StatCtr

Monday, July 23, 2012

BOOK II - CHAPTER IX - Christian and Anastasia FanFiction


TAKE ME AS I AM

CHAPTER IX


I frown at Sawyer’s trigger happy reaction, and give him the “All clear,” as I enter into the foyer. Immediately chagrined, Sawyer puts his gun away, and allows me in.

“Taylor is just overreacting,” I say to soothe Anastasia as I proffer my hand to her. Anastasia looks shocked, scared, worried, and concerned. Her gaze runs over my body taking everything in, noticing my open shirt buttons, trying to make sure I’m unhurt. I try to hide the tension in my body, but unable to. I look at my girl with concern, worried about her.

“It’s alright baby,” I say as I walk towards her I open my arms to receive her in my protective embrace.  (←Hysteria by Def Leppard) She is wrapped in my arms, safe and secure. Having gone through this last hour worried and aged me, fearing that some harm, however remote might come to Anastasia. I wanted to protect her, but also find Leila to get her the help she needs and to remove element of the danger she’s could be creating.

“I was so worried, Christian,” she whispers, finally feeling secure in my arms, tension leaving her body, trying to feel my presence by inhaling my scent, embracing me.

“I know. We’re all jumpy.”

Sawyer leaves to confer with the rest of the security team.

“Honestly, your exes are proving to be very challenging, Mr. Grey,” she mutters, and her joking demeanor despite the scare we’ve been through relaxes me. I was so worried that this could add a new pressure on Anastasia after what Elena had done at the fundraising; I just realized that I had surmounting fears that she would leave me finding my exes unbearable.

“Yes. They are,” I say finding truth in what she’s saying. I have to take control of the situation with both of them. After holding her and feeling her warmth in my arms, and finally feeling secure enough to have her with me, I release her from my arms only to take her hand in mine. As I take her into the living room, I explain what Taylor and his security detail is doing: “Taylor and his crew are checking all the closets and cupboards. I don’t think she’s here.”

“Why would she be here?” she asks. I don’t know the answer to that, and I don’t see any reason why she would be in my apartment.

“Exactly,” I respond.

“Could she get in?” asks Anastasia. We have a state of the art security system in the apartment; I’m not sure if she can bypass those.

“I don’t see how. But Taylor is overcautious sometimes,” I say knowing Taylor total dedication to his job.

“Have you searched the playroom?” asks Anastasia in a low voice. I know what she’s referring to. Leila had been a participant in my playroom; my sub. And of course the thoughts of Leila and I would come to Anastasia unbidden, knowing how jealous she gets. I frown but answer her question:

“”Yes, it’s locked, but Taylor and I checked it,” I say remembering Taylor’s overreaction.

She takes a shuddering breath as if to wash away the last hour’s anxiety and fear. I want her to relax and unwind.

“Do you want a drink or anything?” I ask her.

“No.” she says finally running out of the last bit of adrenaline the stress gave her; she’s completely tired, and barely able to stand on her feet.

“Come. Let me put you to bed. You look exhausted,” I say as if she’s a small child. I hold her hand and take her to my bedroom.

She takes her handbag, and puts it on top the dresser, and empties the contents of it. Clutching a piece of paper, she hands it to me. “Here,” she says, “I don’t know if you want to read this. I want to ignore it.”

I look at the note, and the content of it upsets me:

I may have misjudged you. And you have definitely misjudged me. Call me if you need to fill in any of the blanks – we could have lunch. Christian doesn’t want me talking to you, but I would be more than happy to help. Don’t get me wrong, I approve, believe me – but so help me, if you hurt him... He’s been hurt enough.

Call me: (206) 279-6261

Mrs. Robinson

I don’t want to analyze it in front of Anastasia who already sees red even when she hears the letter “R.”

“I’m not sure what blanks she can fill in,” I say dismissing the note, but I will straighten her out. “I need to talk to Taylor,” I say by the way of changing topic so she doesn’t dwell too much on Elena and contribute to what already turned out to be a hellish night.

“Let me unzip your dress,” I say gazing at her. She should go to bed. She looks dead tired.

“Are you going to call the police about the car?” she asks me as I unzip her dress. That is of course not an option. I sweep her loose hair to the side, and my fingers trail on her now naked back.

“No. I don’t want the police involved. Leila needs help, not police intervention, and I don’t want them here. We just have to double our efforts to find her,” I say leaning down and kissing her shoulder. I don’t want Anastasia worry about this. This is my problem which I brought to our doorsteps. Leila is going through grief right now, and I have to get help for her; I owe her that much. I can’t abandon her. I hate the fact that this is brought up to Anastasia’s attention. I know she can get very jealous. She’s jealous of Elena, and now Leila who in fact went to meet her at work. I wanted to resolve it before it reached to this point. All I have to do now is to find Leila get her help and do damage control with Anastasia.

“Go to bed,” I order Anastasia, and I go to meet Taylor. He’s stoically waiting in my office.

“Taylor, what have you found?”

“No trace of her here sir.”

“Do you think she has entered the house?”

“We didn’t find any evidence of a break-in sir. We swept the apartment twice. No sign of her. I examined the paint on the car. It’s an oil based paint sir, and it’s white which means it’s a rapid drier. Given the humidity in Seattle, I’d say it’s been tossed on Miss Steele’s car about 3 hours ago or maybe a little more. She could be long gone,” he says, I nod. Taylor looks uneasy.

“But?” I probe knitting my eyebrows. Taylor’s instincts never fail, and I’m pure attention.

“She has this ability to evade us sir. I’m quite sure she is following you or Miss Steele somehow. She made sure she did cause the damage right when we were all gone. Her timing is not a coincidence. She knew we were gone, and she probably suspected it’s for a good while because we were all dressed for a party. That gave her time to scheme up a plan to go get the paint, deface the car and slash the tires. My gut instinct tells me that she’s not far from Escala. But ‘where’ is the question. It’s been bothering me that we haven’t been able to locate her,” he says shifting on his foot nervously.

“What else?” I ask in a firm voice.

“Pardon me sir?”

“Taylor, you worked for me for four years. You know me well, and I’ve learned how to read you like a book. You and I can communicate with just one look. There’s something else. I want to know what that is!” He nods.

“I’ve been thinking about this since she came and made a scene in front of Gail. Leila changed tactics. It was first to get your attention. You’re paying attention now. She’s now saying look what I can do. Look at the pain I can cause, expect what’s to come. It’s like a cat and mouse game to her. But I’m not sure whether she’s the cat or the mouse! She’s playing both. And then there’s the fact that she’s going through grief; that’s another concern because that’s what makes her unstable. She doesn’t care what happens. That’s what worries me. But she’s coherent enough to make a plan, however hasty or impromptu.” Anastasia’s fear stricken face comes before my eyes unbidden. I close my eyes, and inhale deep. The last few hours since Elena pulled her shit on Anastasia has been horrendous.

I thought Anastasia would run, after Taylor called me and told me about the confrontation. Luckily Elena didn’t divulge on what I feared she would say. Of course the time she danced with Dr. Flynn was another time that worried me. But John is a professional and I pay him well. He doesn’t spread his patient information to the patient’s significant other.

“There are now four of you to cover a lot more ground to find her Taylor. I don’t want to leave anything to chance. Sawyer will follow Anastasia at all times. Her safety is top priority. I want Leila to be found. Find out if she’s been in touch with any of her friends here, or her family back east. I have enough things to worry about without this looming over me. It needs to be resolved now!” I say. Taylor nods stoically.

“If you don’t need me anymore sir, I’ll go to my office, and get everyone up to par.”

“Fine,” I say curtly and Taylor leaves.

I run my hands through my hair. Where could Leila be? What’s her deal with Anastasia? I’ve had other subs before and after her. Why Anastasia? My phone rings disrupting the silence in my office, making me jump. Who the fuck could be calling me in the dark of the night after 2:00 a.m. in the morning? Is this another fucking emergency, like I didn’t have enough of them tonight?

I look at the caller and it’s Elena. Great! This night is getting better and better all the time!

“What?” I bark into the speaker without a preamble. She’s surprised to hear me.

“Oh, Christian, I didn’t think you would be up at this time. I’m sorry for calling so late.”

“Well, I’m up and completely pissed at you! After telling you to leave Anastasia alone, what do you do? You go behind my back and send a note to her knowing full well that I would know! What were you planning to tell her? What blanks did you think you could fill that I couldn’t?” I can hear her shudder on the phone.

“Uhm... I needed to speak with you,” she says.

“At 2:00 a.m. in the morning? I don’t know why you’re calling me at this hour. I have nothing to say to you...” I seethe with anger. Not after what she pulled on Anastasia after I told her to leave her alone. I don’t like people going behind my back.

“I’m aware of the time. I thought you’d be asleep, and I was hoping to leave you a message. I can call you tomorrow if you like...”

“Well, you can tell me now. You don’t have to leave a message.”

“I didn’t want Anastasia to think so lowly of me. She doesn’t know the nature of our relationship. And she misjudged me. It bothers me that she sees me as a pedophile. You know I’m not Christian! I was only trying to help you the only way I knew how! And I will not tolerate Anastasia hurting you! Listen Christian...she has the potential of hurting you badly!” she says and I cut her off.

