oh, baby, I can get you right back, and you know that. I narrow my eyes, and she immediately stops laughing. In fact, I give her one of my most forbidding looks. She looks confused and half scared, blood draining from her face. But, I don’t want her to be scared, and this time I can’t stop from grinning. “Gotcha!” I say smirking. I grab her around her waist and pull her up against myself. “You are incorrigible, Miss Steele,” I murmur, staring down into her beautiful blue eyes as I weave my fingers into her hair, holding her firmly in place. I kiss her, hard, and fervently as she clings to my arms for support. My erection is growing, as my desire for her, and I am ready to take her, but I intend to do that for a long time, so I need to feed her before we start doing anything else. “As much as I’d like to take you here, now, you need to eat and so do I. I don’t want you passing out on me later,” I murmur against her luscious lips. “Is that all you want me for – my body?” she whispers. Oh baby, I want you for more than that. Maybe at first it was the body, but, in the last few weeks, all has changed. “That and your smart mouth,” I breathe. I kiss her again passionately, and then abruptly release her, taking her hand and leading her to the kitchen. She’s reeling behind me. “What’s the music?” she asks about the aria playing in the background. “Villa Lobos, anaria from Bachianas Brasileiras. Good, isn’t it?” I ask. (← Villa Lobos: Bachianas Brasileiras n.5 – Anna Moffo) “Yes,” she murmurs in total agreement. The breakfast bar is already laid for two. I take the chicken salad from the fridge that Mrs. Jones prepared earlier from the fridge.

“Chicken caesar salad okay with you?” I ask, and she looks relieved. “Yes, fine, thank you,” she says watching me move about the kitchen. I notice her contemplating again. Is she overthinking about something? She doesn’t look distressed. It looks like she has some pleasant thoughts, and I want to know what she’s thinking of suddenly. “What are you thinking?” I ask, pulling her from her reveries. She flushes which is a good sign. All her sexual thoughts make her flush like that I’ve discovered. “I was just watching the way you move.” I raise an eyebrow, amused. “And?” I say dryly, probing her for more information. She flushes some more. That good, huh? I think to myself. “You’re very graceful,” she says shyly. “Why thank you, Miss Steele,” I murmur sitting down beside her. I hold a bottle of wine and ask, “Chablis?” “Please,” is her response. “Help yourself to salad,” I say in a soft voice. My mind goes to the doctor’s visit. I’m curious to find out what method of birth control she opted. “Tell me - what method did you opt for?” She looks a little thrown by my question. But then realizes my meaning. “Mini pill,” she says. I frown. She has to remember to take them every day at the same time which can be tedious. “And will you remember to take it regularly, at the right time, every day?” I ask. Her smart mouth as usual takes charge. “I’m sure you’ll remind me,” she murmurs dryly making me amused. “I’ll put an alarm on my calendar,” I say smirking. “Eat,” I order softly. To my surprise, she cleans up her plate for the first time, and she does it before I do. Either she was famished, or too eager. “Eager as ever, Miss Steele?” I ask smiling down at her empty plate. She looks at me from beneath her long lashes. “Yes,” she whispers, completely catching me off guard making my breath hitch. Not another single word anyone uttered affected me as much as her single 'yes' does in this moment. This is the place I have to ask her. I have to give her the chance to say ‘No’ even though I don’t want to.

Because if I don’t ask her now, I’ll never be able to. I gather all my willpower to give her that chance that I know she deserves. I stare down at her intently. The atmosphere between us slowly shifts, evolve… charge. I know my gaze goes dark, in fact ember hot to smoldering and she’s locked and lost in it. I stand, closing the distance between us, and tug her off the bar stool into my arms where she belongs. “Do you want to do this?” I breathe, looking down at her intently. “I haven’t signed anything,” she says. And my mind goes, ‘fuck the paperwork!’ once again. “I know – but I’m breaking all the rules these days.” “Are you going to hit me?” she asks half scared. “Yes, but it won’t be to hurt you. I don’t want to punish you right now. If you’d caught me yesterday evening, well, that would have been a different story,” I say honestly. But she’s taken aback, blanching. “Don’t let anyone try and convince you otherwise, Anastasia. One of the reasons people like me do this is because we either like to give or receive pain. It’s very simple. You don’t, so I spent a great deal of time yesterday and this morning thinking about that,” I tell her honestly. I pull her against me, and my already grown erection presses into her belly. I want her. I need her, I desire her in some, deep, basic, elemental level and I know she feels that way which is something neither one of us can’t begin to understand. The charge between us is ever-present. “Did you reach any conclusions?” she whispers. “No, and right now, I just want to tie you up and fuck you senseless. Are you ready for that?” I say smoldering. “Yes,” she breathes, and I’m all in, and nothing and no one can stop me from being one with this woman. “Good. Come,” I say taking her hand, leaving the dirty dishes on the breakfast bar, and we head upstairs. My mind is reeling with excitement. I fucking want this woman so badly, it aches me inside. I open the door to my playroom, standing back for her to walk through, and once more she’s in my Red Room. She inhales the smell of leather, citrus, polish and dark wood, and whispers, “very sensual” barely audible.

My stance changes automatically when I’m in my playroom. It’s the stance of a dominant: it’s harder and meaner. I gaze down at her and my eyes are heated, lustful…hypnotic. “When you’re in here, you are completely mine,” I breathe, each word slow and measured. I want her to understand that I have complete control in this room more than any other place. It’s the place I exercise my dominance. I want her to understand that very well. There is no room for her smart mouth in here. It has to be me who is dominating in this particular place. Me, and me alone. I gaze at her willing her to understand my condition: “To do with as I see fit. Do you understand?” My gaze is so intense. She nods, her eyes wide, her face flushes as her heart thumps away speedily. Okay, then. Now the rules. “Take your shoes off,” I order softly. She swallows, and rather clumsily, nearly tripping on her own shoes, she takes them off. I bend and pick them up and relocate them beside the door. “Good. Don’t hesitate when I ask you to do something. Now I’m going to peel you out of this dress. Something I’ve wanted to do for a few days, if I recall. I want you to be comfortable with your body, Anastasia. You have a beautiful body, and I like to look at it. It is a joy to behold. In fact, I could gaze at you all day, and I want you unembarrassed and unashamed of your nakedness. Do you understand?” “Yes,” she whispers. “Yes, what?” I lean over her, glaring. “Yes, Sir,” she amends hesitantly. “Do you mean that?” I snap. “Yes, Sir,” she says more resolutely. “Good. Lift your arms up over your head.” She does as instructed, and I reach down and grab the hem. I pull her dress up over her thighs, her hips, her belly, her breasts, her shoulders, and over her head. I stand back to examine her beauty and absentmindedly fold her dress, not taking my eyes off her like a hawk watching its prey. I place the now folded dress on the large chest beside the door. When she’s excited, in goes her delectable lip into the captivity of her teeth. I reach pull at her chin reminding her. “You’re biting your lip,” I breathe. “You know what that does to me,” I add darkly. “Turn around,” I order and she obeys immediately, without hesitation. I unclasp her bra and then taking both straps, I slowly and sensually pull them down her arms, while brushing her skin with my fingers and the tip of my thumbnails as I slide her bra off. The barely there touch awakens

more senses than forceful ones because the body is completely alert, expecting, desiring, wanting, and ready to receive. I know my touch is sending shivers down her spine, waking every nerve ending in her body. The energy between us is tangible, palpitating, and thick. I stand behind her, so close that we can feel the heat radiating from each other, I’m warming her, and she’s warming me, heating me up all over. I pull her hair so it’s all hanging down her back. I grasp a handful at her nape, and angle her head to one side. I run my nose down her exposed neck, inhaling all the way, then back up to her ear. I love the way she smells. Vanilla, outdoors, soap and my woman. Her arousal is also evident in her smell which brings up an intoxicating concoction of musk blended in her own natural scent. Her body responds to mine even if I don’t touch her at this proximity, and mine does the same thing. I’m full of carnal desire for her, but it’s beyond that. There is a part of me that wants to consume her, devour her, love her in a way no one ever has, or ever will. A deep down dark part of me wants to do things that will mark her as mine short of branding her. That’s how much I want and desire her. “You smell as divine as ever, Anastasia,” I whisper as I place a soft kiss beneath her ear. She moans. “Quiet,” I breathe. I want her to be silent here, completely at my beckoning call. Utterly obedient. “Don’t make a sound, “I whisper. I pull her hair behind her head and start braiding it into one large braid which I note surprises her. I tie the end with a hair tie, and give it a tug so she’s forced back against me. “I like your hair braided in here,” I whisper. It’s easier to manage, because it doesn’t snag on different toys I have in this room, and of course it gives me a leverage point which I like. I release her hair and order her: “Turn around.” She obeys immediately, not knowing what’s coming next, her breathing shallow. When I look at her, there is desire, want, as well as fear mixed in her facial expression. She looks dazed, almost intoxicated; expectant. “When I tell you to come in here, this is how you will dress. Just in your panties. Do you understand?” I ask firmly. “Yes,” she responds. Already forgetting who the boss is? “Yes, what?” I glower at her. “Yes, Sir,” she responds, ever the fast learner making me suppress a smile. “Good girl,” I say with heated passion.

“When I tell you to come in here, I expect you to kneel over there.” I point to a spot beside the door. I want her to start practicing. “Do it now,” I order. She blinks for a minute trying to process what I just said, then turns, and rather clumsily kneel as she’s directed. I suppress another smile at her willingness and inability. Another indication showing me that she’s mine in more ways than one; not having performed any of that for another man. “You can sit back on your heels,” I order to which she responds by sitting back. “Place your hands and forearms flat on your thighs. Good. Now part your knees. Wider. Wider. Perfect. Look down at the floor,” I order to assume the submissive position. I walk over to her, and her eyes are just downcast only able to see my bare feet. Good. Pleased with the instruction, I reach down and grasp her braid again, then pull her head back so she’s looking up at me. “Will you remember this position, Anastasia?” “Yes, Sir.” “Good. Stay here, don’t move.” I leave the room while Anastasia is waiting on her knees. The thought of it makes me aroused. I go to my closet, and open one of the dressers. I take my clothes off, and put on my overly washed, soft, older and ripped jeans on commando leaving the top button open. I also take my new toy I’ve purchased solely for Miss Steele’s enjoyment. I walk back to my playroom knowing she’s there by the door, kneeling, and waiting for me. My arousal gets bigger. I take a deep breath and walk back into the room. I shut the door. I hang a waffle robe for her to use later behind the door. Finding Anastasia in the position I’ve left her makes me beyond joyful. “Good girl, Anastasia. You look lovely like that. Well done. Stand up,” I say. She stands up while keeping her face down like she’s instructed. “You may look at me,” I say softly. She peeks up at me as I stare back at her intently, assessing, but my eyes soften by the expression on her face which is one of awe and desire. She notices that I don’t have my shirt on. I can see the desire in her to want to touch me. Her eyes glide down on my torso slowly noticing the open top button of my jeans. She takes in a shuttering breath increasing my desire for her.

“I’m going to chain you now, Anastasia. Give me your right hand,” I say, and she obediently gives me her hand. I turn her hand palm up, and before she gets a chance to blink I swat the center of her palm with a riding crop which she now notices. I know it doesn’t hurt, but it is enough to awaken the senses. “How does that feel?” I ask her curiously. She blinks at me, confused, like my question didn’t register. “Answer me,” I order. “Okay,” she says frowning. “Don’t frown,” I command her. She blinks and tries to look impassive. The frown disappears from her face. “Did that hurt?” I ask. “No,” she says surprised. “Actually it didn’t hurt at all, maybe a tiny sting; not bad.” “This is not going to hurt. Do you understand?” I say. “Yes,” she responds in an uncertain tone, questioning. “I mean it,” I say trying to convince her. Her breathing grows shallower in excitement and anticipation. I show her the crop. It’s brown plaited leather. Her eyes jerk up to meet mine, and they’re alight with fire and a trace of amusement. “We aim to please, Miss Steele,” I murmur. “Come.” I take her elbow and move her to beneath the grid. I reach up and take down the shackles with black leather cuffs. “This grid is designed so the shackles move across the grid,” I point her. Her glance follows my extended hand, her eyes going wide. “We’re going to start here, but I want to fuck you standing up. So we’ll end up by the wall over there,” I say pointing with the riding crop to where the large wooden X is on the wall. “Put your hands above your head,” I order to which she obeys immediately, and automatically. She is fascinated. She looks up at me with awe, thrill, excitement and trust in her eyes. I won’t let her down. I stand very close to her body as I fasten the cuffs. Her gaze is level with my chest watching me. I hear her inhaling my scent.

I step back and gaze at her. Ever since I’ve met her, I wanted her in here, in this position. Right now she’s so fucking hot, I can barely keep my hooded, salacious, carnal expression off of her helpless look...all at my mercy. But it’s not just about wanting to have her at my beckoning, or just to fuck her; that’s not it, although God knows it’s ever present. But I long for her as if nothing we do is enough to fill my desire of her! My gaze reflects that longing when I look at her beautiful face. I slowly walk around her, admiring her. “You look mighty fine trussed up like this, Miss Steele. And your smart mouth, quiet for now. I like that.” Standing in front of her again, I hook my fingers into her panties, and at a painfully slow, but sensual pace, I peel them down her legs, stripping her agonizingly slowly, but the end game is that I end up kneeling in front of her. Without taking my gaze off hers, I scrunch her panties in my hand, holds them up to my nose, and inhale deeply. Her eyes go wide in wonderment. I grin at her reaction and tuck the panties into my jeans’ pocket. I rise from the floor lazily, like a jungle cat, and point the end of the riding crop at her navel, leisurely circling it, pleasure tormenting her. As soon as the leather of the riding crop touches her, she quivers and gasps. I walk around her again with the crop trailing around the middle of her body. After I make a second round around her delectable body, I flick the crop fast as a snake bite, and it hits her underneath her behind… against her sex. This surprising attack makes her cry out in surprise as all her nerve endings stand to attention. She pulls against the restraints. It is a sweet, strange, pleasure pain, an indescribable feeling which is a first experience for her. “Quiet,” I whisper at her ear rubbing my nose as I walk around her body again, dragging the crop slightly higher around the middle of her body. This time when I flick it against her in the same place, she’s ready and anticipating the feeling of it. Her body convulses at the sweet, stinging bite, she rolls her head back, and her mouth makes an O shape as if she momentarily left her body. I make my way around her body again, but this time I flick the crop on her nipple making throw her head back as her nerve endings sing. I hit the other one and both her nipples harden and elongate from the assault, and she moans loudly, pulling on her leather cuffs. “Does that feel good?” I breathe.

“Yes,” she responds arousing me. I hit her across the buttocks this time as chastisement. “Yes what?” I ask firmly. “Yes, Sir,” she whimpers. I come to a stop this time, and she has her eyes closed as she’s trying to absorb myriad of sensations her body is experiencing. Very slowly, I rain small, biting licks of the crop down her belly, heading south finally reaching her clitoris where the assault makes her cry out loudly. “Oh… please!” she groans. “Quiet,” I order her, and hit her behind again for chastisement. And suddenly, I’m dragging the crop against her sex, through her pubic hair, down to the entrance of her vagina. “See how wet you are for this, Anastasia. Open your eyes and your mouth,” I order her and she does as she’s told, completely seduced. I push the tip of the crop into her mouth. “See how you taste. Suck. Suck hard, baby,” I order, and she closes her mouth around the crop as our eyes lock. My eyes are blazing for this amazing woman, and I’m completely in my own element. I pull the tip from her mouth, and he stand forward and grab her and kiss her hard, my tongue invading her mouth. Wrapping my arms around her, I pull her against me, my chest crushing hers, her hands above her. “Oh, Anastasia, you taste mighty fine,” I breathe. “Shall I make you come?” I ask in a husky voice. “Please,” she begs. I make the crop bite her buttock. She cries out. “Please, what?” I ask her firmly. “Please, Sir,” she whimpers. I smiles at her victoriously. “With this?” I ask holding the crop up to her eye level. “Yes, Sir.” “Are you sure?” I look at her sternly. “Yes, please, Sir,” she begs. “Close your eyes then,” I order which she obeys immediately. I start with tiny, biting licks of the crop against her belly at first then I move down, soft small licks against her clitoris, once, twice, a third time, fourth, fifth, sixth time... Over and over again, until finally, she’s completely spent

and comes loudly, sagging weakly. My arms immediately wrap her around her body as her legs give out on her. She’s completely dissolved in my embrace, her head against my chest. She’s moaning and whimpering as the aftershocks of her orgasm running through her body. I lift her and quickly move her while her arms still tethered above her head, her back to the to the polished cross. I can only take so much of watching her, I pop the buttons on my jeans. I put down against the cross for a short minute and rip a condom package and roll it onto my length, then wrap my hands around her thighs lifting her up again. “Lift your legs, baby, wrap them round me,” I order. She obeys wrapping her legs around my hips, I position myself beneath her, enter her with one thrust, and I’m inside her; my favorite place in the entire universe. She cries out, moaning. My moans are subdued by her ear. Her arms are resting on my shoulders and I trust into her repeatedly deep. Again and again, finally my breathing gets harsher as my head leans down at her throat. I can’t take any more of the buildup as I watch her approaching orgasm and inevitably, she comes again loudly, and my peak follows hers shouting my release through clenched teeth while holding her hard and close to me. I pull out of her quickly and put her down against the cross while my body is supporting hers. I unbuckle her cuffs, and we both sink to the floor completely spent. But I'm still not done with her yet...

CHAPTER XVIII

“Well done, baby,” I murmur. “Did that hurt?” “No,” she can barely breathe a response; neither can she keep her eyes open. “Did you expect it to?” I whisper to her while holding her close me as my fingers push some escaped tendrils of hair off her face. “Yes,” she answers tired. “You see, most of your fear is in your head, Anastasia,” I say. But what I want to know is if she would want to do it again. “Would you do it again?” I ask hesitantly. She pauses for a minute, tired. “Yes,” she answers in a soft voice, and that is my undoing. I really, truly like, like, like this woman with a strange, unnamed, elemental emotion! I hug her tightly. “Good. So would I,” I murmur, then lean down and softly kiss the top of her head. “And I haven’t finished with you yet,” I say, because I have been waiting for her to be in this room for days, no weeks now. Her eyes are closing as I’m wrapped around her. She turns

her face into my chest, and inhales deeply, but that movement tenses me up. She opens her eyes and looks up at me. I stare down a warning glare. “Don’t,” I breathe to her which she flushes and looks back at me longing melting my dark heart. (←Bad Romance by Lady Gaga) “Kneel by the door,” I order her. Somehow my voice is chilled because of this frigging fucked up self in me. My hard limit is breached, and I try to gain my composure. She clumsily gets up into a standing position and scoots over to the door and kneels as instructed, shaky and tired. I move around her, but she’s so tired, her eyelids heavy, her head is drooping into sleep. “Boring you, am I, Miss Steele?” I ask making her jump awake. I am standing in front of her with crossed arms glaring down at her. When her beautiful blue eyes gaze up at me, my gaze softens. There’s always something about her that tugs at my heart strings. “Stand up,” I order her and she warily climbs to her feet. I stare at her and my mouth quirking up into a smile. “You’re shattered, aren’t you?” I ask. She nods shyly, flushing. “Stamina, Miss Steele,” I say to her. (←Stamina Imma tell by Tech N9ne) This is why I want her to work out. I narrow my eyes at her. “I haven’t had my fill of you yet. Hold out your hands in front as if you’re praying.” She blinks at me trying to see if she heard me right. “Praying?” she asks confused as if this is the most bizarre place to pray. But she finally does as she’s told. I take a cable tie and fasten it around her wrists, tightening the plastic. Her eyes fly to mine with recognition. “Look familiar?” I ask, unable to conceal my smile. She gapes up at me as adrenaline spikes though her body anew. Okay – that’s got her attention – she’s completely awake now. “I have scissors here,” I say holding them up for her to see. “I can cut you out of this in a moment,” I say reassuringly. She tries to pull her wrists apart, testing her bonds, But as she tries to pull it apart, the plastic bites into her flesh. As long as she doesn’t force to try her wrists apart, she’ll be fine; otherwise it’ll cut into her skin.

“Come,” I say taking her bound hands and lead her over to the four-poster bed. She notices that it has dark red sheets on it and a shackle at each corner, gazes up at me in curious wonderment. “I want more –much, much more,” I lean down and whisper in her ear. And her heartbeat starts pounding speedily again. She’s excited. “But I’ll make this quick. You’re tired. Hold on to the post,” I say. She frowns, realizing she won’t be on the bed. She parts her hands as she grasps the ornately carved wooden post. “Lower,” I order. “Good. Don’t let go. If you do, I’ll spank you. Understand?” I warn her. “Yes, Sir,” she says like the good girl she is. “Good.” I stand behind her and grasp her hips, and then quickly lift her backward so she’s bending forward, holding the post. “Don’t let go, Anastasia,” I warn her. “I’m going to fuck you hard from behind. Hold the post to support your weight. Understand?” “Yes,” she says, and I smack across her behind with my hand. “Ow…” she says, then amends her affirmation by muttering, “Yes, Sir,” quickly. “Part your legs,” I order, and put my legs between hers, and holding her hips, I push her right leg to the side. “That’s better. After this, I’ll let you sleep,” I say to her. I reach up and gently stroke her back. “You have such beautiful skin, Anastasia,” I breathe as I bend down and kiss her along her spine, gentle feather-light kisses. At the same time, my hands move round to her front, palming her breasts, and as I do this I trap her nipples between my fingers and tug them gently. She stifles her moan as her whole body responds, coming alive once more for me. I gently bite and suck her at her waist, tugging her nipples, and her hands tighten on the carved bed post. My hands drop away, and take a packet of condom, and tear at the foil, and kick off my jeans.

“You have such a captivating, sexy ass, Anastasia Steele. What I’d like to do to it,” I say desirously. My hands smooth and shape each of her buttocks, then my fingers glide down, and I slip two fingers inside her. “So wet. You never disappoint, Miss Steele,” I whisper, and there is wonder in my voice. “Hold tight… this is going to be quick, baby,” I say grabbing her hips positioning myself, and I stand behind her and grasps her hips, and then quickly lift her backward so she’s bending forward, holding the post. I reach over her and grab her braid near the end and wind it round my wrist to her nape holding her head in place. Very slowly I ease into her, pulling her hair at the same time… I fill her up to the brim. I ease out of her slowly, and my other hand grabs her hip, holding tight, and then I slam into her, jolting her forward. “Hold on, Anastasia!” I shout through clenched teeth. She grips harder round the post and push back against me as I continue my merciless assault on her over and over again, my fingers digging into her hip. I feel that she’s getting weaker with the new buildup of yet another orgasm. I continue to move roughly against her, inside her, my breathing harsh, moaning, groaning. I hear her breathing getting harsher, and her moan peaks with the inevitability of another shattering peak, as I reach my own, and I still, slamming really deep. “Come on, Ana, give it to me,” I groan which my encouragement sends her over the edge as she reaches hers. As we’re both spent I lay on the floor, Anastasia on top of me, her back to my front. As I nuzzle her ear, “Hold up your hands,” I say softly. She holds her arms up, and with one pass of the scissors, I cut the plastic ceremoniously and, “I declare this Ana open,” I breathe. She giggles with my declaration and rubs her wrists as they’re freed. Her giggle makes me grin; it’s the most beautiful sound on earth, because it means she’s happy, and makes me long to hear her giggling, carefree, and joyful. (←I’m on Top of the World by the Carpenters) “That is such a lovely sound,” I say morosely. I feel guilty and grieved all of a sudden that she’s not as carefree as she could be. I sit up suddenly, taking her with me so that she’s once more sitting in my lap.

“That’s my fault,” I say and shift her so that I can rub her shoulders and arms that had been sore with our joy ride. I gently massage her. She turns back to me trying to decipher the meaning behind my last lamentation. “That you don’t giggle more often,” I say in a forlorn voice. “I’m not a great giggler,” she mumbles sleepily. “Oh, but when it happens, Miss Steele, ‘tis a wonder and joy to behold,” I say my eyes are bright. “Very flowery, Mr. Grey,” she mutters, barely trying to stay awake as her eyes are drooping. “I’d say you’re thoroughly fucked and in need of sleep,” I say with a wicked gleam in my eyes. “That wasn’t flowery at all,” she grumbles playfully. I grin at her as I lift her off of me, standing naked. I pick my jeans up, slide them back on, commando. “Don’t want to frighten Taylor, or Mrs. Jones for that matter,” I mutter playfully. I stoop down to help her to her feet and lead her to the door. Back of the door is the gray waffle robe I hung earlier. I happily dress her like a parent dresses a small child. She’s completely spent; her limbs don’t have enough strength left to lift up. When she’s all covered up and respectable, I lean down and kiss her gently, and knowing that she’s been mine thoroughly, and mine alone, makes me beyond joyful, and pleases me immensely which is reflected in my smile. “Bed,” I say. And the look of astonishment on her face makes me grin…Another priceless expression. “For sleep,” I add reassuringly. I scoop her up and carry her curled against my chest to her bedroom where she was examined by Dr. Greene earlier today. Her head drops against my chest in exhaustion. Pulling back the duvet, I lay her down and, climb in beside her and hold close which is something I wanted to do since yesterday. “Sleep now, gorgeous girl,” I whisper kissing her hair. And as she’s curled into my arms, we both drift into sleep. I wake up before she does as the sun is setting. I gaze at her completely sated and relaxed state, sleeping in my arms. I could watch her for hours. She looks so peaceful in her sleep. As I try to move my arm away from her, she stirs uneasily as if something is bothering

her. I rub her hair, and nuzzle, and kiss her on top of her head instantly calming her. She relaxes. She’s comforted by my presence as I am comforted by hers. The thought makes me sigh in wonderment. She’s my perfect match. Finally I release her from my arms, and slowly move, covering her. Her arm moves looking for me. I slowly walk to the door, and hear her clear as bell: “Christian, don’t go!” I start saying, “I’m just...” but I realize that she’s completely asleep. She is talking in her sleep. “Please...” she mutters worried. Stirs in the bed restless. “I love...” and moans as if something is hurting her. I go back to the bed staying on top of the covers, I lay next to her. I rub her hair again, relaxing her. She loves what? Or rather who? I slowly move my arm away from her torso once she’s relaxed again slipping into deep sleep. I tiptoe to the door. Then I hear her voice very clearly...which stops me in my tracks: “I love you Christian! Don’t leave me...” she pleads in her sleep. My mouth drops wide open; I sit in a chair in the corner and gaze at her. What do I do with this information? I can’t even begin to process it! I’m not worthy of her love...of any love. What was it Elena said about love, “it’s a useless emotion! It erodes control...” I’ll end up breaking her heart... Fuck! (←Break Your Heart by Taio Cruz) Confused, elated, joyful, surprised, I slowly leave her room lost in thoughts to take a shower and get ready for the evening. After I take my shower, I get dressed, and make Anastasia a drink with cranberry juice and Perrier. I bring it up to her room, and put it on her side table. It should help to give her some energy and her wake up. I wake Anastasia up by softly brushing my lips across her temple, kissing her tenderly, but she’s too tired, and wants to remain asleep. She moans and burrows into her pillow. “Anastasia, wake up.” I say softly, cajoling. “No,” she moans.

“We have to leave in half an hour for dinner at my parents’.” I say amused. She opens her eyes reluctantly. Her eyes flicker to the sky outside. It’s dusk. I lean over, gazing at her intently. “Come on sleepyhead. Get up.” I stoop down and kiss her again. “I’ve brought you a drink. I’ll be downstairs. Don’t go back to sleep, or you’ll be in trouble,” I threaten, but my tone is mild. I kiss her briefly and leave the bedroom. I have my iPod docked on my stereo as Frank Sinatra singing away. I’m in my trademark white linen shirt and grey flannel pants hanging on my hips. I gaze outside from my floor to ceiling window watching Seattle’s silhouette in the approaching night. My woman is in my home, getting ready to go to my parents’ house with me. It’s an odd, but then oddly comforting feeling. Yet another sign that marks her as mine. I feel her presence before I see her. She’s admiring me. I can feel it from the energy that jolts between us whenever we are in each other’s presence. I turn and smile at her. She’s all dressed up, minus of course the underwear which are now in the captivity of my pocket. I want her to beg for it. Let’s see how she’ll respond to my little game. “Hi,” she says, matching my smile. “Hi,” I say back to her. “How are you feeling?” I ask giddy with amusement. “Good, thanks. You?” she asks. I couldn’t be better. “I feel mighty fine, Miss Steele,” I respond. Waiting for her to ask for her panties. “Frank... Hmm. I never figured you for a Sinatra fan,” she says curiously, surprising me. I raise an eyebrow in response. “Eclectic taste, Miss Steele,” I murmur, and pace toward her, standing in front of her with an intense gaze. I notice her breath hitches when she sees my stance. As Sinatra starts crooning Witchcraft, I trace her face with my fingertips down to her neck. She closes her eyes in ecstasy. All of a sudden, I want to have her in my arms, and dance with her like there is no tomorrow! “Dance with me,” I murmur in a husky voice. (← Witchcraft by Frank Sinatra) I take the remote from my pocket, and turn up the volume. I hold my hand out to Anastasia, and once again, I long for her even though she’s right here with me. I am full of want

to take her to my arms again. We’re bewitched with each other as I can see my feeling is reflected and reciprocated in her eyes. She puts her hand into my extended one. As soon as her hand touches mine, our usual connecting jolt begins to run through. With a renewed sense of desire, I pull her into my embrace, curling my free arm around her waist, and we start dancing. She extends and puts her free hand on my shoulder, and grin up to me. We’re just couple of young people, playful, enjoying the moment. We spin from the window to the kitchen covering the large space, whirling and twirling, and turning in time to the music. She follows my lead as we glide around the dining table, over to the piano, and backwards and forward in front of the glass wall, as Seattle is gleaming in its glittering lights. It’s the witching hour, with this bewitching woman, in this bewitching scenery with a darkening Seattle silhouette in the background, my woman in my arms, dancing to a bewitching song, sang by a bewitchingly velvety voice... She laughs in absolute joy, captivated by everything as I am; I can’t help myself but grin down at her murmuring, “There is no nicer witch than you,” and kiss her sweetly. "Well, that’s brought some color to your cheeks Miss Steele. Thank you for the dance. Shall we go and meet my parents?” “You’re welcome, and yes, I can’t wait to meet them,” she answers breathlessly. “Do you have everything you need?” I ask her with meaning. I still have her panties in my pocket, and looking forward to her begging for them. “Oh, yes,” she responds sweetly batting her eyelashes. “Are you sure?” I probe. She nods nonchalantly under my intense gaze. I’m completely amused by her nonchalance. You want to go over to my parents' house in a naked ass? Anastasia Steele, you are something else! I can’t keep up with it anymore and my face splits into a huge grin, and I shake my head. “Okay. If that’s the way you want to play it Miss Steele,” I say grabbing her hand, I collect my jacket that’s hanging on one of the bar stools, and lead her to the foyer to the elevator get down to the garage. When we’re in the elevator, he gaze drifts up to my face. I know she has nothing under her beautiful dress, and I would like to see how far she’ll manage with that. I think the idea is

hot. She’s going to my parents’ house with nothing under her dress. Knowing how shy she is, I bet she’s regretting that decision now. My mind is reeling with the kinds of games I can put her through tonight. Oh, baby, you brought this on and I aim to play! Let’s see how far you can play... The elevator descends down speedily and smoothly. But the usual charge between us builds up again, and my mind goes back to Heathman Hotel’s elevator. Someday, I’m going to fuck her in this elevator, but not right now. I feel my eyes darken with desire for her as our eyes lock. But, the elevator door dings open, and the magic is still hanging in the air. I close my eyes, and try to shake the clouds away from my head. I gesture her to exit before me from the elevators in a gentlemanly manner, but there is nothing gentlemanly in my thoughts about her. And she knows it! Taylor drives up the Audi SUV. I open the rear door for Anastasia, and she tries to climb inside as lady like as possible trying not to show her naked ass. The purple dress is clingy, and hangs on top of her knees. Otherwise, I would have been too jealous. We speed up to I-5 freeway, both of us quiet for a while. My mind is like a tornado. I look out from my window to the darkening city sitting next to the woman who captivated me in the last few weeks. Now I’m taking her to meet my family...officially, as my girlfriend. What is happening to me? I like her immensely. I can’t sort my feelings out for her. In one hand, I like my independence. I like my dominance. Who am I lying to? I love my dominance; I don’t think I can give it up! I love my lifestyle... But then here she is threatening everything I’ve come to know and love with her fragile, girly self, effortlessly. If I’m not around her, I’m miserable! I make everyone else miserable. I find myself thinking of her every waking moment, and in my sleep. I have these unnamed emotions that are driving me crazy! I get jealous even someone mentions her name as if it’s something sacred that they shouldn’t talk about without having a month’s ablutions. What is she doing to me? I’m lost in myself, and drowning in my thoughts. I long for her though she’s sitting next to me. “Where did you learn to dance?” she asks in a soft voice hesitantly. That brings me out of my reveries, but not out of my drowning misery. I turn my gaze at her, sadness covering my eyes. “Do you really want to know?” I reply softly.

I can’t see her well in the dark, but the passing light shines a glimpse at her falling face. “Yes,” she murmurs reluctantly. “Mrs. Robinson was fond of dancing,” I say. She sighs. “She must have been a good teacher,” she responds. “She was,” I say truthfully, softly. I try to see her face in the dark. Some sad emotions flicker through, but then I see a glimpse of a smile. Her hands rub her wrists reflexively. She must be thinking of our afternoon liaison. Her gaze falls again, and she fixes her sight outside the window, and gets lost in a sad thought of her own. I don’t want her to feel sorry for me. She worries about my past relationship with Elena. She’s my past now. She inhales a stuttering breath as if she’s barely holding onto her emotions. “Don’t,” I murmur. She turns her head to me. “Don’t what?” she asks confused. “Over-think things, Anastasia,” I say, unable to resist her pull. I reach out, grasp her hand, and draw them up to my lips, and kiss her knuckles gently. “I had a wonderful afternoon. Thank you.” I say. She blinks up to me, and smiles shyly. “Why did you use a cable tie?” she ask me whispering making me grin at her. “It’s quick, easy, and something different for you to feel and experience. I know they’re quite brutal, and I do like that in a restraining device,” I say smiling. “Very effective at keeping you in your place.” She flushes nervously as her gaze glances over at Taylor. He’s impassive and his eyes are on the road. Taylor had known my lifestyle since the day one. He’s my most trusted employee, and head of my personal security. It’s all part of the package that I am. I shrug. “All part of my world Anastasia,” I say, squeezing her hand, then let it go, and stare out the window again. She too turns her head, and stares out the window, lost in her thoughts again. I turn to look at her. Everything about her pulls and tugs at my heart strings. She looks like she's closed in, suffocating. She feels my glance on her and turns her head to look up to me. “Penny for your thoughts?” I ask. She sighs and frowns.

“That bad, huh?” “I wish I knew what you were thinking,” she says surprising me. I smirk at her. “Ditto, baby,” I say softly. How I wish to know what you were thinking. Finally the scenery changes, and just before eight, the Audi drives into the driveway of my parents’ colonial style mansion. It’s a picture perfect place. “Are you ready for this?” I ask her as we pull up to the door. She nods, and I give her hand another reassuring squeeze. She’s nervous, meeting a guy’s parents for the first time, but then again, it’s a first for me too. “First for me, too,” I whisper and smile wickedly at her, knowing now that she is probably regretting not having any underwear. “Bet you wish you were wearing your underwear right now,” I whisper teasing her. She flushes beet red. Taylor has climbed out of the door, and opening Anastasia’ door. She scowls at me, and I grin broadly in return, climbing out of the car. My mother, Dr. Grace Trevelyan-Grey is on the doorstep waiting for us. She’s in an elegantly sophisticated pale blue silk dress. Behind her is my father in his tall, blonde and handsome demeanor. “Anastasia, you’ve met my mother, Grace. This is my dad, Carrick,” I introduce my parents to her. “Mr. Grey, what a pleasure to meet you,” she smiles and shakes his proffered hand. “The pleasure is all mine, Anastasia,” he responds politely. “Please, call me Ana.” His blue eyes soften. “Ana, how lovely to see you again,” says mom wrapping her arms around Anastasia. “Come in, my dear.” “Is she here?” we hear a screech from within the house. Of course it’s Mia. “That would be Mia, my little sister,” I say irritably, but lovingly. I love her more than she irritates me. Sure enough, Mia comes barreling down the hall, raven haired, tall, and curvaceous. “Anastasia! I’ve heard so much about you.” She says hugging her hard. “Ana, please,” she murmurs as Mia drags her to the vestibule.

“He’s never brought a girl home before,” says Mia with her dark blue eyes alight with excitement. “Mia, calm down,” my mother admonishes her. “Hello darling,” she greets me while kissing me on both cheeks. I smile down at her, and shake my father’s hand. We all turn and head into the living room, while Mia is still clutching Anastasia’s hand. When we enter into the elegantly decorated living room, we find Kate and Elliot are cuddling together on a couch, clutching champagne flutes. As Mia finally releases Anastasia’ hand, “Hi Ana!” beams Kate meanwhile giving me a “Christian,” curt acknowledgement. “Kate,” I return her sentiment. Anastasia frowns at our exchange. Elliot, the fondler, grasps Anastasia into an all-embracing hug. I stand by Anastasia’s side wrapping my arms around her possessively placing my hand on her hip; I spread my fingers and pull her to me. Everyone is staring at her, at us. Anastasia feels uneasy. “Drinks?” my father asks finally recovering himself after seeing the confirmation that his son is NOT gay. “Prosecco?” “Please,” Anastasia and I speak in unison. This is strange. Mia claps her hands in our synchronized response. “You’re even saying the same things. I’ll get them,” she says, speedily leaving the room. Anastasia flushes. When she glances back at Kate and Elliot again, her gaze changes. It saddens; she gets a bleak and depressed look. What just happened? Why is she upset? “Dinner’s almost ready,” my mother says as she follows Mia out of the room. I gaze at her, and frown at her expression. What is wrong? Why is she upset? “Sit,” I command pointing to a plush couch. She does as she’s told, carefully crossing her legs. I sit beside her, but I don’t touch her. “We were just talking about vacations, Ana,” says my father kindly. “Elliot decided to follow Kate and her family to Barbados for a week.” When we look up to Kate, she’s grinning in absolute delight. “Are you taking a break now you’ve finished your degree?” my father asks.

“I’m thinking of going to Georgia for a few days,” she replies. I’m completely shocked; stare at Anastasia gaping at her. This is news to me. Why hasn’t she ever mentioned that to me? How can I handle her absence? Is she running away from me? I now think of her writing to me in her e-mail, if she had half the mind she’d run to Alaska. Is this her version of running away? “Georgia?” I murmur questioning. “My mother lives there, and I haven’t seen her for a while,” she replies. “When were you thinking of going?” I ask in a low, barely controlled voice. My anxiety level has shot up many times over my tolerable limit. “Tomorrow, late evening,” she responds as I’m trying to process that information. Right now, I want to take her, spank her, and fuck her like there’s no tomorrow! I’m barely containing myself in my seat with the company around. My gaze is fixed on her. My sister Mia saunters back into the living room, and hands each of us champagne flutes filled with pale pink Prosecco. “Your good health!” my father raises his glass. I couldn’t care less. Shit! She’s leaving! She’s running! Shit! Double shit! I can barely control my breathing. How can I stay without her? “For how long?” I ask in a deceptively soft voice. It’s anything but. I’m beyond angry. “I don’t know yet. It will depend how my interviews go tomorrow.” My jaw clenches, and Kate the ball-crusher gets that interfering look on her face. Shit! I could care less for her right now! “Ana deserves a break,” she says pointedly at me; antagonism seeping through her. “You have interviews?” my father inquires. “Yes sir, for internships at two publishers tomorrow,” replies Anastasia. “I wish you best of luck.” “Dinner is on the table,” my mother announces. We all stand. Kate and Elliot follow my dad and Mia out of the room. As Anastasia gets ready to follow, I clutch her elbow, bringing her to an abrupt stop. “When were you going to tell me you were leaving?” I ask her urgently. My tone is soft covering my barely contained anger, ready to erupt.

“I’m not leaving. I’m going to see my mother, and I was only thinking about it,” she responds. “What about our arrangement?” I ask her fervently. I thought we made a deal. “We don’t have an arrangement yet,” she responds. My eyes narrow, I’m ready to punish her, but, this isn’t the place for it, and she hasn’t signed yet. Damn! I take her elbow, and lead her out of the room. “This conversation is NOT over yet,” I whisper threateningly as we enter the dining room. What else will this night bring? I’m upset, uptight, irritated, confined, and right now, I like to spank the crap out of her, and fuck her for good measure. Shit! Breath, Grey, breathe! I remind myself as I pull Anastasia’s chair next to mine as my eyes fixed on her, watching her like a hawk. I can’t let her slip through my fingers, and she’s running from me. She wasn’t even going to tell me. Shit! I can’t breathe! I close my eyes, and count...very slowly... One... two... three... four... five... six... seven... eight... nine... ten... Still no relief... Fuck! I swallow. Ten again... Ten... nine... eight... seven... six... five... four... three... two... one... Easy breathing. I notice Mia taking a seat next to me, and grabbing my hand, squeezing it tightly, taking me out of my reveries. I smile at her warmly. Temporary relief floods me... until I gaze back at the Miss Independent again. (←I’m Afraid of Losing You by A Rocket to the Moon)

* *

OH, WHAT TANGLED WEBS WE WEAVE
CHAPTER XIX

She glares back at me. Mia breaks our glare with a question. “Where did you meet Ana?” she asks. “She interviewed me for the WSU student magazine,” I reply. “Which Kate edits,” Anastasia adds. Mia beams at Kate who is seated opposite to Elliot and the conversation goes in the direction of the student magazine. “Wine, Ana?” asks my dad. “Yes, please,” she answers smiling. My dad fills the rest of the glasses. Anastasia peeks up at me as I turn to look at her, my head cocked to one side. I’m still irritated with the earlier revelation. “What?” I ask. “Please don’t be mad at me,” she whispers. “I’m not mad at you,” I say, but that’s not true. I’m mad. Boiling...mad. She knows it, and she stares at me. She reads me well. I sigh.

