“One, two, three,” Kate says, and she, Ros, and I bang the bottom of our shot glasses against the table and slam them down. The vodka burns as I quickly swallow it down, and I grimace immediately.
“I need some water,” I say, feeling my head starting to swim from the effects of my third shot in the last 30 minutes. I stand up to walk to the bar but Stronger by Kanye West begins blaring over the speakers and Kate squeals and reaches out to drag me onto the dance floor. I hesitate while I watch her and Ros begin dancing before I reluctantly join them, unsure of my footing in my inebriated state. We make it through three songs before I’m out of breath and Ros motions us back to the table for more drinks. I order a rum and coke and a tall glass of water and turn to Kate and Ros.
“So, what are you doing this weekend while I’m away, Ana?” Kate asks.
“Homework, mostly,” I yell over the music. “I’ve got to catch up on reading in my Milton class.”
“I don’t think so!” Ros yells back conspiratorially. “I sent Christian a study schedule for this weekend and he rejected all of it. He said he has plans all weekend.”
“All weekend, huh?” Kate says. “Damn, that boy’s got stamina.”
“Kate!” I exclaim, feeling my face flush.
“I’d like to think it’s a romantic weekend filled with flowers and chocolates but is completely celibate. Believe it or not, I spend a lot of time trying not to think about Christian Grey having sex,” Ros says.
“Well, it’s a good thing you live on the other side of campus, these two aren’t exactly shy about it. I haven’t gotten a decent night’s sleep in over a week,” Kate says, taking a long drink from her Long Island Iced Tea.
“What?” I yell, suddenly mortified. Oh no!
“Oh you’re a screamer. Christian, please!” She says mockingly and entirely too loudly. “He must be pretty talented. I’m very happy for you.”
I feel my cheeks burn as I bury my face in my arms. I might die of embarrassment right here, right now.
“I’m kind of surprised honestly that you spend so much time with him and don’t think about what it would be like,” Kate says turning to Ros. “I mean, he’s an asshole but he’s really hot.”
“Not really my cup of tea,” Ros says with a laugh. “It’s more of a penis issue than a Christian issue though.”
“Oh my god, I totally forgot,” Kate says embarrassed. “Well, that must make it easier for the two of you to get work done. No sexual tension.”
“Nothing is easy with Christian,” She says rolling her eyes.
“How did you two meet?” I ask, glad the subject has turned away from my sex life. She takes a drink from her glass, draining half of it before answering.
“We met a few years ago at this young entrepreneur summit that they hold over the summer. It’s like camp but most of the attendants are sixteen or seventeen and they teach you about hedge funds instead of arts and crafts. Most kids get sent there because their rich parents are trying to push them to be successful, but Christian had signed himself up. While the other kids were off smoking weed and fucking by the lake, Christian was attending every seminar he could, taking diligent notes, and asking really insightful questions. That’s when I knew he was the real deal. He was going to be big someday, and so I hitched my wagon to his work horse and never looked back.”
“And he just said welcome aboard?” Kate asks.
“Hardly. He had a thorough background check done, whic, as a sixteen year old, was something I didn’t even know how to do, and he talked to all my friends and family for a character witness. I had three interviews with him before he finally let me in on his plans and even then it took over a year for him to really trust me. My dad is a big name in finance in San Francisco and when I was able to use his connections to get us a face to face meeting with Lloyd Blankfein, who is the CEO of Goldman Sachs, he knew I would be a big help. After that meeting, we started making our plans a reality.”
“And how’s that going?” Kate asks.
“It’s been rough, and I don’t think it’s going to happen as fast as Christian wants it to, but believe me when I tell you that one day, he’s going to be huge. He’s smart, and driven, and he always gets what he wants in the end. Take me for example. I wanted to go to Yale because the class size is smaller and I liked the campus. But Christian’s dad is a legacy at Harvard and it was important to him to go here, so here we are. Because Christian always gets what he wants in the end.”
“Yeah, Elliot always says Christian’s problem has never been ambition,” Kate says. “When did you guys meet?”