“No, you listen. I asked you and now I’m telling you. Leave her alone! She has nothing to do with you. Do you understand?” I say in a menacing voice.

“Christian, please. I care about you immensely!” she says pleading.

“I know you do. But I mean it, Elena. Leave her the fuck alone. Do I need to put it in triplicate for you?”

“Christian, you’ve been through enough! You don’t know what she can do to you if she was to hurt you again. I know you can’t take it. I felt the need to protect you!”

“Are you hearing me?” I ask her exasperated.

“Yes, I am. Fine! I’ll leave her alone,” she says resigned.

“Good. Good night!” I slam the fucking phone down on the desk.

Anger is rippling through me; I’m ready to break something apart. I put my head between my hands. I’m at my limit. I hate others' interference into my life. Leila is doing it for some revenge she feels she needs to extract from me triggered by her grief, and Elena is doing it because of some misguided desire to protect me! And there’s Anastasia who is in the middle of this shit storm, and I’m too afraid that she’d leave me because of their actions. There’s a slight knock on my door. Who the hell is it now?

“What?” I snarl like an angry beast, ready to devour whoever is behind that door in one giant bite. The door is opens tentatively. I glance up and see the sight of heaven out of my personal hell. My face and soul find solace in that moment when I see those blue eyes peering in half scared at my ferocity in answering the door. I don’t want her to be afraid of me. I’m cautious now. I’m too damn tired and weary. I just want to hold my girl, and find my center in this hurricane.

As my mind reels in from the storm into the calm, I blink to erase what has been bothering me and look at the sight before me. Anastasia is wearing one of my t-shirt looking like a teenager.

“You should be in silk or satin, Anastasia,” I say out of breath as if I ran a marathon. “But even in my t-shirt, you look beautiful.” She blushes that lovely color rising in her cheeks.

“I missed you, come to bed,” she whispers softly. Her voice is beckoning me, like a siren’s call. (←Bliss by Muse)   I can’t help but rise out of my seat and walk towards her. My eyes are full of promise and desire for her, but they’re still tinted with the residual sadness of what she’s gone through just in one evening because of my exes. She’s my candlelight in the darkest tunnels of my soul. The only hope I can focus on. I’m drawn to her, and lost without her. If you’re born into darkness like me, it becomes your companion. That’s all you know. It’s comfortable because you don’t know anything else. And the rescue attempts to get me out of the darkness have always been fruitless. My body may have been out of the confines of that dungeon, but my soul never was. Not until this tiny flicker of light. It wasn’t strong, just a point in darkness beckoning me, calling me silently to it. I’m helpless but to go to this tiny candlelight. When I reach to it, it consumes me, holds me in its power promising good things, pulling me out of the dungeon, merging me within its light. This is how she just effortlessly pulls me out of my dark thoughts, anger and misery.

“Do you know what you mean to me?” I murmur barely hiding the fear of losing her. “If something happened to you, because of me...” I can’t bring the rest of the thought into words; it’s just too painful to even hypothesize upon such a thought. I try to keep the anguish at bay by trying to crease my brows as if it’ll do the job, but the pain is ever present. I nearly lost it when she was gone six days, and I knew she was only 10 minutes away from me. If something happened and Anastasia and I didn’t exist in the same universe, I would simply die of torment! I would lose my half claimed soul. I need her more than my next breath! She’s too important to me. I can hardly look at her as if she’s going to disappear from my hands, evaporate somehow.

“Nothing’s going to happen to me,” she says in a soothing, melodic voice, reassuring me in her fragile self. She gazes at me with love in her eyes, holding out her hands she reaches out to my face and softly stroke my face. She runs her soft fingers through midnight stubble on my cheeks.

“Your beard grows quickly,” she whispers, effectively taking me to some topic that is completely out of the danger zone.

Her index finger ever so slightly traces my bottom lip, and then with her nail with the slightest of pressure she traces the line of my lip. Her finger trails down to my throat. Then she employs two fingers for the same purpose. Then three. And then four. Her fingers graze over my throat down to my neck and the borderline of safety and danger zone. My eyes are wide open as I gaze down at her, completely encapsulated in her magic. She’s doing the touching. I’m motionless. A moon orbiting its planet. Captivated. She brings her finger down to the edge of my shirt. Her fingers trace the line of the shirt buttons up and down slowly, leisurely.

“I’m not going to touch you. I just want to undo your shirt,” she whispers, easing me, trying to soothe my fears. (←By Your Side by Tenth Avenue North)  I can’t help it. This is still hard for me. My eyes widen, anxious, but I don’t want to get away from her proximity. I stand motionless, and I want to let her explore. Slowly, tentatively she unbuttons the top button, pulling the shirt collar and fabric away from my skin, careful not to touch me. She repeats the process with the next button. My gaze is on her, mesmerized. Icarus to sun. Still apprehensive, but unable to get away from the pull. I’m in the mercy of her hands. She moves down to unfasten another button. Then a third one. Completely focused with the task at hand. Third one undone, she moves on to the fourth button in line. Once she unfastens it, the now residual slight red lipstick line appears. She smiles and looks up at me.

“Back on home territory,” she says tracing the line with her fingers and then she unfastens the last button. My breathing is shallow. Why is this scary and hot as hell? She pulls the shirt out of the confines of my pants, completely opening the front of it and baring my chest. She removes the cufflinks, one sexy sensual move at a time.

“Can I take your shirt off?” she asks in a low, desire laden sensual voice. I’m speechless; all salacity, pure attention. I can only nod. She reaches up and pulls the shirt off my shoulders. The shirt is hanging down from my hands which I free with one pull. I’m now naked from waist up. It’s my home territory. I’m back and smirk down at Anastasia.

“What about my pants, Miss Steel?” I ask raising my eyebrows with nothing but carnal hunger.

“In the bedroom. I want you in your bed,” she says with promise in her tone.

“Do you now? Miss Steele, you are insatiable,” I say with pleasure.

“I can’t think why,” she says innocently grabbing my hand, taking lead, pulling me away from the misery piled up sky high in my office, and takes me to my bedroom. I automatically sense something odd in the room. It’s chilly. We keep the apartment at a constant temperature. My gaze quickly goes around the room, and I notice the open balcony door. I frown and look at Anastasia quizzically.

“You opened the balcony door?” I ask.

“No,” she answers surprised by it as much as I am. Then her face changes, blood draining from her face, she goes pale, colorless like a ghost. Her mouth falls open. What happened? What’s bothering her?

“What?” I snap unable to bear the suspense, I glare at her.

“When I woke up,” she says pausing trying to recall, “there was someone in here,” she says in a whisper pointing at the foot of the bed. “I thought it was my imagination.”

“What?” I bellow horrified. I run to the balcony door, I look outside, scan around to see if there’s anyone. She’s here. She’s close by! And fuck! She was in my bedroom where my girlfriend was sleeping! Fuck! She could have hurt her. I step back in, and lock the door. “Are you sure? Who?” I ask in a strained voice. I intently look into her eyes.

“A woman, I think. It was dark. I’d only just woken up,” she explains. My fears are confirmed. Leila is here somewhere.

“Get dressed,” I order in a snarl. She looks at me confused. “Now!” I yell, and she jumps.

“My clothes are upstairs,” she whimpers.

I go to my dresser and pull out one of my workout sweatpants.

“Put these on,” I order.

Then I take out one my t-shirts and put it on. I reach for the phone and dial Taylor’s extension. He answers on the first ring.

“She’s still fucking here,” I hiss before he can even say ‘hello’. (←Dangerous by Michael Jackson) Taylor slams the phone down, and rushes to my bedroom in mere seconds along with Ryan.

I give the shorthand version of Leila’s presence in my bedroom and us finding the balcony door open to Taylor. Taylor is all business: “How long ago?” he asks Anastasia.

“About ten minutes,” she says sounding feeble.

“She knows the apartment like the back of her hand,” I say. “I’m taking Anastasia away now. She’s hiding here somewhere. Find her. When is Gail back?” I ask.

“Tomorrow evening, sir.”

“She’s not to return until this place is secure. Understand?” I snap barely holding onto my sanity.

“Yes, sir. Will you be going to Bellevue?”

“I’m not leading this problem to my parents. Book me somewhere,” I order.

“Yes. I’ll call you.”

Then Anastasia turns and says the most idiotic thing.

“Aren’t we all overreacting slightly?”

My eyes are burning embers, and if I could shoot fire through them, I probably would. I glower at her, and my anger is not contained. “She may have a gun,” I growl. Does she think I’d take a chance with her life?

“Christian, she was standing at the end of the bed. She could have shot me then, if that’s what she wanted to do.”

Breathe in. Breathe out. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten. Fuck! It’s not working.

“I’m not prepared to take that risk. Taylor! Anastasia needs shoes!” Taylor runs to get her shoes from her bedroom.

I briskly walk into my closet, leaving Anastasia with Ryan’s protective and watchful eyes. I get a leather messenger bag out, and fill it with clothes that I could wear for the next few days. I grab one of my denim jackets for Anastasia. I shed my black suit pants, and put on my jeans and a pinstriped blazer on top of my t-shirt. I clutch my messenger bag and the denim jacket and come back to my room. Anastasia is still standing where I left her. I drape the jacket around her shoulders.

