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What Life Ought To Be

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Can’t We Just Be Happy | Chapter 27 You’re Home!?

I do not own the Fifty Shades Trilogy or its characters; those belong to E. L. James. However, my characters do belong to me.

Chapter 27 | You’re Home!?

GREY

“That was a lovely meal Anastasia. You and Mrs Taylor astound me.” Everett sings praises to my baby over her culinary prowess. “Perhaps I can beg you to cook for a single man and his teenage son sometime? Please?” Bright blue puppy dog eyes on display have me sputtering into my wine glass.

“Look fucker…” I begin to growl at Everett as he sits across the sofa from Ana and I. A slight lift of the left side of his mouth gives way to a boisterous laugh from my Ana, effectively cutting off my tirade.

“Pay no attention to him Everett. I’d love to cook for you and Christopher sometime. We should all get together for dinner once we’re back home.” He and I smile at one another as she refers to Townsville as home.

Our conversation moves to the topic of when we should leave Seattle. We still haven’t heard from Christopher’s mother regarding her son’s disappearance, which has Everett in a foul mood, despite his best efforts. He hides it well, but there’s no mistaking the crispness in his voice when he agrees Stephen deserves to rest and he’s willing to wait until tomorrow afternoon to leave.

I’m simply not prepared to discuss the reason for this visit with my family. No doubt mine and Everett’s entrance into GEH this morning caused quite a stir, just how much remains to be seen. All talk about our departure halts when Taylor storms into the Great Room, “Sir.”

We’re all taken off guard by his entrance. “What’s wrong Taylor?” He looks like he’s ready to explode.

“You have a visitor Sir” He hisses and stares at me, hard. I don’t have to ask who it is. Although I’m shocked it’s taken this long.

I sigh out loud and turn to Ana, “Baby, do you want to be here for this conversation or would you rather go to bed?”

Her response is quick and to the point, “This is my home too, right?” I nod, of course it’s her home too. “I’m not going anywhere.” Her eyes fill with the strength and stubbornness I’ve come to love. My Ana.

With a smile on my face and in my voice I look to my cousin, “Ev, same goes for you. Do you want to…” as if I thought I could finish my sentence. He doesn’t speak, he simply raises a questioning eyebrow as his eyes flash a sinister gleam I’ve never seen before.

I turn and nod to Taylor, who also smiles, letting me know he’s not going to leave the room either. “Yes Sir.” He does a sharp about-face and proceeds to the foyer.

One-one thousand, two-one thousand, three-one… She marches through the foyer. The distinct click of her Stuart Weitzman stilettos in tune with the indignant sound of her voice as her mouth runs a mile a minute, ”I really don’t understand why you haven’t contacted me before now. You leave abruptly then you return and you don’t let me know. Of all things Chris..tian, Dar…ling…” She stops, dead in her tracks, when she sees my ’full house’. In an instant she remembers herself, stands up straighter and clears her throat, as if she needs to be heard loud and clear, “Ahem, how are you Darling? When I heard you were back, I couldn’t believe it. Why haven’t you called me?”

I automatically take my Dom stance and inquire, “Who told you we were here?” I emphasize we because it’s obvious I’m not alone.

First I detect a small smile on her face, that is, until Anastasia stands beside me and says, “Hello”, followed by Everett’s unique observations.

Never vacating the comfort of his spot on the sofa, Everett cocks his head to the side, furrows his brow then says, “Grey, I didn’t know your grandmother lived in Seattle.” Elena takes in a sharp breath. Standing behind her, Taylor is staring off into outer space, but I swear I saw the corner of his mouth twitch. Ana does some kind of grunt-giggle thing. While I have to hold my fucking breath.

Everett then leans back in his seat, making himself even more comfortable. He crosses his arms and places his index finger to his lips, as if pondering the Meaning of Life, before commenting further. “I must say, you Americans certainly do believe in the power of hydrogen peroxide and the elasticity of silicon as a means of self-preservation, don’t you?” Ana hiccups another giggle while covering her mouth.  This time, I have to smirk at Elena, who’s now clenching her teeth and turning bright red.

Still in his seat of power with his arms crossed, Everett glances at me and states, loud and clear, as if addressing a boardroom filled with potential clients, “The old man can rest assured his investments are sound. I’m going to have to purchase a chemical company or two for myself when we get back home.” I absent-mindedly nod, as if commiserating about his investment choice.

As if all of that wasn’t bad enough, Everett stands and saunters toward Elena stopping inches in front of her. With his hands stuffed down in his pockets, he rocks back and forth from his heels to his toes then with a child-like smile in his voice he asks her, “Tell me Granny, which products do you swear by?”

OH, FUCKING HELL-FIRE AND BRIMSTONE! Grey, if you give him anymore shit…I’ll make up a dream just to scare the fuck out of you. Get it?

Got it.

Good. I love this bastard even if you don’t.

He is quite witty isn’t he.

Her face is the same color as the walls in my fucking Playroom. It’s fucking picture perfect.

Anastasia giggles, laughs then snorts with abandon over Everett’s question. Taylor is still standing behind Elena, at the entrance to the Great Room, now with tears shining in his eyes. Somehow, one manages to escape, trailing down his cheek.

I, on the other hand, never break my stance. I’m going to fucking die laughing when this conversation is over, but only after it’s over. I act as if I didn’t hear Everett and repeat my question, louder this time, “Who told you we were here?”

Elena looks at me like a deer in headlights. Yes bitch, I asked you a fucking question. “I…um…well the…the press reported you arrived earlier today. I waited for you to call me and when I didn’t hear from you I called your office. Your assistant told me you were busy. I waited until I thought you might be home and decided to come to you. Christian, are you really going to let him speak to me this way?”

Before I can think about responding, Everett speaks for himself jumping straight into her ass with both boots. “He doesn’t let me do, say or think a fucking thing. Any questions you have with regard to me, you direct them to me, because I won’t let him speak for me.”

Now her face is as white as the walls here in the Great Room. This would be pathetic if it weren’t so damn entertaining.

Yes, as entertaining as it is, enough of this bullshit, what the fuck does this whore want? Get to the heart of the matter. I’d rather watch fleas fuck than deal with her.

Exasperated I growl, “What. The fuck. Do you want. Elena?” Get on with it bitch.

“I told you Dar…”

Let’s nip that fake-ass endearment shit in the bud, “I’m not your darling. What the fuck do you want!? I’m not going to ask again.” She remains mute. I’m finished with her. “Taylor, throw this bag of bullshit out.”

Taylor smiles like a little kid with an ice cream cone, “Yes Sir. Let’s go Wicked Witch.” He grabs her by her upper arm and begins to drag her out of the room, but of course she can’t just go the fuck away. For some reason, she seems to think last-chance jabs work to her advantage.

“Christian! Why are you letting her do this to me…to us? All she wants is your money Darling. Can’t you see that? Does she even begin to fulfill your needs in that big house in Townsville, Australia? On the water isn’t it Darling? The Corral Reef?”

THAT BITCH! WHAT THE FUCK?!

“Taylor! Stop!“ He stops on a dime and creeps an about-face. I can see steam coming out of his ears.

How the fuck does she know where I am in the world? Until I revealed my whereabouts to Carrick, my parents couldn’t find me with a search warrant. Now this old crow does everything but call out the name of my street.

“What did you say? Australia. House. Corral Reef.”  I repeat keywords from her rant and stand up even taller, if that’s possible, as I do. Elena’s eyes widen. I haven’t told her I was in Australia. The last she heard I was in Taiwan. The last time we spoke there was no mention of where I was, other than to confirm I was still outside of the United States. I knew she was watching Ana, Taylor and Welch figured it out, but now she’s shown her hand.  ”What are you talking about?”

Dumb bitch.

She’s watching me too.

She rallies back at first, or so she thought, “The press knows your life Dar…” I clear my throat and she cuts herself off, “Christian. It’s no secret you went to Australia from Taiwan. I mean…”

She forgot he was in the room, as did I, until we hear here him bellow, “Liar!” Elena jumps then begins to shake.  Everett caught her off guard. “Yes the fuck it is a secret.  I’m the reason it’s a secret. Just what the fuck are you up to you old cow?”

SECOND

“Liar!”

What the fuck is all the noise? I was actually getting some sleep. It’s been a while since I’ve really slept. School, sports, work and my Mistress all keep me pretty busy.

“Yes the fuck it is a secret.  I’m the reason it’s a secret. Just what the fuck are you up to you old cow?” Shit! Dad’s pissed at someone. Who’s he shouting at? Did Mom call him. I doubt it. I can’t see him speaking that way to Anastasia. She the nicest little thing I’ve ever met. She looks a lot like Aunt Ellie too. I know those big blue eyes are what captured Grey’s attention. They really are stunning.

“…I want you Christian. I can make you happy, don’t you remember? There’s no one for me, but you.” WHAT?! No! It can’t be! She wouldn’t be here, not after how discrete we all were in collecting the information she requested. No way Mistress would show up on his doorstep like this and what does she mean there’s no one for me, but you? What the fuck am I, chopped liver? This has to be a mistake. There has to be a rational explanation.

“Elena enough!” That’s the last thing I remember before standing in front of the woman I’ve called Mistress. The woman I devoted myself to, mind, body and soul. I’ve allowed her to control me, what I think, how I feel, how I fuck. She had more control over me than my mother. My own flesh and blood. The only person in the world who can trump either one of these women is my father. He’s my lifeline. He keeps me grounded when the rest of the world is pulling me away from my sanity.

I don’t know how I got downstairs without any of them hearing or seeing me. Well, that’s a lie, it was easy with all attention focused on her, as well as the bellowing and screeching going on. I know one thing, Everett’s is pissed…and so am I.

“Mistress?” I hiss with all the venom I can muster. “What are you doing here? What’s going on?” The sound of my voice, my stance, my emotion is Everett Rockhold-Brown, even to my own ears. I have to understand what could’ve possibly brought her here.

They all look at me as if I were up past my bedtime. Only Anastasia approaches me. With a soothing and considerate voice she says, “I apologize Christopher, we didn’t mean to disturb you? Please, go back to bed and rest.” She walks over and places one of her small hands on my cheek, turning my face and focus to her and her bright smile. She reminds me so much of Aunt Ellie. Innocent, caring, compassionate and strong. She’s all things good and kind. All of the things a woman should be. All of the things I see in my family, except for my mother. I nod, absent-mindedly, at her suggestion.

Why does Mistress hate her?

My eyes veer over to Mistress who’s wearing a straight, impassive mask. It’s the expression she uses when she’s hiding an error or…making up a lie. She’s wrong, about Anastasia. She’s wrong about something else as well. I don’t know what it is. Yet. But Everett will find out and if Everett knows, so will I.

She may have taught me control, but the Rockhold-Brown Family taught me everything else. I pull from my father’s strength and Anastasia’s goodness when I hiss, “Mistress.” then turn and go back to my room. Anastasia is right. I’ve heard as much as I can stand right now. I know there’s more and it affects my family, which is unacceptable and unforgivable.

As if on cue I hear my father bellow, “WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT ABOUT?! MISTRESS!? YOU FILTHY WHORE!  I’LL.  MAKE SURE.  YOU.  FRY!”

I smile as I ascend the stairs. The ole man means what he says and not the way she thinks. Everett Rockhold-Brown doesn’t speak in the abstract or figurative sense. He doesn’t do puns or innuendo. He goes straight for the jugular.

She’ll soon learn, we really are a sneaky bunch.

GREY

Good grief Charlie Brown. I thought I was gonna have to kill Everett after Christopher’s appearance. Taylor couldn’t get that old crow out of here fast enough. Ana was able to calm the bear down while I could restrain him, with great effort mind you.

Damn that fucker is strong. You’ll have to work at kicking his ass Grey.

Yeah, but I never back down from a challenge. So if the time comes, it’ll be a battle of the gladiators I guarantee you.

Ring…Buzzzz…Buzz-Buzz…

“Daddy”…

“Grey!”…

“Hi Emmett…”

A distraction. Just in the nick of time. We look at each other and grin when our phones go off simultaneously and we each respond to our parents, almost in unison.

“Hi Daddy, how are you? Yes, Christian and I are in Seattle right now.” She always sounds so bright when she talks to Ray. “No Daddy, we aren’t staying long. Christian had some business to handle and I didn’t want to stay in Townsville by myself.”

My mother takes me away from eavesdropping on Ana, “Hello Dear, how are you? I’m so glad your here. How long are you going to be home? Have you moved back to Seattle? Why haven’t you called? Is everything alright? Is Ana with you? It would be wonderful to see you both. We miss you both so much Christian.” As she fires away questions and comments Grace sounds eager and solemn at the same time, if that’s even possible.

I lower my head , shake it back and forth and rub my forehead with my free hand. I hate to do this to her. My mother doesn’t whine, she just gets this ‘motherly plea’ demeanor and it breaks my heart; the one I didn’t know I had.

Just as I’m about to respond to Grace, I hear a distinctive hiss coming from Everett’s direction, “The old bitch showed up here in the wrinkled, sagging flesh! It took everything…yes, he’s back upstairs. His ass better be asleep or I’ll beat him till he drifts off. He wandered his ass down here during part of the discussion, if you can call it that. Oh, by the way, Edward’s US investments are definitely paying off, that bitch was a walking billboard for peroxide and plastic surgery. Yeah…no need to worry…” Everett and his ole man have a totally different relationship than what I’m used to.

“Christian?!…” Oh shit, Grace.

“I’m here Mom…I…” I don’t have a chance in Hell against her.

“Please don’t tell me no Christian. You and Ana have a wedding to plan. We need to get started as soon as possible.” She’s silent for a few seconds and I’m still trying to formulate how to tell her we can’t come for a visit.  She misunderstood my hesitation because she asks, “You are still getting married aren’t you Christian?” She sounds more leery than inquisitive. Things between Ana and I are great. Better than ever actually. It makes me wonder where our problems really lie.

I stop my child-like, excuse conjuring and manage not to roll my eyes. “Yes Mom, we’re still getting married.” I say with a smile in my voice and in my heart. My cousin’s conversation, however, gives Grace cause for alarm.

“What the fuck do you mean her lawyer says? I don’t give a flying fuck…” I spin around and glare hard at Everett. The bastard and his bullshit is gonna make Grace to come over here.

Shut the fuck up dude!

He simply glares back at me and balls the fist of his free hand. I stab the mute button on my phone then whisper a shout, “If you don’t keep your fucking voice down, you’ll have to explain this fucking shit-storm to Grace.” If I could disguise the sound of breaking glass, I’d hit Everett over the head with a vase.

“Christian! Where are you?! Who’s that talking?! Is everything alright?! You’re not in any trouble are you?! I’m coming over there!” Fuck!

Oh shit!

I turn back to my call, quickly unmutting the phone, “No Mom! There’s no need to come over. Everything is fine. It’s just a movie Ana has on. Baby, turn the volume down please. It’s upsetting Mom.” Everett grins at Ana so hard, I think his cheeks are gonna crack. My baby’s none too happy with being the heavy in this conversation.

She hits mute on her phone then whisper-shouts as well, “The two of you are on dishwashing duty, no matter what country we are in, anytime I or Ella cook.” She hit mute again and without missing a beat says, “Yes Daddy, he’s right here. He’s talking with Grace right now, but I can put him on the line.” I wave my hand to stop her, but it’s too late.

“Hey Christian. How are you Son? Good to hear you two are back. Annie said you’re talking to your mom so I won’t keep you. I just wanted to say hello. Tell your mom I said hi too. Bye Son.” Here I am, with a phone in each hand. I can hear the glee in Ray’s voice while Everett and Ana stand shaking their heads and holding their hands over their mouths to muffle the sound of their combined laughter.

“Mom, hang on a second. Hi Ray, I’m good. How are you? Yeah. Yes, your daughter is ever the little prankster. Yeah, my mom’s on the phone in my other ear. I’ll tell her. Take care Ray. Bye.” I hand the phone back to Ana and raise my brow letting her know there’ll be retribution for this misdemeanor.

