Chapter 27


The traffic on Alaskan Way is backed up because the Seahawks are starting official off-season training today which has been opened to the public, so everyone is trying to get south to Renton. Christian tries to avoid the gridlock by taking Western to Virginia St, but the second we merge with Elliot Ave, we come to a standstill.

“Jesus Chris,” Christian grumbles with frustration as he tries to weave around the line of cars stopped in front of us, but just ends up stuck in the wrong lane. “Fucking, Seahawks…”

“Hey!” Elliot and I both shout at the same time.

“You better watch your mouth Christian, just because you’re technically my boss now and you just bought a $35 million yacht that I plan on taking full advantage of, does not mean that I won’t still kick your ass.”

“You haven’t been able to kick my ass since I was eleven…And not even really then,” Christian says pointedly, glancing up at his brother in the rearview mirror. Elliot grimaces and then turns to me.

“That’s it, Ana. You’re cutting him off. No more sex until he learns to value and cherish the things that are more important in life. Namely, the Seattle Seahawks.”

Christian laughs and then looks down at me like he’s waiting for me to brush Elliot’s comment off as ridiculous, but I give him a very purposeful look and fold my arms across my chest.

“Oh, come on, Ana,” He says, but my gaze doesn’t falter.

“Take it back,” I say firmly and he rolls his eyes.

“I’m sorry, you’re right. The Seahawks are the only thing that gives life any meeting and I don’t know how I could be so insensitive as to diminish their importance in any way,” He says, a mocking tone in his voice.

“And…” I say drawing out the word into two syllables, “To make it up to me, I can use your corporate box seats this season.”

“And you can use my box seats this season,” He repeats.

“And Elliot,” Elliot coughs from the back seat.

“And Elliot,” I add, nodding firmly.

“And Elliot,” Christian repeats, rolling his eyes again.

“And the next time you attend a gala in which Matt Hasselbeck is also attending, you will take me with you.”

“I will take you with me,” He assures me.

“And I’m pretty,” I add with a smile.

“Oh, now you’ve gone too far,” He laughs, and as I devolve into a giggling fit, he reaches over for my hands, pulls my fingers up to his lips and then lowers our still conjoined hands onto the center console, rubbing his thumb affectionately over the backs of my fingers.

It takes forever, but we’re finally able to turn onto Virginia St, and as Christian hits the gas and the Maybach shoots up the steep hill towards Escala, the music coming out of the car’s sound system cuts out and the screen in the dash announces a call from Ros.

“Ros?” Christian answers, pushing a button on the steering wheel near his thumb.

“Hey, I know it’s your birthday and… happy birthday, but I need you. I’ve had fourteen calls on the state project this morning that I don’t know enough about it to answer them, and apparently there’s some kind of infrastructure problem in Whitman country that’s causing problems for our fiber optics team. Oh, and Carl Beckett from Lincoln Timber has been calling for you all morning trying to schedule a meeting via lifesize for no later than three this afternoon. He says it’s important but apparently my credentials as COO are not good enough to find out why…”

“So you need me to come in,” Christian infers.

“Oh, I knew you’d understand.”

I frown as Christian makes the loop to drop us off at the entrance to the lobby of Escala rather than pulling into the parking garage.

“I’ll be there in ten minutes,” Christian assures Ros, and then he pushes the button to cut off the call.

The Maybach comes to a stop against the curb in front of the main doors to Escala and I look over at him, unable to hide the disappointment I feel from showing on my face.

“You’re not going to come up and change?” I ask, glancing down at his casual, yet still unbelievably sexy, jeans and t-shirt combo.

“No,” He says. “If Zuckerberg can run his company in a hoodie, I think I could wear a t-shirt just this once.” I laugh, but it’s short lived. I really don’t want him to leave.

“What time do you think you’ll be back?” I ask him.

“I don’t know, I’ll have to see exactly what’s going on when I get into the office. I’ll call you and let you know.”

“Okay,” I say. He leans over and kisses me, and then I step out of the car, waiting for Kate and Elliot to join me on the sidewalk, and then wave goodbye to Christian as he pulls away from the curb.

