I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

(William Butler Yates)

I’m lost in the moment, time stretches, and my woman is in my arms, our kiss lingering. I love her beyond love. What is beyond love? Love feels like a simple emotion compared to what I feel for Anastasia. What I wouldn’t do for her? Simply nothing... There isn’t a thing I wouldn’t do for her. I would take her any way she would be willing to have me; I’m not too proud to admit that whatever she gives me, I will take, and she gave me all of her. “Mrs. Christian Grey,” I say reverently, and she smiles as wide as she can. Her smile lights up my world in more ways than one. Desire courses through my veins, and instantly I am on top of her. (All I want is you - U2) “I need you Ana! You’re all I think about, all I feel... Sometimes it’s hard to function. If I loved you any more, I don’t know if I could do anything else, but be in you 24/7 around the clock.” I whisper fervently into her lips with all the intensity of my emotions. Her eyes widen; the pupils are getting bigger nearly covering all her blue until it’s just a small rim of blue around the black. It is so fucking hot! I have to have her, here, and now! My cock is in full salute mode, and I rub it on her sex; my erection is protesting its confinements, raring to get out. As I rub myself on her even with my pants and her dress as barriers between us, the sensation she’s feeling is too much for her to bear; she tilts her head to the side, her eyes roll back as she moans with pleasure. With ragged breath and racing heart, her fingers fumble shakily with my zipper, and instantly her hand is inside my boxers, rubbing my erection and cupping my balls. I groan loudly and push my hips into her greedy hand. “Let’s get you naked, baby,” I say anxiously. I’ve never wanted her as much as I do now, and considering I’m a halfcocked gun for her almost all the time, this is saying a lot.

(Celine Dion - Alone) ***** Anastasia’s back arches, and her hands fist the flowers that she has been laying upon the floor of the boathouse. I pin her effectively under me on the floor; the dull lights in the boathouse, the sea of vibrantly colored wild flowers, the rustic walls, and the sounds of the lazily lapping water below the boathouse create a magical place to make love in.

Anastasia’s hair gets damp with all the exertions, and a thin sheen of sweat covers my body. My lips travel to her neck and she turns her head to the side to allow me easier access to her. I nip her jaw, and neck and slowly make my way within the valley of her breasts. My thumb and forefinger captured her nipple, and I roll it, and tug it as I capture her other nipple with my mouth; I suck her deep and hard making her shout my name out loud, “Christian! Please!” I give her a lascivious grin with her nipple between my teeth tugging it gently. “All in good time baby... I want to make love to you,” I murmur. “Please, I want you so much. I’m ready now!” she says pushing her hips up to meet my eager cock, but I stop her by clamping her body between my legs. “Slow, baby, slow... Savor it...” I urge her. My mouth and lips move down to her belly and my tongue assaults the small tight hole of her belly button, as my hand cups her sex palming her clit, and dipping one and then two fingers into her inviting, now drenched sex. My other hand effectively rolls, tugs at her nipple and knowing the sensations will travel to her core; she moans in response, and her body almost levitates off the ground with pure pleasure. “Christian please, take me!” My mouth travels to her sex, and finds her eager bloom. I nip at her sensitive spot lightly and she nearly convulses. I swirl her core, and her clit, and dip my tongue into her tight opening, rolling it inside of her counter clockwise, touching her sensitive spot on the front wall of her vagina; assaulting her relentlessly. As my hand pleasures her breast, my tongue is making love to her; I use my other hand to rub her clit, and her pleasure scale tips over and she gets her double orgasm. As the waves of orgasm are rolling over her body, and contracting her inner core, I hover over her, and sink my aching cock inside her inch by inch. When I’m balls deep, I stop for a second and enjoy our oneness, unity, and connection. It’s almost heavenly, as we are now one body, and one soul. The waves of her orgasms are still rolling through her and the contractions inside her sex are pulling me deeper, urging, and begging for the friction my cock can provide and I oblige. I pull back slowly, and raveling in the response her body is giving me, sink back in as her sex pulls me back deeper to that special spot begging to be rubbed, and touched, and alerted, ringing all the bells, and firing all the synapses within her body. My lips find hers, and I slowly start kissing her, matching my pace with her sex. Slowly, leisurely, savoring, feeling every little movement, wanting it last forever. Our lips mold to each other, I suck at her lower lip, and she moans with pleasure in my mouth, and it triggers some desire in me firing me up, and my tongue dips into her mouth finding hers, and fucking each

other in both ends, and when I suck her tongue, her hips automatically lifts up, making my cock find the deepest spot in her, and her legs wrap around me, pushing my ass, urging my hips to remain locked a little longer. I gyrate my hip in that particular spot without pulling out, rubbing that special place in circles, and I feel her building up again. It excites me more, and I pull back, and increase my tempo and speed. My cock goes in and out relentlessly pounding into her, our lips locked, her nails digging into my back, something I couldn’t tolerate before, and now, I can’t live without. As one of my hands holding her exquisite ass to help my cock to get deeper still, the other is rolling, and tugging her nipples. Anastasia shouts her pleasure in my mouth, making me reach to my peak, and I groan an incoherent rendition of her name, and pour everything I’ve got in her, marking my woman, fucking and making love, merging our bodies and souls all at the same time. I finally collapse on her, thoroughly fucked and completely sated.

***** “Can we marry tomorrow?” I murmur to her. I don’t think I can handle not having her one hundred percent completely belonging to me for much longer. Not just as a girlfriend, not just as a fiancé, but I want her as my wife. I want her every way possible. I want everyone to recognize her as mine, as I am hers and that we belong to each other. I want to be legally recognized as the one who can make decisions for her; I want to be her next to kin, and I want her to be mine. I want to be the one who is responsible for her, where she is recognized as my wife, and I, her husband. Hell, I want it to be recognized in the sight of God, to seal the deal for all eternity! What God has joined together, let no man put asunder. That’s what I want out of our relationship... I want forever! I want what’s beyond forever.

She murmurs a dazed, “Hmmm,” as she lies on my chest, as I am sprawled on the floor among the meadow flowers. “Is that yes?” I ask hopefully. It sounded like an affirmation. “Hmmm.” “A no?” “Hmmm.” I grin at her sated, exhausted response. I’m pleased to find out, I can have that effect on my woman. “Miss Steele, are you incoherent?” “Hmm.” I can feel her grin, and her response makes me laugh with joy. I hug her tightly and kiss the top of her head. “Alright, it’s decided. Vegas, tomorrow, it is then.” She raises her sleepy head, “I don’t think my parents would be very happy with that,” she replies. Well, I don’t want to be on the bad side of my in-laws. What does she want? I contemplate as I absently thrum my fingertips on her gloriously naked back like the ominous four horsemen of the apocalypse. I stop it with the thought, and just caress her gently. “What do you want, Anastasia? Vegas? A big wedding with all the trimmings? Tell me.” I don’t want to shortchange her of her dreams because I want to have her immediately. I want her to be part of the decision. I want her to remember the beginning of forever. I am told repeatedly by my sister that all little girls imagine their wedding day. I wouldn’t want Anastasia to be deprived of that if I can help it. “Not big... Just friends and family.” I can do that. I can do anything she wants. Vegas, small, big, anything in-between. I just want her...in any shape and form she’ll have me. She gazes at me trying to gauge my reaction. “Okay,” I say nodding. “Where would you like to have it?” “Your folks’ place? Would they mind?” she asks. Mind? I can already imagine my mother screaming in that way that I now come to equate with pure ecstasy.

I make a rude sound. “My mother would be in seventh heaven to say the least.” “Okay, here then. I’m sure my mom and dad would prefer that,” she replies softly. I stroke her hair, push the strands that came loose with our lovemaking behind her hair. Pure bliss... “So, we’ve established where, now the when.” “Surely you should ask your mother,” she says as if I could grant my mother an endless amount of time. (Everything I do, I do it for you - Bryan Adams) “Hmm.” She would want a very long time, as is the tradition in the upper crust of the society to get everything perfect, and nice, and print worthy in the society pages, but, I don’t give a shit about that. I will only grant her the maximum amount of time I can tolerate without having Anastasia as my wife. “She can have a month, that’s it. I want you too much to wait any longer.” “Christian, you have me,” scolds Anastasia. “You’ve had me for a while. But okay-a month it is,” she says kissing my chest, a gesture I couldn’t tolerate before, but now it’s something I desire immensely. She lifts her head up to look at me and we lock gazes. She smiles in that way that tugs at my heart strings. My lips descend on hers effectively silencing her and we make love once again on the bed of flowers.

(Celine Dion - A New Day Has Come)

♥ ❤♥ ❤♥ ❤♥ ❤♥ ❤♥ ❤♥ ❤♥ ❤♥ ❤♥ ❤♥ ❤♥ ❤♥ ❤♥ ❤♥ ❤♥

The phone rings insistently. It is only 8:01. “Olivia!” shrieks Andrea. “You should never let the phone ring more than three times!” “Oh, God! I’m so sorry!” she says fumbling on her words, and her voice cracks when she answers it. “Good morning. Grey Enterprises Holdings. This is Olivia. How may I help you?” she says swallowing, and hoping that it isn’t Mr. Grey. He scares the hell out of her, and makes her jumpier than Mexican jumping beans. “Olivia!” says a soft crooning male voice on the other end of the phone. “Listen sweetie,” he draws on the word instantly calming Olivia’s jumpy heart. “Mr. Grey,” he says, then correcting himself adding, “Christian I mean, apparently got engaged on Saturday, and he forgot to send me an invitation to the celebration. I’m sure it was an oversight given that he had that horrendous accident only the day before. Although, we’re not as close friends as I would like us to be, but we have had a dinner or two together, and I was wondering, sweetheart, do you by any chance know her name?” Olivia clears her throat. She wants to be helpful. This is her Job Number 1. Andrea insists on it. Her scrutinizing gaze is on her already, assessing her every word, every gesture. The first thing Andrea told her when she started her internship is that she has to smile into the phone. The recipient of the smile may not see her, but the smile would be carried through her voice. She really wants stay at GEH permanently once her internship is over. It’s after all the best company in Seattle. So she smiles as big as possible into the receiver. “Who’s name sir?” Olivia asks in her most professional voice. “Christian’s fiancée of course darling. I’m sure he told his staff about getting engaged. This is after all Christian Grey!” Olivia racks her brain. She knew they all had a standing order to get Miss Anastasia Steele through, because she is his girlfriend. Mr. Grey had never been the same since he started seeing her. Even Ros was getting curious about it, and she’s been there the longest. They were all trying to pry it out of Taylor. So, he must be serious about her. He had a meeting with her and

Andrea that Miss Steele was to have top priority. No matter what he is doing, she is to be put through the phone, or find him.

“Olivia? Are you there sweetheart?” He sounds so sweet. She hates disappointing him. She clears her throat, and Andrea crosses her eyebrows. She must have sounded unprofessional. “Yes, sir, I’m here,” she answers in her most professional and charming tone. He must have smiled into the phone, because his voice is even sweeter now. “You see, I’m a bit disappointed, but I was hoping to send a gift basket and flowers for the happy couple. It’d be a dreadful shame and disrespectful if I didn’t know her name to put on the gift basket and the flowers.” “Oh, of course, sir. But, I’m not sure if Mr. Grey and Miss Steele are engaged. We weren’t told anything, yet.” “Did you say Miss Steele? What’s her first name?” “Anastasia..” blurts out Olivia. Andrea’s eyes go wide, and they’re about to jump out of their sockets; her color turns into a mix of crimson and puce in an instant, she looks like she is going to blow her top, and they call her “Frosty.” She looks more like the She-Devil now and walks in her 4 inch heels briskly towards Olivia. The man in the phone knows that his time is short when he hears, “Olivia!” through the earpiece of the receiver. “Are they engaged?” he asks hastily. Olivia knowing she is in deep shit, answers, “I’m sorry sir, I’ve no way of confirming or denying Miss Steele and Mr. Grey are engaged!” and Andrea grabs the phone out of her hand, and icily speaks into the mouth piece. “What tabloid are you calling from?” “Who said I was calling from a tabloid? I work freelance. Now I can sell the info to the highest bidder. Good day!” he says and the phone goes dead.

Andrea turns on her heels to glare at Olivia who is now wishing the floor would crack open and swallow her. Andrea looks like Mount Saint Helen spewing shards of ice, and Olivia is on the receiving end. “Shit! Shit! Shit!” laments Andrea with her eyes bulging, her cool is slipping. She paces a round in her high heels clicking on the marble floors decidedly as if she’s stepping all over Olivia who now flinches her eyes brimming with tears. “I’m so sorry!” she whispers fervently. “Do you have any idea what kind of trouble you got us both in?” She opens her mouth to spew again, but the phone rings once more. Olivia whimpers and her hand reaches out to the phone automatically. “Hold it!” Andrea speaks sternly and she runs to the phone so fast, Olivia imagines that Andrea looks like Usain Bolt in high heels in reaching to the phone. Andrea picks the receiver up, and answers in such a calm and professional voice, Olivia thinks she imagined being yelled at only twenty seconds ago. “Good morning, GEH. Christian Grey’s office. This is Andrea speaking. How may I help you?” “Good morning Andrea. This is Anthony Decimus. I’m Alex Pella’s secretary. Mr. Pella has flown upon Mr. Grey’s request from overseas. However he had to leave an important business unfinished, therefore he must return once completing his e xamination of Mr. Grey’s helicopter. Mr. Pella has seen the EC135 and he would like to share his findings with Mr. Grey. When can he see him today?” He sounds cultured, other worldly, well educated, and completely in charge. “Oh, Mr. Decimus...” Andrea starts. “Anthony, please,” he corrects her. “I’m not sure what time Mr. Grey is coming in today, but he is coming. I know that Mr. Grey would be most anxious to speak with Mr. Pella as we’ve been trying to reach him. What is Mr. Pella’s schedule like today?” “Mr. Pella dedicated this entire day for Mr. Grey. We are currently at Boeing Head and he’s still examining the helicopter, ma’am. Shall we say after lunch at GEH?”

“Yes, I believe that would work, but just in case we have to make adjustments, would you give me a contact number to reach you?” “Certainly.” Just then Andrea heard Christian Grey’s sure steps followed by stealthy steps of Taylor. Andrea jots down the number, and after hanging up the phone she grabs her tablet, and ready to greet her boss. “Olivia! Is there fresh coffee?” “Yes, Andrea, there is,” answers Olivia rubbing her eyes violently before Mr. Grey shows up right around the corner. “Hop to it! Mr. Grey is here!” And Christian Grey with an unusually cheerful face and Taylor in his usual unreadable face walk into the reception area. “Good morning Mr. Grey!” the girls greet him in unison and as usual Olivia jumping to her feet. “Morning!” he replies, and walks into his office as he answers his cell phone in such soft swooning voice.

“Hi Baby!” he says into the speaker but a shriek coming from the phone halts not only Christian Grey in his tracks but everyone else present. Christian’s entire body immediately tenses. Taylor’s body language mirrors his boss’s. He is so attuned to Christian Grey, when Christian thinks of walking, Taylor moves. He is like an extension of his body, a separate limb. “What?” he screams. Everyone freezes in the office. “Where is Sawyer?” “Okay. Stay right there! We’re coming.” Disconnecting his phone, he eyes Taylor grimly. “Let’s go!” he says. Olivia and Andrea just stare at each other, scared and puzzled. “What the hell just happened?” says Andrea looking after the back of her boss.

(Danger Zone - Kenny Loggins)

♥ ❤♥ ❤♥ ❤♥ ❤♥ ❤♥ ❤♥ ❤♥ ❤♥ ❤♥ ❤♥ ❤♥ ❤♥ ❤♥ ❤♥ ❤♥ “Are we going to SIP Mr. Grey?”

“No. To the deli by the corner of her work.” “Deli, sir?” Taylor asks confused. “Yes! The fucking paparazzi cornered her in the bathroom!” I growl on our way out. I punch the elevator call button; it couldn’t come soon enough. My foot tapping nervously, as soon as the elevator dings open, I walk in with Taylor. He is on the phone with Sawyer. “Get the fucking paparazzi out! Have the staff take her to a back room, a lo ckable room should they have one.” He listens, and I extend my hand out to the phone. “Sawyer, where is Miss Steele?” “She’s in the bathroom sir, a bit shaken. I’m so sorry Mr. Grey. I couldn’t possibly go into the ladies room with her. She asked me to purchase a scone as she walked into the rest room. I came to the bathroom door waiting for her as soon as I bought her pastry. I was waiting at the door, and I just heard her scream. Of course I barged in, and some paparazzi standing atop the other stall was trying to snap pictures of her from above!” “What the fuck?!” I roar. “I broke his camera, and...uhm... I might have broken his nose. He said he’d sue.” “The fucker tries to take a picture of my fiancée in a ladies bathroom and he wants to sue me for having you for protecting her? Fuck that! Where is Ana?” “She’s not coming out of the bathroom Mr. Grey. She’s too shaken. So, I’m just not letting anybody into the bathroom; I’m standing right in front of the bathroom door. The owner put a sign before the door here. It’s deterring others from entering.” I ran my hand through my hair exasperated. The elevator door opens in the Garage level. We run to the SUV. “By the way Mr. Grey there is a small army of photographers and paparazzi waiting to ambush outside. When Taylor drives you, have him pull up to the back of the deli, there is a delivery entrance for receiving. Frankly sir, the state Miss Steele is in, I don’t think there’s any way we can make it back to SIP on foot with Miss Steele being so upset.” Taylor opens the door to the SUV, and I slide in still talking.

“You’re not going to walk! We’re coming. Have the owner close the place down now. One hour only. I’ll pay double the cost, whatever he’s going to make by closing the place down. We need to use the delivery access.” “Yes, sir!” and I hand the phone back to Taylor. “ETA is 8 minutes, Sawyer,” Taylor says in an even tone, and listens. “The same rules apply. It’s a fucking emergency, and there’ll be more of it in the near future. Secure the scene... Yes... Okay... See you in six!” and hangs up and hits the gas. I’m so fucking angry! I hope to God the fucking photographer is not there, or else I’ll kill him! Tension is exuding all over my body. When we reach the deli, the SUV’s tires screech in the back of the receiving. There’s a giant trash container that Taylor narrowly avoids hitting before coming to a full stop. I rush out the door, and Taylor mutters a curse under his breath before he doubles behind me. The door is open and a teenage boy with zits all over his face is manning the back entry. “Who are you man? No one’s supposed to enter here!” he says in a courageous but awkward voice. Sawyer immediately appears when he hears the teenager. “Thank you Jason. He’s Mr. Grey.” With the mention of my name he gives me a big grin. “She’s right in there,” he says pointing to the restroom. A quick glance to the place tells me that there are only employees here who are idly cleaning around, and Taylor finds the owner immediately to take care of business. “Sawyer,” I say nodding at him to the side. “Yes, sir,” he replies in an even tone which is commendable because I am in a murderous mood. “Where’s the fucker?” “He left in the police custody. Someone from here called the police.” “Did they talk to Anastasia?”

“No, sir. She was too upset and refused to talk to anyone until you got here.” I nod. I walk into the bathroom nervous not knowing what state I’m going to find Anastasia in. I push the door open, and I look down with the crunch of broken glass under my feet. The camera. There is still a trail of dripped and dried blood on the floor. “Go away!” comes the sound from one of the stalls. “Is that how you greet your fiancée?” I reply relieved. The stall door opens and hits the wall immediately, and I find Anastasia hurling herself at me. Her eyes are red from crying, and she clings to me, her heart still beating fast, and her tears start rolling anew. “Shhh... I’m here now. What happened?” I say trying to keep the tension away from my voice. “I don’t know, Christian. This guy just peeked from the side stall and said, ‘Miss Steele? Miss Anastasia Steele?’ I automatically said ‘yes’, and he started snapping pictures of me in the bathroom from above. I couldn’t move! I felt so...so... exposed,” she says shaking. “I must have screamed. Then Sawyer rushed in and I heard him yanking the guy off the stall and then there was a fight...” she says between sobs. “Fuck! Did he see you exposed?” “I was sitting on the stall, my skirt lifted, and my panties down. No, I don’t think he got a good look at my ass, but I was so scared!” she snaps at me. “I have to up the security,” I say angrily. I didn’t want her to go to work today, hell, I don’t want her to go to work, ever! I can take care of her. “Why did you come to the deli? Didn’t you have enough breakfast?” trying to change the topic to calm both of us down. “I did. Just that I remembered their scones, and wanted to have one for later with my tea. Sawyer said ‘I’ll get it for you Miss Steele,’ and I told him I’d go to the ladies room. I wasn’t expecting a man to follow me here,” she says hugging me tighter. “Shall I take you home?” I ask. She shakes her head violently. “I.... no. I want to go to work.” I want to protest, and I’m getting infuriated by the second, but I rein in my anger.

“Anastasia, you were nearly attacked by a fucking paparazzi. There’ll be more of that in the future now that they got a whiff of who I’m marrying. I can protect you better if I can keep you home,” I say through gritted teeth. “Christian, you can’t keep me home all the time. I’m not an eye candy, or an arm decoration. I’m my own person. I want to work. I was just...shocked by the ambush. Had I known this would have happened, I would be more cautious. It’s the way he approached me that scared me. In the bathroom stall for God’s sake!” “Ana, I’m a high profile man. There’s not only the paparazzi, but all kinds of people I’d like to protect you from. People with wealth have a lot of enemies, or opportunistic jackals. Once they know you’re in my life, you’re in danger. I have to protect you. But you have to let me! You need to listen to me, and follow directions.” “Christian...” she starts protesting in a way only Anastasia can. “Anastasia,” I say firmly. “Your safety is not negotiable. If you want to work, fine. But, you have to follow the security protocols. You’re not under the radar anymore. You’re visible. It would kill me if anyone harmed you in anyway because of me. Do you understand that?” I say fervently taking her head into my hands. She nods reluctantly. Once we get married, once she’s mine completely, she will promise me in the sight of God and everyone else to obey me. For now, I can remain silent for a little while longer, or spank the shit out of her which clearly the second option is out. Fuck! “So, work it is then. But, don’t leave the building. Taylor and I will collect you after work. Got it?” “Yes, Christian,” she says hugging me tighter. “We just announced our engagement Saturday night to only your family and friends. How did they learn about it so quickly?” “Paparazzi’s nose smells the bachelor blood and high profile engagements, marriages, or scandals like the blood hound within hundred miles of radius,” I say. “Now that the cat’s out of the bag, we have to make a formal announcement. I’ll talk to PR when I get back to the office.” She nods. (Every Breath You Take - Sting)

***** We drive the short distance to SIP and go to the back entrance of the publisher as the front of the building has a small army of photographers waiting. I make a mental note to talk to Welch to up the security in the building. I walk Anastasia all the way to her office, and ask her again if she really wants to stay at work today even though I know what her response would be. “Yes, Christian. I need to learn to deal with it. If this is the package that comes with you, I accept it,” she says hitching my breath. She takes me at my worst, how can I not desire to give her my very best? “Ana?” “Yes?” “I’m so glad you called me. I want to be the one who comes to you to meet all your needs. I want to be the one saving you, although I’m fucking mad that it happened, that some fucker violated your privacy in such a crude manner. So, no going out, until I get you, okay?” “Yes, Christian,” she replies. “Good girl. We need to get you an assistant, so she can get your scones, and lunches from now on,” I say and kiss her. “She?” “Yes, a ‘she’. I can’t bear it if a man was working for you, and seeing you longer than I do in any given day,” I say firmly. “Okay,” she acquiesces. “I love you Christian.” My gaze softens, “and I, you, Ana.” ***** When Taylor and I walk back to into my office, both Andrea and Olivia jump to their feet. “Andrea, bring your tablet and come in right away!” I say without a preamble. She doubles her steps behind me. “Is everything alright this morning sir?” she manages to ask.

“No, damn it! They ambushed my fiancée in a public restroom. Does that sound like everything’s alright?” “Your fiancée sir?” “Miss Anastasia Steele and I are engaged. That’s what I need you for, right now. I want you to get in touch with the PR, and we need to formally announce our engagement, and I’ll provide you with a picture so that they don’t go ambushing Anastasia in bathrooms!” “Paparazzi, sir?” she asks swallowing, looking uneasy. “Yes. Is there something you need to tell me?” Andrea stands straight, hold her head higher, nervously tug a non-existing strand of hair behind her ear, and hug onto her tablet like a life raft. My gaze pierces her, and my jaw tightens. “I’m so sorry Mr. Grey. This morning, someone called the GEH pretending to be your friend, and he said he was going to send a gift basket and flowers to congratulate your engagement, and asked your fiancée’s name. I’m sorry to say that I was unable to get to the phone before Olivia said she didn’t know whether you and Miss Steele were engaged.” “What? Fuck! Fuck!” I yell, and jump to my feet, walk to the door with brisk footsteps, and open the door wide. “Olivia! Get in here!” Olivia’s face goes crimson immediately, and walks into my office with faltering steps. “Yes Mr. Grey,” she says swallowing, her eyes brimming with tears which I have no sympathy for. “What exactly did you tell the paparazzi?” “He wasn’t exactly paparazzi Mr. Grey. He told Andrea that he was working freelance,” she says and even Taylor rolls his eyes. “Are you fucking stupid or what? He wasn’t working for one tabloid! He was working for all! Do you know the misery you’ve put Miss Steele through this morning? Would you have liked it if paparazzi were trying to snap ‘candid pictures’ of you when you were peeing in a public restroom?”

“I’m so sorry Mr. Grey. I did tell him that I couldn’t confirm or deny that you and Miss Steele were engaged!” she utters. My chest is heaving in anger, and I run both my hands in exasperation. “Are you completely insane? He was trying to find out who Anastasia was, and you gave it to him freely! You set Anastasia up for an ambush! Fuck that!” She starts sobbing.

“Stop with the waterworks, and get the hell out of my office! I don’t want to see you for the rest of the day!” I bellow. “Am I fired, sir?” “If you keep standing there, you will be! I don’t want to see such incompetence again at such a price. Andrea, send her to training for her to learn what I require from my immediate staff. “ Andrea stares at me. “Now!” I yell, making her jump. You have to give it Andrea the proper credit for being one of the few people who can take my glare, and not wither under it. “Yes, sir. I will attend to it immediately. However, Mr. Pella is in town, and he is only in town for today. His secretary called asking for a meeting with you this afternoon. He has examined Charlie Tango, and would like to share his findings with you, preferably after lunch at GEH, sir. I have to call and confirm the time with him. Although he has said that Mr. Pella is dedicating today for you, so anytime you’d like to meet him, sir. Mr. Pella will be departing for overseas again to tend an unfinished business at the end of today. Would after lunch be a good time for you to meet Mr. Pella sir?” she says in one and a half breath in rapid fire. I take a deep breath, and exhale. “Yes, clear out my afternoon schedule. I don’t know how long this would take.” “Yes, sir,” she replies. “Oh, Andrea. Here’s the letter I would like to be couriered along with the check drawn for Len and Evelyn Mattson,” I say extending the envelope.

“Have you had the check drawn in their name?” I ask. “Yes, sir. I have the paperwork here, for you to sign,” she says extending the paperwork and I quickly render my signature. “I want this to be sent out today,” I say as I extend the paperwork back to her. “Mr. Grey?” “Yes?” I reply sternly. “Your father called, and asked if you could have lunch with him at Rover’s sir. He has made reservations.” “Has he now?” “He was a bit insistent, sir,” she says strained. My gaze goes to Taylor in his usual corner. He looks his usual taciturn self. The only thing that gives his amusement away is the slight glimmer in his eyes. “Fine. Let’s get over with it. What time?” “At noon sir.” “Tell him I’ll be there.” “I will schedule Mr. Pella for 2:00 p.m. today which should give you plenty of time to get back sir.” “Fine,” I say with finality in my voice, and Andrea takes her cue and leaves my office. I get to my computer and type Anastasia a message. __________________________________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: wish we were home Date: June 20, 2011 11:04 To: Anastasia Steele

Baby, we both should have stayed home today and lost in each other. Are you feeling better? I really wish you didn’t work. I can take care of you, you know. Call me if you need anything.

Christian Grey Missing my fiancée CEO, Grey Enterprises Inc. PS: I love you PPS: Remembering you, a flower among flowers in the magic of last night is what is getting me through today. __________________________________________________________________ Her response doesn’t take too long to reach my e-mail box. __________________________________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Re: wish we were home Date: June 20, 2011 11:07 To: Christian Grey Christian, I have to work. I want to work. Let’s not hash this again, please. Although I too wish that we were at home and lost in each other. Better yet, at the boat house, among the wild flowers, and making love. Lots of it. It was... the best night of my life. Ever!

ILY Ax __________________________________________________________________ Best night, eh? For me as well. I love her so much the thought of someone might harm her is like a rusty knife twisting in my heart. I can’t have her exposed to threats, and dangers because of who I am. And Anastasia being Anastasia won’t listen to me. It is both refreshing, and excruciating. Both poison and antidote. How can I make her listen to me? How can I make her obey me so she is not exposed to any danger. Any harm. How? One more month... One more months and she will have no choice but to obey me. Because she’ll be promising obedience before God and however many people we decide to invite to our wedding. The thought gives me serenity in this fucking chaotic day.

I will promise her this in my wedding vows: ‘I, Christian Trevelyan Grey, take thee, Anastasia Rose Steele, to be my lawful wedded Wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.’ And she will give me her promise. ‘I, Anastasia Rose Steele, take thee, Christian Trevelyan Grey, to be my lawful wedded Husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth.’ Yes, I will feel immensely better when she promises to obey me. “Mr. Grey, we should get going if you are going to meet your father for lunch sir.” I get up, and see what gave my father a burning desire to have lunch with me despite the fact he’s seen me all evening yesterday. I can think of one reason. And that has to be nipped in the bud. “Let’s go,” I say more determined than ever. ***** “Mr. Grey, it’s an honor to have you here sir. Your company is waiting for you in the private dining area. If you please follow me this way, sir,” says the Maître D leading the way to a private, out of the prying eyes dining room. When we enter into the dining room, my father stands up greeting me as another man stands up with him in his three piece professional, screaming ‘I-am-an-expensive-divorce-lawyer’ suit. “Dad,” I greet him apprehensively. Taylor’s gaze looks impassive, but he too is displeased. He doesn’t like surprises if he’s not prepared for them. My father notices my intonation, and conveniently ignores it. “Christian, this is my colleague, Andrew Whitaker.” “How do you do Mr. Grey?” he says in a non-smiling, no-nonsense tone.

“Quite well, thank you, Mr. Whitaker. Although, I would like to know what your business is with me today,” I say cutting to the chase. He had the impression of a smile on his lips, although it is hard to tell since he appears to not have used his facial muscles to form a smile in a very long time. “May we take our seats first, and since you are already here, would it be possible to order something to eat Mr. Grey? The food is exquisite here, and I would hate to see it to go to waste,” he says in an unusually paternal tone. The way he talks about food, and not wasting it, somehow pulls me into one of the seats. “I’ll hear you out, on account that my father asked you here. But, my answer will remain the same,” I say and he nods his head. “All I ask is your time Mr. Grey, for the duration of the lunch, as a favor to your father whom I shall be repaying a personal debt at the conclusion of this lunch. I’m not making a sales pitch and neither would I need to do that, I promise you that. I am retiring next month, and quite wealthy thanks to young people like yourself. As anyone who is in the top of his game, we lawyers don’t need to do any sales pitch to anyone. There is enough young, wealthy, and hormonal population around who makes careless choices which in the end haphazardly fall onto our very expensive laps.” The waiter comes with a menu. “What can I bring you to drink sir?” he asks. “Sancerre. And I want the Menu Dégustation. Thank you,” I say sending off the waiter. I look at my father pointedly. “Hear him out son. This is not against Anastasia. This is to protect your future, to protect what you have worked so hard to build for years. Don’t let a mistake take half or more of it away from you in the end.” Anger rises in me. My father of all people should know me a little bit. Although no one knows me well enough, except for Anastasia. What everyone fails to realize that, I’d be destroyed if Anastasia decides to leave me. Whether I retained what I have amassed is not important; because I’d be checking out of life. I’d be a shell of my very fucked up former self.

I eye Taylor, who is looking ahead, tense, and impassive. He dislikes the idea of me being ambushed by an attorney as well, I note. Worse, I’m being ambushed by my own father. What a fucking day!! “Speak your mind Mr. Whitaker.” “Mr. Grey, a small research on Google can easily indicate that you are worth, about 12.5 Billion Dollars. Give or take a few, although in your case it’s pretty much solid since your assets are not based on stocks or shares of your company. You own it all. You are by the latest estimates 25th richest person in the entire planet. You’re genius in your own right.” He gives a shitload of information, introduction to my own self; as if I haven’t met myself before! “Now that you introduced me, to me Mr. Whitaker, what else have you got to say?” I say irritated. “Christian, please. Listen to him first,” my dad urges. “Mr. Grey, do you have any idea, how many people would sell their mother, father, siblings, children and their own soul to get a fraction, a miniscule fraction to get what you have? Any idea at all?” My eyes grow darker, and the accumulated rage is barely contained in a level, sharp, but deadly tone. “Are you insinuating that my fiancée is after my money? How do you know that I haven’t done any background check on her? How do you know that I’m not the one who persuaded her?” “Wonderful. Then she wouldn’t mind signing a piece of paper that says, what’s hers is hers, and what’s yours is your,” he says in an even tone to match mine. “Are you trying to mock me? Insult my fiancée, or ridicule us both? What my fiancée and I have- which by the way is private- a joke to you Mr. Whitaker?” “I assure Mr. Grey, I have no sense of humor in the way you speak of, and neither would I n eed to mock you and yours in any way. Everyone is capable of doing that all by themselves. What I am trying to give you is the statistics if you will and the lengths anyone would go, toy with the wealthy and handsome targets such as yourself. The numbers are just simply boundless. I’m trying to tell you that there have been people who were really, truly in love, with all the right emotions invested into the relationship. But, people change over time. Life and circumstances change. Desires and wants change. People grow apart, fall out of love. How do you think I have

amassed such a fortune? Although I am not in the ranks you occupy, I am still one of the wealthiest men in this country. Because, I’ve made my fortune with young people who once were in love and without nuptials. Like the saying goes, ‘Marry in haste and repent in leisure.’ You have, but known your fiancée for a very short time. It is imperative that you get your prenuptial agreement. The spouses may take the ½ of the fortune, but we take... Ohhh, anywhere from 35% to 50% of that chunk. You ought to know how expensive we lawyers are. Do you think I would go and explain how I amassed my fortune?” When the waiter comes around the serve our food, everyone at the table falls silent, and he serves the food professionally and quickly scuttles away. “Mr. Whitaker, thank you for your candid views, however cynical. What everyone fails to see is that, nothing I have means anything to me if I don’t have Anastasia. She might as well walk away with it all. I want her in my life, plain and simple. Separation is not an option. We are going to be married for life.” My father shakes his head. “Son, I want nothing more for you to be married for life. I want nothing more for you to have what I have with your mother. I wish you all the happiness in the world. But you must understand that any number of things can go wrong, because you and Ana know each other so little. This can be an infatuation. She’s a wonderful girl, and we love her dearly. Your mother and I are immensely happy that she makes you happy. But, anything can go wrong. How well do you really know her? She is after all your first girlfriend. You have not had anyone before. It is easy to...” I finally had all I can take from the two lawyers one of which happens to be my father. I stand up and slam my fists to the table. My own father makes assumptions about me, about what my life is like! “How well do you know me father? Have I ever fucking brought anyone for you to meet before?” “Well, no. Because she’s your first...” “Dad! You are wrong in all your assumptions completely. But to put it in a nutshell for you, I will say this: I am fucking disappointed that you’ve decided to talk about my personal life, my fiancée who seem to adore you, knowing how private I am in front of a lawyer whom I met not ten minutes ago! You are talking about the most important person I have ever had, I will ever

have in my entire life! Yes, Anastasia is my first girlfriend, but she’s more than that. She’s the first woman I ever fall in love with. What’s more, she loves me! She is the only one I found worthy of introducing to my family. Beyond any of that; she will be my last. There will be no others, but her! The subject is closed. I am not making her sign any nuptials. None. Zip! Nada!” I say through gritted teeth. My father sighs. Mr. Whitaker turns to me and says, “in that case Mr. Grey, congratulations. I wish you all the happiness in the world. Young man, you may sit down and finish your wonderful food.” Then he turns to my father and says, “Carrick my friend, my debt to you is repaid. Let us have lunch.” ***** “Mr. Grey, Mr. Pella is here, sir,” Andrea announces over the intercom. “Send him in please, Andrea.” Alex Pella enters into my office with an air of confidence that have always exuded him in his 6’2” stature, in his custom three piece suit, even his shoes are screaming custom made Italian. He walks in a measured gait, economical movements as if every step he takes is calculated, and he is in complete control of his environment and not just his own life. He almost has a surge of power surrounding and, enveloping him. He is an alpha among alpha males which is probably why we hardly ever get together. We both like to be in control. Neither of us is willing to surrender it even in the hypothetical. He extends his hand in sincerity with a wide smile on his face, and instead of gripping my hand, he grasps my wrist as he always have done in the past, with the other hand firmly hitting the side of my other arm. “Grey! Glad to see you in one piece my friend!” he says in a self-assured voice. “Alex,” I give him a solemn nod and an acknowledging smile. I point to a chair before my desk, and he sinks in it in an elegant crouch like a hunter. He crosses his leg above his knee, and acknowledges Taylor in the corner of the room. “Hello Taylor,” he says nodding. “Mr. Pella,” replies Taylor in the same way military man does to a higher ranking officer.

“How long will you be in town?” I ask even though we both know I know the answer. “I’m only here for today. I came to help with the investigation of your EC135. And I have compiled all the findings the experts come up and the security personnel...” he says pausing. “I hear a ‘but’ coming up.”

“Yes, there is a ‘but’. I don’t have to tell you the kinds of aircrafts I know. I buy them, I sell them, and I know them inside out. I’m sure that you have suspected foul play when both your engines went down.” I nod. “I have conclusively confirmed that it is foul play after going through all the evidence. A nd evidence as a concept is something like an ancient language. One must speak it and read it in order to understand it. Otherwise, it is gibberish to any other person. So few can read it even if they can speak it.” “That’s where you come in,” I say with a smile. “Yes. I have the technical reports here for you. But, I also managed to extract a partial print which didn’t belong to you or your passenger.” I straighten up in my seat. “A partial print?” “Yes. We ran some checks in some known data bases. Nothing came up... yet. However, as your own head of security would agree, it doesn’t mean that the print doesn’t exist in another database. If the print exists on your helicopter, so does the person. In order to check the criminal records, I would dig deep and check sealed records as well.” “Why do you say that?” Alex leans in and his dark blonde curls move with him. He narrows his turquoise eyes. His eyes slightly shift to Taylor, and then look back at me. I nod at him understanding his meaning. Taylor needs to hear it. “Like I said, reading signs is like reading an ancient language. The evidence that is present as well as what isn’t there are important. A partial print left by a person who hates you so much that he or she took the risk of being caught, and damaged your helicopter in such a way that you would take flight, but that it would fail you during your flight. He wanted to ensure that

you were dead. He wanted to ensure that you didn’t make it down alive. What’s more, he wanted to make sure that it looked very much like an accident...” He pauses, sits back in his seat and the leather of the chair accommodates him by sinking deep. He lets me absorb the impact of the information he has given me. “You said ‘he’. How can you be sure?” “I’ll get to that. Now, this is a calculating man. But a little overanxious angry man; a man who has possibly either lost everything to risk so much, or incredibly stupid, but then the level of detail he put in, and the attention he paid to his deed, one which you would have to admire from the devious point of view, makes me think that he is in fact very intelligent,” he says making me frown, “you, my friend, have an enemy who would go to extents to eliminate you, and take risks an ordinary person wouldn’t. Only a man who has nothin g to lose would do that.” “Why not a woman? Don’t they say, ‘hell has no fury like a woman scorned’?” I ask. “No!” he says firmly. “Women operate differently. They can be more devious than a man, but, women like to let you know how you have scorned them, and how they are getting even with you. Men in the other hand, first kill you and then measure the size your dick, and then tell you how you won’t get to fuck with him again.” “Is it just a hunch?” “Hunches are like sixth senses, Grey. Being a man who calculates his steps six months in advance, I would never base a conclusion on a hunch. It may just be a starting point, but never a conclusion. You have evidence enough to support that. You just have to look in the right places. The answers are available for the right questions.” I feel frustrated. What the hell does that mean? Where do I get to look? I run my hand through my hair. Fuck! I feel like I’m playing Jeopardy on “Everything You Never Learned” category! He shoves a neatly arranged file with a CD. “Your man Welch has a copy of these results,” he says. I nod with a frown. “My starting point is that I have an enemy who is a man. That’s it?” “It’s not written in stone, but I’m certain that it is a man. Your modern science calls this ‘profiling’, doesn’t it? You may assume that I have psychological profile of your ‘would be

killer’. Someone who is extremely intelligent, angry, and bent on some sort of revenge to the point of making sure you are dead. What’s worse, he doesn’t care who dies along with you. That’s why he didn’t care that you would have a passenger in your helicopter. They just become collateral damage. That’s one hell of an enemy. If you’re anything like me...” he says then smiles with a smile that doesn’t reach his eyes, “of course, you are sort of like me, I’d ask what toes you have crushed, but in my case, it’d be many. However, I would assume that you have might also have a standing order of them as well. We don’t get to be the kind of men we are; driven, controlled, and ambitious and on top of everyone’s game to the point of obsession, and not make a list of enemies.” “How do I know if it’s a recent enemy or someone in the past that is just waiting for the right opportunity?” I ask with an impassive face, my rage carefully tucked under the surface. “That will present itself in a short time. Because he has made this attempt, and nearly succeeded will make him more daring, but also angrier for having failed. He will try again for sure, against you and yours. To exert you the greatest pain till he gets his assumed due, he may try to get to you through the ones you value, most likely before he attempts to kill you again. He’ll let you know who took you under, right before he takes you under.” “How can you be certain?” Alex Pella’s eyes darkened as if he morphed into a different man. “That wouldn’t be what I would do, because I am on top of my game, but that’s what a raging second best does. Someone who lost the alpha fight. First order of things for you must be is to up your security for every living person you value! For everyone you would grieve upon losing,” he says as if he has gone through an experience so painful, even talking about it in another man’s terms, gave him excruciating pain. His mask of assumed confidence slips back in place in just a few seconds. “Protection is the first order of things. Cover your ass, and the asses of those whom you value while you’re investigating. You have a starting point, and your man Welch is a shrewd one. You have a solid man protecting you in Taylor. They know what to do in sweeps. Tighten the ins and outs to your properties, your places of business you frequent, and obviously your modes of transportation,” he says rising to his feet. “I am here for the duration of the day, but I have to leave tomorrow morning. I have an unfinished business to attend.”

“Thank you Alex!” I get up. As he extends his hand again his jacket opens up, and I notice a concealed weapon in his jacket. “You’re packing?” “Of course, I’d feel naked without it.” “How did you pass my security with a concealed weapon?” “You don’t want me to give you tricks of the trade, do you now Grey?” he says with a boyish grin I remember so well from Harvard. I smirk at him. “Why do you have to have a gun?” I can’t help asking because of my dislike of weapons. “Well, Grey, I thought it’d take too much time to manually insert the bullets into men who wished me dead,” he says with a genuine smile. “Isn’t that what your exaggerated security is for?” I ask sarcastically. “It’d be unwise to not to for men like us,” he shrugs. “I don’t know how a gun would have saved me when my helicopter was going down,” I say acidly. “It’s because guns are tools. Your best weapon is your head which you seemed to have used very well. But it doesn’t hurt to be aware of the tools your enemies might employ and be proficient in them.” “You and I will have to agree to disagree on weapons as tools,” I say, and lead Alex out. My Blackberry buzzes. I open the message as I stand with Alex Pella by the elevators. An idiotic grin comes up to my face as soon as I see her name on my phone’s screen. “By the way,” Alex says after seeing my grin. “I hear that my congratulations are in order,” he adds as his security joins him into the elevator car. Before the door closes he adds, “if what I see from your smile is correct, you might want to make her, your protection worthy asset number 1. Cura ut valeas* my friend...” he says, and the door closes as I’m left standing with my Blackberry in hand with an overwhelming dread that Anastasia might be taken away from me. I'd die. I'd be worse than dead. I shake my head to clear the thoughts. I have to hear her. I have to feel her presence...

"Taylor! We're leaving." (When You're Gone - The Cranberries) (Zombie - The Cranberries) * Take care that you fare well. (Latin)

In that book which is My memory . . . On the first page That is the chapter when I first met you Appear the words . . . Here begins a new life -- Dante Alighieri
Before Taylor gets moving to walk out with me, my Blackberry buzzes, again. It’s my mother. I sigh exasperated, and answer the phone. “Hi mom,” I say softly. “Christian...” she says in a straightened voice. I’m alert immediately. “What’s wrong?” I ask in a higher tone. This day is getting better and better! “I called to apologize, son. Your father told me what he had done and after yesterday, I didn’t think he would nose in again. I’m so sorry son! We love Anastasia. Both your father and I adore her. He’s just upset about... well; you know what he’s really upset about.” I sigh. “I know mom, not that I appreciate him doing it. But I understand his motives. Can we talk about this some other time?” “No, it can’t wait,” she says firmly. “Not if you have the time. You know I wouldn’t impose on you, but I don’t want you to have fallout between you and your father so close to your wedding.” I resign. I hold my finger to Taylor indicating I’d be a minute, and walk into my office for privacy. I don’t want everyone eavesdropping on my conversation with my mother. This might be a while. “Okay, I’m listening,” I say. “I’ve never seen him as upset at you, or any other person for that matter a s he was on Saturday. Not even when you dropped out of Harvard. He was livid then, and I remember of not seeing you for weeks, if not months. I don’t want a repetition of that. I don’t want Ana to pay the ramifications of what Elena had done to you. That’s what he is mainly upset about, and the fact that it’s gone on for six years!”

~La Vita Nuova~

“Mother, I don’t want to discuss Elena with you or anyone else. It’s a done deal. It’s in the past. It can’t be changed. Let’s drop it!” I say anger rising in me. “It will not change what she did to you, and the fact that I failed you as a parent. On that I can’t agree with you. I’m still pissed at you for not letting me or your father into your life so we could help you. Instead you...” she pauses to stifle a sob, then changes gears. “But, remember for a minute how your father reacted when you dropped out of Harvard. You know how big on education we both are. When you dropped the bombshell on us saying you were dropping out of a university where most people would give their right arms to be accepted. You were a year away from graduating, and at your very young age you said you were starting your own business in telecommunications with no experience to show, and no money start it with. I remember you walking out the door with my heart breaking into a million pieces, and your father first time losing his cool, and telling you that you would get nothing if you dropped out. He was trying to be a father who was being protective of his child, trying to talk sense into him the best way he knew how. What he did today, though unacceptable, he was trying to do the same, being protective of his child, granted I’m mortified and I had no idea he’s done that, and I am sincerely sorry for it. I had no idea, Christian! You have done a marvelous job with your business, and you had the same determination then that you have with Ana. I realize that you know how to distinguish rights from wrongs, and I know you stand up for what you believe in adamantly. I respect and honor that son. I truly do. So, please don’t be angry with your father. I’ve already talked to him, and he’s upset with himself. He’s a good man, and he loves you with all he’s got. Now that you have found the love of your life, someday you’ll get to understand him when you yourself become a father,” she says making me flinch. I hope that doesn’t happen for a very very very long time. “Oddly mom, I’m not angry with dad. Well,” I correct myself, “not as angry as I should be. I had a feeling it had something to do with Elena, and not Anastasia, but nonetheless, I want everyone to clearly understand this:” I say in an unyielding tone making sure they understand that my decisions are firm, and not to be trifled with, “I don’t want to have Ana signing anything other than her marriage certificate with me and that this is a closed subject. The only thing that got me mad was not that dad wanted to speak to me to voice his concerns, but that he brought a stranger to discuss Anastasia; it was an invasion of our privacy! Not just mine, but Anastasia’s as well! I have to protect her from that. Once we get married she will be exposed to all kinds of shit that surrounds me, and who I am. I’m going to do everything in my power to shelter her from that. Am I to add my family into this list? I hope you understand my concern mom! I deserved dad yelling at me yesterday. Let’s contain his rage limited to me, and not punishing my fiancée for my shortcomings. That’s where I draw the line.”

“I know darling, and I agree with you as far as Ana is concerned. But I agree with your father about Elena. Your father feels that he failed you as a father. Not realizing what had been done to you. You have no idea what a tormenting feeling that is. We both feel that we couldn’t protect you,” she says her voice cracking. “Mom, none of that was your fault. None of it! So, please, forget it, it’s a done deal. It’s past...” I say but she cuts me off. “No, Christian! Give me that much! Give me a little room to grieve... I am angry with myself, angry with your father, angry with you all for different reasons, but it all boils down to Elena. But, Ana, she is good for you. She makes you happy, and she loves you. You don’t know how ecstatic I am seeing you happy and in love! You deserve to be happy son! So, don’t be angry with your father, and punish him by taking Ana away from us,” she says fervently. I’m taken aback with her lament. “Oh, I... No, of course not, mom. Just the talk we had yesterday, and then how dad sort of ambushed Ana with bringing up prenup to her attention, blindsiding her! Just thinking about it makes me angry! I don’t want that ever to occur again. Anastasia is going to be my wife. How would you have liked it if your father in-law blindsided you that way? I know it better than most people, mom, that it’s a cynical world we live in. But, by some miracle I’ve met the other half of my soul, the greater half, the good part in Ana. I will make damn sure that anything Anastasia and I do will only strengthen our unity, and not weaken it.” “I completely understand darling. Your father has been an attorney for a very long time, and he’s seen unimaginable schemes performed by most unassuming individuals. He’s looking out for your interest like a father who is an attorney would do, and maybe overcompensating a little...” “A little mom?” “Okay, by a lot. He’s looking after you in his own way, not that I would agree with him on that. I’m not agreeing with his reasoning having gotten to know Ana, you understand, but your father thinks that you are bringing a lot into your marriage financially, and she has a rather less than financially advantageous upbringing...” she says and I snort at her response. “Think of it this way mom: When you found me the first time, I was a starving, underdeveloped, dirty son of a crack whore who was abused by her fucking pimp! It doesn’t get any lower than that. But, you took me in, mom! You did that, and I don’t say that enough to you, but you saved my life! You did that, mom! Without looking into my background, without looking into the kinds of issues I might have which clearly is pretty fucked up. I worked hard. Very very hard to amass my fortune, and succeed in business. Isn’t it my decision who and how I get to share that with? Financially she may not be bringing anything into the union, but, I care nothing about that. I am very good at making money. What she is giving me is all of

herself, her love, her capacity to see through me, her capacity to forgive. Ever since we’ve been together, I’ve come alive....” as if in a confession. “Can you put a price tag on that?” “I can see the difference. I know you have blossomed since she’s been with you. I’m in complete awe of her,” she says and her answer softens my heart. “She is my life, mom. I love her better than myself. I don’t know what I would without her,” I say swallowing. “I hope you never have to that find out, darling. She’s such a good girl. I do love her dearly for loving you. You deserve to be loved, unconditionally. I will speak to your father. Try to be a little forgiving, please, Christian. Could you do that for me, darling? He does so, because he loves you, and that he feels he failed you. It’s his misery that’s making him so. Sometime you do something, neglect something, or don’t do something, and when you do realize it, you want to go back in time, and fix that thing, but you can’t because its water under the bridge, but the flood of it damaged what you loved better than your own life. Can you try to understand him and be gentle with him?” “I understand that better than you can imagine mother. I will do my best, but please, tell him to leave to Anastasia out of it. I will not negotiate anything when it comes to her. He can be mad at me, but it has to be directed at me correctly, not at her. I want my boundary to be respected.” “I will make sure that he doesn’t involve her again, darling. I apologize for yesterday, and today. Do you want me to call Ana to apologize?” “No, mom. I don’t want her to find out about today. She’ll be hurt immensely. I don’t want this incident to negatively impact my relationship with her. In fact, please make sure that no one in the family finds out. Not Mia, and definitely not Elliot; he’ll tell his girlfriend, and she’ll tell her. I don’t want her leaving me because she’ll think you guys think less of her,” I say in a ba rely controlled voice. “I’m so very sorry again son... for yesterday and today. We really do love you son! Even parents make mistakes. Just give him some time to recover from Elena. It has been a shock. He hasn’t been himself since Saturday night, eating himself up,” she says making me flinch. Neither have I, but I don’t tell her that. It isn’t the easiest thing to digest when your parents know you’ve started fucking your mother’s friend at the age of 15 regardless of the fact that she seduced you. “I will mom,” I say. “Oh, And Christian, I’m so happy that you and Ana decided to have the wedding here. Mia and I will have a blast planning it. Meanwhile we will steal Ana often this month because we will need her input.” “Alright mom, you have to arrange that with her. Try not to take her away too long,” I say teasing.

“I’ll do what I can darling. I’ll let you go now. I love you, son.” “Love you too, mom,” I reply. “Please, be lenient and don’t strain your relationship with your dad at such a time. He is very upset, and confused. Knowing your father, this hardly ever happens to him. I’ve never seen him like this.” “I’ll keep that in mind mom. Thank you,” I say hanging up. I run both my hands through my hair. I toss the Blackberry on my desk and sink back into my chair roughly making the leather protest under my weight. My thoughts drift back to yesterday. It was supposed to be just breakfast at my parents’ home, but my mom couldn’t keep her mouth shut and told dad about Elena and me. When we arrived at my parents ’ home, dad’s gaze was steaming like the Old Faithful, but he managed to spare a smile for Anastasia’s benefit which of course didn’t reach his eyes. Mia and my mom effectively snatched Anastasia to talk about our upcoming wedding where I was left standing with my dad. “I need to speak with you Christian. Follow me to my study please,” he said without even giving me a chance to say no. We’ve had the Elena talk last night after my mom blabbed. I wondered what this one was about. He walked in the direction of his study, letting me follow him and let the door open waiting behind it like the high school principal who was about to lecture the most disrupting student which gave him no pleasure. He closed the door behind him after I entered. We stared at each other for a long minute. His gaze angry, furious even with barely contained anxiety, mine impassive, my mask of indifference pulled in place tightly, unyielding. “Your mother was distraught yesterday as I was, and I can’t say I blame her. I was unable to sleep all night,” he started. “I have always prided myself of being a well -educated, sane, responsible man. I thought my feet were firmly planted on the ground. You have made me feel incredibly stupid like I have never felt before. A fool, a damn fool!” he lamented. That wasn’t what I expected him to say. “Stupid? How? Why?” I ask unable to contain my curiosity. “Because, for the first time in my life, my feet weren’t on the ground, you fooled me at 15! And you kept it from us. You have been taken advantage of right under our noses, and we... I,” He corrected himself, “I should have known better. You were only a boy! I feel like fucking fool, son! I should have noticed and gotten you help. I’m mad at you even more than when you announced us that you were leaving Harvard, because you were smart enough to know better, at least after a while. I thought I gave you that much sense. At least to come to me... Did you hate me so much so that you didn’t think I was safe enough for you to come to and confide in or ask for help?”

“What? No! Dad, no!” “If it wasn’t for your mother’s insistence that it would damage your reputation, I would go and press charges against that bitch this instant! Nothing you could say or do would stop me! But it would hurt your mother. Elena Lincoln hurt you, and in hurting you she hurt my wife. And no one hurts my wife! No one hurts my child and gets away with it!” “Dad! It’s in the past. I didn’t stop. I could have. I’m just as guilty as Elena.” “You were a boy!” “I was a boy, but for three years! This went on for six! I was twenty-one when it ended.” “Twenty one?” he asks skeptically. “Are you sure about that? From what your mother heard from your rather big fight with Elena, that it sounded like she still had feelings for you!” “Feelings? She doesn’t feel dad. It was only fucking! And it’s over with now. It’s been over for years. It was a mistake, one I will not repeat again.” “What about Anastasia?” “What about her?” I ask apprehensively. “Is she another one of your mistakes?” “What the fuck do you mean?” I growl taking a step forward towards my father automatically. He doesn’t waver. Stands firm on his ground. “You’ve known her what? Five minutes, and you’re getting married to her. She seems like a great girl, don’t get me wrong. But did you give it enough thought? Marriage is not a like a six year mistake you can wipe with one hand, and dismiss.” “You know nothing about her!” “No, but I’ve gotten well acquainted with your choice of women now,” he says making me lose my cool. “My choice of women? What the hell would you know about that? You’re talking about one woman who seduced me at 15! Don’t you dare to put Anastasia in the same category as Elena! I love Anastasia, and she loves me!” My dad paces around and stops right in front of me. “Alright. I’ll give you that. Here’s my rebuttal for you, son. If she truly loves you, she wouldn’t be afraid of signing a prenup. This will protect...” “The hell she will!” I bellow, anger rising in me. “This conversation is over!” I turn to walk out of the door. “Don’t you fucking walk out of that door! That’s what you always do! You don’t face your problems, you just walk out!” he yells. Just as my hand reaches the door, my mother walks in with her face pulled in a don’t-fuck-with-me look. She closes the door behind her, and locks it taking the key into her pocket.

“Both of you; sit!” she orders in a tone not to be trifled with. “Dear, I’m sorry...” “I said, sit, Carrick!” she glares at him, and reluctantly we both do, sulking like a couple of teenagers. “What’s going on in here?” We both remain stubbornly silent. “Christian?” she turns to me. I shrug, saying nothing. “Carrick?” she turns to dad, and he crosses his arms in front of him in a defensive gesture, sitting back in his chair, glaring at no one in particular. “That’s what I thought. Alright, Grey men. You can sulk, but you’re not leaving this room until you tell me what is going on between you two. Is this your phase two talk with him about Elena, Carrick? Is this what the fight is about?” “I did but, the fight isn’t about Elena,” my dad responds in a softer, but firm tone. “What is it about then?” she asks. He says nothing. “Christian?” she turns to me asking. I say nothing. My mother puts her hands on her hips. “Carrick! The living room sofa downstairs has your name all over it if you do not tell me what is going on between you and our son!!” she threatens my father and that does the job. “It’s about this,” says my father showing her a printed document size of Pride and Prejudice first edition. I don’t know why I thought about that. My mouth gapes open at his insolence. Could it be my father’s arrogance, or his wounded ego as a father? “You’ve already drawn a document up? I can’t believe it! When did you have time to do it?” I bellow. “Last night... After I talked to you,” he says his head hanging. My mother glances at the document, and her head snaps up to look at my father. “Why would you do this Carrick? This is our son!” “Yes, our son who has been taken advantage by women before!” “One woman! Damn it! Don’t categorize Anastasia with Elena! Fuck that, I’m leaving! Key, mother!” “Sit down, Christian,” my mother says softly, gently, wounded even. I sit. “Carrick, honey... Anastasia didn’t do that to Christian. Elena did. Anastasia is just as much a victim in this. It couldn’t have been easy for her to find out her fiancé had been...” she stops to rack her brain for the least offensive word, finally finding continues, “deflowered by a child molester, and the fact that I invited her to Christian’s birthday party, on the night they announced their engagement! That poor girl! What must she think of me! She had to endure Elena and keep up the appearances for the rest of us! And what’s more, Elena was rubbing it in on her!”

My father’s face changes, he first looks pained then guilty and chagrined. “I know. I feel... I feel inadequate... Confused. I just feel... old,” he says gazing up at her with tired eyes, looking like Atlas sagging under the weight of the world. “Rug has been pulled out under my feet, and now I have this, this horrible urge to make up what I couldn’t do... What I didn’t realize... I should have been able to protect my son, Grace! I should have known. Now, I’m trying to make up... I’m trying to do right by my son. I’m trying to look out for h is interest even if doesn’t realize that this is what I’m doing. Ana is a great girl. A wonderful girl!” he says fervently. “She’s the best thing that ever happened to you, Christian! She really is...” he adds looking at me with determined eyes. “But this is a cynical world, son. You ought to know that. Good things can go sour really fast in the blink of an eye. You have isolated yourself from the world, but I see it day in and day out at the courthouse. If she truly loves you, she would want to look after your interest, too,” he says fervently. “Carrick, that’s enough!” says my mother without I can get a word edgewise. “Subject is closed. This is something they have to decide. It’s none of our business.” “But, Grace...” “It’ll be a cold day in hell if I ever discuss that with her!” I say standing up. “Fine!” my father answers holding his hands up in a defeated gesture. “I know when I’m outnumbered, and I would never bet against your mother. But, please son, just, just consider it. I’m only worried about you.” “Dad... Please, drop it!” He sighs, and says nothing. “Alright, Grey men. Shake hands and make up. We have a wonderful breakfast to eat, and before the rest of the family comes looking for us, let go. Come on!” says my mother, and my father takes her hand and we leave his office. I thought he dropped the subject until after breakfast. ***** It all was going well until after breakfast Mia squealed without knowing what transpired earlier when she was surfing the web. “Look at this!” she gushed setting her netbook on the kitchen table in front of the whole family. “There’s a gossipy item on the Seattle Nooz website about you being engaged, Christian,” she informed everyone. My mother was surprised because it was the morning of our announcement for only family and friends. “Already?” she said. But remembering what went on between my father and me less than an hour ago she pursed her mouth, and I frowned at her for being so obvious. But my

sister who is completely oblivious to the world, hell, the family she lives in, continued to read the blog out loud. “Word has reached us here at The Nooz that Seattle’s most eligible bachelor, the Christian Grey, has finally been snapped up and wedding bells are in the air. But who is the lucky, lucky lady? The Nooz is on the hunt. Bet she’s reading one helluva prenup.” Mia giggled and I had to glare at her to stop her because Anastasia looked like she got slapped, and the air just went arctic in the room with my glare. Anastasia glanced at me apprehensively, and I shook my head at her, mouthing, “No.” But, my dad had to open his fucking mouth carrying our conversation as if we didn’t put a stop to it this morning. “Christian,” he said to me gently, coaxing. “I’m not discussing this again,” I snapped at him. The gull! In front of Anastasia! I’m not 15 anymore to be scolded, and warned like this! Then he turns to Anastasia nervously, opening his mouth to say something to her! I had to nip it in the bud! “No prenup!” I shout at him. Of all people, it has to be my father to give me a coronary! I barely contained myself and forced my gaze to look at WSJ I had in my hand focusing on the financial news. I feel everyone’s gaze looking at me, and looking at Anastasia. I think it made Anastasia very uneasy, and she felt like she had to say something. “Christian,” she said in a soft tone. “I’ll sign anything you and Mr. Grey want,” she continued. Of course she would. She loves me, and I love her for it, but that’s out of the question. But I want no barriers between us. No contract other than a marriage one putting barriers between us isn’t the kind of structured intimacy I want with her. “No!” I snap at her, taking my anger out of her. “It’s to protect you,” she continues. ”Christian, Ana – I think you should discuss this in private,” my mother says admonishing us both, possibly not wanting my dad butting in again, and glaring at both my dad and Mia. “Ana, this is not about you,” my father murmurs a little chagrined, trying to reassure her. “And please call me Carrick.” Why the fuck was he still going? I just glared at him icily, my rage is focused on him solely. Is he trying to ruin my relationship with Ana? Fuck the butt out already! My mother, Mia and Katherine started clearing up the breakfast table, self-consciously talking about the fascinating world of sausage vs. bacon. Anastasia’s good mood is gone, and she’s lost to her knotted fingers. I know what she’s thinking; it’s what I feared, and why I didn’t want her to find out this conversation. She thinks my parents think of her a gold-digger which isn’t true, and even if it was, I wouldn’t give a shit about it. I know her! That’s what matters. We were sitting next to each other, and she’s drifting miles away. I reach over and grasp both her hands into mine.

“Stop it,” I say fervently. She looks up searching my gaze. “Ignore my dad. He’s really pissed about Elena. That stuff was all aimed at me. I wish my mom had kept her mouth shut,” I say in a whisper only she can hear. “He has a point, Christian. You’re very wealthy, and I’m bringing nothing to our marriage but my student loans.” Nothing? She’s all I want, all I need. I wouldn’t care if she had money. I have shit loads of it; what’s more, I know how to make it. Anastasia on the other hand is my safe place. She’s the owner of my heart. She’s what makes me alive. She’s no rival, no equal. That makes her priceless. That alone dwarves all my money. Without her, I have nothing. “Anastasia, if you leave me, you might as well take everything. You left me once before. I know how that feels.” “That was different,” she whispers. “But... you might want to leave me,” she says with a sickening look. I snort, and shake my head in a mock disgust. “Christian, you know I might do something exceptionally stupid, and you...” she glances down again to her knotted hands again, squirming as if I stabbed her, her face falling. I can’t take it. My dad knows how to fucking mess things up. “Stop. Stop now. The subject is closed, Ana. We’re not discussing it anymore. No prenup. Not now- now ever!” I look at her with finality in my decision, and turn to my mother. “Mom, can we have the wedding here?” and of course I hear my mother’s delighted scream. And, Ana’s look finally realizing that they do love her, and I gave a sigh of relief. And right now, all I want to do is to go and hold my girl. But first, I check my e-mail: __________________________________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Daydreaming... Date: June 20, 2011 15:07 To: Christian Grey

...of meadow flowers and you and your hands, and your tongue, and a boat house with dim lights and rustic walls. Missing you. ILY Your fiancée

Ax __________________________________________________________________ Fuck the reply! I’m taking her home right now. I walk out of my office where Taylor is waiting impassively. “Ready, sir?” he asks. “Yes,” I reply. He doesn’t even have to ask where. He knows. I dial Anastasia’s phone on the way. “Hi Christian,” she answers the phone. “You asked for my attention, now you got it baby. Pack your things, I’m coming to get you.” “What? I still have another hour to work,” she replies. “Well, according to my watch, your time at work is up.” “I haven’t asked my boss, if...” “Your boss’ boss’ boss says you can take off. In facts he insists on it,” I say with my most salacious, and I-can’t-be-persuaded-otherwise voice. The fact is, I need her. I’ve had a shitty day. A lot is happening without my control, and it’s something I hate. I have to have control. Anastasia is my safe place, she gives me peace, and excitement. She awakens feelings in me I never knew existed. The fact that some fucker is out there to kill me is confirmed which is what I suspected all along is driving me insane. But suspecting and knowing are two different things. Now, I know. And the shit my dad pulled today! I can handle the train wreck stemming from my own crap, but own family’s? Come on! Give the man a break! “Christian, I have work...” I cut her off. “Anastasia, we have only a month to our wedding, and there is a lot to be done. I’m surprised that I’m the one reminding you that. I thought girls planned their wedding since they’re infants, or something!” I say changing tact. “Oh! That’s right...” she says thinking. “I don’t think you should be working full time at least until we ge t through our honeymoon. This is going to be a busy month already. What’s one hour anyway today. I thought you liked spending time with me,” I say my voice going lower. “I do! Christian, I do. But...” “No buts Anastasia. We’re right around the corner. Pack your things up. So help me God, I will carry you on my shoulder in front of your colleagues like a Neanderthal with a big swat on your delectable ass.” “You wouldn’t dare!”

“Oh, baby, don’t tempt me. You know I would,” I say my voice going deep. I don’t w ant disobedience from her, not today. My gaze meets Taylor’s in the rearview mirror. He is slightly amused. “Fine! I’ll be out of the building in a few minutes. Wait for me. No need to drag me out...” she says exasperated. One more month... One more month... One more month... I chant to myself. It’s my mantra now. Once we are married, she will have to obey me then. We don’t have to have discussions whether she wants to agree with me on something as simple as her coming home with me. She’ll promise me to obey. If she fails to listen, I’ll remind the promise she made before God and all who are near and dear. Or, I’ll have fun spanking her to rectify the situation. Either way, it’s win-win. Relaxed, I sit back. Taylor makes around the corner, and pulls in front of SIP. “Sir, there are some photographers waiting outside. Do you want me to pull to the back, and have Miss Steele come out of the back entrance?” “No, Taylor. Because if they don’t see us together now, they’ll keep haunting her. Let’s give them what they want, and nip this in the bud. Have Sawyer follow us in Miss Steele’s car,” I say, and I exit the car. Taylor frowns but says nothing. As soon as I see Anastasia exiting the building, I get out of the car, and walk towards her in quick steps. Taylor quickly turns the car off and runs after me. He gets over anxious with unknown crowds he hasn’t searched through. When the reporters see me, the cameras start flashing in both directions. Anastasia looks like deer in the headlights, but I quickly reach her with a reassuring smile, and hold her in my arms. When her gaze locks with mine, she looks relaxed and I take her hand, giving her a smile I reserve just for her, reassuring her, imploring her to trust me, and let me take charge here. She understands, and gives me her dazzling smile. My arms snake around her protectively, one hand at the small of her back and the other gently holding her at the nape of her neck. We lock lips. The connection of us fires all our synapses and the electricity courses through my body, and the thrumming energy binds us. My tongue slides into her mouth, stroking hers and she instantly relaxes and fires up. But I don’t want others to see how passionate she gets and I retract my tongue back reluctantly. I can hear the catcalls behind us, and finally turn it down a notch and seal with a chaste kiss. “Mr. Grey! Mr. Grey! Congratulations sir! I’m from Seattle Times. Could you introduce your fiancée to us please?” “And your name?” I ask, he’s too eager to answer. “I’m Andy Ritter.” “Andy, this is my fiancée, Anastasia Steele.” Anastasia gives him shy smile as my arms band around her, and I hold her possessively which doesn’t escape the notice of the photographers, and they snap pictures in rapid succession. Anastasia’s goes rigid with all the attention, but I hold her in such a way that no one can get to her without getting through me.

“Mr. Grey! Miss Steele! Seattle Nooz here. Could we ask you a question?” “You just did,” I reply. “Our readers want to know about the prenup,” he says and Anastasia stands rigid. “What about it?” I ask impassively. “What’s in it, sir?” “Why should that concern you?” I ask pointedly, noting his wedding ring. “Because our readers want to know.” “Fair enough, but tell me your wife’s name,” I say making Anastasia turn to look at me. “Uhmm. Marilyn.” “What did Marilyn sign before you two were married?” “Uhm, nothing. But then, I don’t have your sizeable assets, sir,” he says nearly mocking. “Why not? Don’t you work hard enough? How do you spend your less sizeable income?” “Sir?” “Don’t you want to tell me how you spend your income?” “No, because it’s not interesting. Yours is.” He says sneering. So, that’s your game. I narrow my eyes on him and focus. “But, I’m very interested in knowing how you spend yours. So is my fiancée. Aren’t you, baby?” I ask Anastasia, and she nods knowing. She knows my game. Good girl! “Tell me, Marilyn’s husband, how do you spend your money, what you do with it, how much of it have you allocated for your wife should you two divorce?” He shifts uncomfortably under my direct gaze. “It’s private, sir.” “Your life is private, but mine isn’t? Am I not entitled to the same rights as you?” I ask him pointedly, but keep a dazzling smile on my face, and turn the rest of the reporters. “I am happy to answer questions as long as my fiancée and I aren’t harassed, or our privacy invaded. I think as an individual citizen, I am entitled the same rights to privacy as any of you. I do appreciate you coming and taking your time to meet my lovely fiancée. I’m more than happy to introduce her to you,” I say gazing down at her reassuringly, “but, I don’t want anyone trying to invade her privacy, or scare her. That will only grant you a lawsuit as opposed to a nice chat. My PR office will issue a statement later in the evening. However as you can see, I’ve worked all day, and so did Miss Steele; we just like to go, get a bite to eat, go home and relax now. Thank you all for coming.” “Mr. Grey!” a reporter shouts. “What does Miss Steele do?” “She’s standing right here. Why don’t you ask her?” I reply reassuring Anastasia with my tight hold. “Apologies ma’am. Miss Steele, Randy Harford from the Tribune. What do you do for the SIP?”

“I’m an acting editor here,” she replies. “Thank you ma’am,” he says smiling at her in response to her shy smile. Fuck, she has another admirer. I nod my head and walk while holding Anastasia under my arm towards the SUV. We hear the flashes behind us. “Kiss her!” someone yells behind. “What the hell!” I say, and dip Anastasia, and kiss her, grinning into her lips. When we’re both breathless, I lift her up, and usher Anastasia into the SUV and follow her behind as Taylor closes the door behind us. “What was that? You never show affection in public like that,” asks Anastasia bemused. “By giving them something to print, I was reassuring your safety, and preventing them bothering you in the future. Throwing them a bone...” I say. “Oh,” she replies. “How was your day?” “Busy. Read a lot of manuscripts, and had an editor’s meeting, and now I’m going home with you,” she says smiling. “That you are Miss Steele. What did you have for lunch?” I ask impassively. She turns crimson immediately. Shit! She hasn’t eaten. She doesn’t answer. “Anastasia?” I coax. “The scone, and some tea.” “Ana! You can’t just go through an entire day with just a scone,” I say glaring as my gaze darkens. “I wasn’t feeling like eating after this morning, Christian,” she replies petulantly. “Anastasia, I don’t understand why you defy me at every corner! I want you to eat. You still haven’t recovered the weight you lost!” “I like being thin like this,” she retorts. “It makes me feel guilty to see you not eating, makes me feel like I can’t take care of you. That you won’t let me to take care of you!” I say. “Oh, Christian, it’s just one meal! You really have to get over it!” I narrow my eyes on her. “You know I can take you across my knee,” I say darkly. She nervously glances at the back of Taylor’s head. “You wouldn’t dare here!” she whispers. I reach over and quickly unbuckle he r in a flash and pull her over my knee and deliver one loud smack on her ass. “Oww!” she yells more from surprise than from hurt. Taylor studiously looks ahead without even meeting my gaze in the rearview mirror.

“You were saying Anastasia?” I ask. As she rubs her ass with one hand, I pull her up on my lap, and fold her into my arms. Kissing the top of her head, I whisper, “Don’t defy me. But I suspect you won’t after we are married.” “How do you figure that? I am what I am, Christian. You have to take me the way I am.” “I am taking you the way you are. But you need to obey me, because I have to protect you. God, it feels like I’m trying to protect you despite yourself. I’m trying to look after your well -being, Ana!” “Christian, what makes you think I’ll change overnight once we are married? This is who I am,” she says searching my gaze. “Because you’ll promise to obey me. It’s written in the marriage vows,” I say assuredly. “But, Christian, I don’t want to say some vows that doesn’t apply to us. I thought we would write our own vows.” “What’s wrong with the ones that have been written? People have been saying it for hundreds of years, and it’s worked well so far.” I reply putting her down on the seat trying to get gauge her reaction. “That’s the problem, Christian. It’s old! You and I are unique. I want our vows that says Christian and Ana. We are not living in the Middle Ages; I’ve researched it today. They were originally written in 1549 which was based on the earlier Latin texts. Who knows when that was written!” she says. “What is it in the original vows that you oppose, then? There must be something you dislike in it.” “It doesn’t reflect our love, and devotion for each other,” she says evading my meaning. “Let’s examine it, then, shall we?” “Here? In the car?” she asks. “Can we wait till we get home, please?” she asks eyeing Taylor. I nod reluctantly, but none too pleased. Fuck! She doesn’t want to obey. There is a log in my throat that is not moving either direction. I feel crushed. I gaze out the window until we get to Escala, sulking. How can I get her to accept it? How? How? Where can I make my case to her? Playroom or bedroom? Kinky fuckery or vanilla? When Taylor pulls in front of the elevators and comes to a complete stop, I exit the car, and hold my hand out to Anastasia, and say, “Come,” with a darkened gaze. Her breath hitches, but says nothing as she takes my hand. Taylor drives away to park the SUV into one of my bays. I press the call button to the elevator. As I enter into the elevator car holding Anastasia’s hand, another resident in the building walks up to enter into the car, and I give him a pointed stare which stops him in his tracks, and the doors to the elevator closes leaving him outside. I punch in my code to the penthouse. In this small space the evidence of our attraction is clear. It tangible, electric, strong, pulling us into each other, and crackling with energy. My hand reaches

to her face and caresses her cheek with my knuckles. She closes her eyes, and leans into my touch. She inhales my scent deep, her eyes closed as I only connect to her head on our foreheads and noses touching. I feel a shudder quake through her body. She closes the miniscule gap between us her hand reaching to my hair pulling me closer to her, lifting herself on her toes and touching her lips to mine. This simple connection is my lifeline that I hold onto. Helplessly I lean in, and reciprocate. Slow at first, feeling her, feeling her nearness, inhaling her intoxicating scent, and the soft contours of her body molding into mine... Desire shoots through me, I wrap her ponytail around my hand, pulling it and tilting her head back to firmly lock my lips onto hers. My tongue darts into her mouth finding hers and capturing and sucking it. She groans into my mouth making my erection to grow harder. My hand reaches back and I blindly try to locate the emergency stop button. Once I find it I press it down and the elevator halts between the seventh and eighth floors. Anastasia is completely aroused and ready to climb over my cock and have her way. Good! I turn around and push her into the elevator wall without breaking contact and continuing my assaults over her body. As my erection is digging into her, my tongue and lips are working on her mouth, her jawline and her neck. One of my hands is holding her ass and pushing her hips into my erection, while the other is sensually tugging and pulling on her nipples. I can make her come just like that, but I won’t. “Feel that baby, I’m hard for you, want you, and desire you. Hell, I wanna fuck you into next Sunday!” I whisper salaciously into her ear while I nip her ear lobe. She wraps one of her legs around me, trying to pull me into her. “Do you want me Ana?” I whisper. “Yes!” she breathes. “Say it!” “I want you, Christian!” “What do you want me to do Ana?” “Take me!” she says gasping, as she tilts her head back. “Take you?” “Yes!” she gasps. “Take me, fuck me, here, now!” she pants, trying to pull my head down even further, wanting me to consume her. “Why, Miss Steele, aren’t you the wanton creature? I’ll take care of you baby, but not here. Upstairs. In my playroom...” “What? Why? I want you now! I need you now!” “I know baby, I’ll take care of you.” “Please, Christian,” she says rubbing her hips into my erection. I can barely control myself.

“Believe me baby, I want to fuck you, and I will fuck you, but all in good time. In the playroom. I want to show you how good it can be if you just...” obey. I say... “Wait?” she asks. “Yes, wait. I have something in mind,” I say. She looks all flushed, hair disheveled, and her blouse untucked. I put her right, tucking her shirt in, with full body contact, I smooth her skirt, and fix her ponytail while my cock is letting her know his presence and to show her how just eager he is to fuck her, digging into her. I can feel her heart beating like the wings of a humming bird, her breath ragged. I touch to the contours of her lips with my index finger, noting a shiver go through her. I press my code to the penthouse again, and the elevator starts moving. Taylor is already in the foyer waiting discreetly. “Sir, Welch just called, and he’s expecting you to call him back,” he says. “Is it urgent?” I ask looking at him pointedly. He gets my meaning. “Nothing that couldn’t wait sir,” he replies with an impassive face. “Fine, later then,” I reply and pull Anastasia along with me to the playroom. As I unlock the door to the playroom, I look at Anastasia with heated gaze. I ask her a question, I know she can’t refuse. “Do you want to play, Ana?” “Yes!” she says her breath still ragged. “Are you sure?” “Yes!” she replies. “You’re soon to be my wife Anastasia, and we are lovers first and foremost. You will say stop if it’s too much? No safewords. Just say stop, and I will... immediately,” I say cocking my head to one say to gauge her reaction. She nods. “Is it a yes?” I ask. “Yes,” she breathes. “But once we get through this door, it’s my rules, and you obey. Are you game?” I lean in and whisper in her ear like the caress of a lover. A shudder goes through her. “Yes,” she whispers back. “Good girl. When we enter into the playroom, why don’t you get your clothes off, but leave your shoes on and stand by the bed?” “Okay,” she replies expectant. I give an inward sigh of relief. First step is done. Second is on. I have to show her how great it can be if she simply obeyed me. I have to have order, and I have to have rules. And with Anastasia they’re all out the door. The fact that someone is out there to get me, and if they want to get me, they might get her, scares the hell out of me. I can’t live in a world without her. I have to protect her, and that’s the only way I know how. The only way to keep her safe, the only way

to prevent her from worrying of what might happen. Isn’t that supposed to be my job as her husband? What if she disagrees? A sudden panic attack courses through me, and I halt in my tracks in the playroom turning my back to Anastasia, concealing the fear going through me. Ten... Nine... Eight... Seven... Six... Five... Four... Three... Two... One... Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out. Okay. I make my way to the toy chest. I take what I need, and saunter back to Anastasia like a predator who is now gloriously naked except her stockings, garter belt and her high heels. Fuck me! What a woman I have! My gaze darkens with licentious intent. I turn the music on, putting it on repeat. The Kings of Leon comes up resonating through the walls of the playroom. (Closer- Kings of Leon) “You’re so beautiful, I want to fuck this glorious pussy for days!” I whisper and she closes her eyes, whispering “Christian!” I love my name upon her lips. I take my shirt off, and unbuckle the top button. I pick Anastasia’s clothes off the floor neatly, and put them in a pile on a chair. I saunter back to Anastasia who is watching my every step, her eyes dilating. “See something you like Miss Steele?” I ask getting closer. When I get before her, I can feel the heat radiating from her body. I lean in and softly plant a kiss to her forehead. “Yes, everything,” she says in a breathy voice. “Stand in front of me, your back to my front,” I order, and she obeys immediately, expectant. I undo her ponytail, and braid her hair, tying the end. “Turn around,” I whisper, and she does. When she sees the silver balls I’m holding in my hand her eyes go wide, and expectant. “Open wide,” and she eagerly opens her mouth. I put the silver balls into her mouth, and whisper, “close, baby.” She obeys. “Good girl. Now turn your back again.” I order and she turns around. My front side touching her back side. “Wrap your arms around my neck,” I command, and she does. I dip my head to her neck planting soft kisses. She obliges by tilting her head to the side. “Arch your back,” I whisper, and when she does, her breasts are pushed into my waiting hands. I cup them gently first, kneading her nipples gently, my fingers encircling them, pulling, and rolling. She groans a garbled moan of pleasure. I smile. My hands travel down to her stomach and navel. She’s breathing hard as my cock is pressing into her from behind. I lower my hands to her inner thighs and my right hand cups her sex, and it is drenched wet for me. I rub her sensitive nub with my palm and my fingers explore the folds of her sex. She groans my name.

“I know baby, I know. I’ll take care of you,” I whisper. “Turn your front back to me,” I order. She obeys immediately. “Open,” I say extending my hand to her mouth. She does, and I take the lubricated balls out of her. “Now lean down, and hold your ankles,” I order, and she obeys immediately. I insert the balls into her sex one by one. “Stand up,” I order, and help her stand straight. “Do you trust me Ana?” I ask her. She blinks but answers immediately. “Yes.” “I’m going to tie you up now on the bed, blindfold you, and work you with this,” I say showing the brown leather plaited riding crop. Then, when you are at the brink of orgasm, I will fuck you... Hard,” I say my gaze darkening. Her breath hitches, then she makes an ‘o’ of her lips to exhale her breath. “Yes, please,” she says expectantly. I tie her hand with black leather cuffs, and shackle them to the bed. Then I move to her feet and tie them, and shackle them to the opposite ends of the bed. “Now, you’ve seen enough,” I say and close her eyes with a blindfold. I lean in and place a lingering kiss on her lips, leaving her breathless and wanting more. “I love your body Anastasia,” I whisper. “You will be my wife soon, and I will worship you with my body,” her breathing increases. I drag the riding crop on her neck making her tilt it back, and moan. “Hush now.” I drag it to her lips making her open her mouth. “Suck,” I whisper. She obeys immediately, making me close my eyes. Why can’t she do that all the time. “Enough,” I say in a husky voice, and pull it out of the captivity of her mouth. I drag it on her breasts, teasing. “I will protect you with everything I got.” “Yes,” she breathes. I drag the crop down to her sex, teasing her nub, rubbing in her juices. She lifts her hips up. I lift the crop up and land it on her nipple in rapid succession. She moans lifting her body off the bed. I know her movement makes the silver balls move inside and get her ready for orgasm. I circle the riding crop at her navel, slowly, and leisurely. She quivers, wanting more. I suddenly lift the crop and flick it right on her sex making her cry out. She pulls against the hand cuffs lifting her hips off the ground. “Absorb it baby. Feel it,” I murmur. I flick it three more times on her sex, her hips lifted, and her groans tell me that she’s close to orgasm as the balls are moving inside and stimulating her. I flick the crop on her navel and her breast again, and again, and she moans. “Christian, please! I’m ready!” she begs. “No, baby. Not yet. Wait for it. Wait until I tell you that you’re ready.”

I flick it again on her nipples making them stand to attention, and each time her hips move up jolting the balls. “Oh, God! Please Christian!” she pleads. I flick the crop on her sex twice more, and one more flick could cause her orgasm. “I’m going to untie you now,” I say, and unbuckle the leather cuffs quickly. I pull Anastasia’s ass to the edge of the bed, and in one quick move, I pull the silver balls out of her, and she nearly convulses with pleasure. “I have dreamed about those heels around my neck,” I whisper, and lifting her legs up my shoulder, I plunge my cock into her, and sink into her to the hilt. I hold myself there raveling in the sensation, and holding her hips with my hands, I start moving first slowly and leisurely then picking up speed and pounding into her repeatedly. “Fuck!” shouts Anastasia. She matches my tempo thrust for thrust, and just as she is at her peak, I pull out and flip her over lifting her ass up in the air. “Put your face to the side baby,” I say, and plunge back into her even deeper. “Slow, Christian, please, let me get used to it,” she says, and I slow down. After three slow thrusts, she says, “I’m okay, fuck me with all you got!” she says, and I start drilling, pounding her into next week. I feel the contractions of the muscles inside her sex, and soon her sex is trying to milk me for all I got, and I give her what she wants, and let her sex milk me to the last drop. I pull out once more, and thrust into her one last time before I collapse onto her and we both roll into a ball without breaking connection. “That was...” she says. “Words fail me, Christian... It was simply incredible.” I smile satisfied. “See how good it feels, when you follow directions?” I ask. She turns her head slightly turning to me breaking our sweet connection making me feel bereft. She has an incredulous look on her face. “Christian, you can’t fuck me into obedience. You know this is different. I just can’t say that word. I want to write my own vows,” she says softly but fervently. “Why won’t you say it?” I feel as if she’s taking one thing that makes me feel secure. Control. “Because I’d be perjuring myself. I want us to agree together. Not just you making decisions, and I follow them.” “That’s the only way I know how. I need to protect you Ana! You’re taking all my tools away, and leaving me helpless.” “Please, Christian. I’m not trying to take your...” she pauses, looking for the right word, “your tools, but to preserve who I am, the girl you fell in love with. The one who is incapable of obeying. Can’t you accept me as I am?” “I already do. But, I wish you understood me as well. You don’t listen, and look what happened this morning. It would eliminate all the worry, and all the danger if you just obeyed.”

“And if I can’t?” “Anastasia, can you even comprehend how much I love you, and what extents I would go, what laws I would break, who I would fight to death to protect you? Can you just give me one thing to work with?” “I would do the same for you, Christian. Because that’s what I feel for you. But, don’t ask me to obey, and make me into a liar. You know how bad I am at obeying. You want a wife, don’t you? Not a sub?” “Anastasia, women have been saying those vows for hundreds of years; have they all become subs?” “No,” she answers petulantly. “Why won’t you say it?” “I can’t say it because I love you. I can’t say it because there may come a time that I want to protect you, and you might order me otherwise. I can’t say it, because well, this is the girl you fell in love with. So can you just deal with it?” “Fuck!” I say, as I stand up exasperated, run both hands through my hair, and leave the playroom sulking and completely naked.

As I slam the door to the Playroom I walk in brisk footsteps to my bedroom. Mrs. Jones cooking in the kitchen and “Mr. Grey, the dinner will be...” she says and noticing my naked state, she shields her eyes with her hand turning her head, trying to gain her composure, clearing her throat, “oh, dear,” she squeaks in a slightly high pitched voice, and I see Taylor’s shocked expression who is standing in the great room. He gains his composure first, and says “Gail!” rather forcefully and nods his head asking her to leave the room. She retreats in quick steps. “What!?!” I seethe with anger at Taylor. “Nothing, sir,” he says slightly shaking his head, half amused half annoyed. I walk into my bedroom still angry... beyond angry, raging mad, I pace around. I walk outside again. Taylor is surprised once again to see me naked, but he’s not shocked this time. “Taylor, find Bastille! 3 hour session, at my gym. Have him meet me in 30 minutes,” I order and walk back to my bedroom without waiting for his response. I walk into the shower and turn the water on full blast, and walk under it. The initial full blast of cold water jolts my senses back into me, and does something to turn down the fire a notch. Gradually, the water heats up, and relax my tense muscles. I reach up for the shampoo and start washing my hair rather forcefully. Why won’t she obey? Why is it so hard for her to accept that I am only trying to protect her? I stand under the water closing my eyes, letting the shampoo run down my back in lazy rivulets. I feel her fingers slowly, and hesitantly touch the back of my arm, making me tense. “Christian, don’t be mad,” she says softly. I say nothing, closing my eyes. My other arm reaches to her hand, and I find myself saying, “Don’t,” rather forcefully breaking her connection with me. I’m still fucking mad. Shit! I know she’s disobedient...a lot. I know she’s refreshing in her witty ways, but hell, this is marriage! She should know better. What else will she delete from the vows? I turn around, and her face is fallen; she looks hurt. Shit! That’s not what I want. I want her to understand me. “Christian, why is this a big deal for you?” she asks softly. “Are you shitting me, Anastasia?” I say locking her in place with my blazing gaze. I’m breathing through my nose, like a raging bull. “Do you have any idea of the purpose of the wedding vows, and what you’re denying me?”

“What am I denying you?” she asks as if I slapped her. “The vows are derived from marriage contracts which mean they’re all the ri ghts and responsibilities conferred upon marriages.” “Christian, surely you must realize that the only rights and responsibilities are not limited to a few lines couples say during the marriage ceremony. I think the couples acquire thousands of rights as a result of the ‘marriage contract’,“ she says making air quotes, “and there is no possible way to cover all of them during a wedding ceremony. I’m betting that it’s a lot longer than your submissive contract,” she says. I try hard to stifle a smile. I have to focus and hold onto my anger and not give into her charms. “I mean, I think we can declare our love and mutual respect and to care for each other no matter what the circumstance. That’s why I wanted us to write our own vows. Because we’re unique. We don’t mold into ‘one size fits all’ category,” she says looking at me expectantly. She’s trying to distract me from my goal. She’s good at that; whenever she finds me saying something she disagrees; she finds a way to distract me. It won’t work this time. “Tell me Anastasia, what other ‘one size fits all’ requirement from the vows are you intending to delete? I want to know...” I look at her with an impassive gaze, I feel nothing but. “What do you mean?” she asks defensively. “I mean the vows are simple: All you have to say is I, Anastasia Rose Steele, take thee, Christian Trevelyan-Grey, to be my lawful wedded Husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth. I want to know, what other words in these vows offend you greatly? Is it, ‘for better or worse’, or could it be ‘for richer or poorer’... or how about, ‘in sickness and in health’? How about ‘love’? Or ‘cherish’? There is also ‘till death do us part’...” I say my gaze darkening. I close the distance between us trapping her to the shower wall with my hands firmly placed on the wall next to her shoulders, barely touching, so close, so hot, so desirous, yet so distant. “Tell me Ana,” I whisper near her ear, “...Is there an expiration date on your love? Tell me Anastasia, I want to know!” I say trying to hide my hurt; my eyes are dark with passion with her close proximity. “You are an ass, Christian!” she says hurt trying to push me away with her palms firmly placed on my chest but I won’t budge. “I know! I’m worse than an ass! I’m a fucked up son of a crack whore! Is this why you won’t say it? You don’t find me worthy of obeying? Believe me baby, I’ll take you any way you are willing to give me, but, this torturing me inside! Why Ana?” I look at her begging. “Why, won’t you have me in all the ways I am? You just want to pick and choose?”

She stops pushing me, anger and hurt replaced by concern. Her hands reach up to my face caressing, my fucking body is so in tune with her touch I find myself leaning in to her caress and close my eyes. “Christian, it’s not about you! It’s about me.” My eyes open blazing as if she slapped me; I take couple of steps back to look at her incredulous. “Fuck, Ana! How could that not be about me? Are you not marrying me? So how could this be about you?” She takes a slow step forward, and I hold my hands up to halt her coming closer. She sighs, tries to hide her hurt. “Christian, this is about me, about keeping my individuality. You are... you know, you! This megalomaniac who is always in charge, always in control, always opinionated... And I love that about you, but in the other hand, this is me,” she says her right hand firmly placed between her breasts on her chest. “The girl you fell in love with has her own opinions. I want to please you, but I want to be....me!” she says fervently. “Can’t you just accept me as I am?” I run both my hands through my wet hair, sighing in complete exasperation. I mentally count. Ten...nine... eight... seven... six... five... four... three... two... one... “All I’m asking you is just to consider saying it Ana. That’s all I ask,” I say as my gaze hot with raw emotions I had no idea I was capable of possessing, connecting with her eyes asking her with a plea. “I have a session scheduled with Claude. You have to eat dinner by yourself,” I say as I walk out of the shower grabbing a towel. “Oh!” she says. “I’m going to meet your mother and your sister. They wanted to run some of their ideas by me,” she says in a murmur. I turn to her lightning fast. “When were you planning to tell me?” “Just now,” she says slowly. Your sister called and left a message when we were... uhm, in the Playroom.” I let out a lungful of air. “Make sure you eat before you go! And no driving! Take Sawyer with you!” I order. “Uhm... about dinner...” she starts speaking and I know she wants to skip eating dinner. “Right, there!” I say rather forcefully pointing an accusatory finger at her. “That’s what I’m talking about, Anastasia. You never listen even though I’m looking out for your own interest because you are unwilling to do it!” She sighs exasperated, getting angry. “Are you done, Mr. Grey?” she says putting her hands to her hips. Those hot hips, her lifted elbows, and tossed back arms like she’s doing now, does something to her breasts lifting them up in protest. The slight chill in the bathroom perks her nipples up. I shake my head to get it out

of the gutter if I want to focus. My fucking dick is betraying me with his halfcocked gun salute! Anastasia tries to hide her smile and look stoic and her voice gets huskier but she tries to focus on her anger. “Your mother and your sister who are working on planning our wedding,” she emphasizes, “asked me to come and taste some food samples a caterer will be delivering to your parents’ house. If I eat now, I won’t be able to totally enjoy the food, and I may not be able make a taste distinction to decide on a full stomach, Christian. It’s not because I’m trying to defy you. And this is what I’m trying to tell you. If I obey you 100% of the time, like now, eat and go, then I won’t be able to make a good decision on food later. You have to trust my j udgment as well. Can we at least agree on that?” she asks. I exhale my exasperation. “Take Sawyer with you... I’ll have work out, and later I have a lot of work to catch up with. Call me when you are ready to come back,” I say and walk to my closet to qui ckly dress up in my sweats. I’m too wired up, and too stressed. Fuck! She will not obey! Ever, or some of the time? How can I change her mind? Can she be truly mine if she doesn't obey? I want her every fucking way possible! I crave her to belong to me. If she doesn't completely recite all the words of the marriage vows, doesn't it void it some way? Fuck! I'm losing my mind! She appears at the closet door partially dressed, in those black boy shorts, and lacy bra. Fuck! How I want to have her and give her a lesson in obedience! I'll go overboard... I want to be close to her now, but I can't. I have to leave! She watches my every movement. She wants to say something... She hesitates. "Christian?" "What?" I snap, and instantly regret it. I'm too jumpy. She can get me riled up with one word, or a glance. I soften my gaze on her. "What, Ana?" "Wouldn't you want to taste the food that would be served in our wedding?" "I have more pressing business, tonight. I know you and my mom and sister are capable of making great choices. I trust your judgment. I'll have to pass this detail," I reply. "But?" "Ana, I just want you! I wouldn't care if you decide to serve cheese and crackers, and tea! Well, I'd order wine, but, tonight is not a good night for me. It's just been a stressful day. You go and have fun. But make sure you call me before you leave, and don't stay too late." "Don't be mad at me..." she says in a soft tone. "Anastasia, I'm not mad. I'm furious. All I'm asking you to say is one fucking word, and you won't do it!" "It’s a big word, Christian. I'm not saying it!"

"The hell you aren't!" "In that case Christian, I'll see you after you beat the shit out of Claude Bastille, because I don't want to be on the receiving end of that anger. I have to go!" she says and turns around angrily. "Why are you turning your back to me?" "Really, Sherlock! You couldn't figure that out? In case you haven't noticed, I'm not your submissive, and I'm not going to sign up as a submissive, because saying that word will always trigger those thoughts. I want to be your wife. Not your sub!" "Fuck it, Anastasia! You have never been my sub! You will not be my sub. How can I explain it to you? I have to have control. I have to know you are safe! I have to know that you will take enough precautions to heed my concerns over your well-being. How can I achieve any of those if you do not listen to me and obey me? And you.never.do! You make me feel helpless!" I utter exhausted. "We'll talk about this when you are more rational Christian..." “Anastasia...” I say in a soft voice... too soft to be confused with anything other than anger. “I really, really want to take you over my knee, and punish you...” I say. She looks at me with a little apprehension and a little anticipation, but shakes her head deciding against whatever she was thinking. “Well, Mr. Grey I would love to indulge both you and me...but when you have calmed down, we’ll revisit,” she says and walks away. What the hell just happened? This woman, my woman, the owner of my heart and soul says less than two sentences and my fucking world is upside down, and I am incapable of knowing which way is up! Fuck! I'm losing control, and we're not even married yet! Fuck! Where the hell is Bastille? I walk out into the living room where Taylor is waiting, and he looks like he's going to deliver some bad news. I think I've already reached my limit today. "Mr. Grey, Bastille is out of town..." he starts. "What?" I snap, I pace within three foot radius making Taylor uneasy, and stop right in front of him. "Where the hell is he?" "He was visiting his sister. Today is not his usual day for your workout. He is on his way back, but it'll take him about three hours or a little less depending on when he leaves... Should you wish sir, he'll meet you in three hours." "Three hours... three hours... Three fucking hours!" I'm either having a heart attack, or a panic attack. My heart is pounding, my chest hurts, and it's getting harder to breathe. There's an awful pit in my stomach.

Anastasia comes out dressed up in her plum dress that I like so much which hugs her curves at all the right places. "Sawyer!" I call and he comes out to the living room. "Take Miss Steele to my parents' house. Call me when you get there, and text me when you're leaving." "Yes, sir," he replies. "Bye Christian, I'll see you tonight," she says and gives me a chaste kiss right on the corner of my lips. As she's taking a step away to go; hating the distance between us, I grab her hand by the wrist, and pull her forcefully to me and she's flush with my body. I take her face in my hands and kiss her passionately. I'm not one for public affection, but I desperately want her to know that she's mine, that I desire her to be mine in every fucking way possible! By the time I'm done kissing her, we're both breathless. "Uhm...” she says swallowing, flushed tomato red, "I'll see you later tonight." "Yeah. I'll be working late." (I love you and I hate you – Pride and Prejudice) She and Sawyer disappear into the elevator, and the doors close. "I'm running to Flynn's," I say to Taylor without a preamble. "If you give me two minutes I will join you in your run. But, I must insist that you let me drive, sir." "Taylor, I need to be on the move, I want to run." "I'll run with you sir." "I'd rather be alone, Taylor!" "Mr. Grey, paparazzi has camped ten mile radius of Escala, sir. And they've been camping all around our regular route to catch a glimpse of you or Miss Steele. Since we have had two encounters today, I would highly suggest that I drive you sir, or at least let me run with you." "Fine! Suit up!" I say like a petulant child. Taylor is nothing if he's not an efficient man. Without wasting an extra word in the discussion, he turns around and runs to his quarters to get changed. I take out my Blackberry and dial Flynn. "Good evening, Christian," he answers the phone at the second ring. "Flynn, I have to see you in your office. Meet me in twenty." "Well, Christian, it so happens that I haven't left my office yet. But, let me call my wife and inform her I'll be late since this isn't your scheduled session."

"Fine," I say and hang up. As I make my way to the foyer, Taylor comes out. "Mr. Grey, let's take a different route to Dr. Flynn's office this time. Sawyer had to elude some paparazzi as he was driving..." he says and I cut him off. "Are they okay? Is Miss Steele alright?" "Yes, sir. Nothing he couldn't handle. I suggest that we take the back exit," he says and waits for me to lead the way. “It was nothing like this morning, and your talk with the press this afternoon dispersed the larger crowd. These are probably the late comers.” ***** We exit Escala from the delivery door, and run to Flynn’s office. I’m so fucking wired up, I find myself running as fast as, or even faster than Taylor, who is faster than a greyhound. My mind is examining through hundred different scenarios how I can make Anastasia see sense. Punishment is fucking out! I don’t want her to leave me and I’ll feel like shit, if I hurt her. Fuck! She’s more stubborn than a Missouri mule! She’s my match! She kicks my ass mentally...every.fucking.time! I stop in my tracks, and Taylor who’s been speeding, runs ten steps before he stops to jog back to me. “Is everything alright sir?” “Yes,” I reply absently. I haven’t tried everything yet. She can’t resist me. I can’t resist her for that matter, but I have more control over my desires. How can I punish her in bed? Orgasm denial? It’s a standard tool. Over-sexing her? She desires me as much as I desire her. Deny her sex as a punishment? She initiates sex with me as often as I do with her. That’s one thing we have no problems with. It’d be a cold day in hell if anyone would dare to keep me away from her body; it’d be a torture for me as well to deny her sex, because I’d be clawing my own fucking skin! What to do? What to do? Maybe Flynn will have some answers. Or not... As we reach Flynn’s office, Taylor opens the door to his lush office. His secretary is already gone home for the day. John comes out of his office with a casual outfit. “Hello Christian,” he says. “John,” I reply. “Taylor,” he nods at him in greeting with a warm smile. “Evenin’ Dr. Flynn,” replies Taylor with an impassive face. “Well, shall we Christian?” he says pointing the way to his office with his extended hand. “What brings you here this evening Christian?” he asks once we walk into his office, and he closes the door behind me.

“John, I’m falling apart here!” I start. “I see... Wedding jitters? Second thoughts? Problems at home? I need a little insight.” I pace around his office and John’s gaze patiently follows my movements. I’m breathing hard. Finally I walk to his desk and lean down with both my palms placed on his desk which Flynn notices and jots down something into his leather covered tablet. I take a big gulp of breath as if my lungs can’t get enough of it. “Anastasia won’t obey me!” he looks up at me patiently. “Elaborate...” he says simply as if he’s just met me. “The fucking wedding vows! She won’t say the traditional wedding vows! She wants to write her own!” “Why do you see this as something wrong?” “Are you fucking kidding me?” “I don’t kid when I’m in this office, Christian. You know that,” he says ignoring my meaning. “Control is very important to me. I need it, and God knows she needs it! She has no selfpreservation sense when it comes to her well-being. It terrifies me! I am having panic attacks! I thought it was stroke or heart attack or something! She makes me feel helpless. I feel like a caged wild animal,” I explain. “Do you feel that she confines you?” he asks and I snort. I weigh the nuances of the word in my head. “What I feel is this enormous desire to protect her. What I feel is that when I’m in her orbit, or she’s in mine, I don’t know which way is up.” “If she says she’ll obey, what do you think that will make you gain in your marriage to Anastasia?” he asks. “You must be joking John! I’ll be protecting her better! I’ll know she’s safe because I will know what to do...” “By that token, do you mean that she doesn’t know how to protect herself?” he asks. “Yes!” “I see. Has she ever been in any kind of accident? Has she taken risks that are harmful to her well-being?” “I don’t think she’s ever been in an accident,” I answer considering the question. “That one time she drank excessively and...” I pause not willing to give him more on that. “But there are other things. I dropped her off to work this morning with expressed order that she is not to leave SIP building, and the first thing she does is to leave the building. She goes to a deli nearby with Sawyer, and she was ambushed by paparazzi in the bathroom of all places! Had she just listened to me, this could have been all avoided. She was frantic, as was I!”