Still talking to Ray, Ana walks off to our bedroom while I head to my study, followed closely behind by my vociferous cousin. I have to keep mouthing and waving at him to lower his fucking voice or, even better, shut the fuck up.

“Mom, would it be alright for you and I to sit down and talk? Alone.” There are a few things I need to ask and a few things I need to share with my mother. I need to know where she falls in this entire Brown Family blow-up. Did she know they existed too?

“Of course Son. You can always talk to me, you know that.” Good, although I’m not in the mood for a family thing. I’ve been in regular touch with Carrick so I can do without an ass reaming for one conversation.

Mom’s voice catches me completely off guard, “Christian, you didn’t answer me. How long are you going to be home? Have you moved back to Seattle?” She doesn’t usually call me out on my vagueness. Here we go.

“I won’t lie Mom. No, I haven’t moved back to Seattle and no, we’re not staying.” My mother’s gasp sends a pain shooting straight through my chest.

“You’re not staying? Why not? Christian, this temper tantrum of yours has got to end! We supported your choice to tend to business abroad and relegated ourselves to staying in the dark about your self-imposed exile, but enough is enough! You and Ana have reconciled. Now it’s time to come home!” I smile a little. I can just see her with her hand on her hip as she gives me what for.

“Mom, I came home on emergency business and I didn’t want to leave Ana in Townsville. We’ve been apart long enough. I’ve met with the immediate contacts. Now the situation needs research and evaluation. I’ll do that in Townsville. I have responsibilities there too Mom.” I look over at Everett who seems to have finished his conversation with his father. His face takes on a concerned expression as he witnesses my struggle.

“Well, when are you leaving for Australia? “ She sounds defeated. There’s no background noise, which leads me to believe she’s alone, that makes me feel even worse.

“As soon as Stephen and his co-pilot are rested enough for the return flight.” I need to talk with my mother before we leave. It’s only fair. “Mom, I’d like to come over and talk with you. Would that be alright? I know you’re disappointed with our leaving and all…” Please say yes Mom. Please say yes.

“Oh, of course Son, whenever you like just let me know.” Her voice is soft and she sounds like she’s lost her best friend.

“How about breakfast. Tomorrow? Pancakes, bacon, eggs and toast? Like old times?” I try to have a smile in my voice as I will my mother not to hurt over my decision to leave Seattle, again.

Somehow it works. I can hear her responding smile as she says, “With sliced strawberries and whipped cream I suppose. Of course Dear. Anything for you Christian. May I speak with Ana please Son?” My smile widens at the calmness in her voice.

“Let me see if she’s off the phone. She got a call from Ray.” I stand from behind my desk and move toward my study door when Mom stops me.

“Christian, no!” What the… “Don’t interrupt her conversation with her father. I know Ray misses talking with Ana. Whether she lives in Seattle or Timbuktu, he wants time with his little girl.  I love you Christian. Give Ana my love as well and I’ll see you bright and early for breakfast. Be sure to shower after your run Dear. You know sweaty hair and clothes are not appropriate attire for the breakfast table.” Boo-ya! She does remember.  I knew she would.

“Yes ma’am. I love you Mom,” with that, we end our call. I lower my head and stare at my phone as I stand at the door to my study for a moment or two recalling her comments.

Warmth returns to my heart placing a small smile on my lips, which causes Everett to speak. “Care to share with the class?” No, but he seems genuinely interested so I’ll give him this.

Without raising my head or my gaze, I share, “Grace misses me and I feel like a heel for not spending time with her. I’m going to Bellevue in the morning to have  breakfast with her.” My eyes wander from the phone to his face as I confess, “It was something we shared.” He nods, encouraging me to continue.

I take a deep breath. “When I would fuck up in school, which usually resulted in a suspension,” He doesn’t seem astonished, “before I ended up in Elena’s clutches, I would get up early, before everyone else and go for a run. I’d run as far away as I could then trudge back, almost crawling in the front door. Grace would cook pancakes topped with strawberries and whipped cream, eggs and bacon. Just for she. And I.” I smile at the thought, just for she and I.

“Elliott and Mia left for school and Carrick stormed out of the house long before I got back, so it was just she and I. Mom would harass me to hurry up and shower before the food got cold because ‘sweaty hair and sweaty clothes are not appropriate attire for the breakfast table.’ I would grumble all the way up the stairs and piss-fart around in the shower. But no matter how much time I wasted, my breakfast was always hot and delicious.”

“We would talk about what went wrong at school. She would point out to me I was too intelligent for such behavior and encourage me to do better, to be better.” My voice cracks on the last part.

“I’ve always felt like a disappointment to her. She was the angel who saved me from a Hell of filth, drugs, abuse and starvation. How did I repay her? I fought, drank then became an unlovable monster.”  I don’t know why I’m telling him this. He’s a fucking stranger for all intents and purposes. He doesn’t want to hear this shit.

“Stop it!” Huh? What the fuck is he yelling about now?

“Stop kicking yourself. And regardless of the thoughts spinning around in that brilliant mind of yours, I do…we do give a fuck about you.  We do want to know what happened to you Cousin. None of us wants to separate you from your family. They saved you, they love you and they miss you. If you didn’t feel for them, well, first I’d know you were Edwards grandson, but also, what did Emmett and I tell you about apathy?”

“There’s nothing wrong with having feelings, love, loyalty, allegiance with your family. You have to recognize those emotions and act accordingly. I’m not proud of my aunt at the moment. I’ll always love her, but at the same time you were hurt due to her actions, her inactions, her apathy. Go to your mother. Take Anastasia with you. Christopher and I need to talk as well and it’s best we have that discussion alone. Townsville will be there when you get back.”

Everett never ceases to amaze me.

“Once we get that thing under control, you can come back here for good, if you like. Right now, this place isn’t conducive to a genial life for you and Anastasia with that…that…THAT…grazing the land. Edward gets on my last fucking nerves a lot of the time, but the bastard works hard and has been through a lot of shit. It’s even colored his point of view. His experiences don’t prevent me from respecting him or loving him, even if I don’t like him all the time. We need him to help us plan our next move. It’s good business sense.”

He shakes his head and this time I have to stop him. “Don’t” he looks at me questioningly, “your family did everything they could. She did what she wanted and I’m in a good place now. Don’t blame yourself for the crack…” I catch myself at the last-minute. The forlorn look in his eyes flashes to rage.

“Crack…what? What were you going to say?” He says through gritted teeth.

“Gentlemen.” Saved by my Baby.

I don’t break eye contact with Everett, “Hey Baby. Everything alright with Ray?” Not that I give a fuck, but I don’t want to continue this conversation with Everett.

You were getting along pretty well until…

I know dammit. Shut the fuck up.

Ana sighs, “He misses us.” Us? That catches my attention and turns my head to her.

My Baby takes in the scene in front of her. The venomous scowl on Everett’s face, the lost, miserable look I’m certain she can see in my eyes lead to her quick assessment of the situation.

He fucked up again. Rescue him.  Fast.

She puts on her prettiest smile and looks at Everett, “What do you say we all get some sleep? We’re leaving tomorrow, right?”

Returning to the scowl on Everett’s face I say, “Yes, either midday or late evening. Taylor needs to speak with Stephen again.”

Ana knows me, she knows something happened, she just doesn’t know exactly what. Conveying concern in her voice she pulls his attention to her when she asks, “Everett? Are you ok?” He nods, never taking the scowl off his face or his eyes off of me.

“Good. If you’ll come with me, I’ll show you to your room or you can bunk with Christopher if you’d rather.” That turns his head.

He smiles, a wholehearted, genial expression and injects his smooth, suave voice, “My dear Anastasia, there’s no way on God’s green Earth with that Bitch-Troll’s wrinkled red skin I would, as you put it, bunk with my son. I have a few more calls to make anyway and they’re nothing I want him to hear. So please, lead the way.” He casts a final glare in my direction before nodding his head at me, “Cousin.”

I sigh, “Good night Everett.”

Good job Grey. You did it again.

Shut. The fuck. Up.


“Mind telling me what that was about?” Anastasia says casually as she puts on her camisole and pajama shorts.

“I almost called Everett’s aunt a crack-whore. He wasn’t pleased.”

She stops in her tracks and slowly turns around to face me with shock and disbelief in her eyes. “I can only imagine he wasn’t. What made you say such a thing Christian? You’ve got to know that isn’t acceptable. Grace and I have told you countless times not to use those words to describe Ella.”

“The woman was in a bad way, Christian. Do you want to be remembered by your family as an unfeeling monster? No, you don’t. So stop behaving as if the woman’s birth-right was to be a drug addict.”

“Clearly you can see she was a beautiful person, in love with the man of her dreams and excited to have and be with her son. Don’t let the re-appearance of the Bitch-Troll change your mindset. You’ve…we’ve…come a long way…too long to let her jeopardize our happiness, which includes the Browns.”

She walks back over to me, puts her arms around my waist and lays her head on my chest. “I understand better what you and Everett mean about Seattle not being the right place for us now. As much as I love Ray and your family, we’ve gotten spoiled being on our own. Family and friends mean a lot, but when we close the door and turn out the lights it’s just you and I. We deserve all the time to ourselves we want. We’ve earned it.”

It’s my turn to look shocked. I just knew coming back here would make her want to stay. I was fully prepared to go back to Townsville alone. Yes, I would be lonely and yes, I would be back at square one, but like I told her I’m not ready to come back to Seattle for good, yet and I’m not holding her prisoner at my side. In my confusion I say, “I’m not complaining at all. What brought this on Baby?” It has to be something about her conversation with Ray. She takes a long time to respond.

“Ray told me how much he loved me and wants me to be happy. Since he doesn’t live in Seattle, it’s not like he was right next door and I moved away from him. As long as I’m happy, my Dad’s happy.” She takes a deep breath and sighs, “I, told Daddy I want to get married in Townsville and that it would mean the world to me for him to walk me down the aisle.  I also told him we would be sure to get him there, so he didn’t have to worry about travel cost and what not.” She peeks up at me through her eyelashes on the last part of her sentence.

Oh, Baby. Anything for you. She’s taken my breath away. She wants to get married in Townsville! She wants to go ahead with the wedding! We’re FINALLY getting married!

I can’t contain my happiness anymore. I pick her up and pull her tightly against me as I spin her around, her arms and legs squeeze tightly around my neck and waist. “We’re FINALLY getting married!” I shout. She giggles like a schoolgirl and it’s the most wonderful sound I’ve ever heard. I slowly come to a stop and gently slide her down my body. “Thank you Baby.” I say as I kiss the tip of her nose.

She wrinkles her nose and furrows her brow as she asks, “Thank me for what?”

“For saying ‘yes’. Again.” I hold her face in my hands and bend over to gently touch my lips to hers. “Mmm, so soft. So sweet.” I love kissing her. I love holding her. I love her.

She pulls back from me and asks, “How about we get some sleep?” I step out of my shoes and socks then strip off my shirt, jeans and boxer briefs in light seconds to stand in front of her, naked as the day I was born. She crosses her arms under her breasts and taps an index finger to her lips. “So, you’re not tired huh?”

I shake my head, “Fuck no Baby, I’m wide awake now.” I pull her back into my arms and kiss her passionately. “I’ve wanted to do that since we came home from Grey House. I can’t stand all these fucking people around. I’ve become quite accustomed to being on our own.” I wiggle my eyebrows up and down just for the fun of it.

“I like being able to take you to any room in our house, to kneel down in front of you and lick your mouth-watering clit and folds until your knees get weak. I can lay you on any surface, slide my fingers in and out of your wet core while I lick, suck and bite your beautiful pink nipples.” Her eyes glaze over. I can feel her heart hammering in her chest as I hold her against me. Her panting makes my cock stiffen between us.

Out of nowhere, she finds her voice. “Anytime of day or night I can slide my hand down your leg to cup your balls and stroke your strong, warm cock. I can unzip your slacks or your jeans and ease them down your thighs, take you in my mouth and stroke your manhood with my tongue. Watch your head fall back. Hear you moan in pleasure.” A moan escapes from somewhere deep inside my chest as I nibble her earlobe and squeeze her sweet, firm ass cheeks, pulling and holding her against my pelvis.

I kiss down her neck to her collarbone then across her throat over to her shoulder, I feel her tiny hands doing what she just described. In her one hand she’s stroking my dick, up and down, up and down, with a wonderful firm grip, while her other hand gently massages my balls. The feelings are indescribable and they take my breath away.

I kiss my way up the other side of her neck and pause at her ear, “Ana, I want you Baby. I need you.” I can hear the desire in my own voice as I begin walking us to the bed. When we reach our destination, I pull away and gently push her onto the mattress. Lust shines and twinkles in her eyes. The emotion is so strong, so vibrant, my heart stops as I look at her. It’s magnificent. She’s magnificent.

I crawl onto the bed while she slides away from me, on our ultra-king, oversized bed. “I know we have house guests and security detail within earshot. Are you alright with this?” We’ve been on our own for so long now, it feels strange having anyone else in our personal space. No matter how large that space may be.

With a small smirk on her beautiful lips she tells me, “We know you can be quiet. I guess now I need to practice. Lock the door Baby. Let the games begin.” She ain’t gotta tell me twice! I spring from the bed, jet to the fucking door and lock it, scolding myself for not making this room sound proof.

Taylor and the other security detail know not to come into my room. Even when I had nightmares, Taylor stayed away. I’m sure Everett and Christopher understand the sound of a man and woman fucking is an audible “Do No Enter” signal. She knows I don’t give a fuck who hears us. It’s my home and my woman. As long as she’s ready so am I, but if it makes her feel comfortable to lock the door, her wish is my command.

I look over my should at her as I click the lock then I creep back to the bed where she’s still seated in the middle, wearing entirely too many clothes. “Raise.” I whisper. She says nothing. She raises onto her knees, never taking her dark blues off my steel greys. I join her in our haven, bend over and brush my lips over hers as I bring my hands to the bottom of her camisole. “Arms up Baby.” I whisper against her soft, sweet lips. She follows my instruction and I slowly remove her camisole then toss it off to somewhere in the room. We’ll find it in the morning. If we look.

I kiss down her front to take her left nipple between my lips and begin to suckle, purposefully leaving its mate to stand-alone. I stroke her sides and slide my hands down her back. All the while, I hear her breath quickening and feel her heart pound against my face. I continue to suck, lick, nibble and kiss her little pink pebble. When she brings her hand up behind my head to runs her fingers through my hair, I shake my head and give her a sharp nip with my teeth. This is my party. I turn my attention to my other little playmate.

“I know I say this a lot Baby, because it’s true, you have beautiful,” lick “luscious,” kiss “succulent,” nip “firm breasts. I love the way they look, in clothes and out. I love the way they feel against my chest, my back, my lips, in my hands and in my mouth and I dearly love their flavor. Mmm.” She gasps again as, I hum against her skin, causing her body to tremble.

“Hold on Baby,” I whisper against her skin, “not yet.” I stop my ministrations and coax her to lie back on the bed. I pull her pajama shorts down over her magnificent legs, helping her out of the obstructing garment.

“No panties Miss Steele?” I move between her legs, tossing each one over my forearms. With my hands on her waist I tug her closer to me. I bend over and reward myself by running my nose over her soft brown curls, inhaling deeply and squeeze her legs in my arms. “I approve my dear Anastasia. You know how exquisite your scent is to me. You’re so ready aren’t you Baby?” I breathe against her belly and lick her navel, to prolong the moment.

I don’t look up at her for my answer. I pull her legs further apart, slide her them further up my arms and move my hands toward her ass. She glides her legs from my arms, up my biceps to my shoulders and arches her back so my hands can continue their smooth passage over her ass to her back. Then I stand, cradling her head and back in my hands and on my arms. She squeals and immediately locks her ankles behind my head. Game on Baby.