“Come,” I say grabbing her hand into mine possessively and walk in fast strides while nearly dragging Anastasia behind me.

“I can’t believe she could hide somewhere in here,” she mutters as she glances at the balcony door on the way out.

“It’s a big place. You haven’t seen it all yet.”

“Why don’t you just call her... tell her you want to talk to her?” asks Anastasia.

“Anastasia, she’s unstable, and she may be armed,” I say. Why would I take that chance?

“So we just run?” she asks incredulous.

“For now, yes.”

“Supposing she tries to shoot Taylor?” she asks concerned.

“Taylor knows and understands guns,” I say with disapproval. “He’ll be quicker with a gun than she is.”

“Ray was in the army. He’s taught me to shoot.”

I turn and look at Anastasia with disbelief. Another gun lover in my home?

“You, with a gun?” I ask shocked. I never knew that.

“Yes,” she says offended, as if I said she was unworthy or incapable of having a gun. In a way, I can’t imagine a gun in her delicate hands. This is a new piece of information for me to digest. “I can shoot, Mr. Grey, so you’d better beware. It’s not just crazy ex-subs you need to worry about.”

It’s cute that my girlfriend is not completely helpless. “I’ll bear that in mind, Miss Steele,” I answer her dryly, smiling at her tenacity and unwavering spirit.

When we reach the foyer, Taylor is waiting to meet us with a carry-on bag with Anastasia’s clothes and her black Converse. A shy smile creeps on Anastasia’s face, and soon enough her personal aura light up making Taylor smile back at her reassuringly. She lets go of my hand, goes and hugs Taylor who gets shy like a teen blushing.

“Be careful,” Anastasia murmurs concerned.

“Yes, Miss Steele,” is what Taylor can barely utter. I don’t like my girlfriend showing affection to others even if it is for legitimate concern. She’s mine, damn it! I assess Taylor, and he shyly adjusts his tie, as a nervous gesture.

“Let me know where I’m going,” I say to Taylor. He takes out his wallet out of his jacket and pulls out a credit card handing it to me. He’s going to book the hotel under his name. Great idea.

“Good thinking,” I say approving.

Ryan enters the foyer, and turns to Taylor, “Sawyer and Reynolds found nothing,” he explains. The house is clean, but I can’t take a chance. The locks need to be changed before we can return.

 “Accompany Mr. Grey and Miss Steele to the garage,” Taylor orders Ryan.

The descent to the garage is silent, almost ominous. It’s the middle of the night. There’s not a single soul in the garage as the residents of Escala are sleeping. It’s three a.m. in the morning after all. I hoist Anastasia into my R8’s passenger seat, putting her bag and mine in the trunk. I can’t spare Anastasia from seeing the destruction of her vehicle. Her Audi’s tires slashed, and white, according to Taylor, oil based paint is defacing the car looking like an abuse victim who has been hurt beyond repair by a lover scorned. The scene makes me shudder. Is this what Leila wants to do to Anastasia? Hurt her beyond repair? Anger rises in me. I take my gaze away from the car and slide into the driver’s seat.

“A replacement vehicle will arrive on Monday,” I say to Anastasia to reassure her, but I can’t take the grim tone off my voice.

“How could she have known it was my car?” Anastasia asks puzzled.

Oh, no! I have to explain! I fidget nervously in my seat, but opt for the truth.

“She had an Audi A3. I buy one for all my submissives. It’s one of the safest cars in its class,” I say by the way of explaining.

Anastasia blinks. She’s too smart to for me pull the wool over her eyes.

“Soooo, it’s not so much a graduation present, then,” she says assessing correctly.

“Anastasia, despite what I hoped, you have never been my submissive, so technically it is a graduation present,” I say as I pull out of the parking bay and speed toward the garage exit. Her face falls. I see the gears turning in her head with the flicker of expressions running through her gaze.

“Are you still hoping?” she asks in a whisper.

I don’t get a chance to answer her. Luckily the phone buzzes through the Bluetooth in the car.

“Grey,” is my answering snap.

“Fairmont Olympic. In my name,” says Taylor cutting to the chase.

“Thank you, Taylor. And, Taylor, be careful.” Taylor pauses. It’s his ‘I’m-too-shocked-and-I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-this-concern-coming-from-Grey’ silence. He’s surprised as I am to show concern over his well-being.

“Yes, sir,” he says quietly, overwhelmed. I hang up.

At this ominous hour of the night, the streets are deserted. I drive up Fifth Avenue towards I-5. When I pass through the on ramp of the freeway, I put pedal to the metal, and head north. I’m beyond angry. What if Leila snapped when she saw Anastasia in my bed and shot her? My thoughts go back to our last day. She was punished for jumping into my bed the night before. I treated her behavior like the Bubonic plague. That was the day she finally declared after her many hints and signs that she wanted to be my girlfriend. I refused. I never wanted a girlfriend. I never felt a desire so strong to keep someone to remain in my life forever. Not until Anastasia! (←No Ordinary Love by Sade) My feelings for her are so strong, they scare me. The fear of the possibility of losing her in any capacity is the depth of my worst nightmares. I will do everything in my power to prevent that.

God! My mind keeps playing an image where Anastasia is sleeping in the dark, unaware of anything that can happen to her, helpless. I’m in the same house, with four security guards who are seasoned military men for God’s sake, and she could have been shot! Damn it! My gaze flickers to my rearview mirror. Is Leila following us? I’m getting jumpy as if I’ve had ten cups of triple shot espresso!

My gaze is on the road, but I see Anastasia looking out the window a sadness dawning on her since I haven’t answered her question. I know she worries that I still want her as a sub. I finally answer her question.

“No. It’s not what I hope for, not anymore. I thought that was obvious,” I respond to her question in a soft soothing voice.

She turns around to look at me. Her gaze lingers on me without saying a word. She tightens the jacket hard around herself as if to prevent herself from falling apart. A coldness creeps between us.

“I worry that, you know... that I’m not enough for you.”

God! Not this again! Not tonight! Not after all this shit we’ve been through within a matter of a few hours.

“You’re more than enough. For the love of God, Anastasia! What do I have to do to prove it to you?”

She has some unspoken emotions flit through her face again.

“Why did yo think I’d leave when I told you Dr. Flynn had told me all there was to know about you?”

How can I explain that I have been in a dungeon for souls so long, it has not seen the light until I found her! How does she think a person gets fifty shades fucked-up? My shit is soul deep. What you see is not what you get. You get a whole shitload of baggage. Things I am too embarrassed to speak of... Too dark. She will run from me, and it’s something I can’t handle! I can’t tell her that. I sigh deep like there is not another breath of air left in my lungs. I gaze out. She’s still looking at me. Looking for an answer.

“You cannot begin to understand the depths of my depravity, Anastasia. And it’s not something I want to share with you,” I say. She should give me this much leeway.

“And you really think I’d leave, if I knew?” she asks in a high voice. Her tone conveys the expression ‘do you trust me that little?’

“Do you think so little of me?” she asks in a low voice.

“I know you’ll leave,” I say knowing my own fucking secret. (←When You’re Gone by the Cranberries)

“Christian... I think that’s very unlikely. I can’t imagine being without you.”

“You left me once. I don’t want to go there again.” Ever!

“Elena said she saw you last Saturday,” she whispers, quietly. Accusing.

“She didn’t!” I answer frowning.

“You didn’t go to see her, when I left?” God damn it Ana! You believe a woman you loathe, but my word isn’t good enough for you?

“No!” I snap back. “I told you I didn’t. And I don’t like to be doubted,” I reprimand her. “I didn’t go anywhere last weekend. I sat and made the glider you gave me. Took me forever,” I say quietly. It was a day my heart and soul was taken away from me. I was shattered. Why would I go to Elena? I wanted to be where I could be closest to Anastasia. At the time, the model glider she left me was the closest thing to her hands, her heart, her thoughts and soul.

She still looks doubtful.

“Contrary to what Elena thinks, I don’t rush to her with all my problems, Anastasia. I don’t rush to anybody. You may have noticed. I’m not much of a talker,” I say with anger gripping my soul, and I clench the steering wheel until blood drains from my hands.

“Carrick told me yo didn’t talk for two years,” she divulges.

“Did he now?” I say. Can’t a man keep any secrets of himself?

“I kind of pumped him for information,” she says chagrined.

“So what else did Daddy say?” I ask trying to decipher what sort of information she discovered.

“He said your mom was the doctor who examined you when you were brought into the hospital. After you were discovered in your apartment.”

All true of course, but I’m completely amazed how they can divulge information about me so readily.

“He said learning the piano helped. And Mia,” she adds remembering.

Mia. My sister was the best thing that happened to me in those years. Her name brings up a smile upon my lips. Remembering how small she was. How helpless... She was someone who could need me. I could protect her. “She was about six months old when she arrived. I was thrilled, Elliot less so. He’d already had to contend with my arrival. She was perfect.” Cute, loveable. A baby! I loved her since the first moment I laid eyes on my little sister. But remembering her ‘interruptions’ earlier in the evening, I add, “Less so now, of course.” Anastasia giggles in response. One of the best sounds in the world! Peaceful! Happy!

I glance at her teasing, “You find that amusing, Miss Steele?”

“She seemed determined to keep us apart,” she answers.