“Yes, but what she did, going to a deli to get something to eat surely isn’t something out of the ordinary. People do that every day. Why is her safety such a big concern to you Christian?” “Isn’t your wife’s safety a concern for you?” I turn the question back to him. “One’s family is always a concern, Christian. But my wife is an adult woman. She knows what to do. I have to give her that trust. Sometimes women are stronger than we give them credit for.” “You don’t understand...” I say sagging into the leather chair, leaning down, my elbow s on my knees, I capture my face in my hands. I feel the onslaught of thoughts weighing me, and giving me a headache. “I love her excessively! Better than my own life. I can’t bear to live in a world where she didn’t exist because I couldn’t protect her properly. My life is complicated, John. More complicated than yours or a lot of other people’s. What she had before she was with me was simple and uncomplicated. I come with a 747 shitload of fuckeduppedness she has to deal with! It could be my past that could harm her. It happened before. With Leila nearly...” I stop unable to bring the rest of my sentence. “Surely, you know better. You’ve been treating her.” He nods his agreement for the first time, however imperceptivity. “Christian, you’ve isolated yourself from the world that’s surrounding you and put layers upon layers to keep that distance. You want to include Anastasia into that bubble, and protect her,” he summarizes. “Yes!” I sigh. “However...” he adds, “you would be excluding her from the world she’s been a part of.” “I want to be her world!” I exclaim. “The gilded cage. But do you think that’s what she wants? “ My eyes go wide in uncontained fear. I blink to clear those thoughts away. “She said she wants me,” I repeat in a soft voice. “She wants Christian, the man. Maybe, not Christian the cage. What would be a happy middle ground for both of you?” “There’s no middle ground! If I have to protect her and care for her, it must be my way.” “Well, given the fact that you are here, I gather that she’s not agreeing to your terms, Christian. Therefore, a happy medium is a must. So, tell me, how can you compromise?” “I don’t think I can... Not when it comes to her. I can’t lose her.” “Christian,” he says in a soft, but almost chiding voice. “You cannot control the world you live in. Despite the fact that you have layers upon layers of protection, you’ve noticed that things happen without our control. There is a reasonable limit when it comes to those we love. Because if you are pressing too much, it will become overbearing, and you’ll suffocate her. I know that would defeat your purpose of happily keeping her in your life.”

I know that to be true. Anything that could get her out of my life, or make her cold to me, would kill me! Agony grips me in the guts and squeezes tight. I shut my eyes for the pain to subside, my hands fisted on my lap. “I would hate myself if I turned her off. What do I do, John? How do I protect her?” “We’ll find the answers together. But let me ask you this first. What exactly offends you if she has actually written her vows? Do you know what she wrote? Is it unsatisfactory to you?” “I haven’t seen it... Not yet anyway. I don’t know if she’s finished it, or still working on it. She just sprung it on me today.” “Christian, let’s examine one other pressing issue that neither one of us has mentioned today. Besides your concerns over her safety, which I can see is monumental; but I think there may be a subconscious reason, one you haven’t given much thought about.” I look at him narrowing my eyes. He knows that I know what he’s thinking. “Do you want a submissive in Anastasia?” “No, I don’t...” I rack my brain for an honest answer. “Not anymore. I know she doesn’t want that, and anything she doesn’t want is like the bubonic plague to me. I’d do anything to avoid it; but had she wanted it, I’d go out of my way to make her happy, and fulfill her desires. And the fact that I’ve explored things with her I didn’t know was possible in the past, you know, incorporating love and sex and now her touch, I find myself craving those feelings like a starving man in an all you can eat banquet! She’s made me taste emotions, desires, and passion I didn’t know existed. It was all possible because of her. I felt the fucking nirvana! And she’s more than willing to accommodate me and loves my kinky fuckery...” I say unable to help myself but smile. “Alright...” he says pausing. “Do you think that any of your submissives within the limitations of your “submissive contract” could have achieved this with you?” “Never!” I reply and add, “But this also brings the other worry I have: she’s one of a kind. She’s priceless. She’s got no equal. If I lose her, I lose myself,” I say fervently. “Doesn’t anyone protect what’s so priceless?” I ask unblinking. “Yes, but you must observe limitations with people. They’re not artifacts. You must work within their character traits. Anastasia is a vivacious woman. Strong-willed, like you. And by your own admission, she loves you unconditionally. There is a list of character traits that makes up Anastasia. My question in the end becomes, everything she’s offering you in your upcoming marriage... her love, her body, her ways, her own brand of character...” he stops letting it all sink in. “Are they not enough for you to live with? Would you lo ve her any less if she disobeyed you? Would you not want her if she didn’t say she’ll obey?” My heart stops for a few second with the impact of his words.

“I want her any shape and form she’s willing to have me! But I can’t get rid of this fear in me, gnawing at my soul, I have a pit in my stomach, and I find myself restless thinking about it. I’m going out of my fucking mind! How do I stop this? I have to have control! But, I can’t live without her even in the hypothetical.” I sink back into the chair again. “Christian, all these years, you’ve taught yourself rather grudgingly by Elena that in order to have control of your life, you must control your surroundings. In business it may hold true. In relationships however, if you exceed the allowed limit, then you run into you your Hard Limits,” he says. Now, he’s talking in terms I can understand. “Can you consider obedience as her Hard Limit?” he says, and I blink. “John, I’d rather think of it as her Soft Limit and see how we can work around it. She obeys in the bedroom; in fact she rather enjoys it immensely, I just want to expand it to other things in our relationship,” I say petulantly. “Do it to an acceptable degree. But then, I’m not your partner in this relationship. Anastasia is. She would be the best one to give you this feedback. But now you have a workable starting point. This is the first real relationship you have, Christian. She isn’t going to behave the way your subs did,” he says and I snort. “But the joy in that this type of relationship is that whatever she gives you is willingly given. You haven’t ordered her to give it to you. She wanted you to have it,” he explains. “John, if it was at all possible, I’d be merged with her all the time. Not just sex, fucking, making love, but be in constant contact with all of her! Hold her, touch her, kiss her, wrap her in my arms,” I say fervently, “Although just fucking is reason enough. Her words are capable of caressing my soul as if she dipped her hands into my heart. At the same time, they’re also are also capable of wounding me, branding me, searing me from inside out! You see, we’ve never had problems with physically giving to each other. God knows, it’s one department we’re completely satisfied, but I’ll always have this sharp pang in my side, and be anxious until I know she’s completely safe. That’s one feeling I can’t get rid of.” “Talk to her, and compromise,” he says. I do not like the sound of that word. I stand up from my seat and exhale loudly. “I can’t yet John. I’m not ready,” I say. As I go t o the door to take my leave, I turn around, “how’s Leila’s progress?” “She’s coming along well. Following directions, taking her medication and showing interest in some art classes.” “Good,” I say absently. “Keep me updated.” “Oh, she wants to speak to you. I told her that it’s taking several steps back in her progress. But, since you asked me to pass all the information pertaining to her, that’s what she asked.” “Why the fuck would she want to see me for?” “She didn’t say.”

“I don’t want to see her! I haven’t forgiven her for putting a gun to Anastasia’s head either! She needs to remain in mental care facility until she’s well enough to travel to her folks in Connecticut. I don’t want her in the west coast, not near Anastasia. Not now, not ever! Pass that on. Once she’ll well enough to travel, I’ll pay for her travel, care, medical and schooling. But, my condition is that she is never to come close to Anastasia. Ever!” “Did you want to speak to her or see her? She asks for you every time I see her.” “What the fuck for, John? I don’t give a shit that she wants to see me. I have Anastasia in my life. I’m not going to jeopardize my relationship with Ana because Leila is too fucked up, and wants to see me. I’m doing what I’m supposed to do for her, but in return she’ll have to move on.” “Alright, I pass your terms, Christian. And remember, just talk to Ana.” “I’ll do what I can, John,” I say sighing, and walk out; Flynn follows me to see me to the door. Taylor is waiting. His face is impassive. “Bastille will be at the gym in the next half hour, sir. Do you want to head there?” “Yes,” I say monosyllabic. And we run. ***** “Fuck Grey! You’re a top level fighter, but something is off today. You’re aggressive but, you’re not completely here. I need your mind here, and now! You should never leave your penthouse without your brain attached to your head! Come on man! I kicked your ass seven times in the last...”he says looking at his watch, “twenty six minutes; by the looks of it a ten year old could kick it! Get it together!” Bastille scolds me.

(Claude Bastille)

“Fuck off, Bastille!” I reply. “I’d love to Grey, but I don’t swing that way,” he says trying to lighten the mood. “Here’s what we’re gonna do, man! We’re going to do a conditioning circuit since all the bruises I could give you won’t heal until after your honeymoon. I don’t want your fiancée hating me because I damaged your girlish figure. Let’s begin with heavy low-repetition exercises. Right now weighted pull-ups followed by plyometric movements like medicine ball smashes and then weighted plunges sound good to me. We’ll go with 10, 10, 10. We’ll improvise as we go.” When I head to the bars, he says, “No, I have a different warm up on the treadmill in mind. Get the treadmill to the highest speed and highest incline you can handle. I want it in a way that you can’t maintain your pace for more than 30 seconds.” “I’m game,” I say determined. “Jump on and sprint all out for 20 seconds! Go! Go! Go! Go! Go!” I give it all I got. “Now jump your feet to both sides and rest for only ten seconds then jump back on for twenty seconds, then rest for ten, and jump for twenty. This is a repeat for 10 short sprints!” “Tabata intervals?” “Exactly! Go!” I jump, sprint on the treadmill for twenty seconds, and then rest for t en seconds on the side and go for twenty seconds, and jump for ten second rest again. Without any stop after I complete the tabata intervals he’s already picked the next two weight training exercises. He quickly ties 60 lbs. of weighed chain around me, and put me on the bars to do pull ups. “Go for ten, Grey!” he orders and I pull myself up. “Pull all the way up, Grey! I wanna see your shoulders above the bars! Knees bent! Lift those legs up! Keep it up there for two seconds! Four... Five... Six... Seven... Eight... Nine... Ten! Jump down! Take the weights off!” I shred off the chained weighed around my torso. “Now run to the medicine ball! Ten slams, Grey!” he orders as I try to make my way quickly to the medicine ball, “I ain’t getting any younger here! Ball above your head! Lift it up! Good... Make sure you rise on your toes like you’re Kobe Bryant and you’re going to toss your three pointer, except that you’re going to slam that ball with all you got!” I mentally count it. “Speed Grey, speed! That’s it. Seven... Eight! Nine! And ten!” “Let’s work those upper arms, Grey! Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go! That’s it! Push it as far as you can! We’ll go with two sets of ten! Up, down! Up, down! Up, down!” He pushes me hard. “Keep going Grey, if you aren’t breathing hard, and your legs aren’t shredding, you aren’t doing it right! Come on man!” he forces me, and that’s good, because it focuses me on the task at hand. Because they’re short in duration, I have no time to occupy my mind with something or someone else. Just the exercise.

“Five second hold, ten times, Grey! Legs on the bench, sideways, elbow and forearms on the mat! Hold the waist off the ground! Left arm on your waist! Keep breathing! Five! Four! Three! Two! One! Now lower your hip! Good job! Now, lift up and hold for five seconds again!” We repeat the cycle for ten lifts. “Roll to the other side without getting off, Grey! Let’s repeat on the other side. Left arm on the mat, right arm on the waist! Good job! Nine! And ten! Off the bench, now, now, now! Thirty pound dumbbell lunges!” he says pushing me to the next task he has in mind not leaving me a second of time to think. I have thirty pound hanging from each hand and I do ten sets of lunges with the weights. “Come on Grey! Get low, and drive up hard! Come on! Chest up, Grey! Watch your posture! Breathe in, breathe out! Now ten lunges to the other direction Grey! Good job! Now weights down! Don’t stop! Use the rectangular bench to explode up now!” he orders me into doing the bent leg jumps. “One leg bent when you reach up... Yes! That’s it! Keep the other leg straight when you bend one, Grey! Explode up! Higher man, higher! This is not for speed, Grey, this is for power! Up! Higher! We’ll go with twenty on this!” I jump using a bench for vertical lift, and explode up. The second that exercise is over he orders me into the next one. “Now, hit the bikes! Go very hard for one minute! Jump off immediately, rest 30 seconds and repeat! We’re going for 10 repetitions with this cycle!” When I’m done with the bike, I’m breathing hard, but nothing I can’t handle. “Grey, you’re going to run the length of the gym. We’ll start with about 100 yard sprint; then you will do 20 pushups, then you sprint to 80 yards where I’ll set a marker for you, you will do 20 crunches. We’ll go down with 20 yard intervals. Sprint, 20 pushups, sprint, 20 crunches, sprint, pushups, and sprint crunches until we get to the 0 marker! Now, run!” By the time I am done with the anaerobic exercises, I’m gasping for breath! “Now, you’re focused, Grey! Hydrate, and let’s see what you can do on the mat!” When I manage to get Bastille sprawled on the floor, he tries to go for a takedown. I manage to get on top, and place my arm under his neck and through his armpit and lock it with my other arm and grasping well past my bicep! When he tries to resist, I raise my hips and I start throwing some knees to his head which in return he brings his left hand to defend, giving me a good grasp to further lock my hand aiding me to shove it as deep as possible. Then I dip my head to the side to protect my head, dip my shoulder in, twist my hips to get as much power as possible to roll to my side, once I have him, I snatch him up, and walk into him. He’s completely under my control, and he taps out. If he doesn’t, he can lose consciousness within minutes, because the anaconda chokehold interrupts the blood flow to the brain.

“Good job, Grey! Finally managed to focus!” he says. “Not too bad for a man whose brain is still elsewhere!” he says, but I ignore the remark with an impassive gaze. ***** I have showered and cleaned up and in my pajama bottoms with a t-shirt on top, working in my office. I check the time. No phone calls, or text yet. It’s been four hours since Anastasia left to go to my parents’ house. How long does it take to taste some food? My hand goes to my phone, and I force myself to stop. I want her to call me. I force myself to go over business reports analyzing numbers, when finally Anastasia calls. “Hi,” she says in her girlish soft voice. That simple word just tugs at my heart strings. “Hi,” respond my voice deep and husky, but don’t say anything else. “Sawyer’s driving me back right now,” she says, pausing. “Okay,” I reply in a low murmur. “Are you still mad at me?” she asks in a soft tone. I sigh. “Maybe...” “Oh,” she says, and that single word tells me she’s disappointed, and that one simple word out of her lips breaks my heart. “I’ll see you home, then...” she replies in a whisper. “Okay,” I reply, wanting to say so much, and unable to. Acting like a fucking teenager! “I love you, Christian,” she says making me shiver to the core. I close my eyes, and let the words sink into my soul. Craving for her words, for her touch, just...craving for her... Hungry Eyes (pride and prejudice) “I know,” is all I can say in a soft murmur. What I want to say is that I love her more than words can express. That I love her better than I love myself, or any one thing or a combination of things and people I have ever loved in my life. I love her so much it hurts to think about it! Yet, all I can say is, ‘I know,’ to her declaration of love. Fuck me! She sighs. “I’ll see you soon, then, Christian.” “Okay,” I reply like a broken record. She doesn’t hang up, staying on the line. “Bye, Christian.” “Bye, Ana.” My fucking heart hurts when she finally hangs up. One fucking word, Ana! One word! How hard could it be to say it? Am I not worthy of that?

I start going over the reports Alex Pella created, but my heart isn’t in it. My ears are at half attention waiting for her footsteps in the apartment. The buzzing of the phone jumps me, because there’s no other noise. “Mr. Grey? Welch’s here.” “Yes,” I say, frowning. “I wanted to go over the report Mr. Pella created, and give you some of our findings. Do you have time sir?” “Go ahead,” I reply. “I wanted go with the elimination of some of the suspects you wanted me to search,” He goes through a small list of former business associates. “Each one was either out of town or their activities near and after your accident implied that they had nothing to do with it, or had no knowledge of it.” “What about Elena Lincoln and her boyfriend?” I ask. “They’re both clear, sir.” “Without the shadow of any doubt?” “Yes, sir,” he says with certainty. “The boyfriend was in California at the time, and she was working all day, the day before and during. I’ve confirmed it with people who worked and got the list of other clients who have seen her at work.” “What about Mr. Lincoln?” I ask reluctantly. “He was in town, but he was working. A lot of people confirmed seeing him all day at his work site. But that means little. He wouldn’t do it himself if it was him. So our best bet is to locate the owner of the partial print that was recovered, and find out whether he worked alone, or with someone else.” “Fine. I want the list of names that are responsible with access to Charlie Tango, all the way to the top.” “I have them ready, sir. I’ll e-mail them to you.” “Call Andrea, and have her schedule top fucker first thing tomorrow morning! Someone will have to answer for the unacceptable security lapse.” “Mr. Grey, I personally researched it myself: the lack of security, and the access to Charlie Tango was incredibly easy. It’s not because the rules aren’t in place, but because people aren’t doing their jobs. I’ll send you images, and a report summarizing my findings in a few minutes. I have already grilled them on the lack of security, and they’re tighten ing the security, and ease of access to GEH aircrafts.” “A day late, a dollar short, Welch! I want some heads rolling for the fuckup that nearly cost me and Ros our lives! I want the management waiting for me first thing tomorrow morning!” “Yes, sir. I’ll have Andrea schedule it.”

“Anything else?” “That’s all for now, sir. I still haven’t completed going over all reports in detail Mr. Pella created.” “Update me when you do. I want increased security for all my family, and here at Escala as well. E-mail me the list of names and backgrounds, and CC to Taylor, and coordinate with him,” I say before I hang up. I sag back in my chair. A lunatic is after me, and very likely after Anastasia. Fucking paparazzi ambushing her in the public bathroom for God’s sake! I’m doing all I can to try to protect my woman, and she won’t fucking cooperate with me! She won’t fucking obey! Ripping my heart out by hand would be less agonizing! Exasperated I get back to my work. ***** My door opens slowly. Anastasia walks in with hesitating steps and closes the door behind her. My gaze dons the impassive mask, giving away nothing. I don’t blink. She steps into the room, and the distance between us feels like miles away. “I’m back,” she says simply. I don’t dare to swallow. “I brought you something,” she adds, and I notice the plate in her hand for the first time. She walks in slow steps as if she’s walking towards a wild animal she’s trying not to make timid. She places the plate on the table as if she’s making an offering. Her hands slowly retract back. I don’t blink. “Would you like wine to go with your seafood?” she asks. “Yes,” I breathe, yearning for her. She nods her head slowly. “Okay,” she says swallowing. “I’ll go get you a glass,” she whispers. She turns to go, I say, “Ana?” she turns to look at me expectant. I shake my head. “White wine,” I say, kicking myself mentally. ‘Say something, stupid!’ I chide myself. She turns to leave, and walk out of my study. It feels lonely without having her close to my vicinity. Fucking lonely, miserable and I’m so fucking stubborn, and so is she over a word, neither one giving an inch to the other! It’s an important word, but a word nonetheless. She comes back with a chilled glass of white wine. “Join me?” I ask hopeful. “No, I ate already...a lot I think with all the food to taste and had wine at your parents. I don’t think you want me to drink too much. I feel light headed already,” she says her gaze not leaving mine. Both of us look at each other yearning, wanting the other and unable to get passed our stubborn streak. “It’s late. I want to go to bed. Are you coming?” she asks expectantly. I speak before I can think.

“I have to work. Lots to catch up,” I say softly, still unblinking, still my heart breaking with the distance we are erecting between each other; neither one willing to back down. Words remain unsaid. She stands in the study awkwardly. Finally deciding against some conflicting emotion in her head, she walks forward, and chastely kisses me, leaving me frozen for a few seconds, but I manage to respond with the charge that passes through our connection. Our bodies betray us; I pull her into my embrace, and hold her tightly, feeling her warmth in my proximity, and inhale her scent, finally kissing the top of her head. “Go to bed now, baby. I’ll have to work a little more.” “Come to bed,” she pleads, and I want to. Oh, I want to so badly! But I’m afraid to give in or worse, I’ll want to punish her with sex, and get carried away. My eyes widen in response, I shake my head. “Too much to do. Can’t wait. We only have a short month, and I better get these done,” I say indicating my computer screen. She nods her head, but the glimpse of hurt is there in her eyes. “Okay,” she says in a whisper, and as she steps away, her hand that was in mine slowly drifts away from me, leaving me feeling bereft. Celine Dion - Falling into you I remain in my office another four hours working hard; sleep not finding me. When I finally make my way into my room, I slowly turn my side table lamp on. Pull a chair up, and watch Anastasia sleep. She’s looking so innocent, so lovely; her lips slightly parted, her hair spread to her pillow. She sighs, and turns. Her hand absently extends to my side of the bed as if to find something missing next to her. A connection... She rolls, and not finding what she’s looking for in her sleep, she moans as if in pain. I hear a soft call of my name, barely audible. Did she wake up? I lean in, and her eyes are closed. But she is looking for me in her sleep. She automatically turns to my warmth. We’re drawn to each other even in sleep, and we’re fucking meaningless without each other. I take my shirt off and slowly ease into bed pulling her into my arms, and finally for the first time all day long, I feel complete. ***** It’s dark. I can’t see a thing. I can’t feel my way. There isn’t any light, no sound, nothing. It’s a deep abyss. My heart is pounding. She’s here. I know she’s here. “Christian, help me!” I hear her. “Where are you Ana?”

“I’m here! Help me!” she screams. I don’t know which way is the right way to get to her. I run full speed, but the voice is getting distant. “Ana, where the hell are you? Talk to me! Let me find you!” All I hear is a blood curdling scream. My name laced in her scream, ripping my soul apart! There is a dim light in the distance. So dim, if you blinked, you would lose it. I wouldn’t dare to blink. I have to focus. I come to a dirty door that had seen better days. The smell... I know the smell. It’s pungent, nasty. It oozes out of the door, taking a form. It stinks like...death. Agony grips my heart and tears sting my eyes, my hands fists on my side. I kick the fucking door nearly pulling it off its hinges. It hangs askew. I’m breathing hard, my heart is at my throat beating hard, trying to get out of my chest. I enter and look around in the dim light. The smell draws me like the hands of the devil, so strong. It’s laced with fear and evil. It’s odor reeks with blood, and hurt. I’m afraid to call out to her name. I’m afraid that she won’t answer. I’m terrified! I smell her scent, her brand of woman, her natural perfume smelling like sweet spices, outdoors, and freshness... and blood. “Ana?” I whisper. “Ana, talk to me, baby! I’m here... I’m here, Ana. Answer me, baby...” No response. My eyes bewildered looks around. Then I find her. Her blood crusted body is naked on the dirty concrete floor. Whip lines criss cross her back, and her chest. Her hair matted with blood and dirt. Her face is bruised. Her lifeless body has endured unimaginable pain. A shriek comes to my ears I don’t recognize. Oh... It’s me. I’m the one screaming in agony, falling on my knees, holding her tightly in my arms and rocking her back and forth. “How do you like it now?” asks an unknown voice. It gets louder and louder still. “How do you like it, Master?” asks Leila’s voice and her hazy face. The face slowly shifts, ripples and changes. “How do you like it, Christian? I saved you from your gold digging whore! You can thank me later,” says Elena‘s voice and face changing on the hazy figure. Her large leather whip flies and hits Anastasia’s lifeless legs. “Stop it! Stop! Leave her alone!” She laughs, and the face ripples once again. “How does it feel young Christian Grey when someone else fucks your woman?” says the contorting face changing into Mr. Lincoln in the haze. He leans his head in examining her wounds with pride in his green gaze. “I have to say, she rather enjoyed the punishment. She was a good girl, screaming when I wanted her to scream... at exactly the right pitch... Did it hurt you enough? I was aiming for soul shredding effect,” he says his voice lilting, completely pleased with himself. I try to shield Ana’s lifeless body, getting colder by the second. I can’t fucking do anything to make her alive! I scream and rock her back and forth harder.

Faces change rapidly with the unknown body, finally the face of the pimp emerging. “How do you like it now, bastard? You killed her. Like you killed your mother! You ar e a murderer! You are a murderer! You.are.her.murderer! But then, you only deserve her dead body!” his voice seethes poison, his breath stinking cheap beer and Camel cigarettes. “Look, what we have here. The little whore that is your mama. There she is!” he points at another lifeless body. “Better get to her boy! She’s getting cold awfully fast!” he says his face distorting into a menacing form. “What the fuck have you done to her? That crazy fucked up bitch! Shit! Fuck! Get out of the way you little shit!” he yells kicking me, and all of a sudden I’m little, helpless, hurt... “No! No! No! Mommy!” There’s her lifeless body lying on the dirty green carpet. I want my mommy! I’m here and I’m not here. I look at myself. A hungry, dirty, unwanted little boy and the policewoman is taking my blankie away. “Mommy!” I run to her, and I’m stopped by the large hands of death grasping me on my shoulder with the face of the pimp. “You better make your choice, you little shit!” says the pimp. “What will it be? Your mommy’s dead body or your lover’s dead body? What will you keep?” he whispers menacingly, taunting me. I run between two bodies in this abyss unable to save neither. I see the faces turning around Ana’s body. All sorts of faces! Elena, Leila, the pimp, Mr. Lincoln... unknown faces. Trying to claim her as their own! They want to take her away from me! “No! No! No! Leave her the fuck alone! She’s mine!” I shield her lifeless body with mine. Tears flow freely with agony ripping my heart and soul apart. (Unbreak My Heart – Toni Braxton) “Don’t die on me baby! Don’t go! I love you so much! Don’t just leave me!” Tears spring down on their own volition. “Take me, too, Ana! I cannot live without my heart. I cann ot live without my soul,” I grieve in utter despair. She doesn’t hear me or respond. My baby is dead! I cry out in agony. I want to die, too! “Christian! Christian!” It’s her voice! Is it from heaven? She sounds urgent, pulling me away from the depths of my despair. “I’m here, Christian. I’m here,” she shakes me. My eyes open, clouded with tears making it hard to see. She’s leaning over me, grasping me my shoulders, shaking me, her face too is etched with anguish, and her beautiful, alive blue eyes are wide and brimming with tears. “Ana,” I say unbelieving in a breathless whisper, fear lacing my mouth, oozing out of my pores. “You’re here. You’re well,” I utter, unbelieving.

“Of course, I’m here.” “I had a dream...” I say breathless. “I know. I’m here. I’m here,” she says reassuring. “Ana,” I breathe her name like a talisman against the choking nightmare gripping my soul, the fear killing me inside. “Hush, I’m here,” she says curling her arms around me, her limbs cocooning me, her warmth giving life, forcing the devils of my nightmare away. She’s my life, she’s my sun; she is my everything! I can’t exist without her. “Ana, please, let’s not fight,” I say in a hoarse voice, embracing her within my arms. Holding her, and feeling her. “Okay, okay,” she says calming me. “The vows. No obeying, I can do that. We’ll find a way,” I say. I am just glad that she’s alive. I don’t care that she doesn’t obey. I just want her! “Yes. We will. We always find a way,” she whispers and descends her lips sealing mine, both silencing me, and jolting me back to life, and existence. I roll over her pulling t-shirt off her body in one swift move, and merge my body with hers.

My Blackberry buzzes as I’m sitting at the breakfast table. I smile at Anastasia and pick my phone up. “Mr. Grey, Welch’s here.” “Is everything set?” “Yes, sir. Everything points to Andrew Warren, sir. Pella indicated the lack of security with one look which we already knew, and I have spoken to Warren several times to fix those issues. So did Taylor. Every time he assured me that the proper training was being implemented, and the security loopholes were plugged, but clearly he was pulling the wool over our eyes.” “What made Pella sure that there was lack of security?” “Well, to begin with sir, he proved it to me by getting in the building without showing anyone anything... three times consecutively within thirty minutes,” he says enunciating. “Fuck! Tell me exactly how he did it!” I hiss through my teeth, and Anastasia's gaze gets fixed on me. I find my muscles tightening. Anastasia looks at me worried, questioning. I give her a tight smile, and indicating ‘I’ll be one minute’ with my finger, I walk towards my office. "Mr. Grey, Pella walks in anywhere and he can make it look like he belongs there." "Was he dressed in an employee uniform?" "No sir. He walked in with his arrogant confidence, and just gazed at the female employee who is supposed to check identifications like no one existed in the world, and flashed the Miss Big Tits a rare smile; she couldn't even pick her jaw up off the floor! I mean, she wouldn't even blink; sir, like he was going to disappear and she didn't want to miss a thing. Just waved him through tucking her phone number in his hand, I might add." "It could be a fluke." "Yes sir, but he also passed through two other security guys: an older no nonsense guy who's got cataracts in his eyes, and a young male with military training... Those two ought to be hard to pass through without proper identification, sir. And he showed no identification to anyone! And here's the thing sir; he had two of his security guards pass along with him!" "Fuck! How?" "He just spoke to them. He knew exactly what to say, how to say it to the right person. As if each person spoke a certain language and he was the only one who knew what was. He knew

the discharge ranking of the military guy just by his demeanor and figured out where and what location he was discharged from. He addressed him as such, and for the old guy, he acted like he was someone from his era, completely at ease. I was baffled. I was going to ask him to do one more run just to make sure and he said," says Welch and pauses, clearing his throat, "Welch, I can fuck my way through the gates if that's what it takes, and I can do it all day, in and out, but I'm sure your boss isn't paying mega bucks for me to test the lack of security which I've already proven. I have limited time, and I need to collect evidence, determine how he sabotaged the EC 135 and create a profile of your would be assailant. If I don't do that the fucker will look, and believe me when I say this, he will find another way, because he got away the first time. If I were your boss, I'd fire the incompetent fuckers! But it's not completely their fault. Their training is inadequate. All of their responses must be uniform, but each employee here behaved as if they were trained by three different instructors none of which were on the same page. That should have been corrected a long time ago." "What else?" I ask through the gritted teeth. “The reason we are in possession of those pictures I've sent you as he was leisurely passing through the security, or maybe layers of supposed security are because of his efforts, sir. He had his men take pictures of him, languidly walking in where the helicopter was which I might add is supposed to be off zone because of the investigation." Then he pauses again, “and he also managed to get to the GEH jet and gained access into it!” “Shit! Fuck! The jet too?” “I’m afraid so, sir,” says Welch chagrined. “How did he get in?” “He said he used his charms sir,” he says embarrassed. “His charms? What the fuck! You don’t wear your charm like an identification card! There’s supposed to be protocols of how something is done. Fuck!” “He does have presence, sir. And he didn’t even have to pretend to be an employee, or someone who had business there. He just sauntered in." “What about your earlier findings from a month ago?” “It was presented to Mr. Warren sir. He promised up and down that th ose security loopholes were negligible, and they were going to be fixed immediately. But as recently as this week it’s been proven by Mr. Pella that nothing had been fixed, in fact it was worse!” Anger is seeping out of my pores; I run my free hand through my hair in exasperation. “Has the fucker been scheduled this morning?” I ask, finding myself tapping my fist on my desk. “Yes, sir. He should be at GEH at exactly 8:00 a.m.”

“Good. We’ll just let him stew a little bit. Let him worry. I want him leaving wi th his ass in his hand, do you understand? I want no fuckups! How about the rest?” “No, sir. No fuckups! All as we discussed last night, sir. Have you had a chance to read over the reports I’ve sent you?” “Backwards and forward! Get them in. I’m not in a forgiving mood today!” “Yes, sir. I’ll be at GEH shortly, and assemble everything before your arrival.” “Great! Coordinate with Taylor. I’ll come in at 9:00 today.” “I’ll call him momentarily, sir.” “Fine!” I say hanging up. Ruthless Christian is back! When I walk back into the breakfast bar area in the kitchen, Anastasia is sipping her weak Twinning's English breakfast tea. Her lovely presence chases away the anger I'm feeling to just below the surface. The sweet image of her with a tea cup, bringing back memories when she and I had champagne from the teacups in her apartment. I savor the look, completely admiring. Something angelic about it and it gives me an idea. A sweet idea. Hmm... I’ll have to make sure to implement it soon. She notices my gaze on her. “Anything you like Mr. Grey?” she asks smiling. “The whole package, Miss Steele,” I say sauntering over to her with dark, licentious eyes. Her eyes follow my movements without blinking; her teacup is halfway to her lips, and her bottom lip is within the captivity of her teeth. As I reach before her, I slowly take the teacup from her hand without breaking our gaze; I set it on the counter. I cock my head to the side to admire her better. Her pupils dilate, and her breathing gets rough with my proximity. I lean down and with one hand I pull her chin releasing her lip, and with my own teeth capture it for my own, and slightly suck on it, and she moans in my mouth firing up all my synapses. I push her skirt back separating her legs, and pull her forward towards me as I stand between her legs. While pulling her ponytail with one hand, I push her ass to the edge of the stool towards me to make her sex meet my growing erection, and she gasps in my mouth. Her hands dive into my hair, and pull me towards her, while her silk stocking donned delectable legs wrap around my body; the corner of her high heels deliciously dig into my ass. Our kiss lingers on and on as my tongue invades her familiar mouth, yet a new discovery every time I kiss her as our tongues dance. “Do we have time?” she asks in my mouth. I smile. As I reluctantly pull away leaving us both breathless, I ask with a devilish smile, “Time for what, Miss Steele?” “For you to fuck me!” She demands hot and heavy. “Why Miss Steele, aren’t you the refined young lady this morning?” “Christian, you can’t turn me on like this and leave me hot and bothered all day!” she chides.

“As it happens Miss Steele, we can’t this morning,” I reply as her face falls. I can’t be relaxed when I go into the office. “But I’ll take good care of you this evening...” I say with a carnal promise. “What? No! Why?” I lean into her ear and whisper. “Don’t try relieve yourself, either. I’ll know. I want all your pleasure tonight,” leaving her panting. “Christian, you’re not being fair! I want you now!” “I know baby, I know. I want you too, but all in good time... I promise to take very good care of you later,” I say sensually showing her my desire. Sexual frustration serves several purposes. When I’m sexually frustrated, I’m like a loaded gun – a lot meaner; that goes double the effect when I have to wait a long time to fuck Anastasia. Of course when she wants me this badly like she does now, my swords are a lot sharper as I need when I get to work today. But the best part is that our lovemaking is sweeter, our desires are at their absolute peak and our fucking is a lot kinkier. Win-win-win. She narrows her eyes on me, “You’re up to something, Mr. Grey” she says. “Whatever do you mean, Miss Steele?” I ask feigning innocence. “Mr. Grey, you’re a lot of things. But innocent, you are not!” she accuses making me grin. “How well you know me Miss Steele,” I say kissing her passionately once again. “Tonight!” I say and pack so much promise into that single word; her heartbeat accelerates making her flush. “I’ll hold you to it,” she replies in a husky whisper holding my biceps tight, “although,” she says as if she remembered something, “I can’t be responsible for the consequences of being left hot and bothered, Mr. Grey.” “Careful,” say in a low threatening voice. “No one, but me touches this!” I say cupping her sex making her gasp. “Yes,” she says in a breathy voice, “only you, Christian!” “Good girl. Finish your tea and we’ll leave,” I say, and she does. As Anastasia is taking her briefcase, Taylor walks in discreetly, and I look up to him, he nods knowing my meaning. Everything is coordinated. I take Anastasia’s hand; walk into the elevator with Sawyer and Taylor. Taylor and Sawyer open the passenger doors to the SUV, and both Anastasia and I enter. Once we are in the SUV, I hold Anastasia’s hand again. Rubbing circles on the back of it, and notice that she crosses her feet to squeeze her thighs together. I look down at her my gaze darkening. She is hot and bothered. Hmm... Maybe she can be persuaded to come home early today. I hold her hand up and opening her palm with my other hand; I kiss it slowly and slightly bite the pad of her pinkie which she responds in a choked moan. “Hush now,” I say leaning into her ear. “Tonight...” I whisper wanton. She bites her lips darkening my eyes. I thug her chin, releasing her lip.

The SUV comes to a stop in front of SIP and Sawyer leaps out to open my door. I walk out and extend my hand to Anastasia who takes it. I walk her to the door of the SIP. "No leaving the building. Ask Sawyer if you need anything from outside," I remind her. "Yes, Sir," she replies sighing, and gives me a quick sweet kiss leaving me standing like an idiot teenager. Little devil! She knows what she's doing. Perhaps I can pay her back in kind this evening. ***** “Mr. Grey, Mr. Warren has been waiting for nearly an hour and almost took off a few times, but I managed to keep him here, and finally I had him seated in your office not five minutes ago. He seems...” for a minute I think Andrea is going to say ‘pissed’. “He seems unhappy for having been kept waiting, sir,” she says. “Good!” I reply. I walk into my office with innate confidence and Taylor stealthily follows me to his usual spot in my office. Warren whose face is distorted like a king who was waiting for the birth of his next heir, a son, and out came the replica of his ugliest great-great-great uncle in his newborn daughter. “Mr. Grey,” he says in an unpleasant voice rising to his feet. “Warren,” I say and ignore his extended hand, walk a few steps, and undo the button on my jacket turning my back to him, and before I go to my seat, I turn around and order him, “Sit!” emphasizing the ‘s’ firmly like one would to his dog ‘heel.’ He obeys immediately. My gaze gives nothing away. Impassive. (Ecstacy of Gold - from "The Good The Bad The Ugly)

“May I ask why you summoned me this morning Mr. Grey?” he asks uneasy. I gaze at him wordlessly, piercing him all for thirty seconds. He shifts in his seat uneasy. “I’m sure you have a well formed opinion Mr. Warren,” I say in a slow, measured, and controlled voice which doesn’t disguise the implied malice in my meaning. He swallows. As if he’s gotten an instant chill he rubs his fingers in his palm in an effort to warm them. My eyes slightly shift to give a tiny glance to Taylor without even turning my head, so imperceptible that if Taylor and I aren’t this in tune with each other’s instincts, he wouldn’t know. He slowly and stealthily leaves the room without even the knowledge of Andrew Warren. His pink face is turning red by the second. His receding hairline shows beading sweat. His snarky arrogance is sucked out like a deflated balloon by the minute.

Taylor quietly walks back in and Welch closes the door behind. I look up at him, and he nods imperceptibly. All the pieces of the puzzle are here. Remnants of his former military days still evident on Welch’s close crop cut giving clues that he once was a member of the seals but now a professional, and his slanted scar between his eyebrows is giving him an air of being permanently cross. His green eyes are deep and piercing, and immediately nailing Warren to his seat, giving him an accusatory look. His commanding presence in the office makes him taller than his 6’. He’s in his usual dark suit with matching dark silk tie. But even in a business suit, his demeanor speaks of a professional soldier walking with upright back like he’s going to spring into a quick step dance with an invisible partner. “Sir,” he acknowledges me respectfully. He makes a show of bringing the documents I asked for last night all of which he e-mailed and I’ve examined already. Warren looks defiant, and arrogant as if he’s untouchable. “Well, I’m waiting Grey,” he says impatiently gaining his composure. “You’ve summoned me here, yet, I still have no idea what it is for, even though,” he says making a show of checking his watch “I’ve been here for one hour and thirty-eight minutes. I’m a busy man,” and with that I jump to my feet like a predator my eyes covered with icy shards of malice. I walk around my desk my gaze fixed on him, unwavering. “A month ago to date, Welch has warned you of the security lapse in general especially around the GEH aircrafts. We have documented evidence that the lapse points the fault all the way to you; and in fact you in particular showing clear evidence that you have ignored Welch’s repeated warnings,” I say without raising my voice but in such a clear tone, my voice resonates within my office. “But, surely Mr. Grey, your aircrafts are insured, very well. I’m sure the company you wet leased it from will cover any other cost of repair and then some! Besides, how could I have made sure from my downtown Seattle office that your aircrafts are under surveillance constantly when they’re sitting on the Boeing or the airport tarmac?” he says like the idiot who doesn’t get my point. The fucker has the gull to imply that my aircrafts are on lease from another company. GEH own all her aircrafts, and employ our own crew down to our mechanics. I do not take my private business to third parties. Therefore none of my aircrafts are wet or dry leased. But this isn’t any of his business to be explained to him. “Do you think I give fuck that the insurance will cover the damages? Would you want your insurance to cover your worthless life and the life of a coworker because people like you have not been doing their jobs?” “I don’t have to listen to this shit!”

“Yet, it appears that you do, so sit your fucking ass down, or I’ll make it sit for you,” I say in a calm commanding voice. I nod to Welch who goes and opens the door to my office. About eight people file in, and Warren’s eyes go wide. “I do not tolerate security lapse at any level of my company. Yet the collected evidence shows that five among here grossly abused their positions, from the lowest,” I look at the security guard, ”to the highest level in a security company,” I say looking at Warren. “I don’t work for the security company, sir,” says an anabolic steroid recipient who has taken fifteen doses too much. “Shut up Ronnie! You work for the Boeing Head, and you were working the day Mr. Grey’s helicopter was sabotaged. Rather you were working on Miss Kingsley instead of doing your job!” says the floor manager at Boeing. Ronnie has the decency to look chagrined. I look at the list in my hand with the captured images from the security cameras, and the names attached to those. My face is impassive, I am anything but. I do not tolerate incompetence that is in such a level that it could have cost me my life and Ross’. “Joe Coleman!” I call out and a security guy comes forward. “You waived through a man who didn’t belong in the airport; who incidentally sabotaged my helicopter. I hope the hundred bucks you received was worth your job!” I say with an icy glare. “You’re fucking fired! Get the hell out of my building!” His head hangs low, and walks out. “Sergio Ferrigno,” I call out and a dark haired man about thirty five years old comes forward. “You were the mechanic who signed off the clean bill, that everything was in working order even though it wasn’t.” “I’m sorry Mr. Grey; I didn’t have time to check the cables when they called to get the aircraft ready. I just signed it off,” he says as if this explanation would do. “When you work for someone else next time, you will have the decency to do your job properly, won’t sign your name on a job you didn’t perform! Incompetence is unacceptable! You’re fired! The security will escort you to get your fucking tools. You’re not to set foot near any of my aircrafts!” and he leaves escorted by the security. “Mr. Sullivan!” “Yes, sir,” replies Ronnie’s boss. “Are your witnesses here?” “Yes, sir, right here,” he says pointing at two impeccably dressed airport personnel. Their upright demeanor, half attention stand, hands clasped in the back, chest forward, buzz cuts tell me that they were recent military recruits. “You,” I say standing in front of one of the guys, who look straight ahead avoiding my piercing glare. “Your name?” I order even though I already know what it is.

“Lee Tyson, sir!” he says like the military man he was. “What do you have to report?” I ask firmly. “Mr. Yates, here,” he says, correcting himself, “Ronald Yates was on floor duty sir. But despite the repeated warning from myself and Paul Kovak,” nodding at the other ex-soldier without turning his head, “he left the floor to have an encounter with Miss Kingsley, sir!” he gave his account. “What say you to that Mr. Kovak?” I ask standing in front of the other ex-soldier who also has his eyes fixed ahead, looking at no one or nothing in particular. “What Mr. Tyson said is the correct account sir. Mr. Ronald Yates and Miss Kingsley disappeared to the utility closet for over half an hour, sir. He was told that he was leaving us shorthanded on the floor, sir!” “And what was his response to that?” I ask already knowing what it is. Paul Kovak looks at me for the first time eye to eye. He’s being truthful, but embarrassed to have to pass the next bit of information in such a crowd. My gaze remain impassive, carefully covered the angry Vesuvius under my glacial gaze. He swallows. “Mr. Ronald Yates said that he couldn’t wait another minute without drilling that sweet ass that’s been waving at him all morning, sir!” he adds. And Miss Kingsley who has been silent and expressionless until then flushes tomato red. I walk to face Miss Kingsley standing four feet away from her. “Is that true Miss Kingsley?” I ask in a flat voice. In a pretty fucking useless way, she straightens her back and pushes forward her very large tits which is possibly why she got the job in the first place putting forward her biggest assets, looks up at me coyly with her overly made up face which could look better had she tried a pound less of it. She tilts her head swinging her brown haired ponytail. “Oh, I’m sorry sweetie, but I was only...” I cut her off immediately. Clearly she’s not used to speaking to authority. “You may call me either Mr. Grey or sir! Don’t you ever fucking call me ‘sweetie’! Do you understand?” Her mouth is agape. I don’t think she’s ever gotten a refusal to the show of her tits. “What?” she asks as if uncomprehending. “Do you understand what I’m asking you?” I say enunciating. “Yes, sir,” she says stuttering. She first swallows then looks outraged. “Miss Kingsley, you and Mr. Yates are fired!” “What for?” Miss Kingsley asks petulantly. “In short account Miss Kingsley, you are fired for fucking a coworker on business hours when you were supposed to be working. You’re not paid to fuck! You’re paid to work!”

“But I’m not employed by your company! I’m employed...” “Allow me Mr. Grey,” says Andy Sullivan walking forward with a grim face looking at his employees. “You both have been a disgrace to our company name, to one of our biggest client s! Not only for neglecting your work you are hired to do, but refusing to listen to your co-workers who have warned you otherwise. Your intimate actions have been captured by the security cameras. In short Miss Kingsley, and Ronnie, you’re both fired! Don’ t bother to come back to work tomorrow. The security will escort you to get your belongings now. I don’t wanna see either of you on the premises!” As security escorts an embarrassed Ronnie, and a defiant Miss Kingsley, Andy Sullivan herds out the group out of my office. Warren is the only person remaining in the office other than Taylor and Welch. He makes a move to leave. “Grey, you may have convinced the airport of those low lives lack of their job enthusiasm, but I’m the CEO of my security company. You can’t fire me! Even if you attempt to do so, I’ll be happy to take you to court!” he bellows with malice. “You have no fucking idea what I am capable of doing; I can and I will fire your ass! No company I have invested in shall employ a very incompetent CEO, one who is warned a month ahead to fix the very problems that cost four other people their jobs! You were responsible implementing the measures to get rid of the security loopholes and yet you’ve done nothing!” “You can’t prove that!” “Welch, read the fucking bastard his rights!” “Gladly sir,” he says, and gets his documents laid out before him. “Mr. Warren, a month to date, I have paid you a documented visit listing the holes in the overall security and how that effected the GEH aircrafts. We pay a hefty amount for you to fulfill this task each month. Taylor or I have always been in constant contact with you relaying our security demands. What the lack of security or incompetence of those employees just walked out with their hats handed in their hands should have been stopped with your company’s security measures for which we paid amply. We don’t deal with middle management. You have been warned, Mr. Warren, an entire month ago!” “We hate to lose your business,” says Warren with a snarl, “but...” “You lose more than the business, Warren. You lose your job! You’re fucking fired!” I seethe with anger. “You can’t fire me; I’m the CEO of...” “...Of the company where I own the controlling interest!” I hiss. He turns white as ghost. “But Mr. Grey...” his tone changes to kiss-ass.

“No one under my command fucks with me and gets to keep their job! Get your ass out of here. Welch! Take the fucking trash out!” “With pleasure, sir!” he says, and ushers a shocked Warren out of my office.

I sit in my seat rather forcefully and hear the leather in the chair protest. Pressing the intercom I call Andrea. “Yes, Mr. Grey? “Are there any pressing meetings or anything on my schedule that can’t be avoided?” “Nothing we couldn’t reschedule, sir,” she replies. “Good, then reschedule. I have some personal business to attend,” I say and the change of plans causes Taylor’s eyebrows to shoot up. “Are we going someplace, sir?” he asks. I hold my finger out to indicate one minute. I don’t want to make Taylor uneasy, because he likes to do a security sweep before I go to someplace, but under the circumstance I have to. I don’t have a lot of time. I take my Blackberry out, and dial. “I’m glad you got my text, and called,” says the soft female voice answering. “Hi, mom!” I say smiling. “I had some pressing business; I couldn’t call you right away. I have a few suggestions for the wedding, and I want them to be exactly the way I tell you! No more, no less!” “I’m intrigued, and very pleased that you’re participating. When Anastasia came alone yesterday, I didn’t know if...” but I interrupt. “Of course I want to have my input mother. I’m marrying the girl of my dreams after all! But I trust her taste, and she can decide on a lot of the planning. I want this wedding to be perfect for her, and reflect her dreams; but I want to enhance those dreams with my input, not take away or deviate from them. This is after all what girls dream of since they were little. Since her mother is not here, I am so glad you and Mia are helping her out filling the void. Anastasia didn’t say anything, but I’m sure she’s missing the absence of her mother helping her.” “Oh, darling! We love Ana, so! Mia and I are extremely excited planning the wedding. You know Mia has studied French culinary, and she has quite a few ideas, and I think they are helping Ana make decisions. They’re the same age anyway, and their tastes are so similar! They’re like sisters, darling! It makes me so happy to be a part of this wedding! Thank you for letting me to do this, baby,” she says in a soft voice. “It’s our pleasure mother,” I reply her. “I have a list of items actually. I don’t want you to share them with Ana under any circumstances. I want her to be surprised. If you have to let Mia

know, tell her to keep her mouth shut. But I’d rather you didn’t tell anyone except the wedding planner you will be working with. Has she signed the NDA?” “Yes darling,” my mother sighs. “The wedding planner and her staff all did. Although Mia and I are doing all the work, she’s helping us coordinate. I need someone who can take over on the wedding day when I’m enjoying the happiest day of my son’s life,” she says nearly choking. “Thank you for all the work you’re doing for us, mom!” I say and add, “About the band, I want only what I request to be played, and you may ask for a list from Anastasia, but they can’t play what they deem is good. I will have only my, as well as Ana’s prescribed list to be played. And there are two musicians I want playing on my wedding aside from the band. I want their agents to be contacted immediately. Let me know if this is something you want my staff to do here.” “Christian!” she chides me. “I know quite a few of the musicians myself through my charity work. If you want people to be surprised, the fewer people know the better. So let me handle it. I’m dying to know! Who are they?” I grin wide and tell her the two names I have in mind, and even Taylor hears her joyful scream for which he smiles wide! Another surprise. “But that’s not all. I want to do something else. It has to do with...” I say and explain my plan. “Christian, you would do that for her?” my mother’s voice is completely shocked, reverent, and amazed all at the same time, as if she just met me. You have no idea what I would do for her, I think to myself. No idea, at all! Even Taylor looks surprised who most often looks like he wants to hand me my ass because of something I say or don’t say to Anastasia. If I didn’t know if he was in love with Gail, I’d kick his ass to the curb, but I’m going with avuncular with him as far as Anastasia is concerned. “What the hell. I’m in for a penny; I’m in for a pound, mom. Oh, by the way, I have another request in regards to music...” I say and explain what I want. “Wow! That’s out of convention Christian. But, oddly it’s extremely romantic! I love the idea. I’ve never heard anyone do it!” “Nothing about Anastasia and I are within convention, mom. But I want it exactly like that,” I say missing my girl with the mention of her name. “Yes, I would say so,” she says and I feel her smile on the other side of the phone. “By the way, I want her in a red dress,” I add. “Ana?” “No, mother,” I sigh exasperated. “Oh, can I request that?” she asks. “Long, red, satin dress,” I reiterate. “Okay... Do I want to know what that means? Never mind... I’ll make sure it’s done.”

“Thank you, mom,” I say without replying her question. Of course it means something. It means a lot of things. “I will e-mail you the list shortly. Let me know if you need anything. I already have a wedding account set up, and Andrea will contact you with the specifics of it.” “Christian!” she protests. “Mother, don’t start that! I will pay for everything, because you’re doing so much with planning already which I completely appreciate. And you’re letting us have the wedding at your house. Use the money I am allocating. Please,” I say. “Alright, about you and your father, have you two made up yet?” “Not quite, but I am willing to rectify the situation today.” “Really, how?” “Leave that to me,” I say smiling. “Christian, it may be hard for you to understand now. It may take a long time to understand it in fact, but remember, no matter how he does it, your father loves you, and he does what he does out of love. He’s still reeling in from Elena incident. Stand up for Anastasia, but give him the benefit of the doubt.” I sigh. “I’ll do what I can, mom. Anastasia is off limits.” “He understands that now. He won’t mention it again.” “Good. I love you mom,” I say surprising both my mom and Taylor. “I love you too, darling,” and we hang up. “Taylor, we’ll have to go shopping.” “Shopping sir?” “Yes, for a wedding ring.” “With pleasure sir.” “Let’s use the same jeweler. I like their work on the engagement ring.” “If you give me a few minutes, sir, I’ll call them, and have them clear the store. We don’t want prying eyes around.” I nod. While Taylor walks out to make his phone call, I quickly send my mother the e-mail with my requests for the wedding. But there is already a message from her. ___________________________________________________________ From: Grace T. Grey Subject: Invitations Date: June 21, 2011 11:04 To: Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele Hi Christian and Ana, I completely forgot to ask either of you. We need to get the invitations out, I need your guest lists, and given the color scheme you requested, I have picked up some samples for your

invitations. Please let me know which ones you like best, and get back to me as soon as possible, so they can be ordered and sent out. Love you both! Mom Attachment: Invitation1.jpg, Invitation2.jpg, Invitation3.jpg ___________________________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Invitations Date: June 21, 2011 11:08 To: Grace T. Grey Hi Mom, Anastasia and I will look over the invitations this evening, and send you a response as soon as we can. Thank you for all you’re doing for us, mom. Attached is the list of the people to be invited for me, and I’m sure Anastasia will provide you with her list. The other list is what I have mentioned on the phone. Make sure you delete all the attachments from the message if you respond to both me and Anastasia. Love you mom. Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Inc. Invite.doc, Wedding requests.doc ___________________________________________________________ Taylor walks back into my office and waits for me to finish my message. “All set sir. We can go. They’ll be waiting for us,” he says, I nod in response. When we get in the elevator, I turn to Taylor and ask, “Taylor, I’m going to give you a timetable for the jet to be scheduled for my honeymoon, and the destinations. Coordinate it with the crew, and give me the scheduled itinerary and make sure everyone’s passports are in working order, including Anastasia’s. Have Sawyer get her passport done tomorrow and have it expedited. Those suckers take a long time to be mailed. Also, coordinate with Welch to arrange security at every destination point.” “Yes, sir. Have you determined the destinations?”

“I have, I’ll e-mail it to you this evening, and CC it to Welch. You two need to coordinate, and I have specific preferences as far as the places I want us to stay.” “I’ll make sure it’s done to specifications, sir.” “You are traveling with us. Sawyer will stay behind to watch over Escala and Gail, unless she wishes to stay with her sister,” I add after seeing Taylor’s face turn sour, and his answer is quick. “I’d prefer it if she stays with her sister in my absence, sir. I’m sure Sawyer can hold the fort down on his own,” he says and I want to laugh at his response, but I don’t, knowing the kind of men we are: Possessive. It also gives me another reason to trust Taylor with Anastasia, because his response just confirmed me that he is completely in love with Gail, and that means his affection for my girl is only avuncular, and I like it to stay that way. “We won’t be in town, so, you can arrange it with Gail. Whatever you two decide is fine. She won’t be losing any of her vacation time. It’ll give her a break and she’ll see her family,” I say. Taylor nods, but from the looks of it, he doesn’t like Gail’s sister as much. Taylor is a great guy, but his line of work in high profile security, the fact that he’s divorce d with a child may not make him look as appealing to Gail’s family. All they have to do is to get to know the man behind the façade. As I’m tangled in my thought the elevator dings open, and we’re in the garage. My Blackberry buzzes with an incoming e-mail. I take a glance and the name of the sender brings a glint to my eyes. Taylor’s voice brings me back to my senses. “Sir?” He’s opened the door and letting me into the SUV. After I take my seat, I open the e-mail. ___________________________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Rising Temperatures Date: June 21, 2011 11:44 To: Christian Grey Dear Mr. Grey, I hope you’re aware of the predicament you’ve put me under this morning. I couldn’t concentrate all through this morning’s e ditors meeting. All I could do was nod. They had to repeat themselves quite often to get their points across. I don’t want to look stupid all day, Mr. Grey. Are you sure self-relief is not an option, sir? ILY Ana xx ___________________________________________________________

From: Christian Grey Subject: Absolutely NOT! Date: June 21, 2011 11:49 To: Anastasia Steele Miss Steele, I’m out and about already. If you so desire, I can make a stop at your work and provide the much needed relief. Otherwise, you will have to wait. Perhaps I can pick you up earlier. DON’T try to relieve yourself. I will know. Christian Grey Relief Provider, CEO, Grey Enterprises Inc. ___________________________________________________________ Her response is quick. ___________________________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: no... Date: June 21, 2011 11:44 To: Christian Grey ...conjugal visits required Mr. Grey. Not at SIP! But, I am really having a hard time holding until till this evening. Ana xx ___________________________________________________________ “Taylor, quick detour!” “Sir?” “It seems I’m hungry, and I need to take an early lunch. We’re going to pick Miss Steele up from work. Inform the jeweler.” “Yes, sir,” he says, and dials the jeweler. I take my Blackberry out and call Andrea. “I need you to make me a quick lunch reservation... Private room,” I order. By the time Taylor pull in front of SIP, the jeweler is rescheduled, and lunch reservation is made.

“Wait for me, I’ll get Miss Steele,” I say, and Sawyer meets me at the door. “Everything alright, sir?” “Yes, just fine. I’m going to take Miss Steele to lunch.” He walks me in, and when we get to Anastasia’s door, he discreetly turns his back and waits. Anastasia is completely surprised to see me. “What? How? What are you doing here, Christian?” she asks bemused. “Why Miss Steele, I came to provide you with the much needed relief,” I murmur making her breathing accelerate. “Christian, I told you not here...” she says her eyes widening. “Well, Miss Steele, you can take your pick. I can fuck you on either of the two options. Here, in your office, or, I’ve made lunch reservation with a private room, we can go there,” I say in a low voice lasciviously. “Oh,” she says her right hand clutching to her chest while the other arm is holding onto her waist as if to push her desires down. Maybe I need to fire them up. I take a step forward. “You don’t look so good, Miss Steele. Are you well?” I ask closing the distance between us. “You look flushed,” I whisper leaning down while I caress her cheek with the side of my index finger. Her breath hitches, and she leans into my caresses. The only connection we have is through my finger and her cheek. She reaches out to me, but I make a stopping motion to her. “No, no, Miss Steele. Here, or at lunch? Your choice.” “I didn’t ask my boss if I could go out to lunch.” “I’m your boss’s boss’s boss. You can go to lunch with me,” I say convincingly. She looks at me with her eyes narrowed. “You’re not being fair, Christian!” “What’s not fair baby? You need relief. God knows I need relief. What’s more I need you. Now!” I can see the desire rising in her. Without breaking her gaze, she picks up her phone, and dials her boss. When Anastasia confirms her long lunch break, I take her hand firmly in mine and walk her to the waiting SUV. Sawyer remains behind at the SIP. “Mr. Grey, the Maître D will be waiting for us at the back entrance, so you can avoid the general crowd,” says Taylor. “Good,” I reply. The maître D takes us to our private dining room. It’s small and cozy. I have already placed my food and wine order before our arrival which should save us time. “Would you like your food now or would you like to enjoy your wine sir?”

“Give us about 30 minutes for the food. I want the appetizer first,” I say. As he walks out, I go to the door, and pull Taylor aside. “After they bring the appetizers, no one walks through that door for at least 30 minutes. Give me a buzz, before.” “Yes, sir,” he replies firmly. I walk back into the dining room. “What was that about?” asks Anastasia. “Nothing of consequence, baby,” I reply. I take my seat close to Anastasia, my gaze fixed on her, darkening. My thumb grazes my lower lip. “Christian,” she utters my name with so much sensuality and desire, my cock goes into full salute mode. “Anastasia, take off your panties...” I order in a husky voice. “Here?” she asks questioning, looking at the door. “Don’t worry about the door, it’s been secured,” I say. “Taylor?” she asks blushing. “Don’t worry about Taylor, baby,” I say my gaze fixed on her without touching. I want all her attention and focus. She looks squeamish. “Christian, your bodyguard is out there, and people will be bringing food.” “I don’t give a fuck, Ana,” I murmur. She downs her wine. “Right now, all I want to do is to peel you out of your blouse, your skirt, your panties, and your bra,” I say slowly giving her the inventory. Her breath hitches, she swallows. My Blackberry buzzes. It’s a text message from Taylor. *Appetizers are here* Without a word, I walk to the door, and let the waiter bring in the bed of oysters along with olives and nuts. When he goes out, Taylor nods, and I close the door behind. I have thirty minutes. I look at Anastasia with my gaze darkening, and she stands up, slowly pulls her skirt up to the line where the tops of her silk stockings are showing with the clipped garter belt; I swallow hard. Her fingers reach up to the top of her lacy black panties. She makes a show of hooking her thumbs under her panties, and runs them around her waist. Then slowly and leisurely she slides them down. They pool at her feet. As she makes a move to take her feet out of them, I say, “Stop,” and move forward taking her hand, and walk her out of her panties. As I lean down, my gaze locked with her my hands are on her hips slowly skimming down her legs making her shiver. I finally reach down to the floor and pick her panties up, and place them into my pocket.

As I rise up, my hands skim through her silk stalking clad legs finally reaching the apex of her thighs where I grasp her sex in my palm making her gaps. “Undo all but two of your shirt’s buttons, baby,” I murmur. “Yes,” she breathes huskily. As my palm is running circles around her clitoris, I dip a finger into her already wet and greedy sex. She leans back to the table holding it with both hands. My other hand goes up to her bra and caresses her breasts over the lacy material. I pull the bra cup back one at a time making her breast thrust forward, freeing them into my awaiting hand. Between the thumb and the index finger I roll her nipple and capture the other nipple between my teeth, slightly tugging while my tongue rolls around it, licking and teasing. She arches her back thrusting herself into my awaiting hands and mouth. My lips travel up to her neck nipping and sucking softly as my hands continue their ministrations. My teeth graze over her jaw and the corner of her mouth but never kissing her. I pull away from her and make her firmly sit on the table as she holds the sides with her hands and her feet are firmly placed on the floor. “Baby, when I kneel on this floor before your gorgeous sex, I want those beautiful legs wrapped around my neck,” I murmur to her ear. I kneel on the floor eye level from her sex and as my lips merge with her apex, her legs clad in silk stockings wrap around my neck. My tongue teases and sucks her little nub making her legs shake around my shoulders. I dip inside her sex and circle relentlessly counter clockwise. And I find her sweet spot at the front wall of her vagina, and provide her the relief she’s been craving all morning long, making her shout a garbled version of my name, completely lost in pleasure. As her legs tremble with the aftershocks of her orgasm she can barely stay upright. I slowly hold her up. “Baby, I’m going to tie your hand in front of you now, I want you to put them around my neck. Okay?” I ask, and she can only nod her head. I take her panties out of my pocket and tie her hands quickly in front of her, and she looks amused with my impromptu choice of a restraining device. I unzip my pants and my impatient erection springs out. “Now, I want to bury myself inside you and lose myself,” I whisper. Pulling her skirt up to her waist, I separate her legs, and make her take me in her sex inch by inch. (A Touch Too Much - AC/DC) “Hold, for a second,” I say breathless. “Let me savor you,” and the feeling of completeness is exhilarating. We are as close as any two people can get. Her restrained arms wrapped around my neck, my cock is buried balls deep in her, and her breasts are rubbing on my chest. She captures her bottom lip again between her teeth, and I automatically lean in and suck it out of its captivity, kissing her relentlessly. The tension from last night, and this morning has built up,

and now seeking release. My tongue invades her mouth, and she forces her into mine, clashing, and seeking another release. My hands slowly move to her naked behind, and I coax her into moving. My mouth tastes of her sex, and sweet spices of her mouth, and it’s an intoxicating concoction. My teeth start grazing her lips, and she gasps. My mouth moves down to her neck licking, trailing kisses down between her breasts, and she thrusts them into my mouth which I happily take with a grin, and suck forcefully, greedily, bringing her to the line between pain and pleasure. She groans in response and her movements speed up. When she pushes her hips down I thrust up finding the deepest spot in her. I locate my favorite spot in her and stop her movements with my hands and simply gyrate my hips to create extreme friction to give her double orgasm. She moves her hips opposite direction to mine providing the maximum pleasure for both of us. As my lips move onto the next nipple, I feel her sex tightening, and contracting building up for her orgasm. I stop gyrating and make her move up and down, and move up to her lips making sure she's fucked at both ends. As I guide her ass with one hand, I start rubbing her clitoris with the other, and she moans in my mouth, and her built up orgasm rolls in long waves, tightening her sex around my cock trying to milk me for all I got, and I reach my peak, and thrust deeper and harder, and sucking and fucking, making love, uniting our souls with our kiss and we both come loudly. Anastasia’s head falls over my shoulder with a thin sheen of sweat covering her lovely, flushed face. I kiss her once again sweetly, and undo her panties. I lay her on the booth, and clean her sex and put her panties back on, and put her to her rights. After cleaning myself up, I turn around and ask my tired woman, “Hungry?” to which she responds, “famished,” half dazed. Music to my ears. My Blackberry buzzes just in time. *Food’s here.* ***** “Mr. Grey! What a pleasure to have you in our store sir. How may we assist you?” asks the old jeweler. He’s not only the best jeweler in Seattle, but his is one of the oldest jewelry businesses in the world. What can I say? I do my homework. “My fiancée is quite happy with the ring you’ve created. I’m looking to get her twin. I don’t mean alike. I want you to create me another ring that won’t take from the first ring’s simplicity or its grandeur, just to match it in a different way.” “I would assume you would want a matching platinum band.” “Yes, I do.”

“I want to be able to see your stones. What interests me is not the biggest, or the flashiest. I want one of a kind,” I say firmly my gaze fixed on his wrinkled face. “You are unconventional sir. I will show you our uncut stones as well again and perhaps some others...” he says in a barely audible voice and walks back into the store. Three security guards wait around patiently. When the old jeweler comes out, he has a tray of stones placed in certain labeled cubbies. They are big stones, and luminous, reflective, and attention getters, but none of them speaks to me. “Oddly, Mr. Caria, I feel no connection to any of these stones. Do you have any other?” His eyes gleam as if this was the answer he was looking for. “Yes, sir. Four others,” he says, and opens a very dated unornamented wooden box. Two of the stones immediately grab my attention. One has the shape of a pointed boat, which the jeweler calls Marquise, and another one shaped like a pear. Both luminescent even without any light shining on them and they're colorless. I have a hard time deciding. Something about them captures me. The Marquise shaped like a boat, would make her beautiful finger look even slimmer and longer, and it reminds me of The Grace. But there’s something about the other one. It calls to me in a deeper level; I feel an instant connection with this inanimate object. The jeweler notices my indecision. “Perhaps,” he says, “a background in the diamonds would be beneficial. This sir,” he holds out the diamond between his gloved thumb and index finger, “is the bigger of the two. This is like the other one you have purchased, except of course the Marquise is 15 carats. It has the same luminosity, and they’re both colorless. Well, colorless to the untrained eye. You might see a slight darkening in this one, but you have to be like me looking at them for over 45 years, sir. Comparing the Marquise with the pear shaped diamond pricewise, the Marquise costs slightly more, but not by much.” “Why is that? You said the Marquise is bigger.” “The difference in price is about $60,000 sir which is negligible,” he says, and Taylor nearly makes a choking sound but he discreetly hides it as a cough. “Though they’re both unique, the pear shaped diamond is one of the rarest in the world. In fact it’s the twin of the Spoonmaker’s Diamond. Or I should say twin stories.” I think to myself that the old man needs a cataracts surgery; there are huge differences between the two diamonds aside from their shapes. “I know the Spoonmaker’s Diamond is yellow. This one is colorless. I think the other one is about 87 carats, and this is, what, 10 or 12?” “It’s 12 carats sir. But I said, twin stories, sir. Not twin colors or size. Th ey can be equal in beauty, and don’t have to be the same color or size. Don’t you agree Mr. Grey? But what is twin about the two is their story. They’re nearly identical.”

“Do tell,” I say and sit back crossing my arms. “Jewelry is a family business for us for more generations than I can count, sir, it’s in our blood. When the city of Constantinople was conquered by the Turks in 1453, one of my ancestors owned the largest jeweler at the time that served the emperor Constantine the XI. After all the dust settled post power exchange, people went on with their lives, but certain people took the notice of the new young Sultan who was only 21 years of age. Scientists, poets, writers, historians, architects, artists and jewelers who could create rare masterpieces, like my ancestors took this young brilliant Sultan’s notice; my grandfather of many generations ago was one of those who took his notice. This little piece which was marked by that grandfather at the time of the Sultan, lost sight of this but its story remained and this little girl traveled around the world, until it has shown itself in 1822 to another ancestor of mine, and made its way to the new world. Well, her initial story goes that this poor fisherman was wondering idly in Constantinople near a district called Yenikapı. The man had nothing, completely empty-handed, no money or possessions to buy anything, not even half a piece of bread. He walks around the rubble, and garbage in hopes of finding something worth to eat. Then he notices a shiny stone among the piles of trash, rubbish, and garbage as he was digging through them to perhaps to find anything eatable. Not knowing what it is, he pockets the shiny stone. So after walking around with this piece of pretty stone in his pocket, he remembers what he has and stops by the first jeweler he encounters. Of course the jeweler recognizes the value of it with one single casual glance. But not wanting to have another bidder in purchasing this rare jewel, he appears uninterested, and tells the poor fisherman, ‘It’s a piece of colored glass my good man. You may take it away if you wish, or I can give you three wooden spoons for it for all the trouble you’ve taken to bring it over here.’ So, what would a poor fisherman know about the value of a rare gem? It’s no different than a piece of glass to him. And he takes the spoons and leaves the diamond selling it to the jeweler. You see sir, that’s how it got its name as the Spoonmaker’s diamond. Someone who didn’t know its value sold it for a price far...far... far... below it’s worth. This one,” he holds up showing it to me in a different light “has traveled a similar route by the time it reached us several generations ago, it seeks to find that one individual who knows its value. It’s as if this stone has a heart of her own. I have not parted with it. And I’m showing it to you now because, you sir, with the care and attention you’ve shown in your previous purchase deserve to see it, and you are the first one, ever I’m showing this to sell. We, as a business have fallen into hard times in the past. But none of my ancestors parted with it knowing its value, and only a worthy owner should have it. None as worthy came before you.”

“This diamond,” he says holding it up, “gives the appearance of a full moon lighting a bright and shiny sky amidst the stars. This diamond; thought I wouldn’t want to part with, is a lucky piece of stone. Throughout the history, it always found its worthy owner. No one stole it, or harmed its owner and lived. It’s as if this piece of jewel chooses its owner. I am retiring quite soon, and I have no sons to speak of to run my business, though I have nephews who are not old school like me; though none of them are poor in money, they, like the poor fisherman are devoid of understanding its true value. I think it’s time to find her a worthy owner,” he says looking at me with a hopeful gleam in his eyes. For the first time in a long time, I’m speechless. I have seen the passion in this man’s eyes for love of his profession, that’s engrained in him. “You can have it appraised sir, though I don’t know if you can find another jeweler more qualified than I to appraise it. You see sir; my family has been in this business for nearly six hundred years upon three continents. I’m the last old school in my family line.” Even Taylor is listening attentively. “If you have a one of a kind woman, this is one of a kind jewel. It’s called ‘a bouquet of light’ sir.” I find myself saying, “I want it,” because the story of it is worth as much as the ring itself. One of a kind like my girl.

“What would you like your inscription to read?” “Inscription inside the ring?” “Yes, sir. I shall not part with this diamond, but for great love. Great loves are the enduring kind. Endurance is written in stone; in your case, in platinum.” “Yes. It should read, ‘My first, last, more and forever’,” I state. “And what’s your symbol, sir?” “My symbol? What symbol?” “What represents you, and your love to your woman, sir?” he asks, and I feel like a student who is taking a quiz on a lesson he hasn’t studied yet. “I don’t have a symbol,” I say. His face falls. “You must have one. Or rather you do, and you just don’t know what it is yet. There are ancient symbols that represents love,” he says and assesses me silently. He looks at my demeanor, my gaze, and look at me in such a way that if I didn’t know any better, I’d say he was weighing my soul. “No...” he says shaking his head. “A love symbol won’t do for you,” he says to a question I haven’t heard asked. “Why not?” I ask like an insolent child. “It’s too light for you. You need something more...” he says. “You exude power sir. You love her, but ‘love’ is not the correct word for what you feel.” “What? How is it that it’s not love I feel for her?” I ask angrily. “Because sir, like the rings, you’re twin souls. Love would be too simple: representing one lifetime. What you need...” he says pausing, and he appears to be solving a difficult equation in his head, and he needs to use all his faculties to complete the task, and his face creases looking at me, looking through me, then lowers his head and looks into his hand holding the diamond, finally nodding his head as if he conferred with the ring, and looks back up at me having solved his problem. He smiles. “...yes, what you need is beyond. Beyond love, and beyond life... I think an apple simply will do,” he says resolutely. “What?” I ask shocked. I want to laugh, I want yell at him, but he looks so serious about this conclusion he reached. I have to ask.

“An apple? Why an apple? I'm not buying a laptop. My love for my wife to be is represented by an apple?” “Sir, don’t you know anything about Venus, Cupid and the Golden Apple?” he asks shocked. “No. I mean I know Venus, and Cupid, but I don’t see the connection,” I reply. He sighs. “I’d be happy to educate you on the subject sir,” he says like he’s the reincarnation of Socrates. I see Taylor listening attentively from my peripheral vision, and even he’s interested. “Alright. I’m listening,” I say. This should be...interesting at least. Unless the old man completely lost his marbles. “The ancient Greeks revered the apple as a symbol of love and sexual desires, sir...” he says, and I’m immediately full attention. Love and sexual desires is my symbol. I find myself leaning forward, and even Taylor instinctively takes a half step forward. “That is a symbol associated with the Greek Goddess Aphrodite; or you may know her as the Goddess of Love. As the story goes, sir, if a gentleman tossed or threw an apple to a maiden, he was confessing his love to her...” he says and takes a pause to catch his breath. Anastasia was my maiden for all intents and purposes; one, I deflowered. So far, he is on the right track. Mr. Caria takes a lungful of air and continues his story. “If the maiden in turn caught the apple, or at least attempted to, it meant that she was reciprocating her love to him.” I’m with him so far. I want Anastasia to catch my apple all the way. Then he looks at me funny and with a glint in his eyes, he says... “Young man,” and he says it in such a way that if I didn’t know any better, I’d say he was talking with a Yorkshire accent, sounding like ‘yung man’, I open my eyes wider, and listen. “The apple was also considered to bring abundance and fertility. It was customary for the bride to eat an apple on the wedding night ensuring sexual desire, fertility to birth children and abundance within the marriage.” I smile, “Well, Mr. Caria,” I reply smiling confidently, “we don’t need help in the first count; second one can wait for a long time, and the third one I’ve already accumulated.” “Mr. Grey, even a blind man can see the truth in what you said. But, what is available in the present time must be preserved for the future. Don’t you agree, sir?” I nod imperceptibly. “But that is not the only reason I suggested the ‘apple’ as your symbol sir. You exude power, but your stance tells me that you are the man among powerful men; you are a leader, a top dog if you don’t mind my crude expression. You would fight for her... to death I think...” he says slowly and assuredly nodding at himself, his expression going dark, and eyes bottomless. “Do you know why it became the symbol it has become?” I shake my head, my gaze fixed on him. He nods and continues his story.

“Eris, the Goddess of Chaos, Strife and Discord was angry for not being invited to the wedding of Thetis, a sea-nymph, and Peleus. Their wedding was attended by many of the Olympian gods.” “I’ve never heard of Thetis, and Peleus’ story,” I say nonchalantly, shrugging one sho ulder. He smiles, and leans in just a bit conspiratorially. “Perhaps you have heard of their offspring, Achilles,” he says in a soft voice. “Him, I have heard of,” I say nodding. “As the story goes told by Hesiod, in Theogony, it was said that Eris was angry for not being invited. So, she threw a golden apple on the banquet table, claiming that whoever was the possessor of this beautiful, rare apple would be considered the most beautiful goddess. Of course, Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite moved quickly to claim it, and they started fighting over it. However, Zeus intervened and he appointed Paris who was considered the most handsome man among all of mortal men,” says slowly his voice taking the sound of a talented orator. “Clearly each Goddess wanted to be declared the most beautiful and they each offered something to Paris in return for his declaration. Athena promised Paris riches, Hera promised him power, and Aphrodite promised Paris the most beautiful mortal woman in the world to have as his wife. He chose, Aphrodite of course, and she promised him Helen of Sparta. But the catch was that Helen was already the wife of Menelaus. Oracles warned Paris against his quest, but he nonetheless set sail to Sparta and was welcomed warmly by Menelaus which of course immediately ceased when Paris left Sparta with his wife who chose to leave with him thus in return igniting the Trojan War. Consequently, the Golden Apple became the symbol of love worth fighting for.” I find myself saying, “Golden Apple it is...” “Very good, sir. We will call you when the ring is completed. It shall be ready in a week’s time.” ***** I sit in the SUV, and Taylor closes the door behind, and quickly takes his seat in the front. “Where to sir?” he asks. “One second Taylor, just pull out and drive around the block until I give you a direction,” I say. I check my text messages, and there’s one from Elliot. *On my way to get dad. Nora says his schedule is open for the afternoon. Did you talk to him already?*

Taylor looks momentarily confused, but he quickly regains his composure and pulls out of the underground parking lot. I take my Blackberry out, and taking a deep breath, dial. “Christian?” he answers after the second ring. “Hi dad! Listen, are you doing anything this afternoon?” I ask. “I’m done with all of the court appearances, and I was only going to go through some new files. I don’t have anything that can’t wait. What’s going on, son?” “Since our wedding is not far off, I think we need to shop for some tux for you, me and my best man Elliot, and my groomsman Taylor,” I say, and Taylor slightly swerves off his lane... “If we live through the drive that is...” I mutter under my breath so that only Taylor can hear me. He reddens all the way to the hairline and to the backs of his ears. “Is that why Elliot just got here?” he asks surprised. “Hi little bro!” I hear Elliott shout out in the background. “Yes, I had a busy morning, I just got the time to call you,” I say, and Taylor’s eyes goes to meet mine on the rearview mirror, and he quickly looks ahead. "Ahh... Sure, let me just clear my schedule with Nora, and where do you want us to meet you?" "Elliot already knows dad. He'll bring you." "Is it a secret?" "No, dad. It's not. I'll see you there," I say cryptically to which he responds, "Yes, I will see you...uhm...there," and we hang up. "Are we meeting them there sir?" asks Taylor. "Yes, we are," I say impassively. "Where is there, sir?" Very funny Taylor. "Take me to Escala. Armani is sending their tailor to take our measurements. We are going to get custom made tuxedos." "Yes, sir, but why not at Armani?" asks Taylor confused and drives. “Changed my mind at the last minute, and had Andrea rearrange it last night. I need to talk to my dad about the new security. What time were they coming by the way?” “Oh, yes, Welch has them under his hand, it’s up to you sir. If you wish to meet them earlier today rather than later, they could come after the measurements, sir.” “Let’s do that. It’ll give me time to talk to him, and send him with the new security. I believe Welch just sent the information.” “Yes, that’s already been arranged sir, Welch sent both of us the info right when we were leaving,” he says as he pulls into Escala’s underground garage. He pulls into one of the bays, and parks the SUV. He opens my door, and we make our way to the elevators.

“Sir, before your brother and your father come over, I need to have a word with you,” says Taylor as the elevator doors close on us. I scrutinize Taylor’s face, and it’s impassive, giving nothing away. I say nothing for a long minute. When the elevator whisks us away towards the penthouse, I nod, “in my study.” He nods and waits patiently. When the elevator reaches the top floor, the doors ding opens. “My study,” I say and he follows. If Taylor requested a private meeting, he must have concerns, and I am dying to hear them. I walk into my study, and he closes the door behind. I sit in my chair, and lift my gaze up to Taylor with expectant curiosity. “Sir, I have security concerns about your wedding in light of the recent events. How important is it for you to have it at your parents’ house?” “It’s a done deal, Taylor. It is going to be at my parents’ house.” He nods his head. “We know the layout to your parents’ house. From a security point, it’s nearly indefensible. Just a full sweep is not enough, sir. We have had issues in the past with Leila even after we’ve done a full sweep of Miss Steele apartment, and that was one woman sir; we knew who she was and what she looked like, and how she would behave. Now we have a would be assailant after you or even Miss Steel, and even your family members are targets.” “What are you suggesting?” “Mr. Grey, we can’t get any place 100% secure, and it is less so with your parents’ place because of the water. We will need to have the guest list so Welch’s team can do background checks on all of them, and also on the serve staff, catering staff, florists, the Pastor, down to the ring boy and the flower girl sir. It’s a large estate, we need to have eyes and guns covering e ach entrance and more so, on the waterfront sir.” “No guns on my wedding!” I bellow. “We have to have guns sir, because we don’t know who is after you! I can’t take the chance on your security after the Charlie Tango incident. Pella said that the perp is going to try, and he will try to succeed this time! I can’t have you or Miss Steele or someone you care dying under my watch! Sir!” he raises his voice anxious. I haven’t seen Taylor anxious much before. “Guns are abhorrent to me, Taylor! Especially at my parents’ house who hate them as much, if not more! No guns! That’s final!” “Mr. Grey,” Taylor says resolutely, his eyes dark, his stance firm with finality in his decision. “It’s been a privilege and honor to work for you, but I quit! You’ve given me your l imits, and I’m giving you mine. A man bent on killing you is on the loose, made attempts to kill you, the paparazzi is camping up and down the street to harass you or Miss Steele, you’re taking away our means to protect you! I can’t go along with that sir! I have to stand my ground.” I flinch at

his answer. I can’t lose Taylor. Both my hands go to my hair in exasperation; I take a deep breath inhaling. “Why are you so bent on carrying a gun? You’re a skilled fighter.” “Mr. Grey, a would be assailant with a gun would not care for my fighting skills. A good fighter dies just as fast as a bad one in the hands of a weaker fighter because of the weapons he possesses. I won’t have time to manually insert the bullets into him! On your wedding day, all kinds of people will be coming out of the woodworks because they have had some sort of grudge against you. We don’t know who we’re looking for, and Pella insists that the perp isn’t working alone! That means we’re looking for unknown number of people, with unknown faces, and more than likely people you know. That’s when it becomes more imperative than ever that we have close protection for you, with weapons, sir!” he nearly shouts at me. My gaze is impassive piercing him. It’s an internal struggle to go with what I know about guns, and the truth in what Taylor is saying. “Mr. Grey, please! I’m still having nightmares about the bony ass, skinny all for her 102 pounds self...excuse me,” he corrects himself, “Leila, holding a gun to Miss Steele’s head in an apartment we did a sweep, and she didn’t have a key for, and she could have shot Miss Steele!” he says making me flinch. “But she didn’t and I managed to subdue her!” “Mr. Grey, it’s very likely that this man who is after you has never subbed for you! Therefore, he will not be subdued like Leila was whom you knew how to bring down to heel. This guy is going to go until he kills you or someone you care for. I can’t watch that helplessly, sir. If he shows up, some of the security will for sure die trying to protect you and those you love because you didn’t permit us a way to protect you properly! You have to allow us to carry weapons sir, or I will walk! With this no weapons shit, you’re making me feel like a fucking moron with no way to protect you, and we’ll be like sitting ducks for whoever is intending to harm you. Am I to hand the perp a flower while he’s holding a gun to your or Miss Steele’s head? I’d rather shoot the fucking bastard. Sir!” He’s right. Fuck! My face gets creased with the thought and I shot up to my feet. “Fine! Only close protection bodyguards and for those who are guarding the entry points are allowed to carry weapons. And those must be chosen carefully by you and Welch, but not for those who are walking around the guests. Otherwise I’ll have your and Welch’s balls on a plate!” I hiss through gritted teeth. “Is that a workable enough compromise for you?” I ask. He sighs, and wipes the sweat from his forehead with the back of his hand. “Yes, sir. It is. One other measure I want to bring up to your attention. We need to have a decoy.”

“A decoy for what?” “A decoy location for the wedding: Have the guests to come to a different location, and after their identities verified, we send them to the correct location at your parents’ house, and have the identifications checked it there as well. That way, we can thwart off majority of the paparazzi and confuse any other person who is looking to come after you,” he says, and that’s actually not a bad idea. “Yes, that would be fine. Arrange the place with Andrea, and Welch. I’ll leave you and Welch in arranging the details. And, Taylor, you don’t mind being one of the groomsmen?” “No, sir. I was wondering how I could suggest that to you myself. It won’t get any closer protection than that. So, that was a good move sir.” “Guess, Anastasia can use a bridesmaid in Gail who can accompany you,” he grins surprised in my response. “Yes, sir!” “I would like you to stay, Taylor, but you already figured that out yourself,” I say my face serious, unblinking. He’s the best personal security, and he cares for Anastasia. I can’t replace him. Not in such a short time. And, oddly, I find myself fond of him. “So, does this mean you are staying?” “Yes, it does, sir. Thank you for compromising.” I nod dismissing him. ***** “Mr. Grey, extend your arms out, sir,” and I do as I’m told. “Angelo, how long have you been doing this?” I ask as a way for small talk. “Forty years this coming October, sir,” he replies politely, pushes his half -moon glasses back, and takes his soap marker and marks the fabric. “Mr. Grey, if you please get off the platform, you’re much taller than I am. I need to take your chest measurement, sir,” he says, and I get off the ½ foot platform. “Now lift your arms up, sir,” and I do. He politely thanks me. He writes the measurement down, and sticks the pencil behind his ear. Just as I lower my arms to my side, he says, “if you could extend your arms, once more sir, I need to take your waist measurement.” He takes the measuring tape wrapping around my waist, writes the measurement down, and re-measures me again. “Did you get it wrong the first time?” I ask. He smiles. “No sir, we tailors have a saying, ‘measure twice, and cut once,’ it prevents errors,” he replies. “Are these the fabrics to be used?” asks my dad from the sofa he’s sitting on.

“Yes, they are. Do you have any objection to the colors?” “No, I think they’re great colors.” “I’m not too fond of this pale pink for the waistcoat,” mutters Elliot. “How come you’re getting the silver color?” “I’m the one who’s getting married,” I say, and Elliot snorts. “Besides, you’re supposed to match with your girlfriend, not with me,” I say and he grins. “Mr. Grey, would you climb back on the platform please?” asks Angelo, the tailor. He’s bare ly 5’6”, salt and pepper hair with a mustache. He has a pin cushion strapped above his elbow. He must be nearing 60 years old, though he looks agile for his age. “Where are you from Angelo?” “I was born in Napoli, sir. My father was a tailor, his father before that.” “But you speak English so well,” says my brother. “Yes, sir. I grew up in Brooklyn. My father immigrated with one of the fashion houses as a tailor. He was nearly unmatched in his skills, sir. I’ve learned most what I know from him,” he says as he takes his measuring tape again. “Mr. Grey, would you be so kind to take your shoes off? I need to measure you for the pants, sir.” “Who did you work for before Armani?” asks my father curiously. “I worked for most of the major fashion houses, sir. Brioni, Canali, Loro Piana, Ermenegildo Zegno, Stefano Ricci, Sartoria, Casare Attolini and now Armani,” he replies, leaning down. “Mr. Grey, would you spread your legs about a foot apart, sir?” he asks politely. I do, and he measures from my foot to my crutch, and then he measures from my foot to my waist. Then he measures my calf’s, and my ankle’s circumference. He then goes around my body taking my measurements at various sides and angles. After he’s done with measuring me for my tuxedo, he measures my father, and then Elliot. “Christian, why didn’t you choose a tuxedo off the rack? It’s not like you’ll be able to use these colors again. Maybe, you can use the tux, but not the waistcoat,” he says with distaste. “I’m sure Armani had a load of tuxedos to satisfy the needs of someone whose taste is as discerning as yours,” he says grinning. I frown at him. “Why do think that is Angelo?” he asks the tailor. “It’s quite simple, sir,” replies Angelo as he busily continues his measuring with professional accuracy. “As any well-dressed gentleman can tell you, there is no off the rack outfit as elegant as a hand-tailored suit, sir. You may perhaps be familiar with the expression of the “Bespoke tailor.” Have you heard of it, sir?” asks Angelo without stopping his measurements. “I don’t think I have,” answers Elliot genuinely.

“Perhaps not sir, a lot of great quality suits are available in such big fashion houses. But, this phrase originates from 17th century when tailors had bolts of fabric in their shops. Customer would come and choose the material, and hence the fabric was spoken for, therefore the term “bespoke” was used. This elegant material was then transformed into the garment tailored to the customer’s individual measurements, just as I’m doing for you gentlemen today. Mr. Grey requested specific materials, and he wishes not to use made-to-measure tailoring.” “Isn’t this what you’re doing already? You are measuring us, and you are going to make tuxedos from our measurements,” asks Elliot. “No, sir. Made-to-measure uses an existing template individually adjusted to your measurements. What I’m doing here is creating your own pattern from your measurements, sir. This will in fact be a one of a kind suit. Mr. Grey has great taste in clothing, sir,” says Angelo reverently, and continues to measure Elliot.

(courtesy of Alonna C.) “Hey bro, just so you know, we’re having a Bachelor party for you!” says Elliot surprising me. “What? I don’t want a bachelor party! I wish you asked me first, Elliot!” I say scowling. “Sure you do! It’s a tradition! I expect you to throw me one when I get snatched up!” He says grinning. “What kind of Bachelor party? Who is coming?” “Guess it has to be semi-clean since dad is coming. Otherwise mom would have my hide,” he says nonchalantly. “Dad’s coming?” I ask mortified.

“I’m right here, Christian,” he says amused. “Yes, I said I’d come, but if it makes you feel better, I won’t stay very long.” “It’s not that, dad. I don’t like unexpected surprises.” “Is there any other kind? And besides I just informed you that you’re having a bachelor party. No surprise left. In fact I’ll give you the option of going out to a club, or bringing the party to my apartment. Which one do you prefer?” I think for a minute. I can leave a club anytime I want, but I have less control over the environment. If it’s at Elliot’s I have more control, and I guess I can leave anytime I want that one as well. “Your place!” I reply. “Good choice!” “Who’s invited?” “Your buddies, of course. Dad, Flynn, me, Mac, Bastille and a couple of my buddies from my crew whom you already know.” “Leaves their names with Taylor, before you leave.” “So, you’re coming for sure?” “Yes,” I say grudgingly. “Do I have your word on it?” I sigh. “Yes Elliot! You do,” I reply. “Good!” he answers. “Now would be a good time to tell you that it’s going to be held two days before your wedding, and incidentally, that’s the day of the bachelorette party, and Kate told me to tell you that she’s taking Ana the night before the wedding. She said some shit like ‘it’s bad luck to see the bride the night before the wedding,’ and since her mother is making the wedding dress, apparently, you’re not supposed to be seeing it. Guess it’s another bad luck things you two are supposed to be avoiding...” he says but I won’t let him finish. I jump to my feet, and bellow. “What did you say?” “I said it’s another bad luck thing,” he replies confused. “No! You said something about a bachelorette party and that Anastasia spending the night before the wedding with your girlfriend. I’m talking about those parts!” “Don’t get your knickers in a twist, dude!” he says, and I move forward. Angelo accidentally sticks a pin in Elliot’s flesh. “I’m so sorry Mr. Grey. Please don’t move,” he warns softly. “Tell that to my brother!” growls Elliot. “Now, now Christian!” says Dad, chiding me. “Your brother and Kate are only fulfilling certain traditions. Your mother had to spend the night with her best friend at her parents’ house. It’s

not so bad. And besides, you’ll have her for the rest of your life after that night. It’s just one night,” he says and I grunt. “I don’t know about that, Dad! A bachelorette party for Ana? The night before the wedding spent apart?” I say growling. I hate it when people toss things at my way with things that I can’t control. “What will they be doing at this hypothetical bachelorette party? And what will they be doing at Kate’s apartment the night before the wedding?” “Girl stuff, I suppose,” Elliot says shrugging. “Thank you Mr. Grey. You may step down, sir,” says Angelo leading him off the platform. Taylor is next in line to be measured. Elliot scowls again. Taylor takes the platform stoically like a sacrificial lamb. I turn my head back to Elliot. “Well?” “Well what?” “No one asked me if they could have a bachelorette party, or if Ana could spend the night apart from me!” I bellow. “Christian, you are not trying to control Ana, are you?” asks Dad quizzically. “Dad, stay out of this, please!” I say in a controlled voice. “As Ana’s future father-in-law, I have to say something. Are you doing this out of jealousy or for control, Christian? Or both?” he adds reluctantly. “Dad, Anastasia is the most important person in my life. Most important person that has ever been in my life. So, forgive me if I have a hard time consenting naked men ogling my fiancée!” I say. “What are you so worried about? I’d say if you didn’t do well in business, you’d have a career as being an exotic dancer, in fact, you can put all of them out of business,” jokes Elliot. “That’s not the point!” I bellow. My dad intervenes. “Boys!” he says and his meaning is not lost with us. “Perhaps, you can allocate some ground rules, and that way the girls can enjoy themselves among each other, have a bridal shower and their bachelorette party, and spend the night together, and you can have your way by establishing your parameters in how they can do it. There’s always a compromise and a workable way.” “Does Anastasia know about this?” I ask softly, hiding the menace in my voice. “I’m not sure,” says Elliot. “Kate may have told her already or maybe she will tell her today. I couldn’t tell you for sure,” he replies shrugging.

Come to think of it, Anastasia hasn’t texted me yet since our lunch meeting. Normally she would have made a witty remark. Even if she has gotten busy, she would have said something. But, it’s been nearly 3 hours and not a beep out of her. “Excuse me,” I say to the company, and I walk to my study out of the earshot. I dial Anastasia’s cell. She answers it quietly. “Hello?” “Ana? Why are you speaking so quietly?” I ask, alarmed. “Oh, just... nothing,” she says avoiding. “Anastasia, what’s the matter?” “Nothing’s the matter Christian. Just busy, that’s all...” “Busy with what, Ana?” “Hi, Christian!” I hear the voice of one of my least favorite people. Katherine Kavanagh. “Why is she there?” I ask quietly, too quietly, masking my carefully controlled anger. I can almost feel Anastasia closing her eyes, and swallowing. “Delivering an invitation...” she says quietly. “For?” I probe. “A party...” she replies softly. I breathe through my nose, like a raging bull, closing my eyes. She’s not going to give me the lowdown until later, I suspect. “Would that be the bachelorette party?” I hiss through my gritted teeth. “You don’t want me to go?” “Over my dead body!” I shout pacing around my office. “Give me that phone!” I hear Katherine the ball crusher who must have overheard my voice. And before I get a chance to say no, the voice over the phone changes. “Christian, Elliot just texted me that you are going to the bachelor party he’s going to be throwing in your honor! Why can’t I do a bachelorette party for my best friend’s honor? Why the double standard? You can ogle some other naked chick’s body, but Ana can’t do the same with a male stripper? And how do you know I’m getting a stripper? Maybe we’ll just eat, and drink, and dance, and have fun!” “N.O.!” I spell out for her loudly. “Well, F. U. and your rules! She’s marrying you, isn’t she? Why couldn’t she have this one night, like you would be doing?” “What?” I hear Anastasia in the background. “Give me the damned phone Kate!” she says, and in the next ten seconds her voice comes a lot closer to my ear. “Christian? Is it true?” “What?” I hiss.

“That you are going to be attending a bachelor party. And here I was worried how you would feel about a bachelorette party, and giving Kate a hard time about it!” “I did NOT want to participate in it. I was cornered by Elliot! I intend to leave as early as possible. Preferably before the strippers take their clothes off!” “What? More than one stripper?” “I don’t know. I didn’t want to go! I think it is going to be clean, because dad will also be there.” “That wasn’t the reply I was looking for Christian,” she says, and her voice comes through as if she’s speaking outside the range of the receiver. “Kate, I’d be happy to come to the bachelorette party, and I accept your invitation to spend my last night before the wedding with you!” “Yaaay!” I hear Kate’s shriek in the background. What the fuck just happene d? “Goodbye, Christian. I’ll see you this evening,” she says sweetly and hangs up on me! On me! I pace around my office to get a grip on my growing anger. Where Anastasia is concerned, she always manages to get me lose control. Fuck! I feel anxiety creeping over. I count backwards. Twently...nineteen...eighteen...seventeen...sixteen...fifteen...fourteen...thirteen...twelve...eleven...t en...nine...eight...seven...six...five...four...three...two...one... Breathe in, breathe out! Easy Grey! I dial Anastasia’s number again. She doesn’t answer. I hang up. I call SIP, and her newly hired assistant Hannah puts me through. “SIP, Ana Steele speaking,” she answers the phone. “Don’t hang up! I did not ask for a bachelor party. I didn’t want to go to it. Elliot just bac ked me into it, and I happened to have made a promise to go without knowing what would be there. If I can get out of it, I will. But, I don’t want you to the bachelorette party,” I say in one breathe. “I know it must be excruciating to be backed into going to a bachelor party where there will be strippers. And, I shall also endure the painful prospect of seeing stripping males in my bachelorette party. But, you can be sure that I’ll try to endure it as stoically as I can as you would be doing the same. Are we done, here, sir?” she asks angrily. “No! Are you going to spend the night before our wedding with Kate?” I ask. “Can we discuss this tonight, please, Christian? I have work to do, I have a horrible headache,” she says. “I need to pick you up in an hour,” I say without a preamble. I’m sure that Angelo can be done measuring everyone by then. And since Elliot stuck it to me, I’ll stick it right back to him... “I’ve got more than two hours, and I took a long lunch,” she protests. “I don’t give a fuck about it! I need to see you! And soon! Be ready!” “Christian...” she sighs in exasperation. She makes me feel completely helpless. I don’t know which way is up with her, and yet, everything she does, makes me feel alive. I need to see her! “And,” I add with a deep voice, “I’ve made a promise to you this morning that I’d take good care of you,” I say in a caressing tone that would run a shiver through her body.

“Christian, you’re not playing fair!” she says. “Baby, I can’t play fair where you are concerned. You’re my number one priority. I’ll get you in one hour... Be ready,” I say with a carnal promise in my voice. “Okay,” she mutters barely audible. When I walk back into the living room, Angelo already completed taking measurements. “Mr. Grey, I shall now go and take the measurements of Mr. Trevelyan, and then Mr. Steele, sir. Thank you for your time. At your convenience sir, we’ll do two fittings one next week, and one the week after, then I shall be able to finish your tuxedos, sir. It would be best if each individual picked their own tuxedo up just to make sure it fits perfectly, if in case any last second alteration is required,” he says. “Thank you Angelo. Taylor will see you out,” I say, and he nods his head and follows Taylor out. I turn to my dad, and Elliot, and smile. “Thank you for taking time to get your measurements. I wanted to speak with you about adding to your security,” and I hear a groan from Elliot, and a subdued grunt from my dad. “Dude, do you know how awkward that is to have a bodyguard following your ass everywhere when you’re in construction business? Is it really necessary?” “It’s not just a necessity, but it’s a requirement. My investigator thinks that Charlie Tango incident was sabotage. We can’t take a chance. Until the perpetrator is caught, I’m afraid we need to have additional security.” “Is it the same guy that’s coming?” “One of them is...” I reply. “One of them? What the fuck? Are you getting back at me for giving you a bachelor party? You’re so strange bro! Some other guys would be thankful for the gesture.” “I’m not some other guy, Elliot! And there is a security threat that we can’t take lightly! You will each get two close protection bodyguards.” “That’s six for us! I don’t know how we’ll explain that to your mother, or your sister, Christian. They’re already getting extremely annoyed with the only one they have.” “Dad, please! Annoyance is the least of my worries. Their well-being is what concerns me at this time. This is until this perp is caught. Then we can go easy on the security,” I reply. “Do you mean to say that you’ll continue to send us bodyguards even after the perp is caught?” “Perhaps not as many you have now, but, yes, for your security.” “Are you trying to pay us in kind for getting you in trouble with Ana?” asks Elliot. “I wouldn’t dream of it. I had the security arranged before you thought of the bachelor party,” I say smiling.

“Christian, I will make sure that your brother doesn’t allow anything tasteless, or cause anything that would upset your mother, or Ana, or Kate for that matter,” dad says resolutely. “Dad! What good is it if we can’t get him in trouble?” “And aren’t you one bit concerned that your girlfriend ogling over male strippers?” I ask. “What? You think she’ll take something else over this?” he asks confidently exaggeratedly showcasing his body. “Not a chance!” he says grinning. I check my watch inconspicuously as possible. “Dad, I think it’s our cue to leave,” says Elliot smiling. “Hope we didn’t get you in a lot of trouble bro! But you gotta lighten up. We just want you to have fun before you get married, that’s all!” “That’s very considerate of you, Elliot. Don’t forget your parting gifts before you leave,” I say smiling. “Taylor!” I call out. “Yes, sir,” he replies walking in. “Are they here?” I ask with an impassive face. “They are, sir. They’ll be ready to leave with both Mr. Greys, sir,” he replies with a glint in his eyes. Six guys file in dark suits; they look like six Rambos in military haircuts. My dad’s eyes go wide. “Your mom’s not gonna like this,” he whispers to Elliot. “You’re telling me! My guys at work will have enough ammo to fuck with my head for a year!” he mutters back. Taylor introduces them. “Mr. Grey, these are your security details: Brian Evans and Tom Rhodes,” he says to Elliot. “Frank O’Neil, John Brady, Hank Thomas, Tony Citoli, Clint Warner, Joe Genarro, and Claus Schwartz go with you Mr. Grey,” he says turning to my father. “They each know who to follow sir.” “Great, just great,” he replies softly. Then gaining his, ‘I’m-an-attorney’ composure, he find his professional voice: “Nice to meet you gentlemen. Well, shall we?” he says like the man who is resigned to his fate. “Do we have to keep you at home? Or what’s the procedure?” my dad asks on his way out. Elliot is holding the rear end of the group. “See you on your party, bro! I don’t feel so bad about getting you in trouble anymore,” he says grinning. After the elevator door closes behind them, Taylor turns to me and asks, “Are we going back to GEH, Mr. Grey?” “No, we’re going to SIP to pick Miss Steele up.” “Yes, sir.”

***** (Skyfall - Adele)

We’re in front of SIP six minutes to the hour. I sit in my seat, my emotions in check so far, but where Anastasia is concerned, my control has a way of melting away like a block of ice in desert heat. I check my watch again, waiting for her to appear at the door. Its six minutes past the hour. She’s not at the door. My gaze is fixed at the door, unblinking. Did she forget ? Did she decide that she wants to keep working? Suddenly fear grips me. I’ll give her a few more minutes. Maybe she had something to finish up. I feel my silent watch ticking as my gaze is fixed at the door. Suddenly the door opens and I feel relief, but it’s someone else. I take my Blackberry out and dial Anastasia’s number. She doesn’t answer. Panic and anger is rising in me like the twin volcanoes. I dial SIP’s phone number, and her new assistant Hannah answers on the third ring, and she’s breathless li ke she ran to the phone. “SIP. Miss Steele’s office, Hannah speaking,” she says trying to catch her breath. I look at my phone confused. “Hannah! This is Christian Grey. Where is Miss Steele?” “About that, sir...” “What?” I ask sharply my anger rising. Where did she go? Where is Sawyer? “Did she go somewhere?” I ask sharply. If she did, why didn’t Sawyer call me? “No, sir. She didn’t go anywhere,” she answers politely. “Where the hell is Sawyer?” I ask forcefully. “Mr. Sawyer is waiting for Miss Steele to get ready. I don’t think he was aware that she was leaving early, sir,” she replies. “Do you know why she isn’t answering her cell phone?” “Yes,” she says, and then her voice goes into a whisper. “Mr. Grey, I’m sorry. She was unwell for the last hour. She didn’t want anyone to know. She just took some Advil, and put her head down on her desk, and told me to wake her five till the hour, but, she gave me several things to do, and they took me a while to finish my tasks, and I completely lost track of time. I’ m so sorry I didn’t wake her up on time, Mr. Grey. She just went to wash her face quickly before she came out,” she says in one breath. Then realizing what she wasn’t supposed to say, she adds chagrined, “Oh, she probably didn’t want me to pass this on. I apologize Mr. Grey. Miss Steele’s here, sir,” she says and hands her the phone.

