StatCtr

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Book IV - Chapter XXVII - Christian and Anastasia FanFiction

CHAPTER XXVII

TO CATCH A PREDATOR

“Beyond the clouds, above people, beneath the skin, inside people, we’re waiting for you. We see you now, as you read. We’ll see you when you stop thinking about these words. Above and inside your face, we know your secrets. We know what you hide from yourself. You can’t escape us. We hold your heart in the palm of our hand. If we like, we can squeeze it. If we like, we can crush it. There’s nothing you can do to stop us. Our gaze notices your every single move and your every single word. Say a word now. Make a move. We smile at your words, as we smile at your silence. No one will be able to protect you. No one can protect you now. You’re even less than you imagine. We’ve seen a thousand generations of men like you. It was our pleasure to let them walk on the lines of our hands. It was our pleasure to take everything away from them. We guided entire generations of men through tunnels we built that led nowhere. And when they arrived at nothing, we smiled. You’re just like them. We’re waiting for you above and inside your face. Continue on your way. Follow that line of our hand. We know where that tunnel you walk through will end. Keep on walking. We see you and smile. Beyond the clouds, we are fear. Beneath the skin, we are fear.”

José Luís Peixoto, Antídoto


         
   The man in a dark hood steps out from his hiding place behind the alcove of the conference room. He blends in the crowd of writer and readers who are eager to get their manuscripts to the publishers or get an introduction. Tables are arranged so that after the lectures, people can meet and greet or get a signed copy of their favorite author’s book. Anastasia, her assistant Hannah and their current star writer Boyd are sitting behind one of the tables. He gets in the queue with the rest of the participants. No fidgeting, not giving away his intentions, cool, calm, collected, intent on reaching Ana. Sawyer’s eyes glances over him as he does the rest of the people surrounding Ana’s table. Where’s Melissa? I locate her in the outer perimeter, her eyes scanning the approaching crowd.

            I am momentarily distracted with the publisher representative who comes to Ana’s desk and leans into her personal space. He extends his hand to her with a barely concealed lascivious smile.

            “Miss Ana Grey, I presume. I’m George Cooper,” he says extending his hand. When she automatically extends hers, he takes it in both of his and lifts it to his lips. Ana blushes and tries to pull her hand away when he holds it just a little longer.

“How fortuitous of us to meet here in this conference. Our publishing firm has wanted to collaborate with SIP for some time since your publisher has a knack for choosing popular up and coming new writers. We,” he says indicating two different desks, “are planning to go out for a celebratory dinner after the conference and further get to know our respective publishing houses and discuss how we can collaborate in future projects. You would honor us if you could join,” he says.

“Ah, I’m not sure.”

“Oh, come on Miss Grey,” he says emphasizing on the Miss which boils my blood; I could kick the shit out of him. Why isn’t her security detail keeping this asshole away? “This is a golden opportunity for many of our companies. After all, it’s for networking which is essential for our business as is the case for many businesses.”

Anastasia turns to her assistant who cheerfully nods. Of course she would! She’s been eyeing the man since the moment he stepped into her orbit.

“Yes, of course, Mr. Cooper. Let me arrange my evening schedule,” Ana responds. I’m the evening schedule whom she needs to arrange her fucking work with!


“Call me George, please. Our publishing company would like to do business with you in the long term, and I have a feeling we’d be in touch a lot,” he says grinning like an alligator. Anastasia instinctively scoots her chair closer to her assistant and away from Cooper.

Where the hell is the fucking security? I gave them a specific three feet radius, yet here’s this guy who is just mere inches away from my wife!

“Excuse me, sir,” says a polite voice, but clearly asking, no, ordering him to move out of the way. My first thought is Sawyer is finally doing his job. Cooper looks up the man in the hoodie. The man is clasping a manuscript like package in one of his hands. The other hand is behind the papers. Anastasia’s face looks a little relieved with the distraction. She looks around the crowd to locate one of her security details and neither one seems to be around. She turns around and looks at Hannah who shrugs her shoulder.

“Yes, can I help you?” Ana asks the man in the hoodie.

“Looking forward to you joining us for dinner tonight Ana!” says Cooper before he gives the hoodie a dirty look.

“Yes, ma’am,” he says politely. His face is in the dark. The crowd is large. He speaks up to be heard.

“My manuscript…” he starts, “I’d like you to take a look."

“Ah, I’m sorry, Mr.” Anastasia says waiting for him to say his name.

“It’s Joe,” he says.

“Yes, Joe, normally writers have to submit their manuscripts through our pre-defined process. But, if you have registered to the convention as a writer, we can accept your manuscript. You can leave it with my assistant along with your contact information.”

“I want you to take it,” he says. It’s not a request.

