Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey - Chapter 16

Chapter 16

Slowly the outside world invades my senses, and oh my, what an invasion. I am floating, my limbs soft and languid, utterly spent. I’m lying on top of him, my head on his chest, and he smells divine: fresh, laundered linen and some expensive body wash, and the best, most seductive scent on the planet… Christian. I don’t want to move, I want to breathe this elixir for eternity. I nuzzle him, wishing I didn’t have the barrier of his t-shirt. And as rhyme and reason return to the rest of my body, I stretch my hand out on his chest. This is the first time I’ve touched him here. He’s firm… strong. His hand swoops up and grabs mine, but he softens the blow by pulling it to his mouth and sweetly kissing my knuckles. He rolls over so he’s gazing down at me.
“Don’t,” he murmurs, then kisses me lightly.
“Why don’t you like to be touched?” I whisper, staring up into soft gray eyes.
“Because I’m fifty shades of fucked-up, Anastasia.”
Oh… his honesty is completely disarming. I blink up at him.
“I had a very tough introduction to life. I don’t want to burden you with the details. Just don’t.” He strokes his nose against mine, and then he pulls out of me and sits up.
“I think that’s all the very basics covered. How was that?”
He looks thoroughly pleased with himself and sounds very matter-of-fact at the same time, like he’s just marked another tick box in a checklist. I’m still reeling from the tough introduction to life comment. It’s so frustrating – I am desperate to know more. But he
won’t tell me. I cock my head to one side, like he does, and make an enormous effort to smile at him.
“If you imagine for one minute that I think you ceded control to me, well you haven’t taken into account my GPA.” I smile shyly at him. “But thank you for the illusion.”
“Miss Steele, you are not just a pretty face. You’ve had six orgasms so far and all of them belong to me,” he boasts, playful again.
I flush and blink at the same time, as he stares down at me. He’s keeping count! His brow furrows.
“Do you have something to tell me?” his voice is suddenly stern.
I frown. Crap.
“I had a dream this morning.”
“Oh?” He glares at me.
Double crap. Am I in trouble?
“I came in my sleep.” I throw my arm over my eyes. He says nothing. I peek up at him from under my arm, and he looks amused.
“In your sleep?”
“Woke me up.”
“I’m sure it did. What were you dreaming about?”
“What was I doing?”
I throw my arm over my eyes again. And like a small child, I briefly entertain the thought that if I can’t see him, then he can’t see me.
“Anastasia, what was I doing? I won’t ask you again.”
“You had a riding crop.”
He moves my arm.
“Yes.” I am crimson.
“There’s hope for you yet,” he murmurs. “I have several riding crops.”
“Brown plaited leather?”
He laughs.
“No, but I’m sure I could get one.” His gray eyes blaze with excitement.
Leaning down, he gives me a brief kiss then stands and grabs his boxers, oh no… he’s going. I glance quickly at the time – it’s only nine-forty. I scoot out of bed too and grab my sweat pants and a cami top, then sit back on the bed, cross-legged, watching him. I don’t want him to go. What can I do?
“When is your period due?” He interrupts my thoughts.
“I hate wearing these things,” he grumbles. He holds up the condom, then puts it on the floor, and slips on his jeans.
“Well?” he prompts when I don’t reply, and he looks at me expectantly as if he’s waiting for my opinion on the weather. Holy crap… this is personal stuff.
“Next week.” I stare down at my hands.
“You need to sort out some contraception.”
He is so bossy. I stare at him blankly. He sits back on the bed as he puts on his shoes and socks.
“Do you have a doctor?”
I shake my head. We are back to mergers and acquisitions – another 180-degree mood swing.
He frowns.
“I can have mine come and see you at your apartment – Sunday morning before you come and see me. Or he can see you at my place. Which would you prefer?”
No pressure then. Something else that he’s paying for… but actually this is for his benefit.
“Your place.” That means I am guaranteed to see him Sunday.
“Okay. I’ll let you know the time.”
“Are you leaving?”
Don’t go… stay with me please.
“How are you getting back?” I whisper.
“Taylor will pick me up.”
“I can drive you. I have a lovely new car.”
He gazes at me, his expression warm.
“That’s more like it. But I think you’ve had too much to drink.”
“Did you get me tipsy on purpose?”