I move her further up the bed to lay her down on our favorite hideaway. I kiss each ankle, inner side of her calves, knees and thighs. I take her legs from around my neck then move on all fours up her body, trailing kisses along the way to her tastiest spot.

When I reach my destination, my satisfaction is immediate as I take the plunge, “Mmm Baby. You taste.” lick “So fucking.” kiss “Delicious.” lick, lick, suck. “Mmm.” I can’t wait anymore. My dick is throbbing between my legs and my balls are tingling, but I don’t want to break our contact. I slide two fingers inside her slick, hot core and massage her from the inside as I rise up on my knees to let her see me stoking my cock.

She begins to close her eyes and raise her back off of the bed when I command her, “Stop Anastasia!” Her torso flattens on the bed and her eyes blink open, unseeing. “Watch me Baby. Watch us.” Without breaking contact with my beautiful girl, I rub my cock over her clit as I continue to finger her. Playing the piano lends to well executed “fingering” and I enjoy playing her body like my Grand.

“Keep your eyes open Baby. I want you to watch me. Watch what I do to you, to your beautiful body.” She gives me a little nod as I first slide my cock inside her, without removing my fingers.

“Ahhh.” Is all she can say.

My stokes are long and opposing. As I slide my cock into her, I pull my fingers out of her sweet, soft haven. As I slide my cock out of her, I push my fingers back into her again, massaging the front wall of her vagina. I never leaving her bereft of some part of me.

My voice is deep and thick with desire, “Do you like that Baby?” Her eyes have glazed over again as she stares at me and nods her head. She’s lost. Totally lost in the sensations of the moment.

I gently brush my thumb over her clit causing her legs to twitch and her breath to catch. I place my free hand on the bed beside her and bend down to pull her right nipple between my lips. “Mmm…” is all I can say. I feel her eyes closing, causing me to halt all movements. I don’t raise my eyes from her breast, speak to her with her nipple between my teeth.

“Anastasia, keep your eyes open. I need you here with me Baby.” She takes a deep breath then nods again and runs her hands over my shoulders and down my back. “That’s it Baby, feel me too, inside and out. Make love to me too Ana. Make love to me too.”

I raise my eyes to watch her. To see her enjoy what I’m doing to her body. In a flash, her eyes focus and lock on mine as she mouths, “I love you Christian”. I continue moving in and out of her, using my cock and my fingers both. She slides one hand up my back, my shoulders and into my hair, gently, yet firmly, holding my eyes on hers. Her other hand descends down my chest, over my abs, around my hand, past my cock and closes over my balls. Palming me with care. The heat between us builds immediately and moan because I feel her walls begin to tremble. My cock grows thicker insider of her. I can feel it. My balls throb against her palm. The feeling is astounding, second only to her lips and tongue around my member.

“Ssshhhiiittt Baby.” I rasp with uncontrolled hunger and love. “We have to be quiet, right?” She doesn’t answer. Her walls simply tighten around my cock and fingers as her back once again rises off of the bed. She even has the wherewithal to cradle my balls in her hand. When she opens her mouth I hear a low rumble. As the rumble changes to a growl then a deep wonton sound, I quickly cover her lips with my own and push my tongue deep inside her mouth. As she sucks my tongue I realize they’re not her moans being captured. They’re mine.


After what seemed like endless love-making, I’m wide awake with Ana snuggled into my body. I stoke her arm and kiss her temple, “I love you Baby” I tell her.

“I love you too Christian.” She whimpers and sighs in her sleep. I smile widely, both from her sleepy confession and the knowledge that she really does love me.

I creep out of our bed and tip to door, which I unlock with the utmost care, so as not to wake Ana then I slip out and move toward the Great Room. What I find there astonishes me, “Good God, does anyone in this family sleep?” I avoided leaving Ana to play my beloved piano because I didn’t want to be away from and I didn’t want to wake anyone. I know we’re not alone here and while I really don’t give a fuck who hears me or sees me, I don’t like explaining myself even more. How long has this fucker been in here. He’s still in his suit pants, dress shirt and shoes. It doesn’t look like he’s slept at all.

“Oh? You’re the only one allowed to be awake in the wee hours of the morning?” Everett stares out the floor to ceiling window at the impending Seattle sunrise. His back is to me, but I detect something in his voice. I’m not sure what it is. His dry, monotone spreads throughout the Great Room, then dies immediately. Silent. Not a soft hush, just a flat, dead silence. It’s not the booming sound I’ve grown accustomed to, even when he’s calls himself whispering, especially when he’s angry or happy or…shit, anytime. There’s no sarcasm, no whit, no childish goading. I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all, but…I don’t know why.

“Everett, how long have you been awake?” I take my time approaching him, as I do I see an empty glass tumbler in his hand and an almost empty carafe of amber liquid on the floor beside his foot. “Everett, are you alright?” I’ve never seen him drunk so I don’t know what to expect.

He’s related to you…use caution.

Are you really giving me pointers on how to approach a drunk man? Gimme a fucking break.

Ok. When he knocks you on your ass, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

His voice, devoid of feeling, snatches me out of my inner bickering. “What the fuck are you doing out here Grey? Go back to Anastasia and get your beauty rest.” The words are him, but his snide remark sounds bitter, cold even. I know aloof. I invented the word, but this is more than standoffish or even unapproachable. This is seclusion.

“Everett, what’s going on? I thought you had calls to make. Now’s the perfect time to call back to…” I don’t get to finish my sentence.

Everett spins around to face me, nose to nose. Using an insidious whisper he says, “What the fuck are you doing out here? Go the fuck away and leave me the Hell alone. I’m not invading your precious privacy so until I can get back to the comfort and confines of my own haven, leave. Me. The fuck. Alone.” Using military precision, he does an about-face back to the window.

I step away from my usual and customary reaction, I keep my voice even and my fists to myself. If he’s anything like me, a touch will only ignite the booze surging through his veins. As much as I haven’t admitted it yet, personal experience reminds me I use this behavior when I’m trying to pick a fight. Well, dear Cousin, I’m not going to give you the fucking satisfaction, although I refuse to take down to him either. “Everett, save the intimidation shit for the boardroom. You’re not the head of a fucking thing in Seattle and especially not in my penthouse.”

I see the fist of his free hand open and close a couple times, he takes a deep breath and growls as he releases it before looking over his shoulder at me. This time, and I want to laugh at the attempted fearsome expression on his face and the gleam in his eyes. Man, I’ve held onto that look everyday for the past twenty some odd years, before I met my Ana. Mine’s a bit scarier than his though, I have to admit.

If that’s all you’ve got Brown, you better take it back to the drawing board. I almost laugh out loud then, I see the cause of his expression. The cause of the gleam. A single tear seeps from the corner of his eye and slowly wanders down his cheek.

I stifle my gasp and lower my voice, “Everett, what the fuck is wrong? Don’t make me call Emmett. You know he’ll shit a cinderblock if I do.” He returns his gaze to the window and shakes his head, refusing to address the issue, whatever it is. I rush though scenarios in my mind, trying to ascertain what could bring this type of reaction out of him. I know he spoke with Emmett. Is Ella alright? Edward? Hell are “The Bookends” safe?

Before I can speak again, he shocks me when he says, just above a whisper, “I’ll kill that bitch if she comes near my son again. I told Emmett I wouldn’t do anything I would regret while I’m here…and I won’t. Regret it. Christopher’s mother is a fucking , money-grubbing leach. A big enough check and she’ll sign Christopher’s soul to the Devil. I’m sure my lawyers can pay her to give me back my son.”

Facing me one last time Everett snarls, “However, as for that BITCH acquaintance of yours and my son’s…I have an entirely different program in mind. This shit. Stops. Now. Emmett couldn’t protect Aunt Ellie or you. I can. I will protect my son…and my Cousin. Like it or not” then he breezes past me out of the Great Room.

I can’t begin to fathom his anger or his pain. His son has been molested and the woman who was supposed to protect him was too busy thinking of herself. Taking his money and doing God only know what with it and her time. While the scenario is in no way the same, the emotion it invokes seems nostalgic. Somehow, I wonder if this is how Emmett felt about his baby sister. And her son.


“Baby. Ana. Come on Sweetheart wake up.” I kiss her cheek and whisper softly in her ear. Ana isn’t a morning person I know and jet lag has got to be hitting her hard after staying up so long yesterday, but I don’t want her to wake up alone. We each hate waking up without the other beside us. It makes for a shitty day. “Ana…” I whisper again and kiss the corner of her mouth.

“Mmm”, she groans, “five more minutes Christian. Please,” she whines before burrowing further down into her pillow. I’ve got her five more minutes alright.

After I came back to bed this morning, I pulled her close to me and watched her sleep as the sun rose. Even though I’m not a religious man, I’m not conceited enough to ignore the fact of a divine being. I thanked God over and over again for bringing Anastasia into my life and for giving her the strength to show me the way out of Elena’s darkness.

The heart I never believed I owned goes out to Everett and his son. I couldn’t get the scene from earlier out of my mind. It solidified my decision to go spend time with my mom. I just wish I could take Ana with me. She’s been getting left out of a lot of family conversations lately. I’ll make it up to her when we get back to Townsville.

“Come on Baby.” I kiss her behind her ear and nuzzle her neck. She wiggles her ass against my cock and purrs. My breath catches and I gasp. “Anastasia, I’m going to Mom’s for breakfast, remember?”

“Mmm” is all she says. I pull her to me, my hands instinctively cupping her beautiful full breasts. I gently massage the soft, supple flesh as I try to rouse her again. I’m rewarded with the feeling of her nipples hardening against my palms. I give each of the ladies a quick pinch then slide one hand from her breast over her stomach, around to her hip, down her thigh all the way to her knee, which I push forward with my own giving me free access to tickle her succulent dripping folds. She unconsciously contracts and relaxes her vaginal muscles around my fingers and she purrs again. “Mmm. Feels sooo good.” FUCK ANA!

My Morning Woody is wide awake and in need. I pull Ana even tighter against my chest and slowly, softly re-trace the path of my fingers, with the head of my cock, up one side, down the other then through the middle. I rub and caress myself against her, hearing the sweet, moist kisses her pussy gives the head of my cock.

Finally, I can’t take it anymore. I have to be inside of her. “Baby, are you awake yet?” I’ll give her the best “wake-up call” there is if she’s not. This’ll make the need for an alarm clock null and void.

She groans again and I think it’s because of our ‘kiss’ until she repeats her prior request, “Five more minutes Christian. Please.” I chuckle to myself then lick the shell of her ear.

I lower my voice and in the faintest whisper I tell her, “Sleep as long as you like Baby, but I’m gonna fuck you in and out of your dreams.” She nods her head and takes a deep breath. She’s not asleep. This makes for an interesting playtime though.

No doubt.

Gently, I slide my pulsating cock halfway into her savory cunt. She moans again and grinds her ass against me. “Shhh Anastasia. Sleep Baby, if you can.” I suck her earlobe and pull back out of her only to slide my thick, heavy cock all the way inside my favorite place in the world.

“I’m awake now” she hisses. “Yessss…”

Can’t We Just Be Happy | Chapter 26 I Want My Son

I do not own the Fifty Shades Trilogy or its characters; those belong to E. L. James. However, my characters do belong to me.

Chapter 26 | I Want My Son

GREY

“I have to tell you, I’m scared now.  The look on your faces has me on high alert.  Do I need to go get my boy? I’m a pro at enduring jet lag so if I need to leave right this second I will.”

“Yes.” I growl the simple one word answer.  He has to understand how serious the situation is.  I haven’t had time to talk to Ana about Elena and the things I learned before leaving Seattle.  We’ve been so caught up in our reconciliation then this family shit was dumped into my lap. I haven’t given the Bitch-Troll a second thought.

What about that phone call?

I’ll get back to that.

I’ll make sure of it.

No doubt.

Right now, how do you tell a man, your new-found, volatile cousin that your former confidante, and pedophile, is now molesting his son?

There’s no easy way. You can either give him the details now then send him off to get his son or you can just stress the need for him to get the kid and deal with the emotional shit later.

I know I don’t want to involve Mom or Dad in this mess.  I’ll have to call my legal team in Seattle.

And Taylor…

And Taylor, then there’s the fact the kid’s father wants to take him out of the country, which is definitely the safest bet.  My head is spinning, I think I’m going to be sick.

I forgot I wasn’t alone all this time, but when I hear, “GREY!” It snaps me out of my tailspin.  “What the fuck is the deal?”  As I start to speak he’s dialing on his Silent Circle Blackphone, putting his hand up to halt me.

What the fuck? Who the fuck does this prick think he is?

I look at Ana, “Do I do that shit?”  She raises a ‘now you know how it feels’ eyebrow and nods. I turn toward Everett and just stare.  If people think I bark, this fucker woofs.

“This is Brown 3. Get that fucking thing ready for me to leave. YESTERDAY DAMMIT!  When I say it, YOU do it.” Whoever it is had best arrange his transportation toot-sweet.

“Destination, SEA TAC. And I want to land in the fucking front yard, I pay enough for the shit.” Oh fuck, he’s getting outlandish now. “YYYEEESSS,” he hisses loudly, “you need to have the helicopter ready.  How the fuck else do you think I’m going to land in the fucking front yard?” I just shake my head.

There’s a slight pause then he makes a deep growling noise. Suddenly, “I DON’T GIVE A RAT’S ASS ABOUT THE FUCKING POLICE!  I WANT MY SON AND I WANT HIM YESTERDAY!  Get that flying fucker ready for me to get my son.  I’m on my way NOW!  FUCK EDWARD!”

Damn he’s a son of a bitch ain’t he?

“If you fucking defy ME, you’ll lose MORE than your job.  I’LL deal with Edward Brown.  If I have to buy the fucking plane from him to get my way I WILL!”  Then he hangs up.

WOW! I’m mildly impressed.

I know, me too, but I won’t show it.

Everett rubs his forehead so hard there’s a huge, red smudge left in the wake of his hand.  “Everett, I’ll go with you.”  I’ll have to brief him on the way.

“I’m going too.”  Ana jumps from her seat totally ignoring the disapproving look on my face.  She puts her hands on her hips and informs me “I’m going too Christian and that’s final.”  Everett smiles at the two of us.

Once again calm and collected, Everett tries to decline our offer. “There’s no reason to disrupt your lives for a quick trip to Seattle. Security says he’s running errands right now or I’d have them pick him up and hold him until I get there…” the look on my and Ana’s faces cut him off. “He’s in danger isn’t he?”  Ana and I both slowly nod as I spin Everett around and push him out the door.

“You’re in no condition to drive Everett, just get in the Audi and let me know which runway.”  He doesn’t give me any trouble, thank God.  He’s worried about his son and truth be told, so am I.


The flights from TSV to BNE and from LAX to SEA TAC are about two hours each…no big deal.  The time warp is from BNE to LAX, which is about 27 hours, give or take.

Ana tried to stay awake, but she fell asleep on the flight to LAX, which I knew she would.  Once I got her settled in bed, Everett and I went into the same emotionally charged conversation Emmett and I had over my childhood with and without my birth mother.

He was appalled, sorrow-filled and enraged all in one foul swoop. I knew it would be a lot for him to take in all at once and I’m positive he has unanswered questions. He had to know as much as I could tell him ahead of time. I didn’t want him to walk in and be completely blindsided. However, his, like Emmett’s, reaction was likewise a lot for me to take in. When all was said and done, we were descending into LAX.

I contacted Taylor to have the GEH jet ready to take us to LAX and I told him we needed covert surveillance on Elena and Christopher as well as all the other boys Welch tagged her with seeing.  Everett sent Taylor a picture of Christopher. Never loosing his professionalism, the brief pause on the phone alerted me to Taylor’s shock as we went through our final checklist.

We landed in Seattle at about 3AM. It took Sawyer, Taylor and I to persuade Everett not to take his helicopter, also readied at SEA TAC as instructed, and land in his son’s front yard as he had originally intended.  I understood his vehemence, but being arrested would put the kibosh on his soon to be custody battle with Chris’ mother.