“Give it to my assistant!” Ana says standing up, this time confronting him. She shifts her foot and holds her back to support herself. I can only glance at the smirk on his lips; the face is still dark.

“I think not. On second thought, why don’t you pass this to your husband, instead with my regards?” he says leaning into her ear and places a knife on her belly and stabs Ana! No sound comes, just a tiny noise like a suppressed cough. He doesn’t wait around to see Anastasia’s shocked face. Her hand goes to her belly where the crimson blood starts staining her dress running down with the odd handle of the knife protruding from her belly. She holds her hand up to her face to see if she’s really bleeding. She’s in shock! She wobbles, her bloody hand holds onto her assistant Hannah who screams when she comes face to face with my wife's dripping blood. Ana falls, and I scream!

Anaaaaaa!” And suddenly the lights are out, everything goes dark in the conference hall. I run, but hit the wall of people blocking me.

Noooo! Noooo! Noooo! Anaaaaa! God, no!”



“A soulmate’s purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master.”

Elizabeth Gilbert – Eat, Pray, Love



            Thump! Breath is sucked out of me as if someone hit me with a baseball bat.

My eyes spring open and I blink madly, the darkness is pitch black. My eyes burn and I struggle between desperate need to find my wife and kill her assailant. But my vision has not adjusted yet to the loss of light. The cacophony of noises that were present a minute ago is completely gone. Just the gentle, constant humming of an engine. I’m immediately in an offensive crouch.

            “Hey, Christian, Christian!” a gentle voice whispers. 

            “I’m here, I’m here!” she’s trying to reassure me. I blink several times to get a glimpse that this really is her. I suck air into my lungs to get rid of the smothering fear and grief that has presently washed over me. My breathing is harsh, rapid, and raspy. The hitching in my voice escapes an involuntary sob. I viciously wipe my face to dry the tears.

            “Shhhh! It’s okay,” she murmurs, her voice closer this time. My eyes finally adjust and I see her hand tentatively reaching out to me. Her presence inundates me with relief. Relief! God! I can’t speak for a moment.

            “I, uhm,” I whisper clearing my throat, “I thought I lost you. Someone was there at the conference. Trying to get close to you,” I recall with agony. “He… he stabbed you! Stabbed you!” I growl.

            “You just had a nightmare, Christian. You’re here… I’m here, I’m well. We both are. We’re flying going home, remember?” her voice takes a soothing cadence. I can’t even swallow past my scorching throat. “Come to bed, Christian,” she says, her voice caressing, comforting. She extends her hand from the bed towards me without hesitation, encouraging me to take it, whereas I'm crouched at the corner of the small suite in my jet. I realize that my breathing is still harsh, but her voice takes the overwhelming grief away. I push to a standing position. My sight is adjusted to the darkness; I lock my gaze as if she’s going to disappear and then take her hand as if a lifeline has been extended to me, like the first breath of fresh air you greedily inhale when you're hiking. The second our fingers connect, I feel the electricity. The powerful jolt that says she’s alive, she’s here, with me.

            “Oh, Ana!” I hold her tight. Inhaling her scent, I crush her to my chest. I shift her and cradle her in my arms.

            “Do you wanna talk about it?”

            “Not right now,” I whisper. It’s been a few weeks since I spoke to Dr. Flynn. I’m on the edge with the events of yesterday. I need to feel Anastasia’s presence; I need to know she’s alive, that the baby is alive. I automatically place my hand on her belly. Theodore….Teddy kicks my hand as if to reassure me he’s alive.

            “You could have woken the dead up,” Anastasia says trying to make the light of my nightmare. “I’m surprised that Taylor didn’t break the door to enter into our suite.”

            “Oh, Ana!” I stifle a sob, rocking her back and forth. She wraps her arms around my neck. Her hands run through my hair, rubbing, soothing, and tangling. She then nuzzles into the crook of my neck, inhaling my scent as if she’s starved for it. Her lips brush my day old stubble. Then she kisses the corner of my lips, lighting the fuse. I give out a deep lascivious groan.


            “Anaaa!” I hiss before I seal my lips over hers. There’s first the whisper of a kiss, tentative, testing, feeling, drinking her in small sips. I lick the seam of her lips which she opens with a moan. Then without a preamble, I lower her to our bed, my legs are automatically tangled between hers, my arms hold her firmly, my lips bruise hers in unrestrained possession. “God!” I murmur into her lips and the rest of the thought I can’t speak of drowns under the weight of my relief, ‘I almost thought I lost you! Again!’ The overwhelming desire unfurls within me; I want to shock our system to make both of us aware that we’re here within each other’s arms.

            “Christian!” she murmurs. Her soft voice reverberates through my system. Her hands are fisting into my hair, her hips grinding.

