When I get out of class on Wednesday, I have to hurry back to Grays to meet up with Christian and Kate. Elliot has rented a car and he’s on his way here with Grace, Carrick, and Mia to meet us for dinner. I try to ignore the nagging thoughts of the abundance of homework I’ve been assigned today. Hopefully, my shift at the library will be slow tomorrow and I’ll be able to get most of it done then.
When I get back to my dorm, both Kate and Christian are already there waiting for me. Kate looks at me impatiently as I dig through drawers to find something to change into. She’s anxious to get to Elliot and I get it, but I’m not really excited by the prospect of going to dinner with Christian’s parents in a shirt I spilled coffee on three hours ago. Fortunately, Christian seems more willing to run on my time and since he’s driving, Kate can’t leave me behind in her eagerness to get on the road.
Ten minutes later, Kate and I pile into Christian’s Audi and he drives us through Cambridge to meet his family. When we pull up outside of Oleana, the first thing we notice is Mia bouncing up and down on the curb excitedly.
Christian gets out of the car and she flies into him, winding him slightly as she wraps her arms around his waist.
“Hi, Mia,” He says, chuckling down at her.
“Hi, Christian!” She replies excitedly. “I like your town. It’s so cute with all these red brick buildings everywhere.”
“Well, I had it built just for you,” He says, and she rolls her eyes. He slips out of her grip to hug his mother and she lets him go willingly so she can move on to Kate and I.
“Hi, Ana!” She greets me as she’s unable to stop Kate on her way to Elliot.
“Hi, Mia.” I say brightly, as I wrap her in a hug myself.
“Mom said if you and Christian say it’s okay, we can go see your dorm after dinner. I haven’t gotten to see Christian’s room yet.”
“Well, of course you can,” I reassure her. “You’ve got to get used to the campus so you’ll be familiar with it when you come here in a few years.”
“You don’t want to come here, Sis,” Elliot interrupts as he wraps his arm around my head in the most annoying hug possible. “Only nerds come here.”
He begins rubbing his knuckles furiously over my hair, destroying the rushed but still adequate job it did getting it to lie flat. I scramble out of his arms and look at him indignantly.
“Dad, Elliot called you a nerd,” Mia calls out, narrowing her eyes him. Carrick doesn’t react though as he’s talking to Christian, and Elliot smiles smugly down at her.
“Traitor,” He hisses, and he grabs her and starts tickling her so that she’s laughing uncontrollably, trying and failing, to get away from him.
“Alright, Alright. Let’s get inside,” Grace says, breaking them apart. She pushes them towards the door and smiles at me. “It’s so good to see you, Ana. I heard you and Christian were able to get away last weekend. Did you enjoy yourself?”
“Very much so,” I tell her. I recall the PG version of our weekend together as we make our way into the restaurant. The moment we’re through the doors, I do a quick scan of the dining room as I have a sneaking fear that Elena might be waiting for us, but I don’t see her. Relief crosses over me but only temporarily as I know that, even if we don’t see her tonight, she’ll be there tomorrow.
We order from the Mediterranean themed menu and enjoy a delicious meal with great company. Kate tells the Greys about her car break in and, while Elliot reaches around her and rubs her arm comfortingly, Mr. Grey gives her advice from a legal standpoint and offers representation if she needs it. She smiles gratefully at him and again, I’m overwhelmed by the feeling of family around me. It feels like Thanksgiving break again, but better because this time Kate is with me, and I don’t feel like an outsider anymore. The Greys treat me like family and the more time I spend with them, the more I start to think of them in the same way.
When we’re finished, we drive over to campus and give the Greys a tour through our dorms, starting with Christian’s. We step into the immaculately clean room and I chat with Carrick while Grace looks around for anything she might be able to supplement for Christian before she leaves.
“Mom!” Christian shouts in warning as she pulls open his top dresser drawer, looks inside, and immediately slams it closed. Christian covers his face with his left hand as Grace backs away from the dresser, embarrassed. I would have wondered what was inside, but I don’t have to because Elliot was fortunate enough to see.
“You didn’t hide your condoms before Mom came over?” He laughs. “What are you, new?”
“Condoms?” Mia asks, looking between Christian and I. “Ew, gross.”
