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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Book IV - Chapter XXV - Christian and Anastasia FanFiction

CHAPTER XXV

She pierced my soul in half torment and half hope


It is not only light that falls over the world spreading inside your body
Yet suffocate itself
So much is clarity
Taking its leave of you
As if you were on fire within
The moon lives in the lining of your skin
Pablo Neruda



Welcome to the wonderful world of lover’s jealousy; it’s a fairly new, but most torturous territory for me. I have known possessiveness. That’s not the same as proprietary feeling, this is something else. You don’t just get a monstrous headache; you get this impulsive feeling to commit a crime that would very much land you in the state penitentiary.
Our kiss leaves us breathless, but we don’t break the connection.
“Ana, you drive me insane!” I whisper as I put my forehead on hers.
“I drive you insane?” she asks with an incredulous look on her face. “Your ex-sub ambushed me at a party.”
“I’ll deal with that later, but, baby you know that I have a past. A past that was diverting at the time, a release valve to deal with my life… I have told you: you’re my present, you are my future. You and this little one…” I murmur caressing her belly.
“I was so frigging jealous Christian, it’s not even funny! Thinking that you’ve… that you've touched that woman like you touch me, got to know her body, and looked at her like you look at me with possessiveness in your face. I just want to…” she says and shakes her head. I run my hands on her bare arms. “I don’t want them to think I’m the final member in the sub club, Christian!”
“You’re not! You, Anastasia Rose Grey, are my love, the only love of my life. No before, no after. Just you, baby…” I kiss the tip of her nose. “Just. You.” I tip her chin up to make her look at me. “There’s no other for me. I’ve not felt what I feel for you towards anyone. Not a single soul…” She blinks as my words penetrate.
“I should be rational… I should be compassionate towards them.”
“Compassionate?” her words take me aback. 
“Yes, compassionate. Clearly, those women wanted you, and loved you in their own way. But, what they had is over with and I felt that she put herself on our way deliberately, and I had to protect what’s mine…” she says looking up at me, “…for what is ours,” she finishes her words in whispers. “You’re ours.” Her hand automatically covers her belly protectively.
“Yes! I belong to my wife and our baby,” my voice comes out in a fervent tone.
“But, don’t say they loved me. How could any of them love what they don’t understand, what they don’t know? They desired this face, lusted after this body, and loved what my power could provide for them. Don’t confuse it with the persona they imagined in their heads, and the person only you, my Ana got to see and fell in love despite how fucked up it is,” I say in a soft voice. Too soft.
“You paid for her medical school. She was throwing that at my face!”
“Anastasia, her medical school cost me about three hours of work. Surely, I can afford to give someone who subbed me a year, the income I’ve procured within three hours of work. I’m not a total monster, I do give a helping hand on occasion. It is all relative, do you understand? Remember when you told me you were leaving,” I say my voice only a whisper, “I was not only ready to give you all my life’s work but I was ready to give my life to you. That was even after I wrongly assumed that you didn’t really love me. It tormented me, broke my heart, the feeling of being deceived, of not being loved by you, but in the end, I decided that it didn’t matter, because I loved you, I. LOVE. YOU, Anastasia Grey! Only you!” Anastasia finally takes in a shaky breath and looks at me.

Grenade - Bruno Mars

“I know. I would have given my life for you, too, Christian. To save your family, to prevent harm coming to you or anyone you love. I was in a way protecting you tonight,” she says stubbornly. I groan, tossing my head back.
“Do you remember what I said to you if you were to resort to such heroics? I even have your step-father’s permission in doing so,” I say running the back of my hand over her flushed cheek.
“You wouldn’t dare Mr. Grey. After all, my life or our baby’s wasn’t in any danger. I was protecting my own territory from your former lover…”
“Sub, not lover!”
“Only semantics Christian. When the bitch, excuse me, your former sub,” she adds as if the description leaves a bitter taste in her mouth, then closing her eyes, she takes in a deep breath while supporting her back with her right hand, “…that former sub whom you helped in her education, put herself in our way to hurt you somehow, maybe through me, but she was there to do some damage despite what you did for her, it snapped something inside me. Mrs. Solomon’s unexpected labor and delivery somehow derailed those efforts. If you don’t like me protecting what is mine… Let’s just say that Mr. Grey, I will not be ambushed, you will not be ambushed. You are my husband, mine! Not hers, not Leila’s and definitely not Elena’s! Mine!”
 As much as Anastasia is mine, I am also her man. My wife claiming her territory is a monumental turn on. But I can’t let her defy me. If someone is put on our way to derail me, or pose a danger to Ana, I should be the one take care of it. I can’t risk her exposed to danger. And, I haven’t forgotten that she shut me out of the room in her effort to top me. I can’t be topped or dominated. As much it turns me on like hell that she’s jealous of me, Anastasia defying me by locking me out when she’s in the room with a former sub isn’t acceptable. Not after the incidents with Leila.