            “You make me feel alive!” I murmur as I push her nightgown up her belly.

            “I love you Christian!” she murmurs back. Her body shakes with anticipated pleasure. The hum of the jet’s engine is dulled and all I’m focused is my wife and the fact that we’re alive, here, in each other’s arms. I feel the intensity of our desires for one another. My hands move purposefully above the peak of her belly. My fingers track the line within the valley of her breast. She inhales a sharp breath. I lift her up momentarily and remove the nightgown off her.

            “I want to see all of you…beneath me!” Her body shakes with thrill and she closes her eyes.

            “I want your eyes open!” I order. “When I enter you, I want to see your response." Her heavy lids open. My gaze bores into her as I thrust into my wife in one swift move.

            “Heaven!” I arch my back and hold my position. We are one body, one soul. This is where I feel at home; inside my wife. I close my eyes momentarily to absorb the feeling. When I open my eyes back up again, they’re darkened with desire for her. There is life, desire, energy, power in our connection. I start moving.

            An unexpected voice booms from the overhead speakers.

            “Good morning passengers. We are approaching Seattle airspace and as soon as the tower clears us for landing, we should be on the ground within the next 15 minutes. The local time in Seattle is 4:46 a.m.” Stephen’s cheerful voice echoes. “Please fasten your seat-belts.”

            “Christian! Hurry!” Ana urges me. I smirk and quicken my pace, planting one deep thrust after another into her. The airplane starts descending and momentarily Anastasia’s body levitates with the negative gravity. The excitement yields to more adrenaline and I speed my pace even further. My left hand moves over her breast kneading each nipple reflecting my movements inside her. As she climaxes, I capture her mouth and kiss her, swallowing her pleasure. Her body shudders and her sex clenches in waves.

            “Ah! Fuuccckkk! Ana!” I race to my peak as her sex elicits pleasure from my cock with a firm grasp, milking me and finally shoot my release in thick spurts into her marking each other’s ownership of one another.

            When my eyes are able to focus again, I see the fond admiration as well as concern in my wife’s eyes. She would normally probe to find out, but we’ve just landed and I need to take her home so she can sleep. I pull out and to change the topic I ask:

            “Are you happy to be back to Seattle?”

            “Yes. I miss home even though it’s new. I’m looking forward to completing Teddy’s room. New York was wonderful, but east or west, home is best,” she says with a smile.

            “Alright, Mrs. Grey, let’s get home,” I say extending my hand.

            “Don’t think I don’t know what you’re doing Mr. Grey. But, I’m quite tired and I’d like you to take me home, however this conversation is not over,” she says.

            “No?” I ask raising my eyebrows.

            “Of course not. I know you don’t want to talk about it,” she says biting her lip, “but, talk to Flynn at least. You haven’t seen him in a while. And part of me is desperate to find out what got you so upset that you had that nightmare, but I also prefer you to want to tell me. I don't want to be the nagging wife. So tell me when you’re ready.”

            I open my mouth to say not to worry and that stress might have caused but close it back wisely. She’s too smart for that and it will cause her to probe further. I can’t give her the complete devastating imagery of my nightmare where someone stabs her belly to harm her and our child. I had already said too much. That’s not the right kind of fear to induce into any pregnant woman let alone the woman I love with all my life and I want to protect the most. My face goes placid and shut the fears and worries out.

            “Let’s get you dressed baby, I’ll take you home so you can rest, I wore you out,” I give her a lascivious grin.

            “You won’t see me complaining,” she smiles back.


*****      *****



            After Ryan drives us home, I put Anastasia to bed, and call Taylor to my office.

            “When is Barney coming to pick the hard drive up?” I ask him.

            “I’ve called him as soon as we got home sir. He should be here within the hour. He’s going to take it to the Grey House. I have instructed Ryan to escort him all the way to the in-house lab so no one with a malicious intent follows him. We’re taking all the necessary precautions to protect the asset. Welch is coming back to Seattle by about 11 a.m. this morning. If Barney can uncover anything, we may have some leads or at least piece something together with what Welch has found out.”

            This is one of the reasons why I have Taylor working for me and he’s the head of the security. He knows what needs to be done without having the need to give him a list of one hundred instructions.

            “Have him see me when he gets here, I’ll be in my office,” I say. When I turn my back to leave, Taylor calls me.

            “Sir, I recommend an evaluation of all the SIP employees. Although, we have files on each one of the  employees after the Hyde incident,” he says, I wouldn’t quite put it that way, since the said incident nearly killed my wife and destroyed me, “this incident stemming from SIP makes me think that there may be another Hyde wanna-be or someone with a possible tie to him. This is only a hypothesis, but one I find worth exploring.”