Kate and Elliot decide they aren’t going to stick around and watch me bake all afternoon, but as we head to the elevators, planning to go opposite directions, I hear my name being called by the woman at the front desk. She smiles and waves at me, so I say good-bye to Kate and Elliot and then make my way over to her.

“Good afternoon, Miss Steele,” She says in an overly pleasant, professional tone. “There was a delivery for Mr. Grey about an hour ago but there was no one in your penthouse to receive it. Would you like to take it with you now?”

“Sure,” I shrug and she disappears into the office behind her for a second before returning with a shiny, silver ice bucket in her hands. There is a dark green bottle with a gold label sticking out of the top of it, and a black ribbon tied around the lip of the pail that also secures a parchment colored envelope with Christian’s name on it.

“Thank you,” I tell her as I take the bucket. Some of the ice has melted so it’s a little awkward to carry and she offers to have someone help me, but I simply thank her and tell her I can manage.

The apartment is eerily empty when I finally get back upstairs. Christian gave Taylor and Prescott the day off as we were supposed to be mostly just spending time here together, and with Gail still sick and isolated to her wing of the apartment, I find myself truly alone here for the first time. My footsteps seem to echo through the great room as I walk out of the foyer, and it’s kind of creepy… Immediately, I start having horrible Scream flashbacks and my mind begins running through all the places the killer could be hiding in the house.

I need a distraction and Christian’s iPod is in the docking station on the mantle, so I decide to just put it on shuffle and fill the apartment with music while I bake. But there’s only so much of the Lumineers and Death Cab for Cutie that I can handle before I yank his iPod off the speaker and replace it with mine, finishing Christian’s cake while dancing around the kitchen to Jason Derulo. When the cake comes out of the oven, I slip it out of the baking pans and onto the ventilated racks I find in the cabinet to help it cool faster, but since I’ve already cleaned the dishes I’ve used and whipped up a batch of buttercream icing, I’m stuck playing the waiting game.

My eyes fall on the bucket of champagne sitting on the counter, and as I stare at it, wondering who it’s from, curiosity gets the better of me and I pull the card out from under the ribbon and ease open the envelope. There is a plain white card inside with a handwritten messages scribbled across it in an elegant looking script.

Happy Birthday, Christian. I thought we could celebrate your LT acquisition with some Dom Perignon. Let me know when you’re available.

Love always, Elena

I scoff as I read the note and then tear it up in my hands. I tell you when he’s available, Elena Lincoln.

After tossing her card in the trash, I take the bottle of champagne out of the ice bucket, find a bottle opener in the utensil drawer and then pour it down the drain. I feel a grim sense of satisfaction as I turn on the faucet, clearing the sink of the remaining fizzing bubbles and then pick up the ice bucket, and the bag out of the trash and dispose of the evidence.

Christian texts me as I’m frosting his cake to tell me he’ll be home around seven thirty, but at seven fifteen, just as I’m pulling the lemon cod out of the oven, I hear the elevator ping and then the echoing footsteps of Christian walking into the great room.

“Ana?” He calls, and I stick my head around the corner.

“You’re early!” I exclaim, and he laughs at the shock on my face.

“Is that a problem?”

“No,” I say quickly, “I mean, I-I’m just not done yet. The asparagus is still in the oven and the fish has to rest for a few minutes before it’s ready.”


“So you’re ruining my birthday surprise!” I pout, he smiles and then walks over to me so that he’s standing behind me, and then wraps his arms around my waist.

“I’d hardly call it ruined,” He says, in a low, sexy voice. His lips press into my jaw just below my ear and as he runs the tip of his nose up the line between my face and my ear, a shiver trembles down my spine. “I love this, baby. Seeing you, in my kitchen. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted.”

I turn around and kiss him, blushing at the look of utter adoration coloring his eyes, and then smile. “Ten minutes,” I promise him.

“I’ll pick a wine,” He tells me. “What are you making?”

“Cod,” I reply.

“A Chardonnay then, I think. I have a special reserve label from Burgundy, France that I’ve been saving for a special occasion. I think this is perfect.”