“Because you over-think everything, and you’re reticent like your stepdad. A drop of wine in you and you start talking, and I need you to communicate honestly with me. Otherwise you clam up, and I have no idea what you’re thinking. In vino veritas, Anastasia.”
“And you think you’re always honest with me?”
“I endeavor to be.” He looks down at me warily. “This will only work if we’re honest with each other.”
“I’d like you to stay and use this.” I hold up the second condom.
He smiles and his eyes glow with humor.
“Anastasia, I have crossed so many lines here tonight. I have to go. I’ll see you on Sunday. I’ll have the revised contract ready for you, and then we can really start to play.”
“Play?” Holy shit. My heart leaps into my mouth.
“I’d like to do a scene with you. But I won’t until you’ve signed, so I know you’re ready.”
“Oh. So I could stretch this out, if I don’t sign?”
He gazes at me assessing, and then his lips twitch into a smile.
“Well, I suppose you could, but I may crack under the strain.”
“Crack? How?” My inner goddess has woken and is paying attention.
He nods slowly, and then he grins, teasing.
“Could get really ugly.”
His grin is infectious.
“Ugly, how?”
“Oh you know, explosions, car chases, kidnapping, incarceration.”
“You’d kidnap me?”
“Oh yes,” he grins.
“Hold me against my will?” Jeez this is hot.
“Oh yes,” he nods. “And then we’re talking TPE 24/7.”
“You’ve lost me,” I breathe, my heart is pounding… is he serious?
“Total Power Exchange – round the clock.” His eyes are shining, and I can feel his excitement from where I sit.
Holy shit.
“So you have no choice,” he says sardonically.
“Clearly.” I can’t keep the sarcasm out of my voice as my eyes reach for the heavens.
“Oh, Anastasia Steele, did you just roll your eyes at me?”
“No,” I squeak.
“I think you did. What did I say I’d do to you if you rolled your eyes at me again?”
Shit. He sits down on the edge of the bed.
“Come here,” he says softly.
I blanch. Jeez… he’s serious. I sit staring at him completely immobile.
“I haven’t signed,” I whisper.
“I told you what I’d do. I’m a man of my word. I’m going to spank you, and then I’m going to fuck you very quick and very hard. Looks like we’ll need that condom after all.”
His voice is so soft, menacing, and it’s damned hot. My insides practically contort with potent, needy, liquid, desire. He gazes at me, waiting, eyes blazing. Tentatively, I uncurl my legs. Should I run? This is it, our relationship hangs in the balance, right here, right now. Do I let him do this or do I say no, and then that’s it? Because I know it will be over if I say no. Do it! My inner goddess pleads with me, my subconscious is as paralyzed as I am.
“I’m waiting,” he says. “I’m not a patient man.”
Oh for the love of all that’s holy. I’m panting, afraid, turned on. Blood pounding through my body, my legs are like jelly. Slowly, I crawl over to him until I am beside him.
“Good girl,” he murmurs. “Now stand up.”
Oh shit… can’t he just get this over with? I’m not sure if I can stand. Hesitantly, I clamber to my feet. He holds his hand out, and I place the condom in his palm. Suddenly he grabs me, tipping me across his lap. With one smooth movement, he angles his body so my torso is resting on the bed beside him. He throws his right leg over both of mine and plants his left forearm on the small of my back, holding me down so I cannot move. Oh fuck.
“Put your hands up on either side of your head,” he orders.
I obey immediately.
“Why am I doing this, Anastasia?” he asks.
“Because I rolled my eyes at you,” I can barely speak.
“Do you think that’s polite?”
“Will you do it again?”
“I will spank you each time you do it, do you understand?”
Very slowly, he pulls down my sweatpants. Oh, how demeaning is this, demeaning and scary and hot. He’s making such a meal of this. My heart is in my mouth. I can barely breathe. Shit, is this going to hurt?
He places his hand on my naked behind, softly fondling me, stroking round and round with his flat palm. And then his hand is no longer there… and he hits me – hard. Ow! My eyes spring open in response to the pain, and I try to rise, but his hand moves between my shoulder blades keeping me down. He caresses me again where he’s hit me, and his breathing’s changed – it’s louder, harsher. He hits me again and again, quickly in succession. Holy fuck it hurts. I make no sound, my face screwed up against the pain. I try and wriggle away from the blows – spurred on by adrenaline spiking and coursing through my body.
“Keep still,” he growls. “Or I’ll spank you for longer.”