“We must have been about 16 or so,” Ros says. “Christian’s birthday is in June so he may have been 15 when we first met, 16 by the end of camp.”
“Yeah, I’ve heard that’s just about the age where he turned around. Apparently he used to be a real terror for his parents, getting expelled for school and fighting and drinking all the time. But then right around 15 he just, calmed down.”
“He probably started getting laid,” Ros says with a shrug.
I feel an awful twinge of nausea in my stomach as I realize Ros is right, but not in the way she thinks she is. Christian was fifteen when he first started sleeping with Elena. When she lured him into a BDSM relationship and held him there with some kind of disgusting sex contract for years until he finally left her for me. I recall the months at the beginning of the school year before he broke it off with her, how tense he was all the time, like he’s been this week, but all the time. Nothing like the man I had in Aspen. Nothing like the man who swept me off my feet in Vegas. He wasn’t able to be anything then other than what she wanted him to be. He was always at her beck and call, forced to clear his schedule at her whim so he could take her beatings while he fucked her in all sorts of disturbing ways.
I feel a chill run over me as my train of thought catches up with me. He was forced to clear his schedule for her, just like he did this weekend. He’s been tense, like before. And he called her yesterday, and now she’s coming here. He wouldn’t… he couldn’t… could he? I’m suddenly winded, like I’ve been punched in the gut. I want to throw up as I think about the possibility.
“Are you okay, Ana?” Kate asks. I refocus on my surroundings and see both her and Ros staring at me worriedly.
“I’m fine,” I lie. “I just need a glass of water.”
Kate pushes my water towards me and I pound it down gratefully. It doesn’t change anything though because it’s not the alcohol that’s making me feel sick. It’s a deep, gut wrenching fear and now that I suspect what’s going on, it’s all I can think about.
“Let’s order another round,” I say quickly, wanting nothing more than to forget about this for a while so I can just enjoy this one night with Ros and Kate before I have to go back and confront Christian with this. Oh god, what am I going to do if I’m right?
“Are you sure?” Ros asks.
“Yes. I’m fine. Is tequila okay with you?” I ask as I quickly signal for the waitress.
The rest of the night passes in a blur of alcohol and dancing. I don’t know how much I’ve had to drink by the end of the night but I know it’s enough that I’m going to regret it tomorrow. As we leave the bar and Ros steps off the curb to hail us a cab home, I wonder if I should wait to sober up a little before I talk to Christian. I don’t know what I’ll say in this state, but since my inhibitions are lowered, it might be the perfect time. Would I be able to ask the questions I need to ask if I wasn’t fueled by liquid courage?
When the cab pulls up to the curb outside Grays, Kate and I both hug Ros, who is having the driver drop her off closer to her dorm, good-bye. We hold hands as we make our way to the front doors of Grays, Kate giggling as she recalls this fantastic night, but I only feel nervous as we approach our room. An uneasy feeling of dread is creeping over me as I realize I may be about to lose everything. It’s late though, he’s probably asleep. Do I wake him or should I wait until tomorrow? It might be better to have this argument once Kate is gone so I can have the weekend alone to fall apart in my room if it goes the way I suspect it might go.
“You coming in?” Kate asks when we get to the door. I shake my head and she rolls her eyes.
“Just remember that I need to you to take me to the airport in the morning. And keep it down, I need my beauty sleep,” She says. I glare at her as she disappears into our room and then begin digging through my bag for the key to Christian’s room.
I try to be quiet as I fiddle with the key in the lock but my hands are shaking. When I’m finally able to unlock the door, I turn the knob and expect to see Christian in bed, but to my surprise, I see him sitting at his desk typing on his computer with several textbooks open on the desk around him. What’s he doing still awake? It’s got to be after 1:30 AM by now.
“You’re back,” He says, a small smile crossing his lips as he sees me. I stumble forward, having to catch myself on the corner of his desk as I trip over a snag in the carpet and he frowns.
“How much have you had to drink tonight, Anastasia?” He asks.