“Mr. Grey is on the phone for you, Ana,” she says her voice distant from the speaker. “Hello Christian,” says Anastasia in a soft tone, and my heart melts. “Hi,” I reply. “Are you just about ready?” “Yes. I was just in the bathroom. I’ll be out in a minute,” she replies. “Okay,” I answer softly. She appears at the door within a few minutes followed by Sawyer, and I find myself quickly exiting the SUV and walking towards her in sure steps. She looks pale. “Hi,” I say taking her hand. It’s cold. “Hi,” she replies swallowing. “Are you not well?” “Just tired... That’s all,” she replies avoiding my question. “Ana, what’s wrong?” I ask turning her to me. “Nothing...” she replies. I take her under my arm protectively, and walk her to the SUV. “Have you eaten?” I ask once we’re in the car. “Yes, I had a sandwich,” she replies. “Ana! What’s the matter?” I ask anxiety rising in me. “Do I need to take you to a hospital?” “No, Christian. I just had a headache... or rather still do,” she says, and I pull her into my lap where she curls up, and I kiss the top of her head, holding her possessively. She sighs and her arms wrap around my neck, she tucks her head under the crook of my neck. “Let’s not fight baby! Not over silly things like parties,” I say. “Well, are you going to Elliot’s party?” “Do you want me to stay?” I ask her, willing her to say, ‘yes,’ that she wants me to stay. “The rational part of me wants you to stay. But, I trust you. I want to show you that I trust you even among bare breasts, and naked asses,” she says wincing. “Is that why you got sick?” “Yes. But, I have to be a grown up about it. It doesn’t mean I won’t be insanely and irrationally jealous. Because you’re my man!” she says in a fervent whisper. I feel immensely happy and elated with her response. I want her to be possessive of me. I want her world to start and end with me, and the fact that she feels that way enough to get sick about it makes me both happy and mad. Because I want to protect her, and I want her to be well. I don’t want to be the reason, the cause that makes her ill. “Baby, I feel the same way about you!" I tell her. "But what do we do, Christian? You’ve made a promise, and so have I,” she whispers. “We’ll just have to be there long enough to fulfill the promise we’ve made. But, do you really want to stay at Kate’s on the night before our wedding?”

“I don’t know what else to do. Apparently it’s the tradition, and I agreed to sleep apart from you that night,” she says blushing. I frown. “I can’t let you stay far away from me, Ana. It will also create a security problem. I don’t want paparazzi haunting you. Her apartment is not safe enough. How about this compromise? Kate comes and stays with us in the apartment with you in your old room. That way you won’t be sleeping with me that night, but also fulfill your promise to your friend of spending the night with her,” she blinks with some sort of relief looking up at me. Then I lean in and whisper in her ear. “We’ll just have to make sure that I fuck you a good part of the day to make up for the night you won’t be with me,” I say salaciously making her blush redder than the communist manifesto. “Yes!” she whispers, her eyes darkening, holding onto me tighter. “How’s your headache?” “Surprisingly much better,” she replies smiling. “I was hoping you’d say that. I have plans for us.” “I hope it’s before dinner,” she replies in my ear. When Taylor stops the SUV in front of the elevators, Sawyer jumps out, and opens the door, and without breaking out connection, I take Anastasia out, walking her to the elevators. We’re like the sun and its planet, so drawn to each other; when we are near, there's an unbearable urge and a magnetic pull to mesh our bodies together. I press the elevator call button, and when the door dings open, I walk Anastasia in, and hold my hand up to Sawyer. “Take the next one up,” I say to him with an impassive face, making Anastasia blush and bury her head in embarrassment under my arm. “Yes, sir,” he replies going crimson. When the door closes, I enter my code to the penthouse, and turn to Anastasia encasing her between my arms against the elevator wall. My growing erection is pressing against her stomach. I lean in and press my forehead against hers. I inhale her scent deeply as I close my eyes. “God, you’re intoxicating me Ana!” I say as I start devouring her mouth, and tongue, sucking, and nipping her lips and chin and neck. She reciprocates, lacing her hands in my hair, and pulling my head down forcefully. I groan in her mouth, the stress of last two hours finally seeking its release. I take her nipple perking under her silk blouse into my mouth through her shirt, and she pushes her arms up against the elevator wall making her breast push forth into my mouth. “Not here baby,” I whisper. “I want you in my bed,” I say, and as the elevator door dings open to my penthouse, I scoop her off the floor and hoist her onto my shoulder making he shriek in surprise.

“Christian, put me down!” she protest. “All in good time, baby,” I reply as I walk into the foyer. Mrs. Jones is coming from the kitchen and blinks in total surprise. “Hello Mrs. Jones,” I greet her. “Uhm... Yes, hi, Mr. Grey. Miss Steele,” she says and quickly scurries away. “Oh God,” mutters Anastasia under her breath, covering her face. I smile. I walk into our bedroom and close the door with my foot and deposit her on the bed, falling on top of her. “How fond are you of this shirt?” I ask. “I like it quite well, unless you’re willing to replace it,” she responds, and I grin. With one swift move I pull it apart, buttons flying every which way in my bedroom. I take it off her, and unzip her skirt pulling it off. She’s in her lacy underwear, silk stockings held up with her garter belt. I gaze down at her appreciating the look for a minute, and lean down, and pull her bra cups off one agonizingly slow movement at a time. I lean down and carefully take one nipple into my mouth and expertly flick it back and forth with my tongue, and graze it with my teeth making her gasp. I hold the bottom of her elongated nipple between my front teeth, and my tongue fellates it relentlessly. My index finger and thumb mirror my actions on her other nipple. Anastasia moans in a pain pleasure, and instantly wraps her legs around my torso. My lips move between the twin peaks of her breasts, and nip and suck my way down to her navel, and probe her belly, making her clench her groin. Moving down to the top of her pubic bone, my hand cups her sex, dipping one finger and then two into her already drenched sex. I feel my cock pushing hard against my pants. My mouth goes down to her pulsating nub. She yelps with pleasure. I pull her bottom towards me. My mouth covers the orifice of her sex. My tongue dips into her sex like there’s no tomorrow and my teeth graze over her clit. She raises her hip off the bed and into my welcoming mouth. My tongue dips deeper in circles first then in and out. While with one hand I push her ass into my mouth, my other hand teases her breasts. I’m all tongue, teeth, and hands giving her sensory overload. She soon comes loudly with long waves shuddering. I quickly divest myself off my clothes, and flip Anastasia onto her belly. “Lift that glorious ass up the air baby,” I say and as she does, I separate her legs with mine pushing them aside, and making room for myself. My cock is pulsing, and demanding to be inside her, and nothing short of taking her all the way, branding her inside will satisfy the beast in me. I plunge myself into her making her gasp, filling her tight orifice, and the feeling is exquisite. I stay like that connected, my eyes closed, and her ass in my hands, savoring her. “Ready baby?” I ask.

“One second,” she says and adjusts her legs, spreading her arms forward. “Okay, I’m ready, lose yourself, and take me with you!” she says making my need for her grow in leaps and bounds, and I move. First slowly, I move in and out, and she meets me thrust for thrust, and plunging against me, making me find the deepest unexplored spots inside her sex, groaning. I push one leg over, making room for my hands to reach her breast, and teasing and tugging, I move and slide in and out of her. The swelling of her nub and her unbearable wetness pushes me to the vortex of pleasure. As I start groaning, I feel the tightening of her sex, and her body begins to convulse with built up pleasure, shaking her legs. The desire in me for her pushes me higher than all the limits, and I work my hips in circles, lifting her ass up in the air at such an angle to give my cock a better leverage against her pleasure zone. As my rhythm gets faster and faster, I pound into her relentlessly. “Christian, please!” she yells. “This is mine!" I hiss holding onto her sex. "You are mine!” “Yours,” groans Anastasia. “And I’m yours! Don’t. You.Forget.That!” I say and empty myself into her as we both reach the peaks of our please. I thrust one last time into her, and finally without breaking out connection, I collapse onto bed, without breaking our connection. I pull her into my arms, completely sated, and happy. Before she closes her eyes relaxed, I hear her whisper, “I love you, Christian.” I hold her tighter. “And I, you, Ana,” I whisper softly, and drift off.

“Hey bro! You can remember to be over at my place at six p.m. tomorrow, can't you?” asks Elliot. “What exactly is on the agenda?” “You know... the usual.” “I don’t make a habit of going to bachelor parties; therefore I have no idea what the usual entails, Elliot!” I grumble. “As your best man, it is my happy duty to show you a good time on your last day, or rather the last two days of your freedom as a single man. Well, at least that's what I intend to achieve tomorrow,” he replies cheerfully, and completely avoiding of giving an answer to my question. “Did you give the guest and the entertainer lists to Taylor?” I ask knowing the answer already. “Where's the fun in if there’s no surprise Christian? Don’t spoil it for the rest of us, bro!” “No list, no deal, Elliot! You better do it quickly, time is ticking.” “Fine! But, with one condition. You don’t get to take a look at it! They check everyone out, deem them safe, then that should satisfy your enormous ego, bro,” he says, and I can hear him grinning over the phone. “Deal! Send the list, and I’ll see you at six tomorrow evening.” “Actually bro, I’m coming to pick you up at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. Your bachelor's party starts earlier with me.” “Elliot, I have mountains of things to do...” I protest but he interrupts. “No you don’t! I had your schedule cleared for the day. And besides, I know what you're doing today. You told me remember? Inspect the panic room, or safe room whatever the heck you've

had built. So you have no excuse for tomorrow. Don’t you dare to leave anything else, and leave me hanging in the air. I’ll be so fucking pissed! Tomorrow, we’ll have fun!” Fuck! Elliot’s idea of fun and mine do not always line up except maybe for hiking and fishing or outdoor activities. I hope he has some of those scheduled instead of a party which I would only have to endure. “If my schedule is clear, I’d rather spend the day with Anastasia,” I grunt. “It so happens, tomorrow's is an important day for Ana as well. Mia, Kate and mom are throwing her a bridal shower. They’ll ask her to do the last bridal gown fitting at mom’s house, but it’ll be a surprise for her. So, don’t you dare to spill the beans to her!” he warns. That’s news to me. “She doesn’t need anything; I can get her anything she wants. There’s no need for a bridal shower.” “Christian,” sighs Elliot. “Man, I know she’s your first girlfriend, but let me tell you something about women,” he starts lecturing. Oh, shit! “I know you can afford whatever she wants, but this is not about affording all that crap you can buy. This is some women camaraderie shit, or so says Kate. You know, it's about women having to get together to have fun, and give the bride silly lingerie, gifts, and celebration of womanhood, honoring their friend, celebrating her impending wedding,” he says as if he’s reciting it from his written notes. I laugh. “How would you know about celebrating womanhood? Besides, Anastasia doesn’t like surprises.” “Hey, I take notes from my woman! And what Kate told me is to the contrary! She said Ana’s gotten pretty excited when Kate hinted of the possibility of a bridal shower. She said that Ana got a glimmer in her eyes. Of course Ana said that Kate didn’t have to do that, but usually when girls say ‘you don’t have to,’ they really want you to do it. So, Mia and Kate cooked up the party idea, and mom of course, was thrilled to have it at her house.” “Who’s invited to the bridal shower?” “Not many people. Just Kate, Kate’s mom, Mia, grandma, mom, and a few of mom’s very close friends. Some of Mia’s friends,” he says, and I groan.

“Come on man, ten women or less.” “Fine! As long as it's at our parents' house, I'm okay with that. But where are we going?” I ask. “Sky diving!” “What?” I ask shocked. “I thought you need to learn how to jump in a parachute after your chopper incident,” he says joking knowing how I hate the word ‘chopper’. “Since you’re into the extreme sports anyway, this should be another notch on your very capable belt. I'll pick you up at nine tomorrow!” “Nope! Can't do it! You give me the address, and I’ll get there myself,” I reply, and he reluctantly agrees. After hanging up with Elliot, I notice that Taylor is discreetly waiting for me to inspect the panic room. I’ve been freaking out with the fact that there is a perp after me and to get to me, he or she may go after Anastasia. It’s taken a couple weeks to have the panic room built, but it’s been an imperative goal for me to have fulfilled to assure Anastasia’s safety. At $500,000 price tag, I want to make sure that it is everything it's been promised. "Mr. Grey!" greets me Eric Coulter, the president of True Security Inc. "May I acquaint you with your new Panic room, or Safe room, sir?" he says shaking my hand firmly and eagerly. "Let's see it," I reply with an impassive face. "Sir, the room is not huge. It's 15 x 15 in size. Safe rooms are basically vaults built for humans. If there was a biological attack, this room should provide 7.5 hours of oxygen before carbon dioxide takes over. But we have created a powerful filter to pump oxygen safely from the allocated tanks right into the room, sir. In fact this room's so safe, even a sleeping vampire could feel at home here," he adds grinning; it must be the security guy's humor which I'm not getting. "I didn't know vampire needed air," I say dryly. "Oh, I meant it's light tight when you want it to be; and fire, bomb, and explosion resistant. There are two entrances as you are aware, sir. Using either entry would lock down the unit once the occupant is inside. Let me show you what's outside, sir," he says pointing to a panel.

"We do not have standard keys to panic rooms just in case they fall into the wrong hands. Instead we have interior deadbolts, combination keypads and in addition to those we have retinal and fingerprint scanning devices. Come inside, please, sir," he says leading the way. "We have an intercom system, a buried phone line, alarm button directly connected to police and your security team. This room is entirely soundproof. There are number of hidden cameras around the room which are tied to three monitors here," he says pressing a button which in return displays a panel of three monitors showing activity in different sides outside of the room as well as images from the other cameras in and around your apartment." "What about power? What supplies power to the panic room? What if the intruder cuts the power?" "Besides being tied to the power grid, it's also powered by its own generator should the panic room lose power. We have temperature, airtight, humidity controlled chambers, and of course without a biological threat outside the world, we have a very secure, unbreachable air supply system. We also have a lavatory here which is much like an airplane's. There are also compartments for emergency food," he says showing a built in cabinet with a supply of food and drinks. Here's a built in storage containing non-perishable food, safe water supply, first aid, battery powered radio, clothes, sanitation supplies, blankets, and few other things your security team deemed necessary which I wasn't allowed to check, sir," he says making a sour face to Taylor who retorts back to him impassively. "All the doors and walls are completely bullet resistant. When the person gets in here, he or she needs to hit this red button, and everything automatically closes in a split second and you're in protection mode. You'll be able to hear nothing, except the air flow. Would you like to try it sir?" "Yes, let's..." I say wanting to make sure that everything is in working order before there's an emergency. I press the red emergency button, and the doors fly shut immediately, and just like he said, the only noise I hear is the low hum of the airflow. My Blackberry along with Taylor's buzz with an incoming text message. "That should be the message that is sent to your security team, as well as anyone in the list to be notified." I open my blackberry and there's a text message:

*Panic Room Activated*

Taylor nods in confirmation. "In order to unlock the door and get out immediately, you must use three combinations. The retina scan, the fingerprint scan as well as your code. The triple combination confirms that the occupant must come out immediately. If however you have no hurry, one of these unlocking devices will open the door within five minutes." "Isn't there a security bypass for the triple combination?" "Yes, there's a master key," he says grinning. "Okay, what is it?" "It’s, you sir, you're the key. You will have a verbal key combination, and speak it, and it will open the door up for you. You have to choose what you want that combination to be, and record it to get your voice recognized by the system, and the system will alone know that. Head of your security wouldn't allow me to help you set it up sir. Consequently I had to teach them how to set it up. Now they know and will assist you in teaching the system to recognize your voice as the master key." "Anything else?" I ask impassively. "Your personal designer set the room up to provide comfortable accommodations. There's a murphy bed in this wall, and as you can see, you have a nicely decorated living quarter with entertainment, TV, music, and even a small space for dining. You have the limited convenience of a small studio, but the security of a bunker, sir," he says proudly. "Is that it?" I ask impassively. "That's all, sir, unless you have any questions." "Have you acquainted my house staff with the panic room?" "Of course, sir. Each one got a demonstration. Except your fiancé, sir." "I'll do that myself," I say with an impassive face. I intend to christen the room tonight when she gets back from her dress fitting... a few times at least. ***** Above All Skydiving School had all but six students they are instructing today.

“Good morning, mates! My name’s James Clark. I’m your skydiving instructor this morning,” he says too cheerfully, and excited about having to skydive at 10 a.m. in the morning. “Where are you from James?” I find myself asking. “I’m from Victor Harbor, South Australia, mate,” he says with a proud smile. “Isn’t jumping from an airplane a bit dangerous?” asks the only female student. "I mean, if an aircraft is functioning perfectly, I’d like remain in it, not jump out of it," she says making me wonder why the hell she came to try it in the first place. “Sky diving is for thrill seeking Miss..." "Jennifer," she replies. "Jennifer," he says with a dazzling smile directed to her, "Skydiving is a temporary cure for the adrenaline junkies. How else can you be closer to heaven? It’s a super stress reliever. When you skydive, you focus on the skydive, and nothing else!" he says and his demeanor speaks volumes of how much he loves doing what he does. I make a mental note that if I like the experience, I'd like him to be my instructor. "It keeps the distractions of life away, and gives you immense control on the task you’re doing. There are no stray thoughts or worries. Only the intense focus, the pump of adrenaline and control of what you are achieving! It leaves you feeling physically and mentally cleansed,” he says, making a gesture of cleansing with his hands. “Are you sure you can’t achieve that without stepping out of a flying airplane?” I ask testing his response. His intense focus turns on me without losing the humor in his eyes. “Christian," he says without needing the introductions. He’s done his homework. I like that, he knows who his students are: "We’re taught about danger since we were children. Sometimes you realize that it’s okay to step out that door. There’s an acquired awareness when you skydive; you learn to understand your surroundings, develop a confidence in yourself and respond quickly to everything that’s happening around you. That leads to an incredible sense of accomplishment, because you learn to take control of your fears, and push yourself to your limits. But if single jumps are too intense for you, I’d be happy to have one of the instructors tandem jump with you. It’s safest for the beginners,” he explains genuinely.

“No!” I say firmly. I’m not going to have another guy strapped on my ass even if I'm jumping off an airplane. I look at Taylor. He smiles imperceptibly. He’s done this many time over in the military of course. “Alright then... Let’s give you the basics, students,” James says in a loud voice, grinning. Indicating the parachute, he says, “This is called a Pilot chute... A pilot chute is released and acts as a mini parachute. It catches air and pulls out the parachute which opens and unfolds as it catches air. This is a process that takes about 20 seconds, tops. The parachute flies like a glider. It responds the pilot’s input and slicing you through the sky. The good thing about it is, you can either fly smoothly and slowly, or if you are like my mate George here,” he says indicating the tandem pilot Elliot is planning to use, “you can be fast and wild.” Elliot takes a reluctant step away from George. “The parachutes are already checked and packed here for you. Let’s turn on the AAD, here,” he says. “What is AAD?” asks a nervous, wiry guy in his twenties. “It’s the Automatic Activation Device. There’s not a lot of room for error in skydiving. Let’s say that you lose consciousness as you’re exiting the plane, or falling. You may even lose track of the altitude because you get distracted. Even if another skydiver flies too close to you and damages your equipment or makes you unstable,” he says seriously. The student’s eyes go wide, and he swallows hard. “If any of these situations were to occur and that you were unable to deploy your parachute yourself, the AAD which is a small computer that constantly monitors the altitude will activate the reserve chute for the pilot.” “Is it too late back out?” asks the wild eyed student who looks greener than Anastasia did the first night I took her to my hotel room in her drunken stupor. “No, mate,” replies James. “We don’t want you to need this the second you step out. Any more of you who don’t want to fly?” he asks and looks at me smiling. I give him an impassive gaze. “Put on your jumpsuits, and your parachutes. I’m gonna come around and check everyone’s straps and rigs to make sure everything looks okay.” Once everyone’s geare d up, James gives more instructions.

“The most common form of body flight while skydiving is arching at hips, or more commonly known belly to earth position. This is the most stable and your first lesson in freefalling technique. Basically, you would be making a U shape with your body; meaning your waist becomes the bottom of that U! There are also sit flying and head down styles of free-fall but you’re not going to practice them because you’re a beginner!” Elliot looks nervous. “If the parachute does not function for any reason, deploy the reserve parachute! This is crucial: Malfunctions are extremely rare, but we want you to understand the safety basics. A reserve parachute should be deployed in those emergency cases. Therefore the reserve parachute is not redundant, but quite necessary,” says James, and turns to the remaining five skydiving students. “Any questions?” “Yes,” I reply. “What altitude do we jump from?” “Good question Christian! Typically we climb up around 13,000 which this height in return gives the jumper about sixty seconds of free-fall.” “Free-fall? Nobody said anything about free-fall,” grumbles Elliot nervously. “Elliot," James says to him patiently, "that term just describes the moment jumper exits the plane. If we were to go to 16,000 feet which we won’t today, that would have given you about seventy-five seconds of free fall,” explains James. “What?” asks Elliot. “What...what do you mean?” He looks like he's on the verge of a panic attack. “You have nothing to worry about Elliot. You have a tandem pilot who has thousands of jumps under his belt. When the plane is at the correct altitude, and flying over the jump site, you and your tandem pilot will jump off the plane. About sixty seconds after you exit the airplane, you should be down to around 2,500 feet altitude at which point all of you, the skydivers throw out a pilot chute and it deploys the parachute. In your case Elliot, since you’re doing tandem skydiving, a drogue chute is used to regulate the fall rate,” he explains. “In sixty seconds down to 2,500 feet?” asks another nervous student. “Yes, that’s correct. Because typical free falling is about 120 miles per hour. That of course changes for the tandem jumps depending of the instructor and the student’s combined weight. Their free fall would be around 180 to 200 miles per hour which is much faster than the single

jumps. But the drogue slows the pair down to the normal falling speed,” he says reassuringly to Elliot. “How about landing?” I ask. “You will steer the parachute to line up for the landing, and it lands.” “Just like that?” asks the blonde female student. “Well, you can land softly, land sideways and backwards. All of that depends on the wind direction and speed. If however, a soft landing may not be possible, I want you to perform the PLF.” When Elliot opens his mouth up to ask a question, James holds his hand up, and answers his question. “It means the Parachute Landing Fall. You place your feet together like this,” he shows the class, “bend your knees slightly, and roll over to one side upon touching the ground. That way, this landing will move the weight of the fall over the most your body. Did that answer your question?” he asks Elliot who nods in return. “Alright then! Let’s skydive!” he says and herds the students towards the airplane. I turn around and ask him in a voice only he can hear. “Why do you really do it James?” “Skydive?” he asks and I nod. “Simply put, I feel free as a bird and close to heaven. Everyone has a place they belong. This is simply mine...” he says with a smile, shrugging carelessly. Taylor insists that he wants to fly after I do, possibly to keep a better eye on me. In fact he even suggests to tandem jump with me, but I have a limit on how close I want to be to another guy. We’re loaded up into a SkyVan twin turboprop aircraft. When we reach 13,000 feet, one of the instructors jump to demonstrate the proper jumping method. He’s followed by the first tandem jump with the blonde female student, then I see Elliot getting cold feet and his face changes, but his instructor does a side dive out of the open airplane door, and out he goes with Elliot strapped to him with a muffled ecstatic yell, or fearful scream. Without any qualms, I turn to Taylor and say, “I’ll see you downstairs,” and I exit the plane sideways. I know a few seconds later Taylor jumps after me and James is supposed to bring down the end of the group with his tandem student, the other skittish guy.

As soon as I exit the airplane, and freefalling, I don’t feel that sudden drop I expected l ike in a roller coaster. I feel like floating on a cushion of air. The wind is fast and blowing like a hurricane and unusually cold in my face. I can hear the loud roaring of the airplane’s engine. At first I feel like I can’t think, but then everything is clear in my mind. There’s nothing to hold onto, not even a passing bird’s wing to grab which I might have attempt to hold onto; no ground beneath my feet, only space. In fact the feeling is much like being with Anastasia. I don’t know which way is up, but I feel alive, and it’s completely exhilarating. It’s like one of those nightmares also where you feel like you’re falling and you can’t do anything about it. Then I remember the dreams of flying, and somehow I feel elated and open my arms like a bird. I am so far from the ground; I don’t perceive its existence. I have been flying for five years, but now I realize the distinction-I’ve been piloting for five years, this is flying! There isn’t a helicopter between my body and the ground. All too soon, my sixty seconds is up, and I deploy the parachute and a sudden jerk slows my descent immensely and just in time I remember to relax my neck to avoid any whiplash, then I float, much more slowly after my parachute is opened. I feel a sigh of relief. Suddenly something becomes much clearer. People skydive not because they have a death wish, but they want to reaffirm life. Your parachute is what gives you the control. It’s our compromise with death. When I see the ground getting closer, I don’t feel my stomach dropping, but I’m focused on controlling my chute. I find myself speeding up as the wind is pushing. That means I have to roll. I get my feet together, and position myself to utilize my weight to land on my side. The wind drags the chute a little bit, but nothing is broken, and I’m on the ground. Hell, yeah! I’d do that again! I see Taylor’s parachute landing and he’s on his feet like the pro he is and managed to maneuver it as close to me as possible. The last duo to land by only a few second after Taylor is James and his student. I hear James mutter “shit head!” to the other student who puked in the air, and it managed to cover both his and James’ gears in yellow crap, but somehow James managed to avoid getting any on himself. I grin at him and he shrugs smiling, “ah, work hazard mate, you get used to it. But you’ve done well, maybe we’ll see you again!” he says enthused. “Definitely!” I reply, but I think Elliot won’t be a part of the ‘we’. *****

On the way back to Elliot’s apartment, Taylor has to drive him, because Elliot is feeling queasy; thankfully he didn’t paint the sky with his puke like the last student. Elliot looks so pitiful; I decide not to tease him until he’s much better. As I’m driving to Elliot’s, I dial Anastasia’s phone. She doesn’t answer the phone. I know I have three missed calls from her. Is she mad? Is she okay? Did she find an unpleasant surprise with her bridal shower? I’m concerned. “Anastasia, I am on my way to Elliot’s. The skydiving lesson went well. I love you! Call me,” I say at the end with a slight tinge of concern in my voice. Elliot’s apartment is on the 26th floor, and his has views of the Mt. Rainer, Elliot Bay, and Lake Union although not equally, or from the same angle. He only has two bedroom and two bathrooms, but it’s still a prime property and his excessively large living room is a good bachelor space to entertain. Taylor and I hoist Elliot under his arms into his bedroom, and we deposit him on his bed. “Elliot, where is your security detail?” I ask curiously. “Dude, do you know how hard it is to have two huge guys following me everywhere without people thinking I’m not gay?” “Did you dismiss them?” I ask through gritted teeth. I thought we agreed. “Keep your britches on! They’re here. Per your instructions, they’re checking the catering, serve staff, and,” he pauses smiling, “the entertainment. Since we had Taylor with us, I didn’t think I should just hand the keys to the caterer. They’re here to take care of it. I’m sure they’re in the kitchen, or somethin’.” I nod my head at Taylor imperceptibly to check the house, and he quickly leaves the room. “Do you have Dramamine or something? Or shall I send one of your security guys to pick something up for your wooziness?” I ask him. Elliot puts his arm over his eyes. “As long as the ceiling stops spinning I should be fine.” “Alright, then. This should give me time to go to Escala, clean up and get back.”

“Knock yourself out...” he groans, covering his eyes with both his arm again. “But, be back on time!” he reminds me. “If you’re five minutes late, the party comes to Escala even if I have to get there on a stretcher!” he threatens. Taylor and I leave The Olivian to get back to Escala. I call Anastasia again, but she doesn’t answer her phone. Again... I immediately get nervous and anxious. I call Sawyer who answers on the third ring making me impatient. There is a lot of background noise, sounding like a Roman bath full of giggly women. “Mr. Grey?” he answers coolly. “Sawyer, where is Miss Steele?” “She’s at your parents’ house for the time being sir. The women appear to be playing...” he clears his throat... “A game sir.” Then I hear a big roar of collective laughter in the background. “What game is that?” “Currently Miss Lilly is blindfolded, and she’s attempting to pin a paper penis to the naked poster of Alexander Skarsgård at the correct location, sir,” he replies mortified. Another roar of laughter is heard in the background. “How’s Miss Steele?” I ask. “It’s her turn right now,” he replies and swallows. Then I hear a loud a pplause in the background. “Alright Ana! You know how to locate a penis!” I hear a woman’s voice congratulating her. “She’s got the location right, sir,” says Sawyer first proud then chagrined. I frown. “Would you like to talk to her?” he asks immediately. “No, let her have her fun, but have her call me before she goes to the bachelorette party. And remember my instructions from this morning.”

“Yes, sir. Four feet radius to be left around Miss Steele from any exotic dancer that might be there to entertain.” “Call me immediately if anything out of the ordinary happens!” “Yes, sir.” I hang up. When we get to Escala, I take a quick shower and get dressed in my white linen shirt, and jeans. After I respond to some work related e-mails, Taylor reminds me of the time, and I reluctantly leave for Elliot’s apartment. As we are leaving my penthouse, my phone buzzes and Anastasia’s name displayed bringing relief and a smile to my face. “Hi,” I answer softly. “Hello,” she replies shyly. “I’m sorry I’ve missed your phone calls. It was loud, I didn’t hear my phone. Are you so angry with me?” she asks. “Far be it from me to curtail fun, baby. No, I’m not angry with you... Though, I can’t say I approved one of the games you were playing. From the hoots I’ve heard on the phone, you’ve done well with the ‘Pin the penis’ game,” I say in a low voice, making Taylor go crimson. “Where are you now?” “I’m at Kate’s. We’ll have the bachelorette party in a little bit,” she says raising her voice to make herself heard with the rising background noise. “Have fun,” I say. “You too, but not too much,” she replies making me grin. “I love you, Christian.” “And, I you, Ana.”

“Ana! Come on! You’re the guest of honor!” I hear Kate’s voice in the background. “I’m needed here, I have to go!” she says in a hurry, and hangs up before I can say goodbye. ***** Muffled sound of music can be heard through Elliot’s door, but not enough to be counted as a nuisance. Tom Rhodes opens the door with an impassive gaze, but he gives us a courteous smile after seeing who the guests are. “Mr. Grey. Mr. Taylor,” he says by the way of greeting. “This way sir,” he ushers us in. “Hey! Man of the hour is here!” says the group of men inside. Dad, Elliot, Flynn, Mac, Bastille, three guys who are working on remodeling our new home with Elliot are also there. Dad’s bodyguards Tony Citoli and Joe Genarro standing by the balcony door; one watching dad, and the others watching the remainder of the guests actually do look like two Rambos with military haircuts. I suppress a smile. At a corner of the large room, by one of the floor to ceiling windows some live music equipment is set up. I look at Taylor with narrowed eyes, and he shrugs. “Are they checked?” I ask under my breath. “Yes, sir, everyone.” Elliot sidles up to me looking much better. I look at him quizzical. “Don’t worry bro. That’s a gift from dad and Flynn. He called in some favor in your honor.” Elliot takes his glass of champagne and clicking with his fork, “people! May I have your attention please!” he calls to the chatty crowd. When the noise dies down, everyone looks at Elliot expectantly. “Thank you! Welcome everyone! My little brother Christian, Seattle’s most eligible bachelor,” he says grinning at me, “has consented to hang his hat up in bachelorh ood, and we are here to celebrate his last two days as a single man. Here’s to my brother!” he says raising his glass up, and the rest of the group raise their wine glasses or beer bottles up, calling “hear, hear!”

“Help yourself with food and drinks, and let’s make this party a memorable one for him! The guest of honor tonight, besides my brother is here...” he says turning and pointing to the bandstand as the lights dim. Upon hearing the first two notes in the music, my head snaps to my dad and Flynn in surprise. Then in walks one of my most favorite musicians singing one of my most favorite songs! “How?” I mouth to dad. This is his way of making up to me, and he is completely pleased with my reaction. One of my most favorite artists starts crooning one of my most favorite songs, and I’m completely mesmerized. Maybe it’s not going to be such a bad party after all...

I’m on Fire – Bruce Springsteen “Hey little girl is your daddy home Did he go away and leave you all alone I got a bad desire I’m on fire

Tell me now baby is he good to you Can he do to you the things that I do I can take you higher I’m on fire

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife baby Edgy and dull and cut a six-inch valley Through the middle of my soul

At night I wake up with the sheets soaking wet And a freight train running through the Middle of my head

Only you can cool my desire I’m on fire” Then he sings "Dancing in the Dark," and the last song he sings speaks to me personally, "Tougher than the Rest." Though I don't know if I'm tougher than the rest when it comes to Anastasia. Somehow I find myself slowly singing to the music. Bruce Springsteen-Tougher Than the Rest "Well it’s Saturday night You’re all dressed up in blue I been watching you awhile Maybe you been watching me too So somebody ran out Left somebody’s heart in a mess Well if you’re looking for love Honey I’m tougher than the rest Some girls they want a handsome Dan Or some good-lookin’ Joe, on their arm Some girls like a sweet-talkin’ Romeo Well ’round here baby I learned you get what you can get So if you’re rough enough for love Honey I’m tougher than the rest The road is dark And it’s a thin thin line But I want you to know I’ll walk it for you any time Maybe your other boyfriends Couldn’t pass the test Well if you’re rough and ready for love Honey I’m tougher than the rest Well it ain’t no secret I’ve been around a time or two

Well I don’t know baby maybe you’ve been around too Well there’s another dance All you gotta do is say yes And if you’re rough and ready for love Honey I’m tougher than the rest If you’re rough enough for love Baby I’m tougher than the rest"

When he is finished with the songs, he comes to shake hands. "Congratulations man! This is all the available time I have. It so happens that I too have something special going on this evening here in Seattle. But I wanted to return a favor to Flynn and Carrick. Your dad and I go way back. When he said you were his son, I made the time to be here to contribute in making your night a little more special even if I can't stay longer," he says in his trademark smile. "No, don't worry about it! Thank you! What you did...This was incredible!" I find myself saying. "I loved it! Thank you, and thank you dad, Flynn," I shake their hands. I'm bewildered that they would go out their ways to arrange this or even remember that I liked Springsteen. "Well, Christian, I wish you every happiness, man!" he says, and Rhodes shows him the way out. "Mr. Grey?" Rhodes pulls Elliot to side. "Yeah?" "There are three police officers at the door. Apparently there has been noise complaint, sir." Elliot checks his watch. Everyone's mingling with each other, and Bastille is talking about the new Brazilian Capoeira he's been practicing. "Hey Grey! If your brother can put some music on, I can show you a few moves," he says with a wide grin. Three police officers enter into the living room after a puzzled Elliot. His reaction confuses me, and I turn and look at Taylor who looks like man who is caught without his pants on in the wrong woman's bed by her husband! He steps in front of me. Something's wrong with this picture.

"Unexpected guests?" "Looks like it. I don't have them on my list, unless Mr. Grey made a change in his plans," he replies. The male police officer turns and asks, "Is there a party going on here?" "Yes, officer, it's bachelor party, in my brother's honor." "We received a noise complaint from the neighbors." "There hasn't been any noise officer," says Taylor. "That's right, we've been told the party is too dull!" says the female office and rips her Velcro uniform off her back as the male imposter officer turns the music on. "Fuck!" I hiss under my breath. I promised Anastasia I wouldn't stay for the strippers. My father's face takes a stern look and he gazes at Elliot who has the look of a child who's got his hand caught in the wrong cookie jar! The music starts blasting “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics. The two female dancers dressed as cops start dancing provocatively, suggestively around among the hoots and raging male hormones in the room. One long haired blonde and one long haired brunette dancer. The duo make their way around teasing the guests in the room. “Yeah! Now it’s a party!” shouts one of Elliot’s guys. “We were beginning to think you were gay, Elliot! I can’t wait to tell the guys about this party!” Elliot shrugs, relaxed but confused a little. The dark long haired dancer makes her way towards me grinding her hips to Bastille who grins in response and showcases some of his moves he’s been practicing in Brazilian Capoeira. She eyes me under her eyelashes, but doesn’t make her way towards me just yet as Taylor positions himself between the dancer and me. The blond dancer wraps a black boa around her neck, and makes her way around shaking, dancing and teasing the men in the room. She wraps the boa around one of Elliot’s guys. He starts dancing and grinding which she easily accommodates and encourages. Even though the male dancer remains behind, and coordinates the music, has divested his shirt; but so far his pants remain on. He only has his bowtie, and still has his cop hat on. The lights are dimmed, the music is blasting, girls are dancing, and their proactive moves combined with the overwhelming raging male hormones and booze is yielding to something I don’t wish to be a part of.

The dark haired dancer turns around, bends down and grinds her ass into one of the bodyguards, Citoli I think who remains impassive, shaking his head, and I can read his lips saying, ‘no ma’am!’ sternly. As the dancers make their way around, I eye the door. Now would be a good time to leave, but I don’t want to appear like I’m running away. The male dancer shakes and grinds all by himself and occasionally one of the dancers go to him and the duo performs a suggestive dance making the men go wild in the room, except for me, dad and Flynn and the security guys of course. Flynn seems to be enjoying himself but in an observant way, and not a participant. He occasionally looks at me to see my reaction. I’m standing rigidly with my drink in my hand. Both the dancers circle around the room from the opposite ends and finally make their way to me. The blond tosses her boa around my neck, and the dark haired one takes possession of the end of it. I shake my head saying ‘no’ and guys in the room whistle, applaud, and hoot, some of them shouting ‘yeah!’ Taylor makes a move to get the dancers out of the way. “Come on man! Let the guy enjoy his last day of freedom!” shouts one of Elliot’s friends. The blonde and brunette touch my arms and I flinch taking a step back. “No!” I say sternly. Among the hoots of the crowd, I notice that male dancer is trying to have an unobstructed view for himself. As Taylor is trying to get the girls away, who also dance around him and tease him, I notice a tiny red dot on the guy’s hat. Dad’s bodyguards move in to help Taylor. “Stop the fucking music!” I say in a clear voice. “Turn the fucking lights on.” “Come on man! Don’t be gay!” With that Taylor grabs Elliot’s friend by the scruff of his neck, and drags him outside, and closes the door behind. The music is stopped. “Alright, we’ll leave!” says male dancer to the disappointed noises in the group. I look at Taylor imperceptibly directing him to the male dancer with my eyes.

“Not so fast!” says Taylor and swiftly moves. “I’m not gay, man! Don’t manhandle me!” “Neither am I! Don’t worry; your virginity will remain intact!” Taylor mutters. Taylor removes guy’s hat, and discovers a spy camera concealed in his hat.

“What do we have here?” It’s not so much a question, but a statement. Taylor’s head turns to Elliot who looks completely bewildered and surprised. “They aren’t the dancers I hired!” he blurts out. “Now you tell me!?!” Taylor yells. He eyes Citoli who quickly moves to lock the door. “No one leaves until we clear this all out!” “The guy you just threw out hired us telling us we’re to dance, and get the crowd as wild as possible as a favor to his boss. Candy here specializes in sex-o-gram,” he nods pointing the dark haired dancer. “So, I had to record every act, and give it to him!” “Who the hell is he?” I ask Elliot. “One of my foremen. My friend,” he says dumbstruck. “How well do you know him Mr. Grey?” Taylor asks sternly. “He’s worked for me for six years. I work with the guy five days a week. He’s a guys’ guy. He’s never been dishonest. I mean he’s got raging hormones, but, he’s one of the guys!” says Elliot if that would do. “Where were you supposed to deliver him the video?” asks Elliot grabbing the guy’s neck with one hand and without effort. “After the party, there’s a Starbuck’s at the corner. He was going to give us two grand extra if we got the groom getting orals from Candy,” he says with his voice going rough. “Fuck!” “What else?” I ask. “Clearly this isn’t it!” “Come on sugar! We’ll do it free of charge for all of you on the house, if you just let us go,” whispers Candy the sex-o-gram.

“Shut up!” says Citoli moving along with Taylor. “Well? There is something else you’re hiding. What is it?” I ask my gaze fixed on the male dancer. He swallows but says nothing. I push Taylor out of the way.

“I am a busy and impatient man. I don’t grant time for anyone especially for the likes of you. But, I’m giving you two minutes of my time before you get to spend a good deal of your worthless life in jail.” “What for man?” he asks eyes going wide. “I have expensive lawyers, I’m sure they can find something,” I say with cold malice in my voice. “There are six bodyguards in this room. Do you think you can leave this room uninjured? And you’re trespassing.” “Look man, I make money with my looks. I don’t want any trouble. Like I said, the guy that your muscle just kicked out has hired us. We were to get you guys wild, perform some orals for each of you and then deliver him the videotape. But if you don’t press charges, I can tell you something else...” he says trying to bargain. “Right now, I’m debating whether you can leave with your life intact!” I hiss and Flynn makes a move to intervene, but I hold my hand up. “What? You volunteer, I press charges, but you leave the building alive in police custody! That’s all the concessions I’m willing to make.” “Fuck! He said, if we could get you as wild as possible, and videotape you we’d end up getting a total of 15 grand each! The price would double if my other dancers performed similar acts at your fiancée’s bachelorette party! Ninety grand in one night! Where else could we make that kind of money?” Taylor’s eyes dart at me. He leans in. “I don’t buy it, Mr. Grey. The guy I threw out may be a jerk, but he checked out. He’s clean. This fucker is dealing with someone else, and he’s trying to thwart attention from the real perp. But let’s play along, and see where it takes us,” he says. Then he turns to Elliot’s bodyguards in a loud boom, “Get your fucking selves useful! Get these fuckers’ identifications, addresses, and images. Call the cops; make sure they are thrown in jail tonight!” “Yes sir!” shouts one of them. “Elliot! Is Kate in her apartment tonight? Or is she planning to take Anastasia somewhere else?”

“Her party’s supposed to be at her apartment. She decided not to bring dancers after Ana told her no,” he says impishly. “Uhm. Now would be a good time to tell you that Chip and Dale dancers are being sent to her bachelorette party as well. They were to tell her that you sent them to the party,” mutters the male dancer to Elliot, and with the built up rage, I punch him with all my strength. “Taylor! Let’s go!” I bark, and turn to the door. “Call your girlfriend and warn her! Now!” I growl at Elliot on my way out. Everyone in the room looks dumbstruck. I dial Anastasia’s cell phone but she doesn’t answer, or hear my call. “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” I curse as Taylor speeds through the streets of Seattle. I dial Sawyer’s phone. He answers on the second ring. “Sawyer!” “Yes, sir,” he replies anxious. “Are there dancers?” “Yes, sir. Like you instructed, I’m trying to keep them away from Miss Steele.” “How many?” “Three, sir.” I hear female laughter and delighted screams with loud thumping of music. “They’re imposters! Nobody sent them! Take Miss Steele out immediately into a different room, and lock her in! Do you understand me? Lock her in the room! Make sure no one leaves the apartment especially the dancers! We’ll be there in four minutes!” “Understood, sir!” he says, and I hang up. I don’t have to tell Taylor the urgency of how fast we need to get there. The SUV’s tires screech and I see Citoli speeding up behind us. My hands are fisted, and I’m fucking pissed! Paparazzi? Someone with a grudge? Who is behind this?

We finally make it to Katherine Kavanagh’s apartment, and I don’t even wait for Taylor to come to a complete stop before I dart out of the SUV, and I hear Taylor mutter a curse under his

breath. Music is still coming through the apartment and I make my way up to it three steps at a time. I don’t wait to ring the doorbell. The door is locked, and I kick my way in. Taylor is running behind me. I hear Lilly gasp when she sees me, and I’m seething with anger. The second I walk in, I turn the music off. My gaze darts around the room looking for Anastasia. I don’t see her, but I see Katherine who says, “What the hell Grey? Why did you have Anastasia removed from the room?” I don’t answer her; my gaze is fixed on the three Chip ‘n Dale dancers. Taylor and Citoli walks behind, one of them start guarding the door so no one leaves. “Well, I’m waiting?” I say to the dancers. They look at me dumbstruck. “Who hired you?” “Mr. Elliot Grey,” answers one of them. “Wrong answer,” I say with a glacial gaze before I punch him, and he lands on his ass on the floor as the girls shriek in the room. “What are you doing?” Katherine jumps to her feet. “Sit. Down!” I pin her down with my gaze and my finger pointing to the sofa. “Who hired you?” I ask forcefully. “Each of you were going to be paid fifteen grand tonight to record a video of a wild bachelorette party. But instead, you’ll get the beating of your lives. Now, if you don’t piss me any further, I may let you leave here conscious, and only in police custody. So, speak before I lose my temper!” “I don’t know who it was!” the dancer I punched replies. I hit him again. “Wrong! Answer!” I say enunciating. “No one agrees to do something without knowing who hired them. How would you be sure that your payment was secured? I ask you again... Each of you...” I say my gaze pinning them down. “Who hired you?” “If you’re not saying it, I am!” said the one of the Chip ‘n Dales. I turn my head to him. “Who?”

“Some tabloid reporter. The wilder the party, the better we were gonna to be paid,” he replies in a low chagrined voice. “Shut up Austin!” says the first one who must still be hoping he’ll get his money. Taylor knees him in the groin before I make my move, and he’s writhing on the floor, groaning. “Well?” I ask him as the other two dancers who are now eyeing their friend on the floor. They both swallow. “We were supposed to get the girls wild. Especially the bride to be, Mia Grey and Miss Kavanagh, but mostly the bride... if we could get good footage with her being touched and pleasured, we were gonna get a lot money.” All the girls give a collective gasp. “What?” Kate shoots up to her feet. Then she leisurely walks before the dancer her eyes fixed on him and punches him on the chin, and kicks him in the family jewels! When he’s on the floor along with his friend writhing, she puts her high heeled shoe on his neck pressing him down and commands, “No one tries to fuck with me or my friends, and gets to live to talk about it! So, fuck you and your pitiful dancer buddies. You have less than 10 seconds to say the name of the fucker who wanted you to videotape us!” Then she leans in and whispers in a voice that only the dancers can hear. “Or I will make sure you disappear without a trace!” “It’s a fucking freelance celebrity reporter who made deals with a couple of gossip magazines to sell the juiciest news! We’re just dancers, that’s all!” “Name!” I bellow. “I think it’s Tom Rodgers. We didn’t check his ID, but that guy always seems to get his hands on the juiciest celebrity images,” answers the only standing dancer. “I wonder why...” answers Katherine. “Citoli! Collect the identifications, and addresses of these fuckers! Call the cops. Where are you supposed to meet that guy?” “At a sports bar downtown. O’Neill’s,” replies the only standing dancer nearly shaking. “What does he look like?” asks Taylor.

“He’s 5’10” or 5’11”. 200 lbs. Dark, short hair. In his 30s. Wears a rock ‘n roll shirt all the time; either Def Leppard, Grateful Dead, Alice in Chains, Van Halen, Pink Floyd or something like that. Always have a toothpick in his mouth, like a pacifier. He has a scar on his cleft. Like he had cleft palate or somethin’ when he was a kid and had a corrective surgery. You can’t miss him. He’ll be there at 10 and will wait till 11,” he replies. I check my watch. 9:34 p.m. “Citoli?” I ask. “On their way sir. I’ll wait here.” “Sawyer! Take Miss Steele home!” “Yes, sir!” Anastasia hearing my voice bangs on her old bedroom’s door. “Christian!” she calls out. I nod at Sawyer indicating him to open the door. I enter into the bedroom, and close the door behind. Anastasia looks at me with bewildered eyes. “What is going on?” she asks. I remain silent, my face impassive, and I’m angry beyond control. “Christian?” she asks questioning. “Anastasia, Sawyer will take you home.” “What? Is it the dancers? I wasn’t getting involved. I stayed away in the kitchen, Christian. One of them came after me dancing, but I pushed him away. I didn’t break my promise, Christian,” she says and somehow relief floods through me. My gaze narrows on her, and she closes the distance between us, her hands reaching up to my face. Maybe it’s having her away all day long, or maybe it’s the overwhelming events of the evening, desire courses through me, and with her touch, I come alive, my cock goes into the full salute mode, all my synapses are fired up. I engulf her into my embrace, and kiss her passionately, my tongue darting into her mouth, invading, and loving, kissing, taking possession of her. All too soon, we’re both breathless. “Home. Now! With Sawyer!” I order. “But, why not with you?” she asks confused. “I have to take care of something first, then I’ll be home.” I explain. “But the party...” she says, and I interrupt.

“The dancers were hired thugs, Anastasia. I need you to go home with Sawyer immediately. Please, listen to what you are told to do for once in your life!” I plead with her. “Okay... okay. I’ll go,” she acquiesces, surprising me. “Will you be home soon?” “As soon as I can. We have a long day tomorrow,” I remind her. I hold her hand and take her out of the bedroom. Sawyer is waiting with her purse and jacket. “Take Miss Steele home, now!” I order. “Yes, sir.” Katherine comes to the door chagrined. “I’m so sorry Christian! I had no idea. They were so convincing. They said Elliot sent them.” “You didn’t bother to ask him?” “I called, but, no one answered. So, I assumed it was a gift for Ana. And he wouldn’t do anything you didn’t approve when it concerns Ana. I’m sorry. Again...” she says. I nod. “Those guys are to be delivered to the cops only. Do you understand?” “Yes,” she says, perturbed. “That’s the least I can do. I’m so, so sorry Christian!” she adds again. “Mr. Grey,” queries Taylor outside. “If you wish, Sawyer and I can take care of that fucker! Do you want to take Miss Steele home yourself?” I narrow my gaze on him, and he holds his hands up in defeat. “Let’s go then, sir.” The drive to the bar doesn’t take as long. It’s not hard to spot him either with his Grateful Dead shirt as the dancer indicated. He’s not sitting at the bar though. He’s sitting close to the exit, like he’s going to make a run, and away from the prying eyes. The name sounded familiar, but now I know where I know this guy from! This is the fucking paparazzi that cornered Anastasia in the bathroom! He’s still harassing us, harassing her! Taylor has the same predatory look on his face which is probably mirrored on mine. We look at each other, coordinating, and nod. Taylor slips in to his right side, and I lean down to his left. I notice that Taylor slowly opens his jacket giving him a glimpse of his gun.

“How about you and I take a walk?” Taylor whispers to his ear, and locks his arm with the guy’s right side, and I lock my left arm with the fucker who now has a stunned face on him. “Expecting someone else?” I ask. “What? Are we not handsome enough like the dancers you’ve hired?” I smile for the benefit of the people outside, and we quickly walk him to a side alley. “Hold him up, Taylor,” I say and the scum bag dons a horrified face. “I have rights!” he yells. “So do I!” I hiss, and punch him before Taylor gets a chance to grasp his arms. “On the second thought Taylor, let him fight.” “I don’t wanna fight you man!” he says holding his jaw. “I just wanted to make a few bucks! What’s the big deal? You rich guys have fun all the time anyway! I was providing you with free entertainment for a small fee...” he says unashamed. I swing a roundhouse kick to his side buckling him on the ground. “How the fuck would you know what I do or don’t do? My fiancée, and my family are off limits! I’m off limits! Do you get this fucker? Because if I see you sniffing around again, I’ll dismantle the establishment you sell any story to -- piece by fucking piece, and you won’t even be accepted among the homeless community!” “I’ll sue!” he grunts. “He’s still yapping sir, I can drop him off in the forest...” Taylor says shrugging with humor in his eyes. “What? No, no! No! Man, I was just kidding! It’s the pain talking!” I look contemplating for a minute. “It’s not a bad idea.” “Let me frisk him first,” says Taylor. “What have we here? Mr. Grey... This guy’s been bad.” The fucker’s face falls. He has a little receiver in his man purse which looks like a small messenger bag. “Mr. Grey...” says Taylor through gritted teeth. He shows me a small image on an iPhone. All I see is a woman in an A line skirt with nice legs.

“What is this?” I ask to the guy.

“I can tell you what this is!” Taylor says kicking the fucker. “Fucking bastard! That’s Miss Kavanagh’s apartment!” “What?” “There is spy camera somewhere inside her apartment. One of his minions must have attached it.” I immediately dial Welch. “Yes, sir.” “Get a sweep team into my brother’s apartment as well as his girlfriend’s apartment to search for any hidden cameras. Do the same for my place just in case. Sawyer should be home right now.” “Have there been any deliveries lately?” “Well, yes. There has been a steady flow of incoming boxes of gifts for the wedding, sir.” “Have Mrs. Jones show your team the items that have arrived, and check each one of them.” “I’ll call the security at your parents, your brothers and I’ll gather the team immediately, sir.” “Good idea. Inform me right away!” I say. “What shall we do with you?” I ask with a murderous tone. “I have an idea, sir.” “What?” I growl. “I’d rather not say it,” he says with a steady gaze. “Let’s just say, tit for tat. I’ll make sure to pay him in kind, sir.” I want ask what he’s going to do, but, Taylor has the look of ‘do-you-trust-mesir?’ and I just nod. Trust is hard to come by for me, but I do trust Taylor. Taylor handcuffs the bastard, and improvises by tying the fucker’s mouth with handkerchief. Then he gets his Blackberry out, and texts something. Less than a minute later he gets an incoming text.

He shows it to me.

*ETA 16 minutes*

Within the allocated time, a Black SUV pulls into the alley, two men dressed in black with ski masks come out, and without a word, and they haul the muffled guy away kicking and if he could make a sound, he would be screaming. “Where are they taking him?” I ask. Taylor laughs. “To the Canadian Rockies.” When he sees my surprised face he explains. “I trained with those guys. They’re in Welch’s team. When you train for certain branches in the military,” he says cryptically, “you may be left in a remote mountain, in the desert or at sea with very little or basic supplies to find your way back to your predetermined location. I’m sure he’ll have a hell of a good time mingling with the wildlife, and camping. And if he does make his way home, he can join the seals. They’ll leave him enough supply to last for a week, and monitor him. It’ll give him a good scare.” “You think he can manage to get back?” I ask with a wicked gleam. “I’m sure he’s resourceful, sir. If he can’t utilize his personal wisdom, they’ll drop another week’s supplies, and after the week is up, they might drop another week’s supply...” he says and gives one of his rare smiles as if he’s not enjoyed himself this much in a long time. “You know Mr. Grey, the elements, and the outdoors have a way of teaching a man a whole different perspective, and to respect your betters. I really believe that we can help him clear his mind of his wayward thoughts of invading others’ privacy. If at the end of 4 weeks he can’t find his way back, my men will let the Mounties know about a lost hiker. I’m sure a few days of starvation will do him good,” he replies with a wicked grin. I can’t help but grin back at him. “Let’s go home.” “Yes, sir.” He replies. I knew there was a reason I trusted Taylor. I am still tense, but looking forward to relaxing with one Miss Steele who is going to be Mrs. Christian Grey in less than a day. And there is a surface that we have not christened at home. It’d be a shame to have it go to waste tonight; knowing how tomorrow is going to be a very, very busy day.


My bed is empty, and I hate not having Anastasia there. But I had made the promise to have our last night before wedding to be apart, however reluctantly. Instead Miss Katherine Kavanagh is sleeping next to her.

Before I bid her goodnight last night, Katherine the ball crusher pointed at the bedroom door and said, “Christian, think of this door as the Berlin Wall... Cross this and feel the razor wires between your legs!” she added making me laugh out loud last night. “Your fiancée is off limits tonight. What are you laughing at?” she asked frustrated. “I’m laughing because the Berlin Wall came down before you were born, Katherine,” I reply. “Nonetheless, no crossing this door!” she gives me a warning look. “At least let me kiss my bride to be!” I protest. “Fine! Just one kiss, then skedaddle to your own room,” she says smiling as she indicated the direction of my room with a wiggle of her fingers. I kiss Anastasia, and leave her to the company of her best friend.


Yesterday had been extremely busy with arriving guests, looking over the last of the prep work for the wedding, going over security details, getting the tuxedos delivered, rehearsal, and rehearsal dinner. I have not auto piloted through any day as I did yesterday. Because, all I wanted was today to arrive. And it finally is here. My heart is thumping as if it’s going to take flight faster than Charlie Tango. As soon as the breakfast is over, Sawyer is to drive Anastasia, Katherine and Mrs. Jones to my parents’ house. Today’s the most exciting and most nerve wrecking day of my entire life. I can hardly sit. I give Anastasia a lingering kiss on her way out. “I’ll be waiting for you at the altar!” I whisper.

“I’ll be the one in white, Mr. Grey,” she says smiling, and kisses me again, and leaves with her company. I get dressed in a crisp white shirt, my most favorite silver gray tie and the simple yet elegant black tuxedo Angelo created. My hands shake, and a shudder goes through me with the thought that Anastasia is going to be mine completely, legally, and eternally! The thought elates me, and I’m anxious to go join her. As soon I get dressed, and finally tie my black shoes, I go out to the living room.

“Taylor!” I call. He comes out, also completely dressed as a groomsman.

“Yes, sir!” he replies. “I need to be briefed!” I say and make my way to my study. He follows. After closing the door behind, he starts. “Everything is in properly functioning order, sir. The decoy location has been prepped. All the guests will be directed to the country club. That’s where everyone thinks the wedding will be. After the guests’ identification verified and the chip in the invitation has been compared to the corresponding one, the guests will be ushered to the transportation service, and they will be brought to your parents’ home. The exception to this rule is your family, and Miss Steele’s family. We have eyes and ears on all over your parent’s property as well as the decoy location to thwart off any suspicion, sir. I’m informed that the reporters have been camping all night out there by the country club. Security has been making checks on your parents’ property; everything has been properly secured. Welch’s on the ground already since 5:00 a.m. this morning. We have men stationed on the waterfront, and all through the three entries to the property. The deliveries have been completed yesterday. The service staff will be checked and verified once again today, and the guests and the staff are prohibited from brining cell phones and electronic devices with the exception of family, sir.” “What about the guns?” I ask. He opens the flap of his tux, and I see his shoulder strap. I sigh. “Only the close protection, and the entry guards will carry guns, as discussed, sir,” he says firmly. “Did the VIP guests arrive?”

“Yes, sir, they’ve already been placed in hotels. In fact,” he says checking his watch, “they should be on their way to your parents’ house.” “I don’t want anything ruining today. How about flights and destinations for tonight?” “Everything is a go, sir. I’ve sent you the copies of the itineraries. Pilots are on standby.” I look Taylor, and he’s dressed in his tuxedo. “Great. Then, let’s not make the bride wait,” I say smiling. I absently pat my pocket for the ring, and I feel the satisfactory bulge of the box housing the ring. I hope she likes it... No, I hope she loves it! *****

My father meets me at the door who is dressed in gray tux and pale pink tie and waistcoat matching with Anastasia’s father, Ray and the groomsmen. I haven’t seen my father this happy in a long time. He pulls me into a bear hug completely surprising me. I make a note of the security on the property, and I approve. My mother comes dashing and she can be both happy and sad at the same time. She looks radiant in her light grey dress with a half jacket, and her matching hairdo and just a small hat making her look incredibly elegant. She holds me in her embrace, and remembering she lets go of me. Then she dabs her eyes with her handkerchief.

“It’s a great day! I’m so happy!” she stifles a soft cry. I frown. Dad holds her in his embrace.

“We’re all very happy son!” he says in a rough voice. “Well, come on in, the guests are lined up, sitting outside, and we must get the show on the road! You have to go and line up with your best man, and I think Kate wants to have a word with you...” “Oh, before that... Mother, is everything set?” I look at her significantly. “...for when she walks out,” remind her raising my eyebrows.

“Oh, yes. She’s here already! I’m so thrilled and star struck. I was worried, because the original one you asked for was not traveling, and she kindly declined. Then when Miss... well you know who accepted I was so happy...” “Mother!” I warn her reminding company around. “Yes... Anyway, all is set, just the way you asked for. And the other one as well!” “Christian! You look soooo frigging handsome!” gushes Mia as she comes barreling down the stairs.

“Slow down! I don’t want to rush you to emergency room on my wedding day because you broke your foot in those high heels!” I grin at her as I meet her halfway, and she hugs me tight. Pulls me back at arm’s length holding my biceps. “You two are going to look so wonderful together! She looks drop dead gorgeous in her wedding dress, and you look so hot! So do you, Taylor!” she says turning to him, and Taylor turns crimson, and mutters a thank you under his breath. “Well, come on! You have to go meet and confer with the groomsmen and see Reverend Walsh. Everyone else is seated outside! And you were supposed to be here earlier, jerk!” she says hitting my arm. “No, I had to wait so the bride would get ready and I wouldn’t chance a peek at he r. So said mom and Kate!” “Oh, that’s news to me! Well, I’m soooo happy!” she says giggling and hugging me with one arm as she’s leading me to the dining room where the other groomsmen and bridesmaids are.

“Hey bro! Big day! I’m so happy for you, man!” says Elliot and surprises me with the fourth bear hug of the day. I guess it’s ‘hug Christian’ day. Ethan gives me a firm handshake. “Congratulations Christian!” “Thank you!” I say returning hand-shake, smiling. “Well, let’s go line up, everyone’s waiting. I hear footsteps outside the door, and it swings open. Kate’s standing on the other side. She’s wearing her pale pink bridesmaid dress same as Mia’s and Mrs. Jones’. “Oh, Christian, good! Did you bring the blue? Anastasia said you were going to bring the blue!” she says nervously as if without ‘the blue’ the wedding wouldn’t go on.

“Come on! Don’t jinx it!” she barks as if understanding my thoughts. “What are you talking about?” Elliot asks with a frown. “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue!” she recites, sighing. “Why?” asks Ethan. “Ethan! These are traditions women have had for hundreds of years! They’re good luck charms. Something old represents continuity; something new offers optimism for the future; something borrowed symbolizes borrowed happiness, and something blue stands for purity, love and fidelity. Therefore, she wants the blue from her husband to be! Did you bring it?” she asks sharply with her eyes focusing on me in small slits.

“Yes, I did,” I say smiling. I take the box out of my pocket, and hand it to her. She opens it and sees the simple blue diamond hairpin, Mr. Caria created for Ana. “Christian, this is beautiful!” she gushes. “Wow!” “Let me see!” interjects Mia. “Let’s look at it on the way up. We have a schedule to keep.” As she opens the door, the wedding planner sticks her head in. “Everyone ready?” she asks nervously like someone’s lighting a fire under her. “Yes, we are,” we say collectively. “Mr. Grey, you will go up and wait with the Reverend? Then the best man will go out with Miss Kate Kavanagh, and then Miss Mia Grey will walk down with Mr. Ethan Kavanagh.” “No, the lineup is wrong!” interrupts Taylor forcefully. “I will have to go down with Mrs. Gail Jones, then Miss Grey and Mr. Kavanagh goes down.” The wedding planner, hyper Miss Lourdes Sanchez looks up at Taylor then looks down to her list. “Oh, I put you last, because I had to line the ladies up according to their heights,” she says. “Revise it,” I command her, raising my eyebrows. She blinks her eyes, and mutters, “Yes, Mr. Grey.” “Alright! Showtime!” she says smiling nervously. “Mr. Grey, you first, please.”

I make my way through the French doors to the backyard. The marquee is set by the lake in pale pink, silver and ivory with its sides open and facing the bay. The weather is beautiful, and the afternoon sun is shining over the water. It’s a day stolen from heaven. Completely beautiful! But, I can’t pay attention to the fineries. All I can think is that Anastasia will be mine. My heart swells. My love grows for her leaps and bounds. This is it! She is finally going to be mine! Truly mine! An angel plucked out of heaven is going to be my wife! I barely notice Reverend Walsh who shakes my hand, and I stand next to him. Guests have already taken their places. Lots of smiling faces, friends and family. I can see my grandparents sitting on the front row, completely happy. There’s Flynn and his wife. They both smile at me politely; and Flynn has a happy gleam in his eyes. Happy for me? Ros and Gwen are seated next to Bastille who has a date with him. Anastasia's mom and Bob also all smiles. Anastasia’s boss Roach. But, I don’t want to pay any attention to the guests. I can’t wait for Anastasia to come forth.

I barely notice that the string quartet is playing the Spring from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. When the string quartet start playing the Mendelssohn’s Wedding March my heart starts thumping like the wings of a hummingbird. Elliot and Kate Kavanagh slowly walk down the aisle, smiling at everyone looking radiant. When they reach up to the point where I am standing with the Reverend, they separate, and Elliot stands to my right, and Kate stands to the Reverend’s left. (String Quartet Wedding March) Taylor and Mrs. Jones are standing down the aisle. They slowly march down towards me to the music, and finally take their places. Mia and Ethan start marching down the aisle after Taylor and Mrs. Jones take their place. My heart is about to take flight once I get a glimpse of Anastasia

in her father’s arms. Once she and her father take their place at the bottom of the aisle the string quartet stops the music. And when one of our favorite songs is heard through the sound system, her head snaps up, and our gazes lock full of love and admiration. She turns head to her father, amazed, holding onto him for support. He holds her hand and then pats the hand that’s linked to his arm and smiles at her reassuringly.

A collective gasp is released from the standing guests when they see Celine Dion walk out into the open from my right in a long red satin dress. She’s crooning in her velvety angelic voice “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” as Anastasia and her father are walking down the aisle.

(First Time Ever I Saw Your Face - Celine Dion)

As the song is nearing the end, I walk up and meet Anastasia, and her father places her hand into mine. I walk her back before the Reverend. Both of our breathing is rapid, and I close my eyes and will myself to regain composure. The Reverend motions the guest to take their seats. He fixes his robe, and looks down to his book, and his gaze turns to the guest. In an unexpectedly booming voice, he takes command of the ceremony. “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today, in the sight of God and this company to witness and celebrate one of life's greatest moments, to give recognition to the worth and beauty of love, and to add our best wishes and blessings to the union of Anastasia Rose Steele, and Christian Trevelyan Grey.”

Then he addresses us as my gaze is locked on Anastasia’s immense beauty. “Anastasia, and Christian, marriage is an institution ordained of God, and it is not to be entered into lightly or unadvisedly, but reverently, deliberately, and only after much consideration, for in coming together in marriage you are committing yourselves exclusively, the one to the other, for as long as you both shall live.” He looks both of us separately and then collectively, and then nods seriously: “Knowing this, I ask of you this question: Do you Christian Trevelyan Grey, choose to marry Anastasia Rose Steele on this day; to speak the words that will join you with her as your wife, for all the days of your life? If so, please answer: I DO.” “I most definitely DO!” I say grinning loud and clear for everyone to hear. I hear soft chuckles from the gathered crowd. The reverend turns to Anastasia smiling at her in a fatherly fashion: “Do you Anastasia Rose Steele; choose to marry Christian Trevelyan Grey on this day; to speak the words that will join you with him as your husband, for all the days of your life? If so, please answer: I DO.” My breath hitches as Anastasia smiles at me reassuringly. “Yes, I DO!” she answers firmly. I let go of the breath I didn’t know I was holding. Then the Reverend addresses Anastasia and I: “Then, if you would, please turn to face one another and join hands as you each take your marital vows... Beginning with you Christian,” he says I nod. My heart is at my throat; my gaze is locked on my beautiful bride, burning with intensity, darkening. I swallow, and speak to her: “I solemnly vow that I will safeguard and hold you dear and deep in my heart our union and you,” I say in a hoarse voice. “I promise to love you faithfully, forsaking all others, through the good times and the bad, in sickness or in health, regardless of where life takes us. I will protect you, trust you, and respect you. I will share your joys and sorrows, and comfort you in times of need. I promise to cherish you and uphold your hopes and dreams and keep you safe at my side. All that is mine is now yours. I give you my hand, my heart and my love from this moment on for as long as we both shall live.” I see tears pooling in her eyes. This is the first time she hears my vows. “And now you, Anastasia,” directs the Reverend. She nods without breaking her gaze from me. “I give you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, to stand by your side in good times and in bad, to share your joy as well as your sorrow. I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals and dreams, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, to share my hopes and dreams with you, and bring you

solace in times of need. And to cherish you for as long as we both shall live,” she says finishing her vows, and I’m in awe of and in love with her all over again. The Reverend turns to us, and asks: “What tokens of love and respect do you offer each other?” I take the ring out of my pocket and Anastasia turns to Katherine who produces the ring she has chosen for me. Reverend Walsh nods. “The wedding ring is the outward sign of an inward spiritual grace, signifying to all the union of this man and this woman in holy matrimony. It was Saint Augustine who said ‘The nature of God is like a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference is nowhere.’ May the rings that you hold symbolize the nature of God in your lives, and as often as either of you see them, may you be reminded of this moment and the endless love you have promised.” Then he turns to me and asks: “Christian, as you present Anastasia with her wedding ring and pledge your love and your life to her, will you please repeat after me:” I nod. “Anastasia, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love. With all that I am, and all that I have, I promise to love and honor you always. With this ring, I thee wed.” I repeat every word he says without breaking my gaze from my lovely bride, and I see no one, but her, and her eyes glisten with unshed tears.

Then Reverend Walsh turns to Anastasia.

“Anastasia, as you present Christian with his wedding ring and pledge your love and your life to him, will you please repeat after me:” Anastasia nods, unable to speak, her gaze locked with mine. “Christian, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love. With all that I am, and all that I have, I promise to love and honor you as always. With this ring, I thee wed.” I get a glimpse of the platinum ring with the inscription inside: “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.”

Then Reverend Walsh looks at both of us then to the crowd, and his voice speaks loud and clear: “Christian and Anastasia, inasmuch as you have consented to be joined together in the holy state of matrimony, and having pledge and sealed your vows by the giving and receiving of rings in the presence of both God and this company, it is with great pleasure that I now pronounce you husband and wife. What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder!” “Let them try!” I murmur under my breath grinning, and the crowd laughs. “Congratulations! You may kiss the bride,” Reverend Walsh announces and discreetly takes a few steps back. Anastasia just beams at me. I pull her closer and whisper, “Finally, you’re mine,” and pull her into my arms and kiss her chastely on the lips. When I finally let go of her, I add, “You look beautiful, Ana” I murmur and smile at her. She looks stunning in her wedding dress made by Katherine mother. It’s made with fine lace trim, fitted to accentuate her curves, the lace just off the shoulder, demure but extremely alluring. Her hair is pulled into swathes and hairpins expertly organized her locks into a beautiful masterpiece. I can see the blue diamond glinting at me in her hair. Reverend Walsh speaks again:

“It is with great joy and honor that I now present to you Mr. and Mrs. Anastasia Rose and Christian Trevelyan Grey!” A loud applause is echoes around. I want to just take her away and make love to her right now, but we have a party to attend in our honor. “Don’t let anyone take that dress off but me, understand?” I ask salaciously with my smile only reserved for Anastasia. My fingertips trail down her cheek with reverence, and desire, tightening my groin, racing my blood. She can only nod mutely in response.

I barely notice that everyone’s applauding and the gathered throng of our near and dear standing and cheering us on in their wedding finery. Anastasia’s mother, her current husband Bob, Anastasia’s step-father Ray, my parents are just radiating happiness, and all are in smiles. My mother is in her usual ‘I’m-so-happy-I-can-cry’ mode, and daintily wiping her eyes with her white handkerchief.

“Ready to party, Mrs. Grey?” I murmur to my bride, shyly smiling at her. She gives me such a loving look, it melts my heart. “Ready as I’ll ever be,” she replies grinning, completely happy. Her grin elates my heart, knowing that I’m the one who made her happy like this. We make our way as Mr. and Mrs. Christian Grey to the dance floor at the end of the marquee. The Master of the Ceremony announces our first dance to be - Anastasia’s choice, “Your Love is King.” (Your Love is King - Sade)

I take my bride with pride and in full view of all our near and dear and dance with her to my heart’s content. When the song is over, the MC announces that there’s a special guest, and to Anastasia’s surprised look on her face, I put her in her father Ray’s care for the moment. “Ray, would you please take care of my beautiful bride for a few minutes?” I ask. “With pleasure,” he replies winking. Anastasia looks at her father then at me, “I’ll be back in a flash baby,” I say and walk to the band stand. The band starts playing, “Every Breath You Take,” and Anastasia’s eyes widen. I start singing...

(Robert Downey Jr. & Sting – Every breath you take) “Every breath you take And every move you make

Every bond you break, every step you take I'll be watching you,” Then I move aside, and Sting walks over with a microphone in his hand: “Every single day And every word you say Every game you play, every night you stay I'll be watching you Oh can't you see You belong to me How my poor heart aches With every step you take Then Sting pulls me to his side, and we sing the duet: “Every move you make And every vow you break Every smile you fake, every claim you stake I'll be watching you Since you've gone I been lost without a trace I dream at night I can only see your face I look around but it's you I can't replace I feel so cold and I long for your embrace I keep crying baby, baby, please Oh can't you see You belong to me How my poor heart aches With every step you take Every move you make And every vow you break Every smile you fake, every claim you stake I'll be watching you

Every move you make, every step you take I'll be watching you I'll be watching you (Every breath you take, every move you make) (Every bond you break, every step you take) I'll be watching you (Every single day, every word you say) (Every game you play, every night you stay) I'll be watching you (Every move you make, every vow you break) (Every smile you fake, every claim you stake) I'll be watching you (Every single day, every word you say) (Every game you play, every night you stay) I'll be watching you (Every breath you take, every move you make) (Every bond you break, every step you take) I'll be watching you (Every single day, every word you say) (Every game you play, every night you stay) I'll be watching you (Every move you make, every vow you break) (Every smile you fake, every claim you stake) I'll be watching you My gaze is on Anastasia who is clutching her chest, and holding onto her father, crying, and overcome with emotions. Guess I hit the target. I smile with nothing but my love for her.


A thunderous applause is heard all around after we finish singing as my gaze is still locked on my gorgeous bride. Sting shakes my hand and motions Anastasia to come up. Anastasia walks up shyly and shakes Sting's hand. "Congratulations, Mrs. Grey!" he says politely. "I'm speechless! This was..." she stops and looks at me in awe, admiration and love, "the best present ever!" she says. "Thank you!" "Well then Mrs. Grey, since that song was a gift from your husband, I'll gift a beautiful song for a beautiful woman," he says smiling, and I feel jealousy rise in me. I take my wife to the dance floor.

"Mr. Grey, I am more in love with you now than I have ever been. This song..." she says half teary eyed, half smirking, "the Stalker's Anthem is somehow is so befitting. I just love you so!" she whispers. "Mrs. Grey, we aim to please," I reply smiling. Sting starts playing “Fields of Gold" and I dance with Anastasia like there's no tomorrow our gazes locked. Sting leaves after the second song, and the orchestra takes over playing our favorite songs. The MC announces the food being served and we are headed to our tables. Elliot sits next to me to my right. He stands up, clears his throat, and hits his goblet with his fork.

“May I have your attention please?” He asks the crowd loudly. Loud voices turn down several notches, and all the heads on every table turns to look at Elliot’s smiling face expectantly.

“Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen! Thank you for putting your forks down to give me your undivided attention. I’d like us to take a moment to appreciate and raise our glasses to my mom Dr. Grace Trevelyan – Grey and my sister Mia Grey who knows how to throw a party.”

Elliot raises his glass in their honor, two waiters bring English tea cups, pouring Bollinger into them with flourish to Anastasia’s widened eyes looking at me in first surprise, then in admiration.

As the guest call out “hear, hear!” I lean into Anastasia’s ear and whisper lasciviously “nothing taste like a Bollinger in teacups!” I say and sit back with a smile only reserved for her. She flushes crimson, but unable to take her eyes away from me. “Bollinger Grande Année Rosé 1999, an excellent vintage,” she replies mirroring my words when we first drank Bollinger from tea cups in her apartment. Elliot eyes the teacups, then shrugs and continues with his speech. “Let me first say that the bridesmaids look absolutely stunning today and only rightly outshone by my brother’s new bride, Ana. I’m sure you’ll agree with me gentlemen, today is a sad day for single men as another beauty leaves the available list. Their loss is my brother’s gain. I've been fortunate enough to see Ana and Christian's relationship evolve from early on. I'll never forget the day, or rather the evening I've met Ana," he says making me tense immediately. Is he going to talk about Anastasia being three sheets to the wind? "Incidentally it was the night I've met my beautiful girlfriend Kate who is Ana's best friend and maid of honor today. Even though I got starry eyed over Kate that night,” he says looking at Kate with love, lust or a combination of both he continues, “I could immediately tell that my brother was head over heels for Ana by the love, care and tenderness he showed for her that I've never, ever seen him demonstrate before. I can't blame him. Ana's amazing! She's not just beautiful, but she's also intelligent, strong willed and compassionate; what's more, her love for my brother is evident in her every move, every gaze. The gravitational field they create is so strong, they should be their own solar system; they're in each other's eternal captivation.

Well, they say that the Groom's worst five minutes of the day is the Best man's speech and that the Bride's worst 5 minutes come later on tonight!” he says, and chuckles can be heard around. “Whoever said that didn't know me, or my brother," Elliot says smiling and winks at me as some of the guests whistle from the other tables. Anastasia flushes red, and I look at him pointedly with an impassive gaze and he grins as wide as possible. "But today is all about the love. By the way my brother and my new sister can't take their eyes off of each other all through the day, I know that they won the grand prize of life; and that they're utterly and completely in love. I have not seen two other people were more in love than they, making me wish that when I do decide to get married someday, I'm as happy as my brother is today. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the perfect couple! Ana looks stunning tonight. In fact, the whole bridal party looks gorgeous. Don't they belong in a magazine? Christian's not too shabby either ," he says and winks at me again grinning. Then his face turns serious and he adds, "Here's to my brother Christian, and his new bride and my new sister, Ana! May the rest of your lives be filled with joy, wonder, love and lots of hot sex!" He ends his speech with a big smile and lifts his glass and takes a sip among the loud applause. The food is superb, Mia's expertise in French cuisine is evident, but I want to skip the main course and just get to the desert. My wife is simply too delicious. I can't take my eyes off her. We eat and sip our Bollinger out of the teacups, and all too soon it's time to cut the cake. To my surprise, there's a groom's cake shaped like Charlie Tango! Anastasia's present to me. But the main cake is a masterpiece. It's a chocolate cake decorated in silver and white, and a silver-grey tie shaped ribbon on the second tier just indicating my favorite piece of accessory. I look at Anastasia lasciviously, my gaze heating, darkening, and she blushes heating up. We cut the cake together and she feeds me the first bite. I take it only halfway through my lips, and I reach down and holding her face, merge our lips together sharing the cake and kissing her as chastely as possible among the hoots and whistles of the guests. I can't resist declaring everyone that this is my woman. My wife!

I put mental checkmarks in my head for all the items in our wedding program so I can take my bride away. The party is now on full swing. I want to dance with my wife, and so does half the guest which tallies up all the guys here. It’s a prospect I’m not looking forward to. The first song after the cake is “I’ll Always Love You.”

(I'll Always Love you - Taylor Dayne) I whisper the words into her ear:

I'll always love you for the rest of my days. You have won my heart and my soul with your sweet, sexy ways. You gave me hope when I needed someone near. You bring me happiness every day of every year. I'll always love you for all that you are. You have made my life complete, you're my lucky star. You are the one that I've been searching for. You are my everything, tell me who could ask for more.: http://www.lyricsfreak.com/t/taylor+dayne/ill+always+love+you_20135493.html ] And I'll always love you, Honey, this will never end.

I need you by my side, baby, you're my lover, my friend. My friend. You gave my world a thrill I've never known. And filled my eager heart with a love to call my own. And I'll always love you; you must know how much I do. You can count on me forever and I will take good care of you. I'll always love you, I'm so happy that you're mine. I'll always love you, yes, till the end of time.

Anastasia’s eyes brim with tears, and she tries hard not to. Finally she manages to smile big amid her tears. “Baby, don’t cry. This is our day. You’re completely mine now, as I am yours,” I whisper. “I love you Christian, I’ll always love you!” she declares. “I promise to love you all the days of my life, Ana.” “That’s supposed to be my next line, Mr. Grey,” she says smiling. “Is it now, Mrs. Grey?” I tease. “May I cut in?” says a familiar voice. It’s Jose. I can let him have one dance since Anastasia’s already mine. “You may,” I reply and let Anastasia dance with her friend, however reluctantly. Flynn comes near me, observing me watch Anastasia dance with Jose. “Congratulations Christian! It’s a joy to see you this elated, this happy...” he says smiling. “Thank you John,” I reply smiling back at him. “Mr. Grey,” Taylor sidles up, and looks at me pointedly. Although his gaze is impassive, I know that there’s a problem. A big problem. “Excuse me a moment, John,” I say with a tight smile and leave the conversation to follow Taylor.

“What’s up?” I ask once we are at a relatively quiet corner and out of the earshot. “Mrs. Lincoln is outside, and she insists on talking to you,” he says nervously. “What the fuck? I don’t believe this!” “I know you have strict instructions on who can and can’t come, sir. But, I thought you need to know about this.” “I’m not going to talk to her on my wedding day, or anytime soon!” “I’m aware of it sir. I can send her away. She passed a note to be given to you,” he says taking it out discreetly to hand it to me. My gaze locks on Taylor’s angrily and I stare at him pointedly before I take the note.


I know you don’t want to see me. I thought I’d still try. You and I have a shared history, and have been friends for a long time. So, I want to wish you the best of luck and every happiness which you rightly deserve in your marriage. But if things don’t work out, I want you to know that I’m still here for you. I will ALWAYS be there for you. I won’t leave until you reply.


Fuck! She won’t leave until she gets a reply? I’m not going out to talk to her leaving my wife here in the care of others, or send her a written note. I won’t call her either. She can’t write the rules that defines how I behave, and make me play into her hand. I turn to Taylor and order: “I want you to go out, and talk to her. Tell her that Mr. Grey is busy building his future with his new wife. He is not interested in reminiscing about his past with her. Should she have trouble finding her way to her home, one of the security guards would be more than happy to provide the directions, and if she still has trouble understanding plain English, they can gladly escort her home,” I say. There is the ghost of a smile and a tinge of pride in Taylor, but it disappears. “I’ll be more than happy to deliver the message, sir,” he replies, and quickly leaves. The music changes and I purposefully make my way back to Anastasia and Jose.

“I’m cutting in Jose,” I say with a small smile but with certainty in my tone. She’s my girl, and I will dance with her, and claim her back. Jose smiles and nods. “Mr. Grey, I’ve missed you,” Anastasia whispers hitching my breath. “Mrs. Grey, so did I,” I say and twirl her around with the song “Save the Last Dance for Me.”

(Save the Last Dance For Me - Michael Buble)

My parents, Kate's mom and Ray, and many of our friends and loved ones are dancing and smiling. My brother and Kate come along congratulating us. "Congratulations bro! I never thought this day would ever come. But then, you have not met Ana at the time. I'm so happy for you man!" he says patting my shoulder, and pulls me into another bear hug. Kate stands next to Ana and she glances at her frowning. Why would she be frowning? Anastasia looks beyond beautiful. She looks angelic. Elliot continues to talk about some other shit, but I can’t concentrate on his speech with what is going on between Anastasia and Katherine. "Hey, this is supposed to be the happiest day of your life," she scolds her. Is something bothering Anastasia? "It is," I hear strain Anastasia whisper. Why then would the ball crusher think she's upset? "Oh, Ana, what's wrong? Are you watching your mom and Ray?" She asks, and from my peripheral vision I see Anastasia nod sadly. "They're happy," observes Kate. I look at them, and they are laughing and talking as they're dancing. They are very friendly, like two proud parents who are no longer together. Oh fuck! That's what she's thinking. "Happier apart," she whispers. Elliot is whispering about something as he’s pulling my arm trying to get me a few steps aw ay as if to tell me or ask me something but I wouldn't hear it if he was on loud speaker, because I'm bent on hearing Anastasia's conversation. "You're having doubts?" Katherine asks with alarm in her voice, and my eyes go wider, and I immediately stiffen in my place.

"No, not at all. It's just... I love him so much," she replies. Is there a 'but' coming after that sentence. "Ana, it's obvious that he adores you. I know you had an unconventional start to your relationship, but I can see how happy you've both been over the past month," she tells her reassuring and squeezing her hand. "Besides," she grins, "it's too late now." Anastasia giggles in response. Katherine hugs Anastasia into a tight hug, and says, "Ana, you'll be fine. And if he hurts one hair on your head, he'll have me to answer to." Okay, that's enough of that fucking conversation. "So, what do you think Christian?" asks Elliot. "Good, great, wonderful! I'll talk to you about it later," I say and walk towards Anastasia. "Huh? You mean it's okay to let the security guys off when I'm working?" "Elliot, I can't talk to you about that today, be reasonable," I say and walk away. When I pointedly look at Katherine, she gives me an 'I've got your number Grey!' look and grins. I look at her pointedly with a look that says, ‘I'm here to take claim of my wife, so butt the fuck off!’ Elliot walks to join Ethan and Jose. I put my arms around Anastasia’s waist and whisper, "Hi baby," and kiss her temple. "Kate," I acknowledge her, trying to be less formal but my voice still comes out formal with her behavior of not so distant past. "Hello again, Christian. I'm off to find your best man, who happens to be my best man, too," she says smiling with the thought of my brother. I have not been able to take my eyes off Anastasia. The only thing that's on my mind is simply to take her dress off slowly and leisurely and make love to her in my jet, marking another first with her. "Time to go," I murmur into her ear. "Already?" she asks surprised. "This is the first party I've been to where I don't mind being the center of attention," she says turning in my arm to face me. "You deserve to be baby. And you look stunning, Anastasia," I say unable to help myself.

"So do you," she replies shyly making me smile. She's so hot, and she's all mine. "This beautiful dress becomes you," I tell her. "This old thing?" she mutters blushing as she pulls the delicate lace trim of her wedding dress. She would look absolutely beautiful in a sack, but the dress makes her stunning, in fact mouthwatering. I think waited long enough without combusting. I bend down and kiss her again. “Let’s go. I don’t want to share you with all these people anymore,” I say my voice wanton. She looks at me surprised. “Can we leave our own wedding?” “Baby, it’s our party, and we can do whatever we want. We’ve cut the cake. And right now, I’d like to whisk you away and have you all to myself,” I reply to which I’m rewarded with my favorite sound in the whole world; her giggle. “You have me for a lifetime, Mr. Grey,” she replies. “I’m very glad to hear that, Mrs. Grey,” I say nuzzling her. And we are interrupted by my grandmother. “Oh, there you two are! Such lovebirds. Christian, darling, one more dance with your grandma?” she asks. Though I’d love leave right this second, my years long ingrained manners take over. “Of course, Grandmother.” “And you, beautiful Anastasia, go and make an old man happy; dance with Theo.” Anastasia looks confused. “Theo, Mrs. Trevelyan?” “Grandpa Trevelyan. And I think you can call me Grandma. Now, you two seriously need to get working on my great-grandkids. I won’t last too much longer,” she says to my horror. Kids? Not for many many many years. At least ten years. “Come, Grandmother,” I take her hand to lead her to the dance floor before s he starts pressuring us to start the process right on top of the marquee. I manage to glance back to Anastasia, still pouting about my grandmother’s strange request and I roll my eyes. “Laters, baby,” I murmur. As I start dancing with my grandmother, I notice that Jose approaches to

Anastasia and he’s having a serious conversation with her. What the hell does he want from her? He couldn’t be propositioning her on our wedding day, could he? He frowns when Anastasia says something then grins. Anastasia makes her way to my grandfather. I can’t wait for this fucking song to be over. I want her too much. When the song is over, my grandmother wants to talk to me. Again. “Darling, I’m full of joy to see you to get married. So happy indeed! But, I’m not kidding abou t great-grandkids! I’d like to see them before I die,” she says almost scolding. God! Not this again. “Well, Grandmother, I was hoping to get through the wedding and the honeymoon first,” I say as I kiss her hand. “How about I walk you back to Grandpa?” “That would be nice. You’re such a good boy! You’ve made a very handsome husband to Ana; I’m beyond happy to be a part of today,” she says and I smile as I walk her back to Grandpa and deposit her into her care. Anastasia is standing by the French doors, and she’s watching the sun set as it’s painting an orange sky across the bay. It’s a priceless picture. But, right now, I don’t want the painting; what I want is to peel that dress off her and make love to her. “Let’s go,” I urge her as soon as my feet walk me to her. “Oh, I have to change,” she says grasping my hand trying to pull me through. I frown. I don’t want her to take her dress off. I thought I already made it clear to her that I wanted to be the one taking it off. I tug her back to me, stopping her in her tracks. “I thought you wanted to be the one to take this dress off,” she says confused. Oh! My eyes light up in excitement. “Correct,” I say grinning at her lasciviously. “But I’m not undressing you here. We wouldn’t leave until... I don’t know...” I say waving my hand. If I were to take that dress off here, I’d want to fuck her, and I’m not doing it here. I want the first sex as a married couple up in 35,000 feet in the air. We have another first to celebrate. Anastasia immediately flushes, clearly getting my meaning. “And don’t take your hair down either,” I murmur in a dark tone. “But...” she says, and I cut her off.

“No buts, Anastasia. You look beautiful. And I want to be the one to undress you,” I remind her my eyes darkening with carnal intent. She frowns. “Pack your going-away clothes,” I order her. “You’ll need them. Taylor has your main suitcase.” “Oh, okay,” she says curious. I grin at her. She’s burning to know where we are going. She’s tried to inveigle it out of me; even tasked my sister and Katherine in aiding her in the quest to no avail. It’s going to remain a secret until I decide to let her know. She turns to her mother and Katherine nearby and talks to them. I see my mother coming and giving her a hug. Taylor comes nearby. I nod my head indicating I want to talk to him privately. “Did you deliver my message?” “Yes sir. I did.” “And?” I ask impatient. “She was upset, but she wanted to leave on her own accord. Mrs. Grey,” he says, and when he sees me apprehensive assuming it is Anastasia, he corrects himself, and says, “Your mother must have heard that some uninvited guest was outside. She wanted to come and see who it was, but I assured her that the security is able to take care of it, and it was expected to have uninvited guests. It would be best she would let me take care of it,” he says and I feel relief. “In short sir, the uninvited guest left without any security breach or incident,” he explains realizing there are other ears who might be listening nearby. I nod. “Is everything else ready for the trip?” “Yes, sir. Everything’s ready.” “And the car?” “All set, sir. The jet is fueled and ready. The crew’s already on board. It’ll take off as soon as the passengers arrive,” he says. “Pull the SUV to the front. We’ll be leaving shortly.”

“As you wish sir,” he replies and quickly makes his way to the valet station. I make my way to the house to find my wife, and there she is talking to her mother and her step-father, radiant, and breathtaking. I hear Carla reminiscing. “...and you watched her and helped her grow up, Ray,” she says wistfully. “And I loved every single minute of it. You make one hell of a bride, Annie,” he says. How right he is! “Oh, Dad...” murmurs Anastasia, trying to push back a sob as they hug. I don’t want my wife crying on what should be the happiest day of her life. My biggest goal in life is to make her happy. I’m next to her immediately. When Ray releases her from his hug, he shakes my hand warmly. “Look after my girl, Christian,” he says with a hoarse voice. “I fully intend to, Ray. Carla,” I say nodding at Ray, and kissing Carla on the cheek. My mother and father already know that we are going to leave, and the guests have formed a human arch for us to pass through to get to our car. I take my wife’s hand int o mine, and turn to her asking, “Ready?” “Yes,” she responds. Among the guests’ shouts of good luck and congratulations, we are showered with rice. My parents are at the end of the arch. “Congratulations, son!” says my father pulling me into a hug. My mother is in her usual ‘I’mso-happy-I-can-cry’ mode and she dabs her eyes with her handkerchief as we hug and kiss. We finally make it to the Audi SUV, and Taylor is waiting to take us to the airport immediately. When I reach the SUV, I open the door for Anastasia. She turns around and tosses her bouquet of white and pink roses into the waiting single young women group, and my sister jumps and catches it. Competitiveness is a Grey family trait; what can I say? We like to win. Mia holds the flowers triumphantly, and grins as wide as possible. Anastasia slides into the SUV as she’s laughing at my sister, and I gather the hem of my wife’s dress. Once she’s in the SUV, I close her door, and turn the gathered crowd. “Thank you all so much for coming, and making this the most memorable day of our lives! We’ll see you when we get back,” I say and wave to the guests. Taylor opens my door, and “Congratulations, sir,” he says.

“Thank you, Taylor,” I reply smiling. When Taylor finally closes my door, he enters into the vehicle, and as he pulls away from my parents’ long driveway, the guests shower our SUV with rice. How happy can a man get? I grasp Anastasia’s hand and kiss her knuckles. “So far so good, Mrs. Grey?” I ask. “So far so wonderful, Mr. Grey. Where are we going?” she asks. Always curious. “Sea-Tac,” I reply, and smile. I want her to be surprised. She looks at me questioningly burning with curiosity. When Taylor takes us to the security gate and then on to the tarmac, Anastasia sees our jet. She’s clearly marked in large blue lettering, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

She turns to me and mock chides me, “Don’t’ tell me you’re misusing company property again!” “Oh, I hope so, Anastasia,” I reply grinning. Taylor pulls the SUV at the foot of the steps leading up to the plane and leaps out of the vehicle and opens my door. “What time is your flight?” I ask Taylor. He won’t be travelling in the jet. I want as much privacy as I can get with Anastasia and besides Taylor needs to get to London ahead of us to brief the security arranged and have the hotel ready for us. “I’ll be flying in two hours sir. Sawyer is going to take the SUV back.” “See you in London, then.” “Safe travels, sir.”

“You, too, Taylor,” I say then open the Audi’s door, and leaning in, I lift Anastasia i nto my arms. I intend to carry her through every single threshold. “What are you doing?” she cries out. “I’m carrying you over the threshold,” I reply. “Oh,” she says surprised. I carry her over the steps, through the threshold and into the jet’s cabin. Taylor follows me with her carryon luggage. After leaving it by the threshold, he returns to the Audi, to deliver it to Sawyer, and board his plane on British Airways. Stephan greets us in his uniform. “Welcome aboard, sir, Mrs. Grey,” he says with a wide grin. I put my wife down and shake Stephan’s hand. Next to Stephan is the copilot Beighley. “Congratulations to you both,” Stephan says. “Thank you, Stephan. Anastasia, you know Stephan. He’s our captain today, and this is First Officer Beighley,” I say introducing the flight crew to my wife. Beighley blushes, and blinks rapidly. Anastasia surreptitiously eyes Beighley who is a brunette. But Anastasia has nothing to fear. I’ve no eye for anyone but her. I look Anastasia reassuringly. “Delighted to meet you,” gushes Beighley. Anastasia finally smiles at her. “All preparations complete?” I ask. “Yes, sir. We have all the clear. Weather is good from here to Boston.” “Turbulence?” “Not before Boston. There’s a weather front over Shannon that might give us a rough ride.” “I see. Well, I hope to sleep through it all,” I say matter of factly. I will actually be doing more of the fucking and less of the sleeping. But it’s none of their business. “We’ll get underway, sir. We’ll leave you in the capable care of Natalia, your flight attendant,” he says. I turn and look at the flight attendant who is a brunette. That will bother Anastasia. I frown, then turn to Stephan and smile. “Excellent,” I say. I take Anastasia’s hand who’s been checking out the pale maple wood and pale cream leather interior. I lead her to one of the leather seats. She gazes around again to take

it all in. The jet is large. There are 12 seats, and a bedroom and an office in here. I can run my entire business from my jet; but during this travel, I intend to do none of that. “Sit,” I order Anastasia. As she takes her seat, I take my jacket off, and undo the buttons of my silver brocade vest. We sit in single seats arranged face to face with a small polished table between us. Natalia comes with Bollinger in champagne glasses.

“Welcome aboard, sir, ma’am, and congratulations,” she says. “Thank you,” I reply and smile. She retreats back to the galley. “Here’s to a happy married life, Anastasia,” I say to my bride raising my glass and we chink. “Bollinger?” she asks. “The same.” “The first time I drank this, it was out of teacups,” she says grinning. “I remember that day well. Your graduation.” “Is that why we had the teacups during our wedding?” she asks. “Yes,” I reply gauging her reaction.

“It was beyond...” she says thinking for the right word to express her feelings, “thoughtful. I felt cherished for you remembering such a detail,” she says and I exhale a breath I didn’t know I was holding. “We aim to please, Mrs. Grey,” I reply. “Where are we going?” she asks curiously. “Shannon,” I reply. I can’t wait to show her all the places she longed to see in Europe. I’m giddy with excitement. “In Ireland?” she gushes her eyes wide. “To refuel,” I say teasing her. “Then?” she probes impatient. I grin as wide as possible. She is excited with the prospect of the places we are going to visit. I shake my head keeping the secret. “Christian!” she chides impatiently. “London,” I finally reply, gazing at her intently trying to see how she feels about it. Would she be happy? She gasps in response. She’s lit up like the Christmas tree, incandescent with happiness. She’s breathing hard, but completely elated. “Then Paris,” I say looking at her unblinking, wanting to capture all her reaction, soak it in. Her mouth drops open, eyes wide, heart palpitating. She looks shocked and joyful all at the same time. “Then the South of France.” “Huh...” escapes her lips in a squeak. “I know that you’ve always dreamed of going to Europe. I want to make your dreams come true, Anastasia,” I say in a soft tone. I want to make her goals a reality. I want to give her the world. Show her everything. Share my life with her. “You are my dreams come true, Christian.” “Back at you, Mrs. Grey,” I whisper. She’s my most important possession. The most im portant person in the entire universe for me.

“Buckle up now, Mrs. Grey,” I say in an authoritative voice and she immediately obeys. The jet taxis on the runway as we sip our Bollinger and grin at each other like couple of very happy children. When the jet is airborne, Natalia serves us more champagne and prepares our dinner consisted of smoked salmon, roast partridge with green bean salad and dauphinoise potatoes. After we are done with our dinner, our flight attendant asks, “Dessert, Mr. Grey?” I shake my head in response to her question while running my index finger across my bottom lip. There is a desert I want, alright. But it’s not on the jet’s menu. She’s sitting across from me. “No, thank you,” Anastasia replies without breaking her gaze from me. She is thinking the same thing as I am. My lips curl into a lascivious secret smile reserved for Anastasia only. Natalia nods and she retreats. “Good,” I murmur. “I’d rather planned on having you for dessert,” I say. I stand up, and hold my hand out to my wife, “come,” I say. I take her to the back of the cabin. “There’s bedroom here,” I say pointing to the cabin. “I thought we’d spend our wedding night at thirty-five-thousand feet. It’s something I’ve never done before,” I say looking at her with dark, lustful eyes. She blinks several times as she’s gaping at me unable to utter a single word. She enters into the bedroom and I close the cabin door behind. “But first, I have to get you out of this fabulous dress,” I say with a mixture of love, and carnal desire. Her chest rises up and down in rapid succession, completely desirous. “Turn around,” I order in a low, authoritative, husky voice, laced with a promise of licentious intent. She slightly nods her head and does as she’s told. My hands slowly move to her neck and then to her hair. She is my wife! My wife! Mine... Completely, and legally. I swallow hard, and start making short work of gently pulling all of the hairpin out of her chestnut hair one at a time. Her hair falls in swathes over her shoulders as I undo each lock, covering her back and her breasts. Surprisingly she manages to remain still. I lean in close to her ear and whisper, “You have such beautiful hair, Ana,” and my breath caresses her cheek without my lips touching her face. After I take all the pins out, I run my fingers through her hair, and start massaging her scalp gently, relaxing her. She closes her eyes, and tilts her head into my hands. My fingers travel down and tug her hair, tilting her head back to expose her throat.

“You are mine,” I breathe into her ear, and tug her earlobe with my teeth and she groans desirous. “Hush now,” I chide her. Sweeping her hair over her shoulder, my index finger trails across the top of her back from shoulder to shoulder as I follow the edge of her off the shoulder dress. A shiver courses through her body. I kiss her above the first button of her dress on her back. “So beautiful,” I say and undo the first button. “You, Ana have made me the happiest man alive today,” I say giving her a glimpse of what’s inside my heart. And perpetually slowly I unfasten each button all the way down to her back. “I love you so much,” I declare. I trail kisses from the nape of her neck to the edge of her shoulder murmuring between each kiss, “I. Want. You. So. Much. I. Want. To. Be. Inside. You. You. Are. Mine.” She closes her eyes, and tilts her head back allowing me easier access, mesmerized. “Mine,” I whisper again. I slowly peel her dress down her arms, and it finally pools down at her feet in a pile of ivory silk and lace. “Turn around,” I whisper in a hoarse voice. My God! She’s breathtaking. I gasp. She’s in a tight, blush pink satin corset with garter straps, matching lacy briefs, and white silk stockings. God almighty! This woman is mine! What have I done to deserve her? I suck in a lungful of breath through my teeth. My eyes are locked on her, unblinking, wide, and full of want and carnal desire. “You like?” she whispers with a shy blush. Can’t she get any hotter? “More than like, baby. You look sensational. Here,” I say holding my hand out to her and help her step out of her dress. “Keep still,” I murmur without taking my gaze off her; I run my middle finger over her breasts, following the line of her corset. She is breathing with shallow breaths as I venture over her breasts again, tantalizing her. I stop and twirl my index finger in the air, motioning her to turn around. I want to see all of her, 360°. She twirls. “Stop,” I say as she’s facing the bed, her back to me. My arms snake around her waist, pulling her against me, and I nuzzle her neck. My hands travel up to her breasts cupping and toying with them, and my thumbs circle over her nipples while still under the corset. “Mine,” I whisper.

“Yours,” she breathes in reply. My hands travel down to her stomach, over her belly, and down to her thighs, and my thumbs finally find her sex, skimming it. She gives out a hushed moan. My fingers slide down her garters, and unhook both of them simultaneously from her stockings, then my hands travel around to her behind. My hands claim every inch of her. “Mine,” I breath as my hands spread across her buttocks; tips of my fingers brushing her sex. “Ah!” a moan escapes her. “Hush.” I let my hands travel down to her thighs, and unclip her garters. Then I pull back the cover of the bed. “Sit down,” I order softly. She does as she’s told, and I take off her bridal Jimmy Choos. My hands skim and slowly travel up her left leg and slowly peel her stocking off. Then I slowly skate over her right leg, and slowly slide the other stocking down. “This is like unwrapping my Christmas presents,” I say smiling, looking up to her. “A present you’ve had already...” she says. I frown at her in response. “Oh no, baby. This time it’s really mine,” I reply. “Christian, I’ve been yours since I said yes,” she says as she scoots forward on the bed and cups my face with her delicate hands. “I’m yours. I will always be yours, husband of mine. Now, I think you’re wearing too many clothes,” she says bending down and kissing me. My blood boils and races through my body heating me up, and suddenly I lean up, and kiss her lips, capturing her head in my hands, my fingers lacing through her hair. “Ana,” I breathe. “My Ana.” I kiss her once again, as my tongue invades her mouth.

“Clothes,” she whispers into my mouth as she pushes my vest back, and I shove it off, reluctantly releasing her for a moment. I have a moment to look at her, to admire, and gaze at my wife. "Let me, please," she says softly, and coaxing. As I sit back on my heels, she leans forward and grabs my silver gray tie, and slowly undoes it and pulls it free. When I raise my chin up to let her open the top button of my white shirt, she moves onto my cuffs. I am wearing the cufflinks engraved with an engraved A and C; our initials. It's a wedding gift she gave me after we christened the panic room two nights ago. She removes them and I take them from her and fist them in my hand. While she's watching me, I kiss my fist and pocket the cufflinks into my pants pocket.