“Yes, I am mad at you.” I close my eyes briefly to calm my anger down. “Palm-twitchingly mad?” she asks nervously in a whispering voice. “What are you two whispering about?” Kate the ball-crusher asks, sticking her little nose into where it doesn’t belong. Anastasia flushes and I glare at her to butt hell out of our business. I’m minding my own business like she should be doing. “Just about my trip to Georgia,” Anastasia answers her sweetly trying to diffuse the tension building between us. Kate smiles, and some wicked thought is crossing her mind. I wonder what the little witch is up to. “How was Jose when you went to the bar with him on Friday?” What the fuck? She went out with the photographer when she’s going out with me? Am I being double crossed? I don’t go out with anyone else, why is she going out with the photographer knowing how I feel about it? Knowing how jealous I get of that fucker... How could she do that to me? How much more can I handle tonight? Is she going to give me a heart attack, and send me to my early grave? I am palm twitchingly mad! To think that I have to learn this bit of information from the ball-crusher herself, and not from Anastasia! Fuck! My anger is like an over pressured pot. I'm going to explode if I don't let out some steam! “He was fine,” Anastasia murmurs which confirms my suspicions. She did go out with him! I lean over to her, and whisper, “Palm-twitchingly mad,” I say with barely contained volcano of emotions. “Especially now,” I say in a tone quiet and deadly. She squirms in her seat. My mother reappears carrying two plates with Gretchen trailing behind her with trays. The phone rings, and my father excuses himself to answer the phone. My mother asks Gretchen to leave the tray on the console. Meanwhile Anastasia eyes the help with inquisitive and jealous eyes. Then she scowls and finally looks at her hands in her lap. My father returns back to the dining room. “Call for you, darling. It’s the hospital,” he says to my mom. “Please start everyone,” my mother invites the guests and smiles as she exists the room. Anastasia furrows her brows but she has an appetite this evening most likely caused by this afternoon’s sexual activities she’s done with me.

My mother returns a few minutes later, and my father asks if everything okay to which my mother responds sighing, “another measles case.” “Oh no,” is my father’s response. “Yes, a child. The fourth case this month. If only people would get their kids vaccinated,” she says shaking her head sadly, adding, “I’m so glad our children never went through that. They never caught anything worse than chicken pox, thank goodness. Poor Elliot,” she says as she sits down smiling at my brother. Elliot frowns for being put on the spot, squirms uncomfortably. “Christian and Mia were lucky. They got it so mildly, only a spot to share between them,” to which Mia giggles, and I roll my eyes. Elliot wants to move on away from the current topic. “So, did you catch the Mariners game Dad?” he asks, and the subject is changed. I glance at Anastasia and she’s eating heartily which pleases me. Elliot, my father and I change the subject to basketball. We like talking of sports and current events. “How are you settling in your new apartment dear?” my mother asks Anastasia politely bringing her out of her thoughts. She talks about their move, and how she and Kate have been grateful to Elliot for his help. Just then Gretchen enters into the dining room and clearing the table. She brushes me as she passes, and I notice Anastasia narrows her eyes on her automatically. Meanwhile Kate and Mia are gushing about Paris. “Have you been to Paris, Ana?” Mia asks Anastasia bringing her out of her silent thoughts. “No, but I’d love to go,” she responds to Mia. “We honeymooned in Paris,” says my mother smiling lovingly at my father who grins back at her. They look so in love with each other still. “It’s a beautiful city,” Mia agrees with them, adding, “in spite of the Parisians. Christian, you should take Ana to Paris,” Mia says firmly. (←La Vie en rose by Louis Armstrong)

“I think Anastasia would prefer London,” I respond softly to her statement. I remember her telling me how much she wanted to see where her favorite authors are from. I have a hard time not touching this beauty next to me; then I get this overwhelming desire to touch and love

her. Especially when I know very well that she has nothing underneath that dress. I place my hand on her thigh. Her whole body tightens in response. She flushes and shifts in her chair, and she tries to pull away from me! I don’t want her to refuse me. Is it because of the photographer? Does she desire him instead of me? Is that why she's gone out with him? My hand clamps down on her thigh, stilling her. She’s bewildered, reaches for her wine, in desperation. I want what is mine, wherever I am. She is mine! Gretchen comes in with the entrée: a beef Wellington. We’re served, and as she’s serving my plate, Anastasia gives this venomous look at her. I look at Anastasia quizzically not quite understanding her reaction to the help. If she likes me, and gets jealous of me, why deny me what is mine? “So what was wrong with the Parisians?” Elliot asks Mia. “Didn’t they take to your winsome ways?” he probes smiling. “Ugh, no they didn’t!” gushes Mia. I wonder why? Could it be her forceful nature, or her less than discreet mouth? “And Monsieur Floubert, the ogre I was working for, he was such a domineering tyrant,” she says to which Anastasia responds by spluttering into her wine. She’s possibly thinking of me, but I don’t want her to choke. “Anastasia, are you okay?” I ask solicitously, taking my hand off her thigh for the moment. It’s actually too funny to see her respond like that to Mia’s comment. I am in her mind then! She nods, and I pat her back gently until I know she’s recovered. Knowing that Anastasia is eating heartily this evening and this pleases me immensely. I have never seen her eat so well. It gives me joy that she’s not starving herself. Elliot teases me about me watching Anastasia eat, and I disregard him with a joke; he can’t get me out of my good humor seeing my woman eat. Next the desert is served, and it is lemon syllabub. Mia starts talking about her exploits in Paris. Then she starts talking about how beautiful Paris is. “Paris est fière de son histoire, Paris est merveilleuse à la tombée du jour. Grâce aux nombreux adjectifs épicènes, bien souvent, on n'a pas à se poser la question: Paris est agréable la nuit, insupportable en été, magifique à l'aube.”

Everyone turns to her and stare at Mia as if she just lapsed into Latin. Well, close... She lapsed into French and she doesn’t even realize it. She tells us that Paris is proud of its history, and looks marvelous in the dusk, it’s nice at night, unbearable in summer, and magnificent at dawn. Of course, no one at the table besides myself and Mia herself understands what she just said. We’re only ones in the family who speaks French. “Qu'est-ce?” she asks, confused, after seeing my smile. I smile broader and answer her question of ‘what?’. “Rien… “ I say, ‘nothing’ while unable to contain myself and start laughing hard. “Pourquoi est-ce qui vous fait rire Christian?” she says, asking me why I’m laughing, completely confused. I laugh even harder, while the entire dinner table is staring at us. “Pourquoi tout le monde me regarde?“she says asking why is everyone staring at her. I laugh even harder when she still doesn’t even realize we’ve been conversing in French. She stares at me completely puzzled. “Ils sont à regarder vous,” I say, trying to tell her that they are staring at her, while trying to contain my amusement,”eh bien…parce que vous parler français…Nous parlons Français... en ce moment.” I answer her. between fits of laugher. I haven't laughed this hard in a long time. “Because,” I tell her, “you’re speaking French, actually both of us are at the moment.” She blushes, and then starts laughing with the rest of us. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t even realize I was doing that!” she responds. Elliot talks about his latest building project, a new eco-friendly community in the north of Seattle. His girlfriend Kate looks completely enamored with him, she is glowing with a mixture of love and lust for him. At least she won’t be crushing his balls... not in a bad way anyway. He turns and grins down at Kate, and a passionate wordless exchange passes through them. I notice Anastasia flushes in embarrassment. She sighs, and peaks up at me. Damn it! She flushes and tightens her legs I notice as her ankle hits mine while she’s trying to suppress her rising passion. Then in goes that bottom lip between her teeth. I peer down at her, and raise my hand to pull at her chin. “Don’t bite your lip,” I murmur huskily. “I want to do that.” (← When I need you by Julio
Iglesias)

My mother and sister clear our desert glasses and make their way to the kitchen while my father, Katherine the ball-crusher, and Elliot discuss the merits of solar panels in the State of Washington. I participate in their conversation while put my hand on Anastasia’s knee. My fingers start traveling up her thigh. Anastasia’s breath hitches, and she presses her thighs together to stop my hand traveling up on her thigh. Oh, baby, this is the second time you denied me in the course of the dinner. I’m brimming with sexual desire, and angry, and jealous of the fucking photographer. My already pent-up sexual energy is frustrating me, and she’s just denied me by closing her legs! She can’t just deny me what’s already mine! I give her a smirk. This is not going to help me calm down, and if I was palm twitchingly mad before, I am exploding right now, and nothing but punishing and fucking her will subdue the feeling. I'm torn between strange emotions. In one hand, no one ever has denied me before! Ever! This is the first time, anyone closed her legs to me! It’s both extremely hot, and beyond frustrating. She’s just torturing me by biting that lip... I can’t take it. I have to touch her! I have to know her sacred grounds are mine. Her body language says she desires me. Then why is she not yielding to me? I have to get her out of here, fuck her, punish her, and calm my inner monster down. “Anastasia, shall I give you a tour of the grounds?” I ask her openly, so others don’t go around chasing us. Knowing her, she just might say, ‘no’ to me again, so I move to my feet to be one step ahead of her. I extend my hand for her which she receives and puts her small hand and I clench it. As soon as we touch, our connection is established, and I feel this demanding pull to her again. Our gazes lock, and there is immense desire in mine, hungry, and yearning. Anastasia turns around says, “Excuse me” to my dad, and follow me out of the dining room. I lead her through the hallway and into the kitchen where Mia and my mother are loading the dishwasher up. “I’m going to show Anastasia the backyard,” I say to my mother innocently, as if I’m going to acquaint her with the property. That’s something a boyfriend who is bringing his girlfriend to his parents’ home for the first time can do. It’s an innocent act. My mother waves at us as Mia heads back to the dining room.

We step out onto the gray flagstone patio lit by recessed lighting. There are shrubs in stone pots and a small elegant metal table with chairs is set up in one corner. We past these, and step into the vast lawn that leads down to the bay. The city of Seattle is in the horizon, twinkling in bright lights. Two boats are moored in the boathouse, and the silver moon is in the background over the water. Ordinarily I would pay attention to the scenery, but my mind is far removed from the surrounding. I’m more occupied with what I want to do to Miss Steele. I am pulling Anastasia behind me, and her high heels are digging and sinking into the soft grass. She’s having a hard time following me. “Stop, please,” she begs as she stumbles. I stop with her pleas. I gaze at her. I have my passive face on, I am anything but. Right now, I want to fuck her seven shades of Sunday right after I delivered her a good dose of spanking! “My heels. I need to take my shoes off,” she says. “Don’t bother,” I say, and bend down and scoop her over my shoulder. She squeals loudly with shocked surprise, and I give her a very hard slap on her behind. “Keep your voice down,” I growl. Right now, I’m beyond angry with her, and I’m in the moment to deliver her punishment. “Where are we going?” she breathes. “Boathouse,” I snap a response. She is hanging onto my hips because she’s upside down, and I aim to get her up the second floor of the boathouse and give her what for. “Why?” she asks. “I need to be alone with you,” I respond. “What for?” she asks like a particularly annoying two year old. “Because I’m going to spank and then fuck you.” “Why?” she whimpers softly. “You know why,” I hiss. Because she denied me what’s mine! “I thought you were an in-the-moment kind of guy?” she pleads breathlessly upside down by my hips. “Anastasia, I’m in the moment, trust me.”

Baby, I’ve been waiting all evening for this moment, and the time is for your punishment. I burst through the wooden door of the boathouse and turn some of the lights on. They’re fluorescent, harsh, and they buzz. The motor launch is floating gently in the darkness of the water. But I don’t stop. I take the wooden stairs to the second floor. I pause in the doorway to switch the halogen lights on in the second floor which are softer in the eyes. The room is decorated in a nautical New England theme. Now ask me if I give a fuck about this place’s decoration, or that it houses my trophies. Nope! Not a single bit. I have two goals in mind both of which involves the woman I’m carrying on my shoulder like a Neanderthal would have done thousands of years ago. There furnishings are sparse here, but there is a couch I can use to fuck her. Hell, I don’t even need a couch to do that! I set Anastasia on her feet on the wooden floor. As soon as her feet touch the ground, her eyes are on me, taking me in their captivity. She’s mesmerized, as am I with her gaze... She’s bewitching. She watches me like a prey would watch its predator. My breathing is harsh from exertion as well as anger. My eyes are blazing with anger, need, and pure unadulterated lust, all for this woman before me. “Please don’t hit me,” she whispers pleading, completely taking me by surprise. She’s supposed to be my submissive. But, here she is, negotiating her punishment with me asking me to spare her from spanking. My brow furrows, my eyes widen, and I blink with her unexpected plea. “I don’t want you to spank me, not here, not now. Please don’t,” she pleads some more. I’m utterly surprised, and shocked with her reaction. I want to spank her, and fuck her after it, but she tugs at my heart strings, and making me unable to do what I’m set out to do. It’s like she douses the fire of anger with her brand of extinguisher, completely disarming me. Her hand tentatively reaches up, and her fingers lightly touch my cheek, along the edge of my sideburn, to the stubble on my chin. Her touch does something to me, calming me, and I close my eyes momentarily. My breath is shaky. I feel that longing again inside me. Nothing short of having her would calm my need down. Underneath all this anger, there is fear. As soon as my eyes are closed, I lean my face into her hand. I yearn for her touch. Nothing is enough

with her. My breath hitches in my throat, and something inside my heart aches, painfully. As if her hand is reaching in and squeezing it. I want her to, despite the pain! I feel her other hand reaching up, and running into my hair, softly, gently. Babying me. Caressing like a lover. I give out an involuntary, barely audible moan, and I slowly open my eyes, warily. In complete captivation of this woman who is loving me with her fingertips. She steps forward and her body is completely flush with mine. She gently pulls my hair, bringing my mouth down to hers, and she kisses me! She forces her tongue between my lips into my mouth. I groan. I want this! I embrace her, tightly, pulling her so close to me, not even an air molecule can pass through between us. My hands find their way into her hair. I kiss her back, hard, and possessive. She’s mine. I want to claim what is mine. Our tongues twist and tango with each other, devouring, consuming, loving, and making out. She’s my soul food. I can’t do without her. I need a life affirming experience with her. I need to know she’s mine. I pull back suddenly, both of our breaths mingled with each other, ragged. Her hands drop to my arms, and I glare down at her with a mingled incredulity, desire, want, question, and unnamed emotions. “What are you doing to me?” I whisper. You completely disarm me, unman me. You leave me defenseless. You make me feel helpless. You leave my life out of control, and I have this fucking feeling that’s ripping out my dark heart every time I think of you gone. I’m beyond confused. “Kissing you,” she simply responds. How? Why? “You said no,” I say unbelieving. “What?” she says, confused. She doesn’t know what she said ‘no’ to. “At dinner table, with your legs,” I clarify. Realization dawns on her. Yes, that one! “But Christian,” she rebuttals, “we were at your parents’ dining table,” she stares up to me bewildered. “It’s inappropriate,” she simply states. I only have wonder in my eyes, with increasing lust now. “No one has ever said no to me before.” A submissive would never have done it. In fact, if I wanted to fuck a submissive while my parents were having dinner, she would have just laid on the table and opened her legs for me. That’s what a submissive does. Yes, here she was

denying me, and by God, this is the hottest thing that was ever done to me. “And your denial, although maddening, it’s also so, fucking – hot,” I say realizing. I’m full of wonder and lust for her. My hand moves down to her behind. I pull her sharply against myself, and she can feel my full erection. “You’re mad and turned on because I said no?” she breathes, shocked. “I’m mad because you never mentioned Georgia to me. I’m mad because you went drinking with that guy who tried to seduce you when you were drunk, and left you ill with a complete stranger. What kind a friend is that? And I’m mad and aroused because you closed your legs on me,” I growl dangerously, and my hands slowly lift up the hem of her dress. I want her to know that I own her, I alone. No one else. Her body is mine to do as I wish. Not that fucking photographer who tries to get back in line with her. “I want you, and I want you now. And if you’re not going to let me spank you –which you rightfully deserve – I’m going to fuck you on the couch this minute, quickly, and for my pleasure alone. You will not come.” I lift her dress up, and half her ass is visible. I move suddenly and cup her sex, and sink one of my fingers into her while my other hand holding her firmly in place around her waist. She suppressed a pleasure moan. “This is mine,” I whisper through gritted teeth. “All mine! Do you understand?” I want to declare my territory. I’m incredibly possessive of her, fear is curling through me that some other fucker might slip in and take away what’s mine. My finger eases in and out of her sex, I gaze down at her, gauging her reaction, and looking to see her response. “Yes, all yours,” she breathes desirously, hot for me, ready to be fucked by me. Open... Relief floods me. Courses through my bloodstream. My heartbeat and hers mixes, and races each other, trying to run away from our chests and merge. Right now, I see nothing, I feel nothing, I can think of anyone or anything except for Anastasia. My entire being has stood attention only for her. Nothing exists right this moment, but she and I alone. She consumes me, conquered me body and soul, and I have to have her. I make my move. (← Animal by The Cab)

* * ❀◕ ‿ ◕❀

CHAPTER XX

In one instant, I withdraw my fingers, unzip my fly, and push her down onto the couch; me on top of her. (← I Set Fire to the Rain by Adele) “Hands on your head,” I command through gritted teeth as I’m full of desire. I force her legs wide, and reaching inside my jacket’s pocket I take out a condom packet, still gazing down at her with a dark, salacious expression. I shrug my jacket off which falls to the floor. I roll the condom on my length. I then place her hands on her head. She’s so full of desire for me, her eyes won’t leave me for one second, and once I’m ready to take her, she raises her hips up to meet my length in a gesture of welcome, and take in rough and hard. She too is anticipating. But she’s not allowed to come. With one swift thrust, I’m completely inside her making her groan, and she's pleased to have me in her. I put my hands on hers over her head, my legs are pinning her down. I trap her under me; I’m everywhere, taking her, consuming her, and it’s not enough. I want her badly to point of pain. I move quickly and furiously inside her, my breathing is hard at her ear, with

her body responding, welcoming, desiring, and reveling in the feeling. She’s meeting me thrust for thrust, in synchronization, a perfect harmony. I feel triumphant for my conquest, and I ramp up my speed, and ram into her once more finding my release, I still as I breathe through my teeth. I relax only for a minute, inside her, my weight supported by her under me. But I can feel her trying to wiggle, and shift so she too can reach a climax, but I won’t let her. I want her frustrated as she frustrates me by not talking to me, by denying me what is mine, and by making me crave her day and night. I pull out of her instants while she looks at me with an aching hunger for me. I glare down at her. “Don’t touch yourself. I want you frustrated. That’s what you do to me by not talking to me, by denying me what’s mine,” I hiss, my eyes are blazing as anger is rising in me again. She nods in response. I stand up, and remove the condom, and tie the end of it. My eyes are on her. She gazes at me, her breathing is still erratic as she has not found her release, and frustrated; she squeezes her thighs together, without a relief. I zip my fly up, run my hand through my hair, and pick my jacket up off the floor. When I turn back to gaze down at her, I am feeling so much better, and seeing her softens my expression. “We’d better get back to the house,” I say as she sits up, trying to find her equilibrium. I hand her the underwear that’s been occupying my pocket. “Here. You may put these on,” I say, knowing she earned it back. She takes it solemnly, and puts it on. In that instant, we hear, “CHRISTIAN!” It’s Mia shouting my name from downstairs. I turn and look at Anastasia with raised eyebrows, irritated with my sister. “Just in time. Christ! She can be really irritating.” Anastasia scowls back at me, trying to fix her panties, her dress, and smooth her justfucked hair. Once she’s in order, “Up here, Mia,” I call to her. “Well, Miss Steele, I feel better for that, but I still want to spank you,” I say softly. “I don’t believe I deserve it Mr. Grey, especially after tolerating your unprovoked attack,” she says wounding me. “Unprovoked? You kissed me!” I say upset, looking wounded. She purses her lips. “It’s only because an attack is the best form of defense,” she whispers fervently with wide eyes.

“Defense against what pray tell?” I ask incredulous. “You and your twitchy palm,” she responds with her smart mouth. Cocking my head to one side I smile at her finally as Mia comes up the stairs. “But was it tolerable?” I ask softly. She flushes in response, “Barely,” she whispers. “Oh, there you are!” Mia says beaming at us. “I was showing Anastasia around, I say holding my hand out to Anastasia, looking at her with intense eyes. Anastasia puts her hand into my extended one, and I give it a soft squeeze, and the jolt that comes with our connection starts flowing. “Kate and Elliot are about to leave. Can you believe those two? They can’t keep their hands off each other,” Mia chatters with a fake disgust in her expression and she looks at Anastasia and me. “What have you been doing here?” she asks bluntly, ever the forward and unfiltered speaker she is, making Anastasia blush. Maybe the part of my sister’s brain that censors what she says is missing. “I was showing Anastasia my rowing trophies,” I say without missing a beat, and not giving anything away. Then I turn to Anastasia and say, “Let’s go say goodbye to Kate and Elliot.” I pull her gently in front of me, and soon after my sister leaves the room, I swat Anastasia’s behind who is quite surprised by my action. “I will do it again, Anastasia, and soon,” I threaten her quietly into her ear, then pull her into my embrace, her front to my back, and I kiss her hair. When we get back to the house both Kate and Elliot are saying their goodbyes to my parents. Kate hugs Anastasia hard while I shake my brother’s hand. They whisper fervently to each other in secret. After their send off, I turn to Anastasia and tell her, “We should go too. You have two interviews tomorrow.” My sister of course hugs Anastasia tightly as we say our goodbyes. To top the embarrassment, she says, “We thought he’d never find anyone!” Have a little confidence in me! I roll my eyes at my sister as Anastasia blushes again redder than the Chinese flag. She purses her lips at me for some reason.

“Take care of yourself, Ana dear,” my mother says sweetly to Anastasia. I’m completely taken by this attention bestowed on my woman. It’s incredible how she disarms people with little or no effort at all. It’s unfair. Everyone is beguiled and captivated by her. I grab Anastasia’s hand, and pull her to my side. “Let’s not frighten her away or spoil her with too much affection,” I grumble. “Christian, stop teasing” my mother scolds me. Who’s teasing? She’s already disobedient to me. She hasn't got a single obedient bone, and not good submissive, and despite all of that, she has captivated me beyond anything has every captivated me. Paying any more attention to her would be to my detriment. My mother clearly loves me - of which I feel undeserving. I’m messed up, fucked up, and not worthy of her love, but somehow she has some affection for me. I bend down kiss her awkwardly. “Mom,” I say reverently. This is the woman who saved my life. How could I not revere her? But, yet, I feel undeserving of all she has done for me. “Mr. Grey, goodbye and thank you,” Anastasia says extending her hand to my father who in return hugs her! “Please call me Carrick. I do hope we see you again, very soon Ana,” he says. What is she doing to everyone and how is she doing it so easily? After our goodbyes, I lead Anastasia to the car where Taylor has been waiting for us. He opens the door for Anastasia, and she slides back into the SUV. I briefly talk to Taylor, and ask him to put his iPod on to have some privacy when conversing with Anastasia. I get into the car beside her, and face my woman. “Well, it seems my family likes you too,” I murmur in wonderment. Anastasia gazes at me questioning. All of a sudden her face falls with some thought. I don’t know what she’s thinking or why she’s gotten upset all of a sudden. She looks at the road, and then turns back and gazes at me. I’m staring at her. “What?” I ask. I want to know what’s worrying her. She is indecisive between telling me and not telling me by the way she looks at me. But she makes her decision in favor of speaking. “I think that you felt trapped into bringing me to meet your parents,” she says in a soft voice hesitantly. “If Elliot hadn’t asked Kate, you’d have never asked me.”

I’m completely shocked by her thoughts. Had I given her any indication that I didn’t want her there? I’m shocked, and I tilt my head gaping at her. “Anastasia, I’m delighted that you’ve met my parents. Why are you so filled with selfdoubt? It never ceases to amaze me. You’re such a strong, self-contained young woman, but you have such negative thought about yourself. If I hadn’t wanted you to meet them, you wouldn’t be here. Is that how you were feeling the whole time you were there?” She takes a shaky breath. Of course I am pleased that she’s here. She’s my woman. She’s mine in every sense of the word. I’ve introduced her as my girlfriend to others. I do want her here. Anastasia gets anxious and her eyes move to Taylor reluctantly. I shake my head, and reach for her head. “Don’t worry about Taylor. Talk to me,” I reassure her. She shrugs. “Yes, I thought that. And another thing, I only mentioned Georgia because Kate was talking about Barbados. I haven’t made up my mind yet,” she confesses. Knowing that makes me feel so much better. I was so worried about her wanting to run away. “Do you want to go and see your mother?” I ask. “Yes,” she responds genuinely. I look at her. I do like her a lot, and there is this other emotion I can’t name is tugging at my heart strings at every turn. Her absence for a few days would be beyond frustrating. I don’t know how to handle it. I want to be where she is. I make my decision and ask her: “Can I come with you?” I ask her with sincerity in my eyes. (←Baby Please Don't Go by
Chicago)

She’s shocked with my question, “What... ehm... I don’t think that’s a good idea,” she says quietly. “Why not?” I ask hurt. “I was hoping for a break from all this…intensity to try and think things through,” she says. I stare at her. She needs a break from me? “Am I too intense?” I ask, to which she responds burst out laughing. “That’s just putting it mildly!” which quirk up my lips into a smile. It’s true that I am intimidating.

“Are you laughing at me Miss Steele? I ask playfully. “I wouldn’t dare, Mr. Grey,” she replies with mock seriousness. “I think you dare, and I think you do laugh at me, frequently.” “You’re quite funny” she responds. “Funny?” I want to know what sort of funny. “Oh yes.” She says. “Funny peculiar or funny ha ha?” “Oh…a lot of one and some of the other,” is her response. “Why way round?” I probe her further. “I’ll leave you to figure that out,” she replies I her half asleep, half-awake with a shy smile. “I’m not sure if I can figure anything out around you, Anastasia,” I say sardonically. But I am worried that she’s trying to put a distance between the two of us, and that is worrying. She is trying to run away from me. I have to know. “What do you need to think about in Georgia?” I ask quietly. “Us,” she whispers simply. So, my worries are not imagined. I look at her impassively, but there is a brewing worry, and anxiety inside me. “You said you’d try,” I murmur. “I know,” is her simple reply. “Are you having second thoughts?” I ask completely worried, but I have to know the answer. “Possibly,” she replies confirming my suspicions. I shift in my seat uncomfortable. That’s bad. Does she think I’m bad for her? Am I making her run away from me, because of this intense desire I have for her? I need to know. “Why?” I ask quietly. She stares out the window as if the escape my gaze. We’re moving along the road approaching the bridge. The darkness masks our faces, and our thoughts, but not the energy that is vibrating between us. I have to know, I am scared to death that I’ll lose her. I don’t think I can handle that.

“Why, Anastasia?” I press her for an answer. She shrugs, as if to say ‘nothing’, but ‘nothing’ is never just ‘nothing’. It’s always ‘something’. I want to know what concerns her, what she wants, what she desires, what she isn’t getting, so I can work toward fixing it. I know I’m fucked-up. I know she wants more. I want to know what that means to her. I reach for her hand, and squeeze it. “Talk to me Anastasia. I don’t want to lose you. This last week...” I trail off. It only was the best week of my life... Ever. It was as if I was sleeping all my life, confined in a particular mode, and she jerked me awake, brought me to life, and she became my lifeline. She doesn’t realize I can’t live without her now. I can't even bring myself up to tell her that. I'm too unworthy. We’re coming near the end of the bridge, and the street lamps are now intermittently lighting the dark streets. I get a glimpse of the worry in her face through the intermittent light shining onto her face. “I still want more,” she whispers, and in goes her lip between her teeth. “I know,” I say. “I’ll try.” She blinks up at me, and I release her hand and reach up to her face pulling her chin so I can release her bottom lip from the captivity of her teeth. “For you Anastasia, I will try,” I say sincerely. I am completely attached to her. I can’t imagine losing her, without being with her would be like having my dark heart ripped out. Even the thought of it is like a thousand cuts, and I feel like I’m slowly bleeding into my death, suffocating in my own sorrow. With my declaration, she unbuckles her seat, reaches across, and climbs into my lap, taking me by complete surprise. She wraps her arms around my head, and kisses me long and hard, and I’m putty in her hands as I respond in a second. She’s completely conquered me. “Stay with me tonight,” I breathe into her lips. “If you go away, I won’t see you all week. Please.” I beg her. I need her. A lot. Especially tonight... I can’t even begin to imagine not seeing her an entire week. Does she have any idea how difficult it is to breathe and function without her? “Yes,” she agrees. “And I’ll try, too. I’ll sign your contract,” she blurts. I don’t want her to do that. Not a spur of the moment decision. I gaze down at her.

“Sign after Georgia, baby. Think about it first. Think about it hard, baby.” I say wanting to give her every chance. “I will,” she responds and we travel clinging to each other in silence for a mile or two. “You should wear your seatbelt,” I whisper her with disapproval in my voice, but I don’t want to let her go out of my arms. She nuzzles up against me, her nose in my throat, and I’m in heaven for the time being with her in my arms. At peace, and serene. I have strong feelings for this woman in my arms, and I can’t name them. They're too foreign, too painful at times, and too captivating. It kills me to think that she might just slip through my fingers. I close my eyes, and revel in this moment. All too soon, we reach Escala. “We’re home,” I murmur in Anastasia’s ear. Taylor opens the door, and Anastasia thanks him shyly. When I get out of the car, I notice that Anastasia doesn’t have a jacket. Doesn’t she own one? It makes me upset that my woman’s needs are unmet. I narrow my eyes on her, she looks bewildered. “Why don’t you have a jacket?” I ask her frowning. I shrug my own jacket off and drape it over her shoulders. “It’s in my new car,” she replies yawning, half asleep. Her reply makes me smirk. That shows her acceptance of my gift to her, and that maybe she's slowly allowing me to take care of her. “Tired Miss Steele?” I ask. “Yes, Mr. Grey,” she says shyly since I’m teasing her. “I’ve been prevailed upon in ways I never thoughts possible today,” she says making me even more playful. “Well, if you’re really unlucky Miss Steele, I may prevail upon you some more,” I promise taking her hand, and leading her into the building. When we enter into the elevator, she gazes up at me. The energy in this small space always gets palpable, and charged with static, even if she’s half asleep. “One day I will fuck you in this elevator, Anastasia, but right now you’re tired. So, I think we should stick to a bed,” I say. (← Tonight by Enrique Iglesias ft. Lucadris) Even though the desire is exploding out of me to take her right here, right now. With my declaration, in goes

her beautiful lip into the confines of her teeth. I lean down, and grasp her lip and release it from its captivity gently. I slowly suck on it making her breathing stop with excitement. She reciprocates by capturing my top lip into hers, teasing me, making me groan. Woman, I’m going to have you whether you want to be had or not! The elevator doors ding open, and I grab her hand, and pull her through the hallway.

HEART TO HEART
CHAPTER XXI

“Do you need a drink or anything?” I ask. “No,” she replies. Great, neither do I. “Good. Let’s go to bed,” I say. She raises her eyebrow at me. “You’re going to settle for plain old vanilla?” she asks amused. I cock my head to one side saying, “Nothing plain or old about vanilla; it’s a very intriguing flavor.” “Since when?” she probes. “Since last Saturday. Why? Were you hoping for something more exotic?” I ask. “Oh no. I’ve had enough exotic for one day,” she replies. I have a wicked gleam in my eyes. “Are you sure? We cater for all tastes here – at least thirty-one flavors,” I say grinning at her licentiously. “I’ve noticed,” she replies dryly. I shake my head to her teasing ways. “Come on Miss Steele. You have a big day tomorrow. Sooner you’re in bed, sooner you’ll bed fucked, and sooner you can sleep,” I say to her as a matter of factly. (← I Know You Want Me by Pitbull) “Why Mr. Grey, you are a born romantic,” she says making me stop in my tracks with her smart mouth comment. How I love to tame it baby!

“Miss Steele, you have a smart mouth. I may have to subdue it some way. Come,” I say leading her down the hallway to my bedroom, and I have no patience to turn around and close it, so I kick it closed. “Hands in the air,” I command, all business. She holds her arms up in the air, and I remove her dress with one swift move, and say “Ta da!” playfully like a magician. She giggles and melts my heart and applauds. I bow down for her in response. I put her dress on a chair. “And for your next trick?” she probes me, teasing. “Oh, my dear Miss Steele. Get into my bed,” I growl, “then I shall show you.” “Do you think that for once I should play hard to get?” she ask coquettishly. This has possibilities, and I’m aroused and excited, but, if she was to play hard to get, or run away from me even in a game, I’d have a hard time. “Well,” I say, “the door’s closed. Not sure how you’re going to avoid me,” I add taunting. “It’s a done deal baby.” “But I’m a good negotiator,” she rebuttals. “So am I,” I say staring down at her. But then I get a feeling that she doesn’t want to fuck with me. Can I handle that? “Don’t you want to fuck?” I ask. “No,” she breathes. Something inside me shatters with her response. “Oh,” I say frowning. She takes a deep breath, closes and opens her eyes momentarily and says, “I want you to make love to me.” Her response stills me, and I stare at her blankly trying to process this information. My expression darkens with what I know, what I want, and what I want is right before me. “Ana, I...” I say, unable to complete my sentence. I run both my hands through my hair in double exasperation. This is what I know. Changing my ways is extremely hard for me, not to mention giving me distress. But, isn't fucking a form of love making anyway? At least with Anastasia it is for me. “I thought we did?” I say questioning.

“I want to touch you,” she says, and I take an involuntary step back. No! I can’t, though God knows I want her to. But, it’s my hard limit. Being touched is unbearably painful for me, making me feel like I have the hands of the pimp, hitting, putting out his smoke on my body. I was never able to pass that, and it’s just beyond torture. I am fearful of it. But then I manage to put my passive face on recovering myself, taking control of the situation. “Oh no Miss Steele,” I say. “You’ve had enough concessions from me this evening. And I’m saying no.” “No?” she asks disappointed. “No,” I reiterate firmly. “Look, you’re tired. I’m tired. Let’s just go to bed,” I say though that’s the farthest thing I want to do right now. “So, touching is a hard limit for you?” she asks. “Yes. This is old news,” I say impassively. “Please tell me why,” she inquires. “Oh, Anastasia, please. Just drop it for now,” I say exasperated. How can I begin to tell her the depth of my depravity, how fucked up I am since my formidable years? “It’s important to me,” she whispers. I run both my hands through my hair again; exasperation is running rampant. Okay, we’re not going to fuck tonight. I go to my dresser and pull out a t-shirt for her to put on, and throw it at her. She catches it, confused. “Put that on, and get into bed,” I snap, completely irritated. She frowns, turns her back, removes her bra, and pulls the t-shirt on hastily. She leaves her panties on I notice. “I need to use the bathroom,” she says asking permission in a whisper. I frown, bemused. Why is she asking for permission now? “Now you’re asking permission?” I say. “Uhm... no.” she responds. “Anastasia, you know where the bathroom is. Today, at this point in our strange arrangement, you don’t need my permission to use it,” I say irritated. I shrug off my shirt, as she scoots into the bathroom. I take my pants and boxers off, and put on my low hanging pajama bottoms on. I put away my clothes. I finally walk to the bathroom door, and knock on it.

“Come in,” she says through a mouthful of toothpaste. I stand in the doorway amused that she’s using my toothbrush again. Her eyes catch mine in the mirror. She appraises me with her eyes, and she appears to like what she sees. I finally smirk at her and come to stand beside her. Without taking her gazes off of mine, she rinses my toothbrush, and hands it to me. I have humor in my eyes. "Do feel free to borrow my toothbrush,” I say gently mocking her. “Thank you, Sir,” she responds smiling sweetly, going back to the bedroom. I quickly brush my teeth, and follow her to the bedroom. “You know, this is not how I saw tonight panning out,” I mutter petulantly. “Imagine if I said to you that you couldn’t touch me,” she says, and the thought of it is horrifying. I clamber onto the bed and sit cross-legged. “Anastasia, I’ve told you. Fifty shades. I had a rough start in life... You don’t want that shit in your head.” I say. It’s too horrible to know. “Why would you?” “Because I want to know you better,” she responds. “You know me well enough,” I respond. “How can you say that?” she says struggling to her knees, finally facing me. I roll my eyes at her in frustration. “You’re rolling your eyes. Last time I did that, I ended up over your knee,” she responds to me making me even more frustrated. “Oh, I’d like to put you there again,” I say to her. Her eyes brighten with my revelation. “Tell me and you can,” she says surprising me. “What?” I ask incredulous. “You heard me,” she says flatly. “You’re bargaining with me?” I say in astonishment. She nods. “Negotiating.”

“It doesn’t work that way, Anastasia,” I reply. “Okay. Tell me, and I’ll roll my eyes at you,” she says making me laugh at her tenacity. She disarms me at every turn. Her reply sobers me up.

“Always so keen and eager for information,” I say as my eyes blaze with speculation. Fine then, Miss Steele. Let’s see what we can do to oblige you. Oh yes. I leave the room while telling her, “Don’t go away.” I go to the playroom quickly and find the new silver balls I’ve purchased for her. I quickly return to my bedroom, excited. “When is your first interview tomorrow?” I ask softly. “At two,” she replies. Great! We have time to play, and a slow wicked grin starts playing on my face. “Good,” I say. I realize my face is changing into the Dominant Christian’s. You want information, I want sex. We can negotiate... this way. “Get off the bed. Stand over here,” I point to the side of the bed. And she is like a bat out of hell, scrambling to get to the spot. Eager as ever... I stare down at her intently. “Trust me?” I ask her softly. She nods. I hold out my hand, and show her two round silver balls linked with a thick black thread. “These are new,” I say unequivocally. She looks up at me questioning, not knowing what they are. “I’m going to put these inside you, and then I’m going to spank you, not for punishment, but for your pleasure and mine,” I say, pausing to gauge her wide-eyed reaction. She looks surprised. “Then we’ll fuck, and if you’re still awake, I’ll impart some information about my formative years. Agreed?” I say, asking her permission. She nods breathlessly. I smile. “Good girl. Open your mouth,” I say. She does. (← Dynamite by Taio Cruz)

“Wider,” I say. I place the balls into her mouth. They need lubrication. “They need lubrication; suck,” I order in a soft soothing voice. She closes her mouth with the balls in there lubricating. She squirms in her seat. “Keep still Anastasia,” I warn her. Finally I think the balls warmed up and lubricated enough, I tell her to stop. I take the balls out of her mouth, move towards the bed, throw the duvet aside, and sit on the edge of the bed. “Come here,” I order. She stands before me. “Now turn around, bend down, and grasp your ankles,” I order. She blinks hesitating. My expression darkens. “Don’t hesitate,” I admonish her softly. Then take the balls and pop them into my mouth for some more lubrication. I want to be inside her every way. She bends over, holds her ankles. Her t-shirt slides up, exposing her delectable behind. My hand finds her backside and I softly caress it. I gently move her panties to the side, and slowly run my finger up and down her sex. She’s aroused and wet already. I slide one finger inside her and circle my finger. She moans in delight. My breathing stops and I gasp but continue to repeat the motion. It never ceases to amaze me how ready she is for me at all times. I withdraw my finger, and insert the balls one at

a time. Once both of them are inside, I straighten her panties, and lean forward and softly kiss her beautiful derrière. I order her to stand up, and she shakily get to her feet. I grasp her hips to steady her. “You okay?” I ask in a stern voice. “Yes,” she replies softly. “Turn around,” I order, and she turns and faces me. “How does that feel?” I ask. “Strange,” is her reply. “Strange good or strange bad?” “Strange good,” she confesses blushing. “Good,” I reply, both relieved and aroused. “Anastasia, I’d like a glass of water. Go and fetch one for me please,” I ask her. “And when you come back, I will put you across my knee. Think about that, baby.” She leaves the room to get the water. The movement will stimulate her inside. You see, these balls are originated in China. They are tiny weighted balls. After they are inserted into the vagina, they produce an erotic sensation within the vagina and its surrounding sensitive tissues with the slightest movement of the hips or legs. In fact, geishas used them to lubricate their vagina before they performed on a client. You can get an explosive orgasm by simply walking down the hallway. They’re only marble size balls. These balls are about subtlety and spontaneity. They’re designed to make their presence known by random movement which produces the anticipated climax. It makes fucking that much better. It’s like preheating the oven. Ready to function. She comes back with a glass of water in her hand. I carefully watch her, and her expression. As she hands me the glass, I thank her, taking a sip of the water, and place the glass on the bedside table. I can see the anticipation in her, and anticipation is the best precursor to great sex. I turn my eyes on her. “Come. Stand beside me. Like last time.” She sidles up to me all excited and beyond aroused.

“Ask me,” I say softly. I want her to ask to be spanked. Her utterance will fulfill a deep need in me. A need to render punishment. She frowns, unsure of what to ask. “Ask me,” I repeat in a slightly harder voice. She looks at me questioning, still not getting my meaning. “Anastasia,” I say, “ask me, because I won’t say it again,” I say threatening. Understanding floods her eyes as I look at her expectant. Oh, escapes her lips. “Spank me please, Sir,” she whispers making me unravel with her words. I close my eyes momentarily to savor the pleasure. I reach up, grasp her left hand, and tug her over to my knees. She falls on to my knees, and I steady her. I can feel her heartbeat through our skin to skin connection. She’s angled over my lap as her torso is resting on the bed. I smooth her hair out of her face, tucking it behind her ear. I then hold her hair at the nape of her neck to hold her in place while gently tugging it so her head shifts back. “I want to see your face while I spank you Anastasia,” I murmur while softly rubbing her backside. My hand moves down between the cheeks of her derrière, and I push against her sex knowing it will move the balls inside... this makes her moan making me even more excited. “This is for pleasure Anastasia, mine and yours,” I whisper softly. I lift my hand and bring it down with a resounding slap against the junction of her tight of her behind and her sex. The slap brings up a pain pleasure. Pain on the surface as the blood draws to the surface making it pink, trying to absorb the sudden assault, the balls in her vagina would move forward with the slap, stimulating her on the inside. There is a myriad of sensations that is being delivered in one slap. She screws her face to absorb all these different sensations. I caress her backside to spread the sensation, trail my palm across her skin and over her panties. I lift my hand up again and deliver another blow. She groans this time with the spreading sensation. I have a pattern. Left to right, and then down. Making the balls move forward. Between each slap, I massage her, kneading, inside and out. Stimulating her, making her want more, desire more. When I’m done with slapping her, she would want nothing but for me to fuck her senseless. Even if she groans, she’s pleasured. Left, right, and down. When I hit her on the

downside, she groans and moans because the balls are moving inside and pleasuring her. I don’t have to hit her hard for this to stimulate her. The last down hit makes her wild. “Good girl Anastasia,” I groan as my breathing gets ragged with arousal. I deliver two more spanks to her behind, then pull at the small threads attached to the balls and jerk them out suddenly. This would bring out a near climax, increasing her desire to be fucked. I lie beside her on the bed, producing the foil condom packet and rip it. Take the condom out, pinch the top and roll it onto my length. I seize her hands as I pull them over her head, and ease into her, sliding slowly and filling her. She groans loudly as her arousal is high. “Oh, baby,” I whisper as I move back and forward in a slow sensual tempo. I want to savor her, feel her, and lose myself in her. As her arousal is near, she clenches around me, and we both ignite into a delicious, violent orgasm, leaving both of us gasping. What she does to me is unbelievable. I am in a different dimension, beyond fulfilled. “Ana!” I gasp; her name is a litany upon my lips. As I utter her name, I’m silent but still panting with the jolts of pleasure on top of her while my hands still entwined in her above her head. Something tugs my heart strings as if an unknown sensation passes through. I lean back finally and stare at her in awe. (← Accidentally In Love by Counting Crows) “I enjoyed that,” I whisper, and kiss her. I finally rise, and cover her with duvet, and go to the bathroom. I toss the condom into trash and clean myself up. I take a bottle of lotion with Aloe Vera and come back into the bedroom. I sit on the bed and order her to roll over. She does. Her behind is pink as could be. “Your ass is a glorious color,” I say approving, and massage it with the lotion. “Spill the beans Grey,” she says yawning. “Miss Steele, you know how to ruin a moment,” I chide her. “We had a deal,” she rebuttals. “How do you feel?” I ask her trying to change the subject. “Shortchanged.” There is no escaping her inquisition. I finally sigh, slide beside her, and pull this beautiful woman with a very smart mouth into my arms. We are spooning again, and I love being like this with her. I kiss her softly by her ear.