He’s rubbing me now, and the blow follows. A rhythmic pattern emerges, caress, fondle, slap hard. I have to concentrate to handle this pain. My mind empties as I endeavor to absorb the grueling sensation. He doesn’t hit me in the same place twice in succession – he’s spreading the pain.
“Aargh!” I cry out on the tenth slap – and I’m unaware that I have been mentally counting the blows.
“I’m just getting warmed up.”
He hits me again then he strokes me softly. The combination of the hard stinging blow and his gentle caress is so mind numbing. He hits me again… this is getting harder to take. My face hurts, it’s screwed up so tight. He strokes me gently and then the blow comes. I cry out again.
“No one to hear you, baby, just me.”
And he hits me again and again. From somewhere deep inside, I want to beg him to stop. But I don’t. I don’t want to give him the satisfaction. He continues the unrelenting rhythm. I cry out six more times. Eighteen slaps in total. My body is singing, singing from his merciless assault.
“Enough,” he breathes hoarsely. “Well done, Anastasia. Now I’m going to fuck you.”
He caresses my behind gently, and it burns as he strokes me round and round and down. Suddenly, he inserts two fingers inside me, taking me completely by surprise. I gasp, this new assault breaking through the numbness around my brain.
“Feel this. See how much your body likes this, Anastasia. You’re soaking just for me.” There is awe in his voice. He moves his fingers, in and out in quick succession.
I groan, no surely not, and then his fingers are gone… and I’m left wanting.
“Next time, I will get you to count. Now where’s that condom?”
He reaches beside him for the condom and lifts me gently, pushing me face down onto the bed. I hear the sound of his zipper and the rip of the foil. He drags my sweatpants off and then guides me into a kneeling position, gently caressing my now very sore behind.
“I’m going to take you now. You can come,” he murmurs.
What? Like I have a choice.
And he’s inside me, quickly filling me, I moan loudly. He moves, pounding into me, a fast, intense pace against my sore behind. The feeling is beyond exquisite, raw and debasing and mind blowing. My senses are ravaged, disconnected, solely concentrating on what he’s doing to me. How he’s making me feel, that familiar pull deep in my belly, tightening, quickening. NO… and my traitorous body explodes in an intense, body-shattering orgasm.
“Oh, Ana!” he cries out loudly as he finds his release, holding me in place as he pours himself into me. He collapses, panting hard beside me, and he pulls me on top of him and buries his face in my hair, holding me close.
“Oh, baby,” he breathes. “Welcome to my world.”
We lie there, panting together, waiting for our breathing to slow. He gently strokes my hair. I’m on his chest again. But this time, I don’t have the strength to lift my hand and feel him. Boy… I survived. That wasn’t so bad. I’m more stoic than I thought. My inner goddess is prostrate… well at least she’s quiet. Christian nuzzles my hair again, inhaling deeply.
“Well done, baby,” he whispers, quiet joy in his voice. His words curl around me like a soft fluffy towel from the Heathman Hotel, and I’m so pleased that he’s happy.
He picks at the strap on my camisole.
“Is this what you sleep in?” he asks gently.
“Yes,” I breathe sleepily.
“You should be in silks and satins, you beautiful girl. I’ll take you shopping.”
“I like my sweats,” I murmur, trying and failing to sound irritated.
He kisses my head again.
“We’ll see,” he says.
We lie for a few more minutes, hours, who knows, and I think I doze.
“I have to go,” he says, and leaning down, he kisses my forehead gently. “Are you okay?” His voice is soft.
I think about his question. My backside is sore. Well, glowing now, and amazingly I feel, apart from exhausted, radiant. The realization is humbling, unexpected. I don’t understand. Holy shit.
“I’m okay,” I whisper. I don’t want to say more than that.
He rises.
“Where’s your bathroom?”
“Along the corridor to the left.”
He scoops up the other condom and heads out of the bedroom. I rise stiffly and put my sweatpants back on. They chafe a little against my still-smarting behind. I’m so confused by my reaction. I remember him saying – I can’t remember when – that I would feel so much better after a good hiding. How can that be so? I really don’t get it. But strangely, I do. I can’t say that I enjoyed the experience, in fact, I would still go a long way to avoid it, but now… I have this safe, weird, bathed in afterglow, sated feeling. I put my head in my hands. I just don’t understand.
Christian re-enters the room. I can’t look him in the eye. I stare down at my hands.