Christian lays the plates out on the table and fills two wine glasses, as I bring the dishes out to serve. We sit close to one another as we begin to eat, and when he takes the first bite, I feel a deep sense of satisfaction at the look of approval on his face. He likes it.

“This is delicious,” He tells me.

“I’m glad you think so,” I say with a smile. “Brains, beauty, and a good cook. Whatever did you do to deserve me, Mr. Grey?”

“I ask myself that every single day,” He says. He leans over to kiss me and I meet him willingly, feeling as though I wish I could stop time and remain in this moment with him forever. We talk a little about work as he tells me about the chaos he walked into in his office, and then a little more about the yacht he purchased this afternoon. He already has grand plans for a trip around the world to celebrate my graduation from Harvard and I entertain the fantasy for him, but know the idea is ridiculous in practice. He couldn’t leave the office for an afternoon, there’s no way he could be gone long enough to sail around the world. Besides, Ray will be back next summer, hopefully in time to watch me graduate, and I want to spend as much time with him as I can.

“Oh,” He says, a few minutes later. “The Mayor’s Ball is on Tuesday. GEH is awarding a scholarship to a young man from the inner city so we have to attend. I’d like for it to be our first official outing, together.”

“A ball? So I’ll need a gown?”

“Well, yes. I could find something for you, have it shipped here, or maybe you could go shopping with Kate? I’m going to invite my whole family to attend so I’m sure she’ll need something as well. Maybe even Mia could go with you, I know she wanted to have lunch with you.”

“Yeah, that’s a good idea. I’ll ask them on Sunday,” I tell him.

He gives me a small, warm smile and then slowly gets out of his chair and picks up his iPod. I watch with interest as he scrolls through the songs until he finds the one he’s looking for and puts it onto the dock. The room is suddenly filled with the sweet notes from a piano and Christian slowly saunters over to me, holding out his hand for mine, Adele begins to sing about all the things she would do to Make You Feel My Love.

Christian spins me once and then pulls me into him, his body gracefully guiding me over the floor as we turn and sway to the beautiful music. I rest my cheek against his shoulder, just enjoying the feel of him against me as he leads me around the great room.

“I’ve known it from the moment that we met,” He sings quietly along with the music, “No doubt in my mind where you belong.”

I shift so that I can look up at him, his eyes shining down at me with wonder, and we stop moving. I lean up and kiss him, the tip of my tongue brushing gently against his. His arms wrap tighter around me and he deepens our kiss, our lips moving together in a slow, sensual dance that lights my body with desire. Desire for his touch, his body, his love. As I succumb to the building passion behind his kiss, I know that I want nothing more than to be as close to him as is physically possible.

“Bed?” He asks in a low sensual voice that heightens the carnal heat I feel beginning to burn in every one of my nerve endings.

“Yes,” I whisper against his lips. Without warning, I’m scooped up into Christian’s arms and he kisses me once more as he carries me off into the bedroom. When we get there though, he stops, his lips pulling away from mine as he looks down at the bed with confusion and it takes me a moment to remember why.

My birthday surprise.

His eyes glance over each of the items lying seemingly innocent on the bed. “What’s this?” He asks.

“Well…” I begin, almost guilty as I wonder if springing this on him wasn’t the greatest plan. “It’s all just been sitting here, we haven’t used any of it. I thought, maybe tonight, for your birthday, we could… I don’t know. Try something new.”

He looks down at me suspiciously for a moment, and then down at the bed again. “You want to play?”

“Yes,” I tell him and he takes a deep breath, considering it.

“Not here,” He says at last. “This is where I make love to you, Anastasia. I don’t want to do this here.”

“Oh,” I say, slightly disappointed. I think this means that he doesn’t want to do this, but to my surprise, he begins gathering the items I’ve laid out into his arms, gesturing for me to do the same.

“We’ll go upstairs,” He says, “There should be plenty of space in the second bedroom.”

An excited smile creeps across my lips as I help him take the different items and then follow him out of the bedroom and up the stairs. He leads me down the hallway to the larger of the two guest rooms, but he stops before he opens the door.

“You really want to do this?” He asks.