“The woman who brought me into this world was a crack whore, Anastasia. Now, go to sleep,” I say not wanting to divulge any more. “Was?” she asks again. “She’s dead,” I reply. “How long?” she asks again. I sigh. “She died when I was four. I don’t really remember her. Carrick has given me some details. I only remember certain things. Please go to sleep now.” “Goodnight Christian,” she finally acquiesces. “Goodnight Ana,” I say, and we both fall into deep sleep. (← Truly, Deeply, Madly by Savage Garden)

CHAPTER XXII

I wake up with Anastasia trashing in my arms. “No!” she moans in her sleep. “No! Don’t go Christian!” she mumbles. (← Love Story by Taylor Swift) “Hey, hey...” I say rubbing her hair, trying to calm her down. She relaxes under my touch. It’s dark. I can see the city lights from my uncovered windows. I find my arms and legs are draped around Anastasia, claiming her even in my sleep. “Don’t go please! I'm scared. Christian I love you...” she moans, shuddering in her sleep. I kiss her hair, closing my eyes. It’s the best sound I’ve heard since she said that for the first time yesterday in her sleep. But yet, I'm scared to hear that. Daunted to my core. Thank God, she's asleep. I don't think I can handle this if she was awake. I can't be loved. I shouldn't be loved. I'm tainted. Fucked up. Dirty. Unworthy... “I can’t...” she says with an intake of a shuddering breath, her arm extending to an unseen person in the dark. “Baby...” I whisper into her ear, “I’m not going anywhere...” I say trying to reassure her. “Don’t you leave me! I need you...” I whisper. She sighs in her sleep. She sighs. "Never..." she says before drifting off. "Never what?" I think to myself.

"Never what baby?" “I'll never leave you Christian,” she mutters barely audible, but that single sentence gives me the biggest peace, best reassurance I’ve ever had in my entire life. Knowledge of the fact that she wants me, and she won’t leave me comforts me, relaxes me as if a ton of load has been lifted off of my shoulders. I’m in awe of this woman who takes me by surprise even in her sleep. My clock reads 5:16 a.m. I could get up and work out since I have a long day ahead of me. I gaze at her sleeping. I could watch her for hours. She loves me! Me! I'm beyond elated. I would love to hear that from her. No! I don't want to hear it from her. I’m too scared of the idea. I’m not worthy of her...or of her love. I’m one fucked-up son-of-a-crack-whore! I’m worthy of nothing. Certainly not the likes of her, but I'm a selfish man who now desires to have this angel I'm holding in my arms. How did I get so lucky to have her? I move uneasily. I pull my arms away from around her. I need to go to work out. I want to keep watching her in her now peaceful slumber. But when I move my arms away from her, her body shifts and turns to me, seeking me in the dark. She’s drawn to me too! What a comfort it is to know that! Everything she does pull at my heart strings! I slowly move away from the bed. I stand by the bed, gazing down at her in the semi darkness with the only illumination coming from the city peering in through my large windows. She’s beautiful. Enchanting. Captivating. I go to my closet and put my workout sweats on. I go by the bed, and peek at Anastasia one last time before I leave for the gym. When I get downstairs to workout, Taylor is already there. He eyes me warily, and notices my calm demeanor, and continues his workout by acknowledging my presence. “Good morning sir,” he says politely. I nod as a response. “Morning.” We work out over an hour. I run, lift weights, row, and swim. We get back to my penthouse. I take my shower. Put on my black pants and white shirt. I walk into the kitchen. Mrs. Jones is already busy in the kitchen. “Would you like your breakfast right now sir?” “Not right now Mrs. Jones. I’m going to work a little. You know Miss Anastasia Steele is here as I briefed you earlier. She would prefer Twinings English tea in the morning as opposed to coffee. I’ll have some coffee now.”

“Certainly sir. I can make her tea once she wakes up. I have your coffee ready sir,” she says handing me a cup of freshly brewed coffee. “Thank you Mrs. Jones,” I say as I take my coffee. “If Miss Steele asks, I’ll be in my office working,” I say. “Yes sir,” she responds politely. I walk to my study, and Taylor is present to be briefed for the day’s activities. We go over the schedule, and he goes back to his office. I open and check my e-mails. There’s a message from my right hand Ros about a company we’re debating between keeping and liquidating. She sent me the Profit & Loss ledgers, and it’s pitiful. I call her up to discuss it further. “Mr. Grey,” she says by the way of greeting. “Ros, what’s up with the P&L of the company we’ve acquired last year? Why are the earnings down for the fourth quarter in a row?” “It’s the economy sir. She was already doing poorly, and since the time we’ve acquired her, she’s shown slight improvement, but not enough to recover from the losses.” “I see the ‘slight improvement’ you’re talking about. It’s fucking not enough! The company is a dead weight! Unless it’s P&L improves, I’m not interested keeping it, Ros. We’re not carrying dead weight...” I say. “I suggest we implement some changes, and perhaps replace the CFO. I have someone in mind that might be able to pull it up by the boot straps. But, I don’t know it that will be enough. It might cost us some money...” she says, as I interrupt her. “Look, I don’t need any more lame excuses. It’s costing us too much money. Have Marco call me, it’s shit or bust time...” “Yes, sir. Also, Barney wanted to know what you thought of the prototype, or if you have any suggestions for an improvement.” “Yes, tell Barney that the prototype looks good, though I’m not sure about the interface...” “Do you not like the interface? It comes with high recommendations of our engineers,” she says.

”No, it’s just missing something... In fact, him and his team, we can brainstorm...” “That’s actually a very good idea. You know I’m not very technical, but you can convey your concerns to the engineering team. If there’s nothing else, Andrea can schedule the meeting for this afternoon.” “Okay. Transfer me back to Andrea...” I say. I feel a gaze on me. Anastasia's gaze. The palpable electric. She’s here, in the room. I glance up, and see her. Seeing her brings up a slow, sexy smile up on my face. She looks at me, speechless. She takes in a shaky breath, as if she left her sanity outside the door. I continue my conversation with Andrea, but my eyes fixed on Anastasia, never leaving hers. This is the sight that makes me feel completely alive... (← I’m Alive by Celine Dion) “Andrea. Clear my schedule this morning, but get Bill to call me. I’ll be in at two. I need to talk to Marco this afternoon, that will need at least half an hour...” “Barney was seeking to be scheduled in sir. When would you like to see him?” says Andrea. “Schedule Barney and his team in after Marco, or maybe tomorrow, and find time for me to see Claude every day this week...” “When would you like to see Dr. Flynn sir?” “Tell him to wait... I’ll confirm that later.” “About the shipment to the Darfur. Would you like any publicity for it sir?” “Oh... No, I don’t want publicity for Darfur...” I say. “Sam says that there may be some issues with the shipment drop sir.” “Tell Sam to deal with it...” I say irritated. Do I have to think of everything? “Are you aware of an upcoming event you’re invited sir?” “No... Which event?” “It’s a ball given by the American Shipbuilders Association next Saturday.” “You said next Saturday?... Hold on.” I say. “When will you be back from Georgia?” I ask Anastasia. “Friday,” she responds. “I’ll need an extra ticket because I have a date...” I say.

“I beg your pardon sir? Did you say you have a date?” “Yes Andrea, that’s what I said, a date, Miss Anastasia Steele will accompany me.” “I apologize sir. I couldn’t hear you well. Anything else sir?” “That’s all,” I say hanging up. My eyes never left Anastasia. “Good morning Miss Steele.” “Mr. Grey,” she says shyly. She’s frozen in her place. I walk around my desk and stand in front of her. I gently stroke her cheek with the back of my fingers. “I didn’t want to wake you, you looked so peaceful. Did you sleep well?” “I am very well-rested, thank you. I just came to say hi before I had a shower,” she says. She gazes up at me, drinking me in. I lean down and kiss her gently. At that instant, she throws her arms around my neck, and her fingers twisting in my still damp hair. She pushes her body flush against mine, and she kisses me back fervently, passionately. She wants me...right now. Her attack takes me by surprise, but, it’s also a welcome one. After a beat, I respond, a low groan in my throat. My hands slip into her hair, and down to her back, cupping her naked behind while my tongue exploring her mouth. I pull back, my eyes are hooded. “Well, Anastasia, sleep seems to agree with you,” I murmur. “I suggest you go and have your shower, or I will lay you across my desk now,” I say. “I choose the desk,” she whispers desirously. I stare at her bewildered for a tiny second. “You’ve really got a taste for this, haven’t you Miss Steele? You’re becoming insatiable,” I murmur. “I’ve only got a taste for you,” she whispers, completely disarming me. My eyes widen and darken with desire while my hands knead her naked backside. “Damn right, only me,” I growl at my woman, and suddenly with one fluid movement, I swipe my arm on my desk scattering all the contents – plans and papers off my desk dropping them onto the floor. I sweep her up in my arms, and lay her down across the short end of the desk. “You want it, you got it, baby,” I mutter, taking out a foil from my pants’ pocket while unzipping my pants. I roll the condom down on to my length and gaze down at her.

“I sure hope you are ready,” I breathe with a salacious smile. In that instant, I enter her, filling her while holding her wrists tightly by her side, and I start thrusting into her deeply. She groans with pleasure. She’s so wet already. “Christ, Ana! You’re so ready,” I whisper with admiration. She wraps her legs around my waist, and hold onto me that way, as I stand staring down at her, my eyes glowing with passion and possessiveness of this woman. She’s mine, and she wants me to claim her again. It pleases me. I start to move, and pick up momentum. I fuck her deep, and hard, and she groans with pleasure. It’s pure lust, pure possession, pure carnal desire...and something else beneath all of that thick exterior. Something coming from my core. I move, and move, reveling in the feeling of my woman. My lips are parted and my breathing increases as I get close to my peak. I twist my hips, gyrating and I see that she too is enjoying the feeling of fullness well. She closes her eyes, and arches her back for me as her peak is also approaching. My thrusts are increases, and she moans loudly with sensation taking over her body. I thrust faster and harder in a rapid rhythm. Her whole body is moving along with my movements and I feel her legs stiffening around me as she’s trying to hold onto the feeling. “Come on, baby, give it up for me,” I coax her through gritted teeth, and the need in me sends her over the edge. She cries out as she reaches her climax, and I slam into her as I reach my climax, and finally at my peak I pull at her wrists and sink wordlessly onto her. I’m completely taken by her. She sweeps me off and I lose my reason. She changes my plans. I lose control. When I’m near her, I want nothing but her! (←Fireworks by Kathy Perry) “What the hell are you doing to me Ana?” I breathe as I nuzzle her neck. “You completely beguile me. You weave some powerful magic.” I release her wrists, and she runs her fingers through my hair as she tightens her legs around me. “I’m the one who is beguiled Christian,” she whispers. I look up to her perplexed, alarmed. I am torn. I look up at her, gazing. All of a sudden I have this flood of emotions of love for her, and it scares me! I'm not familiar with it! I don't know how to handle it! This is not okay. Not for me... I cannot love! She’s too innocent, and I don’t want her to get hurt by me. But I

fucking want her. The selfish side of me says that she is mine in every sense of the word. I place my hands on both sides of her face and hold her head in place. “You. Are. Mine!” I say with each word staccato. “Do you understand?” I say most ardently like a zealot. But it’s also my plea to her. I want her to remain mine. Not go away. Not to leave me. The feeling I have for her is ripping my heart apart right now. I'm completely torn between what I know, what is safe, and what my heart desires... “Yes, yours,” she whispers returning my gaze. How can I handle being away from her nearly a week? “Are you sure you have to go to Georgia?” I ask her. She nods slowly. I don’t want to push her and make her run away from me. I close my emotions, and push them down; bringing forth my impassive face which took me years to master. Abruptly I withdraw from her, and she winces. “Are you sore?”I ask leaning over her concerned. “A little,” she confesses. I smile; that’s good. I made her that way, and I’ve claimed her. That’s where I’ve been. She’d do well to remember that. “I like you sore,” I say with passion in my eyes. “Reminds you where I’ve been, and only me,” I say with smoldering desire. Will I ever get enough of her? I grab her chin and kiss her roughly, then stand up, hold my hand out to her to help her out. She glances at the ripped condom packet beside her and murmurs, “Always prepared.” I stare at the empty packet she’s holding in her hands. “A man can hope, Anastasia, dream even, and sometimes his dreams come true.” She looks confused. I am a man who didn’t even have humble beginnings. From the second I was conceived, I was fucked-up. A birth mother who was a crack whore, a father who was one of her clients most likely, and the constant abuse by her pimps, and she was too wrapped in her own sorrows to be a real mother. On top of that she killed herself leaving me to tend for myself for four days with her dead body only to be found by her pimp and to be kicked around! Until Dr. Grace Trevelyan-Grey in her angelic white doctor’s smock decided to adopt me... Even then, I was unworthy of that perfect family. Unworthy of their love and affection, unworthy of what they bestowed upon me. I had nothing to offer. There was one direction for me to go, and it

was down...to hell in a hand basket. How could a tainted child fits in a class of angels? Whatever I did wouldn’t be good enough to reach them. I dreamed to reach up to that status...to fit among them somehow. (←Dream On by Aerosmith) I tried exceptionally hard. Worked even harder. Learned all I can. Fought my hardest to get to where I am. I remained focused, controlled and in control. Somehow with an unknown grace I’m undeserving of, I am here...in the presence of this angelic woman who has feelings for me. The fear that she might be taken away from me is immense. That somehow I might make her run away from me is more than unbearable. I shut down in order to shut the fears down. “So, on your desk, that’s been a dream?” she asks dryly with humor. I smile an enigmatic smile which only remains upon my lips without touching my eyes. Of course this isn’t the first time I’ve had sex on my desk. I’ve had it numerous times. But with Anastasia it’s different. Because she’s different. Her face changes with my expression. She becomes uncomfortable, jealous even. “I’d better go and have a shower,” she says standing and trying to make a move to get past me. I don’t want her to run away from me. It’s unbearable. I frown and run my hand through my hair in exasperation. But I need to be away from her pull. “I’ve got a couple more calls to make. I’ll join you for breakfast once you’re done with your shower. I think Mrs. Jones has laundered your clothes from yesterday. They’re in the closet,” I say to her. She looks surprised. “Thank you,” she mutters. “You’re most welcome,” I say, my reply automatic. She gives me a strange look. “What?” I ask in reply to her frown. “What’s wrong?” she asks. How does she do that? “What do you mean?” I ask. “Well... you’re being more weird than usual.” “You find me weird?” I ask trying to suppress a smile. She blushes of course. “Sometimes,” she replies. I look at her speculatively.

“As ever, I’m surprised by you, Miss Steele,” I say. She does things like the unexpected treat of desk sex, or reprimands me in her own way. “Surprised how?” she asks me. “Let’s just say that was an unexpected treat.” “We aim to please, Mr. Grey,” she says giving me back my own words, cocking her head to side. “And please me you do,” I say. I get flooded with that emotion again, and it makes me uncomfortable. I’m not used to it. Because it makes me lose control. Lose my reason. With her proximity...I don’t want to lose control to this emotion brewing inside me. It’s unsettling. “I thought you were going to have a shower,” I say trying to send her off, to block this emotion flooding through. “Yes... um, I’ll see you in a moment,” she says and leaves my study confused, sort of upset. When she leaves my study, I sink back into my chair. Hold my head between my hands trying to reel myself in, to here and now to gather my senses, and my wits about. She completely disarms me. But it’s not only that. I respond to her in such a way that it’s like a planet being pulled into the sun’s orbit. I see nothing else but her. I exist nowhere else but with her. The only way to briefly escape this captivation is to have a little distance from her. But when I put the distance between us, I ache for her. It’s my conundrum. I shake my head, try to busy myself with something else. I pick up the plans I tossed on to the floor. I put extra attention to my task. I finally get back to my phone calls to sort this afternoon’s work schedule. I write notes for the afternoon’s brainstorming session for the prototype we’re designing. Before I know it, nearly thirty minutes have passed since Anastasia left my study. She must be done with her shower by now, and ready to eat her breakfast. I come down from my study to the kitchen and I hear Mrs. Jones asking Anastasia if she’d like her tea now. She responds “Please,” to Mrs. Jones. “Would you like something to eat?” Mrs. Jones asks. “No, thank you,” Anastasia responds to my displeasure.

“Of course you’ll have something to eat,” I snap, glowering as I walk into the kitchen area. “She likes pancakes, bacon, and eggs, Mrs. Jones,” I say. “Yes Mr. Grey. What would you like sir?” she asks me. “Omelet please, and some fruit,” I reply while my gaze is fixed on Anastasia. I’m in her pull again, within her orbit. “Sit,” I order her pointing to one of the bar stools. She sits, and I take the seat next to hers. I lean and whisper, “Have you purchased your airline ticket?” “No, I’ll buy it when I get home online,” she responds. If she waited that long, perhaps she doesn't have the money necessary to purchase to which my heart wrenches. Why didn't I think of that before? I lean in a little more and I want to ask her if she needs money for the ticket. But knowing how she is with receiving gifts, I am running out of options for a way to ask her. I rub my chin in contemplation. “Do you have the money for the ticket?” I ask finally. “Yes,” she says with a mock patience as if she’s talking to an annoying toddler. I raise a reprimanding eyebrow at her, and she immediately amends herself. “Yes, I do. Thank you.” But, I don’t want her to travel in coach if I can help it. I have a jet she can use. I’d do just about anything for her; put everything I own at her feet...if she only knew. “I have a jet,” I say by the way of introduction to what I want to say. “It’s not scheduled to be used for three days; it’s at your disposal should you wish it.” She gapes at me in response. A flicker of emotions passes through her face. Anger, surprise, amusement, shock. Finally she manages to suppress all of them, and says, “We’ve already made serious misuse of your company’s aviation fleet. I wouldn’t want to do it again.” I feel hurt with her rejection. I can do whatever I want with what I have. That’s the point of having the company all to myself. I worked so hard to do as I wish, not so that I end up answering to others. “It’s my company, it’s my jet,” I say without being able to keep the hurt out of my voice. Why is she always refusing my efforts to take care of her?

“Thank you for the offer. But, I’d be much happier taking a regular scheduled flight.” I narrow my eyes, but I want to also pick my battles carefully with her. I’m trying not to be overbearing. So, I say nothing further on the subject. Maybe I can upgrade her flight at least. “As you wish then,” I say sighing. “Do you have to prepare for your interview today?” I ask for a change of topic. “No.” she responds. “Great. Are you still not going to tell me which publishing houses you’re interviewing for?” I ask. “Nope,” she replies with a smile. My lips curl up into a smile as a response to her. I can still find out. “I’m a man of means Miss Steele,” I say to that effect. “I’m fully aware of that Mr. Grey. Are you going to track my phone again?” she asks me with a completely innocent face. “As a matter of fact, I’ll be quite busy this afternoon, so I’ll have to get someone else to do it for me,” I say smirking. She thinks I’m joking, but in a lot of matters where it concerns Anastasia, I don’t joke around. “If you can spare someone to do that, you’re obviously overstaffed Sir,” she states serenely. “In that case, I’ll just send an e-mail to the head of human resources and have her check into our head count,” I say trying to suppress a smile. After we’re served breakfast, Mrs. Jones leaves to give us some privacy. Anastasia finally peaks up at me wanting to ask me something but not knowing how to approach the topic. I can’t take the suspense anymore. “What is it Anastasia?” I ask. “You know, you never did tell me why you don’t like to be touched.” Oh, that. I blanche, because it’s a topic I try to avoid at all cost. She looks away worried. “I’ve told you more than I’ve ever told anybody Anastasia,” I respond quietly. My gaze is impassive, I’m anything but. I don’t like to talk about those issues, because it brings up a time where I was helpless, and had no control on what happened to me, or around me. I’m too far

away from that time now, and I don’t want to refresh those horrible memories up again which often visit me at night in my dreams. She finally shakes her head as if to clear it from the thoughts she’s having. “Will you think about our arrangement while you’re away?” I ask. “Yes,” she responds honestly. She gazes at me. Those eyes... I’m lost in them. “Will you miss me?” I ask wanting so much for her to want me as much as I want her. She gazes back at me again surprised by my question. Why is she surprised that I desire her to miss me, or that I want to know whether she would miss me...really, truly miss me, as I would miss her. “Yes,” she answers, and I see nothing but the truth in her answer. Relief completely washes over me. “I’ll miss you too,” I respond to her answer without even realizing. “More than you know,” I breathe. I’ll have a hard time bearing to be apart from her. Her gaze warms with my response. I want her to see how hard I’m trying to meet her halfway, more than halfway. I stroke her cheek, and bend down and kiss her softly. I don’t want to let her go, but she needs to get to her apartment to book her flight, and get ready for her interviews, and pack up to leave tomorrow. I’m going to miss her so much. I hold and kiss her long and hard. “Anastasia, I want you to take your MacBook, and your Blackberry with you. And this is not a request,” I say fervently. I can't bear of not being in touch with her for that length of time. If she is not here, I have to have something tangible, reachable, at least to hear her voice, or read her words. “Okay,” she says without an argument which pleases me. “I need to be able to keep in touch with you...at all times,” I say. It’s not just my need to control her, or just the proprietorship, though those feelings are ever present. I need to fulfill the feeling of connection with her. I can’t bear to have it severed even for a few days. The thought of it is too painful. She finally picks her things up to leave, and she’s saying goodbye to me here. “I’ll walk you down to your car,” I say.

“You don’t have to do that Christian,” she says making me frown. “I’m not doing it because I have to, I’m doing it because I want to,” I reply. Geez! Can’t I even walk my woman to her car? I take her hand as the elevator door dings open. I’m lost in thoughts of her. What if she is going away to put a distance between us. Not just a physical distance, but also an emotional distance, to look for other romantic possibilities. The thought is killing me. I am going to miss her so much. I’m already feeling it though space between us is less than a few inches. All of a sudden I have this enormous desire for her, and pull her into my arms, capture her face between my hands “I’m going to miss you,” I say fervently. (←It’s Now or Never by Elvis Presley) Her eyes widen with my declaration, but she reaches up and touches my face as I close my eyes to lose myself in it, and she captures my lips raising herself on her toes, and I respond with a groan and dip down and kiss her, our tongues twirling, mixing while left hand holding her at the nape of her neck, my right hand captures her ass and I push her into me making her feel my erection. “I’m going to miss you... miss this,” I say into her lips, and she moans. The elevator dings opens, and I take her hand into mine, gaze at her once more, and walk her to her car. How will I make thought the week without her? Distraction... Flying, or sailing though nothing will be as good as if she was here... I look at her with longing again. "Come back soon..." I whisper. "I will..." she says and smiles.

CHAPTER XXIII

After Anastasia leaves, I call Taylor into my study. “Yes, sir,” he answers politely. “Taylor, I want you to find out what airline Miss Steele is going to purchase her airline ticket from. I don’t care how you track it. Whether you track it through her credit card or her laptop...” I say with a fixed gaze and a determined expression. “I have set up an access for you into her laptop sir. I’m sure I can check on what site she goes and what airline she purchases it from,” he says confidently. “Great!" I say edgy already. Why does she make it so hard for me to take care of her? She's my woman, damn it! Why shouldn't I take care of her? Why is she so reticent when it comes to accepting my help? I take care of what is mine! "Once you find out about the airline, get the flight information, reservation number etc. I want you to call the airline and upgrade her ticket to first class, put her by the window seat, and purchase the seat next to hers. I want her to have the extra elbow room,” I say. Taylor is completely passive, but I catch a small gleam of amusement in his eyes for a second.

“Yes, sir. Anything else sir?” “Yes, I need you to drive me to work. I have to be at the office for a while today. My assistant was supposed to schedule Claude Bastille for a session. Find out when from Andrea before we go. Once you know when, text me, and pick me up; I need that session today!" I say with exasperation. "I have meetings, but tell Claude to wait. We can work out at my company’s gym, or at Escala depending on the time he’s scheduled. We ought to leave for GEH at around 1:00 p.m.” I say. “Yes sir. I’ll inform you once I upgrade Miss Steele’s flight,” he says respectfully, nodding. He’s about to leave my study, but seeing my preoccupied state, he turns to me to ask something. “Do you want me to track Miss Steele’s phone sir to locate her whereabouts?” I think about it for a second. “No...” I say hesitantly, but add, “No, she’ll let me know where she interviewed once she’s done with them. There is no point in finding out until she gets the job.” “Yes sir,” he replies, and leaves my study. I think of Anastasia, and why she wants to distance herself from me. I’m going to have a hard time in her absence. (← I'll be Missing You by P Diddy, ft. Sting & Faith Evans) Shit! She’s only gone for less than an hour, and I already terribly miss her. I check my e-mails before I head out to work. There is one from Elena. _____________________________________________ From: Elena Lincoln Subject: Dinner? Date: May 30 2011 10:12 To: Christian Grey Hello Christian, Have you had time to check your schedule for our dinner? I haven’t seen you in a while. I’ve missed you. Your new sub sounds very interesting. I’d love to hear about her. Call me. We’ll catch up. Until I see you,

Elena _____________________________________________ Come to think of it, since Anastasia is leaving town tomorrow, my schedule would be free tomorrow night, so I could meet Elena for dinner tomorrow night. _____________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Dinner? Date: May 30 2011 12:48 To: Elena Lincoln Elena My schedule is free tomorrow evening. Shall we say 8:00 p.m. at our usual place? Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _____________________________________________ I hit send. My mind drifts back to Anastasia. I want to talk to Elena about her. Anastasia completely confines me. She’s such an enigma, such a life force; the thought of losing her it completely scares me. (← DJ Got Us Falling in Love Again by Usher ft. Pitbull)I can talk to Elena about my feelings. She's known me for so long, she might have some insight, and help me sort these uneasy feelings I have for Anastasia. I’m ready to go to work since I have a meeting with the engineering team. I like to be hands on and in control in everything I do, be it my business acquisitions, or the products that my team is developing. I want to be a part of it, and I will have a say in everything that is done within my company. I'm a man who is always in control; I make all the decisions. I like my autonomy very much. I value it more than anything. I have worked so hard to attain it; in fact in the last seven years, I didn’t have to explain myself to anyone, and did what I desired. I wouldn’t ever want to let that freedom go. But then again, all bets are off when it comes to Anastasia. She disarms me at an alarming rate. It scares the life out of me. I desire her to do so, but then, because it's so out of my norm, I fight against it. This may not be good for my autonomy. Fuck! What a conundrum I'm in!

I don’t know what to name the extreme emotions I’m feeling for her. That’s something I’ve avoided all my adult life. I lose all my reason with her. But in the other hand, she becomes my reason to be...to exist. When she’s around, that’s all I see, all I want, all I want to experience. She’s mine! What if she meets someone in Georgia? Shit! Shit! Shit! She’ll be gone nearly a whole week! If I was taken by her at the first sight, someone else might easily be taken by her. I've never been this close to anyone, at this rate, in such a short span of time. I'm worried... As soon as I get out of the vicinity, some fucker always approaches her. I pace nervously around my study. I need distraction from my worries today. Couple of hours with Claude Bastille should relieve some of my frustration and provide me with much needed distraction. ***** I walk into my office, Andrea and the intern rush to their feet. I’ve been missing face time at GEH lately, but I’m ever present via other means due to my “control freakery” as Miss Steele would have put it. I'm the boss again, in charge of my destiny, in charge of what I know. (← Freedom by George Michael) “The team of engineers and Mr. Barney are in the meeting room sir with their proposals for the prototype,” Andrea informs me. When I walk into the meeting room, everyone scrambles to their feet. “Ladies and gentlemen,” I say by the way of greeting everyone at once. Barney takes the lead. “Sir, the engineering team came up with a new interface today, but we wanted to show it to you and get your input,” he says. “Let’s take a look at it,” I say as we jump into the meeting full swing. There is something still missing. I don't want less than a perfect product. If something is worth doing, it's worth doing perfectly the first time. We brainstorm about how to utilize clean energy while creating a product that functions perfectly, and is sleek. I take their schematics, and give my input. This isn't done yet - not to my complete satisfaction. I'll look over the drawings. Once this meeting is over, I meet Marco for thirty minutes. Then Ros comes for a meeting for the company we’ve discussed liquidating a day earlier to go over the finances once again. I'm all business, all in

control, and master of my destiny. I like that. The thought of not being able to see Anastasia gives me an added impatience. When I leave the office to workout with Claude Bastille, it’s nearly five in the afternoon. Taylor drives me to my usual gym where I meet Claude. I warm up running, lifting weights, and some cardio. Then Claude and I get at each other for an hour...hard. He holds back nothing, and I give him all I got as if my life depends on it. The feeling of Anastasia leaving town weighs heavy on me. Claude Bastille notices my fervor, and extra drive. “You’re hell on wheels today!” he comments. “Making up for my missed sessions,” I say with a passive face. “I don’t know. It seems as if you have this extra oomph,” he says. “Well, thank you,” I say still passive, “it means a lot coming from you,” I reply. We bow to each other at the end of our MMA workout. “Tomorrow at the same time then?” he asks. “No, better make it earlier. My assistant will call you with the time,” I reply. “As you wish Grey,” he replies, we shake hands, and I depart for Escala. First thing I do as I get to my penthouse is to shuck off the sweaty workout clothes and take a shower. I get into my jeans and a t-shirt since I’ll be home for the rest of the evening. When I emerge from my bedroom, Mrs. Jones has set me a place at the breakfast bar. “What would you like to drink sir?” “Sancerre please,” I say. “Yes sir,” she says as she pours me a glass of wine. After I finish my dinner, I leave to my study to go over the schematics my team of engineers gave me. I still haven’t made up my mind whether it’s met it’s all my requirements yet. I lay the plans on my desk, and a sudden flash of this morning’s activities flood my mind with Anastasia on this very desk, and my heart constricts missing her. I more than miss her. It’s like as if she took a piece of me with her. I never know what she’s going to say or do. But, as much as it scares me, I love that about her, because it keeps me on my toes.

I don’t want her out of my life, and I have never wanted anything more than I want her. I rack my brain for something I wanted more. I can’t think of anything. No other women - no one even came close to her. I've never desired anyone with the depth and height of my soul like I do of her. I've never felt this way for anyone, and I had never been in fear of losing of any one of the women I had been with. If I broke up with one of the other women, there would always be someone else of equal or greater value. I could never think that way about Anastasia. She has no equal, because she locates my missing soul, she fulfills me not just sexually, although God knows that is reason enough, but she becomes my conscience, my reason, my life. The depth of the feeling I have for her is beyond anything I imagined – it scares me to my core. Is this good for me to feel that way? Having control in every aspect of my life has been monumentally beneficial for me. Would losing control to a young woman cause me to lose what I’ve acquired over the years? For a brief moment, I try to contemplate a future without her; and all of a sudden I feel as if I’m slowly bleeding to my death by a thousand cuts...excruciatingly painfully. Even the thought of it in the hypothetical hurts me to the core; I can’t breathe! I hold my desk to steady myself. I hear the familiar ding of my e-mail. I look up, and thank God, it’s from Anastasia! _____________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Interviews Date: May 30 2011 18:48 To: Christian Grey Dear Sir My interviews went well today. Thought you might want to know. How was your day? Ana _____________________________________________ I read her simple message over and over again. I steady my breath, and tell myself that she’s only a few miles away, still in town, and that she’s interested in my day, and she’s letting

me in to her activities. Relief slowly floods me. I type my response once I have my wits about myself. _____________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: My day Date: May 30 2011 19:02 To: Anastasia Steele Dear Miss Steele Everything you do interests me. You are the most fascinating woman I know. I’m so glad that your interviews went well. My morning was beyond all expectations. As for my afternoon, it was extremely dull in comparison. Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _____________________________________________ I hit send. Her reply is dings back in two minutes flat. _____________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Fine Morning Date: May 30 2011 19:04 To: Christian Grey Dear Sir This morning was exemplary for me as well, despite the fact that you weirded out on me after the impeccable desk sex. Don’t think I didn’t notice. Thank you for breakfast. Or thank Mrs. Jones for me. I’d like to ask you a question about her – without you weirding out on me again. Ana _____________________________________________ Two things jump out of the page for me: First one is the impeccable sex. What is she comparing it to? She hasn’t had any other partners, has she? She better not! And her interest in

Mrs. Jones. Had something passed through between them this morning? What is making her curious about Mrs. Jones? _____________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Publishing and You? Date: May 30 2011 19:09 To: Anastasia Steele Anastasia Weirding and weirded are not verbs and should not be used by anyone who wants to go into publishing. Impeccable sex you say? Compared to what, pray tell? And what do you need to ask about Mrs. Jones? I’m intrigued. Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _____________________________________________ I hit send. But she doesn’t reply instantaneously as she normally does. When it dings again, I feel relief. But the title is bothersome. _____________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: You and Mrs. Jones Date: May 30 2011 19:18 To: Christian Grey Dear Sir Language is an organic entity and it evolves and moves on. It’s not stuck in an ivory tower with expensive works of art overlooking most of Seattle with a helipad stuck on its roof. Impeccable – compared to the other times we have...what’s the word you use...oh yeah... fucked. Actually fucking has been extremely impeccable, period, in my humble opinion. But then again, I have very limited experience in that department as you well know. Is Mrs. Jones an ex-sub of yours? Ana

_____________________________________________ I’m shocked in the way she thinks of Mrs. Jones. She’s a respectable woman in every way, one I have not had any relationship other than a professional one! Of course she’s never been my sub! I’d never employ someone I’ve had sex with. Anastasia would have been the only exception to that, but with the way she’s thinking, I may have to reassess that idea. I hastily type up a response. _____________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Language. Watch your mouth! Date: May 30 2011 19:23 To: Anastasia Steele Anastasia Mrs. Jones is a valuable employee. I have never had any relationship with her beyond our professional one. I don’t employ anyone I’ve had any sexual relations with. I’m completely shocked that you would entertain such a thought. You would be the only person I’d make an exception to that rule, because you’re a bright young woman with outstanding negotiation skills. However, if you continue to use such a language, I may have to reconsider that offer. I’m glad you have limited experience. Your experience will continue to be limited, just to me. I shall then take impeccable as a compliment. Although, I never know whether it is a compliment or not when it comes to you – whether it’s your sense of irony as usual. Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. From His Ivory Tower _____________________________________________ I hit send, and wait for her to respond. I’m not happy about her concerns about Mrs. Jones. _____________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Not for all the Tea in China Date: May 30 2011 19:28 To: Christian Grey Dear Mr. Grey

I think I have already expressed my reservations about working for your company. My views on this have not changed, aren’t changing, and won’t change. Ever. I have to leave you to yourself now since my roomie Kate returned with Chinese food. My sense of irony and I wish you goodnight. I’ll contact you once I arrive in Georgia. Ana _____________________________________________ Her reply makes me smile. _____________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Even for Twinings English Breakfast Tea? Date: May 30 2011 19:30 To: Anastasia Steele Goodnight Anastasia. I hope you and your sense of irony have a safe flight to Georgia. Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _____________________________________________ Taylor knocks at my study’s door. “Come in Taylor,” I say. “Sir, I have acquired Miss Steele’s flight information,” he starts. “Okay. Did you upgrade her flight?” “Yes sir. She’s upgraded to first class, and I’ve also purchased the seat next to hers to give her,” he clears his throat involuntarily, and I raise a questioning I eyebrow, “more elbow room,” he says with a completely straight face. “What seat?” “Window seat sir and the one next to hers would be empty.” “What time will she be leaving?” “Ten-thirty p.m. sir,” he checks his time on his watch. “In, a little over two hours, she should be air bound.”

“Great! As for tomorrow's schedule,” I say, and go over my work schedule with him. I’m edgy, and irritated for some reason. I realize I’m shaking my legs in a nervous gesture. Taylor must have realized it. He coolly asks, “I will be going down to the gym to work out sir. Will you be working out this evening? I was thinking of practicing some MMA. If you’d like, we can pair up and work out together. If you have to work this evening and won’t need me for a couple of hours, I’ll go and work out at the gym sir,” he says tactfully. “I’ll join you at the gym. I’ll see you in ten,” I say dismissing him. “Yes, sir,” he says and walks out of my study. ***** Over an hour later, we come back to my penthouse, worked out, my muscles slightly sore with the exertions of the demanding MMA moves. I take a shower, and get dressed, and get back to my study. There is a ton of work I have to get through, not to mention the schematics the engineering team has provided. I run my hands through my wet hair wishing it was Miss Steele doing it. Speaking of the devil, my e-mail dings in that familiar sound, and it is Miss Steele. _____________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Over-Extravagant Gestures Date: May 30 2011 21:52 To: Christian Grey Dear Mr. Grey I’m alarmed that you knew which flight I was on and I’m not the one who provided you with that information. You know your stalking has no bounds. Let’s just hope that Dr. Flynn is back from his vacation. I’ve had a manicure, a back massage, and two glasses of champagne which provided a very nice start to my vacation. And I have you to thank for. Ana _____________________________________________

She’s a little upset, but teasing, and she is thankful; though with Anastasia it’s hard to tell which way is up. She got a massage... I don’t know if I like that. Massage huh? What sort of massage? Who was giving her the massage? _____________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: You’re most welcome Date: May 30 2011 21:58 To: Anastasia Steele Dear Miss Steele, Dr. Flynn is back from his vacation; in fact I have an appointment to see him this week. Who was massaging your back? Christian Grey CEO with friends in the right places, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _____________________________________________ I hit send, and wait for her to respond. 20 minutes passes by, and no reply comes back from her. Is she back for more massage? Christ! How long does it take to get a massage at an airport? _____________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Strong Able Hands Date: May 30 2011 22:23 To: Christian Grey Dear Sir, A sweet and pleasant young man massaged my back. Yes, it was very pleasant indeed. I have you to thank for my encounter with Jean-Paul without which I wouldn’t have met him in the ordinary departure lounge. So, thank you once again. I’m not sure if I’ll be allowed to e-mail once we take off, and I shall need my beauty sleep as I haven’t been sleeping so well lately. Ana _____________________________________________

What the fuck? What is she trying to do to me? Make me instantaneously combust with jealousy? Well, she’s succeeded. Oh baby, I’ll give you that for the time being, but wait till I get my hands on you again! I know what I’d do that smart mouth of yours. _____________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Enjoy it while you can Date: May 30 2011 22:26 To: Anastasia Steele

Dear Miss Steele, I know what you’re trying to do, and trust me when I say this, you’ve succeeded in accomplishing it-you made me beyond jealous. Since that’s the case, next time you’ll travel in the cargo hold, bound and gagged and in a crate. Believe me when I say that attending to you in that state will give me a lot more pleasure than just merely upgrading your ticket to first class. I shall look forward to your return. Christian Grey Palm twitching CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _____________________________________________ Put that in your pipe and smoke it Miss Steele! So, you want to make me jealous! I probably won’t hear from her until she lands, but, I’m a patient man at this moment. I’ll wait. But in four minutes my e-mail dings again? What the hell? Is she e-mailing me during flight and risking her life along with the lives of other passengers? _____________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Joking Date: May 30 2011 22:30 To: Christian Grey Christian, you see, I’ve no idea if you’re joking or serious. And if you are serious, then I think I’ll stay in Georgia. Crates are a hard limit for me. I’m sorry I’ve made you mad. Tell me you forgive me.

Ana _____________________________________________ Oh, I am furious with her for her writing in the airplane! Does she not value her own life at all? Why is she on a mission to make me anxious? _____________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Joking Date: May 30 2011 22:31 To: Anastasia Steele How could you be emailing me? Are you risking your own life as well as the lives of everyone else on board by using your Blackberry? This action contravenes one of the rules. Christian Grey Two Palms twitching CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _____________________________________________ I hit send hastily. I have already been anxious with her departure, and her disregard to her own safety raises my anxiety levels several notches. Woman; you better not be writing me until your feet firmly touches the ground in Georgia! I pace around my study while occasionally keeping an eye on my e-mail box for the next two whole hours, almost daring the inanimate object to spew an e-mail message from Anastasia. Like a standoff between man and the machine. And finally when no message arrives from her, I give a sigh of relief. She puts me on edge, makes me lose my reason even at a distance by behaving the way she does, worrying me! I don’t do well with worry! It’s not an emotion I’m familiar with. Only when my anxiety subsides I can make my way to bed. Fuck! What am I, a three year old? Why do I have this separation anxiety then? My heart aches knowing she’s on her way halfway across the country. I go to my bed to an uneasy sleep clouded with worrisome dreams of Anastasia. (← I can't Live Without You by Mariah Carey)

CHAPTER XXIV

I wake up to a gloomy and rainy weather perfectly reflecting my own mood - dark and suffocating. (← Marcello by Bach) As part of my morning routine, I go to the gym to work out. I run, lift weights, and do cardio. Taylor is also there already. He nods, and gives his greeting of “Morning Mr. Grey.” When I head for the punching bag, he reluctantly eyes me assessing my mood. I render punishing blows to the punching bag, making Taylor further uneasy. I am monosyllabic, curt and less than pleasant still when I get back to my penthouse, leaving Taylor to workout some more. I shuck off my sweaty workout clothes, and turn the shower to hot, and stand under the scalding water raining down on my back. Memories of Anastasia in this very shower come to my mind unbidden. She should have landed by now. Has she? Did she miss me? Has she texed me, or sent me an e-mail? Is she taken by me as much as I’m taken by her? I run my hand through my hair under the rain of hot water in exasperation. I quickly wash myself up, and walk out of the shower, rapidly drying myself as if I’m chased by the hellhounds. First order of things is to check my Blackberry. Relief floods me. There’s a message of her safe arrival at 5:30 PST: “Arrived Safely in Savannah. A ”

Mrs. Jones is fixing me breakfast. My usual omelet. I have my coffee and orange juice. I check my e-mails on my Blackberry with hopes that she sent me an e-mail. And there it is: _____________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Do you like to frighten me? Date: May 31 2011 6:51 EST To: Christian Grey

Christian, you already figured out by now how much I dislike you spending money on me. I know you’re very rich, but the fact that you’re spending money makes me uncomfortable. Because I feel as if you’re paying me for sex. On the other hand, I like traveling first class, because it’s a lot more civilized than coach. For that I thank you. I really mean it! I appreciate it. I also enjoyed the massage from Jean Paul, but he was very gay. I left that part out in my previous e-mail to wind you up. Because I was annoyed with you, and I’m truly sorry about that. But, you overreact as usual. You really can’t write things like – bound and gagged in crate to me. Were you really serious, or joking? Such an idea scares me... You scare me... In one hand I am utterly caught up in your brand of spell – considering I didn’t even know such a life style existed until last Saturday. But then you write something like that terrifying me making me want to run far away. Which of course I wouldn’t because I would miss you. Really terribly miss you! I want our relationship to work, however I’m still terrified of the depth of the feeling I have for you and the dark path you’re leading me down. What you have shown me and are offering me is beyond sexy and erotic making me curious. On the flip side I’m completely scared that you’ll hurt me; not only physically but also emotionally. What if after three months you’ve had enough of me, and say goodbye? Where would that leave me if you do? I know that such a risk exists in any relationship. But the kind you’re offering isn’t the sort of relationship I have envisioned of having as my first. You don’t know what a huge leap of faith it is for me.