            “I agree,” I say, because he just voiced my concerns. “Have Welch examine all those who work closely with Anastasia down to their kindergarten teacher until the person he or she fucked last night.”

            “That might take a while, but we will,” he responds.

            “I want him to get to it. We have to have a starting point, and SIP seems to be the place. I don’t want fuckups like the last time. Even if there’s a bathroom break, the other security takes his or her place so her door is never unmanned. Incidentally, my mother and sister are giving Mrs. Grey a baby shower this evening. You should have gotten the list of invitees and if they have any escorts, then check them all out, get protection for the event no matter how small. But make them inconspicuous to the untrained eye.”

            “Dr. Grey has already e-mailed me the list per our protocol which is quite small and known names already sir. The security for the event has already been arranged.”

            Ryan comes and knocks my door.

            “My Grey, Mr. Sullivan is here to see you,” he says. Taylor checks his watch. He’s early, but the sooner he starts, the sooner we get the results.

            “Bring him in,” I order. Ryan leaves to fetch Barney.

            “Would you like me to stay sir?” asks Taylor.

            “Yes, you need to coordinate between Barney and Welch,” I respond. A few minutes later, there’s another knock at my door. Barney comes in. His usual oversized glasses are exchanged with something that frames his face proportionately and makes him look like a young college student rather than the head of my IT department. He’s wearing an off black t-shirt with ‘Grateful Dead’ emblazoned in the front. He must have slept in it because he looks like he's still groggy. He's wearing his jeans with suspenders and his military boots are barely tied with the pants’ cuffs tucked into them.

            “Good morning, sir,” he says. “I got here as soon as I can,” he adds, and absently tucks a loose corner of his t-shirt into his jeans.

            “Barney, we have the hard drive here,” I say pointing to the box on the table. “However, the attempts of destroying the contents of the hard drive by perpetrator were halted by Lee in New York who had enough expertise in IT, but I doubt he’s nowhere near your skills and I don’t know the extent of the damage to the drive. So, I’m sure I don’t need to remind you to use extreme caution to retrieve all possible information remaining here. How soon can you start giving me results?”

            “I have to first be able to access it sir. I don’t want to give you a time frame and not meet it. Let me first take it to the lab and see what we are dealing with, whether it was used to as a Trojan horse, whether the info that was left within was there to meet that purpose. If it was captured that easily, there may be a purpose to do further damage. So, I will have to isolate it. In order to achieve the speed of delivery, I don’t want to cause bigger damages which may very well be the intent.”

            I run my hand through my hair in frustration. As I stand abruptly, my chair squeaks in protest.

            “I can’t give you a lot of time. Get your assistant to help you if you must, but we’re running out of time.”

            “Mr. Grey, as talented as my assistant is, I would like to examine it myself. I want to see if the perpetrator overwrote the entire hard drive, or just the LUKS header. If he’s triggered the ‘secure erase’ program, than I may not be able to do anything because it fills the hard drive with zeroes or random crap…” he clears his voice, “I mean, gibberish. But, since Mr. Lee was able to retrieve some information, that possibility is unlikely. The perp had little time to achieve the self-destruct code. So, what I can find out really depends on what kind of code he used. That’s why I can’t tell you right away how long it would take me to discover it.”

            “Okay, here’s the deal. You have today to find out,” I look at my watch. “If Lee with less knowledge in hardware and software than you could find out, I expect you to manage better,” I berate him.

            “Mr. Grey, Lee, nearly destroyed rest of the data, because it’s like a piece of paper which starts burning when you start reading. I have to take measures to prevent that first as soon as I decipher what exactly was used. Once I figure that out, I will be able to determine how long it might take me to decipher it. But, if anyone can decipher it, it would be me,” he says shrugging. He’s not exaggerating; merely stating a fact.

            “Barney, I want you to put forth everything you got into this,” I say walking towards him and stand face to face. “I want you to focus on this like you’ve never focused on anything else. I want this fucker found! I can’t emphasize enough how much I want this to be resolved. If you even have an inclination that you’re not the right man for the job, immediately find someone who can crack that code and stop the self-destruct code.”

            “Mr. Grey,” he says solemnly, pushing his glasses closer to his eyes. “I will do my best to solve it, sir.”

            “Not good enough. I want your word that you will crack it!” My gaze is unwavering, unblinking, and my voice is demanding.

            “You said, crack,” he says as if a particularly bright light bulb going on his head. He hits his forehead with the palm of his right hand. “Of course! Why didn’t I think of that before? Thank you Mr. Grey! You’re a genius!” he says grasping my right hand and so uncharacteristically of him, his left hand pats my right arm in a friendly gesture.