My mind is torn between this roaring lust, and half mad with the urgent compulsion to spread her beneath me to both punish and sate the fucking arousal that’s been goading me. Anastasia shutting me out of the room will haunt me for a long time taking me back where she accepted Leila into a meeting after Leila held a gun to her head! My wife still has little to no self-preservation skills. I want her to be mad, I want her to be outraged, irritated, impassioned, exasperated, but I don’t ever want her to shut me out; it’s not just a door, it’s her emotions closing down to me. It brings out other triggers in me in dark places I don’t want to visit. She’s still angry; her chest is rising and falling rapidly again as if she’s in a near climax. Her hands come up and she places them on my chest.
“I know it’s irrational. I know you had a past. I just hate it that I may walk into a place with you and meet someone you fucked! See someone that you looked at the way you look at me. Touched, the way you touch me. How would you feel if you went to a place and a man who fucked me cornered you to goad you?” I don’t even recognize the primitive growl that comes out of me in response to her question.


“You know I couldn’t take it if you had a past! I’m so fucking glad that you are without a doubt 100% mine. Are you still angry?” I ask even though the answer is evident before me.
“Yes!” she says.
“Good! Take it out on me in bed. We are going to fuck until this anger in you subsides and until we have nothing but each other in our minds.” The overwhelming desire to take control, to show Anastasia that there’s no other woman for me consumes me and becomes my sole focus. But I also want to show her that she can’t top me, putting herself in danger no matter how angry she gets. She needs to consider her own well-being as well as the well-being of our baby.  I don’t want to be managed, lead, or dominated even if it’s done unintentionally.
“Come with me,” I say extending my hand to Anastasia.
“Are you intending to hurt me?”
“Why do you ask that?” I retort back.
“Because you’re deflecting the question. Do you intend to hurt me Christian?”
“I want to be rough with you, yes, but, it is for pleasure. I am your husband, and you’re my wife.”
“Do you want to punish me?” she asks directly.
“Yes,” I respond, closing my eyes.
“I’m your wife, not your sub. I thought you weren’t going to punish me, at all.”
“No, you’re not my sub. Those subs that may or may not intend to harm you got in our way. You put yourself, our baby in danger. I told you before, at the hospital, I’d spank you if you’ve put yourself in harm’s way. You promised not to do that!” I accuse. “Those subs are no longer mine,” I hiss jacking my thumb behind me. “None of them. I don’t want them… Not a single one. All I want is you. Just you.”
“But you want to punish me for claiming what is mine,” she says halting in mid stride.
“No. I want to punish you for locking me out, shutting me as if I don’t matter.”
“How could you possibly think that?”
“Baby, we are supposed to be a team in face of prospective danger. Furthermore, I just want to be the center of your world, Ana! Your world. I want your world to begin and end with me, just like mine does. You are everything to me.”
“Don’t punish me, then.” I let out a big breath in exasperation. I want to punish her but not hurt her.
“Anastasia, I have a lot in stake where you are concerned. You’re my world. With you being in there with a woman about to give birth and Lauren... With her in there I thought another psycho ex-sub…” I shake my head trying to clear the anxiety out of my head. “Just, just don’t do it again.”
“You are touchy,” she murmurs. I heave out a frustrated breath. She yanks her hand free of mine, making an attempt to stump away with determined footfalls, reaching the guest bedroom.
“You’re not sleeping in the guest bedroom.”
“Oh, really Sherlock? Watch me!” she says stepping into the room, ready to slam the door to my face once again. That's one too many for tonight. I put my foot in the door jam, walk in with confident, determined strides and scoop my pregnant wife into my arms, and start carrying her into our bedroom.
“Put me down Christian!" she shouts.
"No!"
"I’ll scream bloody hell!” she threatens.
“Oh, baby, go right ahead!”
“Put me down!!!” she yells stubbornly again. “Christian! Christian Grey! Put me the fuck down!” she shouts to the top of her lungs.
Not a minute later both Taylor and Melissa run into hallway in shorts. Seeing me hauling my wife in my arms, they both blush.
“Get me down!” Anastasia shouts again without realizing the company.
“Is Mrs. Grey well?” asks Melissa, not knowing what to say.
“Yes, I am!” Anastasia hisses while trying to look as dignified as possible.
“Mrs. Grey and I are sorting our differences. You can both go back to bed.”
“Yes, sir,” says Taylor and practically shoves Melissa out of the hallway.
“Should we be… leaving?” we hear Melissa’s confused voice.
“Are you their shrink?”
“Right…” is the last word we hear from Melissa as their footsteps retreat quickly.  
I take Anastasia into our bedroom and kick the door closed. Turn the bedroom light on with one hand, and then with the same hand, I lock the door behind.
“Now, Mrs. Grey…” I say putting her down and without getting a chance to finish my sentence she attacks my white shirt in such haste that if she took her time to unbutton it, she would explode. The look on her face comes with a host of naughty intentions. My wife looks uninhibited, rapacious and maddeningly desirous. She’s in a quest to leave me without a stitch on. She finally took my advice to get her anger out in bed. My eyes darken with increased passion, but I allow her to rip my shirt off me and tossing it on the floor. She then kneels before me trying to unbuckle my belt. I feel her drenched heat radiating. Her heavy lidded eyes looking up at me bring me to full erection.