“Alright, Alright. Can we move on please?” Christian asks uncomfortably, and I can’t blame him as I feel the heat of humiliation flame over me.
“Of course,” Grace says just as awkwardly. “What did you kids want to do tonight? We could go see a movie.”
“Actually, there’s a… thing off campus that we were planning on taking Elliot to. A bunch of people from my department are getting together tonight,” Christian says.
“Oh, well… I suppose we’ll leave you to it. We’ll see you tomorrow, dear,” Grace says, kissing Christian on the cheek.
“Wait, I don’t want to leave. I want go!” Mia complains as Grace ushers her down the hall.
“Not this time, Meems,” Christian says, and Mia pouts as Grace leads her to the stairs. We walk them out to the parking lot and wave good-bye before Kate and I have to run upstairs and get ready.
We both decide on a tube dress, mine black, her’s bubblegum pink, and then I sit patiently in the bathroom while Kate simultaneously does both of our hair and make-up. Kate is a lot braver than I am as she chooses stiletto pumps to complete her ensemble but one look outside at the cold, probably slick sidewalk, and I pick a pair of chucks and a denim jacket.
When we’re finally finished, we go back across the hall to Christian and Elliot who are waiting impatiently in Christian’s room. We head outside together and make our way to the address on Irving Street that Astor gave me yesterday and as we go, I can’t help but feel like someone is watching us. I look over at Kate and notice she keeps looking over her shoulder too, as if she’s looking for someone following behind us. I look back as well but don’t see anything. Maybe I’m just uneasy because it’s dark and I’m unfamiliar with this street. I feel better when the brightly illuminated house we’re heading to comes into view.
There is already music playing when we get there and a good number of cars parked against the curb. We take the walk up to the porch and slowly open the front door. The room is full of people dancing, holding red plastic cups, and assorted cans of beer.
“Should we get a drink?” Elliot asks, loudly so we can hear him over the music. Kate nods and points to the kitchen. I take Christian’s hand as we wind our way through the crowd to a long line of open liquor bottles, plastic cups, buckets of ice, and assorted mixers. There is a fishbowl on the counter filled with five dollar bills but it doesn’t tell us how much to put in so Christian and Elliot contribute $40 dollars for all of us and we quickly make our drinks.
“Is Ros meeting us here?” I ask as Christian pours rum into a plastic cup full of diet coke and ice for me.
“She said she’s not feeling very well,” He replies, shaking his head and handing me the glass. “I just think she doesn’t want to hang out with Harrington all night and I don’t blame her.”
I smirk at him as I take the glass. Christian and I wait patiently for Kate and Elliot to finish making their drinks and then we head out to the living room. As we walk, I see Astor. He smiles at me, excuses himself from the group of friends he’s talking to, and makes his way over to us.
“Hi, Ana. Glad you could make it!” He says. He leans in and kisses me on the cheek and I feel Christian tense next to me.
“Astor,” I greet him, shifting away uncomfortably. “You know Christian.”
His gaze flicks briefly over to Christian.
“Grey,” He greets him coldly.
“Harrington,” Christian replies with equal disdain. He wraps his arm around my waist and pulls me into him possessively. I sigh and smile up at Astor.
“Uh, this is my best friend Kate and Christian’s brother, Elliot,” I say, motioning to each of them.
“Hey,” Astor says to Kate, obviously checking her out as his eyes rake up and down her body. She looks back at him with amused disbelief and Elliot reaches forward.
“Elliot Grey,” He says. “I’m Kate’s boyfriend.”
“Hi,” Astor says disinterestedly. “Well ladies, enjoy the party. There is plenty to drink so help yourselves. Please, make yourselves at home.”
“Thank-you,” I say dismissively, attempting to push the increasingly irritated Christian into the crowd and away from Astor. We head to the other side of the room and once we claim a spot, Kate grabs Elliot and drags him onto the dance floor. I take a long pull from my cup, glad that it’s not too strong –I remember last Friday all too well still- and then turn to Christian.
“Wanna dance?” I ask.
“I thought you didn’t dance,” He replies, teasingly.