            “Is this the box?” he says seeing the secured box containing the hard drive.

            “Yes,” I say surprised with his uncharacteristic behavior.

            “I’ll get to it right away sir. ‘Crack!” he murmurs to himself shaking his head. “Of course! I’ll get back to you within the allocated time this afternoon, sir. If there’s any information, I will do my best to recover it,” he adds. Taking the box, he turns to walk out. He reaches out to my office door, grasps it and opens it.

            Finally able to collect myself, “Barney!” I call after him. He turns around.

            “Yes, Mr. Grey?” he asks already his mind is engaged with software codes.

            “What the hell just happened? You look like you had a religious epiphany and now you’re walking out without any explanation.”

            “You said, ‘crack’ the code,” he gives my words back. “Of course that’s what it is Mr. Grey!”

            “You’ve lost me, dumb it down to non-geeky English,” I hiss exasperated. I see the corner of Taylor’s lip slightly twitch up before it goes back to being impassive.

            “Hacking, Mr. Grey! Hacking! I’ll hack into it!”

            “What the hell are you trying to say Barney? Your plain English is even more technical!”

            “Mr. Grey, hackers don’t enter the system, your virtual building through the front door. You exploit the system’s weakness and there are always weaknesses. I have to do a lot of penetration tests,” he says with a straight face. I see Taylor turn his head towards the wall to conceal his smile, “then a lot of vulnerability assessment. That’s what the white hat hackers do, you know, within a contractual agreement,” then sighs; Taylor’s back is totally turned to us. Barney is oblivious to the double meaning of his words. “I’m an elite hacker,” he says clearing his throat shaking his head. “I have to be in order to keep GEH’s security top notch. I am skilled at deciphering the newly discovered exploits. It will take me probably to the end of the day to find out what I’m dealing with, and I have to write codes to find a backdoor to enter into the system without waking the system up. So, what has been initiated is not completed, but that might take a lot of time. That’s what I have to determine. There may be nothing left, or there may be only very little to begin with. We don’t know it yet.”

“Let me know how long it will take you gain access this afternoon. You have by five p.m.”

“Yes, sir,” he says and this time, Taylor walks him out with full composure.


*****      *****

“Christian! This is just Ana’s baby shower! No need to have all these extra…” says Mia.

“Mia!” I chide her, “this doesn’t concern you,” I say firmly.

“Yeah, honestly Christian!” chimes in Kate. “I feel like I’m visiting a small country’s presidential palace. Your parents already have Rambo 1, 2, 3 and 4 working for them” she adds indicating their security detail.

I turn to my brother giving him a shut-the-fuck-your-fiancee-up look. Ana sighs.

“Hello, little lady,” my brother greets Ana, giving her a hug.

“Don’t squeeze too tight, we want that baby remain there for a little while longer, at least until after your wedding,” I say.

“He’s safely tucked in, don’t worry,” Ana says holding her belly protectively.

“Hi Ana! How are you sweetheart?” asks my mom giving her a hug.

“I’m quite well. I’ve been getting more and more tired lately, I feel like I’m sleepy all the time, hungrier and thirstier, but I guess that’s expected.”

“Yes, dear, the baby grows rapidly at this stage. You’ll find yourself needing rest often. Take it. You’ll be busy enough when the baby is here. You won’t get any sleep then,” my mother says and as if she’s said something without thinking, she looks at me for my reaction. She’s worried that I’d be upset, but my face is placid.

            “Oh, mom! Christian can afford the best nanny or five! Ana can still rest after the baby,” Mia says hitting my arm.

            “Mia!” my mom chides.

            “We’ve not discussed that yet, Mia. We’ll let you know,” I say exasperated. I look at Ana and she restrains herself from rolling her eyes, but just smiles. I shake my head.

            “Hey, bro! If I knew you were participating in the baby shower, I’d buy the daddy to be a gift as well,” Elliot says with a big grin. “A manly diaper bag with your company logo perhaps, something that would look great with your Spyder. Oh wait, you might need a minivan!” I inwardly cringe.

            “Fuck off, Elliot!” I say jokingly. “Lucky for my kid, I can afford the best,” I smirk.

            “That you can, bro!” he responds making me laugh.

            “But, I’ll remember to return the favor when you knock your fiancée up. I’ll make sure I’ll get you the best minivan money can buy for your baby shower,” I say with a pleasant smile. Elliot looks like he just swallowed a nasty bug while Ana rolls her eyes.

            “Christian, are we going to stand here by the door? Come on! Grandma T will be here in half an hour. If you want to wait that long, you can say hi to her,” Mia pulls my arm. They look at me expectantly. I check my watch. I have to meet Barney, but I decide that he can wait after Anastasia’s hopeful eyes. I practically have to pry my wife out of my mom’s grasp who is holding her as if she’s a fragile piece of China gracing her home.