I refused to contact Mom and Dad. Anyway, I’m in no mood to field questions I have no intention of answering. We all went to Escala for a sleepless few hours then I’ll force Everett to go to Grey House with me and Reynolds while Taylor and Everett’s security team intercept Christopher somewhere near his school.  Ana will stay at Escala with Gail and Sawyer to rest; plausible deniability.

“I’m not fucking interested in your fucking company Grey!  Now is NOT the time to show off!”

I’m sick of this motherfucker’s bullshit. I’m not his fucking underling and I won’t take-down to him or any-fucking-body else. I’m done being nice to this son of a bitch, “Look, Cousin,” that grabbed his ass, “I’m not interested in showing off.  I don’t have anything to prove to you or anyone else in the business world.  The only person I have to prove myself to is my fiancée and that’s none of your business.”

“Now you’ll bring your raving, fucking belligerent ass to my building and behave like the fucking loud, obnoxious, COO bastard you are or I’ll beat your crazy, arrogant ass like I would my brother’s!”  My fists are balled and little did I know, I’ve moved into Dom mode. His shit-eating grin breaks through my annoyance to makes me smile as well.  I know what he’s going to say before he opens his asinine mouth.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah…I know.”  He raises an ‘oh, you know what I’m thinking, huh?’ eyebrow and interjects anyway.

“Cousin?”

Whatev asshole.


“Christian, Everett I know you’re in a rush, but you have to eat something. Passing out during one of your egocentric adrenaline rushes won’t help anyone’s cause.”  Ana stands in the middle of the kitchen with her hands on her hips, tapping her toe while Everett and I look at each other and smile.

“Bossy lil thing ain’t she.” It’s obviously a statement, not a question as Everett gives his take on the situation at hand.

“I wouldn’t have her any other way.”  I smile and wink at Ana.

“Save it Grey, you too Brown.”  We wince at her use of our surnames.

“Baby, I’m not…”

She holds up her hand, much like Everett did, and finishes my sentence, her own way, “…gonna give me any trouble, exactly, neither of you are.  Now EAT!”  She points to the egg white omelets, bacon, toast, fruit and coffee sitting on the breakfast bar waiting for us.

As is becoming the usual and customary, we look at each other than at Ana and respond in unison, “Ma’am, yes ma’am.”

After breakfast and quick showers we each don our executive attire. I dress in a dark grey Canali, Fine Tonal Stripe suit, crisp white Canali Herringbone dress shirt with my Harrods Of London Mother of Pearl cufflinks, burgundy Harrods Of London Grosgrain silk tie and onyx black Kurt Geiger London, Grant Derby shoes.

Apparently Everett intends to scare the dog shit out of anyone he meets today. While it took a lot of coaxing from Ana, my dear cousin opted to buy a black Paul Smith London, Soho Windowpane Check suit, snow-white Paul Smith London, Contrast Cuff Byard dress shirt with Tateossian, Cabochon Onyx Round cufflinks and polished black Paul Smith, Berty Punched Oxford shoes from the clothier who met us at Escala in the wee hours of the morning. Ana had to fucking humiliate Everett to reconsider the Alexander McQueen, Knotted Skull cufflinks he saw, which was no easy task. All I could do was shake my head.

As we reconvene in the Great Room, Ana surprises us both when she asks, “Ok fellas, will Christopher come directly here or is he going to Grey House once Taylor picks him up?” I don’t want her involved in this mess in any way, shape or fucking form. I didn’t want to bring her with me so how in the Hell does she think I’m going to let her babysit this kid until we get home this afternoon?

NO FUCKING WAY!

Everett and I decided, somewhere during the time warp flight, to keep Christopher with us at Grey House until we finished the workday.  We intend to pick Ana up at Escala then all board the GEH jet to LAX. Our intention is to be between LAX and BNE before Christopher’s mother realizes he’s gone. It should be easy to do since the woman’s background check shows she’s not a suitable guardian for a house pet let alone a child, particularly a teenage boy, so neither of us sees a problem with our plan. The catch being how rested Steven and his co-pilot are. We may have to wait until tomorrow afternoon to leave, since neither of us wants to risk anyone’s life.

I let Everett run through our intentions. I’m very pleased when he stresses to Anastasia that Christopher will come to Grey House. “There’s no reason to burden you with him or any possible fallout accompanying our ‘acquisition reclamation’. Get your rest Love.  Besides, Christian and I need to speak with Christopher about just what the fuck is going on. If things are as bad as they seem, you don’t want to be subject to my histrionics and your fiancé’s ass-whipping as he and his Keystone Cops will, no doubt, attempt to restrain me from leaving his castle and storming to my Kirkwood estate where I’ll deal with Christopher’s mother in my own fashion.”

Ana shakes her head then softly reminds him, “You’ll only make a bad situation worse Everett and you know it. Don’t be foolish. Let security handle this as much as possible. Focus on getting Christopher back here then on to Townsville.” My baby handled the great, big mutherfucker as if he was a fine violin then she gives Everett an encouraging hug before we leave.


The trip to Grey House is silent.  Each of us is lost in his own thoughts.  I feel like an ass for not reporting that bitch years ago and an accomplice for not turning over the evidence we have on all the boys.  Welch assured me we didn’t have enough concrete documentation to convict her.  We also hadn’t worked out how to approach any of the boys, so she was only under covert surveillance.

We enter my building through the underground parking structure. As we exit the vehicle and approach the entrance I vaguely hear someone say, “Stop it Cousin.”  Huh, stop what? Without acknowledging his statement, I give Everett a questioning glance as we continue into the building.

Ignoring the shocked stares, gasps and butterfly fluttering eyelashes, we make our way across the lobby to the express elevator. Apparently my staff are in awe and getting an eye-full of Everett Rockhold-Brown and Christian Trevelyn-Grey together.

Makes you wanna laugh don’t it?

Hardly.

Once the elevator doors close I address Everett’s prior demand, “Stop what?”

As if addressing the elevator doors, his feet shoulder width apart, his hands crossed in front of him, looking military, but still nonchalant, Everett explains, “Emmett gets the same look on his face you had. I know immediately he’s chastising himself about something. It usually concerns you and Aunt Ellie.”

“You’ve explained the fact this disgusting whore is under covert surveillance while you gather evidence. I understand you don’t have enough information to make the authorities take notice and you didn’t want to risk tipping her off by approaching the lads involved with this menace to even the dregs of society. Logically, I understand it all.”

While his gaze remains focused on the polished, reflective, elevator doors , his voice changes, infinitesimally, to that of a disheartened parent lamenting the predicament of his child. “What I don’t understand is how Chris’ mother didn’t know and why she didn’t care where our son spends his time. How could she turn a blind eye to what he’s doing and what’s happening to our flesh and blood.” He shakes his head, as if to ward off a thought or wipe one away. I observe Everett very closely as he speaks about his son and now his son’s mother. If I don’t know anything else, I know people. There’s more than meets the eye with this situation.

I let the subject drop for the time being, but Everett’s not finished, “I don’t understand my son not talking to me.  I know I’m not here every day, but he’s talked to me about a lot of rabbit-ass crazy, kid stuff.  Why not bring this to me?”  He utters the last sentence so softly I almost missed it. He sounds defeated and the closer I watch him I can see he looks distraught.

I wonder if Emmett looked that way about his sister…and you?

It’s my turn to wipe away an errant thought, “I don’t know your relationship with your son Everett, but regardless, this isn’t something you run home to tell your folks. Believe me, I know.” He nods, recalling our conversation on the flight. “We’ll get him back, sit him down and talk to him about what he’s been through then see if he can tell Taylor and Welch how to contact the other boys. Once Taylor and Welch have the information they need, you, Christopher, Ana and I can go back to Townsville.  It’ll work out. It just won’t be pleasant.” I place a hand on his shoulder and he nods again, restrained and solemn. I’ve not seen this side of The Great Everett Rockhold-Brown. I don’t like what I’m seeing, although I can’t determine why.

Not now. We’ll toss it around later.

You’re right, there’s too much to do at the moment.

The elevator doors slide open to my direct reports standing in the foyer. Everyone at attention.  Andrea doesn’t miss a beat, “Good morning Mr. Grey, Mr Brown.

Mr Grey, I moved your morning meeting to tomorrow as you requested.  You have a 1:30 PM call with Taiwan and a 2 PM call with Mr. Welch.  The remaining End of the Year Reports are on your desk.  Would you like to schedule the Executive meeting for some time during your stay or will you be returning to Seattle at a later date?”

Everett looks at me and smirks.  Ok, ok, so I fired off some emails this morning about business.  Kill two birds you know.  I narrow my eyes at him as I say, “What?”

He narrows his right back at me and retorts, “Watch it!”  Our spectators grimace at the exchange, but neither of us take notice of them.

Fuck you Brown. I’m in charge here.

“My office is this way, unless,” I turn to look at Andrea over my shoulder, “Ms Bailey managed to commandeer it.”

“No sir, it’s still your office.”  She says proudly.  I wonder what kind of discussions they’ve had over my office.

“Thank you Andrea, that’ll be all for now.”  Andrea nods and goes back to her spot at the Reception Desk.  All this time people are looking at Everett and me like we’re lab rats on display.

After closing my office door Everett asks, “Do you deal with that eyelash batting bullshit all the time?” as he flops into the chair in front of my desk.

I turn on my computer, preparing for my day as I tell him, “You’d be surprised. I see them, but I don’t see them.” Turning to face him, I point out the obvious, “I only have eyes for my Ana.”

“No fucking wonder you like Townsville.  I mean, the office building is nice and all, but those women are a fucking nuisance.  How do they keep their jobs? Emmett and Edward would send them off to the gallows at first glance.”

Everett pulls out his phone, preparing for his business day, no doubt. “Those bitches are right up Eran and Emerson’s alley though.  I can let you borrow ‘The Bookends’ if you ever want to clean house.” He says with a huge smile.

I laugh only because I know he’s 100 percent serious.

Hmm, Ana wouldn’t mind that at all.

I know.

“I may take you up on that Everett.  I’ll let you know.”

“No problem Cousin” I shake my head and proceed to work.

Everett tends to EB business from his customized Silent Circle Blackphone with a converted and secured iOS, as opposed to the customary Android OS. He waits for a call from his son on his iPhone.  Apparently family and Christopher’s school administrators have his International iPhone number. Everyone else, including his son’s mother, contacts him on his Silent Suite secure line, which gives him the ability to record calls. Seems precise documentation is needed when it comes to Ms Yvonne Brenda Pope. He figures the kid’ll call once my security team approaches him.

I agree to let Everett sit in during my business call to Taiwan. The mutherfucker makes more noise about incompetence than I ever dreamed possible.

I already knew the P/L Report lacked information from the last two days. I planned to address the faux pas. However, when the Execs tried to give some weak-ass explanation about ‘the report being prepared a week in advance’, Everett beat me to the punch, which is rare, if not impossible. My dear cousin pointed out to the newly acquired Taiwanese executives they were full of shit. He proved himself by directing their attention to the document’s property information, which clearly stated the file was updated last night. He also reamed them for trying to take advantage of the time difference as an excuse for submitting the original report to me after its deadline.

Everett went on to remind them we each could read and make decisions regarding a P/L based on the first few lines, basically calling out their figures as elementary and riddled with mistakes, making the entire report null and void. Everett’s tirade went on to chastise my employees for what he unaffectionately referred to as ‘fucking kiss-ass fluffy shit’ in an attempt to draw attention away from their overall dismal performance. I almost lost it. I had to put the call on mute so many times it was ridiculous. It was comical.

They all but forgot I was involved once Everett started speaking, so I was able to take Taylor’s call and let Everett vent for a while.  It seemed to be a welcome distraction for him. “Taylor, give me an update.”

“We have the boy and we’re on our way to Grey House.”  Fine with me, but his ole man is gonna have a coronary. Reading my mind as he always does Taylor added, ”He didn’t have his phone with him. It’s the reason he didn’t call Mr. Brown.  We did a search of him and his belongings, much to his dismay, and verified he didn’t have the phone.” I see, Elena wants this one all to herself.

What’s so special about this kid?

Snapping my out of my pondering, I hear Taylor’s distress, “Sir, there was a tracking device found on young Mr Brown. We found it in the…the…um…” I know what he’s trying not to say.

“Let me help you Taylor.  There’s a tracking device in his collar?”  Taylor quietly, almost silently, releases his breath.  In his professionalism Taylor forgets who he’s talking to and what he’s talking about, which I can and do appreciate…greatly. “I understand Taylor.  I’ll let his father know you’re en route.  What’s your ETA?”

“Yes sir, we’ll be there in 15.”  With the way Everett is ranting and raving on the phone, that’s not enough time to explain why his son didn’t call and what Taylor found on the kid in private.  I’ll get a feel for the boy. Depending on how defensive he is, I’ll ease the information out of him in front of Everett. I basically prepped Everett on the trip over. I told him a lot, but that’s never going to be enough. This topic isn’t a casual conversation for those unfamiliar with the lifestyle.

“Thanks Taylor.”

When I re-engage in the thrashing Everett Brown, COO of EB, Pty is giving Soon Liu, the Executive Director of my new Taiwanese shipyard, I have to stop Everett from going through the fucking phone.  The nutty bastard even promised to stop off in Taiwan on the return trip just to kick someone’s fucking ass.

DAMN!  He’s worse than me. You can’t tell me I’m anywhere near that bad.

Hmm, you have your moments Grey.

Whatev.

“Gentlemen, gentlemen,” I shout. “Thank you for the enlightening information Mr. Brown.  Mr. Liu, please review the documents you provided, make the necessary changes then resend the report to me. Andrea will reschedule this meeting.  You and your team have two days Mr. Liu”. I say, trying to prevent a fucking walkout in my new acquisition.

“MAKE THAT 36 HOURS YOU INCOMPETENT ASS!”  I throw Everett a censoring glare, which goes completely unacknowledged.

“Um…Mr. Brown, we need to…”

This isn’t Everett’s show. He can save his fucking, crazy-ass bullshit for his own boardroom. Once again, Dom Grey steps into view, “As I stated Mr. Liu, make the updates and Andrea will contact you in two American business days.  Do you have any questions?”

“No Mr. Grey.  Thank you.  Goodbye” and the fucker hangs up on me.

“Père céleste me donner de la force” [1]

“Our Father in Heaven has nothing to do with their incompetence, Cousin.”

“Unless you can run a shipyard, stop berating my staff.”

“I can do better than those assholes with my dick in my hand.”  He mumbles.

“Tais-toi Cousin” that made him smile, anything to make the guy feel better. [2]

Face it Grey, it’s kind of nice having family around, ain’t it? Even if it is crazy-ass family.

I have a family.

Not like this one.

That’s for damn sure.

Thankfully, the intercom goes off, Andrea to the rescue, “Mr Grey, Mr. Welch is on line three and Mr. Taylor and young Mr. Brown are here in the reception area.”

“Tell Taylor to take young Mr. Brown to the Executive Boardroom then come back to my office. The senior Mr. Brown will tend to his son shortly.”

“Yes sir” she says.

I look over to see glistening, deep, blue eyes. It’s clear Everett wants to bolt from his seat. I soften my voice, simply because I can see the yearning and terror on his face, “Go to your son Everett.  I’ll let you know what I find out.” I don’t have to tell him twice, immediately he’s up and at Andrea’s desk.

Andrea sends Olivia to show Everett to the boardroom. I know this is a mistake, so I stand at my office door, which is uncommon for me, waiting for the show. Andrea sits up in her chair preparing to speak, I presume to see if something’s wrong. With my index finger to my lips, I shake my head to shush her the I mouth, “Wait.” Three, tw…

As they walk away I hear Everett bark, “If you’re gonna bat your fucking eyelashes at people use less mascara.  The shit makes your lashes look like fucking, creepy-ass tarantula legs.”

The laughter escapes my chest, “Shut up Cousin” I call after them.