“I don’t. I just want an excuse for you to put your hands all over me,” I say. He smiles lasciviously and drains his cup before leading me out to the small area in the living room where other couples are dancing. Unlike the other parties we’ve been to this semester, the music here has more of an indie rock vibe than a pop-y/dance vibe, but we do the best we can with My Party by Kings of Leon. It’s not the easiest to dance to, but like I said, I just want to feel Christian touch me.
He doesn’t disappoint.
We move together slowly, my breasts pressed up against him as his hands grasp my hips. Slowly, I turn around so that my behind brushes lightly against him. His groans quietly as I move my hips around so that I make contact with him again and again, and with each pass, I feel him begin to grow harder.
“Stop it, Ana,” He chides me quietly by whispering in my ear. “Unless you want me to fuck you here and now.”
“The idea has merit,” I say turning around to face him, and his eyes darken.
The song ends and while Kate and Elliot move seamlessly into the next one, Christian yanks me out of the center of the room to the edge of the people standing around us. Casually, he leans against the wall and holds his arms out for me. I look at him, confused, but when I move into his arms he turns me so that my back is against his chest.
“Don’t make a sound,” He warns me in a low voice so that I can only hear him, and I nod quickly. While his left arm snakes around my waist, holding me tightly against him, his right hand subtly disappears beneath the back hem of my dress. I feel his hand graze past my behind and up between my legs. He tugs my panties to the side and I immediately know what he’s going to do. Panic surges through me. He was serious? We can’t do this here, in front of all these people! I try to struggle away from him but holds me in place.
“Don’t move, Anastasia,” He whispers.
“Christian…” I complain, but then his fingers find my clitoris and I feel the familiar sensation of desire begin to spread through my heated blood. Can I really stay still while he does this to me? There’s a challenge in that, a challenge with the possibility of a great reward.
“Do you want me to stop?” He asks, continuing to slowly swirl his fingers around me.
“No,” I whisper, and I feel, rather than see, him smile against my jaw where he begins to plant small, soft kisses.
“Then don’t give me away,” He says, and then he pushes a finger inside of me. The muscles deep inside of me clench together as his finger slides in and out of me, the only outlet I can have without being obvious about what we’re doing. Another finger joins the first and I feel myself begin to melt back into him.
“Smile, Anastasia,” He says. I take a deep breath and construct my face into a carefully controlled smile that hopefully looks casual and natural. There are dozens of unfamiliar people around us, some dancing and swaying to the music, some simply standing around chatting with friends and holding a drink. Every single one of them has a clear view of us, a few even glance this way out of curiosity, but to them- the way he holds me, the way he’s seemingly innocently whispering in my ear while I smile and grasp the arm around my waist- we just look like a couple in love, canoodling, yes, but really just standing here enjoying each other’s company. Really, though, I’m trying to stay upright as my knees begin to feel weak.
He slides his fingers out of me and replaces them with his thumb so he can use his fingers, now slick with my arousal, to continue the work he started on my clitoris. I push all the way back into him, doing my best to suppress a moan, and feel his erection pressing into me. It drives the wild need within me, and fantasies of him and I together come to the forefront of my mind until suddenly, I can feel the heat beginning from deep within me.
“Mmm,” Christian moans in my ear. “Do you think you could come without anyone noticing?”
I don’t know the answer to that. Honestly, I don’t think so. The heat is building and it’s already difficult to control my breathing and prevent myself from crying out his name. I don’t want him to stop though, so I nod slowly and he smiles again.
“Very dirty, Miss Steele,” He says. His fingers move faster, and I focus only on my face and my breathing, doing everything I can to make this impending moment as unnoticeable as possible. I’m building and the higher he takes me the more difficult it becomes, but I’m determined to do this…
“Ana!” Kate calls over to me. I look up and see her and Elliot working their way through the crowd towards us with their drinks raised above their heads so they don’t spill.
“Damn it,” Christian whispers angrily. I want to whine my complaint as he slides his fingers out of me, tugs my panties back into their proper place, and the promising quiver that had been building inside of me disappears.
Thanks a lot, Kate.
“Ana, why are you guys over here alone? Come dance with us!” She says excitedly.
“I’m good, Kate. I’ll watch you,” I say too quickly.
“Oh no, you guys had all weekend alone together. The rest of this week is about family. In fact, Christian?” She asks, reaching her hand out for him.