“I found some baby oil. Let me rub it into your behind.”
“No. I’ll be fine.”
“Anastasia,” he warns, and I want to roll my eyes but quickly stop myself. I stand facing the bed. Sitting beside me, he gently pulls my sweatpants down again. Up and down like whores’ drawers my subconscious remarks bitterly. In my head, I tell her where to go. Christian squirts baby oil into his hand and then rubs my behind with careful tenderness – from makeup remover to smoothing balm for a spanked ass, who would have thought it was such a versatile liquid.
“I like my hands on you,” he murmurs, and I have to agree, me too.
“There,” he says when he’s finished, and he pulls my pants up again.
I glance over at my clock. It’s ten-thirty.
“I’m leaving now.”
“I’ll see you out.” I still can’t look at him.
Taking my hand, he leads me to the front door. Fortunately, Kate is still not home. She must still be having dinner with her folks and Ethan. I’m really glad she’s not been around to hear my chastisement.
“Don’t you have to call Taylor?” I ask, avoiding eye contact.
“Taylor’s been here since nine. Look at me,” he breathes.
I struggle to meet his eyes, but when I do, he’s gazing down at me with wonder.
“You didn’t cry,” he murmurs, then grabs me suddenly and kisses me fervently. “Sunday,” he whispers against my lips, and it’s both a promise and a threat.
I watch him walk down the path and climb into the big black Audi. He doesn’t look back. I close the door and stand helpless in the living room of an apartment that I shall only spend another two nights in. A place I have lived happily for almost four years… yet today, for the first time ever, I feel lonely and uncomfortable here, unhappy with my own company. Have I strayed so far from who I am? I know that lurking, not very far under my rather numb exterior, is a well of tears. What am I doing? The irony is I can’t even sit down and enjoy a good cry. I’ll have to stand. I know it’s late, but I decide to call my mom.
“Honey, how are you? How was graduation?” she enthuses down the phone. Her voice is a soothing balm.
“Sorry it’s so late,” I whisper.
She pauses.
“Ana? What’s wrong?” She’s all seriousness now.
“Nothing, Mom, I just wanted to hear your voice.”
She’s silent for a moment.
“Ana, what is it? Please tell me.” Her voice is soft and comforting, and I know that she cares. Uninvited, my tears begin to flow. I have cried so often in the last few days.
“Please, Ana,” she says, and her anguish reflects mine.
“Oh, Mom, it’s a man.”
“What’s he done to you?” Her alarm is palpable.
“It’s not like that.” Although it is… Oh crap. I don’t want to worry her. I just want someone else to be strong for me at the moment.
“Ana, please, you’re worrying me.”
I take a big breath.
“I’ve kind of fallen for this guy, and he’s so different from me, and I don’t know if we should be together.”
“Oh, darling. I wish I could be with you. I am so sorry I missed your graduation. You’ve fallen for someone, finally. Oh, honey, men, they are so tricky. They’re a different species, honey. How long have you known him?”
Christian is definitely a different species… different planet.
“Oh, nearly three weeks or so.”
“Ana, darling, that’s no time at all. How can you possibly know someone in that kind of time frame? Just take it easy with him and keep him at arm’s length until you decide whether he’s worthy of you.”
Wow… it’s unnerving when my mother is so insightful, but she’s just too late on this. Is he worthy of me? That’s an interesting concept. I always wonder whether I am worthy of him.
“Honey, you sound so unhappy. Come home – visit with us. I miss you, darling. Bob would love to see you too. You can get some distance and maybe some perspective. You need a break. You’ve been working so hard.”
Oh boy, is this tempting. Run away to Georgia. Grab some sunshine, some cocktails. My mother’s good humor… her loving arms.
“I have two job interviews in Seattle on Monday.”
“Oh, that’s wonderful news.”
The door opens and Kate appears, grinning at me. Her face falls when she sees I’ve been crying.
“Mom, I have to go. I’ll think about a visit. Thank you.”
“Honey, please, don’t let a man get under your skin. You’re far too young. Go and enjoy yourself.”
“Yes, Mom, love you.”
“Oh, Ana, I love you too, so much. Stay safe, honey.” I hang up and face Kate who glares at me.
“Has that obscenely rich fucker upset you again?”
“No… sort of… err… yes.”
“Just tell him to take a hike, Ana. You’ve been so up and down since you met him. I’ve never seen you like this.”