Without missing a beat or turning around Everett shouts, “Retour à tu Cousin” [3] and laughs as they continue down the corridor.

I turn my attention to my stunned Personal Assistant and Head of Personal Security, “Come in Taylor.” Let’s get this shit over and done.


While Everett gets reacquainted with Christopher, Taylor and I hold a debriefing with Welch.  Basically there’s no more information than before I left the United States.

“Mr. Grey, if you can get young Mr. Brown to tell you anything it may help, but there’s no guarantee.  Taylor, you said the kid had a tracking device on him?”

“Yeah, it was in his…collar.”  Taylor best lose his inhibition. I guarantee this situation is going to get worse before it gets better.

“Ok Welch.  Maintain surveillance and we’ll get back to you with whatever Christopher does or even doesn’t say.”

“Yes Sir” he says and I end the call. I take a deep cleansing breath as I run my fingers through my hair. There’s got to be a way to tag this bitch. She has to fuck up somehow and this kid knows how.

Tracking device in the collar huh?  Why’s she got the kid on such a short leash?  Pun intended.

It’s my question as well.  Perhaps he knows a lot or even too much. At the risk of being arrogant…

Never stopped you before.

Fuck you.

No thank you. Now get to the point.  At the risk of being yourself, what?

I need information, I need it now and that kid is the lynch-pen in her whole monkey-works. “Taylor, let’s meet with Everett and his son.”

“Yes sir.”

Taylor and I get to the boardroom door in the nick of time.  Everett is more than berating his son. His shouts can be heard in the hall. Luckily, you can’t discern exactly what he’s saying.

If that bastard causes this to get out, I’ll beat his ass on the return trip then hide the body until Taylor can get rid of it for me.

My sideways glance at Taylor reminds me just how well he knows me. Taylor simply shakes his head, telling me to reconsider my plan. To drive his point home he speaks, “No way. Ana will have *both* our asses.” It’s enough to redirect my thoughts.

“Then the soundproofing on that room has to be improved.”

I know he’s relieved with my decision when I hear, “Yes sir.”

I open the closed boardroom door to a roaring Everett and shut the damn thing as fast as I can. “DAMMIT CHRISTOPHER!  What the fuck is going on! You can tell me when your mother gives you shit, school gives you shit, Hell, when the fucking silly-ass kids in the neighborhood and at school get on your fucking nerves, whatever that means to a teenager. But some OLD-ASS BATTLELAX wants to BEAT and FUCK you and you’re quiet as a fucking church mouse on Easter Sunday!  WHAT THE FUCK!? And don’t give me any shit about ‘you just wouldn’t understand Dad’ because that shit won’t work.  Now SPILL!”

I wave Taylor off through the floor to ceiling glass wall of the boardroom. He, ever so appreciatively, returns to his office while I see about my…family. What a fucking way to meet, ‘Hi Christopher, I’m your long-lost cousin who used to be molested by your now pedophile Domme.’

I look to the Heavens for help.  Dieu du Ciel, give me the strength to have this conversation. I lower the privacy screen on the boardroom walls then turn around to face the duo. Thankfully, Everett’s huge back has completely blocked the scene from passersby. [4]

I walk around the left side of the conference table and stop cold, ”Oh mon Dieu. C’est moi.”  My eyes have to be as big as saucers. [5]

The look on his face and snide tone in his voice say it all, “Bonjour Cousin, good to finally meet you.” [6]

He’s me…all over…my hair, my eyes, even the shitty scowl on his face.  It all screams Christian Grey. Still staring at my reflection I say, “Everett, your picture didn’t do him justice.”

An irritated Everett flippantly remarks, “What do you mean?”  Everett either can’t see it or he doesn’t understand the ramifications. Since he doesn’t know Elena, it’s the later of the two.

“I mean he looks more like me than either Emmett or Edward do.”  Everett squints his eyes then tilts his head from side to side.

“I guess, but that’s just you copper-headed pretty boys with those funny color eyes.  It’s no big deal to me, remember.”

“No, but it’s a big deal to her.  Ain’t it Kid?”  Christopher stares at me, like this is some kind of competition.

Oh yeah, he’s a special one.

“What does she call you Kid?”  A look of surprise sparks in his eyes, but he recovers quickly.

I guess he thinks he’s gonna shock someone because he gets a shit-eating grin on his face before proudly uttering, “Second.”

As sad as it is I still laugh, out loud.  My chuckle takes the grin right off his face.  “Really?  Second?  And you’re proud of that?”

I take it, from the now sour look on his face, he didn’t appreciate my making fun of his pet name.  Everett, looking very confused narrows his eyes at me and asks, “Just what the fuck is so fucking funny Grey?”

Unfazed by his expression or tone, I wipe the laugh-induced tears from my eyes and explain, “Everett, Cousin, the Bitch-Troll, as Anastasia so unaffectionately refers to her, gives her submissive pets names.  I was simply, Pet.  I’m laughing because, sadly, it appears Christopher is pleased with his name.  He fails to realize, one, having a pet name is degrading and two, his name implies he is second…to her favorite.” I narrow my eyes at my reflection.

Obviously displeased with my reaction, Christopher asks his father “Dad, are we staying here or are you gonna take me home?  I’ve got fencing practice in a few…”

“YOU’VE GOT NOTHING BUT TIME DAMMIT!”  Everett really needs to get control of himself. I guarantee this shit is going to get more emotional before it’s over.

“Everett, Taylor will take you and Christopher back to Escala?  Rest up and have something to eat.  I’ll let Ana and Gail know to expect you both. I’ll be there in a few hours.  I’ve got some more calls to make.” Everett nods his consent and I simply ignore the nasty look from his son.

That kid needs his ass kicked.

My sentiments exactly.


Buzz…Bu…

“Christian!  How did everything go?  Did you get Christopher?  Are you coming home?”

Even barraging me with questions, it’s absolutely wonderful to hear Ana’s voice and know she’s mine.  I immediately recall how I felt the last time I spoke to Ana while sitting in this chair, “Hey Baby, everything’s fine.  Taylor got Christopher.  I’m sending Everett and his son back to Escala right now.  I’ll be there in a few hours.  There are some calls I need to make.”

The line is quite for a moment.  I can feel the tension building when she quietly asks me, “Who do you have to call Christian?”  Ana’s not going to like this, but I have to do it.  Elena trusts me and knowing how fond she is of her Second, now I have some leverage.

I take a deep breath and sigh, “I need to call Elena, Baby.  I have to…” I knew she wouldn’t let me finish.  I barely got the phone away from my ear fast enough.  I’m glad as fuck I didn’t put her on speaker, not that there was a need.  They can hear her in Townsville.

“YOU’RE GONNA CALL THAT BITCH?!  Over YOUR dead body GREY.  Now you listen to me and you listen good, I don’t question you or tell you what to do, until now.  Christian Trevelyn-Grey, if you call that whore I’ll stay in Seattle.  You can go back to Townsville…alone.”

What the fu…I didn’t get to finish my thought.

“It’s up to you Grey, but if Everett and Christopher walk through that door and you’re not with them, don’t bother calling, texting, sending Sawyer, Taylor or anyone else to look for me.  You won’t fucking find me, I’m sure Kate will see to it”  then she slammed the phone in my ear.

FUCK!  The sound of the dial tone reminds me there’s no need to hit the End button.  Tossing the phone across my desk, I run my fingers through my hair.

When I look up, I see Everett in my office, leaning against the closed door, arms folded across his chest, a ‘she told you’ smile on his face, waiting for me.  As engrossed as I was in having my ass handed to me, it’s no wonder I didn’t hear him come in.  “Come on Cousin.  I need to cool down and you need to get home before I have to keep your fiancée from beating your ass.”

I guess my expression was less than receptive to his suggestion.  “You can narrow your funny-color eyes and tune up your pretty face all you want.  There’s no fucking way in Hell I’m going to let you save my son and ruin your future.  Besides Grandmom would fucking haunt us both.”

“Everett, I have calls…”  He cuts me off, finishing my sentence his own way.

“…that you can easily make from that lavish penthouse of yours.  Wait.  We need a solid game plan before you make contact with this…Bitch-Troll anyway.  It may mean another trip to Seattle, but if you don’t mind dealing with this, I don’t mind giving your Executives Hell while we sort out that pedophile.”  He looks gleeful at the thought of harassing my employees.

You know he’s right.  You need a strategy and you need Steele.  Get your sorry ass up and go back to Escala before you fucking regret it.

I get up and tell him, “Let’s go…Cousin” and we’re out the door.


“Nice digs Cousin.”  Christopher strolls into the foyer of my penthouse ahead of Everett and me like he owns the place.

SWAT!

“Hey Grey, what the…” the boy spins around expecting to see me behind him, after his father gives him a good, hard smack to the back of the head.

In a low, menacing tone Everett declares, “That female you’ve lived with all these years may not have introduced you to the concepts of etiquette and decorum, but times…they are a changing my boy.  You will behave with a lot of dignity or I will kick the shit out of you…a lot.  You are Christopher Ellis Brown and you will live up to the name.  Get it?”

Maybe Grace should’ve let Carrick light into you on occasion.

The world, will never know my friend.

Rubbing the back of his head and looking down at the floor, obviously chastened, Christopher mumbles, “Got it.”

“Good,” the conversation forgotten as Everett turns to me and asks, “Now, what are we having for dinner Cousin?”

I move ahead of Everett and Christopher and smile when, out of the corner of my eye, I see the boy still rubbing the back of his head.

Shut you the fuck up didn’t he.

We walk into the Great Room as I call out, “Honey, we’re home.”

“CHRISTIAN!”  Ana yells as she comes barreling through the Great Room and leaps into my arms.  She wraps her arms around my neck and her legs around my waist so tight, I don’t know if I want to fuck her or gasp for breath.  After a strong, but all too brief, kiss on the lips she pulls back and looks me in the eyes as she whispers, “Thank God.  Townsville is really too lovely a place to leave.”

“And here I thought it was me.”  I pout.

“Your smiling face, twinkling eyes and close proximity are also appealing factors Mr Grey.” She kisses me on the lips again then jumps down out of my arms to greet our guests.

“Hello Everett, I’m sure I have you to thank for bringing him home safe and sound” Ana gives Everett a hug.

Looking at the sullen teen standing beside his father, first Ana gasps then she says, almost in awe, “You must be Christopher.”

Christopher has that mischievous look in his eyes again as he smiles and offers his hand to shake with Ana, “Guilty as charged.”

SWAT!

Everett nailed him again.  No words are spoken this time, just a menacing glare from father to son does the trick.  The boy contritely changes his tune to correct himself, “Yes Anastasia, I’m Christopher.  It’s wonderful to meet you.”

Ignoring the parental exchange, my Baby greets the kid warmly, “It’s wonderful to meet you as well Christopher.  I’ve heard a lot of good things about you.  It seems your dad tries to keep you busy, even from overseas.”

Christopher gives her a knowing glance and nods his head, “He says it’s to keep me out of trouble.” then with a bit a sadness in his voice he mumbles, “I only wish it worked.”

Everett puts his arm around his son’s shoulders, in a silent promise to the boy that it’ll be alright once Christopher gets to Townsville.  At this point, my wheels are spinning as I try to figure out how to resolve this once and for all.

Everett ruffles his son’s hair then goes to one of the guest rooms to change into some comfortable clothes and Ana returns to the kitchen to check on dinner, leaving Christopher and I alone.

I find my way to the sofa, nose stuck in my BlackBerry.  It’s almost like old times until I’m reminded otherwise, “So, what was it like for you?”  The kid catches me off guard.  My finger stops mid-scroll through the emails I’m reading on my BlackBerry.

I shake my head.  Surely I heard him wrong.  Did he just question my relationship with Elena?  “Excuse me.”

He smiles like he’s got me between a rock and a hard place.  “You heard me.” He has the nerve to snap.  “What was it like for you, Pet?”  I guess he’s trying to impersonate his father by crossing his arms over his chest and raising he voice.  I’m sure he’s seen it work a number of times.

Not here sonny-boy.

This isn’t a fucking game Kid.  My time with Elena was nothing to brag about and I’ll be damned if I do the cock-strut with this little fucker.  “Christopher…” he cuts me off, just like his old-man.

“Second.”  He says with an impish grin.

“What!?”  I whisper in shock.

“I’m called Second.”

“And you’re proud of that…why?  You understand you’re Second to her favorite Pet, right?”  He furrows his brow and nods his head.

“And do you know who her favorite Pet was?”  I’m sure to reiterate the name Elena used to refer to me by, as much as possible.  His expression darkens and his eyes turn the color of storm-clouds as I watch him fight to maintain control.  I take it he’s had this conversation with his Mistress, possibly more than once.

“I know of him.” The boy finally growls.  “He can’t be all that if she let him go.” he says trying to mask his the disappointment at not being all that himself.

I shake my head and try to remember how I felt at his age, but the Dom in me will not be disrespected.  No matter what.  I bend over and get in his face, nose to nose.  The kid is tall, but he hasn’t caught up with me yet.  “He aged out, became her Dom then cut her loose.”  His eyes widen and I slowly nod my head to emphasize my point.  “Remember thatSecond.”  I snarl.


Airport Abbreviations

TSV | Townsville Airport
BNE | Brisbane International Airport
LAX | Los Angeles International Airport
SEA TAC | Seattle Tacoma International Airport

GREY

[1] Père céleste me donner de la force. | Father in Heaven give me strength.
[2] Tais-toi Cousin. | Shut up Cousin.
[4] Dieu du Ciel | God in Heaven
[5] Oh mon Dieu, c’est moi. | Oh my God, It’s me.

EVERETT

[3] Retour à tu Cousin. | Back at you Cousin.

CHRISTOPHER

[6] Bonjour Cousin. | Hello Cousin.

Can’t We Just Be Happy | Chapter 9 Temper Tantrum

The original characters are the property of E.L. James.  I’m just having a lil’ fun.  No copyright infringement intended.

Chapter 9 | Temper Tantrum

GREY

“Hello sir.  You have no security in this residence whatsoever.  It was not difficult to cross the threshold without notice.  Welch and I are in the process of remedying that situation.  Mrs. Jones is shopping as we speak.  She said water, wine, milk and Fruit Loops were not a balance diet and no way for a college student, let alone a grown man, to live.  I told her you most likely dined out.  She is very, and I do mean very, upset with you.  After reminding her how things were when she joined us at Escala she seemed slightly mollified.”  This must be “Shock the Shit Out of Me-ville” because once again I’m standing around with no fucking clue about what’s going on in front of me.

“Mr. Grey, may I speak freely?”  All I can do is nod my head, although I do manage to close my fucking mouth this time.  “There are a great many people who are concerned about you.”  He actually has a worried look on his face.  I haven’t given anyone reason to be alarmed, have I?

Not as far as I’m concerned, I mean, you contacted all of the staff, they knew their jobs were secure since Escala and Grey House Seattle both needed to be maintained so I don’t see the big deal either.

“Taylor, I’m not following you.  Why is anyone concerned?  All positions were maintained, no one has been put out of a job, except Reynolds and that was for a valid.  Security hasn’t been necessary here.  As for the house, you and Mrs. Jones vetted several qualified applicants.  I just have to make a final decision.”

“While I appreciate your loyalty, I don’t understand your visit and I use the term loosely.  I won’t get pissy this time, but don’t ever break into my house, wherever it is, again.  Do you understand?”  That’s a fucking hard limit dammit.

He nods then goes on to give me the update on all things Seattle.  All of this “catching up” makes me feel like the weight of my world is on my shoulders again, in spades.

When he finally reaches the topic of Anastasia, I have to shut him down.  “PAUSE!  Taylor I appreciate the information, but I left all of this to you and Welch.  As for Miss Steele, she knows my telephone number and she knows the extent of the situation.  There is nothing more for us to discuss about her.”  And that’s final.

However, in true Jason Taylor fashion he keeps going.  I swear he’s like my mother.  “Mr. Grey, permission to speak freely sir?”  Oh shit.