“A lot,” I admit. His eyes harden as his face sets into a look of deep disapproval and I have to stop for a moment to search through the alcohol haze in my mind for the words I want to say. With a deep breath and tequila fueled courage, I ask the questions that’s been plaguing me all night.
“Are you planning to sleep with Elena Lincoln this weekend?”
“What?” He asks, his expression changing from anger to confusion.
“Are you planning to sleep with Elena Lincoln this weekend?” I repeat.
“No! God, no. Anastasia, what would possibly make you think that would be something I would even want to do?” He sounds genuinely shocked at the accusation and relief washes over me for a brief minute. I’m wrong. Thank god, I’m wrong. But that still doesn’t explain…
“You called her yesterday and now she’s coming her and you cleared your schedule with Ros for the whole weekend.”
“I cleared my schedule for the weekend because I thought after everything this week, you and I could use some time alone. So, I made plans.”
“But why would you call her?” I press him, and he takes a deep breath before answering.
“I knew about the ballet.” He says. “Elliot called me Wednesday afternoon to say mom had asked him to meet her here and he wanted to know if I was making hotel arrangements. I didn’t want Elena coming here, coming anywhere near you, but everything was set. This might have been the perfect time for her to do something that would drive you away from me so I called her to tell her that if she did anything, to you, to us, that if she didn’t stop trying to ruin the best thing I have ever had… I was going to tell my parents.”
“You’re going to tell your parents?” I ask surprised. His words carry so much weight I think I actually feel myself sober up a little. Through the muggy fog that clouds my brain I can actually have the realization of how big this is.
“Ana… coming out with this would have consequences. Ros and I are trying to start a business, something we’re already struggling with, and a high profile child molestation case isn’t exactly good PR. It’ll change everything. It’ll change the way my parents look at me and the way they think of me… and it would ruin her life forever. I don’t think that’s what I want, but I won’t let her destroy what we have. I won’t let her take you from me and if she’s going to force my hand, then… I’ll do it.”
“She’s not going to drive me away, Christian. I won’t let her come between us either,” I tell him, feeling an enormous sense of relief. “I love you.”
“You really thought I was going to sleep with her?” He asks, a disgusted note in his tone now.
“Ana, why would I ever want her when I have you? How could I ever want anything else?”
Heat rises within me at these words and I lunge across the space between us, resting my hands on the arms of his chair, and kiss him deeply. He’s taken by surprise for a moment and then returns my kiss with equal passion. I don’t know if it’s the alcohol or his declaration, but in this moment, I want him. I need him. I reach down for his fly as his hands entwine with my hair. I can feel him growing hard beneath my hands as I fumble with the button and zipper blocking me from my goal, and the moment I am able to free his erection, I fall to my knees.
My tongue runs once over my lips before I envelop him in my mouth, taking care to shield him from my teeth as I suck him hard.
“Whoa, Ana,” Christian gasps as he sits more erect in his chair. “Easy.”
I ignore him as I continue my pace, swirling my tongue around him each time I rise to the head of his erection. He inhales sharply and then relaxes back into his chair as he enjoys the pleasure I’m giving him. The sound of his moans and occasional gasps as I take him deep into my throat egg me on. I feel powerful, knowing that I’m making him come undone. All the times he’s taken me, taken charge until he’d brought me to orgasm, I want that. I want to be the one who unravels him.
“Ana, baby. Slow down. You’re going to make me come,” He says, through labored breath. I want to smile at the thought but I don’t want to be distracted.
“Please, Ana,” He pleads. “I don’t want to come in your mouth.”
Too bad, Grey. You’re not in control right now, I am. You’ll come when and where I want you to come.
“Stop!” He says firmly. I can feel how hard he is in my mouth and know he’s just on the edge of losing it. He reaches down and yanks me up from the floor, separating me from him, robbing me of my reward. But I’m not done yet. Not even close.
“Lay down on the bed,” I tell him.
“What?” He gasps, still breathing hard as he comes down from his high.
“I said lay down on the bed. I’m not going to ask you again.”