“Wait.” I hiss with barely controlling myself.
“No!” she says trying to fight with my belt. I lower myself and pick her up off the floor, then with an practiced flick of my hand, I unbuckle my belt, unzip my fly and quickly divest myself off my pants, boxer as well as my shoes.
“Now. You, Mrs. Grey. Naked.” I murmur my order as clearly as I shouted it. Then I grasp the hem of her dress and take it off her.
“You, Mrs. Grey, are mine. Wherever I want. Whenever I want. You know the rules.”
“I have the same rights, Mr. Grey!” she says with her blue eyes heated. Her dress makes the floor, and the bra and panties disappear. My socks, and watch drop somewhere on the floor without a second thought. Anastasia pushes me onto our bed, rapidly following me onto the bed having forgotten her protruding belly.

“Fuck!” escapes my lips as I tumble onto the bed and quickly catch her when she’s falling onto me. I turn her over lightning speed before her belly hits my hard chest. I grasp both of Anastasia’s hands and secure them above her head.


“Oh!” she shouts. A quick glance at her face make me realize that’s it’s not pain but intense desire.
“You forget who rules here, baby,” I hiss. She tries to buck me off her.
“Go ahead, raise the stakes. I will fucking tie you up,” I say excited with the prospect. She writhes beneath me. While holding her hands, I roll and open a drawer to extract t-shirt, rip it into two pieces.  Using each piece, I tie each wrist to each knee.


“Even though I want to fuck the hell out of into next week, all you have to say is stop, and I will stop,” I hiss through my teeth.
“Don’t! Stop!” she says between heavy breathing. “Ride me hard! Make me…make us forget tonight.” There’s a plea in her voice. That’s when I pop a nipple into my mouth, sucking it long and hard. I separate her already open legs by setting my hips between her thighs. Though I try to be careful, I find myself pouncing on her. But I don’t give her what she wants immediately. My heavy throbbing erection is pulsating like the lightning in a thunderstorm, reflecting the inner turmoil I’m experiencing. Her pregnant belly can’t hide the heavy swells of her breasts, with her perked nipples begging for attention.

“Please, Christian! I want you! I need you…” she begs. My cock sits at the entrance of her sex, goading, promising pleasures yet, not giving. Her sex glistens with her arousal. She pushes her hip up, swallowing the aching crown of my cock. Anastasia closes her eyes, with anticipation, yet I don’t give her the full satisfaction. Just the tip of my cock entertains her, gliding in just a painful inch, then out fully. The single dew on the tip appears, mixing in with her arousal.

“Please!” she begs again, pushing her hips up trying unsuccessfully of her quest for full penetration.
“What do you want Anastasia?” I ask spurring her on. “You want my cock inside you? Wrap me up in your cream? Make you sore?” I ask as I feed another inch into her pulsing sex.
“Yes!” she pants. “I want all of you…” she exhales. “All the way in! Fuck me! Ride me hard!”


“Not yet, Anastasia,” I hiss through my teeth, as I push her legs further apart. I push another inch into her. She tries hard to receive all of me, but I hold her buttocks, digging in my fingers, halting her progress.
“How much do want this Ana?”
“A lot! Please!” she begs.
“That’s what you shall get! If you leave me outside, I will leave my cock barely inside you to remind you what you make me feel like.”
“Don’t punish me for showing possession over you,” she cries out.
“No, baby, you own me already. Body and soul!” I say and thrust my cock into her making her cry out with satisfaction, arching her hips receptively. I start pushing into her with powerful charges.

I'm Your Man - Leonard Cohen

“More!” she shouts making me ram into her so deep.
I angulate my hips to thrust onto that deep spot aching to be rubbed by the tip of my erection. I lean in, and roll her onto her knees and elbows. My hand reaches down to tease, elongate her nipples as I make renewed efforts to plunge my cock deeper. My heavy balls slap against her with each thrust. Her breasts move, back and forth. Just as she starts whimpering with a pending orgasm, I change my angle to hold her on the precipice. I wrap her now loose hair around my wrist, pull her head backwards, and pummel my cock in deep penetrations for both of our pleasure.


“Christian! Christian! Christian Grey!” she shouts, my name a litany on her lips, carrying me over the precipice. As her orgasms rolls one into another, I empty myself into my wife, collapsing backwards, and rolling her onto me.
“God! I love you, Anastasia!” I murmur when I come back to my senses. I untie her legs.
“My man…” she whispers exhausted. “Mine…”
“Yours. But don’t forget, you and the child inside you are mine. Have due care. Let me protect you both. It’s my job. Your husband’s.”
“Hmm…”she hums. “I’ll do my best, husband,” she murmurs semi-coherently with a satisfied smile on her face before sleep claims her, while I’m still buried deep inside her.