            “Excuse me, mom. May I borrow my wife for a minute? She’ll meet you inside,” I say.

            “Are you coming in?”

            “I’ll come inside to say goodbye in any case,” I respond without giving an answer to her question.

            After the women and my brother walk into the living room, Anastasia looks up at me quizzically.

            “What’s wrong?” she asks worried.

            “Nothing. I wasn’t sure if you wanted me to stay since this may be just an all-girls affair, but it’s our first baby, I saw the conflict in your face a minute ago. Did you want me to stay for the shower?” I ask but knowing that I have to speak to Barney, I'm a little on the edge. The sooner I find out about the perp the better for me, for all of us. But this is the first child, first baby shower and it means something to Anastasia though I don’t know what that is. I told her I could buy everything. I think it may be the some sort of sisterly communion, or sharing the experience with one another. But I can’t clearly read the conflict on Ana’s face. Does she want me to stay, participate in this affair? Or does she want to have it just among the group of women invited here? I’m not particularly thrilled to be around some women I’ve never met, but I’m also wondering if they threw in something unexpected like throwing in a couple of Chip and Dale dancers. Knowing my sister and Katherine had a hand in the arrangement as well this would not be an unexpected possibility.

            “Christian, you said you have an important meeting with Barney. Since you summoned him this morning when I was sleeping,” she says. I raise my eyebrows in surprise. I had not told her that, she smiles at me and continues. “Deductive reasoning. You never leave an important task incomplete. Since you are going to see him this evening, you had to have him over to the house.”

            “How…”

            “Do I know?” she says completing my sentence with a smile and a shrug. “I’m getting the measure of my husband. You know and anticipate what I might do, well, back at you Grey,” she says grinning this time. I’d stay with her here for this shower, even though I would dread whatever girly crafts they might have planned for this. If her bridal shower and “Pin the Penis on Alexander Skarsgård" is any indication, they might have shit like that planned today and I wouldn’t be caught dead pinning a paper penis on a poster. Ana correctly reads my face.

            “I don’t know whatever you were thinking, but that look is not a face of pleasure,” she says quizzically. “What were you just thinking?”

            “The ‘Pin the Penis’ game you played. I just had a horrible visual image of it,” I say shuddering. She gives me a hearty laugh and climbing on her tiptoes, she holds the tops of my shoulders and places a chaste kiss on my lips. 

            “It was rather pleasant,” she whispers by my ear. A low growl escapes my lips.

            “Are you trying to goad me Mrs. Grey? No other penis shall be within your grasp,” I murmur.

            “Not even a paper one? However shall I practice Mr. Grey?” she asks batting her eyelashes.

            “I was under the impression that I provide you with more than enough practice, Mrs. Grey. Should you desire some more, I can provide you with additional experience, baby,” I say challenging her. My eyes drifting in the direction of the stairs towards my former bedroom. A shiver runs through her.

            “Thank you Mr. Grey. As much as I’d love to take you up on your offer, this shower is in my honor. My absence will be noticed. So, perhaps tonight?”

            “And the shower affects me how, Mrs. Grey?”

            Taylor clearing his throat makes me look up. I wrap my wife into a half embrace without letting her go.

            “Excuse me Mr. Grey,” he says after he tucks in his cell phone into his pocket. I look at him questioning with a quizzical eyebrow raised. His glance tells me that Barney is ready with some sort of an answer.

            “Come and say goodbye to your family,” Ana says, holding my hand and tugging me in the direction of the family room.

Taylor leans in again, clearing his throat.

            “He wants the Blackberries as well.

*****      *****
All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.

- Sun Tzu, the Art of War

            This is his third time calling without his call getting answered. He should have responded by now. If everything occurred as his man had planned he should have been getting a confirmation which did not arrive. What had arrived however was the full and detailed schedule of one Mrs. Anastasia Grey for the entire month of January in fact all the way through June with important dates marked, pre penciled in appointments, phone numbers and addresses. This was gold. Two important dates that blocked out certain calendar days of the year easily popped out of the schedule.

            “Well, well, well! Little brother is getting married on May 5th and Grey’s litter is due on May 11th!” he says, gears are already turning in his head. This gives him about a little over four months to fully prepare his plans. Not a single move can be without sync. Everything has to be with exact precision for him to carry out his plans to do the most damage to Grey. He would show Grey how to pull his own family company right out under him! Elena was one thing. Only Elena’s portion of the due had been paid in full. Grey still owed him for deception, not for fucking his wife. Fucking could be forgiven, but the fact that it was done without his knowledge meant that he lost control of his domain then and that was one of the unforgivable transgressions in his book; you know the kind that could get you locked in the seventh circle of Lincoln hell or the eternal purgatory. He preferred purgatory where the punishment is delivered with the same painful dose indefinitely.