“Yes?” He replies, looking at her like she’s grown two heads or something.
“Come dance with me for a song,” She says, and when he graciously declines she continues, “Come on! You’re dating my best friend, I’m dating your brother, and really, we barely know one another. You’ve been really great to me this week and I just want to thank you. One song.”
He looks down at me and I stare back at him expectantly, genuinely curious how he will react. He takes a deep breath and nods, taking her hand and allowing Kate to lead him out on the dance floor. I smile after him as he looks back at me with fake horror.
“Do you want to dance?” Elliot asks turning to me.
“Sure,” I say, and I follow him out after Kate and Christian, though the crowd seems to become denser as we walk and we can’t get very close to them.
“I have to warn you,” Elliot says, as he pulls me into his arms. “I’m an excellent dancer. As difficult as it may be, you’ll have to resist the urge to fall in love with me. My heart belongs to another.”
“I’ll do my best,” I reply with a laugh. He smiles and turns me around, luckily keeping one hand on me at all times to prevent me from falling. I guess my balance issues haven’t been lost on him. He holds me by the hands, twisting me and turning me back and forth, each movement more ridiculous than the last. I’m having trouble controlling my laughter as he swings me around because I know that everyone looking at us is probably questioning our mental stability. Elliot yanks sharply on my arm and as I come crashing into him, I see someone tap him on the shoulder out of my peripheral.
“Mind if I cut in?” Astor asks. Elliot looks at him and then over to Christian, who is thankfully too distracted laughing at Kate’s erratic movements in front of him to notice us. I squeeze Elliot’s hand and he smiles subtly to me before turning back to Astor.
“Nah, dude,” He says, and pulls me under his arm, moving me away from him.
“So rudeness is a family trait then?”
“Passed down through my dad,” Elliot says nonchalantly. “Grace is a saint.”
“Ana?” Astor asks, ignoring Elliot’s retort.
“I invited you to my house, provided you with alcohol, even let you bring that awful boyfriend of yours. I think a dance is the least I can ask for,” He says. I look up at Elliot, who is leaving the decision entirely up to me. I know he’ll defend me if I say no, but I do feel like Astor has a point. Is one dance so much to ask for?
“Just til the end of this song,” I concede. I let go of Elliot’s hand as he gives Astor a warning look, but Astor seems nonplussed.
“Thanks… dude,” Astor says as he takes my hand. Elliot snorts.
“Your funeral. Christian has a mean right hook,” He says, and then he disappears through the crowd around us towards the kitchen, presumably for another drink.
“You look stunning in this dress, Anastasia,” Astor says as we sway back and forth, too slow for the music. I take a small step back so that there is more space between us and give him a tight smile.
“Thank you for inviting us,” I acquiesce. “You’re right, you didn’t have to do that. So, thanks.”
“The truth is, I just wanted to see you. I don’t seem to be able to get you out of my head, Ana. And having Grey here is worth it to see you like this. You really do look beautiful tonight.”
“I wish you wouldn’t say things like that to me,” I say uncomfortably. The song ends and we stand awkwardly for a minute, him still gripping my hand and waist.
“I suppose I have to let you go now?” He says in a low voice, and the way he concentrates on my lips as he speaks is unnerving.
“Yes, you do,” A cold voice says over my shoulder, and I wheel my head around to see Christian standing behind me radiating fury.
“Easy, Grey. It was just a dance,” Astor says, but he does release me. The second his hands are off of me Christian grasps me around my waist and pulls me away from him. He offers Astor a menacing glare as he pushes me away into the crowd, close to the stairs.
“Sorry…” I say guiltily. “It was just for a minute, I didn’t want to be rude.”
“He wants you, Anastasia,” Christian replies, darkly.
“I know, but he’s harmless. He won’t do anything I don’t want him to.”
“He’s still really fucking irritating,” He growls, and I simply shrug rather than comment, hoping my casual gesture will ease some of the tension. Christian glances quickly around the room once more and then takes my hand and leads me to the stairs.
“Where are we going?” I ask.
“He said make yourself at home,” He replies mysteriously.