In my Secret Life - Leonard Cohen


*****      *****



The New York sunrise is hidden behind an overcast sky. Taylor is already set for workout when I get into the living room.
“Mr. Grey, I had the trainer on standby duration of your stay in New York. Would you like to go now?” he asks. This is one reason Taylor is a very efficient employee. I don’t have to express him my needs before he can get the solutions in lined up. He knows that I use intense workout sessions as a form of stress relief.
“Anyone I know?” I ask.
“Jack Lee,” he says simply. My reaction is utmost surprise.
“The Wushu Master? That Jack Lee?” I ask incredulous.
“One and the same,” he replies.
“How did you get him with such a short notice?”
“I didn’t. Melissa trained with him in the past. She got him. I believe he’s warming up with her. She’s been in the gym for the last hour.”
“Let’s see it,” I say leading the way out of the apartment. Sawyer is waiting by the door.
“Good morning Mr. Grey,” he greets me.
“If Mrs. Grey wakes up, tell her I’m at the gym downstairs, working out.”
“Yes, Mr. Grey,” he responds.
When we get in the elevator, I turn to Taylor.
“How long has Melissa known Lee?” I ask.
“About eight years. He’s permanently on Pella’s payroll.” I tilt my head to look at Taylor.


“Permanently? The man is the most accomplished Wushu master in the world. He can set his own dollar amount for training top money in New York, and he’ll have them lining out of his door. I thought he was choreographing some martial arts movies.”
“He’s friends with Jet Li. He helped him create some of the scenes in couple of his movie projects which were well received. But, I think he turns down other requests. He’s very particular in what decides to do.”
“Yet, you say that he’s in New York permanently as opposed to traveling the world with Pella. Why?” I ask curiously.
“The man has eyes and ears everywhere. As you know most big money attracted to other big money as well as the famous. But Pella hates the scene. That’s why he has his trusted men around the country to do the job. Lee is one of them in New York. He’s well connected with power, money, politics and fame.”
“To say the least... Well, I’m looking forward to see his martial arts skills firsthand.”
“He’s told Melissa that he can be available today should you require his services during Mrs. Grey’s symposium. I would recommend that we have added yet inconspicuous security both for Mrs. Grey’s benefit as well as those who may be looking for security who is clearly employed by you. Both Mrs. Grey and her assistant well acquainted with Melissa and Sawyer. That would be a dead giveaway should paparazzi or any other danger be present.”
“I thought you already have arranged added security. Are we expecting any particular danger?”
“We always are, Mr. Grey. Those who are on our payroll will not be introduced to Mrs. Grey and her assistant, but because they might have to be in contact, it may still be a giveaway. The added security will be well blended in the crowd. However, the celebrity gossip bloggers are already looking forward to getting pictures of Mrs. Grey and you, sir. They’re not known, ordinary individuals who have a small following of readers. They’d be too hard to distinguish until they approach Mrs. Grey. It’s after all the biggest city in the country and this symposium is a very public event. I have spoken to Welch last night after Miss Richards’ incident. He is fervently recommending a wild card, someone others don’t know or expect, including the added security. Someone who is not regularly on Grey Enterprises payroll. Someone who will not be receiving orders from me, or Sawyer,” he explains. I nod. Knowing my wife has a habit of disobeying or disregarding danger, it is necessary to have a few added steps to the security.
“Good call. Warn Miss Tiber to not to give it away to Mrs. Grey or her assistant Hannah, either. I want absolute stealth. As far as we are concerned, no one knows Lee, not you, not Melissa and not Sawyer. If there’s someone trying to stir the shit pot, I want to know it immediately. And I still want a full report once the symposium is over,” I order. I also make a mental note to have Welch check into Lauren’s whereabouts and why she decided to ambush my wife in the crowd of biggest money in the country.
“As you wish, sir,” Taylor replies.
When we make it to the gym, we find Melissa and Lee sparring. The act is very much like kickboxing but I see them utilizing the traditional weapons as well. Lee is absolutely skillful in using the Jiujiebian; the nine section whip. The ease in which he utilizes it and the expertise demonstrated by Melissa avoiding getting hit by the metal whip are very impressive. When they realize they have company observing them, they bow at each other and Melissa walks forward to introduce me to the master. For the next hour, Lee pushes me hard in training like Claude Bastille and I decide to secure his services not just for today but for when we do visit New York in the future as well.