            A low sound of Godfather Theme song brought him back to his senses.

The Godfather Theme Song

            “Where the hell have you been?” he thunders into his smart phone.

            “Setting up the fucking breadcrumbs,” his man responds.

            “Come again? The last report you sent me said that it was fish or cut the bait time. That doesn’t mean that you were setting up breadcrumbs for that fucktard to take. I need your full report! It’s been a day and a half! I didn’t invest in your so called skills,” he scold him “to be merely fish or bait.”

            “I had not expected him to have a wild card because his security detail is generally consisted of the same men.”

“What? You didn’t think the richest man in Seattle goes to New York and might, just fucking might get additional security details who are more familiar with the city of New York?” he hisses derisively.

“I said I didn’t expect it, because the man has trust issues. He only trusts the ones under his employment and even that is to an extent. But that doesn’t mean I was not prepared.” What a fucking idiot? “It just merely means that an unexpected person in his payroll took the bait.”

“What does that mean?” Lincoln asks running out of patience. 

“No matter who took the bait, it went to its intended destination.”

“What exactly is that bait?”

“My iPad.”

“Are you out of your fucking mind?” he hisses menacingly.

“Relax! The pertinent information has been destroyed, only what I want him to see!”

“Relax? You’re telling me to relax?” he growls. ‘Does he know the meaning of the word relax?’ I had not relaxed since the fucker got my company out under me!’ he thinks to himself. “It is your head on the chopping block if anything goes wrong. Do you get me sweetheart?”

            “Yes, I had set up a destroy command which will erase and render the hard drive useless. Consider what I do and had been doing for a living. These are simple government protocols for soft and hard data. It has been effectively used in the past by the spies! There is no reason why it shouldn’t or wouldn’t work now with Grey who doesn’t deal with this sort of shit day to day!”

            “You are a fucking idiot if you think that! I have made the mistake of underestimating him once. Just once!” And it cost me dearly, he thinks to himself, but he doesn’t need to divulge that bit of information. “I will not repeat the same mistake again. Now explain to me in clear terms what it is that you left for Grey as breadcrumbs.”

            “Misinformation,” his man responds.

            “Did you make sure that your ‘misinformation’ does not point back at me in any shape or form?” Lincoln asks.

            “If he has capable hands to decipher anything, all he can decipher is the New York link. Nothing that could tie in with Seattle.”

            “How did you discover the doctor?”

            “When you open the purse’s strings, you can’t believe how many memories can be refreshed, names, places, incidents, meetings remembered especially when you’re willing to forget those who remembered and compensated the memories amply. Of course a little enticement, an added incentive helps them jog their memories even faster. A bargaining chip.” There was absolutely no door that wouldn’t open with money, coercion, ruthlessness and a little bargaining chip like a well-loved but troubled little sister. That fear would even supersede the concern for the boyfriend who is a future senator. It was so easy, especially when the enemy is anonymous and the ruin they feared would come was only a couple of clicks away. In politics a rumor could easily squash the ‘would be bright careers’. So, they wouldn’t mind trading someone else’s future or life in order to save theirs. Self-preservation and survival instinct always wins out. When people feel threatened, they always go down to their primary instinct, the base mechanism which in return shuts down higher cognitive functions like attention, reward and value, motivation, decision making and abandons the learned concepts such as education, civility, manners, shame and thus making one a pure base animal and that’s what kills the man in the end: self.

            “You didn’t answer my question!” demands Lincoln.

            “No, sir. But I’m sure you would appreciate it if I don’t divulge all my trade secrets. Suffice to say that you will get your money’s worth.”

            “That’s not enough. Because I have a ‘go date’ for you,” Lincoln says.

            “Let me guess, between May 5th and 11th.”

            “Exactly! If your diversion works, the bastard will move his attention outside of town.”

            “The hook’s been baited. Let’s see if he gets to take it.”

            “Pray that he does. Everything depends on it.”

            “I don’t secure my work with prayer, sir,” he responds with an arrogant smirk. “I’d be dead a long time ago if I had. I do a thorough job to incapacitate the enemy,” he says in a calculating tone. “I have never failed,” his voice is now ominous.

            “Put your money where your mouth is then. I want to make sure that when he’s hit, it shreds his soul to pieces with no chance of recovery! Then I will reward you handsomely! If however there’s any fuck up…” he adds, his voice reaching a menacing tone, “that’s your funeral.”

            “Got it! You’re the boss.”

            “Next time, answer your fucking phone when you’re called!”   