I realize that you have been right when you said I didn’t have a single submissive bone in my body... sadly I agree with you. But on the other hand, I really want to be with you. And if that’s what I have to do in order to be with you, I would like to try. Though knowing how unsubmissive I am, I’ll suck at doing what you want me to do, and I’ll end up black and blue which is an idea I really don’t relish. I’m also very happy that you have said you’ll try more. What I need to think about is what ‘more’ means to me; essentially this is the reason I wanted to have some distance between us. You see Christian, you dazzle me, and blind me so much that it’s utterly difficult for me to think clearly when you and I are together. Oh, they’re calling my flight now. I need to go. I’ll write more later Your Ana ____________________________________________ I look at my screen in shock! I’m pleased with the amount of communication she’s rendered which is beyond what she divulged all of the time we’ve been together combined. I’m pleased and mad at the same time; because she felt that she had to get a distance between us to write to me, and communicate with me openly. Why won’t she do that when she’s here? Am I that intimidating to her? I read her message over and over again for the next forty-five minutes. It melts my heart that she has deep feelings for me. But, it is also worrisome that despite the fact that she’s a strong, amazing, and beautiful woman, she has such low self-esteem when it comes to accepting what I want to do for her. Why shouldn’t I take care of her? So what if I have so much money? Is she going to use that against me now? I can do whatever I damn-well please with my money I worked so hard to make! After carefully assessing my thoughts, I set out to write a response to her. My feelings have only deepened with her open communication and the fact that I don’t want to ever lose her, I will always endeavor to be open with her. She doesn’t know the lengths I would go to keep her affection for me.

_____________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Finally! Date: May 31 2011 22:31 To: Anastasia Steele Anastasia, Do you know how annoying it is that you only communicate with me openly and honestly only when you put some distance between us? Why won’t you do that when we’re together? Yes, I’m rich. Get used to it. Why would you be upset if I spend my money on you? We’ve told your father I’m your boyfriend, for God’s sake! Isn’t that what boyfriends do anyway? And as your Dom, I’d expect you to accept whatever I spend on you without any qualms about it. Incidentally tell your mother that I’m your boyfriend as well. It is difficult to respond to your comment that you are feeling like a whore when I do things for you. I know that’s not what you said, but reading between the lines, that’s what you implied. What can I say and do to erase and eradicate these feelings from you? Isn’t it obvious to you that I want you to have the best of everything? I work exceptionally hard, so I can spend the money I make as I see fit. I could and I want to buy your heart’s desire Anastasia! You can call it the redistribution of wealth if you want. Just simply know that I could never, ever think of you in the way you described as you’re too precious for me, and I’m angry that this is how you regard yourself. You are such a bright, witty, beautiful young woman, but for all of that, what you have said makes me think that you have such self-esteem issues, and I’m in the mind to make an appointment for with Dr. Flynn. I want to apologize for scaring you. The thought of instilling fright in you is abhorrent to me. Do honestly believe that I’d let you travel in the cargo hold? For God’s sake, I offered you my private jet! So, yes, it was a joke, however a poor one in the hind sight. Though, the thought of you bound and gagged turns me on –and I’m not joking with this statement, it’s a fact. I know you have issues about gagging, so if and when that happens, we’ll discuss it. What you actually fail to realize that in a Sub/Dom relationship, it’s the Sub that has all the power. Not I. That’s you. Remember that you said no to me in the boathouse. I can’t and won’t

touch you if you say no to me which is why we have an agreement. It states the things you will and won’t do. Should we try different things and you decide you don’t like them, we can revise our agreement. It’s all up to you, and not up to me. By the same token, since you don’t want to be bound and gagged and put in a crate, it won’t happen. The lifestyle I have is something I want to share with you. In fact, there has never been anything I wanted as much as I want this. Frankly, I’m in complete awe of you Anastasia! You’re one so innocent and so willing to try. What that says to me about you is more than you will ever know. You see, what you completely fail to comprehend is that I am the one who is caught in your spell, though I’ve told you this fact many, many times. I really don’t want to lose you baby. What makes me very nervous is that you’ve flown clear across the country over three thousand miles to get away from me for a few days so you can think clearly - as apparently it’s something you can’t do around me. I can’t think clearly around you either Anastasia. I lose my reason – it completely vanishes when you and I are together, if that gives you any indication to the depth of my feelings for you. I understand your trepidation. I did try to stay away from you if you remember. Although I knew you were inexperienced, I didn’t know the extent of it. Had I known exactly how innocent you were, I would have never pursued you in the first place. Yet you still manage to disarm me completely in a way nobody has ever before. One example is your e-mail. I’ve read it and reread it countless times trying to comprehend your viewpoint. You are worried about the amount of time we have our contract for. But three months is just an arbitrary time. We could make it six months or even a year. How long do you want it to be? What would make you comfortable? You need to tell me. I know and understand well that this is a giant leap of faith for you. I have to and want to earn your trust, but by the same token I need you to communicate with me when I’m failing to do this. On the surface you seem so strong and self-contained, but when I read what you’ve written here, I see another side of you. We need to and we have to be each other’s guides Anastasia, and I can only take my cues from you. Please be honest with me as both of us have to work to find a way to make this arrangement work.

You said you worry about not being a submissive. I guess it’s true, however, I only want you to assume the submissive demeanor in my playroom. That’s the one place I want you to allow me to exercise proper control over you, and the only place you would need to do what you’re told. Exemplary would be a term to describe that. I would never beat you black and blue. I aim for pink. But when we are outside of the playroom, I like you challenging me. In fact it’s a very unique and refreshing experience for me, and I would never want to change that. Please tell me what you want in terms of “more.” I will try my hardest to keep an open mind, and I shall try to give you the space you need and stay away from you while you are in Georgia. I’m looking forward to your next message. Meanwhile, enjoy yourself in Georgia, but not too much. Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _____________________________________________ I hit send after reading my epitaph to Anastasia. I hope I expressed everything that concerned her. I want this arrangement, this relationship of ‘more’ to work. I have deep feelings for her, and she’s my ‘more’, and for all intents and purposes, I’m her boyfriend. I actually love that title, because it gives me more proprietorship over her, telling others she’s mine, and to stay away from her. I read her message again. She has feelings for me! I close my eyes as relief floods me. I’ve longed to hear that. But on the other hand, what she has stated in her e-mail also makes me scared. Shit! I’m away from her less than twenty-four hours and I have this ripped apart feeling to my core. I miss her in a soul wrenching way! It’s about wanting something with the deepest desire you will ever possess and being afraid your heart’s desire, because what it offers is so outside of the norm you are used to. I have a busy work day ahead. Taylor is ready in his dark suite and dark sun glasses to take me to GEH. I sit in the back of the Audi SUV. I notice Taylor’s eyes drift to me in the rearview mirror. I look back at him questioning. Then I notice the noise. It’s me nervously tapping on the seat with my fingers like the four riders of the apocalypse. I coolly move my eyes outside the window, and force myself to stop tapping my fingers as a result of my nervous

gesture. Why is Anastasia’s departure for a visit to her mother having such a profound effect on me? She’ll be back this Friday. I walk into my office large and in charge with more fervor than usual. I see Andrea and the intern flinch automatically. Taylor walks behind me impassively. Andrea scurries after giving a brief glance at the intern with an armful of folders in her arm. I get into my massive leather chair behind my ornate and very expensive desk. Andrea comes forward with her blonde and professionally made up hair, with impeccable attire befitting of someone working for my company. She slightly flinches with my impatient stare. “Sir, Mr. Bill Casing and Mr. Barney are both waiting to see you this morning. Who would you like to see first?" I stare at her. This is unexpected. Though I intended to see both of them today, I didn’t expect them this early. My impassive gaze and silence makes Andrea flinch. From my peripheral vision I see Taylor turning his face to the opposite direction. I sigh. “Barney first,” I say finally. “Yes, sir,” she says a little relieved, then turns back to me and ask, "I forgot to remind you sir. You have an appointment with Dr. Flynn today at two p.m." she says and I nod. She finally scurries away from my office to get Barney. Barney comes in, nods “Mr. Grey,” and extends his hand to shake. I see his face wincing. Oh, I must have squeezed it harder than a normal handshake. It’s a nervous day for me with Anastasia’s departure, and I can’t shake off her absence. My day goes on with one meeting after another. I meet Ros for lunch to further discuss the deadweight company we’re carrying which is failing to produce profit. “We have reached an impasse Ros. The bottom line is economy or no economy, I’ve given this company for an entire year to pick itself up, and we’ve invested quite a lot of money on it to save it from the dumps. She needs to do her job or we need to liquidate. It isn’t fair to other companies we own who are working hard to support something that isn’t working. Cut it loose! You have two weeks to make certain changes. If it’s not showing progress, I’m not interested in keeping!” I say. “Yes, sir,” she replies.

Taylor approaches after checking his phone. Lean in and whispers, “Sir, Bastille is available and waiting for you at the gym whenever you wish to go and work out.” I nod, and say, “after lunch.” “Yes, sir,” he replies and assumes his immobile statuesque position at the corner. I shake hands with Ros, and go to my workout. Today I spend two hours with Claude Bastille as I’m unable to get rid of this anxiety which is clouding my judgment and making people unusually uneasy around me. Even Bastille realizes that after I kick his butt to the floor for the third time. “What I said yesterday stands my man! You’re hell on wheels this week! What gives?” he says. “I told you. I’m making up for the missed sessions,” I say. He eyes me suspiciously, as my mind wonders the main reason I’m on edge and we go at each other again. The distraction my thoughts provide him with an opening he needs, and I’m on my ass on the mat. “Three to one Grey!” he says. “I’m not leaving until at least I make my score even!” I grin. “Bring it on Bastille!” Others working out watch us getting at each other. It takes Bastille over thirty minutes to even the score, but I get him once more. We leave with our score uneven – me on the winning side, and a grinning Bastille with a vow to make it up tomorrow. After my intense workout session, I quickly take a shower, and I make my way to Dr. Flynn's. “Hello Christian,” Dr. Flynn says serenely eyeing me purposefully. “Hello John,” is my reply as I take my usual seat on the leather sofa. John has his leather binder in his hand with his ink pen. “How have you been?” he asks. “To tell you the truth John, I’ve been well since you were on vacation, but not since yesterday,” I say. “Does this have anything to do with the young lady you’re calling on?” he asks. Leave it to John to put it mildly. “Yes, it does.” He nods his head, and gestures with his hand for me to go on.

“She’s out of town right now, and I find myself completely uneasy with her absence,” I say surprising myself with the distress in my voice. “How so?” “I don’t know John!” I say exasperated. “This is a completely new notion for me. I feel like I’m having a separation anxiety which doesn’t make sense. I’ve never had that sort of feeling before! I’m a grown man, but yet I find myself making my staff uneasy around me since the second she left my place,” I say sighing. “More than the usual?” John says making me narrow my eyes on him, but he doesn’t flinch. He looks at me expectantly. I finally smile. “Yes, more than the usual,” I say. “This Anastasia is having a big effect on you. I’m very intrigued. I would love to meet her,” he says which is unusual for a shrink to say even if it is Dr. John Flynn. “You might meet her at my parents’ annual charity event next week,” I say. “I’m looking forward to it. Now, tell me why she went out of town. Is it vacation, family, business, or something else?” he asks with barely contained curiosity. “She went to Georgia to see her mother, but that’s her cover story,” I say as John raises his eyebrows. “Cover story?” “I know she misses her mother, but she went there to get away from me, because she said she can’t think clearly around me,” I pull her e-mail out of my pocket, and find the line where she stated that. “Ah, right here,” I say, as John narrows his eyes so much you can blindfold him with dental floss surprised that I carry her e-mail with me. “She says here, and I quote ‘I want our relationship to work, however I’m still terrified of the depth of the feeling I have for you and the dark path you’re leading me down.” And this

following line when she says ‘what I need to think about is what ‘more’ means to me; essentially this is the reason I wanted to have some distance between us. You see Christian; you dazzle me, and blind me so much that it’s utterly difficult for me to think clearly when you and I are together’.” I read with a sigh. “You see John, that’s the way I feel around her. I lose my reason. I’m like a drunken man who lost his sense, but then again, I’m more alert because she opens my eyes to something I’ve never experienced before. I feel young, and happy. (←Forever Young by Mr. Hudson ft. Jay-Z) I feel joy with her. Her absence drowns me. I can’t take it!” I say exasperated with my hand running through my hair. John gazes at me with his mouth agape, and when I stop talking he gathers himself, and says. “There are few keywords I want to focus on from what you’ve read and what you’ve stated. The first word is ‘more.’ I too am curious what ‘more’ means to you. All your previous relationships had been strictly a Dom/Sub relationship, and you were completely adamant that this is the only type of relationship you were ever interested. Is it something of the past now?” “Not per se John. Anastasia is a woman I want more than anything I ever wanted. She desires me with “more”, and I desire her. I’m willing to compromise for her, and I find myself liking the ‘more’ part. I’m not giving up what I am, what defines me, and what I like. I’m merely redrawing my battle lines, and boundaries. A new concept Anastasia introduced me,” I say smiling. “Compromise. I’m willing to do that for her. I’ve met her father, and he knows me as her boyfriend. I’ve told Anastasia to tell her mother the same. Her best friend knows me as her boyfriend,” I say with a grimace, and this doesn’t escape John’s regard. “Of course, my family met her, fell in love with her, and they know her as my girlfriend. I’ve come to like that title. So, yes, she’s my girlfriend, but I like her to be my sub in my Playroom,” I say. “And are you okay with that?” asks Dr. Flynn. I think about it for a minute. “Yes. I’d rather compromise than lose her. But, I also find myself liking the compromise. It’s incredibly refreshing... with Anastasia, I mean.”

“And, do you have the desire to punish and hurt her? What about those tendencies, and how do you think Anastasia would handle them?” “Those feelings are still there. I have to go easy on Anastasia for the time being, because this isn’t something she’s familiar with. She has no references. She wasn’t even spanked as a child.” “So, why do you think you want to inflict pain on her?” he asks. “We’ve been over this in the past John! I’m a sadist. I can’t help those feelings. It fulfills something that was unmet in my formative years.” “Christian, you and I disagree on that. You are not a sadist. You had unspeakable things done to you as a young child. You’re still working through those issues, and what you desire to do to women are a reflection of what has been done to you in your subconscious, and the anger you have towards your birth mother for not protecting you from those inflicting those horrors to you. In my professional opinion, you are not a sadist. But you have been emotionally deprived in your most formidable years which in return left you emotionally behind than what your age should warrant. As far as the emotional growth is concerned, you’re the equivalent of an adolescent, and you have some catching up to do. Having been set in your ways is also hindering you in your emotional development, but what I’ve seen in you in the last three weeks is very promising. It shows me that you are willing to give yourself a chance to grow in that area, and that is one of the keys that will allow you to work through the problems you have,” he says. “John, I think Anastasia is right about you,” I say with a wicked grin. He looks curious, “in what way?” he asks. “She said that you are an expensive charlatan,” I say smiling. He laughs at that assessment. “Well, she may be right. I am expensive, but as for charlatan, who knows, maybe I am one,” he says still chuckling. “I can see why you are intrigued by her. I’m looking forward to meeting her,” he says. Another admirer who hasn’t even met her.

“When is she coming back from Georgia?” “This Friday,” I say in such a forlorn expression as if it’s ten years away. John looks at me in his curious, ‘paging Dr. Freud,’ kind of way. “It’s very clear that you miss her. How are you coping?” he asks with sympathy in his voice. “I’m not. I mean, not coping well at all. I miss her terribly, and I have fears, worries, and longing.” I say. “Fears and worries I are two expressions I want to focus on. What are you afraid of and what is worrying you?” he asks. “I fear that she may decide against us. I fear that once she’s away, she decides that she can do without me,” I say as my breath hitches, and Dr. Flynn notices it and he jots something down in his leather binder. “I worry that someone else might move in when I’m not around. Hell, even when I’m around, there are plenty of suitors,” I say. “Are you afraid of a little competition?” “I never shy away from a competition. But she’s mine! She’s not a prize to be competed for. Not when it comes to her, and for her affections. I can’t handle it Doc. The thought of someone else having her is like a knife stabbed over and over again in my heart. I can’t handle it!” He jots some more notes in his expensive leather binder. “Christian, I’ve known you for a few years now, and I’ve been your therapist, and your friend. I know that you are a very strong man. Physically, and emotionally. In fact, I dare say you were even calloused emotionally in some matters as I’ve plainly stated to you in the past. But, what I read from you right now is that Anastasia both strengthens and weakens you emotionally. You know what that means?” I shake my head at his blunt assessment, but I pay him for his non-conventional boldness. He smiles and adds, “L'on est bien faible quand on est amoureux.” “But,” I rebuttal, “that statement has a prerequisite of being in love. As you stated, ‘One is very weak when one is in love,’ but I don’t think I’m in love!” I state strongly. (← You're
Nobody Till Somebody Loves You by Dean Martin) “I have strong feelings for Anastasia which I am

currently unable to name them, but I don’t do love Doc. I’m incapable of loving.”

“Christian, love is not a bad emotion. Love is a powerful emotion, a great emotion, a fulfilling emotion. L’amour fait les plus grandes douceurs et les plus sensibles infortunes de la vie,” he states. “Like you said Doc, ‘love makes life’s sweetest pleasures and worst misfortunes;’ I’m just afraid of the misfortunes it may present, and I believe one can attain the sweetest pleasures without love.” “Oh, but I disagree. Some of the pleasures can only be felt with the height and the depth, only if one is in love. I can see that you feel the depth, and height of a certain emotion. And you’re clearly afraid of this feeling. But you, denying the name of that emotion doesn’t change the fact of what that is. The main reason you’re denying this feeling is because you feel unworthy of it. But love has nothing to do with fairness. It just is. Let me ask you this. What would you do for Anastasia? Would you give up your ways? You’ve compromised for her which is something you’ve never done for anyone else. You’ve given her space to think although you miss her terribly. These are things that are completely out of the norm for Christian Grey.” I contemplate deep for a minute. “I’d do just about anything to keep her. To keep her safe. To keep her mine. She’s mine!” I say. “What if she hasn’t returned your feelings?” I feel my heart constricting. “I don’t know if I could handle that. It would wound me deeply. But I’d do anything to make her happy... I don’t want to contemplate that Doc. It’s too harsh for me at this time knowing she’s not even in town,” I say exasperated. “C’est cela l’amour, tout donner, tout sacrifier sans espoir de retour,” he states. “Love is to give everything, sacrifice everything never to return,” I murmur to his statement. “But I don’t do love Doc. It’s a useless emotion, a deterrent. Something gets one out of focus. You know how important it is for me to have control. Love gets rid of control. So, it's just not for me.” “The interesting thing about love is that it doesn’t ask us whether we want to lose control. It’s in the very definition of love. Even the chemicals our body releases when in love is quite similar to those when one is insane.”

“Great!” I say mocking, “You’re encouraging me to be nearly insane?” “I’m encouraging you to hear your own feelings. If you are unaware of your own feelings, you won’t have a way to deal with them, or you won’t know how to respond. Our bodies and minds speak to us in their own way. Right now, your mind is speaking to you. Whether you want to hear what it’s got to say is up to you Christian. How you respond to what it says is up to you. No one can push us to fall in love with someone. The kind of electricity, connection, pull, static, desire, and the deeper connection love generates cannot be duplicated, copied, or cloned. It is rare to find that; it’s sort of like once in a lifetime deal, but it’s rarer still to have someone to reciprocate those feelings with the same intensity. So, part of your therapy is to learn to listen to yourself effectively if you wish to sort your feelings out; but listening and hearing are two different things. Our minds and bodies speak a different language. You need to learn to interpret that correctly. Right now you’re denying your interpretation, because you feel unworthy. You must learn to distance yourself from the negative feelings.” “Easier said than done John,” I murmur. “I know that. But it doesn’t hurt to practice.” “I still find it a useless emotion. And I still state that I don’t do love.” “Let’s just agree to disagree,” he says smiling. “We’ll meet next week at the same time then?” “Yes, of course,” I say checking my time. I shake hands, and Taylor drives me back to Escala. By the time we get to Escala, it’s passed four p.m. I have periodically checked my e-mail, but there is no message from Anastasia. Did I scare her off with my epitaph? I’m worried that I did. I want to call her, or write to her, but I don’t want to come out too strong. She’s gone to take time away from me to gather her thoughts. I don’t want to impose on her within that time. We pull into the garage at Escala, and Taylor drops me off as he goes to park the SUV. I press the button to call the elevator, and press my code to go up to my penthouse. In this tiny space I kissed Anastasia several times. The thoughts of her come unbidden, and tighten my heart. I can’t lose her! I can’t. I want us to work! As I’m busy thinking of her, my Blackberry buzzes letting me know I received an e-mail. Is it her?

I check to see the message, and as relief courses through me, I close my eyes, and then open the message as I my mind come to focus. _____________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Verbose? Date: May 31 2011 19:07 EST To: Christian Grey Sir, you are quite the loquacious writer as your e-mail was a testament to that fact. I have to go to dinner at Bob’s golf club, and just for your information, I am rolling my eyes at the thought of it. Since you and your twitchy palms are long way away from my vicinity, my behind and I am safe for now. I really loved your e-mail. I’m going to write a response when I have the time. I’m missing you already. Enjoy your afternoon. Your Ana _____________________________________________ Seeing her message makes me very, very relaxed as if I’m bathed in her. She misses me! I read the message, especially the line where she said she missed me over and over again. I close my eyes and revel in the feeling. Then I type up a message for her in response. _____________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Your behind Date: May 31 2011 16:09 To: Anastasia Steele Dear Miss Steele, The title of your e-mail is distracting. Needless to say that you and your behind are safe for the time being. Please enjoy your dinner. And just so you know, I miss you too – especially your behind and your smart mouth. The thought of you and your eye rolling will brighten my - what would otherwise be a dull afternoon. It was you who fittingly pointed out to me that I too suffer from that nasty habit.

Christian Grey CEO & Eye Roller, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _____________________________________________ I’m caught in her spell and momentarily distracted from my nervousness that’s been inhibiting me in since she left town. But even this mere connection via e-mail eases my ravaged soul. I stare at the monitor as if Anastasia will pop through it. My only connection to her right at the moment. (← Closer by Kings of Leon) _____________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: eye rolling Date: May 31 2011 19:13 EST To: Christian Grey Dear Mr. Grey Stop e-mailing me sir. I’m busily trying to get ready for dinner here. You know, you’re very distracting even if you are on the other side of the continent. And since you too suffer from the nasty habit of eye rolling, who spanks you when you do so? Your Ana _____________________________________________ My playful baby and her smart mouth! How I’ve missed you both! _____________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Your behind Date: May 31 2011 16:17 To: Anastasia Steele Dear Miss Steele,

Baby, I still prefer my title to yours in a number of different ways. Isn’t it lucky that I’m the master of my destiny and no one gets to reprimand me? There are exceptions to this rule of course which include my mother occasionally, and Dr. Flynn, of course. And you. Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _____________________________________________ I have revealed another piece of myself in this message. And that whether I like it or not – and I mostly like it, and find myself enjoying it, that Anastasia can and will castigate me. It’s refreshing. She makes her own way into my soul and my heart. Her response comes within a few minutes. _____________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Chastising... Me? Date: May 31 2011 19:21 EST To: Christian Grey Dear Sir When have I ever had plucked up the nerve to castigate you? You might be mixing me up with someone else and if this is the case, it’s very worrying. I really do have to get ready now. Your Ana _____________________________________________ I hit reply right away. _____________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Your behind Date: May 31 2011 16:24 To: Anastasia Steele Dear Miss Steele, You chastise me all the time in print. Can I zip up your dress?

Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _____________________________________________ I really wish I was there. Does she even realize what it does to me when she says she’s getting ready to go someplace? I think of getting undressed down to her blue bra and lace underwear. Then putting on a dress... a low cut, low back dress. Short. Barely covering her delectable derriere. Argh! Why am I torturing myself like that? _____________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: NC-17 Date: May 31 2011 19:27 EST To: Christian Grey I would rather you unzipped my dress. _____________________________________________ WTF? Baby, don’t torture me! You’re not here! I’ll end up instantaneously combusting here! Or worse, I’ll interrupt my intent to give you the space you want, and jump in my plane and get to you... _____________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Careful what you wish for... Date: May 31 2011 16:24 To: Anastasia Steele SO WOULD I Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _____________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Panting

Date: May 31 2011 19:32 EST To: Christian Grey Slowly... _____________________________________________ Fuck! What are you doing to me Anastasia? I run both hands through my hair, glued to my laptop like a horny teenager waiting for his girl to give him a piece of crumb! _____________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Groaning... Date: May 31 2011 16:34 To: Anastasia Steele Wish I was there. Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _____________________________________________ There I said it... Ball is in your court Miss Steele. What say you to that? I nervously wait for her to respond. _____________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Moaning Date: May 31 2011 19:36 EST To: Christian Grey SO DO I _____________________________________________ My breath hitches with her response. She wants me there! She misses me! Does she? She says she does in capital letters. Does she want me to come? Another message dings right after. _____________________________________________

From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Moaning Date: May 31 2011 19:36 EST To: Christian Grey Gotta go. Laters baby. _____________________________________________ What? No! It was getting so good! Don’t let me hanging here Anastasia! Argh! Even her absence from her computer makes me this nervous. Come on baby! I’ve missed you so much already! And I was daydreaming of unzipping her dress... _____________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Plagiarism Date: May 31 2011 16:40 To: Anastasia Steele You stole my line baby. Not to mention left me hanging. Enjoy your dinner with you family. Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _____________________________________________ I go and take a cold shower to cool Miss Steele’s effects on me to no avail. What do you do to me my beautiful bewitching woman? I’m in half the mind to fly there now. My subconscious tells me to be patient and give her the space she needs. I support myself, my arms on the cool tile walls of the shower, my head bowed, cold water raining on me and sprayer from three different directions without any cooling effect. “Anastasia! I need you more than you know!” I murmur, and slowly turn off the water. (← When I Need You by Rod Stewart)

DINNER WITH THE BITCH TROLL
CHAPTER XXV

My Blackberry rings. It’s my assistant Andrea. “Grey,” I answer curtly. “Sir, there are a few problems with the shipment to Darfur I wanted to inform you about,” she says knowing my impatience with long winded conversations. “Such as?” I probe. “Sir, warlords are intercepting with the shipments even if they’re air dropped,” she says getting right to the point. “And the land delivery is unsafe for both the local crew as well as the Americans. Fuckers! It’s not enough that they make their own people suffer, must they also take the food away from the mouths of the babies!” I rant angrily. “Okay, have the security team look into it, and have Welch check viable options for safer drops for the people the shipment is intended for. Once he comes up with a workable option, have him call me to confer,” I say firmly. “Yes, sir,” she replies. “That’s all Andrea,” I say and hang up. Of all the problems...there’s always going to be one more. This is going to be a costly project, but one near and dear to my heart. It bothers me

that children are starving around the world for no better reason than someone else is holding off their food from them. I work two more hours before I get ready to leave for dinner with Elena. My Blackberry buzzes and the sender puts a broad grin on my face. How does she do that? (← You're in My
Heart by Rod Stewart)

_____________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Who are you to cry thief? Date: May 31 2011 22:17 EST To: Christian Grey Dear Sir, I think it was Elliot’s line originally. Hanging how? Your Ana _____________________________________________ That one short message is like light in the darkness taking me away from all other worldly distractions. _____________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Unfinished business Date: May 31 2011 19:21 To: Anastasia Steele Dear Miss Steele, I’m so glad you’re back. Just when things were getting very interesting, you left so suddenly and left me hanging. Elliot isn’t very original. He’ll have stolen that line from someone else. How was your dinner? Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _____________________________________________

I hit send waiting for her reply impatiently. Can I be any more immature? _____________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Unfinished business? Date: May 31 2011 22:25 EST To: Christian Grey Dear Sir, Dinner was satisfactory. You’ll be quite happy to know that I ate everything on my plate, and certainly far more than I ought to. Getting interesting? How? _____________________________________________ Why is she toying with me even now? Baby did you just forget that you asked me to unzip your dress? _____________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Definitely unfinished business Date: May 31 2011 19:29 To: Anastasia Steele Anastasia, are you deliberately being obtuse? You asked me to unzip your dress earlier which was something I was looking forward to doing. I too am very glad to hear you are eating well. Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _____________________________________________ She’s mastering her own ways to drive me insane in every possible way. But, I’m a man of many talents Miss Steele. Two can play at the same game. _____________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Well...there’s always the weekend Date: May 31 2011 22:35 EST To: Christian Grey Of course I eat. The reason I’m put off food is the uncertainty I feel around you.

Besides, I’d never be unintentionally obtuse Mr. Grey. I’m sure you’ve worked that out by now ;) _____________________________________________ So, that’s how it is... She is toying with my affections. Hmmm. _____________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Can’t wait for the weekend Date: May 31 2011 19:39 To: Anastasia Steele I shall endeavor to remember that Miss Steele. And believe me when I say that baby, I will no doubt use that knowledge to my advantage. I’m actually very sorry to hear that I am the one who puts you off your food. I was under the impression that I had a more concupiscent effect on you. At least that has been my experience and a most pleasurable one indeed. I very much look forward to the next time. Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _____________________________________________ She replies right back. _____________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Gymnastic linguistics Date: May 31 2011 22:35 EST To: Christian Grey Mr. Grey – Have you been playing with the thesaurus again? _____________________________________________ I check my time, and I will barely make it on time, so, I have to get going to meet Elena for dinner. _____________________________________________

From: Christian Grey Subject: Rumbled Date: May 31 2011 19:39 To: Anastasia Steele How well you know me Miss Steele. I’ll be having dinner with an old friend now, so I’ll be driving. Laters baby© Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _____________________________________________

I arrive at our upscale and exclusive restaurant. I hand my key to the valet. I go inside and I’m quickly greeted and taken to my usual seat where Elena is waiting. She gets up smiling at me warmly. “Hello Christian!” she greets me with a friendly smile on her face. “Hi Elena,” I respond back to her with what I hoped the same warmth she’s giving me, and lean in for her to kiss me on both my cheeks as her hands connects with my upper arms while she’s kissing my cheeks. She releases me, and we both sit down at the same time. The

waiter rushes to the table, and asks what I like to drink. I order Châteauneuf-du-Pape White 2009 without even looking at the wine menu. After the waiter scurries away, Elena scrutinizes me with her assessing gaze. She misses nothing. “You seem a little on edge today Christian. Is everything alright?” “Yes,” I say a little too brusquely. “Alright,” she says with a smile playing on her expertly made up lips. “I assumed you would want to talk about her,” she says significantly. “I’ve never seen you this on edge...” she says, then amends herself. “Well, not in so many years. What’s going on? Is it about your new sub?” “Yes,” I say knowing not much is going to escape her knowing scrutiny. “Anastasia left town. So, I’m a little apprehensive because of it.” “For good? I thought you two just met,” she says surprised and my reaction even shocks me. “Heavens, no! I can’t handle her absence even for a day! It’s been less than twenty four hours,” I say checking my watch, “and I’ve been nothing but an ogre to everyone around me. She went to Georgia to see her mother,” I say. She raises her eyebrows, looking at me anew like she just met me. “Well... How’s sex? I take that it’s beyond your expectations if you missed her that much,” she smiles. “It’s spectacular for one who’s so young, so innocent, so willing to learn considering she was a virgin,” I say looking at Elena trying to gauge her reaction. To my surprise she chokes on her Châteauneuf-du-Pape White 2009. Her reaction makes me smile. “She was a virgin?” she asks a little too sharply, and I narrow my eyes on her. “Yes. Is that a problem?” I ask defensively. “No. But I never took you for a virgin man. When did this change of taste develop? All your subs were experienced and established submissives. Given her age, I had assumed that

she had less experience than the other ones, but a virgin? Christian, are you sure she can fulfill all your needs dear?” she asks softly. Too softly. “No one has ever fulfilled my needs as much as she does!” I say defensively. “Come now! Given what you have just revealed, she was completely inexperienced in sex until, what three weeks ago...” she says raising her eyebrows questioning. “You know it takes years to master submissiveness. It took you years,” she says with a knowing smile. “How do you know she’ll meet all your needs?” she says in firm whisper leaning in. “You have needs that even a very experienced submissive can’t fulfill. Dark needs...” she says as she leans back letting the rest of her thoughts linger in the air. My gaze darkens in rising anger. “I don’t like you speaking in those terms about Anastasia! I like her!” I say my gaze not leaving hers. Then my voice softens with the thoughts of Anastasia. “A lot actually... I never know what she will do, or say which is a breath of fresh air actually. She is smart, witty, a great negotiator,” I say with an idiotic grin on my face. “I’ve never felt this alive - ever in my life! She makes me feel completely, utterly, significantly alive! I lose my reason around her, but then it’s a conundrum. She gives me a new purpose, a new reason for being.”

“I’m intrigued Christian. But smart, witty, a great negotiator are skills one should be looking in an employee, not a sexual partner. Perhaps she could be more of a use in your company than in your Playroom. But, if you like her that much, I’d like to meet her,” she says coolly as if she'd be doing me a favor. My mouth drops open with her assessment. “I'm not looking for an employee!" I say harshly. "Although if she so desired, she would be a very valuable one. I have had a large number of women who haven't had those skills, and quite a bit of sexual prowess but clearly we still weren't compatible. Those are skills I value in her because she knows how to apply them into the relationship we have. And clearly, seeing your reservations, and Anastasia's less than highly regard for you, having the two of you meet is a bad idea,” I say with a flat expression. “Why is that? Don’t tell me you don’t want to introduce her to your teacher,” she says and I give her pointed look.

“She doesn’t want to meet you. I think she hates you for introducing me to BDSM lifestyle when I was 15. She sees you as a child molester,” I say expressionless. (← Toxic by
Britney Spears) Elena actually blanches, taken aback.

“Christian! You know it wasn’t like that!” she says defensively. “I had seen you being destructive to yourself, and quite frankly your parents were exasperated trying to deal with your fighting, school issues or had you forgotten that you were kicked out of three different schools within one year; they were running out of options and short of homeschooling you there were hardly any school left for you to attend. So what this lifestyle that your new sub" she says pointedly, "loathes has taught you to be in charge of your own destiny. To be in control. It diverted your destructive tendencies into a different channel so you didn’t harm yourself; thought you how to focus, and be goal oriented. I wasn't intending to harm you in any way. That was the only way I knew you can channel your tendencies to let steam out, so you can focus. It didn't do you any harm either. I mean, look at you! Women desire you, and men want to be you! You're richer than dirt, and so young too! You have your whole life ahead of you, and it's only because you've learned to control your destructive tendencies, learned to let out steam without harming yourself, and learned to focus, and be goal oriented. Of course along the way, we had fun.” “I know. She doesn’t understand our relationship, and she is apprehensive about it. It's a free country, and clearly she’s entitled to her opinion,” I say. “But, that’s not how you feel, is it?” she asked concerned leaning in. “You know how much your friendship means to me. I care about you immensely. You’re the only person I care as much about...” she says pausing. “More than anyone else. I can't emphasize how much your friendship means, how very important it is to me Christian; and I don’t want to lose it. Certainly not because of one of your subs!” she reiterates forcefully, emphasizing. “Please don’t refer to Anastasia as ‘one of my subs.’ I care about you and your friendship means a great deal to me as well. We are also business partners which benefited us both immensely. Anastasia doesn’t understand our relationship because she doesn’t have a fucked up past like I do which I’m thankful for. I don’t think I could have handled it if she had a past,” I say shaking my head.

Elena eyes me carefully, as if she’s assessing a new person before her that she’s never met. I continue talking about my feelings for Anastasia. “Her absence,” I say pausing, trying to catch my breath, “constricts my heart, like someone is about to rip it apart. And the fact that she’s clear across the country, the thought that she might meet another suitor over there makes me beyond jealous! I can’t name this emotion. It’s completely foreign to me Elena!” I say out of breath. “I see... Well, if you have such strong feelings for her,” she says putting her hand over mine on the table, “and that you miss her this much, why don’t you go after her? That’s the logical thing to do... Don’t you think?” she probes for more. “She went to Georgia, because she can’t think clearly around me,” I sigh. “Neither can I for that matter, but, I think she needs to assess her feelings for me, and decide whether our relationship would work as it is.” I say. “Christian! I’m surprised at you! She’s your sub! A sub doesn't think! He or she just does what he or she is told. She ought to do what she is asked to do, otherwise, dump her ass, and get one that obeys you properly the way a sub should,” she says firmly like the Dom she is. I narrow my eyes on her. “Elena, don’t give me your Dom shit! I don’t need that fuck, and I know it better than you do how a Sub should be!” I say through gritted teeth, and I notice that she slightly flinches back, but regains her control. “But, I do want to give her the space she asked for, wants, and needs. But today, as we were e-mailing back and forth, she said that she wished I was there. I think she misses me as much as I miss her. I want this to work between us... Badly. She’s not just any sub. She’s important to me...” Elena gazes at me for a long minute and says, “You have your answer then; if she said she wishes you were there, she wants you to come. Given her inexperience, well, given the lack of sex she had all her life, and the short time you two have been together, do you think it's wise to invest into this,” she pauses to find a suitable word, and adds, "...this, I don't want to call it a relationship, although I suppose you can for the lack of a better expression... oh yes, arrangement," she says happy with herself for finding a word that was beneath the status of a relationship.

"Do you think it's wise to invest this much into this arrangement? I'm saying this because; I'm truly concerned about you Christian. I think you are emotionally investing into this arrangement and in such a short time at that. Seeing as she's taken off because you are too intense for her, and given the fact that you are emotionally involved with her," she says as I make a face, "don't tell me you are not Christian! I can see that in your posture, in your body language... You know I can read you like a book. I've known your body very well inside and out," she says with a fond expression on her face. "So, I know you are more involved with her even you were to say that you aren't. That concerns me... A lot actually. Because, you're moving into an unknown territory. It's outside of your norm. It's a dangerous territory, because you're exposing yourself for all kinds of emotional hurt. And emotions make us lose control. You know that better than anyone. Especially considering she’s someone you just met. Maybe she should just stay in Georgia,” she says, and my mouth drops open. “What the hell Elena!" I say exasperated. "She's the first woman, I wanted to have more than just a Dom - Sub relationship! She gives me hope. She makes me see the possibilities of more. Not a changing number of Subs with whom I have only the fucking in common, but, a steady relationship. I don’t want to screw this up Elena! I don’t want to scare her away. I don’t think I can handle of not being with her,” I state with grief laden voice. Elena’s mouth drops open, her eyes go wide. “Christian Grey! I can’t believe it! Are you in love with her?” she blurts out. I look at her shocked, and I feel my eyes going wild with fear. “No! No! Definitely not! I don’t do love! I don’t deserve her love... I... I can’t love. You said it before – it’s a useless emotion.” I shake my head. “No, I can’t... I mean, I don’t think I’m in love,” say without knowing whether I want to convince Elena, or myself. “Hmm...” says Elena without leaving her gaze away from me, “let me restate that phrase Christian. You are in love with her!” she says with an unequivocally convinced voice – the kind of voice one would utter who is convinced of a certain truth putting their name and reputation in line. "But, are you sure this is good for you? Are you sure she's good for you, deserving of

you?" she says with genuine concern lacing her voice. (← You Know I'm No Good by Amy
Winehouse)

I look at her bewildered. “I can’t be in love Elena! I’m the one who is no good for her! She's so innocent, so pure. She has such a heart that knows nothing of the dark, nothing nasty the world has to offer. I'm afraid of tainting her. She's not like us! She's above us, better than us. She's like an angel who took notice of me, cared for me, and I don't want to be her downfall,” I say with fear in my voice. “Christian! You’re always so harsh on yourself with so much self-deprecation! You have to stop that dear! She should hope that she’s good enough for you! You’re a good catch Christian...” she chides me. “You’re handsome, rich, and talented in many venues that women are interested in. You’re one of a kind! And that angel crap; it's overstated. I mean there are a slew of nice guys around... Why don't all those nice guys capture happiness, and provide happiness to the women around them? Hmmm? Because, that's not what women want! Women want someone who understands what they don't understand about themselves. We all have something dark in us. Something beneath the surface. When someone else comes calling upon that, it awakens feelings we didn't know existed in us. Everyone wants to taste the dark side, but no one wants to admit it! You know the 'light' as you put it is overstated. Who in his right mind doesn't want mind-blowing sex? Who in her right mind would leave a sex god, a man who is more handsome than Adonis, richer than small countries in the world? Where would she find someone like you? You are one of the few eligible bachelors who possess these qualities, not just in this country, but in the entire world! "she says exasperated. "Whereas you can wave your hand and find hundreds, hell, thousands of Anastasias who would in fact run to do your bidding to the letter! You can have your pick of women... It is she who is lucky to have your regard dear,” she says very convinced of her convictions about me, making me furious and my anger comes out of my pores. “Elena! I don’t ever want you to speak of Anastasia as if she something dime a dozen! She’s none of those things! I have the highest regard for her, and she’s one among millions. In the course of my entire life, I have not met anyone like her! Not one single person! I do like her, because she cares nothing about my money! I can't even get her accept a simple present

without a fight, or a long winded argument! She's affected by my looks, but she sees me beyond that. She washes away all that shit that surrounds me, and I'm bare naked in my dark soul before her. As for sex, it's beyond amazing, because we, our bodies connect, and desire each other in such a way that we're meant for each other. The electricity the pull between us is palpable, tasteble, very tangent. It’s true that I lose my reason around her, and she with me, but then...” I pause and add, “then, I also find a renewed purpose in her presence. She’s so precious to me. I have this immense desire to protect and care for her. I have feelings which I cannot name, and it scares the life out of me! But, the thought of losing her is the worst fear I’ve ever had in my life! I can’t even handle it in the hypothetical. It’s too scary... My affection for her is soul deep,” I say confessing. “You really are in love with her Christian! Whatever you might say after this confession, you cannot convince me otherwise! I know you better than anyone...”she says but I cut her off. “Not anyone! Anastasia knows me better!” I correct her. She narrows her eyes on me, fixes her expertly cut hair, tucking it behind her ear with a well-manicured finger. “Better than me?” she asks incredulous. “You know I’m very private,” I say to her with an impassive expression. “And I’ve known you intimately since you were fifteen, Christian!” she enunciates, trying to correct me. “No Elena! You and I were as intimate as a car collision,” I correct her. “You and I started fucking when I was fifteen and it lasted until I was twenty one. But that was the extent of it. I fucked you every imaginable and unimaginable way possible, and I subbed for you, and you dominated me. Well, we also exchanged roles for a short while, but, that was the extent of it. You and I can talk about just about anything, but she’s the one person I ever allowed to know me intimately. To love me, to make love to me. You and I never made love. We just fucked! We haven't even kissed!” I glare at her. “That was the best fucking...” she simply states. “Can Anastasia come up to par with our fucking?” she asks bluntly. I smile at her proudly. “She’s better than all the women I fucked combined,” I say grinning. “Ouch!” she says smiling. “That’s harsh.” “You asked for it. I state it as I see it, Elena.”