The world of Katherine Kavanagh is very clear, very black and white. Not the intangible, mysterious, vague hues of gray that color my world. Welcome to my world.
“Sit, let’s talk. Let’s have some wine. Oh, you’ve had champagne.” She spies the bottle. “Some good stuff too.”
I smile ineffectually, looking apprehensively at the couch. I approach it with caution. Hmm… sitting.
“Are you okay?”
“I fell over and landed on my behind.”
She doesn’t think to question my explanation, because I am one of the most un-coordinated people in Washington State. I never thought I’d see that as a blessing. I sit down gingerly, pleasantly surprised that I’m okay, and turn my attention to Kate, but my mind glazes over and I’m pulled back to the Heathman – “Well, if you were mine you wouldn’t be able to sit down for a week after the stunt you pulled yesterday.” He said it then, and all
I could concentrate on at the time was being his. All the warning signs were there, I was just too clueless and too enamored to notice.
Kate comes back into the living area with a bottle of red wine and washed teacups.
“Here we go.” She hands me a cup of wine. It won’t taste as good as the Bolly.
“Ana, if he’s a jerk with commitment issues, dump him. Though I don’t really understand his commitment issues. He couldn’t take his eyes off you in the marquee, watched you like a hawk. I’d say he was completely smitten, but maybe he has a funny way of showing it.”
Smitten? Christian? Funny way of showing it? I’ll say.
“Kate, it’s complicated. How was your evening?” I ask.
I can’t talk this through with Kate without revealing too much, but one question on her day and Kate is off. It’s so reassuring to sit and listen to her normal chatter. The hot news is that Ethan may be coming to live with us after their holiday. That will be fun – Ethan is a hoot. I frown. I don’t think Christian will approve. Well… tough. He’ll just have to suck it up. I have a couple of teacups of wine and decide to call it a night. It’s been one very long day. Kate hugs me, and then grabs the phone to call Elliot.
I check the mean machine after I brush my teeth. There’s an email from Christian.
From: Christian Grey
Subject: You
Date: May 26 2011 23:14
To: Anastasia Steele
Dear Miss Steele
You are quite simply exquisite. The most beautiful, intelligent, witty and brave woman I have ever met. Take some Advil – this is not a request. And don’t drive your Beetle again. I will know.
Christian Grey
CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.
Oh, not drive my car again! I type out my reply.
From: Anastasia Steele
Subject: Flattery
Date: May 26 2011 23:20
To: Christian Grey
Dear Mr. Grey
Flattery will get you nowhere, but since you’ve been everywhere the point is moot.
I will need to drive my Beetle to a garage so I can sell it – so will not graciously accept any of your nonsense over that. Red wine is always more preferable to Advil.
PS: Caning is a HARD limit for me.
I hit send.
From: Christian Grey
Subject: Frustrating women who can’t take compliments
Date: May 26 2011 23:26
To: Anastasia Steele
Dear Ms. Steele
I am not flattering you. You should go to bed.
I accept your addition to the hard limits.
Don’t drink too much.
Taylor will dispose of your car and get a good price for it too.
Christian Grey
CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.
From: Anastasia Steele
Subject: Taylor – Is he the right man for the job?
Date: May 26 2011 23:40
To: Christian Grey
Dear Sir
I am intrigued that you are happy to risk letting your right hand man drive my car – but not some woman you fuck occasionally. How can I be sure that Taylor is the man to get me the best deal for said car? I have, in the past, probably before I met you, been known to drive a hard bargain.
From: Christian Grey
Subject: Careful!
Date: May 26 2011 23:44
To: Anastasia Steele
Dear Ms. Steele
I am assuming it is the RED WINE talking, and that you’ve had a very long day.
Though I am tempted to drive back over there to ensure that you don’t sit down for a week, rather than an evening.
Taylor is ex-army and capable of driving anything from a motorcycle to a Sherman Tank. Your car does not present a hazard to him.
Now please do not refer to yourself as ‘some woman I fuck occasionally’ because, quite frankly it makes me MAD, and you really wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.
Christian Grey
CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.
From: Anastasia Steele
Subject: Careful yourself
Date: May 26 2011 23:57
To: Christian Grey
Dear Mr. Grey
I’m not sure I like you anyway, especially at the moment.
Ms. Steele
From: Christian Grey
Subject: Careful yourself
Date: May 27 2011 00:03
To: Anastasia Steele
Why don’t you like me?