I laugh, still forlorn. “Yes, she’s quite accomplished. “But we got there in the end,” I say as I reach my hand to squeeze her knee to remind how much fun it was to reach the end goal. This time, my smile is genuine. I check the rearview mirror again to make sure no one is following us.

“I don’t think we’ve been followed,” I say and exit the freeway, and head back to central Seattle.

“Can I ask you something about Elena?” Anastasia blurts as we stop at the red light. Not her again!

“If you must,” I say apprehensively.

“You told me ages ago that she loved you in a way you found acceptable. What did that mean?”

“Isn’t it obvious?” I ask. I was already screwed up, going to hell in a hand basket. She saved me from destroying myself.

“Not to me,” she responds.

“I was out of control. I couldn’t bear to be touched. I can’t bear it now. For a fourteen, fifteen year old adolescent boy with hormones raging, it was a difficult time. She showed me a way to let off steam,” I explain. I really think that her intervention saved me no matter how it damaged me in other ways. But Anastasia doesn’t understand that. She’s never lived through the torments I lived through, and I don’t think I could bear it if someone had tortured her like the way I had been.

“Mia said you were a brawler.”

What the fuck! What is it with people who are so readily to divest information about me?

“Christ!” I growl. “What is it with my loquacious family? Actually, it’s not them. It’s you!” When we stop at another red light, I turn and narrow my eyes on her.

“You inveigle information out of people,” I say in a mock disgust.

“Mia volunteered that information. In fact, she was very forthcoming. She was worried you’d start a brawl in the marquee if you didn’t win me at the auction,” she mutters petulantly.

“Oh, baby there was no danger of that. There was no way I would let anyone else dance with you. I told you, for me; dancing with you is a vertical expression of a horizontal mission.”

“You let Dr. Flynn,” she states questioning.

“He’s always the exception to the rule.” John is not only my therapist, but also my friend. And of course I know he’s in love with his wife.

We finally arrive at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, and I park close to the entrance.

“Come,” I say to Anastasia, as I get out and take our bags from the trunk. A valet rushes to us, and though surprised at the hour and the vehicle, he’s courteous. I toss him the car keys.

“Name of Taylor,” I say. The valet nods at me, and with a grin plastered to his face ear to ear, he gets into my R8 and drives off. I take my girl’s hand, with our bags in the other, we walk into the lobby.

We make our way to the reception desk. The receptionist flushes beet red as she takes me in.

“I have a reservation. Taylor, for two,” she is flustered, forgetting her professional demeanor expected of her at a hotel like this. She checks her computer, and finds our reservation.

Swallowing she says, “Do... you need a hand... with your bags, Mr. Taylor?”

“We’re fine,” I say in a brusque tone. “Where are the elevators?”

The now crimson faced receptionist gives the directions to the elevators. I take Anastasia’s hand, and we make our way to the elevators after passing through tastefully decorated lobby.

The elevator takes us to our floor, and we make our way to our suite. It’s got two bedrooms, a formal dining room, and a grand piano. Standard for what I would choose. The living room has a log fireplace with warm orange fire blazing.

“Well, Mrs. Taylor, I don’t know about you, but I’d really like a drink,” I say as I lock and bolt the door. After all the stress we’ve gone through, and I need something stiff and relaxing. I walk to the bedroom with our bags and my girl firmly in my hands. I put the bags onto the ottoman at the foot of the king size four poster bed, and walk back to the living room Anastasia’s hand still firmly in my hand. Anastasia makes her way to the fire place trying to warm her hands, as if to exorcise the chill that went into her bones from all the nerve-wrecking events of the night.

I go to the bar and look over the drinks.

“Armagnac?” I ask Anastasia. This brandy will warm the coldest climber on top of the Austrian Alps. It should do the job for us.

“Please,” responds Anastasia.

“It’s been quite a day, huh?”

She nods, without words. I gaze at her concerned, searching for a trait of apprehension, disgust, worry, anything that would make her run from me.

“I’m okay,” she whispers to reassure me. Can I be reassured? “How about you? “ she asks turning the question onto me.

“Well, right now I’d like to drink this and then, if you’re not too tired, take you to bed and lose myself in you,” I say with fever in my eyes, emanating from my burning soul, yearning for her. (←I’m on Fire by Bruce Springsteen)

“I think that can be arranged, Mr. Taylor,” she says giving me one of her shy, girly smiles. I lean down and take my shoes and socks off. As I gaze up at Anastasia, I notice that she’s biting her lip.

“Mrs. Taylor, stop biting your lip,” I whisper. I need her when I’m like this. I need her when I’m angry. I need her when I’m sad... when I’m desperate... I need her when I’m lost... I need her now!

She blushes. I sip my brandy and watch my girl with hungry eyes.

“You never cease to amaze me, Anastasia. After a day like today, or yesterday rather, you’re not whining or running off into the hills screaming. I am in awe of you. You’re very strong.” I remark in a worshipping gaze.

“You’re a very good reason to stay,” she murmurs. “I told you, Christian; I’m not going anywhere, no matter what you’ve done. You know how I feel about you.”

I wish I could believe that Anastasia. I wish I could. I wish your love for me was strong enough for both of us. Strong enough to wade through all the shit that’s flowing beneath the surface, within my soul. I have to doubt it baby. If I let the doubt go, I may lose you! I can’t handle that! She looks at me trying to convince me. For now, we’ll have to leave it at that.

“Where are you going to hang Jose’s portraits of me?” she asks changing topics.

“That depends,” I say, my lips twitch in a suppressed smile. I have plans, but unlike my family, I’m not about to divulge them to the most skilled information finagler the city of Seattle has ever known. 

“On what?” she asks quizzical.

“Circumstances,” I say, not giving anything away. “Don’t worry. His show’s not over yet, so I don’t have to decide right away.”

She cocks her head to the side reflecting me, and narrows her eyes in a questioning manner.

“You can look as sternly as you like, Mrs. Taylor. I’m saying nothing,” I tease her.

“I may torture the truth from you,” she threatens. Oh baby, that’s cute.

I raise an eyebrow at her and say, “Really, Anastasia. I don’t think you should make promises you can’t fulfill.”

“Hmmm...” passes through her lips and she takes her glass and places on top of the fireplace mantle. Then she reaches over to my hand, and swipes my glass off my fingers, and places next to hers atop the mantle.

“We’ll just have to see about that,” she murmurs. She takes my hand, taking the lead, and pulls me towards the bedroom. I’m completely amused by her emboldened action. She brings me to the foot of the bed, and stops.

“Now you have me in here, Anastasia, what are you going to do with me?” I ask in a low teasing voice.

“I’m going to start by undressing you. I want to finish what I started earlier,” she says reminding me of her undressing session in my study. She reaches to the lapels of my striped jacket, and with utmost care to not to touch me, she gently pushes the jacket over my shoulders. I flinch of course, holding my breath. But I hold my ground. I want to do this. Badly! I want her so much to touch me! I want not only to bear to be touched, but I want to enjoy her touches! I yearn for them. My eyes are glued on her. They’re large, and burning into her. I’m apprehensive, wary, but I need this. I need her! She takes the jacket all the way off, and places it on the ottoman.

“Now your t-shirt,” she whispers and lifts the hem. I raise my arms for her, and I pull my body away as she pulls the t-shirt off. Now I’m naked from waist up, just like I was when we discovered that Leila had broken in. I’m only wearing my jeans hanging on my hips, the tops of my happy trail showing my boxer briefs and just a glimpse to make Anastasia hungry for me.

(attn: ILE)

“Now what?” I whisper, hot, blazing.

“I want to kiss you here,” she says running her finger from one hipbone to hipbone making me ache for her, her finger blazing a hot fire in me.

I inhale deeply to accommodate the rising urge and need in me. “I’m not stopping you,” I breathe. She reaches out and takes my hand in hers. “You’d better lie down then,” she says leading me to the side of the bed. I feel a little apprehensive. No one has ever taken the lead with me. (←Take the Lead – Tango Scene – Asi se baila el tango)  I’ve never given the reins over to someone else during sex – not since Elena.

I lift the covers and sit on the edge, gaze up at Anastasia, looking at her expectant, wary, serious. Anastasia stands before me and drops the denim jacket off. Then she takes the sweatpants off. Damn! I know there’s nothing under my t-shirt! I’m dying to get my hands on her. In fact, to suppress the desire of touching her, I rub my thumb over the tips of my fingers. She gazes at me, takes a deep breath and grasps the hem of her t-shirt and shrugs it off. She stands before me gloriously naked. I look at her as if I’m staring at a goddess.  I can’t take my eyes off her, and swallow. My lips fall open with desire.