He looks at me suspiciously and hesitates for a moment but eventually he does as I say, pulling his t-shirt over his head before settling down onto the comforter. With slow, deliberate movements, I remove my jacket and carefully pull on the tie over my left shoulder that holds up the pearl colored blouse I’m wearing. Once the knot is undone, the top slinks down over my skin and jeans before billowing out over the floor around me. Christian watches my little strip tease with a heated gaze and when I turn around so that my backside is to him while I pull my jeans down, I glance over my shoulder and see that he is slowly stroking himself. It’s unbelievably hot.
I pull the chair to the side of the bed, just out of his reach, and take a seat. I’m still wearing my bra and panties and I want to tease him just a little bit more so I open my legs and lean back in the chair, pushing my breasts forward as I throw my head back and begin running my hand down my exposed skin.
“Don’t stop now, baby.” Christian says and I can hear the lustful need in his tone.
I sit up and remove both bra straps from my shoulders, letting them fall loosely over my arms while I reach back and undo the hooks with one hand while holding the cups to my breasts with the other. With agonizing slowness, I pull each of the straps off of my arms and then peel the cups away so that my breasts are exposed.
“Get over here,” He growls, and I smile wickedly at him. I stand and pull my panties over my behind, letting them fall to the round and then step out of them. He reaches out for me but I know that he will pull me onto the bed and roll over on top of me to have his wicked way with me, and I’m not ready to relinquish control just yet. Avoiding his grip, I move onto the bed, placing one knee on either side of each of his legs and then crawl over him to kiss him again. He moans with need into my mouth and I feel like I’m on fire, burning with desire, turned on by the power I have over him in this moment, knowing how badly he wants me. I reach down, grasp his erection and guide it to my entrance and then slowly sink onto him.
“Fuuuuck,” He breathes as I consume him. I rise up slightly and then ease down on him again and again, picking up the pace, my pace, as I go. I admire his beautiful face, his perfectly formed muscles, all pinioned beneath me as for the first time, I fuck him. He reaches up and grasps my breasts and while he rolls my nipples between his thumb and index finger, I drop all the way down on him so he is buried entirely inside of me and begin swirling my hips around. His mouth opens in an inaudible gasp of pleasure and as I move around and around I begin to feel the burgeoning sense of pleasure that signals my orgasm is approaching. I keep it at bay as best as I can as I want to make him come but, in that moment, I begin to rise and fall on top of him again and he cries my name as he comes violently inside of me, taking me with him. His hands grasp my hips as he thrusts up into me, causing my orgasm to go on and on, reaching every inch of my body and electrifying it with pleasure. I cry out, realizing in the back of my mind that Kate can probably hear me now, but I don’t care. All that exists right now is him and what we have together.
When I finally come down, I collapse on top of him and his arms wrap around me while I attempt to regain control of my breathing. I feel like I could fall asleep here in his arms but know we should probably move to a more comfortable position.
“We should get into bed.”
“We are in bed,” He says lamely, and I giggle.
“I meant under the covers,” I say.
“I love the sound of your giggle, Anastasia,” He says, moving his head and kissing my hair sweetly. With great effort, I pry myself off of him and shift so that we can both settle into the bed. The last thing I know, I’m nestling into his arms and drifting off to sleep.
Christian must be exhausted because he doesn’t wake up with his alarm the next morning and when I’m finally able to nudge him awake, he tells me to turn it off. I’m grateful because it means that I get more time with him and because I think a lot of his bad mood has to do with him only getting a few hours of sleep every night. When I sit up to turn the alarm off though, I feel a pounding in my head as a rush of nausea takes me. I have to scramble quickly out of bed and run to the bathroom, where I hurl a spectacular wave of clear liquid into the toilet.
Oh man, this is not good.
I sit on the cold bathroom floor for thirty minutes, periodically emptying my stomach of any residual alcohol, before I’m able to get up, brush my teeth, and slam down a glass of water. I take two Advil from a basket full of pill bottles Christian keeps on a shelf next to the mirror and amble back into bed feeling terrible and restless until Kate knocks on Christian’s door just after 7am, ready to go to the airport.