Christian Grey
CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.
From: Anastasia Steele
Subject: Careful yourself
Date: May 27 2011 00:09
To: Christian Grey
Because you never stay with me.
There, that’s given him something to think about. I shut the machine down with a flourish I don’t really feel and crawl into my bed. I switch off my sidelight and stare up at the ceiling. It’s been one long day, one emotional wrench after another. It was heartwarming to spend some time with Ray. He looked well, and weirdly he approved of Christian. Jeez, Kate and her gargantuan mouth. Hearing Christian speak about being hungry. What the hell is that all about? God, and the car. I haven’t even told Kate about the new car. What was Christian thinking?
And then this evening, he actually hit me. I’ve never been hit in my life. What have I gotten myself into? Very slowly, my tears, halted by Kate’s arrival, begin to slide down the side of my face and into my ears. I have fallen for someone who’s so emotionally shut down, I will only get hurt – deep down I know this – someone who by his own admission
is completely fucked up. Why is he so fucked up? It must be awful to be as affected as he is, and the thought that as a toddler he suffered some unbearable cruelty makes me cry harder. Perhaps if he was more normal he wouldn’t want you, my subconscious contributes snidely to my musings… and in my heart of hearts I know this is true. I turn into my pillow and the sluice gates open… and for the first time in years, I am sobbing uncontrollably into my pillow.
I am momentarily distracted from my dark night of the soul by Kate shouting.
“What the fuck do you think you’re doing here?”
“Well you can’t!”
“What the fuck have you done to her now?”
“Since she’s met you she cries all the time.”
“You can’t come in here!”
Christian bursts into my bedroom and unceremoniously switches on the overhead light, making me squint.
“Jesus, Ana,” he mutters. He flicks the switch off again and is at my side in a moment.
“What are you doing here?” I gasp between sobs. Crap. I can’t stop crying.
He switches on the sidelight making me squint again. Kate comes and stands in the doorway.
“Do you want me to throw this asshole out?” she asks, radiating thermo-nuclear hostility.
Christian raises his eyebrows at her, no doubt surprised by her flattering epithet and her feral antagonism. I shake my head, and she rolls her eyes at me. Oh… I wouldn’t do that near Mr. G.
“Just holler if you need me,” she says more gently. “Grey – your cards are marked,” she hisses at him. He nods at her, and she turns and pulls the door to but doesn’t close it.
Christian gazes down at me, his expression grave, his face ashen. He’s wearing his pinstriped jacket, and from his inside pocket, he pulls out a handkerchief and hands it to me. I think I still have his other one somewhere.
“What’s going on?” he asks quietly.
“Why are you here?” I ask, ignoring his question. My tears have miraculously ceased, but I’m left with dry heaves racking my body.
“Part of my role is to look after your needs. You said you wanted me to stay, so here I am. And yet I find you like this.” He blinks at me, truly bewildered. “I’m sure I’m responsible, but I have no idea why. Is it because I hit you?”
I pull myself up, wincing from my sore behind. I sit and face him.
“Did you take some Advil?”
I shake my head. He narrows his eyes, stands, and leaves the room. I hear him talking to Kate but not what they are saying. He’s back a few moments later with pills and a teacup of water.
“Take these,” he orders gently as he sits on my bed beside me.
I do as I’m told.
“Talk to me,” he whispers. “You told me you were okay. I’d never have left you if I thought you were like this.”
I stare down at my hands. What can I say that I haven’t said already? I want more. I want him to stay because he wants to stay with me, not because I’m a blubbering mess, and I don’t want him to beat me, is that so unreasonable?
“I take it that when you said you were okay, you weren’t.”
I flush.
“I thought I was fine.”
“Anastasia, you can’t tell me what you think I want to hear. That’s not very honest,” he admonishes me. “How can I trust anything you’ve said to me?”
I peek up at him, and he’s frowning, a bleak look in his eye. He runs both hands through his hair.
“How did you feel while I was hitting you and after?”
“I didn’t like it. I’d rather you didn’t do it again.”
“You weren’t meant to like it.”
“Why do you like it?” I stare up at him.
My question surprises him.
“You really want to know?”
“Oh, trust me, I’m fascinated.” And I can’t quite keep the sarcasm out of my voice.
He narrows his eyes again.
“Careful,” he warns.
I blanch.
“Are you going to hit me again?” I challenge.
“No, not tonight.”