"Mr. Grey, so romantic," she observes. "For you Mrs. Grey - hearts and flowers. Always." Anastasia takes my hand and she glances up at me then kisses my wedding ring. It is so hot, and such a loving gesture, I close my eyes in ecstasy and groan. “Ana,” I whisper with intense desire for her, her name a litany upon my lips. She reaches up to my second button on my shirt and undoes it and plants a kiss on my chest each time she opens up a button mirroring my earlier action, she whispers, “You. Make. Me. So. Happy. I. Love. You.” making me groan in pure pleasure. Her declaration makes me intensely desirous for her,

and with one swift move, I clasp her around her waist and lift her up and deposit her onto the bed, and I fall onto her. My lips capture hers, my hands holding her head in place, stilling her and my tongue invades her mouth and I explore her mouth short of a tonsil exam, both of our tongues dancing, and exploring. I can't get enough of my wife. I abruptly sit up and Anastasia is left breathless. “You are so beautiful...wife,” I declare as I run my hands down her legs and I grasp her left foot. “You have such lovely legs. I want to kiss every inch of them. Starting here,” I say and I press my lips against her big toe and my teeth graze the pad of it. Her eyes roll back into her head, she nearly convulses with pleasure. My tongue skates up in her instep and my teeth skim her heel and up to her ankle. I place soft wet kisses trailing up the inside of her calf. Anastasia wriggles beneath me. “Still, Mrs. Grey,” I chide her, and quickly flip her onto her stomach and my mouth continues its ministrations up the back of her legs, her thighs, buttocks and I stop making her groan and beg. “Please...” “I want you naked baby,” I murmur, and slowly and deftly I unhook her corset one hook at a time, slowly and leisurely. The corset is finally flat on the bed beneath her, and my tongue takes advantage of her naked back and runs up the length of her spine. “Christian, please,” she begs more. “What do you want, Mrs. Grey?” I ask softly and sensually close to her ear. I'm on top her barely touching her, my erection hard against her ass. “You,” she replies in a breathy voice. “And I you, my love, my life..” I whisper, and quickly flip her over onto her back. I quickly stand and divest myself of my pants and boxers standing before my wife naked, my erection is growing and ready to take her. I want her. Here. Now! Leaning down, I peel her panties off, and gaze down to her sex. “Mine,” I mouth. “Please,” she begs groaning, making me grin salaciously.

When I crawl back onto the bed, I trail kisses up her right leg until I reach the apex of her thighs, pushing her legs wider apart wanting to declare her sex. “Ah...wife of mine,” I murmur. I can't get enough of that word. My wife! She's my wife! Mine! She closes her eyes, and surrenders her body to my conquering tongue. Her hands fist in my hair, and her hips sway into my mouth surrendering to my teasing and ministrations. I hold her hips to stop her from moving, stilling her. “Christian,” she moans. “Not yet baby,” I breathe and my tongue dips into her navel. “No!” she protests making me smile. Oh, but we are on my rhythm. I’m in control. “So impatient, Mrs. Grey. We have until we touch down on the Emerald Isle,” I remind her. I move up on her body and kiss her breasts and tug her left nipple between my lips. My gaze looks up at her while her nipple in my mouth, with dark and lascivious eyes, teasing her. “Husband, I want you. Please.” Her begging, her coaxing is a siren's call. I want her. I want to claim my wife. I can't wait any longer either. I loom over her, my body is covering hers, my weight is resting on my elbows. I run my nose on hers, and her hands run on my ass. “Mrs. Grey...wife. We aim to please,” I say as my lips brush her. “I love you,” I say. “I love you, too.” “Eyes open. I want to see you.” “Christian...ah...,” she cries out and I slowly and inch by inch sink into her claiming my wife. “Ana, oh Ana,” I breathe and start moving slowly. She arches her back, my cock filling her to the brim. She groans. Her eyes open, I stare down at her wide eyed. I withdraw slowly, and then sink into her once again. My mouth slackens and a silent Ah is formed on my lips. My reaction arouses her and she grasps my ass sinking her nails into it pushing me to fuck her, pick up my rhythm. “Slow, baby, slow. I want to savor my wife,” I say with scorching eyes. “Husband... please. I want you! I need you, now!”

“You want me, you get me, baby!” I say and speed up my rhythm. She meets me thrust for thrust. My love and our passion heats up our bodies, sear into each other, and I impale her sex faster and faster pounding into her. I feel the now familiar tightening of her muscles of her sex around my cock pulling and milking me, and she detonates with rolls of orgasm and she shouts my name pushing her hips into me, and I reach my peak and empty all I got into her after plunging into her three more times. “Ana!” I shout as I come and collapse onto her. “My wife, my woman... my life,” I whisper. She's my everything. I love her s o much, it hurts. I kiss her one more time, and she slowly drifts into sleep. I watch her sleep. This is my wife! We have marked another first together. I slowly kiss her, trying not to wake her, and slowly pull out of her. My arms and leg drape over her like a victory flag, I fall asleep next to my wife and dream of her. ***** “Anastasia, I want to show you the panic room. I want you to be acquainted with this room, because should there be an emergency this is where you will need to be.” She groans in response. “I thought the apartment is pretty secure, after you know...” she says remembering Leila's break in. “Anastasia, I'm not taking chances where your safety is concerned,” I say pointedly. “I want you to promise me that if there's an emergency, you will use the room without any complaints, qualms, or arguments. Understand?” “Uhm, okay.” “Okay?” I blink. She acquiesces? “Okay,” she nods reassuringly. “I want your word Miss Steele...” I say my gaze narrowing on her. She rolls her eyes. “If there’s an emergency and I’m told to enter into the panic room, I will stay in this room until it is safe to come out,” she says reciting. “Oh Miss Steele, do I hear a sarcasm in your voice, and did you just roll your eyes at me?” I ask with a licentious grin, my eyes darkening.

Her breath hitches, and she swallows. “I sure did, Mr. Grey. What are you going to do about it?” she asks. “Miss Steele, I’m not in the habit of giving away my plans. Come,” I say holding my hand out. She takes it and follows me to our bedroom. “Wait here. Don’t move,” I say raising my eyebrows and leave the room. I quickly make my way to the Playroom, and retrieve one of our favorite toys, and get back to the bedroom where she’s standing curiously waiting for me. “Open your mouth, Anastasia,” I order. Her eyes darken seeing what I’m holding in my hand. Her breathing increases, and in goes her delectable lip into the captivity of her teeth. “Don’t bite your lip. Otherwise this will be over far too fast, and neither one of us want that,” I say with a lustful tone. She opens her mouth where I deposit the silver balls her gaze never leaving mine. I pull her close to me and embrace her. My hands slowly caress her backside, and I slowly pull the skirt of her white strapless summer dress up. She stifles a moan burying her head in the crook of my neck.

“Hush now,” I say.

My hands travel and rub her buttocks. I ease a finger into her sex and she’s already aroused and drenched. My breath hisses out slowly. “You’re so ready for me baby,” I murmur. “Open your mouth, I’ll take those balls out,” I say with a half-smile. “Come by the bed, and lean down,” I say. “Now, spread your legs a little and grasp your ankles,” I order to which she obeys without qualms. I push her dress skirt back up on her waist, pull her panties aside. I first dip one finger, and finding her sex deliciously warm and wet, I insert another finger and rub my fingers in circular motion finally locating her sweet spot towards the front wall of her vagina, I stimulate it. Then I insert the balls one by one into her sex and pull her panties back into place. Finally I rub her buttocks and slap it over her sex once knowing it will lurch the silver balls forward, and she yelps with excitement. “You’ll do,” I say knowing she wants more, and pull her up straight. “Let’s go. I’ll have to acquaint you with the panic room,” I say with a dark gaze. Tugging her behind me I walk in brisk steps knowing the movements will put the balls into action and will stimulate her inside. The silver balls are one of the best sex toy ever invented since the times of the ancient Chinese, and have been used by the geishas of Japan for explosive female orgasm; that was their best tool to preheat the oven so to speak. I come to a halt in front of the panic room. “If there is an emergency for any reason,” I say looking into her eyes, my hands traveling to her face, rubbing her hair slowly, “I want you to come into this room. There are three different locks to the room,” I say without taking my gaze away from her. “None of whi ch are physical. The retina scan, thumbprint, and numeric codes. Those who are authorized can use one of those keys to unlock the doors. But if you are inside, as an added security, you will have to enter a code in addition to the ones from outside. The system will recognize this,” I say as I take her hand and walk into the room. “Press that red button baby,” I say pointing the keypad on the wall. She does as she’s told, and the door immediately slam shut, surprising her, making her jump back. My phone immediately receives a text message. I take it out and check.

*Panic Room Activated*

I show her the message. “If you’re in here for any reason, I’ll know Anastasia,” I tell her. “Oh! How do we get out?” she asks. “We won’t get out until we have explored this room thoroughly,” I explain my index finger trailing over her chin. She automatically leans into my touch. “I think you need to be spanked now for the eye rolling incident and the bit of sarcasm, don’t you think, Miss Steele?” I ask softly still running only my index finger over her face. She nods emphatically, with anticipation, her breathing increases. I turn the hidden stereo on and Flower Duet by Lakmé starts playing. There is a chaise lounge in the room. “Come,” I say pulling her with me. I sit on the sofa, and pull Anastasia over my lap. I pull her dress back up, and lower her panties down to her knees. I rub her bottom, and then palm her sex as my thumb gently caressing her clitoris. She gives out a deep moan. “Shhh...” I silence her. My hand leaves her behind and with the flat of my palm I hit her across her buttocks. She gives out a sound mixture of a yelp and a moan. Then my hand lands right over her sex. I create a pattern of two across the cheeks of her buttocks and one downward intended to push the balls inside stimulating her. Then I rub over her buttocks slowly to stimulate the blood flow. The bottom is a prime erogenous zone. The sexual arousal nerves in the bottom are buried in a layer of fat and require harder stimulation to trigger them, and that needs to be done correctly. “Oh, please Christian!” she begs after ninth slap on her buttocks. She’s close to be completely stimulated. Her buttocks are a nice shade of pink. Spanking creates a physiological response collecting blood in her sex and nearby areas and thus accomplishing mechanically what caresses and kisses do psychologically. Anastasia submitting to me like this, surrendering is an important part of her sexual response, of her trust to me, and in return it arouses me beyond belief, making me want to fuck her into next week. “Christian, please fuck me!” she begs, and I pull the silver balls out of her and bringing her to the brink of orgasm. I pull her up in standing position and quickly divest myself of my pants, boxers and my shirt. “Anastasia, I’m going to hold you up baby, I want you to wrap your legs around me,” I say. I pull her up into my arms standing, and slowly sink into her sex her weight pushing down, and

my cock finding her deepest spot. With one hand I hold her buttocks, and with the other, I lower her strapless dress down to her waist freeing her breasts. “Move!” I order and she starts going up and down on my cock. “Slow, baby!” “No, I want you to fuck me hard!” she says with increased breathing. I love being in charge of her, and I’m only beginning to learn that occasionally giving her the charge is sexy as hell. The disembodied voice of Taylor is heard on the speaker in the room. “Mr. Grey? Are the doors not opening sir? Do you need help getting out?” I roll my eyes, and Anastasia groans. As she slows down to a slower rhythm, I hit the intercom button and answer. “No help is needed, Taylor. I’m acquainting Miss Steele with the panic room. She needs to learn to use it on her own.” “Yes, sir,” he replies. “That’s all Taylor,” I say dismissing him with a tinge of annoyance, and he’s gone. As Anastasia picks up her rhythm again, I feel the buildup in my groin. When she pushes downward I shove my cock upward, and when I bounce her back up again I capture her lips with mine, my tongue darting into her mouth, assaulting her, exploring, loving, fucking. I feel the familiar clenching of her sex, and she moans and groans an incoherent rendition of my name into my mouth pushing down hard. I empty myself into her; marking and branding my woman in the only surface we have not christened in the house.

When we come down from the peak of our ecstasy, I lower her onto the chaise, and clean her up, and then clean myself. I finally lean down and kiss her long and sweet. “I love you Anastasia. I don’t think I can ever get my fill of you,” I murmur. “We’re entwined body and soul, baby.” “Funny you should say that Mr. Grey,” she responds. “I have a gift for you.” “Really?” I say surprised. Her gifts are always precious to me; always thoughtful, an d always special. She reaches the little clutch she had left on the small table, and takes out a tiny box. I raise my eyebrows and look at her. “Well, open it Mr. Grey,” she says smiling. “Yes, ma’am,” I reply. Inside the box is a pair of cufflinks with A & C engraved with entwined lettering. When I look up at her, she looks expectant, but tries to shrug nonchalantly. “You like?” “I more than like, Ana. I love it! It’s perfect,” I reply. She is perfect.



Round about the cauldron go: In the poisoned entrails throw. Toad, that under cold stone Days and nights has thirty-one Sweated venom sleeping got, Boil thou first in the charmed pot.

Fire burn and cauldron bubble...
~ Shakespeare (Witches’ Chant from Macbeth)

Double, double toil and trouble;


He hears his name being called frantically over the radio in his ear. “Taylor, can you call me on your cell phone? Or get on a private line? We have a situation here!” buzzes Sawyer. “What sort of situation?” asks Taylor. “Uninvited guest,” replies Sawyer. “Fuck!” mutters Taylor under his breath in an epitaph. “I’m calling you right now. I won’t be offline. Just my mike off,” warns Taylor for the benefit of the other security detail. He dials Sawyer’s cell phone. “Sawyer, what’s the problem?” asks Taylor without a preamble.

“T, that creepy witch is here,” explains Sawyer. Taylor thinks for a moment. When it comes to his boss, he’s had more than his fair share of creepy witches. But Sawyer only met two of them. So, this could be either Leila, or Elena. “Sawyer, you need to be specific when it comes to describing the uninvited guests. Which creepy witch did have in mind?” Taylor asks impatiently. “Not the Williams woman. She’s creepy, but this one gives me the shivers as if she’s devil’s hind legs, and ready to kick anytime! Dracula’s sister, the blond bimbo who’s always dressed in black...” describes Sawyer. “Fuck!” “Did she say what she wants?” “She wants into the wedding, boss!” “She ain’t the bride, or the groom. She can’t come in! “I’m aware of that boss, but you better get your ass over here pronto because Mrs. Grey is making her way to the entry. Someone had whispered into her ear that there’s an uninvited guest waiting outside.” “Fuck a zombie! What the hell? Occupy Mrs. Grey. Don’t let her get a whiff of who it is! I’ll be right there!” “How do I hold her?” “Sawyer, you were with the fucking FBI! I’m sure they taught you s omething to keep a nice lady away from a seasoned witch!” he says running to the front entry. “Man, you better hurry! The witch is sharpening her claws, and giving what’s for to the security who is manning the entry! I wonder where she parked her broom!” he mutters. Taylor gets through the main house where he catches up to Mrs. Grace Trevelyan-Grey. “Taylor, I was told of a commotion in the front gate. Do you know what’s going on?” “I’m going to take care of it right now Mrs. Grey,” Taylor replies with a reticent look on his face. Mrs. Grey narrows her eyes on him.

“I hear that there’s an uninvited guest...” she says leaving her sentence hanging in the air with narrowed eyes. ‘Who the fuck has the loose mouth here?’ thinks Taylor to himself. “I don’t know what your heard, or who you heard from ma’am, it’s nothing we can’t take care of. I’m on my way to resolve the situation right now,” says Taylor. “I’d like to come with you if you don’t mind, then,” she replies. Taylor gives an inward groan. “Ma’am, actually I do mind. Our job here is to protect you, the guests, and keep the uninvited individuals out, whoever they may be. So, please enjoy the wedding, and let us take care of minor security issues. I’m sure it’s nothing to worry about.” “Is it Mrs. Lincoln?” she asks pointedly. “Mrs. Grey, I have not seen who the uninvited guest is. If it’s a guest who is not on the list; he or she may not come.” “Boss, I suggest you hurry! The witch came with her cauldron and she started brewing her concoction here!” Sawyer grunts. What the fuck is he talking about? “Mrs. Grey, I’m sorry! But we have strict instructions that only the security is to deal with security issues; and you’re not in my detail list. Whoever it is outside, it’s my job to handle the problem. If you’ll excuse me, ma’am,” says Taylor authoritatively making a move to get to the gate. Grace Grey stops for a moment, then nods, and turns back to get into the house. Taylor wipes sheen of sweat from his forehead, and quickly makes his way to the front where Sawyer meets him. Sawyer nods with his eyes indicating a foot tapping, all donned in black head to toe in shimmering dress, Elena Lincoln who is now holding her head up regally to look at Taylor. Taylor looks around for a black crow perched on a tree accompanying the blond witch, and when not seeing one, he surreptitiously wonders if she’s hiding a black whip inside her black shimmering clutch. He makes his way to her. “Taylor,” she says in her soft voice with relief. “Mrs. Lincoln,” Taylor nods in greeting. “So formal with me Taylor,” she eyes him, and he inwardly flinches. “How can I help you ma’am?” “Call me Elena,” she says trying to get friendly.

“No, ma’am. I wouldn’t feel comfortable. How can I help you today ma’am?” he asks politely. “Taylor, I’m here for Christian’s wedding,” she says clearing her throat. “Do you have an invitation ma’am?” “I never needed any invitation for anything about Christian. Why the formality?” she says sounding whinny. “Mrs. Lincoln, if you were invited ma’am, you would know that there is a protocol, and this isn’t the place to come at first. You’re not in the invited guests list. We have strict instructions about who is on the list, and who can enter.” “Do you mean to say that I’m a subject on a proscribed list?” she says almost through gritted teeth, her carefully constructed calm façade is slipping. “I’m not at liberty to discuss that with you ma’am.” “So, it confirms it then. Well, go tell your boss that I’m not leaving until he comes out here and talks to me.” “Ma’am!” Taylor chides. “This is Mr. Grey and Miss Steele’s wedding. He can’t leave his wedding to come to talk to an uninvited guest!” “Taylor! I’ll have your balls for dinner, and whip you with your dick if you don’t get me Christian right this minute!” she says menacingly her eyes wide, looking like a crazy woman. “I’m sorry Mrs. Lincoln. But flattery won’t work ma’am! I have orders. You are NOT in the invited list.” She eyes him assessing. He has an impassive gaze; a gaze Christian dons most the time. A face that hides someone’s insecurities, fears, anxieties, problems, and worries. She wants to catch a glimpse of Taylor’s weakness. “Taylor, I’m sure you don’t want a scene here to embarrass your boss. I suggest then you deliver this message to him,” she says scribbling something on a piece of paper. “Tell him that I won’t leave unless he comes out here to talk to me,” she demands. Taylor reluctantly takes her note and without a word, makes haste to get to Christian. When he makes his way to the marque, he sees Christian dancing with Anastasia. His boss looks...happy. Happier than he’s ever been for the four years he’s worked for him. He curses his luck to have

to break that happy moment. Taylor doesn’t want to interrupt; he looks for an opening. He’d be damned if he’d let Ana hear about the uninvited visitor and sour her joyous mood on her wedding day! Poor kid doesn’t deserve the meddling from that Lincoln troll on what should be the happiest day of her life. God, he feels like he’s protecting Sophie when it comes to An a! Taylor knows that this is the main intent behind the blond witch’s intrusion: to destabilize their marriage from day one. She wants to make Ana feel unsettled, that there’s another woman waiting for her to slip up, to take her place. The longer Taylor thinks about it, the madder he gets. But he has to see what his boss thinks first. Mr. Grey is looking at Ana like nothing and no one exists but the two of them. Taylor feels like a fucking creep, a voyeur disturbing their special moment. In the past he had interrupted a lot of intimate moments for various reasons, including the times where he had to knock on boss’ playroom door as he was engaged in some kinky shit like the sub shackled on some contraption and off the floor. Even then he would answer the door, just mildly pissed that his coitus was interrupted. But this...this is a private moment, and it feels a thousand times more intimate than fucking; like two souls connecting, holding each other. Taylor curses under his breath again, “baboon’s ass, fucking bitch!” But Taylor doesn’t have to wait long. Another poor fucker who is in love with Ana interrupts the boss and Ana’s dance towards the end of the song. Taylor almost feels sorry for the poor sap. He looks sad like a beaten puppy as he’s gazing at Ana in boss’ arms. Mr. Grey reluctantly allows them to dance and stands aside watching his girl like a hawk. Dr. Flynn sidles next to him. Taylor can’t wait much longer before the song is over. He has to alert the top dog about the fucking hyena sneering outside the property! “Mr. Grey,” Taylor sidles up to Christian. He gives him ‘the shit’s about the hit the fan’ look. Boss understands, and he’s not happy. “Excuse me a moment, John,” he excuses himself from the über expensive shrink. As far as the shrinks go, he’s a good guy. Even Taylor feels like he should go to him after what he had seen in that playroom in the past years. But right now, he has a task, and if all is well, the witch’s just levitating on her broom outside. “What’s up?” boss asks. “Mrs. Lincoln is outside, and she insists on talking to you,” Taylor gets out in one breath nervously. The shorter the message, the better.

“What the fuck? I don’t believe this!” his boss growls, and his hand runs through his hair in exasperation. He looks like he could bite the bitch’s head off. Careful! She’s like the Greek mythological creature Hydra. You cut one head off, and two springs in its place. You gotta use a different tactic with that kind of serpent. “I know you have strict instructions on who can and can’t come, sir. I thought you need to know this,” Taylor responds. “I’m not going to talk to her on my wedding day, or anytime soon!” says the boss, and if there wasn’t anyone around, Taylor could do a cartwheel for that response. That’s how much the witch gives him the willies. “I’m aware of it sir. I can send her away. She passed a note to be given to you,” says Taylor. He’s already looked at the note on the way. ‘Yeah, yeah! Fucking, private! Well, sue me!’ he thinks to himself. This is for his boss’s good. It’s not private when it concerns Ana’s happiest day, and as brilliant as his boss is, sometimes he can’t see how far that witch’s tendrils crawl up on his neck. Taylor feels the need to protect both of them from her by force if necessary. His boss reads her note, and he’s boiling mad. Thank God there’s some sense in him to realize that this bitch is a danger to his happiness! He’s seen him this mad only a few times. When he looks up at Taylor from the note his eyes are shooting daggers. If only looks could kill, Taylor would direct the Boss’s gaze towards entry gate. “I want you to go out, and talk to her. Tell her that Mr. Grey is busy building his future with his new wife. He is not interested in reminiscing about his past with her. Should she have trouble finding her way to her home, one of the security guards would be more than happy to provide the directions, and if she still has trouble understanding plain English, they can gladly escort her home,” he says, and Taylor is proud of him like the first day Sophie learned to walk. “I’ll be more than happy to deliver the message, sir,” he replies quickly and leaves. On his way to the gate, he calls Sawyer. “Is your mike off?” “Yes, Taylor, it’s off.” “What’s Mrs. Lincoln doing?” “The witch is pacing up and down as far as she’s allowed on the front lawn.”

“I’ll be out in a minute,” says Taylor before hanging up. When he makes to the front gate, Taylor takes a deep breath and walks towards the Lincoln witch in determined steps. When she sees his resolute gaze, she knows. She tilts her head up, her stance gets proud and determined, and she looks up at him. “Well?” she asks petulantly. “Mr. Grey is unavailable. He can’t come.” “What do you mean he can’t come?” she says stumping her foot. “Mrs. Lincoln, Mr. Grey sent you a message. He says that right at this moment, he’s busy building a future with his new wife,” says Taylor emphasizing that he already tied the knot, that there’s no room for an ex dominatrix, “...and that Mr. Grey is not interested in reminis cing about the past with you. Should you have trouble remembering the directions to your home, I would be happy to provide it for you. And if you ma’am are having trouble getting to your home, one of the security details would be more than happy to escort you there,” Taylor says looking at her pointedly. “Well, well, well...Taylor. You can make a decent dom...” she says appraising him, “if you weren’t a little too old for me,” she adds narrowing her eyes. Her praise always includes a hidden insult. Taylor feels the bile rise in him. He’s been to combats, and full on wars, but nothing gave him the creeps as much as this woman does. Taylor pretends he didn’t hear the witch. “Do you need escorting Mrs. Lincoln?” he asks pointedly. “Oh yes, you are with the maid, are you not?” she taunts him. No one talks about Gail like that! “Mrs. Lincoln, I would be more than happy to escort you to your broom!” he says firmly, but calmly. “You are touchy!” she sighs. “My Mercedes CL 600 brand broom is parked right there, Taylor,” she says indignantly. “I don’t need escorting. Tell your boss that when he needs me... and he will need me;” she says so sure of herself. “When that time comes, I am ready, able, and available for him.” Fat chance that Taylor will pass that message! The fucking witch’s claws are like giant barb wires. It hurts when she shoves them in, and they rip out a pound of flesh when she pulls them out!

“Sorry ma’am. I’m NOT passing that message! Mr. Grey is married now. You better leave him alone, and move on with other endeavors,” he says grimly. “You will pass the message, Taylor! If you value your job...” she says leaving the end of the threat hanging. “I’m hired to be Mr. Grey’s personal protection. I am required to use my best judgment to protect him from harm; and you ma’am are more poisonous than a rattler, and protecting him from that sort of danger falls under my job description. Unlike others, I’m not afraid of your fangs, ma’am. Your time here is up. You have two minutes to leave the premises. If you can’t leave, the security will escort you!” he says with a glacial gaze. She turns her back, and walks to her Mercedes, her head indignantly held high. She will get her day. But not today.

While still I may, I write for you The love I lived, the dream I knew. From our birthday, until we die, Is but the winking of an eye; And we, our singing and our love, What measurer Time has lit above, And all benighted things that go About my table to and fro, Are passing on to where may be, In truth's consuming ecstasy, No place for love and dream at all; For God goes by with white footfall. To Ireland in the Coming Times ~ Yeats


My Blackberry already has three text messages and several e-mails from Taylor. *Destination: Ashford Castle. Security Harry O’Reilly, Greg Fergus. Password: Crystal Fjord. London is set for your arrival tomorrow night. Details about security in your e-mail* I’m surprising Anastasia with a stay at an Irish castle. Would she like it?

“Baby, wake up,” I whisper in Anastasia’s ear kissing her cheek, the edge of her jaw, the side of her mouth. She groans tired. “We’re here. Get up and take a shower, and get dressed, baby.” “Where are we?” she asks stretching her naked breasts move upward with her arms. I’m already showered and dressed, and we ready to enjoy the first day of our honeymoon with my wife. I would love to make love to her now, but it’ll keep us in the airport for the duration of the day, and we have plans. “Ireland,” I reply. “For refueling?” “We’ve already refueled. We have an excursion,” I say with a wicked smile. She narrows her eyes on me quizzical. “What kind of an excursion?” she asks pulling the sheets up to her chest. I pull it down slowly without breaking my gaze off her. “Come on baby; daylight’s wasting. We have so much to do. We only have one day here. And I have so much to show you, Mrs. Grey,” I say darkly, and kiss her. She reciprocates, and pulls me in, harder, demanding, her fingers lacing into my hair. I finally manage to pull away breathless. “Whoa! Anastasia! What you do to me! We can’t stay in bed. Come. Take a shower and we have to get going.” We only take the small carry-ons and the security detail Taylor had arranged are waiting for us after we’re done with the customs. They’re waiting for us at the VIP section. Taylor had sent me a picture of each close protection, and I recognize our escorts; and it’s not just by the large sign they’re holding:

“Mr. and Mrs. Christian Grey”

When Anastasia and I come out, their eyes shine with recognition. They know what we look like. “Mr. Grey?” asks Fergus who looks like he’s barely 30 years old, but agile, trim and focused. He emphasizes the letter ‘r’ in his talk.

“You are?” I ask. He takes out his identification. All the identification information matches with the copy Taylor e-mailed me. Once I’m through with verifying their identification, I ask: “Destination?” “Crystal Fjord,” he replies. Anastasia looks at me quizzically. “Since your time is limited, we are taking the helicopter sir. We have your schedule for the duration of your stay in Ireland; however if you wish anything else that is not in the schedule, please let us know so we can quickly arrange it for you, Mr. Grey,” states O'Reilly. “Just take us to our place of stay, let's freshen up a bit, then we can move on with our activities,” I say with an impassive gaze. “Of course Mr. Grey. We are about 148 kilometers from our destination sir which is about 92 miles. Driving would take us about two hours, sir. Considering you've traveled a great distance, Mr. Taylor has arranged a helicopter for you to take you to your destination, and it is at your disposal for the tour that's been arranged for you. It will remain on call for the duration of your stay, sir,” he adds politely. “Thank you, O’Reilly,” I say taking Anastasia's hand. “This way, Mr. and Mrs. Grey,” Fergus says, and leads the way. The helicopter they lead us to on the tarmac is a Sikorsky S-92 luxury helicopter. Anastasia’s jaw drops open at the size of the helicopter. Sikorsky is a huge helicopter with over fifty six feet exterior length, and the wingspan alone is also over fifty six feet long. She looks at me quizzically.

“It’s huge!” she remarks in a whisper. “Only the best for my girl,” I reply nonchalantly. They take our luggage up the aircraft, and introduce us to our pilot whose name should be Matt O’Connell according to the info Taylor provided. “May I introduce you to your captain sir?” asks O'Reilly politely. “This is Captain Matt O'Connell. He will be at your service during your stay. Our co-pilot is Captain Richard Bremer,” he indicates the two pilots who will be flying us. Their pictures and names match. “Welcome aboard, sir,” they say and shake my hand. “Ma'am, welcome, and congratulations,” they turn to Anastasia and make her blush. “Please be seated. This is a large aircraft which serves food and drinks, and should you wish to use it, there is a lavatory as well as a shower aboard the aircraft,” O’Connell says. “Thank you. I think we'll just take our seats for now,” I reply. “How long will it take us to get to our destination?” asks Anastasia. Clever girl! She's not asking where, but she's asking the right questions. “No more than forty minutes Mrs. Grey,” replies Fergus. My lips curl into a small smile. “Curious?” I lean in and ask. She nods her head rigorously. “You'll see it in forty minutes. I'd rather show it to you than tell you,” I say. Sikorsky is a luxurious helicopter. It's been customized for the comfort of the passengers. The cabin height is six feet high causing me to duck my head in when I enter into it. The cabin width looks to be about over six and a half feet, but the length of it looks like twenty feet. It's roomy and I'm sitting next to Anastasia when a flight attendant comes along. “Welcome Mr. and Mrs. Grey. My name is Jennifer. I'm your flight attendant today. I'd like to serve you some refreshments. What would you like?” she asks with a big genuine smile. She's in her mid-30s, red haired, and green eyed, a pleasant woman. She looks at Anastasia expectantly, then looks at me and blinks in quick succession. I turn to look at my wife to ask her what she wants; nothing too harsh this early in the morning. “I'd like Twinings English breakfast tea please, bag out,” she says, then narrows her eyes when she gets a glimpse of the flight attendant looking at me with a carnal appreciation. You have

nothing to worry about baby. I have only one type, and that's you. But her jealousy stirs my groin and pleases me secretly. She loves me; I can never get enough of that. “You sir?” she asks almost stumbling on her words. “Coffee with skim milk please,” I reply without taking my gaze away from my beautiful bride. “We already have a reservation for breakfast at our destination,” I explain Anastasia. “Where are we going Christian?” she asks with excitement in her voice. “Anticipation is the greater part of pleasure,” I murmur with a salacious grin. “But I want to know what I'm anticipating!” she says sulkily, however she can't hide her thrill either. I only smile in response. Flight is going smoothly. I check my time, and gaze out the window. They're supposed to do a flyover first, and I want to see what Anastasia thinks and what she feels when she first sees where I'm taking her. Fergus is supposed to be the aerial tour guide for this flight. He clears his throat and approaches to our seats. “What you are looking down below is the Mayo Galway. We'll soon be flying over the Bush Island, to her left is Illaunree, north of it is Illaundarragh and Leaf Island is just slightly northwest of it. Right there to your left Mr. and Mrs. Grey,” Fergus points out the small islands below.

“We are now going to fly over the estate which is quite large boasting over 26,000 acres. The property itself is on 350 - 450 acres depending on who you ask, but in 1852 Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness extended the property to its large proportions. To the north you can see the Ashford Equestrian Centre. Should you wish, or if you have the time, you may ride the beautifully

wooded country side between the shores of Lough Corrib and Lough Mas, and even into the mountains of Connemara to the West. Further north,” he says pointing with his finger and Anastasia leans in and to my amusement pushing me out of the way to see with childish delight, “you can see the Clay Pigeon shooting and archery,” Fergus adds.

“Oh! Can we go shooting? Please, can we?” asks Anastasia excitedly. “No!” I reply my mouth into a tight line. I just married her. I don't want her to be accidentally shot at. She narrows her eyes on me but says nothing. Fergus feels the tension and quickly moves onto a different topic. “To your southeast, you will see the banks Lough Corrib and of course the Orvis indorsed property is located right there which is one of the most famous fisheries in all of Ireland, sir,” he says for my benefit.

“Also ma'am, if you look to your left,” he says getting Anastasia to the window on her side of the seat, “you will see the Gardens at Ashford. The castle dates back to 1228...” he says but can't finish the rest of his sentence because Anastasia squeals in delight.

“Castle! Did you say castle? Christian did he say castle?” she squeals in a high pitched voice. I can’t help but get a wide stupid grin on my face.

Fergus gets a satisfied smile on his face. “Yes, ma'am the Ashford castle,” he says proudly as if his favorite uncle owns it. “But I'm showing you the gardens to your left. Sir Benjamin Guinness and his successors the Ardillauns from 1852 onward created and conceived and executed the layout of the gardens. They are worth seeing ma'am. And to your right Mrs. Grey, if you look from Mr. Grey's window you will see the spectacular Ashford Castle. It was founded by the Anglo-Norman de Burgo family following their defeat of the native O'Connors of Connaught.”

“Oh my God! It is simply beautiful Christian! It looks like Hogwarts!” Anastasia gushes. “I can't wait to explore it. Are we allowed to explore it?” she asks Fergus. “Yes, ma'am you are. You are going to occupy one of the suites with the best view all aro und ma'am!” he says promisingly. Anastasia turns to me and beams at me with her 10,000 Megawatts smile. I’m elated, because she loves it! The pilots land the helicopter expertly onto the helipad, and a golf cart is waiting to collect and drive us back to the castle. “Mr. and Mrs. Grey! My name is Milton. Welcome to the Ashford Castle,” a personal assistant greets us with a big warm smile. “I will take you to your room. We know that you've traveled a long way, so you may come down anytime you like for your brunch,” he says courteously.

“Thank you Milton,” we both say at the same time to Milton's response. He drives us on the pathway carved through neatly trimmed grass. To our left we can see the tiny islands in the bay overlooking the castle. The water is calm as sheet and the colors are vivid; absolutely gorgeous.

“Let’s take you this way ma'am, sir,” says Milton after he pulls in front of the castle. Anastasia turns to me and mouths, “Oh my God!”

“Christian, this is Downtown Abbey meets Camelot! Thank you!” she gushes after taking in the architecture and running her hand over the suit of shining armor at the front door. “It’s formal without being stuffy! How did you know I would love this?”

The rich mahogany interior takes her breath away. The furnishing is eclectic; from different periods, but somehow very fitting for the environment. Our suite is quite large, with soft gold intonations and warm colors. Windows are large and overlooking the water and the gardens.

Once I tip Milton, and send him on his way, Anastasia turns to me and to my surprise she hurls herself at me. “I love it! I love it! And I love you! Thank you!” she says raining kisses on my cheeks, my neck, around my lips, and finally finding my lips. “Mrs. Grey, if I knew I’d get this reaction...” but I don’t get a chance to finish my sentence. Her mouth captures mine, and quickly desire unfurls in both of us. I back her onto the four poster bed, and push her onto the mattress and I fall on top of her. “Husband...” she says breathy, hands knotted in my hair. “I want you! Now!” “Ana! You’re going to unman me, baby! But we have plans. Otherwise we’ll be in our room all day!” “But I want to make love to you in a castle...” “Oh, baby, we will, but at the time and the place of my choosing,” I grin salaciously. “Let’s clean up, and get dressed, I have a few surprises for you.” “If I combust on the first day of our honeymoon Mr. Grey, it’ll be all your fault!” she accuses. “Mrs. Grey, I’m sure I can think of a few ways to put out your fire,” I respond my mouth twitching. “Dress comfortable, we’re might have to walk,” I say. When we are ready to go, I take her hand, and make our way to the Drawing Room to have breakfast. “This is a drawing room! Do you know how much I wanted to see a draw ing ever since I read about them in Pride and Prejudice?” Anastasia whispers fervently. Her reaction makes me want to put the world at her feet, make her happy ever day of her life. I just squeeze her hand in response. Once the breakfast is over we are given a tour of the castle, and the gardens, but not the shooting range. I don’t want Anastasia anywhere near it!

As much as I want to keep the strangers away from her, I want Anastasia to experience the local flavor. Where better can we achieve that than at an honest to goodness Irish pub? O’Reilly and Fergus take us to in a silver color G Class Mercedes Benz SUV with heavy armor. They drive us to Thoor Ballylee.

“Anastasia, this is where they filmed John Wayne’s “Quiet Man” with Maureen O’Hara,” I explain waiting for her reaction my eyes wide. “I never heard of that movie, but did you know that William Butler Yeats restored this 16th century Norman castle for himself and his wife?” she says completely astounding me. “How do you know that?” I ask her completely surprised. This is one of the reasons why I’m in love with my wife. She never ceases to amaze me. “I thought everybody knew that!” she says shrugging. “This is where he wrote ‘The Tower’ poem collection. It was inspired by this place!” she says with a swipe of her hand. “I don’t think I’ve heard about that collection,” I say racking brain.

“An Ancient Bridge, and a more ancient tower, A farm-house that is sheltered by its wall, An acre of stony ground, Where the symbolic rose can break in flower, Old ragged elms, old thorns innumerable, The sound of the rain or sound Of every wind that blows, The stilted water-hen That plunged in stream again Scarred by the splashing of a hundred cows.

I declare this tower is my symbol; I declare This winding, gyring, spiring treadmill of a stair is my ancestral stair;

I, the poet William Yeats, With old mill boards and sea-green slates, And smithy work from the Gort forge, Restored this tower for my wife George; And may these characters remain When all is ruin once again.

Benighted travellers From markets and from fairs Have seen his midnight candle glimmering. The river rises and sinks again; One hears the rumble of far below Under its rocky hole. What Median, Persian, Babylonian In reverie, or in vision, saw Symbols of the soul.”

She recites. “I always wanted to see a tower, you know like the fairy tales, where a princess is locked in the tower and her shining armor coming to rescue her... Just something so romantic about it! A medieval tower, by the water somewhere, lush greenery surrounding it. Decorated

with billowy sheer curtains...stone walls, rising high into the sky, and warm wood burning fireplace, warm colors...” she says longing, absently, and all of a sudden she takes a sharp intake of breath, and fans herself flushing. Really? I had no idea! I look at my wife anew with admiring eyes, totally in love with her, once again. “What Mr. Grey?” she teases. “Could it be that I finally know something you didn’t?” she asks innocently batting her eyelashes, and bites her lip. My hand automatically reaches up, and tugs her chin. “Don’t!” I warn her with a dark gaze. “Not here.” “Are you quite sure Mr. Grey?” she asks with a longing tone, looking at the tower. What? Towers turn her on? Fuck! My hand flies to my head in an effort to suppress the rising desire for her in exasperation. She’s examining the building with hungry, lascivious, desirous eyes. “Baby, could you excuse me for second?” I ask as I reluctantly letting go of her hand. “Fergus!” I call, and he comes to stand four feet before me. I make a gesture with my fingers to come closer, and he leans in. “I have a request for this evening, and I want it to be done exactly as I tell you!” I say, and he listens. ***** I want Anastasia to soak in some local flavor, and we are taken to a popular pub called McDaids. A large woman with red cheeks and blue eyes with a smiling face is manning the bar. It’s still early afternoon so there are only few patrons at the bar. The woman smiles as we enter the pub. We sit at an out of the way table, and the large lady comes to our table still smiling.

“Welcome to McDaids luvs! What’s your fancy today?” she asks. Without moving my gaze from Anastasia’s I answer with another question: “What do you have?” “American, aye?” “Yes, ma’am,” I reply still looking at Anastasia with smoldering eyes. “And so polite, too! Well dears,” she says and to both of our surprise, she pulls up a chair next to us, “I get winded standing up dears, and I like chatting up with the customers. Okay , we have beer, but American tourists always complaint that Irish beer is bitter,” she says making a face. “If you’re not used to it, you may not like it, but if you like a dare, you can try it. Then we have Stout,” she says, and when she sees the puzzled look on Anastasia’s face, “It’s the Irish national drink,” she adds with a girlish giggle. But that explanation is still not enough for Anastasia. “What’s a stout? I’ve never heard of it,” she asks and looks up at me blushing, and still with those desirous eyes. “It’s a black beer, but it’s smooth as velvet, me pet, thickly topped by a creamy head of suds. Aye, there’s a ritual to properly pulling a pint of stout, me dear! It’s best done slow, with a glass titled to maximize air contact,” she says miming. “You must fill two thirds full, pour off some of the head, and let the glass sit for five minutes till it settles. Then pull again, and slosh off the excess.”

I make a face. I don’t want my wife to get drunk on the first day of our honeymoon. I need her coherent for tonight. “Thank you...” I pause for her name. “Mildred is me name dear,” she replies. “Mildred, but we need something light for my wife,” I say my gaze back on Anastasia. “Aye, young man,” she answers me then turns her gaze to Anastasia and adds, “you must be a new bride me dear,” she says with a motherly tone. “I am, in fact this is the first day of our honeymoon. How did you know?” Anastasia asks. “Sweet girl, I can tell from the love oozing out of your husband’s face, and the way he said ‘me wife’ with such reverence and oooh,” she says fanning herself, “...desire, and passionate love, and the way you look back at him, I thought McDaids would go up on fire!” she answers in her bubbly voice, making Anastasia blush. “But that is so sweet, luv! No shame in loving one another!” she gushed. To change the topic I ask, “What else do you have for a drink?” “Whiskey! Irish whiskey. If you’ve never tried it, it is similar to a fine Scotch without the smoky flavor. But darling, the Irish whiskey,” she said with pride, “is the only triple distilled whiskey in the world! Another lovely liqueur is Irish Mist. I think a dram of Irish Mist captures the full flavor of Irish whiskey, but it’s gentler. We also have Alcopops. We’re not like Americans dear. We don’t have fancy cocktails here. I have an Alcopops called Fat Frog. And we have wine.”

“Let’s get some Irish beer, but in your smallest mugs,” I say, and she grins. “Want no drunk bride on the first day of your honeymoon, dearie?” she says and gives a hearty la ughter. She then leans in onto the table and says. “Congratulations dearies! Your beers are coming up!” ***** By the time we get back to the castle it’s late afternoon. Anastasia and I take a bath in the claw footed tub watching the bay. When we come out of the tub, “I want you to dress up in this,” I say showing her the black backless lace trimmed satin dress.

“What are you wearing?” she asks quizzical. “Dark suit and silver gray tie,” I whisper with smoldering eyes. I can see her breathing increasing with the rising of her chest in quick succession. As we get dressed, I find Anastasia gazing at me appreciatively and I more so--if I didn’t practice self-control for years, this would have been a very hard task to achieve. We finally go outside finding O’Reilly and Fergus waiting by the door, eyes scanning the corridor. “Mr. and Mrs. Grey,” they greet us, and at that moment I realize that I can’t get enough of hearing that expression, our names combined in unity, declared by other people that s he’s my woman, my wife. Fergus speaks into the radio on his sleeve. When we get to the tower we’re going to dine in, Anastasia’s surprise is evident and her excitement is contagious.

“Mr. and Mrs. Grey,” Milton starts to his introduction. “This fabulous French style chateau is added to the architectural splendor of the castle in 1715. This way ma’am, sir,” he says with flourish and directs us indoors. The tower is decorated like a cozy room with chaise and pillows. Sheer curtains draped and flittering with the slight breeze. Table set for two with soft candle is just exquisite. The fireplace is roaring with wood fire, and adding to the ambiance of the tower which is overlooking the water. Milton takes Anastasia’s wrap putting it on one of the cushions, then pulls the comfortable chair for Anastasia and pushes in as she sits down. There is a menu on the table for both of us describing everything that is going to be served.

From George V Room

STARTER Ashford Castle Caesar Salad Air Dried Pork and Parmesan Shavings Pouilly - Fuisse, Joseph Drouhin, 2008 Warm Connemara Lobster Half Lobster with Crushed Purple Potatoes and Crisp Artichokes Seared Scallops Creamy Seafood Barley, Caramelised Pears and Fresh Basil Chateau Minuty, Prestige, Cote de Provence


Cream of Prawn Bisque Soup Warm Whiskey Cream and Crisp Killary Harbour Prawn Tails


Grilled Local Black Sole Cooked on the Bone and Filleted at your Table Sweet Potato Chateau La Bertrande, Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux


Choice of Dessert from our Dessert Menu, Tea & Coffee with Petit Fours We kindly ask the Gentlemen to honour the elegance of the George V Dining Room by wearing Jacket & Tie for dinner

“Is there anything else we can get you sir?” “Thank you Milton. We are fine,” I say dismissing him. Milton departs the tower closing the heavy wooden gate to give us privacy. The security detail is to wait down at the foot of the tower, leaving me to be with my wife in a tower overlooking the water as the moonlight is rising. “Tower, Mr. Grey?” she asks with only admiration in her eyes. “We aim to please Mrs. Grey,” I reply with a shy smile. “No oysters today then?” she asks after looking around the table. “How impatient you are Mrs. Grey, but yes, there are oysters, right from Galway Bay, I’m told,” I say without breaking my gaze. “I was thinking, I would feed you this evening. You didn’t eat much during lunch today, and we’ve had a busy day. I don’t want you to pass out on me for what I have in mind,” I say and hear her breath hitch. I pull my seat closer to Anastasia’s. “I want to blindfold you,” I whisper. She swallows and nods in response in anticipation. I take out the eye mask and pull it over her eyes. My lips are close to her ear and not touching. “Can you see anything?” I whisper as my breath caresses her cheek. “No,” she whispers back. I open the tray holding the oysters. There are only eight of them. I take one and squeeze some lemon on it. I bring it close to her lips, and whisper, “oyster.” She opens her mouth, and I tip the shell, and she swallows as it smoothly goes down her throat. “Good girl,” I say, and squeeze another slice of lemon and tip it in my mouth, and repeat the process until they’re all gone.

“Wine?” I ask. “Yes, please,” she replies in a breathy voice. I hold the goblet up to her lips and she takes a welcome sip. I take a spoonful of the prawn bisque soup and take it to her lips. She takes it and swallows, making an appreciative sound tightening my groin. I take a spoonful, and it is delicious. I give her a forkful of salad, and a drop of the dressing is left of the corner of her mouth. Her finger reaches up to clear it, but I catch it up, chiding. I lean in slowly and suck the dressing off her bottom lip. She wants to kiss me but I pull back, making her pout. I smile at her response. “All in good time, baby,” I murmur softly. I give her a forkful of the sole. She chews it appreciatively. I take a bite after her. Then I give her a bite of the scallops and then the lobster. I develop a routine ending with wine. When the food is all gone, I stand up and take Anastasia’s hand and walk her to the chaise by the fire. “Do you know how desirable you look right now, baby?” I whisper. She shakes her head. “Well, you do, and I want you so much, Mrs. Grey!” “Husband! I want you, too!” she replies in a husky voice. It’s dark outside. Other than the candlelight on the table, and the roaring fire, there’s no other light. I pull her back and sit on the chaise her legs trapped between mine but barely hovering over her. I lean in and touch her face with the side of my index finger only and she takes a sharp intake of breath. “I love you Ana,” I whisper fervently, and kiss her cheek, her jaw; my teeth capture her earlobe tugging it. Then my lips move to her long neck. She tilts her head to the side to give me easy access. My fingers travel to her shoulders and one by one I bring the straps down freeing her breasts before me. “Christian, I want to see you!” she says. I stop, “Please! I want to see your lips on my body! It’s...” she stops, and swallows, “it’s intoxicating!” she finishes, and I think my cock just went into full salute mode in my pants. “You want it, baby, you got it!” I say and pull the eye mask off her eyes. She flutters her eyes open, desire lacing them. I hold my hand out to her, and let her stand up.

“I want to peel that dress off you now,” I say my voice thick with desire. I slowly pull it down from her arms, and her belly. It slowly slides down from her legs, pooling at her feet. I hold my hand out, and she walks out of the dress. She’s in her black lace panties, and her black pumps. “You seem to be over dressed Mr. Grey,” she says with desire burning in her eyes. “I want to undress you,” she adds. “No one’s stopping you baby,” I reply. She comes closer, and her hands going under my jacket on my shoulders, she slides it down, and it falls onto the ground. Her hands reach up to my tie. “This tie, husband, turns me on big time,” she says biting her lip. I lean down, and tugging her chin capture that lip with mine, softly suck on it, and tug with my teeth, and then release it. Her breathing increases as desire courses through us. She pulls my silver gray tie off, and I notice, gently places it on the seat. Her hands deftly make hasty business of unbuttoning my shirt. Her fingers slowly glide through my chest making me shiver. I capture one hand and raise it to my mouth kissing her fingers, and then suck her pinkie then slightly bite the pad of it with a wanton grin; finally letting it go. She moves it down to my happy trail, grazing over the hair, and unbuckles my belt, and pulls my zipper down. Both her hands enter into the back of my pants, squeezing my butt, and slowly pulling my pants and boxers down at the same time, making my erection spring out. I walk out of them standing in my shoes and socks. She gives me a wicked smile, and leans down deliberately sticking her ass up in the air in an effort to take my shoes and socks off.

My hands reach and caress her behind. I pull her lacy panties aside and dip one, and then two fingers inside her sex, and she’s so wet and ready for me as ever. I hiss my breath out through my teeth. “I know what you’re doing baby,” I murmur, and slap her behind gently. Once she takes my shoes and socks off, her hands skate up through my legs reaching my cock in full salute position. All of a sudden she sits on her knees and takes me in her mouth making me gasp. “Whoa! Ana!” She sheaths her teeth and takes me all in, her tongue swirling around the tip of my cock. I tilt my head back and my hands hold her head. “Oh! Fuck, Ana! What you do to me!” Her gaze looks up at me while she’s fucking me with her mouth. She sucks deep and hard and her lips and tongue glide up and down my fully grown length relentlessly. “Anastasia, I don’t want to come in your mouth!” I say, and she slows her ministrations, and leaning down I hold her up slowly merging my lips with hers, tasting myself in her mouth. She tastes mighty fine! My lips glide down her neck, to her breasts tugging and teasing while I torture her other nipple between my thumb and index finger. She stifles a moan. My lips go between her breast kissing, sucking and teasing, I make my way down south over to her pubic bone. I slowly push her down on the chaise by the fire, open her legs and dig my tongue between the blooms of her sex, teasing, sucking and nipping. She puts her right leg over my shoulder, making me grin. I slightly blow into her sex while she’s writhing beneath my mouth, pushing her sex into my mouth. “Oh please! Husband, I want you, now!” I feel the clenching of her sex, and I stop, blow into her sex again. Both her legs go around me pulling me into her. I stand, and placing my knees on the chaise between her legs, I loom over her, and then inch by inch sink into her inviting sex. When I’m in her up to the hilt, I hold there for a minute closing my eyes, enjoying our connection, and then I start moving. My mouth goes down to meet her lips kissing, tongues trashing and sucking. She arches her back into me, and my head leans in to capture her nipple and suck hard, nip it as she moans pushing her breast into my mouth. My right hand mirrors my mouth’s actions with the other nipple. Then I let go of her nipples, and my hands grasp her ass lifting her off the chaise without breaking our precious connection. We continue to move; me thrusting up, and Anastasia pushing down. I push her to the side of the smooth stone of the wall, near the fireplace, holding her against the tower wall, I increase my speed, spearing into her, gyrating

my hip finding her sweet spot, and rub it, massage it with my cock getting her high. When I feel the tightening of her muscles around my cock, I capture her mouth, and fuck and suck at the same time, getting us higher than we’ve ever been and we lose ourselves in the castle tower pouring all we got into each other. Loving, fucking, and uniting our souls all at the same time. When we come down from our ecstasy, I lay her down and clean her, then clean myself. Finally help her to get her black lacy dress back on. After we are fully clothed again, we lie by the fire holding each other, neither one wanting the night to end.

“TWENTY bridges from Tower to Kew Wanted to know what the River knew, Twenty Bridges or twenty-two, For they were young, and the Thames was old And this is the tale that River told:” ― Rudyard Kipling

We check out of the castle at noon, and spent the afternoon in the helicopter, touring. It was a long day yesterday flying over some of the most famous Fjords in Ireland, and the Cliffs of Moher. I didn’t want to drive or hike to either of them with the fear that Anastasia might want to look down and fall. I couldn’t take the chance. But the scenic helicopter ride over both of them was spectacular. We fly to the Shannon International Airport and boarded the GEH Jet, and we are greeted by my own crew again. The distance from Shannon to London is close to four-hundred miles. It takes us about hour and a half including getting to London Heathrow International Airport. Taylor is waiting us at the airport with two new close security details. “Mr. Grey, Mrs. Grey. I hope you had a pleasant trip,” Taylor says politely. “This is Harold Nichols, and Roger Collins, sir. They’ll be accompanying us while we are in England,” he says introducing the security to us. I nod impassively. “Pleased to meet you sir, ma’am,” they say politely, eyes scanning the crowd in the airport. “Shall we, sir?” they say leading the way to the SUV to get to the airport. Our first destination is, the Sheraton Park Tower Hotel, Penthouse Suite.

Sheraton Park Tower Hotel is in the heart of London’s fashionable Knightsbridge which is stone’s throw away from the Hyde Park, Harrods and boasts a panoramic view of the city. Our Penthouse suites include our own personal butler which we won’t need tonight. “Have you had dinner sir?” Taylor asks in the SUV. “No, we are tired, Taylor. I think we’ll just order room service,” I say looking at Anastasia with hungry eyes. I know what I want, and I think she wants the same. She shyly smiles at me, and I squeeze her hand in response. Yep, she does. My wife and I in a marble bath, making love.


Above, the fair hall-ceiling stately set And angels rising and descending met With interchange of gift. Many an arch high up did lift,

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “The Palace of Art”

“Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. Grey,” Geoffrey, our personal butler greets us after I walk into our penthouse with Anastasia in my arms crossing through another threshold, Taylor following me with our luggage. “Welcome to the Sheraton Park Tower Hotel. I hope you have a pleasant stay. How may I be of service this evening?” he asks with bright eyes, expectant. I didn't want the butler tonight, but he’s here already. Anastasia looks up at me after I let her stand up on her feet, amused. She already knows that I wanted us to be alone as soon as possible. “Geoffrey, we won’t be needing your services tonight,” I say, and his face falls ; he was expecting to do something for us. “But, you can look after Taylor’s needs tonight,” I say pointing at Taylor whose eyes go wide. He’s not sure if he heard me correctly. “Sir?” Taylor manages to utter. “Geoffrey, will tend your needs this evening, and I think we’ll turn in since we've had a very long day,” I respond with an impassive face. He flushes crimson. Taylor never had anyone serve him aside from Mrs. Jones, and I don’t want to know the extent of the service. That’s between the two of them. “Yes, sir. Come on Geoffrey,” he says acquiescing, and ushers the butler out of the penthouse. “Well, Mrs. Grey,” I say looking at my wife with dark eyes. “We’re alone at last.” “That we are Mr. Grey. Now that we are alone, what do you intend to do with me?” she asks coyly. “Are you flirting with me, Mrs. Grey?”

“I sure am, Mr. Grey,” she says looking up at me from her long eyelashes.

“Come,” I hold her hand, “let’s find the bedroom, and the bathroom. I think we need a bath.” Her breath hitches and she looks at me desirous; her response turns me on big time. We walk into a large bedroom with wall to wall windows overlooking the London Eye and Hyde Park. Anastasia takes one look at the sparkling view and she’s mesmerized. “Wow! It’s completely amazing!” she utters, her eyes transfixed at the view before her. I leave her gazing out the window as I find the large marble bathroom; pour some bath oil into the water and start running the bath water. Once the water slowly starts filling the tub, it starts foaming and a very sweet scent of jasmine fills the bathroom as the suds grow, I scatter red rose petals from the basket by the bath into the bathwater. I light the fresh scented candles creating an ambient mood. I finally go back to my wife who is standing and staring the London skyline before her, completely mesmerized with its beauty. I come behind her and wrap my arms around her waist and nuzzle her neck, pulling her body to mine. This is heaven!

“You look like you’re enjoying the view, Mrs. Grey,” I say nibbling her earlobe. She tilts her head to the side to give me easy access.

“Yes. I’m loving it! What am I looking at Christian? I recognize the London Eye and Hyde Park from the pictures I’ve seen. But what are the other buildings?” she asks. Without letting go of her, I point with my right hand though my left arm still wrapped around her, and my front flush with her back, I point to the left side of the panorama: “See that skyscraper on the left, way over there?” I ask, and she nods. “That’s Gherkin. It’s London’s main financial district. Their Wall Street,” I say, and she point to the London Eye.

“That giant Ferris wheel is the London Eye. What’s that behind it?” “Well, that giant Ferris wheel is situated on the banks of the famous river Thames.”

“Oh yes, I would like to see Thames. I always loved the poem by Kipling describing the river. Twenty bridges from Tower to Kew,

Wanted to know what the River knew, Twenty Bridges or twenty-two, For they were young, and the Thames was old And this is the tale that River told...*” “Mrs. Grey, you never cease to surprise me. I’m so glad you like London. I would be delighted to show you everything you ever wanted to see,” I say excited with the prospect of putting the city of London before my wife. “The building behind the London Eye is the very famous St. Paul’s Cathedral.”

“Is it an Anglican cathedral?” she asks making me smile. “Well, yes, I would assume most churches are in England. It’s on Ludgate Hill which is the highest point in London, and I believe it’s the seat of the Bishop of London,” I explain. “I think the Royal Family holds most of their important events, like marriages, funerals, and christenings at the Westminster Abbey. Can we please, please, please visit it? I want to see the Poet’s Corner there!” she begs. “Anastasia, you surprise me at every turn. Yes, I don’t see why we can’t do that tomorrow, but first, I want to take you into that marble bath over there, and lose myself in you! Come!” and I swooping her into my arms, I walk her into the pale marble bathroom.

The bathroom is filled with the scents of freesia and rose. When Anastasia walks in with me, her mouth is agape with the view before her. I stand before her and gaze at her with dark eyes. And in goes her lip into the captivity of her teeth. I lean down and pull that lip out with mine and suck it, making her moan. I tilt her chin up and hold it in place and I start kissing her. Desire unfurls in her and she reciprocates fully, thrusting her tongue into my mouth rather forcefully, and her hands start unbuttoning my white linen shirt. Unable to unbutton the last two, she pulls it apart frustrated, scattering the buttons around the bathroom floor, rolling and finally coming to a stop. Her passion makes me smile as I continue to devour her lips. “Husband, I want you!” she breathes into my mouth. I break our connection, and take the hem of her dress and pull it off her. She stands before me in her lacy bra and her lacy panties. Tops of her breast are showing and pushed up with her bra, making them the perfect size to fit into my palms. I pull the bra cup down and capture her nipple between my teeth making her gasp. As I hold it between my teeth gently, my tongue teases it, rolling around. It extends and elongates under my assault. My left hand pulls the other bra cup and I need her other nipple and breast under my fingers. She tilts her head back and moans, I smile and suck harder. “Agh!” she groans, and her hands both dip into my hair, pushing me into her breast. My mouth travels down, between her breast, to her naval, to the belly, and above her pubic bone. She gasps and moans. “Hush now baby,” I say, and I dip one finger into her sex and then two. She’s completely wet, and thrusting her pelvic into my hand. “How ready you are for me, baby!” I say, my voice reverential. I stand up immediately, and slide her panties off her, and they pool at her feet; I walk her out of them. I pull her into me, my hands snake around her to find her bra’s clips, as my arousal digs into her through the thick fabric of my jeans. She grinds her pelvis into me in order to get a feel of my erection greedily.

“You have too many clothes...” she complaints. “I’m not stopping you, baby. You can take them off,” I say with my gaze full of desire for her. Her hands reach down, and deftly unbuckle the top button of my jeans, and I hear the telltale of the zipper without breaking my gaze from her. Without taking my pants and the boxers off, she dips her hand into my pants in a bold gesture, grasping my erection and my balls stroking, up and down, up and down in a rhythmic motion. My lips make an ‘o’ shape with her sudden assault. Although it is unexpected, it’s hot as hell. Her other hand dips in and travels to my behind, first caresses and then squeezes my ass. Finally she moves both hands skating around my waist, and let my jeans and the boxers fall off to the fall at the same time. My gaze is locked on her, and I know what she wants to do next. She looks up at me from her long eyelashes. Will I ever get enough of this sight, as Anastasia on the floor before me like a goddess, and her lips are around my manhood. Her lips sheaths my cock slowly, her tongue swirling around the tip, slightly sucking, focusing on the tip, then she dips her head, and takes me all in as her tongue travels on my length, giving me the most delicious tingling sensation I have ever experienced. As she pulls her mouth back, she slightly grazes my cock with her teeth while her tongue provides the pleasure sensation. She’s learning to give pain and plea sure both at the same time. I don’t want to come like this, and make this a short experience. I slowly, but reluctantly pull Anastasia up, and merge her lips with mine. First slowly, molding into each other, then desire taking over me, and I kiss her fervently, sucking, and dipping my tongue into her mouth, thrashing with hers, leaving both of us breathless, and wanting more. “Baby, wrap your legs around me,” I say as I lift her off the ground. She does as she’s told. Guiding my erection into her, I slowly lower her, and we are merged hilt deep and start to move. She wraps her arms around my neck, and her lips finding mine, she lifts and lowers herself in time with my thrusts, making sure she gets the maximum friction. My hands are holding her below her ass, and just as she descends on my cock, I slap her butt cheek close to her sex hard, and she groans with pleasure. I switch hands, and slap her with my right hand on her left buttock still close to her sex during her descent. She bites my lower lip slightly. “I’m going to move us to the bathtub,” I murmur into her mouth, and as she slows her up and down movements, I walk the few steps to the marble bathtub, and put one foot in and then the other and finally slowly sink into the sudsy hot water with my wife still riding my cock. When in water, my hands move to her breasts, cupping them and my lips descend on one of them capturing in my mouth, sucking and twirling my tongue on it. She tilts her head back; and the motion thrusts her breast further into my mouth, and her ponytail reaches into the suds, getting wet. She continues to ride up and down, and gyrate her hips to rub on a particularly special location, making me grin.

My hands travel to her buttocks guiding her in her movements, and I start thrusting into her forcefully when she comes down on me. Our lips meet again, and this time tongues trashing, and we’re both groaning we reach our peak together. As she collapses onto my chest, I thrust into her three more time, finding my own release, lost to the moment, and lost in my wife. “Oh, Anastasia! I love you so much!” I say fervently as I hold her closer to me. “I love you too, Christian!” she replies, and snuggles into my chest, sloshing water without breaking our connection. I grin at her. “Let me wash you baby,” I say, and wash my wife, dry her and carry her to our bed where we soon fall asleep. ***** I wake up before Anastasia does as usual. I don’t need as much sleep. I look at her sleeping figure propped up on my elbow, her hair spread over the pillow. While she's still asleep, I reach for my Blackberry and text Taylor, then put the it back on the side-table and turn and gaze at my sleeping girl. She looks so young, so innocent. As I try to move, her hand searches for me in her sleep. She wants me in her close proximity. I take the hand looking for me and kiss it and hold it to my heart. Her eyes flutter open to small slits and a small, lazy smile creeps over her lips. “Good morning Mrs. Grey,” I whisper. “Good morning Mr. Grey. How long have you been up?” she asks. “Not very long, just a few minutes. Are you hungry?” I ask. “Actually, famished after last night’s exertions, Mr. Grey” she says still groggy. “Mrs. Grey, if you so desire, we can relive those again this morning. So, breakfast or sex?” “Sex,” she replies in a breathy voice, and a wicked smile brings her lips up to meet mine. “I was hoping you’d say that,” I say and pushing her down into the mattress, I cover Anastasia’ body with mine. I decide to have breakfast served in our suite because I want to give my gift to Anastasia in the privacy. We shower and dress, and come back to the living room, and Geoffrey is standing in full suit with a white towel hanging from his arm. He also is wearing white gloves. “Your breakfast is served Mr. and Mrs. Grey,” he says in a cultured voice. He directs us to the dining chair pulling Anastasia’s chair first, and seating and pushing her chair in, then pulls my chair and pushes in. Anastasia is having pancakes, bacon and omelet, Twinings English breakfast tea, black and bag out, and I’m having egg whites, toast, fruits and coffee. I thank Geoffrey and dismiss him. “This is like having a British and male Mrs. Jones!” gushes Anastasia making me laugh.

“What are we doing today Christian?” she asks excitedly. “There are soooo many things I want to see in London! I don’t even know where to begin!” “How about we finish our breakfast first,” I say. The gift I want to give to Anastasia is burning a hole in my pocket. After she finishes eating her pancakes cleaning off her plate, I’m totally pleased. “Mrs. Grey! I should work you out more rigorously in the morning to ensure that you will eat,” I say lasciviously. She gives me her thousand megawatts smile in response and takes a sip of her tea. “I have something for you,” I say my voice husky, my face impassive. “Oh?” she asks. I take out the small gift wrapped package out of my pocket, and give it to her without breaking my gaze. Her eyes shine. She rips the wrapping of the package, and finds the Omega box inside. Opening it up, she finds the platinum Omega watch housed inside the box. She looks up at me blinking. “This is absolutely beautiful!” she whispers. “Turn it over and look inside of it,” I murmur, and she does. Her eyes widen, and she blinks several times to push back her tears. Anastasia You are my More My Love, My Life Christian She reads in a soft tone. “Oh Christian!” she says unable to hold her tears back, and pushing her chair away speedily she rushes to my side and I barely have time to stand up and catch her as she hurls herself at me. “You, husband, say and write the most romantic things any girl could ever wish for! You are my More, you are my Love, and you are my Life! I love you so much!” she sobs onto my white linen shirt and sniffles. “Hey! I didn't want to make you cry! Hush now...” I soothe her, and holding her chin up with my index finger, I kiss her lips as my hand softly runs over her hair. “Your lips are always softer after you cry, baby,” I say, and tears continue to stream down. “I love you! Don’t cry...” “I’m crying because I’m so happy,” she says whimpering. “Yes, I’m getting used to the idea that happiness sometimes triggers tears in women,” I say smiling. “But, come, no more tears today. I have so much planned for us,” I say smiling and trying to distract her. She wipes her eyes with my shirt.

“Where are we going?” she asks. “Oh, but a good guide would never disclose his trade secrets baby,” I say. “Let me show you London.” The first place I instructed Taylor to take us is the Westminster Abbey. I know she would love it there!

Our personal guide Fredrick meets us outside of the Abbey. He’s a young man, probably around my age with dark hair and bright blue eyes. He’s tall, and he appears to work out regularly and has a friendly demeanor. He’s dressed in a white shirt and tie, and wearing dress slacks with loafers on his feet for probably walking all day. “I am positively delighted to meet you Mr. and Mrs. Grey. My name is Fredrick Lovelace,” he greets us with a genuine smile extending his hand. Anastasia’s eyes glint with a surprised look, and she tries to suppress her smile after hearing his last name. She clears her throat while I shake the guide’s hand. “Mr. Lovelace, how very nice to meet you,” she says, and shakes his hand. “The pleasure is all mine, ma’am. Please, call me Fredrick,” he says already taken with my wife holding her hand a little longer than necessary. Alright, break it up! She’s mine! I wrap my arm around her shoulder territorially and pull her closer to me, staring at him pointedly. He then turns to Taylor says, “Mr. Taylor,” in greeting. I lean into Anastasia’s ear and whisper, “Keep calling him Mr. Lovelace.” No need to be friendly with him. She looks up at me narrowing her eyes. I smile at her innocently. “ You've come to London at a very pleasant time of the year,” he says in his very British accent in a charming tone. I hold Anastasia’s hand, and squeeze it tightly making her smile. Standing at a reasonable distance from the entrance, he gestures grandly with his hands towards the Abbey. “Please notice the great edifice that is rising before you. Westminster Abbey, with her great Gothic spires rising magnificently and nearly touching the sky. The masonry arch you’re

seeing extending off the outside of the building along the length of the nave of the cathedral is Flying buttresses of Westminster Abbey,” he explains and Anastasia giggles.

I look down at her quizzically. She whispers in a low voice, “I just thought of the odious Mr. Collins.” “Who?” I ask. Who is Mr. Collins, how does she know him, and why is she thinking about him right now - on our honeymoon? “Elizabeth Bennett’s cousin who was so enamored with the Rosings Estate owned by Lady Catherine de Bourgh so much so that he said, ‘one chimney-piece alone had cost eight hundred pounds’“ she says in a thick fake British accent. “I just thought it was funny that he’s talking about the hard core buttresses of the Westminster Abbey,” she whispers with a wicked gleam as Lovelace is still going on about grandeur of the buttresses. Leave it to Anastasia to make everything exciting. Lovelace talks about the history of the Abbey, and to my surprise, Anastasia devours all the information he’s giving with greed. When we finally enter into the building, we find the abbey bathed in the sunlight. The Abbey is open to the tourists and several groups are swarming in and out of the giant doors with their guidebooks, and tour guides are uttering their memorized lines. Anastasia turns 360 degrees around her taking everything in, and the enormity of the Abbey awes her. She inhales deep. “It smells like metal and cold stone for some reason,” she says. “I didn't know cold stone had a scent,” I reply teasing. “Sure it does. I think it smells like congestion and also like an old, unused masonry, tastes like needles, feels like rigidity, and looks like a regal, ancient, ageless building,” she summarizes her feelings.

“Mrs. Grey, you never cease to amaze me,” I say pulling her hand. “Come, I want to show you something special, after Lovelace finishes his speech,” I whisper. “Westminster Abbey belongs to the Queen and is independent from the rest of the Church of England. Kings and Queens have been crowned and buried here since 1066. Aside from the royalty, many of England’s national heroes and events are celebrated and remembered here. In fact because it has the most Kings and Queens buried here, I shall show you the poem by Francis Beaumont on the Tombs in Westminster Abbey,” he says and starts reciting in a very poetic tone, sounding like a troubadour. “MORTALITY, behold and fear What a change of flesh is here! Think how many royal bones Sleep within these heaps of stones; Here they lie, had realms and lands, Who now want strength to stir their hands, Where from their pulpits seal'd with dust They preach, "In greatness is no trust." Here's an acre sown indeed With the richest royallest seed That the earth did e'er suck in Since the first man died for sin: Here the bones of birth have cried, "Though gods they were, as men they died!" Here are sands, ignoble things, Dropt from the ruin'd sides of kings: Here's a world of pomp and state Buried in dust, once dead by fate.” Anastasia claps her hands in excitement. “I always wanted to see that poem here!” “It’s in the Poets’ Corner ma’am. I shall take your group there right now,” says Lovelace. He walks us slowly pointing at various artifacts and architectural marvels in the church and we finally make our way to the southeastern corner of the church. Sunlight pours through the rose window overhead.

“Mr. Grey thought that this would be a favorite spot of yours ma’am. Poets’ Corner is a national shrine for Britain’s most celebrated writers. It actually came to be by chance,” he says pausing, “through the presence of Chaucer’s grave who is of course...” he says and Anastasia interrupts him. “...the father of English Literature!” she gushes making us all look at her admiringly.

“Yes ma’am! Precisely! You’re quite smart! Indeed. The grave is in the south transept of the Abbey, this way, Miss Grey,” he says. “Missus Grey!” I correct him. “My apologies. Mrs. Grey,” he corrects himself. Shut up and stop flirting with my wife! Anastasia narrows her eyes on me. “Chaucer was buried in 1400 here. Then the burial of Edmund Spenser followed and thus began the tradition of burying or commemorating poets, writers, or dramatists began in this corner of Westminster Abbey.” “You are actually walking on the graves,” he points to the floor.

“I thought Shakespeare wasn’t buried here...” Anastasia comments after seeing his name on a plaque. “He isn't ma’am. He’s buried at Stratford-upon-Avon in 1616. What you are seeing here is just a commemoration," he says, then changing the topic he adds, "The only American writer honored in the Poets’ Corner is Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. This beautiful bust,” he says pointing to a marble bust, “was installed in 1884.” “Coleridge, Samuel Johnson, Chaucer, Edmund Spenser, Robert Burns... Oh God! Christian, can you imagine what these literary geniuses would talk about if they were to hang out daily with each other! Simply amazing! Thank you for making my dream come true, Christian!” she gushes, and kisses me chastely on the lips in the company of the two British security detail I’ve hired, Taylor, and Lovelace. I return my wife’s kiss with a slight fervor. “You somehow know exactly what I want!” she whispers, blushing. “How could I not? It’s my life’s purpose to understand my wife to the best of my ability, and make her dreams come true,” I reply in a voice only she can hear. When the Westminster tour is over, Lovelace shakes my hand, and when Anastasia extends her hand to him, he takes it, and kisses it on top slightly. Smooth, fucker! I take Anastasia to One Twenty One Two Restaurant for lunch. The restaurant is gracing the banks of the Thames, One Twenty One Two is named after the universally famous telephone number, Whitehall 1212, in commemoration of the hotel’s former neighbor, Scotland Yard. It’s also only minutes away from theatreland, Charing Cross and Trafalgar Square. The menu is exquisite, and Ana wants to sit on the terrace. We order Gressingham duck breast, poached halibut with a saffron shellfish broth. The wine list is impeccable. For desert we order caramelized banana tarte tartin and autumn apple compote with calvados custard.

After lunch I take Anastasia to the Kew Gardens which is the Royal Botanic Gardens. It’s such a big place; I only take her to parts where I know she would be interested in. The next stop is the

British Museum. When we enter it, we realize that it’s enormous and there’s a lot Anastasia wants to see. We couldn't possibly cover it in one day. There’s Africa, Americas, Asia, Britain, Egypt, Europe, Greece, Japan, Middle East, Pacific, Rome as well as Museum and exhibition. Anastasia claps her hands like a small child who is just taken to her favorite candy store. She squeals in delight!

“Oh my gosh, Christian! I could spend days in here!” “Well, we can come back tomorrow. We can only spend a couple of hours today, baby. I have dinner plans, and we are going to the opera tonight.” She pouts, and then grins. “Okay, let’s not waste the daylight hours, then!” she says pulling me in the direction of the mummies. “No, baby,” I smile at her again. “We have a guided tour, here. I didn't want you to miss anything.” “Lovelace is here?” she asks curious. “Noo! Someone else,” I say angrily. “Taylor, wait for us here for the guide. I need to have a word Mrs. Grey,” I say and hold her hand firmly and take her. “Christian, where are we going?” she asks, but I don’t answer. She doubles her steps to catch up after me from being dragged behind me. I finally slow down and spot a man who is part of the cleaning crew in the museum, and discreetly follow him to find a utility closet. He unlocks a door and takes out a mop and cleaning supplies, and walks away as the door starts slowly shutting down. I put my foot in the doorjamb it before it locks. I look around and pull Anastasia in. “Why are we in here?” asks Anastasia whispering.

“You know why!” I say. And my hands are on her, all over her body, and my mouth covering hers. “You drive me crazy, you make me jealous!” I say fervently through teeth and mouth and demanding kisses. “I didn't mean to,” she whispers in my mouth. “Too late for that. I’m going to fuck you here and now, and we don’t have much time. I have to show you who you belong to, Mrs. Grey!” I say enunciating. “Oh,” she whispers. “This is going to be quick, baby. Turn around,” I say and make sure the door remains lo cked. I lift her skirt up, and ease my finger into her sex from the side of her panties. Finding her wet already arouses me. My finger dips into her sex and my thumb rubs over her clitoris, and she moans, and I slap her ass. “Hush now! We’re in a public place,” I murmur. “Bend down baby, and hold onto that shelf. She obeys readily, already panting. I pull my zipper down, and ease myself into her making her gasp. I slowly pull back, and slam back into her, ease out and slam back three times, and holding her butt cheeks I start thrusting forward and pull her ass to meet my cock at the same time. Locating her sweet spot, I rub it with the tip of my cock, and pull back and slam into it again. She pushes her hip back to me to meet me thrust for thrust stifling her moans. When I feel the usual tightening of her sex, I increase my speed and give her all I’ve got pushing both of us over the top and our orgasms roll through each other, hers in waves, and mine in spurts, mixing and getting us lost. When the last waves of our ecstasy rolls through us, I pull out of her, and locating a roll of paper towel, I clean us both, pull my zipper up, and put Anastasia to her rights. Still sated with her orgasms, Anastasia holds onto me as I fix her underwear, and put her skirt in place. I push her back to the wall, and kiss her possessively. My tongue darting into her mouth, sucking and nipping. “You are mine! Don’t you forget it!” “Yes, yours,” she says in a breathy voice. “I should get you jealous more often. I loved the closet fuck. It’s hot and raw and passionate,” she murmurs. “Careful! You don’t want to push me over my limits baby. I might lose it,” I say my eyes darkening. I hear someone placing a key into the keyhole trying to open the utility closet door. I open the door, and pulling Anastasia by the hand, I walk away. A middle aged lady in her staff uniform, with her key midair stares behind us speechless as we walk away to find Taylor and the guide. A smartly dressed young woman with her dark hair in ponytail comes to gre et us. She’s a brunette, and my wife’s face changes with a hint of jealousy. The young lady’s eyes widen when she sees me, and nervously she tucks her hair behind her ears, and blinks about a

hundred times, before she can open her mouth and utter a greeting to us. Anastasia rolls her eyes, although I’m not seeing what she’s doing, I always know when she rolls her eyes. That makes me very pleased. I want my wife’s world to start and end with me, and her possessiveness makes me feel...elated. I want her to declare her territory. I suppose I want to know that she’d shown her feline side to others ogling me. I know it’s just a pretty face, but I want her to want me as much as I desire her. Is it too much to ask of one’s wife? Anastasia wraps her arm around my waist and sticks her hand into my back pocket squeezing my butt possessively. Her reaction is a welcome one, and makes me grin. I look at her darkly. “Welcome to the British Museum Mr. Grey,” she says, and shakes my hand and holds onto it a little longer. “I’m Mrs. Grey!” says Anastasia and cocks her eyebrows at her, extending her hand. The guide whose name we still don’t know reluctantly lets go of my hand and turns to Anastasia. “Welcome Mrs. Grey. I’m Martha Davis. I’ll be your guide today,” she says. “Bri tish Museum boasts over 13 million artifacts and it has quite a few sections to see which you can spend many days to view. What would you desire,” she says looking at me, “to see?” “My husband and I desire to see the Egyptian section, Miss Davis!” Anastasia says sharply, and a ghost of a smile creeps over my lips. “Yes, of course, ma’am,” she replies. She walks us to the Ancient Egypt section or as she calls it, Egyptology Section.

She shows us various statues from different dynasties and different artifacts, occasionally glancing at me. We finally make it to the section where they house the mummies, and look at mummies from different dynasties and periods in Egypt. The rooms seem to be well organized. I came here with my parents in 1998 and back then the rooms were jam packed and worn and full of Egyptian funerary displays. Explanatory labels were meager, lighting was poor and the crowds were overwhelming. But now, they’re redone, organized, explanations in place, displays are well lit, related artifacts and mummies are exhibited together. It is now worth seeing. “The earliest ancient Egyptian buried their dead in small pits in the desert. Of course, the desert heat and dry air of the sand dehydrated the bodies quickly, and the bodies were naturally mummified,” she says pointing to a displayed mummy in infant position.

“Every one of our British Museum’s mummies was once a living, breathing Egyptian going about their everyday life. Meet Nesperennub...” she says pointing a mummy case which hasn't been opened for over 100 years. “He lived nearly three thousand years ago in Thebes...” she starts explaining. When she’s nearly done with the Egyptian section, Anastasia remembers something and gushes. “Can we please see the Rosetta Stone before we leave?” she asks. “Yes, ma’am,” Miss Davis replies. “It too is in the Egyptian section. This way please,” she leads us in her professional demeanor. “The Rosetta Stone is one of the most famous objects in the British Museum. The Stone itself is a broken part of a bigger stone slab. There is a message carved into it written in three types of scripts. What is very important about that is that it helped Egyptologists to read the hieroglyphs. The Stone is an official decree about King Ptolemy V. He was only 13 years of age. The message simply said that the priests of a temple in Memphis supported the king. That simple message inscribed in Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, Demotic script and the Ancient Greek gave a key in understanding the hieroglyphs.”

At the end of the Egyptian tour, I remind Anastasia that we need to get back to the hotel since I have plans for the night. Taylor and the added security detail drive us back to the hotel. Geoffrey greets us at the door. “Your orders have arrived sir. I had the tuxedo, and the dress hanging in your closet. Is there anything you wish sir?” he asks politely. “No Geoffrey. Thank you,” I respond, and Anastasia looks at me quizzically. “Dress and tux?” “For the dinner and the opera,” I say. “When did you order them?” “Earlier from Harrods,” I reply. “Come, a quick shower, and we must get going.” Once we are showered, Anastasia dries her hair and rolls it into a well-made bun. She puts on her panties and bustier on. She looks breathtaking. I can’t take my gaze away from her. “Are you ogling me, Mr. Grey?” she asks. “Yes, Mrs. Grey. I need you to wear something for me,” I say my eyes darkening. “What?” she asks. “This,” I say holding her favorite toy. She grins. “To the Royal Opera House? Mr. Grey, you are so kinky!” she looks shocked. “Mrs. Grey, you don’t know the half of it.” Once our favorite toy safely inserted into my wife, she puts her silver dress on I specifically picked for the occasion. It’s a strapless hand-sewn dress with a slit on her right side all the way up to her thigh with a £14,000 price tag and she's worth every pence of it! I have two teardrop earrings emphasizing her kissable to her long neck. She puts light, natural make up on, and wears long gloves. She looks stunning! I’m in my black tux, bow-tie, and white shirt. Taylor and the added British security drive us. “Where are we going to dine?” asks Anastasia curiously. “At the Opera.” “The Opera?” “Yes,” I say my thumb grazing her knuckles, giving her shivers. “I was going to reserve a private dining room Paul Hamlyn Hall but they weren't cozy enough for us,” I say darkly. "Not cozy enough?" she asks her breath catching. "So, Taylor reserved us a private dining room at the Covent Gardens." “Oh," she says in a breathy voice. "Then?” she probes after a breath. “Then we go to our private box in the Opera, Mrs. Grey,” I say grinning.

“What are we going to see tonight?” Anastasia ask curiously. “Le Nozze di Figaro,” I reply. “The marriage of Figaro?” she asks. “The same,” I reply with dark eyes. All through the dinner I make sure I don’t touch Anastasia, and she’s aching for connection. Once the food is delivered to our private room, I say, “I don’t want you to touch your food.” “What?” she asks curiously. “I am going to feed you Mrs. Grey,” I murmur without breaking my gaze. She shifts in her seat, aroused, and expectant she moves to find a comfortable position to sit making the balls shift inside her as well. She stifles a gasp, looking at the backs of the security heads. Tonight will be a night she’ll never forget.

*The River's Tale TWENTY bridges from Tower to Kew Wanted to know what the River knew, Twenty Bridges or twenty-two, For they were young, and the Thames was old And this is the tale that River told:"I walk my beat before London Town, Five hours up and seven down. Up I go till I end my run At Tide-end-town, which is Teddington. Down I come with the mud in my hands And plaster it over the Maplin Sands. But I'd have you know that these waters of mine Were once a branch of the River Rhine, When hundreds of miles to the East I went And England was joined to the Continent. "I remember the bat-winged lizard-birds, The Age of Ice and the mammoth herds, And the giant tigers that stalked them down Through Regent's Park into Camden Town. And I remember like yesterday

The earliest Cockney who came my way, When he pushed through the forest that lined the Strand, With paint on his face and a club in his hand. He was death to feather and fin and fur. He trapped my beavers at Westminster. He netted my salmon, he hunted my deer, He killed my heron off Lambeth Pier. He fought his neighbour with axes and swords, Flint or bronze, at my upper fords, While down at Greenwich, for slaves and tin, The tall Phoenician ships stole in, And North Sea war-boats, painted and gay, Flashed like dragon-flies, Erith way; And Norseman and Negro and Gaul and Greek Drank with the Britons in Barking Creek, And life was gay, and the world was new, And I was a mile across at Kew! But the Roman came with a heavy hand, And bridged and roaded and ruled the land, And the Roman left and the Danes blew in And that's where your history-books begin!"

“I can see why you chose Covent Garden instead of Hamlyn Hall,” Anastasia remarks.

“Really Mrs. Grey? And why would that be?”

“I think the sensual red color would be the primary reason,” she replies without breaking her gaze from mine. “How well you know me Mrs. Grey. That’s one of the reasons. The other rooms weren't cozy enough to my standards. I like the sensual, warm colors as well as the paintings in this room,” I say pointing around the room Taylor managed to reserve at the Covent Garden. “Why Mr. Grey, would the particular reason for your choice of this color be that it reminds you of a particularly favorite room of yours?” she says as her gaze travels on the sensual red and gold walls and décor dominating the room.

I give her a dark lascivious smile. “Any room I have you in with me is a favorite of mine, Mrs. Grey,” I reply darkly. “Mr. Grey, aren't you the ultimate romantic?” she whispers. “We aim to please, Mrs. Grey. Now, I’ve been dying to blindfold and feed my wife...” I whisper in a husky voice. She bites her lip and looks up at me from under her long lashes. I reach out and release that lip. “Don’t,” I whisper in her ear and kiss the corner of her mouth, leaving her wanting more. “I already ordered for us, since we have to get to the opera.” “Ever and always in control Mr. Grey,” she smirks. “The chef who owns this place is French. He’s skills in the kitchen is quite famous. I have the six course dinner ordered. Would you like to take a look at the menu?” “Yes,” she replies and looks at the menu. Saumon fumé mi-cuit, raifort et concombre Warm-oak smoked salmon, horseradish and cucumber ~ Risotto de champignons sauvages, truffes d'Alba Risotto of wild mushrooms, Alba truffles ~ Solette poêiée, purée de chou-fleur, amandes grillées Pan-fried Cornish Dover sole fillet, cauliflower purée, almonds ~ Noisette de chevreuil rôtie, endive, céleri braisé, sauce Grand Veneur Roasted loin of Shropshire venison, vhicory, braised celery, Grand Veneur sauce ~ Cœur de Franche-Comté : le Comté A selection of three Comté cheeses from Raymond Blanc’s native region ~ Poire pochée au caramel, crème chiboust à la vanille de Tahiti et règlisse Poached pear in caramel, Tahiti vanilla créme chiboust and liquorice Le Manoir garden leaf salad, fresh herbs, truffle dressing

“Christian, that’s a lot of food. I don’t know if I can eat that much. I was hoping to save some room for a different kind of dessert,” she says as look at me flirtatiously. “They’re not large portions baby, enough to get a good taste,” I say and she smirks at me. “Are you smirking at me Mrs. Grey?” I ask darkly. “Yes,” she answers in a husky voice. “Oh, that would never do, Mrs. Grey. I might just have to punish you for it.” “Yes, please,” she replies hitching my breath. “Eager as ever, Anastasia... I’ll see what I can do,” I reply wanton. The dinner is wheeled in and she’s amazed with the presentation. Once the waiters leave, I go to the door, and eye Taylor; he nods in response. No one comes in, until we come out. I take out a silver silk scarf from my pocket and show it to her as I saunter towards my wife. “Time to close your eyes, baby,” I say leaning in as close to her body as possible without touching, and cover her eyes, and tie a knot behind her head without disturbing her gorgeous chignon. She inhales my scent, and exhales a sensual breath slowly finally biting the edge of her lip. I lean down, and extract the lip from the captivity of her teeth with my own lips.

“That’s better,” I say landing a small and a chaste kiss on her lips. She pouts wanting more, crossing her arms. “Don’t cross your arms, baby. I will tie them if you do,” I murmur softly. The effect of my warning is immediate. Her hands fall onto her lap. The dinner I have ordered for us is not from the set menu. It is specially prepared just for tonight by the chef himself. “Thirsty?” I ask, and she shakes her head as a response. I pour white wine into the goblet. Looks like we have to share. I take a sip of the wine. It’s crisp and cool. Goes down smoothly and the taste is exquisite. I take another sip tilting Anastasia’s head back up, I share the wine with her. She swallows gratefully. “More please,” she says. “You have to have something to eat first, baby,” I say and get a forkful of fish for her and guide it into her mouth. She makes a small moaning noise with the food in her mouth. “Good?” I ask. “Yes. It just melts in your mouth. Hmm... I love it,” she says, and I think she’s doing that deliberately to get a rise out of me. Mrs. Grey has acquired some mean skills in the seduction department. I take a bite of the fish, and she is indeed right. It tastes wonderful. Then I feed her a forkful of risotto with wild mushrooms and she chews slowly, making little appreciative noises. “How about a taste of venison?” “Bring it on Mr. Grey,” she says with double meaning. I grin. I love it when she eats. It’s a turn on for me. “Wine?” “Yesss,” she says emphasizing the letter‘s’ in her speech making me smile. I take a sip of wine, savor and swallow it slowly. Then I take another sip, and share it with Anastasia. As she swallows the wine, she captures my lower lip between her teeth. Pulling me in. “No, baby...” “Please,” she begs. “Christian! This is not fair! You get me hot and bothered, and leave me hanging... I will explode with desire!” she complains. “Baby, I know, exactly how to put out your fire... Never fear,” I say and retract my lip from the captivity of her teeth. When the dinner is over, I untie her blindfold. “Time for the opera?” “You aren't going to fuck me?” she scolds. “Mrs. Grey! I’m appalled in the crude language you are using,” I say unable to hide the smile from my lips.

“I couldn't help it Mr. Grey. I’m overcome with desire for my husband, but he seems not to want to have me,” she bats her lashes, unleashing her charm. I have to bite inside my cheek to stop myself from grinning at her. “Uneasy? Bothered? Desiring me baby?” I ask salaciously. “Yes and you know it!” she snaps at me. “Mrs. Grey, you are feisty... We have an opera to watch,” I say and take her hand. “Come.” “I’d like to, but you won’t let me!” she responds. I pull her into my arms so fast; she is flush with my body. “Baby...don’t. Believe me, I want to fuck you into next week, especially when you are desiring me like this, but, patience...now... patience is a virtue.” “I thought you were in the moment kind of guy,” she says breathy. “Wait...” I remind her planting a chaste kiss on her lips. “Wait, baby... your husband will take care of you,” I say kissing her again. But her hands pull my hair and our kiss turns into a passionate one. Tongues tangled, she moans into my mouth, and feeling my erection, she pushes her hips in desperately for some friction making me grin. “Not here. Let’s go,” I say pulling her hand. “Why not here?” “I have plans. And you’re trying to derail them baby,” I say raising my eyebrows. She pouts, sighs, and follows me out holding my hand. *****❦ ♡ ❧*****

I have the Royal Secret reserved. It’s also called the Royal Box. It has a private dining room behind the box, but also a Victorian bathroom dating back to 1858 which I intend to utilize tonight with my wife.

Le nozze di Figaro, or “The Marriage of Figaro” is a comic opera and one of Mozart’s masterpieces. It’s a four act play during which I can enjoy both the play and my wife. The play focuses on a single “day of madness” in the palace of the Count Almaviva near Seville, Spain. The evening’s conductor makes his way and acknowledges both the orchestra and the standing applause of the audience. Fixes his eye glasses, tosses his shoulder length graying hair with one flick of his hand then lifts his baton. With one wave of his hand, the overture begins; we’re already seated in our box. Although the Royal Box can accommodate several viewers, I’m seated with Anastasia alone. When the overture begins, the musicians are nearly invisible to the viewers. It’s one of the most famous overtures in the world. I intentionally sit on Anastasia’s right side. I take her wrap off and place it on the chair next to me. As the lights dim in the Royal Opera House, the unseen strings start playing. The attention of all the audience is directed on the stage which will not lift the curtain up until the end of the overture. With the start of the first high note I place my hand on Anastasia’s left leg right above her knee which is delightfully displayed all the way up to her hip thanks to the slit in the dress I

carefully chose for this occasion. I feel her breath catch and she squirms in her seat. As the notes in the music get higher so does my hand. When the overture reach to a particularly high note, my fingers reach her apex and she looks up at me and looks around anxious, her eyes are wide. Lights are dim and nobody can see us. My hand cups her sex, and I slowly, sensually start stimulating her sex. With the balls moving inside her, she stifles a moan. My eyes are directed to the stage while Anastasia is unable to break hers from my profile. She squeezes her knees together while my hand is pleasuring her clitoris. “Christian!” she whispers my name in a moan. I turn my head to her and cock my eyebrows, “Are you denying me baby?” I ask as her legs constrict my access. “No, I want you! Now!” her voice is low, but urgent. Her hand reaches up to my bulge, and she begins stroking my rigid cock with her fingers. Her fingers are slow, careful, and I cover her hand with my other to avoid any detection. How I want to lift her and kiss her every way possible and fuck her right here. But I show restraint. I’m starving for a taste of my wife.

Overture is over and the lights are dimmed further so it can solely focus on the stage as its curtain lifts up. In a rapid decision, I pull my wife to my lap slowly move us to the last row in the relative darkness of the box. Anastasia is straddling over me as I sit on the chair and her hands snake around my neck tangling in my hair. She opens her mouth and my tongue desperately enters into it deep and hard, in an effort to fuck her mouth, and she reciprocated with her tongue, sucking, her tongue licking, yielding, submitting, pushing, and her moans are skyrocketing my desire for her. Her tongue finally pushes her way into my mouth and I suck it hard, caressing it with my tongue. My hand dips down to her sex again, and I rub, and she pushes her sex into my waiting hand. The balls moving inside her, stimulating her sex and driving her wilder.

“Please,” she whispers into my mouth. “I can’t take it, fuck me!” I look up and all is dark, and we’re in the darkest corner of the box, behind us is the private dining, and Taylor is manning the entry, so no one will enter. “It’s going to be hard and fast!” “Yes!” she moans. With one hard flick of my finger, I rip her panties, and unzip my tuxedo pants. “As soon as I pull the balls out, I want to bury my cock inside you baby,” I whisper and she nearly convulses nodding frantically. “Lift your glorious ass up,” I say and she lifts her bottom off my lap. I pull the string pulling the silver balls out and she’s near orgasm, her head tilts back, her breasts pushed forward. I lower her on to my awaiting length and she takes all of me in. I finally start moving her guiding her hips. Desire is pounding through both of us, palpable, hot, and tangible. Sinking into her blooming sex, my most favorite place in the world makes me realize how much I’ve been craving her. I push my cock upward and she’s descending on me hard, pushing and shoving, meeting, fucking, making love; this carnal desire for my wife is all consuming, and scorching fire rapidly spreading between us. There’s nothing that can put the fire out but losing ourselves in each other, uniting, making love, holding, kissing, caressing, and I’m lost with her desire for me, lost in her kisses asking, demanding for more. Her sex starts contracting around my cock deliciously milking me, and desiring me, stroking me inside out. I’m lost to her, lost to us, and I come shuddering along with m y wife, thrusting and burying in one another. “What you do to me, Mrs. Grey,” I murmur into her ear still buried inside her. “Baby, I’m going to fuck you in the dining room in there during the second act,” I say indicating with a small nod of my head, “and then in that Victorian bathroom on the third act, and if we make through the fourth act without devouring each other, I’m going to make love to you all night in our hotel room,” I say darkly. “Yes, please!” she whispers and merges her lips with mine again without breaking our connection. My cock twitches once more into attention. “Oh fuck! We’ll skip the second act...” I say and start moving inside her again as my tongue caresses hers and my right hand starts teasing her breasts. When the song “Voi Che Sapete” is over, I’m ready to take my wife once again, and she is most accommodating as we christen the Victorian bathroom standing up. *****❦ ♡ ❧*****

On the way back to the hotel I hold Anastasia’s hand and start making circles on her knuckles and her run my fingernail over it making her shiver. “How was your first opera experience?” I ask licentiously. She bites her lip and answers in a low voice, “I never knew opera could be so stimulating, Mr. Grey,” she answer batting her eyelashes at me. My hand goes up to her chin, releasing her lip. “Don’t! You know what it does to me, baby,” I whisper in her ear. “Especially when I know that you have no panties. Behave,” I whisper into her ear, my eyes darkening. When we arrive in our suite, Geoffrey is waiting for us ready to take our orders and serve. Getting a glimpse of the carnal appreciation I have written all over my face for Anastasia, Taylor sighs imperceptibility and turns to the butler and says, “Geoffrey, it’s you and me tonight, my man!” “I beg your pardon sir?” Jeffrey turns to him slightly confused. “Mr. and Mrs. Grey are relinquishing your services to me for the night,” Taylor replies in a taciturn face. “Oh, sir, I was not made aware of this fact,” replies Geoffrey. “Yes, you may resume your duties tomorrow morning back here again,” I say raising my eyebrows. “Thank you Geoffrey,” I say with my usual impassive gaze. “Good night sir, ma’am,” he says bowing, and follows Taylor out. I lock the door behind and saunter darkly towards my wife. “Mrs. Grey, the first surface I’m going to claim you is on this table, then that wall by that glorious view of the city, and finally in the bedroom. What say you to that?” “Yes!” she replies in a breathy voice. “Mrs. Grey, do you know how irresistible you are when you want me like this?” She shakes her head. “Yes, you do! You know you drive me crazy!” I murmur, my arms snake around her waist and my lips claims hers. *****❦ ♡ ❧***** When I wake up the next morning, I find my legs wrapped around Anastasia’s legs, and my arms draped over her breasts possessively. Her hand is instinctively on my chest, and somehow it’s comforting and not fear inducing. We've had a long and a passionate night. I watch her in her slumber; she’s breathtaking. I can watch her for hours. She’s the pinnacle of innocence, and all mine. My girl, my wife, my beloved. I don’t want to leave her by herself, but she’ll be out for the count for a while. I can go and work out while she’s sleeping. I have been neglecting working out in the gym; I should take advantage of her sleeping and exercise this morning. I take Taylor with me leaving Nichols and Collins waiting outside our suite in my absence should Anastasia need their assistance in the slim chance she wakes up before I get back. I run,

lift weights, do cardio, and Taylor and I practiced mixed martial arts for a little over thirty minutes. When I get back to our suite, Geoffrey is waiting for me. “Good morning Mr. Grey. Would you like to have your breakfast now, or would you prefer to wait for Mrs. Grey’s return?” “Return?” I ask, and rush to the bedroom. The bed is empty, and Anastasia isn't there. I just realized that Nichols and Collins weren't at the door, either. I quickly make my way back out to the living room. “Where is Mrs. Grey?” I ask almost harshly to Geoffrey. “She conveyed her desire to take a stroll at the Hyde Park sir.” “What? By herself?” “Not by herself sir, but, I assure you, it’s quite safe at the park.” “When did she leave?” “She left about thirty minutes after you did this morning, sir.” “And she isn't back yet?” I seethe with anger. “What did she exactly tell you?” Geoffrey clears his throat, looks straight ahead, and lowers the pitch of his voice to match Anastasia’s and animatedly tries to change his British accent into American. “She said, ‘Geoffrey, I’m gonna go to the Hyde Park’,” he says in a perky voice. “Tell my husband that I’ll be taking a stroll, soaking in some local color, and,” he adds rolling his eyes which must be what Anastasia had done, “I’ll be taking the Royal Guards with me,” he quotes Anastasia then adds, “technically sir, they’re not the Royal Guards. They have not been in her Majesty’s service.” “Thank you, Geoffrey,” I say dismissing him, and take the speediest shower I can, and put my clothes on and rush outside with Taylor in tow who is asking if something is wrong. “I don’t know yet. Mrs. Grey has taken a stroll to the Hyde Park. Did either of the security call you?” “No sir. They have specific orders to call me for anything out of the ordinary, un safe, or unscheduled,” he says, his face taut. We make our way to the park, both of us scanning the park, and we locate Anastasia easily. She’s sitting on a bench with a couple of local girls and giggling and feeding squirrels! Both Nichols and Collins are scanning the vicinity, and watching her like a hawk. Good! I’m still debating whether they should be fired for not informing me. Nichols spots us first, and he goes red. He starts making his way towards us, but I hold my hand up. I don’t want to alert Anastasia of our presence.

There are two college age girls who are sharing their lunches with birds and squirrels. Anastasia takes a piece of chip and offers it to a shy squirrel who stops at several feet distance trying to assess whether it could trust her. Deciding that she’s harmless, he approaches Anastasia wearily, retrieves the chip from her fingers, and retreats back a few feet and eats his reward greedily.

Another friend of his approaches to the girl with the curly hair, and takes the food offered from her hand. Anastasia and the other two girls giggle at the animals’ response. They break a piece of a sandwich and place it in the middle of their hands, and birds land on it taking the food hungrily. I watch my wife mesmerized. Even the Brit security details are watching her reverentially. Creatures shy of humans are eating out of their hands. Anastasia puts a few small pieces of sandwich in the middle of her palm and extend it. This time two squirrels come closer, and take the pieces and retreat a few feet then sitting on their rear end eat their prizes. I can’t help but smile.

Anastasia, feeling my gaze on her looks in my direction and smiles. She starts walking in my direction. “Hi Christian!” she greets me. “Hi,” I respond. “I couldn't find you in the suite,” I say in my usual impassive gaze. “Don’t be mad. I wanted to take a walk at the park. I took the security, but told them not to bother you while you’re working out since I was only a walking distance from the hotel. Oh, and I made some new friends! Come and meet them!” she says tugging me behind her. I can’t help but follow my wife. “Catarina, Leonor! I’d like you to meet my husband!” she says with pride in her voice, and that act alone melts my cold heart, and I decide not to fire the MI6 agents. Two very shy girls look up and murmur hellos to me. “Hello,” I say and extend my hand to greet my wife’s new friends. “Are you local to this area?” I ask nonchalantly trying to find out, if their meeting with my wife just a coincidence or something else. “Oh, no, we are from Portugal. We’re just visiting London on our summer break. It’s a beautiful city!” says Catarina. She’s got curly hair, dimples on her face, and very friendly in a sweet way. I nod. “Nice meeting you Mr. Grey, Ana. We try to come here once a day. But sometimes we don’t have time. There’s so much to see in London, you know,” she says in a sweet Portuguese accent. “So nice to meet you Ana,” says Leonor. “Mr. Grey,” she nods shyly. “We’ll leave you two alone since you’re on your honeymoon,” she says smiling and they wave at us moving to the lakeside to feed the ducks and the swans, arguing whether it’s the sandwich pieces or the chips better lure to for the critters while giggling. My gaze is full on Anastasia now with intensity. “I was worried about you,” I say, my smile gone. “Oh, Christian! You went for a workout, and I couldn't find you when I woke up. Geoffrey said you went to the gym. And since you were working out, I thought I could take a walk and get a little bit of exercise, look at the park, and come back about the same time as you did.”

“But you didn't!” I accuse. “I know, I’m sorry. I was completely taken by the girls feeding some elusive critters in their hands, and I wanted to try the same. They showed me how they did it, and I was just having too much fun, I have forgotten about the time. And you came and found me,” she says pleased.

“And don’t be mad at the Royal Guard One and Two please. I told them not to disturb you while you’re working out. I was right outside the hotel, and in broad daylight, sitting at this quiet park. Just enjoying the weather and the creatures living in the park with 007 and 8 in tow.” “Okay,” I reply with an impassive gaze. “Will you punish me for going to the park?” “Baby, we’re lovers; you are my wife for God’s sake! You’re not my sub. I was just worried about you, worried that you might get hurt somehow,” I say wounded with her remark. She rolls her eyes. “I’m okay Christian,” she replies, but her face falls. “Did you want me to punish you?” I ask tentatively. “I don’t want you to hurt me, but...” her voice trails off. “But?” I ask probing. But what? “I like to play. I like the punishment that is not intend to hurt me,” she replies, making my face fall again.