“Well, since you have such a high regard for her Christian, and that you’re in love with her,” she says and I open my mouth to protest again. She holds her hand up to say her peace. “Look, you’d be the last to know, but I can see that you are in love with her. I have never, EVER, seen you this way! If you have even a prayer of having your relationship in the context you want working the way it should, you have to go to her. Fly out there! See your woman if you’re missing her so much. Apparently she told you she’s missing you, too. If she feels the same for you, she wouldn’t be bothered seeing you even if she says she needs the distance. Unless, of course she has someone or something else other than the motive she stated. Go to her. Get to your woman Christian!” she says. All of a sudden I feel the desire burning deep to see Anastasia. I’ve missed her, and I don’t know if I can stay away three days without this burning desire consuming me whole. “I want to give her the space she needs, so she can think clearly. But, I do wish to see her,” I say longing. “Oh, baby, I can see the longing in your eyes for her. She might in fact be freaked out, but how will you find out what she’s up to,” she says, and I swear I hear her murmur, “or whom she’s on top of,” but it’s such a slight voice, I’m not sure if I heard her or imagined it. I narrow my gaze, but she gives nothing away, and sips away her wine. "I assume you are pursuing her to be your Sub still, right? Don't tell me, after all these years, you are changing your ways to be with a virgin who knows practically nothing about sex. If that's the case, I hate to tell you but you are in for a disappointment, and I hate to see you that way Christian. You know what works for you! You know what benefited you, and provided you the proper release that you craved. You need to find out if those are things that she can provide for you." "I still want her as my Sub, but I am willing to be 'more', and give her 'more'. That's what she wants. We are learning to compromise to each other's wants and needs," I say. "If it's important for her, it's important for me," I simply state, and Elena looks at me gaping as if I said that I decided to become a celibate monk moving to Tibet living in seclusion of the Himalayas. For the first time during the course of our dinner, she's speechless.

As determination floods me to go to Georgia to be with my woman, my Blackberry buzzes, and its Anastasia. I open my message and hastily and excitedly check her message. _____________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Suitable Dinner Companions Date: May 31 2011 23:57 EST To: Christian Grey I sure hope that you and your friend had a very pleasant dinner. Ana PS: Was it Mrs. Robinson? _____________________________________________ Knowing that Anastasia only sees red when Elena is the subject matter, I decide to respond her when I leave, or perhaps none at all until I get to Georgia. I don’t want to alert Elena of our private conversations; neither do I want to kindle Anastasia’s fire. I safely tuck my Blackberry into my jacket’s pocket. “What is it?” asks Elena. “Nothing,” I say smiling. “Do you know what Anastasia calls you?” “No,” she says a little apprehensively. “Nothing bad or undeserving I hope,” she replies. “No. Your nickname is ‘Mrs. Robinson’, “ I say. She smiles at that. “Mrs. Robinson,” she says, trying it for size. “She must be really special for you Christian. Because she’s the only Sub that you’ve talked about me, or what we’ve had before among any of your subs. Though, obviously subs come and go...” she says her sentence hanging in the air. “Yes, subs may come and go, but Anastasia stays!” I say firmly. Elena has a sad smile on her face which is quickly replaced by a compassionate look. “Go to her,” she says taking a large gulp of her wine. “I intend to,” I say. “She’s mine!” She looks at me impassively for a minute. “Indeed. If she’s trying to reassess her feelings as you say she is doing, she might get scared and run away. But, if she desires you as much as you desire her, she might be happy to see you as well. You would never know until you try, Christian,” she states.

"Are you coming to my parents' fundraiser next week?" I ask her questioning and changing the topic. If she is coming, I'd like to persuade her to stay at home, because I don't want Anastasia to be upset if she's there. "I am donating a pass for two for the day. Did you want me to come? I was intending to," she says speculatively. "I would rather you didn't. I don't want to make Anastasia uncomfortable," I say. "Oh," she says taking another large gulp of her wine. "In that case, I won't come," she says nodding which relieves me. "I'm a bit hurt Christian," she says smiling. "We've been more than friends for years, and you're giving precedence to a sub you've met only three weeks ago. I was hoping you value our relationship more," she states. "Elena, I will shy away from anything that might damage what I have with her. I have to find out, and see it through. Right now, I will not cross your and her paths. You have a different place for me. You're my friend. The only friend it seems. But, she's my 'more', or the one I want to have 'more' with. Please give me the courtesy to make this work," I ask her. "Christian, of course! I want you to be happy. In fact, seeing you happy pleases me. I hope she knows what she has in her hands. My only concern is for you dear! You're a good man, and my best friend too! I value you, and our relationship so much, that I wouldn't want anything or anyone jeopardizing it. You won't let it, will you?" I look at her pointedly. "You're my friend Elena, and I will value our friendship as long as it doesn't hurt what I have with Anastasia. I hope you respect that. We have a shared history, a past. I care for you in my own way. So, what we have remains, but, I want you to give her the space as she clearly dislikes you, and don't interfere with my relationship with her. As long as you get that, we have no problems," I state. She nods. ***** By the time I leave the restaurant, it’s about 9:30 and I have made my decision to go to Georgia. After the valet drives my car up, I stay in it for a few minutes to text Anastasia back. But, wanting to surprise her overcomes my urge, and I stop myself.

I want her to know that I have no sexual interest in Elena, and that my mind is only focused on Anastasia alone. I only want her and desire her. No one else! I miss her. I really miss her... But, I want my visit to be a surprise for her...hopefully a surprise that won’t scare the life out of her. I put my phone on the cradle to activate the Bluetooth. I dial Taylor. “Yes, sir,” is his answering greeting. “Taylor, I want you to call my pilot for the jet. Have him and the co-pilot on the standby. By the time I get home, I want you to make a reservation at a hotel in Savannah. We’re going to Georgia tonight,” I order. I swear I almost hear a sigh of relief from Taylor. “Yes, sir!” he says a little too enthusiastically. We hang up. “Baby, you want more. I’m ready, willing, and able to give you more,” I say to Anastasia as if she's in my presence. I just hope what I offer is enough for her. ***** When I get to Escala, Taylor already packed a bag for me, and he got the pilot and the co-pilot on standby. “We should be able to take off in four hours sir,” he says. “Four hours? It should not take four fucking hours to take off! The plane isn’t schedule to fly for another two days!“ I say exasperated. “I’m sorry sir. That’s the reason it’s going to take four hours. Because the pilot is out of town, and he’s driving back. I think it’d be best for everyone’s safety that we have our pilot or the co-pilot rested before they take off to fly clear across the country.” I give my pointed look at him, and sigh. “Alright! Four hours, and not one minute more!” I miss my woman with such an intensity that everything makes me mad - even the loyal employees. (←All I Want is You by U2) “Yes, sir. Allow me some time to make the hotel reservation,” he says. I nod. *****

By the time we take off, it’s nearly 4:00 a.m. the next day. I am unable to sleep, but I try to occupy myself reading the long winded e-mail Anastasia sent me. I’ve memorized most of it, but I find myself reading it over and over again. I try to keep myself busy by reading some business reports as well, but I’m still nervous. I see Taylor eyeing me, but says nothing, his face impassive. By the time we land in Savannah, it is 3:00 p.m. local time. We have an SUV on the standby at the airport, and it whisks us to our hotel. Taylor reserved a suite for me as usual, and it’s one of the best hotels in Savannah. I’m excited with the prospect of seeing Anastasia, and my excitement is palpable for being in the same town as my woman. The thought of possibility of seeing her changes my mood, and I’m much happier, and less of an ogre. I know where Anastasia’s mother lives. Mrs. Carla Adams married to Robert, a.k.a. Bob Adams. In fact, I know everything about Anastasia, down to her kindergarten teacher. I intend to rest today, and maybe take a look at some land for investment purposes. If Anastasia is going to be coming here, I might have legitimate reason to come back with her when she’s visiting her mother here. After checking into the hotel, I go to my suite, and take a long shower. The weather is hot and humid and sticky here. I have the gripping desire to drive up and see my woman, but I don’t want to scare her. I’ll leave her alone today, and call her tomorrow and surprise her. I need to sleep, and rest a little, as I’ve gotten nearly no sleep last night during the flight. Though I have a small bedroom in my jet and I could sleep there comfortably, the thoughts of Anastasia and the excitement that I would be seeing her prevented me getting a wink of sleep. I’m thoroughly exhausted. But, I want to do something special for Anastasia, and show her that I’m willing to do “more” for her. I want her to participate in my second most favorite hobby – second because it got downgraded from the first position to second after I met Anastasia. Flying. I task Taylor with the arrangements. He’ll report to me once it’s scheduled. I finally go to sleep to take a short nap after having a late lunch. When I wake up again it’s nearly seven in the evening. I still have work to do, and since my routine is three hours behind the local time, I don’t want to disrupt my regular schedule. I have calls from Andrea and Ros. Business can’t wait, so I tend to work.

I take a shower, and put on my jeans and my white linen shirt on. I run my fingers through my hair which should subdue it for the time being. I make my way downstairs to the hotel’s restaurant. The waiter leads me to a quiet corner, and I order some wine first. I check the menu, and get sea bass, wild rice, and asparagus with hollandaise sauce and arugula salad. My mind keeps drifting back to Anastasia, and I’m excited but also apprehensive not knowing how she would react my presence in Savannah. She came here to get away from me after all, but she did say she wished I was here. So, here I am. As I am eating my dinner, I decide to send Anastasia’s last e-mail a response. I know how she feels about Elena, so, I want to soothe her apprehension about her. _____________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Dinner Companions Date: June 1 2011 21:41 EST To: Anastasia Steele Yes, I had dinner with Mrs. Robinson. She’s just an old friend Anastasia. I’m looking forward to seeing you again. I miss you. Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _____________________________________________ Just as I hit send on my Blackberry, I look up, and I see Anastasia sitting at the bar with her mother drinking a Cosmo. She never ceases to surprise me. It was I who wanted to surprise her tomorrow, and she surprised me by being here with her mother having a drink or two. Her mother leaves to go somewhere as she receives my message. Because I see her checking her Blackberry. Her face is flushed beet red with anger. She quickly types her response as I gaze at her from my table. _____________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: OLD Dinner Companions Date: May 31 2011 23:43 EST To: Christian Grey

Christian, you can’t make me believe that she’s just an old friend. Has she found another adolescent boy to sink her fangs into? Have you gotten too old for her? Was this the reason your relationship finished? _____________________________________________ Holy fuck! She’s madder than what her red face has shown, and her anger takes me by surprise. I never had to explain myself to anyone in the past nearly seven years. It’s both hot and unnerving. Part of it is because I know she’s jealous. But, I’m also unnerved because I like my autonomy. And I somehow love that about her. She’s being possessive of me. As I’m gazing at Anastasia while typing my response back to her, her mother returns to the bar, and sees Anastasia upset. A conversation goes between them, and Anastasia shakes her head. I watch them order another round of drink. It’s time to let her know I’m here. _____________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: careful... Date: June 1 2011 21:46 EST To: Anastasia Steele I do not wish to discuss this via e-mails. How many Cosmopolitans are you intending to drink tonight? Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _____________________________________________ As she receives my e-mail on her Blackberry, all color drains from her face. Her head snaps up and she looks around to locate me. It doesn’t take long for her to find me. Our eyes lock. She’s breathless? I move slowly through the crowd without taking my eyes off her. I’m nervous, mad, excited, happy, and tense. Here goes nothing. I’m looking at my woman gazing at me completely shocked. Our usual energy pulling us again, palpable. I haven’t laid eyes on her for a few days, and I’m nervous, and ready to take her in my arms. But I'm beyond nervous about her reaction. I reach to their table at the bar my gaze still fixed on my woman. “Hi,” she squeaks barely audible.

“Hi,” I respond, leaning down and kissing her cheek chastely though I want to do much more than that. I’ve missed her, and though relief floods me, I’m also nervous how she’ll receive me. I look at her as if eyeing a wild animal whose reaction might go either way. I feel the anger coming out of her pores, but her Southern charm takes over with the present company. I feel a momentary relief. I want her. God, do I want her! (← Baby, I Need Your Loving
by The Four Tops)

CHAPTER XXVI

As soon as Anastasia’s manners take over, she introduces me to her mother. “Christian, this is my mother Carla,” she says. I recognize her from the background check I've had conducted. I extend my hand and greet Anastasia’s mother. My eyes still on Anastasia. Show me something baby...something besides being mad. Meet me halfway please... (←Meet me on the Equinox by Death Cab for Cutie)

“Mrs. Adams, I am delighted to meet you,” I say smiling at her warmly. I can see where Anastasia got her beautiful eyes along with the shocked expression with a gaping mouth. I don’t intend to take any prisoners. Her mother looks dumbfounded, and speechless which is occasionally displayed by Miss Steele, though there’s also her smart mouth. Currently I don’t know which I like best –maybe both.

She finally utters, “Christian,” and shakes my hand. We smile at each other, and Anastasia narrows her eyes at both us, and then turns to me asking: “What are you doing here Christian?” She sounds brittle, and my heart falls to my feet as my smile disappears. I thought she wished I was here. My expression is guarded; she’s anxious, nervous, and excited maybe, but I fail to see too much of it with her other emotions passing through her face especially with our earlier bicker on the Blackberry about Elena. “I came to see you of course,” I say looking at her impassively, carefully guarding my anxiety. “I’m staying at this hotel,” I say by the way of explanation. “You’re staying here?” she says in a high pitched voice, almost squeaking, completely surprised. “Well, yesterday you said you wished I was here,” I say pausing, trying to get her reaction. Looking for an approval. I need her to be happy for me being here... to see her. I’ve missed her so much... Did she not miss me? “We aim to please, Miss Steele,” I say quietly, almost sadly, without a trace of humor. I flew clear across the country for her. To see her. To feel her presence. To get a glimpse of her affection...for me... Is it too much to ask? (← Love
Me Tender by Elvis Presley)

Her mother Carla is glancing at each of us anxiously trying to decipher the meaning of our cryptic conversation. “Won’t you join us for a drink Christian?” she asks as she waves for the waiter to take my order. The waiter shows up immediately. “I’ll have a gin and tonic. Hendricks if you have it and I like cucumber with it please. If you don’t have Hendricks, I’ll have Bombay Sapphire and I prefer lime with Bombay.” Anastasia looks at me gaping but recovers herself and turns to the waiter and says: “Two more Cosmos please,” then turns and looks at me anxiously. “Please pull up a chair Christian,” says Anastasia’s mother. “Thank you Mrs. Adams,” I reply politely and pull a chair and sit beside my woman. “So, you just happen to be staying in the hotel where we’re drinking?” Anastasia asks trying to keep her voice light by covering her anxiety.

“Or,” I rebuttal, “you just happen to be drinking in the hotel where I’m staying. In fact, I just finished dinner, came in here, and saw you,” I say, looking at her intently, trying to get a glimpse of welcome. “I was distracted thinking about your most recent e-mail, and I glance up and there you are. Quite a coincidence, eh?” I say cocking my head to one side with a small smile. I wanted to surprise her, but as ever, she surprised me by being here. “Oh,” she says. “My mother and I were shopping this morning and we went to the beach this afternoon. We decided to have a few cocktails this evening,” she mutters telling me about her day’s activities. I notice the new green silk camisole she’s wearing which looks lovely on her. “Did you buy that top?” I ask nodding at her new camisole. “The color suits you,” I say also noticing the tan she has on her beautiful skin. “And you’ve caught some sun. You look lovely,” I say with longing to my woman. I am close enough to touch, and yet so far away. She flushes, and for once, she’s rendered speechless. “Well, I was going to pay you a visit tomorrow. But here you are,” I say finally unable to resist her proximity and I reach over to my woman taking her hand, I squeeze it gently running my thumb across her knuckles to and fro. The connection of our hands provides our usual jolt of electricity, the current that’s zapping between us. I haven’t laid eyes on her for nearly three days, and I’ve been missing her terribly. There’s nothing in my mind but to hold and love her, and right now, my body is heating, my desire is exploding and I want her to want me, too. Her breath hitches at our connection, and I think she’s feeling the electricity too. She blinks at me, and then smiles with her ever shy smile making me relax, and a smile plays on my lips as well. “I thought I’d surprise you, but as ever Anastasia, you surprise me by being here.” Anastasia anxiously turns to her mother who is glaring at me with scrutiny, wonder, amazement, questioning... Anastasia stares at her back with a silent conversation. But she doesn’t seem to decipher what Anastasia is trying to convey to her. I don’t want to make Anastasia uncomfortable, and I now feel I’m intruding her time with her mother. Though I’m beyond happy to see her, I might have to leave back to Seattle if she doesn’t want me here.

“I don’t want to interrupt the time you have with your mother. I’ll have a quick drink and then retire. I have work to do,” I say earnestly. Anastasia’s mother interjects immediately. “Christian, it’s lovely to meet you finally. Ana has spoken very fondly of you,” she gushes. This revelation makes me very giddy suddenly. So, she does have feelings for me. I smile at Carla. “Really?” I ask raising an eyebrow at Anastasia with an amused expression with the knowledge that she is fond of me. She flushes crimson. The waiter arrives with all the drinks proudly announcing that he had Hendricks. I thank him in response politely. Anastasia sips her Cosmo nervously. “How long are you in Georgia, Christian?” Anastasia’s mother asks. “Until Friday Mrs. Adams,” I respond. I was hoping to return with my woman in tow. I can’t do too much separation from her. I’m at my limit. “Will you have dinner with us tomorrow evening then? And please, call me Carla.” Her invitation delights me. It will give me a chance to get to know her family. In a way, I want to be invited into her life, introduced to her family as her boyfriend like I introduced her. It’s important to me; I want to show her relations that I’m the man she chose to be in her life, to be her boyfriend; in short, I want her acceptance, her approval as the main man – the only man in her life. “I’d be delighted, Carla,” I respond with genuine pleasure. “Excellent! If you two will excuse me, I need to visit the powder room,” she says by the way of giving us some privacy. As soon as she leaves the table, I turn to Anastasia. “So, you’re mad at me for having dinner with an old friend,” I ask with burning eyes, but wary of her reaction. I lift her hand to my lips and kiss each knuckle gently. I want her, and I desire no one else, but her. How could she doubt that? “Yes,” she responds with desire in her eyes, but still angry. The look she pulls is so damn hot. “Anastasia, our sexual relationship was over a long time ago,” I whisper. “I don’t want anyone else but you. Haven’t you worked that out yet baby?” I gaze at her with intensity willing her to understand. She blinks at me.

“I think of her as a child molester Christian,” she says making me blanche. I don’t think of Elena that way. “That’s very judgmental. It wasn’t like that,” I whisper completely shocked by her candor, automatically releasing her hand. “Oh?” she asks noticing my reaction. She fills all kinds of anger into that one simple word. “How was it then Christian?” she probes. I frown at her completely bewildered. For one thing, no one ever chastised me in a long time, except maybe for my mother on rare occasion, or Dr. Flynn whom I pay to probe me honestly. But this coming from Anastasia both incredibly hot, and exasperating. “She took advantage of a vulnerable fifteen year old by. If you had been a fifteen year old girl, and Mrs. Robinson was a Mr. Robinson, tempting you into a BDSM lifestyle, would that have been okay? What if it was Mia?” The thought is unwelcome making me gasp, and I scowl at Anastasia. “Ana, it wasn’t like that at all,” I say. She glares back at me. “Okay, it didn’t feel like that to me,” I say quietly. Because I was already fucked up going down to hell in a hand basket. What Elena introduced me may be bad for a normal adolescent, but I was on my way to personal destruction. Perhaps in the way of becoming what my birth mother had been. “She was a force for good. What I needed,” I say explaining in as few sentences as possible before her mother returns. “I don’t understand,” she says bewildered. How could she? She doesn’t have a fucked up past for which I’m thankful, because, honestly I don’t think I could have handled it. “Anastasia, your mother will be back shortly. I’m not comfortable talking about this now. Later maybe. If you don’t want me here, I have a plane on standby at Hilton Head. I can go,” I say. I can leave if I’m not wanted here. Maybe I made a mistake by coming here. Maybe she hasn’t missed me. Maybe she’s running away from me, really running away. The thought is unwelcome, but I have to be realistic. “No!” she gushes. “Don’t go. I don’t want you to go,” she says with genuine sincerity making relief flood through me. “Please... I’m thrilled you’re here. I’m just trying to make you understand. I’m angry that as soon as I left, you had dinner with her. Think about how you are

when I get anywhere near Jose. Jose is a good friend. I have never had a sexual relationship with him. Whereas you and her...” she says unable to complete her sentence, she trails off. It’s as if a light bulb flashes in my head. Of course! How could I be so stupid? She’s jealous! She’s jealous of Elena, of what we had. And this pleases me immensely. She’s such a green eyed goddess! I love it! “You’re jealous?” I ask, staring at her dumbfounded, and my eyes finally soften and warm. “Yes,” she replies confirming my suspicion. “And angry about what she did to you.” “Anastasia, she helped me. That’s all I’ll say about that. And as for your jealousy, put yourself in my shoes. I haven’t had to justify my actions to anyone in the last seven years. Not one person. I do as I wish Anastasia. I like my autonomy. I didn’t go and see Mrs. Robinson to upset you. I went because every now and then we have dinner. She’s a friend and a business partner,” I say. Oh shit! This revelation makes her eyes go wide. I warily assess her expression. The information is unwelcome. “Yes, we’re business partners. The sex is over between us. It has been for years,” I tell her. “Why did your relationship finish?” she asks. This is a long story, and a bitter one. My mouth narrows in exasperation as my eyes gleam with rising anxiety. “Her husband found out,” I say truthfully. She is shocked. I can see a myriad of emotions crossing her face. “Can we talk about this some other time, somewhere more private? I growl. “I don’t think you’ll ever convince me that she’s not some kind of pedophile,” she responds petulantly. “I don’t think of her that way. I never have. Now that’s enough!” I snap. Elena loved me in her own way, and she really was a force of good for me saving me from myself, from my destructive ways, and she cared for me in a way I couldn’t. I don’t want to hear her being put down here. Anastasia doesn’t understand it. How could she? She’s not been in my shoes. “Did you love her?” she asks through gritted teeth, beyond angry.

“How are you two getting on?” asks Anastasia’s mother having returned. Shit! She’s returned, and we didn’t even realize she got back with the intensity of our heated argument. Anastasia dons a fake smile on her face and we hastily lean back in our seats, both looking guilty of something. Carla looks at Anastasia questioning. “Fine, Mom,” she answers. I sip my drink watching Anastasia closely as we have left our discussion on a sour note. My expression is guarded, and I don’t want to leave her like that, but we don’t have privacy right now. Maybe we can sort this out tomorrow...if she still wants me that is. Anastasia looks weary, upset. “Well ladies, I shall leave you to your evening,” I say getting up to leave, still longing for Anastasia. (← When Will I See You Again by The Three Degrees) “Please put these drinks on my tab, room number 612,” I say just in case she wants to come and visit me. A man can hope... and I hope she does come...tonight. “I’ll call on you in the morning Anastasia. Until tomorrow Carla.” I say. “Oh, it’s so nice to hear someone use your full name,” says Carla happily approving. “Beautiful name for a beautiful girl,” I murmur as I shake Carla’s extended hand. Anastasia’s narrows her eyes on her mother as if she’s disapproving her friendly demeanor. I turn and kiss Anastasia’s cheeks chastely. “Laters baby,” I whisper to her ear. As I walk back to my suite, I realize how much I missed her, and her reaction to me. Angry, jealous, desirous, shocked, surprised, and something else. Only Anastasia can pack that many emotions into one look. I’m worried that her prejudices about Elena might hinder our relationship, but they shouldn’t. She has nothing to worry about Elena; what we had is old news. She’s just a good friend now; a friend I care about. I enter into my suite, and get to my laptop. I need to get through a lot of work. My Blackberry buzzes. I am hoping its Anastasia, but I frown when I see that it’s Ros. “Grey’s here,” I answer. “Mr. Grey, it’s Ros, sir,” she says. “What’s up?” I ask curtly.

“Couple of things. I’ve crunched the numbers for the deadbeat company we’re carrying, and our finance department agrees that it will take at least two years for the company to come up to par granted that the economy goes up, and as you know that isn’t happening in a foreseeable future. So, next best option is to liquidate, and we’re going to have to provide redundancy packages,” she says. There is a knock on my door. I haven’t ordered room service, but maybe it’s Taylor. I open the door, and to my utter shock and surprise, I see Anastasia standing before my door. I blink at her trying to make sure it’s her I’m seeing, then I open the door wide open and beckon her into my room. I go back to my conversation on the phone with Ros while my gaze still on Anastasia. “So all the redundancy packages concluded?” I ask. “Yes, as of today, Sir,” she replies. “And the cost?” I ask. “The preliminary number is in tens of millions of Dollars, Sir,” she replies in a weak voice. I whistle between my teeth. “Sheesh... that was one expensive mistake...” I say. “Indeed sir. We had no way of foreseeing it. It wasn’t as evident that the economy would take a nose dive quite so fast,” she replies. “And Lucas?” I ask. “He’s doing the final cost assessments sir,” she responds. Anastasia is standing in the middle of the suite taking in the ultramodern furnishings in dark purple and gold. I walk over to the minibar, and point to her that she should help herself with a drink. Then I walk into my suite. Since she’s here, I’m hoping she intends to stay. As I’m discussing the liquidation of a company I own, I go to the bathroom and fill the bathtub while adding bath oil and salt, and letting it lather while lighting candles. “The other issue I wanted to discuss is the clean energy cell phone we’re developing... The one you had a problem with some of the schematics. The engineers came up with the new schematics...” she says. “Yes, have Andrea send me the schematics. Barney said he’d cracked the problem...”

After lighting the candles, and filling the bath, I get back to the spacious living room of my suite. Anastasia has helped herself to an orange juice. “Yes sir. It’s one good news. You could check them over, but you’re out of town. Although, if you were in town, it could have been cracked a lot faster, knowing your effect on the engineering team. You can be quite persuasive,” she says laughing. “Will you be gone for the entire week sir?” I laugh in response. “No, I’m returning Friday...” I say. “Great! What took you to Georgia? It’s not exactly a vacation place...” “There’s a plot of land here that I’m interested in...” I respond. “I see. As for the numbers we’ve crunched for the liquidation... When would you like to discuss them in detail?” she asks. “Yeah, about that, get Bill to call me...” “I’ll have him call you after I hang up,” she responds. “No, not today, tomorrow,” I say. “Yes, sir. Do you think Georgia has potential for us?” “I’ll find out. I just want to see what this state will offer if we decide to move in,” I say to Ros while my eyes are fixated on Anastasia. I hand her a glass and point to the ice bucket. “I'm curious to see what you find out,” she says. “If their incentives are attractive enough, I think we should consider moving in, although I’m not quite sure about the damn heat here...” I say. “What about Detroit? It doesn’t have the same heat, and the state is trying to attract businesses with a large number of qualified and trained employees who are in need of a job. It could be a more attractive place from the business vantage,” she says. “I agree Detroit has its advantages as well, and it’s much cooler...” “Bill knows about Detroit much better than I do, and he has a lot more connections there.” “Yeah, get Bill to call... tomorrow and not too early,” I say. “Yes, sir,” she says and I hang up.

My gaze is still fixed on Anastasia. I say nothing; just give her a curious stare. She gets my point, and decides to talk. “You didn’t answer my question,” she murmurs. “No. I didn’t,” say quietly, as my eyes go wide, and cautious to not to scare her. “No, you didn’t answer my question, or no you didn’t love her?” she probes more. For some reason, I love it that she’s jealous. It turns me on. I skirt her question around while trying to suppress my smile as I fold my arms and lean against the wall. “What are you doing here Anastasia?” I ask. “I’ve just told you,” she says. I want to be honest to her at all times, so I take a deep breath and answer her. “No. I didn’t love her,” I frown at her, both amused and puzzled. The relief that washes over her is evident. She sags like the weight of the world lifted off of her indicating the depth of her feelings for me. God! I just want to take her, right here, right now! “You are quite the green-eyed goddess Anastasia. Who would have thought?” I say. “Are you making fun of me Mr. Grey?” she stares at me pointedly with her intense eyes. “I wouldn’t dare,” I say shaking my head solemnly, but I have a hard time hiding the gleam from my eyes. My heart leaps and says, ‘that’s my woman!’ “Oh, I think you would, and I think you do... often,” she say giving me back my words, making me smirk. When she sees my response, her lips goes between her teeth automatically. My eyes darken with desire for her. “Please stop biting your lip. You’re in my room, I haven’t set eyes on your for nearly three days, and I’ve flown a long way to see you,” I say in a sensual tone. Does she not realize how much I’ve missed her? I want to constantly be in her, on her, all over her when she’s in my vicinity. Does she not realize how this separation affected me? I’m about to combust here! My Blackberry buzzes, but right now, I don’t give a fuck if the world is going to hell in a hand basket. I switch it off without checking who the caller is. Her breath hitches with the change in my demeanor, as I don my ‘I want my woman now’ predatory look. “I want you Anastasia. Now. And you want me. That’s why you’re here,” I state the facts. “I really did want to know,” she whispers defensively. But I cut to the chase.

“Now that you do, are you coming or going?” (← Be My Baby by Ronettes) I ask my gaze is full of salacious desire for her. “Coming,” she murmurs, staring at me anxiously. “Oh, I hope so,” I say closing up the gap between us. I gaze down at her. “You were so mad at me,” I breathe. “Yes,” she responds. “I don’t remember anyone but my family ever being mad at me. I like it,” I say with nothing but truth and desire in my voice. I run my fingertips down her cheek. She inhales my scent, turning me on further. All I can think of is this attraction between us. My body pulls to hers, wanting to merge. Desire pools in my eyes, with my touch... I bend down and run my nose along her shoulder and up to the base of her ear as my fingers slip into her soft hair. She closes her eyes and automatically leans in to my touch. Trying to curb her desire for me. “We should talk,” she whispers. “Later,” I respond. “There’s so much I want to say,” she murmurs. “Me too.” I plant a soft kiss under her earlobe as my fingers tighten in her hair. I pull her head back, and expose her throat to my relentless kisses. I skim her chin with my teeth and kiss her throat. My desire is overflowing, and I am unable to contain myself any further. “I want you,” I breathe making her moan, and she reaches up and grasps my arms. She should be on her period now given her timeline which means I don’t have to wear a condom. “Are you bleeding?” I ask as I continue to kiss her. She turns crimson with embarrassment. “Yes,” she whispers. “Do you have cramps?” I ask. Baby, if you don’t, there is nothing that could stop me from having you here! “No,” she answers barely audible, flushing even further. I stop and look down at her.

“Did you take your pill?” “Yes,” she says. She’s ready to hide in a hole in the ground if that was at all possible. She’s completely mortified, but I want her to be comfortable around me in every way possible. Without any barriers. “Then let’s go and have a bath,” I say pulling her by the hand and leading her into the bedroom. She barely glances around the large king size bed, but I pull her into the bathroom which is sporting aquamarine and white limestone making an elegant statement which I could give a fuck at the moment... There is a sunken bath that is quite large. Steam is rising above the foam. She glances at the flickering candles I lighted earlier. “Do you have a hair tie?” I ask her. She blinks at me, but fishes into her jeans’ pocket and pulls out a hair scunci. “Put your hair up,” I order her softly. She does as she’s asked breathing anxiously. The bath has filled up already, and I turn the faucet off. I lead her back to the first part of the bathroom and stand behind her as we face the wall size mirror above the elegant glass sinks. “Lift your arms up,” I breathe into her ear. She does as she’s told, and I lift her silk green camisole over her head, and she stands before me topless. My eyes haven’t left hers for a second. I reach and undo the top button of her jeans, and zip it down. “I’m going to have you in the bathroom Anastasia,” I breathe. I lean down and kiss her neck. She tilts her head to one side allowing me more access to her flesh. I hook my thumbs into her jeans, and slowly and sensually slide them down. I sink down behind her and pull them and her panties to the floor. “Step out of your jeans.” She does as she’s told while holding onto the edge of the sink. She’s standing before me, before the mirror naked. She stares at herself her eyes wide as I’m kneeled behind her. I kiss and then softly bite her behind; she gasps with pleasure. I stand and stare at her in the mirror. She’s shy of her look, and somehow she tries to cover herself and avoid looking at herself in the mirror. I don’t want her to think that she’s unsightly, or that she has something to be embarrassed of. She’s barely able to stand still. I splay my hand across her belly, claiming her for myself.

“Look at you. You are so beautiful,” I murmur. “See how you feel,” I say as I clasp both her hands into mine. I put my fingers between hers so that her fingers remain splayed as I place her hands on her belly. I want her to get rid of the insecurities she has about her body. See herself the way I see her. Be confident... “Feel how soft your skin is,” I say in a soft, low voice. Then I move her hands in a slow circle then move them upwards towards her breast. “Feel how full your breasts are,” I say with a gasp as I hold her hands cupping her breasts. I gently stroke her nipples with my thumbs over and over again making her moan as her lips part. She arches her back and her breast fill my palms. I squeeze her nipples between our combined thumbs, pulling gently as they elongate further. She groans with pleasure as her eyes remain shut. She’s writhing in front of the mirror, under our hands. “That’s right baby,” I murmur as I guide her hands down the sides of her body, to her waist, to her hips, and across her sex. I slide my legs between hers as I push her legs apart, widening her stance. I run her hands over her sex at a certain rhythm. I notice this wanton creature before me is my woman. “Look at you glow Anastasia,” I whisper as I trail kisses and soft bites along her shoulder. She groans, and I let go of her hands and move back. “Carry on,” I order, watching her in amusement. She rubs herself but stops, lost, unable to continue, longing for me which fuels my desire for her further. I pull my shirt over my head, and hastily take off my jeans. “You’d rather I do this?” I say with scorching eyes meeting hers in the mirror. “Oh yes, please,” she begs. I wrap my arms around her and take her hands again, and we continue our sensual journey over her sex and clitoris. My erection is on her, and my body is flush with hers. I bite the nape of her neck and she closes her eyes to absorb all the myriad of sensations on her body. I stop abruptly and spin her around as I’m circling her wrists with one hand, and I clasp her hands behind her and with my other hand, I pull her ponytail. We are flush against each other, and I kiss her wildly ravaging her lips, her mouth, her tongue as I hold her in place. Both of our breathing is ragged.

“When did you start your period Anastasia?” I ask her trying to assess whether I would need a condom or not; and I’m hoping I don’t. “Uhm... Yesterday,” she mumbles confused. “Good,” I say, and turn her around. “Lean down and hold onto the sink baby,” I order and pull her hips back as she’s bending down. I reach down and pull the string of her tampon gently out, and toss it into the toilet. That’s all the patience I have before I can claim my woman, and I am inside her in an instant, skin against skin for the first time. I savor this, and move easily, slowly, pushing her. Then I set out a punishing rhythm. She’s gripping onto the sink, panting, and matching my thrusts with pushes of her own. I lean down and reach around and locate her clitoris massaging it. I feel her getting close to her peak. “That’s right baby,” I rasp as I grind into her, gyrating my hips, and we reach our ecstasy, our peak together, loud, and I hold and clasp her tightly, and I come as I call onto her like a litany. “Oh, Ana!” I breathe into her ear, realizing that I can never get enough of her. “Oh, baby, will I ever get enough of you?” I whisper. She sighs in pleasure. Together we sink to the floor, and I wrap my arms around her, encasing her in the captivity of my torso and arms. We’re lost in each other. "I’m bleeding,” she murmurs. “Doesn’t bother me,” I breathe, but realize that it might bother her. “I noticed,” she says dryly, and I tense that she may not have liked the idea. “Did it bother you?” I ask softly. “No, not at all,” she responds, and I smirk in response. “Good, let’s have a bath,” I say as I uncurl from around her. As she stares at me from our proximity, her expression changes. What just happened? I’m alarmed at the expression. “What’s wrong?” I ask with alarm lacing my voice. “Your scars,” she whispers. Oh shit! “They’re not from chicken pox,” she says.

I don’t want to recall why I have the scars, or explain how I was abused by my birth mother’s pimp; how he put out his cigarettes on my body. It takes me to an unsteady place, a dark place in my past; a place I don’t want to be in right now. I shut down. That’s the only defense mechanism I have for a past I have no way of controlling or taking charge of. I frown and my face darkens as my mouth presses into a thin hard line. “No, they’re not,” I snap at her without elaborating further. I stand and hold my hand out for her, and haul her to her feet. Her gaze has something different. Pity, worry, anxiety... “Don’t look at me like that,” I say in a cold, scolding voice, and I let go of her hand. She flushes, castigated. She looks down at her hands. “Did she do that?” she whispers. I say nothing because I’m angry. She looks up at me. I glare back at her. “She? Mrs. Robinson, you mean?” I say shaking my head. Why does she have to think the worst about Elena? “Anastasia, she’s not an animal! Of course she didn’t do those. I don’t understand why you feel the need to demonize her,” I say exasperated. Both of us are standing in the bathroom, naked, nowhere to go, and anywhere to hide. She finally says nothing, takes a deep breath, and moves past me, then steps into the water. She slowly lowers herself into the bubbles. After what seems like an eternity, she decides to talk. “I just wonder what you would be like if you hadn’t met her. If she hadn’t introduced you to your...umm, lifestyle,” she whispers. I vowed to always be honest with her, so I sigh, and step into the bathtub opposite to Anastasia. My jaw is still clenched with nerves, and tension, my eyes are cold. I’m also submerged into the water, and I am so angry, I don’t touch her. After staring at her impassively, I say nothing. But neither does she. We stare each other, neither one willing to back down. I don’t want to fight with her over Elena or anyone. I finally shake my head, and then smirk, and decide that honesty is the best policy. “I would probably have gone the way of my birth mother had it not been for Mrs. Robinson,” I say. I give the credit where it’s due, though her ways might have been fucked up. Anastasia looks up at me puzzled, questioning.

“She loved me in a way I found...” I rack my brain for the right word. “...acceptable,” I say and shrug. “Acceptable? How? What do you mean acceptable?” she whispers. “Yes, acceptable,” I say staring at her fixedly. “She distracted me from the destructive path I found myself following. It’s very hard to grow up in a perfect family when you yourself aren’t perfect,” I say. She tries to digest everything I divulged to her. “Does she still love you?” she breathes, her gaze wary. “I don’t think so, not like that,” I say frowning. I don’t want Anastasia to feel insecure because of Elena. “Anastasia, I keep telling you that it was a very long time ago. It’s in the past. I couldn’t change it even if I wanted to, which I don’t. She saved me from myself,” I say truthfully. “This is a subject I’ve never discussed with anyone,” I say, and then I remember the exception to this rule. “Except of course Dr. Flynn. And the only reason I’m talking to you about this now is because I want you to trust me,” I explain. “I do trust you, but I want to know you better, and whenever I try to talk to you, you distract me. There’s so much I want to know about you,” she says frustrating me further. “Oh, for God’s sake Anastasia! What do you want to know? What do I have to do?” I say with frustration my eyes blazing. I’m barely containing my temper. I feel like I’m under the Spanish Inquisition. She worries, and lowers her gaze to her hands. “I’m just trying to understand you Christian,” she whispers, “You’re such an enigma. Unlike anyone I’ve met before. But, I’m also glad you’re telling me what I want to know.” I hate us fighting. I love us fighting. It’s such an enigma, refreshing. It gets my blood boiling; it gives me a different kind of energy. But right now, my gaze is wary. She looks up at me, and whispers, “Please don’t be angry with me.” “I’m not angry with you Anastasia. I’m just not used to this kind of talking, this probing. I only go through this with Dr. Flynn, and with...” I say and stop. I don’t want to mention Elena again who is the main reason of my mood going sour here. “With her. Mrs. Robinson. You talk to her?” she prompts, barely containing her own temper.

“Yes, I do,” I respond, matching her gaze. “What about?” she probes further. I finally shift in the bathtub to face her as water laps over the tub, and onto the floor. “Persistent, aren’t you?” I murmur, a bit irritated. I sigh. “We talk about life, the universe, business. Anastasia, Mrs. R and I go way back. We can discuss anything.” I say. “Me?” she whispers. “Yes,” I say watching her warily. She bites her bottom lip. She looks angry. “Why do you talk about me?” she asks me petulantly. “Because I’ve never met anyone like you Anastasia,” I say. “I don’t know what that means. What does it mean Christian? Anyone who just didn’t automatically sign your paperwork, no questions asked?” she asks. I shake my head. She’s persistent if anything. “I need advice,” I say softly. “And you take advice from Mrs. Pedo?” she snaps making me further angry. “Anastasia, that’s enough!” I snap back with narrowing eyes. “Or, “I’ll put you across my knee. I have no sexual or romantic interest in her whatsoever. She’s a dear, valued friend and a business partner. That’s all. We have a past, a shared history which was monumentally beneficial for me, though it fucked up her marriage. But that side of our relationship has been over a long time ago.” The information I’ve shared with her widens her eyes. “And your parents never found out?” she asks. “No,” I growl. How could she be so stupid? “I’ve told you this.” I say barely containing my anger before snapping. “Are you done?” “For now,” she says. I take a deep breath, visibly relaxing as if an enormous load has been lifted off my shoulders. “Right... my turn,” I mutter and glare at her speculatively. “You haven’t responded to my e-mail.” She flushes, and shakes her head. “I was going to respond, but now you’re here,” she says in such a way making me worry.

“You’d rather I wasn’t?” I breathe with an impassive expression, with a feeling nothing but. “No, I’m pleased,” she murmurs. “Good,” I smile with relief. “I’m pleased I’m here too, in spite of your interrogation. So, while its acceptable for you to grill me, you think you can claim some kind of diplomatic immunity just because I’ve flown all this way to see you? I’m not buying it Miss Steele. I want to know how you feel,” I say. “I told you. I’m pleased you’re here. Thank you for coming all this way,” she says feebly. “It’s my pleasure, Miss Steele,” I say completely relieved, and lean down and kiss her gently. She responds automatically. But I pull back. If she puts me through the inquisition, I can reciprocate a little in kind. “No. I think I want some answers first before we do any more,” I say. She sighs, just like I did. Resigned to the inquisition. “What do you want to know?” she asks. “Well, for starters, how do you feel about our would-be arrangement?” She blinks. “I don’t think I can do it for an extended period of time. A whole weekend being someone I’m not,” she says flushing and stares back down at her hands. I tip her chin up, and smirk at her amused. “No, I don’t think you could either,” I say. She looks affronted. “Are you laughing at me?” she asks narrowing her eyes. “Yes, but in a good way,” I say with a small smile playing on my lips. Then I lean down and kiss her, softly, briefly. “You’re not a great submissive,” I breathe as I hold her chin up, with humor in my gaze. She stares at me first shocked, then she bursts out laughing, and I start laughing with her. “Maybe I don’t have a good teacher,” she says making me snort. “Maybe. But perhaps I should be stricter with you,” I say cocking my head to one side, smiling at her. She swallows visibly. I do care about her. A lot. I have deeper feelings for her. What would she say if she knew the thought of not having her scares the life out of me... I stare at her trying to gauge her reaction.