“You are Aphrodite, Anastasia,” I whisper. (←She’s So High by Tal Bachman)

She reaches out and takes my face into her hands tipping my head upward to meet met descending face and kisses me. It’s so fucking hot! I can’t help but let out a low groan. As we start kissing, this is all I can take before I’m consumed with desire and instantaneously combust, I grab her hips, and pin her beneath me, my legs forcing hers apart. Her legs encompass mine, cocooning me. I take the lead in kissing her, sucking her tongue, her lips, her mouth; I can’t get enough of her! My hands move over to her thighs, her hips and to her belly. Trailing, squeezing, and leaving her wanting more. My fingers move up to her breast, and I palm it into my hand, knead and pull her nipple making her groan. She’s on fire, desirous and panting. She raises her pelvis and rubs herself against my burgeoning manhood behind my fly. My erection is pushing, impatient. I dip down and rub against her sex, she moans in ecstasy. I pull away and her pelvis reaches up again, and I dip down and push on her once more, and her answering moans make me dip down and claim her mouth and kiss her passionately. This slow, torturous, passionate bed tango goes on and on, getting lost in her, she’s lost in me, every worry evaporated, gone. It’s just Anastasia and I, making love together - here and now.

She tentatively reaches up, and grabs hold of my hair pulling my mouth to hers, trying to invade me from my mouth, rapacious in her effort to claim me. While her mouth is working its magic on my lips, her fingers trail down my arms making their way to my back, and she slides her hand inside my jeans, squeezing my buttocks, pushing them down, urging me on top of her to claim her, merge with her, be one, and unite.

“You’re going to unman me, Ana,” I whisper and pull away from her. If I don’t take her now, I will explode. I take a packet of condom out of my pocket and hand it to her as I busy myself trying to take my jeans off.


She tears the foil and sheaths the condom over my manhood growing in size. I grin down at her, enjoying the feel of her hand on me caressing, gliding over my length. I lean down and rub my nose against hers, and as I enter into Anastasia’s sex, the delicious, exquisite feel washes over me, making me close my eyes, revel in the feeling of being inside her. Anastasia tentatively reaches up to my arms grasping, and arches her back and tilts her head back trying to absorb all the sensations I’m giving her. I move in and out of her with slow ease, like a man in love, tender. As my body presses down on her, merging with her, uniting, I hold her face in my hands.

“You make me forget everything. You are the best therapy,” I breathe as my length moves at a slow pace as if tasting my most favorite meal, an exquisite and delicious delicacy.

“Please, Christian, faster,” she begs for quick release.

“Oh, no, baby. I need this slow,” I say kissing her sweetly, and I bite her lower lip gently as she moans into my mouth.

She moves her hands into my hair, looking at me in awe, moving with my slow pace, surrendering herself to me, and I feel the delicious tension rising as her muscles inside start contracting, her eyes roll back into her head as she reaches her climax, making me moan, “Oh, Ana,” and I reach my completion with her name a litany on my lips.

After our lovemaking, I lower myself and just wrap my arms around her resting my head on her belly. There is a certain intimacy, something closer than sex in being held like that. It’s soothing, cherishing. I have never bared my soul to anyone. Never like this. Right this moment while Anastasia is holding me, caressing my hair, she’s holding my heart and soul in her small hands. (←Closer by Kings of Leon)

In this fragile bubble, I am so scared of losing this... I never knew I could love someone like this, desire to give all of me, redefine my truths. I’m serene in the midst of a storm, all because she’s my safe harbor. There are two things that give me fear: Anastasia getting hurt because of me, and Anastasia leaving me. I can do something about the first. I can protect her. But, the second depends on Anastasia. That’s my biggest fear.

“I will never get enough of you. Don’t leave me,” I murmur kissing her belly.

“I’m not going anywhere, Christian, and I seem to remember that I wanted to kiss your belly,” she says in a sleep laden voice. Her declaration makes me smile. “Nothing stopping you now baby,” I say.

“I don’t think I can move... I’m dead tired.”

She’s had a trying evening. I sigh, and move to lie beside her. I pull the covers on us. I gaze gown at her with all my love.

“Sleep now, baby,” I whisper. I lean down and kiss her hair. Finally wrap my arms around her and we both succumb to sleep. (Lullaby by Dixie Chix)

I wake up on my own volition. But the sun had already risen. I check the time. It’s nearly 10:00 a.m. I get up and get dressed. I come back to bed and lay on top of the covers watching Anastasia sleep. She looks peaceful, so young, and so innocent. The worry lines are gone. I just want to touch and hold her but I don’t want to wake her up. She stirs a little. I could watch Anastasia sleep for hours. She squints her eyes and finally cracks them open a little. She looks like she’s has a hangover, but it’s the after affects long night we’ve had.

“Hi,” I murmur as I smile at her.

“Hi,” she whispers back still sleep tugging at her voice.

“How long have you been watching me?” she asks.

“I could watch you sleep for hours, Anastasia. But I’ve only been here about five minutes.” She smiles as I lean down and kiss her. “Dr. Greene will be here shortly,” I remind her.

“Oh,” she responds as if she had forgotten.

“Did you sleep well?” I ask. “Certainly seem like it to me, with all that snoring,” I say teasing. Of course she doesn’t snore.

“I do not snore!” she pouts.

“No. You don’t,” I say, letting her off the hook.

“Did you shower?”

“No. Waiting for you,” I respond.

“Oh, okay.”

“What time is it?”

“Ten fifteen. I didn’t have the heart to wake you earlier,” I say.

“You told me you didn’t have a heart at all.”

That is a fact. I don’t have a heart. But somehow when Anastasia is with me, my heart is here, beating, loving, hurting, feeling. She must be the reason why I have a soul and a heart. Whatever souls are made of, hers and mine are the same, and she finds what I have lost, and brings it to the surface. Because she’s the guardian of them both. Where she goes, there goes my heart.

“Breakfast is here. Pancakes and bacon for you. Come, get up, I’m getting lonely out here,” I say swatting her on her behind which is an effective way of getting her jump and get up.

Anastasia stretches, and walk to the bathroom. I go back to the dining room, and wait for her as I eat my breakfast. Once I finish my breakfast I start reading the Sunday newspaper while drinking coffee. Anastasia emerges from the bedroom. Cleaned up and in one of the hotel bathrobes. The sight of her makes me smile.

“Eat up. You’re going to need your strength today,” I tease her. I have big plans for today.

“And why is that? You going to lock me in the bedroom?” she asks.

“Appealing as the idea is, I thought we’d go out today. Get some fresh air.”

“Is it safe?” asks Anastasia innocently.

The worry creeps back up again. This is my reality now, and I have to keep being vigilant. “Where we’re going, it is. And it’s not a joking matter,” I add seriously. I look at Anastasia pointedly so that she understands the gravity of the situation. I don’t want her to be taking the problem lightly and become complacent, and get hurt.

She blushes and stares down at the food on her plate as if they’re hiding the key to my statement. When Anastasia has only taken a few bites, we hear a knock at the door.

“That’ll be the good doctor,” I grumble. I get up and walk towards the door. I let Dr. Greene in, and take them to the bedroom. This time I don’t want to wait around for Dr. Greene to give me a warning glare.
(Dr. Greene - one of our readers)

I continue to read the Sunday papers and some business reports while Anastasia is locked up in the bedroom with Dr. Greene. This time the doctor is taking longer than the last time. What are they doing in there? My gaze drifts to the door a few times. I’m in the right mind to go in and check on them if I didn’t think the no-nonsense Dr. Greene would kick me right back out. I pace back and forth nervously gazing at the closed door. No one comes out yet. I check my watch. Time doesn’t seem to move forward.

They finally both emerge from the bedroom, Anastasia dazed and Dr. Greene tight lipped, and somber. I’m surprised and concern creeps up to the surface. No one says anything. It’s Sunday, so Dr. Greene wants to be on her way. I shake hands with her bemused, and send her off. After I close the door behind her, I turn around and gaze at Anastasia warily. “Everything okay?” I ask.

She nods silently. I cock my head to one side. I’m completely worried that something is wrong with Anastasia. She’s never silent like this. After Dr. Greene’s last visit she was joking with me.

“Anastasia, what is it? What did Dr. Greene say?” I ask.

She shakes her head still reeling in from some shock. “You’re good to go in seven days,” she mutters automatically looking at a distance.

“Seven days?”

“Yes,” she responds monosyllabic.

“Ana, what’s wrong?” I ask again this time worried. (←The Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel)

She looks at me her eyes wide, wary. She swallows as if she bears some bad news. “It’s nothing to worry about. Please, Christian, just leave it,” she responds.

What the hell? Nothing to worry about? Just to leave it? There is something she’s hiding from me. Oh my God! There is something wrong with her! Is she ill? Does she have a health problem? The Dr. was tight lipped. It’s all that Doctor-patient confidentiality crap! And Anastasia won’t tell me anything! I’m going crazy over here! I loom right in front of her grasping her chin; I tip her head and make her look into my eyes. Decidedly, I examine her face, her panicking eyes in an effort to try to understand her secret, and worry is rising in me leaps and bounds by the second. What the hell is wrong with her?

“Tell me!” I snap at her demanding.

“There’s nothing to tell. I’d like to get dressed,” she says and walks back out of my reach. I feel worried, and exasperated. She’s uncooperative, and I’m going out of my mind with all these scenarios in my head. I run my hand through my head vexed.

“Let’s shower,” I say eventually.

“Of course,” she mumbles, her mind is completely someplace else. I worry more, and get anxious.

“Come,” I say morose; I take her hand tight as if she’s going to melt away from me. The walk to the bathroom is somber. Me, walking ahead decidedly and pulling Anastasia behind whose mind have gone to some other dimension, and she’s checked out of her body. God! What is wrong?