“Anastasia, I don’t ever want to hurt you. But, I was scared when you weren't in our hotel room and nearly gave me a coronary! The MI6 here didn't call Taylor!” “That’s my fault. I thought you’d be worried, so, I told them not to call since we were just taking a stroll at the park, and no one knows me here in London. And when I saw Catarina and Leonor, I felt like I’m on a college campus, and for a couple hours I was just an ordinary girl forgetting the security tagging me along. I really enjoyed myself doing something simple, but extraordinary, having birds and squirrels eat out of my hand!” she squeals in delight. “Let’s go,” I say pulling her hand. “I think it’s time to feed you. Would you like to go out for a brunch?” she smiles, and nods in answer. *****❦ ♡ ❧***** “What? Oh my God!” Anastasia says, and hugs me in full view of all the security and leans back to look and me and then hugs me again once again forcefully, and kisses me shamelessly this time and I have to restrain her passion. For one thing, I don’t wan t anyone to see what gets her all excited, and how she is when she is excited, and two, I don’t have time to fuck her on the way. “You are taking me to Jane Austen’s house!” she squeals in delight, and holds me again. “If I knew I’d get this reaction out of you, I’d make sure it’d be our first stop, and not nearly two weeks into our honeymoon,” I say grinning. “But London is a great city and there’s so much to see. I’m so incredibly grateful that you've arranged all this! All this for me! I love every minute of this honeymoon!” she gushes. “We could have flown but, I thought you’d want to see some countryside, and I’d have you to myself on a country side drive.” She grins as wide as possible in response. As we leave the city of London behind us and get on A331, the houses get scarce and the area is more of the open farmlands and lush greenery greet us. “It’s quite green...” Anastasia observes, “but I was expecting more trees than there is outside,” she remarks. Collins responds to Anastasia’s observation. “No, ma’am. The area has been developed, mostly villages and farmlands which is why you don’t see as many trees.”

We arrive at Jane Austen’s house a little over one hour drive from the hotel. It’s a simple two story 17th century brick house. But she didn't live in that house all her life; only the last eight years of it. A University of Oxford Professor agreed to give us a tour.

She’s very knowledgeable and a Professor of English. She greets us in a no nonsense tone expected of a college Professor, but she’s still pleasant. “Mr. and Mrs. Grey!” she greets us. “How nice to meet you! Welcome to Jane Austen’s House Museum.” We shake her proffered hand, and she starts the tour. “Jane Austen did most of her mature writing in this charming village home. She revised Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Northanger Abbey in this house, and she wrote Mansfield Park, Emma and Persuasion entirely in this home, in fact on this little tea table,” she says indicating a simple small tea table, paint washed away, worn out and only occupied by a lone ink bottle and quill on it and accompanied by a simple wood dining chair with mesh seat.

Anastasia looks at the table admiringly, then turns to me and says, “Christian, Jane Austen wrote six of the world greatest novels on this little tea table. If she can do that with what little the 19th century she lived in offered for women, anything should be possible for a woman of our time only if we knew!” she says fervently. At this moment something becomes clear to me. I want to do something for Anastasia. I know she wants to be in publishing. She admires Miss Austen; a woman who managed to do something most men in their prime couldn't do. Become a success in an endeavor she loves. Hers happened to be in writing. Anastasia wants to be in publishing. Publishing... Hmm... Yes, it’s clear to me now. I want to gift Anastasia SIP Publishing as a wedding present, support my wife in her endeavor in publishing, make it possible for her to create successful writers like Miss Austen.

Anastasia practically eats up everything the Professor is telling us... and me not so much. Because I’m busy watching the intense desire of my wife to learn more about one of her idols. “So, you say that the house didn't have a toilet?” Anastasia asks. “No, Ana, it didn't. In those days people used outhouses, and chamber pots.” “Okay... Moving on...” says Ana making everyone smile. “This is the spot where Jane Austen liked to write," says the professor pointing a table by a large window overlooking the lush, well groomed backyard. “It’s a very inspirational spot,” Anastasia remarks. “Well, the life of a novelist whets our curiosity of course. The literature lovers want to know how she wrote, where her amazing ideas may have come from, what her writing techniques may have been, or how she prepared her manuscript for the press.” “How did she do it?” ask my girl. “That is the frustrating part which anything anyone says would of course be pure conjecture. I can speculate having learned the circumstances she arrived in Chawton which of course is her final home. Miss Austen was thirty-three years old when she got here. This was a gift from her brother Edward, and she lived here with her sister Cassandra, and a family friend. Jane had a lively mind. What she had in her mind was in fact livelier than anything she had around at the time. She would make up stories about fairyland and play the piano to entertain her little nieces while she fixed breakfast. She was very fun to be around.” “Did she write in this spot at all times?” asks Anastasia. The professor smiles.

“Jane would write on small pieces of paper which could be easily hidden away from prying eyes, but she worked in the general space of the family sitting room.”

“No privacy?” “Not in the sense we would think of today. It’s a family home. It wasn’t easy for a woman, or anyone for that matter I suppose to become published. You see Mrs. Grey,” says the professor gesturing with her hand around, “Jane Austen was really a ver y tenacious woman. A lesser or less willing woman wouldn't be able to accomplish what she did. She wrote her major novels, and rewrote some of them, right here in this house. Then she would prepare the manuscripts for publication and travel fifty miles to London for an extended stay with her brother Henry and she would see them through press. And of course the village life in Chawton provided her with a great laboratory with its community.” “I agree with you in all of that. But, getting published is only half the battle. People in general assume that you write and publish and sell thousands of books. That’s not the case. What Jane Austen managed to do is nothing short of an amazing accomplishment. She wrote at a time where women writers were few and far in between. She became famous in her lifetime, and her writing and characters have been loved for over 200 years. That’s not only prodigious, but also beyond admirable!” I have the best wife in the world! She never stops amazing me. My wife is not only beautiful, but incredibly smart, passionate, and her love for what she does amazes me. I somehow understand my wife better today. I was superficial enough to assume that her like of the British classics was only because of hearts and flowers. I never thought of it in the way she explained her perception of these writers to this stranger...this professor. I feel envious of this complete stranger for opening a side of my wife I never knew existed. At this moment, I yearn to know my amazing wife better. Anastasia looks into everything in the house as if she wants to memorize the place, and ingrain in her entire being. She sits in the backyard, in the luscious green, and admires the flowers, and absorbs every image, every tree, every bird, and every plant.

Before our tour is over, the professor takes Anastasia’s right hand into both of hers. “Ana, I am so pleased to meet one of the biggest Jane Austen fans besides myself. Remember that Jane’s daily routine included long walks in the streets of Chawton, li ke the Bennett girls would take in Meryton in Hertfordshire. She would chat with her neighbors, or sew in the evening, and have family meals with her sister, mother, and their family friend, but sometimes that would include social gatherings, or friends. So, if you would like a tangible connection to the environment Jane lived, I would very much recommend you to walk about the Chawton Village, see around, say hello to people, dear,” she says warmly. Anastasia gives her bright smile, and nods, and thanks the professor. We spend rest of the day soaking up the local color, and I’m just happy to be spending the day with my wife in one of her favorite author’s town. My life’s mission after all is to make her happy. *****❦ ♡❧***** “Anastasia, baby can you manage to be alone for a few hours today? I have to have a business meeting when I’m already here. It shouldn't take me too long. The security can take you to shopping, sightseeing, or is there a particular thing you want to do today?” I ask, already upset that I have to leave my wife on our honeymoon.

“Oh...” she says her face falling, but quickly recovers and smiles for my benefit. “I’ll be fine Christian. Get your meeting done. But, I think I’ll just stay in, read one of the manuscripts while you’re having your meeting,” she replies. “But if you decide to go out, call me. Otherwise I worry. I’ll be just downstairs in one of the conference rooms,” I say with a warning in my voice. “Call me if you are going out even for five minutes,” I remind her again. “Yes, Christian,” she says rolling her eyes. “Are you rolling your eyes at me?” I tease. “Yes, Mr. Grey, but I think you don’t have time to do anything about it,” she teases me back. “Oh, Mrs. Grey. You’re only to ask. I can always make an exception for you,” I reply pulling her to my body flush, and smack her bottom, pushing her into my already growing erection. “This is what you do to me. I’m always a half-cocked gun around you, baby,” I say looking at her darkly. She’s speechless, but her hands tangle into my hair, pulling me in for a kiss. Soon our kiss becomes deeper, carnal, and wanton. “What are you doing to me baby? I’m always losing control around you,” I whisper into her mouth. “Are you complaining Mr. Grey?” she asks. “Baby, how could I complain when I lust after my own wife? But the sooner I finish with the meeting, the sooner I come back, and make love to you.” “Is this a promise?” I grasp her ass and lift her off the floor and wrap her legs around me while my erection is digging into her soft sex. My lips claim hers and my tongue assaults her mouth with carnal desire and want, asking, taking and demanding. “What do you think Mrs. Grey?” I breathe into her mouth. “Y-yes!” she whimpers. She sees me off and I make my way downstairs with Taylor. “Is the meeting room ready?” I ask. “Yes, sir. The clients should be here already. I have your laptop here, and Roz should be online already.” “You can borrow Geoffrey tonight. I won’t be needing his services,” I say impassively, and Taylor nods. “How are you two getting along?” I ask completely nonchalantly. Taylor blinks. “Fine servant, I suppose. I’m not used to being waited on hand and foot. Thank you for allocating his services to me when you don’t need it,” he says and seeing a double meaning in what he said, he amends, “I mean lending him to me...” he adds, then wipes the sweat from his

brows, and finally says, “I like Geoffrey’s butlery skills, but I love Gail,” he says finally clearing his throat, flushes to the hairline and when elevator dings open, he’s saved by the bell. I try to hide my smirk. *****❦ ♡ ❧*****

All through the meeting I can barely keep my focus on the topic. My mind wanders off to my wife upstairs. What I want to do with her, do to her on the wall, in the bath, on the piano, balcony... Especially when my Blackberry buzzes, and there’s a text message from her: *I’m thinking of ways you can fulfill your promise to me. Maybe I should do something naughty that should require a small punishment* I reply back immediately. *N.O.!* I want to do a lot in bed, but then I've arranged a lot of sightseeing in the beautiful city of London, so those plans will have to wait till tonight. The meeting runs overtime, and I have plans. I tell them as much and tell them we continue in the evening to include two other locations, one in Taiwan, and one in the U.S. to conclude the meeting. This will give me time to spend the day with my wife, and she's resting, I can finish the meeting later in the evening. *****❦ ♡ ❧***** When I come back to our the suite at the conclusion of my meeting it’s passed 11 p.m. and I want to fulfill everything I've been daydreaming about. Anastasia is by the window curled up

in her satin nightgown reading a manuscript. Her gaze lifts up when she sees me, my heart swells. “Hi baby!” I say as I saunter towards her. “Hi,” she replies getting off the chair. I hold her in my arms, lifting her up, kiss her deeply and passionately. “I’ve been thinking about you all evening. And right now, I want to take you to our bed, and have my way with you,” I say and she blushes, saying “Yes,” as she swallows. I deposit my wife on the bed, shed my clothes off, and lay on the bed positioned between my wife's legs as my hand crawls up her legs hitching her satin nightgown up the trail. She doesn’t have any underwear on, but what takes me by surprise is not the lack of underwear, but her deforested sex. “What the hell have you done?” I exclaim. I feel a horrified amusement feeling her shaved sex. I sit up on the bed, and turn the side table light on and carefully gaze down on my wife’s poorly cropped pubic hair as if someone with no experience tried to cut someone’s hair, and created train tracks. My mouth falls open with a startled O shape. Anastasia flushes tomato red and tries to pull her nightgown down to hide her sex chagrined. “Ana!” I exclaim. “I...uhm. I ... shaved,” she manages to reply. “I can see that, baby. But, why?” I ask unable to stop grinning from ear to ear. She completely goes shy on me and covers her face with her hands, embarrassed. “Hey, baby don’t hide. Not from me,” I say softly, but I’m trying hard not to laugh at the effort which is admirable but the poor outcome might require some assistance. I have to bite my lip to stop myself. “Tell me. Why?” I ask with a glint in my eyes. “Stop laughing at me,” she scolds me. “I’m not laughing at you. I’m sorry. I’m just... delighted,” I say. I really would love to have sex with her deforested sex. The feeling so much better, skin on skin... “Oh...” she responds. “Tell me. Why?” I probe. She finally takes a deep breath. “This morning, after you left for your meeting, I took a shower and I was remembering all your rules,” she starts. This wasn’t what I was expecting. I don’t want my wife to think of herself in terms of subs I’ve had. She’s my wife, not my sub. All humor vanishes from me, and I regard her cautiously. “And I was ticking them of one by one and how I felt about them, and I remembered the beauty salon and I thought... this is what you’d like. I wasn’t brave enough to get a wax,” she says finally in a whisper.

She just wanted to please me. It means so much to me now that she’s had me in mind, thinking of what I like, and I feel nothing but immense love for this creature before me. “Oh, Ana,” I breathe. I lean down and kiss my wife slowly and tenderly. “You beguile me,” I whisper against her lips and kiss her once again, this time holding her face between my hands. My kiss deepens and I kiss and hold her until we’re both breathless. I finally manage to pull back, leaning up on one elbow. But this time there is a wicked gleam in my eyes. “I think I should do a thorough inspection of your handiwork, Mrs. Grey.” “What? No!” she responds immediately covering herself, and her sex from my view. “Oh, no you don’t, Anastasia,” I say as I grasp her hands and pry them away from her sex. I move quickly and position myself between her legs, and pin her hands to her sides. I gaze down at my beautiful wife, hot, lustful, scorching and lean my head down as she’s gazing at me. My lips slowly descend upon her naked belly and slowly make my way to her sex. She squirms beneath me, turning me on hotter than ever, and finally stops squirming unable to get me off. The fact is, I like her resisting. It’s a turn on. Anastasia resisting me, putting up a fight i n bed is one of my fantasies. “What have we here?” I say planting a kiss on her sex and scrape the two days old bristle on my chin over her bare sex across. “Ah!” she exclaims, feeling everything. Yes! Fuck! I have a dozen ideas of what I want to do to it. But first things first. I look up and my gaze darts to hers, and I have nothing but desirous, lustful longing in my eyes. “I think you've missed a little,” I mutter, tugging a few strands of hair gently right underneath her. “Oh... Damn,” she mutters mortified. “I have an idea,” I say leaping out of the bed naked, and head to the bathroom. I am going to shave my wife’s sex. I fill a glass with hot water, grab a mug, my old fashioned shaving brush, soap, her razor and a towel. I come back to the bedroom and set the water, brush, mug and razor on the bedside table and gaze down at my wife salaciously while I’m holding the towel. Seeing my intent, her eyes go wide, and she protests, “No. No. No.” “Mrs. Grey, if a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. Lift up your hips,” I command as my eyes glow with a mixture of desire and longing for intimacy. “Christian! You are not shaving me!” she squeaks. I tilt my head to the side and question her, “Why ever not baby?” She flushes. Is it private, intimate, close? “Because... It’s just too...” she stops. “Intimate?” I complete her sentence in a whisper. I can see that this is the reason. “Ana, I crave intimacy with you – you know that. Besides, after some of the things we've done, don’t get all squeamish on me now. And, I know this part of your body better than you do.”

She gapes at my arrogance. I can see that in her eyes. “It’s just wrong!” she whines. “This isn't wrong – this is hot,” I say gazing at her sex, wanting to do this. “This turns you on?” she asks astonished. I snort in response. “Can’t you tell?” I ask glancing down at my full salute gun. “I want to shave you,” I whisper. She lies back in surrender and throws her arms over her face. “If it makes you happy Christian, go ahead. You are so kinky,” she mutters and lifts her hips up so I can slip the towel beneath her. I grin at her acquiescence. I lean down and kiss her inner thigh. “Oh, baby, how right you are,” I respond. I put the soap in the mug, and slush the brush in the hot water and swirl it about the soap. When it lathers up, I grasp her left ankle and part her legs. As I sit between her legs, the bed dips with my weight. “I’d really like to tie you up right now,” I murmur my desire. I don’t want give her a nick as she squirms and moves about. “I promise to keep still,” she replies. “Good.” I run the lathered brush over her pubic bone and she gasps in response. She squirms under the brush. “Don’t move,” I order with censure in my tone and run the brush once more. “Or I will tie you down,” I say daring her. I’d love to tie her down, shave her and fuck her. My cock twitches in response. “Have you done this before?” she asks tentatively as I reach for the razor. “No,” I say. “Oh. Good,” she says grinning. I love that response in her. “Another first, Mrs. Grey.” “Hmmm. I like firsts.” “Me, too. Here it goes.” I say and run the razor over the lips of her sex. “Keep still,” I order as I’m completely focused on the task at hand and run the razor. I shave off all the hair. Once I’m convinced all the hair is gone , and the area is bald as the day she's born, I grab the towel and wipe off the excess lather. “There... That’s more like it,” I muse. She lifts her arms up and looks at me as I sit back and admire her now completely deforested blooming sex. “Happy?” she asks in a hoarse voice. “Very,” I reply grinning, and now move onto the next thing I’ve been wanting to do since I got home. I ease a finger inside her. No hair. Just skin to skin, and she is deliciously wet. I lean down and run my bristles again over her sensitive nub making her moan, then my tongue snakes out, dipping into the folds of her bloom. She lifts her hips off the floor as her legs wrap

around my shoulders. I tease her folds with my tongue. I lick her clit swirling my tongue, and a shudder goes through her. “Oh please, Christian!” she begs. “What do you want Ana? You have to tell me baby...” I whisper. “I want you!” she demands. “Do you want me to fuck you like this,” I say leaning down my tongue flicking around her sex, “or like this,” I say running my chin over her clit. She shouts my name, “Christian, please!” “Please what, Ana?” I demand. “Fuck me, please!” she says, and pulls me towards her with her legs. “ Aren't you a demanding girl? But as it happens, I’m taking requests today,” I say, and looming over her, I slowly sink into her inch by inch, and hold myself there in my most favorite place in the world, inside my wife, then I start to move.

Il n’y a que deux endroits au monde où l’on puisse vivre heureux: chez soi et à Paris.
«Bienvenue à l'Hôtel de Crillon, Monsieur et Madame Grey. And may I extend my congratulations to you both. Welcome to Hotel de Crillon, sir, madam, » our hotel concierge greets us both in French and in English.


“Merci beaucoup,” I respond. “Thank you,” Ana replies, and the middle aged, slightly balding concierge smiles at us both professionally. “My name is Durrant Rodell. Any of us at the concierge desk would be more than happy to assist you to fulfill your requests. A simple phone call is sufficient to have one of us advise you and make all kinds of reservations for you. Theaters, concerts, museums, transportation, a French interpreter should you wish one, a guide, a chauffeur, a coiffeur, a personal trainer, anything you wish. As the concierges at Hotel de Crillon, we will do our utmost to bring you the best Paris has to offer, Monsieur and Madame Grey.

This is our hotel manager in charge Mademoiselle Elisabeth Dubois. She will escort you to your suite,” he says indicating a young woman in crisp business suit. She blinks a couple of times, and then extends her hand in greeting. “Pleasure to meet you Monsieur and Madame Grey,” she says, and Anastasia narrows her eyes. With the movements of her jaw, I can pleasantly see that she’s gritting her teeth. She extends her hand to the hotel manager first. “I’m Mrs. Ana Grey,” she says, then motioning towards me, she indicates, “and this is my husband, Mr. Grey,” she says. “A pleasure to meet you both,” Mademoiselle Dubois replies, and takes us to our suite. The manager's and Anastasia’s high heels click on the checkered Italian marble floors.

“Monsieur and Madame Grey, welcome to the Bernstein Suite,” she says opening the door letting us in.

“This suite was named after the famous composer who was fond of staying here. As you can see the sublime terraces offer an outstanding view of Paris and the Eiffel Tower. I hope you have a pleasant stay at l'Hôtel de Crillon. If there’s anything we can do for you, please let us know,” she says and leaves the room, after her gaze lingers on me a few seconds longer making my wife shake her head. Anastasia stands in the middle of the living space and looks around the room curiously. The walls are covered with ornate mahogany paneling and it has classical paintings displaying French nobility. The décor is red and gold soft colors, and large marble coffee table is occupying the middle of the room. There are fresh cut pale pink roses strategically placed around the room. “There’s a piano,” she says pointing at the wooden piano perfectly matching the suite’s refined, elegant and romantic feel. “That there is, Mrs. Grey,” I reply with dark eyes. “I wonder what the bedroom looks like. Come,” I say taking her hand.

The room is quite large, about 430 square feet. But then again the entire suite is over 2600 square feet from what the brochure had told us. Red and gold décor continues into the bedroom. The décor is a mix of classic 17th and 18thcentury French. The sun is setting outside, and evening lights from the city is slowly seeping through the terrace door. Anastasia’s eyes widen when she sees the terrace. She quickly makes her way to the double French doors and opens them. The city is glimmering in light. Eiffel Tower is lit up and shining in all her glory. The way the tower is warmly lit, and the dark metal against the black of the night makes it an undeniably graceful sight. Thousands of bright white lights are sparking all over the tower, creating a magical scene, gracing the city of love and light with her majesty.

“This hotel...It’s like a castle Christian!” she whispers in a hushed voice. I look at my wife unblinking. “Do you like it?” “Yes, I love it! It’s beautiful! Is there a particular reason why you chose this hotel?” she asks after seeing the glimmer in my eyes. “Actually, yes. The hotel was built by King Louis XV in 1758 as a palace, and of course, it’s built in the grandeur of the 18th century architecture. I think a duke lived here. Then other nobles resided in the palace until French Revolution. It was seized at the time. In fact, the FrenchAmerican treaty was signed here in 1778 which was recognizing the Act of Independence of the United States.” “So, you chose it for its historical significance?” she asks me with quizzical eyes. “Yes and no. This hotel withstood a lot of turmoil in its long history. And look how grand it made her in the end?” I say in a sweeping gesture. “I want that endurance for us. No matter what we live through, no matter what difficulties we face in life, I want us to come on top, and better than ever,” I whisper. Her lips curve in a half smile, half sadness. “You say the most romantic things, and take my breath away, Christian,” she whispers. “And I love you for it. And I love you for being you, and I love you for loving me!” she says her eyes brimming, and she reaches up, snaking her arms around my neck. “For you Anastasia, always hearts and flowers,” I reply. She swallows hard. “Kiss me,” she whispers as her lips find mine. She doesn’t have to say it twice. Our lips mold into each other as we’re consumed with passion in the city of love and lights. Her hands travel into my hair and her fingers tangle and pull my hair, merging us further. Her tongue parts my lips, and forces her way into my mouth, making me gasp for more of her. I suck her tongue, caress it with mine in a lovers’ tango in my mouth, and finally push my tongue into her mouth. She groans, and hitches her right leg around my waist trying to mount me. “Whoa! Ana, slow down! You’re going to unman me, baby,” I groan into her mouth. “Please!” she begs. “We have a dinner reservation, soon.” “Please... I don’t care for dinner, I’m in the city of lovers!” she insists begging in my mouth. “You want me to take you, here? On the terrace?” I ask incredulous. “Please. Don’t make me beg, Christian! Because I will... You brought me to the most romantic place on earth. I want to make love to my husband!” she says nipping my lower lip and sucking it to soothe the slight sting. My breath comes hissing through my teeth. “Fuck the dinner plans! What do you want Anastasia?” I ask with my eyes dark. “I want you anyway I can get you...” she says giving me my own words back.

“Have me, you shall then, baby,” I reply. “We’ll utilize this bench,” I say pointing the bench with cream colored cushions. The sun has completely set, and the city lights are glimmering in the distance. The terrace is in relative darkness.

“Come,” I say my gaze darkening. I sit on the bench, and pull her onto my lap as if she’s riding. My right hand travels up her leg and my hand cups her sex over her lace panties. She moves her hips, pushing her sex into my palm, and arches her back. My erection is straining against my pants, and she’s trying to rub herself over my growing cock to get some friction. I insert my finger into the lace of her panties and rip them freeing her sex into my waiting fingers. She’s deliciously wet. Her skirt is pushed back up to her thighs and the sight of her like this on my lap is intoxicating. My left hand moves under her blouse. I slowly push it back up, and pull it off her. Her long hair falls in waves on her nearly bare back. She arches her back and pushes her breast closer to my face making me grin. My fingers dip into her bra pulling it lower freeing her breast. I repeat the process with the other breast, and her nipples stiffen with the slight evening breeze. Anastasia shivers on my lap. My fingers skate over her breast, tantalizing her. A shiver runs through her back again and she gyrates her hips on my lap, begging for some friction. With my left hand I cup her breast, and toy with it while I capture the other one with my mouth. As my thumb circle over her nipple, my right finger mirrors the action over her clitoris. I continue to tease the other nipple with my tongue, slightly sucking, and nipping. She groans. I roll and

knead her nipple between my thumb and index finger, and tug the other one between my lips. My eyes are fixed on her face. She tilts her head, eyes closed, trying to absorb all the sensation. I flick her nipple with my tongue, and briefly letting go of it I whisper to her: “eyes open, baby. I want to see you get undone...” I murmur in a husky voice. “Husband! Take me please,” she begs. “All in good time baby. First I want to get you all good and soft, and ready to take me all the way in,” I reply. My lips travel to the base of her breast nipping and sucking, making strategic stops. I capture her other nipple while I squeeze her delectable derriere with my other hand, I run soft, delicious circles over them. Her right nipple is now between my lips, I slightly nip it, and just then lifting her skirt, I land a spanking on her ass, making her arch her back even in an exquisite curve and toss her nipple further into my mouth and dip my finger into her sex at the same time. “Christian! I need you now!” she begs further. I unzip my pants quickly and my erection springs free. I lift her buttocks off my lap, and slowly place her over my aching cock and slowly bury it all the way down into her greedy sex. My cock fills, and stretches her to the max. She sits on me, balls deep and without moving her up, I swivel my hip as I keep her stationary, then I slowly lift her up. As she comes down on my cock rather hungrily, I push up and impale her deep. She meets me thrust for thrust. “Ahhh!” she groans. Then her lips find mine. I pull and tease her nipples with one hand while I guide her buttocks with the other, and our lips are locks in a passionate love making. “Suck me!” she groans into my mouth. She’s becoming quite the demanding Madame, of late! I grin at her hunger for me. She rides high on my cock, tilts her head back as my lips slide down to her chin, and neck then down to her breast, sucking forcefully, and I pull the other nipple between my thumb and finger elongating it. She gyrates her hips, speeds up her movements, and her sex starts contracting, squeezing deliciously inside, trying to pull my cock in deeper, milk it for all I’ve got, stroking, and teasing. When I take a deep pull on her right nipple, her sex squeezes my cock hard, stroking it, and she comes loudly in waves. As she pushes her nipple further in my mouth, her left arm leans back, holding onto my leg tight, riding me like a bronco, and it’s my undoing seeing her unravel in my mouth, and riding my cock hard with her sex. I come in thick spurts into her. As I thrust into her two more times, she finally collapses onto me, her arms wrapped around my neck and I tenderly kiss her. When I move her off my cock, semen runs down her leg, and she bites her lip. A blush runs her cheeks Marking her that way and her lip biting is a very heady combination for me. I swoop her off the floor, holding her in my arms without even bothering to zip up and carry her into the en suite bathroom. “Bath time,” I say. And this time, I want to enjoy my wife in the tub.

****❦ ♡ ❧***** My hands seek for her in the bed. As my hand reach for the dent on the pillow her had created, I feel the cold there, and her absence wakes me up immediately. I only feel secure when she’s in the bed with me; only feel comfort when my arms and legs are draped around her upon waking up. She is my comfort zone; my safe place, and the main source of my anxiety. I quickly find a robe, and put it on and go out to look for her. She’s not in the living room, or the dining room.

Did she go out without telling me? Anxiety rises in my, but I decide to check the terrace and that’s where I find her. Wrapped in a bathrobe, perched on a patio chair, gazing into the city of love.

She is looking into the distance, lost in the sights and sounds of the city; she doesn’t even realize when I stand right behind her. “Hi,” whisper slowly as to not to scare her. She turns around and looks at me with her big blue eyes. “Hi, Christian!” she says turning her head to me smiling; but the smile doesn’t reach her eyes. Is she worried about something? “What are you doing out here?” I ask, unblinking. But she answers me with a question. “Do you know what my top ten favorite movies are?” she asks still looking ahead. I shake my head without breaking my gaze, and answer a soft, "No." “One of them is ‘Sabrina.’ Not the newer one, but the one with Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart. Have you ever seen it?” she asks in a distant voice. “I don’t believe so. What is it about?” I ask trying to hide my rising anxiety. “There is a girl named Sabrina Fairchild who lives over the garage at the Larrabee's palatial Long Island estate. She has a crush on David, who is the young Larrabee heir and a playboy. She grows up watching their lavish parties and balls the family throws from a nearby tree. Her father is British and is the chauffeur of the family. When he discovers her crush on David, he disapproves because they’re not of the same stock, and packs her off to Paris so she can learn to cook like her mother who died a long time ago. She goes off to Paris for a couple of years. She can’t cook, but she learns elegance, sophistication and charm which turn out to be her thing. She comes back home with a chic haircut, a smart suit making her look very grown up, and a French poodle. She looks so stunning and David is taken by her.

Her father tells Sabrina...” she says and pauses, her eyes fixed on the Eiffel Tower, " 'he’s still David Larrabee, and you’re still the chauffeur’s daughter. And you’re still reaching for the moon.' To which she responds, ‘no, father. The moon is reaching for me.’ But his family is bent out of shape with this attraction because they want him to marry a nice rich girl so the wealth of the families merge. David has an older brother Linus – a Yale graduate,” she says looking at me, “who also realizes what a radiant creature Sabrina has become. But of course, Linus and his hardliner father will do anything to end the romance and Linus decides to get Sabrina out of the way so his brother can marry the rich girl.” “What an ass!” I reply. She smiles a little, and continues with the story. “Linus manipulates Sabrina throughout. He essentially becomes Sabrina’s chaperon and his feelings begins to change all around. The moment Linus begins to realize he is in love with Sabrina, his success feels hollow and so does his life as a result. You know the old adage, love conquers all. Linus sends her off to Paris, and he’s supposed to be coming along, but of course he doesn't. His initial goal was just to get rid of her, and then he has a change of heart...he follows her, goes after her. And the rest is history. Paris is their savior,” she says and shrugs. “Ana, what made you think of this movie?” I ask cautiously. “Can’t you see?” she asks. “No, I can’t. What is it am I supposed to be seeing?” “I’m Sabrina in a way. You brought me to this beautiful city, to this opulence,” she says gesturing around. “I might as well be your chauffer’s daughter. I have nothing, and yet you... you still wanted me. You love me... And I’m completely, utterly, and helplessly in love with you, Christian Grey! I don’t know what I would do if you didn't want me. If you didn't love me or stopped loving me, I would simply die,” she says, her eyes misting and looks up at me.

“Baby! Why...” I say, but don’t get a chance to finish my sentence. Anastasia hurls herself at me, and our lips meet. When we stop kissing, we’re both breathless. “None of this 'I may not want you' nonsense, anymore! There is no one else I would ever, could ever want besides you! You’re the one for me Ana. Don’t you see that baby? This is our honeymoon. What brought this on?” I ask. “Just the overwhelming extravagance, my unbelievably handsome, loving husband... I just felt unworthy of you all of a sudden. It’s still like a dream to me. I’m so scared that I will wake up and you will disappear. I love you so much, it scares me, Christian,” she says her eyes brimming; her thoughts mirroring mine.

“I love you more than you can ever imagine, Ana. Now, let’s go have breakfast, and then you and I will explore the city of love,” I say smiling pulling her in my embrace.

*****❦ ♡ ❧***** “What will we see first?” she asks excitedly as we are being driven in the car. We are in a Mercedes SUV. Taylor is in the front sitting next to one of our French security details Philippe.

Gaston, his twin brother is already on location, doing a sweep. I hold Anastasia’s hand in mine, and look at her. My answer to her question may be unoriginal but it’s completely truthful, “The Eiffel Tower.” “Not the Louvre, or Champs-Elysées, or Arch de Triomphe or Notre Dame or Versailles Palace?” she asks grinning. “We will see those as well, but I want to show you what inspired me in college. The Eiffel tower helped me understand the principle of unity; because it has a masterful combination of industry and grace. That’s why I made sure that industrial elegance and curves were incorporated in the Grey House. Beauty of the curved line can balance the cold rigidity of metal. And of course the view from atop is to die for!” “Do we have a guide?” she asks. “Of course,” I reply smiling. “But you seem to know Paris so well. Why the guide?” “So, I can observe my wife enjoying herself in this magical city,” I reply truthfully.

When we arrive at the Eiffel Tower, Gaston is waiting with our middle aged guide. He’s a man in his 50s. He’s wearing business casual. He’s not a very tall man, in fact slightly shorter than Anastasia. He has a warm demeanor and a knowledgeable presence. He smiles warmly and professionally giving both of us an equal amount of his attention.

“Bonjour Monsieur et Madame Grey! How do you do? I am Jaques Painlevé. I will be your guide this morning.” “Thank you,” we both say at the same time. “Allow me to introduce you one of the most recognizable structures in the world; the Eiffel Tower. She is 324 meters tall and it is about 1,063 feet in your measurements. It was completed at the end of the 19th century and became the tallest structure in the world at that time, and it was until 1930 when the Americans built the Chrysler Building. The man behind the tower was Gustave Eiffel, and it was built for the World Exhibition in 1889. She held in the celebration of the French Revolution in 1789. Did you know that while the Eiffel Tower is a steel structure, and weighs approximately 10,000 tons, it actually has a relatively low density, weighing less than a cylinder of air occupying the same dimensions as the tower?” he asks and looks over his rather large eye glasses that were left over from 1980s for an effect. Anastasia gets curious and asks: "How could 10,000 tons of steel weigh less than a cylinder of air occupying the same dimensions as the tower?” Painlevé’s eyes light up like a student who studied hard for an test and the question he was hoping was asked is in the exam. “Ah, the Madame is interested in the sciences!" he gushes rubbing his hands together. "It shall be my happy duty to educate you on the topic. The metal structure combined with the nonmetal components of the tower weigh approximately 10,000 pounds. 7,300 tons of it is metal. If you were to melt down all the metal, it would fill the 125 square base to a depth of only 6 centimeters which is about 2.36 inches assuming a density of the metal to be 7.8 tons per cubic meter. The tower has a mass less than the mass of the air contained in a cylinder of the same dimensions that is 324 meters high and 88.3 meters in radius. The weight of the tower is 10,100 tons compared to 10,265 tons of air,” he says grinning to have explained it to its scientific specifications. Anastasia turns her back to him and looks up at me as her eyes lit up and she's stifling her giggles. “What?” I whisper quizzical. “He’s just like an older, much shorter and French Sheldon Cooper,” she says smiling. “Who is Sheldon Cooper? An ex-boyfriend of yours from your Physics class?” I whisper through gritted teeth. “No, silly!” she giggles more. Monsieur Painlevé blinks and looks quizzical without knowing what we are whispering about. I shake my head. “She’s just making an observation,” I say for his benefit, and he smiles politely in response. Then I turn my back to the guide, look down at Anastasia and ask her:

“Ana, you’re driving me crazy! Who the hell is Sheldon Cooper?” I ask my gaze fixed on her darkly. She smiles and answers. “Hold on to your hair Mr. Grey. No one you should be worried about. He’s a character from a TV show called ‘The Big Bang Theory’. He’s a geeky theoretical physicist who is always very egotistical and he often brags about his smarts, totally lacks social skills, weary of germs, and physical contact, introverted, and always makes an observation or makes a statement that no one understands or even cares for that matter, like, ‘What part of an inverse tangent approaching an asymptote don’t you understand?’" she says imitating a masculine voice. "When our guide inserted the math facts of the tower, I thought he reminded me of Sheldon’s character, and I was right," she shrugs, but my gaze gets darker on her. She frowns, "And, for heaven’s sake, stop looking at me like that!” she hisses scolding me. “Can’t I make an observation without you getting jealous of a fictional character?” she murmurs and I sigh. “Please remember that I only have one type; and that’s Christian Grey,” she whispers. I hold her hand tightly and turn to our guide. Motioning him to go on.

“The best view is of course observed from the third floor,” he says in his French accent. “Shall we?” he indicates the entrance with his right hand. We take the elevator to the third floor and finally the city of Paris is spread before us in all her magnificence.

“Behold the beauty that is Paris,” says Monsieur Painlevé. He talks about the history, and the people involved in creating this masterpiece. Then he leaves us to ourselves to enjoy the spectacular view Paris from third floor of the tower. Once our tour is over, we eat lunch at the Le Jules Verne’s Restaurant located on the tower’s second level. The place is booked weeks in advance at times which is why our reservation has been made before we arrived in Paris. It has a great wine selection, and exceptional French cuisine. But the highlight of the day is the Versailles. Painlevé meets us at Chateau de Versailles. “Bienvenue sur le château de Versailles," he says. “The Château de Versailles is a rags to riches story among Baroque architecture,” explains Monsieur Painlevé as his eyebrows steeple, and he pushes his glasses back up on his nose once again.

“The palace and the surrounding gardens are spectacular and exquisite in detail; but it stood in the middle of a field which once was neglected. The inspiration of these gardens came from the Italian renaissance, but of course Italians would have never reached that opulence or magnificence as the French would,” he adds proudly. Anastasia clears her throat. “Mr. Painlevé, don’t you think that statement is a little racist?” she asks.

He blinks at her as if she started speaking in pig Latin. “Not unless it’s the truth Madame. Truth cannot be construed as racist, which by the way is a very American expression. It’s not perceived as such here. Even Italians know that. You know how the saying goes, Madame. Heaven is where the police are British, the cooks are French,” he says proudly, “the mechanics are German, the lovers are Italian –of course I dare say that French make better lovers than Italians, but I digress- and it’s all organized by the Swiss. Hell is where the police are German, cooks are English, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss and it’s all organize d by the Italians,” he says. “I’m quite sure Italians make great cooks as well,” challenges Anastasia. “Oh, that’s debatable Madame. What do they have? Pizza and pasta… I can’t think of anything else.” “I love pizza and pasta,” replies Anastasia completely amused teasing the hell out of this man who takes her jokes seriously. “Mon Dieu! Monsieur Grey! You must immediately introduce the young lady to real food. She has been deprived!” “I was told that Italians taught French how to cook. Was I misinformed?” Anastasia asks innocently, and Painlevé’s hand immediately goes up to his mouth to stifle a gasp. I squeeze Anastasia’s hand to remind her to slow down to save the poor man from having a heart attack and protect the Gaelic and American relationships. Taylor is trying very hard to hide his grin as the French security twins are looking impassive. “I would say you were grossly, egregiously misinformed Madame! French cuisine is famous for its sauces, bread, cheese and wines. I shall immediately refer you and Monsieur Grey to some French restaurants where you can experience the true magnificence of the French cookery,” he says fervently. “What do you think about the Greek food?” Anastasia asks, changing directions. He sighs, “Greeks are such a great civilization. To be fair ma’am, they gave us democracy, science, and little cubes of charred meat that taste like sweat. It is a known fact that French cookery is superior over all of the cuisines in the world.” Anastasia’s eyes first go wide with his answer, shocked, but also dance with mischief as if she’s having great fun while starting World Kitchen Wars I. It’s time to stop her. “As enticing as the culinary discussion you two are having, I’d like to see the grandeur of this French architecture,” I say pointedly. I pull Anastasia’s hand and she’s flush on my side. “What’s gotten into you? You were about to give that poor man a coronary and perhaps start the World Kitchen Wars I,” I state in a slow, forbidding voice into her ear. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me, either,” she says biting her lip. “I feel like a troublemaker. I just couldn't stop,” she whispers back. I narrow my eyes on her.

"Maybe you need to be spanked, Mrs. Grey,” I whisper into her ear, and hear, rather than see her hitching breath. “I’ve been a bad girl. Perhaps a punishment is in order, Mr. Grey,” she whispers in a husky voice, flushing. By the time we get inside the castle, Anastasia’s amazed with all the opulent, gilt splendor of the eighteenth century palace, and she utters, “I am completely in love with Versailles!” utterly taken by her surroundings, and it is apparent that she's all forgiven by our tour guide. After our guide gives us a tour of the Palace, he bids us his adieu before leaving us to wander through the place on our own. He shakes Anastasia’s hand, then shakes mine saying, “you have in your possession a very outspoken, a very passionate spouse, sir. I congratulate you! She must have French in her ancestry. I am therefore honored to meet you both,” he says and takes his leave. I am completely baffled and taken aback how Anastasia affects the other people. “Come, Mrs. Grey, let me show you what other megalomaniacs do for the women they love,” I say darkly and take her into the Hall of Mirrors. The early afternoon light floods through the windows to the west, lighting up the mirrors that line the east wall and illuminating the gold leaf décor and the enormous crystal chandeliers. Anastasia is completely mesmerized, as if she’s in a spectacular dream from which she doesn’t want to wake up.

“Yes, it is interesting to see what becomes of a despotic megalomaniac who isolates himself in such splendor,” she murmurs as I’m standing by her side. She’s trying to get a rise out of me on top of what she has done to poor Monsieur Painlevé. I gaze down at her cocking my head to one side. “Your point, Mrs. Grey?” I ask with humor. “Oh, merely making an observation, Mr. Grey,” she says waving her hand airily at the surroundings. I smirk at her response following her to the center of the room where she stands and gawks at the view. There’s something amazing in this picture. The view of the spectacular gardens glimmer in the mirrors, but then also my stunning wife’s image is reflected back on

every single mirror. I gaze at her boldly, darkly, salaciously. She’s completely, incredibly and utterly beautiful, especially with the way the light is accentuating her chestnut hair. “I would build this for you,” I whisper. “Just to see the way the light burnishes your hair, right here, right now,” I say in a low, husky voice as I tuck a strand of hair behind her ear. “You look like an angel,” a mischievous angel, but an angel nonetheless. I kiss her right below her earlobe, and taking her hand I murmur, “We despots do that for the women we love." She flushes, s till shy when she receives a compliment. I follow her through the room, and when she turns back to me with desire in her eyes, I hold her face gently in my hands, and kiss her with all I’ve got, our embrace reflected in every single mirror like Rodin’s “The Kiss” statue.

When we break our kiss, she whispers, “You’re very brazen Mr. Grey.” I smile at her salaciously and admiringly. “We’re in the city of love, in a palace built on a piece of neglected land which used to be a small hunting lodge, but Louis XIV restructured the location into an icon of absolute power and timeless domination – sort of like my less than humble beginnings,” I say shrugging. “And what you are now…” she adds. I smile at her but my smile doesn’t reach my eyes. My gaze is focused on her. “Did you know that there are 357 mirrors, 17 glass doors, marble walls, chandeliers, and splendid paintings in the ceiling: it creates a heavenly splendor which of course was the Sun King’s intent here. But you Ana, standing here... you are like the brightest shining jewel of all. The sight of you in here, looking at me like this...with love and admiration is a sight simply breathtaking in its majesty. I’m simply awed, Ana. You do that to me,” I whisper softly. She swallows hard, and her arms snake around my neck. “Take me back to the hotel, or find a private room in this palace, I don’t care which. Right now, I’d be completely happy if you just took me down here,” she whispers wanton. “Mrs. Grey, you've become completely insatiable. What have I created here?” I reply with a grin.

“Would you have me any other way, Mr. Grey?” she asks smiling. “I’ll have you any way I can, baby… Any possible way I can. Come, let’s go,” I say and we take off to the Hotel de Crillon. *****❦ ♡ ❧***** “Get in your comfy clothes, and walking shoes, baby,” I remind her in the morning. “Where are we going today?” she asks excitedly after breakfast. “It’s a surprise,” I grin. She groans in response. “Baby, this is a remarkable city with so much to do. You can spend a lifetime here and still not have seen or experienced everything. Ernest Hemingway lived in Paris, and he said, ‘If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is movable f east.’ That single sentence captures everything about Paris. I want this to be an experience you will never forget. He also said, ‘Il n’y a que deux endroits au monde où l’on puisse vivre heureux: chez soi et à Paris.’ “ I say in French slowly. She looks at me enamored. Her chest is rising up and down quickly to accommodate her rising passion. She’s flushed. She gazes at me darkly as she walks around the table to stand before me: “I have no idea what you said, but it sounded so hot, I feel like hurling myself at you!” she whispers licentiously. “I said that ‘there are only two places in the world where we can live happy: at home and in Paris.’ I was quoting Hemingway. But once you are bitten by the love of Paris, there’s just no cure for it. You’re in love with this city for life,” I say grinning, and turning my chair towards her direction so she can sit on my lap, cowgirl style. She wraps her arms around me, and we are lost in our kiss, until Taylor discreetly comes in and clears his throat. *****❦ ♡ ❧***** “Musée du Louvre is one of the greatest museums in the world,” I explain Anastasia. “What? Are we not utilizing Monsieur Painlevé’s mean guiding skills?” she asks smiling, batting her eyelashes innocently. “No. I decided that you've given him hard enough time yesterday, and the poor man deserved a bit of a break from you. You’re too much to handle,” I say grinning, and she bites her lip in response. I release her lip with a tug of her chin, and whisper, “Luckily, I like you that way.” “Why luckily, Mr. Grey?” she asks narrowing her eyes. “Let’s just say that, it turns me on; makes me feel alive.” “It’s not fair, you know!” she whispers.

“What’s not fair?” I ask. “That you turn me on in an overly crowded, one of the world’s biggest, most famous museum s, leaving me hot and bothered!” she says slowly exhaling, trying to calm herself down. I grin wide, and feel so much alive and in love with my wife. “Let me show you some of my favorite exhibits here,” I say and pull her in the direction of the Department of Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities: Hellenistic Art. I bring her in front of the statue of Aphrodite. “Venus de Milo,” she whispers.

“Yes. According to the Greek mythology, Aphrodite is the Greek goddess and sexual rapture. She was born from the foam of the sea in Cyprus. She, as you can see has supernatural beauty. Zeus was afraid that the male gods would fight over her, creating problems. So he married her to Hephaestus, the dour and ugly god of fire and smithing. He was overjoyed at being married to the goddess of beauty and he forged beautiful jewelry, and a cestus, a girdle for her. But of course that just made her more irresistible to men. The cestus was recognized as a symbol for its magical powers to compel love, strengthen her potent sexual attractiveness. She was unhappy, of course, for having married someone without her will, and soon took companionship from other gods and even mortals. She was a lover of Ares, the god of war; Adonis, the god of beauty and desire, and also Anchises who was seduced by Aphrodite and was a mortal lover of the goddess.

She was also believed to be the cause of the Trojan War after making Paris fall in love with Helene. Her seductions and temptations were a constant source of pleasure and danger both for Gods and mortals who fell under her captivating spell. They were robbed of their wits, and enticed into actions they would not normally take. She was a combination of pleasure and danger. Aphrodite was not bad. She was just in love with love. She was incredibly passionate with love and a helpless romantic. Look at her face…”I point. “It’s timeless and emotionless. Her elongated silhouette is very sensual, realistic yet other worldly. Even though the sculptor was seeking to create the divine beauty,” I say walking around the statue, and pointing at her, “this timeless masterpiece created a fine answer to the eternal quest for beauty we all have. The result is this goddess of love and beauty, born out of the foam of the sea.” She looks at the statue carefully, jealously. “You are my Aphrodite, Anastasia. You’re the timeless love and beauty that belongs to me. You’re the masterpiece…” I say to her reverentially. “Why…” she says and stops looking at the statue. “Why do you think that we’re all mesmerized by such beauty? Even I can’t take my eyes off of her…” she comments. “It’s simple. We can all appreciate the female form. We love to look whether in marble or oils or satin or film. Beauty is pleasing to the eye. A masterpiece of God’s creation, and we like to see the reflection of it in captivated forms such as these…” I explain. She nods, and smiles. “I am in total awe of your knowledge, and your confidence, and your Adonic beauty, Christian.” “Adonic beauty?” I ask grinning.

"Yes! I think you are a masterpiece. A masterpiece that belongs to me…” she whispers. “I think if they've made a statue of you, people would be gazing at him five thousand years from now and admiring the masterpiece of God’s creation that you are. I just hope the title says, ‘Mrs. Anastasia Grey’s husband’,” she says smiling brightly. “I like that title, Mrs. Grey. I like it a lot.” *****❦ ♡ ❧*****

“Mr. and Mrs. Grey! It is a pleasure to have you on board of the Fair Lady. My name is Nicholas Perri; I’m a former captain myself, but now the shore manager to the Fair Lady. This is Captain David Madison,” he indicates a lean blonde man with a crisp Captain’s uniform who extends and shakes my hand firmly, then shakes Anastasia’s hand, saying, “ma’am.” “And this here is your First Mate of the Fair Lady, Alain Benoît,” he indicates a dark haired, tall young man about my age, who smiles brightly, and proffers his hand first to Anastasia, and croons: “Enchantée Mademoiselle, welcome aboard,” he says professionally, but I don’t miss the slight gleam in his eyes; he’s taken by my wife. Sure enough he takes Anastasia’s hand, and kisses the back of it. My eyes are fixed on him. I bet you are delighted! He purposefully calls her Miss. I make sure he know that she’s Mrs. Grey, my wife. “Elle est Madame Grey. Ma femme! Je suis M. Grey. Son mari!” I wedge myself between his arm and my wife’s hand. “Je m’excuse, Monsieur Grey,” fucker apologizes, and adds, “Je suis heureux de vous rencontrer. Bienvenue à bord.” Sure you do! Bastard!

“Moi aussi.”I say as my gaze is firmly fixed on him. Then I turn to the shore manager, and indicating a private corner, I say, “A word, Mr. Perri.” “Please, call me Nick, Mr. Grey.” I give a slight, imperceptible nod to Taylor, who leads Anastasia away to distract her by saying, “this way Mrs. Grey.” Anastasia looks confused, but follows Taylor. When Perri and I walk about twenty feet away from the Captain and the First Mate, I turn the full intensity of my gaze on the shore manager: “I don’t want Benoît on the ship during our stay. I’d like you to appoint another First Mate for this week.” “I beg your pardon Mr. Grey? Has he offended you in any way? I assure you sir; his show of manners is purely French and not outside of the norm here.” “Don’t assume to give me a lesson on social norms; I know the customs having lived in France myself. I’m paying €63,000 for the charter of this vessel for the week not to mention added expenses which will grow well over €100,000. I want a different First Mate that my wife and I can be comfortable of being around.” “Very well, sir. We will send another First Mate replacing Mr. Benoît. Is there anything else I can assist you with?” “Yes,” I say smiling having resolved the problem. “What year was the ship built?” He smiles in response. “She was built in 1928 sir, but refitted in 2005 and 2006. It took about 2 years to complete the project. She’s an English vessel, sir,” he adds proudly. “The workmanship is exquisite,” I say assessing the vessel. “What is her length? I’m assuming it’s about 120 feet long...” I say. “Very close sir! Her length is 121 feet and the beam is 20.3 feet and her draft is 10 feet sir.” “What sort of engines does she have?” “We have two 230 horse power Gardner sir which permits 10.5 knots of speed.” “Impressive. Size of the crew?” “Six, sir.” “What sort of water-sports do you accommodate from the boat?” “If I may make an observation, sir, you know your ships very well. You’re asking all the right questions. Well, we have a 5.2 meter Boston Whaler tender with 130 horsepower engine, 4 meter Avon tender with 40 horsepower engine, and two Laser sailing dinghies, two canoes, water skis and tow, snorkeling gear, and diving gear, sir, should you wish to take advantage of them.” “We will. What sort of communications and entertainment facilities do you have on board?” He grins in response. “You’d be pleased to know that we have Satcom and cellular communication facilities, sir. We also have Wi-Fi internet access, comprehensive audio-visual

systems, satellite TV, and iPod docking stations throughout the boat, Mr. Grey. Allow me to take you and Mrs. Grey around for a tour, sir!” he says indicating with his hand, ahead, and I nod. I walk towards my wife taking her hand, and tour the Fair Lady which will accommodate us for the last week of our honeymoon.

*****❦ ♡ ❧***** Every city has a sex and an age which have nothing to do with demography. Rome is feminine. So is Odessa. London is a teenager, an urchin, and this hasn’t changed since the time of Dickens. Paris, I believe, is a man in his twenties in love with an older woman. John Berger

L’Americain de Paris, c’est ce que l’Amerique a fait de mieux. (The American in Paris is the best American). F. Scott Fitzgerald

The best of America drifts to Paris. The American in Paris is the best American. It is more fun for an intelligent person to live in an intelligent country. France has the only two things toward which we drift as we grow older—intelligence and good manners. F. Scott Fitzgerald


“Monte Carlo is amazing!” Anastasia gushes. I look up from the book I’m reading smiling at her. She’s trying to get my attention. “What are you reading?” she asks. “Watching the Clock: Economic Predictions,” I say. “It’s a book predicting the collapse of the Western banking System.” “Sounds like a page turner,” she says as her eyes greedily skim over my shirtless torso, and my cutoff jeans lying in the sun lounger next to hers. The Fair Lady is anchored in the harbor, and we’re basking under the sun at the Beach Plaza Monte Carlo in Monaco. I grin at her response. “Well, I’m going to tan a little Mr. Grey since you seem to like my sun kissed skin,” she says plugging her ear-buds of her iPod into her ears. I turn back to my book for another hour, and Anastasia dozes off in the sun lounger listening to what she calls “ Christian Grey mix-tape”; the mix I created for her after she broke up with me I painfully remember. Suddenly I feel a yearning towards my wife. I put my book down, lean in and whisper into her ear. “You’ll burn,” and she’s startled from her nap. “Only for you, Mr. Grey,” she murmurs smiling sweetly. The sun is lower now and we are no longer in the shade. I pull her sun lounger swiftly and get her under the protection of the parasol.

“Out of the Mediterranean sun, Mrs. Grey,” I say. “Thank you for your altruism, Mr. Grey,” she replies. “My pleasure, Mrs. Grey, and I’m not being altruistic at all. If you burn, I won’t be able to touch you,” I say raising my eyebrows. Not being able to touch my wife on our honeymoon would be a torture for me. “But I suspect you know that and you’re laughing at me.” “Would I?” she asks innocently. “Yes you would and you do. Often. It’s one of the many things I love about you, Mrs. Grey,” I say leaning down and kissing my wife, and playfully bite her lower lip. “I was hoping you’d rub me down with more sunscreen,” she says against my lips. “Mrs. Grey, it’s a dirty job... but that’s an offer I can’t refuse. Sit up,” I order in a husky voice. She sits up, and I slowly apply the sunscreen on her back and front. I can’t take my eyes or my hands off my wife. “You really are very lovely, Anastasia. I’m a lucky man,” I murmur my appreciation of her body as I coat her breasts with my fingers with sun tan lotion, feeling the perkiness of her twin peaks. “Yes, you are, Mr. Grey,” she whispers coyly, gazing at me through her long lashes. “Modesty becomes you, Mrs. Grey, Turn over. I want to do your back,” I order. She rolls over smiling, and I undo the strap of her bikini to rub lotion to her beautiful backside. “How would you feel if I went topless, like the other women on the beach?” she asks, and momentarily my fingers stop rubbing. “Displeased,” I reply, though ‘displeased’ would be the least of what I feel. I don’t want anyone getting a glimpse of my wife naked. “I’m not very happy about you wearing so little right now,” I add, and lean down to her ear and whisper, “So, don’t push your luck, baby.” “Is that a challenge, Mr. Grey?” she asks. Leave it to Anastasia to take it as such. “No. It’s a statement of fact, Mrs. Grey,” I reply. She sighs and shakes her head. Yes, I know I’m a possessive control freak, an insanely jealous husband but also madly in love with my wife! Who could blame me? It would drive me crazy if I saw other men ogling my wife in a naked state. I can barely handle it as it is. I finish rubbing the lotion all over her body, and slap her firm buttocks.

“You’ll do, wench,” I say. My Blackberry buzzes making me frown. She eyes me, and her gaze makes me grin. “My eyes only, Mrs. Grey,” I say slapping her behind once more, and sit back and answer the call. Anastasia drifts back to her nap. Once I finish my phone call, I motion a waitress to order drinks for us, ““ Mademoiselle? Un Perrier pour moi, un Coca-Cola light pour ma femme, s’il vous plait. Et quelque chose a manger... laissez moi voir la carte.” Anastasia wakes up hearing me talking to the waitress. I gaze at my beautiful wife as she flutters her eyes open watching the waitress walk away with her tray. “Thirsty?” I ask. “Yes,” she replies sleepily. “I could watch you all day. Tired?” I ask. The warm sun makes her even sleepier. She blushes. “I didn’t get much sleep last night,” she replies. “Me neither,” I grin, looking at my wife. Last night’s exertions were extremely pleasant. I put my Blackberry aside, and divest myself of my cutout jeans. As I take my flip-flops off, I invite my wife for a swim with me. I’m in a playful mood. “Come for a swim with me, baby,” I say holding my hand out to her. She looks at me semi incoherent, still tired. “Swim?” I ask cocking my head to one side, completely amused. She’s too sleepy to comprehend a simple question. I shake my head slowly, and as the gears are turning in my head, I know what I will do to wake her up. “I think you need a wake-up call,” I say and pounce on my wife, lifting her in my arms while she shrieks, completely surprised. “Christian! Put me down!” she says squealing, making me chuckle.

“Only in the sea, baby,” I reply, walking toward the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean under the bemused, disinterested gazes of the beach-goers. I make the short distance in the sand, and wade into the warm waters of the Mediterranean. Anastasia clasps her arms around my neck. Realizing what I’m going to do, she says, “You wouldn't!” breathlessly, but with a hint of amusement.

I grin at her in response. “Oh, Ana, baby, have you learned nothing in the short time we've known each other?” I answer kissing her. She reciprocates forcefully; her fingers running through my hair, grasping handfuls of it, kissing me back fervently as if she isn't getting enough of me, and I push my tongue into her mouth. She’s trying to get a rise out of me so I won’t drop her into the water. Once I manage to pull back from her lips, completely breathless, turned on, and hungry for her, I gaze at Ana with dark, salacious eyes. “I know your game,” I whisper and slowly sink into the water with her in my arms as I lock my lips with hers once again. She wraps herself around me with her arms. “I thought you wanted to swim,” she murmurs against my lips. I did, but I can improvise.

“You are very distracting,” I reply, my teeth grazing her delectable lower lip. I want to take her here, in the sea, but we now have a growing audience. “But I’m not sure I want the good people of Monte Carlo to see my wife in the throes of passion.” This time she runs her teeth along my jaw, trying to seduce me. She’s already turned me on, and I can barely stand not fucking her in the warm waters of the Mediterranean. But I restrain myself considering the ever growing audience at the beach. “Ana,” I groan. I wrap her ponytail around my wrist tugging it gently, tilting her head back. As I expose her throat, I trial kisses from her ear down to her neck. “Shall I take you in the sea?” I ask breathless. “Yes,” she whispers, demanding. I pull away to look at her, with nothing but desire and wanting in my eyes. “Mrs. Grey, you’re insatiable, and so brazen. What sort of monster have I created?” “A monster fit for you. Would you have me any other way?” she asks. Oh baby, you know the answer to that. “I’ll take you any way I can get you, you know that. But not right now. Not with an audience,” I respond jerking my head towards the beach. There are several people who are now interested in our interaction in the sea, some of whom wielding binoculars. I suddenly grab Anastasia by the waist, and launch her into the air letting her fall into the water and sink beneath the waves and the soft sand on the sea floor. What I did to her is so unexpected, all I see is her flailing arms, and for a second I get concerned that I will have to rescue my wife from five feet of sea water, but soon enough she surfaces, coughing, spluttering and giggling. “Christian!” she scolds me with her forbidding glare. It’s her, I’m-disappointed-I-didn't-get-sex look, and I have to bite my lower lip to stifle my amusement. She splashes me knowing, and I splash her right back. “We have all night,” I remind her, and grin as wide as possible. “Laters, baby,” I say and dive under the surface away from Anastasia, swimming away from the shore. She doesn’t attempt to catch up to me. She’s not a fast swimmer as I am. When I’m nearly fifty yards away, she gives up and swims towards the shore. She can have her Coke and lounge as I swim and burn some energy. Otherwise we’ll both be up all night again. I swim further in the sea and I can feel the temperature change in the water. It’s noticeably cooler than the shore. I’ve been in water over

half an hour. Deciding to get back to the beach, I start my strokes towards shore. As I get closer to the shore, I eye our sun lounger to see if Anastasia’s is sitting and waiting in it. Fuck! She's waiting for me alright! She’s fucking topless, face up, sleeping! And half the fucking beach is eyeing her, including my security detail! Shit! Fuck! I double my efforts to get to the beach, swimming faster than I ever did, and practically sprint to the sun lounger she's lying on. I stand breathless at the foot of the lounger and the fucking French security twins are grinning with the floor show she's provided, and Taylor is scowling at them. I’m beyond boiling mad! “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” I shout at her waking her up. The anger brewing in me could dry up my drenching body. She opens her eyes, confused at first, and then realizes her topless state. “I was on my front. I must have turned over in my sleep,” she whispers defensively. I am burning with fury. I reach down and scoop the bikini top which she carelessly tossed onto my sun lounger, and toss it back at her. I am not entirely sure if she just turned over to her front in her sleep. She is doing this to challenge my authority. She loves to do opposite of everything I ask her to do. Fuck! Why the simple requests I make of her is a game to her? Does she not care or value what I think? “Put this on!” I hiss through my gritted teeth. “Christian, no one is looking,” is her flimsy excuse. No one is looking? Even the security details I'm paying are ogling her. Is she babbling to get me madder? “Trust me. They’re looking. I’m sure Taylor and the security crew are enjoying the show!” I snarl. More than enjoying. She finally has the decency to cover her breasts with her arms in panic after eyeing the security, and seeing their gazes locked on her very perky boobs.

“Yes!” I snarl back at her. “And some sleazy fucking paparazzi could get a shot of you, too. Do you want to be all over the cover of Star magazine? Naked this time?” I bellow. I don’t fucking believe it! Why does she do things always opposite of what I tell her? Has she no consideration? Why does she have to challenge everything I ask her not to do? As soon as I see one of the waitresses walking by, I shout, “L’addition!” for the bill as I hand her a credit card. “We’re going,” I say to her with finality. “Now?” she asks. Now, damn it! “Yes. Now!” I say, turning to the other sun lounger, I grab cut out shorts and pull them on my dripping swimming trunks, and pull over my gray t-shirt. When the waitress comes back with my card charged, and the bill to sign, I render my signature without looking at the bottom line. After seeing my determined demeanor, Anastasia puts her turquoise sundress on, and steps into her flip-flops. I hide my anger, tension and fury behind my aviator sunglasses, and angrily snatch my Blackberry and finance book. Does she think that her prank was funny? Just because we’re at a beach in Monaco doesn’t mean that I would stop hating others eye -fucking my wife! What’s more it’s a hard limit for me! It’s right up there with being touched by anyone other than Anastasia! Seeing her topless in public made all my synapses flash, Red! Red! Red! Red! Red! Nonstop!! She makes me feel helpless. She takes my orderly world and turns it upside down, breaks all my limits! How is a man supposed to deal with this? I have to show her what her behavior makes me feel like. I have to show her how desperate, helpless, incompetent I feel when it comes to her. I can’t utter another word to her. The anger I feel is palpable. “Please don’t be mad at me,” she whispers as she takes my book and the Blackberry placing them into her backpack. “Too late for that,” I say in a very low, quiet, determined to punish voice. “Come,” I say taking her hand into mine. I signal to Taylor and the French twins Philippe and Gaston. How could Anastasia forget that three huge security guys detailing us 24/7 round the clock? Taylor seems to be mad at Anastasia as well knowing I will grill him momentarily for not waking Anastasia up and allowing others to ogle and eye fuck my wife. Just the thought of it is torturing me! I don’t share! She’s my wife, damn it! She was saying earlier that every other woman on the beach is topless. I’m a hot blooded American for fuck's sake! I’m Christian Grey!

I’m not every other woman’s boyfriend or husband; what they do or don't do is none of my fucking business. I’m Anastasia’s husband! I take care of what is mine, and I am proprietary. Fuck this! I’m boiling mad. I walk towards the hotel pulling Anastasia behind me. We walk through the hotel and into the street. The anger is still boiling and brewing inside me.

How can I punish her? Orgasm denial? It’s standard in BDSM. That’s not enough. I want her to feel as helpless, as desperate, as defenseless, as powerless, as paralyzed, as exposed as I feel when she pulls one of her disobedient pranks on me. I want her to walk in my shoes, feel what I feel! She cuts me open, and lets me bleed slowly. I vaguely notice that Taylor and his Francophone sidekicks are quietly shadowing us with just enough distance that my wrath doesn’t wash over them.

“Where are we going?” Anastasia asks gazing up at me. “Back to the boat,” I respond without looking at her. I don’t want her chagrin, or her remorse to soften me. When we reach to the marina, it’s about quarter to six in the afternoon. I lead her to

the part of the marina where the motorboat and the Jet Ski belonging to the Fair Lady are moored. I untie the Jet Ski while Anastasia hands her backpack to Taylor to be carried on the motorboat. Anastasia glances at me and Taylor nervously. He places the backpack into the boat, and hands Anastasia a life vest.

“Here you go, Mrs. Grey,” he says, and Anastasia puts it on silently. I look at Taylor finally spewing some of my rage into him. He knows that I’m extremely unhappy he let Ana get topless with these French twins ogling her. He could have gone and put a towel on her for fuck’s sake! His look, gaze and demeanor tell me that he didn't want to cross my boundaries. Has he just met me? He knows I get jealous of my wife! Was it better that the entire Monaco ogling my woman’s breasts? I turn back to Anastasia who strapped her life jacket, but I have double check her handiwork, and tighten the middle one, and mutter sullenly, “You’ll do.” I still can’t get myself look at her. Still so fucking angry for defying me! What message was she trying to get across? Was it, ‘ Look at me, I’m a hot babe, and available’, or ‘I can give me husband a coronary before he hits 30!’? I take a deep breath and climb onto the Jet Ski, and hold my hand out for her to join me on it. The second she touches my hand, our connections jolts me alive again, and stirs a yearning inside me for her. She grasps my hand tightly, and throws her leg over the Jet Ski behind me. Taylor and the Francophone twins clamber into the motorboat. I kick the Jet Ski away from the doc, and let it float into the marina. “Hold on!” I order Anastasia, and she better obey. She puts her arms around me, and holds on tightly, hugging me close to her. Her nose nuzzles on my back and our connection makes me feel alive. A tinge of relief floods which I hold at bay. I can feel her inhaling my scent making

me stiffen. I don’t want to let go of the anger. She needs to be punished. She cannot keep crossing all of my boundaries. “Steady,” I remind her, but anger melts away slightly with her proximity despite my resolve. She kisses my back, and rests her cheek against me. I turn the ignition of the Jet Ski and when the motor roars to life, I twist the accelerator and we buck forward through the dark water of the marina and toward the Fair Lady docked at the center of the harbor. Anastasia holds onto me tightly, but I can feel her vibrating excitement. She loves this mode of travel. Anything that can get her exited is exciting for me. Taylor pulls the motorboat alongside the Jet Ski, and I glance at him to let him know we’ll have a little fun before we board. I accelerate and we shoot forward, whip over the top of the water. Taylor, unable to keep up with me, heads the motorboat back to the yacht. I twist the accelerator again and the Jet Ski pushes forward towards the open water. The sea spray splashes us, and Ana’s excitement is completely palpable, contagious. She is completely thrilled, and I am excited to show her a good time. No matter how angry I get with her, my life’s mission is still making her extremely happy.

I steer the Jet Ski in a giant semicircle and we turn away from the open seas and face the marina, and look at the Mont Agel, the mountain creating a natural border between France and Monaco. We can even see the Chemin des Révoires which is also called the Roof of Monaco. The disarray of blocks of apartments, various hues of white, yellow, pink, and sandy color apartments are visible and somehow make the city distinct, and enticing. Anastasia squeals in delight. I glance over my shoulder looking at her, and try to suppress my smile.

“Again?” I shout over the noise of the Jet Ski. She nods vigorously, and her enthusiasm makes me grin ear to ear. I twist the throttle and we speed around the Fair Lady and onto the open sea once again. We make the loop twice more, and each time Anastasia screams in delight. I finally slow the Jet Ski down and pull alongside The Fair Lady. Once we make up on the yacht, I pull her towards, me and unbuckle her life jacket.

“You’ve caught the sun,” I say noticing her tan. It’s a delightful shade and makes her skin glow, a healthy shade making her even more beautiful. She looks at me questioning, searching, assessing. One of the stewards is standing nearby quietly waiting for the life jacket which I hand to him. “Will that be all, sir?” he asks. “One second,” I reply. He nods and waits. I take off my Aviator sunglasses, and tuck them into the collar of my gray t-shirt. “Would you like a drink?” I ask Anastasia.

“Do I need one?” she asks surprising me. I cock my head to one side and question her in a soft voice. “Why would you say that?” “You know why,” she replies. My wife is too smart and she knows me well. I don’t want to hurt her, but I want her to know how she makes me feel. “Two gin and tonics, please. And some nuts and olives,” I order the steward who nods and disappears. Now that we are alone, what do I do with my wife? My mind is racing with different punishment possibilities all of which involving Anastasia in my bed. “You think I’m going to punish you?” I ask her in a seductive voice. “Do you want to?” she asks. “Yes,” I reply truthfully. “How?” she probes. “I’ll think of something. Maybe when you've had your drink,” I say finally making up my mind. I know exactly what I want to do. She visibly swallows, but it’s hard to read her demeanor. She looks anticipatory, but I don’t want to misread it. If she doesn’t want to be punished, I can’t. I frown with the thought. “You want to be?” I ask. She flushes, “Depends,” she mutters in response. She sounds hopeful. “On what?” I ask, trying to hide my smile. “If you want to hurt me or not.” Fuck! I don’t want to hurt her! She’s my wife for God’s sake. I just want her to understand my limits; my hard limits. I don’t want her to associate me, her husband with hurt and distress. I lean forward and kiss her forehead. “Anastasia, you’re my wife, not my sub. I don’t ever want to hurt you. You should know that by now. Just... just don’t take your clothes off in public. I don’t want you naked all over the tabloids. You don’t want that, and I’m sure your mom and Ray don’t want that either,” I remind her. She looks completely chagrined and just realizes the few minutes of indiscretion can cause a lot of embarrassment for a lot of us.

The steward finally comes back with our drinks and snacks and puts them on the teak table on deck. “Sit,” I order her. She sits into a director’s chair while I take a seat next to her. I pass one of the gin and tonics to her. “Cheers, Mrs. Grey,” I hold my glass. “Cheers, Mr. Grey,” she replies taking a sip. She closes her eyes and takes another sip savoring, quenching her thirst. She looks so fucking hot! When she opens her eyes, and looks up, she finds me gazing at her. My face is impassive and I’m fighting inside how to deal with her. I am still mad, and I still want her to know that it’s not acceptable for her to take her clothes off in public, and that she’s my wife, but I don’t want to hurt her. How do I go about this? Even pleasure can be effectively used as a punishment. Oh, yes! Mrs. Grey, you’re in for a Christian Grey punishment fuck! Anastasia is trying to decipher my expression, but I give nothing away. Giving up, she asks: “Who owns this boat?” “A British knight. Sir Somebody-or-Other. His great-grandfather started a grocery store. His daughter’s married to one of the Crown Princes of Europe,” I reply trying to piece together the information the Shore Manager gave me that day. I was too angry to remember everything when the First Mate started making a pass at my wife in my presence. “Super-rich?” she asks. Where is she going with this? I don’t want her to think about money now, like she did on our first night in Paris. “Yes,” I respond warily. “Like you,” she murmurs. Fuck! Don’t think like that, baby! “Yes,” I murmur. Her face falls. “And like you,” I whisper her and pop an olive into my mouth as my gaze lingers on her. She blinks rapidly. I want her to remember that what is mine is also hers. There is no “me” anymore. It’s us. It’s ours. She’s mine, and I’m hers. She exhales slowly. “It’s odd. Going from nothing to,” she says waving her hand around to indicate the expensive yacht, “to everything.”

“You’ll get used to it,” I reply. I don’t ever want her to make this an issue. My wealth is hers. Without her, I have nothing. She gave meaning to all I have. “I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it,” she replies. Taylor appears on deck. “Sir, you have a call,” he says and extends the Blackberry. “Grey,” I snap, rising from my seat. “Hi Mr. Grey. Ros here. I apologize for interrupting your honeymoon, but I’ll get right to the point right away,” she says. “Well, hurry up then. You’re taking my time! What’s up?” “It’s the Taiwan shipyard...” “I’m listening,” I respond. “Walter and I need to Taiwan to meet with the heads of the company...” ****❦ ♡ ❧***** As soon as I hang up with Ros, I’m anxious to get back to my wife on deck. I quickly walk to her sitting at the same spot I left her. She’s deep in thought just as I left her, still stewing about our money, her face is still fallen. “You will get used to it,” I interrupt her thoughts. “Used to it?” she ask. “The money,” I reply rolling my eyes. She doesn’t respond but pushes the small bowl of almonds and cashews toward me. “Your nuts, sir,” she says, biting her lips to not to smile. Her response makes me smirk. “I’m nuts about you,” I reply taking an almond, enjoying her wicked humor. My nuts, my dick, and my entire body miss my wife. I lick my lips. “Drink up. We’re going to bed,” I say with dark eyes. She looks up at me questioning. “Drink,” I mouth her, salacity, desire, carnal thoughts lacing my gaze. She picks up her glass, and drains her gin without taking her eyes off me. Her look says she too wants me badly, making my mouth drop open and the tip of my tongue caught between my teeth. Oh what I’m going to do to you Mrs. Grey. I stand up gracefully, knowi ng she’s watching my every move, and bend over my wife, my hands resting on the arms of her chair.

“I’m going to make an example of you. Come. Don’t pee,” I whisper in her ear. She looks at me with alarm. No, I’m not into golden shower. “It’s not what you think,” I say smirking and hold my hand out to her. “Trust me,” I whisper, wanton. “Okay,” she replies placing her hand into mine. Her trust is written all over her face. Her chest is heaving up and down in excitement and anticipation. I lead my wife across the deck and through the main salon, and through the narrow corridor, the dining room, and down the stairs to the main master cabin; our bedroom. Our cabin has been cleaned, our bed made. The cabin is cream colored accented with rich red, gold and mahogany colors and walnut furniture. The two portholes on both the starboard and port sides are framed and decorated with small red and gold colored curtains. I release Anastasia’s hand when we enter into the cabin. I pull my t -shirt over my head and toss it onto a chair. I remove my flip-flops and my shorts and swimming trunks stand before my wife completely naked. She is eating me up with her gaze biting her lip. Her gaze is carnal. I reach up to her chin and release her lip then run my thumb along her lower lip. “That’s better,” I murmur and stride over to the walnut armoire housing my clothes. I open the bottom drawers and pull out two pairs of metal handcuffs, and an airline eye mask from. She eyes get wide and she glances around nervously at the bed trying to see where I can attach the cuffs. Baby you have no idea what I can do with a pair of these. My gaze is on her steadily, my eyes dark, carnal, anticipatory. “These can be quite painful. They can bite into the skin if you pull too hard,” I say holding a pair of the handcuffs up. “But I really want to use them on you now,” I say. I need to! When she disobeys me deliberately, I feel worse than being handcuffed. I feel helpless, voiceless, without control, without a rudder, adrift without a direction. She makes me feel debilitated, up the creek without a fucking paddle and in a pair of handcuffs! Her face is panicky. “Here,” I say trying to put her at ease handing her a set. “Do you want to try them first?” She holds the solid, cold metal cuffs in her hands weighing. Her fingers run around the open cuffs, still anxious. I watch her every move, ever touch, every expression intently. “Where are the keys?” she asks in a wavering voice.

I hold them out in my palm, showing her the small metallic key. “This doe s both the sets. In fact, all sets,” I reply. They’re universal. Her eyes are questioning. I don’t want her to be afraid, but I really have to do this. I lean down; stroke her cheek with my index finger, trailing it down to her mouth. I lean in close enough to kiss her. “Do you want to play?” I challenge her in a low, licentious tone with carnal intent. I want to fuck. I want to punish. I want to show her what she does to me. I love her damn it, and it drives me insane when she disobeys! I hated it when her beautiful breasts were the focal point of half the beach goers. She needs to know how I feel. “Yes,” she breathes in response. I smile, “Good,” I reply and plant air light kisses on her forehead. “We’re going to need a safe word,” I say. She looks at me with her ‘what?’ face, questioning. “Stop won’t be enough, because you will probably say that, but you won’t mean it,” I reply running my nose down on her without touching her anywhere else. She is so turned on. I can feel her heart fluttering; her chest is rising up and down in rapid succession. “This is not going to hurt. It will however be intense. Very intense, because I am not going to let you move. Okay?” I ask. I want her to absorb all the pleasure, all the pounding I’m going to give to her, all the intense, overwhelming, mind blowing sensation. She flushes, and my cock is already in full salute mode. She looks down at my erection still growing with the sight of her. “Okay,” she replies with a barely audible voice, anticipating. “Choose a word, Ana,” I remind her. The thinks for a few seconds, “Popsicle,” she say, panting. “Popsicle?” I ask after she’s been eyeing my cock. She wants to suck me off! “Yes,” she replies in a breathy voice. I grin as I lean back to gaze down at her. “Interesting choice. Lift your arms up,” I command and she obeys. I lift the hem of her sundress, pull it over her head and toss it on the floor. I hold my hand out to her and she places the handcuffs in the middle of my palm. I put both the sets of handcuffs on the table along with the blindfold and pull the gold and red colored duvet off the bed letting it fall to the floor. “Turn around,” I order. She does, and I undo her bikini top, letting it fall onto the floor.

“Tomorrow, I will staple this to you,” I mutter. I tug her hair tie and free her hair. I co llect her hair in one hand. I yank it gently and she steps back against my chest, against my full grown erection. She gasps. I pull her head to one side and kiss her neck. “You were very disobedient,” I murmur into her ear, making her catch her breath. “Yes,” she acknowledges. “Hmm. What are we going to do about that?” I ask rhetorically. “Learn to live with it,” she breathes her answer making me grin. Optimistic Mrs. Grey. I land soft languid kisses on her neck driving her wild. “Ah, Mrs. Grey. You are ever the optimist,” I murmur against her neck. I straighten, and part her three into three strands, and braid it slowly, and finally tie it with her hair tie at the end. I tug her braid gently and lean down into her ear. “I am going to teach you a lesson,” I state her punishment... I move suddenly, grab her by the waist, sit her on the bed, and yank her across my knee, making her lay on my erection firmly pressed against her belly. I smack her beautiful derriere once, very hard. She yelps. I put her on the bed on her backside. I gaze down at this beautiful creature, with molten desire in my eyes. She is turned on, hot and bothered, ready to fuck, to be fucked. “Do you know how beautiful you are?” I ask as I trail my fingertips up her thigh. A shiver runs through her body. Without taking my eyes off my gorgeous woman, I get both the sets of handcuffs. I grasp her left ankle and snap one of the cuffs around her ankle. I lift her right leg, and repeat the process with right leg. She is now lying on the bed with a pair of handcuffs tied to each ankle. “Sit up,” I command her. She obeys immediately. “Now hug your knees,” I order. She blinks at me as she draws her legs up so they’re bent in front of her and she wraps her arms around her legs. I reach down, lift her chin up, and plant a soft wet kiss on her lips before covering her eyes with the blindfold. She’s excited, her senses are alert. Her lips part in heady anticipation. “What’s the safe word, Anastasia?” I ask.

“Popsicle,” she replies in a breathy tone. “Good,” I say and taking her left hand, I snap the cuff around her wrist and repeat the process on both wrists. Once the task is completed, “Now,” I breathe, “I’m going to fuck you till you scream.” Her mouth falls open. She’s practically panting. I grasp both of Anastasia’s heels and tip her, making her fall backward onto the bed. The cuffs force her to keep her legs bent. She tests them by pulling against them. She’s completely trussed up and helpless. That’s how she makes me feel more than half the time. A taste of her own medicine. Her legs are pulled back but placed together. I pull her ankles apart, and she groans for what’s to come. I lean in and kiss her inner thigh. Normally she would be squirming, but she won’t be able to do that in this position without the cuffs digging into her flesh. She has no choice but to absorb all the pleasure with all its intended intensity. She tries to move her hips, but the restrains prevents her from doing so. “You’re going to have to absorb all the pleasure, Anastasia. No moving,” I murmur, and slowly inch my way up my wife’s body, kissing her along the edge of her bikini bottoms. I finally pull the string of the tiny triangles on each side, and the sexy but small fabric fall away. I inhale sharply seeing my wife completely naked, all trussed up, unable to move under me, to make love, fuck and pleasure punish her as I wish is a total turn on. I move and kiss her belly and nip her navel with my teeth. “Ah...” she sighs. I trace soft kisses and little bites up to her breast. I suck, and kiss and nip with just enough pressure to pleasure her, but enough suction to mark her as mine. Repeat. She won’t be able to take her clothes off for a little while at the beach with what I have in mind for her. She sighs again with pleasure. “Shhh...” I soothe her. The way she looks right now makes me fall in love with her all over again. “You are so beautiful, Ana,” I declare. She groans her frustration, her desire. She wants to match my rhythm with hers. Touch me, but she can’t. She moans again and pulls on her restraints, frustrated, unable to do what she wants, fulfill her desires, take control, she cries out, “Argh!” pulling forcefully against her cuffs.

“You drive me crazy,” I whisper. “So I’m going to drive you crazy,” I murmur resting on her, putting my weight on my elbows finally turning my attention to her breast. The nipples of her gorgeous twin peaks she displayed to half of Monaco including the security detail, however unintentional are tout and begging for attention. My lips and my fingers busy on her nipples. I take one of her nipples between my teeth sucking it while I pay the same attention with my thumb and fingers on the other. With expert efficiency I start nipping, biting, sucking, leaving small trails all over her breast, driving her wild with indulgence. Taking the other nipple between my teeth, I render the same pleasurable punishment with my teeth, lips and tongue. Suck, nip, kiss, bite, lick, roll, pull and touch, never stopping, driving her wild. She wants to writhe under me, but she can’t without pulling onto her restraints which forces her to absorb everything I have to give her. “Christian,” she starts begging for a release, for a friction. I smile against her skin, triumphant knowing that she’s finally getting a taste of the torture she’s giving me. “Shall I make you come this way?” I murmur as my lips are wrapped around her nipple which hardens with her arousal. “You know I can,” I say sucking her harder making her cry out. I can feel the sensation, the electricity the pleasure traveling from her nipple, tightening her core, her groin, her sex because she pulls helplessly on her cuffs, trying to ride the pleasure, spread it around her body instead of the concentration I'm delivering on one point with all its intensity. “Yes,” she whimpers. “Oh, baby, that would be too easy,” I murmur. “Oh... Please, Christian,” she begs me. “Shhh...” I soothe her as I scrape my teeth over her chin then I slowly, lazily make my way over to her mouth, consuming it. She gasps as I kiss her. My tongue invades and takes over her mouth. Exploring, moving, tasting, caressing, feeling, commanding, dancing with her tongue. She meets my thrusts move by move with her tongue, writhing, clashing, stroking, sucking, and matching my fervor, and intensity of my desire. I grasp her chin, holding her head in place. “Still, baby. I want you still,” I whisper against her mouth. “But, I want to see you,” she complains.

“Oh no, Ana. You’ll feel more this way,” I whisper. Not knowing what I will do next, not knowing what to expect, not seeing forces her to use and rely on her sense of hearing, smell and touch. I want her to feel. Sometimes seeing renders other senses dull, useless even. I want her to completely feel what I'm doing and absorb it all. Slowly and expertly I flex my hips and push my cock only partway into her. She strains to push her pelvis to grasp and pull my cock into her sex, but she can’t move. She wants me, but she’s unable to get me the way she wants me. She’s frustrated, just like I have been. I pull my cock back knowing she’s going to be frustrated. “Ah! Christian, please!” she begs for friction. “Again?” I ask playfully, teasing her in a hoarse voice. “Christian! I want you!” she begs again. I push in agonizingly slow, only a small fraction of my length and withdraw while kissing her, tugging her nipples with my fingers. She’s overloaded with please, but not localized enough to make her come, and she’s desperate for it. “No!” she says, but doesn’t safe word. She’s cracking under the intensity of my ministrations. “Do you want me, Anastasia?” I ask her through gritted teeth. “Yes,” she begs in a whinny voice. “Tell me,” I order hoarsely. I need to know. I want to know. I have to know that she wants me! That she’s desperate for me! For me alone! Not some other random guy who might take a peek at her breasts. “I want you,” she whimpers. “Please, I want you!” Her declaration gives me relief, and I sigh softly by her ear. “And have me you will, Anastasia,” I say, and finally rear up and slam into her sex, balls deep, hard! She screams, tilts her head back, pulls on her restraints. As I hit on her secret sweet spot, buried deep inside her sex, on the front wall of her vagina, I can feel the shudders moving through her entire body; focused, agonizingly intense, pleasurable, over the limit kind of fuck. She tries to move, and match my thrust, but she can’t. I still inside her, savoring my wife, enjoying our connection. Then I circle my hips, giving the friction she’s been begging, ru bbing her sweet spot, letting the feeling radiate all the way to her fingertips from deep within her.

This is what she does to me. She mind fucks me, rubs me over and over and over again, defying, leaving me helpless. “Why do you defy me, Ana?” I ask unable to help myself. “Christian, stop...” she admonishes. She admonishes me even though she’s the one who is defying me, leaving me bereft, vulnerable. She doesn’t answer me. I circle my hips again, my cock teasing, and rubbing her. I slowly ease out of her sex, and slam into her again. “Tell me. Why?” I hiss through gritted teeth. I need to know. Does she hate me? Does she like to get a rise out of me? Does she want someone else? Something else? I am desperate to know! She cries out an incoherent wail... “Tell me!” I slam into her again. “Christian...”she admonishes. “Ana, I. need. To. Know.” I say slamming into her with each word, trusting deep inside her sex, farther with intensity. She pulls against her restraints, ready to climax, ready to come, her sex clenches deep inside, wrapping tightly around my cock, and pulsing, ready to milk me. “I don’t know!” she cries out. “Because I can! Because I love you! Please, Christian,” she begs, and her declaration is my undoing. She manages to take over me mentally e ven though she’s the one restrained. I groan loudly, and thrust deep in her inviting sex over and over and over again. She’s lost to the sensation, lost to our fucking, lost to the overwhelming intensity I’m giving her. She opens her mouth, and moans, her voice is incoherent. “That’s it,” I growl. “Feel it, baby!” As she reaches the peak of her ecstasy, she screams loudly; her orgasm detonating in large waves, sweeping through her body, and rolling into my body through our connection, her body pulsing and shaking with the aftershocks of her pleasure. I kneel before her, my cock still inside her. I pull my wife upright onto my lap. I clutch her head with one hand, and hold her back with the other and thrust into her two more times emptying all I have, coming inside her with such a violent orgasm, my head involuntarily jerks back in an arch. My cock pulses, throbbing, lost in the orgasm. The long strokes I thrust into her slowly milk me. While taking everything I have, it not only provides a physical relief, but also an emotional one.

I tear off the blindfold and kiss Ana. I capture her lips and stoke her mouth with my tongue, then I kiss her eyes, her nose, and her cheeks. There are tears in her eyes. I kiss them away clutching her face between my hands. “I love you, Mrs. Grey,” I breathe into her mouth. “Even though you make me so mad – I feel so alive with you,” I confess. She is my lifeline. She is what makes me feel intensely alive. She is so exhausted; she can’t sound a single word. Gently, I lay my wife on the bed, and pull out of her. She tries to protest wordlessly, but she’s lost. I quickly climb off the bed, and undo her handcuffs. Once I get her out of her hand cuffs, I rub her hands, wrists, ankles when she pulls against her restraints. Lying next to my wife, I pull her into my arms, and she stretches her legs, tangling them with mind, and soon weary with our exertions, she falls asleep in my arms, naked. I watch my wife in her quiet slumber. She looks even younger, and more innocent. She has endured her punishment fuck, and yet I feel I’m the one who is punished, I’m the one who reclaimed life again. When Anastasia is in deep sleep, I slip out of the bed, and go to the en-suite bathroom to take a shower. Once I come out, I quickly dry myself, and put on my while linen shirt and my chino pants. I climb on the bed with my laptop and start working. The sky outside get dark right around nine p.m. The yacht is moving towards Cannes. Anastasia moves beside me in bed. I still, and stop typing to not to wake her up, but it has the opposite effect. She opens her eyes, first confused, trying to assess where she is. “Hi,” I murmur at her, gazing down with nothing but love towards her. “Hi,” she smiles back, and blushes. Why the shyness? “How long have I been asleep?” she asks. “Just an hour or so,” I reply. “Are we moving?”

“Yes. I figured since we ate out last night and went to the ballet and the Casino that we’d dine on board tonight. A quiet night à deux.” She grins in response. “We are we going?” “Cannes,” I reply. “Okay,” she says trying to stretch. She sits, and lowers her legs to the floor. I glance at her and notice the hickies I left on her. Ana grabs the silk robe; she puts it on quickly, still very shy. My eyes continue to follow her movement. I feel uneasy, unhappy with the marks. My brows furrow. I turn my gaze back to my work on my laptop, but I find myself unable to focus. Why the hell do I feel this way? She defied me, laid on the beach with bare breasts and a two pieces of triangles for a bikini bottom. And I’m the one who is feeling shitty! Anastasia walks into the bathroom. I look and gaze at the bathroom door, waiting for her to come out. Waiting anxiously for her reaction when she notices her hickies. But she doesn’t come out. What is she doing in there? I don’t hear the water running. No sound. Is she mad? Oh hell! What is wrong? She comes out of the bathroom, and completely avoiding my gaze or even sparing a look in my direction, she stalks into the closet. She’s so fucking mad at me! Oh shit! “Anastasia,” I call out to her, anxious to hear her response. “Are you okay?” She doesn’t reply. Few minutes later she steps into the bedroom emanating fury, in her camisole and sweatpants, and without a word she hurls something at me. I barely have time to react and automatically raise my arms to protect my head. Anastasia storms out of the cabin and I vaguely realize that she hurled her hairbrush at me like a pro-baseball player. I am both impressed and worried about her anger. This is the reason my woman can math me in everything. I follow her out of the cabin. I take the steps two at a time to get to upstairs. When I hit the deck, the balmy air hits me. The briny smell of Mediterranean, the sweet scent of jasmine and the bougainvillea that smells something between putrefying plants and last night’s broccoli creating an interesting concoction blowing from the shore. The Mediterranean Sea looks cobalt blue in the dark of the night, and the Fair Lady glides over the sea smoothly. Anastasia is gazing into the distant shore as her elbows are resting on the wooden railing, absently watching the distancing lights. I stand behind her without making a movement or an effort to touch her. She’s vibrating tension, and anger. “You’re mad at me,” I whisper.

“No shit, Sherlock!” she hisses. “How mad?” I ask softly. “Scale of one to ten, I think I’m at fifty. Apt, huh?” she responds. That’s impressively furious; a woman whose wrath could match and exceed mine. A woman fit for me. “That mad,” I reply with a voice that sounds surprised and impressed at the same time. “Yes. Pushed to violence mad,” she replies through gritted teeth. Yep, just like me! I know how to handle me, but I have not seen her, this mad! How do I handle this? I remain silent, and watch her with wide and wary eyes. I’m lost. I don’t know how to handle this. What do I do? My silence makes her turn to me. She eyes me warily, assessing my mood, expression. “Christian, you have to stop unilaterally trying to bring me to heel. You made your point on the beach. Very effectively, as I recall,” she says. She knows why I had done it. I shrug. “Well, you won’t take your top off again,” I murmur, and I sound like a petulant child. Her eyes are full of fire when she glares at me. “I don’t like you leaving marks on me. Well, not this many, anyway. It’s a hard limit!” she hisses. Really? Fuck that! What about my hard limits? Why do I have to be the one who is accommodating, and feeling helpless? Why should my hard limits be crossed all over? “I don’t like you taking your clothes off in public. That’s a hard limit for me,” I growl at her in response. “I think we've established that,” she hisses again through her gritted teeth. “Look at me!” she shouts pulling her camisole down. The tops of her breasts are dotted with hickies. My gaze slips back to her face, unblinking. I’m wary, uncertain. She’s mad, and I feel like shit! I know she’s mad, but why would she take her top off when I explicitly said she couldn't. Did I not establish my hard limit? I think, I’ve clearly done that. But, I don’t want to hurt or mark her. “Okay,” I finally say in an assuaging tone. “I get it.” “Good!” she shouts, but I think the fight is out of her. I’m exasperated with her, with me, with our fight. I run my hands through my hair. “I’m sorry. Please don’t be mad at me,” I apologize. I know when she says that to me, she melts my heart, taking the fight out of me. But I do feel remorseful.

“You are such an adolescent sometimes,” she admonishes me. She’s right of course. I take a step towards her. I don’t want us to fight. I hate the distance between us, emotional and otherwise. I can’t take it. I slowly, tentatively raise my hand and tuck her hair behind her ear. “I know,” I acknowledge in a soft tone. “I have a lot to learn.” I don’t know any other way. “We both do,” she replies and sighs. She then raises her hand, and softly, cautiously places it over my heart. The gesture though small is significant for me. She is the only one who can touch me like that. I don’t flinch, but still stiffen. But I want her touch, I crave it, I can’t live without it. I place my hand over hers as relief washes over me, and smile at her. “I’ve just learned that you've got a good arm and a good aim, Mrs. Grey. I would neve r have figured that, but then I constantly underestimate you. You always surprise me,” I say softly. She raises her eyebrows at me, “target practice with Ray. I can throw and shoot straight, Mr. Grey, and you’d do well to remember that,” she warns me playfully. “I will endeavor to do that, Mrs. Grey, or ensure that all potential projectile objects are nailed down and that you don’t have access to a gun,” I smirk at her. She smirks right back at me. “I’m resourceful,” she wiggles her eyebrows, making me smile. “Oh, that you are, Mrs. Grey,” I whisper, and wrap my arms around her, pulling her into a tight embrace. This is the only place I want to be, wrapped around my wife, holding her, inhaling her scent, connected. I lean down and nuzzle her. “Am I forgiven?” I ask softly. I want to know that everything is well between us. “Am I?” she asks. At that moment I know she forgave me. “Yes,” I reply. “Ditto,” she says. Relief washes over me. I love her immensely. We hold each other like this for several minutes. Realizing we haven’t had dinner, I ask, “Hungry?” She has her resting against my chest. “Yes. Famished. All the...uhm...activity has given me an appetite. But I’m not dressed for dinner,” she says. Who says we have to go out? “You look good to me, Anastasia. Besides, it’s our boat for the week. We can dress how we like. Think of it as dress down Tuesday on the Cote D’Azur. Anyway, I thought we’d eat on deck.” “Yes, I’d like that,” she replies smiling. Her smile melts my heart, washes away my worries and I lean down to kiss her. Kiss her with all I’ve got, ask her forgiveness with my kiss. Declare my love with the each molding of our lips, and caresses of our tongues. I love her. When we’re

finally both breathless from out kiss, I take her hand, and walk her to the bow of the yacht where the dinner table is set for us. We start our dinner with gazpacho soup. Although there is so much to eat, I can’t pay attention to what I’m eating. My focus is on my wife. When finally the desert is served, and the steward is gone, Anastasia asks me a question very curiously. “Why do you always braid my hair?” she asks as we’re sitting next to each other at the table. She slowly curls her leg around mine. It’s such a simple, yet a very sensual act. I break the burnt sugar on top of the crème brulée and think of her question. There are two answers to that, but I don’t want to tell her the first one and raise her curiosity. I’m not ready to talk about the crack whore to her and break this magical moment. The crack whore used to let me comb her hair. But the answer I give her is the simpler of the two. “I don’t want your hair catching in anything,” I say quietly. “Habit, I think,” I shrug. But hiding the main reason from my wife bothers me. I frown, my eyes widen, and my pupils dilate with alarm. I don’t want to think about a mother who didn't love me. For a moment, I’m lost in memories. Lost in the few precious moments I’ve had with her. There were only very few of them. Combing her hair was one of them. Seeing the alarm on my face makes Anastasia anxious. She leans over and puts her index finger over my lips. “No, it doesn’t matter. I don’t need to know. I was just curious,” she says softly, warmly, with a reassuring smile. She anchors me to here and now with her sweet tone. I focus on my wife; focus on the love she’s showing me. She’s my anchor, stationing me, placing me to sanity. I finally manage to feel relief with Ana’s reassurance. She leans over, and kisses the corner of my mouth. “I love you,” she whispers, and her declaration is more precious to me than anything. I need her love more than I need my next breath. “I will always love you, Christian,” she adds without breaking her gaze from me. “And I you,” I manage to respond softly. “In spite of my disobedience?” she asks raising her eyebrows. “Because of your disobedience, Anastasia,” I reply finally, grinning. Her reply is a heartbreaking smile. Once the dinner is over, I reach for the bottle of rosé and refill her glass. Anastasia first glances around like she normally does when she wants to ask me something discreetly.

“What’s with the no going to the bathroom thing?” she asks. “You really want to know?” I ask with a half-smile, my eyes are alight with a salacious grin. “Do I?” she questions me as she takes a sip of her wine. “The fuller your bladder, the more intense your orgasm, Ana,” I reply. The pressure of slightly full bladder exerts a slight pressure on the sexual organs, stimulating them, and making them more sensitive. And besides, the more tease, the bigger the please. That’s why I started, stopped, restarted over and over again. Lovemaking is a marathon, not a sprint for me. She blushes at my response. “Oh, I see,” she replies making me grin. “Yes. Well...”she looks around for a way to change the subject. I take pity on her and change the topic. “What do you want to do for the rest of the evening?” I ask with a smile. She shrugs. “I know what I want to do,” I murmur. I grab my glass of wine, and rise extending my hand to her. “Come,” I order. I lead Anastasia to the main salon. My iPod is already docked. I turn it on, and scroll down my list to choose a song for us. I choose a song by the velvet voiced Michael Buble and Laura Pausini, “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine”. I press the button and the seductive, velvety voices echoes around. “Dance with me,” I say darkly, pulling her into my arms. “If you insist.” “Oh, I insist, Mrs. Grey,” I say huskily. I sweep her off her feet and twirl her a round the dance floor. She yelps and giggles as I dip her low. Then I scoop her up and spin her under my arm. “You dance so well. It’s like I can dance,” she says. I smile. Her face slightly falls. She knows that Elena introduced me to dancing, but I learned with my own efforts. I’ve taken lessons to get a right and a left foot in the same body. I dip her once again, and kiss her on the lips. She sings along with the singers. “You’re gonna miss my love,” she murmurs, echoing the lyrics. “I’d more than miss your love,” I say spinning her once again, singing the words into her ear. You'll never find, as long as you live Someone who loves you tender like I do

You'll never find, no matter where you search Someone who cares about you the way I do

Whoa, I'm not braggin' on myself, baby But I'm the one who loves you And there's no one else, no-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh one else

You'll never find, it'll take the end of all time Someone to understand you like I do You'll never find the rhythm, the rhyme All the magic we shared, just us two

Whoa, I'm not tryin' to make you stay, baby But I know somehow, some day, some way You are (you're gonna miss my lovin') You're gonna miss my lovin' (you're gonna miss my lovin') You're gonna miss my lovin' (you're gonna miss my lovin') You're gonna miss, you're gonna miss my love

Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh (you're gonna miss my lovin') Late in the midnight hour, baby (you're gonna miss my lovin') When it's cold outside (you're gonna miss my lovin') You're gonna miss, you're gonna miss my love

You'll never find another love like mine Someone who needs you like I do You'll never see what you've found in me You'll keep searching and searching your whole life through Whoa, I don't wish you no bad luck, baby

But there's no ifs and buts or maybes

You're gonna, You're gonna miss (miss my lovin') You're gonna miss my lovin' (you're gonna miss my lovin') I know you're gonna my lovin' (you're gonna miss my lovin') You're gonna miss, you're gonna miss my love

Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh (you're gonna miss my lovin') Late in the midnight hour, baby (you're gonna miss my lovin') When it gets real cold outside (you're gonna miss my lovin') I know, I know that you are gonna miss my love

Let me tell you that you're gonna miss my lovin' Yes you will, baby (you're gonna miss my lovin') When I'm long gone I know, I know, I know that you are gonna miss

When the track ends, I gaze down at my wife with dark, licentious eyes. Her gaze is locked with mine. She is breathless, desirous, loving. “Come to bed with me?” I whisper with a plea. Please baby! Let me properly make you forgive me. The only way I know how. She only nods, and taking her in my arms, I take her to our bed.

❦ ♡ ❧*****


I open my eyes with the first lights of the day and find myself wrapped around Anastasia like a victory flag. I enjoy watching my wife sleep, the way her body seeks mine even in sleep, snuggling up to me even if she gets hot. I'm not any different. My body seeks hers day and night, asleep or awake. I held her like this for I don’t know how long, then get up and go to take a shower and shave for the day. After taking my shower, and drying myself I wrap a towel around my waist and spray the shaving cream into my palm and lather it over my face. As I start shaving, Anastasia walks into the bathroom. Seeing her in here with me brightens me up immediately. “Good morning, Mrs. Grey,” I say playfully. “Good morning yourself,” she grins back at me watching me shave. I lift my chin up and start shaving beneath it in long strokes, I see my wife's reflection in the mirror and note that she's mimicking my movements. As I pull my upper lip down and shave my philtrum, I see her mirroring me. I turn around and smirk at my wife with only half my face shaved. “Are you enjoying the show Mrs. Grey?” I ask. “One of my all-time favorite,” she murmurs with bright eyes as if I am the most exciting sight she’s ever seen. I lean down and kiss her swiftly, and smear shaving soap all over her face. “Shall I do this to you again?” I whisper lasciviously and holding up the razor reminding her, the very enjoyable shaving experience of her sex leading up to very satisfying results. She purses her lips at me, “No,” she mutters, trying to sulk, failing miserably. “I’ll wax next time,” she says. “But that was fun,” I say wickedly. It really was. I get hot just thinking about it. “For you maybe,” she replies pouting, but she can’t fool me. She loved every second of the aftermath. “I seem to recall the aftermath was very satisfying,” I say turning back to finish shaving. She looks down at her hands, blushing. This is our honeymoon. I don't want her to feel shy; least of all with me.

"Hey, I'm just teasing. Isn't that what husbands who are hopelessly in love with their wives do?" I say turning to her, I tip her chin up and gaze into my wife’s eyes. What is she thinking? Was she upset about it? I try to decipher her expression, the ever present fear in the back of my head cocks its ugly head, telling me that she may be unhappy about something. But, her expression changes to one of playful. “Sit,” she murmurs. What? What is she trying to do? She softly pushes me towards the stool in the bathroom. Confused, I sit down, trying to understand what she wants to do, or why she wants me to sit down half shaven. She grabs the razor from my raised hand. Oh shit! She wants to shave me! Is this payback? “Ana,” I say in a warning tone. She leans down and kisses me in response. “Head back, Mr. Grey,” she whispers. Can I trust her with a razor in her hand? She couldn't even shave herself properly. Can she possibly shave my face so close to my jugular? “Tit for tat, Mr. Grey,” she says confirming my thoughts. Oh really Mrs. Grey? I stare at my wife in disbelief but still amused. “You know what you’re doing?” I ask in a low voice. She shakes her head slowly, purposefully, but endeavoring to look serious. Well, Mrs. Grey, if I’m going to die, it might as well be in your hands. Do your worst! I close my eyes, shake my head and tilt my head back in complete surrender to her. Her left hand crawls into my damp hair at my forehead, holding it tight, Anastasia holds me still in my place. I firmly keep my eyes closed, and part my lips to inhale deeply. I feel the gentle touch of the razor, then she strokes it from my neck to my chin smoothly. I feel the absence of lather leaving a smooth trail behind. I exhale the breath I didn't know I was holding. “Did you think I was going to hurt you?” she asks softly. “I never know what you’re going to do, Ana, but no, not intentionally,” I respond truthfully. I feel the razor running up my neck again, and feel another smooth trail running on my neck. “I would never intentionally hurt you, Christian,” she murmurs. Feeling the truth in her words, I open my eyes, and embrace her while she gently runs the razor down on my cheek from the bottom of my side-burn. “I know,” I reply and angle my face to give her a smooth, stretched out surface to shave. Two more strokes of the razor, and she’s finished shaving me. “All done, and not a drop of blood spilled,” she grins proudly. When I look up at my wife, I feel her legs encasing mine. And our bodies touching, her legs wrapping mine while she's looking down at me, I get hot, and run my hand upward on her leg pushing her nightdress up. I pull her to me, and make her sit astride my legs. Her hands hold unto my upper arms to steady herself. She is so close to me, our faces are merely two inches away. “Can I take you someplace today?” I ask. “No sunbathing?” she asks arching her brow. I find myself licking my lips nervously, because she won’t be able to sunbathe for the rest of our honeymoon. “No. No sunbathing today. I thought you might prefer something else.”