*****      *****
“Christian, I thought you weren’t going to come to the symposium,” Anastasia protests.
“Mrs. Grey, I have other business to attend. But your desire to have me with you is heartwarming,” I say dryly.
“It’s not what I mean, and you know it. I feel like a child asking permission from her parents and that shouldn’t be like that.”
“Baby, you’re not asking my permission. But you are not an ordinary woman either. Tell me, have you seen Hannah while I was gone for this morning’s business meeting?” I ask changing the topic.
“No, she’ll be coming here soon. We’ll go over our agenda and then travel together to the symposium. She was going to meet me there, but I thought it was best to arrive together as opposed to trying to find her in the crowd.”
“Great. How long is this event?”
“It has already started, but we’re participating events that start after lunch. It goes all the way into the evening. There’s more of it tomorrow. If all goes well, Hannah and I might have private events with some other authors and even big publishers,” she replies excitedly.
“Good luck to you and your assistant, Mrs. Grey. Remember to keep close to Melissa and Sawyer,” I warn her.
“Yes, husband,” she replies rolling her eyes.
We have lunch ordered in from a French restaurant. Anastasia is craving crusty baguette, soup and salad. I tell Taylor to double the order but also add boeuf bourguignon. Before our lunch is over, her assistant arrives to the apartment. Anastasia looks exceedingly happy to see her assistant.
“Hi Ana!” she greets my wife giving her a hug. “How do you do, Mr. Grey?” she adds blushing. I can see the restraint Ana forces herself to not to roll her eyes. Anastasia has to physically pull her to the coffee table in the living room to discuss their agenda. Satisfied with their results, they both stand up, and Anastasia announces that they’re ready to leave. I help her put her red coat on and make our way down to the garage. All the while, I’m holding her hand.
“What time did you get in?” Anastasia asks.
“Oh, late enough to have hard time in finding a cab from the airport,” she responds. “Luckily…” she starts, but then stops saying whatever she started out explaining.
“Did you travel alone, Hannah?” I ask casually. She hesitates, briefly.
“Uhm, yes, of course Mr. Grey. I, uhm, was alone coming from Seattle.” Her voice is brittle, a little off pitch. The way she answers raises my suspicion. Taylor’s eyes briefly meet with mine then with Melissa’s, but I don’t probe further. Maybe she hooked up with someone after she got here. Men and women do it often, especially those with busy careers who are not looking for a committed relationship.
When we exit the apartment building cold gust of wind greets us immediately. Both Anastasia and Hannah hold onto their coats tighter. Taylor opens the limo door. I let Anastasia in. Sawyer and Hannah go to the other door and let Hannah in. I take my place next to my wife and pleasantly after the doors are closed, the cold air chased out by the blasting warm heat from the limo’s air vents.


“Will you be traveling back to Seattle with us, Hannah?” Anastasia asks her assistant.
“Uhm…” she says hesitantly. “I would have loved to, Ana. But, I have my reservation back on a commercial flight,” she responds.
“Okay,” Anastasia says shrugging.
When we arrived at the hotel where the symposium being held, Taylor and Sawyer jump out of the limo to open the doors. I help my wife out and follow her to the entrance, but I don’t go into the building.
“We’ll pick you up at 7:00 p.m. unless you are done earlier. Don’t over exert yourself, and call me if you don’t feel well for any reason.”
She rolls her eyes, “I mean it Ana,” I lean in and whisper into her ear. Her breath catches momentarily, and for a second the world around dims and only the two of us exist.
“Yes, sir,” she whispers back. I place a chaste kiss on her lips, and leave her to the care of her security.
As soon as Anastasia, Hannah, Sawyer and Melissa walk into the building, Taylor opens the limo door, and lets me in.
“Are the rest of the security in place?” I ask.
“Yes, sir. Every one of them. They’re all synced in with Sawyer and Melissa.”
“Good. How about Lee?”
“He’s there, but we won’t see him. He’ll be stealthy as a ghost until he’s ready to give us his report.”
My Blackberry buzzes as Taylor is talking. I hold my finger to Taylor and answer the phone.
“Grey.”
“Mr. Grey, some of the east  coast shipbuilders, Mr. Burgen and Mr. Hedgedorf would like meet with you sir, and I have just entered them into your agenda for 4:00 p.m. which is 30 minutes to after your meeting with Mr. Ying.”
“What’s in Ying’s agenda?” I ask.
“He would like to discuss about meeting the quota determined for the upcoming quarter, sir.”
“Where is the meeting with Burgen and Hedgedorf?” I ask.
“Not far from Mr. Ying’s office. They wanted to meet at Mr. Hedgedorf’s office located in the Financial District. Your driver’s GPS has been sent the information already, Mr. Grey,” she replies.
“Alright. Anything else?”
“Have you received the e-mail from the engineering team regarding the requested quota for our local dock from Taiwan, sir?”
“I saw it this morning.”
“Is there anything else I can do for you sir?”
“Yes. Have Welch call me after I’m done with Ying.”
“Yes, Mr. Grey,” she says as I disconnect the line.


*****      *****



Ying’s office is large enough by New York standards. I am pleased with the progress the team in Taiwan making meeting and exceeding the standards. Even though they are slightly below the quota for the time being, he reassures me that they can make the quota.