            “I would answer it, but I was getting a download which I sent to you while I am on the phone with you. Emails, schedules, the whole fucking Trojan horse load of it!”

            “What? I thought you lost the Trojan horse to Grey.”

            “No, it’s still loaded. It’s far, far, faaaaar from Grey’s reach.”

            “How far?”

            “His wife’s secretary’s phone, far.”

            “Fuck me!” Lincoln says with appreciation for the first time. “I’ll get back to you with further plans soon. I need you to do close surveillance on Mrs. Grey. I want to know her every step.”

            “Already being done.”

            “Good! I want to know when she’s gonna pop her litter out before she does!”

            “Unless I’m inside her vagina, I can only be the next person to know. But I will keep her under close watch.”

            “Good. I’ll call you with our next move,” Lincoln says and hangs up.


*****      *****

Hi Girls! Chapter 28 is coming up in about couple of hours. Let me finish editing.

22 comments:

Barbara Araujo said...

Emineeee, I love you. I´m very happy. thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot Eminé! I can't wait to read these two chapters.
I hope flood is over and your house hadn't suffer any damage. Love you.

Chantal Countrygirl

Priscila Pessotto said...

Obrigada, Emine! Agora é só aguardar a Neusinha traduzir! Beijos!

Patricia Morais said...

Emineee.....adorei esse novo capítulo, mal posso esperar pelo próximo capítulo e que esse mistério possa logo estar resolvido....

Martha said...

Emineeeeeeeeee,muito obrigada,comecei a ler o blog há duas semanas,e depois disso não consegui mais sair daqui,já li e reli várias vezes,amei tudo,você é fantastica!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Another brilliant chapter emine. Thank you soooo much. Hope all is well with you. Look forward to the next chapter

Rosangela Maria Cabral Corvalan said...

Wow dear Emine!!
I'm very, very happy!
I have an amazing nigth!!
Thanks thanks!!
LOVE
Rosângela

Aline Marchesi said...

Hi Emine!
I am Brazilian and fan of your blog!
I could not waiting for the translation of Neusa and am anxious about the outcome of this story of revenge between the Lincoln and the Grey family!
Good job!

Angie Adams said...

Emine, thank you again for another amazing chapter. You are awesome!

Regiane Brambati said...

Para melhorar é só esperar a tradução da querida Neusa Reis. Parabéns Emine pelo sucesso do livro do Pella, você merece!

sonia barcelos said...

Muito obrigado por mais este capítulo maravilhoso!

sonia barcelos said...

Maravilhoso este capítulo!
Parabéns pelo lançamento da Série Pella
Voce merece!

katerina Bunny said...

Superb!!! Moving on for the next chapter! Thank you goregeous girl! I hope the problems from the flood are all ok. Take care! Love, love, love you <3
Katerina from Greece

Rosangela Maria Cabral Corvalan said...

OMG:::

Adorei esse capítulo, mas continuo ansiosa!! Esse Linc tem que pagar por tanta maldade!!
Indo agora para o cap. XXVIII!!
Obrigada Emine!!
Beijos

Daniela Martins said...

Hi, my Dear Friend!
I loved it!
I hate Lincoln! I want him so far away from CG and Anastasia!
Tonight I'll read the next chapter!
Let's go and see what Barney figured out!
Thank you so much!
Kisses and hugs
Dani
;-)

Elenilde Holanda said...

Dois capitulos....Obrigada....bjs...bjs..bjs

deisinha said...

Loved this Brazilian página.Sou and am already a fan of this blog.Amo read books and of course spreading their aqui.Beijos page !

fanny rebellon said...

Estos capítulos casi que me infartan y eso que no lo entiendo muy bien, ese Lincon debe tener su merecido es un mal tipo, y el sicario mas todavía, el se cree mejor que todo el mundo, tienes que hacer que se coma su arrogancia, gracias Emine, añoro el di en que nuestra amiga Patricia traduzca , estos capítulos, gracias eres fabulosa, felicitaciones, soy tu ferviente admiradora un beso desde venezuela

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said,

Hi Emine, what a fantastic chapter. I hope Barney finds out everything. He is so smart the best IT guy Christian has in his employment. I hope all is well for you and your family. Hope your Pella Book is going ok for you as well. I am going to read the next chapter now.

Jackie from Australia.

kathrina pheonix (DUMAS) said...

Poor Christian that nightmare was the worst seeing his Anna hurt loved how she took his mind of it and hope barney realizes what going on soon awesome update brilliantly written.

charleen said...

Hi Emine loved your chapter I hope Lincoln gets found out soon from Christian. Cant wait to read the next chapter. Hope all is well

Charleen

Anonymous said...

thank you Emine