“Taylor, just say whatever it is you have to say.  I have a sneaking suspicion I’m in for an earful no matter what.”  Since I heard Gail come in I yell, “Mrs. Jones, please join us.”  Once she seats herself I lay down the ground rules for this conversation.  “Neither of you have to ask for permission speak freely.  When the talk gets to be too deep for me, the safeword is red.  Get it?”

“Got it.” They say in unison and Gail nods her head for emphasis.

“Good, go on.  Spill.”  I sigh, sit back and resign myself to my fate.

Gail starts off, “Miss Steele came to Escala in tears.  She said she tried to contact you on several occasions, but your phone always went straight to voicemail and then cut her off so that she couldn’t leave a message.  She didn’t know if you were hurt, ill or if you simply were no longer speaking to her.”

“I was nervous because I hadn’t heard from you directly since you left for Taiwan.  I knew at first you weren’t thrilled about having to go overseas.  Jason and I…I mean Mr. Taylor…” we just said this was a heart to heart talk so all formalities are out of the window.

“Gail, if I may call you by your first name”, she nods her head and I continue, “we established this is a ‘Come to Jesus’ meeting so other than what’s common courtesy and respect, formalities aren’t necessary.  Ok?”  She nods in agreement then continues her story.

“When Jason and I got back from our vacation, you were nowhere to be seen.  You called Jason and told him about Reynolds and when your call was done, Jason went ballistic and I began to worry.”  She tries to blink away her tears, but ends up having to dab her eyes to stop them from flowing down her cheeks.  Jason puts a comforting arm around her shoulder and she steadies her breathing enough to go on.

“Your parents, brother and sister called several times before you contacted them.  Afterwards, your father began speaking with Jason on a regular basis.  Ros only had information pertaining to GEH and I have no interest in that”, she is beginning to feel more comfortable with this conversation, she is speaking about her own feelings.

I know you’re not shrinking someone?

Besides business, what other field do I know?  Degree or not, my crazy ass can tell you about psychology and psychiatry for that matter.

Listen up…

“…finally, Ana came to Escala.  She told me about your few chats before you left for Taiwan and since you’ve been overseas.  Jason told me about your move here and…well…I couldn’t stay away any longer.  I understand your separation of personal and professional relationships and I respect that.  Mr. Grey, I’ve been worried about you and how you were dealing with your separation from Miss Steele.  Whether it’s my place or not, I still worry.  All I can do is not tell you.”  See what you did?  You made a grown woman who has absolutely no biological or romantic involvement with you worry like hell.

What is today’s date?  I have to mark this one off on the calendar as “Astound Grey Day”.  What have these people been thinking about?  Fuck.  I went to work.  I always go to work.  I work constantly and no one gives it a second thought, but let me step off US soil and all of a sudden emotions run high.

I’m totally out of my comfort zone.  I look to Jason and mouth the word ‘red’ so that he can take care of Gail.  I let her know she’s welcome to stay or she can finish the interview process for the applicants she approved, the choice is hers.  “Gail, Jason, please don’t be offended.  I didn’t expect either of you to pick up and relocate to parts unknown at a moments notice.  I thought it was best to undertake this endeavor alone.”

“I sent you and Taylor on vacation because you deserve that and so much more for putting up with me and my shit on a continual basis.  My actions may be unconventional, but they come from a good place.”  She nods again then goes to the kitchen.

At this point I decide to ask, “Gail, do you want to stay here?”  Her expression softens but the tears are still flowing down her cheeks.

“Mr. Grey, I have no problem remaining here with you.  However, my home is with Jason, I’m certain you know that.  If Jason is prepared to move to this lovely area then I am as well.  My sister is a big girl.  She’ll be fine without me tagging along on the weekends”, with that she gives me a little wink and turns to work on dinner.

“Taylor, we can continue this discussion here or in my study, which ever you choose.  However, I’ve been in these running shorts and t-shirt so long they are dry and I need to take a shower.”  I’m not really prepared for all of this talking.  I wanted to sit around and eat my leftovers before delving into the facts and figures Ros faxed over to me earlier today.

Jason laughs at me and says, “Actually I would like a tour or to wander around a bit.  Go take your shower and we can pick up where we left off after we eat. “

“Ok Taylor, make yourself at home.  I suggest you take your belongings to the third floor.  It’s a replica of your living area at Escala.  If not, there are guest rooms on the second floor that are available to you.  The elevator is on the left of the foyer.  My room is here on the first floor.”  He nods and we part ways.


I turn on the shower to as hot as I can stand it and let the steam fill the room.  As the water falls over me I think about Ana.  She’s been trying to contact me?  Why haven’t I received her calls?  I haven’t missed calls from Ros or Andrea or the staff at the new office.  I don’t remember seeing any missed calls on my phone and the few texts I have were from Ros.  I don’t really talk with anyone else.  Why didn’t Ana send me an email?  My address hasn’t changed.  This is strange.

Once I’m out of the shower, dried off and dressed I head out toward the kitchen.  Mrs. Jones stops in her tracks, blinks a few times and stares at me with her mouth wide open then turns to look at Jason who seems equally taken aback.

“What?  What did I miss?”  I don’t understand the looks I am getting.

“Well…um…Mr. Grey, it is just…I am used to seeing you in your white linen shirt and black jeans.  This is a change for you.”  Am I correct?  Is she blushing?

I’ve dressed like this since I arrived in Townsville.  The new setting seemed to warrant a lot of changes for me.  My attire was one of those things.  I no longer don my linen shirt and jeans.  Various color athletic fit t-shirts or a wife-beater with plan blue jeans, for out in public, or my bare chest and shorts for around the house.  Since I have house guests, I thought the bare chest and shorts weren’t appropriate.

House guests huh?  These good people have walked in on you fucking a woman’s mouth in the kitchen, heard women counting out lashes and calling you ‘Sir’ and ‘Master’, if you saw fit.  Mrs. Jones in particular has cleaned come stains from various inanimate objects throughout Escala and NOW you get bashful.  REALLY GREY?  Get fucking real.

No one asked you so fuck off.

Fucking off ‘Sir’…hee, hee,hee

“Just a small change Gail, nothing to worry about.  I’m still the same overbearing, pompous, jackass I’ve always been, but I’m trying to get a grip on that too.”  I shrug my shoulders.  Taylor, thankfully, clears his throat then actually glares at Gail.  Apparently she likes what she sees.  Now it is my turn to hide a smile.

“Oh yes, dinner.  Cesar Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette, broiled steak, medium-well and baked potato Mr. Grey?”  She seems a little flustered.  This is too much fun.

I was going to flash her my mega-watt smile, but I won’t do that to Taylor.  I’d be pissed if someone did that to me so I think better of it, “That is wonderful Gail, it’ll be good to eat real food again.”

I sit down to a Gail Jones masterpiece.  The best meal I’ve had since I left for Taiwan.  I think about everything I left behind and what I have achieved since being away from Seattle.  Part of me is happy I left and part of me does miss home.

All of this must be written on my face because Gail says, “We all miss you Mr. Grey and I’m not just saying that.  You have no idea how we feel about you because of the ‘Separation of Church and State’.  It’s hard to get close to you, but once we do you prove to be a wonderful person.”  She pats my hand and leaves Taylor and I to talk.

I look at Taylor for a clue of what Gail’s statement was about, but all he tells me is “She is right.”  I nod my head even though I do not truly understand all the fuss.

Finally I ask Taylor, “Do you want to finish our exchange here or in my office?”

“Where ever you feel most comfortable sir.”  I smile at the word ‘comfortable’.  Comfort has never really mattered to me, business was business and personal was off limits.  Things have definitely changed.

“Here is fine then.”  I take our plates to the sink, rinse them and put them in the dishwasher.  When I turn around, Jason has an all out, full-blown smile on his face.

“I know, I know, I don’t have anyone to clean up after me so I went back to basics.  The kitchen came with the place.  Since the world knows I can’t cook it could easily have been another bedroom as far as I’m concerned.  I can run the dishwasher, do my laundry and pick up after myself like a good little boy.  My mommy would be proud.”  At that statement, the smile falls from his face.

In horror I immediately ask, “Is something wrong with my mother?  Please tell me she is alright.”  I’ll be on the first thing heading stateside if she’s not well.

I talk with my dad more regularly now, but he’s always in his office in the city so he can blow up at me without fear of my mother walking in on him.  My ears start to bleed every time I see his number on the Caller ID.  The only thing he does anymore is chew me out.  It’s the ‘Harvard Drop-out’ scene over and over and over again.

“Mrs. Grey is fine sir.  She misses you, that is all.”  I let out a sigh of relief and nod my head.

“Would you like a lager?”  Taylor nods so I grab a couple Townsville Bitters hen lead the way to the living room that over looks Rowes Bay.

“What else is going on Taylor?  I’ve spoken with you, my father, Ros and various people here using the same cellphone with no problems.  Not to mention my email address has not changed so what’s the issue with Anastasia trying to contact me?”

“We believe someone has tampered with Miss Steele’s phone and computer.”  WHAT?!

The look on my face must say it all.

“She received a text and an email containing photos of you and a young woman.  The text was sent from an unidentified number, while the email was from a generic marketing company that sends out random announcements and coupons.  Barney says her email address could have been sold to any number of marketers simply from making an online purchase.  He gave her cellphone and laptop a once over and found spyware that could monitor her online movements and a zombie virus, which can be used to perform malicious tasks under remote direction, including but not limited to denial of service attacks.  Her emails were not reaching you due to the virus’ effects on her computer.”

“She is able to access her email from her BlackBerry as well.  Since BlackBerry maintains there is no such thing as a BB virus Barney is still looking at the phone.  During his research, Barney found articles to the contrary where the phone’s calling ability was affected in part or in full.  For now, we are working with the premise that both hardware items were attacked and prevented her from contacting you.”

There is only one person on Earth who would bother to keep Ana and I apart.  Taylor simply nods his head before we say in unison, “Elena Lincoln.”

STEELE

C’mon, c’om…Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring… “Grey.  Leave a message.” Beep.  Buzzz…

WHAT THE FUCK!  How the hell am I supposed to communicate with him if my calls keep going to voicemail?  And why the fuck can’t I leave a damn message?  What the fuck is he playing at?

Ring…Ring…Ring…”Hello…Chri…”

“Hey Steele, Mia and I are going to the Zig Zag for a few drinks. wanna join us?”  I guess alls well in the land of Katherine Kavanaugh

“Kate, I have a throbbing headache and booze is not going to help me.  You two enjoy yourselves.”

She sighs, “Steele, you cannot mope over…” OH NO!  NOT THIS TIME!

“KATE STOP!  Stop right there.  I CAN mope and I WILL mope.  The last time I looked in the mirror you were not there.  I appreciate you wanting to look out for me and wanting me to be happy, but I AM NOT HAPPY!  Do you understand that Kate?  No amount of Hagen Das, Chinese take-out, pizza or booze is going to make me happy.”

“All I am trying to do is…”  She has the nerve to sound defensive.

“Kate, I miss Christian.  I want to be with Christian.”

“I do not see what it is about him.  How can you stand him Steele?  He is so contro…”  REALLY?

“You mean like you are?”  I hear her gasp.

“Yeah Kate.  Where are you going to sleep tonight?  Where is Elliott?  When is the last time you spoke with him, huh Kate?”  Silence.

“That is what I thought.  Christian is not here to defend himself against you and your tirade.  And for the record, what the fuck has he done to cause you to hate him?  Huh?  What is that all about?”  Silence.

“I am waiting.”  Still nothing.

Let’s test the waters, shall we?

Be my guest.

“Kate, did I tell you Christian bought SIP and shortly afterward I was made editor?”  I cannot remember if I told her all about it or not.  That is an abridged version of the whole mess, but it is the salient information.

Another gasp, “How dare he try to buy you?”  Huh?  “What, does he think you can’t do it on your own?  Why does he want to keep you under his thumb Ana?  This is what I mean, why does he want to control your every move?”

“Do you think I should turn it down, move on to another publisher?”  Be careful Kavanaugh.

“Has his interference hurt your reputation there?”  The ‘R’ word,  “I know you are a hard worker Ana and your reputation means everything to you.  Has he damaged that with this asinine stunt?”

I grit my teeth and say, “Well, at the last staff meeting the other editors were looking at me funny, but no one came out and said anything.”  I know for a fact a few of them wanted to.  Even Roach seemed disappointed that my HR scores were high enough to allow me to stay.

“If it were me, I’d leave Steele.  I mean, I’m sure your boss would give you a good recommendation for wherever you decided to go, but you know we both worked so hard it’s a shame he couldn’t leave well enough alone so you could make it on your own.”

“You mean like you did Kate?”  Silence.

“Kate…Kate are you still there?  Do you mean like your getting an internship at your father’s company?”  Crickets.

“That is what I thought.  Kavanaugh, lets put it like this.  I love you, think the world of you, but this is my life not yours.  You have your man and I am going to have mine.  A friend will listen when I need them to, hand me a tissue when I need it or buy me a box of the damn things when I run out, but a friend is not going to tear down my confidence or self-est…”

“ANA!  I ‘ve NEVER done that to you.  How could you think that?  This is what I mean.  That self-righteous, salacious, asshole is fucking with your head.  You don’t even know who your true friend is.”  NOW DO YOU FUCKING BELIEVE ME?

“Kate, I have to go.”  I disconnect the call.

Well?

I know.  You are right about her.  I never thought of Kate as a jealous person, but then…you learn something new everyday huh?

Yepper.


First he says he loves me then I see him with some other woman, what is the damn deal?

WHOA…WHOA…WHOA!  Down Steele…down girl.

WHAT!

First of all you need an attitude change.  Second of all the man is F…I…N…E…FINE, no one can blame a woman for looking or even DROOLING at him.  You’re the one who gets her tights in a twist when that happens.  Third, YOU told the man “yes” THEN you turned around and told the man to “wait” and you practically bit his head off each time he tried to address the situation.  So WHO THE FUCK is being unreasonable here?  Wait for it…wait for it…BUZZ times up.  Still don’t know the answer?  Here, let me help…YOU!  YOU ARE BEING UNREASONABLE, CHILDISH and now you have the nerve be JEALOUS?

I told you and told you and I told you again to stop being an ass.  I told you to make sure you had your priorities straight and what did you do Miss High and Mighty?  You first sent the man around Seattle to attend any and all obligatory events stag, then you let him go to Taiwan, stag and as article after article came out you did and/or said nothing to him.  What the fuck gives you the right to utter a sound now?

Do you need assistance recalling the conversation, here let me help you:

NO!  I do not need to go back in time I was there.  I remember scripture and verse what I said to Christian and what he said to me.

Good.  There’s a reminder you do need to hear.

What the fuck could that be?

“…I want to prepare you for what the world takes seriously.  I do not want this to affect your time away from me.  I do not want you to question my love or fidelity to you no matter what the situation between us.  My heart is always in your hands baby.  I love you.”

This is not about money.  This is not about your feelings for him or his feelings for you.  This is about your insecurities and you misguided sense of independence.  What does his love have to do with your independence?

Uh…well…

Wrong answer.  He doesn’t care about what anyone else thinks.  He cares about and loves you Steele, that’s it, that’s all there is to it.  You can’t ask him for anymore.  You can’t hold your insecurities against him anymore than he can hold his insecurities against you.  You projected your fear about a situation no one can control on the man you claim to love.

Does the world take you seriously yet?

I do not know.  I mean, I go to work everyday and I carry my share of the load, so I guess I am taken seriously.

I understand you’ve shown yourself to be a dependable worker, but that’s not what I asked you.  I asked you if ‘the world’ takes you seriously yet?

HOW THE FUCK DO I KNOW?  I have not taken a before and after poll.

How do you intend to gauge the world’s view of Anastasia Rose Steele then?

I did not think about it that way.

WHAT?  WHAT WAS THAT?  I DIDN’T CATCH THAT LAST SENTENCE.  REPEAT THAT!