“I want weekly reports, Ying. Jobs here depend on Taiwanese team meeting the quota. Hire and train temporary or per diem workers if need be. We have allocated the expense for the year, but meet with finance as well. I don’t want you running over the budget. Keep it within the budget, but meet the demands.”
He reassures me that as soon as the training of the existing employees is over for the required work standards, the team would meet the required quota.
“You have three weeks to complete the training, and month and a half time to catch up to the quota,” I warn him. “Not just jobs here and Taiwan depend on it, but yours as well.”
“Yes, Mr. Grey,” he voices his agreement. We leave Ying’s office at 3:00 p.m. and the temperatures hasn’t even risen a degree or two since we left the apartment. If anything, the wind seems to be sharper and relentless, howling like an ominous messenger. The limo approaches us and Taylor opens the door to let me in. Once we settle in our seats I turn to Taylor.
“Any news from Melissa or Sawyer?” I ask.
“Nothing, sir.” He responds.
“Weren’t they supposed to check in with you?” I ask quizzically.
“Not unless there’s an incident, sir. Because there’s a large group of individuals they’ll have to keep an eye on, it may be difficult for them to make a call. They won’t be able to keep a running circle since they won’t be able to keep strangers away from Mrs. Grey. They have to be close to her at all times.”
As if on cue, my Blackberry buzzes. It’s Welch as I asked.
“Grey’s here,” I answer.
“Mr. Grey, I am calling as you requested. I have had some time to research about Dr. Lauren Richards. However, I haven’t found any concrete information yet sir.”
“Let’s start with what you found,” I command.
“Dr. Richards works at New York Presbyterian as an Emergency Medicine doctor. She is subbing the New York socialite and railroad old money Mr. Paul VanDyneveak.”
“Railroad? What could the railroad guy have anything to do with me?” I ask.
“There isn’t anything, sir. That’s the problem. We don’t know why she was ready to make a personal attack towards you or Mrs. Grey, sir. There’s no mental illness, or anything she has presented, and it would be incomprehensible for her to put her career in jeopardy with such a bold action.”
“But, she has! Not only she made attempts, but she also upset my wife greatly. It could have been worse. I don’t want any fuck ups Welch. If you have to interrogate her personally, do it. There’s something going on, and I want to find out what it is!”
“Yes, Mr. Grey. But, I am almost absolutely certain that it’s not because of her current Dom. He doesn’t know who she was with prior to their relationship. She’s been with him, since you let her go.”
“Why then would a sane woman jeopardize her career, her current relationship and knowing who I am and what I’m capable of doing would she take the risk of getting me angry with her?” I ask.
“She has no benefits from you, and as far as she knows, you have insurance against exposure,” he says. I don’t respond. All that ‘insurance’ are burnt after Leila left them in the closet and they were discovered by Ana. 
“You’re not asking the right questions, Welch. What could be worse than exposure? Find out the answer to that, and we’ll find the culprit, or at least the reason for that inexplicable verbal attack or whatever else she has planned that night and thanks to Mrs. Solomon’s baby, failed.”
“I’ll travel to New York tomorrow, sir, and I will interview Miss Richards,” Welch says.
“Do that,” I say and hang up.



The drive to takes another 20 minutes. I make every effort to not to call Anastasia. She’s in her symposium, she may not hear the phone, and she may be just enjoying her day with her first event of her career. Yet, since yesterday, I can’t shake the uneasy feeling. I dial her phone, but it directly goes to voice mail. She didn’t say anything about turning her cell phone off.
I call Sawyer. After the third ring, he answers. He has to shout to get himself heard because there’s so much background noise.
“I’m sorry Mr. Grey. I can’t hear you well enough, sir. Can you please repeat your question?” he asks.
“How is Mrs. Grey?” I ask again for the fourth time.
“Very busy, sir. She’s one of the most popular editors here. There’s quite a crowd around her. But, she’s well, sir.”
“Okay, let me or Taylor know immediately if she’s not feeling well, or anything unscheduled happens. Do you know why Mrs. Grey’s cell phone is turned off?”
“Yes, sir. Mrs. Grey earlier realized that she forgot to charge it. She said you can reach her through Hannah’s phone.”
“Did she now?” I say frowning. Anything out of protocol feels wrong.
“She did, sir,” he replies uneasily.
“Why not yours or Melissa’s?”
“You can reach her through one of ours, as well sir. I’m assuming it’s because Hannah and Mrs. Grey are sitting together whereas we are within two to five feet radius,” is his response.
“Have Mrs. Grey call me at the first break she gets. Otherwise I worry, and we might just join her at her convention,” I say hanging up.