I walk into the bathroom, let go of Anastasia’s hand, turn the shower on, and divest myself of my clothes. Then I turn to Anastasia, and start untying her robe. “I don’t know what’s upset you, or if you’re just bad-tempered through lack of sleep Anastasia,” I say gazing down at her worried, “But I want you to tell me. My imagination is running away with me, and I don’t like it,” I say laying down my concern before her so she can be open with me. In response she just rolls her eyes at me! What the hell? I glare back at her, narrow my eyes so tight; you can blindfold me with a strip of dental floss!

She sighs, and answers:

“Dr. Greene scolded me about missing the pill. She said I could be pregnant.”

“What?” comes out of my mouth completely shocked and out of my element. Blood drains from my face, and I freeze as I gaze at her questioning and the realization dawns on me that she could be pregnant, and damn! That can’t be!

“But I’m not. She did a test. It was a shock, that’s all. I can’t believe I was that stupid,” she explains the rest, and a load has been lifted off my shoulders. I mentally sag. “You’re sure you’re not?”

“Yes,” she confirms.

I give out a deep sigh of relief. “Good. Yes, I can see that news like that would be very upsetting,” I say with relief flooding me.

She looks at me frowning as if she’s not happy with my reaction. “I was more worried about your reaction,” she says.

I’m bemused, look at her frowning. “My reaction? Well, naturally I’m relieved. It would be the height of carelessness and bad manners to knock you up.”

“Then maybe we should abstain,” she answers snapping at me. Why is she mad at me? I’m confused. I look at her trying to solve the mystery behind her reaction.

“You are in a bad temper this morning,” I assess.

“It was just a shock, that’s all,” she says sulkily. I do love her with all her moods. Good, bad, insanely maddening, sad, petulant...everything about her is hot! I grasp the lapels of her robe, and yank her into my arms, embracing her. Holding and feeling her in my arms, her naked front is within the embrace of my nude body. I inhale her scent closing my eyes, and kiss her hair as I press her head in to my chest. I don’t want her to be mad at me.

“Ana, I’m not used to this,” I murmur, unsure of how to behave. “My natural inclination is to beat it out of you, but I seriously doubt you want that,” I say truthfully. That’s the only way I’m used to. I’m not used to being left in the dark, and having to deal with female peculiarities, especially one like Anastasia’s.

“No, I don’t. This helps,” she says as her embrace gets tighter around me. As we stand holding each other in our embrace for a long time, I feel soothed, something shifts within me realizing there are other ways than what I have been used to with much more pleasant outcome. After I feel the tension leave Anastasia’s body, I release her, and say, “Come, let’s shower.”



I peel off her bathrobe and let it pool at her feet on the floor. We both enter into the shower. The shower in quite large and the prodigious showerhead rains enough water to easily wash both of us at the same time. I wet my hair, and reach for the shampoo bottle. I squirt some into my palm, and hand the bottle to Anastasia. She mirrors my actions. After almost sensually rubbing the shampoo into her hair, she looks relaxed her eyes closed, and she lets water wash the shampoo off her hair. The suds run down in rivulets through her back, her leg and finally reaching and pooling by the drain. I squirt some body wash into my palm and rub my hands together lathering. I reach to Anastasia’s body and start soaping her from her shoulders to her arms, underarms, her breast and her back. I gently turn her around without saying a word; I pull her against me skin to skin and start washing her stomach, her belly, and between her legs, over her sex and her buttocks.

I turn Anastasia around again, and this time we’re facing each other. Her gaze is lingering on me in awe,  looking at me expectant.

“Here,” I hand her the body wash. “I want you to wash off the remains of the lipstick.” Her gaze darts at mine anxiously. I look at her my mind made up.

“Don’t stray far from the line, please,” I mutter in a tight nervous voice.

“Okay,” she whispers. I watch her without blinking. She squeezes some body wash into her palm, and then rubs her palms together to lather the soap. Her hands move slowly but decidedly onto my shoulders and she gently starts rubbing on the lipstick lines. My body tenses. I have to concentrate closing my eyes. I have to find a happy place in my mind to let her do that. My breathing increase, my heart rate spikes as if my heart is trying to get out of my chest. Fear surmounts, and I try to soothe the little boy hiding inside me, telling him it’s safe. It’s only Anastasia who loves us, both the little boy and fucked up man inside us.  Her fingers tremble, but she remains on course determined. She lathers my chest with soap with the softest of touches, and though the motions are simple, wholesome, and one of pure love, I still find myself swallowing nervously, I tense and my jaw clenches.

Her hands leave my body for a brief time giving me a chance to sag in relief. She puts some more body wash in her hand and asks, “Ready?” in a tense voice matching mine.

“Yes,” is my answering whisper, barely audible, laced with pure undiluted fear.

She places her hands over my chest and once again I’m frozen in my place, helpless. My gut instinct tells me to push her away and run. Run far away from her, from her reach. I breathe in shallow, rapid breaths to loosen the fear, but my body gets tenser, rigid even, and every move her hands make spikes up the fear as if she’s going to jump the border any second, and invade into my dark territory, make me vulnerable. The pain and the fear are unbearable! Looking down at her, I see the streaming tears coming down in torrents, racing against the shower water. I can’t bear to see her cry for me. I’m not worth crying over.

“No. Please, don’t cry,” I beg in an anguished whisper. (←Don’t Cry by Guns ‘N Roses) I wrap her in my arms, and hold her tight against me. “Please don’t cry for me Ana,” and with that she lets go of her sobs and buries her grief stricken face into my neck. I can’t bear to see her like this! I pull away, holding her face, capturing it effectively in my hands, I lower my head and clutch on to her lips and lose myself in the kiss.

“Don’t cry, Ana, please,” I plead against her mouth and lips. “It was long ago. I’m aching for you to touch me, but I just can’t bear it. It’s too much. Please, please don’t cry, baby.”

“I want to touch you, too. More than you’ll ever know. To see you like this... So hurt and afraid, Christian. It wounds me deeply. I love you so much.”

The reaffirmation of her love relaxes me, centers me and I’m once again in my safest place. I run my thumb across her bottom lip. “I know, I know,” I whisper.

“You’re so very easy to love. Don’t you see that?”

“No, baby, I don’t,” I say unbelieving. There’s nothing to love about me.

“You are. And I do and so does your family. So do Elena and Leila. They have a strange way of showing it, but I know they do. You are worthy,” she says.

Every single one of her words are like stabs into my dark soul no matter how loving. I am not worthy of anyone's love and affection. I am bad to the core! She has no idea what I like to do to her! No idea at all! Would she still love me if she knew?

“Stop,” I say unable to bear it. I put my finger over her lips, and shake my head to stop her. Agony grips me to the core. “I can’t hear this. I’m nothing, Anastasia. I’m a husk of a man. I don’t have a heart.”

“Yes, you do. And I want it, all of it. You’re a good man, Christian, a really good man. Don’t ever doubt that. Look at what you’ve done... what you’ve achieved,” she says fervently, between her sobs. “Look what you’ve done for me... what you’ve turned your back on, for me,” she says in whispers completely in awe. “I know. I know how you feel about me,” she says, and I look up fear gripping me right at my throat. It’s one thing that I know; it’s another for her to know! I’m not worthy of her. She can’t know that! She shouldn’t know that!

I panic, but I stay firm in my place. I gaze down at her, bewilderment clouding my eyes.

“You love me,” she whispers.

She knows! She knows! My eyes widen automatically in panic. My mouth is agape, unable to utter a single word. I can’t deny what’s already sealed upon my soul. I’m unworthy, tortured, and at this moment I’m baring all my soul to her to do as she wishes. I’m all hers. Take me as I am, Ana.

“Yes,” I whisper. “I do.” (←Truly Madly Deeply by Savage Garden)

Hi everyone! Here's the promised update... If you noticed, one of you is featured as Dr. Greene here today. She can identify herself if she wishes! Thank you for being a good sport!! Next update Friday (I still have loads of work to get through).

61 comments:

Wren said...

Oh my gaahd! Can't get enough of this! Thank you soooo much Miss Eminé! BOOKMARK! :D

Anonymous said...

:D Another amazing chapter :D I cant wait until friday!

I was wondering if you will be doing the charity ball from elena's point of view - I would really love to read her point of view??

Claire :D

Samantha said...

I love this chapter sooooooooo much u juat made my day 10 times happier cant wait till friday :)

Anonymous said...

So in love with this one, again!!!
Keep up the great work!!!Can't wait till Friday:-)
Joyce

Anonymous said...

simply AMAZING I can't wait till Friday the days need to go by fast lol thank you so much for writing we all love your work THANK YOU ^.^

Amanda said...

Oh Emine, I am a big sappy ball I know this about myself and I'm sure your figuring it out!! but girl I have to say this was one of your best chapters (and that is saying alot because their all good!) I got chills several times which is a testament to your writing. Just an exceptional Job. And you've been so busy too which makes it even more unreal that you can get inside Mr. Grey's head so well and produce such an amazing chapter for all of us to enjoy on a TERRIBLE MONDAY MORNING! THANK YOU SO MUCH from one of your loyal blog followers! We should come up with a name for ourselves (all of us blog followers I mean).

Prince50 said...