I SAID…I DID NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT HOW TO GAGUE WORLD OPINION OF ME!  DAMMIT!

Anastasia, what world are you even talking about?  Do you know?

I want my co-workers to take me seriously, I want my boss to take me seriously, if I get ahead in my field I want every little step to be MY win not a hand-off because someone knows Christian is part of my life.

So what world are you talking about?

ARE YOU STUPID OR SOMETHING?  I JUST TOLD YOU WHAT WORLD!  MY CO-WORKERS, KATE, JOSE, MY DAD, MY MOM!  I WANT THEM TO TAKE ME SERIOUSLY!

Where are your co-workers right now?  Where are Kate, Jose, your dad and mom right now?

I have no idea and at this very second I do not give a fuck.

Why don’t you know where they are?

I am no one’s babysitter.  My co-workers have lives of their own.  Kate is at the Zig Zag with Mia.  Jose and my mom are each somewhere in the world, I do not know where exactly.  My dad is at home in Montesano.  What does this have to do with my being taken seriously?

It has everything to do with it.  Your co-workers have lives of their own.  They’re not thinking about you sweetie.  They know you come to work on time and fulfill your assigned tasks.  Kate had her own shit-soup to sip on.  She doesn’t even work in your field, has no idea what you do for a living unless you tell her and between you, me and the lamp-post does she even give a fuck?  I think not.  What has she done to deserve to have that kind of power in your life?  Please explain that to me.

Kate graduated from college then proceeded to “inherit” an internship in her father’s company.  You see she doesn’t mind what anyone has to say about that?  Does she care what you have to say about it?  No, because that’s Kate and she knows you’d never judge her.  How does she know that?  You never have.  Why do you feel the need for her to accept you as anything other than her friend?

I wish you would see Kate for what she is.  You went to school together and she bullied you the entire time.  Her nasty attitude finally brought some good into your life that’s all.  She needs to worry about her own man before she looses him and has no one but herself to blame.  Although I’m sure she’ll come up with a way to pin it on Christian.

Your relationship with Grey is no more her business than her relationship with Elliott is yours.  The two of you have got to grow the fuck up.

Jose, well…Jose has wanted to fuck you for ages.  How you do or don’t feel about him is of no consequence.  How Jose feels has remained the same whether you reciprocated those feelings or not.  Is Grey a jealous ass?  Yes.  Does he have a valid reason to dislike Jose Rodriguez?  Yes, I believe so.  Do you have the right to expect Grey to simply forget what he saw that night outside of the bar?  No, I don’t believe you have the right to expect that from him.  You had difficulty watching him handle Leah when she had you at gunpoint and you still manage to harp on it by questioning his feelings for you.  How do you think that makes him feel?  Why is it you can walk away scot-free and Grey is left holding some kind of blame or is ‘guilty of crossing some imaginary line?  Why is he always the bad guy’?

I don’t know what else to tell you except you need to get your priorities straight.  Seeing him in a picture with another woman isn’t reason enough to contact him.  Think about it and I mean really think.  Let’s go to sleep, I’m tired and we have to be at work early tomorrow.  I’d hate for ‘the world’ to see you slipping.

Fuck you.

HA!  Is that the best you’ve got?  Grey deserves better than the way you’ve treated him and you know it.  You can lie to someone, but not to yourself.  Now, good night John Boy


As we go into SIP I ask Sawyer, “Have you heard from Christian?”  Sawyer looks at me as if I asked him to explain the meaning of life.

“No Miss Steele”, he shakes his head for emphasis, “I am assigned to protect you.  I have no knowledge of Mr. Grey’s whereabouts.”  We step to the far side of the Reception area so Claire is out of earshot.  I remember Christian saying Sawyer was head of security while Taylor was away, so he must know something. “Aren’t you currently head of security?”

His eyes widen and I raise an eyebrow.  He did not think I knew this little tidbit of information.  See caught you.  At least I thought I had until he tells me, “I was head of security while Mr. Taylor was on vacation, but he returned a while ago.  Anyway, I never spoke with Mr. Grey.  I spoke with Reynolds once or twice before Mr. Grey fired him and…” I did not let him finish.

“Mr. Grey fired Reynolds?”  I hiss as quietly as I can.  I do not remember being told this.  I remember Christian took him along to Taiwan because Taylor was on vacation and Ryan was assigned to Grey House and Escala.  What the fuck is going on here?

“Sawyer, I need to get to my office, but you and I need to have a heart to heart about what has been going on.  I am being left out of the loop.”

Ahem…

Not now.

Yes now…RIGHT NOW!

What the fuck do you want?

What the fuck makes you think you’re entitled to know about security for Grey?  Thought as long as you were free to roam about wherever you choose all was right in ‘the world’?

Ok, look.  I am going to tell you just like I told Kate.  I miss Christian.  I want to be with Christian.  I guess that means I am going to have to grow a set and fight with him tooth and nail when I feel like he is overstepping some imaginary line.  Until I get the opportunity to speak with him then I want to know WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON!  Do I make myself clear?

WOO HOO…OH SHIT!  CRYSTAL!

What the fuck is so funny?

You are.  Keep in mind, anything worth having is worth fighting for.  SWAK!  No, get to work.

Sawyer takes a deep breath before telling me, “Miss Steele, with all due respect, the actions of Mr. Grey’s security detail are none of your concern.  I am not privy to that level of information therefore I do not make inquiries about it.  I know Taylor is back from his vacation.  He is the formal Head of Security.  I recommend you speak with him concerning Mr. Grey.”  The look on his face is stern.  I nod, turn and proceed to my office.

Before I walk away I tell Sawyer, “Then speak with Taylor is what I will do.  Thank you Sawyer.”

After work is finally over, I practically sprint to the front door.  “Sawyer, I need you to take me to Escala.  I need to speak with Taylor.”

“Miss Steele, Mr. Taylor is probably still at Grey House right now.  I can call him and we can make an appointment for you to…”

“AN APPOINTMENT!  WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT ABOUT?  Let me tell you something Mr. Sawyer, Christian may not be in the United States, but until he tells me in his own voice to fuck off, not you, not Taylor not Kate, NO ONE is going to stop me from communicating with or seeing Christian Trevelyn-Grey.  Do you fucking understand me?!”  I have been pissed all day and his statement was the last straw.  I am tired of this shit.

Everyone, and I do mean everyone, in the lobby stopped to listen to my none-too-quite episode, but you know what?  I…do…not…care.  I take a step back allowing Sawyer to lead the way to the door so we can get this horse and pony show underway.

Sawyer is silent all the way to Escala.  I do not know if he calls to warn Taylor that I am on my way or not.  If I were Sawyer, I would.  I want answers.  What the fuck is going on?  Who the fuck is the bimbo?  Why can’t I get in touch with Christian?

You know you are being a…

YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP TOO!  I have had enough of your mouth.  I was wrong to think anyone’s opinion mattered other than my own and Christian’s.  OK?  I WAS WRONG!

I have told Christian so many times that I love him and I will never leave him.  This is the second time I have broken that promise.  He deserves better than for me to be wishy-washy about our relationship.  Not just for general human respect, but because he has had enough shit go on in his life.  Now, I am adding to that.

Why now?  How much did the woman in the photo affect my decision?  I would be lying if I said this has nothing to do with her.  I know how handsome, caring and fun Christian is.  I know any woman in her RIGHT MIND would be a fool to walk away from a man who loves her.  Let alone one who is willing to put up with my brand of bullshit.

From what I can tell of the photograph, she looks like me and he looked star struck.  He is mine.  He will always be mine.  He said so himself before he left, “…Quite the contrary my love.  I want to prepare you for what the world takes seriously.  I do not want this to affect your time away from me.  I do not want you to question my love or fidelity to you no matter what the situation between us.  My heart is always in your hands baby.  I love you.”

We pull into the garage at Escala and I barely wait for the car to stop moving before I jump out and race to the elevator, with Sawyer on my heels.  I punch in the code but nothing happens.  Oh shit.

I look up at Sawyer and he tells me, “The codes were changed because Reynolds is no longer part of the Security Team; it had nothing to do with you Miss Steele.  We cannot risk him bearing a grudge against Mr. Grey and getting back into the apartment.  The access codes here and at Grey House have been changed.”  I nod my head as we enter the elevator.  It makes sense.  I cannot see Reynolds bearing a grudge, but…STOP IT!  It’s not your decision to make.  Isn’t that what you tell Grey all of the time?  Well this is about his home and his responsibilities to Gail, Taylor, Ryan and Sawyer as well.  They live here even if you and he don’t, so BUTT OUT!

I stand corrected.

We enter the Great Room and no one is there.  I walk over to the breakfast bar and see Gail looking through the cupboards with her back to me.  “Hi Gail.”

I tried not to startle her but it did not work.  “AH!”  She puts her hand to her chest and tries to catch her breath.  “Hello Miss Steele.  Oh, my…I wasn’t expecting anyone.  How are you dear?”  Once her breathing calms down her eyes soften.  She looks at me like I am her long lost child.  She comes around the breakfast bar and gives me a good, hard hug.

I manage not to cry and when we break apart I ask, “Have you or Taylor heard from Christian?  Do you know how he is or where he is?  I have been trying to reach him, but he is not taking my calls and my emails keep bouncing back to me.”  I take a deep breath then continue, “He has someone else doesn’t he?”

Gail takes me in her arms and rocks me side to side.  “Oh dear, I don’t know Ana, but when Jason gets home we’ll get him to tell us everything he knows; alright?”  I nod my head without leaving her embrace.  “You go and lie down and I’ll make you some tea and put together something for you to eat, ok?”  Again I nod my head.  “Good.  I’ll bring you your tea in a few moments.”

I slowly walk to Christian’s bedroom.  It is perfect.  Just as it always is when we get home from work.  I go into his closet and see where all of my clothes are gone.  I took them with me when I told him I needed space.  What confuses me is, all of his clothes are still in his closet.  He did not take anything with him?  The first thing that catches my eye is his grey tie; our favorite tie.

As I reach for it Gail appears behind me and clears her throat.  “He didn’t take anything with him.  He usually has a wardrobe available, but then he typically only goes as far as New York.  I imagine he purchased what he needed when he reached Asia.  These things will be here for when he returns.  I am making chicken potpie; it’ll take a little while to bake.  You freshen up and rest.  I’ll call you when it’s done.  I placed a cup of water and a Twining’s, English Breakfast Tea bag on the table beside the bed.”  She pats my shoulder then quietly leaves the room.

I cannot lie down here.  It feels wrong to be here when Christian is not.  I can smell his scent throughout the room and I see the picture of him and that woman in my minds eye.  What am I going to do?


“Taylor what does this mean?  How can a cellphone get a virus and how can any of that stop me from getting in touch with Christian?”  I am confused and frustrated at all of this technology mumbo-jumbo.

“Miss Steele, I am telling you what Barney found when he remoted into your computer and the results of his overview of your phone.  Here, take this BlackBerry.  It is brand new with a different phone number, which is here.  I recommend you only give it to your parents until we can resolve this issue.  Do you have a landline at home?”

I look at him puzzled.  Doesn’t everyone have a home phone?  “Yes, but we do not really use it.”

“Good, do not use it until I give you clearance to do so.”  Huh?

“Taylor is this all really necessary?”  I mean come on dude.

I do not know what I said, but whatever it was, I pissed him off because he glares directly into my eyes and asks, “Miss Steele, do you want to see him again?”

He has got you there.  I nod without saying a word.

“That is what I thought.  Follow my instructions to the letter.  Gail and I are going to Australia.  I will update him on what is going on here.  Please keep Sawyer close to you.  If you like, you are more than welcome to stay here at Escala.”  I shake my head no, that is too much to ask, besides, I cannot stand to be here without Christian.

“That will not be necessary Taylor, but if I change my mind, would it be alright to come back?”

“Of course it is alright, anytime, no matter what.  Now if you will excuse me, I have things I need to do.”  He gives me a quick nod and a pat on my shoulder before going into his office.

I look at Gail who asks, “Ana, are you certain you don’t want to stay tonight?  You’re already here.  I’m sure Jason and I won’t be leaving immediately.  How about it?”  I know she worries about me and I miss her terribly, but I just can’t.

“Thank you, but no Gail.  I really can’t stay here without Christian.  You both travel safe.”  I give Gail a final hug before we say goodbye.


“Good night John Boy” closing dialogue from the television series The Waltons (1972-1981)

Can’t We Just Be Happy | Chapter 3 Let’s Make My Baby Proud

I do not own the Fifty Shades Trilogy or its characters; those belong to E. L. James. However, my characters do belong to me.

Chapter 3 | Let’s Make My Baby Proud

GREY

“Good morning Andrea, any calls?” I really do not want to be here today, or any day since Ana left me. I am sleeping and my dreams are about Ana. I can also hear her giggling throughout the apartment. I actually heard her whisper my name last night and felt her kiss my cheek in my sleep. Even thoughts of her have kept my night terrors at bay; I wonder how long that will last. It seems my relationship with her has had an even more profound effect on my life than either of us believed. Ana always worried about being enough for me. My thoughts of her and how she would react to my knee-jerk reactions causes me to take a pause and think before I act. Do not get me wrong I have not gone all hearts and flowers with my business. I will always be Christian Grey, CEO Grey Enterprise Holding, Incorporated and all that implies, but outside these doors and without this suit, it feels good to be Christian.

“Your messages are on your desk Mr. Grey.  Mrs. Lincoln has called every hour on the hour; she says it is urgent.”  I shake my head; I bet it is.  That hag will not leave me the fuck alone.  How fucking much rejection can one person take.  She always convinced me she was the epitome of control.  She has called, texted, emailed and carrier pigeon me every mother-fucking day for the past two weeks.  What kind of control does that show?  More like a desperate old bitch with nothing else better to do than bother me.  I know good and well she is slithering around trying to take Ana’s place…HA!!!

As if…it will be a cold day in these nuts if that old sack of shit even comes sniffing around down here Grey.  You can believe THAT slick.  Just try me.

“Thank you Andrea.  Mrs. Lincoln is now on the proscribed list for calls, appointments and visits.  If she gives you any trouble, let her know I added her name”, the cheesy grin on her face says it all.  I know Andrea the world does not like her and it has taken me all these years to figure out why.

Never mind that shit; hindsight is crystal clear.  Present day is all that matters and in the here and now, we are off limits to that hard up ho.  Listen to me dude.  You and I both know we where the best man to ever fuck her.  She was all over us and has managed to have a leash on the caliber of pussy available since we got away from her.  NOW there is a new sheriff in town and she cannot handle it.  She is behaving like this is some type of competition and we KNOW it is not.  Besides, if it were, she would be out of her league.

“Yes sir, Mr. Grey.  Would you like any coffee?”

“No, I will be fine Andrea.”  And I will be fine.  I have been surviving well these past three months, two weeks, four days, seven hours, twelve minutes, three seconds and counting, but I miss my Ana.

“Mr. Grey?”

“Yes Andrea.”

“Mrs. Lincoln is at the security desk and refuses to leave.  I told her, she is now on the proscribed list for appointments, calls and visits; however, she is very insistent.”  Meaning she is belligerent and raising all kinds of fucking hell downstairs.

Is that wrinkled witch of the West coast for real?

“Andrea, let security know I will be there to handle Mrs. Lincoln personally.”  I take a deep cleansing breath, public display of embarrassment is what she wants, who am I to deny her.  I guess this decent day will end badly after all.  I am so glad I followed through with John’s recommendation to contact the District Attorney about her abuse.  I filled my parents, Elliott and Mia in on every detail of our liaison.  Every whip, flogger, cane and nipple clamp.  Needless to say, I impressed Elliott…asshole.

He should stop thinking you are gay and take some fucking notes.  We can show HIM how it is done.

After an immense amount of yelling, screaming, yes there is a difference between the two, and crying I feel like the weight of the world has lifted.  Somehow I also feel closer to my family.