Two flustered secretaries, a male and a female greet us at Hedgedorf’s office at the financial district.  I’m swiftly led into the tycoon’s private office where it’s overlooking the Wall Street itself.
“You have quite a view here,” I say in greeting. The middle aged man receives my extended hand with a firm grasp.
“Glad you think so, Mr. Grey. I have heard that it was hard to impress you. It is indeed a compliment coming from you. Let me reintroduce you to George Burgen,” he indicates, stocky, balding man who is in a custom made three piece suit.
“Mr. Burgen,” I say as I take his hand.
“George, please,” he says with a very evident New Yorker accent.
“I am sure you are wondering why we wanted to have a meeting you. But, first, what is your pleasure? What would you like to drink?” he asks going to a corner in his office with a bar.
“Coffee and water. I don’t drink in business hours,” I respond.
I look at both of them with an impassive face.
“We have a business proposal for you Mr. Grey,” starts Hedgedorf in a gravelly voice.
“I gathered as much. I’m listening.”
“We need to add three new transatlantic cargo ships within the next year to our fleet, and no one has the capacity to manufacture what we want.”
“Surely gentlemen, there are ships available to purchase should you need to get them immediately,” I say cocking my head.
“We know you have standards that are higher, Grey. The reason we are asking to have them built, and we are also going to ask you to have the existing ships modified to our specifications is that we have been hit by pirates every single time, and our losses are great. Not only merchandise, the lost time, but we have lost crew,” Burgen says.
“I haven’t heard anything on the news. The piracy has been a problem in recent years around West Africa reported the International Maritime Bureau. But how bad is it?” I ask.
“Bad,” Hedgedorf says drinking the dark amber liquid in one gulp, taking a large gulp of air as if the liquid burned its way down his throat, then almost slams the cut crystal onto the coffee table.
“Every single one of our ships and tanker hit. 951 of our sailors attacked. 206 hostages, five killed within the last two weeks. It’s almost we are working to feed the pirates!” Burgen says with a poorly concealed desperation.
“But, surely, this many attacks would cause some sort of international news, or would have made through the circuits.”
“It has, but this is ‘do business at your own risk’ kind of thing. It’s accepted to have danger in that location. You know that as well as we do. We have reports that you send aid through Gulf of Aden. The last aid you sent we’ve heard was through air drops. But you had a choice; we can’t carry oil tankers by air. We have to get through Gold of Aden, Gulf of Guinea and through western Indian Ocean.”
“I’m aware of the Somali pirates. Are there more?”
Hedgedorf heaves a frustrated breath.
“Nigeria. It’s Africa’s largest oil producer and a new danger zone with pirates targeting fuel cargo. Our oil has been stolen nine out of ten times within the last year, loaded onto other ships and sold in lucrative black market. They don’t even release the ships on ransom anymore!”
“Don’t forget South-East Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Singapore Straits, Bangladesh, Malacca Straits, South China Sea. In Africa, Nigeria is the worst, but Ivory Coast remains a concern, so is Tog, Red Sea…” Hedgedorf says shaking his head.
“But Nigeria is still the worst. And unlike Somalia, money moves quickly in Nigeria,” adds Burgen. “This sort of thing would take months in Somalia, but these pirates have been taking our oil cargo and the money and our shipment is gone within weeks. A lesser company would have bankrupted. Insurance companies are not willing to take the risk to insure us. And if they do insure our cargo, we’re just working for the pirates and the insurance companies.”
“What is it that you want from my company?” I ask sitting back my arms crossed.
“We want out ships rigged with defense systems like in the Navy’s to protect our goods before they run us out of business,” Burgen says.
“Our losses are in billions, Grey,” Hedgedorf says grimly.
“But, I doubt that no matter what I rig your ships with or how I build them, you will have sailors, not warriors. How do you intend to keep them safe?” I ask.
“We’re hiring private defense contractors whose sole job is the protection of our ships. Do you have the capacity to build what we want?” Bergen asks.
“I do,” I respond. My simple response causes both men to give out a sigh of relief at the same time. “How soon do you want these done?”
The two men look at each other. “Yesterday.”
“Well, we have today gentlemen. I will of course need your specifications. My engineers will need to see how those requirements can apply to cargo ships. After all, you don’t have warships,” I respond.
“If you can get us successfully protected, you may become the pioneer in this field, and the only one. Shipping companies will line up to do business with you. This is something hard to come by in this economy.”
“You’ve got to help us Grey! Every single one of our cargo ships has to pass through the hijacking corridor. We have no ship that escaped the attack. Not a single one,” Bergen says as if he just aged ten years.
“I’ll do my best. But first, I need detailed reports on what happened each ship, how it was attacked, what was taken, in what manner it was taken, and how your cargo was disposed in order to be able to identify individual weaknesses of each vessel.”
“That would be no problem; my company will send all those reports within the next forty-eight hours,” says Hedgedorf.
“So can mine,” adds Bergen.
My Blackberry buzzes. The number isn’t someone who is listed on my speed dial.
“Excuse me gentlemen. I will have to get this.” The men nods.
“Grey,” I answer curtly walking to the corner of the office.
“Christian. Hi!” Anastasia’s voice comes through excited.
“Hi, baby. Are you on your assistant’s phone?”
“Yes. I was going to let you know that Fox Boyd, SIP’s most famous author, a local publisher here in New York, and my assistant will go to get a bite to eat and have some business to discuss,” she says.
“Are you asking me, or telling me, Ana? I thought we’re having dinner together. And besides, this is unscheduled.”
She sighs a little frustrated.
“Christian, this is part of this function. We are here to connect with other writers and publishers. It is beneficial for SIP to have connections with larger publishers. It is a well-known company, Christian.”
“Who exactly are coming?”
“Fox Boyd, Random rep, my assistant, and my security detail.”
“How long is this supposed to take?” I ask checking the time. It’s about 5:00 p.m.
“I don’t know. I thought you can meet me where we are going around 6:30? That way we’d be done with meeting and have dinner together.”
I hate change of plans. They’re unpredictable and hard to prepare on the spot.
“Anastasia, this wasn’t the plan. And I thought I made it abundantly clear that you weren’t going to do this sort of thing.”
“I said, I’d do my best and I am doing my best within what you want and what my work demands. It’s just dinner Christian, not the end of the world! And you will be meeting me,” she says.
“Where will you be going?” I ask.
“A restaurant called the Lounge at Daniel,” she responds.
“Oh, has an excellent wine cellar. Good food. Alright, we’ll meet you there, then. And, Ana?”
“Yes?” she replies warily.
“You know what this has earned you,” I murmur impassively.
“Yes, sir. I’ve come to know pink as the color of pleasure,” she responds with a low husky voice.
“Expect a lot of it, then, Mrs. Grey.”
“Christian?”
“What?”
“Thank you. Best first New York trip ever and even if I got to meet unpleasant doctors.”
“I’ll see you soon, Mrs. Grey.”
“I love you Mr. Grey,” she says with excitement.
“Me, too, baby. Me, too. And Ana, you’re still not off the hook,” I murmur before hanging up.