Emine',

As always you give me a great joy to let me escape the cares of life! Make sure you take care of yourself. I am a devoted fan! Hugs, and I have a song list! Thanks for letting me share! Until next time.

Audrey and Keisha here ya go;tell me how ya like!

Stephanie Mills - Never Knew Love Like This Before
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmtQvqRK6oE&feature=related

Tony! Toni! Tone! - Just Me And You
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTrlzWF4mhs&feature=related

Oleta Adams - Get Here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgjJNkBb-kM

Meatloaf- I would do anything for love
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYE-a0gGCnM&feature=related

Pebbles - Always
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5n-Gb24P5no&feature=related

R. Kelly - Tempo Slow
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2gsod485G

Anonymous said...

I love surprises such as new chapters. I'll look forward to Friday. Loving reading via Christian's POV.

ile said...

oh emine, i know the votes are closed but i need to get it out my system. your christian pix are just not doing it for me. he's too blonde, too white, no chest hair & most importantly, no happy trail :( i see christian as a more manly man like scott elrod. is there i way i can post a pix?
nevertheless, your writing is amazing & i can't get enough of it. thank you, thank you. can't wait til the next chapter.
p.s. i've also always felt that dancing is a "vertical expression of a horizontal mission" love it

Martha Baltazar said...

OMG. I can't get enough of this story. This is my favorite chapter of book 2. So moving and loving. Love it, Love it. Can't wait until the next installment.

Martha Baltazar said...

OMG. This is my favorite chapter of book 2. So moving and loving. Love it, Love it. I can't wait until the next installment. Love your writing. Laters, baby.

Eminé Fougner @ Cowboyland said...

Thank you everyone for your feedback. I'm still busily working, and I might be swamped even more as the week progresses.

Ile - I'll post Scott Elrod info and images at the Which Actor Should Play Christian Grey? chapter.

Since I've been using the same actor now, it's kind of late in the game to change. And I didn't choose him that he would be the one to play the character, just that, I could get pictures of him in certain scenes that the particular chapter recalled, and I don't know if every other candidate had that option. And, of course the other reason is, I didn't want to be biased with major favorite actors for the role. I know Kivanc will not play the role. He doesn't have the right accent :))

But this way, I wouldn't be taking sides on any of the expected, popular actors such as Ian, Matt, Henry Cavill, or Scott Elrod.

BTW - Kivanc does have chest hair, and the happy trail. Some of these images are from his modeling days where he was probably required to wax or shave it off. But in the chapter I mentioned above, you'll see plenty of hair :) That's the other thing. Someone else will end up playing the role. I don't want to be taking sides for any of the favorite actors for this role. I know everyone has their own favorite, and rooting for him.

Once my work load gets a little lighter, I'll add your candidate to the chapter I mentioned above.

thank you all...

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, you made me cry with this. It was so beautiful. He was so brave when she was touching him. Oh, I can't explain what I am feeling right now. It was the most wonderful thing I've ever felt while reading. Thank you, Emine, very much! Always amazing.

Rach

ile said...

one of my favorite chapters. i sobbed like a little girl when reading & re-reading it in the trilogy & trying to picture christian's pov in the shower. at this point, is when i realized that i had to find the story in his pov.
the teaser at the end of the books gave me hope.
then i found you♥

N said...

Hi Emine, great job as always!

Have you guys heard the latest casting news? Check it ou

http://india.nydailynews.com/business/b479a79307c1f75d5337ca804657124a/emma-watson-in-fifty-shades-of-grey-movie

N said...

Hi Emine, great work as always!!!

Have you guys heard the latest casting news? Check it out

http://india.nydailynews.com/business/b479a79307c1f75d5337ca804657124a/emma-watson-in-fifty-shades-of-grey-movie

Not exactly sure if I like this or not.

Eminé Fougner @ Cowboyland said...

Emma Watson? Well, if she gets the role, that'll break her out of the image of Hermoine and turn her into a grown woman. She can manage I think. She's talented.

Eminé Fougner @ Cowboyland said...

Ile - if you want to see your favorite actor's info sooner, please send me some of your fave pics of him, and his bio short bio like I have categorized in "Which Actor Should Play Christian Grey?" chapter.
height, DOB, hair, eye color, and short bio. I don't remember the exact sequence but you can check it. That way I can put it in for you. Otherwise I'll have to wait for a while-just been given some more doc to translate. I've been up all night working, and seems like I'll have to work all through this week with few hours of sleep.

Thanks!

Arianna Stacey said...

This is such an amazing chapter, I can feel more of the story coming together, I like the original of course but I think reading his pov is my favorite!!!

Michelle Vuko said...

Thank you for continually bringing Christian and Ana's story to life in a wonderfully unique way! I love your writing and cannot wait until Friday!

MARCIA SOARES said...

Thank you so much for this, I love this chapter! You are an excellent writer!

MARCIA SOARES said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH I LOVE THIS CHAPTER! YOU ARE AN AMAZING WRITER!

Anonymous said...

It's great!!!! Cannot wait till next chapter. I also would love to read Elenas POV from the ball.

Eminé Fougner @ Cowboyland said...

Ile-reload your page and go over the images again. I changed one of his modeling pictures with...uhm... a real happy trail ;)

Lisa La Croix said...

Tears, tears, tears and more tears.....I did not get this emotional when I read this bit of the book in fifty shades darker....you dug deep in Christian''s soul for this chapter.....this was amazing......I flawed that your writing can stir such emotion......I love it.....Friday is too dammm far...lol

Lisa La Croix said...

Tears, tears, tears and more tears.....I did not get this emotional when I read this bit of the book in fifty shades darker....you dug deep in Christian''s soul for this chapter.....this was amazing......I flawed that your writing can stir such emotion......I love it.....Friday is too dammm far...lol

Anonymous said...

I just loved this chapter. I am more and more imagining this model as Christian. He is gorgeous.
Great work again.
Kathy Australia

cat675 said...

Emine,

Fan-Freaking-tastic!!! Yes, I do!!!!! You are awesome Emine and after the really crappy Monday I had this was the silver lining to my grey cloudy day I had been waiting for. Thank you for the endeavor you have chosen to go on and thank you for allowing all of us to tag along with you for the ride. You are definitely a one of a kind goddess and we should all bow down to your efforts. Thank you again.

Cathryn

N said...

Emine, I was wondering if you could post a list of all the songs you've used or if you can email me? I would love to download them onto my iPod. Let me know, thanks!!

Eminé said...

Natalee, Audrey was so kind to create that list, and she e-mailed it to me. Let me take a break from my work, and post it for you all.

BTW, Thank You Audrey! This is such a sweet community effort :)

Anonymous said...

Emine,
I finally to caught up, but now the sad part is, I have to wait for the next chapter, instead of just continuing to read. I am glad that I found your blog. I finished 50 Shades, and began it all again, and am starting Book 3 for the second time around. I have not read a romance novel in about 30 years, since I was a teenager. They just seemed so totally ridiculous when compared to real life, and I'm sure the same can be said for 50 Shades. However, I love these characters, and I am so glad to read from Christian's point of view. Thank you for the love that you put into this project, and the care you give to the characters and your own fans.
Thank you,
Lisa

Anonymous said...

Eminé,
Truly amazing chapter. One of my most favorite parts of series. Thank you a million times for doing this. Exceptional job interpreting Christian. Can't wait for next installment.
-Christine
Everlong by Foo Fighters might work somewhere.

Keisha said...

The admission of 'I love you'!! I loved it. Another great chapter Emine! Looking forward to the next one :)

Keisha said...

The admission of 'I love you'!! I loved it. Another great chapter Emine! Looking forward to the next one :)

Keisha said...

Prince 50,

You come up with some good music selections. Omg! Pebbles - Always, I haven't heard that in ages but such a good song. Love Toni Toni Toni also and 'Just me & You' would be perfect!

Speaking of R.Kelly, he also puts you in the mind frame of Prince with all the kinky song references that you could associate with Christian maybe. Prince is the King of it but R.Kelly comes in a close second behind, imo.

Charmaine Davies said...

EmIne,
This was your best chapter so far. The shower scene where Ana is washing off the lipstick was so full of emotion that it brought me to tears. I was having a bad day and this was a welcome diversion. I also want to say that I really enjoyed the pictures you posted as well. Looking forward to Friday!
Take care
Char

Anonymous said...

Hi Emine,
Cant wait for next chapter alaways aftet ur pu in ur new blog.
Will Ana not talk more in her sleep?
Will be good to see more of Christian and Dr.John sessions, they meet every week, so hopefully the coming monday for C and A they will meet.
Hope to read more of them...
Thanks for posting.
Cant wait:)

Anonymous said...

I would love to read dat its a good idea.... also if yu wirte a pov frm leila of how she crash ana car and was able to get in and out of christian apartment witout being scene

Anonymous said...

Dear emine.....

Ugh... I love it but its gunnna kill me to wait for Friday its always kill me to wait for they next chapter dat I reread the book all ova but since i m a fast reader I'm don't the sam3 day..... I love yur pov of cg yu and e.l james really should team up about the fifty shades pov of cg if she really going to write them books cause I think yu got christain down to the map.. I would be twinling my thumb waiting for Friday.... but yur elena and cg and liela pov do help me wit the waitin for they next chapther .. I think yu should write dat charityball frm elena pov and do a pov frm leila about her crashing ana car and how she able to get in and out a cg apartment witout being scene........... p.s srry for my spelling not the best speller there is

Eminé Fougner @ Cowboyland said...