“Yes,” I tell him.

“Okay,” He agrees with a nod. “Then once you step through this door, the scene begins. You’re mine to do with as I please, whatever I please, and you will do as you’re told.”

“Okay,” I nod, my excitement mounting and the anticipation builds. He leans over and kisses me.

“I love you,” He says, and it feels like there is something behind his words but I don’t have the time to analyze it as he pushes open the door and steps aside to allow me to enter first. I take a deep breath and drop the things I’m holding in my arms haphazardly on the bed.

“Stand by the door,” He commands, and I move. “Eyes on the ground.” I look down. “Good girl. You will not look up at me unless I tell you to, do you understand?” I nod. “No, Anastasia, you have to speak when I ask you a question. I need to know that you understand what I’m telling you.”

“Yes,” I say quietly.

“Yes, what?”


“Sir,” He tells me, firmly. “We’ll start with Sir.”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Good girl. Wait here,” He says. I risk a glance up as he turns around for the bed, picking up each of the items we’ve left there in turn and carrying them, one at a time, over to the glass top dresser across from the bed and laying them out piece by piece. He stands in front of the dresser, examining them carefully, considering them individually, before he eventually turns to look back at me and I’m forced to turn my eyes back to the floor.

“First thing’s first,” He says, walking slowly over to me. “Let’s get you out of these clothes. Lift your arms.”

I do as he asks and his fingers find the bottom hem of my flowy, black tank, and he eases it up over my stomach, his fingers brushing up my waist, the sides of my bra, my shoulders, and my arms as he pulls it over my head.

“Arms down,” He commands, and again I comply. He stalks around me like a predator eyeing its helpless prey standing before him, ready to be devoured. When he’s behind me, he stops and hooks his fingers under the clasp on my bra. I feel my breasts shift as my bra falls open, and then his fingers slide over my shoulders, pushing the straps down each of my arms, and sending a shiver up my spine. He takes the clothing he’s removed from me and places them neatly on the bedside table.

When he turns around again, he walks directly up to me, so that he’s only standing a few inches away, and I feel his gaze burning into me as I watch his fingers begin to unfasten the buttons on my shorts. The moment the button is released, he pulls down the zipper and then lets them fall unceremoniously to the floor. My panties, however, he takes great care in removing. Before his fingers slide beneath the lace band, he runs his hands tenderly over my hips, feeling my skin, and then gently easing my panties down over my behind. He doesn’t let them fall. He holds on to them, slowly lowering his body down mine as he glides my panties down my legs. I feel his breath between my breasts and then over my stomach, until he’s kneeling in front of me and I’m able to step out of my shorts and my panties. Once I’m divested of the remainder of my clothing, he leans forward and runs his nose against my vagina, inhaling, and then dragging his tongue over my clitoris as he tilts his face up towards mine. I gasp, whimpering at the oh so sweet contact, and his eyes harden.

“Quiet,” He tells me. “You will not make a sound unless I instruct you to.”

I swallow, unsure if I’m supposed to answer the command, but since there doesn’t seem to be implicit instruction in his words, I remain silent. It seems to be the right choice, because he stands without giving me further reprimand.

“Now, usually, Anastasia…” He begins as he starts to circle me once more, his eyes raking hungrily over my naked body. “These types of relationships begin with negotiations. What you’re willing to try, what you’re not willing to try. These are called soft limits, and hard limits. A soft limit can be pushed, a hard limit cannot. We have had no such discussion, but you and your body are not new to me.” He stops behind me again, his body pressed against my naked back and his lips brushing ever so slightly against my ear. “I know how to pleasure you. I know how to excite you. I know how to make you come.”

I can’t hold back the tremble of pleasure his words elicit inside of me, but I keep my eyes dutifully turned down to the floor, and my mouth silent. He lets out a breathy chuckle and then kisses the junction of my earlobe and my jaw. A shaky breath breaks through my lips as he slowly kisses and licks his way down the gentle curve of my neck to my shoulder.

“I have a good idea what your soft limits are,” He continues. “And I want to push them. I want to try some new things but since you haven’t given me any hard limits, you should at least have safe words. Do you know what safe words are, Anastasia?”