The drive to Daniel takes about 25 minutes through Park Avenue and Broadway. Taylor receives a phone call from Lee during the drive. I extend my hand for his phone.
“Grey,” I say.
“Mr. Grey. I’d like to report that most of the event went without incident.”
“Most?” I ask.
“You heard correctly, sir. Your security was efficient keeping away the individuals who weren’t on the list of attendees. Close security details were quite efficient.”
“But, I hear a ‘but’ coming,” I say.
“It is only a hunch. Nothing untoward happened. But I noticed electronic interference. After all, we can’t solely examine the threats visible to the naked eye.”
“How did you come to that conclusion?”
“When the majority of the people having difficulty making phone calls, one must consider the possibility. There was a transmitter interference where the majority of the cellular phones experienced and most of the individuals complained their phones draining of charge because the devices were constantly looking for a signal that was being blocked. I noticed Mrs. Grey experienced the same, and I believe both of Mrs. Grey’s close security details have cell phones drained of power.”
I take my Blackberry out of my pocket, hand it to Taylor.
“Call Sawyer and Melissa,” I order while on the phone with Lee.
“Why then wasn’t…”
“Miss Hannah’s phone? She probably has experienced the same, since she seemed to have it hooked onto her laptop to keep it charged.”
“I see. Have you pinpointed what or who was causing the interference?”
“I didn’t have the adequate equipment for detection with me.”
I look up to Taylor who shakes his head indicating he can’t reach Sawyer or Melissa through cell phone. He radios them.
“Did you not charge your cell phones last night?” he hisses into the radio. He listens, and breathes out a frustrated breath.
“How’s Mrs. Grey?” he asks and he seems to be satisfied with the response.
“We’re driving by the Central Presbyterian Church on Park and East 64th. ETA’s five minutes,” he answers an unheard question. “Charge your fucking phones next time!” he hisses.
“From now on, you’re all required to carry on-the-go chargers. I need to be able to reach you on something other than the radio!”
“Did anyone follow my wife and her group to the restaurant?” I ask.
“I had not detected anyone following Mrs. Grey and her company sir.”
“Alright, Lee. Thanks.”
“I will be there as well Mr. Grey,” he replies as a matter of factly.
“There?”
“At the restaurant of course. You might need an extra pair of eyes and ears,” he responds as if this is the most natural thing to do.
“Will I see you there?”
“Of course not,” he says with a smile in his voice.
“Thanks,” I say and disconnect.
“Coincidence?” I ask Taylor.
“No, sir. One too many. Last night and today. Just one too many to be a coincidence.”
I look outside the darkening sky as we approach the parking for Daniel. Just want to get my wife and take her home.
The Maître D greets us at the entrance.
“Mr. Grey, what a pleasure to have you sir. This way please” he says. I am uneasy until I see my wife healthy and happy. I see her sitting at a table her back turned to me, but as always she feels my presence, and turns to look at me. Her face brightens when she sees me.
“Christian!” is her greeting. She slowly rises from her seat with her hand reaching out to me. I close the distance between us, keeping her in my arms tightly.
“You ok?” she whispers.


“I am now, Mrs. Grey. I am now” I murmur with relief as if my reason for being appeared.
Once I let her go, she turns around the table blushing.
“Let me introduce you my husband, Mr. Christian Grey,” she says with evident pride, emphasizing, ‘my husband’.
“Thank you for keeping my wife safe and entertained until I got here,” I say giving them a smile, sitting next to Anastasia after the Maître D seats her in her place, pushing her chair in.  I see Taylor scanning the patrons imperceptibly, seemingly calm, but he is on the edge like I feel. Melissa and Sawyer follow suit all in sync with him. We are safe for tonight.


Hi everyone! Thank you for patiently waiting. I have 3 more weeks of intense work with long hours to finish my current 300+ pages of translation project. I had to take a day and a half to write the chapter-now I'm off to make up that time :) Enjoy!