Phew... my subconscious and I both breathe a silent sigh of relief.
“So,” I prompt.
“I like the control it brings me, Anastasia. I want you to behave in a particular way, and if you don’t, I shall punish you, and you will learn to behave the way I desire. I enjoy punishing you. I’ve wanted to spank you since you asked me if I was gay.”
I flush at the memory. Jeez, I wanted to spank myself after that question. So Katherine Kavanagh is responsible for all this, and if she’d gone to that interview and asked her gay question, she’d be sitting here with the sore ass. I don’t like that thought. How confusing is this?
“So you don’t like the way I am.”
He stares at me, bewildered again.
“I think you’re lovely the way you are.”
“So why are you trying to change me?”
“I don’t want to change you. I’d like you to be courteous and to follow the set of rules I’ve given you and not defy me. Simple,” he says.
“But you want to punish me?”
“Yes I do.”
“That’s what I don’t understand.”
He sighs and runs his hands through his hair again.
“It’s the way I’m made, Anastasia. I need to control you. I need you to behave in a certain way, and if you don’t – I love to watch your beautiful alabaster skin pink and warm up under my hands. It turns me on.”
Holy shit. Now we’re getting somewhere.
“So it’s not the pain you’re putting me through?”
He swallows.
“A bit, to see if you can take it, but that’s not the whole reason. It’s the fact that you are mine to do with as I see fit – ultimate control over someone else. And it turns me on. Big time, Anastasia. Look, I’m not explaining myself very well… I’ve never had to before. I’ve not really thought about this in any great depth. I’ve always been with like-minded people,” he shrugs apologetically. “And you still haven’t answered my question – how did you feel afterwards?”
“You were sexually aroused by it, Anastasia,” he closes his eyes briefly, and when he re-opens them and gazes at me, they are smoldering smoky embers.
His expression pulls at that dark part of me, buried in the depths of my belly – my libido, woken and tamed by him, but even now, insatiable.
“Don’t look at me like that,” he murmurs.
I frown. Jeez what have I done now?
“I don’t have any condoms, Anastasia, and you know, you’re upset. Contrary to what your roommate believes, I’m not a priapic monster. So, you felt confused?”
I squirm under his intense gaze.
“You have no problem being honest with me in print. Your emails always tell me exactly how you feel. Why can’t you do that in conversation? Do I intimidate you that much?”
I pick at an imaginary spot on my mother’s blue and cream quilt.
“You beguile me, Christian. Completely overwhelm me. I feel like Icarus flying too close to the Sun,” I whisper.
He gasps.
“Well, I think you’ve got that the wrong way around,” he whispers.
“Oh, Anastasia, you’ve bewitched me. Isn’t it obvious?”
No, not to me. Bewitched… my inner goddess is staring open-mouthed. Even she doesn’t believe this.
“You’ve still not answered my question. Write me an email, please. But right now, I’d really like to sleep. Can I stay?”
“Do you want to stay?” I can’t hide the hope in my voice.
“You wanted me here.”
“You haven’t answered my question.”
“I’ll write you an email,” he mutters petulantly.
Standing, he empties his jeans pockets of BlackBerry, keys, wallet, and money. Holy cow, men carry a lot of crap in their pockets. He strips off his watch, his shoes, socks, and jeans and places his jacket over my chair. He walks round to the other side of the bed and slides in.
“Lie down,” he orders.
I slip slowly under the covers, wincing slightly, staring at him. Jeez… he’s staying. I think I’m numb with elated shock. He leans up on one elbow staring down at me.
“If you are going to cry. Cry in front of me. I need to know.”
“Do you want me to cry?”
“Not particularly. I just want to know how you’re feeling. I don’t want you slipping through my fingers. Switch the light off. It’s late, and we both have to work tomorrow.”
So here… and still so bossy, but I can’t complain, he’s in my bed. I don’t quite understand why… maybe I should weep more often in front of him. I switch off the bedside light.
“Lie on your side, facing away from me,” he murmurs in the darkness.
I roll my eyes in the full knowledge that he cannot see me, but I do as I’m told. Gingerly, he moves over and puts his arms around me and pulls me to his chest… oh my.
“Sleep, baby,” he whispers, and I feel his nose in my hair as he inhales deeply.
Holy cow. Christian Grey is sleeping with me, and in the comfort and solace of his arms, I drift into a peaceful sleep.


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