“Was it that bad when I spanked you? The first time I mean...” She gazes back at me blinking. Takes a deep breath. “No, not really,” she whispers. “It’s more the idea of it?” I prompt. “I suppose. Feeling pleasure, when one isn’t supposed to.” “I remember feeling the same. Takes a while to get your head around it.” She gazes at me wordlessly. “You can always safe-word, Anastasia. Don’t forget that. And, as long as you follow the rules, which fulfill a deep need in me for control and to keep you safe, then perhaps we can find a way forward,” I say. “Why do you need to control me?” she asks. “Because it satisfies a need in me that wasn’t met in my formative years,” I say. “So, it’s a form of therapy for you?” she asks trying to get her head around my fuckeduppedness. “I haven’t thought about it that way, but yes, I suppose it is,” I respond. “But, here’s the thing Christian... One moment you say ‘don’t defy me,’ the next you say you like to be challenged. That’s a very fine line to tread successfully.” I gaze at her for a moment frowning. She’s been doing a great job so far. “I can see that. But you seem to be doing fine so far,” I respond. “But at what personal cost? I’m tied up knots in here,” she says pointing at her heart. “I like you tied up in knots,” I say smirking. “That’s not what I meant!” she says forcefully splashing me in exasperation. I gaze down at her, arching my eye brows. “Did you just splash me?” I ask. “Yes,” she responds. “Oh, Miss Steele,” I say grabbing her and pulling her onto my lap as I slosh water all over the floor. “I think we’ve done enough talking for now,” I say as I clasp her hands on either side of her head and kiss her deeply. I take complete possession of her mouth. (← Kiss of Fire by Georgia Gibbs) I angle her head to control her head. She moans against my lips in response. We may fight and argue with is both nerve wrecking and hot, but nothing tops this. We are a

complete match when it comes to possessing each other. Her fingers are tangled inside my hair, holding me onto her, and she’s kissing me back with a bigger fervor, and desire making me groan. I shift her, placing her astride me, kneeling over me as my erection towering under her, ready to love her, claim her, fuck her, complete her. I pull back and look at her with hooded eyes, lustful, desirous. She drops her hands to grab onto the edge of the bathtub, but I grab them, not knowing what she would do, pulling them behind her back. “I’m going to have you now,” I whisper and lift her so that she’s hovering over me. “Ready?” I breathe. “Yes,” she whispers, and I ease her onto me slowly, entering her, filling her, stretching her, becoming one. I flex my hips and she gasps, leaning forward, resting her forehead against mine. “Please let my hands go,” she whispers. “Don’t touch me,” I say pleading as I release her hands, I grab her hips. She clasps the bath ledge, and start moving up and down. Slowly. She opens her eyes and gazes at me. I watch her with my mouth slightly open, my breathing halted, stilted, as I capture my tongue between my teeth in pleasure. We’re in the bathtub, wet, slippery and moving against each other. She leans down and kisses me. I close my eyes in pleasure. Slowly, she brings her hands up to my head and runs her fingers through my hair as she tips my head back and deepens her kiss, riding me, faster, picking up a rhythm. She moans against my mouth. I hold her hips, enjoying this pleasure, kissing her back. We’re full of sensation, I feel I’m reaching my vortex, as our movements become more frantic... we are sloshing everywhere... “That’s right baby,” I breathe, and she comes with a passionate orgasm, and I reach mine fast and furious, crushing her on top of me, my arms wrapped around her back as I find my release. “Ana, baby!” I cry out. Her name is an invocation, a litany, a prayer on my lips. When we get out of the bathtub, we go back to the very large king bed; lie down staring at each other face to face, both hugging pillows. Both naked. Not touching. Just looking and admiring each other covered by the sheet.

“Do you want to sleep?” I ask her in a soft voice. I am concerned. I almost feel like these beautiful, serene, peaceful moments will be stolen from us. “No. I’m not tired,” she says. “What do you want to do?” I ask. “Talk,” she responds. Of course she does. I smile. “About what?” “Stuff.” “What sort of stuff?” “You,” she replies softly. “What about me?” “What’s your favorite movie?” Oh, that I can answer. “Today, it’s the Piano.” She grins back at me. “Of course, silly me. Such a sad, exciting piece, which no doubt you can play? So many accomplishments, Mr. Grey.” She mutters. “And the greatest one is you, Miss Steele,” I say with utter conviction. “So, I am number seventeen,” she says confusing me. “Seventeen?” “Number of women you’ve uhm... had sex with,” she says shyly. Oh, that! My lips quirk up, my eyes are alight with incredulity. “Not exactly.” She misunderstood me. I’ve had more than fifteen women. “You said fifteen,” she says confused. “I was referring to the number of women in my playroom. I thought that’s what you meant. You didn’t ask me how many women I’d had sex with,” I respond. “Oh,” she says gaping, her face falls. “Vanilla?” she asks. “No. You are my one vanilla conquest,” I shake my head, still grinning at her. “Unfortunately, I can’t give you a number. I didn’t put notches on a bedpost or anything,” I respond. “What are we talking about – tens, hundreds...” she pauses, and her eyes grow wilder. “thousands?”

“Tens. We’re in the tens, for pity’s sake,” I soothe her. “All submissives?” “Yes.” “Stop grinning at me,” she scolds me mildly. I try to keep a straight face, but I miserably fail. “I can’t. You’re funny.” “Funny peculiar or funny ha ha?” she asks. “ A bit of both I think,” I say giving her words back to her. “That’s a damned cheek coming from you,” she chides me. I can’t help it, and lean across and kiss the tip of her nose. “This will shock you Anastasia. Ready?” I say. She nods with wide eyes and with a silly grin. “All submissives in training, when I was training. There are places in and around Seattle that one can go and practice. Learn to do what I do,” I say. She looks at me shocked. “Oh,” she gasps. “Yep, I’ve paid for sex, Anastasia.” “That’s nothing to be proud of,” she scolds me. “And you’re right... I’m deeply shocked. And cross that I can’t shock you.” “You wore my underwear,” I say contradicting her. “Did that shock you?” “Yes,” I respond honestly. “You didn’t wear your panties to meet my parents.” “Did that shock you?” “Yes.” “Well, it seems to be the only way I can shock you is in the underwear department.” “You told me you were a virgin. That’s the biggest shock I’ve ever had,” I say proving her wrong. “Yes, your face was a picture, a Kodak moment,” she says giggling. “You let me work yo over with a riding crop,” I confess.

“Did that shock you?” “Yep.” My answer makes her grin. “Well,” she sighs, “I may let you do it again.” “Oh, I do hope so, Miss Steele. This weekend?” I question. “Okay,” she agrees shyly. “Okay?” I ask shocked once again. “Yes. I’ll go to the Red Room of Pain again.” “You say my name.” “That shocks you?” she asks me surprised. “The fact that I like it shocks me.” “Christian,” she says making me grin. “I want to do something tomorrow,” I announce with excitement. “What?” she asks. “A surprise. For you,” I say softly. I want to demonstrate her that I can do ‘more’. She raises an eyebrow and stifles a yawn. “Am I boring you Miss Steele?” I ask sardonically. “Never,” she responds. I lean across and kiss her gently on her lips. “Sleep baby,” I command softly, and turn off the lights. I’m completely sated, and extremely serene for finally having to go to bed with my woman I’ve been missing for the past three days. (← Heaven by Bryan Adams)

CHAPTER XXVII

“Christian! I want the strawberry!” she says as she’s reaching to an unseen object. It’s her thrashing around that wakes me up. “I don’t want the cage!” she murmurs as her brows crease in her sleep. Seeping in city lights play an amazing magic on her face. I’m intrigued. “Don’t take it away Christian! I want that... Nooo!” she moans. I rub her hair to soothe her. I’m curious to know what she’s dreaming about. “Shhh!” I murmur softly. The crease in her brow softens, eases her face. “What? Don’t leave! I can’t!” she shudders in her sleep. “I love you! Don’t leave me! I’m scared...” (← I Melt with You by Nouvelle Vague) “Baby... I’m here. Shhh now...” I coax her. Rub her hair, trying to relax her. Her arm looks for me in the dark. I take it, wrap it around my neck. She sigh. It’s the sweetest sound. “I’d die!” her face crunches. “I’d die... Christian,” she murmurs barely audible. What? Why? “Don’t leave me...” she whispers in her sleep. "I just want more..." she mutters sadly.

It’s her fear that I’d leave her. How little she knows, that it’s my fear, too. If she just knew, I wouldn’t, I physically couldn’t leave her, that she has a direct line to my soul. “I’ll never...”she drifts off. “no, I won’t leave you,” she murmurs. I close my eyes and revel in the knowledge, the reassurance of her statement in her sleep. She said that before, but how I long to hear it when she’s awake. “I want that!” she extends the hand wrapped around my neck. “Shhh now... Relax baby,” I whisper in her ear. I rub her hair, slowly, purposefully. She eases and relaxes. Sighs. Her arms slowly go limp, motionless. I ease out of the bed. I can watch her forever like this. I go and get dressed in black for my surprise for her today. I let her sleep as much as possible, but for what I have in mind for her, I need to wake my baby up. “Anastasia,” I try to coax her out of sleep. “No,” she moans. “Come on now baby,” I say in a normal tone. “No. Let me touch you,” she groans. “Wake up,” I coax more. “No,” she mumbles as she flickers her eyes for a brief second. I nuzzle her ear as I whisper. “Wake up baby,” with a smile, and pleasure knowing she’s here with me in my arms. “Oh...no,” she groans, her face grimaces. “Time to get up baby. I’m going to turn the table lamp on,” I say quietly. “No,” she groans again. “I want to chase the dawn with you,” I say kissing her face, her eyelids, the tip of her nose, her mouth and she finally opens her yes. She squints a little as the soft light from the side table light touches her eyes. “Good morning beautiful” I murmur, and she groans making me smile. “You’re not a morning person,” I murmur. She squints and looks up at me leaning over her, smiling. I’m amused. “I thought you wanted sex,” she grumbles. What? Is that why she’s grumbling? Has sex been that bad with me that she feels she has to grumble?

“Anastasia, I always want sex with you. It’s heartwarming to know that you feel the same,” I say dryly, sarcastically. She gazes at me, but I am too amused to be deterred by her reaction. “Of course I do, just not when it’s so late,” she mumbles. “It’s not late, it’s early. Come on! Up you go. We’re going out. I’ll take a rain check on the sex.” “I was having such a nice dream,” she whines longing for something she’s lost. “Dream about what?” I ask my interest piqued. “You,” she blushes. Oh, that reaction grabs my interest. “What was I doing this time?” I ask. “Trying to feed me strawberries,” she says. I smile. I think I remember her saying that. “Dr. Flynn could have a field day with that. Up, and get dressed. Don’t bother to shower, we can do that later,” I say firmly. She sits up, and the sheets just fall to her waist revealing her naked body. My eyes darken with desire, and if I do what I want to do right now, we will miss our chance to catch the sunrise. So, I’ll have to rein in my desire. “What time is it?” she asks. “5:30 in the morning,” I reply. “Ohh,” she groans, “feels like 3:00 a.m.” “We don’t have much time. I tried to let you sleep as long as possible. Come.” “Can I just have a shower?” she asks. I sigh. “If you have a shower, I’ll want one with you, and you and I know what will happen then... Our day will just go. Come.” We can do that later. I’m completely excited with what I planned for us, what I want to share with her. This is going to be our ‘more.’ She smiles at me in return. “What are we doing?” she inquires. “It’s a surprise. I told you,” I say grinning at her. (← Come Fly with Me by Frank Sinatra) “Okay,” she responds and clambers off the bed, looking for her clothes. She locates them on the chair next to the bed. I have also put a pair of jersey boxer briefs for her. She sees the Ralph

Lauren label, and grins. She slips them on, and I grin in response. My second pair she has in her possession now. Somehow knowing something that was so intimately on me is now covering her makes me feel even more proprietor towards her. Since I made sure she’s up, and getting dressed, I say, “I’ll give you some room now that you’re up,” and leave the bedroom to go to the living room. Less than ten minutes later she emerges as I’m having my breakfast. “Eat,” I tell her. She doesn’t eat enough. She gapes at me. “Anastasia,” I say sternly, she looks like she’s going to negotiate. “I’ll have some tea. Can I take a croissant for later?” I look at her suspiciously and she gives me a sweet smile in response. “Don’t rain on my parade Anastasia,” I warn her. “I’ll eat later when my stomach’s woken up. About 7:30 a.m.... okay?” She looks at me sweetly, and expectantly.. A mischievous gleam comes to her eyes as my responding glare is on her. “I want to roll my eyes at you,” she says. “By all means, do, and you will make my day,” I say sternly. She gazes up at the ceiling as if she’s considering my threat. “Well,” she says contemplating seriously, “a spanking would wake me up, I suppose,” she says pursing her lips, weighing her options. My mouth hits the floor with her revelation! “On the other hand, I don’t want you to be all hot and bothered; the climate here is warm enough,” she says shrugging nonchalantly. I finally have enough sense to close my mouth, and try to look displeased, but clearly in Anastasia’s presence, I fail hopelessly. She is playful, and her remarks make my humor come to surface. “You are, as ever, challenging Miss Steele. Drink your tea,” I order her. She looks at the tea, and notices the Twinings label, and a huge grin covers her beautiful face. She sits across from me, and watch me for a while as she sips her tea. When I’m done with breakfast and she, with her tea, we leave the room. I toss her a sweatshirt. “You’ll need this,” I say, and she looks at me puzzled.

“Trust me,” I tell her grinning, and lean over and kiss her quickly on the lips, then grab her hand and we head out. It’s relatively cool outside, and pre-dawn lights are peaking from the eastern horizon. When we come in front of the hotel, the valet hands me a set of keys to a flashy sports car with a soft top. Anastasia turns to me and raises a questioning eye brow to which I respond with a smirk. “You know Anastasia, sometimes it’s great being me,” I say conspiratorially still grinning. How could I not? I’m here with the woman I desire, and have feelings for, and we’re doing ‘more’ together. She’s my hope; the one who lets me know that there’s more to life, helps me experience life to the fullest beyond what I had expected. I’m in a very good mood. I open the car door, and with an exaggerated bow, I let her climb in. Then, I go to the driver’s side, and sit. “Where are we going?” she asks. “You’ll see,” I tell her giving nothing away. I put the car in drive, and we head out on Savannah Parkway. I program the GPS, and switch on the iPod synced with the car’s stereo, and classical orchestral piece fills the car. “What is this?” she asks in a sweet voice curiously. It’s one of my favorite operas. “It’s from La Traviata. An opera by Verdi,” I respond. (←La Traviata by Pavarotti) “La Traviata? I’ve heard of that. I can’t think of where. What does it mean?” she asks. I glance at her quickly and smirk. “Well, literally, the woman led astray. It’s based on Alexander Dumas’s book, La Dame aux Camelias,” I say explaining. “Ah. I’ve read it,” she says. “I thought you might.” “The doomed courtesan,” she says squirming in her leather seat. “Hmm, it’s a depressing story,” she mutters. “Too depressing? Do you want to choose some music? This is on my iPod,” I say with a secret knowing smile. I tap the screen on the console between the two of us, and bring up the play list.

“You choose,” I tell her trying, but failing to hide a knowing smile. Her fingers tap, and go through the playlist. She scrolls down, and after finding what she wants, she presses play. Britney comes on with her club-mix, techno beat. I turn the volume down. It’s not a song I put on my iPod. It was Leila who put that song into the list. Britney croons in a sultry voice. “Toxic, eh?” I ask grinning. (←Toxic by Britney Spears) “I don’t know what you mean,” she feigns innocence. I turn the music down a little more. This isn’t a song I put on to my iPod. “I didn’t put that song on my iPod,” I tell Anastasia casually but truthfully, then put my foot down on the accelerator and I hide a small smile as she’s thrown back into her seat as we travel along the freeway. I watch her on my peripheral vision. She clenches her hands on her lap, I see her jaw moving, clenching; she's gritting her teeth, and her mood falls down as she looks out. Oh, no! She’s wondering who put the song on my iPod. Jealousy and curiosity is oozing out of her. As Britney croons ‘who... who?’ she looks even more forlorn. “It was Leila,” I answer her unspoken question. She turns to me and asks, “Leila?” “An ex, who put the song on my iPod,” I respond. She sits back in deep thought, and then asks me “One of the fifteen?” “Yes,” I respond. “What happened to her?” “We finished,” I reply. “Why?” I sigh. I want to be open with Anastasia; I want her to know that she’s special over any other woman I’ve had. “She wanted more,” I say in a low, introspective voice. The sentence hangs between us. Anastasia is the only one I ever entertained the idea of “more”. “And you didn’t?” she asks. I shake my head. “I never wanted more, until I met you,” I simply state. I want her to know that I want more too with her. I find myself desiring more, needing more, wanting more...but only with her. She takes what I say in.

“What happened to the other fourteen?” she asks. “You want the list? Divorced, beheaded, died?” I say in almost a mocking tone. “You’re not Henry VIII,” she says pouting. “Okay. In no particular order, I’ve only had long term relationships with four women, apart from Elena,” I state. “Elena?” she asks. “Mrs. Robinson to you,” I half smile. I remember Elena’s reaction to her nickname. Her face darkens with fear, jealousy, anger...I don’t know what else. “What happened to the four?” she asks shaking her head. “So inquisitive, so eager for information, Miss Steele,” I scold her playfully, but I’m in full disclosure mode right now. “Oh, Mr. When is your period due?” she scolds me back. “Anastasia, a man needs to know these things,” I say. I don’t want to knock her up. “Does he?” she retorts. “I do,” I say. “Why?” “Because I don’t want you to get pregnant,” I say exasperated. “Neither do I! Well, not for a few years yet,” she says taking me aback. She wants children? It’s too early to visit this scary topic. “So the other four, what happened?” she presses, and in light of the previous topic, this is one I can answer. “One met someone else. The other three wanted – more. I wasn’t in the market for more then,” I state. “And the others?” she presses further. God! She should work for me! She’s nothing if not persuasive. “Just didn’t work out,” I say. Nothing worked out to my heart’s desire until I met Anastasia. She glances out the car again. What is she thinking? “Where are we headed?" She asks, perplexed, gazing out at the I-95. “An airfield,” I respond.

“We’re not going back to Seattle are we?” she gasps alarmed. I laugh at her reaction. Of course not. I want to chase the dawn with her. “No Anastasia, we’re going to indulge in my second favorite pastime,” I reply. “Second?” she asks frowning? “Yep. I told you my favorite this morning,” I say and she glances at me, examining my expression. “Indulging in you Miss Steele. That’s got to be top of my list. Any way I can get you,” I say with all the fervor I have for her. “Well, that’s quite high up on my list of diverting, kinky priorities, too,” she mutters, blushing. “I’m pleased to hear it,” I mutter back at her dryly. “So, airfield?” she asks. I grin at her. We’re almost here anyway, so, it’d be alright to let her in the secret. “Soaring,” I say. She looks questioning. “We’re going to chase the dawn Anastasia,” I explain. I’m so elated because I’m going to share my second most favorite hobby with her, and that it’s our ‘more’. I can’t help but turn and grin at her. My GPS directs me to turn right, and we turn into an industrial complex. I pull outside of a large white building with a sign reading Brunswick Soaring Association. When I turn off the engine, I turn and ask her, “You’re up for this?” with a hopeful voice. “You’re flying?” “Yes,” I reply. “Yes please!” she says with excitement and without hesitation. I grin at her response and lean forward and kiss my woman. “Another first Miss Steele,” I say as I climb out of the car. She’s the first woman I’m taking to share my hobby. I walk around the car, and open her door. She walks out and takes my proffered hand. I head her round the building to find a stretch of tarmac where several planes are parked. Taylor is standing beside a man with a shaved head and wild eyes. Anastasia beams at Taylor and he smiles back at her kindly. Good, I don’t want others, not to mention my employees ogling my woman!

“Mr. Grey, this is your tow-pilot, Mr. Mark Benson,” he introduces the pilot. We shake hands, and talk about the wind speed, its direction, and other weather related conditions. “Hello Taylor,” I hear Anastasia murmuring shyly. “Miss Steele,” he responds her nodding. “Ana,” I hear him correcting himself. Then he leans in and whispers something I can’t hear. I narrow my eyes, but say nothing. “Anastasia,” I summon my woman. “Come,” I say as I hold my hand out. “See you later Taylor,” she says smiling, and he gives her a quick salute, and heads back to the parking lot. “Mr. Benson, this is my girlfriend, Anastasia Steele,” I introduce my woman to the pilot. “Pleased to meet you,” she murmurs and they shake hands. Benson is dazzled by Anastasia... God, who isn’t? And he smiles. “Likewise,” he says to her. Mark Benson leads the way on the tarmac toward the runway. “What are you towing us with today Mark?” “A Blanik sir,” he responds. “L13 or L23,” I ask. “You know your planes,” he says with a grin. “L23 sir,” he responds. “Any particular reason you prefer it over L13?” “You know that L13s have an excellent aerobatic characteristics sir. I mean they’re designed for dual elementary and aerobatic glider training. And of course, they’re great for soaring,” he says. “I’ve used L23s before,” I state as a matter of factly, feeling in my element. “I, too prefer them. For one thing, it’s an all metal, two seal self-supporting, high-winged glider. I’ve used it for my flight training, stunt and instrument flying. What are you towing us with,” I ask, and Mark beams from ear to ear. “I’ll be towing you in a Piper Pawnee,” he says. I cheerfully nod. I love airplanes, and I love flying. The fact that I’m getting to do that with my woman is like having a double orgasm and no sex is involved.

The plane is long, sleek and white with orange stripes. The long white cable is attached to the single propeller Piper. “First we need to strap on your parachute,” Mark says to Anastasia. “I’ll do that,” I interrupt him. The day someone else straps her into a harness is the day hell freezes over. Benson smiles amenably at me. “I’ll fetch some ballast,” Benson says, and heads towards the plane. “You like strapping me into things,” she observes dryly. “Miss Steele, you have no idea. Here, step into the straps,” I say and she does as she’s told. She places her arm on my shoulder. The touch makes me stiffen, but I don’t move. I want to get used her touches. Once her feet get into the loops, I pull the parachute up, and she places her arms through the shoulder straps. I quickly and efficiently fasten the harness, and tighten all the straps. “There, you’ll do,” I say mildly, I am anything but. The fact that she looks in that strapped parachute is so damn hot. If I wasn’t flying, I’d take her in the nearest private location. “Do you have your hair tie from yesterday?” I ask her. She nods. “You want me to put my hair up?” “Yes,” I respond. She quickly puts her hair up. “In you go,” I command her into the cockpit. She goes to climb in the back making me grin. “No, front. Pilot sits at the back,” I tell her. “But will you be able to see?” “I’ll see plenty,” I say grinning even wider. I’m incredibly happy to introduce her to my hobby, to something I enjoy immensely. The fact that she’s looking forward to it, and happy makes me elated. She clambers in, and settled down in the front seat. I lean over, and pull the harness over her shoulders, reach between her legs for the lower belt, and buckle it into the fastener resting against her belly. I then tighten the restraining straps. ‘Beyond hot’, I think to myself.

“Hmm... twice in one morning. I am a lucky man,” I whisper and kiss her quickly. “This won’t take long... twenty, thirty minutes at the most. Thermals aren’t as great at this time of the morning, but it’s so breathtaking up there at this hour. I hope you’re not nervous,” I say. “I’m excited,” she beams, completely happy, grinning ear to ear. “Good,” I say grinning back at her. I suddenly feel the urge to stroke her cheek, I stroke her cheeks gently, then move to my seat. I climb into the airplane behind her. Mark Benson comes back with his cheerful grin, he checks the straps on Anastasia, and then checks the cockpit floor. “Yep, that’s secure. First time?” he asks. “Yes,” Anastasia responds. “You’ll love it,” he says. “Thank you Mr. Benson,” she says politely. “Call me Mark,” he tells her. Then turns to me and asks, “Okay?” “Yep. Let’s go,” I say. I’m beyond happy to be flying with my woman, actually having to show her some of my skills in this department are quite exciting. Mark shots the cockpit lid, and walks over to the Piper and climbs in. When the Piper’s single propeller starts, we slowly taxi down the runway, and as the cable takes the strain, we suddenly jolt forward, and we’re off the ground. Mark talks to the tower, and Piper picks up speed and we behind it. Takes offs are usually a bit bumpy because these are small airplanes, and as the Piper gains enough speed and distance it’s airborne and so are we. “Here we go baby!” I shout behind Anastasia. We can hear the sound of the wind and the distant hum of the Piper’s engine. Below us we can see the freeway, the rising sun, and woods and homes in the sprawling city. An extraordinary dawn is coming above the horizon making everything even more beautiful. This is the ‘golden hour’ of the day, and the fact that I’m sharing it with my woman, my Anastasia makes it only more spectacular!

As we reach 3000 feet, Mark lets me know our altitude, and I say, “Release,” into the radio. Once the cable is released, the Piper disappears from our view, and we’re no longer being pulled, just soaring over Georgia. I bank the plane and turn and dip as we spiral toward the sun. We spiral and spiral into the morning light. This is magical. “Hold on tight!” I shout and we dip again but this time I don’t stop and we are upside down looking to the ground through the top of the cockpit canopy. Anastasia squeals loudly in delight, I see her arms going up and lashing forward, her hands splayed on the Perspex to stop herself from falling. Her reaction makes me laugh, and we’re both enjoying the moment, and laughing hard. I turn the plane around and we are right side up again. “I’m glad I didn’t have breakfast!” she shouts at me, and I agree. “Yes, in hindsight, it’s good you didn’t, because I’m going to do that again,” I say, and dip the plane once more until we are upside down, and she giggles and laughs hard. I get the place level once again. “Beautiful, isn’t it?” I call at Anastasia. “Yes,” she shouts back. It’s just me, Anastasia, the small confined space, the bubble of this plane, and the endless Georgia skies, and the early majestic morning light. If heaven exists, I’m in it right now. What more could I ask for? “See the joy stick in front of you? I shout at her. “Grab hold!” I want her to take control even for a little bit. “What? No!” She says scared. “Go on Anastasia. Grab it” I urge her vehemently. She finally grasps it. “Hold tight and keep it steady. See the middle dial in front? Keep the needle dead center,” I instruct her. She does as she’s told. She’s piloting the glider. “Good girl!” I encourage her delighted. “I am amazed you let me take control,” she shouts.

“You’d be amazed what I’d let you do, Miss Steele. Back to me now,” I say then take back the control of the airplane. What would she do if she knew the depth of my feelings for her? Would it scare her off? I have no experience in that, and the depth of my feelings I have for her scares me to my core; unfamiliarity of it, newness, and the fact that I've avoided extreme emotions all my adult life makes this experience unnerving as well as doubly enjoyable. After I take the control of the airplane back from Anastasia, we spiral down several feet, and then I get the plane ready for landing and initiating our descent. I radio the tower. “BMA, this is BG N Papa 3 Alpha, entering left downwind runway seven to the grass, BMA,” I say confidently. The tower gives me a go for landing. We sail around another wide circle, slowly approaching the ground. Both the airport and the landing strips are visible, and we descend flying back over I-95. Since the landing is approaching, I give Anastasia a warning: “Hang on baby. This can get bumpy.” I circle one more time and lower the plane, and we touch the ground with a brief thump, and we race along the grass until I bring the plane to a complete stop. The plane sways slightly and dips to the right. Once we’ve stopped, I open the cockpit lid, clamber outside and stretch my legs. Then I go back to my woman, and ask “How was that?” as happy as I can be, grinning like a teenage boy, and lean down and unbuckle her. “That was extraordinary. Thank you,” she whispers, quite happy. “Was it more?” I ask, hoping that it was. “Much more,” she breathes, and I realize I’m holding my breath and let go, and can’t help myself but grin at her response. “Come,” I hold out my hand for her, and she clambers out of the cockpit. As soon as her feet touch the ground, I grab her and hold her flush to my body. Suddenly my hands are in her hair, tugging it making her head tip back, and my other hand travels leisurely down to the base of her spine. I kiss her long and hard with all my passion, my tongue invading her mouth. My breathing increases, speeds up, and my fervor increases, and my erection is a tent trying to get out of my pants. I’m ready to take her between the aircraft and the Runway 3. Her response lets me know that she doesn’t care if I take her on the grass or

leaning on the airplane. Her hands twist in my hair, and we’re anchored to each other. She wants me, now, and that makes it harder for me to stop. I finally gain enough control to break away and gaze down at her. My eyes are dark with feral passion, full of raw carnal intent, and sensuality. She’s breathless as I am. “Breakfast,” I barely whisper, though I know, she’d be enough for me to have for breakfast, lunch and dinner combined. She gasps as if I said, “Sex. Here. On the Grass!” Why do I lose my reason with her and she with me? But I know that the 'why' doesn't even matter. I don’t ever want that to stop. I turn and clasp her hand as we head back toward the car. “What about the glider? She asks. “Someone will take care of that,” I say. They’ll need to tow it. “We’ll eat now,” I say. I want her, she wants me, but she needs food. “Come,” I smile. I’m beyond joyful. Who knew that ‘more’ would be much, much more with her? We walk like this; hand in hand both of us grinning like the Cheshire cat, like Christmas morning after receiving your favorite gift. It’s a perfect day! (←It’s a Beautiful Day by U2) Soon after I get my woman in the car, I make her buckle, and I slide into my own seat. I back out of the parking space, and head out to I-95 towards Savannah. Her phone rings on the way. She turns it off. “What’s that?” I ask her curiously glancing at her. Is someone calling her that she doesn’t want me to know? She fumbles in her purse. “Alarm for my pill,” she mutters as she flushes making me immediately happy. She cares. She’s following directions to take her pill. “Good, well done. I hate condoms,” I say, and she flushes even redder if that is at all possible. She turns and looks at me and murmurs, “I like that you introduced me to Mark as your girlfriend.” “Isn’t that what you are?” I say raising an eye brow. She is never going to be a great sub, but, then I want more with her. She’s my girlfriend. “Am I? I thought you wanted a submissive,” she retorts back.

“So did I, Anastasia, and I do. But I’ve told you, I want more, too,” I say, leaving her breathless. “I’m very happy that you want more,” she whispers. “We aim to please Miss Steele,” I say smirking as I pull into the IHOP parking lot. “IHOP?” she grins back at me as if I can’t ever eat at International House of Pancakes. I get out, and go to the passenger side of the car, and open her door. I proffer my hand and she takes it. It’s early, about 8:30 in the morning, and a bit quiet in the restaurant. You can smell the pancake batter and hash browns and cleaners they’ve used. I lead her to a booth to sit. “I would never have pictured you here,” she says as she slides in her seat. “My dad used to bring us to one of these whenever my mom went away to a medical conference. It was our secret,” I smile fondly at the memory. I pick up a menu, and skim over it. She’s looking at me with carnal appreciation, and I know what she wants; it is anything but food. “I know what I want,” I breathe at her my voice low and husky. She glances up at me, and I stare at her pointedly, directly speaking to her inner goddess. She gazes back at me as if to answer an unspoken call I’ve made. “I want what you want,” she whispers. I inhale sharply. “Here?” I ask suggestively raising an eyebrow at her and smiling wickedly as my teeth traps the tip of my tongue, effectively holding my unspoken words. But our gazes do all the talking. Her bottom lip goes into the captivity of her teeth changing my expression to I-want-tofuck-you-now, my gaze is growing darker. “Don’t bite your lip,” I order. “Not here, not now.” My eyes harden. I’m like a cup filled to the meniscus; one tiny drop of her salacity will overflow me, and I won’t be responsible by my actions. I don’t want to spend the rest of the morning in jail for lewd action in IHOP. “If I can’t have you here, don’t tempt me,” I whisper firmly. “Hi, my name’s Leandra. What can I get for you..Er... today, this morning...?” she says as her voice trails off, and she stumbles over her words for some odd reason. I eye Anastasia watching the bewildered waitress, her gaze darkening with jealousy and possessiveness. The

woman must be ogling me but I care nothing about that. She has the look of a female lion whose mate is being eyed by another female. It is beyond hot, and the fact that this would have been something I would do if she was the object of interest, I approve, and I fucking desire her even more now. “Anastasia?” I prompt her unable to keep that desire, passion, and carnal interest from my voice. She swallows and responds. “I told you, I want what you want,” she says in a soft, low voice increasing my hunger for her tenfold. The waitress looks back and forth between us, and she changes a puce color as unnatural as her hair. “Shall I give you folks another minute to decide?” she asks. “No. We know what we want,” I say unable to keep a twitch of smile from my lips with the duality of my meaning. One for the waitress, one for my woman. “We’ll have two orders of the original buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup and bacon on the side, two glasses of orange juice, one black coffee with skim milk, and one English breakfast tea, if you have it,” I say without taking my gaze off of Anastasia. “Thank you sir. Will that be all?” Leandra whispers. We both turn and stare at her, and she flushes some more and scuttles away. “You know it’s really not fair,” says Anastasia glancing down at the Formica top table. Her fingers trace a pattern on the table, and she’s trying hard to sound nonchalant. “What’s not fair?” I ask curious. “How you disarm people. Women. Me,” she says softly. “Do I disarm you?” I ask curiously. She actually snorts. “All the time,” she responds simply. “It’s just looks Anastasia,” I say mildly. “No, Christian, it’s much more than that,” she says with a low fervor. My brow creases knowing her effect on me. “You disarm me totally, Miss Steele. Your innocence. It cuts through all the crap,” I say. “Is that why you’ve changed your mind?” she asks. “Changed my mind?” I retort confused.

“Yes-about... uhm.. us?” I stroke my chin thoughtfully assessing the question. What has changed about us? “I don’t think I’ve changed my mind per se. We just need to redefine our parameters, redraw our battle lines, if you will. We can make this work, I’m sure. I want you submissive in my playroom. I will punish you if you digress from the rules. Other than that... well, I think it’s all up for discussion. Those are my requirements, Miss Steele. What say you to that?” I ask, stating my new proposition. “So I get to sleep with you? In your bed?” she asks hopeful. “Is that what you want?” I ask. “Yes,” she states firmly. “I agree then. Besides, I sleep very well when you’re in my bed. I had no idea,” I say my brow creasing, knowing the fact that I have had no nightmares every time she was in my bed. She’s like my talisman keeping the Sandman and the perpetual pimps away. “I was frightened you’d leave me if I didn’t agree to all of it,” she confesses in a whisper. “I’m not going anywhere Anastasia. Besides...” I trail off with unspoken thoughts. How could I leave you? I’m the one who’s afraid that you’d leave. I’m the one who can’t be without you. You wouldn’t believe what I would agree to be with you. Those thoughts are remain unsaid. Then I add, “We’re following your advice, your definition: compromise. You e-mailed it to me. And so far, it’s working for me.” “I love that you want more,” she murmurs shyly. “I know,” I say. She’s said it enough in her sleep. “How do you know?” she asks. “Trust me. I just do,” I say smirking at her. She narrows her eyes on me trying to decipher my expression. Our waitress Leandra arrives at that moment with our breakfast. And for a change, Anastasia eats everything on her plate. I watch her with approval, and she looks annoyed that I am happy she’s eating. “Can I treat you?” she asks after breakfast. “Treat me how?” I question her. “Pay for this meal,” she says. Oh no! I don’t like my woman paying for anything.

“I don’t think so,” I grumble. “Please. I want to,” she says making me frown. “Are you trying to completely emasculate me?” I say. “This is probably the only place that I’ll be able to afford to pay,” she pleads. “Anastasia, I appreciate the thought. I do. But no,” I say. She purses her lips to my response. “Don’t scowl,” I threaten her with my eyes glinting ominously. I pay for the meal, and we get back into the car with her scowling at me. “Don’t be like that,” I whisper softly. “I’m not used to it. I like to take care of you. Don’t rain on my parade Anastasia. Knowing that I’m the one doing those simple things for you, makes me happy. Okay?” I say softening the blow and kiss her lips. She can’t help herself but smile, and slides into the passenger seat. I drive her back to her mother’s house. She looks at me as if to ask ‘how do you know where my mother lives?’ but decides against it knowing my capabilities. “Do you want to come in? she asks shyly. “I need to work Anastasia, but I’ll be back this evening. What time?” I ask. She looks disappointed. Her looks makes me happy that she wants me, that she’s happy I’m here, and she’s not happy with this brief separation though she’ll see me this evening. It opens up endless skies in my dark soul. “”Thank you... for the more.” She says. “My pleasure, Anastasia,” I reply kissing her as she inhales me in. It’s such a heady combination. My woman in my arms here and now, and she is trying to feel me every way possible. “I’ll see you later,” she says hopeful. “Try and stop me,” I whisper. I drive off back to the hotel as she waves goodbye looking forlorn in my sweatshirt. I dial Taylor on the way back to the hotel. “Yes, sir,” he answers the phone after the first ring. “Where are you?”

“I’m at the hotel sir. I’ve taken care of the business with Mr. Benson, and had the hotel reserve one of the meeting rooms for your meeting. The company representatives are already here sir.” “Ok. I’ll be there in fifteen. Meet me by the lobby,” I say. “Yes, sir,” he replies and I hang up. After I hang up, Voi Che Sapete from the 'Marriage of Figaro' starts playing, and what an appropriate song in light of my feelings for Anastasia. (← Voi Che Sapete-Opera by Mozart sung by Maria Ewing) I make my way to the hotel with thoughts of my woman looking forward to spending more time with her at her mother’s home this evening, like a young man calling on to his girl. When I get to the hotel, I hand the keys to the valet, and make my way to the lobby. Taylor is waiting for me as usual. He briefs me as we make our way towards the meeting room, as my Blackberry buzzes. I hold my hand up to Taylor indicating ‘one minute’. It’s a text message from Anastasia making me grin like an idiot, and right before my security detail at that. _______________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Soaring as opposed to sore-ing Date: June 2 2011 10:21 EST To: Christian Grey Sometimes, you really know how to show a girl a good time. Thank you, Ana x _______________________________________

I type my reply hastily and I’m in a playful mood with her which happens often when it comes to Anastasia. _______________________________________

From: Christian Grey Subject: Soaring as opposed to sore-ing Date: June 2 2011 10:25 EST To: Anastasia Steele

I’ll take either of those over your snoring. I had a good time too.

But then again, I always do when I’m with you.

Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _______________________________________

She comes back with a vengeance. Oh, she’s feisty! _______________________________________

From: Anastasia Steele Subject: SNORING Date: June 2 2011 10:27 EST To: Christian Grey

I DO NOT SNORE. And even if I do, it’s very ungallant of you to point it out. You’re no gentleman, Mr. Grey! And you are in the Deep South, too! Ana _______________________________________

Who says she doesn’t chide or reprimand me? Of course she does. Often. In writing... But then again, that’s one of the things I love about her. _______________________________________

From: Christian Grey Subject: Somniloquy Date: June 2 2011 10:29 EST To: Anastasia Steele

I’ve never claimed to be a gentleman, Anastasia, and I think I have demonstrated that point to you on numerous occasions. I’m not intimidated by your SHOUTY capitals. But I will confess to a small white lie: No, you don’t snore, but you do talk. And it’s completely fascinating.

What happened to my kiss?

Christian Grey Cad & CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _______________________________________

I divulged into one more secret. She has talked in her sleep... in fact a lot lately. It has been more than fascinating. I was relaxing, most peaceful, soothing thing I’ve had in a very, very long time. _______________________________________

From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Spill the beans Date: June 2 2011 10:33 EST To: Christian Grey

You are a cad and a scoundrel, and definitely no gentleman. So, what did I say? No kisses for you until you talk! _______________________________________

Her reply makes me smile. I know she’s squirming in her seat. But, I’d rather hear her say it when she’s awake, and sentient. _______________________________________

From: Christian Grey Subject: Sleeping talking beauty Date: June 2 2011 10:36 EST To: Anastasia Steele

It would be most ungallant of me to say, and I have already been chastised for that. But if you behave yourself, I may tell you this evening. I do have to go into a meeting now. Laters, baby.

Christian Grey CEO, Cad & Scoundrel, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. _______________________________________

We finally make it to the private meeting room. There are three people from the company which holds the land I’m interested in. After the brief introductions, we shake hands, and start talking business. Taylor is waiting by the door, standing, looking impassive as he normally does. He must have received a message, as he turns his back, and opens his text as I see him from my peripheral vision. The color drains from his face as he blanches. What's wrong? He eyes me, and I look at him speculatively. This is his 911 look. I nod, and he steps out to talk. Few minutes later, he enters back into the meeting room. “Excuse me, Mr. Grey,” he says, and leans in. “There has been trouble at Escala sir. Leila has come in all disheveled and out of sorts, not quite in her right mind, yelling and screaming and looking for you. Mrs. Jones tried to calm

her down, however she cut her wrist in an attempted suicide,” he says as my head snaps up looking at him shocked. “What happened?” I say through gritted teeth, anxious. “Mrs. Jones took her to the hospital, and they are now fixing her up. I think she’ll be okay,” he states. “Tell Mrs. Jones to stay with her at the hospital until I get there. Keep her there. We might have to take her to a mental facility, and sort out her problem. Then call the pilot, have the plane ready. We’re going back to Seattle,” I say. Then I turn to my surprised company who are looking uneasy. “Gentleman, I apologize for the interruption. It seems we might have to reschedule this meeting, and I’m sorry about that. But, I have an emergency situation in Seattle which requires me to return home. I hope you understand,” I say with an impassive face. “Oh, Mr. Grey. We hope everything is alright,” says the older gentleman with a concern in his voice. “Thank you Mr. Brighton. Nothing we can’t handle, just something requiring my presence. My people will get in touch with you.” “Thank you sir,” they say, and I hastily depart from the meeting room. Leila! Why would you do such a thing? What happened. I haven’t laid eyes on her for nearly three years, and she got married after we were separated. Ironically we were separated because she wanted more, and I didn't. She found someone who wanted those things with her. What changed in her circumstance? Taylor and I quickly make our way to my suite, and I pack my things up as Taylor makes contact with the pilot and the co-pilot. He checks us out of the hotel, and on my way to Hilton Head, I call Anastasia to tell her I won’t be able to make it for dinner. But she doesn’t answer. I don’t leave a message. If she doesn’t call me back, I’ll call her once I get back to Seattle. But my Blackberry rings, and I see with relief that its Anastasia. “Anastasia,” I answer the phone immediately. “Hi,” she murmurs shyly.

“I have to return to Seattle. Something’s come up. I’m on my way to Hilton Head now. Please apologize to your mother. I can’t make it for dinner,” I say pre-occupied, upset, and business like. (← Leaving on a Jet Plane by Chantal Kreviazuk)

“Nothing serious, I hope?” she asks concerned.