“Well, since you covered me in hickies and effectively put the kibosh on that, sure, why not?” she says acerbically which I ignore. “It’s a drive, but it’s worth a visit from what I’ve read. My dad recommended we visit. It’s a hilltop village called Saint Paul de Vence. There are some galleries there. I thought we could pick out some paintings or sculptures for the new house, if we find anything we like.” She immediately leans back gazes at me questioningly. Apprehensive even. “What?” I ask confused. “I know nothing about art, Christian,” she replies softly. I shrug and smile at her fondly. “We’ll only buy what we like. This isn't about investment,” I reply. Her eyes get wider. “What?” I find myself asking again unable to decipher her facial expression. She shakes her head in response unwilling to answer. “Look, I know that we only got the architect’s drawings the other day, but there’s no harm in looking and the town is an ancient medieval place,” I say. The worst case of scenario, we’ll do some sightseeing. She frowns and looks upset even. Ah, it’s so hard to comprehend her sometimes. I wish she was more explicit. “What now?” I find myself exclaiming. She shakes her head unwilling to say what’s going through her beautiful head. I’ve never experienced this before. I got everything I wanted, including answers in the past. Oh, shit! Maybe she’s still mad about the punishment fuck. “You’re not still mad about what I did yesterday?” I sigh, nuzzling my head on one of my most favorite spots in the world; between her breasts. “No. I’m hungry,” she mutters. Oh, she gets cranky when she doesn’t eat. Of course! “Why didn't you say?” I say holding her up, I stand, and taking her hand I lead her into the bedroom. ****❦ ♡ ❧*****

When we get to Saint Paul de Vence, I feel relief to see my wife completely amazed with the village. The village is one of the oldest medieval towns on the French Riviera situated on a hilltop. It’s full of history, boasts an exquisite scenery, and there are abundant numbers of

modern art galleries. Anastasia is completely ecstatic. We walk arm in arm, as her hand is in the back pocket of my shorts. Taylor and Philippe are walking behind us at a casual distance. Anastasia eyes linger on three old men playing boules in a tree-covered square. She looks at the game interested in it. It’s called Jeu De Boules or Pétanque played between two players or teams. One of the players in this game here is wearing a beret even though the weather is hot and stifling.

The square is full of spectators, both the locals and the tourists alike. I don’t like the crowds, and neither does Taylor. So, I gently lead her out of the square into little alleys lined with stone properties standing since the medieval times. We reach to a courtyard with beautiful stone fountains, ancient and modern sculptures, and little boutiques and shops.

A photo gallery grabs my attention at the first glare. It's exhibiting and selling erotic photos. I am distracted for a minute. Taking my aviator sunglasses off, I start chewing it on the arm, examining the pictures. The work belongs to an artist named Florence D’elle. The pictures are of

female subjects in various erotic poses. Some are close to what I have taken before of the submissives.

(The pictures above are by Florence D'elle) “Not quite what I had in mind,” Anastasia mumbles after she observes me examining the pictures. “Me neither,” I reply, grinning at my wife after noticing her jealousy. I take her hand in mind and stroll to the next artist's gallery. This artist has painted figurative art, such as fruits and vegetables in super close up and the colors are extremely vivid. “I like those,” Anastasia mutters, and I can hear the relief in her voice. “They remind me of you chopping vegetables in my apartment,” she says in her giggly girlish voice. I remember that time very well indeed. In fact I shall remember it till the day I die. It’s the day I reclaimed my girl back into my life. I try and fail miserably in hiding my amusement. “I thought I managed that quite competently,” I mutter. “I was just a bit slow, and anyway,” I say as I pull her into a tight embrace, “you were distracting me. Where would you put them?” I ask deciding to buy the painting. “What?” she asks stunned. I nuzzle her ear and whisper. “The paintings, where would you put them?” I ask biting her earlobe to get a rise out of her and I do. I see her pressing her legs together to suppress her urge. “Kitchen,” she murmurs in a breathy voice. “Hmm... Nice idea, Mrs. Grey,” I respond. When Anastasia notices the price, she gasps. “Five thousand euros each,” she whispers. “They’re really expensive!”

“So?” I nuzzle my wife again. I want to put the world at her feet. “Get used to it, Ana.” I don’t want her to lack anything; it makes me happy that I can provide for her well, and give every one of her heart’s desires. I walk to the sales desk where a young woman dressed all in white is standing and gaping. Knowing Anastasia is watching the clerk's reaction, I can almost feel her rolling her eyes in response to this woman ogling me. Somehow knowing that she gets jealous of me, makes me happy. I pay for the paintings, and we leave the store for some sight-seeing.

Saint Paul de Vence is on French Riviera. The village was created around the old church of Saint Michel du Puy and the chateau at the top of the hill. That’s how the castrum of Saint Paul, a military defensive position was evolved.

I take Anastasia to Hotel Le Saint Paul for lunch. The hotel’s restaurant patio sits atop the hill with the view of the surrounding countryside which is completely stunning. Tables places strategically around the stone patio and covered with crisp white table cloth decorated with fresh cut flowers. The ancient stone walls are covered with lush green ivy, pink and red bougainvillea overlooking the vineyards, hills dotted with sunflowers forming a fascinating patchwork, and the French farmhouses are interspersed in this beautiful scenery. The weather is beautiful, and the Mediterranean Sea in the distance glints its turquoise color invitingly. Anastasia is looking, but not seeing; she’s lost in thought. I want to bring her out of her reveries.

“You asked me why I braid your hair,” I say softly, feeling guilty. Something in my tone alarms her and she looks up immediately. “Yes,” she replies with wide eyes. “The crack whore used to let me play with her hair, I think. I don’t know if it’s a memory or a dream,” I say. I look into her eyes, deep, but my emotions are churning and mixed. I don’t want them to be resurfaced; not here anyway. “I like you playing with my hair,” she says in a hesitant voice. I’m not sure if she does. “Do you?” I probe voicing my uncertainty. “Yes,” she says truthfully. She leans in scraping her chair on the stone patio, she grasps my hands. “I think you loved your birth mother, Christian,” she says looking at me. I feel my eyes widening. I don’t want to think of the crack whore in this context. She didn't love me. Why would I love a woman who didn't love or protect me? I’m so confused. What if there is truth in what she says? What if I really do love the crack whore? I don’t want it to be true. She didn't protect me...at all! She found me unworthy of love. How can I love that? I look down at our connected hands. Fear rises in me. I’m back being four years old again. “Say something,” Anastasia whispers, because in the silence she hears the storms brewing inside me. I don’t want to do this now. Not on my honeymoon. I don’t want to go to that territory. It’s too dark, too deep. It’s inescapable! I’ll drag Anastasia down with me, and she doesn’t need to be there. It’s done, it’s over. I release Anastasia’s hand, and stand up, “Let’s go,” I say.

Once we’re on the street, I slowly exhale, and look around the surrounding narrow streets lined with stone buildings. I pull myself into the now, into my honeymoon. I finally manage to take Anastasia’s hand into mine. “Where do you want to go?” I ask. I hear Anastasia exhaling; she looks relieved. She shrugs in response. “I’m just glad you’re speaking to me,” she says.

“You know I don’t like talking about all that shit. It’s done. Finished,” I say to her quietly. Bringing it to the surface doesn’t do me any good. It drags me down to places I don’t want to be in. It’s been a long time. It needs to be tucked away, never to be resurfaced again. Now, she’s silent, contemplative. She isn't the kind of woman who gives up easily. What is she thinking? I look down at her, amused and wary of her expression, because I know something is always brewing under that beautiful head of hers. I just don’t know what it is. But knowing that it gives me life and excitement as well as a near coronary, I shake my head, and pull my wife under my arm, as close to me as possible. We make our way through the tourists towards the spot where Philippe parked the large Mercedes. Anastasia tucks her hand into the back pocket of my shorts, holding onto my ass. Her intimate gesture makes me happy. Before we make our way into the Mercedes, I notice a small boutique selling fine jewelry. I look into the window and notice some of the lovely pieces they’re selling. I want my wife to have one of them. I look down at Anastasia. Grasping her free hand, I gaze down and examine her wrist where the handcuffs left a faded red line. My thumb runs across it. Seeing it like this makes me feel like shit. I marked her. I don’t want to hurt my wife. I need to make up for this. “It’s not sore,” Anastasia says in a reassuring tone. I twist around and free her other hand as well. The cuff marks are obscured by the Omega watch I gifted her in London. I examine both the wrists, and feel worse by the sight of the marks. I’m a shitty husband! Does she think I’m bad for her? I release her hands and lift her chin up to scrutinize her expression. Does she feel resentment towards me? Does she hate me? The thought of it is torturing my soul. I’m hurting inside for hurting my wife. “They don’t hurt,” she repeats. I hold her hands up to my lips and kiss the insides of her wrists apologetically. “Come,” I say tugging her into the store. I choose a beautiful platinum bracelet for her. When I pay thirty thousand Euros immediately for the bracelet, the bone thin sales clerk’s eyes widen, darken with some sort of jealousy. What is her problem? My wife is worth every cent of it! Tugging my wife close to me, “Here,” I say. The bracelet is an exquisite piece with delicately crafted filigree in the shape of small flowers with diamonds at their heart. It’s discriminatingly beautiful; very fitting for my wife. I fasten it around her wrist. Because it’s wide and cuff like, the red marks disappear under it.

“There, that’s better,” I murmur, somewhat relieved. “Better?” she whispers, gazing into my eyes. “You know why,” I reply with uncertainty. I feel horrible having marked her. It’s eating me up.

“I don’t need this,” she says shaking her wrist and the cuff moves. It shimmers in the afternoon light, sparkling all over the walls of the store. “I do,” I say with all my honesty. I want her to have it. I need to rectify my ways. “No, Christian, you don’t. You've given me so much already. A magical honeymoon, London, Paris, Cote D’Azur... and you. I’m a very lucky girl,” she whispers, melting my insides. “No, Anastasia, I’m a very lucky man,” I reply. I never imagined I would find someone I can have this sort of intimacy, with touching, and sharing myself to the fullest extent, sharing my past and my personal demons; I never thought I would love this deeply, this passionately, this indelibly! I never thought any of it was possible. And here she is before me. I sometimes think that I’ll blink and she’ll be gone, or disappear, and it’d be just a dream. “Thank you,” she says stretching on her tiptoes, putting her arms around my neck and kisses me, taking my breath away. “What’s that for?” I ask smiling once we break free of our kiss. She shrugs w ith a glint in her eyes. “For being mine,” she replies smiling. ****❦ ♡ ❧*****

We finally make our way back to the Mercedes. It’s the afternoon in the French Riviera. I look outside the window, watching the sunflowers on the fields, their heads following the afternoon sun. I can’t get rid of this shitty feeling. I have marked Anastasia. I hurt her. I have marked my subs before; in fact I enjoyed doing that. It showed my domination over them: That I was the master, and they were to submit to me. Their misbehavior was not tolerated and dealt with swiftly. I punished them with various methods. But Anastasia isn't my sub. She’s my wife! I love her, and the thought of marking her like this is abhorrent to me, especially knowing that it displeases her. I’m pulled out of my reveries by Anastasia’s hands clasping mine. I blink with her reassuring squeeze. I glance at her before releasing her hand, and caress her knee. Anastasia is wearing a short and full blue and white skirt, and a mouthwatering blue fitted sleeveless shirt. My hand travels on her knee, and all of a sudden I want to check her ankles. With my lingering touch, I feel Anastasia’s breath catching. Grasping her ankle, I pull her foot on top of my lap forcing Anastasia to swivel on her backside, facing me. “I want the other one, too,” I say softly. Anastasia’s eyes travel to the front of the car to Philippe and Taylor who keep their eyes on the road like the professionals they are. Then she places her other foot on my lap. I press the button on the door and lift the tinted privacy screen up. Once it’s fully raised, we’re on our own little bubble and in relative privacy.

“I want to look at your ankles,” I explain quietly. Seeing the marks under the sandal straps grieves me. I gently stroke my thumb up on her right instep, and she wriggles. She’s very ticklish; her response makes me smile. I undo the sandal strap, then drop it to the floor. I caress her ankles, and seeing the marks evident there makes me feel shitty again. I look out the window without seeing. Her defiance of me, makes me lose control, and I want to punish her, but then I feel like fucking crap! “Hey. What did you expect?” Anastasia asks softly. I glance back at her and shrug. “I didn't expect to feel like I do looking at these marks,” I confess. “How do you feel?” she asks. With desolate eyes I gaze at her. “Uncomfortable,” I summarize my feelings in a murmur. Anastasia immediately unbuckles her seat-belt and scoots closer to me; her feet are still on my lap. She comes as close to me as possible without climbing on my lap. I suspect that she’s shy of the driver. She holds my hands and I finally find my center. “It’s the hickeys I don’t like,” she says in a whisper. “Everything else... what yo did,” she says lowering her voice conspiratorially, “with the handcuffs, I enjoyed that. Well, more than enjoyed. It was mind blowing. You can do that to me again anytime,” she says. And her declaration immediately lifts my spirits up like a shot of adrenaline. I shift in my seat to directly look at her, see her facial expression, and feel the truth in her statement. “Mind-blowing?” I ask. “Yes,” she replies grinning. She flexes her bare toes on my growing erection. Fuck! We’re in the back seat of the Mercedes with a French driver and Taylor in the front seat, my hot wife is sitting next to me, her toes are caressing my dick and I’ve got a hard on! A sharp intake of breath fills my lungs, and I part my lips. “You should really be wearing your seat belt, Mrs. Grey,” I say in a low voice, but her proximity is something I don’t want to let go. I feel my Blackberry vibrating in my pocket, and I check my watch. It could only be work at this time calling with an emergency at this time. It’s not business hours yet in the States. It should about five or six a.m. in the morning in Seattle. I fish my phone out and look at the caller. “Barney,” I snap. Anastasia tries to remove her feet from my lap, but my fingers tighten on her ankles firmly. “Mr. Grey. My apologies sir, however I have to inform you that there was a fire in the server room very early this morning,” he says in one breath. “In the server room?” I ask in complete disbelief. “Did it activate the fire suppression system?” I ask. The very expensive system he asked me to put in place only recently. “Yes, sir, and it worked beautifully. Immediately suppressed the fire.” Hearing the word fire, Anastasia pulls her feet down while she’s nervously fiddling with her new bracelet and this time I let her lower her feet to the car floor. I press the privacy screen button lowering it. I need Taylor to hear this news as well. “Anyone injured? Damage?” I ask. “No injuries sir, and no damages to speak of.” “When?”

“About an hour ago. The emergency line was immediately activated, and it called my phone. I made it to the Grey House as fast as I could put my shorts and t-shirt on and I called you immediately after I made sure that no one was injured and the fire was out,” he replies. I look at my watch again, running my hand through my hair exasperated. It’s not a busy t ime of the day in the office at that hour. Hell, there’s hardly anyone in the building, except maybe the security and the cleaning crew. “Do you want me or Welch to inform the fire department or the police? Just to emphasize again, the fire has been suppressed immediately by the new system.” “No. Not the fire department or the police. Not yet anyway.” I say. I see Taylor shifting around to hear the conversation. “Welch and his team have been here since the second the alarm went to his phone. They’re taking care of everything; checking the logs, security video feed, employees, and anyone who has been in the building, who has access to the building, everyone, and everything. He isn't letting anyone leave the building until he questions them himself. He’s trea ting it like a murder scene, and his forensic team is here collecting evidence, dusting and fingerprinting,” he says. “Has he? Good...” “Other than what I have informed you, sir, there’s not much to tell yet. It’s too new, and the evidence has not been evaluated. As soon as Welch gives me a go ahead, I’ll be able to go and see the server room. We will create a damage report for you, sir,” He concludes. “Okay. I want a detailed damage report. And a complete rundown of everyone who had access of the last five days, including the cleaning staff... Get a hold of Andrea and get her to call me...” “Will do sir. The new system containing argon minimized the damage as I told you it would. We have made a large initial investment, but with it in place, we have saved millions upon millions of Dollars of untold potential damage. It was a very sound investment, sir. I’m quite happy that you've agreed to have it installed. We’ll get those reports compiled for you and send it to you as soon as they become available.” “Yeah, sounds like the argon are just as effective, worth its weight in gold.” “We don’t have any reports yet, sir. As you know it’s too early...” he says, but I cut him off. “I realize it’s too early...” “Could you give me four hours then, sir?” “No. E-mail me in two hours...” I reply firmly. “It won’t be as detailed sir, four hours would allow me to gather more information...” he says but I cut him off again. “No, I need to know.” “Very well sir. I’ll do my best to provide the most comprehensive information I c an gather and e-mail you within two hours. I better get to it right now,” he says. Thank you for calling me,” I say and hang up. I feel Anastasia’s anxious eyes, and Taylor’s resolute gaze on me. I dial Welch’s number. “Welch...” he answers on the second ring. “Mr. Grey, I’m at the Grey House, sir. Everything is under control,” he says reassuringly. “Good...”

“Let me gather a little more information, and I can brief you on the data we have so far collected. When would you like to be briefed?” he asks. “An hour then...” “We are going to route the data and servers to the offsite data storage until my team completes the investigation. I would recommend tight security at the new site sir.” “Yes, agreed...” “How long?” “Twenty-four-seven at the off-site data storage...” “Already on it sir. I’ll speak to you in an hour then,” he says. “Good,” I reply and hang up. “Philippe, I need to be onboard with the hour,” I order. “Monsieur,” he replies, and speeds up ahead. I look at Anastasia and she looks worried. I slip my mask of impassive expression to erase her worry. “Anyone hurt?” she asks quietly. I shake my head in the negative. “Very little damage,” I reply. Her eyes are wide, her fear is clear. I reach over to her and clasp her hand, and squeeze it reassuringly. “Don’t worry about this. My team is on it,” I reply. I’m the boss, the CEO, the commander of my ship. Anastasia doesn’t need to worry about this at all. “Where was the fire?” “Server room.” “Grey House?” “Yes,” I respond giving her as little information as possible to prevent her from worrying. “Why so little damage?” she probes. “The server room is fitted with a state-of-the-art fire suppression system.” She nods imperceptibly, silent, worried, and upset. “Ana, please...don’t worry,” I say in a soothing tone. “I’m not worried,” she says fibbing. She’s not a very good liar. She’s too worried, too upset about it. I know what she’s upset about. I’m worried about the same thing. First Charlie Tango, and now this. I have to get to the bottom of this, and soon. “We don’t know for sure if it was arson,” I say voicing her worry, and anxiety. Her hand immediately flies to her throat in fear. She is terrified. What worries me is that whoever is doing this, whoever is trying to harm me, might try to harm her, and she ’s my world. If they ever get to her, I’d simply die. I have to find out and do it soon. ****❦ ♡ ❧***** As soon as we get on board of the Fair Lady, I nod at Taylor to come along with me and inform him of the fire at the Grey House server room. “Anything I can do right now sir?” “No, I’m going to speak with to Welch in a few minutes. It’s best that you keep an eye on Mrs. Grey should she desire to go to town. I'll have him coordinate with you,” I say dismissing him. I lock myself in the study conferencing with Welch. “What have you found so far?”

“The preliminary findings are very rudimentary, sir. The details are sketchy. I have viewed the security videos. And the footage shows an unidentified individual in coveralls with a baseball cap inside the server room. The fucking man isn't supposed to be in there. Although the he could be a she. I’m not ruling anything out yet.” “I want to get this perfectly clear. You think this wasn’t an accident? A power surge, a malfunction in one of the server bays, or overload of data, or some other technical issue?” “Mr. Grey, we are currently gathering the data, sir. And we've scrubbed Barney up, because he wants to check the servers to overrule any technical problems. He indicated that no alarm was raised with a technical issue. If it was something technical related to the servers, an error log would have been created. Barney already logged in and checked and in fact verified that no such error log was created. He is in there along with one of my team members and examining the server bays one by one. We are quite sure that it’s not our equipment, sir,” he says, and with the confirmation, my heart sinks. “Fuck!” “I will have a clearer picture in a few hours, sir.” “Has there been a match with the partial print from Charlie Tango?” “No matches so far, sir. We're still in the process of collecting evidence. It's too early to tell without doing a comparison. That’s one of the things we’re looking for: Another print. But, it is very plausible that the perp might be wearing gloves, and may not have left a print this time. Currently, we’re in the process of collecting all the prints, identify the employees, question them, check their whereabouts at the time of the incident and eliminate the suspects. But I’ll add a second step and compare the backgrounds of those employees who have prints in the server room, see if they belong there and whether they ought to have access to, check their ties to some people you may know who may have a grudge against you.” “Has Barney generated any reports yet?” “He’s still working on it sir, and I believe he’s going to send them to you after he's done in the server room which should be momentarily. No error reports have been generated up until the fire. With the fire, there is an automatic shutdown process to protect the data, and isolate problem in one location. The data and the report should be within your hands shortly.” “Has Andrea arrived at work?” “Yes sir. I’ll inform her when I hang up and have her call you immediately.” “Welch, I don’t want any police involvement until we confirm arson beyond the shadow of any doubt. I want my own investigator on site.” “He was in Seattle recently with Charlie Tango, and was leaving the country. I don’t know if I can reach him, sir, but I’ll try.” “You’ll do better than that. I want you to find him immediately. I want the perp caught, yesterday!” “Yes, sir!” “I want security increased for my parents, my brother and sister, 24/7. And I want additional security arranged for my wife. Find a top notch female security. I want somebody to be able to follow her into the bathroom stall if she has to! Coordinate with Taylor, keep him on the loop!” “Is that all sir?”

“No! I want the servers at the SIP Publishing to be overhauled, security tightened, have a checkpoint put in. No one saunters their way into the SIP anymore without my knowledge.” “Yes, sir.” “I want you to check the whereabouts of Mrs. Lincoln, and Leila Williams at the time of the incident, or those who close to them.” “I’ve already taken the liberty to initiate that investigation, sir.” “Good,” I say pausing. “Have Andrea call me, now!” “As you wish, sir,” he say and I hang up, still boiling mad, anxious, and utterly scared... not for myself, but mostly for Anastasia. As I scroll through my e-mails from Welch, Ros and Barney, Andrea calls. “Good afternoon, Mr. Grey,” she greets in her usual professional demeanor. “Andrea, I need your account about the fire...” “I wasn't here when it occurred, sir. Barney called me and I came to work as soon as was ready. GEH currently looks like an orderly chaos. Mr. Welch’s team is scrubbed up and investigating the entrances, the server room, dusting and printing, another group is interviewing employees, while some of them examining the surveillance videos.” “Where’s Ros?” “Her assistant informed me that she’s on the floor, helping Mr. Welch oversee the investigation. An alarm also went to her phone, and she got here as soon as she received the alarm on her phone and was here right out of bed in her shorts and fuzzy slippers. Her partner just brought a change of clothes for her.” There is a knock on my study door. I lift my head up, and Anastasia enters into the office. “Andrea, hold please,” I mutter into my Blackberry in a serious expression. I look up at Anastasia politely expectant. She stands in the doorway, and squares her shoulders, looking shy at first. Then giving me a broad smile, she says, “I’m going shopping. I’ll take security with me.” “Sure, take one of the twins and Taylor, too,” I reply. She nods, and stands there waiting for something. “Anything else?” I ask. I need to get these calls completed, so I can get back to being with her. I want this problem resolved. “Can I get you anything?” she asks softly. I smile at her in response, my heart melting. My baby is always thinking of me. “No, baby, I’m good. The crew will look after me,” I reply. “Okay,” she says in a breathy voice. Then she saunters towards me, and walking behind the desk, she leans down and plants a kiss on my lips, both surprising and arousing me. “Andrea, I’ll call you back,” I mutter into the Blackberry, and hang up. Putting the phone down on the desk behind me, I pull Anastasia into an embrace, and give her a kiss she deserves: a passionate, hot and desirous one, pouring all my love, my concern, my craving for her into the kiss. When I release her, I’m fully aroused, and ready to fuck. If I didn't have an emergency back in Seattle, and if I didn't know that it wasn’t going to affect Anastasia at all, I’d abandon the phone calls, and take Anastasia into our suite and have my way with her. But, this problem has to be resolved.

“You’re distracting me. I need to sort this, so I can get back to my honeymoon,” I say running my finger down her face and her chin, and finally tilting her chin up to look at me. “Okay. I’m sorry,” she replies chagrined. “Please don’t apologize, Mrs. Grey. I love your distractions,” I say kissing the corner of her mouth. I want my wife to be happy, and this is honeymoon. Once I find the fucker who is interrupting our lives, I will make him regret that he ever tried to harm us. “Go spend some money,” I say releasing her. “Will do,” she replies, smirking, and leaves my study. I call Andrea back, anxious to resolve this problem so I can get back to my wife, and our honeymoon. Not ten minutes into my conversation with Andrea, I hear the sound of the Jet Ski circling the Fair Lady. Clearly Taylor isn't going to take the Jet Ski, and neither would any of the crew members. This could only mean that Anastasia is riding it! “Andrea, I have to call you back!” I say hand hang up immediately, rushing outside, up the stairs and onto the deck with my Blackberry in my hand. When I reach the deck, I find my wife circling the yacht on the Jet Ski! At least she wore a life jacket! My mouth agape, my heart at my throat I look at her. She spots me on the deck and letting go of one of the handlebars, she waves at me enthusiastically! “Put your hand back on!” I shout. But she won’t hear me and keeps waving at me, so I finally manage a stiff wave back at her. She even makes the security look like idiots who are stuck in the middle of the sea waiting for her to finish her fun ride. I dial Taylor’s Blackberry. “Yes Mr. Grey,” he replies. “Taylor! What the hell is Mrs. Grey doing on the Jet Ski?” I ask through gritted teeth. “Uhm...” he stutters. “Mrs. Grey indicated that she’s cleared it with you,” he replies in an embarrassed tone. “Well, she hasn't. She isn't supposed to be on the Jet Ski if I’m not on it with her! Is that clear?” “Perfectly clear, sir,” he says. “Did you show her how to use it? How to apply the break?” “Yes, sir I did.” “I’m holding you solely responsible of bringing her back in one healthy piece if you value your job!” I shout and hang up. I run into the control room, and find the captain. “I need a pair of binoculars,” I say extending my hand. “Of course sir,” he says, and gives me the pair he’s been using. I rush out to the deck again, and watch the Jet Ski reach the dock, and watch Taylor help her off the Jet Ski and talk with her. Once she’s fully on land, I dial her Blackberry. With the binoculars nearly glued to my eyes, I watch her fish the Blackberry out of her purse Taylor handed back to her, and answers the phone. “Hi,” comes through her voice, and just with that one simple greeting, relief floods me. “Hi,” I reply. “I’ll come back on the boat. Don’t be mad,” she says immediately completely surprising me. I was expecting her to argue with me, and her tone takes me aback. I gasp completely flabbergasted. Unable to string a coherent sentence, I find myself saying, “Um...”

“It was fun, though,” she whispers, completely elated. Do I want to stop her fun? It’s our honeymoon, and I’m stuck here trying to resolve a problem at work. I sigh. “Well, far be it for me to curtail your fun, Mrs. Grey. Just be careful. Please,” I reply with relief. “I will! Anything you want from town?” she asks in a cheerful voice. “Just you, back in one piece.” “I’ll do my best to comply, Mr. Grey,” she says. “I’m glad to hear it, Mrs. Grey.” “We aim to please,” she responds with a giggle making me smile in response. One of the best sounds in the world for me is her giggle. I hear another incoming call, and this time it’s Ros. “I have another call. Laters, baby,” I say, hating the fact I have to hang up. “Laters, Christian,” she replies and I change the lines. “Mr. Grey?” “Ros...” “I called to update you on the developments, sir. But, I know you’re on your honeymoon, so I’ll recap what is new, and the rest shall be e-mailed to you. That way you can evaluate hard copy of the reports, and see everything in black and white...” she starts, and states what’s new, and basically, not much. When I hang up with her, I walk back to the on board study, and my phone buzzes with a new email. ____________________________________________________________________ From: Anastasia Grey Subject: Thank you Date: August 17, 2011 16: 54 To: Christian Grey

For not being too grouchy. Your loving wife. Xxx ____________________________________________________________________ I think it was Taylor who had to handle the brunt of my grouchiness. Another e-mail comes through from Barney this time with preliminary reports. I glance over everything quickly and then get back to Anastasia’s message and type a response for her. ____________________________________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Trying to stay calm Date: August 17, 2011 16:58 To: Anastasia Grey You’re welcome. Come back in one piece. This is not a request. X

Christian Grey CEO & Overprotective Husband, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. ____________________________________________________________________ I spend most of the afternoon on the phone and e-mail. It’s been several hours since Anastasia is gone, and since I haven’t seen her. I think I hear the motorboat arrive. I go over the reports, and initial interviews of the employees who were questioned. My Blackberry rings. “Grey,” I answer, without even checking the caller. “Welch here, sir. I now have confirmation that the attack was in fact, arson.” Even though I suspected it, I feel my world collapsing around me. I feel like I’ve been punched. “Sir?” he asks upon my silence. "I'm listening," I say curtly. “All the interviews are completed, every one of the employees who had the access to the server room are accounted for. There’s only one person without the access on the video, and that person was never supposed to be there.” “What else?” I ask through gritted teeth. “That's all I have for now; I’ll update you as the information becomes available sir. This is however is all the information we've been able to confirm.” “I’ll get back to you,” I say and hang up. All of a sudden I miss my wife. I need to find her, and hold her, and love her. I’m fucking going out of my mind. What if... I can’t bring the rest of the thought... What if they get her to get to me? I would rip that person apart, limb by limb. I have to find my wife! I make my way to our cabin. I find her taping a gift package. I gaze at her for a long moment. Remind myself that she’s here, in our cabin; close enough for me to touch her. She’s here... She’s here... She’s here... Breathe... “You were gone some time,” I say in a soft voice. Anastasia is startle d upon hearing my voice. When she looks at me, I can see that she’s excited about something. Her demeanor takes my mind off the day’s events’ momentarily. My eyes are on her with full intensity. “Everything in control at your office?” she asks tentatively. “More or less,” I reply, frowning with annoyance that this is happening right on our honeymoon. “I did a little bit of shopping,” she murmurs. “What did you buy?” I ask. “This,” she says putting her foot on the bed, showing off her new anklet. “Very nice,” I say, walking over to her, and stroke the little bells dangling down from the anklet. I notice the light red mark on her ankle, and run my fingers along it. A shiver runs through her body. “And this,” she says holding out a box to me. “For me?” I ask surprised. She bought me a gift. She nods shyly. I take the box out of her hands and shake it. I grin as wide as possible. My baby thought of me. It makes me feel cherished. I sit beside her on the bed, grasp Anastasia’s chin and kiss her. “Thank you,” I say, delighted.

“You haven’t opened it yet.” “I’ll love it, whatever it is,” I tell her gazing down at her, with eyes glowing in adoration. “I don’t get many presents.” “It’s hard to buy you things. You have everything, Mr. Grey.” “I have you,” I say. She’s my most valued, cherished, loved and adored present. I immediately rip the paper wrapping, and reveal the box. It’s a camera. “A Nikon?” I ask with a puzzled expression. Why would she want me to have a professional grade camera? “I know you have your compact digital camera but this is for ... umh... portraits and the like. It comes with two lenses,” she gushes in one breath. Why a camera though? I blink, completely confused. I don’t understand the meaning of this particular gift. “Today in the gallery you liked the Florence D’elle photographs. And I remember what you said in the Louvre. And of course, there were those other pictures,” she says swallowing, clearly referring to the images of the subs I've taken. Fuck! I stop breathing. My eyes widen. She wants me to take pictures of her. Erotic pictures! I can’t do that to her! She’s my wife. That would be objectifying her, and I can’t... I won’t... I can’t do it. “I thought you might, umh... like to take pictures of ... me.” Shit! “Pictures. Of you?” I ask gaping at her. Camera box forgotten on my lap. I don’t know what to say. I can’t ever put my wife in that position. Those images were not for pleasure. She nods in response; she’s anxious and nervous. She gazes at me with her pupils dilated. I don’t know what to say. This is the woman I love. This is my wife. I can’t take such pictures of her without having it remind me of why I have taken such images before. She’s better than that... I swallow and look down at the camera, completely bewildered. Absently I find my fingers tracing the lines of the camera picture on the box. I need to know why she wants me to do this. Is it because she thinks I might prefer the subs? Is it because she thinks I want her to be that way? “Why do you think I want this?” I ask, my mind preoccupied. “Don’t you?” she asks, worried. I take a deep shaky breath. “For me, pictures like those have usually been an insurance policy, Ana. I know I've objectified women for so long,” I say. I don’t want my wife to ever think I would objectify her. “And you think taking pictures of me is...uhm, objectifying me?” she asks, her face going white as a ghost. I’m torn. I don’t know exactly why she wants me to have this, but the meaning of those pictures hold for me isn't something I would associate my wife, the love of my life with. I scrunch up my eyes. “I’m so confused,” I say in a whisper. I close my eyes. If I take such images of Ana, where would it take us? What would it say about me as her husband? I know the submissive position isn’t something Anastasia wants to be in, and that’s what those images represented. When I open my eyes again, I’m wary, and raw emotions torment me inside.

“Why do you say that?” she whispers with panic in her voice. Why? Because she will hate it! She may just want to do it, because in her mind she isn’t good enough for me, or that she thinks I want that life from her. But in reality what she doesn’t like, I don’t want. I don’t want her to do something for me if it’s not what she wants. Those things might make her run away from me, and I will never, ever take that chance. Not with her! Even the punishment fuck I delivered losing control left her marked all over her body. I shrug in response to her question, and can’t help but gaze down at the cuff marks on her wrist underneath the bracelet I bought for her. “Christian, these don’t matter!” she says holding up her wrist. The bracelet slides down revealing the now fading red welt, and the sight of it stabs me once more inside. “You gave me a safe word. Shit! Yesterday was fun!” she emphasizes. “I enjoyed it. Stop brooding about it. I like rough sex, I’ve told you that before,” she says blushing scarlet. I gaze at her face, her expression, her eyes, scrutinizing her meaning. Does she mean it? Or is she just trying to soothe my ego. I don’t give any of my emotions away. “Is this about the fire? Do you think it’s connected somehow to Charlie Tango? Is this why you’re worried? Talk to me, Christian! Please!” she begs. Tornadoes are brewing inside me. Emotional storms battering my shores, my sanity. Yes! I’m fucking afraid that someone might get to my wife, hurt her, because they want to hurt me... I’m scared that I would be the one to hurt her. I did hurt her, only yesterday! And I have objectified women. I don’t want my wife to be one of them. I’m fucking scared! I’m a man used to having control in everything, and not having any control over these events is scaring the hell out of me. I’m worried to my bones about her! I love her so much, I don’t know what I would do if anyone were to hurt her! “Don’t over-think this Christian,” she scolds me in a quiet tone. She reaches over my lap, and taking the box, she opens it. I watch her with passive eyes. She holds it in her hands, and I’m mesmerized by her simple motions. She removes the lens cap, and points the camera at me. She presses the button, and keeps it pressed. I can hear the shutter capture my image in rapid succession. She takes at least ten pictures of my alarmed expression. “I’ll objectify you then,” she murmurs, pressing the shutter again. She keeps taking my pictures until a twitch of a smile crawls up on my lips. I try to hold the smile back, but she continues to take my pictures. I finally decide to pose for her, and I think a pout would be appropriate for a playful mood. She takes my picture, and giggles. Her giggle lifts up my mood. “I thought it was my present, Mrs. Grey,” I mutter in a sulky tone, teasing her. “Well, as it happens Mr. Grey, this gift was supposed to be fun. But apparently it’s a symbol of women’s oppression for you,” she says snapping her pictures away. She moves closer, and tries to capture an image of my face in extreme close up. “You want to be oppressed?” I murmur, teasing her. “No. Not oppressed,” she murmurs back at me, continuing to snap pictures. “I could oppress you big time, Mrs. Grey,” I threaten her like a predator in a husky voice. “I know you can, Mr. Grey. And you do, frequently.” Oh, shit! I do! My face falls. What am I doing wrong with my wife? Am I a shitty husband? Anastasia lowers the camera, and just stares at me, exasperated.

“What’s wrong, Christian?” She says sounding exacerbated. I shake my head, indicating nothing. She hold the camera, aligning the view finder with her eye, and starts snapping pictures away again. “Tell me,” she says insistently. “Nothing,” I reply, but this time, I sweep off the camera box off the bed onto the floor with one move. I grab my wife and push her down onto the bed. I sit astride her, in my favorite riding position. “Hey!” she exclaims, and continues to take more pictures of me. I grab the camera by the lens, taking it away from Anastasia, and then turning it around, I start taking her pictures. I press the shutter down, and take successive countless number of pictures of her. “So, you want me to take pictures of you, Mrs. Grey?” I ask in an amused tone. “Well, for a start, baby, I think you should be laughing,” I say and tickle my wife under her ribs ruthlessly. She squeals and giggles under me. She tries to grasp my wrist in a fruitless effort to stop me. I love it when she fights with me. It’s one of my fantasies. When she squirms under me, when she fights back, it completely turns me on! My grin gets wider, and I renew my efforts in tickling her while snapping away her pictures. “No! Stop!” she screams. “Are you kidding?” I growl. I put the camera next to us on the bed, so I can utilize both my hands in tickling her. “Christian!” she splutters and gasps her laughing protest. I’ve never tickled my wife before, and it is so much fun to have her under me like this, giggling, laughing, fighting back, just happy. She’s trying to push both my hands away, but I’m unyielding. I grin down at my wife, and completely enjoy her joyous torment. “Christian, stop!” she pleads, and I suddenly stop. I grab both her hands, and hold them down on either side of her head and just loom over her. She’s panting hard, breathless, and the way she looks right now, all flushed, and mussed up and happy does something to me. I’m aroused beyond belief. My breathing is mirroring hers. I love this woman! I absolutely adore her! Hell, I want to worship her with my body! “You. Are. So. Beautiful,” enunciate in a breathless tone. She stares up at me. I am unable to help but, feel drawn to her. I want to lose myself in my wife. I want to make love to her. I lean down and closing my eyes, I kiss her, completely beguiled. I release her hands, and my fingers curl around her head and my fingers are woven into her hair. As I hold her gently in place, I start kissing her sweetly, and tenderly. I kiss long and devoutly and cherishing her. But she moves her body to demand more of me; her lips, and mouth responds to my kiss, completely undoing me. Our kiss turns into a carnal, deep and devouring one. My tongue dips into her mouth, taking, seeking, capturing, invading, and completely possessing her. I inhale sharply and groan. She is my undoing. She alters me in such a way that I’m completely hers. “Oh, what you do to me,” I groan, my feeling are raw, and carnal. I want to affirm that she’s mine, that I’m hers. I quickly move, lie on top of her, pressing her into the mattress, and feeling her all the way, and making her feel me, feel my cock pressing into her sex. Letting her know how much I desire her. As I cup her chin with one hand, my other hand brushes over her breast,

her waist, her hip, her body, and her buttocks. I kiss her again carnally, wanton, and push my leg between hers, and I raise her knee. The full length of my erection is pushing to get out, straining against my pants, and onto her sex. The way she gasps and moans into my mouth, I swallow her voice, drinking it in, feeding my own hunger for her. The craving I feel for her is overwhelming. I need her more than my next breath right now. It’s not just a want. It’s a need for her. I can’t live without her, without being inside her. This is how I communicate with her. This is how I express my love, my worries, my desires, my fears, my anger, my passion, and all my emotions to her. This is me, Christian Grey, in the raw. Anastasia kisses me with renewed abandon. Her hands fist into my hair, pulling, holding onto my hair tightly. In an instant, I stop, stand up, and pull her off the bed, making her stand before me, completely dazed. I undo the button of her shorts, and kneel quickly, yanking them down along with her panties. And before she can inhale her next breath, I toss her back onto the bed, and unbuttoning my fly, I sink my cock into her sex without any preamble. If I don’t, I will lose myself. She cries out with the full feeling, but I can’t stop. My breath hisses out of my clenched teeth. I plunge my cock in and out of her repeatedly, and a “yesss!” hisses out of my lips close to her ears. I hold still, my cock buried deep inside her, marking her as mine, feeling her, connecting with her in the most elemental way. I savor the feeling for a moment, then swivel my hips once, and plunge into her deeper, making my woman groan. “I need you,” I growl; my voice is husky, and low. But it’s also my plea to her; I simply can’t live without her. I graze my teeth over her jaw, nipping and sucking along the way. Then I start kissing her again, harder this time. Anastasia wraps her legs around my ass, cradling me, and pulling me toward her, holding me hard, grinding into me, wanting me to give all I can, and take whatever I can. The feeling of her submission to my body is heady. It takes over my mind, and body and I start moving in a primal, carnal, desperate, insane, possessive, and a maddening rhythm. I push deeper, and farther into her, but what I seek is more than a release for our bodies, but also our fears, emotions, love, desires, and connecting our souls in an inseparable way. I feel Anastasia’s muscles clenching inside, wrapping around my cock, milking and pulling, driving further into her. Our breathing is harsh, and forced, and deep and labored. Anastasia groans loudly, panting, she’s reaching higher, further, overwhelmingly carnal moaning escapes her lips, and she is about to come. “Come with me, Ana,” I gas, and rear up on her, pushing her over the precipice, and she closes her eyes, ready to orgasm. “Open your eyes,” I order. “I need to see you,” I plea in an implacable, urgent voice. Her eyes open, connect with mine. My eyes, darken, and dilate. Seeing me desiring her from the depths of my soul, driving her with my cock pushes her over her peak, and she screams her release as her orgasm rolls in big, long waves. “Oh, Ana,” I cry out, and climax, driving into her again and again, and pouring everything I have in thick spurts into my woman; then still and collapse onto her. My eyes are closed, and

my arms wrapped around her, I cling tightly to my wife. She kisses my chest through my shirt. I can feel her gaze on me, even though my eyes are closed. I love her, and I am scared out of my wits that someone is out there who might be able to harm her. “Tell me, Christian, what’s wrong?” she asks in a soft, anxious voice. I say nothing. How can I voice my fears? How can I word how deep my love for her is, and how great the abyss that holds my fears? I can’t voice them. I’m afraid that if I say them out loud, they might come true. I can’t ever take that risk. Torture and agony washes over me anew. I just hold her in m y arms tightly, and inhale her scent, keeping my cock in her, trying to feel her every way I can. She’s my safe place. She’s home. She’s everything. She’s my sun. She’s my life. Christina Perri - Arms


Anastasia waits for me to explain my worry, but I can’t find the words to express it. All I can do is to hold her with all I’ve got; never let her go. She takes a deep breath and starts reciting her wedding vows. “I give you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, to stand by your side in good times and in bad, to share your joy as well as your sorrow,” she recites in a low murmur. Hearing her vows freezes me in places, disarming. “I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals and dreams, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, to share my hopes and dreams with you, and bring you solace in times of need.” I’m speechless and unable to respond or move a limb. I just listen to her fervent recitation of the vows she has written for me with wide eyes, scared, worried, anxious, and shaken even. My lips part, but no words come out. She continues wording the rest of her vows, reminding me what she has promised to do as a wife, and life partner. “And to cherish you for as long as we both shall live,” she says, and sighs looking at me with probing eyes. “Oh, Ana,” I whisper and move; our physical contact broken. We’re just lying side by side. I look at my wife in wonder. She’s trying to do all she can to be the wife she promised she would be... and I’m in my effort to protect her, derailing her attempts, however unwilling. I am in awe of her. I stroke her face gently with the back of my knuckles. What can I say in response to that but to remind what I had promised to her? Except that I too am taking my job as her husband and her protector, very seriously... She’s got to know that. She must know that! I start whispering my vows in a hoarse voice, packed with all my fears, love and devotion to her to reminding what I have promised and that she’s near and dear to my heart. “I solemnly vow that I will safeguard and hold dear and deep in my heart, our union and you. I promise to love you faithfully, forsaking all others, through the good times and the bad, in sickness or in health, regardless of where life takes us. I will protect you, trust you, and respect

you. I will share your joys and sorrows and comfort you in times of need. I promise to cherish you and uphold your hopes and dreams and keep you safe at my side. All that is mine is now yours. I give you my hand, my heart, and my love from this moment on for as long as we both shall live.” Tears start streaming from Anastasia’s eyes. I don’t want to worry my wife, but by not talking to her, I’m hurting her. I don’t know what to do. I gaze at Anastasia with all my love and the struggle within me. “Don’t cry,” I whisper as I wipe her tear away. “Why don’t you talk to me? Please, Christian,” she pleads with me. I close my eyes in agony. How can I do that when my first instinct is to protect her from everything, shield her even from the world itself? Here she is asking me to expose her to them. “I vowed I would bring you solace in times of need. Please don’t make me break my vows,” she pleads further. Making her break her vows is the furthest thing from my mind; so, with difficulty I decide to tell her. I sigh, open my eyes w arily, scared, desolate, “It’s arson,” I manage to say. Her eyes widen in my response. “And my biggest worry is that they are after me. And if they are after me...” I stop and close my eyes. I’m afraid that if I say it out loud, it may come true. I can’t t ake that chance. But she finishes my thoughts. “...they might get me,” she says in a whisper. Hearing this out loud, from her lips makes me wince. She strokes my face to ease my fears. And somehow her touch softens me inside. “Thank you,” she says. I furrow my brows at her. Is she thanking me because she’s in danger? Does she not value her life? “What for?” “For sharing this with me,” she replies. Well, she is the master inveigler of information. I shake my head, and for the first time since the confirmation of arson, I have the ghost of a smile on my lips. “Oh, Mrs. Grey; you can be very persuasive.” “And you can brood and internalize all your feelings and worry yourself to death. You’ll probably die of a heart attack before you’re forty, and I want you around far longer than that,” she says. “Mrs. Grey, you’ll be the death of me. The sight of you on that Jet Ski nearly gave me a coronary!” I say to her and I flop back onto the bed covering my eyes with my arms. It’s not just the Jet Ski. It’s the way she disregards most everything I ask her not to do thinking of her wellbeing, but being Anastasia, she doesn’t listen. I have a constant ache inside me... I’m in a conundrum with her. In one hand all her antics gives me life, but in the other hand, they worry me to death. Poison and antidote in one beautiful package, that is Anastasia. “Christian, it’s just a Jet Ski. Can you imagine what you’ll be like when we visit your place in Aspen and I go skiing for the first time?” she asks. It’s our place for God’s sake, and she is never going to go skiing if I can help it! She can read the horror in my face. “Our place,” I finally manage to mutter. She continues as if she hasn't heard me. “I’m a grown-up, Christian, and much tougher than I look. When are you going to learn this?”

I don’t know if I can ever get over that fear? She is the most valuable person that ever existed for me. How can I knowingly allow her to be in danger of any kind? If I say anything to that fact, she’ll argue with me. My mouth thins in response, but without saying anything, I just shrug. “So, about the fire. Do the police know about the arson?” she asks. “Yes,” I say in a serious expression. “Good,” she replies. Now would be a good time to inform her of the added security. “Security is going to get tighter,” I say nonchalantly, expecting opposition. But she replies with, “I understand,” then looks down at my clothes. “What?” I ask absently. “You.” “Me? What about me?” “Yes, you’re still dressed,” she says. I look down at my clothes remembering the compelling desire I’ve had to bury myself in her. “Oh,” I reply amused, and finally get to grin at her. “Mrs. Grey, you know how hard it is for me to keep my hands off you, especially when you’re giggling like a schoolgirl.” She immediately moves, and straddles me. When she raises her hands, I immediately understand that she wants to tickle me. I quickly grasp her wrists, and stop her. I can’t bear to be tickled. “No,” I say to her firmly. She pouts, her feelings hurt. I long for Ana to touch me any wa y she can, but it’s all too new, and I still can’t bear to be tickled. I don’t know how I would react. Fight or flight. I don’t want that sort of trigger associated with Ana. “Please don’t,” I say in a whisper. “I just couldn't bear it. I was never tickled as a child,” I say, and she relaxes her hands in a gesture to let me know that she won’t tickle me. “I used to watch Carrick with Mia and Elliot tickling them and looked like a lot of fun but, I could never... I..” I’m unable to admit, unable to face those fears still. Anastasia places her index finger on my lips effectively and thankfully silencing me. “Hush, I know...” she murmurs, and softly kisses my lip, and then curls up on my chest where I was unable to hold her in the beginning. Now it’s a welcome feeling. My arms embrace her tightly, and I bury my nose in her hair, inhaling her scent. I stroke her back gently, softly, reassuring her. We lie like this for a long time. I can’t have my fill of her. She finally asks me the question that’s been brewing in her head. “What’s the longest you've gone without seeing Dr. Flynn?” “Two weeks. Why? Do you have an incorrigible urge to tickle me?” I ask. “No,” she laughs. “I think he helps you,” she says. I make a very ungentlemanly noise. “He should, I pay him enough.” But she now made me curious. Is she worried about me? Suddenly it’s very important for me to find out. I gently pull her hair, making her face me. We are eye to eye; our gazes meet. I want to know what exactly she feels. I desperately want to know that she cares for me. “Are you concerned for my well-being Mrs. Grey?” I ask in a soft tone. “Every good wife is concerned for her beloved husband’s well-being, Mr. Grey,” she teases me. But her words are soothing to my soul.

“Beloved?” I whisper without being able to hide my heartbreak. I so want to be her beloved, yet I can’t get over the feeling of being undeserving of love. “Very much beloved,” she replies, and kisses me. I lose myself in her and in our private moment. “Do you want to go ashore to eat, Mrs. Grey?” I ask. “I want to eat wherever you’re happiest,” she replies firmly. “Good, that settles it then,” I say grinning. “Aboard the ship is where I can keep you safe. Thank you for my present, baby,” I say taking the camera and holding it back, I t ake pictures of the two us after laying all my shit, my deepest fear laid bare. “The pleasure is all mine,” replies Anastasia, and I am find my happy place once again: in the arms of my wife. ****❦ ♡ ❧***** Anastasia and I dine on board, but she’s awfully quiet, her mind is at a distant place. “What are you thinking about?” I ask in a soft tone, her interrupting her reveries as I take a sip of my after dinner coffee. “Versailles,” she replies. Yes, we've had a lot of fun there. “Ostentatious, wasn’t it?” I grin. She looks around the Fair Lady, mistaking what I implied. “I’m not talking about the Fair Lady. This can hardly be called ostentatious.” “I know, but it’s still lovely. The best honeymoon a girl could ever want,” she says. “Really?” I ask surprised. I’m very pleased to hear from her that she liked our honeymoon, despite the phone call from my work, the fire, the punishment fuck, the hickies... I’m glad I’ve done something right. “Of course it is.” “We only have two more days left. Is there anything else you’d like to see or do?” “I just want to be with you,” she whispers. “Well, could you do without me for about an hour? I need to check my e-mails, find out what’s happening at home.” “Sure,” she says in a bright tone she reserves when she wants to hide her disappointment. In a way, her response makes me happy. I’m happy that she wants to spend time with me, and even an hour away from me is hard for her as it is for me. “Thank you for the camera, baby,” I say and make my way to the on board office. I fire up my laptop in the office, and start going through my e-mails. So far, there hasn't been anything new. Welch informs me that they shared the evidence his team has collected with the police, but he’s not convinced that it’s going to be resolved quickly. He is not happy with the slow progress. I take out my Blackberry and dial his number. Welch answers on the first ring. “Mr. Grey?” “Welch, what’s the problem with the police department?” “There is no problem with the police department Mr. Grey. But I have concerns which I didn't want to express all on an e-mail. Since you are the second biggest taxpayer in the state of Washington, the police department will find itself obliged to do everything by the book and slowly so they leave no room for error. But time isn't something we have,” he says mirroring my concerns.

“Why do you say that?” I ask in a barely controlled voice. “They have to go through all the evidence, and establish their own conclusion. Meanwhile we wait. We now know that this is the second attempt; I put my reputation on line to claim that it’s by the same perp. First Charlie Tango, and now the Grey House. Our security wasn’t watching Charlie Tango – it was the airport security, but this is our home, so to speak...” he says, and I cut him off. “We both know that the perp managed to bypass our security in our own territory on our own turf! So tell me Welch, where is it safe? I am making the resources available for you to find this fucker! Do what it takes, so help me God, I’ll have your balls on a platter!” I bellow and I can feel him wince. “I understand,” he mutters in a steady voice. “Tell me once and for all: what do you need to catch this fucker? Are you shorthanded, do you not have enough evidence to identify anything, not enough expertise? What the fuck will it take you to identify and find this prick?” I hiss through my gritted teeth. “As the head of your security team, I’d like your permission to bring Pella in. As you know, sir, he’s very expensive.” “I thought he only investigated aircraft related incidents,” I say leaning back in my chair, shoving my hand through my hair in exasperation. The leather of the chair protests with my forceful push. “No sir, Pella has his hands in all kinds of pies, but he doesn’t like to make it known. There’s a reason why the top retired special ops guys would give their right arm and a leg to work for him, but then again, that would defeat the purpose. But I digress... They’re all tight lipped of course, but one of my sources whispered in my ear that he even provides services for governments to investigate assassinations, kidnappings, you name it...” he says lowering his voice. “And you know this how?” “I’d rather not reveal my sources, sir. Unspoken code of conduct. But I know it to be true...” “Why would he investigate for governments? Clearly they would have more resources than he does,” I say momentarily intrigued. “Backdoor policy... Plausible deniability... You name it... He has friends in every government. It’s a mystery, not to mention a source of envy of how he makes those powerful friends. This way, governments can keep their hands clean. And he can fucking go in and out of any country without fear like he owns the damn place, investigate like a shadow, and come up with results!” he says fervently. “How does he manage to do that?” “Because, somehow he has men and resources, everywhere, and unparalleled sense of tracking of anything with little to no trace. He won’t get his hands dirty, but I've never heard of anyone who can collect evidence, put the puzzle pieces together, and come up with results where others have failed with such an uncanny competence. And he always sets his own rules.” “Are you trying to say you've failed?” I ask rage building up in me. “No sir. I’m asking you to bring in the best. The police will slow the investigation, and we need results, like last week! I’ve used all my sources to get to him, but even the elite forces are tight lipped when it comes to him; it’s as if he’s sealed their loyalty. He doesn’t make a lot of friends,

and he’s extremely loyal to the few friends he makes, and he seems to think of you as his friend! He might be persuaded to come out a second time. He may just be able to find ties to the Charlie Tango sabotage with the arson where police or I can’t make the connection. He may realize ties and locate evidences and make connections from the initial Charlie Tango investigation he’s completed.” “Fine! Get him!” “Yes, sir. I’ll get the word to him.” “Anything else?” “That’s all I have for now, sir. I’ll update you as soon as any change occurs in the investigation, or if I hear a word from my contact about Pella.” “Do it fast. Otherwise it’s your balls, Welch!” “Yes, sir,” he replies solemnly, and I hang up. Exasperation floods over me. I don’t like anything being out of my control: Personal, or business. I will do everything in my power to regain the control back in my life. The thought that there is a maniac out there who is after me, possibly after my wife or even my family is driving me into madness! I take a deep breath as I get up and pace the length of the room, and then I leave the office to find my wife. I see Anastasia coming to see me on the deck. She sees my face before I can put the impassive mask in place and she silently walks into my embrace. I fold my arms over her and hold her tight for several minutes until the feeling of helplessness subsides. ****❦ ♡ ❧***** “No! No Christian! Don’t go!” I wake up in the dark as Anastasia trashing in bed, talking in her sleep nervously. She’s gasping for air as if someone’s choking her, having a panic attack! “Hey,” I gently whisper to not to scare her. She’s worried and her panic scares the hell out of me. I have to be very careful what information I share with her from now on. I don’t want her to have these nightmares. It’s got to be my burden to carry, not hers. “Oh, Christian,” she mumbles. I can hear her fluttering heart, and her distress breaks mine. I wrap my arms around her. I feel the large tear drops flow on to my arm. “Ana, what is it?” I ask, stroking her cheek trying to soothe her and calm her down. Oh, God! Her distress torments me inside, ripping me apart. “Nothing. Just a silly nightmare,” she whispers. I kiss her forehead, her tear-stained cheeks, and the edge of her lips softly. “Just a bad dream baby,” I say vowing to shield and protect her from anything that might trigger this reaction again. “I’ve got you. I’ll keep you safe.” She snuggles her head in the crook of my arm, inhaling my scent deeply. I hold her tight, cocooning her in my arms and between my legs. I hold Anastasia in my arms unable to sleep for quite some time. She falls asleep again, but remains restless for rest of the night, and finally, I too fall into a troubled, uneasy sleep. ****❦ ♡ ❧***** I get up early again. Calling the past couple of nights uneasy would be the understatement of the year. Anastasia had nothing but nightmares, skittish, crying and talking in her sleep, constantly worried. Having been unable to chase her worries is silently driving me into

madness. Whoever is doing this to me, to my wife will have to pay for it, once I catch up to him! I quickly take my shower, dry and put my cutoff jeans on with my gray t-shirt. Taking my Blackberry, I slowly walk out of the cabin, and go to the office. I dial Welch’s phone. “Uhm... Good morning Mr. Grey. Sorry, I’m not sure what time it is in France right now,” he says apologizing. “It’s 5:18 a.m.” I reply. “Is everything alright?” he asks alert. “Have you heard anything about Pella?” I ask, ignoring his question. “As a matter of fact I did. I was going to wait for an appropriate time to call you, sir.” “And?” “He’s currently in London, but the earliest he can be in Seattle is Tuesday,” he replies. “Tuesday... Okay,” I reply. I can live with that. “Anything new with the police investigation?” “No, sir. Just the crime lab came and dusted again, but I doubt they’ll find anything new.” “What about the servers? Has Barney rerouted the server room to the offsite data storage?” “Yes sir, it’s already been done. But that’s only a temporary solution. When Pella and his team complete their work in the server room here, we would have to resume using it. We have dedicated protection on the offsite data storage 24/7, but using our own servers here on location would still be the safest.” “I agree. I’ll see you on Monday, then,” I say hanging up. I pour myself a glass of wine to take the edge off even though it’s too early. I go back to the cabin. I take a small upholstered armchair and bringing it by the bed quietly, I start watching Anastasia. Her sleep is uneasy. I watch her for hours. She is talking again in her sleep once again. Some words are unintelligible. But some others are quite clear: “Christian...” she murmurs in her sleep. The pronouncement of my name is packed with worry and anxiety. “I’m scared... Don’t hurt him!” Fuck! She’s having a nightmare about me. “Shhh....” I coo her in a whisper. She groans and turns in bed. Her hands instinctively reach out my pillow and she feels my absence. Immediately panicked, she stirs and wakes up. Breathing harshly, still under the effects of her nightmare, she looks around the cabin for me. I put the wine glass down right away, and quickly move and stretch next to Anastasia. “Hey, don’t panic, baby. Everything is fine,” I say gently in a soothing tone. Her eyes are wide, almost terrified. I stroke her hair affectionately, smoothing it away from her face, and that’s the only place I touch her to not to scare her. Feeling my calming presence, she’s soothed immediately. I try to put my impassive mask on, but the anxiety is so great, I fail. My eyes remain wide, and worry laced. “You’ve been so jumpy these last couple of days,” I mutter. “I’m okay, Christian,” she says and smiles wide; the smile she reserves for when she wants to hide her fear and tension. She can’t fool me. We’re both trying to protect each other from worrying. But it’s my job to chase away all the nightmares. Not hers. The pain, worry, anxiety are all written all over her eyes. “Were you watching me sleep?” she asks. “Yes...” I reply, my gaze fixed on hers, studying her face. “You were talking."

“Oh?” she asks in a tone worried what she might have revealed. “You’re worried,” I whisper. Her distress fills me with concern. It’s etched on the frown on her face. I lean in and kiss her forehead between her brows. “When you frown, a little V forms just here. It’s soft to kiss. Don’t worry baby, I’ll look after you.” “It’s not me I’m worried about, it’s you. Who’s looking after you?” she groans. Her distress concerns me, but also tugs at my heartstrings. My wife loves me deep enough to have nightmares fearing for me. I smile at her admonishing tone. “I’m big enough and ugly enough to look after myself.” I’d be damned if last day of our honeymoon is going to be remembered with these bad memories. I have to do something to change that. Something fun. Something she wants to do... I got it! “Come. Get up. There’s one thing I’d like to do before we head home,” I say grinning wide. She looks at me surprised, and I swat her delectable ass. She yelps in response but gets up. I get her showered, properly dressed, and fed with breakfast. Finally managing to put on life jackets on both of us, I take her to the Jet Ski. She eyes me, completely puzzled. Strapping the Jet Ski’s key to her wrist, I look at her expectantly. She blinks in surprise, her eyes widen. “You want me to drive?” she asks incredulous. “Yes,” I grin in her response. “That’s not too tight?” “It’s fine. Oh... Is that why you’re wearing a life jacket?” she asks raising a quizzical eyebrow. “Yes,” I say smiling. She giggles in my response. “Such confidence in my driving skills, Mr. Grey,” she says sarcastically. “As ever, Mrs. Grey,” I reply. “Well, don’t lecture me,” she forewarns. I hold my hands up in a defensive gesture, still smiling like an idiot. “Would I dare?” I ask in a mock wounded tone. “Yes you would, and yes you often do, and we can’t pull over and argue on the sidewalk here,” she reminds me putting her hands on her hips. “Fair point well made, Mrs. Grey. Are we going to stand on this platform all day debating your driving skills or are we going to have some fun?” “Fair point well made, Mr. Grey. Let’s have fun,” she says grasping the handlebars of the Jet Ski. She situates herself on the seat, and I climb behind her, kicking us away from the yacht. I note that Taylor and two deckhands are watching us, probably thinking that the control freak Christian Grey must have lost his marbles to let his wife drive the Jet Ski. They all look amused. I move forward and wrap my body around Anastasia’s as close as possible. Not even the air can pass between us. “Ready?” she shouts at me over the Jet Ski’s engine’s noise. “As I’ll ever be,” I say to her ear. Anastasia slowly squeezes the levers behind the handle bars to increase her speed. We slowly move away from the Fair Lady. Anastasia squeezes the levers harder and the Jet Ski with us on its back shoots forward. “Whoa! Ana!” I shout, but I’m also excited. We are reaffirming life together, and it’s delightful! Anastasia speeds past the Fair Lady towards the open sea. We’re outside of the Port de Plaisance de Saint-Claude-du-Var, and Nice Cote d’Azur Airport. Anastasia, out of some

bizarre curiosity directs the Jet Ski towards the airports built almost into the Mediterranean Sea. The Jet Ski moves skipping over the waves like an expertly tossed rock on water. I can feel the thrill Anastasia is experiencing. She’s in seventh heaven!

“Next time we do this, we’ll have two jet skis,” I shout over the noise. I can feel her answering grin, knowing that I will allow her to do something I deemed dangerous only yesterday. An approaching jet engine’s extremely loud roar suddenly startles Anastasia and instead of easing the throttle, she hits it. “Ana!” I manage to shout as we’re both catapulted off the Jet Ski with our arms and legs flailing in the air and into the cooler waters of the Mediterranean. The last thing I hear is her scream as she plunges into the water in a big splash. Thanks to her life vest, she is resurfaces almost immediately but she’s coughing and spluttering seawater, and looking around to find me. I am catapulted away from her, but I swim towards Anastasia, anxious to make sure she’s alright. The Jet Ski is only a few feet away, silently floating on the surface. “Are you okay?” I ask in a full blown panic. “Yes,” she croaks, her throat is probably still burning from the seawater she’s swallowed. Relief floods me immediately, and I grab and hold onto her, hugging her tight to my chest as my heart is beating like the jungle drum. Then leaning back, I check her face to see if she’s really alright. “See, Christian, that wasn’t so bad!” she says grinning. Yes, she’s okay. “No, I guess it wasn’t. Except that I’m wet,” I groan in a playful tone. “I’m wet too!” she squeaks. “I like you wet,” I say ogling her. “Christian!” she scolds me, mischievously. I grin as wide as possible, and leaning in I kiss my wife with all I’ve got. We don’t stop kissing until we are both breathless. Fuck! Now, I’m hot and heavy for my wife. Maybe I can do something about it in the shower. “Come. Let’s head back. Now we have to shower. I’ll drive,” I say before mounting the Jet Ski again. ****❦ ♡ ❧***** As we sit in the British Airways first class lounge at Heathrow Airport in London, we are waiting for the connecting flight to Seattle. As I’ve been reading the Financial Times, I hear the shutter noise of a camera. I look up and smile at Anastasia. Is she trying to get my attention?

She’s eyeing my white linen shirt and jeans, and her eyes focus on my aviator sunglasses tucked inside the V of my open shirt. “How are you, Mrs. Grey?” I ask. “Sad to be going home. I like having you to myself.” I smile at her in response, holding her hand; I raise it to my lips and kiss her knuckles. I would love to have more time alone with her, but I can’t get my mind away from the perp and he must be caught for us to have any sort of peace. “Me, too,” I reply. “But?” she says raising her eyebrows. “But?” I repeat, but I sound unconvincing to her. She tilts her head to the side in her new questioning look, digging for more information. I have to work harder on my impassive gaze if I want to make her believe. I sigh. “I just want this arsonist caught and out of our lives,” I say finally. “Oh,” she replies, understanding my concern. “I’ll have Welch’s balls on a platter if he lets anything like that happen again,” I say threateningly. I said as much to Welch! This time I manage to look at Anastasia impassively, daring her to oppose me at all if she’s feeling brave enough. She just smiles in response, and lifting up her camera, she immortalizes my impassive gaze. ****❦ ♡ ❧***** We finally arrive at Escala after Sawyer picks us up from the Airport. Home sweet home! Anastasia is so tired, she’s fallen asleep in the car. “Hey, sleepyhead, we’re home,” I murmur into Anastasia’s ear. “Hmm,” she mumbles still half asleep. I get out, and walk to her side of the passenger door and open it. Instead of letting her walk out, I lean in, unbuckle her seat-belt and lift Anastasia into my arms, walking her to the elevators. “Hey, I can walk,” she protests, but she’s still too sleepy. I snort. This is our first time as husband and wife in our home. I will cross her through the threshold. “I need to carry you over the threshold,” I remind her. Her arms snake around my neck all too willingly. “Up all thirty floors?” she challenges me, smiling. “Mrs. Grey, I’m very pleased to announce that you've put on some weight.” “What?” she nearly shouts, waking up completely. Her reaction makes me grin. “So if you don’t mind, we’ll use the elevator,” I say narrowing my eyes on her, teasing. Taylor opens the Escala lobby doors and smiles. “Welcome home Mr. Grey, Mrs. Grey.” “Thanks, Taylor,” I reply. When Taylor goes back to the Audi where Sawyer is waiting for him, Anastasia turns the full force of her glare on me. “What do you mean I’ve put on weight?” she asks. I grin even wider, and hold her closer to my chest as I walk across the lobby. “Not much,” I say, but remembering she only regained part of the weight she’s lost when she left me. I can’t help but remember the agony I've felt when she wasn’t in my life. My face falls. “What is it?” she asks in an alarmed voice. “ You've put on some of the weight you lost when you left me,” I say quietly in anguish as I push the call button for the elevator.

“Hey.” Her voice is serene. Her fingers hold my face making me look at her. “If I hadn't gone, would you be standing here, like this, now?” she asks probing. I smile. No, we wouldn't. “No,” I say as the elevator doors open. I lean in and kiss her after I walk into the elevator with her in my arms. “But I would know I could keep you safe, because you wouldn't defy me.” Sometimes I miss the control. I would however, not exchange what we have now which would have never occurred had she not been defiant. All the touching, closeness, marriage all would have been a distant unreachable dream for me. Her defiance is a small price to pay. “I like defying you,” she says narrowing her eyes. “I know. And it’s made me so... very happy,” I say smiling at her. “Even though I’m fat?” she asks. Her remark makes me laugh. “Even though you’re fat,” I say kissing her; our connection gets me heated, sets my blood boiling. She weaves her fingers into my hair, holding me against her, and our kiss, the tango of our tongues is intoxicating. Utterly sensual. Elevator stops at the penthouse, the doors open and we’re both breathless. I wouldn't change this for anything in the world. “Very happy,” I murmur my declaration. My gaze is dark, my smile is salacious and it’s our first night back as husband and wife. What’s better than christening once home with mind blowing sex? “Welcome home, Mrs. Grey,” I whisper as my lips lock on hers again, and then I smile at her. “Welcome home, Mr. Grey,” she replies beaming at me. I walk across the foyer, the corridor, the great room, and put her on the kitchen island, making her sit, her legs dangling. I take out two champagne flutes and a bottle of Bollinger from the fridge. I open the bottle, and pour the pale pink champagne into each flute, and hand her one of them. I part her legs, and move in between them, standing with her face to face. “Here’s to us, Mrs. Grey,” I lift my glass. “To us, Mr. Grey,” she whispers, smiling shyly. We clink the glasses and she lifts it to her lips to take a sip. “I know you’re tired right now after the long trip back home,” I whisper as I rub my nose against hers. “But I’d really like to go to bed, and not to sleep,” I say kissing the corner of her mouth. “It’s our first night back here, and you’re really mine,” I say and see a shiver run through her body. I plant a soft kiss down her throat. It’s early evening, and for the residents o f Seattle, it’s not time to go to bed yet, but then again, they haven’t traveled as far as we have, either.

****❦ ♡ ❧***** I wake up feeling the eerie silence being broken by a deep sigh. I feel her gaze on me. My eyes are heavy with sleep. But immediately feeling something wrong, I’m wide awake. I find Anastasia gazing at me with something of a worry. “What’s wrong?” I ask immediately. “Nothing. Just go back to sleep,” she says with a reassuring smile. Oh, she’s jet-lagged she can’t sleep. I stretch, and rub the sleep away from my face and then grin at her. “Jet lag?” I ask her. “Is this what this is? I’m unable to sleep.” “I have the universal panacea right here, just for you, baby,” I say grinning, and she rolls her eyes while giggling. But the next thing I know, her teeth graze my earlobe sending shivers down to my core, and my cock is wide awake. The heavy lovemaking leaves us both breathless, and tired, and pleasantly chases away jet lag and nightmares away with the surge of pheromones. When I wake up again, the first daylights of Seattle is seeping into our bedroom. I quietly get up, get into my work out gear and head down to the gym with Taylor. It’s good to be getting back to my routine; it gives me a sense of control and relieves a lot of tension. When I get back from working out, I head to our bedroom. My presence wakes Anastasia up. She’s gloriously naked under the sheets, and it’s a draw for me, but we have a busy day ahead. We are invited to my parents’ home for lunch with the family. “Shower?” I ask. “Yes,” she says sitting up letting the sheet fall off her body, making me hitch my breath. I drop my gym towel on the floor absently, and scoop my wife off the bed, and carry her into the bathroom with her giggling protests. She eyes the suitcases on the way to the bathroom. Groans.

“I have to unpack today before we go to your parents,” she complains. “Let Mrs. Jones do it,” I reply. “Just relax this morning. But I will have to catch up with some work,” her face falls, but then she puts on her bright smile reserved for when she wants to mask her true emotions. “No, I think it’ll keep me busy while you are working,” she replies. ****❦ ♡ ❧***** It’s almost noon when we’re in the Audi R8 driving to my parents’ home on I -5 towards the 520 bridge. Anastasia’s mood is forlorn though she tries to hide it. She absently rubs the leather of her seat, and blurts out, “Would you let me drive this?” surprising me. “Of course,” I reply her smiling. “What’s mine is yours. If you dent it though, I would ta ke you into the Red Room of Pain,” I say looking at her with a fiendish grin goading her.

“You’re kidding. You’d punish me for denting your car? You love your car more than you love me?” she asks in a teasing tone. “It’s close,” I tease her back, as my hand reaches out to squeeze her knee. “But she doesn’t keep me warm at night,” I say with a salacious smile. “I’m sure it could be arranged. You could sleep in her!” she snaps back in a jealous tone, and her response makes me laugh. It’s so cute and so normal. “We haven’t been home one day and you’re kicking me out already?” I ask her enthralled. She looks at me as if she's looking at a bizarre science experiment, befuddled with my reaction. “Why are you so pleased?” she quizzes me. I give her another ear splitting grin. “Because this conversation is so normal,” I reply. So normal that I feel I crave it after the last few stressful days with worry. “Normal!” she says snorting. “Surely, not after three weeks of marriage!” she says, and I feel the air sucked out of my lungs, my energy draining. Does she really think that this is so bad? I was only teasing her. “I’m kidding, Christian,” she says right away. But her mood too is gone. Her disposition changes to disconsolate.

“Don’t worry, I’ll stick to the Saab,” she mutters averting her gaze to the road outside of her window. Why is she in such a bad mood? “Hey! What’s wrong?” I ask her without being able to hide my concern. “Nothing,” she replies. If I learned anything from the Anastasia’s Mood 101 course, it’s that, ‘nothing’ is never ‘nothing’, but always something; in fact a lot of somethings. “You’re so frustrating sometimes, Ana. Just tell me!” I say exasperated. She turns and gives me a looks accompanied by a smirk. “Back at you, Grey,” she says. Shit! I’ve done something again. I frown in response. “I’m trying to fix my ways,” I say in a soft voice. “I know. Me too,” she says, and her simple admission raises both of our moods a little. We are greeted at the door by my mother, and she takes us to the terrace where all the family members as well as Katherine and Ethan are assembled. My dad is manning the grill with his chef’s hat he tilted to the side, and his Licensed to Grill apron. Anastasia must find him very funny; because whenever she looks at his direction she grins, and shakes her head imperceptibly. My brother is in his usual joking mode again, using a lot of sexual innuendos. We end up trading a lot of friendly insults and discuss the new plans for our home while my mom and Mia are setting salad and side dishes on the terrace table. I hear Ethan and Kate quiz Anastasia about our honeymoon and the places we visited. I talk to my brother as I hold Anastasia’s hand toying with her rings absently. His company is supposed to remodel our new home and make it more ‘green’ and environment friendly. “So if you can get the plans finalized with Gia, I have a window September through to mid November and can get the whole crew on it,” says Elliot, stretching smoothly and holding his girlfriend tight. That reminds me, I have scheduled Gia to come over tomorrow so we can move forward with our plans. I want our home to be completed soon. “Yes, Gia is due to come over to discuss the plans tomorrow evening,” I reply him. “I hope we can finalize everything then,” I say looking at my wife. “Sure,” she responds smiling, but the smile doesn’t reach her eyes. She’s still in a bad mood. What the hell is going on? When everyone’s attention is diverted elsewhere, her face falls again as if her puppy just died. She’s lost in her thought once more. I have to find out what is eating her up even if I have to take her to the boat house for an extended spanking and fucking session! “Ana! Are you still in the South of France?” asks Katherine. Leave it to her to nose in at the wrong time. “Yes,” Anastasia replies with a small smile. The kind of smile you show to company, but don’t really mean. “You look so well,” she compliments Anastasia. “You both do,” my mom chimes in. “To the happy couple!” my dad says raising his glass and everyone on the table cheer in. “And of course, congratulations to Ethan for getting into the psych program at Seattle,” says Mia, commending her boyfriend. Everyone at the table ask us about our honeymoon, and the places on our itinerary. Ana remains silent, aloof, so I fill in for us both and talk about our visit to Ireland, London, Paris,

south of France, and the Fair Lady excursions. Ana just looks blank, pouty, and desolate. Nothing I say or do cheers her up. Elliot accidentally knocks his wine glass on the terrace, and to avoid staining everyone moves about to get it cleaned. Taking the opportunity I lean into Anastasia’s ear: “I am going to take you to the boathouse and finally spank you in there if you don’t snap out of this mood,” I whisper. The first lively reaction I get from her since this morning is her gasp. She looks at me shocked. “You wouldn't dare!” she growls. Oh, baby! How little you know me, and how tempting is your incredulity! I cock my eyebrow at her, waiting for her to say the next thing for me to just to take her. From the direction Anastasia’s eyes travel across the table, Katherine must be watching us, but I don’t give a fuck about her. Anastasia is my wife! I spank, I fuck, I kiss, and make love: she’s my wife, and I need to find out what the hell is eating her up! “You’d have to catch me first, and I’m wearing flats,” she hisses .“I’d have fun trying,” I whisper with a lascivious grin. She blushes crimson. But I decide to keep my eye on her until her mood is completely changed. After we finish our deserts, the rain starts pouring and we all jump to our feet with our plates and glasses in hand run inside. My mom is pleased that the rain didn't start until we were done with our meal and dessert. We go inside, and I eye my parents’ piano. The pia no I spent many hours practicing as a child. I press the quiet pedal and start playing is softly. Anastasia sits and socializes with my family. As I play the notes of “Wherever You May Go,” I start singing the lyrics softly to myself. In less than a minute the room is completely eerily silent, and I feel all the eyes on me. The first time I ever sang in front of any member of my family other than Anastasia was on our wedding day. That was quite a shock to everyone, but I think it’s a bigger shock to them now, because, I can just do it without thinking about it. When I stop singing and stare back at my family, my mom softly urges me to go on. I think she’s just promoted Anastasia to the level of saints after hearing me sing a second time confirming that it wasn’t just a fluke. Through my peripheral vision I see her embracing Anastasia and I hear her joyful thanks. “Oh, darling girl! Thank you, thank you!” she utters, completely elated, like the time she heard me talk for the first time. I hear her telling Anastasia that she’s going to go make some tea in a hoarse voice. That’s her line to go to the kitchen and shed tears in private. I get up and go to the French doors and gaze outside deep in thought. Anastasia sashays towards me. “Hi,” she greets me. “Hi,” I reply, pulling her close me, I wrap my arm around her waist and she puts her hand into my back pocket. “Are you feeling better now?” I ask. She nods in the affirmative. “Good.” “You certainly know how to silence a room,” she notes. “I do it all the time,” I say grinning. “Yes, you do it at work, but not here.” “That’s true; no, not here.”

“So, this is only the second time they've heard you sing? Our wedding and now?” “I suppose so,” I remark dryly. She has no idea about the depths of my feelings for her, what I’d do, how she affects me, what she makes me do just by being in my life. All of a sudden I want to take her home, and have my way with her, lose myself in her. I feel my body heating, desire coursing through my me. “Shall we go?” I ask. She drifts her gaze up to my face trying to gauge my mood, trying to understand what I’m thinking. “Are you going to spank me?” she asks in a whisper. Immediately all my senses are in full alert mode, and I’m completely focused on her. My eyes darken, my mouth dries, my pupils dilate, and my pulse races. “I don’t want to hurt you, but I’m more than happy to play,” I say sensually. She blushes and looks around the room to see if anyone is in earshot of us. Then I lean into her ear, and without making contact, whisper, “Only if you misbehave, Mrs. Grey,” I say, and I know she’s in a one tight knot inside looking for ways to misbehave. “I’ll see what I can do,” she replies in a breathy voice. “Let’s not waste time then,” I say taking my wife's hand, ready to leave. We say our goodbyes to my family and friends, and as we walk to the R8, I throw the car keys to her. “Here,” I say. “Don’t bend it,” I look at her narrowing my eyes, trying to be as serious as possible, “or I will be fucking pissed.” Her mouth falls open, unable to believe that I’m letting her drive my car. You have no idea what I’d let you do, baby. “Are you sure?” she mouths, completely astonished. “Yes, before I change my mind,” I say and I have to say, I’ve never seen her grin as wide before. I open the driver’s door, and before I can make my way to the passenger side, she turns the car on, raring to go. “Eager, Mrs. Grey?” I ask wryly. “Very,” she replies excitedly. She slowly backs the car, and turns into the driveway. This is stick shift, and I don’t know if she’s going to stall the car or not. But whatever sooner earns her a spanking, the more fun for both of us. Sawyer and Ryan climb into the Audi SUV and drive behind us. When Anastasia is at the edge of the driveway, ready to merge into the main road, she turns to me and asks. “Are you sure about this?” “Yes,” I say in a tight voice, but all my instincts scream no! Of course I’ve no trust in her driving skills. I’ve seen her drive like a bat out of hell in her death trap of a car before, and she does the same thing with her Saab. She slowly inches the R8 onto the road, and I notice I’m holding tightly, my muscles tense, I’m fisting so hard, my knuckles whiten. And my wife hits the damn gas, shooting us forward! What the hell was that? “Whoa! Ana!” I shout out loud. “Slow down, or you’ll kill us both!” “Sorry,” she mutters, trying to be chagrined, but failing miserably. I smirk at her, counting her misdemeanor. “Well, Mrs. Grey, that counts as misbehaving,” I say casually, and her foot immediately lifts off the accelerator, slowing us down considerably. Her eyes dart to the rear-view mirror. I follow her gaze. The Audi SUV is nowhere to be seen. There’s only a black Dodge with darkly tinted

windows behind us as we are making way towards the 520 bridge. My Blackberry buzzes in the back pocket of my pants, and with the added frustration I curse an epitaph. “What?” I bark at Sawyer. “Am I on the speaker phone, Mr. Grey?” he asks in a flat voice. “No,” I respond. “Is Mrs. Grey driving the R8, sir?” “Yes. She is,” I reply and my eyes drift to the rear-view mirror, and Anastasia’s eyes follows mine, locking gazes in the mirror. “Okay. There’s an unsub following you. We've ran the license plate of the black Dodge a few cars behind the R8, and it came up with false plates. They are stolen, and there is a big possibility that the driver of the unsub maybe the perp we are looking for, sir.” Fuck! I mentally curse. “I see,” I sigh out my exasperation long and hard, my hand flies to my forehead rubbing hard, tension is oozing out of my pores. “We’re trying to catch up to you sir, but meanwhile, can you have Mrs. Grey to speed up and put some distance between you and the unsub?” “Yes...” I say, but I don’t know if I can trust Anastasia’s driving skills in stressful situations. “...I don’t know,” I add. I see Anastasia looking at me with panic in her eyes. Panic can get us both killed. I lower the phone and press it on my chest, and address only Anastasia. “We’re fine. Keep going,” I say and try to give her a reassuring smile. “We’re going to try to cut the driver, but we’re still behind a few cars, and the driver is trying to catch up to you quickly, sir. How does the traffic look on 520?” “Okay on the 520.” “Great! As soon as you’re on 520 then, have Mrs. Grey hit the gas, and f ast and head towards I5.”’ “As soon as we hit it...” “Yes, then have Mrs. Grey speed up to put some distance between you and the unsub...” “Yes...” “It would best if you let Mrs. Grey know that you are being followed, sir. That way she can understand the urgency, and you can put us on hands-free and direct her while I give you updates of what the other driver is attempting to do,” he says. “I will,” I say reluctantly. As soon as I put the phone on the hands-free slot, Anastasia looks at me concerned. “What’s wrong, Christian?” she asks. “Just look where you’re going, baby,” I say in a soft tone. My gaze is on the road ahead, in the direction of the 520 on-ramp towards Seattle. “I don’t want you to panic,” I say in a soothing voice. “But as soon as we’re on the 520 proper, I want you to step on the gas. We’re being followed." She gasps, and her mouth falls open. Her eyes dart into the rearview mirror. She now knows that the Dodge is the vehicle following us. “Keep your eyes on the road, baby,” I coax my wife gently. “How do you know we’re being followed?” she asks in a soft, breathy whisper. “The Dodge behind us has false license plates.” I reply shortly. Anastasia signals to get onto the 520 on-ramp. It’s not raining anymore, but it’s late afternoon, and the traffic is reasonably light.

Thank goodness it’s Sunday. I hear Anastasia taking a deep breath. Her chest is heaving up and down. Her gaze drifts onto the rearview mirror again. Anastasia slows down, and the panic rises in me! It’s not the fucking time to slow down! The Dodge also slows down behind us. Then Anastasia drops a gear, and floors the gas; R8 shoots forward towards the on-ramp of 520, slamming us into our seats. I eye the speedometer, and its at 75 mph. It takes less than seven seconds for the R8 to get to 75 miles per hour. That 6.8 seconds is enough to give an electric shock to my heart, and my nerves. “Steady, baby,” I say in a calm voice though there are tornadoes brewing inside me. Our lives are at stake by the maniac behind us, and my wife’s less than perfect driving skills and my fucking security detail whose heads I will rip off if and when we can get home safely! Anastasia is weaving between two lanes of traffic like the frog hopper game. She’s so fucking close to the rails, when I look on the side; it appears as if we’re driving on water. My gaze is shooting daggers, I’m irritated and nervous, and if my parents are right, Anastasia will make us both walk on water! She’s completely ignoring me. My hands are clutching each other so tight; I’ m surprised I didn't break a knuckle or a bone. But, I try to keep my thoughts to myself so I don’t make her even more nervous, putting us in even greater danger. “Good girl,” I manage to breathe my encouragement for her. I look behind, and she may have lost the unsub. “I can’t see the Dodge,” I mutter. “We are right behind the unsub, Mr. Grey,” I hear Sawyer explaining. “Good. Mrs. Grey is doing well. At this rate, provided the traffic remains light, and from what I can see it is, we’ll be off the bridge in a few minutes.” “Sir,” he concurs. We fly past the bridge control tower, and we've already made halfway across Lake Washington. Anastasia’s eyes dart at the speedometer which is holding a steady seventy-five miles per hour. “You’re doing really well, Ana,” I murmur, and my gaze dart back to behind us. “Where am I headed?” she asks in surprisingly a calm tone. “Mrs. Grey, head for I-5 and then south. We want to see if the Dodge follows you all the way,” Sawyer says. We keep racing forward, so fucking lucky to have encountered green lights. Anastasia glances at me nervously, and I give her a reassuring smile. But when I look ahead, there is a line of traffic we’re going to hit as we get off the bridge. “Shit!” I swear softly and bitterly. We both glance behind us and spot the Dodge about ten cars behind us. “Ten or so cars back?” she asks. “Yeah, I see it,” I say. “I wonder who the fuck it is?” If Anastasia wasn’t with me, I’d stop and beat the fuck out of the driver. “Me too. Do we know if it’s a man driving?” asks Anastasia. “No, Mrs. Grey. Could be a man or a woman. The tint is too dark, ma’am.” “A woman?” I ask. That possibility never occurred to me. Anastasia shrugs and asks, “Your Mrs. Robinson?” she offers, her gaze fixed on the road. I immediately stiffen, and take the phone off the cradle to prevent my security detail delving into our personal affairs.

“She’s not my Mrs. Robinson,” I growl at her. For God’s sake! “I haven’t spoken to her since my birthday. And Elena wouldn't do this. It’s not her style.” “Leila?” “She’s in Connecticut with her parents. I told you,” I say completely exasperated. “Are you sure?” she probes me further, putting me through the Spanish Inquisition. I pause. I would have known if she was out of her state. Her family signed papers stating they would inform Flynn. My payments to her are conditional to that fact. “No. But if she’d absconded, I’m sure her folks would have let Flynn know. Let’s discuss this when we’re home. Concentrate on what you’re doing,” I warn her. “But it might just be some random car,” she offers helpfully. “I’m not taking any risks. Not where you’re concerned,” I snap at her. Does she not understand how important she is to me? I put the Blackberry back into its cradle, and once again we’re in contact with my security detail. Thankfully the traffic starts thinning and Anastasia manages to speed over the Mountlake intersection toward the I-5 freeway; and once again we’re playing the frog hopper. “What if we get stopped by the cops?” she asks. “That would be a good thing,” I reply. Because the perp would have no choice but take off. “Not for my license,” she responds. “Don’t worry about that,” I say. I can get that cleared up in no time. She floors it again and we’re back up to 75 mph. But the Dodge behind us is speeding up to catch up to us. Anastasia hits the gas again and the R8 jumps to 85 mph. “He’s cleared the traffic and picked up speed. He’s doing ninety, sir,” says Sawyer. Anastasia hits the gas again, and we’re up to 95 mph as we approach the I-5 intersection. “Keep it up, Ana,” I encourage her. Anastasia slows down just a bit to merge into the flow of the freeway traffic. Then she quickly moves into the left most lane immediately. We zoom forward. “He’s hit one hundred miles per hour, sir.” “Stay with him, Luke,” I snap at Sawyer. A truck lurches into the fast lane, cutting Ana off, making her hit the brakes, and we are thrusted forward. We’re only held in place by our seatbelts. “Fucking idiot!” I curse the driver. “Go around him, baby,” I say through clenched teeth. She checks the mirrors and cuts right across three lanes, passing slower vehicles, to move back into the fast lane again. “Nice move, Mrs. Grey,” I say impressed. “Where are the cops when you need them?” I complain. “I don’t want a ticket, Christian,” she mutters. “Have you had a speeding ticket driving this?” she asks. “No,” I reply truthfully, amused and smirking. “Have you been stopped?” she asks seeing me smirk. “Yes.” “Oh,” she says, with a questioning tone. “Charm, Mrs. Grey. It all comes down to charm. Now concentrate. Where’s the Dodge, Sawyer?”

“He’s just hit one hundred and ten, sir,” he says. There’s a Mustang ahead of us, and he won’t get out of our way. “Flash the headlight,” I order Ana. “But that’d make me an asshole,” she replies. Is this really the fucking time to have courtesy? “So be an asshole!” I snap at her. “Uhm. I don’t know where the headlight are,” she says. “The indicator. Pull it toward you.” She then flashes the driver, and he gets out of the way, but not before showing my wife the middle finger. “He’s the asshole,” I say under my breath. “Get off on Stewart!” I order Anastasia. “We’re taking the Stewart Street exit,” I inform Sawyer. “Head straight to Escala, sir.” Anastasia slows down, checks her mirrors, signals and moves four lanes of the freeway into the off-ramp. We merge onto Stewart Street, heading south. “We’ve been damned lucky with the traffic. But that means the Dodge has, too. Don’t slow down, Ana. Get us home,” I say. “I can’t remember the way,” she mutters panic rising. “Head south on Stewart. Keep going until I tell you when,” I remind her anxiously. She zooms past three blocks, and the light turns yellow on Yale Avenue. “Run the lights, Ana!” I shout, and she floors the gas. “He’s taking Stewart,” Sawyer informs us. “Stay with him, Luke.” “Luke?” “That’s his name,” I reply irritated. She turns and looks at me. Why is my wife’s attention can be disrupted by simple things such as a name? “Eyes on the road!” I snap at her. “Luke Sawyer,” she repeats to herself. “Yes!” I am completely exasperated. What the fuck Ana? “Ah,” she says, as if she’s making a mental note. “That’s me, ma’am,” joins Sawyer into the conversation. This is fucking surreal. We’re being followed and my wife and the fucking security are talking about his name! “The unsub is heading down Stewart, sir. He’s really picking up speed.” “Go, Ana. Less of the fucking chitchat,” I growl at her. “We’re stopped at the first light on Stewart,” Sawyer informs us. “Ana, quick! In here!” I point a parking garage on the south side of Boren Avenue. Anastasia turns, the tires screeching and she swerves into the crowded parking lot. “Drive around. Quick!” I order. “In there!” I say pointing to a parking space. Her gaze widens. “Just fucking do it,” I say, and she parks perfectly. “We’re hidden in the parking lot between Stewart and Boren,” I say into the Blackberry. “Okay, sir,” says Sawyer irritated that we didn't get to Escala. “Stay where you are; we’ll follow the unsub.” I turn to Anastasia to see if she’s alright.

“You okay?” “Sure,” she replies in a whisper. I smirk in response. “Whoever is driving the Dodge can’t hear us, you know.” She gives out a cathartic laughter. “We’re passing Stewart and Boren now, sir. I see the lot. He’s gone straight past you, sir.” We both sag in relief. “Well done, Mrs. Grey. Good driving,” I say stroking my wife’s face with my fingertips. Anastasia jumps at the contact as if I touched her with live wire. She inhales deeply. “Does this mean you’ll stop complaining about my driving?” she asks, making me laugh out loud. “I wouldn't go so far as to say that.” “Thank you for letting me drive your car. Under such exciting circumstances, too,” she say but her voice cracks at the end. “Maybe I should drive now.” “To be honest, I don’t think I can climb out right now to let you sit here. My legs feel like Jello,” she says and she starts shaking, almost violently. “It’s the adrenaline, baby,” I say. “You did amazingly well, as usual. You blow me away, Ana. You never let me down,” I confess. Touching her cheeks with the backs of my hands softly. I love this woman, and I am completely worried about her, the safety risks that just presented itself so close to us, so close to harming her, I don’t think I can handle another incident like this again! Anastasia, starts crying. “No, baby, no. Please don’t cry,” I say and reach over to her. Unbuckling her seatbelt, I pull her onto my lap over the console, and cradle her in my arms. She sobs quietly in my arms. I stay like that holding her in my arms, soothing her. “The unsub has slowed outside Escala. He’s casing the joint,” Sawyer voice says, startling us. “Follow him,” I snap. Anastasia wipes her nose with the back of her hand. “Use my shirt,” I say kissing her temple. “Sorry,” she mutters. “What for? Don’t be.” She wipes her nose once again, and I tilt her chin up and kiss her lips. “Your lips are so soft when you cry, my beautiful, brave girl,” I whisper. “Kiss me again.” I freeze in place, because with all the adrenaline coursing through my body, my wife in my arms, I don’t think I can just kiss her and leave it at that. “Kiss me,” she breathes, and I have another ‘fuck the paperwork!’ moment, inhaling sharply. I lean across her, taking the Blackberry from the cradle, I toss it into the driver’s seat. Then my mouth is on hers, and my right hand moves into her hair, holding her in place. My left hand holds her face, and my tongue invades her mouth. Her hands clasp my face, her fingers run through my sideburns, she kisses me with fever pitch. I groan at her lusty response with a deep guttural noise. I lower my hands to her breasts, brushing over, to her waist and to her ass. She keeps moving and creating friction over my cock. “Ah!” I say breaking our connection, however unwilling, completely breathless. “What?” she mutters without leaving my lips.

“Ana, we’re in a parking lot in Seattle.” “So?” “Well, right now I want to fuck you, and you’re shifting around on me, and its uncomfortable,” I say. “Fuck me then,” she says kissing my mouth. What? Now? Here? Right after a life threatening car chase? “Here?” is all I can ask in a deep husky voice. “Yes. I want you. And I want you now!” she says. Tilting my head to the side, I get a good look at my wife. She’s quite hot, and I’m dying to be inside her. “Mrs. Grey, how very brazen,” I whisper. Desire unfurls inside me, and I capture her hair at the nape of her neck, holding her in place, and my mouth captures hers, kissing her hard. My hand skates down her body, over her thigh. She laces her fingers into my hair. “I’m so glad you’re wearing a skirt,” I murmur, and slip my hand under her blue and white skirt, caressing her thigh. She squirms on my lap, making air hiss through my teeth. Fuck! “Keep still,” I growl at her, cupping her sex with my hand, and that stops her right on her tracks. My thumb gently brushes over her clit, and her breath catches in response. She moves about again. “Still,” I whisper my order. I kiss her once again as my thumb is circling over the sheer fine lace over her sex. Two of my fingers find their way into her sex through the side of her panties. “Please,” she whispers. “Oh, Mrs. Grey. You’re such a greedy girl,” I say, finger fucking her. “Do car chases turn you on?” “You turn me on,” she replies, making me grin. I am going to fuck her hard and fast here in my car. I scoop my arm under her knees and lift her up and turn her body facing the windshield. “Place your legs either side of mine,” I order. She does as I tell her. Running my hand down her thighs, I pull her skirt up. “Hands on my knees, baby. Lean forward, and lift that glorious ass in the air. Watch your head.” I shift under hear and unbuckling my pants, I pull my zipper down, my erection springs free. I put one arm around her waist and with my other hand I pull her lacy panties sideways and thrust my cock into her sex with one swift move, burying it deep. “Ah!” she cries out, and grinds her sex on me, making the breath hiss through my teeth. My arms snake around her going up to her neck, and I tilt her head back to one side, reaching up, I kiss her throat. With my other hand, I grip her hip and we both start moving.

As she pushes up, I tilt myself into her, in and out, deep, hard and fast. She groans loudly. With one hand, she holds onto the hand brake and her right hand is against the door. I capture her earlobe with my teeth and graze it, and then tug her earlobe while I drill my cock into her hammering again and again, repeatedly. She in the other hand rise and fall in sync with me in a perfect rhythm. I move my hand around under her skirt to the apex of her thighs, and my fingers stimulate her sex through her sheer panties. “Ah!” she groans again. “Be. Quick, baby,” I breathe into her ear through my gritted teeth, as my other hand still curled under her neck. “We need to do this quick, Ana,” I say increasing the pressure of my fingers against her sex and her clit. “Ah!” she moans, and I feel the familiar tightening of her muscles inside. “Come on, baby,” I coax her in a raspy voice into her ear. “I want to hear you.” She moans again loudly this time, and I groan her name loudly, my breath on her neck, still fucking hard, and still stimulating her clit and her sex. “Yes!” I hiss as I slam my cock inside her as a wave of orgasm ripples through her, spreading her body, and into me through our connection. I come loudly, climaxing deep inside her sex. “Oh, Ana,” I murmur. What she makes me do. I run my nose along her jaw and kiss her softly on her throat, cheek, and her temples as the lies on me, completely spent. “Tension relieved, Mrs. Grey?” I ask, my teeth around her earlobe again. She just mewls against me, unable to speak. Her physical response makes me smile. “Certainly helped with mine,” I add. “Have you lost your voice?” “Yes,” she murmurs. “Well, aren't you the wanton creature? I had no idea you were such an exhibitionist.” She sits up right away, alarmed. “No one’s watching are they?” she asks nervously. “Do you think I’d let anyone watch my wife come?” I ask, reassuring her as I stroke her back. “Car sex!” she exclaims. I grin at her in response, as I tuck a stray strand of her hair behind her ear. “Let’s head back. I’ll drive,” I say and finally our precious connection is broken. We need to head home.


I open the door and reluctantly let Anastasia get off my lap and she steps out of the car and into the parking lot. I quickly zip my fly up, and following my wife, I let her climb into the passenger seat. I walk around and get to the driver’s side, and take the Blackberry off my seat; I call my inept security detail. “Mr. Grey. This is Ryan,” he answers. “Where’s Sawyer?” I snap at him angrily. “I dropped him at Escala, sir,” he replies. “And the Dodge? How come Sawyer’s not with you?” “The driver of the Dodge was casing Escala and took off. I had to drop Sawyer off at Escala, because one of us has to be with you at all times per Taylor’s emergency instructions, and since Mrs. Grey was driving with you, we had to improvise, sir. And the woman that was driving the Dodge took off after noticing us approach and I’m currently chasing her,” he says in a flat tone. “Her?”

“Yes, sir. It appears to be a female driver, though it’s not quite easy determine, because she’s wearing a baseball cap, but her hair seems to be long. Although the windows were heavily tinted, the driver’s features appear to be feminine. She seems to be speeding up in an effort to lose me on southbound I-5, sir.” “Stick with her,” I order. “Will do, sir,” he replies as I hang up. Who the fuck is she? My mind goes through the many women I’ve known and fucked, or worked for me but no one seems to stick out as the type to do this sort of harm. Who? Who? Who? I gaze at Anastasia. I can almost see what she’s thinking even if she doesn’t word her thoughts. “The driver of the Dodge is a female?” she asks. “So it would appear,” I reply quietly. Fuck! I need to examine this closely. I have been contemplating cancelling Pella visit, but this changes everything. This may be the actual perp, or an accomplice. I’m burning with anger. “Let’s go home,” I say starting the R8, and reverse out of the parking space. “Where the, uhm... unsub? What does it mean anyway? It sounds very BDSM to me.” Leave it to Anastasia to associate everything with a sexual connotation. She makes me smile even when I’m burning with rage. “It stands for Unknown Subject. Ryan is ex-FBI,” I explain briefly. “Ex-FBI?” she asks quizzically. Curiosity is not good for Anastasia. “Don’t ask,” I say shaking my head. I don’t want to dwell on my secur ity details' backgrounds right now. What I need to find out right is the identity of the fucking bitch that was following us. “Well, where is this female unsub?” asks Anastasia. Here comes the inquisition. “She’s on the I-5, heading south,” I say with grim eyes. Some fuck head came close to hurting me and my wife. I feel Anastasia’s gaze on me, worried and concerned once again. Despite the fact that I try to shield her from all this shit, she still gets the heat, it’s not good at all. I gotta get home, and assess the situation. Picking up on my mood, Anastasia reaches over to me, and runs her fingers on the inside of my jeans traveling northbound towards my crotch. I would love her to continue her mission, but I need to resolve this problem. I hold her hand before she goes any further.

“No,” I indicate clearly. “ We've made it this far. I’m sure you don’t want me to have an accident three blocks from home,” and take her hand up to my lips, feeling her disappointment. I don’t want her to think, I don’t want her. But this isn't the right time, and I need all my faculties together. She can affect me easily, and where she’s concerned, I’m already a half saluting soldier at all times. I have to be in charge, in control. Anastasia takes her hand, and remains quiet for a short while, mulling something in her head. “Female?” she asks. “Apparently so,” I say sighing, and punching up the code for the Escala garage, I turn the R8 into the underground garage of the building. “I really like this car,” she murmurs, and I thank God for her short attention span for changing her thoughts from the perp. “Me, too. And I like how you handled it, and how you managed not to break it.” After I park the car in one of my bays, she turns to me smirking and says, “You can buy me one for my birthday.” My mouth drops open. How on earth does she manage to do this to me midst a virtual storm? She manages to shock me every time. My wife, Anastasia Rose Grey who would fight and argue with me for giving her a gift, a mere set of books is now asking me to buy her an R8? “A white one, I think,” she says leaning down. I finally manage to smile at her. “Anastasia Grey, you never cease to amaze me.” She smiles and gets out of the car. My mind is racing. What I want is to dull the edge of this feeling; the feeling of being overwhelmed. What I need is control, what I need is a good, out of this world, mind blowing fucking with my wife. Maybe right here, right now! I saunter towards Anastasia, my eyes fixed on her with a carnal appreciation, and I gaze at her from the top of her head to her toes. My eyes linger on her hips and her legs. I stand in front of her very close, lean down and whisper, “You like the car. I like the car. I’ve fucked you in it... perhaps I should fuck you on it.” She gasps in response. So ready for me. One whispered word, one look, one gesture, and she’s putty in my hands. It’s only fair, because, I’m already one in hers. Damn, I can never get enough of her! Right then a sleek BMW drives into the garage, and my anxiety that was momentarily hidden behind a mental curtain is evident again. I’m annoyed, but I think it’s best. We’ll do this some other time. I smirk at Anastasia. “But it looks like we have company. Come,” I say taking her hand. I can do more in my apartment. We walk to the elevators, and I push the call button. The guy who drove the BMW catches up to us, and joins us in waiting. I eye the man, assessing. A young guy, not 30 yet, dressed casually, with long layered dark hair. He’s either in the newspaper, or the TV. Smells

like daddy’s money. His peripheral vision takes my wife in. He’s already taken by her. Who wouldn't? She exudes an innocent beauty. And right now, she’s all fucked and mussed, and there’s the glow of a woman who is well satisfied. It’s irresistible to any man. I move in holding my wife closer, declaring my territory. “Hi,” the fucker says right away. I nod in response. I’m in no mood to talk to someone who is eyeing my woman. “I’ve just moved in. Apartment sixteen,” he says. And why do you th ink we need to know this information? I don’t give a shit! “Hello,” Anastasia says with a smile. She checks him out, not in a carnal way, but curious. Don’t be curious about other men! I hold her a little closer to remind her that fact. When the elevator arrives, we all walk in. I look down at my wife to focus on me. Not on this fucker. Me! I’m the husband you just fucked in a closed parking lot in a very licentious manner, remember? “You’re Christian Grey,” says the enamored fucker. I give him a tight smile reserved for people I don’t really care for, but need to be polite for obvious reasons. “Noah Logan,” he says introducing himself. He extends his hand, and social conventions make me reluctantly take his hand. I squeeze it firmly so he understands who the top dog is. “Which floor?” he asks. “I have to input a code.” “Oh.” “Penthouse.” “Oh,” he smiles wide. “Of course,” he replies as if he just realized that I only get the best apartment. He presses for the 8th floor and the elevator doors close. “Mrs. Grey, I presume,” he says fixing his gaze on Anastasia. “Yes,” she says smiling, and shakes his hand. With the given introduction opportunity he gazes at her and flushes. Flushes! Another fucking admirer and I grip my wife tighter. She’s mine! Keep your eyes, and your distance away from her! “When did you move in?” Anastasia asks. Why the hell are you curious?