“Are you sure you’re okay to go?” Christian asks worriedly as he dresses for class.
“Yeah, I just have a headache now,” I say with a deep yawn. He hands me two more Advil, which I take gratefully, before I kiss him good-bye and follow Kate out to her car. Once I’ve made sure she got through security okay, I speed off for the nearest coffee shop, in desperate need of caffeine as I’ll barely have time to shower once I get home and have to start my dreaded Friday schedule.
The day drags on as I feel sluggish and jittery from the coffee. Once my headache fades away, I realize how exhausted I am from only getting a few hours sleep last night, and by the time I get to Business Writing, I feel like I’m ready to pass out. I lay my head down on the desk, wondering if I should just skip class today.
“Rough night at the bar?” Astor asks as he sits next to me.
“You could say that,” I reply with a yawn.
“I’m surprised Grey would be okay with you going out and drinking like that. That doesn’t seem like the kind of thing he’d approve of. You know… things that are fun.”
“If I only did the things he approves of, I wouldn’t be talking to you,” I quip as I try to shake myself awake a little and begin to pull out my supplies for class.
“Then I suppose I’m glad you’re a rebel,” He says with a smile. “What do you say we take it a step further and skip class? I’ll buy you a coffee.”
“Astor…” I say, annoyed. “Look, I have a boyfriend. I have boyfriend that doesn’t like you very much, and I think you know that, and I think you’re trying to get a rise out of him, and I don’t really appreciate it. I’ve spent way too much energy fighting with Christian about you this week and quite frankly, I don’t want to do it anymore. I don’t really know why I bothered to do it in the first place. So, let’s not talk. Let’s not do anything because I’m not your girlfriend. I’m not even your friend. And quite frankly, Jurassic Park sucks.”
“You’re cranky when you’re tired,” He says, grinning as he turns to look at the professor, who is calling for everyone’s attention up front. I roll my eyes and do my best not to fall asleep for the remainder of the class.
When we’ve been assigned our homework for the weekend and dismissed, I make a beeline for the door and pull out my phone to text Christian. I really hope he doesn’t want to go to dinner right now. All I want to do, is go to bed.
Hey on my way back to Grays. Are you there?
Yes, and I have a surprise for you.
I groan as I think about having to stay awake any longer. I really hope he doesn’t want sex, I definitely couldn’t handle that right now.
When I get to Grays I wrench open the front door and sluggishly haul myself up the stairs to the third floor. I don’t want to waste the effort of finding Christian’s key in my bag so I simply knock on the door and in a second, it flies open.
“Are you ready?” He asks excitedly.
“Ready for what?” I yawn.
He pulls open the door wider and I see two travel sized suitcases, one of which I recognize as my own purple one.
“What is this?” I ask.
“I’ve booked us somewhere for the weekend. Just you and me,” He says.
“I can’t,” I groan. “I’m so tired.”
“So sleep in the car.”
“The car? Wait, where did you book us?”
“That’s part of the surprise. We’re there until Monday.”
“Christian, I have homework.”
“Bring it with you.”
I exhale with exasperation and stare at him pointedly. “Is there anything I can say that you won’t have a counter for?”
“Nope,” He says with a smile. I roll my eyes and reach out for my suitcase. He laughs and takes my outstretched hand, pulling both suitcases out of the room after him and then turning to lock his door. I follow slowly in his wake as we make our way out to the Audi. We don’t even make it out of the parking lot before I’m asleep.
“Hey,” Christian’s voice says softly, pulling me from the darkness of a dreamless sleep. I look around and the first thing I notice is that it’s almost completely dark outside the car. We’re surrounded by snow capped trees and in front of us there is a large building with a smoking chimney standing in front of a dozen or so cozy looking cottages scattered about the grounds over a blanket of thick, white snow.
“Where are we?” I ask, confused.
“Vermont,” He says. “I found this place online and I thought you’d like it.”