“I have a situation which I have to deal with. I’ll see you Friday. I’ll send Taylor to collect you from the airport if I can’t come myself,” I say still angry with Leila, barely able to contain myself. “Okay. I hope you sort out your situation. Have a safe flight,” she says concern lacing her voice. Concern for me... melting my heart, and her worries for one brief minute brings me back to the surface. “You too, baby,” I breathe. This isn’t how I expected my day to go, but we take it as it comes at us. Then I hang up to call Mrs. Jones to find out the details of the incident. I’m boiling mad! And my 50 Shades is back with a vengeance.

CHAPTER XXVIII

We are airborne within the hour. I’m beyond mad at Leila for trying to kill herself. Something must have happened to her. She was such a lively and playful girl. What has changed? She was married. Is she still? While the plane is still on the ground, I call my security advisor. “Welch’s here,” he says. “Welch, Grey. Listen I have an important job for you. I want you to find out what happened to Leila.” “Leila sir?” “You have all your necessary information. The last name she went by was Hanson when she was married. It’s one of my exes. She came to my penthouse today, and tried to open a vein in front of Mrs. Jones. She took her to the hospital, and they’ll keep her until I get there. But I want to know the circumstances that led her to do such a thing.”

“Has she been in touch with you sir?” “No, she hasn’t. I haven’t laid eyes on her for nearly three years. 2 years and probably eight or nine months. She got married. Her family lives someplace east. But all that information is already available to you in your security files. I want you to contact the husband, and the family, and let me know what you find out.” “Yes, sir.” “Report back to me as soon as you find out. I want information, solid information within twenty-four hours.” “Yes, sir,” he says, and I hang up. Then I dial Mrs. Jones. “Hello Mr. Grey,” she answers the phone. “Mrs. Jones. Where have you taken Leila?” “University of Washington Medical Center sir. It’s the best hospital in the city, and has an in-house psychiatric facility.” “Okay. What’s her status?” I ask. “Her cut was superficial. They are evaluating her mental state. So far, the doctors think that she might have gone through some sort of trauma, but since I’m not next to kin, I’m not given much information. I’m just waiting here, sir.” “Okay. Make sure she remains in the hospital until I get there.” “I will do what I can sir. But given the fact that I’m not related to her, and if one of her relatives show up, or she decides to check out, I don’t know if I’ll be able to stop her,” she says. I run my hand through my hair in exasperation. She’s right of course. “Thank you Mrs. Jones. Do what you can. Keep an eye on her.” “Yes sir,” she says. Just as I am about to hang up, I remember the main question I wanted to ask her. “Mrs. Jones, I forgot... How did Leila get in, what did she say, and what did she do?”

“Oh. She came to the front of course, and rang up. I knew who she was, so I allowed her to come up. She asked to speak with you completely disheveled, and, I beg your pardon sir, but

she was quite dirty as if she hadn’t bathed in days if not weeks. Her clothes were two sizes too big, and also dirty. She looked almost lost, and distressed. Her gaze wasn’t focused.” I close my eyes in pain. Leila! What happened to you? (←Misery by Maroon 5)

“Then what happened?” I probe. “She asked where you were, or if you were home.” “What exactly did she say?” “She said, ‘where is ‘Master’? to which I answered, ‘he’s out of town.’ Then she asked, 'Are you lying Mrs. Jones so he doesn't speak to me?' I said 'Of course not, he's not even in the state." Then she said, ‘I loved the Master, but it wasn't enough, he just didn’t love me,’ and I asked her if there was something if I could help her with, or if she needed anything. She said ‘nothing, not a thing. (←I Who Have Nothing by Haley Reinhart) Master is dark. Too dark. I just want to join my love. I’m nobody without him,’ she said and then out of nowhere she produced this small knife and slit her wrist. I had to tackle her to get it off of her hand, and I probably wouldn’t be able to, but she was too weak. She seemed to have lost a lot of weight. I tried to give her first aid at home, and then drove her to the University of Washington Medical Center sir.” “Good call Mrs. Jones. Thank you for all you’ve done for her.” “I wish I could do more sir; I told the hospital when I registered her, that she had no relatives in town, and I was her friend. But as you know, she’s an adult, and I won’t be able to

do more than the law allows me to do as far as what gets done for her or the treatments she should receive. But I will do my best to try to keep her here until you arrive sir. Although I know she will receive some psychiatric help because of her attempted suicide. I just don't know how much though.” “Thank you again Mrs. Jones,” I say. I’m completely at a loss. Someone else is suffering because of my fuckeduppedness. Next, I call Dr. Flynn. “John, Christian,” I say by the way of greeting. He senses the urgency and tremor in my voice and asks with concern, “Christian, are you well?” “Yes, I am,” I reply. “Is it about Anastasia?” he asks. To which I give a sigh of relief. Thank God, Anastasia is well. “No, it’s not. It’s Leila.” “Leila?” he asks. “Yes, my ex from two and a half or three years back.” “What’s matter with her?” “Apparently when I was visiting Anastasia in Savannah, Georgia, she showed up at my place, and opened up a vein in front of Mrs. Jones. She managed to subdue her, and take her to the hospital, but she will need mental treatment.” “Where is she now?” “She’s at Washington Medical Center.” “It’s one of the best facilities, but, I don’t know too much about their mental facility. It may be fine and they possibly have some of the best doctors. But it is a hospital which of course means it's not solely dedicated to mental facilities.”

“I don’t want fine, John. I want the best. Right now, she’s a very sick girl who is in need of a lot of help. The fact that she came and done this in my apartment tells me that I must have done something wrong with her. Somehow I must have wronged her. It’s been nearly three

years, for God’s sake! Did I damage her that much for her to wait this long and try to kill herself in my home?” “Christian!” he says firmly. “Now is not the time to be self-deprecating. You haven’t had contact with this young woman for nearly three years, you say. Almost anything can happen to a person within that time frame. The fact that she came to you may be because she is crying for help, and she knows you may be able to provide that. Does she have any living relatives who may shed a light into her current circumstances?” “Welch is looking into it.” “Great. That might help us explain what had happened to her, and I have no doubt that once she’s out of the physical care, and gets evaluated at the hospital's psych ward, we can place her into a proper mental facility to get her the help she needs.” “Yes. She needs help. I’m on my way to Seattle. I’ll see you when I get back. Meanwhile, secure a place for her at a proper mental facility that can help her.” “Will do Christian. Have a safe flight back home,” he says concerned. “Thanks John,” I respond and hang up. We are going to be airborne and my pilot turned on the seat belt light on. God! The next several hours will be torturous. I left Anastasia behind, and Leila is trying to hurt herself. Can’t I just hold onto one nice day where only good things happen? Happy things, like flying, like making love with my beautiful girlfriend, like sailing, like having dinner with my girlfriend and her family. Why does everything have to take a turn for the worse? My subconscious tells me that it’s because I’m fucked up! Of course I am, what else is new? I have this overwhelming load on my shoulders, that a drowning guilt that tells me that I’ve damaged Leila. That I’m the cause for her hurt. Why else would she come to my place after all these years and try to take her life? What if she succeeded? How could I have lived with myself if she succeeded knowing that one of my subs, a playful, sweet, beautiful woman killed herself? I never loved her, but I cared for her, and we had a good time. She was one of the four women aside from Elena that I had a long term Dom-Sub relationship with. She asked to be more, like Anastasia, and I didn’t want to. I didn’t have those gripping feelings for her. I had only been interested in her sexually. She was a great sub. Dear God! What have I done to her?

I’m a son of a bitch... Literally! How many more women did I hurt? Guilt is killing me... I need to find out more about her circumstances, and provide her the help she needs. That’s the least I can do to repair whatever damage I have caused to her. I close my eyes, and try to picture her like the way she was and like Mrs. Jones described her to be. It’s all my fault! All my fault! I damage people! I’m no good for them. It’s all because I’m too fucked up! I’m afraid to damage Anastasia. What if I do the same to her? What would happen? The horror takes over. I have to solve this. I have to rectify the situation I may have somehow caused. I lean back in my seat and let the grief consume me. What if I damage Anastasia like that? Didn't she sort of run away from me to think clearly in Georgia? What if I hurt her, too? I'm fucked up after all. What if I damage her too, what if, what if she runs away from me... for good? She's half my heart! (←Half of my Heart by John Meyer) Hell, she'd be taking all of my heart with her! I'd be lost without her! God, what sort of mess did I create? I spend the flight home lost in thought. It’s Taylor’s concerned voice that brings me to here and now. “Sir? Sir, we’re here.” I look up at him. My eyes bewildered, and confused. He has compassion in his eyes. Concern even. For me? Surely, not for me. I’m not deserving of such things. I damage people.

“Here?” I ask. “Yes, sir. In Seattle.” “Thank you Taylor,” I say and get up, and compose myself. “Where to sir?” Taylor asks once we’re in the SUV. I want you to take me to University of Washington Medical Center.” “Yes, sir.” I call Gayle on the way. “Yes Mr. Grey,” she answers her phone. “Mrs. Grey? Are you still at the hospital?” “No, Mr. Grey. I’m not,” she replies. “Why not?” I ask a little harshly.

“Leila has checked herself out sir. Since I’m not related to her, I wasn’t informed. I had been waiting around in the waiting room. And I finally went in to see how she was, but the bed was all made up, and ready for the next patient. So, I went to the nurse’s desk to find out where they have taken her as I was concerned that she may have been admitted to the Psych Ward. But the nurse informed me that she checked herself out an hour earlier. I have no idea where she may have gone! Then I rushed home to see if she would show up here again. I don’t know what else to do sir,” she says.

“You’ve done well Mrs. Jones. There is nothing you could have done. Thank you,” I say hanging up. Taylor eyes me in the rearview mirror. He knows that Leila is gone. “Are we still going to the hospital sir?” “Yes. I need to speak with some of the doctors.” “Yes, sir.” I dial Dr. Flynn’s number. “John, Christian's here.” “Hello Christian, back in town?” “Yes. Do me a favor. Meet me at University of Washington Medical Center. It may be easier to get information about Leila’s condition if you are there.” “We can get her to consent for medical help.” “Unfortunately, she checked out. So, we can’t get her consent,” I say flatly. “Aha,” he responds. Meaning it will be difficult to get the information we need. “I don’t think that’ll be a problem. I have her signed consent form. I’ll have it e-mailed to me.” “You have all your submissives sign such contracts?” he asked incredulous. “Yes,” I say flatly. “Okay,” he responds. “I’ll see you at the hospital then, at the admittance.”

Next I call Welch. “Welch. I need you to e-mail me the consent form, and medical release form that Leila signed. You should have an electronic copy of them among the personal files,” I order him. “Yes, sir,” he replies. Within six minutes of time, I have the necessary documents. 35 minutes later we’re sitting across from the department head from the Patient Medical Records. After having presented the consents, her medical information is released. Our next stop is to interview the shrink who evaluated Leila. “Unfortunately, we didn’t have extensive time to completely evaluate her; as you know she checked out much sooner than expected. The attempted suicide was Leila’s cry for help. She’s going through some sort of trauma, though she never said what it was. The cut she inflicted upon herself is superficial. And the fact that she came to your place to do that shows her plea for help from you. Is she alone? Does she have no one?” “I haven’t seen her for nearly three years. I don’t know the answer to that. The last I knew is that she was married.” “How did she look to you? Did she ask for anything? Anyone? Was she forthcoming, or closed up?” This time it was John asking the questions. “She looked what you would expect from a depressed, distressed individual. But, I had such a short time evaluating her, as she was uncooperative, and not speaking, I can only tell you the classic symptoms Doctor Flynn. I don’t really think she wanted to commit suicide,” he said solemnly looking at me and John. “She wanted to get attention, and cry for help.” “What do you mean; she didn’t want to commit suicide? She came to my house, opened a vein, and if my housekeeper hadn’t been successful in subduing her, she probably would have,” I say exasperated. “Mr. Grey. You have to understand. If she wanted to truly commit suicide, she could have done it where she could successfully reach her goal, away from intervention. No! She didn’t do that. She came to your place. She wanted to get a message across, and show her distress to you. We don’t know what that message is, but it appears that she knows you would interfere. Aside from being a cry for help, it may also be a cry for affection. If you were present when she was attempting her suicide, in her disturbed way, you would show her that you cared

about her. If she had not presented these tendencies in the past, it is an indicative that she recently lived through some trauma. The fact that she comes to your place to fulfill her tendency makes me think that she knows or that she hopes you will provide her with the help she is desperately seeking.” “I’m still not convinced that it’s that simple Doctor,” I say, and we get the available medical records, and leave the building. At the parking lot, I turn to John and ask his take on all of this. “I agree with the fact that she’s seeking your attention by attempting to commit suicide in your place. A place where she had resided as your Sub. She was a long term sub, was she not?” I nod. “And knowing your relationships are intense, it’d be no surprise to me that she has a greater attachment to you than you would want to admit. Women think differently than men.” “But, she was just my sub. We had a contract. In fact she was an established sub, so, I wasn’t her first Dom, or the last one for that matter.” “Again Christian, this is not about contracts. Contracts don’t have feelings. People do. Even if they have a contract entering into a relationship. Coming back to the suicidal tendencies. It’s possibly one step away from the real intent to commit suicide. These are acute episodes if you will. 1/8th of these episodes are superficial, and 7/8th of them are invisible symptoms. You have been made aware of the visible symptom. What’s actually dangerous is what is not visible, Christian. It’s like the invisible symptoms of a disease. These tendencies are not just in inflicting harm to oneself, but it can also manifest itself in harming others. So, you might want to watch out, and make sure you locate her. Are you sure you don’t want to go to the police?” he asks. “No. She’ll withdraw and hide. It’ll make my job that much harder to locate her. What she needs is help, not being stuck in jail with no help, or inadequate mental care.” “Well, here’s the thing Christian,” he explains. “These tendencies come about when we experience “self-forgetfulness,” forgetting our innate core, oblivious to our inner voice. Disconnection, deafness, and the patient becomes engrossed and trapped in a superficial and sometimes even petty issues and sometimes something quite tragic. In Leila’s case, we don’t

know what triggered that. If we know the cause, we can have the cure, or at least a form of treatment. When the personality gets shaky, unstable, unsteady, weak, listless, uprooted like a tree losing water to supply to its roots, we have the depravities. This leads to sub-clinical or potential suicides in terms of many self-destructive tendencies laced with guilt, defeat, shame, suffocation, humiliation, self-pity, misery, you name it. But, my other concern is, and that is my biggest concern, when an individual is disconnected from the ‘self’, the consciousness, the sane part, the mental check that tells us to separate good from bad may also be disconnected. So, those individuals may also commit unspeakable atrocities as examples are abound. Distressed parents due to a divorce, or a job loss, or a big financial loss, or the prospect of some bad thing, ends up killing small innocent children thinking they’re doing them a favor by saving them from a horrible world, or with complete disconnection, no feelings are attached. The loss of this mental filter is extremely crucial, making your job to find her that much important! Do you understand the gravity of this Christian?” he says firmly.

I nod. I know what that means. She may be able to harm Anastasia! The thought makes me sick, and bile rises in my throat. (←Silence by Beethoven) Dr. Flynn and I part ways after shaking hands, and Taylor drives me to Escala.

I call Barney, my physical security specialist. “Barney, Grey here.” “Yes, sir.”

“I want you to use all your resources and locate Leila Hanson. She was married. Get in touch with the husband. Her family lived back east someplace. Get in touch with them. I’ll send you the hospital records. She attempted suicide in my place!” I say through gritted teeth barely containing my anger. “Find out from the husband what went on between the two, why she might have come to me, and find out from the family if they knew anything, any recent changes in her life, any trauma, any problems, any illnesses, anything you can dig up. I want no stone unturned! I want every answer in detail, and I want it now.”

“I’m getting to it, right away,” he says, and I hang up.

We make it to Escala, and I go and take a shower as the first thing. I want to wash off this weariness off of me if at all possible. I’m scared for Leila that she might harm herself, but I’m scared even more that she might harm Anastasia. I can’t handle that. It’d be entirely my fault. I’m sure I’ve broken Leila somehow. That’s why she came back to Escala. She asked for more, and I liked her, but I never wanted more with anyone else but Anastasia. She might have seen my picture with Anastasia on the paper on her graduation. She knows this place, and she knows me. If she’s following my activities through the media, she will have most definitely noticed that picture. Because it’s out of my norm to have a picture taken with a woman, given how discreet I am in my Dom-Sub relationships. That may have made her snap, making her breakdown my fault. I have to find her, and get her the help she needs. How many women did I damage that way? Guilt washes over me like a dark heavy night, suffocating me, unable to find my steady place; my heart is constricting. My thoughts go back to Anastasia. Even she couldn’t take the intensity of my 50 Shades of fuckeduppedness; she had to take a few days off to see her mother. I don’t want to screw this up, but I have to solve the problem at hand.

I go to the living room, and Mrs. Jones asks me if I am ready to eat. “I’ll have to talk to Taylor, and then I’ll be ready to eat Mrs. Jones,” I say. “Very good sir,” she says politely. On my way to my office, my Blackberry buzzes. Annoyed, I take it, and open the text message which brings up a half smile to my face. ______________________________________

From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Safe arrival? Date: June 2 2011 22:31 EST To: Christian Grey Dear Sir

Please let me know that you have arrived safely in Seattle. Since I’ve heard nothing from you, I’m starting to worry. Thinking of you. Your Ana. X ______________________________________

Out of all this fucked up mess, her message is life a life ring tossed at me to save me from drowning in my misery. I type up her message immediately. ______________________________________

From: Christian Grey Subject: Sorry Date: June 2 2011 19:35 To: Anastasia Steele

Dear Miss Steele I’ve arrived safely in Seattle. Please accept my apologies for not letting you know earlier. I don’t want to cause you any worry, and it truly is heartwarming to know that you care for me. I’m thinking of you as well, and as ever I’m looking forward to seeing you tomorrow.

Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. ______________________________________

It’s great to know for a change that someone worries or cares for me. Her reply message dings in a few minutes. ______________________________________

From: Anastasia Steele Subject: The Situation

Date: June 2 2011 22:39 EST To: Christian Grey

Dear Mr. Grey I think it’s utterly evident that I care for you deeply. How could you doubt that? I hope your ‘situation’ is in hand. Your Ana. X

PS: Are you going to tell me what I said in my sleep? ______________________________________

She manages to put a smile on my face at will in most unexpected circumstances. I love that about her! She misses me...really misses me. I wish I could have brought her back with me. (←Cowboy Take me Away by Dixie Chix) But I don't want to taint her with the shit that's going on right now. ______________________________________

From: Christian Grey Subject: Pleading the fifth Date: June 2 2011 19:44 To: Anastasia Steele

Dear Miss Steele

I like it very much that you care for me. The ‘situation’ here isn’t yet resolved. In regards to your post-script, my answer is – No. Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. ______________________________________

Because I like to hear you say it when you are awake Anastasia. Her response is immediate. ______________________________________

From: Anastasia Steele Subject: The Situation Date: June 2 2011 22:47 EST To: Christian Grey

I hope it was amusing. Because you should know that I can’t accept any responsibility for what comes out of my mouth when I’m unconscious. In fact, you probably misheard me.

Surely, a man of your advanced years is a little deaf. ______________________________________

Her message actually makes me laugh out loud. ______________________________________

From: Christian Grey Subject: Pleading guilty Date: June 2 2011 19:51 To: Anastasia Steele

Dear Miss Steele

Sorry, could you speak up for this old man? I can’t hear you.

Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. ______________________________________

I can’t help myself but tease her. Let’s see what she’ll say to that. And for a minute, I forget all my worries, only because of her. ______________________________________

From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Pleading insanity again Date: June 2 2011 22:53 EST To: Christian Grey

You are driving me crazy. ______________________________________ This response hitches my breath. She disarms me, and drives me crazy, and makes me ache for her all the time. ______________________________________

From: Christian Grey Subject: Oh, I really hope so... Date: June 2 2011 19:58 To: Anastasia Steele

Dear Miss Steele I intend to do just that on Friday evening. Looking forward to it ;)

Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. ______________________________________

From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Grrrrr

Date: June 2 2011 23:01 EST To: Christian Grey

I’m officially pissed at you. Goodnight. Miss A. R. Steele ______________________________________ Even her anger is hot and sexy! ______________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Wild cat Date: June 2 2011 20:04 To: Anastasia Steele

Are you growling at me Miss Steele? I too possess a cat of my own for growlers.

Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. ______________________________________ I wait for her to respond. But she writes nothing. I watch my computer monitor and Blackberry simultaneously as if one or the other would speak, or spew out a message from Anastasia. I don’t want her to go to bed mad. I can’t take it – not after today; after a perfect morning, and my hasty departure from her without getting to say goodbye, and having to deal with a truckload of shit, I just can’t take it if she’s not speaking to me! I need her more than she knows, or imagines. So, I write her a response back. ______________________________________

From: Christian Grey Subject: What you said in your sleep

Date: June 2 2011 20:19 To: Anastasia Steele

Anastasia I’d rather hear you say the words you uttered in your sleep when you’re fully awake and conscious. That’s the reason why I won’t tell you. Go to sleep. You’ll need to be rested with what I have in mind for you tomorrow.

Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. ______________________________________ In such a short time, she’s become an integral part of my coping mechanism, and my rock. My stable place, unwavering, sane, and innocent. She is my light out of the dark, an angel who fights with the devil inside me. She calls for my lost soul, and locates it, and I’m whole man again when she’s with me. I'm distracted, and nervous. Unable to wait for my woman. Can't it be tomorrow already? I miss her so much, especially now... I'll take her anyway I can. (←I Want You Just the Way You Are by Billy Joel) I groan and get back to my problems at hand.

CHAPTER XXIX

Early morning brings me no relief. (←Sorrow - Gladiator soundtrack) I am running on auto pilot. Get up, work-out, shower, get dressed, eat, and tend to problems I may have caused or are brought to my doorstep. But at this point it really doesn’t matter. Leila and I have a shared history. She was one of my long term relationships. I can’t think of abandoning her at the time of need. I have a strong feeling that I’m the cause of her breakdown, or at least a big part of it. Why else would she come here? Remembering how Mrs. Jones described her disheveled appearance, my heart constricts anew. How did she get to that from being a vibrant, lively, mischievous woman? She was still all those things when we parted our ways; when she found someone to marry when I made it clear to her that I didn’t want ‘more’. I never wanted more. Not until Anastasia. But Leila found her more in the form of a husband, didn’t she?

Then what happened? Does he know that she was here trying to cut herself? Of course not. If he knew, he’d be attending her needs like a husband should.

I get to my study after accepting a cup of black coffee with skim milk from Mrs. Jones. I press two numbers on my phone on the desk, Taylor answers, “Yes, sir.” “I need you for a briefing Taylor,” I say. “Coming sir,” he replies, I hang up. “Taylor, I want you to liaise with Welch. Find out where Leila’s husband is, and speak to him personally. Find out whether he’s still with Leila, and if not, find out the reason of their separation. When Welch touches bases with her parents, I want to know every detail, in writing. Got it?” “Of course, sir,” he replies firmly. My Blackberry buzzes, I check the phone and it’s Welch. Taylor turns to leave, but I hold my finger indicating him to stay for another minute. This may be something he too has to hear. “Welch, I’m going to put you on speaker phone, and I want Taylor to hear what you have to say. I want him to liaise between you and me if I’m not available. You can reach him anytime, and you have his contact information.” “Yes, sir,” Welch replies. “The reason I’m calling you about is this. About a little over two months ago, Leila left her husband after finding herself another lover. From what her husband said, she seemed in love with him, and has hasn’t had contact with her since, and he specifically said that neither does he care to hear from her, after, ahem,” he said clearing his throat, “and I’m quoting the husband here, ‘fucking another son-of-a-bitch while she was still under him’. So, it turns out she has been with this new boyfriend for the last two months. We don’t know who this boyfriend is though. That’s what I’m trying to find out. I have tried to reach the family, but they haven’t answered their phones yet. I’ll try them today as well to see if they have any information on her whereabouts or the new boyfriend she has in her life. That could give us a good lead sir,” he said. “Are you getting all this?” I ask Taylor. (←Hearing the Damage by Tom Yorke) “Yes, sir,” he replies coolly. “Meanwhile, keep your eyes and ears open to see or hear if she’s checked into another hospital, or whether the police records, or anything new that may mention her name until we

find her. She’s bound to pop out of somewhere. It doesn’t make sense that she comes to my house trying to commit suicide, and then disappear. She’s got to be somewhere in the city. “ “Are there any close friends, or acquaintances she has in town sir, or in the surrounding cities that you know of?” “Not that I know of. That’s now your job to uncover. Anything else?” “Nothing else sir,” he says, and I remind him, to keep in touch with Taylor and hang up. “Taylor, this is now your priority to look into. Let me know the second you uncover something.” “Of course sir,” he replies. My Blackberry buzzes letting me know I have an incoming message. Taylor turns to go back again, but I hold my finger at him once more. The message is from Anastasia. ______________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Homeward bound Date: June 3 2011 12:52 EST To: Christian Grey

Dear Mr. Grey

I’m once again in the enclosure of the first class for which I thank you. I’m counting the minutes until I see you this evening, and perhaps torturing the truth out of you about my nocturnal admissions.

Your Ana x ______________________________________ I type her a quick response. ______________________________________

From: Christian Grey Subject: Homeward bound

Date: June 3 2011 09:57 To: Anastasia Steele

Anastasia, I look forward to seeing you.

Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. ______________________________________ Then turn to Taylor and tell him to take me to GEH within the next 30 minutes. I have so much work to do. That’s on top of the unexpected problems arisen due to Leila. ______________________________________

From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Homeward bound Date: June 3 2011 13:00 EST To: Christian Grey

Dear Mr. Grey

I hope everything is okay regarding the situation. The tone of your email is worrying.

Your Ana x ______________________________________ Oh, I don’t want to upset her, or worry her with my problems. It’s not something I can’t resolve, but currently occupying my mind. But is she writing me from inside the airplane? If so, have they taken off? Is she putting herself in danger? Currently, I can only deal with one woman who is putting herself in danger, and I especially don’t want Anastasia to be the other. ______________________________________

From: Christian Grey Subject: Homeward bound Date: June 3 2011 10:03 To: Anastasia Steele

Anastasia, the situation could be better. Have you taken off yet? If you have, you shouldn’t be emailing me. You are putting yourself as well as the lives of others in the plane at risk which is a direct infraction of the rule regarding your personal safety. I meant what I said about punishments.

Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. ______________________________________ I hit send. I don’t have the patience to deal with rule breaking today. Her response is nearly immediate. ______________________________________

From: Anastasia Steele Subject: overreaction Date: June 3 2011 13:05 EST To: Christian Grey

Dear Mr. Grumpy,

The aircraft doors are still open and everyone’s lives including my own are quite safe. We are delayed for about ten minutes. You may stow your twitchy palm for now.

Miss Steele ______________________________________

This ‘situation’ is making me edgy and I’m even brusque with my girlfriend. I quickly type to apologize. ______________________________________

From: Christian Grey Subject: Apologies – stowing the twitchy palm away Date: June 3 2011 10:07 To: Anastasia Steele

I miss you and your smart mouth Miss Steele.

I just want you home safely.

Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. ______________________________________

I couldn’t handle it if anything had happened to her because she was being careless to send me a text message. ______________________________________

From: Anastasia Steele Subject: apology accepted Date: June 3 2011 13:09 EST To: Christian Grey

They’re closing the doors now. You won’t hear another peep from me especially given your deafness.

Laters,

Ana x ______________________________________ After I receive her last message, I make my way out to the living room where Taylor is waiting to drive me. “Taylor, do you have Miss Steele’s arrival information?” “Of course, sir,” he replies. “Alright. It appears that I have more work than I could finish today, so I need you to pick her up when she arrives, and bring her back to Escala this evening.” “Certainly, sir,” he responds. We arrive at GEH and Andrea scuttles behind me into my office to go over my upcoming meetings for the day. My fucking day is filled with one stressful incident after another. Right after Andrea, Ros comes in. In her pack and a half cigarette smoked raspy, but I-cut-to-the-chase voice she gives me the gist on our disaster of an acquisition of a company which we are trying to liquidate now. “Cost, Ros, what is the bottom line in cost?” She shifts in her seat, uncomfortable. “Final number sir is sixty-seven million Dollars...” her voice is steady but low. “Sixty-seven fucking million Dollars? How did we back into such a shitty trap? I want all the details, down to the last penny, and have finance send me an extensive cost analysis report, immediately!” I bark. “Yes Mr. Grey,” she says knowing she’s dismissed, and quickly makes her way out of my office. I press the intercom. “Yes Mr. Grey,” answers Andrea. “Get Welch on the line,” I order. “Right away, sir.” Two minutes later the phone rings. “Yes, Mr. Grey,” he answers. “Do you have any update for me?”

“Mr. Grey, her husband is being most uncooperative. He doesn’t care what happens to her, he said he doesn’t care if she kills herself, by hanging, cutting, throwing herself off a bridge, or shooting. We tried to be very persuasive. Since he doesn’t care for her well-being, we tried to coax information by paying him,” says Welch. “Fucking bastard! Does he care nothing about her? Did she mean nothing to him that he can be so calloused?” I rant. “Mr. Grey, he’s vindictive, and hasn’t passed the fact that she cheated on him, and ran out on him with some other man she fell in love with. That’s the story we could gather from acquaintances.” “How about the family?” “It’s still work in progress sir. The family lives on the other side of the country. They knew she ran out on her husband, and that she was happy with the new guy she was with. But the parents said that the sister might have more information and we were unable to get in touch with her.” “Do they know her whereabouts?” “No sir. The last she was in touch with them was after she ran out of her husband. Nothing since.” “Keep searching. I want her found Welch!” “Yes sir,” he says firmly. I hang up. The work day is dragging with one issue after another, and I’m frustrated with all the emergencies at my door. I have a late meeting, and I call Taylor in to pick Anastasia up from the airport. “Bring her back to Escala,” I reiterate my earlier order. “I will sir.” He leaves. As soon as my meeting is over, I drive myself back to Escala. I make it to my penthouse around 6:00 p.m. My Blackberry never stops ringing. “Mr. Grey, this is Welch here,” says Welch by the way of greeting. “Do you have an update for me?” I ask.

“Mr. Grey, we’ve been searching her old address, old neighbors, and former friends and acquaintances. So far no one has seen her in more than three months.” “No trace then?” “None so far sir. But we’ll keep searching.” “Okay.” Would you like me to update if we get partial information?”

“Yes.” Then I feel it. That gaze, on my back... watching me. (←I Just In Your Arms Tonight by Cutting Crew) I didn’t even realize that my entire body was tense, but that connection, that electricity somehow changes my whole demeanor. Tension leaves my body, peace floods as I find my center with the sight of my girlfriend. Girlfriend. My ‘more’. I feel that intense desire blooming inside me as my body calls to hers. I gaze at her with a sensual carnality, my eyes blazing. She’s speechless, quiet. She feels the same pull. The same attraction. Same desire. I thank God every day for finding her, and sending her to me. “Keep me informed,” I say to Welch and turn my phone off without breaking gaze with Anastasia. She’s paralyzed in her spot at the entry to the living room. I close the distance between us in long strides, my eyes devouring this beauty as if I haven’t seen her in ages, and not yesterday. With all the shitty things that have been happening since yesterday, she’s like an angel with her innocent, beguiling aura. My jaw is tense with the stress, and I’m beyond anxious. I finally shrug off my gray suit jacket, then undo the dark tie and finally sling them both on the couch as I make my way to my woman. As I reach her, I wrap my arms around her,

pulling her to me hard and fast, and grip her ponytail to tilt her head up to meet my lips. I kiss her as if my life depends on it; and it does. She’s my lifeline. She’s my rock, and one that steadies me in the midst of the damned, fucked-up past, and what it brings forth to me.

She is surprised at my desperation, and the primal quality in my kiss. I have barely made through this last day. Mostly I’m a man, who is an island, but today, it’s different; my need for Anastasia is paramount. My kiss says it all: I want you. I need you. Save me. Love me. Be with me. Let me take over control so I don't feel lost anymore! (←I Want You to Take Over Control by Afrojack) At this point in time, I’m elated that she’s back, that she still wants me, desires me. I pour all the anxiety that has been brewing over since I learned she was leaving town finally comes to a boiling point. She starts kissing me with equal fervor as she twists and fists her fingers in my hair. She inhales me as if she wants to devour me, love me, and taste me in her hot sexy way. I drag my mouth away from her momentarily, and stare at her. The relief of her presence is monumental. My heart twists and constricts with an unnamed emotion. Desire, lust, want, love?

“What’s wrong?” she breathes.

“I’m so glad you’re back. Shower with me...Now.” I command, completely evading her question. “Yes,” is her whispering reply as I grab her hand leading her out of the living room into my bedroom and to my master bathroom. Once we are in the bathroom, I release her hand, and turn the shower on. I slowly turn to her, and gaze at this beautiful creature before me. “I like your skirt,” I say taking in her too short skirt, “It’s very short,” I say. “You have great legs.” Stepping out of my shoes, I lower myself down and take each of my socks off, while my eyes constantly lingering on Anastasia. The hunger, the desire I feel for her is tangible; overtaking me. She mirrors my actions by taking off her black flats. This is all I can take right

now with her close proximity, in my bathroom. After all that’s gone through within the last day and a half, I want nothing but to bury myself in her, lose all train of thought, forget everything even my name, and unite with her. Suddenly my patience is lost and I reach for her, backing her against the wall. I start kissing her with all the emotion pouring out of me, her lips, her face, her throat, back to her lips as I run my hands into her hair. Her back is against the cool tile wall. I push myself against her as in a bid to be one with her, to merge, to consume and soothe my aching soul, find myself again out of the misery I’ve been experiencing. It’s as if I’m lost in the middle of the cold Pacific during a middle of a typhoon, and she’s the only thing that promises survival and life; my lifeline. She places her arms on my upper arms, and I groan...loud, and she squeezes tightly. “I want you now. Here... fast and hard,” I breathe, and my hand slide to her thighs pushing up her skirt. It’s my own universe. The only coping mechanism, the only way I find relief with the only woman everyone else who says I’m in love with. But, right now, I don’t care what they say. I have emotions that I’ve never experienced before when it comes to Anastasia. (←Lets Make it a Night to Remember by Bryan Adams) “Are you still bleeding?” I ask. “No,” she replies as she blushes. “Good,” I say. My thumbs hook over her white cotton panties, and I abruptly drop to my knees to Anastasia’s surprise and tug them off. Her skirt is just rucked up and she’s naked from waist down. She starts panting in anticipating, wanting, desirous for me. My breath is caught at her response. I grab her hips, pushing her against the wall again as I kiss her at the apex of her thighs. I grab her upper thighs and I force her legs apart. She moans loudly as I circle my tongue on her clitoris. Her body arches and her head tips back in response to my ministrations on her sex. Her moans grow louder in rising pleasure, and her fingers find their way into my hair tugging hard. I pour all my desire, all my pent up frustration, all the anxiety my separation caused in the last day, and the relentless problems I was dished out into my love making with the only woman of my heart’s desire. As my tongue swirls round and round relentlessly, strong and

insistent, constantly laving her over and over again, my anxiety leaves me for finally having to be with my girl. I know the feeling of ecstasy my mouth on her sex is providing is intense. I feel her body quicken, and that’s when I release her. I don’t want her to come under my tongue, but with the invasion of my ever growing length. Her breathing is ragged as she’s panting, and gazing at me in protest for not finding a release that came but never materialized. I don’t want the quick release. I want to drag this on. I quickly rise up to my feet and grab her face with both hands, holding my girl firmly and kiss her hard thrusting my tongue in her mouth invading her there, finding hers in a bid to make her taste her own arousal for me letting all her senses know that she too desires me in every way possible. I then unzip my fly freeing my manhood and grab the backs of her thighs and lift her. “Wrap your legs around me baby,” I command her in an urgent, strained, and I-want-tofuck-you-now voice. She immediately does what she’s told, and I move quickly and sharply, filling her expectant sex. When our most desired connection is established making me groan, and gasp, I hold her behind, my fingers digging into her soft flesh, I begin to move slowly at first trying to get a feel of her, let my brain know that I’m in her with the initial feel. Then I pick up a steady even tempo, but as I lose myself in my woman, I speed up faster and faster. She tips her head back as her legs wrapped around, her arms holding my neck and my manhood is uniting with her sex in a fast and rapturous tango, I push both of us higher and higher in pleasure in an invading, pushing, punishing heavenly sensation. We climb higher and higher as neither of us can climb anymore reaching our peak, we spiral into an intense, an all-consuming orgasm. I let go with a deep growl, and bury my head into her neck as I busy my length in her sex deep one last time, I groan loudly and incoherently as I find my own release. My own breathing is erratic, but I kiss her tenderly without breaking our connection, creating another connection point. If it was possible to merge with my girl, I’d do that right now. She blinks also lost in sensation and desire. I finally manage to pull out of her, and hold her steady as I gently place her on her feet on the floor. The shower has been running and the hot water created steam, covering up the mirrors creating a cloud in the bathroom. “You seem pleased to see me,” she murmurs with her shy smile I love so much. My lips quirk up at her brand of underestimation.

“Yes, Miss Steele,” I say, “I think my pleasure in seeing you is pretty self-evident. Come... Let me get you in the shower.” I undo the buttons on my shirt, removing the cufflinks, and tug it off over my head, and just toss it on the floor. I remove my suit pants and boxers, and also kick them to one side careless. I never break my gaze off Anastasia. I start undoing the buttons of her blouse as she is watching me intently with some unnamed desire in her eyes-deep and consuming. “How was your trip back?” I ask mildly as the sex calmed me down and my apprehension leaving me. She’s my universal panacea to most every problem I have. “Fine, thank you,” she murmurs still trying to catch her breath. “Thank you once again for upgrading me to first class. It really is a much nicer way to travel,” she says smiling shyly at me. “I have some news,” she adds nervously. Oh, oh... What could it be? Is it bad that she feels nervous telling me about it? “Oh?” is my contained response. I look down at her curiously as I undo the last button on her blouse and slip it down her arms, and throw it on top of the discarded clothes. “I have a job,” she says. I still with reprieve; it’s not something as bad as I expected. As relief floods and washes over me I smile at her with warm and soft eyes. “Congratulations, Miss Steele. Now will you tell me where?” I tease her. “You don’t know?” she asks. I shake my head and frown. Why would she think I know where she got the job? “Why would I know?” I ask probing. “With your stalking capabilities, I thought you might have...” she trails off when she sees the expression my face as unexpected disappointment and hurt passes through my face. “Anastasia, I wouldn’t dream of interfering in your career, unless you ask me to of course,” I say, truly wounded that she would think so little of me. “So, you have no idea which company?” she asks. “No. I know that there are four publishing companies in Seattle,” I say. That much I’ve researched when she told me she was going to interview with two publishing companies. “So, I’m assuming it’s one of them.”

“SIP,” she blurts out excitedly. “Oh, the small one, good. Well done,” I say leaning forward, kissing her forehead. “Clever girl. When do you start?” I ask. “Monday,” she responds.

“That soon, eh? I’d better take advantage of you while I still can. Turn around,” I command. (←All I Want is You by U2) She does as she’s commanded. I undo her bra and unzip her skirt. I push her skirt down and cup her amazingly round and rosy derrière, and simultaneously kiss her shoulder. I lean against her nuzzling my nose against her hair. I inhale her scent deeply as her smell is incredibly intoxicating, taking me to a different plane. I squeeze her buttocks that are two round orbs. “You intoxicate me Miss Steele, and you calm me. It’s such a heady combination,” I mutter between the kisses I place on her hair. I grab her hand tug her into the shower. “Ow,” she squeals as the scalding hot water hit her skin. I grin down at her as the water cascades and run down from my body. “It’s only a little hot water Anastasia,” I tease her. “Turn around,” I order, and she complies without a word. She turns and faces the wall. “I want to wash you,” I say with intense desire to touch her all over with the lather sliding between my hands and her curves. I reach for the body wash, squirting a little into my hand. “I have something else to tell you,” she murmurs, as my hands start on her shoulders. I feel her entire body tense with this one sentence. What could be worrying her? Is it something bad? Is she leaving me? Has she reached a decision in Georgia against us? With her reaction, I tense as well, but, I want to hear her out. With barely contained anxiety, I say, “Oh, yes?” I ask in a mild tone. “My friend Jose’s photography show is opening Thursday in Portland,” she starts her sentence, enunciating the word ‘friend’. My mind goes to the fucking photographer who has had eyes and tongue on my woman the second after I met her. The mention of his name stills my hands on her breasts automatically. She steels herself with a deep breath.

“Yes, what about it?” I ask sternly not liking the idea of that fucker entering in the shower even in a conversation when the two of us are naked and intimate. “I said I would go. Do you want to come with me?” she asks. The last thing I want to do is to put my girl in the touching distance of that fucker. But it appears that she has made up her mind to go. If I say no, she’d go alone even if I were to prohibit her knowing how disobedient she can be, and that’d be worse, and I’d be eating myself up the whole time. If, however I’m there, I can control the situation. I reluctantly make up my mind telling myself ‘compromise Grey, compromise. That’s what she needs.’ She doesn’t even know what lengths I would go to be with her, to keep her safe, to keep her mine, and mine alone. I start washing her again finally after making up my mind to acquiesce. “What time?” I ask. “The opening is at 7:30 p.m.” she responds. I kiss her ear. “Okay,” I say softly. With this one word response, all the tension leaves her body as she almost sags into my hands. “Were you nervous about asking me?” I question her. “Yes. How can you tell?” “Your entire body just relaxed Anastasia,” I tell her dryly. “Well, you just seem to be, uhmm... on the bit of a jealous side,” she puts it mildly. You have no idea darling! “Yes, I am,” I say darkly. “And you’d do well to remember that. But thank you for asking. We’ll take Charlie Tango,” I say being in control again. “Can I wash you?” she asks. Although I want her to touch me badly, I can’t bear to have hands on me...not yet. “I don’t think so,” I murmur, and her face falls in hurt and disappointment. I kiss her gently on her neck trying to ease the refusal, letting her know that I still want her. I caress her back with the soap. “Will you ever let me touch you? She asks longing. I am not ready to answer that question yet. I still, and avoid the question while my hands are still on her behind.