My father explained to all of us that the statute of limitation has run out, but recommended I still report her actions to the District Attorney, in the event someone else needs my experience as proof that she is a repeat time offender.  I explained that we had a BDSM relationship beginning at age 15.  The court officers said they only needed to know about the years when I was still a minor, nothing more.  They also told me that although 16 is the age of consent in the state of Washington that does not give an adult, someone over the age of 18, permission to have sexual encounters with a minor.

Ana and Flynn have said this to you countless times.  Does it somehow make sense or is the world conspiring to depict that overage tea-bagger as a pedophile?

How many times have I told you I understand?  You and I both know how I felt about myself at the time and I do not remember you complaining about the screw-fest schedule, correct?  Well…  That is what the fuck I thought.  So, spare me your “one-eyed” hindsight.

I also contacted my personal and business lawyers as well as the Public Relations Department at Grey House to make them a pries of the general situation, just in case.  In the event more detail is required, then I will reevaluate any additional information I give them.  The word ‘minor’ was all they needed to know.

The elevator doors open and the first floor goes silent.  I have to laugh.  Would you believe they all scatter like rats from a sinking ship?  I did not think I could clear my own lobby.  I will have to keep that in mind.  Reception and Security will be the only direct witnesses to this tete-a-tete.  No worries, this is the reason for the Non Disclosure Agreements.

Right, showtime Grey.

“Good afternoon Mrs. Lincoln.  I understand you are having difficulty comprehending my business decision by making a scene regarding your addition to the proscribed contact list.  I have come to make my wishes abundantly clear to you face to face.”  Taylor has a questioning look on his face.  He is wondering what the fuck I am up to.  I put the devil bitch on the list myself.  I did not leave this to him, although I am certain he would have loved pulling up the database and typing the shit in all capital letters himself.  I chuckle at the thought.

“Oh, Christian!  Darling!  Please explain to these imbeciles exactly who I am and why I am here.  I told you before I should have a badge and free access to your office so I do not have this type of exhausting situation.  You really should make my position in your life more widely known.”  She has an arrogant tone and is in her Domme stance.

I KNOW she is not directing that shit at us.  I told you Grey, a frigid day down here.  Just the sound of her inhaling near you and us will have to dream of how to come.

I hear you dammit.

Did you not just say ‘showtime Grey’?

All the fuck I did was walk up to the desk.  I know how the cow operates.  As do I.  Just take a rest and let me deal with this.

“Mrs. Lincoln, you will address me as Mr. Grey, only.”  She would get too much of a thrill out of calling me sir.  “I am not interested in anything you have to say.”  Taylor looks the he wants to punch the air.  I know he has waited for this day for a long time.  Judging by the shocked expression on Elena’s face, this was not a response she ever considered receiving from me, especially not in public.

“Christian!  How could you be so cold toward me?”  The bitch has the gaul and audacity to look hurt.  Nice try Elena, I know what hurt looks like and that is not it.

“Mrs. Lincoln, you will exchange any information you have for me via our respective lawyers.”  I turn to leave knowing she will have a snide remark or “attention getter”.  Watch her Grey.  No doubt buddy.  I planned this scene out in full.  I know what her next action will be.  What the world does not understand and some Dom/Dommes forget is being a Submissive does not mean being a mindless sexual tool.  A Submissive has to anticipate what their Dom/Domme wants.  The Submissive has to be ready to fulfill the Dom/Domme’s request at a moments notice.  Elena was good at simply saying, ‘pleasure me’.  Then, I used my imagination, fast, to devise a new way to get her off.  I ran through my repertoire of her preferred sex acts conscious not to repeat a recent experience.  Believe me, there is a plethora of shit she loves and we did it all.  Not fitting the bill resulted in severe punishment.  There were times I crawled in the front door of my parent’s home and laid in the foyer wiling my body to seep into the floorboards before someone saw me.  Elliott’s dumbass would laugh on his way upstairs, shake his head and tell me I was stupid for running so hard. ‘You’re gonna regret it one day’ he would say to me.  Little did he know, I regretted it then; at least at that point.  I was always ready for our next session though.

Enough memory lane shit Grey.  The ho-hag is still here; focus.

“Well, I never…” bullshit, she does not know the meaning of the word ‘never’.  “Christian, come back here right now!  I demand you speak with me!”  Whatever bitch.

And of course, in true Elena Lincoln fashion she yells across the lobby in an attempt to rattle me, “I guess you are not interested in the tidbit of information I have; even though it can affect your relationship with your fiancée’.”

I am so fucking sick of this shit Grey.  Put this “bitch from the past” out of our misery.

I stop abruptly and take another cleansing breath.

She thinks she is doing something now.  Smug bitch.

I look at Taylor then nod. The whore actually thought she was going to move past the front door. Get real troll. Ryan stepped in front of her and I came up to stand beside him.

“Christian, aren’t you going let me pass?

HA!  That is a good one; not on my life.  “No.”

“Considering the topic at hand, I do not believe it is good business to discuss this matter in the lobby of your building.”

“It is my building and my employees.  What goes on here is under my control.  Anything leaving this venue does so at it’s own risk.  Besides, coming from someone with absolutely no home training, I know for a fact you know nothing about grace or decorum, so let’s not talk about good business decisions.”  I look at my watch, she has 30 seconds to get to the point then I am gone.

“Christian, I am positive you do not want reception or security to hear what I have to say.”  No; this time she is really, really wrong.  The more people who hear this discussion and see her reaction, the better.  She shifts her beady little eyes from side to side like she is about to impart the Meaning of Life and only wants me to know it.  I have to restrain my laugh.  I look at my watch again, 25 seconds and counting.  Taylor looks like he running late for lunch; it is a comical expression and, again, I have to hold my desire to laugh.

“I told you how to deliver any information you have for me.  Since you choose not to follow simple instructions, we will have to do this with an audience.”  Never stopped her before.  She is the epitome of exhibitionism.  I look at my watch, again, 18 seconds.  Taylor has his arms crossed over his chest and a ‘hurry the fuck up bitch’ look on his face.  Ryan is almost sweating bullets.  He does not know what is going to happen.  Being new, he has not Elena and I square off.  Watch and learn.  I am not even going to tap my toe.  I clasp my hands behind and wait.  She swears she ‘knows my body language’, then she will get the fucking memo and get the fuck out of my building.

“Fine.  The Seattle Times and the Seattle Nooze each have headline articles about you going to the gala without Anastasia.  They have your statement regarding her whereabouts or the lack there of should I say.”  She should not say anything.  Is that it?  That is all she has?  I thought Taylor was playing, but now he looks like he is missing out on a quickie with Gail, Ryan looks confused and I am disappointed.  This was Elena’s chance to shine and all she can do is reiterate the statements I made.  Pauvres dans la pauvreté pusycat.  12 seconds remaining.

“Now Christian, I know you are hurting.  She has no right or reason to leave you, especially after professing your love for her.  I know what being alone does to you; how you become stressed and need help maintaining calm.  I just want to be sure you have everything you need in order to stay in control of the situation, until someone better comes along.  You know I can help with that.  Do not forget, I know you better than anyone, even your family.  You and I have a complex history.  I am here for you to lean on in your time of need.”

Is this bitch for real?  Grey, if you do not shut her down and I fucking mean now, I will drift so far into your psyche you will be too scared to keep your eyes open.  Get rid of this piece of shit.  NOW!

I know he is right; discretion be damned.

“Taylor”, I simply hold my hand open.  Taylor hands me the information I need and I pass it on Elena.

“What is this?”  I say nothing.  I do not even raise an eyebrow; curiosity killed the cat.  She will look at it:

RCW 9A.44.089 Child molestation in the third degree

A person is guilty of child molestation in the third degree when the person has or knowingly causes another person under the age of eighteen to have, sexual contact with another who is at least fourteen years old but less than sixteen years old and not married to the perpetrator and the perpetrator is at least forty-eight months older than the victim; child molestation in the third degree is a class C felony.

“What the fuck is this about?”

Is this broad dense or what?  At least the botox has not prevented all of her facial muscles from functioning.  The look in her face right now actually is priceless.

Too true my friend.

“Christian, why are you giving me this?  What is the meaning of this, this, this outrage?  I have done nothing but take you under my wing…”

Via her left tit.

“…in an attempt to sharpen your dynamic abilities…”

Translation, instruct us how not to come, even after the boys are turn blue and I am throbbing.  Then there is a not so little matter of our width and girth and the added attraction of our stamina.  I can fuck like a stallion for hours.  Bitch, please.

“…and this is the way you repay me, with threats?”

This is the same old fucking routine, pardon the pun, and we are bored.

By all means, let her have it fellas.

“Mrs. Lincoln, what you have in your hands is a reminder of the vulgarity of our relationship.  I am not 15 years old anymore and I am not on bended knee waiting for you to part your legs.  I can get a fresh, young piece of ass any-fucking-where I want.  I can even order it from Pussy’s-R-Us so do not give me your bullshit about taking me under your wing, sharpening my dynamics or our exacerbated and vulgar exploitation of my youth.  We were never friends and we will never be friends.  There is nothing you can tell me that will either surprise me or have any bearing on my life.  I already know about your ongoing contact with every fucking sub I have ever had both in my Playroom and out.  I also know about your meddling in my business ventures and your allegiance with those who would just as well have me drawn and quartered.  Then there is your perpetual inclination toward underage males.  You might want to finish reading the document in your hand.”

RCW 9A.44.086 Child molestation in the second degree

A person is guilty of child molestation in the second degree when the person has, or knowingly causes another person under the age of eighteen to have, sexual contact with another who is at least twelve years old but less than fourteen years old and not married to the perpetrator and the perpetrator is at least thirty-six months older than the victim; child molestation in the second degree is a class B felony.

Now she is frowning.  I can see the wheels and hear her thoughts, ‘ he was 15 when we started’, ‘why is he giving me information regarding a boy 14 or younger’?

RCW 9A.44.083 Child molestation in the first degree

A person is guilty of child molestation in the first degree when the person has, or knowingly causes another person under the age of eighteen to have, sexual contact with another who is less than twelve years old and not married to the perpetrator and the perpetrator is at least thirty-six months older than the victim; child molestation in the first degree is a class A felony.

And now she blanches.  I FUCKING KNEW IT!  Fuck pictures or what Welch found out.  I knew it the day she told me to go ahead to rowing practice when I desperately wanted to see her.  I just started school and the day was really fucked up.  I needed her that day and she told me she did not have time for me.  I thought she was with Linc for whatever reason.  On my home from practice, where I got into a fight with the captain of our 8-boat, I saw some little prick coming from the back of her house.  He had a confused look on his face.  I remember looking like that the day she slapped-kissed-slapped me.  I knew she was fucking around with him.  He was not a kid I recognized and since my folks refused to let me go for my run that night I could not talk to Elena about him; not that she would have told me the truth.  I would have believed anything she said though.  What a fool I have been.  I am getting more pissed at myself as the seconds pass.

Get to the fucking point Grey.

“Do not cross me bitch.”

“The statue of limitation has run out on you; you understand that right?”

“Yes, but it has not run out on Patrick and Christopher, each age 15, Michael, Logan and Nelson, each age 13 and the newest member of your brood, Zachary at the pristine young age of 12.  I have pictures of them all, in an assortment of sexual positions performing various sexual acts with you.  I will also remind you, breaking skin with instruments of punishment shows up well in black and white photographs and is the epitome of abuse in a color photo.”

I love smearing this shit in her face.

I hate to admit it, but she wears an impassive expression like none other.  However, Elena forgets that I know all of her expressions, facial and non-facial.  Being a Dom means paying close attention to detail.  To those not familiar with BDSM this is micromanaging a situation, but when doing a scene it means I am in control.  I can give either pleasure or pain depending on my desire.  At this point in time, I desire personal submission from Elena.  This is different from sexual submission for her.  This is turning over the keys to her queendom, me, which translates into pain.

There are whole body expressions ranging from a change in stance to the bat of an eye, a change in breathing pattern or the dilation of the eyes.  For Elena there is a sequence to her changes, a specific order that never changes.  First, she stops speaking for at least three minutes, next her face softens and her eyes dilate as if on cue and lastly, she smiles.  Then, she truly resembles Satan.

Let the beatings begin.

Not this time.  If “sequence” changes, if she deviates from its order, that is when the punishment is at its worse.

Hard limits be damned.

She is no longer in control.  Elena without control is like pining a pissed off alley cat in a corner; she is all claws.

“Now, you are free to leave Mrs. Lincoln.  And do not dark in any of my doorways ever again.”

“As you wish my darling boy.  Know that I will forgive you when you comeback to me; and you will comeback to me.”

Can I flip her off?

Man, how juvenile are you?

You tell me asshole.

Mission Pimp Slap the Bitch Troll accomplished.  Now, I can go back to my spreadsheets and thoughts of my Ana.  I know Ana would be proud of me.

STEELE

Anastasia Rose Steele, I love you.  I want to love, cherish and protect you for the rest of my life.  Be mine, always.  Share my life with me.  Marry me.   It feels like forever since I heard those words.

“Steele, come on, let’s go out we can have a few drinks, meet a few guys and take it from there.”

“Kate, what about Elliott?”

“I love Elliott, but I am not blind.  I can go look at whatever eye candy is on display; you can too.”

“Kate, I don’t think this is a good idea.  Christian…”

“Forget about Mr. Moneybags.  I don’t see how you put up with him anyway Steele.  He’s so controlling it’s ridiculous.  He’s an overbearing, arrogant, bully.  How can you put up with him Steele?  I know he’s gorgeous and has more money than the US Treasury, but come on get real Steele…he’s a creep.”

NO!  Oh my God.  She is as bad as you said.  She’s my best friend.  I can’t loose Kate.  Then I’ll be all alone.  Once I start crying it’s almost impossible for me to stop.  I’ve cried so much these last three and a half months, the employee’s of Puff’s should be set for life.

Yeah, you can turn on the waterworks can’t you?  What’s the matter Steele, same dream?

Yeah.  Kate’s trying to get me to go out and forget about Christian.  You have to understand, Kate loves me, she’s only thinking of my well being…my best interest.  Why do I sound like I’m defending her actions?  I know how she feels about Christian.  She never has liked him.  I’m not really sure I understand why, but I know it is true.

Are you trying to convince me or you?

I’m not trying to convince anyone.  I know Kate.  She just wants to see me happy.  She has a point.  Christian can be controlling, overbearing and arrogant.

Well, since we’ve already had this discussion and it seems as though you’re going to regurgitate what you’ve heard in your dreams, I’m going back to sleep.  You can figure this one out on your own.

NO!  WAIT!  I also dreamed of his proposal, in the boathouse.  I can still hear his words.  They were so lovely and he looked so sincere, so full of love for me.  I shake my head.  I miss Christian.  I miss talking with him about my day, I miss him telling me about his day, when he sees fit.  I miss him.  I look at the clock it’s 2AM.  I wonder if he’s asleep.

There’s no law saying you can’t call him.

I can’t do that to him.  He doesn’t sleep enough as it is.  Although, he slept well when we were together.  Part of me wonders if he’s having nightmares.  I’ve seen pictures of him in different newspapers and magazines.  He looks happy, carefree.  He looks his age, it really is wonderful to see.

I wonder if I’ve crossed his mind at all.  I haven’t heard from him since we talked about attending the gala and my security detail.

Call him.  You’re not going to get any sleep until you do, whether you reach him or not.  Dial his number.

You’re right.  I call Christian’s cell phone, it rings four times, but he doesn’t answer.

“Grey.  Leave a message.”  Beep.

“Hi Christian.  I apologize for calling at this hour.  I couldn’t sleep.  I wanted to hear your voice and tell you I miss you.  Give me a call when you get time.  I love you Christian.”

I guess he’s alright after all.

Go back to sleep Steele.  We’ll hear from him tomorrow…I hope.

Me too.


Pauvres, pauvres pussycat. | Poor, poor pussycat.
Quote from Nibbles in the cartoon Tom & Jerry: The Two Mouseketeers

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