“Last weekend. I love the place.” Sure you do. Now that you've met my wife, I bet you like it even better! I say nothing. The awkward silence continues because he realizes that I’m territorial, my gaze is fixed on him saying ‘back the fuck off!’ He gives a brief sigh of relief when the elevator reaches his floor. “Great to meet you both,” he says and quickly walks out. When the doors close, I enter the code to the penthouse, and the elevator starts its ascend again. “He seemed nice,” says Anastasia. “I’ve never met any of the neighbors before.” I scowl. She doesn’t need to meet anyone, especially if they’re going to ogle her like this fucker . “I prefer it that way.” “That’s because you’re a hermit. I thought he was pleasant enough.” What the hell? “A hermit?” “Hermit. Stuck in your ivory tower,” she says. Leave it to my wife to simply me in one elementary sentence. She changes my mood, leaves me speechless. A small smile creeps up my face. “Our ivory tower. And I think you have another name to add to the list of your admirers, Mrs. Grey.” She rolls her eyes at me which could earn her a spanking. I hope. “Christian, you think everyone is an admirer.” “Did you just roll your eyes at me?” Her breath hitches. Her eyes dilate. She looks hopeful. “I sure did,” she whispers in a breathy voice. All kinds of punishments I can apply to this transgression, and I don’t mind delivering any of them should she so desire. I cock my head to the side arrogantly. My gaze is amused. “What shall we do about that?” I ask hypothetically. “Something rough.” What the fuck? Did she just say that? She wants something...rough? I’m completely shocked to hear it. “Rough?” I ask thinking I might have heard her wrong.

“Please,” she replies desirously. “You want more?” after the car sex? She nods her response slowly and clearly. The elevator doors open. I’m all ears, and cock. I mean cocked. I mean, you know what I mean... “How rough?” I ask her breathing hard, my eyes darkening with desire. She gazes at me without an answer. She wants me to choose? We are going to have some fucking fun! I push the double doors to find Sawyer standing in the hallway. He is expecting to be debriefed. But, right now, I don’t give a shit. There won't be any debriefing until Mrs. Grey is thoroughly fucked and completely satisfied. “Sawyer, I’d like to be debriefed in an hour.” “Yes, sir,” she says to wait in Taylor’s office. I glance down at my wife. “Rough?” I ask, seeking confirmation. She nods in response. “Well, Mrs. Grey. You’re in luck. I’m taking requests today.” “Do you have anything in mind?” I ask binding her with my gaze. She just shrugs, completely breathless as if she ran a marathon, and she looks flustered. Why? All the earlier excitement? Is she in a bad mood? I know how to soothe and take the edge of all those feelings. “Kinky fuckery?” I ask softly. She nods, her face going crimson. After all that fucking we've done, she can still blush like crazy, and I love that about her. She beguiles me. She needs a shakeup. She needs affirmation. I need to make her feel alive, and excited to be with me. “Carte blanche?” I whisper. She is nervous, but hot and excited. “Yes,” she murmurs. I smile. Fuck, yeah! “Come,” I say tugging her towards the stairs. We are going to play. I need this as much as she. I need that connection. I need to feel that I’m in control of some aspects of my life, of our lives. I need to feel in charge. I need to feel like that man I am. When we get to the top of the stairs, I let go of her hand to unlock the playroom door. It’s hanging on the Yes Seattle key-chain Anastasia gave me confirming her answer to my proposal. I swing the door open, and with a swoop of my hand, I say, “After you, Mrs. Grey.” Anastasia walks in slowly. I turn the soft lights on, close the door behind and lock it. The familiar smell of leather, wood and citrus polish is ever present. I turn to my wife and find her

gazing at me. I look at her cocking my head to one side. What exactly does she want? And why does she want it? I need to know. “What do you want, Anastasia?” I ask softly. “You,” she replies. That’s a broad answer, and a given. I’m hers already. I smirk in response. “ You've got me. In fact you've had me since you fell into my office.” She takes in a shuddering breath and replies: “Surprise me then, Mr. Grey.” I’d love to. I smile with a carnal promise on my lips. “As you wish, Mrs. Grey.” I fold my arms over, and raising my hand, I graze my lips with my index finger, assessing Anastasia. “I think we’ll start by divesting you of your clothes,” I say as I step forward towards her. I grasp the front of her denim jacket and open it. Slowly inserting my hands under it, I push it off her shoulders. It falls onto the floor. Then I clasp the hem of her black camisole. “Lift your arms,” I order. She obeys instantly. I peel it off of her. I lean down and plant a soft kiss on her lips. My body is vibrating with lust and desire; my eyes are exuding my love for her. I drop her camisole onto the floor. “Here,” she says giving me her hair tie. I still for a moment. She knows I tie her hair when we have hard core kinky fuckery. Do we want to do this? I know she wants it, and God knows I want it. I need it. Really, desperately need it. It’ll make me feel in control even if it is just for a little while when everything else feels out of control. But I don’t want to hurt, or mark her. I don’t want this to be the thing that breaks us apart. It’s a hard water to tread. Fuck! She looks edible! I take the hair band from her without breaking my gaze. “Turn around,” I order, having made up my mind. She hands it over. She wants this as much as I do. She looks relieved too. I pick her hair up, and braid it quickly, and then fasten it with the tie. I tug the braid and pull her head back. “Good thinking, Mrs. Grey,” I whisper into her ear, and nip her earlobe. “I want you to now turn around and take your skirt off. Let it fall to the floor. Slowly,” I say and release her. Stepping back she turns to face me. Her gaze locked with mine, she unbuttons the waistband of her skirt, and slowly pulls the zipper down. Her skirt fans out and falls to the floor, pooling at her feet. “Step out from your skirt,” I order, and she steps towards me. Without letting her move any further, I kneel in front of her, grasping her right ankle I unbuckle her sandals one at a time. She holds onto the wall to balance herself. After removing her sandals, I rock back on my heels and

gaze up at my wife who looks glorious just in her lacy bra and panties. Damn! What a magnificent sight. I am one lucky son of a bitch! “You are a fine sight Mrs. Grey,” I whisper. The urge to bury myself in her is overwhelming, and intoxicating. I kneel and grasp her hips and pull her towards me. Burying my nose in the apex of her thighs, I inhale her deep, letting her scent saturate inside my head, giving me a high.

“And you smell of you and me and sex,” I say sharply. “It’s alluring, intoxicating.” I kiss her through her lacy panties, and feel her get wetter. She gasps, and a shudder runs through her entire body. That’s right. Then I let her go, and pick her clothes up off the floor and stand up. “I want you to go and stand beside the table,” I say in calm, commanding voice, indicating the direction with my chin. Then I make my way to the toys chest. She eyes my every move, every step I take, and every gesture I make. I smirk. She’s captivated. “Face the wall,” I order. “That way you won’t know what I’m planning. We aim to please, Mrs. Grey, and you wanted a surprise.” She turns away from me, but curious, all attention. She waits... After putting away her sandals and her clothes, I take my own shoes off, slowly, and leisurely. Building her anticipation. I make my way to the chest of drawers where I keep the toys, and

open the drawer up. What shall I do to you Mrs. Grey? Oh yes... I think we will have fun with this. My wife is still a virgin so to speak. An anal virgin. I’m thinking we’re going to rectify that situation quite soon. I pick up a few other toys that will intensify her pleasure, and my excitement. What pleases her, arouses me... Immensely. My pleasure is directly proportionate to hers. It’s a very simple equation, really. I go to the stereo and choose the music for this scene. A subtle hissing sound of the stereo fills the room then the mournful chords of a lone piano are heard. The chords of the Great Gig in the Sky start playing. I take my shirt off and place it with her clothes. As the female vocal start crooning her wails, I leisurely walk towards my wife. The only sound other than the music is the padding of my feet on the wood floors. I’m behind her, standing, not touching. I lean down and breathe my question in her left ear. “Rough, you say, Mrs. Grey?” “Hmm.” “You have to tell me to stop if it’s too much. If you say stop, I will stop immediately. Do you understand?” I ask as Pink Floyd starts crooning. “And I am not frightened of dying any time will do, I Don’t mind. Why should I be frightened of dying? There’s no reason for it, you’ve gotto go sometime. I never said I was frightened of dying...” The music is out of this world; with my wife’s presence, in this state, submitting to me is simply heaven. “Yes,” she replies. That’s not enough. I don’t want her to try to endure and then leave me. I want to be able to trust her in this room, in fact everywhere, but it’s very imperative that she does communicate with me. We are lovers. Part of pleasing one’s lover goes through fully trusting the other. I want to trust her. Trust that she will tell me if it’s overwhelming. “I need your promise,” I say commanding. The tone and the sound of my voice make her inhale sharply. “I promise,” she says immediately. “Good girl,” I say, and leaning down I kiss her on her shoulder. I hook my fingers underneath her bra straps, and trace my fingers over the line across her back. A shiver runs through her body, and she sighs desirously.

“Take it off,” I whisper at her ear, and she does faster than a speeding bullet. Eager, Mrs. Grey? I smile. My hands skim down her back, I hook my thumbs into her panties, and slowly let them slide down. Once they pool around her feet, “Step,” I order. And she does exactly she’s tol d. I slowly plant a kiss on her backside. “I’m now going to blindfold you so that everything will be more intense,” I say. Losing the sense of sight, alerts the body to heighten the other senses; make it focus on feelings of touch, smell, taste, and hearing to observe the surroundings and sensations. And because the body is hyper-aware of every other sense, it also increases the pleasure many folds.

“Bend down and lie flat on the table,” I say softly, but firmly. “Now.” She immediately obeys, bends and holds the sides of the table. Her face is flush against the surface of the table. “Stretch your arms up and hold on to the edge,” I instruct. She does so, hesitantly. “If you let go, I will spank you. Do you understand?” I ask. “Yes,” she says understanding. But I don’t want to do something she doesn’t want done. I want her consent all the way.

“Do you want me to spank you, Anastasia?” I ask. “Yes,” she replies in a hoarse, barely heard whisper. Is she unsure? Unwilling? Is she just trying to please me? “Why?” I ask, trying to understand. She shrugs in response. That will not do. I need to know. I need to understand, so I don’t do it for the wrong reasons. It’s only for pleasure. “Tell me,” I coax. “Uhm...” she replies. That’s a non-answer. Perhaps a test is in order. I lift my hand up, and smack her buttocks hard. “Ah!” she cries out. “Hush now.” I rub her ass with my hand gently. Then encasing her between my hips, my erection digging into her, I plant a kiss between her shoulder blades and trail kisses across her back. My chest hair grazes on her back, and my erection reminds her of what’s to come and who the boss is as it digs into her soft flesh through the rough fabric of my jeans. “Open your legs,” I order. She immediately obeys. “Wider,” I say. She groans and spreads her legs wider. “Good girl,” I breathe. My fingers trace down on her back, and right along the crack of her ass, and over her anus. “We are going to have some fun with this,” I whisper. She is no longer going to be an anal virgin. No need to keep the best assets in the box, and hidden away. It’s better to take it out and play with it. More fun. I trace my finger over her perineum and slowly dip inside her sex. “I see you’re very wet, Anastasia. Is it from earlier or from now?” I ask. It’s completely hot. She groans in response. I know she’s hot now and desirous for me.

“Oh, Ana, I think it’s both. I really think you love being here, like this. Mine,” I say. The realization that my wife loves being in our playroom, knowing that I demand, desire, and require absolute control in this room, being mine, is absolutely astounding. She says nothing, but her body language indicates that she loves being here. I withdraw my fingers from her sex, and smack her buttocks hard, once again. “Tell me,” I whisper in a hoarse, urgent voice. I need to know. I have to know! “Yes, I do,” she replies in a whimper. Her response is a source of arousal, ecstasy even. I smack her ass once again hard, and she cries out. I stick two fingers into her this time. Withdrawing them immediately, I spread the moisture over and around her anus. “What are you going to do?” she asks in a breathless voice. She wants to know if I’m going to fuck her ass, but my cock is too big for her ass right now. She’s an anal virgin. I don’t want to hurt her. This is a gradual process. "It's not what you think," I reassure her. "I told you, one step at a time with this, baby." I take the lubricant tube into my hand, and squeeze it into my palm. Then spreading it around my hand, I take my now lubricated fingers, and start massaging her anus, softening it, making it easy for the butt plug to glide in. She squirms under my touch. I need her to remain still. I smack her ass once again, down lower, right on her sex. She groans with pleasure, as I intended her. "Keep still," I remind her. "And don't let go." "Ah," she moans with desire. "This is lubrication," I explain, and spread more over her buttocks and anus. I can feel her body pulsing with excitement, heating up under my touch. "I have wanted to do this to you for sometime now Ana," I say in a dark voice. She groans in response. I take the butt plug and run it down on her spine. "I have a small present for you here," I whisper. As the butt plug reaches to her crack. I part it with the butt plug, and it just glides because I've lubricated it well. "I'm going to push this inside you, very slowly, baby." She takes in a shuddering breath in anticipation. "Will it hurt?" she asks.

"No baby. It's a small one. Once it's inside you, I'm going to fuck you real hard," I say wanton. Excitement is paramount. I have wanted to do this for a long time. "Ready?" I whisper. A very quiet "yes," comes out of her lips, almost a hoarse whisper. I run my finger over her ass and perineum and slip my finger into her sex again, gently caressing her clitoris. Anastasia moans, and opens up more, pushing her sex into my hand. As my finger pleasures her inside her sex, my thumb circles and massages her clit. Then, as I make sure her muscles are relaxed, I slowly push the butt plug into her anus. "Ah!" she groans with the sensation which must be foreign to her. But I want to teach her the pleasures I can provide to her. The plug glides into her ass, and my thumb now swirls inside her. "Oh, baby!" I say, completely aroused, ready to fuck her into next week. I swirl my thumb once again and twist the plug inside her ass to provide her a pleasurable sensation, make her feel the orgasmic stimulation it can provide, take her to the edge. As I twist the plug, she moans, long and hard. "Christian," she mumbles my name in a garbled litany on her lips. "Good girl," I murmur through gritted teeth. I unzip my pants, and my cock springs out fully erected. I grasp Anastasia's other hip and pull her back and part her legs further, my feet effectively pushing her to keep them open. "Don't let go of the table, Ana," I warn her. "No," she gasps. “Something rough? Tell me if I’m too rough. Understand?" I ask her. "Yes," she whispers, and my cock slams into her deep. As I thrust into her, I pull her to me at the same time and that also jolts the butt plug forward, making it go deeper and the sensation spreads all over her body. “Fuck!” Anastasia cries out. I hold still immediately. I want her to get used to the sensation. It’s incredibly pleasurable, but equally intense. “Again?” I whisper my question.

“Yes.” “Stay flat,” I command. I slowly ease out, and ram into her again. “Yes!” she hisses, and that is my cue to pick up the pace. I repeatedly thrust and hammer into her, each time my breathing is getting more labored, I’m singularly focused, and the sensation takes both of us to the precipice getting us higher, and higher. “Oh, Ana,” I gasp. This is euphoria, this is heaven. This is my woman. I move my right hand from her hip and twist the plug again, and tugging it slowly I pull it out slowly, and then push it back in as my cock is doing the same never missing a beat, again and again and again. As I start feeling her sex tightening inside, wrapping my cock up like a tight glove, I feel her start quivering, and building inside. I take my pace up high, faster, and deeper. I’m lost in our connection; I’m in charge of our pleasures. “Oh fuck!” Anastasia moans. “Yes, baby,” I hiss through my teeth. “Please,” she begs as her sex gets tighter with built up pleasure start pulling my cock in, trying to milk it. “That’s right,” I breathe, and right when I feel her reach to her zenith, I slap her right buttock and she is lost to her climax. She comes in rolling waves, over and over again, passing her sensation into my body through our connection pulling me with her. “Fuck!” she screams, and her words are my undoing, I come in thick spurts grabbing her hips, and finally finding my own release, I hold her still. Because the stereo is in repeat mode, the velvety voice of the female singer is still singing her lamenting melody. Anastasia is curled up in my arms, as she sits on my lap, and our legs are tangled up with each other’s. She’s tired; her head is resting against my chest on the playroom floor. “Welcome back,” I say as I remove her blindfold off. She blinks her eyes to get them adjusted to the light again. With my index and middle finger I tilt her chin up, and kiss her on the lips, all the while my gaze is searching hers anxiously. What did think about this experience? Did she hate it? Love it? Unsure? She reaches up to caress my face gently, lovingly, and pleased. Relief floods over me and I smile.

“Well, did I fulfill the brief Mrs. Grey?” I ask, amused. “Brief?” she asks frowning, not understanding my question. “You wanted rough,” I remind her gently. Her replying grin is a pleasure to see. “Yes, I think you did..” She thinks? I raise my eyebrows in response and grin back at her. “I’m very glad to hear that Mrs. Grey. You look thoroughly well fucked and beautiful at this moment,” I say caressing her face, and stroking her cheek. God! Is she beautiful! “I feel it,” she murmurs.

I reach down and kiss my wife, sweetly, tenderly, molding my lips over hers. “You never disappoint.” I lean back and gaze at my wife in awe. “How do you feel?” I ask softly, anxiously. This is her first time, like the virgin she was with me. I need to know I didn't hurt her, but then again, I also want to know that I took her to the peaks of pleasure. “Good,” she murmurs her reply. “Thoroughly well fucked,” she says shyly. Her response takes me by surprise.

“Why Mrs. Grey, you have a dirty, dirty mouth,” I say with faux outrage, but it’s hard for me to hide my amusement when she’s well satisfied, and saying it out loud. Fuck! It’s another turn on! “That’s because I’m married to a dirty, dirty boy, Mr. Grey,” she says, and that simple response, that simple sentence elates me, making me immensely joyful. I grin so hard my face hurts, and her responding grin is simply amazing. “I’m glad you’re married to him,” I say. That makes her completely mine in the sight of everyone, the society, and God. She’s mine on heaven and earth. What more can a man ask for? I gently take a hold of her braid, and lifting it up, I kiss it, my eyes alight with love for her, radiating it in such a way that only the way a man in love can show. My simple action glows her eyes warmly. She reaches out and takes my left hand and gently kisses it on my wedding band. “Mine,” she whispers, and that one word tugs something deep in my heart, calling me to her. “Yours,” I respond, helplessly. My arms coil around her tighter, and I bury my nose into her hair, inhaling her scent deeply. “Shall I run you a bath?” I ask. “Hmm...” she replies tired. “Only if you join me in it,” she says. That’s easily done. “Okay,” I reply. Standing her on her feet, I rise next to her. She eyes my jeans I’m still wearing. “Will you wear your... uhm.. other jeans?” she asks. What other jeans is she asking for? I frown racking my brain. “Other jeans?” I ask. “The ones you used to wear in here,” I say. “Those jeans?” I murmur surprised. Those are the ones that belong to my dom persona . Is that what she wants in here? They turn her on? “You look very hot in them,” she says shyly. “Do I?” I ask, suddenly very interested. Her opinions matter, and I’m constantly taking mental notes. “Yeah... I mean, really hot,” she says, and it’s my turn to feel shy. I never feel shy. Why do I feel that way? Is it because my wife can profoundly affect me? I smile at her.

“Well for you Mrs. Grey, maybe I will.” Make it a definitely I will. I lean down and kiss her again. Then take the small bowl on the table containing the butt plug, the lubricant bottle, the blindfold and my wife’s lacy panties. “Who cleans these toys?” she asks as she follows me to the chest of drawers. I’m not sure what exactly she’s asking. “Me. Mrs. Jones,” I reply absently. “What?” she asks completely surprised. Her monosyllabic response takes me aback, and I finally nod, amused by it, but also a little embarrassed. I turn the stereo off. Do I tell her? Shall I tell her and turn her off. “Well, uhm...” One of the fifteen... Dare I say that? “Your subs used to do it?” she asks. I shrug apologetically. I don’t want to talk about the fifteen. They’re done and over with. She’s my wife, my life. I hand her my t-shirt, “Here,” I say, wanting to change the topic. She puts it on. I leave the items on the chest, and take my wife’s hand. I unlock the playroom door, and holding my wife’s hand I take her out of the room, and lead her downstairs to our bedroom. We enter into our bedroom, and then walk into the master bathroom. I hear Anastasia give out a loud, relaxing yawn, and she stretches her arms up, lifting the t-shirt nearly up to her crotch. “What is it?” I ask as I turn the tub’s faucet on. She shakes her head as if to say nothing. No, it’s never just nothing with her. “Tell me,” I coax her softly. I pour some jasmine bath oil into the running water. The sweet aroma fills the bathroom. It’s relaxing, and sensual all at the same time. She flushes. “I just feel better,” she says. I smile in response. She’s thoroughly well fucked, and that will have a relaxing affect. “ You've been in a strange mood today, Mrs. Grey,” I say, and suddenly I pull her into my arms. It’s been a strange day. She’s been stressed, and worried since she heard the arson, and even though I share as little as possible, she’s tense, upset, nervous, and having nightmares. I don’t know how else to chase those feelings away. I want protect her from the world, and I feel inept especially after this evening’s car chase. “I know you've been worrying about these recent events. I’m really sorry that you’re caught up in them, baby. I don’t know what it is, whether it’s a vendetta, an ex-employee, or a business rival. If anything were to happen to you because of me...” I say, my voice breaking in the end. I’m in agony. She curls her arms around me, reassuringly. “What if something happens to you, Christian?” she says, scared. I look down and search her gaze. Is she worried about me like I’m worried about her? The fear is written all over her eyes and her face. “We’ll figure this out. Now let’s get you out of this shirt and into this bath.”

“ Shouldn't you talk to Sawyer?” she asks. “He can wait,” I say as my mouth is turning into a hard line. I’m going to let him have it, but he can brew for the time being. I take my t-shirt off her, and when she faces me, I frown. I can still see the faded hickies on her breasts from our honeymoon. Shit! Why do I feel so guilty? Everything that hurts her hurts me. We’re connected. I love her. It’s that simple. I love her beyond love. “I wonder if Ryan has caught up with the Dodge?” she asks. “We’ll see, after this bath. Get in.” I hold my hand out for her. She takes it, and climbs into the bathtub. “Ow!” she protests as she sinks into the hot water, her face wincing. Her ass must be hurting. Just like she was when she lost her virginity to me. “Easy, baby,” I say softly. I take my clothes off, and climb behind my wife, pulling her against my chest. I need this connection. I need to feel her, hold her, know that she’s safe in my arms. She nestles between my legs, my cock is touching her back. I pick her braid up with one hand, and start twirling it between my fingers absently.

“We need to go over the plans for the new house. Later this evening?” I ask. “Sure,” she says unsure. Why is she uneasy? Is it about the house? The events of the day? Of the architect? “I have to get ready for work,” she says in a whisper. What? I don’t want her to go to work. Anytime she’s away from where I can protect her, I feel nervous, uneasy, and on pins and needles. I have all the money in the world to take care of her.

“You know you don’t have to go back to work,” I murmur. “Christian, we've been through this. Please don’t’ resurrect that argument,” she protests. That’s a battle I won’t win. With her, I have to pick my battles. One of the things I’m beginning to learn in relationships. I pull her braid making her face tilt up and back. “Just saying...” I murmur and plant a kiss on her soft lips. After the bath is done, I put my jeans and t-shirt on, and walk to my study. Sawyer follows me behind like an errant student going into the principal’s room. “Where the fuck were you?” I shout as soon as he closes the door behind. “I’m sorry sir, we've lost you as soon as Mrs. Grey drove out quickly into the traffic." “Don’t tell me that you missed the lesson at the FBI when they taught the rest of you how to catch up to 21 year old women drivers who are only semi proficient in driving!” I bellow. He turns crimson to his hairline. “Do you realize the danger you put both of us in? It’s your job to catch up. It’s your job to be at least a better driver than the people you’re protecting! If she runs the red light, you don’t sit at the light twiddling your thumbs to wait for the next green light! You run the light after her! If you’re going to follow the law at every turn, if simple red lights are going to stop you from doing your job and endangering her life in return, I don’t need you! Do you, fucking get me Sawyer?” “Clearly, sir.” “How the fuck can I trust you with her protection when you can’t even protect her with Ryan, and me present? Can you fucking do your job or do I have to fire you and get someone who can?” “I can sir. It will not happen again.” “It better not! I don’t grant concessions, and I don’t forgive easily. There’s no margin of error when it comes to Mrs. Grey! Is that absolutely clear to you?” “Yes, sir. Perfectly clear.” “Now get out and find out where Ryan is! As soon as he’s back, I need to be briefed by both of you!” “Yes, sir,” he says ashen faced, and leaves my study.

I run my hands through my hair in exasperation. I sit behind my desk. I have to regain control of all the events overtaking our lives. I take my Blackberry out, and dial Welch. “Mr. Grey?” he replies on the second ring. “Welch! Have to talked to Sawyer or Ryan today?” “Yes, sir. I’m up to speed. Black Dodge, with false license plates. They said it’s was a female driver.” “Any characteristics that can be matched to some known criminal or anyone associated with me in the past?” “It’s too early to tell Mr. Grey. The unsub didn't have any identifying marks. The license was false. We have to backtrack sir. I will have access the CCTV around Seattle, and see if I can locate the car chase on any of their cameras granted that it’s recorded. I may have to break a few laws for it.” “Do it! I want the perp caught!” “I have a meeting with Pella tomorrow night. We’re busily gathering evidence to evaluate, Mr. Grey.” That takes me aback. “I thought he was coming on Tuesday.” “No, he’s coming Monday night, but he’s meeting you Tuesday, sir. We need to brief him, and give him time to examine the evidence we've been collecting, and discuss our conclusions.” I exhale a long breath. “Fine. I want to be notified immediately if you uncover anything in the CCTV videos. Meanwhile, I need to evaluate the videos from the Grey House server room.” “Barney has access to them, sir. He’s one of the best IT guys in the state of Washington, and he knows every software before it comes out. In fact he’s assisting me and my team in trying to get a clear image so we can use the facial recognition software to run against the state and federal records, you know, FBI and so on. But more importantly, I want to compare it with our current and past employees to see if we can come up with a match.” “I’ll talk to Barney about it then. Now, here’s what I want you to do. I want additional security for each of my family member, and us here, and no later than tomorrow. Send me the names and backgrounds within the next hour or so...”

“I will have to go through the list of security detail and compile a list for you sir, and send you the detailed info tonight. I would appreciate it if you informed your family right away, because Miss Grey locked them out last time, and she wouldn't let them in, sir...” “Leave that to me. I want the names, and once I send you the green light, they’re to be on site 7 a.m. in the morning before anyone goes to work.” “Yes, sir,” he replies and I hang up. Now, I have to call my parents, Elliot, and Mia... I give out an exasperated sigh, run both my hands through my hair, and prop my elbows on my desk, holding my head in my hands. Once I discover the identity of the fucker, and his or her possible accomplices, I will make sure they suffer as much as they made us suffer. You get once chance to fuck me over, then it’s my turn! I take the Blackberry off my desk determined, and dial my mom’s number. “Hello?” she answers. “Hey mom. Good evening,” I say. ****❦ ♡ ❧***** It takes me nearly an hour to talk to every single member of my family informing them of the added security yet again. I’m surprised that it was harder to convince my mother and Mia than my dad and Elliot. But in the end they had to reluctantly agree that the security is necessary until the perp is caught. “But, Christian! Honestly, I’m the only one among my friends who has Rambos trailing behind her! Have you ever tried going to a spa with three enormous guys behind you? Granted that Lily likes them, and she always tries to undress right when one of those guys are nearby, which they always are, but, they’re annoying!” God, my sister is more annoying sometimes than any other woman I have met! “Mia, this is only until this perp is caught. We were chased this afternoon right after we left mom and dad’s house. Clearly whoever this is knows where my family is. I am not putting any of you at risk. You must trust me on this! I want you to promise me that you will not try to skip the security, or leave them locked outside of the house...” She groans loudly in response. “Mia!” I order.

“Christian, your bossy shit doesn’t work on me, and you know that!” “Mia, I’m under a lot of stress. Don’t start with me! This is a safety measure that we must all follow. Until the perpetrator is caught. Okay?” “Fine! I will let them in, and let them follow me. But whatever the hell your problem is solve it soon, because it’s like five times the security we have now. It’s suffocating!” “Thank you Mia!” “Welcome... Oh, Christian...” she says softened. “Yes?” “I love you. Stay safe, okay? And Ana, too,” she says. With the mention of Anastasia’s name, I take a deep breath in. The thought is always in the back of my mind. Scaring me, keeping the sleep away, and making me nervous. I can’t lose my wife, or any member of my family to something, or someone tied up with me. It’s a stab wound and the knife is twisting non -stop. “I will. I love you, too, Mia.” I respond and hang up. There is an odd tapping noise on my desk, and I realize that it’s the pen I’m holding in my hand. My hand is gripping the pen so tight, my knuckles are white, and my hand is shaking in anger and frustration. My eyes are ablaze. I need to go and work out to dull this feeling, but I won’t until I have some sort of a starting point. I need to gain control of the events that have been plaguing us. The only evidence we have for now is the video feed from the Grey House server room. Suddenly it’s very important for me to see it. Maybe I can recognize the person. I dial Barney’s number. He answers on the fourth ring. “Hi Mr. Grey. I’m sorry I couldn't get to the phone right away. I was in the server room.” “You’re at work?” “Yes, sir. I haven’t had access to the server room until the police department gave us a go ahead, and I wanted to examine some of the items. I spoke to Welch after you did, and I got to thinking...” he says. “What? You found something?” I ask hopeful. “No, but I’m going on a hunch sir. Now a typical server room has three different systems: Mechanical system, electrical system and alarm and security system. For the first two, there’s

not much I can examine other than what Welch and the police had already done, and it’s been off limits for us. But the third one I could do something about. Tonight, as I was thinking about the security system, I remembered having installed something on the electrical system, and I have totally forgotten about it.” “What did you install?” “Warren, my IT tech, kept changing some of the settings in the server room in the past. I had told him not to, but I think he’s done it once again a few weeks ago...” “Barney, is this story going someplace?” “I installed a small camera in the server room just monitoring the rac ks directly, because I didn't want my set-up to be changed. Anyway, that camera is small and the images would be grainy, but I thought I’d record Warren opening the UPS rack I have forbidden him to change.” “UPS rack?” I ask. “Stands for Uninterruptible Power Supply, sir. I like to have it isolated, as a separate unit and Warren likes it...” he starts going all technical on me and when he hears my groans, he cuts it short. “...well, anyway, sir, the fire started right on the UPS rack. That’s what powers the servers and actually keeps it uninterrupted. That’s what I’m trying to tell you. The tiny camera I have placed records only when it’s tripped and the angle is odd, but I have just remembered that it was there. And there is feedback, a small recording... I just checked the date. It’s not Warren; it’s clearly visible in the video. I was just about to share the information with Welch... The general video on top of the room records the tops of people’s heads. If a person is careful, they may totally avoid displaying their faces on the camera which was what happened sir. We couldn't identify the perp on that camera feed.” “But, now you have another feed?” I ask hopeful. “I believe we do sir,” he says, and for the first time since the arson, I feel relief. Immense relief! God bless the territorial geeks who work for me. If we can identify the perp even slightly, I might even give Warren a bonus for ticking Barney off messing around his perfect technical setup and Barney a bonus for wanting to monitor Warren’s activities for screwing his style. “Show me the video then...” “Of course, sir. I need you to login to the Grey House server. I’m going to e -mail you the link. I’ll be sharing desktop with you, and you can see everything I’m looking at on my monitor,” he

says, and I fire up my laptop. After logging into my e-mail I locate Barney’s message with the desktop sharing instructions. “I see you on my computer sir. You’re logged in. I’m going to let you see the video, sir. And there won’t be any sound, just video,” he says. “Okay.” “What I’m going to try to do is this: I will run the video feeds side by side. The one from the overhead, and the one from my spy camera.” “Did you just say spy camera?” I ask. He clears his throat. Is there a Spies R Us store somewhere? “Yes, sir. The Gadgets and Gears. Anyway...” he says clearing his throat again, clearly uncomfortable. Huh... Gadgets and Gears; 007’s technical guy Agent Q, the Quartermaster must also shop there as well. After 10 minutes of watching the video feed from different angles, I say, “Barney can you combine these feeds to make it into one? That way I don’t miss the angles.” “Give me a minute sir. It is doable, a simple fix...” he says. And in a few minutes, the videos are combined. It’s short, but still something. It’s evidence that someone had been in my server room. It’s tangible now. I can see the perp in that image. I watch it a few times. There is one frame where the perp looks in the direction of the camera but he makes sure he keeps his head down at all times as if all the walls are going to record him. “Hold that right there Barney!” I say. He freezes the frame. “What I want you to do is to enhance this particular image,” I order. “The footage may be grainy Mr. Grey, but I will utilize a Noise Reduction tool which may help me fix the problem,” he says, and the image first distorts on the screen then clears just a little. But it’s not very clear yet. Right then someone barges through my office door. I look up, feeling quite annoyed of the intrusion, and already irritated. I see Anastasia walk in. All my annoyance and irritation disappears. My eyes are fixed on her, and hers on me. “Can you enhance that image any further?” I ask, my gaze fixated on my wife. “I will try sir, but I may not be able to,” he replies.

Anastasia walks around my desk towards me. I turn my chair to turn to her, frowning. Is something the matter? I’ve been holed up in my office for some time. But did something happen? She looks... upset... She says nothing, and just crawls on my lap and wraps her arms around my neck. I’m alarmed immediately. What’s wrong? “Uhm.. yes, Barney. Could you hold one moment?” “Certainly, sir.” I cup the phone against my shoulder to have some much privacy from Barney. “Ana, what’s wrong?” She doesn’t say anything; just shakes her head. Something must be wrong. Why this clinginess? I tip her chin up, and search the answer in her eyes. She pulls her head free of my hand and just tucks it under my chin, and curls up on my lap like an infant, small, needing reassurance, protection. That’s what she needs. She’s worried. Her arms grasp me tighter. Still confused, I wrap my left arm around her, and kiss the top of her head to give the reassurance she’s seeking. “Okay, Barney, what were you saying?” I ask. “I’m trying to enhance the image sir. Let me use a different Noise Reduction tool... It may work better. But I’m going to run the video feed once again. Once we get to the image, I need you to press, Control and Plus sign keys together which should enlarge your view of the image on your screen, sir.” The video feed starts again. The image is a grainy black and white CCTV image from the server room camera. There’s a man with dark hair wearing pale coveralls on the screen. “Okay, Mr. Grey, now, we’re going to jump into the feed from the spy cam. I need you to hold down the Alt and then press the Tab key and it should only jump you from one feed to the other,” he says. Then we are in the other grainy video feed. I now see the man with his head bowed. He’s walking towards the camera. I freeze the frame. The man is in the server room by the server racks. Barney enhances the image I froze. I still can’t see it well enough. “Okay Barney, one more time,” I ask. The image is zoomed in, Anastasia sits up, completely fascinated with the process. “Is Barney doing this?” she asks quietly. “Yes,” I reply. “Can you sharpen the picture at all Barney?”

“Let’s see if it’ll work, sir.” He does his magic, and the image on the screen first blurs, then refocuses slightly sharper. The man is avoiding looking anywhere other than the floor, but because of the spy cam’s angle, it’s closer than what we had from the overhead cameras. I gaze at the image on the screen. I can’t recognize the person in the frame. Anastasia leans in, and immediately stiffens. She recognizes him. “Christian,” she whispers in a shaky voice. “That’s Jack Hyde.” What? “You think?” I ask, completely shocked. “Yes. It’s the line of his jaw,” she says pointing at the screen. “And the earring and the shape of his shoulders. He’s the right build as well. He’s either wearing a wig, or he’s cut and dyed his hair,” she says completely convinced. “Barney, are you getting this?” I ask and put Barney on speaker phone. Then I turn to Anastasia and glare at her none too pleased for recognizing the body type and details of his shape down to his the slump of his shoulders. “You seem to have studied your ex-boss in some detail, Mrs. Grey,” I say putting the emphasis on Mrs. She’s my wife. She was my girlfriend when she was working with him. The only man she should have been studying was me! Not that fucker! “Yes, sir. I heard Mrs. Grey. I’m running face recognition software on all the digitized CCTV and this S-cam footage right now,” he says smoothly, “See where else this asshole....I’m sorry ma’am... this man has been within the organization.” Asshole would do just fine! I have other nouns to add to that list! I look at the screen closely to see if I can recognize him myself. “Why would he do this?” Anastasia asks. I shrug. He hasn't even crossed my mind until this minute. My blood is boiling with rage. I’m angry. This man had been my wife’s boss. He wanted to take her to New York, and she nearly went with him. “Revenge maybe. I don’t know. You can’t fathom why some people behave the way they do. I’m just angry that you ever worked so closely with him,” as my mouth presses into a hard line. “We have the contents of his hard drive, too, sir,” adds Barney. “Yes, I remember. Do you have an address for Mr. Hyde?” I ask sharply. We have to pay him a visit. “Yes, sir, I do.” “Immediately alert Welch,” I order.

“Sure will. I’m also going to scan the city CCTV and see if I can track his movements,” he says. This is one of the reasons I like Barney: if I ask him to get something done, he doesn’t ask if it’s illegal. “Check what vehicle he owns,” I order. I want to know if he owns the Dodge. “Sir.” “Barney can do all this?” Anastasia whispers. I nod, and smile. “What was on his hard drive?” she whispers. She doesn’t need to know that. “Nothing much,” I say, serious immediately. “Tell me,” she presses. “No.” “Was it about you or me?” “Me,” I say sighing. “What sort of things? About your lifestyle?” she asks. What the fuck! What a thing to ask when I’m on the phone with the head of my IT department. I narrow my eyes on her in warning and she scowls. “It’s a 2006 Camaro. I’ll send the license details to Welch, too, sir,” says Barney. “Good. Let me know where else that fucker has been in my building. And check this image against the one from his SIP personnel file. I want to be sure we have a match,” I say, gazing at Ana skeptically. I want to be over 100% sure. A Dodge chased us, not a Camaro. If it’s not his vehicle, did he borrow? Steal? Does he have an accomplice? Shit! “Already done, sir. And Mrs. Grey is correct. This is Jack Hyde,” he says. Anastasia grins in his reaffirmation. I rub her back in response. “Well done, Mrs. Grey,” I say smiling back at her. “Let me know when you've tracked all his movements at HQ. Also check out any other GEH property he may have had access to and let the security teams know so that they can make another sweep of all those building.”

“Sir.” “Thanks, Barney,” I say hanging up. We have a fucker, and his possible accomplices to catch. There are a lot of things I’d like to do to him, and none of which are to be mentioned in Anastasia’s company.


“Mrs. Grey, it appears that you are not only decorative, but useful, too,” I tease Anastasia with pleasure and amusement in my eyes. “Decorative?” she narrows her eyes, in her own teasing manner. I turn her around, pull her to me, and say “very,” before I kiss her on her soft lips. “You’re much more decorative than I am, Mr. Grey,” she replies. Her proximity, scent, and intoxicating beauty unfurls the desire in me, and I grin wide and kiss her forcefully as I wind her braid around my wrist, and wrapping my arms around her. I only let go of her when we both run out of breath. I’m so close to her that we can both feel each other’s racing hearts. “Hungry?” I ask. “No,” she replies. Of course. If I don’t make her eat, she’d waste away before my eyes. “I am,” I say. “What for?” she asks. My wife is ever desirous for me; just like I like it. “Well, food actually, Mrs. Grey,” I say smiling. “Alright, I’ll make you something,” she says giggling. “I love that sound,” I say longing though she’s in my arms.

“Of me offering you food?” she asks curiously. “You giggling,” I say as I kiss her hair, then she stands up to leave. “So, what would you like to eat, Sir?” she asks in a sweet tone of voice. She is definitely toying with me. I narrow my eyes on her. “Are you being cute, Mrs. Grey?” “Always, Mr. Grey...” she says pausing, and then adds, “Sir.” Fuck! I have to do something about this. I feel my palms twitching. I just want to pull her on my lap, spank her and have my way with her. “I can still put your over my knee,” I murmur in a seductive tone as my grin re aches ear to ear. She puts her hands on the arms of my office chair, and leans down to kiss me. “That’s one of the things I love about you, Mr. Grey. But stow your twitching palm... You’re hungry,” she says. How can I resist her when she is the one who is seducing me, toying with me, and turning me on like a fire hose? I can only smile at her. “Oh, Mrs. Grey, what am I going to do with you?’ “You’re going to answer my question. What would you like to eat?” she asks. “Something light. Surprise me,” I say. This is a choice I can leave up to her. “I’ll see what I can do,” she says, and sashays out of my office. When Anastasia leaves my office, I turn my attention back to the video feed from Barney. Jack Fucking Hyde! You will regret the day you decided to fuck with me and my wife. I take my Blackberry and dial Welch. “Welch’s here,” he answers. “Did you talk to Barney?” “I currently am, sir. We’re examining the video feed together. He informed me that the perp on the video matched Jack Hyde. We have to inform the police tomorrow, but before that, I’ve dispatched two of my men to his place to check out if he’s still there. If he’s smart, he wouldn't be.” “If they find him in his place, I want to be informed immediately. Before you or your men question him, I want to have some time with him one on one,” I say darkly. So, I can kick his fucking ass. I hear soft scraping of his chair over the phone. He clears his throat. “ Wouldn't you prefer Taylor or I to be with you, sir?” he asks fearing my well cont rolled anger.

“No! If he’s not in his place, then text me, and let me know.” “As you wish sir,” he acquiesces. “Is Barney on the other line?” “He’s on the company server, sir. Not on the phone. We’re currently running cross checks and trying to run fingerprint scans to see if it can be matched with the Charlie Tango partial print. But that’s a shot in the dark. It’ll take us a while.” “Meanwhile, I need the additional security info ASAP! All my family members are made aware of their arrival tomorrow.” “Everything has already been arranged sir. Once we go over the video feed, I’ll send you and Taylor the info on the security detail.” “Okay, then. Make sure you call me after you get anything on Hyde!” “Yes, sir,” he says as I hang up. I toss my Blackberry onto my desk. I squeeze the bridge of my nose to prevent an oncoming headache, and exhale a breath. I have to take control of our lives, and circumstances plaguing our lives. I hate that Jack Hyde fucker is trying to harm me, my possessions, and possibly my wife and family. I couldn't live if my wife got harmed because of me! I stand abruptly my hands fisted. If they capture Hyde tonight, I’ll beat him an inch of his life. But right now, I just want to go and hold my wife, hear her voice, and kiss her. But the architect Gia Matteo is coming tonight. I have to take the designs out for our new house. Stuffing my Blackberry in my pocket, the designs of our house in my hand I walk into the Great Room, and locate my wife in the kitchen fixing me something to eat. I put the house plans on the breakfast bar, and saunter towards my wife. I go behind her and wrap my arms around her, and kiss her neck. She smells heavenly, and looks beautiful. It’s fucking arousing to find her in my kitchen fixing me something to eat barefoot, smelling delicious. “Barefoot and in the kitchen,” I murmur into her ear.

“ Shouldn't that be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen?” she asks smirking. What the fuck? Pregnant? I hope not. Not for a long time. Ten more years at least! If even then! I’ve not had my fill of my wife, and when it comes to her, I’m like a starving man in an all -you-can-eat-buffet. Because I’m starved for touch, love and attention, I can never get enough of her. I barely learned to tolerate and actually enjoy touch. Her touch is magic, healing, sensual, and addictive. I want all of her: mind, body and soul. How can I share her even with a baby who will consume all of her time, and not to mention take her love and attention away from me. I feel the breath knocked out of me immediately. I tense, my entire body goes rigid. “Not yet!” I protest immediately. Even the idea of having a child so soon is repulsive, scary, immediately making me uneasy. “No! Not yet!” she replies. Oh, good; I feel immense relief. I though t she wants children now, and we've been married but for about three minutes. I want so much more from our time alone. I want to show her the world. I slowly relax. “On that we can agree, Mrs. Grey.” “You do want kids though, don’t you?” she asks worried. “Sure, yes. Eventually. But I’m not ready to share you yet,” I reply kissing her neck. I’m so ready to leave this conversation for another ten years. I need to distract her; otherwise she’ll pursue this further. I’m not father material. I don’t need to be a father, now or ever. No child would benefit from a shitty, broken man. I shudder to think what I can offer. I immediately change the topic. “What are you making? Looks good,” I say kissing behind her ear. I feel a shiver run through her body, and she leans into my touch. “Subs,” she replies and smirks at me, making me smile, and I nip her earlobe my arms still holding her body in a tight embrace. “My favorite,” I reply. She pokes me with her elbow. I clutch my side in mock pain. “Mrs. Grey, you wound me,” I say. “Wimp,” she mutters in a mocking tone. Wimp?” I ask in complete disbelief. I slap her ass; she jumps in surprise and yelps. “Hurry up with my food, wench. And later I can show you how wimpy I can be,” I say salaciously slapping her behind o nce more then walk to the fridge to grab a bottle of wine. “Would you like a glass of wine?” I ask. “Please,” she replies. I pour each of us a glass of wine, and hand her one of them. After clearing our plates, I spread Gia’s plans over the breakfast bar. Ana looks over the plans, contemplating.

“I love her proposal to make the entire downstairs back wall glass, but...” she says doubtful. “But?” I prompt. I want her to be completely happy with the plans. I don’t want her to be displeased with any part of the plan, because this is all for her. If she isn't happy, I’m not happy. She sighs, and replies, “I don’t want to take all the character out of the house.” “Character?” I ask. What exactly does she want done with the house? “Yes. Gia’s proposal is quite radical, but....well... I fell in love with the house as it is, Christian. Warts and all.” Doesn’t she want the remodeling? She wants to keep as it is? My brows furrow in contemplation. “I kind of like it as the way it is,” she whispers hesitantly. I gauge her reaction. She looks worried about what I might think. I don’t want her to worry. This house is for her; I want her to be happy in it in every way possible. “I want this house to be the way you want. Whatever you want. It’s yours,” I say witho ut blinking or breaking my gaze. Her happiness is essential. “I want you to like it, too. To be happy in it, too.” Doesn’t she understand that I’m happy wherever she is - that my heart belongs to her? My happiness is not dependent on the house we live in, but on her presence in the house. “I’ll be happy wherever you are. It’s that simple, Ana,” I say holding her gaze. She blinks, surprised, swallowing, she answers. “Well,” she says emotions flooding through. She swallows again and takes a shallow breath. “I like the glass wall. Maybe we could ask her to incorporate it into the house a little more sympathetically.” The idea that my wife is trying to please me melts my heart, making me grin. “Sure. Whatever you want. What about the plans for upstairs and the basement?” I ask. “I’m cool with those.” “Good.” Then she shifts uncomfortably, burning to ask a question that’s been bothering her. “Do you want to put in a playroom?” she asks in a soft voice, afraid of my reaction. Her question catches me by surprise; my eyebrows shoot up.

“Do you?” I ask. I’m amused as well as surprised. Does she really want to have a playroom in the new house, or is she doing this for my benefit? I want her to want it. If not, I can’t have it built. She shrugs nonchalantly. “Uhm... if you want.” She’s doing it for me. I don’t want this to be about me; what we do have to please both of us, especially a playroom. If she doesn’t want it, I don’t want to do it. We’ll still have Escala. We can use this Red Room of Pain should we so desire. If we are going to have a family no matter how long down the road, it may not be the best option. Decisions... Decisions... “Let’s leave our options open for the moment. After all, this will be a family home,” I say, and her face falls. She does want a playroom. If she really wants one, that can be modified easily. “Besides, we can improvise,” I say smirking. “I like improvising,” she whispers. Then I show her the master bedroom, details of the master bathroom, and his and her walk-in closets on the plans before Gia Matteo gets here.


❦ ♡ ❧*****

When Gia Matteo leaves the apartment after discussing the plans, and it’s about nine thirty in the evening. I roll the plans to put them away. “Are you going back to work?” Anastasia asks. Does she have plans? “Not if you don’t want me to,” I reply smiling. “What would you like to do now?” “We could watch TV,” she says. Even though I dislike TV, and mindless shit it fills people with, I’d do anything with Anastasia. “Okay,” I say, and lead her to the TV room. When she’s watching TV, I generally read a book. What I like is her proximity. I feel extremely relaxed when she curls up beside me on the couch, her head resting against my shoulder. Her touch is healing, magical to me. The only touch I not only tolerate, but crave, desire, and need. I turn the flat screen TV on with the remote. I randomly flick through the channels. “Any specific drivel you want to watch?” I ask grinning. “You don’t like TV much, do you?” she mutters acerbically. I shake my head. “Waste of time. But I’ll watch something with you,” I reply. So much can be accomplished with that wasted time, including pleasure.

“I thought we could make out,” she says and my head whips to face her. She’s got my full fucking attention. “Make out?” I ask, testing the waters. I can make out. I’m ready, willing and able. I gaze at her assessing. I stop changing the channels. I hear Spanish in the background on TV, but I don’t care. Make out? What does that entail? What exactly does she want? “Yes,” she replies. “We could go to bed and make out,” I say. Why the TV room? No toys, no bed, not that any of that would stop me. “We do that all the time. When was the last time you made out in front of the TV?” she asks teasing. Making out in front of the TV... That would be... Never. Here’s something I’ve never done come to think of it. I feel dumbstruck; I shrug nonchalantly and shake my head. I press the remote again to flick it to something else. I don’t want to show her that this is something I haven’t done. I’ve done more than my share when it comes to sex, but never made out. I stop changing the channels when The X-Files come up. X-Files Theme Music “Christian?” Anastasia probes. “I’ve never done that,” I reply quietly. Am I embarrassed of never having done that? “Never?” she asks incredulous. “No.” “Not even with Mrs. Robinson?” she asks. My response is a snort. Making out with Elena... That would not happen even in a million years. “Baby, I did a lot of things with Mrs. Robinson. Making out wasn’t one of them.” I smirk and gaze at her narrowing my eyes. Now, I’m curious... Did she make out with someone else? “Have you?” I ask quizzically. She flushes to the hairline. What the fuck! “Of course,” she replies. Of course? Some fucker fondled my wife? “What! Who with?” I shout. She shakes her head. I need to know. I need to find out. I’ll go crazy knowing that some other fucker touched my wife the way I do, or desired her, and got close to having her. I have to know! “Tell me!” I insist. She gazes down and looked at her knotted fingers as if they hold the secrets to the universe. Is she afraid of me? I cover her hands with one of mine. She then looks up at me and finds me smiling at her.

“I want to know Anastasia. So I can beat whoever it was to a pulp.” She giggles. She thinks I’m joking. I don’t joke when it comes to my affection for Anastasia, or my possessiveness. “Well, the first time...” she starts. The first time? What fucking first time? How many times did she make out? How many guys has there been? “The first time! There’s more than one fucker?” I growl my response. She giggles again. This ain't funny Anastasia. “Why so surprised, Mr. Grey?” she asks taking me by surprise. Well, for starters, she’s mine, and only mine. I have never thought that another man put his hands on her... And now... I frown. I don’t like the idea of having another man having touched her. In fact I just want to erase any mark, or memory of them ever touching her. She’s mine! My woman. I run my hand in my hair in exasperation. I shrug. “I just am. I mean... given your lack of experience.” She flushes once again. “I’ve certainly made up for that since I met you,” she replies. That, of co urse is the saving grace. She hasn't fucked anyone before me, and she’ll never fuck anyone else. I’m the one she’s given herself to completely, her virginity, her promise of ownership... I mean marriage. She’s mine damn it! “You have,” I grin satisfied. “Tell me. I want to know.” I want to know everything about me, but, particularly this. She gazes at me searching. She wants to know if I’ll get mad at her. I’ve had many women before. But it’s different with Anastasia. I may not have had any right over had before I’ve met her, but the idea that someone else might know her in a similar fashion that I do is eating me inside. I want to discover how far the fuckers progressed. I want to reconquer her. Print new memories over the ones she has made with those dick heads. “You really want me to tell you?” I nod. Is it really that bad? I want to know so I can master over them. So that I can show her how it is properly done, how much better I am over any other guy she may ever had in whatever manner. My confidence is written all over my arrogant smile. She narrows her eyes after I nod. “I was briefly in Vegas with mom and husband number Three. I was in tenth grade. His name was Bradley, and he was my lab partner in Physics.” Tenth grade... She was a teenager. “How old were you?” “Fifteen.” Okay, a kid then. But, I was fifteen when Elena introduced me to the kinky fuckery world. I want to know if she has done anything similar. “And what’s he doing now?” I ask casually. I want to know if she keeps up with him. If sh e really thinks about him, or if she remembers what he did and how he did it. “I don’t know,” she replies genuinely.

“What base did he get to?” I ask. “Christian!” she scolds me. I want to know! She’s my woman, damn it! I suddenly grab her knees, and then her ankles, tipping her, making her fall back on the sofa. I slide on top of her, effectively trapping her under me. I place one leg between hers, and won’t let her move. The suddenness of my movement makes her yelp. I capture her hands, and raise them above her head. “So, this Bradley character... Did he get to first base?” I murmur, all the while running my nose down the length of hers. I kiss the corner of her mouth softly, sensually. “Like this?” I breathe. “No...” she gasps with pleasure, “...nothing like that.” Somehow relief floods through me. I’m jealous knowing that someone out there had known my wife in a carnal fashion even if he was a tenth grader when he attempted to do that. Let’s explore what else he may have done with her. I rele ase her chin, and run my hand down over her body, and my fingers skate up to her breasts. “Did he do this? Touch you like this?” I ask my thumbs circle over her nipples repeatedly which harden under my touch beneath her camisole. “No,” she moans her answer as she’s writhing under the ministration of my hands. “Did he get to second base?” I murmur salaciously into her ear. I slide my hands down across her ribs, wait and to her hips. She doesn’t answer. I take her earlobe between my teeth and tug gently an d probe with my body. “No,” she breathes her answer. I can’t believe I’m feeling an overwhelming relief with her repose. My gaze is carnal, completely fixated on her. I smile triumphantly. “Good,” I say as my hand slides inside her sweats, cupping her sex. “No underwear, Mrs. Grey. I approve,” I say while I push my index finger into her slowly, as my thumb skims over her clitoris, rubbing her in circles. “We’re supposed to be making out,” Anastasia groans her protest. That stops me in my tracks. “I thought we were?” “No. No sex,” she says. What the hell does she mean with no sex? How can I touch her breasts, and her soaked sex, and not have sex with her? “What?” I ask. “No sex...” I can deal... I think. “No sex, huh?” I take my hand out of her sweatpants reluctantly, and take my index finger to her lips.

“Here,” I say as my finger traces her lips, and then I push it into her waiting mouth. I rub my finger in her mouth as I would her sex. Then I shift to re-position myself between her legs, and my erection pushes against her sex. I can make her change her mind. I thrust over her sex, slowly, intently, repeatedly. She gasps as I make sure that her sweatpants stimulate her sex just the right way. I push into her again, grinding into her. “This is what you want?” I murmur as I rock against her. “Yes,” she moans. My hand moves back to her nipple, as my teeth scrape along her jaw. She is so fucking irresistible, so damn hot! “Do you know how hot you are, Ana?” I ask in a hoarse voice as I rock int o her harder and harder. She opens her mouth and only a groan comes out loudly, desirously. My mouth seizes her, and I start kissing her. I ensnare her lower lip and tug it with my teeth, sucking it. Then my tongue finds its way into her mouth, and explore, lick and caress sensually. When I release her hands, she reaches up to my hair, and grabs handfuls and tugs. She does that when her desire reaches its peak. I groan in response, all the blood rushes to the south of my body, erecting my cock, pushing its way out of my jeans. I raise my eyes to her quizzically. “Ah...” I moan. “Do you like me touching you?” she whispers. Did she misinterpret my reaction as apprehension? My brows furrow. I need her touch, I desire it, I want it... Come to think of it, I ca n’t live without it. “Of course I do. I love you touching me, Ana. I’m like a starving man at a banquet when it comes to your touch,” I say truthfully. It looks like I’m going to make love to my wife after all. I kneel between her legs, and sit her up. I grab her shirt and pull it off. Then I pull the hem of my shirt and yank it over my head, and toss it on the floor. I finally pull my wife onto my lap, my hands clasped behind her ass. “Touch me,” I breathe. I want her hands and fingers all over me. I ne ed it like my next breath. She is hesitant. She first reaches up to me with her fingertips, lightly brushing over my chest hair. Then her fingers caress my burn scars. Her touch ignites me inside, lighting fire in my blood, making desire course through me for her. I inhale a sharp breath, my eyes darken, but I’m not afraid of her touch. I want it. She’s my lover, my wife, my life. My eyes follow her, unblinking. My entire body is full attention with her touch. I come alive down to every single cell. Her fingers tentatively touch one nipple first, and then float to the other. My body responds; my nipples pucker under her sensual caresses. She leans down and plants kisses all over my chest, her hands glide over to my shoulder. I’m a ball of desire. I have to h ave her.

“I want you,” I say, and she groans. Her fingers move into my hair, grasping, and pulling my hair, straining my head back to capture my mouth. Oh shit! This is fucking hot! I groan, and push my woman back onto the couch. I sit up and practically rip off her sweatpants off her while undoing my fly. “Home run,” I whisper, and promptly spear my cock into her sex, filling and stretching her.

“Ah!” she groans. I still inside her. I take her face between my hands, and lean into her lips. “I love you, Mrs. Grey,” I murmur, and I slowly start moving. Kissing her with all I’ve got, exploring her mouth, sucking her lip. I pick my wife up onto my lap, making our proximity more intimate than ever. I slowly lift and ease her onto my cock while I thrust it into her deep. Each time her breast rub onto my chest, the friction puckering them, arousing her more. Her arms remain snaked around me, her hands pulling my hair, our lips molded into each other, I move, and thrust until we both reach our peak and I feel the familiar tightening of her sex, pulling me deeper into her. She starts moving faster, matching my thrust with her movements, gyrating her hip while her sex completely sheathing my cock and as she arches her back, her head is tilted back. She comes loudly calling my name, and I lose myself in sensation and pour all my love, and all I have to give into her.


❦ ♡ ❧*****

When our senses come back to us, we’re sprawled on the floor, and she’s lying on my chest. “You know, we completely bypassed the third base,” she says her fingers tracing my pectorals. Now that I got a taste for making out, “Next time, Mrs. Grey,” I reply laughing, kissing the top of her head. How can I resist my beautiful wife? Anastasia looks up at the TV where the X-Files’ end credits are running. I turn the sound back on. “You liked that show?” she asks quizzical. “When I was a kid, I did,” I reply. “How about you?” I ask. “It was before my time,” she replies. Before her time... I tend to forget how young she is. She’s only 21! She’s six years younger than I am!

“You’re so young,” I remark, smiling at my wife affectionately. “I like making out with you, Mrs. Grey.” “Likewise, Mr. Grey,” she says kissing my chest. “It’s been a heavenly three weeks. Car chases and fires and psycho ex-bosses notwithstanding. I like being in our own private bubble,” she mutters. “Hmm,” I hum, “I’m not sure I’m ready to share you with the rest of the world yet,” I say truthfully. I’ve had a blissful honeymoon; discovered how much I love and desire my wife. I love her more than I thought I could ever love a person. I didn't know I was capable of such love or such a relationship with anyone, and yet, she conquered me body and soul. “Back to reality tomorrow,” murmurs Anastasia, though sounding de spondent. If she really has to go to work, I have to let her know about the additional security. Exasperation looms over me again that the fucker Hyde is out there and he knows the SIP well. And my wife has the attention span of a three year old when it comes to listening or following anything I ask of her. I run my hand over my hair again, frustrated. “Security will be tight-“I start saying, but Anastasia puts her fingers over my lips. “I know. I’ll be good. I promise,” she says, which of course is remai ns to be seen. “Why were you shouting at Sawyer?” she asks, making me stiffen. His incompetence put us in danger. “Because we were followed,” I reply. “That wasn’t Sawyer’s fault,” she says. Excuses can get you killed. I cannot excuse a fatal mistake th at could have cost her life. It’s his job! If he’s incapable of doing it, he will be replaced. End of story! I look at Anastasia placidly. This is non-negotiable. “They should never have let you get so far in front. They know that,” I say. It’s one of the basic requirements which has been drilled into them by both Taylor and Welch. “That wasn’t...” she starts making excuses for them. “Enough!” I cut her off. “This is not up for discussion, Anastasia! It’s a fact, and they won’t let it happen again.” Does she even realize the fear I’ve experienced over the fact that she was so close to danger? That this fucker dared to follow us knowing that a team of security was following us? And here’s my wife arguing with me without understanding the gravity of the situation. Her life is priceless. She’s my safe place, she’s my life. Anything or anyone that jeopardizes her well -being will be eliminated, and if my current security is unable to protect her, they will be replaced with those who can. “Okay,” she mutters, conciliating. “Did Ryan catch up with the woman in the Dodge?” “No. And I’m not convinced it was a woman.”

“Oh?” she says her eyebrows shooting up. “What Sawyer saw was someone with their hair tied back, but it was a brief look. He assumed it was a woman. Now, given that you've identified that fucker, maybe it was him. He wore his hair like that,” I say disgustedly. But I will not completely give up the notion that the incidents may not be tied together or that Hyde was working alone. If I want complete safety of my family, I have to consider all the possibilities. Anastasia doesn’t need to know that. She worries enough about me already. The thought of losing her... I can't bear to think about it. I run my hand over her naked back. “If anything happened to you...” I say. I am unable bring the end of the sentence. I’d simply die if I lost her. I’d be soulless. Worse than dead! I feel helpless, and it’s a territory I don’t want to be in. I’m back to being four years old, and helpless in aidingher... saving her from the pimp. I never want to be in that position as long as I live. I can’t let Anastasia get hurt! “I know,” Anastasia whispers in a soothing tone. “I feel the same about you,” she says as a shivers runs through her like someone just stepped over her grave. I shake my head as if to clear the dark thoughts. “Come. You’re getting cold,” I say as I sit up. “Let’s go to bed. We can cover third base there,” I say, smiling licentiously. I take my wife’s hand, pull her up to her feet, and walk her th rough the great room, completely nude, all the way to our bedroom. ****

❦ ♡ ❧*****

The following morning, I’m uneasy as I we pull outside of the SIP. I hold her hand, and squeeze it. She eyes my dark navy suit and tie, and smile, liking what she sees. “You know you don’t have to do this?” I murmur. She narrows her eyes a little, ready to roll them any second. I wish I could tell her the dangers, but I cannot; not without freaking her out. It’s my burden. I promised to take care of her and protect her. It’s my job. “I know,” she whispers, looking determined. I frown, but she smiles reassuringly. “But I want to. You know this,” she says, and leans up and kisses me. I hate letting her go. The fucker knows the building. He’s worked here. My eyes remain resolutely dark. I’m still worried. “What’s wrong?” she says when she looks up at my lingering frown. I glance at Ryan, and Sawyer climbs out of the car. “I’ll miss having you to myself.” Her hands reach out to caress my face. “Me, too,” she says, kissing me. “It was a wonderful honeymoon. Thank you.” “Go to work, Mrs. Grey.” “You, too, Mr. Grey.”

As Sawyer opens the door, I squeeze Anastasia’s hand, reluctant to let her go. She finally climbs out. As she reaches to the SIP entrance Sawyer opens the door for her. She turns around and gives me a little wave, and enters into the building. Ryan drives me to GEH. After parking the SUV, we make our way to the elevators. “Ryan, I’ll have a meeting with Welch shortly. I want you to come in and give a descrip tion of the perp. Do you have a video of the Dodge?” “Not very clear sir. We didn't have good visual angle to begin with. After dropping Sawyer off, I tried to get near, but she was weaving in and out of the traffic. Though the traffic was generally light, she was becoming reckless and endangering other drivers on the road to throw me off her back. I was more concerned to get a visual identification of the driver. But it was a difficult task due to the fact that it was a high speed chase, the Dodge’s windows were heavily tinted, the driver was wearing a cap, the hair was in a ponytail, and had glasses.” “You keep saying ‘her’. But we've identified Jack Hyde last night. I’m not entirely convinced that it was a female. You just indicated yourself that the windows were tinted, and the driver wore a cap, and sunglasses.” “You’re right that it’s not easy to clearly decipher the driver’s sex solely based on my limited visual. But there are some visual cues that we were taught in the FBI, sir.” “Such as?” I probe as the elevator door dings open to my floor. Andrea rushes to her feet. “Good morning Mr. Grey. Mr. Welch and Barney are waiting for you in your office. May I bring your coffee now sir?” “Not right now Andrea,” I reply. “Ryan, it’s best if you explained it to all of us,” I say. “Of course, sir,” he says, and opens my office door. Both Welch and Barney stand up, and talk in a single voice, “Morning Mr. Grey.” “Gentlemen,” I nod. “As you both well know, Jack Hyde has been identified as the arso nist. We've also had a car chase yesterday. Ryan seems to insist that it’s a woman even though Jack Hyde in the video feed you've shown me last night,” I say nodding to Barney, "he had a similar ponytail.” “Allow me to explain, sir. Generally, gender dras tically impacts the tendencies in driving habits. I’ve examined Hyde’s file Welch has shared with us. Personality traits reflect the posture, and driving habits. Hyde is aggressive, reckless, but careful. He’s calculating. From short visuals I’ve managed to observe, this driver had a different posture. She got nervous. Her main goal became to get away from me. Hyde's primary goal is to harm you.”

“That could have been him! He’s been identified on the videos, and you yourself said last night that you couldn't be completely sure of the driver’s description. Windows were tinted, and the driver was disguised with a cap and sunglasses.” “Mr. Grey,” interjects Welch. “Let’s assume that it was Hyde in the Dodge. He would still have to go someplace. He wasn’t home. In fact he hasn't been there for some time. Weeks even... How does he get by? I’ve been looking into his credit card activity, cash withdrawal and there’s none, sir. That’s strong indication of an accomplice. We can’t overlook that.” That’s what I’ve been afraid of. My lips thin into a tight line. I exhale a frustrated breath. I turn around and gaze into the city of Seattle absently. “I want you to all gather your data, share your findings, and compile a report with images, and videos. I want to see it as soon as it’s done," I say slowly as my back is still facing my men. “It’s already in the works, sir. I am compiling the data for my meeting with Pella tonight, so he can examine them to evaluate them for us to give us a fresh perspective. Barney will also have to clear the video as much as he can from the Audi.” “If that’s all you have gentlemen, I’ll talk to you later when the data is compiled.” When they all leave my office, I realize my worry over Anastasia safety is increasing, and I find myself missing her. Missing her... a lot. Her absence after spending every hour of the last three weeks together is quite evident, and weighs heavy in my mind. I immediately write her an e-mail. _____________________________________________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Bubble Date: August 22, 2011 09:31 To: Anastasia Grey Mrs. Grey Love covering all the bases with you. Have a great first day back. Miss our bubble already. x Christian Grey Back in the Real World CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. ______________________________________________________________________ But, less than a few seconds later, my e-mail is returned from the SIP e-mail server claiming that the user doesn’t exist. The user DOES exist, but either the tech entering her information made a mistake, or worse my errant wife probably didn't change her name. I put my theory to test. I nervously type my next e-mail. _____________________________________________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Errant Wives Date: August 22, 2011 09:55 To: Anastasia Steele

Wife I sent the e-mail below and it bounced. And it’s because you haven’t changed your name. Something you want to tell me? Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. Attachment: _____________________________________________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Bubble Date: August 22, 2011 09:31 To: Anastasia Grey Mrs. Grey Love covering all the bases with you. Have a great first day back. Miss our bubble already. x Christian Grey Back in the Real World CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. ______________________________________________________________________ Sure enough, my e-mail goes through. So, she didn't change her name at work. Why would she do that? Is she embarrassed of me? Doesn’t she want me? Why wouldn't she take my name? Why would she feel the need to hide the fact that I’m her husband? Doesn’t she think that I’m not worthy of her? I feel my fingers tapping on the table like the four horsemen of the apocalypse. When her message dings in my email box, I open it immediately. ____________________________________________________________________________ From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Don’t Burst the Bubble Date: August 22, 2011 09: 57 To: Christian Grey Husband I am all for a baseball metaphor with you, Mr. Grey. I want to keep my name here. I’ll explain this evening. I am going in to a meeting now. Miss our bubble, too. . . PS: Thought I had to use my BlackBerry? Anastasia Steele Commissioning Editor, SIP ______________________________________________________________________ What the hell does that mean? I can’t breathe! Why is she distancing herself from me? We just got married. I read her response several times. She wants to keep her name. She’s topping me from bottom! She’s my wife! I want her to have my name! I want the whole world to know that I, Christian Grey, is her husband. She's not the single and available Anastasia Steele! Will she remove her rings when she gets to work? What does that mean?

I pace around my office. The dominant part of me is telling me to go to SIP, and sling her over my shoulder and take her back to Escala, and keep her there for good. But, that will not do. It will push her away from me. I want her to want me. On her own. I want her to declare to the world, to her friends, to her co-workers that I’m her husband. I’m the man who possessed her, had her, claimed her, that no one else can ever claim her. She’s my wife, damn it! Shit! I have meeting! “Andrea!” I buzz the intercom. “Yes, Mr. Grey,” she replies promptly. “Clear my schedule after lunch, and schedule me an appointment with Dr. Flynn this afternoon.” “Yes, sir. The Engineering Team and Ros are waiting for you in the meeting room.” “I’ll be there in a few minutes,” I say and compose myself pushing down Anastasia’s stunt until lunch time. During the meeting, I have a hard time concentrating. I place my impassive mask like a second skin, and listen only. Anastasia sends no other messages, and I don’t respond. I feel like a live wire. Ros looks at me quizzically. I stare back at her impassively. As soon as the meeting is over, I stand up, nod curtly and leave the meeting room, leaving a room full of puzzled faces. Ryan walks out of the room with me. “We’re going to SIP,” I say sharply. “Right now, sir?” I raise my eyebrows at him. “Yes, sir,” he says flushing. The drive to SIP is not fast enough. I’ve been a nervous wreck for the last two and a half hours. I don’t understand why my wife doesn’t want to associate with me. I thought she loved me! She says it often enough. Is it just a ruse? Is she slipping through my fingers? Is she trying to tell others that she is or she may be in the near future become available? Fuck! I take out my Blackberry, and dial Sawyer. “Yes, Mr. Grey,” he answers his phone. “Is Mrs. Grey out of her meeting?” “She is sir. She’s currently in her office with her assistant.” “We’ll be at SIP shortly.” “Shall I inform Mrs. Grey, sir?” he asks. No, I want to sur prise her. “No. Don’t inform anyone. We’re pulling up right now.”

“I’ll meet you at the door, sir,” he says, and I hang up. Time to recapture the errant wife. After Ryan parks the SUV, we walk into the building. The secretary’s eyes get large when I ente r into the building. “Good morning... I mean, good afternoon Mr. Grey. Would you like me to ring Ana? I mean Mrs. Grey?” “No, thank you. Just inform Roach that I’m here.” “Of course, sir,” she replies, and Roach stumbles his way on the double to greet m e as he buttons the front of his jacket in a respective gesture. He extends his hand warmly. “Mr. Grey! What a nice surprise, sir. To what do we owe the honor of your visit?” he asks. “I’m here to visit Miss Steele. I trust she’s not currently busy.” “I... uhm... I’m not sure of her schedule, sir. We are done with our meetings, and it’s lunch time. I’m sure she’s in her office. Shall I take you to her, sir?” he asks. Let’s not stand around man. “Yes, you shall,” I reply with a smile. I am in charge. H e leads the way to her office, and knocks on her door. I look confident, and in charge, but I’m also determined to resolve the last name problem, and rebrand my errant wife with my name. “Come in,” I hear Anastasia’s voice. Roach opens the door. Anastasia is sitting at her desk across from her assistant. When Anastasia sees me, she looks completely stupefied. Just the reaction I was looking for. My gaze is locked on her, and it’s blazing with fire. I saunter into the room completely in charge. I turn and look at her assistant who is behaving the usual way women do when they take a look at me. I give her a polite smile and introduce myself. I'll Be Watching You - Sting “Hello, you must be Hannah. I’m Christian Grey,” I say, and she scrambles to her feet and extends her hand to me. “Mr. Grey. H..how nice to meet you, sir,” she stutters her words, as she shakes my hand. “Can I fetch you a coffee?” she asks. “Please,” I say willing to clear the room, except for my errant wife who is refusing to take my last name. Hannah glances at Anastasia bewildered, and quickly scuttles out of Anastasia’ small office, passing by Roach who looks just as stupefied as Anastasia. “If you’ll excuse me Roach. I’d like to have a word with Miss Steele,” I say emphasizing the S implosively and sarcastically. “Of course, Mr. Grey. Ana,” mutters Roach and closes the door behind him.

“Mr. Grey, how nice to see you,” Anastasia says as she’s sweetly smiling, finally composing herself. “Miss Steele, may I sit down?” I ask sibilantly again. “It’s your company,” she says waving her hand at a chair her assistant vacated. “Yes, it is,” I say predatorily. I smile at her, but it’s just a ruse. I’m far too nervous, far too tense to feel anything else. “Your office is very small,” I say as I sit down facing her desk. I gaze around her office nonchalantly observing. “It suits me,” she replies. I gaze at her indifferently, though I’m anything but. I’m angry, anxious, wounded even and boiling inside with feeling I am not familiar with. “So what can I do for you, Christian?” “I’m just looking over my assets,” I reply. “Your assets? All of them?” she asks. “All of them,” I say with meaning. “Some of them need rebranding.” “Rebranding? In what way?” she asks. She knows why I’m here, and yet, still acts obtuse. I need to resolve this. I’m fucking anxious inside, like she is unwilling to be known as my wife. To be mine. “Please... Don’t tell me you have interrupted your day after three weeks away to come over here and fight with me about my name,” she says combatively. I’m here to negotiate, and win. Not fight. I sit back in my chair, finding an easy position. A position of power. I cross my legs. “Not exactly fight, no.” “Christian, I’m working,” she replies dismissively. “Looked like you were gossiping with your assistant to me.” “We were going through our schedules,” she lashes out. “And you haven’t answered my question.” Just as I open my mouth, there’s a knock on the door, and Anastasia barks at the visitor. “Come in!” Her assistant opens the door, and walks in with a small tray containing my coffee in a French press, a milk jug, sugar bowl and places the tray on her desk. Gathering her senses, Anastasia manages to thank Hannah. “Do you need anything else, Mr. Grey?” her assistant ask, in her Marilyn Monroe voice.

“No, thank you. That’s all,” I reply with a smile. Her reaction is what I usually get from other women, but I care nothing about that. All I care is the reaction of the one I’m married to who is refusing to take my name. “Now, Miss Steele, where were we?” I say emphasizing, ready for anything. “You were rudely interrupting my work day to fight with me about my name,” she replies bluntly, completely taking me by surprise. My carefully placed impassive face slips for a second and I blink in her furious reaction. It’s that way, is it, Miss Steele? I know how to get her attention in the direction I want. My fingers slowly trace on my leg drawing her attention to my most valuable physical asset. I pick up an invisible piece of lint as I move my finger slowly northward, and toss that invisible item. She’s focused on me, on my crotch, just as I intended. But resisting. She knows my game, and narrows her eyes at me. “I like to make the odd impromptu visit. It keeps management on their toes, wives in their place. You know,” I say shrugging as if it’s no big deal. “I had no idea you could spare the time,” she barks at me again, and the game is off. My gaze is a volcano covered with a glacier. “Why don’t you want to change your name here?” I ask, in a well -controlled, quiet voice. She tries to dismiss it as usual. “Christian, do we really have to discuss this now?” “I’m here. I don’t see why not.” “I have a ton of work to do, having been away for the last three weeks,” she says as if the three weeks she’s had off were forced upon her, and had been endured. Something breaks inside of me. Maybe she doesn’t want me. Maybe associating with me in any way is shameful. I have to know . “Are you ashamed of me?” I ask in a soft voice, anxiety ripping me apart inside. My question surprises her, and I instantly realize that it’s not the reason. “No! Christian, of course not,” she says scowling. Why then? “This is about me, not you,” she replies. The classic, it’s not you, it’s me. “How is this not about me?” I say cocking my head to the side, puzzled. My wife, the woman who is the center of my existence doesn’t want have my last name, and how’s that not about me? Is that not a rejection? My carefully placed mask of indifference slips with the fervency of my question. I need to know if she’s distancing herself from me, and disassociating with me. “Christian, when I took this job, I’d only just met you,” she say slowly. “I didn't know you were going to buy the company...” she says exasperated but her face tells me that there’s more. She doesn’t want me to protect her. She’s bothered with the fact that I own SIP and that gives me leverage. But she knows me, she knows my tendencies. I will not compromise on anything where she’s concerned. She finally puts her head into her hands.

“Why is it so important to you?” she asks, her temper is barely controlled. When I don’t answer, she looks up. I want to see her eyes, her expression, look into her thought when I say this. I’m impassive once again. “I want everyone to know that you’re mine.” Isn't that reason enough? I might as well put the “available” tag on her neck if she’s not Mrs. Grey. “I am yours! Look,” she says holding up her left hand sho wing her wedding and engagement rings. I want complete ownership. I want my name sealing hers. Rings can give ownership to anyone. There isn't a name tag attached to it. My fundamental worry is that she’s bothered by MY name, by me, by Christian Grey. Otherwise she might as well be married to a random guy. The name Anastasia Steele with rings on her finger doesn’t say anything about her being my wife! It just says she’s married to someone whose last name is possibly “Steele.” “It’s not enough,” I reply. “Not enough that I married you?” she whispers horrified. No! Of course not! That’s what I want to show everyone all along, that’s she married to me! She’s the one who is refusing to show that to others. I blink in surprise. “That’s not what I mean,” I say. Now it’s my turn to snap, completely exasperated. I run my hand through my hair. “What do you mean?” she asks. I swallow. Can I tell her? That I want to be as important for her, as central in her life as she is to me? “I want your world to begin and end with me,” I say in a raw expression, finally baring my soul to her. She’s falls further into her chair as if the impact of my words wounded her. Her eyes go wide, her mouth opens to form a coherent expression, unable to do so for a short while. “It does,” she finally says. “I’m just trying to establish a career, and I don’t want to trade on your name. I have to do something, Christian. I can’t stay imprisoned at Escala or the new house with nothing to do. I’ll go crazy. I’ll suffocate. I’ve always worked, and I enjoy this. This is my dream job; it’s all I’ve ever wanted. But doing this doesn’t mean I love you less. You are the world to me,” she says with a gush of words. I let the weight of her words sink in. Does my love and attention suffocate her? I frown. That’s the last thing I want to do. “I suffocate you?” I ask in a desolate voice. Without her, I have nothing. All I have is meaningless if she’s not the central focus of my life. “No... yes.. no” she replies. So, she does think that I suffocate h er. She closes her eyes, and rubs her forehead as if this will rub in some sense, some coherence to what she wants to express to me. She finally opens up her eyes, and says, “Look, we were talking about my name. I want to keep my name here

because I want to put some distance between you and me... but only here, that’s all. You know everyone thinks I got the job because of you, when the reality is...” she says and stops, because my facial expression gives away that is not the reason why she got the job. “Do you want to know why you got the job, Anastasia?” I say. She has horrified expression on her face. I shift in my chair, and lean forward to explain. The leather of the chair protests under my weight. “The management here gave you Hyde’s job to babysit. T hey didn't want the expense of hiring a senior executive when the company was mid-sale. They had no idea what the new owner would do with it once it passed into the ownership, and wisely, they didn't want an expensive redundancy. So they gave you Hyde’s job to caretake until the new owner,” I pause, to indicate me, unable to hide an ironic smile, “...namely me, took over.” She leans forward in her chair, tense, her eyes wide, shocked and horrified. “What are you saying?” I smile at her reassuringly and shake my head to appease her alarm. “Relax. You've more than risen to the challenge. You've done very well,” I say completely proud of my wife. As always, she amazed me with her competence at work. “Oh,” she says, surprised at my tone, and my regard for he r in my voice. “I don’t want to suffocate you, Ana. I don’t want to put you in a gilded cage. Well...” I say pausing. The fact is I do. Part of me anyway. I want to protect her from the world, shield her from all the bad it can put in her way. But that wouldn't allow her natural growth as a person. So, I keep that part of me in check. “Well, the rational part of me doesn’t’,” I say. How can I express her what she really means to me? I stroke my chin thoughtfully. Then I remember what I have decided in London when we were visiting Jane Austen’s house. Of course! “So one of the reasons I’m here... apart from dealing with my errant wife,” I say with narrowed eyes, “ is to discuss what I am going to do with this company.” She scowls at me as she crosses her ar ms. “What are your plans?” she asks acerbically, tilting her head to one side, mirroring my action. Baby, you are completely mine, and you don’t even know that! Even your body language indicates that you are mine! A small smile creeps up on my lips. “I’m renaming the company to Grey Publishing.” She is shocked and taken aback. Rebranding all the way, darling! My company, my wife, so no one ever thinks she is remotely available. She’s so completely taken aback; her mouth drops open, wide. “This is my wedding present to you.” She closes her mouth, opens again to form any sentence, a word, but nothing comes out as if she has just forgotten how to speak.

“So, do I need to change the name to Steele Publishing?” I say in a completely serious expression. “Christian. You gave me a watch... I can’t run a business,” she says. I frown. A watch is hardly a present. I want to give her the opportunity to fulfill her dreams. She said this is her dream job. Why leave it at that? She can do so much more. I tilt my head to one side. “I ran my own business from the age of twenty-one.” This is something she can do, and I’m here to guide her, teach her, coach her in helping her achieve her goals. I’ve made a promise to do just that. “But you’re... you! Control freak and whiz kid extraordinaire. Jeez Christian, you majored in economics at Harvard before you dropped out. At least you have some idea. I sold paint and cable ties for three years on a part time basis, for heaven’s sake! I’ve seen so little of the world and I know next to nothing!” she says, her anxiety shooting through the roof. She doesn’t realize her own talents and see her the way I do. She can do anything she sets her mind to if she’s given the opportunity, and I want to provide her that opportunity. Is that so horrible? “You’re also the most well-read person I know,” I rebuttal. “You love a good book. You couldn't leave your job while we were on our honeymoon. You read how many manuscripts? Four?” I ask. “Five,” she whispers. “And you wrote full reports on all of them. You’re a very bright woman, Anastasia. I’m sure you’ll manage.” I’m more than sure; I’m certain. “Are you crazy?” she shouts. “Crazy for you,” I whisper, and it’s the plain truth. Everything in my world revolves around her. She’s half of my soul. There’s not an hour goes by I don’t think of her. Every decision I make has her well -being in my mind. She’s my life! Does she not understand that simple truth? She snorts in my response. I narrow my eyes. Are my feelings for her something to mock? “You’ll be a laughing stock. Buying a company for the little woman who has only had a full time job for a few months of her adult life,” she says. I never base my decisions on what others may think of it. I simply don’t give a fuck! “Do you think I give a fuck what people think? Besides, you won’t be on your own,” I reply. She looks at me like I’m two dimes short of a Dollar. “Christian, I...” she says and unable to complete her sentence. She once again puts her head into her hands, and finally starts laughing. She finally manages to look up, staring at my widened, shocked eyes. “Something amusing you, Miss Steele?” I ask sardonically. “Yes. You,” she replies unashamed. There’s a hint of amusement in her tone. I’m further surprised, but, also diverted. Laughing at me would be right up with rolling eyes requiring the same punishment.

“Laughing at your husband? That will never do. And you’re biting your lip,” I say with my gaze darkening, focusing on her licentiously. My body language is seductive, desirous and carnal, and she knows it. “Don’t even think about it!” she warns. “Think about what, Anastasia?” I ask in a caressing voice. “I know that look. We’re at work.” Like that would stop me. She’s my wife, working for a company I own, where she is refusing to take my last name. I don’t see why I couldn't declare my territory right here, right now? I lean forward in my seat, my gaze in on her, unblinking, wanton, desirous and craving her. “We are in a small, reasonably sound-proofed office with a lockable door,” I reply. “Gross moral turpitude,” she hisses, each word staccato. “Not with your husband.” “With my boss’s boss’s boss,” she snaps. “You’re my wife,” I snap back. It’s each other’s right. “Christian, no. I mean it. You can fuck me seven shades of Sunday this evening. But not now. Not here!” Her declaration surprises me. I’m interested. It’s negotiable. “Seven shades of Sunday?” I arch my eyebrows. “I may hold you to that, Miss Steele.” “Oh, stop with the Miss Steele!” she snaps at me and slams her hands on the desk startling us both. “For heaven’s sake, Christian. If it means so much to you, I’ll change my name!” She agrees? Wow! My jaw drops, and I take a sharp breath in. Finally the full impact of her words sink in, and I grin as wide as possible. “Good,” I say clapping my hands, and I stand up. My business here is done. “Mission accomplished. Now, I have work to do. If you’ll excuse me, Mrs. Grey,” I say. She blinks, completely surprised. “But...” she stammers. “But what, Mrs. Grey?” I ask. She shakes her head as she sags into her chair. “Just go.” “I intend to. I’ll see you this evening, and I’m looking forward to seven shades of Sunday.” She just scowls in response.

“Oh, and I have a stack of business related social engagements coming up, and I’d like you to accompany me.” She just gapes at me, unable to say anything. “I’ll have Andrea call Hannah to put the dates in your calendar. There are some people you need to meet. You should get Hannah to handle your schedule from now on.” “Okay,” she mumbles, puzzled, confused and stunned. I lean over her desk, and get as close to her as possible without touching her. “Love doing business with you, Mrs. Grey,” and then I lean in the last inch and plant a soft kiss on her lips. “Laters, baby,” I murmur. I stand up, and wink at my wife, and leave her office with a spring in my step. ____________________________________________________________________________

From: Anastasia Steele Subject: NOT AN ASSET! Date: August 22, 2011 14:22 To: Christian Grey Mr. Grey Next time you come and see me, make an appointment, so I can at least have some prior warning of your adolescent overbearing megalomania. Yours Anastasia Grey Commissioning Editor, SIP ____________________________________________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Seven Shades of Sunday Date: August 22, 2011 14:33 To: Anastasia Steele My Dear Mrs. Grey (emphasis on My) What can I say in my defense? I was in the neighborhood. And no, you are not an asset, you are my beloved wife. As ever, you make my day. Christian Grey CEO & Overbearing Megalomaniac, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. ____________________________________________________________________________ She doesn’t respond to my message increasing my worry. She's still mad. When I arrive at Flynn’s office, I’m a nervous wreck once again.

“Hello Christian!” he says extending his hand as his older receptionist walks me into his office. I’m in my CEO mode. I tend to don that persona when I want to cover up all my vulnerabilities, even to Flynn and he’s the only other person I really open up. He regards me carefully. “John,” I reply with a curt nod. We shake hands, and he indicates the leather chair for me to sit. I feel like I am bringing a business proposition to my shrink like I did to my wife, although it was anything but. I don’t know how to deal with these foreign emotions I’ve never felt before. I take in a deep breath, and don’t say anything. “Christian, you seem to have a topic in mind you wish to discuss with me. Please, what’s troubling you?” he asks. I regard him for a minute silently. “Anastasia didn't want to change her name at work. She wouldn't even tell me about it. I had to discover it myself when I sent her an e-mail this morning. It bounced back. When I sent her the message in her maiden name, it went through. She didn't want to take my last name at work!” I blurt out. He nods as if this is no big deal but doesn’t pass judgment and encourages me to elaborate. “I had to go to her work to convince her otherwise. I panicked. Freaked out, would be a better expression... I felt that she wanted to distance herself from me, and I discovered that it wasn’t far from the truth. She didn't want to be associated with me at her work, and yet, I want her to declare everyone that she’s my wife, that she’s with me!” I say fervently. “Would you say that you had low self-confidence and you were doubting yourself when she is concerned? Did you examine this from her point of view? Her decision may not be entirely about you, but about Anastasia exerting her personal freedom at work.” “She said that, but it’s not entirely true! She indicated herself that she wanted to distance herself from me at work. What does that mean, John?” “Christian, would you say that you are emotionally dependent on Anastasia?” I snort in response. “My entire universe is singularly centered on her. The simple truth is John, I can’t exist without her. It’s not an emotional dependency, it’s finding my center, and she is it.” “That is co-dependency. You need to learn to exist as yourself, then as her partner, her husband.” “That’s a lot bull shit, John!” I say as anger surging through me. “Christian, I have noticed significant changes in you since Anastasia entered int o your life. All positive changes. You are genuinely happy. I know you both love each other. But, an integral part of a healthy relationship is the give and take; compromises. We all insert our independence time to time, even in our marriages. That doesn’t mean the other person is refusing us. Just exercising their personal freedom.”

“I don’t mind her exercising her personal freedom, John! I’m not limiting her! In fact, I want to empower her, give her the world, make all of her heart’s desires available to her. I want to protect her, and I want the world to know that she is my wife!” “Are you worried that someone might not think she’s your wife?” “Your wife carries your last name. Yes, you find it natural part of your marriage. Everyone knows that she’s Mrs. Flynn. Not just because she is wearing your wedding ring or that they may see her in your arm someplace, but she’s also declared as Mrs. Flynn. Why can’t I expect that from my wife? What is terrible for the world to know that she belongs to me? We belo ng to each other?” “But Christian, this isn't about my wife. She decided that she wants to have my name. Should she wished that she wanted to keep her maiden name, that would have been her choice, and it wouldn't change the fact that she is still my wife. It’s just a name.” “It’s not just the name; it’s what it represents. Do you have any priceless possessions John? A possession, an article, an item, an individual so valuable that you don’t want anyone to put their hands on, or touch, something so rare, so precious that you want the entire world to know it’s yours? Do you think that Musée du Louvre would have allowed anyone to say that Mona Lisa painting doesn’t belong to them or would the British Museum of Art would let anyone take possession of the Rosetta Stone? And those are just artifacts. They may be priceless in their own right, but similar ones exist in the world. Yet, there is no one comparable to Anastasia. She’s my life. She is half of my soul, John! For her to deny me gifting my last name to her because she doesn’t want others to know it is abhorrent.” “Perhaps her co-workers are intimidated with whom she is married to, and she may want to appease some of the tension that arises from you being the owner of the company she is working for.” “I don’t give a fuck about what others think! I only care about what she thinks! The flaw in your argument is that you are asking her to put precedence of feeling of others before her husband’s. I’m the one she’s married! How would she feel that I hid that fact that I married her from my co-workers? I love her! I want the whole world to know that. And you know me John; I’m not the kind of guy who declares love and attention in public. But with her, it’s different. My love is my biggest default gift to her. I fel t turned down! Like she handed my heart in my hand in order to protect others’ feelings! Those others are of no consequence or have any sort of strong or permanent relationship with her! Given that, do you know how much it devalues me? And I'm her husband! Would you value the feelings of your co-workers over the feelings of your wife? Who would come first for you, John? Am I wrong to express my desires and wishes of my own wife? Aren't marriages supposed to have an in-depth relationship where we pledge the rest of our lives to each other? Is it so unreasonable, so horrible for me to want share my last name with my own wife?” John finally sits aback, and regards me. His expression is unreadable. “You have put a lot of thought in that Christian. What you req uest is not unreasonable. But for Anastasia denying that request isn't also a sign of her turning your love down. She may have her own explanations and I can’t speak for her. But what I can advise you is that you need to listen to her. Really listen to her reasoning. Having her own last name isn't going to take away from her love.”

“It’s non-negotiable John. Hard limit!” “Perhaps it ought to be Anastasia you’re talking to about this. You've set your limits, and have legitimate worries. I’m sure Anastasia has worries that are legitimate as well. Listen to her. Just listen... We can’t negotiate until we allow the other person express themselves. Let her express herself, and convey your worries and concerns. She’s a reasonable, sane, and a remarkably intellig ent woman who loves you. Anyone can see that!” he says and my eyes go wide. He stepped on my main worry that I haven’t voiced. I feel completely vulnerable. “This is but a minor roadblock which has to be resolved by talking, and not sexing. You can’t deploy your usual coping mechanism.” “She’s conceded to take my name at work, but she’s mad at me,” I blurt out. He smiles. “Don’t worry. It’s completely normal. Wives tend to get mad at their husbands even if they are insanely in love with them.” I nod, uncertain. When I leave Flynn’s office still unable to calm down as Anastasia hasn't responded my e-mail, Ryan drives me back to SIP to pick Anastasia up from work. She approaches from the double doors, and Sawyer opens the door for her. She enters into the SUV. I feel like a cornered predator. “Hi,” she murmurs. “Hi,” I reply warily. “Disrupt anyone else’s work today?” she asks sweetly. She’s being sarcastic, but it makes me smile. “Only Flynn’s,” I respond. “Next time you go to see him, I’ll give you a list of topics I want covered,” she hissed at me. She’s still boiling mad! “You seem out of sorts, Mrs. Grey,” I say and she glares ahead into the back of Ryan and Sawyer’s heads in the front seat. I shift and turn sideways to face her. “Hey,” I say unable to stand the physical and emotional distance between us. I reach for her hand. She’s just getting angrier. I hold her hand only to have her snatch it away from me, irritably. “You’re mad at me?” I whisper. I’m out of my element. “Yes! What gave it away?” she hisses again. She folds her arms on her chest, shutting me down with her physical gesture, then gazes out the window. I shift again beside her, willing her to look at me, but she stubbornly avoids my gaze. Boiling mad! On the drive all the way to E scala, she doesn’t look at me, and as soon as we reach the building, she breaks the protocol, and leaps out of the car with her case, stomping into the building. Ryan doubles after her into the building, and I dash immediately to catch up. When Ryan catches up with her, she naps at him.

“What?” He goes crimson. “Apologies, ma’am,” he mutters. I come and stand beside her waiting for the elevator, and Ryan feels a relief of further avoiding her wrath or the daggers shooting from her eyes. If only looks coul d kill, we’d have a murder scene. “So it’s not just me you’re mat at?” I murmur sardonically. She glares up at me, and the intensity of her ferocity is now directed at me, and it’s a sight to behold. “Are you laughing at me?” she narrows her eyes. “I wouldn't dare,” I say holding my hands up in a universal gesture of peace, like she’s holding me hostage with her gaze. “You need a haircut,” she mutters under her breath. Then the blessed elevator comes and opens its doors. “Do I?” I ask brushing my hair off my forehead. “Yes,” she says as she enters the code to the penthouse. “So, you’re talking to me now?” I ask. “Barely.” “What exactly are you made about? I need an indication,” I ask tentatively. She turns and gapes at me. “Do you really have no idea? Surely, for someone so bright, you must have an inkling? I can’t believe you’re that obtuse.” Her words are like a slap to my face. I take a step back, completely alarmed. “You really are mad. I thought we had sorted all this in your office,” I m utter, bewildered. “Christian, I just capitulated to your petulant demands. That’s all,” she responds. So my fears were not unfounded. She doesn’t want to take my name. She wants to be distant from me. Why? Am I so repulsive? When the elevator doors open, she storms out again. Taylor is standing in the hallway waiting for us. When he sees the wrath of my wife storming out, he quickly steps back and pushes down whatever greeting he was going to bestow. “Hi, Taylor,” she mutter. “Mrs. Grey,” he says in greeting her in as few words as possible. She drops her briefcase in the hallway, and head into the great room. Gail is in the kitchen cooking something.

“Good evening, Mrs. Grey,” she greets her. “Hi, Mrs. Jones,” Anastasia mutters again. She makes her way to the fridge and pulls out a bottle of white wine. I follow her into the kitchen, my eyes not leaving her. Is this it? Will she say a few words and end us? All because I want her to have my last name? Is that the bottom value of our relationship? I say nothing. Just watch her like a hawk. I take my jacket off, and place it on the counter. “Do you want a drink?” she asks sweetly. That’s the time when the wife wants to shoot you down. “No thanks,” I reply, my eyes not leaving her. I don’t know what to do, or how to deal with this. I slowly loosen my tie, then remove it, finally opening up the top button of my shirt. She pours herself a large glass of wine, as I run an exasperated hand through my hair. Gail, realizing the tension between us, quickly leaves the kitchen leaving us alone. Anastasia takes a large gulp of wine. “Stop this,” I whisper, lost, helpless, drowning. I take two steps and close the gap between us, and stand right in front of her. I tentatively extend a hand and tuck a loose strand of hair behind her ear and caress her earlobe with my fingertips, making some sort of physical connection. I Hate You Then I Love You - Pavarotti & Celine Dion “Talk to me,” I murmur. I will beg if she wants to. “What’s the point? You don’t listen to me.” “Yes, I do. You’re one of the few people I do listen to.” She says nothing. Just takes another large gulp of her wine. “Is this about your name?” I ask. “Yes and no. It’s how you dealt with the fact that I disagreed with you,” she says glaring up at me. My brows are furrowed. Flynn’s words come back to me. Talk to her. Listen to her... Really listen to her... “Ana, you know I have... issues. It’s hard for me to let go where you’re concerned. You know that,” I say in a pleading tone. “But I’m not a child, and I’m not an asset.” “I know,” I say sighing. “Then stop treating me as though I am,” she whispers. I brush her cheek with the back of my fingers, then I run my thumb across her bottom lip. “Don’t be mad. You’re so precious to me. Like a priceless asset, like a child,” I whisper. How can I begin to tell her what she means to me? How my existence is dependent on hers. I feel that everything I worked

for, was for the moment I found her. Everything makes sense with her. My life means something, my existence is not irrelevant. I have a greater purpose: to love and protect her. “I’m nether of those things, Christian. I’m your wife. If you were to hurt that I wasn’t going to take your name, you should have said.” “Hurt?” I ask frowning. I want to resolve this problem, but we also have to eat and meet the architect. I look down at my watch. “The architect will be here in just under an hour. We should eat,” I remind her. She scowls at me. “This discussion isn't finished,” she mutters. “What else is there to discuss?” “You could sell the company?” she blurts out. Why would I want to do that? I snort. “Sell it?” “Yes.” “You think I’d find a buyer in today’s market?” “How much did it cost you?” she inquires. “It was relatively cheap,” I say in a guarded tone. Cheap compared to her value to me. I paid the top price to acquire a company that wasn’t on sale. “So if it folds?” I smirk. I’d never let that happen. “We’ll survive. But I won’t let it fold, Anastasia. Not while you’re there.” “And if I leave?” What the fuck! “And do what?” “I don’t know. Something else.” “ You've already said this is your dream job. And forgive me if I’m wrong, but I promised before God, Reverend Walsh, and a congregation of our nearest and dearest to cherish you, uphold your hopes and dreams, and keep you safe at my side.” “Quoting your wedding vows to me is not playing fair.” Said the wife who quoted hers to get her way...

“I’ve never promised to play fair where you’re concerned. Besides, you've wielded your vows at me like a weapon before.” She scowls at me again knowing the truth in what I say. “Anastasia, if you’re still angry with me, take it out on me in bed later,” I say in a low, sensual, longing voice. Fight me in bed. Deny me orgasm, frustrate me there. I don’t know how to deal with this emotional overflow! She’s confused. I smile at her. “Seven shades of Sunday,” I whisper in her ear. “Looking forward to it.” “Gail!” I call Mrs. Jones. She quickly appears. “Mr. Grey?” “We’d like to eat now, please.” “Very good, sir.” I can’t take my eyes off my wife, who is still scowling, and angry. She says nothing, and just takes a sip of her wine. “I think I’ll join you in a glass,” I say, running a h and through my hair again. She says nothing during the course of the dinner. She doesn’t finish her fettuccine either. “You’re not going to finish?” I ask. “No,” she replies and takes our plates to clear them. “Gia will be with us shortly,” she mutters. I’m not happy that she hasn't eaten, not happy that we haven’t resolved our problems, and on top, Gia Matteo who is a sexual predator is coming over to discuss our house plans. What a fucking great evening! Anastasia and Gail exchanges a small conversation, but I’m not in the mind to listen. “I’m going to make a couple of calls,” I say reluctantly. I readjusted my entire afternoon schedule, and haven’t had a chance to speak to Barney or Welch who is supposed to be meeting with Pella before I meet him tomorrow. I can’t focus. I dial Welch first. “Mr. Grey?” he answers. “How did the meeting go?” “In progress sir...” “Call me when it’s completed then,” I say, and hang up. Then I dial Barney.

“Barney’s speaking.” “Have you managed to compile a report?” “Yes sir, I’ve completed the reports, but I’m still trying to clear the video feed from the Audi. Since that task hasn't been completed, I didn't want to submit an incomplete report. I should be done in the next few minutes, sir.” “Okay,” I say and hang up. I take the house plans with me and turn the music on. As I start spreading the house plans on the dining table, Anastasia enters into the great room. She looks...different. She has two of her top buttons of her sleeveless blouse open, her cleavage is prominently displayed. Her hair is rearranged, her grey pencil skirt hugging her curves at all the right places. She’s in her high heels. “Mrs. Grey,” I say warmly greeting her. “What’s this?” she asks indicating the museum. ““Fauré’s Requiem. You look different,” I say, completely taken by her. Fauré’s Requiem “Oh. I’ve not heard it before.” “It’s very calming, relaxing,” I say raising an eyebrow. I want to calm her down, as well as calm down the storms brewing inside me. “Have you done something to your hair?” “Brushed it,” she mutters. Leaving the plans on the table, I saunter towards my wife, in time with music. “Dance with me?” I murmur. “To this? It’s a requiem.” “Yes,” I say pulling her into my embrace, burying my nose into her hair, and we start swaying side to side. She finally wraps her arms around me. “I hate fighting with you,” I say hating the distance that’s been created during the day. “Well, stop being such an arse,” making me chuckle. “Arse?” I ask as I tighten my hold on her. “Ass.” “I prefer arse.”

“You should. It suits you.” I laugh once more, and kiss the top of her head. “A requiem?” she murmurs again, shocked. I shrug. “It’s just a lovely piece of music, Ana.” Then we hear Taylor’s discreet cough, and I release Anastasia. “Miss Matteo is here,” he says. “Show her in,” I say, and take my wife’s hand to show a unified front as Gia Matteo enters the room.

Place me like a seal over thine heart, like a seal on thine arm. For love is as strong as death; it’s jealousy as enduring as the grave.