“Put your hands on the wall Anastasia. I’m going to take you again,” I murmur in her ear as I grab her hips, and the discussion is effectively over as we’re both lost to our ecstasy. Once we’re out of the shower, I wrap a warmed up fluffy towel around my waist, and I quickly grab another one and dry Anastasia. We’re soon dressed in bathrobes and out in the kitchen seated at the breakfast bar. Mrs. Jones has fixed an excellent pasta alle vongole. Holding up the bottle of Sancerre I ask Anastasia, “more wine?” as my eyes glowing with so many different emotions. “A small glass please,” she replies. She finally gathers the courage to ask me the question that’s been bothering her for some time. “How’s the, uhmmm... the situation that brought you to Seattle?” she asks tentatively making me frown. I don’t want to remember Leila’s attempted suicide, especially when she’s still missing, creating a possible danger to herself, and possibly to others. “Out of hand,” I murmur without being able to avoid the bitterness in my tone. “But it’s nothing for you to worry about Anastasia. I have plans for you this evening,” I say effectively distracting her. “Oh?” is her questioning response. “Yes. I want you ready and waiting in my playroom in fifteen minutes,” I say standing up and gazing down at her. “You can get ready in your room. By the way, your walk-in closet is now full of clothes for you. I don’t want any arguments about it,” I say narrowing my eyes with the intensity that’s been brought up with our current discussion, daring her to refuse. By all means, argue with me, and soothe my twitching palms. She says nothing, and looks back impassively. Good! I walk back to my study. I find my iPod and my iPod radio transmitter and the remote for it. I go to my room, and in my closet I locate my soft, over washed ripped jeans that I only use in my Play Room. I divest myself of all clothing except my jeans. I leave the top button undone. I slowly make my way to the Play Room. I want Anastasia to anticipate; the more she waits, the more she anticipates. When I come to the heavy door of my Play Room, I quickly open it, and close it after I get in. I

breeze through the room, and completely ignore Anastasia who is sitting in her panties in the submissive position. I make my way to the chest by the door and place the iPod and the transmitter on it. Then I stroll toward the bed. The scene I have planned for Anastasia today requires me to cuff her hands and feet. I check the cuffs on the bedposts. Then I stroll back to the chest of drawers. I open one of them and take out a fur glove, a flogger with leather strands and beads at their ends, placing them on the top. I finally walk back to Anastasia and stand before her. Her head bowed, sitting on her heels, her hand placed on her laps fingers spread wide, her hair falling in cascades, only in her panties. She’s a sight to behold, and beyond beautiful and arousing. “You look lovely,” I breathe. She keeps her head down as I stare at her intently. A lovely flush slowly creeps up on her face which usually happens when she’s embarrassed, feeling my gaze on her. How often will I tell her that she’s beautiful? She should not be embarrassed of her own beauty. I bend down and cup her chin forcing her face up to meet my intent gaze, willing her to believe. “You are one beautiful woman, Anastasia,” I say fervently. “And you are all mine,” I murmur as relief floods with the knowledge that this is my woman, and that she’s back here, with me, trying to please me. “Stand up,” I command softly. As I gaze at the beauty before me, I realize my voice is full of sensual promise. She shakily gets up to her feet. “Look at me,” I breathe, and she finally raises her blue eyes into my smoldering gray gaze. I look at her as her Dom, as her master I am in this room, and I know that my stare is cold, hard, I will-do-as-I-wish-with-you-here sinful gaze and her responding stare is sexy, expectant and wanting. Her mouth slightly opens as shallow gasps fill her lung, and her tongue travels out for a second in a bid to wet her dry mouth. An almost cruel smile plays on my lips as I know what she wants. And what she wants is me and what I will do to her. “We don’t have a signed contract Anastasia. But, you know we’ve discussed limits. I want to reiterate we have safewords, okay?” Her gaze changes one of excitement, and fear.

“What are they?” I ask her with authority. She frowns slightly at my question, and her hesitation makes my face harden. She needs to know and be able to use the safewords should she need it. “What are the safewords, Anastasia?” I ask slowly and deliberately. “Yellow,” she mumbles first. “And?” I prompt as my mouth sets in a hard line. We have more than one safeword. “Red,” she breathes after my prompt. “Remember those,” I warn. Then she raises her eyebrows in her smarting expression, and that is not allowed in my Play Room. But my glare changes to one of a frosty and an icy glint, and she stops in her tracks, and her smarting expression seizes, effectively stopping her in her tracks. “Don’t start with your smart mouth in here, Miss Steele. Or I will fuck it with you on your knees. Do you understand?” I ask her firmly.

She swallows hard, and blinks rapidly, after being effectively chastened. The tone of my voice and the threat it promises changes her demeanor to one of obedient. (←Here I am Baby by UB40)

“Well?” I prompt. “Yes, sir,” she mumbles hastily. “Good girl,” I say, pausing and staring at her. “My intention is not that you should safeword because you’re in pain. What I intend to do to you will be intense. Very intense, and you have to guide me. Do you understand?” I ask. Her eyes widen, bewildered. “This is about touch Anastasia. You won’t be able to hear me, or see me. Buy you’ll be able to feel me.” I say. She frowns. I turn to face the music center. I wave my hand in front, and the housing containing the stereo splits open in half. As the two doors slide open, they reveal the CD player and the complicated stereo system. I set it up to receive transmission from the radio transmitter I will use linking the iPod to the stereo and the surround sound, and I put the

song I intend to play on repeat. Anastasia however will only hear it through the ear buds I’ll be putting on her ears to eliminate any other noise she can hear intensifying the sensation. I see her mystified look from my peripheral vision. I turn back to face her again, and I have my Ihave-a-secret smile on my face. “I’m going to tie you to the bed, Anastasia. But I’m going to blindfold you first and,” I say revealing the iPod in my hand, “you won’t be able to hear me. All you will hear is the music I’m going to play for you.” She’s surprised as usual, and that’s an expression I love on her. “Come,” I say taking her head leading her to the four poster bed. She sees the shackles I’ve attached to each corner, with fine metal and leather cuffs which glint against the red sating covering the antique bed. She looks aroused and excited. Good! This is a combination I like a lot on her. “Stand here,” I say leaving her facing the bed. I lean down and whisper in her ear. “Wait here. Keep your eyes on the bed. Picture yourself lying here bound and totally at my mercy.” Her breath hitches at the thought. I fetch the flog I chose to use, and the furry glove. I quickly make my way back to her, and I’m immediately behind her. I take her hair, and pull it into a ponytail, and start braiding it after separating it into three strands. “While I like your pigtails, Anastasia, but I am too impatient to be at you right now. So one will have to do,” I say in a low soft voice. As I braid her hair, my fingers occasionally work their way down her hair skimming her back. Each touch brings an electric jolt to my body as our connection establishes. I fasten the end of her hair with a tie, and tug at the braid forcing her to step back flushing against me. I pull again this time to the side, so that she angles her head to the side, giving me easier access to her neck. I lean down and nuzzle her neck, tracing my teeth and tongue from the base of her ear to her shoulder. I hum softly as I do, and she closes her eyes in pleasure and I know it is coursing through her body because she shudders, and groans quietly. “Hush now,” I breathe against her skin. I hold up my hands in front of her as my arms are touching hers. I show her the flogger that’s in my right hand.

“Touch it,” I whisper devilishly, wanting her to know what I intend to do. Heat courses through her body as I feel the change from our connected bodies. She reaches out tentatively, and brushes the long strands with her fingers. She feels the soft suede fronds with small beads at the end. “I will use this. It will not hurt but it will bring your blood to the surface of your skin and make you very sensitive.” “What are the safe words, Anastasia?” “Uhm… Yellow and red, Sir,” she whispers. “Good girl. Remember, most of your fear is in your mind.” I drop the flogger on the bed, and my hands move to her waist. “You won’t be needing these,” I murmur as I hook my fingers into her panties and sweep them down divesting her of them. She unsteadily steps out of them as she supports herself on the bed post. “Stand still,” I order, and kiss her behind and gently nip both her cheeks which tense her body. “Now lie down. Face up,” I say smacking her hard on the behind and making her jump. She quickly crawls onto the bed’s mattress, and lie down looking up at me. My gaze is impassive giving nothing away. My eyes are glowing with barely leashed excitement. “Hands above your head,” I order, and she does as she’s asked. I turn and go back to the chest of drawers, and return with the iPod and eye mask. She has a look of anticipation on her face. I sit on the edge of the bed and show her the iPod. The iPod has an antenna along with the headphones which transmits what is being played to the stereo which in returns played around the surround sound. She looks confused, trying to decipher its function. “This transmits what’s playing on the iPod to the system in the room,” I answer her quizzical stare tapping the small antenna. “I can hear what you are hearing, and I have a remote control unit for it,” I say smirking. In fact I have a remote control to her libido as she has one for mine. I lean across her and insert

the ear buds gently into her ears, and put the iPod down away from accidental touch above her head. “Lift your head,” I command and she obeys immediately. I slowly slide the mask on, pulling the elastic over the back of her head, and she’s now devoid of sense of sight. Since I haven’t turned the music on, she can still hear me, though muffled because the ear buds act as earplugs. I rise from the bed. I take her left arm, gently stretch it to the left corner of the bed and cuff her wrist with the leather cuffs. She looks simply delicious like this, completely at my beckoning. I stroke the length of her arm once I finish cuffing her wrist. I move to the other side and taking her right arm, cuff her right wrist. I run my fingers over her arm again feeling the exquisite connection between us. She’s brimming with erotic excitement. I then move to the bottom of the bed, and grab both of her ankles. “Lift your head again,” I order. She complies immediately, and I drag her down the bed stretching her out, nearly strained at the cuffs. This way, she won’t be able to move her arms. Expectation and brimming exhilaration makes Anastasia groan. I part her legs; first I cuff her right ankle and then her left stretching her spread-eagled, completely sexy to do as I wish with her. The fact that she gives me the authority to do this, and that she trusts me is extremely arousing. I look at my handiwork. Knowing that she’s my woman and she’s extremely sexy is both breathtaking and mouthwatering. I turn the iPod on. I have always wanted to fuck to Spem In Alium, or the Forty Part Motet, by Thomas Tallis. (←Spem In Alium by Thomas Tallis) A celestial choir is singing this piece, and it’s a very soothing. The song itself means “Hope in any other” and it is oddly appropriate for me and Anastasia, because she gives me hope. It is such a song that it occupies the mind, and disarming and the listener won’t be able to think anything else; in this case it will give Anastasia a sensory overload. And for what I have in mind for her, I want her to experience this with all her senses, and every sense overloaded. I put the fur glove on my right hand. Slowly and leisurely I start soft brushes against her neck, running languidly down her throat, across her chest at a slow pace, over her breasts, caressing her making her hyper aware of her body. I start pulling on her nipples, elongating them sensually, softly, skimming underneath them.

My hand trails her body, at a leisurely and deliberate pace, down to her belly, circling her navel, then carefully from hip to hip, across her pubic hair, between her legs, along her thighs, down to one leg, and then up from the other. The sensation is making her aware of herself, and it’s not harsher than a soft tickle. I keep my movements in line with the voices in the music. I move the fur down to her arms, and around her waist, finally completing the circuit going back up to her breast. Her nipples harden under my touch, almost bloom. She starts panting. When I know she’s aroused, I immediately take the fur glove off, and take the flogger into my hand, and let the fronds flow over her skin, following the same path as the fur glove. The music continues and repeats as many angelic voices in the choir rise and fall in a silken, smooth, ethereal tone. The soft suede of the fronds of the flogger continue to travel, and at the right moment when the voices rise, I lift the flogger up and sharply land it on her belly. The unexpected movement makes her cry out: “Aaagghh!” she yelps; the sound is a result of the surprise the feeling provides, and not from hurt. I hit her again, harder this time. “Aah!” she cries out again. I can see that she wants to move under the bites of the flogger, writhing. The arms and legs are firmly held in place within the constraints of the cuffs and shackles. I strike her across her breast this time, and the sudden movement makes her cry out. Each hit draws the blood to the surface, making her body hyper sensitive. I place every blow in perfect counterpoint to the music, combining something heavenly with something dark, pulling, and calling the darker feelings and desires inside her. It’s like a perfect union between me and Anastasia; the light and dark angels. The sensation she’s feeling is completely erotic addressing something unmet in me, making me high and higher getting me to a place of ecstasy. I hit her across her hip, then move in swift blows over her pubic hair, on her thighs, and down to her inner thighs, and back up to her body again…across her hips. I keep going on and on in tone with the music until it stops…once the music starts again, I start raining the bites of the flogger over her body…and she groans and writhes under the fronds. Her breathing becomes wild, but also her body is

yearning for more, completely alert and wanting, and desirous. The excitement in me is paramount and I can see that she can barely contain hers. A very carnal moan escapes her lips. I drop the flogger and the bed moves and shifts as I clamber over her. Once the song starts again, my nose and lips take the place of the flogger. Running down her neck and throat, kissing, sucking as I trail down to her breast, taunting each nipple in turn as my tongue swirling round one as my fingers relentlessly tease and elongate the other… She groans loudly, feeling is high under my touches, and the overwhelming sensation, making her want more, getting lost in my movements. I move down to her belly. My tongue is circling her navel following my previous path of the fur and the flogger. I’m kissing and sucking and nibbling as I make my way to the south of her body. My tongue finally reaches the grand prize, at the junction of her thighs. She throws her head back and cries out in near orgasm. I know she’s on the brink, but I don’t want her to come under my tongue. I stop for the feeling to subside just a notch. She’s ready to be thoroughly fucked. I quickly divest myself out of the jeans. I kneel between her legs, and I remove the cuffs from her left ankle. She pulls her leg to the middle of the bed, resting against me. I lean to the opposite ankle, and free it from its confines. My hands travel quickly down both her legs, squeezing and kneading, and letting blood flow in them. I then grasp her hips and lift her off the bed and her back is no longer on the bed. She arches her back, completely resting on her shoulders. I kneel up between her legs, and in one swift slamming movement I’m inside her making her cry out again. I know that she’s already aroused and close to orgasm, and when she comes to the brink of orgasm I still, and wait till her quiver dies. “Please!” she wails. I grip her harder in warning. My fingers are digging into the soft flesh of her behind as she lies panting. She stills after my warning. Very slowly, I start to move again. In and then out, agonizingly slow. The choral piece is sung in rising and falling voices, and when the song picks up pace, so do I, completely controlling my movements, and both of our feelings, utterly in time with the music.

“Please, Christian,” she begs, and it too is my undoing. I lower her back onto the bed in one swift move, and I’m lying on top of her, my hands on the bed beside her breasts as I support my weight, and I thrust into her. As the music reaches its climax so do we, and I fall into an intense orgasm right after Anastasia’s thrusting hard into her three more times after she reaches her climax. I finally still, and then collapse on top of her. When the quivering feeling subsides, I pull out of her, and the music stops after I press the stop button on the remote. I stretch across her body as I undo the cuff from her right and then the left wrist. She groans as her hands are freed. I gently pull the mask from her eyes, and then remove the ear buds. She blinks and stares up into my gray eyes with her baby blues. “Hi,” I murmur. “Hi, yourself,” she breathes shyly back at me. My lips quirks up into a smile, and I lean down and kiss her softly. “Well done, you,” I whisper. “Turn over.” Her eyes go wide as if she’s asking incredulous ‘you still want more?’ kind of stare. “I’m just going to rub your shoulders.” “Oh… okay.” She rolls stiffly onto her front, quite tired. I sit astride her and start massaging her shoulders. She groans loudly in pleasure under my expert hands. I lean down, and kiss her head. “What was that music?” she mumbles, tired, sleepy and nearly inarticulately. “It’s called Spem In Alium, or the Forty Part Motet, by Thomas Tallis.” “It was…” she say pausing looking for the right word, “overwhelming.” “I’ve always wanted to fuck to it.” “Not another first, Mr. Grey?” “Indeed, Miss Steele.” She groans as I continue to massage her shoulders. “Well, it’s the first time I’ve fucked to it, too,” she murmurs sleepily. “Hmm... you and I are giving many firsts to each other,” I state the fact.

“What did I say to you in my sleep, Ch… uhm, Sir?” she corrects herself. My hands pause in the midst of my ministrations for a moment. “You said lots of things, Anastasia. You talked about cages, and strawberries… that you wanted more… and that you missed me.” I say leaving out the most important detail. “Is that all?” she asks with relief in her voice. I stop the massage and shift to lie next to her; I prop my head on my elbow, frowning. I want her to say it when she is coherent, awake to my face.

“What did you think you’d said?” I ask.

“That I thought you were ugly, conceited, and that you were hopeless in bed.”

I frown even more.

“Well, naturally I am all those things, and now you’ve got me really intrigued. What are you hiding from me, Miss Steele?” She blinks innocently. Say it, Miss Steele! Please, say it to me…when I’m here with you. “I’m not hiding anything.” “Anastasia, you’re a hopeless liar,” I say. “I thought you were going to make me giggle after sex; this isn’t doing it for me.” My lips quirks up in a smile. “I can’t tell jokes.” “Mr. Grey! Something you can’t do?” she grins at me and I grin back at him. “No, hopeless joke teller,” I say proudly of myself and she starts to giggle. “I’m a hopeless joke teller, too,” she chimes in. “That’s such a lovely sound,” I murmur, and then I lean forward and kiss her. “And you are hiding something, Anastasia. I may have to torture it out of you.” I stare at her, and I love the way she is giggling, and but I so desire her to tell me that she will stay.

We finally fall asleep, gazing at each other, and I’m holding her in my Play Room. Completely oblivious to the world and the problems it’s giving me. Just me and my Anastasia. In this state of complete peace, on top of the world in the midst of the chaos and the storms of my fuckedup life experiencing this momentary tranquility; just my girl and I, in bed together. Problems are waiting just outside the door; but right now, at this moment in time, I care for nothing, think of no one, except Anastasia. (←I'm on Top of the World by The Carpenters)

CHAPTER XXIX

Early morning brings me no relief. (←Sorrow - Gladiator soundtrack) I am running on auto pilot. Get up, work-out, shower, get dressed, eat, and tend to problems I may have caused or are brought to my doorstep. But at this point it really doesn’t matter. Leila and I have a shared history. She was one of my long term relationships. I can’t think of abandoning her at the time of need. I have a strong feeling that I’m the cause of her breakdown, or at least a big part of it. Why else would she come here? Remembering how Mrs. Jones described her disheveled appearance, my heart constricts anew. How did she get to that from being a vibrant, lively, mischievous woman? She was still all those things when we parted our ways; when she found someone to marry when I made it clear to her that I didn’t want ‘more’. I never wanted more. Not until Anastasia. But Leila found her more in the form of a husband, didn’t she? Then what happened? Does he know that she was here trying to cut herself? Of course not. If he knew, he’d be attending her needs like a husband should. I get to my study after accepting a cup of black coffee with skim milk from Mrs. Jones.

I press two numbers on my phone on the desk, Taylor answers, “Yes, sir.” “I need you for a briefing Taylor,” I say. “Coming sir,” he replies, I hang up. “Taylor, I want you to liaise with Welch. Find out where Leila’s husband is, and speak to him personally. Find out whether he’s still with Leila, and if not, find out the reason of their separation. When Welch touches bases with her parents, I want to know every detail, in writing. Got it?” “Of course, sir,” he replies firmly. My Blackberry buzzes, I check the phone and it’s Welch. Taylor turns to leave, but I hold my finger indicating him to stay for another minute. This may be something he too has to hear. “Welch, I’m going to put you on speaker phone, and I want Taylor to hear what you have to say. I want him to liaise between you and me if I’m not available. You can reach him anytime, and you have his contact information.” “Yes, sir,” Welch replies. “The reason I’m calling you about is this. About a little over two months ago, Leila left her husband after finding herself another lover. From what her husband said, she seemed in love with him, and has hasn’t had contact with her since, and he specifically said that neither does he care to hear from her, after, ahem,” he said clearing his throat, “and I’m quoting the husband here, ‘fucking another son-of-a-bitch while she was still under him’. So, it turns out she has been with this new boyfriend for the last two months. We don’t know who this boyfriend is though. That’s what I’m trying to find out. I have tried to reach the family, but they haven’t answered their phones yet. I’ll try them today as well to see if they have any information on her whereabouts or the new boyfriend she has in her life. That could give us a good lead sir,” he said.

“Are you getting all this?” I ask Taylor. (←Hearing the Damage by Tom Yorke)

“Yes, sir,” he replies coolly. “Meanwhile, keep your eyes and ears open to see or hear if she’s checked into another hospital, or whether the police records, or anything new that may mention her name until we

find her. She’s bound to pop out of somewhere. It doesn’t make sense that she comes to my house trying to commit suicide, and then disappear. She’s got to be somewhere in the city. “ “Are there any close friends, or acquaintances she has in town sir, or in the surrounding cities that you know of?” “Not that I know of. That’s now your job to uncover. Anything else?” “Nothing else sir,” he says, and I remind him, to keep in touch with Taylor and hang up. “Taylor, this is now your priority to look into. Let me know the second you uncover something.” “Of course sir,” he replies. My Blackberry buzzes letting me know I have an incoming message. Taylor turns to go back again, but I hold my finger at him once more. The message is from Anastasia. ______________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Homeward bound Date: June 3 2011 12:52 EST To: Christian Grey

Dear Mr. Grey

I’m once again in the enclosure of the first class for which I thank you. I’m counting the minutes until I see you this evening, and perhaps torturing the truth out of you about my nocturnal admissions.

Your Ana x ______________________________________ I type a quick response. ______________________________________

From: Christian Grey Subject: Homeward bound

Date: June 3 2011 09:57 To: Anastasia Steele

Anastasia, I look forward to seeing you.

Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. ______________________________________ Then turn to Taylor and tell him to take me to CEH within the next 30 minutes. I have so much work to do. That’s on top of the unexpected problems arisen due to Leila. ______________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Homeward bound Date: June 3 2011 13:00 EST To: Christian Grey

Dear Mr. Grey

I hope everything is okay regarding the situation. The tone of your email is worrying.

Your Ana x ______________________________________ Oh, I don’t want to upset her, or worry her with my problems. It’s not something I can’t resolve, but currently occupying my mind. But is she writing me from inside the airplane? If so, have they taken off? Is she putting herself in danger? Currently, I can only deal with one woman who is putting herself in danger, and I especially don’t want Anastasia to be the other. ______________________________________

From: Christian Grey Subject: Homeward bound

Date: June 3 2011 10:03 To: Anastasia Steele

Anastasia, the situation could be better. Have you taken off yet? If you have, you shouldn’t be emailing me. You are putting yourself as well as the lives of others in the plane at risk which is a direct infraction of the rule regarding your personal safety. I meant what I said about punishments.

Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. ______________________________________ I hit send. I don’t have the patience to deal with rule breaking today. Her response is nearly immediate. ______________________________________

From: Anastasia Steele Subject: overreaction Date: June 3 2011 13:05 EST To: Christian Grey

Dear Mr. Grumpy,

The aircraft doors are still open and everyone’s lives including my own are quite safe. We are delayed for about ten minutes. You may stow your twitchy palm for now.

Miss Steele ______________________________________ This ‘situation’ is making me edgy and I’m even brusque with my girlfriend. I quickly type to apologize.

______________________________________

From: Christian Grey Subject: Apologies – stowing the twitchy palm away Date: June 3 2011 10:07 To: Anastasia Steele

I miss you and your smart mouth Miss Steele.

I just want you home safely.

Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. ______________________________________ I couldn’t handle it if anything had happened to her because she was being careless to send me a text message. ______________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: apology accepted Date: June 3 2011 13:09 EST To: Christian Grey

They’re closing the doors now. You won’t hear another peep from me especially given your deafness.

Laters,

Ana x ______________________________________

After I receive her last message, I make my way out to the living room where Taylor is waiting to drive me. “Taylor, do you have Miss Steele’s arrival information?” “Of course, sir,” he replies. “Alright. It appears that I have more work than I could finish today, so I need you to pick her up when she arrives, and bring her back to Escala this evening.” “Certainly, sir,” he responds. We arrive at GEH and Andrea scuttles behind me into my office to go over my upcoming meetings for the day. My fucking day is filled with one stressful incident after another. Right after Andrea, Ros comes in. In her pack and a half cigarette smoked raspy, but I-cut-to-the-chase voice she gives me the gist on our disaster of an acquisition of a company which we are trying to liquidate now. “Cost, Ros, what is the bottom line in cost?” She shifts in her seat, uncomfortable. “Final number sir is sixty-seven million Dollars...” her voice is steady but low. “Sixty-seven fucking million Dollars? How did we back into such a shitty trap? I want all the details, down to the last penny, and have finance send me an extensive cost analysis report, immediately!” I bark. “Yes Mr. Grey,” she says knowing she’s dismissed, and quickly makes her way out of my office. I press the intercom. “Yes Mr. Grey,” answers Andrea. “Get Welch on the line,” I order. “Right away, sir.” Two minutes later the phone rings. “Yes, Mr. Grey,” he answers. “Do you have any update for me?” “Mr. Grey, her husband is being most uncooperative. He doesn’t care what happens to her, he said he doesn’t care if she kills herself, by hanging, cutting, throwing herself off a bridge,

or shooting. We tried to be very persuasive. Since he doesn’t care for her well-being, we tried to coax information by paying him,” says Welch. “Fucking bastard! Does he care nothing about her? Did she mean nothing to him that he can be so calloused?” I rant. “Mr. Grey, he’s vindictive, and hasn’t passed the fact that she cheated on him, and ran out on him with some other man she fell in love with. That’s the story we could gather from acquaintances.” “How about the family?” “It’s still work in progress sir. The family lives on the other side of the country. They knew she ran out on her husband, and that she was happy with the new guy she was with. But the parents said that the sister might have more information and we were unable to get in touch with her.” “Do they know her whereabouts?” “No sir. The last she was in touch with them was after she ran out of her husband. Nothing since.” “Keep searching. I want her found Welch!” “Yes sir,” he says firmly. I hang up. The work day is dragging with one issue after another, and I’m frustrated with all the emergencies at my door. I have a late meeting, and I call Taylor in to pick Anastasia up from the airport. “Bring her back to Escala,” I reiterate my earlier order. “I will sir.” He leaves. As soon as my meeting is over, I drive myself back to Escala. I make it to my penthouse around 6:00 p.m. My Blackberry never stops ringing. “Mr. Grey, this is Welch here,” says Welch by the way of greeting. “Do you have an update for me?” I ask. “Mr. Grey, we’ve been searching her old address, old neighbors, and former friends and acquaintances. So far no one has seen her in more than three months.” “No trace then?”

“None so far sir. But we’ll keep searching.” “Okay.” Would you like me to update if we get partial information?”

“Yes.” Then I feel it. That gaze, on my back... watching me. (←I Just In Your Arms Tonight by Cutting Crew) I didn’t even realize that my entire body was tense, but that connection, that electricity somehow changes my whole demeanor. Tension leaves my body, peace floods as I find my center with the sight of my girlfriend. Girlfriend. My ‘more’. I feel that intense desire blooming inside me as my body calls to hers. I gaze at her with a sensual carnality, my eyes blazing. She’s speechless, quiet. She feels the same pull. The same attraction. Same desire. I thank God every day for finding her, and sending her to me. “Keep me informed,” I say to Welch and turn my phone off without breaking gaze with Anastasia. She’s paralyzed in her spot at the entry to the living room. I close the distance between us in long strides, my eyes devouring this beauty as if I haven’t seen her in ages, and not yesterday. With all the shitty things that have been happening since yesterday, she’s like an angel with her innocent, beguiling aura. My jaw is tense with the stress, and I’m beyond anxious. I finally shrug off my gray suit jacket, then undo the dark tie and finally sling them both on the couch as I make my way to my woman. As I reach her, I wrap my arms around her, pulling her to me hard and fast, and grip her ponytail to tilt her head up to meet my lips. I kiss her as if my life depends on it; and it does. She’s my lifeline. She’s my rock, and one that steadies me in the midst of the damned, fucked-up past, and what it brings forth to me.

She is surprised at my desperation, and the primal quality in my kiss. I have barely made through this last day. Mostly I’m a man, who is an island, but today, it’s different; my need for Anastasia is paramount. My kiss says it all: I want you. I need you. Save me. Love me. Be with me. Let me take over control so I don't feel lost anymore! (←I Want You to Take Over Control by Afrojack) At this point in time, I’m elated that she’s back, that she still wants me, desires me. I pour all the anxiety that has been brewing over since I learned she was leaving town finally comes to a boiling point. She starts kissing me with equal fervor as she twists and fists her fingers in my hair. She inhales me as if she wants to devour me, love me, and taste me in her hot sexy way. I drag my mouth away from her momentarily, and stare at her. The relief of her presence is monumental. My heart twists and constricts with an unnamed emotion. Desire, lust, want, love?

“What’s wrong?” she breathes.

“I’m so glad you’re back. Shower with me...Now.” I command, completely evading her question.

“Yes,” is her whispering reply as I grab her hand leading her out of the living room into my bedroom and to my master bathroom. Once we are in the bathroom, I release her hand, and turn the shower on. I slowly turn to her, and gaze at this beautiful creature before me. “I like your skirt,” I say taking in her too short skirt, “It’s very short,” I say. “You have great legs.” Stepping out of my shoes, I lower myself down and take each of my socks off, while my eyes constantly lingering on Anastasia. The hunger, the desire I feel for her is tangible; overtaking me. She mirrors my actions by taking off her black flats. This is all I can take right now with her close proximity, in my bathroom. After all that’s gone through within the last day and a half, I want nothing but to bury myself in her, lose all train of thought, forget everything even my name, and unite with her. Suddenly my patience is lost and I reach for her, backing her

against the wall. I start kissing her with all the emotion pouring out of me, her lips, her face, her throat, back to her lips as I run my hands into her hair. Her back is against the cool tile wall. I push myself against her as in a bid to be one with her, to merge, to consume and soothe my aching soul, find myself again out of the misery I’ve been experiencing. It’s as if I’m lost in the middle of the cold Pacific during a middle of a typhoon, and she’s the only thing that promises survival and life; my lifeline. She places her arms on my upper arms, and I groan...loud, and she squeezes tightly. “I want you now. Here... fast and hard,” I breathe, and my hand slide to her thighs pushing up her skirt. It’s my own universe. The only coping mechanism, the only way I find relief with the only woman everyone else who says I’m in love with. But, right now, I don’t care what they say. I have emotions that I’ve never experienced before when it comes to Anastasia. (←Lets Make it a Night to Remember by Bryan Adams)

“Are you still bleeding?” I ask. “No,” she replies as she blushes. “Good,” I say. My thumbs hook over her white cotton panties, and I abruptly drop to my knees to Anastasia’s surprise and tug them off. Her skirt is just rucked up and she’s naked from waist down. She starts panting in anticipating, wanting, desirous for me. My breath is caught at her response. I grab her hips, pushing her against the wall again as I kiss her at the apex of her thighs. I grab her upper thighs and I force her legs apart. She moans loudly as I circle my tongue on her clitoris. Her body arches and her head tips back in response to my ministrations on her sex. Her moans grow louder in rising pleasure, and her fingers find their way into my hair tugging hard. I pour all my desire, all my pent up frustration, all the anxiety my separation caused in the last day, and the relentless problems I was dished out into my love making with the only woman of my heart’s desire. As my tongue swirls round and round relentlessly, strong and insistent, constantly laving her over and over again, my anxiety leaves me for finally having to be with my girl. I know the feeling of ecstasy my mouth on her sex is providing is intense. I feel

her body quicken, and that’s when I release her. I don’t want her to come under my tongue, but with the invasion of my ever growing length. Her breathing is ragged as she’s panting, and gazing at me in protest for not finding a release that came but never materialized. I don’t want the quick release. I want to drag this on. I quickly rise up to my feet and grab her face with both hands, holding my girl firmly and kiss her hard thrusting my tongue in her mouth invading her there, finding hers in a bid to make her taste her own arousal for me letting all her senses know that she too desires me in every way possible. I then unzip my fly freeing my manhood and grab the backs of her thighs and lift her. “Wrap your legs around me baby,” I command her in an urgent, strained, and I-want-tofuck-you-now voice. She immediately does what she’s told, and I move quickly and sharply, filling her expectant sex. When our most desired connection is established making me groan, and gasp, I hold her behind, my fingers digging into her soft flesh, I begin to move slowly at first trying to get a feel of her, let my brain know that I’m in her with the initial feel. Then I pick up a steady even tempo, but as I lose myself in my woman, I speed up faster and faster. She tips her head back as her legs wrapped around, her arms holding my neck and my manhood is uniting with her sex in a fast and rapturous tango, I push both of us higher and higher in pleasure in an invading, pushing, punishing heavenly sensation. We climb higher and higher as neither of us can climb anymore reaching our peak, we spiral into an intense, an all-consuming orgasm. I let go with a deep growl, and bury my head into her neck as I busy my length in her sex deep one last time, I groan loudly and incoherently as I find my own release. My own breathing is erratic, but I kiss her tenderly without breaking our connection, creating another connection point. If it was possible to merge with my girl, I’d do that right now. She blinks also lost in sensation and desire. I finally manage to pull out of her, and hold her steady as I gently place her on her feet on the floor. The shower has been running and the hot water created steam, covering up the mirrors creating a cloud in the bathroom. “You seem pleased to see me,” she murmurs with her shy smile I love so much. My lips quirk up at her brand of underestimation.

“Yes, Miss Steele,” I say, “I think my pleasure in seeing you is pretty self-evident. Come... Let me get you in the shower.” I undo the buttons on my shirt, removing the cufflinks, and tug it off over my head, and just toss it on the floor. I remove my suit pants and boxers, and also kick them to one side careless. I never break my gaze off Anastasia. I start undoing the buttons of her blouse as she is watching me intently with some unnamed desire in her eyes-deep and consuming. “How was your trip back?” I ask mildly as the sex calmed me down and my apprehension leaving me. She’s my universal panacea to most every problem I have. “Fine, thank you,” she murmurs still trying to catch her breath. “Thank you once again for upgrading me to first class. It really is a much nicer way to travel,” she says smiling shyly at me. “I have some news,” she adds nervously. Oh, oh... What could it be? Is it bad that she feels nervous telling me about it? “Oh?” is my contained response. I look down at her curiously as I undo the last button on her blouse and slip it down her arms, and throw it on top of the discarded clothes. “I have a job,” she says. I still with reprieve; it’s not something as bad as I expected. As relief floods and washes over me I smile at her with warm and soft eyes. “Congratulations, Miss Steele. Now will you tell me where?” I tease her. “You don’t know?” she asks. I shake my head and frown. Why would she think I know where she got the job? “Why would I know?” I ask probing. “With your stalking capabilities, I thought you might have...” she trails off when she sees the expression my face as unexpected disappointment and hurt passes through my face. “Anastasia, I wouldn’t dream of interfering in your career, unless you ask me to of course,” I say, truly wounded that she would think so little of me. “So, you have no idea which company?” she asks. “No. I know that there are four publishing companies in Seattle,” I say. That much I’ve researched when she told me she was going to interview with two publishing companies. “So, I’m assuming it’s one of them.”

“SIP,” she blurts out excitedly. “Oh, the small one, good. Well done,” I say leaning forward, kissing her forehead. “Clever girl. When do you start?” I ask. “Monday,” she responds.

“That soon, eh? I’d better take advantage of you while I still can. Turn around,” I command. (←All I Want is You by U2) She does as she’s commanded. I undo her bra and unzip her skirt. I push her skirt down and cup her amazingly round and rosy derrière, and simultaneously kiss her shoulder. I lean against her nuzzling my nose against her hair. I inhale her scent deeply as her smell is incredibly intoxicating, taking me to a different plane. I squeeze her buttocks that are two round orbs.

“You intoxicate me Miss Steele, and you calm me. It’s such a heady combination,” I mutter between the kisses I place on her hair. I grab her hand tug her into the shower. “Ow,” she squeals as the scalding hot water hit her skin. I grin down at her as the water cascades and run down from my body. “It’s only a little hot water Anastasia,” I tease her. “Turn around,” I order, and she complies without a word. She turns and faces the wall. “I want to wash you,” I say with intense desire to touch her all over with the lather sliding between my hands and her curves. I reach for the body wash, squirting a little into my hand. “I have something else to tell you,” she murmurs, as my hands start on her shoulders. I feel her entire body tense with this one sentence. What could be worrying her? Is it something bad? Is she leaving me? Has she reached a decision in Georgia against us? With her reaction, I tense as well, but, I want to hear her out. With barely contained anxiety, I say, “Oh, yes?” I ask in a mild tone. “My friend Jose’s photography show is opening Thursday in Portland,” she starts her sentence, enunciating the word ‘friend’. My mind goes to the fucking photographer who has had eyes and tongue on my woman the second after I met her. The mention of his name stills my hands on her breasts automatically. She steels herself with a deep breath.

“Yes, what about it?” I ask sternly not liking the idea of that fucker entering in the shower even in a conversation when the two of us are naked and intimate. “I said I would go. Do you want to come with me?” she asks. The last thing I want to do is to put my girl in the touching distance of that fucker. But it appears that she has made up her mind to go. If I say no, she’d go alone even if I were to prohibit her knowing how disobedient she can be, and that’d be worse, and I’d be eating myself up the whole time. If, however I’m there, I can control the situation. I reluctantly make up my mind telling myself ‘compromise Grey, compromise. That’s what she needs.’ She doesn’t even know what lengths I would go to be with her, to keep her safe, to keep her mine, and mine alone. I start washing her again finally after making up my mind to acquiesce. “What time?” I ask. “The opening is at 7:30 p.m.” she responds. I kiss her ear. “Okay,” I say softly. With this one word response, all the tension leaves her body as she almost sags into my hands. “Were you nervous about asking me?” I question her. “Yes. How can you tell?” “Your entire body just relaxed Anastasia,” I tell her dryly. “Well, you just seem to be, uhmm... on the bit of a jealous side,” she puts it mildly. You have no idea darling! “Yes, I am,” I say darkly. “And you’d do well to remember that. But thank you for asking. We’ll take Charlie Tango,” I say being in control again. “Can I wash you?” she asks. Although I want her to touch me badly, I can’t bear to have hands on me...not yet. “I don’t think so,” I murmur, and her face falls in hurt and disappointment. I kiss her gently on her neck trying to ease the refusal, letting her know that I still want her. I caress her back with the soap. “Will you ever let me touch you? She asks longing. I am not ready to answer that question yet. I still, and avoid the question while my hands are still on her behind.

“Put your hands on the wall Anastasia. I’m going to take you again,” I murmur in her ear as I grab her hips, and the discussion is effectively over as we’re both lost to our ecstasy. Once we’re out of the shower, I wrap a warmed up fluffy towel around my waist, and I quickly grab another one and dry Anastasia. We’re soon dressed in bathrobes and out in the kitchen seated at the breakfast bar. Mrs. Jones has fixed an excellent pasta alle vongole. Holding up the bottle of Sancerre I ask Anastasia, “more wine?” as my eyes glowing with so many different emotions. “A small glass please,” she replies. She finally gathers the courage to ask me the question that’s been bothering her for some time. “How’s the, uhmmm... the situation that brought you to Seattle?” she asks tentatively making me frown. I don’t want to remember Leila’s attempted suicide, especially when she’s still missing, creating a possible danger to herself, and possibly to others. “Out of hand,” I murmur without being able to avoid the bitterness in my tone. “But it’s nothing for you to worry about Anastasia. I have plans for you this evening,” I say effectively distracting her. “Oh?” is her questioning response. “Yes. I want you ready and waiting in my playroom in fifteen minutes,” I say standing up and gazing down at her. “You can get ready in your room. By the way, your walk-in closet is now full of clothes for you. I don’t want any arguments about it,” I say narrowing my eyes with the intensity that’s been brought up with our current discussion, daring her to refuse. By all means, argue with me, and soothe my twitching palms. She says nothing, and looks back impassively. Good! I walk back to my study. I find my iPod and my iPod radio transmitter and the remote for it. I go to my room, and in my closet I locate my soft, over washed ripped jeans that I only use in my Play Room. I divest myself of all clothing except my jeans. I leave the top button undone. I slowly make my way to the Play Room. I want Anastasia to anticipate; the more she waits, the more she anticipates. When I come to the heavy door of my Play Room, I quickly open it, and close it after I get in. I

breeze through the room, and completely ignore Anastasia who is sitting in her panties in the submissive position. I make my way to the chest by the door and place the iPod and the transmitter on it. Then I stroll toward the bed. The scene I have planned for Anastasia today requires me to cuff her hands and feet. I check the cuffs on the bedposts. Then I stroll back to the chest of drawers. I open one of them and take out a fur glove, a flogger with leather strands and beads at their ends, placing them on the top. I finally walk back to Anastasia and stand before her. Her head bowed, sitting on her heels, her hand placed on her laps fingers spread wide, her hair falling in cascades, only in her panties. She’s a sight to behold, and beyond beautiful and arousing. “You look lovely,” I breathe. She keeps her head down as I stare at her intently. A lovely flush slowly creeps up on her face which usually happens when she’s embarrassed, feeling my gaze on her. How often will I tell her that she’s beautiful? She should not be embarrassed of her own beauty. I bend down and cup her chin forcing her face up to meet my intent gaze, willing her to believe. “You are one beautiful woman, Anastasia,” I say fervently. “And you are all mine,” I murmur as relief floods with the knowledge that this is my woman, and that she’s back here, with me, trying to please me. “Stand up,” I command softly. As I gaze at the beauty before me, I realize my voice is full of sensual promise. She shakily gets up to her feet. “Look at me,” I breathe, and she finally raises her blue eyes into my smoldering gray gaze. I look at her as her Dom, as her master I am in this room, and I know that my stare is cold, hard, I will-do-as-I-wish-with-you-here sinful gaze and her responding stare is sexy, expectant and wanting. Her mouth slightly opens as shallow gasps fill her lung, and her tongue travels out for a second in a bid to wet her dry mouth. An almost cruel smile plays on my lips as I know what she wants. And what she wants is me and what I will do to her. “We don’t have a signed contract Anastasia. But, you know we’ve discussed limits. I want to reiterate we have safewords, okay?” Her gaze changes one of excitement, and fear.

“What are they?” I ask her with authority. She frowns slightly at my question, and her hesitation makes my face harden. She needs to know and be able to use the safewords should she need it. “What are the safewords, Anastasia?” I ask slowly and deliberately. “Yellow,” she mumbles first. “And?” I prompt as my mouth sets in a hard line. We have more than one safeword. “Red,” she breathes after my prompt. “Remember those,” I warn. Then she raises her eyebrows in her smarting expression, and that is not allowed in my Play Room. But my glare changes to one of a frosty and an icy glint, and she stops in her tracks, and her smarting expression seizes, effectively stopping her in her tracks. “Don’t start with your smart mouth in here, Miss Steele. Or I will fuck it with you on your knees. Do you understand?” I ask her firmly.

She swallows hard, and blinks rapidly, after being effectively chastened. The tone of my voice and the threat it promises changes her demeanor to one of obedient. (←Here I am Baby by UB40)

“Well?” I prompt. “Yes, sir,” she mumbles hastily. “Good girl,” I say, pausing and staring at her. “My intention is not that you should safeword because you’re in pain. What I intend to do to you will be intense. Very intense, and you have to guide me. Do you understand?” I ask. Her eyes widen, bewildered. “This is about touch Anastasia. You won’t be able to hear me, or see me. Buy you’ll be able to feel me.” I say. She frowns. I turn to face the music center. I wave my hand in front, and the housing containing the stereo splits open in half. As the two doors slide open, they reveal the CD player and the complicated stereo system. I set it up to receive transmission from the radio transmitter I will use linking the iPod to the stereo and the surround sound, and I put the

song I intend to play on repeat. Anastasia however will only hear it through the ear buds I’ll be putting on her ears to eliminate any other noise she can hear intensifying the sensation. I see her mystified look from my peripheral vision. I turn back to face her again, and I have my Ihave-a-secret smile on my face. “I’m going to tie you to the bed, Anastasia. But I’m going to blindfold you first and,” I say revealing the iPod in my hand, “you won’t be able to hear me. All you will hear is the music I’m going to play for you.” She’s surprised as usual, and that’s an expression I love on her. “Come,” I say takin