“To make you stop… Sir,” I add.

“In their basic form. There are two I want you to use. You will say yellow when you want me to ease back or let me know that you are close to your limit. You will say red if you don’t like something and you want me to stop. Repeat that.”

“Yellow when I’m close to my limit. Red when I want you to stop,” I repeat, and there is a nervousness that begins to meld with my excitement. What does he have planned?

“I don’t want you to be ashamed of those words,” He says, his voice imploring now, rather than hard and authoritative. “It does me no good if you aren’t honest with me about how you’re feeling.”

“Okay,” I assure him.

“Good,” He says, his voice firm again. “On your knees.”

He holds out his hand for mine and I take it as I kneel onto the floor, back straight, eyes still cast down to the ground. He walks around so that he’s standing in front of me and then reaches up and pulls his t-shirt over his head, tossing it aside onto the nightstand with my clothes, and then he undoes his fly.

Oh god, he’s so hard…

“Open your mouth,” He commands me and I do as I’m bid. He flexes his hips forward and I feel the tip of his erection on my lips. Leaning forward a little, I envelop him in my mouth, sucking the head of his erection until, he reaches into my hair, holding me in place, and he thrusts forward. I let out a small, surprised noise as my mouth is suddenly filled with him, and he freezes. He tests me, pulling out and inching back in, slowly, and when I give him an encouraging moan and suck him in time with his thrusts, he pushes deeper into my mouth again.

“That’s it, baby,” He whispers, letting out a low, throaty groan. He continues his rhythm, moving in and out of my mouth, his breath hissing between his teeth. It’s so sexy listening to him enjoying this. I love the feeling of power it gives me knowing that I can do this to him with only my mouth. Maybe that’s where his dom desires come from, a place of deep satisfaction in knowing the pleasure you’re giving another person with only your body. Watching them react to you, come undone for you. I moan at the thought and tighten my lips around him.

“That’s enough,” He says, pulling away from me too quickly and I pout a little to have the sense of euphoric power ripped away from me.

“Get on your feet,” He tells me and I do so as quickly as possible. He takes my hand and leads me the the center of the room and then retrieves an armchair resting against the wall and brings it over to me. “Sit.”

I do.

“Bring your feet up and rest them on the edge of the seat.”

I do.

He turns around and picks up a set of restraints with four cuffs on them, two of them a difference size from the other two.

“I’m going to restrain you,” He tells me and I nod. With careful fingers, he wraps the two larger cuffs around my thighs, then pulls the tether around the arm rest, before looping it back around and securing the smaller set of cuffs around my ankles. I’m spread open, my legs each secured to the armrest they’ve been tethered to, and Christian looks down at me hungrily, his tongue running tantalizingly across his top lip before he turns back to the dresser for a set of handcuffs.

“Normally, I’d like to tie your hands but my patience is wearing thin so we’ll have to make do with these,” He tells me. “Put your hands behind the back of the chair.”

I reach around the chair, tangling my fingers together while Christian secures the leather cuffs around first my right, then my left wrist. When he’s finished, I can’t move and the excited heat begins to build inside of me. Now what?

He walks back around to the front of the chair and then falls to his knees, staring down at me open and waiting for him with a look close to awe reflected in his eyes.

“Oh, Ana,” He whispers, “You look so beautiful like this.” I squirm slightly, testing the small amount of movement afforded to me by my restraints as I watch him lift his middle and index finger to his mouth. He sucks them for a moment, his eyes blazing into mine, and then removes them from his mouth and lowers them down, between my legs.

“I’m going to make you come in every way I know how,” He says, his voice a low, sensual promise. “And then I’m going to fuck your ass.”

I gasp as he thrusts his fingers inside of me, spreading me and pushing them in and out, before turning them over and teasing that place on the front wall of my vagina that sends tingling shivers down my legs and into my toes.

“Oh yes,” I breathe, throwing my head back.