Gia Matteo enters the room followed by Taylor. Her demeanor exudes a type of predatory confidence, making her walk into the room as if she owns the place with her coiffed bottle blond, layered hair, wearing a pale gray pantsuit. Her outfit is trying to accentuate her assets though none of it appeals to me, and she has nothing over my beautiful wife. Anastasia examines her like a sexual rival from Gia's professionally made hair to her killer high fuck-me heels, and I feel my wife go uneasy. She briefly eyes Gia's solitary diamond necklace, with the matching single carat studs in her ears. Then her eyes drift to her pale blue blouse with buttons undone nearly down to her belly button. “Christian. Ana,” Gia greets us with a big white smile, extending her expensively manicured hand to me first. I shake it, and as I release her hand, she turns to Anastasia extending her hand. Anastasia reluctantly lets go of my hand to shake hers. “Gia,” I respond, and Anastasia only smiles indifferently. “You both look so well after your honeymoon,” Gia says, and unabashedly, her gaze assesses me, appraising, and appreciating what she sees. I instinctively wrap my arms around Anastasia, holding her close to me, both reassuring her and sending a message to Gia that I am completely, and absolutely taken. “We had a wonderful time, thank you,” I say, as I kiss Anastasia’s temple who looks at me pleasan tly surprised. I’m Anastasia’s, and no one else’s. I do not have the available tag hanging on my neck. I’m married, and this woman has the full claim on me! Anastasia relaxes, and her hand snakes around my waist and dips into the back pocket of my pants, and she deliberately squeezes my ass, declaring her ownership. Gia’s responding smile is forced. “Have you managed to look over the plans?” she asks us.

“We have,” Anastasia replies, and looks up to me. She’s taking the lead, declaring her territory. If I was doing the same with another man, it would have been called a pissing contest. She’s declaring to Gia that she is the Alpha female of this territory and I’m off limits to Gia. Anastasia's her subtle, but territorial behavior immensely pleases me, and I give her a wry smile. “Please. The plans are here,” I say gesturing the dining table. I take my wife’s hand, and lead her as Gia is following us behind. My reciprocation eases Anastasia and she turns to Gia and asks: “Would you like something to drink? A glass of wine?” “That would be lovely. Dry white if you have it,” replies Gia. Anastasia moves to the kitchen, and I don’t want to be standing next to Gia. I make my way to the stereo and after choosing the music, I turn my iPod on. The stereo hisses and comes alive. Sirens - Debussy “Would you like some more wine, Christian?” Anastasia asks from the kitchen. “Please, baby,” I murmur and grin at her, showing that she has all my attention. Anastasia reaches up at the cupboard, and my gaze is on her like a hawk. We are connected, and united. I can feel Gia’s body language; she's desperately trying to get my attention and deliberately competing with my wife in a subtle way! How little she knows about me. No other woman can be the recipient of my regard. Anastasia’s the queen of the castle. Knowing my wife is the jealous type, I am rather enjoying her possessive and territorial female panther behavior. Anastasia brings down three glasses from the cupboard, and taking an opened bottle of sauvignon blanc from the fridge, she places all of the items on the breakfast bar. Gia leans in over the table as I stand beside her. She points at the glass wall on the plans. “So, Christian, what do you think about the changes I’m proposing on the south wall here?” she asks me. “I think Ana has some opinions on the glass wall, but generally we’re both pleased with the ideas you've come up with,” I respond. “Oh, I’m glad,” she gushes with relief. Then she touches my arm, slightly caressing in a subtle flirty gesture cautiously indicating that she’s available. Her touch and what it represents make me flinch. I step away from her reaching distance, and turn to my wife. What is taking her so long? Is she going to leave me alone with a man eater? “Thirsty here,” I say, asking Anastasia to hurry up to stand next to me. “Coming right up,” she says. Anastasia quickly pours the wine, gathering all three glasses in her hand; she comes to my side, where she belongs. She hands one glass to Gia and I take the other one from her.

“Cheers,” I say to both Anastasia and Gia, but my gaze is solely focused on my wife. She’s the center of my universe. As Anastasia takes a sip of her wine. Gia turns to her and asks, “Ana, you ha ve some issues with the glass wall?” I ask. “Yes. I love it, don’t get me wrong, but I was hoping that we could incorporate it more organically into the house. I fell in love with the house as it was after all, and I don’t want to make any radical changes.” “I see.” “I just want the design to be sympathetic, you know...more in keeping with the original house,” she says and looks up at me. I knew she wanted to stay true to the original house, but I didn't know that she only wanted minimal changes. “No major renovations?” I ask her without making her think I dislike her idea. I just want to get a clear idea as to what she wants. Because whatever Ana wants, Ana gets. I want her to be completely happy with the house. “No,” she shakes her head. “You like it as it is?” “Mostly, yes. I always knew it just needed some TLC.” My girl’s always trying to heal what she loves without changing. And that’s one of the many things I love about her. Gia glances at both of us, trying to see whether I agree with Ana. “ Okay. I think I get where you’re coming from Ana. How about if we retain the glass wall, but have it open out onto a larger deck that’s in keeping with the Mediterranean style. We have the stone terrace there already. We can put in pillars in matching stone, widely spaced so you’ll still have the view. Add a glass roof, or tile it as per the rest of the house. It’ll also make a sheltered al fresco dining and seating area.” Ana listens but she doesn’t respond. She’s getting good at donning the impassive fac e – no doubt she’s learned it from me. “Or instead of the deck, we could incorporate a wood color of your choice into the glass doors; that might help to keep the Mediterranean spirit,” she explains. I’m watching my wife intently. I want her to like it. If she likes it, I’m sold. “Like the bright blue shutters in the South of France,” Anastasia murmurs in a low voice. I don’t know if I’m too keen on the blue shutters. It’s appropriate for France, because most of the homes have a similar color scheme, and it’s fitting for that particular location. But, it may not be the best for our home here. I shrug, and take a sip of my wine. I don’t want to undermine her. If she’s dead set on the blue shutters, I’ll live, and I’ll learn to love them.

Gia turns her gaze at me, waiting for me to make a decision. From what I can see in the change of Anastasia’s demeanor, Gia’s body language is still making a pass at me. I don’t give a fuck about her! Anastasia is all I care about. It’s time for Gia to find out who will mak e the decisions on the house project. “Ana, what do you want to do?” I murmur very clearly so Gia has no mistake of understanding that this is Anastasia’s choice, and she will decide. “I like the deck idea.” “Me too.” Anastasia turns her gaze onto Gia who is apparently looking at me. “I’d like to see revised drawings showing the bigger deck and pillars that are in keeping with the house.” From my peripheral vision, I notice Gia reluctantly looks away from me, and looks down at Ana, smiling. “Sure. Any other issues?” she says in a capitulating tone. Right at that moment, I hear a discreet cough from Taylor. When we all collectively turn to the entrance of the great room, we find him standing there. “Taylor?” I ask. “I need to confer with you on an urgent matter, Mr. Grey,” he says. I clasp the backs of my wife’s shoulders, and gaze into her eyes. “Mrs. Grey is in charge of this project. She has absolute carte blanche. Whatever she wants, it’s hers. I completely trust her instinct,” I say enunciating that my wife, too, takes possession of what is hers, and that includes me. “She’s very shrewd,” I add letting Gia know that Ana can and will take control of the project and of Gia’s less than welcome attitude, and wipe the floor with her. “If you’ll excuse me,” I say squeezing Anastasia’s shoulders one last time before I leave the ladies in the dining area. “So...the master suite?” I hear Gia ask nervously as we leave the room.


❦ ♡ ❧*****

As soon as we’re out of the earshot, I ask, “What’s up?” “Welch called about Hyde.” “What about him? Did he find him?”

“No sir. That’s what he wants to explain. He’s on the phone.” Taylor opens the door to my office and steps back. I enter, and walk around my desk to my chair. I press the blinking line on the phone. “Grey,” I answer. “Sir. Two of my men, Pella and I went to Hyde’s apartment,” he starts without a preamble. “The apartment had the indications of not having been occupied for a while from outside. Then we went inside and checked it just to make sure. There were moldy dishes in the sink, pizza boxes, and Chinese takeout left all over the living room. But, there were mainly a lot of empty liquor bottles. Clothes scattered around his bedroom as if he tossed them in anger. He hasn't been in his apartment for some-time. At least three or even four weeks, sir,” he says and pauses. “Pella came with you?” I ask surprised. “Yes sir. He flew in early this evening and called me as soon as he got se ttled. When I told him that we were going to check Hyde’s apartment, and he said he wanted be there. Though he already told us that we wouldn't find him in the apartment and wanted to be able to see the evidence in Hyde’s place firsthand.” “Have you found any pictures of me or my family, hardware, computer, laptop in the apartment? Was there anything that would tie him to the fire at the Grey House?” “Here’s the crux sir. Whatever he might have had, were carefully removed. No laptops or computers on the premise. I don’t know if he moved them to another location, or a locker someplace. No hardware evidence either. His home office was carefully emptied of evidence as if he expected us there. There were loose network wires hanging indicating that he took his computers out. Pella and I both agree that he’s the culprit.” “Has the police been notified since we've identified him?” “Yes, sir. But, what we have is still insufficient evidence for them. We only see Hyde's face for a very short time on the video. I've told the police that our face recognition software matched the face to be Jack Hyde. However, it’s not 100% accurate, and the police know that. They asked us if there’s anyone who can identify him in the video. But, per your orders, we haven’t told them that Mrs. Grey already identified him.” “Is the police department dismissing our claim and evidence that this is in fact Jack Hyde?” “Not completely sir. They will look for him, and check his apartment. They won’t find anything more than we did. We tried not to disturb any evidence, but took videos and pictures of his apartment. However, after the police department viewed the video feed and seen the face recognition findings which has an error margin of 20%, and that’s usually for the full frontal view and that we've only gotten his grainy profile image, they said that there isn't enough evidence to issue an arrest warrant. Because they

know that profiles always create problems and therefore it can be easily dismissed in a courtroom. They can call him for questioning if he was around, but obviously he’s gone. If only you would allow Mrs. Grey identify him...” he says and I cut him off. “That’s not an option! They’ll put her under duress, and it will create undue stress for her. The burden falls on us. We have to locate him. What is the best the police department going to do?” “They will go and check his apartment, check his whereabouts, check any credit and debit activity, cell phone activity, and check with his friends. But we've already done those and it’s a dead end.” “Fuck!” I hiss my epitaph, my anger rising. “Indeed, sir. We are going to analyze some of the data collected tonight, and we can brief you better tomorrow.” “Do that. And if you haven’t done so already, inform Taylor of your findings and coordinate with the rest of the security allocated for my family.” “I’ve already talked to Taylor. Good night, sir,” he says and I ha ng up. I walk back into the great room as Anastasia and Gia are finishing up their reviews. I leisurely walk towards my wife. “All done?” I ask as I wrap my arms around her waist possessively. Then I turn to Gia who answers. “Yes, Mr. Grey,” she says with a bright but a frail smile. Mr. Grey? I was Christian when she got here, and she was all over me like white on rice. “I’ll have the revised plans to you in a couple of days.” “Excellent. You’re happy?” I ask Anastasia, with probing eyes, lovingly. She n ods and blushes. “I’d better be going,” Gia says, ready to jump the ship. She looks like she’d rather be anywhere than here. I am too curious to find out what Anastasia has said to her. Gia extends her hand to Anastasia first, and then to me. Yes, my woman definitely declared her territory. I have a territorial panther of my own! “Until next time Gia,” Anastasia says. “Yes, Mrs. Grey. Mr. Grey,” she replies. Mrs. Grey? A few minutes ago, she was deferring all her questions to me, and dismissing Ana; not so belligerently, but like another female who wished to take over the territory of another. How she misjudged my wife! I’m happy to see that my girl kicked her ass. When Taylor appears at the entrance, Anastasia speaks loud enough for Taylor to hear. “Taylor will see you out.” Gia nervously pats her hair, and turns on her five inch fuck -mein-yourdreams heels and walks out. When Taylor herds her out to the elevators, I turn my wife around and ask quizzically: “She was noticeably cooler.”

“Was she? I didn't notice,” she says shrugging, trying to look nonchalant. It’s something I perfected, and I know she’s concealing something. “What did Taylor want?” she asks to distract me. I release her, frowning. I want her to be open to me. I start rolling up the plans, and answer her question. “It was about Hyde.” That piques her curiosity. “What about Hyde?” she asks in a worried whisper. “It’s nothing to worry about, Ana,” I reply. This is why I wouldn't want her to go to the police department and identify Hyde to the police. She’s scared and worried. I leave the plans on the table, and turn to my wife, pulling her into my arms. “It turns out he hasn't been in his apartment for weeks, that’s all,” I say simply. I kiss her hair then releasing her, I go back to picki ng up the plans. I want to find out what went on between Gia and Anastasia and also distract her from the fucker Hyde. “So what did you decide on?” “Just what you and I discussed. I think she likes you,” she says is a quiet voice. Ah, that’s the crux. My wife is jealous. She has nothing to worry about. I snort. “Did you say something to her?” I ask and she turns crimson, confirming my suspicions. She looks down to her fingers, embarrassed. She has nothing to be embarrassed about. I like it when she takes ownership of me, possessively. In fact, I want her to do that excessively. That means she has no interest in anyone but me. That she loves me. “We were Christian and Ana when she arrived, and Mr. and Mrs. Grey when she left,” I say dryly. “I may have said something,” she mumbles. Her confirmation melts my heart. I love this woman! She is claiming ownership, and she does get jealous when others show interest in me; she is protective of me, and she loves me. I am beyond happy of her response. I gaze at her with nothing but love and passion. She looks up to meet my gaze. When our eyes meet, I remember why most women react to me the way they do. They see a pretty face, a fuckable body. No one sees the fucked up husk of a man behind the face. I lower my gaze, shaking my head with realization of what I am. “She’s only reacting to this face,” I say bitterly. I am disgusted that this is the reaction I invoke in other women. Anastasia’s look changes to bewildered. “What?” I ask perplexed. What is she thinking? That I would be interested in Gia Matteo? “You’re not jealous, are you?” I ask. I am horrified that she might think I have some interest in Gia. Anastasia blushes and she swallows nervously. She is jealous! She stares down at her knotted fingers, feeling insecure. “Ana, she’s a sexual predator. She’s not my type at all. How can you be jealous of her? Of anyone for that matter? Nothing about her interests me,” I say completely exasperated and alarmed that she would think

this way. I run my hand through my hair exacerbated. “It’s only you, Ana. It will only ever be you,” I whisper. Surely, she must know that I love her indelibly, irrevocably, and completely! You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine - Michael Buble ft Laura Pausini I leave the plans back on the table again, and move towards my wife. Her head is back down again. I lift her chin up and make her look into my eyes. “How can you think otherwise? Have I ever given you any indication that I could be remotely interested in anyone else?” I ask her fervently. “No. I’m being silly. It’s just today...and you...” she says frustrated. What? Did I make her think that she’s not as important to me? What did I do? “What about me?” I ask. “Oh, Christian,” she says, her lips quivering. “I’m trying to adapt to this new life that I had never imagined for myself. Everything is being handed to me on a plate. My job, you...” she says looking into my eyes with some emotion that melts my heart. “my beautiful husband who I never... I never knew I’d love this way, this hard, this fast, this indelibly,” she says in one breath packed with her emotions. She stops and takes a breath. There’s something else. “But you are like a freight train, and I don’t want to g et railroaded because the girl you fell in love with will be crushed. And what’ll be left? All that would be left is a vacuous social x -ray, flitting from charity function to charity function.” She looks frightened. Bewildered, and lost even. “And now you want me to be a company CEO, which has never ever been on my radar. I’m bouncing between all these ideas, struggling. You want me at home. You want me to run a company. It’s so confusing,” she says and stops just as her eyes brim with tears. No! No! The last I want to do is to make my wife cry! Everything I do is just to protect her, to show her how much I love her, how much I want to support her in all her dreams and endeavors. Isn't that what a husband supposed to do? Isn't that what I promised to do? Is she asking me to go back on my marriage vows? “ You've got to let me make my own decisions, take my own risks, and make my own mistakes, and let me learn from them. I need to walk before I can run, Christian, don’t you see that? I want some independence. That’s what name means to me.” I swallow hard. My wife thinks that my love, my efforts to protect her, the way I love her railroads her? I need to know. “You feel railroaded?” I ask in a horrified whisper. She nods in the affirmative. I feel like she punched me in the guts. I close my eyes in pain as I run my hand through my hair in exasperation. How do I show her that I love her if I am not allowed to express my love for her in my own way? I want to give her everything I have, lay it at her feet.

“I just want to give you the world, Ana, and everything and anything you want. And save you from it, too. Keep you safe. But I also want everyone to know you’re mine. I panicked today when I got your e mail. Why didn't you tell me about your name?” She never communicates with me unless I force it out of her. If she had concerns, and if that was her decision, she should have told me. Sure, I would try to persuade her otherwise, but she goes behind my back, and that’s the bottom line of my worry. She makes me panic by making decisions relating to both of us in secret knowing how possessive I am. It is unfair! My question makes her flush. “I only thought about it while we were on our honeymoon, and well, I didn't want to burst the bubble, and I forgot about it. I only remembered yesterday evening. And then Jack...you know, it was distracting. I’m sorry, I should have told you or discussed it with you, but I could never seem to find the right time,” she explains. I look at her without blinking. She concealed her feelings from me, and I want to trust her, but how could I not panic when she hides important decisions from me? Doesn’t she understand that this is me, all of me, that I am offering myself to her with every flaw and every fiber of my being, good and bad. This is me... Can’t she take me as I am, and not an altered version of me? Everything I Do – Bryan Adams “Why did you panic?” she asks. “I just don’t want you to slip through my fingers,” I whisper with wide eyes, my fear evident. “For heaven’s sake, I’m not going anywhere. When are you going to get that through your incredibly thick skull? I. Love. You,” she says emphasizing. She waves her hand in the air and continues, “More than...” she searches for the right words to express her thoughts and feelings, “eyesight, space or liberty.” What? She loves me like she loves her father? My eyes widen in surprise. Shock even. “A daughter’s love?” I ask in an ironic smile. “No,” she laughs. “It’s the only quote that came to mind.” “Mad King Lear?” she thinks of me like Mad King Lear? “Dear, dear Mad King Lear,” she says as her fingers gently caress my face, and like a man starved for her affection, for her touch, I lean in, and bask myself in the f eeling, closing my eyes. “Would you change your name to Christian Steele so everyone would know that you belong to me?” she asks. My eyes fly open. She wants to show the world that I belong to her? I do belong to her, I’m hers as she’s mine! “Belong to you?” I murmur my question.

“Mine.” “Yours. Yes, I would. If it meant that much to you.” Doesn’t she understand that there is hardly anything I wouldn't do for her? “Does it mean that much to you?” she asks finally understanding my concern. “Yes,” I answer her decisively. “Okay,” she replies. What? Did she not agree to the name change already? “I thought you’d already agreed to this.” “Yes, I have, but now we've discussed it further, I’m happier with my decision.” “Oh,” I reply surprised. We've reached a mutual agreement. And she’s not backed into it, but agreed to it. I’m extremely happy, I smile at my wife reflecting my mood. I grab Anastasia by the waist, and swing her around, making her squeal in delight and giggle. She’s hap py, and her mood makes me happier. “Mrs. Grey, do you know what this means to me?” I ask. “I do now.” I lean in and kiss her, my fingers caress her hair, finally holding her in place. “It means seven shades of Sunday,” I murmur as my lips cover hers, and I run my nose along hers. “You think?” she asks leaning back to gaze at me. “Certain promises were made. An offer extended, a deal brokered,” I whisper. I am getting what she promised me come hell or high-water. “Uhm...” she says uncertain. What? No, no, no! She promised! I want her, and I want her now! “You reneging on me?” I ask questioning. I can improvise, and still get what I want. “I have an idea.” “A really important matter to attend to. Yes, Mrs. Grey. A matter of gravest importance,” I say remembering what she said to me earlier about my hair. “What?” she breathes, narrowing her eyes. “I need you to cut my hair. Apparently it’s overlong, and my wife doesn’t’ like it.” “I can’t cut your hair!” she says horrified.

“Yes you can,” I grin. She can do anything. I shake my head to demonstrate my hair falling over my eyes. “Well, if Mrs. Jones has a pudding bowl,” she replies giggling. I laugh in response. OK if she thinks she won’t do a good job... “Alright, good point well made. I’ll get Franco to do it.” Her expression changes. I know what she’s thinking. She wouldn't want me to associate with anyone from Elena’s saloon. “Come,” she says grabbing my hand, and pulls me. I fucking love it when my wife takes charge of me. She leads me to our master bathroom, and letting go of my hand, she brings a wooden chair and places it in front of one of the sinks. I look at my wife completely amused, my thumbs tucked in the front belt loops of my pants. I love it because she's marking her territory. My eyes are wanton, desirous. “Sit,” she orders. “Are you going to wash my hair?” I ask, and she nods in response. I arch an eyebrow in surprise, but this can be good. “Okay,” I say, and slowly undo my buttons of my white shirt. She watches me with greedy eyes. I hold my cuff out to her, and gesture her to undo the cuff-links. They are the ones she gave me as a wedding present with my initials engraved. As she’s undoing the cuff-links, my desire for her rises tenfold. My pulse races. Her proximity is always turning me on. “Ready?” she whispers in a salacious tone. “For whatever you want, Ana,” I reply ready for anything that would be delivered by her. My lips part to inhale deeply. Her gaze travels from my eyes, to my lips. She leans up to kiss me, but I stop her. “No,” I say placing both my hands over her shoulders. “Don’t. If you do that, I’ll never get my haircut. I want this,” I say. Any attention my wife deems to give me is endearing. I’m starved for her attention, and no matter how much I get, I can never have my fill. “Oh!” she exhales. “Why?” she asks in a whispering tone. Why? I stare at her. What is better than getting love and care from the object of your affection? “Because it will make me feel cherished,” I respond. She wraps her arms around me, and kiss my bare chest, and then nuzzles her cheek into my chest hair. “Ana. My Ana,” I whisper. My baby, my wife, my everything. My arms wraps around her body, and we hold each other. Minutes later, she releases me, and leans back. “You really want me to do this?” she asks. I nod, and smile at her shyly. Being shy in her presence is a new thing for me. Her responding grin is disarming. “Then sit,” she orders again.

I obey immediately, and sit. She makes me lean my head back to the sink. She divests herself of her shoes, and unceremoniously tosses them by my shirt crumpled on the floor. She walks to the shower and grab the shampoo bottle. “Would sir like this?” she hold the Chanel shampoo as if she’s selling it on Home Shopping Network. “Hand delivered from the South of France. I like the smell of this...” she says pausing. Then her gaze darkens, and she whispers, “it smells of you.” “Please,” I respond grinning. She yanks a small towel off the towel warmer. “Lean forward,” she orders once again, and I obey. She drapes it around my shoulders, and then turns the water on and fills the sink with water. “Lean back,” she orders, completely in charge. She’s a bossy little thing this evening and I’m loving every second of it. I pull the chair forward and till it back resting against the sink then finally tip my head back into the sink to allow her a comfortable position to wash my hair. When I gaze up, I see her warm smile looking down at me. She grabs one of the cups on the vanity, and dips into the sink she filled with warm water. She pours it down on my head, soaking my hair. She repeats the process again leaning over me. I’m momentarily intoxicated as her womanly scent inundates my senses. “You smell so good, Mrs. Grey,” I murmur getting lost in the feeling, I close my eyes. She keeps wetting my hair one cup at a time, her finger rubbing the water into my roots. Her touch is electrifying, both jolting my body alive making me want her, and relaxing me in a way I never knew possible. I feel loved, cherished, valued. I feel that I’m the sole focus of Ana’s reveries at the moment. The thought pleases me, and I inhale softly my lips parting. The splash of water over my closed eyes jolts me out of my reveries. “Sorry!” Anastasia apologizes. I grab the corner of the towel and wipe the water out of my eyes. “Hey, I know I’m an arse, but don’t drown me,” I mock chide her. She leans down and kisses my forehead, giving me her girlish, delightful giggle. “Don’t tempt me, Mr. Grey.” Her scent, her touch, her kiss and her giggle shoots my desire for her to an all-time high. I find my hands reaching behind her head and pulling her lips to mine. I kiss her briefly, and groan with desire and contentment. I release her, looking at her expectantly. She looks back at me with what? Love? Desire? Tenderness? She squirts some shampoo into her palm and massages it into my scalp, lathering. She starts at my temples, and work her way over to top of my head, and down to the sides and below my head. Her finger rhythmically circles my head which in return livens up all my synapses. I close my eyes in pure bliss, completely in heaven; a low murmur escapes my lips.

“That feels good,” I say with her fingers relentlessly massaging my scalp. “Yes it does,” she mirrors my words, and kisses my forehead once again. “I like it when you scratch my scalp with your fingernails,” I say, my eyes closed. I’m in a different place, content, joyful, feeling loved and cherished, but still vulnerable. “Head up,” she orders and I obey without thinking. She once again reaches behind my head scraping her nails, and rubbing the suds into my scalp, her finger firmly pressing and massaging my head. “Back,” she orders. I lean back and she rinses off the suds with warm water, using the drinking cup. “Once more?” she asks. “Please,” I respond serenely. A man can get used to this. She grins down at me. “Coming right up, Mr. Grey. She fills my sink with warm water, and “For rinsing,” she explains. She lathers my hair with shampoo again, and by this time, I am completely relaxed. If I died right at this moment, I’d die a happy, blissful man. My breathing eases, and deepens. Her hands stop for a moment, and then her fingers softly caress my cheek. I open my eyes, watching her with relaxed, sleepy eyes. She leans down and plants a soft and a chaste kiss on my lips. I smile at her tenderness, and close my eyes with utter contentment. She loves me! She loves me! This man! Christian Grey! She saddles me and leans over me to get a better bearing. Her breasts brush over my face. “Hmm,” I murmur appreciatively. My hands move around her hips, and her ass. “No fondling the help,” she chides me. “Don’t forget I’m deaf,” I say with closed eyes. My hands run down past her behind and start hitching up her skirt. She swats my arm. I grin at her reaction. I feel like a boy who got caught having sex in his bedroom for the first time and chided, but still secretly proud of it. She reaches into the sink with the cup in her hand, and rinses the shampoo off my hair to wash off the suds away from my hair. My hands are still grasping her ass, intent on having her as soon as she finishes rinsing my hair. She’s so fucking hot, straddling me, her hands massaging my head, her breasts touching my face, her scent is overtaking me. My fingers travel back and forth, up and down over her delectable derriere, and she wiggles, making me growl like predator in heat. Shit! I’m going to have her whether she wants to be had or not! “There. All rinsed.” “Good,” I say. Time for seven shades of Sunday that was promised to me. My fingers tighten around her behind, and I immediately sit up, my wet hair dripping all over me. I pull my wife down onto my lap. My hands slowly and sensually move up from her ass to the nape of her neck. Then caressing her neck, my fingers trail to her chin, and I firmly hold her in place. She is so fucking beautiful, looking at me with

love and desire. What is more irresistible to a man than a woman who is in love with him? My lips immediately find hers and covers and takes over them. My tongue pushes its way into her mouth, hard and erect ready to conquer her. I stroke her tongue in sensual licks. Her tongue hesitantly moves and enters into my mouth, and I suck it hard. Her fingers lace into my hair and curl around the wet strands. The water drops runs from my hair over to her hands and her arms, and as our kiss deepens, her face is drenched with water from my hair. I move my hand from her chin to the top button of her blouse. I just want to get her naked and fuck her with all I’ve got. “Enough of this primping. I want to fuck you seven shades of Sunday, and we can do it in here or in the bedroom. You decide.” My breathing grows deeper, my pulse increases, my eyes darken, and I’m full of carnal appreciation, and desire for my very fuckable wife. Water keeps dripping from my overlong hair on both of us. Her breath hitches; she’s unable to answer me. Her chest is rising up and down and I can feel her heartbeat. “What’s it to be, Anastasia?” I ask her, as I jolt my leg to make her give me an answer. “You’re wet,” she says. I bend my head, and quickly shake and rub my head on the front of her blouse soaking her wet. She squeals and tries to free herself from my grasp and that reaction only excites me more. I love her putting up force in a sexual game. I crave it. And right now, I’m completely turned on, and I won’t let her go until she’s thoroughly fucked. “Oh, no you don’t, baby!” I murmur, and when I lift my head up to look into her eyes again, I am pure lust, and full of licentious desire for her. Her blouse is soaked in water, and her nipples are poking through, inviting me to make love to her. “Love the view,” I murmur as I run my nose around and around on one of her wet nipples making her squirm under my ministrations. “Answer me, Ana. Here or the bedroom?” “Here, she whispers desperately, haircut forgotten. The fierce desire in which she is basked makes me smile licentiously. “Good choice, Mrs. Grey,” I murmur against her lushes lips. I release her chin and move my hand down to her knee, slowly hitching up her skirt, my fingers gliding over her smooth skin. A shiver runs through her body. I start trailing kisses from the base of her ear along her jaw. Oh, God!

“Oh, what shall I do to you?” I whisper into her ear. My fingers stop at the top of her stockings. I shall have her keep them. “I like these,” I murmur. I run a finger underneath the top and skim around her inner thigh waking up her nerves. She gasps and squirms responding to my touch quickly. Her reaction makes me groan, a guttural sound, coming from deep in my throat. “If I’m going to fuck you seven shades of Sunday, I want you to keep still,” I remind her. “Make me,” she rouses me in a soft, breathy voice. I take a sharp intake of breath. She’s pushin g all the right buttons tonight. I’d love to tie you up baby. My eyes narrow, and I regard her with a hot expression. Is this what she wants? Her gaze dares me, tantalizing, wanting, and pushing me.

“Oh, Mrs. Grey. You have only to ask.” I move my hand away from her stocking top to her panties. “Let’s divest you of these,” I say as I gently tug them and she shifts to make it easy. But I don’t need any help. My breath hisses through my teeth. “Keep still,” I grumble. “I’m helping,” she replies, pouting. You are not to pout baby! I quickly move in and capture her lower lip between my teeth. “Still,” I growl. I’m the alpha male. I’m in charge of this show. I slide her panties down her legs and off. Then I tug her skirt up, making it bunch around her hips. I move both hands to her waist and lift her, her panties are in my hand. “Sit astride me,” I order staring into her other with one intent in mind: to fuck her seven shades of Sunday. She finally shifts, straddling me, and her gaze is inciting, heady and provoking.

“Mrs. Grey, are you goading me?” I ask in a warning tone. Though I am completely amused and aroused. She challenges me like no one can; stirs up emotions I never knew existed. “Yes. What are you going to do about it?” she asks with that brave demeanor. I fucking love it! I love her putting up force in any shape or form in sex. It’s such a turn on. My cock responds immediately, raring to get out. “Clasp your hands together behind your back.” She obeys immediately, and I tie her hands up with her panties. “My panties? Mr. Grey, you have no shame,” she says berating. “Not where you’re concerned, Mrs. Grey, but you already know that.” I am intense and burning with desire; a fucking volcano ready to blow. I put my hands around her waist, shift her on my lap so that she’s sitting a little further back on my lap. Her gaze is fixed on the dripping water. Her eyes are full of sexual desire, full of anticipation. I caress her thighs and slowly skate down to her knees, pushing them further apart and also widen the gap of my own legs. Then I hold her in that position. My fingers move to the buttons of her blouse. I just want to get rid of it. “I don’t think we need this,” I say, and slowly undo each button, keeping my eyes locked on hers. Her chest start rising up and down in quick succession as I slowly leave her clinging wet blouse open. Her breathing is shallow and her heartbeat is evident over her open blouse. I leave her damp blouse hanging open and start caressing her face with both hands. Then my fingers skim over her cheeks, and my thumb runs over her bottom lip. Her lips part in pleasure, her eyes dilate. I thrust my thumb into her mouth.

“Ssssuck,” I order in a whisper, enunciating the S. She sucks my thumb with such an enthusiasm to convey her desire to suck me off. She fellates my thumb, and I feel the effects of it in my groin, and my cock twitches in response. She scrapes her teeth over the pad of my thumb and bite it, making me gasp, and groan desirously. I extract my now wet, and thoroughly sucked thumb out of her lips, and trail it down her chin, down her throat and over her sternum. I hook it into the cup of her bra, yanking it down, I free her breast which is pushed up by the under-wire of her bra, bringing her nipple closer to my lips which perks up even further. My gaze is on her. I want to see each and every one of her reactions I’m eliciting from her. I want to be the cause and the provider of every pleasure she experiences. I want to be in charge and in control of her pleasures: when and how much. I want to possess her body in such a way that she surrenders herself to me completely; body and soul. Principles of Lust - Enigma Without leaving her gaze, I free her other breast as well and cupping both of them gently, I skim each nipple with my thumbs, circling achingly slow, teasing and taunting her. They harden and elongate under my touch. I can make her come like that. She groans and throws her head back, closing her eyes, unable to stay still. “Shhh...” I soothe her. “Still, baby, still.” I want her to learn to control her body. I release one of her breast, and with the same hand, I reach behind the nape of her head, holding her in place. Then I take the now free nipple into my mouth and suck it hard, my wet hair falling around my face. I take the other nipple between my thumb and my forefinger and tug and twist it gently, allowing it to respond to my touch and elongate.

“Ah! Christian!” she groans and bucks forward, dying for friction over her sex. But that won’t make me stop. I love making my wife come apart under my touch, when I want, how I want. I love having control over her body. It feeds the need inside me, and arouses me beyond belief. “Christian, please,” she whimpers when I don’t stop. “Hmm,” I hum. “I want you to come like this,” I murmur. When I make love to Anastasia, I connect with her in the most elementary, primal fashion - calling onto her instinct, speaking in a language only exist between our bodies; only between our bodies. I call, and she comes. She moans loudly, writhing on my lap against my pants, pulling against her restraints, wanting to touch me. “Please,” she begs in a whisper, and I feel the change in her muscles, tightening. “You have such beautiful breasts, Ana,” I say groaning. “One day I’ll fuck them.” I lean in and suckle her breast deep again. My tongue caressing, fallating, pulling. She’s holding tight, unwilling to let go, resisting to come, asking for a friction. “Let go,” I breathe, ordering her, and she reaches her climax, lost in her orgasm, in the rolling pleasure coursing through her body, and finally falling down onto my chest, resting her head. Her eyes remain closed until the sensation runs through her body. When she finally opens them, I am gazing down at my wife in awe. “God, I love to watch you come, Ana,” I say in wonder. I am in awe of her. “That was...” she says unable to finish her sentence. But, we connected, and I know exactly what she is feeling.

“I know,” I say and leaning forward, I kiss her. My hand is still holding the nape of her neck. I angle her head so I can kiss her deeper, more carnal, more loving, worshiping She’s a goddess among women. I love her more than my own life! When I pull away from our kiss, we’re both breathless. “Now, I’m going to fuck you, hard,” I murmur. I grab her around her waist, lifting her up from my thighs down to the edge of my knees. With my right hand, I unbutton my navy pants. I run my fingers of my left hand up and down of her thigh, stopping at the top of her stockings, and watch her reaction intently. We’re face to face. She’s trussed up with her panties, her bra pushing her breast up to my lips, sitting on my lap and ready to receive my eager cock; so fucking close, and completely intimate. Her blue eyes locked with mine. I reach down to my zipper and my erection springs free. Her lips part, and she gasps. She’s looking down at my substantial length with carnal desire, making me smirk. “You like?” I ask. “Hmm...” she murmurs appreciatively as if I’ve shown her most favorite thing in the world. I wrap my hand around my erection, my gaze locked on her expression, I move my hand up and down, stroking myself. She’s extremely aroused, gazes up at me with a look that says she’s ready to devour my cock in whole, and bites her lip. “You’re biting your lip, Mrs. Grey,” I groan. “That’s because I’m hungry?” “Hungry?” I ask, my mouth widening open in surprise, and when the realization downs on me, I know she wants me now. “Hmm...” she murmurs, licking her lips. Oh, Mrs. Grey! Two can play at this game. I smile, bite my lower lip as I continue to stroke myself. “I see. You should have eaten your dinner. But maybe I can oblige,” I say and put my hands on her waist. I’m hungry too. “Stand,” I order softly. Well, Mrs. Grey, time for dinner. She gets to her feet. “Kneel,” I order. She does as she’s told. I slide forward in my seat.

“Kiss me,” I say offering her my erection. She gazes up at me, and the look she gives me turns me on big time, making me lick my top teeth. She leans forward, and kisses the tip of my erection. That simple touch jolts a bolt of electricity through my body waking up every nerve ending, and making me take a sharp intake of breath, and clench my teeth. I cup the sides of her head, as she runs her tongue over the crown of my cock, sucking the single dew beading on the tip. My jaw drops open in pleasure, and I gasp further. Then she jumps on it, hollowing her cheeks, she sucks hard, pulling my cock into the depths of her throat. She pulls back and twirls her tongue around the crown and push down once again. And repeats the process. “Jesus, Ana,” I sigh as pleasure courses through my body, spreading through every cell, curling my toes. I shut my eyes tightly. I find my hips reciprocating and matching her movements. I’m lost in my wife’s talented mouth in pleasure, unable to respond, unable to move. She conquered me, possessed me, and connected with me in such a way that no other person ever did, or ever could. “Ah!” I moan, and stop moving. I lean forward and grabbing her, I pull her onto my lap. “Enough!” I growl. I reach behind her, and free her hands with one tug on her panties. Her gaze is matching mine in intensity, hungry for my cock, for what I have to deliver to her. She looks over me, and her hand wraps my erection, places it under her, and slowly lets me sink into her sex, savoring my cock filling and stretching her. The noise that comes out of me is primal, guttural and lustful. I reach up and pull her blouse off, and let it fall to the floor. I lower my hands to her hips. “Still,” I warn her in a raspy voice, my hands digging into her soft flesh. “Please, still. Let me savor this. Savor you,” I plead. She stops. I caress her face in awe, completely mesmerized, gaze at her in a way only a man in love can look. My eyes are wild, my lips parted, I breathe in shallow breaths. I flex my cock beneath her and she moans, with the delightful taste of friction, she closes her eyes in pleasure.

“This is my favorite place,” I whisper her. “Inside you. Inside my wife.” Her fingers glide into my still wet hair, her lips sealing mine, and she starts to move up and down on her toes. Fuck! I am lost in her. I groan loudly. My hands are in her hair, around her back, my tongue invading her mouth, taking over her, fucking and making love. I can connect with her like this, communicate with her, express her my love, affection, fears, worries, and desires in a way I cannot any other way. My hands move to her buttocks and control her movements up and down, again and again at a pace I determine. “Ah!” she groans into my mouth. “Yes. Yes, Ana,” I hiss and she kisses my face, chin, jaw, neck, back to my cheeks again. “Baby,” I breathe, and capture her mouth once more. “Oh, Christian, I love you. I will always love you,” she breathes fervently. Declaring her love for me. I moan; her declaration making me reach my peak and I wrap my around her tightly as I climax, not knowing why the divine providence found me worthy enough for this woman, though I am unworthy of her, and how lucky, how incredibly blessed I am with her in my life. My climax and eventual release is a mournful sob, and she too is pushed over the brink, and clutching her arms around my head, she lets her orgasms go through her entire body in large waves. Her head falls onto my shoulders with tears springing and falling onto my back. “Hey,” I whisper as I tip her chin back and gaze into her face with concern. “Why are you crying? Did I hurt you?” “No,” she mutters, her voice laced with reassurance. I Melt with You – Nouvelle I smooth her hair off her face, and wipe a lone teardrop away with my thumb, and kiss her tender lips. My cock is still inside her. I shift and pull out of her. I’m worried that something is wrong. She hides a lot from me. “What’s wrong, Ana? Tell me.” She sniffs in response. “It’s just that... sometimes I’m overwhelmed by how much I love you,” she whispers. When the weight of her words sinks in me, I smile, elated. Because that’s how I feel for her. “You have the same effect on me,” I whisper back, and kiss her again. She smiles back in response. “Do I?” she asks making me smirk. “You know you do.” “Sometimes I know. Not all the time.”

“Back at you, Mrs. Grey,” I whisper. That’s how I’ve been feeling all day. I wasn’t sure, and the frustration and anxiety nearly gave me a coronary. As she nuzzles my chest hair, I caress her hair, and run my hand on her back and unclasp her bra and pull the strap down one arm. Then letting her shift, I pull the other strap down, and drop it on the floor. Now there’s nothing between us. “Hmm. Skin on skin,” I murmur and keep her in my embrace. I plant a kiss on her shoulder and my nose runs a trail up to her ear inhaling her intoxicating scent. “You smell like heaven, Mrs. Grey.” “So do you, Mr. Grey,” she says nuzzling me as she inhales deeply. We hold each other like this for what...seconds, minutes, inhaling each other’s scent, holding, and caressing. She’s my safe place. She’s my love, my lover, my wife, and she sums up the meaning of my existence. But it’s getting late. I don’t want her to go without sleep. “It’s late,” I remind her,” stroking her back. “Your hair still needs cutting,” she says making me chuckle. “That it does, Mrs. Grey. Do you have the energy to finish the job you started?” “For you, Mr. Grey, anything,” she replies and kisses my chest and stands up. “Don’t go,” I say grabbing her hips. I turn her around, and fix her skirt, and undo the button, letting it drop on the floor. I hold her hand and help her walk out of it. She’s only in her garter belt and her stockings. What a fuckable sight! “You’re a mighty fine sight, Mrs. Grey,” I say as I sit back crossin g my arms. I appraise my wife completely. Holding her arms up, she twirls and gives me a small show of her assets. “God, I am a lucky son of a bitch,” I say with the sight of my gorgeous wife. “Yes, you are,” she replies acquiescing, making me grin. “Put on my shirt, and you can cut my hair. Like this, you’ll distract me, and we’ll never get to bed.”

She just smiles in response. After sauntering to my shirt, she bend down slowly, and reaches down to pick my shirt up, and gives me a great visual of her derriere and her sex. Lifts the shirt to her nose and inhales my residual scent deeply and then shrugs it on. My eyes are solely focused on her actions completely. I redo my fly, and appreciate the show she’s putting out for my benefit. “That’s quite a floor show, Mrs. Grey.” “Do we have any scissors?” she asks batting her eyelashes. What the hell is she doing to me? “My study,” I manage to croak. “I’ll go search,” she says and leaves the bathroom. I get up and pick her clothes up and fold them neatly and put them aside by the sink. Then pick her shoes up and Anastasia dashes into the bathroom, completely out of breath as if she’s chased by the hell hounds. “What’s wrong?” I ask worried. “I just ran into Taylor,” she says. I frown. She’s nearly naked. I don’t want the security eyeing my wife with barely any clothes on, flushed and disheveled right after sex! “Oh! Dressed like that,” I voice my displeasure. “That’s not Taylor’s fault,” she replies immediately. Why is she always taking Taylor’s side? I know it’s a coincidence, but, I’m not liking it. “No. But still.” “I’m dressed.”

“Barely.” “I don’t know who was more embarrassed, me or him. Hey, did you know he and Gail are...well, together?” she asks making me laugh. My wife can sometimes be unaware of the events that are happening right under her nose. I love her innocence. “Yes, of course I knew,” I reply. It’s been going on for a while. By the looks of it, they’re so much in love, Taylor would have married Mrs. Jones had she said yes to him. I then feel a relief that Ana didn't make me wait as long as Mrs. Jones is making Taylor wait for an answer. “And you never told me?” she scolds. “I thought you knew, too.” “No.” “Ana, they’re adults. They live under the same roof, both unattached, both attractive.” She blushes with my response with realization. “Well, if you put it like that...I just thought Gail was older than Taylor.” “She is, but not by much.” I look at Ana, confused. Why shouldn't Taylor choose Mrs. Jones? She’s a very nice woman, beautiful, and she seems to love Taylor. Is Ana jealous of Taylor’s newly discovered relationship? “Some men like older women-“ I say, and abruptly stop, remembering Elena. This is a topic I don’t want to bring up right after we had mind-blowing sex. I am immediately chagrined. She is scowling, and what a green eyed monster I have under my hand! But I smile at her to reassure her that she has nothing to worry about. I need to distract her now; otherwise she’ll be fuming all night. “That reminds me,” I say brightly. “What?” she snaps. She takes the wooden chair and turns it to face the mirror. “Sit,” she orders firmly. I gaze at her to observe that she’s still fuming with the thoughts of Elena. Somehow her jealousy, her protectiveness of me makes me happy. I sit down in the chair. She starts combing my hair. “I was thinking we could convert the rooms over the garages for them at the new place, and make it a home. Then maybe Taylor’s daughter could stay with him more often,” I say as I carefully watch her i n the mirror. Her face softens. “Why doesn’t she stay here?” “Taylor’s never asked me,” I reply. “Perhaps you should offer. But we’d have to behave ourselves.” I have never thought about that. My brows furrow. Of course. “I hadn't thought about that.”

“Perhaps that’s why Taylor hasn't asked. Have you met her?” “Yes. She’s a sweet thing. Shy. Very pretty. I pay for her schooling,” I say and she stops combing my hair and looks up to meet my gaze in the mirror completely surprised. “I had no idea,” she says. I shrug in response. Taylor’s a great employee. I feel safe with him, and I tend to be a lot calmer when he’s around. That’s a testament to his abilities as the head of my security. “Seemed the least I could do. It also means that he won’t quit.” “I’m sure he likes working for you,” she says, and that declaration takes me by surprise. I had not expected to hear that he likes me. “I don’t know,” I say with a blank expression on my face, as if she just said the world was flat. “I think he’s very fond of you, Christian,” she says as she continues to comb my hair and glancing up at me. My eyes are glued with hers in the mirror. “You think?” “Yes. I do,” she says firmly. This is news to me. Taylor likes me... I snort dismissively, but I’m still overly pleased with this piece of information. He’s worked for me for four years, and I hadn't given a thought about it. And frankly didn't care because I didn't think he would like me, being the difficult man I am. “Good. Will you talk to Gia about the rooms over the garage?” I ask. “Yes, of course,” she replies. She’s finally done combing my hair, and picks the scissors up. “You sure about this? Your last chance to bail.” “Do your worst, Mrs. Grey. I don’t have to look at me, you do.” She grins in response. “Christian, I could look at you all day.” I shake my head exasperated. Only on the surface, baby. Only on the surface. I’m an ugly man inside! “It’s just a pretty face, baby.” “And behind it is a very pretty man,” she says kissing my temple. “My man.” It means the world to me that she thinks so highly of me, though I am unworthy of those reveries. It still makes me shy like an adolescent boy. “Here it goes...” she says, and takes the first snip. I close my eyes, and enjoy the rare tranquility that comes to me, and now with the courtesy of my beautiful wife. I am in heaven. Washed, primped, satisfied, thoroughly fucked, and now getting a haircut in my wife’s hands. What else can a man ask for? Heaven - Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald

About fifteen heavenly relaxing minutes later, “Finished,” she chimes. I open my eyes to see her handiwork, and I’m quite surprised with the elegant styling she gave me. I grin at her. “Great job, Mrs. Grey,” I say as I turn my head side to side and then wrap my arms around her. I pull her to me and kiss and nuzzle her belly. “Thank you,” I say. “My pleasure.” She leans down and kisses me. “It’s late. Bed,” I say and slap her naked behind playfully. “Ah! I should clean up here,” she says looking at the hair on the floor. I frown. I don’t want her to go out to the living room where she’ll run into another staff member. “Okay, I’ll get the broom,” I say wryly. “I don’t want you embarrassing the staff with your lack of appropriate attire.” “Do you know where the broom is?” she asks innocently batting her eyelashes. I stop in my track. I never needed, or used the broom in my house. Ever. “Uhm...no, actually.” This makes her laugh. “I’ll go,” she says. ****

❦ ♡ ❧*****

We both get ready to go to bed. Anastasia goes in to the bedroom as I’m brushing my teeth. When I get into the bedroom, she’s contemplative. “What?” I ask, wanting to know her thoughts. “Nothing. Just an idea,” she says as she eyes my low hanging p ajama bottoms. “What idea?” I ask, and stretch out next to her. “Christian, I don’t think I want to run a company.” This makes me prop myself on my elbow, and I gaze down at her. “Why do you say that?” “Because it’s not something that has ever appealed to me.” “You’re more than capable, Anastasia.” “I like to read books, Christian. Running a company will take me away from that.” “You could be the creative head,” I try to make her see reason, and embrace her God -given talents. This makes her frown.

“You see, running a successful company is all about embracing the talent of the individuals you have at your disposal. If that’s where your talents and your interest lie, then you structure the company to enable that. Don’t dismiss it out of hand, Anastasia. You’re a very capable woman. I think you could do anything you wanted if you put your mind to it.” She looks at me in disbelief. “I’m also worried it will take up too much of my time. Time I could devote to you,” she says making me frown this time. I know what she’s trying to do. She’s trying to play her ‘ Christian card’ knowing my weakness when it comes to her, so that I don’t encourage her to run her own business. “I know what you are doing,” I murmur, amused with her attempt. “What?” she says putting on an innocent face. “You’re trying to distract me from the issue at hand. You always do that. Just don’t dismiss the idea, Ana. Think about it. That’s all I ask,” I say, and lean in and kiss her. Then I skim my thumb down her cheek. She smiles up at me. “Can I ask you something?” she asks in a soft, tentative voice. “Of course.” “Earlier today you said if I was angry with you, I should take it out on you in bed. What did you mean?” This makes me stop in my tracks. With Ana it could go either way. “What did you think I mean?” I ask. “That you wanted me to tie you up.” I am completely taken by surprise. What? No! It had nothing to do with me being tied up! “Uhm...no. That’s not what I meant at all.” “Oh,” she replies completely disappointed. Her facial expression says that she wants to tie me up, but I want to confirm this. “You want to tie me up?” I ask, shocked again. She blushes, embarrassed. “Well...” she mutters. “Ana, I...” say stopping. Being tied up and trussed brings up darker memories. Memories that remind me a time when I was helpless. I don’t want that association with Ana. She’s everything good in my life. “Christian,” she whispers completely alarmed. She turns to me and props herself up on her elbow. I look at her with bewildered, large eyes. I shake my head with remembrance. One of the reasons I want to have control in my life is that it was taken away from me, and that power was abused. That’s the reason I am fifty shades fucked up. I want to give Anastasia what she want s, all she wants. But I can’t give her that.

My heart is beating like the jungle dream; and not in pleasure, but with fear. The fear resurrects and resurfaces its ugly head unexpectedly. The memories of that fucking pimp and what he did to me by taking all the control away from me when I was already a helpless child, and the last time I subbed for Elena comes to the forefront unbidden. “Christian, stop. It doesn’t matter. I thought that’s what you meant,” she says. I take her hand and place it on my savagely beating heart. “Ana, I don’t know how I’d feel about you touching me if I were restrained.” I have barely learned to get used to and enjoy her touch when I’m unrestrained. I can’t bear to be restrained. “This is still too new,” I say in a low and pa inful voice. She leans over, and the forbidden memories still on the surface I freeze. She simply plants a soft, tender kiss at the corner of my mouth. “Christian, I got the wrong idea. Please don’t worry about it. Please don’t think about it.” She kisse s me again and I close my eyes and groan, finally reciprocating her kiss. I’ll be damned if I let the pimp or Elena get between us. I push my wife into the mattress, hold her chin in place, and kiss her with all I’ve got. Hitching my t-shirt up on her torso, I move my hands on her body, and soon we are lost in each other, and our personal bubble.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning

One of the best things about marriage is that when you wake up completely wrapped around your beautiful wife like a static filled sock, the knowledge that she’s yours even if you had a fight the night before. I feel her hand gently stroking my hair, and it’s extremely soothing. My eyelids are heavy with sleep still, and I have to blink a few times to wake up. I find my arm around her waist, and my legs are tangled around hers. “Hi,” I murmur and smile at Anastasia. “Hi,” she replies with a radiant smile of her. Did I mention that my head was right on her bare breast? I sigh and nuzzle her breasts appreciatively, groaning deeply. My hand travels down from her waist, and I skim over her cool satin nightgown. Give me A Reason - Pink ft Nate Reuss “What a tempting morsel you are,” I murmur. I want her in satins and silks, because she deserves the best. “But tempting though you are,” I check the time, “I have to get up.” I have a very important meeting today. Pella came from London, and if my knowledge of him is anything , he’d have been examining the evidence and assessing to give me a report. I finally stretch out, and untangle myself from my wife’s enticing body, and rise out of bed. Anastasia lies back and puts her hands behind her head watching me strip for the shower. I’m giving her a floor show.

“Admiring the view, Mrs. Grey?” I ask arching my eyebrow. I love calling her Mrs. Grey. Because, every iteration of that title affirms and confirms that she is my wife, mine. Christian Grey’s! “It’s a mighty fine view, Mr. Grey,” she replies. I grin at her, and bunching my pajama bottoms, I throw it at her and she catches it like a pro, giggling happily. Irresistible! I bounce by our bed in a few quick strides grinning, and yank the duvet off bed. Putting one knee on the bed, I grab Anastasia’s ankles, and drag her towards me, and her nightdress rides up to her waist revealing her bare bottoms. Yesss! Anastasia starts squealing, and resisting. I’m completely turned on with her delightfully trying to fight me off. I love it! I crawl up on her body, and start trailing little kisses on her knee, on her thigh, and the apex of her thighs. All of a sudden her hands are in my hair, pulling me in, and her legs are wrapped around my neck. And soon we’re lost in each other. ****

❦ ♡ ❧*****

When we take our seat at the breakfast bar having showered and me, dressed in a crisp white shirt, and my very favorite silver-gray tie, Mrs. Jones greets us both. “Good morning, Mr. Grey. Good morning, Mrs. Grey.” Her greeting makes Anastasia blush. Why? Because I just fucked her? Or, is it because she caught her kissing Taylor? Maybe I don’t want to know... “Good morning,” Anastasia responds as Mrs. Jones hands her usual Twinings tea. Bag out. “How are you, Mrs. Grey?” I ask Anastasia with warm love in my eyes. “I think you know, Mr. Grey,” she replies coyly, gazing up at me through her lashes. Yes, I believe, I do. I smirk, “Eat,” I order. “You didn't eat yesterday.” She mock glares at me. “That’s because you were being an arse,” she says, and Mrs. Jones is so shocked to hear Anastasia's address, she drops whatever she had in her hand into the sink. The cluttering noise makes Anastasia jump, but I’m completely oblivious to the noise. “Arse or not. I want you to eat!” I repeat in a serious tone. “Okay! Fine... Picking up spoon, eating granola,” she mutters captiously, irritated at me. She spoons some Greek yogurt on top of her granola, then adds a handful of blueberries. I watch her look up to Mrs. Jones and smile at her warmly. I want to remind her of my upcoming trip to New York. I really need to come with me. I don’t think it’s a good idea to be separated from each other so soon after our honeymoon. She belongs by my side. “I may have to go to New York later in the week,” I introduce the subject. “Oh.”

“It’ll mean an overnight. I want you to come with me.” There. That’s short and to the point. I tell her my heart’s desire. “Christian, I won’t get the time off,” she replies exasperated. Really? How could she say that with a straight face when I’m the boss’ boss’ boss and own the company. How’s she not going to be given time off? I can give her the time off should she so desire. I stare at her, just to remind her who the boss is. She sighs in response. “I know you own the company, but I’ve been away for three weeks. Please. How can you expect me to run the business if I’m never there? I’ll be fine here. I’m assuming you’ll take Taylor with you, but Sawyer and Ryan will be here...” she says after she finds me grinning at her ear to ear. That’s priceless Mrs. Grey. I love it how she rationalizes everything. I’m the husband; we just got married! We ought to be together. She shouldn't be giving precedence to her job over me. She stops and snaps at me: “What?!” “Nothing. Just you,” I reply. She frowns at me. But I don’t want to mess our good mood this morning. Her face then changes. “How are you getting to New York?” she queries. “The company jet, why?” “I just wanted to check if you were taking Charlie Tango,” she says in a low voice, faintly breaking down in the end. Her face pales, and I realize that Mrs. Jones has stilled and quieted in the kitchen too. “I wouldn't fly to New York in Charlie Tango. She doesn’t have that kind of range. Besides, she won’t be back from the engineers for another two weeks,” I remind her. It also reminds me of my meeting with Pella today, once again. “Well, I’m glad she’s nearly fixed, but...” she says stopping again. She’s very nervous, and I’m reminded how she was when I arrived back after Charlie Tango went down. “What?” I ask softly, finishing my breakfast. Her response is just a shrug. She can’t say it. She’s too worried. “Ana?” I quiz her, resolutely. “I just... you know. The last time you flew in her... I thought, we thought, you’d...” she mutters her voice breaking. Her breathing increases as she’s drifted back to that day. I look at her lovingly. “Hey,” I say caressing her face with the back of my knuckles. “That was sabotage,” I repeat. My ga ze darkens remembering the fucker who caused the sabotage is still at large. “I couldn't bear to lose you,” she murmurs. “Five people have been fired because of that, Ana. It won’t happen again.”

“Five?” she asks, and I nod in a serious face. Five fucking incompetent workers! Her expression changes, and then she completely changes the topic. “That reminds me. There’s a gun in your desk.” How does five people getting fired reminds her the gun in my desk? She says in such an accusatory tone, it makes me frown at this non sequitur. “It’s Leila’s,” I say finally. “It’s fully loaded.” “How do you know?” I ask in a deeper frown. I don’t want her playing with a gun and getting hurt. “I checked it yesterday,” she replies. Do I have to keep everything under lock from her? Honestly, she’s like a little child! I don’t want her to get hurt. “I don’t want you messing with guns. I hope you put the safety back on.” She looks up at me blinking. Something I said makes her look at me dumbfounded. “Christian, there’s no safety on that revolver. Don’t you know anything about guns?” she asks. Now it’s my turn to be stupefied. Of course I know nothing about guns. “Uhm...no.” I reply simply. Taylor stands at the entrance and discreetly coughs reminding me my approaching meeting. I nod at him. “We have to go,” I say, and stand up. I put my grey jacket on, distracted. Leila had a gun with no safety. That means she was planning to shoot her way out of the world. The thought makes me internally shudder. I make a mental note to check with Flynn to make sure she’s staying in Connecticut and following her treatment. Then the fucker Hyde is out there. The Charlie Tango sabotage is looming over my head still. I really have to see Pella. I momentarily wonder why he got into the investigation business. How he became good at it? He doesn’t need it. He can afford the best, yet, he’s the best. Was his hand forced into it, like mine is being forced into it now? As I walk to the great room, I greet Taylor. “Good morning, Taylor.” “Good morning, Mr. Grey, Mrs. Grey,” he replies nodding at us both, but he’s averting his eyes from Anastasia, probably remembering their unexpected meeting, making jealousy rise in me. I have to make sure that my wife doesn’t stray away from the bedroom with so little clothes. “I’m just going to brush my teeth,” Anastasia mutters, and darts in the direction of our bedroom. When we enter into the elevator, Anastasia turns to me and says, “You should ask Taylor to teach you how to shoot. I gaze down at her for a while, amused at her sentiment. If I don’t see a gun for the rest of my life it would be too soon. I think they should all be removed from the streets.

“Should I now?” I ask dryly. “Yes,” she replies fervently in a way only a soldier’s daughter could. “Anastasia, I despise guns. My mom has patched up too many victims of gun crime, and my dad is vehemently anti-gun. I grew up with their ethos. I support at least two gun control initiatives here in Washington.” “Oh,” she says mulling over what I had just stated. “Does Taylor carry a gun?” she asks changing tact. He may carry a gun on occasion but that’s completely against my better judgment. I have to begrudgingly consent to it, because Taylor is my best security guy, and I have to cut him slack sometimes and let him exercise his best judgment; like I had to allow him to carry a gun during our wedding. My mouth thins grimly remembering, and I only consented because Taylor is a trained professional, exmilitary, and he’s spent a good deal of hi s life learning how to carefully handle weapons. “Sometimes,” I reply Anastasia monosyllabic. “You don’t approve?” she asks me with wide eyes as I usher her out of the elevator on the ground floor. “No,” reply, still tight lipped. “Let’s just say that Taylor and I hold very different view with regards to gun control.” Just because I know Taylor can handle guns, and he’s trained in them doesn’t mean I approve them. I open the foyer door open for her and we head out to her car. As Sawyer holds the door open for us to climb in, he gives us a pleasant smile. Once we’re in the vehicle, Anastasia reaches out and holds my hand tightly, “Please,” she utters. “Please what?” I ask tersely after our conversation. “Learn how to shoot.” God! Are we still going on with this discussion? “No! End of discussion, Anastasia,” I scold her. Why are we fighting about this? It’s a difference of opinion, an opinion I firmly believe in. Anastasia opens her mouth to rebuttal, but wisely closes it back again. I notice that Taylor is also regarding us in the rearview mirror and lightly shakes his head as he concentrates on the road. I turn my head and look out the window just as Anastasia asks, “Where is Leila?” I turn to glance at her. Why is she asking this? “I told you. She’s in Connecticut with her folks.” “Did you check? After all, she does have long hair. It could have been her driving the Dodge.” “Yes, I checked. She’s enrolled in an art school in Hamden. She started this week,” I reply turning back to look out the window.

“ You've spoken to her?” she asks in a horrified whisper. I whip my head around to the tone of her voice. All the blood drains from Anastasia’s face as if I said her puppy died. Does she think that I call her regularly? “No. Flynn has,” I reply. I search her face. Does it bother her that Flynn contacts her? I have to keep tabs on her so I can keep Anastasia safe here. “I see,” she murmurs. “What?” “Nothing,” she replies. I give out an exasperated sigh. When a woman... no, let me correct that, when my woman, my Anastasia says ‘nothing’, it’s never just nothing. It means she’s concealing something. “Ana. What is it?” She shrugs. I search her face, and I can now recognize the telltale signs of her jealousy. I remember it from Elena bouts. She has the same look. Ana is jealous. “I’m keeping tabs on her, checking that she stays on her side of the continent. She’s better, Ana,” I try to reassure her. “Flynn has referred her to a shrink in New Haven, and all the reports are very positive. She’s always been interest in art, so...” I say and I have said too much. She’s going to know that I’m paying for her expenses. But, it has nothing to do with how I’m feeling for Ana. It’s this guilt, this urge that I had had something to do with her breaking down, and I feel a sense of responsibility that it ought to be me to care for her needs until she can get back on her feet. It’s only my atonement! She sighs and distances herself from me emotionally. I can’t bear it. I reach out for her hand, and clasp it in mine. “Don’t sweat this, Anastasia,” I murmur, squeezing her hand reassuringly. There’s only one woman for me. She’s here with me in this car. She searches my face, and sees the sincerity in my expression and finally returns a reassuring squeeze. ****

❦ ♡ ❧*****

“Hold the elevator Grey!” I hear my name shouted. Both Taylor and I turn back towards the voice at the same time. Alex Pella's eyes glint at me, reflecting his content mood as he reaches up to us with his own security Anthony Decimus in confident, almost arrogant strides. He has a scorching gaze that is nearly identical with mine that I recognize him to be another powerful man. Not a rival, but a rare friend. We both exude the same magnitude of tangible, incessant, electrifying power which takes a command of any given group of people or place. “Great seeing you, Pella!” I say extending my hand. He has always had this unusual way of shaking hands with me; his handshakes are more of a forearm shake. It’s always been that way. We've been in the same rowing team back in Harvard, and his reasoning was, “ forearms shakes are more hygienic.” I thought that was the case for him, since I had my reasons of not being touched until I watched a particular soccer game he was participating. The field was muddy after the rain, and one particular player had the misfortune of having the soccer ball land his face, breaking his nose and he wiped the blood on his arms.

Pella pulled him up off the field and after checking his buddy, gave him a forearm shake on that muddy and bloody arm. “What’s the deal with the forearms shake? Clearly it’s not the hygiene you’re worried about ,” I cornered him at the time. He was another loner, like me in a way, but keeping people distant was his personal choice as was mine. He shrugged then. “Call it habit. That’s the only way a real man shakes hands. The Vikings, Huns, cowboys, ancient Romans, and Greeks, Knights of the Round Table... Hell, even the troops who stormed Normandy! Of course , I’m also a mountain climber. If you get into the habit of forearm shake, you don’t have to think twice on how to save a falling climber. You grasp them on the forearm,” he said. Shaking the memories off, I smile at him. “Great seeing you as well, Grey,” he says and firmly does his forearm shake and releases my arm. He greets Taylor, and Taylor nods, “Mr. Pella. Nice to see you, sir.” “I suppose you’re still into climbing,” I say wryly after the forearm shake. “I am. Recently got back from K2,” he replies and we enter into the elevator. “K2? Impressive! Isn't that a mountain with a high death to climber ratio?” I ask. He smiles in response. “For every four climber who have reached the summit, one has died trying.” “Well, be careful then. I wouldn't want to hear that you were the unfortunate fifth climber.” “Always am,” he says smiling and changes topics. “I believe congratulations are in order. I wish you a lifetime of happiness with Mrs. Christian Grey.” “Thank you,” I say and warmly smile with the respectful recognition of Anastasia as my wife. The elevator doors ding open. Taylor and Pella security detail hold the doors as we exit the elevator. Both Andrea and Olivia dash to their feet. Seeing my smiling face, I swear they both give a sigh of relief. Andrea collects herself first. “Good morning Mr. Grey. Welcome to GEH, Mr. Pella, Mr. Decimus,” she says and turns to me. “Shall we take your guests to the meeting room, sir? Mr. Welch, and Barney are already waiting for you there.” “Yes, thank you, Andrea,” I reply. Olivia jumps and leads them towards the meeting room. “Great haircut, by the way Mr. Grey,” Andrea says stopping me in my track. I’ve never been complimented on my hair before. I frown, and “thank you,” I mutter, pleasantly surprised. Andrea goes over my schedule in my room for the day, and hands me the documents Welch has left for me to review before the meeting. I glance over

them, and take a few notes, and nod to Taylor as we head out to the meeting room. Olivia is walking back from the meeting room with an empty tray. She smiles, “nice haircut, Mr. Grey,” she compliments. I feel an imperceptible smile on Taylor’s lips. When Taylor opens the door to the meeting room, Welch, Barney and Pella are sitting around the table while Decimus is standing at ease stand in one corner of the room, staring ahead. The very large flat screen on the wall comes alive after everyone greets each other.

"We have thus far confirmed that Jack Hyde is the man behind the Grey House arson," he says. A grainy image of him pops on the large screen, frozen. Since the image is way overblown, it looks digitized, and not quite clear. Mrs. Grey identified him, and our own face recognition software confirms that it is in fact Jack Hyde. The police have been thus far informed that Jack Hyde has been identified through the face recognition software, but due to the 20% margin of error, the police will check his whereabouts, look into his apartment, but as far as an arrest warrant is concerned, they need something more than a grainy image; a more concrete evidence that ties him to the arson. The best they can do is to check to see if he's in his apartment, and if he is, all they would be able to do is to hold him for questioning. But since we already know that he's not to be found there, they will not be much of help. And Mr. Pella will take from here..." he says and turns to Alex. Alex rises to his considerable height graceful like a predator. He moves around his chair quietly. "If you gentlemen don't mind," he says and takes his jacket off. He's left with his crisp white shirt, and carefully places his custom-made navy blue jacket around his chair. He unbuttons his cuff-links and places them into his pants' pocket and rolls his sleeves up. "We've had a long night piecing together some of the puzzle pieces, but a general picture started to emerge," he says smiling, and looks like he had uninterrupted eight hours of sleep. He takes a sip of his black, unsweetened coffee, and then places the cup back on the coaster. "Our focal point at this moment, is this man," he says and points to the screen with a laser pointer. "Jack Hyde. This is the image from his employee file at SIP. We have carefully examined his apartment and paid careful attention to not to disturb any evidence, however, we've collected all we can and taken images and videos of his apartment," he says, and the video of a dirty apartment pops onto the screen. It does look exactly like Welch had described last night. "Clearly, this man is angry," he says and an image of shattered whiskey bottles by the walls and dried liquor stains on the walls pop up. Another image of coaxial cables ripped from the walls forcefully in such a way that drywall has also been ripped exposing studs behind. There are images of walls punched in with blood stains on them. "But he is also calculating. He made the effort to vacate his premises because he expected that someone might sniff his trail. Namely Welch and me..."

"But, we don't believe he's the only one, sir," says Welch dropping the bomb. "What?" "Let me correct what Welch had said,” says Alex looking pointedly at Welch. “The conclusion we reached is that he is the perp and the mastermind, but he cannot achieve it alone. He had to have help. He’s withdrawn all his cash four weeks ago. He had about eight thousand Dollars. He needs to live somewhere, he needs to eat, he needed to rent the Dodge he’s using, or steal it. All of a sudden all his cell phone activities seized. Either he just dropped from the face of the earth or he’s using someone else to get his work done. Clearly he hasn't been a lovable man. So the option that someone else owing him big and doing him an enormous favor is out. He’s blackmailing someone to get some of his work done...” he says and looks at me. “Two questions: How can you be absolutely sure that he is the mastermind? And who would he be blackmailing?” Pella looks at Welch, and nods. “As you know, Hyde had convictions in Detroit as a minor. His records are sealed, but, we've called in some favors and his prints are a match with the partial from Charlie Tango.” I immediately lean forward. “What?” I seethe with anger. “I suspected it after his identification on Sunday, but now that it’s confirmed, we can inform the police that he is in fact the perp, and that proves that he attempted to murder me and Ros Bailey!” “Not quite my friend,” says Pella holding his hands up. “What the hell do you mean, not quite?” I direct the intensity of my glacial gaze towards Pella. “Fingerprints match with the partial. What else do they need?” He puts both his hands on the table and lean in with a gaze matching mine. “You are too hasty, Grey. The means we have used to check his records aren't exactly legal. Once a juvenile record is sealed, it cannot be opene d again without the individual’s permission, or until his or her death. Sealed court proceedings will be treated as they never took place. The only response we will get is ‘we have no records of that matter’.” “So, we just sit and twiddle our fingers while my family is in danger? I won't allow it!” I hiss through gritted teeth. “Not quite, and I expect nothing less from you,” he says with a satisfied smile. “I spoke to an associate at the police department to have Hyde’s sealed records checked calling in a favor.

When it comes to felonies, the key age is 14 in juvenile records. Hyde boosted a car two weeks after his fourteenth birthday, and had the record sealed a few years ago. You see, in the Great State of Michigan, Grand Theft Auto is a felony. For such a record to be sealed after the age of 14, a prosecutorial waiver had to be exercised at the time. It wasn’t his first grand theft auto. It was a subsequent felony charge. I found the loophole to have them compare the prints. But a partial still not enough for a conviction,” he says grimly. “It only makes Hyde a person of interest.” “Who then is aiding and abetting a criminal like Hyde?” “Ahhh... And that’s the million Dollar question, isn't it? Who has so much at stake? And what does he know about him or her? Welch and his men will check on his acquaintances. His former PAs are a dead end so far. Welch has interviewed them, and they’re all dead silent...Uniformly silent with the same fucking story! When everyone reads the same scripted line, it’s the signature of a lie. Welch’s men staked out all of the PAs. He’s not staying with any of them. But I am willing to bet that he has eyes and ears close by,” he says and that revelation brings my nerves on high alert. “Hyde just didn't drop out of the face of the earth! Where is he?” I ask around the room. “I am periodically scanning the city cams, sir, and the face recognition software is constantly running. There are no leads so far,” says Barney for the first time. “All the security measures you've put in place are the ones I would have recommended. The only thing I would add to that is that any information you have on this investigation should be kept absolutely secret; not be shared with anyone other than the police. Need to know, only. That way, information leakage can be prevented, and nothing will reach to Hyde’s ears if he has friends in your circles, or your family’s circles,” he says, and I know he’s referring to Anastasia’s work circles. Well, need to know is my motto, and so far, Ana doesn’t need to know. The less she knows, the less she will worry, and the better I can protect her. The meeting goes on for another thirty minutes. When it’s over, I feel a sense of control. I’m getting the reins back in my hands again which I felt were lost and driving me crazy lately. Now, I know who the perp is. All the security personnel are aware of his description. The enemy has a face. But the questions raised by Pella bring up an unpalatable idea as well. Jack has an accomplice or accomplices. Unknown faces. We still have to be vigilant. Very vigilant. Our moves have to be coordinated with the security well. Especially Anastasia’s and she isn't going to like that. Pella shakes my hand in his usual way on his way out. “Thank you for coming on such short notice. Send me your bill.”

“Don’t worry about that. It’s already included in the first page of the report,” he says grinning.
By the time I get back into my office. I open the report Pella gives me to see what he’s charging me. He doesn’t have set rates. This ought to be a very expensive detour. What I see in the first page makes me grin. The paper he’s written his note has my company logo. He wrote this when Welch was closing up the meeting! “Well Grey, I was unable to attend your wedding, and your gift got lost in the mail. But then again, maybe not. Consider this visit a wedding present my friend. After all, there’s no bigger present than the security of a man’s family. Oh, I also have this piece of rock for you as a token which I have recently acquired and have been carrying around since. I’d like to pass it on to you as a reminder perhaps. Unimpressive I know, but if you consider where it came from, it gains its full value back up; in fact all the way to the summit of K2! Dealing with steeper and icier slopes, snow, avalanches, rocks, the unpredictable weather, a most treacherous ascent which significantly reduces any climber’s lifespan, K2 is deadlier than Everest. It is the holy grail of mountaineering making this little piece of rock, one of my most important recently acquired possessions. Because, it is the proof that during a life and death situation, I mastered my senses by listening to my environment, conquering my fears, surviving the unknown, and the unpredictable ordeals. You see Grey, the value of your rock is actually significantly higher, because all the members of my climbing party have survived and ascended a summit with nearly 30% of fatality rate. That is despite the fact that we had to carry down three of the very injured climbers and saved their lives while putting our own in danger. So, this signifies the gift of life at the end of a challenge which I’m now passing onto you. Congratulations my friend! Alex,” I hold the thin jagged edged rock now preserved in thin acrylic. I closely examine it, and see a bloody fingerprint on it making me wonder who it belonged to. On the flip side of the rock a faintly scribbled handwriting in pencil: "13 went up the summit. 13 came down the summit " I put it on my desk, making a mental note to have a small display made. All of a sudden I’m missing my wife, her presence. I write her an e-mail: ___________________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Flattery Date: August 23, 2011 09: 54 To: Anastasia Grey Mrs. Grey I have received three compliments on my new haircut. Compliments from my staff are new. It must be the ridiculous smile I’m wearing whenever I think about last night. You are indeed a wonderful, talented, beautiful woman. And all mine. Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. ___________________________________________________ She doesn’t reply immediately, and I dive into work. There are lots to accomplish before I go to New York. Her message pings in about an hour. ___________________________________________________ From: Anastasia Grey Subject: Trying to concentrate here. Date: August 23, 2011 10: 48 To: Christian Grey Mr. Grey I am trying to work and don’t want to be distracted by delicious memories. Is now the time to confess that I used to cut Ray’s hair regularly? I had no idea it would be such useful training. And yes, I am yours and you, my dear overbearing husband who refuses to exercise his constitutional right under the second amendment to bear arms, are mine. But don’t worry because I shall protect you. Always. Anastasia Grey Commissioning Editor, SIP ___________________________________________________ I can’t imagine my wife as a gun toting woman. A regular cowgirl! ___________________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Annie Oakley Date: August 23, 2011 10: 53 To: Anastasia Grey Mrs. Grey I am delighted to see you have spoken to the IT dept. and changed your name. :D I shall sleep safe in my bed knowing that my gun-toting wife sleeps beside me. Christian Grey CEO & Hoplophobe, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. ___________________________________________________ From: Anastasia Grey Subject: Long words Date: August 23, 2011 10: 58 To: Christian Grey Mr. Grey Once more you dazzle me with your linguistic prowess. In fact, your prowess in general, and I think you know what I’m referring to.

Anastasia Grey Commissioning Editor, SIP ___________________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Gasp! Date: August 23, 2011 11: 01 To: Anastasia Grey Mrs. Grey Are you flirting with me? Christian Grey Shocked CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. ___________________________________________________ From: Anastasia Grey Subject: Would you rather . . . Date: August 23, 2011 11: 04 To: Christian Grey I flirted with someone else? Anastasia Grey Brave Commissioning Editor, SIP ___________________________________________________ Yes, you’re quite brave Mrs. Grey! This remark clearly deserves a spanking! Is she really that obtuse that I’m a possessive man, or is she trying to get a rise out of me? ___________________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Grrrrr Date: August 23, 2011 11: 09 To: Anastasia Grey NO! Christian Grey Possessive CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. ___________________________________________________ From: Anastasia Grey Subject: Wow . . . Date: August 23, 2011 11: 14 To: Christian Grey Are you growling at me? ’Cause that’s kinda hot. Anastasia Grey Squirming (in a good way) Commissioning Editor, SIP ___________________________________________________

Shit! She’s toying with me! She does have an office of her own, and the doors lock. Maybe I can pay her a visit today. ___________________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Beware Date: August 23, 2011 11: 16 To: Anastasia Grey Flirting and toying with me, Mrs. Grey? I may pay you a visit this afternoon. Christian Grey Priapic CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. ___________________________________________________ From: Anastasia Grey Subject: Oh No! Date: August 23, 2011 11: 20 To: Christian Grey I’ll behave. I wouldn’t want my boss’s boss’s boss getting on top of me at work. ;) Now let me get on with my job. My boss’s boss’s boss may fire my ass. Anastasia Grey Commissioning Editor, SIP ___________________________________________________ Fuck! I think I just spurted out all my coffee onto my monitor! What I wouldn't do to that ass right now! ___________________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: &*% $&*&* Date: August 23, 2011 11: 23 To: Anastasia Grey Believe me when I say there are a great many things he’d like to do to your ass right now. Firing you is not one of them. Christian Grey CEO & Ass man, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. ___________________________________________________ From: Anastasia Grey Subject: Go Away! Date: August 23, 2011 11: 26 To: Christian Grey Don’t you have an empire to run? Stop bothering me. My next appointment is here. I thought you were a breast man . . . Think about my ass, and I’ll think about yours . . .

ILY x Anastasia Grey Now Moist Commissioning Editor, SIP ___________________________________________________ Early Thursday morning I’m up at 4:00 a.m. quickly take my shower and get dressed to leave with Taylor. Anastasia is still sleeping. I watch her sleep, and slowly rub her hair and then lean in and kiss her softly. After breakfast, Taylor and I leave to go to the airport. I quickly type Anastasia an e-mail on the way to the airport. I’m uneasy, because this is the first time we are going to sleep apart since our wedding. The only time we slept apart since she moved in was the night before our wedding. ___________________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Miss you already Date: August 25, 2011 04: 32 To: Anastasia Grey Mrs. Grey You were adorable this morning. Behave while I’m away. I love you. Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. ___________________________________________________ Stephan and his co-pilot Beighley are standing by the cockpit ready to greet me. I get settled in, and tell Taylor that I will sleep for a few hours. I didn't sleep much last night knowing I was going to spend the time apart from Anastasia, and we didn't do much sleeping in bed. Stephan said that the flight will take an estimated six hours and four minutes. That should give me plenty of time to rest. After four hours of sleep, I feel rested, but not as well rested as I sleep next to Anastasia. I take my briefcase and go to the seating area to look over some documents and have something to drink. Taylor is sitting in a chair and reading a Louis L’amour book. “Mr. Grey,” he nods his acknowledgement. “Taylor,” I nod. I go over the meeting details, and take notes on my laptop as the flight attendant serves us our lunch and refreshments. By the time the flight attendant picks up the remnants of our lunch, we hear Stephan’s voice in the jet’s PA system. “Good afternoon. This is your captain speaking. Due to some unexpected turbulence we are going to be able to land at JFK fifteen minutes behind schedule at local time 1:32 p.m.” As soon as we land on JFK, and still sitting on the tarmac, I turn my Blackberry on and find Anastasia’s reply to my earlier e-mail.

___________________________________________________ From: Anastasia Grey Subject: Behave Yourself! Date: August 25, 2011 09: 03 To: Christian Grey Let me know when you land— I’ll worry until you do. And I shall behave. I mean how much trouble can I get into with Kate? Anastasia Grey Commissioning Editor, SIP ___________________________________________________ What is she doing with Kate? And why didn't she tell me she’s doing something with her? Why does she always wait till we have some distance between us until she reveals something? I immediately dial her work phone. “Ana St... Grey,” she replies making me smile. Still getting used to my name. “Hi,” I say in a soft, warm voice. “Hi! How was your flight?” she replies in a voiced laced with relief and her joy. She must be grinning. “Long. What are you doing with Kate?” I ask coming right to the point. I want to find out if Kate is coming to the apartment. “We’re just going out for a quiet drink,” she replies. I immediately tense. I don’t want her to go out. Why didn't she tell me before I left? It’s not safe for her to break protocol right after I have gone through all these new security protocols. There’s danger out there, and I have told her that for the time being we must all follow the prescribed protocols. I say nothing. She continues. “Sawyer and the new woman...Prescott...are coming to watch over us,” she replies. “I thought Kate was coming to the apartment.” “She is after a quick drink,” she replies and I sigh heavily. She always conceals what she wants to do. She’s done it since she’s met me. She waited till she got to Georgia to tell me what she feels, her name change, and now this... “Why didn't you tell me?” I ask in a very quiet, very controlled voice. “Christian, we’ll be fine. I have Ryan, Sawyer and Prescott here. It’s only a quick drink.” She’s still trying to negotiate. It’s breaking the protocol. She needs to follow the rules until Jack and his possible abettors are caught. I don’t trust myself to say anything without losing control, and I’m not in Seattle to set it right. I breathe heavily, counting to ten. Ten...nine...eight...seven...six...five...four...

“I’ve only seen her a few times since you and I met. Please. She’s my best friend.” “Ana, I don’t want to keep you from your friends. But I thought she was coming back to the apartment.” “Okay,” she says petulantly, acquiescing. “We’ll stay in.” “Only while this lunatic is out there. Please.” “I’ve said okay,” she mutters exasperated. When she begrudgingly acquiesces, she always rolls her eyes. I snort knowing this. “I always know when you’re rolling your eyes at me.” She scowls into the phone, “Look I’m sorry. I didn't mean to worry you. I’ll tell Kate.” “Good,” I give a sigh of relief. I’m only going to be gone for a day. She should be able to manage a day, but this is Anastasia we’re talking about. “Where are you?” “On the tarmac at JFK.” “Oh, so you just landed,” she says. Of course I just landed. She asked me to call her as soon as I landed. I intend to listen. “You asked me to call the moment I landed.” “Well, Mr. Grey, I’m glad one of us is punctilious,” she says making me laugh. “Mrs. Grey, your gift for hyperbole knows no bounds. What am I going to do with you?” “I’m sure you’ll think of something imaginative. You usually do,” she says in a seductive voice. “Are you flirting with me?” “Yes.” Her brazen reply makes me grin. I hear Taylor’s discreet cough behind me. “I’d better go. Ana, do as you’re told, please. The security team knows what they’re doing.” “Yes, Christian, I will,” she replies agitated. “I’ll see you tomorrow evening. I’ll call you later.”

“To check up on me?” “Yes,” I reply truthfully. There is nothing wrong for a man loving and protecting the love of his life. “Oh, Christian!” she scold me. “Au revoir, Mrs. Grey.” “Au revoir, Christian. I love you,” she says. Though I know she loves me, her sudden declaration right after her scolding makes me take a sharp inhale of breath. “And I you, Ana,” I say hanging onto the line. I love my wife, and this first separation is just too hard. “Hang up, Christian,” she orders in a whisper. “You’re a bossy little thing, aren't you?” “Your bossy little thing,” she declares. I melt inside. “Mine,” I breathe my answer. “Do as you’re told. Hang up.” “Yes, Sir,” she says hanging up. I immediately type an email message. ___________________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Twitching Palms Date: August 25, 2011 13: 42 EDT To: Anastasia Grey Mrs. Grey You are as entertaining as ever on the phone. I mean it. Do as you’re told. I need to know you’re safe. I love you. Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. ___________________________________________________ I sling my laptop bag onto my shoulder, and Taylor takes the carry-on bags. The driver is holding a sign simply says Mr. Taylor. I smile. Yellow taxis, airport buses and a steady flow of cars of all sorts and makes flood through, and the ever present wail of an ambulance or a police car can also be heard in the background right outside. The driver helps Taylor to load the bags into the trunk, and Taylor opens the door for me. Then he sits in the front seat next to the driver. The driver whose name tag says Mark Easton

eases into never stopping but constant running, jam packed New York traffic. He navigates through the one-way streets, and easily merging into on various lanes to get me to my apartment Manhattan’s Upper East Side. When we reach my apartment, the doorman opens my door, and I ease out of the SUV. The doorman tips his hat to me, and says, “Good afternoon, Mr. Grey. Welcome back to New York, sir.” “Thank you, Donald,” I reply as he holds the door to the foyer. I have barely enough time to take a shower, rest, and review the contracts. I have a business dinner to attend. Taylor presses the button to call the elevator. It’s been several months since I haven’t been to this apartment. I really was hoping that Anastasia would come with me. But maybe I can bring her to a weekend getaway. Taylor presses the number, and I enter my key; as always, I have a penthouse in this building as well. I like my privacy very well. It’s worth the extra buck. “Taylor, do we have time to work out?” He checks his watch, and replies. “Yes, sir, we should have about an hour.”


❦ ♡ ❧*****

I am showered, and dressed in my black tuxedo. It’s 8:30 p.m. I stand before the mirror and tie the bowtie into a perfect knot. On my way out I call Anastasia. She should have left work by now. But she doesn’t answer the phone. Maybe she’s too busy with Kate to hear the phone. I’ll give her some time to get settled at home. When we arrive at the Peninsula Hotel for the billio naires’ party, it’s about nine-thirty. It’s not called this of course, but most of the attendees are the wealthiest people around the globe. Taylor is also in a Tuxedo, and he immediately exits the vehicle before the valet and opens my door. We make our way to the terrace of the Peninsula which is decked out for the event. I call Anastasia again, and there’s no answer. I go through a meeting and rubbing elbows with countless boring and equally wealthy businessmen and women. An elegant, confident woman parts the crowd and her gaze is fixed on me. Taylor stands as close to me as possible, looking impassive. The woman has long dark hair to her back, and pale blue eyes. She tucks a strand of unseen dark hair behind her ear, lifts her chin in an elegant fashion indicating her class and breeding, and extends her hand to me as she comes to face to face with me. “Mr. Grey. How nice to see you in New York again,” she says in a cultured New York accent. I don’t recognize her, but she recognizes me. “To what do we owe this rare visit?” “Business, as you can see...” I indicate with my hand.

“Ah, but I wouldn't know. My father drags me to these events often. I only seek pleasure,” she says with meaning. I let go of her hand, but she holds onto mine, and I pull it back, making and releasing a fist. “I beg your pardon, Mrs.?” As I don’t remember who the hell she is, and neither do I care. “Miss Blackburn. It’s Miss,” she reiterates. “I’ve read that you have recently been married. I was hoping to meet Mrs. Grey, tonight.” “Mrs. Grey is unable to attend tonight,” I reply tersely. “I’m so sorry. That soon?” she asks with a packed meaning. “That soon what?” I ask in a harsh tone. “When wives are bored with their husbands’ business dinners, it usually takes a few yea rs, not a few weeks. Perhaps she’s not made of our stock...” she says with much implication. “Miss Blackburn,” I hiss, “my wife and I are happily married. I don’t intend to take marriage advice from someone who is unhappily single.” “I apologize Mr. Grey. It was kindly meant. But whenever you’re not happy, here’s my card... Call me,” she says as she smiles with a knowing glint in her eyes and shoves her business card into my palm, and then walks away which I crumple and toss. I check my Blackberry and no phone calls, no text messages, and no e-mails from Anastasia. I have an uneasy feeling. I call Anastasia for the third time, and still no answer. I turn my back and quickly type a text. *WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU?* “Mr. Grey? Pierce DuPont, three o’clock, sir. He’s coming towards you,” Taylor gives me a heads up, to gain my composure. I turn around and meet another business associate. Once the small impromptu meeting is over, I check my Blackberry, and it’s silent as ever. I call Anastasia again, and it goes to voice mail. I take a shot of whiskey from a passing waiter, and wine. I drink the whiskey in one shot, and wash the taste down with wine. I am seething with anger. I feel helpless, restless, and with a maniac at large, I am also fearful for Anast asia’s safety. “Any calls of distress Taylor?” “Nothing sir,” he replies. A flamboyantly gay designer whose names escapes me approaches as he’s been eye -fucking me all evening. He comes about four feet away from me, puts his left hand folded on the wrist right over his waist, and waves the other one in a grand gesture.

“Oh my God! I thought you were Christian Grey!” he says and places his hand over his heart. “You my dear is just a sweet piece of eye-candy! Pleased to meet you, Mr. Grey! I’m Michael Kraus, but you probably already know that...” “I didn't,” I reply with little patience left in me. “You know, Mr. Grey, if you weren't already independently wealthy, and successful in your chosen field, I would have signed you up as a runway model already!”

“Thank you for the flattery Mr. Kraus. If you’ll excuse me,” I say with a forced smile, and Taylor standing behind me as he's blocking Kraus' way. "You're not bad looking yourself honey. Have you ever thought of modeling?" "Waving my ass to the crowds never appealed to me, sir," I hear Taylor's reply. "Oh, God! An old fashioned gentleman too! Call me!" he says stuffing his number into Taylor pocket. I would have ordinarily felt sorry for Taylor, but as it happens I'm a volcano ready to erupt. I make my way in the opposite direction of the designer. I call Anastasia one last time, because she still hasn't called me back yet. It’s nearly 9:30 p.m. in Seattle. She should have had dinner, and had her girl talk and still had time to call me, or at least have the courtesy to return one of my calls or my text! No answer. Again!
I dial Sawyer’s phone. He answers immediately. There’s loud music and noise in the background, and my heart sinks with my wife’s betrayal. She broke her promise! “Sawyer,” I say in a tight voice. “Where is Mrs. Grey?” I can hear him swallow over the phone. “Mrs. Grey is with Miss Kavanagh at the Zig Zag Café having drinks. Would you like to talk to her sir?” He asks immediately. “No! Who else is with you?” “Prescott, sir.” “And Ryan?” “He’s at Escala.” “You guys broke the protocol?” “I apologize Mr. Grey. Mrs. Grey was most insistent to have a drink with Miss Kavanagh.” “You didn't think to call me?”

“We didn't want to disturb you sir. Everything is fine.” “I will talk to you when I get back. We have a protocol. Anytime you deviate from that, you have to inform Taylor. He has not received any phone calls from anyone. Has Ryan even been informed?” “Yes, sir. He has. I apologize sir, Prescott reminded Mrs. Grey that we were instructed to get back to Escala, but when she insisted going, I didn't think we were allowed to embarrass Mrs. Grey in front of Miss Kavanagh by causing a scene, sir. Miss Kavanagh has already made reservations before she came to SIP and she didn't want to come to Escala. It was my fault that I made a judgment call and followed Mrs. Grey’s persistent instructions, sir,” he says. I am seething with rage. Uncontrollable, enormous, relentless rage... My wife can't resist her friend's instructions, and persistence, but she can completely ignore mine! Who takes precedence for her? Kate Kavanagh, the former roommate, or Christian Grey, her husband? Inadvertently, she made a choice here. She chose her friend over me! “Fine, I’ll see you tomorrow,” I say with much promise in my tone, and hang up. “Taylor, call Stephan. We’re heading back to Seattle?” His eyebrows shot up. “Is everything alright back home sir?” “No.” He looks at me worried, and expectant. “Mrs. Grey broke the protocol, and she’s out with her friend. We’re getting back home. Now!” “Yes, sir,” he says, and he is already dialing. I quickly type an e-mail to Anastasia. ___________________________________________________ From: Christian Grey Subject: Angry. You've not seen angry Date: August 26, 2011 00: 42 EST To: Anastasia Grey Anastasia Sawyer tells me that you are drinking cocktails in a bar when you said you wouldn't. Do you have any idea how mad I am at the moment? I’ll see you tomorrow. Christian Grey CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. ___________________________________________________

“Mr. Grey? Are we picking up...” Taylor starts asking, but seeing the rage on my face, he holds his hands up in a giving up gesture. “Never mind, sir. I’ll have our luggage shipped. The SUV is ready to take us to the airport, whenever you are ready. The pilots are on their way, and the plane has already been fueled and cleaned since we have landed. We should be ready to leave in the hour, sir.” ****

❦ ♡ ❧*****

"Can you drive this fucking SUV any faster to get to JFK?" I shout at the driver. "I apologize sir, we have speed limits!" "It's nearly 1:00 a.m. and there are hardly any cars on the fucking freeway! You can drive a little faster! I will triple your fine should you be stopped, and you can keep the rest!" He looks at Taylor, who nods at him in the affirmative. "Yes, sir," says the driver and finally speeds up. I am fuming; rage and anger is coming out of my pores. I want to punish Anastasia badly. Whip her! I really want to beat the shit out of her for disobeying so brazenly, so quickly after she promised me one thing. God! I feel so fucking helpless! I feel like I'm skydiving with no parachute, nothing to catch me, nothing to hold, nothing to keep me safe, not even a fucking bird in the air! She takes all my power and leaves me incompetent, and helpless. If I punish her, she'll leave me. She won't cut me any slack! If I was in Seattle, I'd have gone to the bar, and brought her back home. She waits until I'm across the country, and defies me, knowing I can't do anything about it! The security is divided. That's not safe at all. There is a reason why we have protocols in place!

I hear the tires screeching as we reach the airport, and both the driver and Taylor lets out a sigh of relief at the same time. "It's about fucking time!" I seethe, and Taylor jumps out to open the door, and tosses a couple of $100 bills to tip the driver as he runs after me. Twenty-seven minutes since I sent Anastasia her e-mail, I set foot inside my jet. Stephan and Beighley are dressed and waiting at the door. "How fast can you get us up in the air?" I ask before he greets me. "As soon as we are in the queue for take-off." "It shouldn't be very long at this hour of the night. I want you to get me in the air as if you're being chased by the hell-hounds and get us to Seattle!" I order. "Yes, sir," he says and they both quickly take their seats in the cockpit as I make my way into the cabin. I sit in one of the leather chairs, and buckle up. Taylor follows suit silently. It takes another ten minutes for us to get moving to get in line for take-off. I close my eyes in an attempt to control my anger, and try to breathe in and out. This feeling of helplessness is making me restless. I want to be in Seattle instantly. I find my fingers tapping on my seat like the four horsemen of the apocalypse. "Sir? Did you get a hold of Sawyer, or Ryan?" "I spoke to Sawyer. You need to have a talk with him and the rest of the security team that no one breaks the protocol! They have to follow the rules!" "Yes, sir. May I be frank with your permission, sir?" he says. I sigh. "Go ahead," I hiss. "You and Mrs. Grey are our bosses. If there is no perceived danger, and you or Mrs. Grey are directing us to do something else, we have to follow your orders, sir." "They have to learn to say 'No!' to her! My orders cannot be overridden by Anastasia!" "Mr. Grey, I'm not disagreeing with you, sir. But with all due respect, Mrs. Grey is also our boss by default, sir, not our captive. Taking her home against her will can cause an incident. We want Mrs. Grey to trust us. Having her mistrust us, or fear us by making her feel she has no free will, would make it impossible for us to work with her, sir. She wouldn't want to be around us. We, as your security team want to make Mrs. Grey feel safe and secure, even if her last minute

decisions are out of protocol. Our job is to protect her, sir. We aren't allowed to make decisions for her unless it's an emergency situation." I shove my hand into my hair in exasperation. "If I give an order for her to be taken home, I want her to be taken home! If she decides to go elsewhere, convince her otherwise! If she's not listening, I want them to call me! That's the protocol!" "Yes, sir." Taylor acquiesces nervously. I get up and pace around, making Taylor even more nervous. Unable to contain myself, feeling helpless, feeling desperate. I really want to punish Anastasia! Taylor is right of course. Anastasia makes everybody feel nervous and helpless by disobeying simple orders. I really, desperately want to punish her with a cane or a paddle or a whip! God help me! Give me patience! If I punish her, she'll leave me! Why? Why? Why does she defy me at every turn? This is the longest flight of my life! It can't be over soon enough. I can't concentrate, I can't read, I can't fucking think! I feel like tied up, with sights, sounds, and scents cut off and the reigns of my life is given to an amateur who is whipping me inside out!

❦ ♡ ❧*****

"We are now approaching Seattle. We will be landing at SEA-TAC airport shortly. Please fasten your seatbelts. The local time is 4:22 a.m." I feel a sigh of relief for arriving in Seattle finally. As soon as we land and the jet is on the tarmac, I turn my Blackberry on. I have new text messages. Probably from Anastasia. My heart stops with the first message: *Panic Room Activated* Three simple words manages to stop my heart, and I feel my world crumbling around me. I think I'm having a heart attack! "Mr. Grey!" utters Taylor having received the same message. His eyes are wide, and he looks as worried and scared as I do. He's already dialing home. "Ryan! Is everyone safe?" I hear him ask. "Speaker," I utter.

"Yes. Everyone is safe." Those four words deliver the best news I've heard all my life. Yes. Everyone is safe. Everyone is safe. Everyone is safe. My wife is safe. My reason for being is safe. My Ana is safe. Thank God! Thank God! "Where's Ana?" I ask. "Mrs. Grey is sleeping sir." "What the hell happened?" "Jack Hyde broke in, sir," he says. "What?" Taylor and I both yell at the same time. All of a sudden, my jet is shaking violently, rattling. I realize that it's me, shaking and rattling. "Tell me he's captured!" I hear Taylor utter. "Yes, sir. He's in police custody." “We’re on our way...” I say sternly when I can get a grip on my physical reaction. “How’s Gail?” I hear Taylor asking. “She’s fine, man. She’s sleeping right now,” Ryan says, and Taylor sags in relief. “We’re at SEA-TAC sitting at the tarmac. We’ll be home soon!” “You’re here? I’ll be on my way to pick you up.” “No! We’ll get ourselves there. I don’t need to waste time waiting!” I bark. “As you wish, sir. Listen, Taylor. There may still be some reporters outside of Escala. If you don’t want us to pick you up, use the delivery entrance, please.” I check the rest of my messages on the way to Escala. *I’M STILL IN ONE PIECE. I HAD A NICE TIME. MISSING YOU – PLEASE DON’T BE MAD*
There’s also a voice mail from Anastasia: “Hi. It’s me. Please don’t be mad. We've had an incident at the apartment. But it’s under control, so don’t worry. No one is hurt. Call me.”

Hearing her voice safe and sound relives me immensely. I want to know what happened. I want to beat the shit out of someone! God! If I was here, I could have killed Hyde! Rage is seeping though every cell of my being. I feel like someone fed me hot lava, and I’m about to erupt, incinerating myself and everything around me. I’m angry at everyone! I’m burning inside with an all -consuming fire. I’m angry at myself for consenting to leave Anastasia here in Seattle! I should have made her come with me. I hold my head in my hands, and then run both hands through my hair forcefully. What will I find when we get home? For the first time in my life, I feel rage that I cannot contain despite having learned and exercised control. But, what I would have lost... God help me! What I would have lost! I’d have lost the love of my existence! God, I couldn't have lived with myself! I hate me now for consenting her to remain behind! Unable to protect her... What good am I as a husband if I can’t simply protect my wife from my personal enemies? This is eating me up alive... I want to kill him! This is a blinding rage! The truth at the core of my existence here and now is pure, undiluted anger, rage, and a desire to kill the man who deemed to destroy the one person who meant anything and everything to me. I am angry at everyone, including myself! ****

❦ ♡ ❧*****

Taylor and I both stand in the foyer, our jaws dropped to the floor. A puddle of water on the floor, broken vase, flowers strewn... There are telltale signs of a fight that took place all around. One of the doors hinges came off and it’s hanging limply like the veteran of a war. Both Ryan and Sawyer meet us. Ryan is bandaged up and he’s getting a black eye and bruises are forming on his face. “What happened?” I ask in an utterly soft, utterly cold, soulless voice. “When Mrs. Grey was out with Miss Kavanagh under the protection of Sawyer and Prescott, I saw Jack Hyde on the security cameras’ monitor. He was wearing a uniform...coveralls for a delivery company and he had gloves on. That raised my suspicion and I’ve run the facial recognition on him comparing with the images we've been provided. It was Hyde. I put Mrs. Jones in the panic room, and gave him access.” “ Didn't you ever think that he might overpower you and take over the apartment, put you in danger and make Mrs. Jones come out of the panic room and have her call Ana by putting a bullet through your head? Didn't you think of the ramifications if he had overpowered you, or shot you?” I seethe with boiling, simpering with ferocity, my voice raising in several octaves. “Yes, sir. It was a calculated risk. I knew Mrs. Grey and Mrs. Jones were both safe, and we may never have gotten another chance to be this close to Hyde. If I missed the opportunity to capture him, he would have continued to create danger for you outside. It was a risk that had to be taken, sir.” “And you!” I point an accusatory finger into Sawyer’s chest. “You allowed Mrs. Grey to break the protocol! If Ryan was overpowered...” I can’t bring the rest of the sentence. “Where the hell is Jack now?” “He’s taken to the hospital for his injuries; he was unconscious when he left here and then he’ll be taken to the county jail. Detective Clark has come and surveyed the apartment, and they will come tomorrow

again. And...” says Sawyer visibly swallowing. “Hyde came here with intent to kidnap Mrs. Grey. He had a gun and duct tape with him, sir.” “What?!?” I ask, my eyes darkening. Hyde wanted to prolong my pain by giving pain to my wife! I’m going to kill him! I need a drink. Taylor and the other security guys remain behind as Taylor is gathering the rest of the information. I go to the kitchen, and open up a bottle of Scotch and pour myself a double and tip the glass letting the amber liquid to go down in one gulp making my throat burn. Pain is good. I need pain to get over this numbness, these unnamed emotions that are ravaging my soul, tearing me apart inside. I pour triple, and slowly walk into my bedroom. Anastasia is curled up in my t-shirt and snuggled on my pillow on my side of the bed. I pull the bedroom chair, pull the unraveled bow-tie and stuff it into my tuxedo pocket. I sit in the dark with my drink in my hand, and watch my wife in her slumber. Innocent, yet the cause of everything. She could have been hurt, and it would have been her fault because she never listens! Never thinks of the ramifications of her behavior! My gaze doesn’t leave her body. I want to get in the bed with her, but I know I won’t be able to restrain myself, and punish her somehow. I may not be able to control myself and stop. I don't trust myself. I will hurt her, and she’ll leave. She will really leave me this time! I hate it! I hate this feeling of helplessness, of being tied up and teased to no end. I take another sip of my drink. I lower the cup, and drape my left arm on the chair. My leg is cross at the ankle. Finally a new day is dawning. The first lights start seeping through the windows. I rest my right hand on the arm of the chair, raising my hand up to my chin; I absently start running my index finger back and forth over my lower lip. Anastasia stir in the bed. My eyes widen, but I don’t make a move. I remain in the seat. This is the only position I can be sure of controlling myself. Anastasia turns, rubs her eyes. “Hi,” a sleepy whisper of greeting comes through her lips. I say nothing, just continue to watch her coolly, expressionless. I move my index finger away from my lip, and take the tumbled glass up to my mouth and toss the remainder of my drink, placing the glass on the bedside table. “Hello,” I reply in a hushed tone. That’s the only way I can reign in my rage, and wrath. “You’re back.” “It would appear so.” She pulls herself up into a sitting position, with her gaze locked on me. “How long have you been sitting there watching me sleep?” “Long enough,” I say my tone emotionless. “You’re still mad,” she says her voice breaking.

I finally gaze at my disobedient, I’ll-do-what-I-want-and-yank-your-chain-and-you’ll-come-like-a-freighttrain wife considering her usage of the word, ‘mad’. Mad doesn’t even cover what I feel. When Nero burned down the city of Rome he was mad! I am beyond mad! The vehement rage I feel has created a black hole inside my soul and nothing other than an equal force will stop its turmoil. “Mad...” I say gazing at her... “No, Ana. I am way, way beyond mad.” She tries to swallow visibly, her eyes large. “Far beyond mad... that doesn’t sound good.” I continue to gaze at her without moving, covering all searing emotions inside. Hell is brewing, and it’s right in my soul. The stark silence stretches between us. She reaches out to the glass of water and takes a sip. Placing the cup back on the side table, she says, “Ryan caught Jack.” “I know!” I say, my voice is a sharp shard of ice. “Are you going to be monosyllabic for long?” she asks surprising me. I raise my eyebrows. “Yes,” I reply. “I’m sorry I stayed out.” Yeah, I’ll believe that when she actually listens to me for a