The sound of the party is muted as we make it to the second story landing. We’re standing in a long hall with several doors scattered over each side. Christian opens the first door but closes it nearly immediately as he sees what is clearly a girl’s bedroom. The next door is a bathroom, then a linen closet, but the fourth door he opens is a second bedroom that he seems to find promising. He smirks and pulls me inside. The moment I step through the door, I recognize the jacket hanging on the back of the desk chair as Astor’s.
“Take your clothes off,” Christian orders quickly, turning to lock the door behind us.
“What?” I ask.
“Take your clothes off,” He says again, pulling his own shirt over his head as if to emphasize his point.
“Here? Christian, there’s like 30 people downstairs.”
“So we better be quick. I want to fuck you on his bed,” He says. I turn to look at the bed behind us out of instinct and before I can look back at Christian, his hands are on my face and he’s kissing me. His movements take me by surprise and I stumble backwards, falling onto the bed, and the moment I’m on my back, Christian reaches under my dress, pulls my panties off, and tucks them into his pocket. I bite down on my lip, knowing that I should probably stop him, tell him he’s crazy and that we need to get back down stairs before someone notices we’re missing, but I’m still wanting from the almost orgasm Kate robbed from me downstairs and there is something hot about having sex upstairs at a party, knowing we could be caught at any minute.
I eye him desperately as he produces a blue foil packet from his pocket.
“What are you doing?” I ask as he reaches down, undoes his zipper enough to relieve himself and rolls the condom over his erection.
“Desperate times call for desperate measures,” He says. “You’re not getting these panties back for the rest of the night and you won’t be able to clean up when we’re finished.”
Oh my, has he been planning this all night? A needy whimper escapes my lips as he crawls on the bed and kisses me again, simultaneously reaching under my dress and finding me already wet.
“Mmm, baby. You’re ready for me,” He moans against my lips.
“Yes!” I gasp, feeling my unresolved need building inside of me. He reaches down and grasps his erection, and in one, easy movement, he’s inside of me.
“Be quick, baby,” He says as he starts to move. I push against him, meeting him thrust for thrust and know that I’m not going to need his cajoling in order to finish quickly. I moan and he covers my mouth with his hand, thrusting harder inside of me as we ruffle the bedding beneath us. I grip tightly to the duvet, using it to hold myself in place as Christian takes me with near animalistic passion. I feel myself beginning to build and his breath hitches as I start to tighten around him.
“That’s it. come on, baby,” He says, and his words are all it takes for me to come unraveled. He hisses slightly as my orgasm pushes him over into his climax and he continues to pound into me at a furious pace as he empties himself inside of me. For a brief moment, the thumping beat of the speakers downstairs is the only sound that exists between us. We breathe together in unison until we’ve calmed down enough to move. He slides out of me and tosses the condom in the wastebasket by the bed.
“Help me fix the bed,” I say quickly once I’ve straightened myself out.
“That would be counterproductive,” He says. I stare at him curiously as he leans down and picks up his discarded sweater from the floor. He peels away the t-shirt underneath, slips it over his head and tosses the sweater onto the now unmade bed.
“He should recognize that one,” Christian says in an overly pleased tone and he reaches out for my hand.
“Really?” I ask sternly as I glance between him and his discarded sweater.
“Really,” He affirms. I roll my eyes, but take his hand and follow his lead back down the stairs. Once we’re back in the crowd of increasingly drunk students, we look around for Kate and Elliot and see them standing by the door.
“Hey, are you guys ready to head out?” Kate asks when we walk up to them.
“Yes,” Christian replies quickly.
“We just got here!” I complain.
“I have an early class tomorrow. I need to get into bed,” Kate says, and I glance at her suspiciously.
“You don’t have an early class tomorrow. Your first class isn’t until 10:30…” I say, and then my brain catches up. The ‘I need to get to bed’ portion is the important part of what she said, namely, she needs to get to bed with Elliot.
“Jesus, you two,” I say, shaking my head. I guess I can’t really talk… Christian and I didn’t even make it to the end of the party. At least she has the decency to go home first. I nod and motion Kate forward, following her out the door and into the chilly night air.
“Didn’t you have a sweater on before?” I hear Elliot ask as I follow after Kate, but Christian only laughs in response as we close the door behind us and make our way back up the street to campus.