Hi everyone!

Those of you who are interested in a chapter w/ Dr. Flynn, I might get to write one next week or the week after, but I think we should wait until after his breakdown (you know that'll be another the chapter with the major peak - bigger than this one). Even though chapters are long, those are merely one or two day spans from their lifetime. (Remember first 2books are a total of 2 months time). I've had 2-3 Dr. Flynn sessions, and they're fun to write.

It would be better if it's after he has Leila taken away for help. Because he just won't have time, everything will unravel so fast at that point.

But Elena is a whole different story. She cares for CG in her own way, but it's posessive. She doesn't really like Ana. She would dominate her if she could. That'd be a good chapter to write.

I'll have limited time this week. Translations will take at least 70 hrs or more-tight deadlines.But I will write those 2 chapters additional in the upcoming weeks.

Sonia Kelly said...

A-MAZ-ING!!!! Your words are so heartfelt and beautiful. You truly have a gift - thank you for sharing it with us :-)
Sonia

Eminé Fougner @ Cowboyland said...

Amanda and Char!

I hope both of you are feeling better. I don't know what it is with Monday. Everything seems to amplify. This is for you:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlQ64ckJnLw&feature=related

Anonymous said...

Hi Emine,
About cg meeting dr.john, isnt it that john doesnt know cg has proposed ana and has let her touch him, atleast thats what I thought when I read ana meeting doc and his reaction in in cg bday party. Anyways u write I will enjoy it.
Just cant wait, have read and reread ur postings many times:).
I am from land down under, so I get to wait more, I try to be up till late night or wake up in middle of the night to check whether u have posted, havent told my hubby, he will think I have gone mad.
Hope friday comes soooooooon.

Eminé Fougner @ Cowboyland said...

You're right. Dr. Flynn doesn't know any of those things yet, but then remember they have that session right before he gets an answer to his proposal. He hasn't had a session yet, well, because shit hits the fan until then, and he's too busy. But CG sees him twice (one, when Leila is found, two, when Ana wants to have a session to ask her questions.)

Reading is not a bad habit. In retrospect, you could be out partying. Instead, you're reading a story. I hardly ever watch tv, but I read a lot, and well, I write constantly (translate, write, edit). In our household we all read a lot-kids and adults alike. My tablet pc is never far away from me-like an extension of me because of my work, but it also houses hundreds of books which I get to read anytime I want.

For some people this fanfiction phenomenon is new, but some of you are also reading other fanfiction blogs for a few years-and if the blog's story has been running for a few years, you get to know the other readers who constantly participate in discussing the story. I've known some of you from reading other fanfictions. It's a modern day book club to bring your favorite book to life before it becomes a movie or some other franchise, chapter by chapter. It's still more than a book club. Everyone knows the stories in the book, now, it takes a different life, you look at the same story from different angles, you analyze it, and sometimes the story moves forward with additional characters which may not be in the original book. It stimulates the mind, especially if any of you want to write for a living in the future. This is perfect opportunity to learn. We couldn't do this in the classroom, and learn this much from the process. It's phenomenal.

ile said...

yum... he does have a happy trail. thanks emine. sent you emails w/a couple of pix of scott

Audrey Porter said...

Hey hey! Just got back from my trip and read this outstanding chapter. I have to say, I’m not one for tearing up when reading, however, that was definitely not the case today. I was such a sap! Haha! It was most certainly a wonderful read, thank you again, Miss Emine. By the way, I’m glad you received the email - I truly was happy to help and I hope your readers will get some good use out of it. I’ll keep updating it periodically and if there is anything else I can do to help, don’t hesitate to let me know.

And just for fun, here are some more song selections. Some reminded me of what is to come with C&A, others remind me of what has already taken place. Just the same, they remind me of these characters.

1. Vertical Horizon - Best I Ever Had
2. Damn Yankees - High Enough
3. Lifehouse - You Belong to Me
4. Adele - Make You Feel My Love
5. Evan and Jaron - Crazy for this Girl
6. Toni - If You Could Only See
7. Matt Kearney - Close to Love
8. Hoobastank - The Reason
9. Ginuwine - Pony
10. John Mayor - Body is a Wonderland

Prince50! I hope you like! By the way, I saw you had some suggestions on Sunday, however, by the time I went back to look up your selections, the post had been deleted. It was the bonus chapter, “Master is Dark.” I know Emine re-posted it, but your comment is no longer there. Let me know which ones you had! 

Love,

Audrey

Michelle said...

Eminé,
As I wipe tears from eyes…I am so moved by your writing. You really dug deep and you successfully captured the depth of Christian’s emotions...his pain...his fear...and most importantly...his love. Oh my goodness...the depth of his love!

I'm so thankful to have found this blog...I look forward to every update! I also enjoy reading and participating through the comments...thank you for giving us this opportunity. :D

Song suggestion:
“A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri...Great Song!! :D

Audrey—Thank You!!!

Prince50 said...

Audrey,

Girl we just all out music lovers and i Love your selections Hun! I just selected on. Listen you hear Christian all the way!
Rick James & Teena Marie - Fire and Desire
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPikYsi6_zU

Keisha,

Girl I got more RKelly for ya hun. Thanks for the encouragement enjoy!

Emine',

Big shout out to our host who put us together! (please don't overdue it take care of yourself) Oh the below is for the next chapter hope you like!

rush rush paula abdul
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IPbMVLZX6g

Janet Jackson - That's the Way Love Goes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUOkg4jFNus&feature=related

Cyndi Lauper - Time After Time
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdQY7BusJNU&feature=related


Sexual Healing
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVTN5o9Kgu8

Prince50 said...

Audrey I think this it?

"Lay Your Head On My Pillow" Tony Toni Tone
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qf3o6EW8P0g


"How Can I Ease The Pain" Lisa Fischer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4ZyCPhVvvM&feature=related

Michelle
"Something In My Heart "
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFHYBbi99jw

"More than words" Extreme
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0R-FGchhwLw&feature=related

The Flamingos - I Only Have Eyes For You
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFnIwX7C8i8

Prince50 said...

Keisha,

The below is just for you hun! Hope we can survive until the next chapter!

R Kelly - Your body's calling
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XLoxB6TSU4&feature=related

R.Kelly-It Seems Like You're Ready
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0UYrhYm2Rc&feature=fvwrel

R. Kelly - Bump N' Grind
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83j4ICes2i4&feature=related

R.kelly Sex me part 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nznUhE9wKjU

R.Kelly - Sex Me (part 2)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAGTSpQD2RA&feature=fvwrel

Anonymous said...

thx again for a great chapter.

Can`t wait for the next one

warm greetings from Germany

and 2 songs that fits for Christian

Josh Groban#

In her eyes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ono4fdjfka8


and
when you say you love me
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zS3MIWuMRhQ

Luna said...

Love your work been viewing your page for some time now though I just recently registered so I may have the prilvedge to subscribe to your blog. Your very talented and you keep me content on reading Christian's POV. Looking forward to more especially in Freed.

Baby Grey said...

Omg I am crying :-( that shower scene kills me every time but from Christian's POV is even sadder your writing is so good I can't say it enough, I love your Christian so much thank u again. My fav chapter is close I already have tissues ready. Thank u thank u thank u <3

suev57 said...

Emine,
Your words bring tears to my eyes. You are so good at making me feel the emotions of Christian and Ana. I just love this. Please don't stop. I love this so much.

Sue

Pam Kortness said...

Another fantastic chapter! You are a truly gifted writer! I just started reading your blog a few days ago and Ive almost caught up to the newest chapter. I dont know if I can handle waiting days between posts lol! Thank you so much for keeping Ana & Christians story going :-)

Nieves said...

What a great chapter. I loved how he finally is letting ana touch him!! He is such a tormented soul it feels so good to see him trying so hard to overcome his demons. Loved it!!!

Anonymous said...

This was one of my favorite parts of all three books, and this just made it better!!! Thank you!!

Glenda Nunn said...

love the story, love the music! thank you Emine <3 love, love, love this!

Penny Brueggemann said...

It is amazing the impact you have had on so many lives. Thanks to all the ladies that have shared all the great music too! I love reading all the comments that so very well explain just exactly how I feel!

ShirlgirlUK said...

I have read FSOG over 40 times, I cant get enough of it, I am so obsessed it has taken over my life. However, reading the books doesnt really show the love Christian has for Ana. Even though he does all these things (which overwhelm her) to try and protect her. It is only when you actually read this side of the story that you actually see what Christian goes through to keep Ana safe and enveloped in his love. Together with all the music this story that you have written has now become a very powerful, desperate love story of a man lost in a world of BDSM with strict rules to protect his self. That is until he meets a beautiful innocent virgin who changes his life. I am loving the music it accompanies the story exquisitely Thank you x

Sanna said...

In addition to the part I mentioned on a previous chapter, this is one of my favorites, as well.

In fact, because I wanted to read the aftermath of Ana finding Leila in her apartment, I went to bed at 12:30! And I had to get up at 6:00 the next morning...

Anyway, great chapter, as always!