I look around again at our surroundings, taking in the storybook appearance of it all as Christian climbs excitedly out of the driver’s seat and walks around to open my door. I take the hand he offers me and together we walk into the main office where we are given a set of keys and a cabin number. Christian hands the plump woman behind the desk his credit card for the weekend and then leads me from the main building to a small cottage tucked in an isolated area of trees.
“I’ll get our bags,” He says. “Make yourself comfortable.”
He disappears through the door as I examine the room around me. The cabin has only one room with a small bathroom off the far wall. The walls and floor are made of the same rich tinted wood and on the wall to my right there is a huge stone fireplace with a furry rug laid across the floor in front of it. On the other side of the rug is a comfortable looking couch facing a TV on a stand filled with DVDs. To my left is a huge king sized bed with a fluffy down comforter, a quilt and several overstuffed down pillows. And besides the mini fridge on the right, next to the front door, and a bookshelf next to the window, that’s it. Just a single room and the prospect is immediately relaxing. A weekend alone here with Christian is exactly what I need.
“What do you think?” Christian asks, as he steps inside with our suitcases and what looks like a paper take out bag hooked over his arm. When did he get that? Man, I must have really been out of it.
“I love it,” I say with a smile. He smiles back and leads me over to the bed so we can unpack.
“How did you get my bag?” I ask as he sets my suitcase on the bed for me.
“I took your key off your ring after you fell asleep last night and grabbed it when I got out of class this afternoon. I hope you don’t mind that I picked out some clothes for you,” He says, moving over to the fireplace to start a fire, which I’m glad for as the room is slightly drafty.
“No, I don’t mind,” I tell him, though I am suddenly nervous about what I’m going to find in this suitcase. I really hope there are actually clothes in here. I open the suitcase and on top of a familiar pile of pajamas, leggings, oversized sweaters, and warm socks, is a stiff pink bag with the name of a French store scribbled across the front in a loopy font. I reach into the bag and pull out something black, sheer, and covered in a soft, fine lace.
“Funny, I don’t remember this being in any of my drawers,” I say pointedly. He looks back at me and smiles.
“Oh, no. I put that in there,” He says grinning lasciviously as the fire beneath the hearth begins to grow steadily to a soft, warm glow. “A man has dreams, Anastasia.”
I roll my eyes and shove the lingerie back into the bag and stuff it into my suitcase. Everything else here looks good though, and I strip out of my jeans and t-shirt in favor of a pair of pajamas. Inspiration strikes me as I pull on a pair of leggings and I turn to Christian’s suitcase and take out one of his t-shirts and slip it on.
“You didn’t like your own clothes?” He asks when I sit on the couch and pull on a pair of thick, warm socks.
“I like this better,” I tell him. He smiles and comes to sit on the couch next to me, pulling cartons of take-out Chinese food out of the brown paper bag he brought in with him. I give him a thankful glance as I dig into my carton and he turns on a classic, black and white movie. Casablanca.
“I love this movie,” I tell him, as I cuddle up next to him on the couch with my carton of Chinese food. “Kate and I watch a ton of old movies together whenever we’re bored or sad. Mostly Gone with the Wind. Scarlett O’Hara is Kate’s hero.”
“Scarlett O’Hara? But she’s dumb… and annoying. Oh, I guess for Kate that makes sense,” He says jokingly. I frown at him, and elbow him gently in the ribs, and he laughs.
“She was a very feminist character for her time. She uses men to get what she needs for her and her family’s survival, she went into business for herself, and she even denied her husband sex because she loved another man. She could have been imprisoned for that at the time.”
“She also owned slaves.”
“Well, there’s that,” I admit with a laugh, and then cuddle back into him to focus back on the movie. About half way through, I decide I want to crawl into the inviting looking bed, but Christian has other ideas. He has me lie on the bed over the blanket and proceeds to give me a deeply relaxing warming oil massage while I listen to Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. I’m in heaven as I slowly drift off and just before I’m completely lost to the world I hear him whisper, “I love you, Anastasia,” And his lips press gently into my hair.