“That’s right baby, feel this,” He encourages me, pushing his fingers into me harder. My back bows away from the back of the chair as far as it can as I succumb to his expert fingers. The heat begins to grow inside of me and his fingers become slick with my arousal and I begin to feel a pulsating deep inside of me with each stroke of his hand in and out of me. The stretching feeling is exquisite, though it makes me yearn to have another part of him inside of me, and as that thought crosses my mind, the heat begins billowing out of control and I know that it won’t be much longer.

“That’s it, baby,” Christian says as my gasp laden breathing becomes a high keening. He moves his thumb over my clitoris, rubbing slow but firm circles around and around as he continues to pump his fingers in and out of me. “Give it to me, Anastasia. I want you to come for me. I want you to show me how much you love this.”

My lip begins to tremble and my hips rock back and forth and as he increases the pace of his fingers, the dam breaks and I let go, clenching tightly around him and crying out my release. He continues to flex his fingers inside of me, seeing me all the way through my orgasm, and the second the pulsing pleasure stops, his fingers are gone and his mouth is on me.

“Holy shit,” I gasp, the new sensation of his tongue almost too intense after my orgasm. I shift my hips, trying to squirm away from him but my restraints keep me in place. I try and take a deep breath to calm myself, and as I force myself to let go of the anxiety, I can revel in the pleasure of his mouth and feel myself melt back into the chair.

“There you go, Ana,” Christian encourages me, sucking on my clitoris with his lips before lavishing me with his tongue again. I groan, a deep visceral sound as he thrusts his tongue inside of me and the overwhelming sensation of an impending orgasm begins building in me once again. Fuck, again? I don’t know if I can take it this soon…

“Wait, wait, wait…” I whimper, but he just lets out a low, sexy sound as he continues to fuck me with his tongue. The heat intensifies, becoming more and more urgent with the passing seconds. He creates suction over me, moving his lips up to my clitoris, and it’s too much. I feel the quickening morph into something stronger and my entire body begins to shudder as a second, more intense orgasm overpowers me. Christian groans into me, his mouth continuing his carnal assault.

“Oh fuck!” I cry out, grinding against him until I’m no longer overcome by wave after wave of thrumming pleasure. When my orgasm finally dissipates and I’m left shaking and panting like I’ve just finished a marathon, Christian pulls away and moves up the chair to kiss me. His tongue is eager in my mouth. I can taste my arousal on his tongue and while I moan into him, I worry what he has planned for me next… I feel completely wrung out.

He releases me from the cuffs around my thighs and ankles and then takes the cuffs off my wrists. “Stand,” He tells me and with a great deal of effort, I do. “Put your hands on either side of the arm chair and hold yourself there.”

I lean over, my fingers gripping onto the armrests and waiting as he moves back to the dresser. When he comes back to me, he touches my vagina again, collecting my slick arousal around his fingers and then dragging it up over my perineum to the entrance of my ass. Instinctively, I clench away from the sensation.

“Easy, Ana,” He says gently. “I’m going to put a plug in you to prepare you for me. I have lube here, and I’m going to put it on you now.” I’m awakened a little by the sensation of cold liquid being poured onto me and then his fingers massaging it over my entrance.

“Relax, Anastasia,” He tells me, “This isn’t going to hurt.” His fingers disappear and then I feel a new object pressed against me. He rubs it over me a few times and then very slowly, begins to ease it inside of me. It isn’t much different from his fingers, which I’ve done before, maybe a little bigger, but I find that when I relax my body, he’s right, it doesn’t hurt.

“Breathe,” He says. He pushes the plug further and I realize that it’s getting wider, stretching me a little further. I gasp and he freezes.

“Ana?” He checks. “Is it too much?”

I take a deep breath, trying to relax my body and assess how I feel. When I’m not tightening my body, resisting against him, the stretching from the plug is actually kind of good. It feels strange and a little taboo and I like that. It’s new and pushing the boundaries, and that is exactly what I wanted. I don’t want him to stop so I’m not going to safeword.

“It’s good,” I tell him, and he twists the plug to test my resolve before slowly inching it forward again. When it’s fully inside of me, Christian’s hand moves away, down to my clitoris, where once again he begins rubbing slow, tantalizing circles.

“How does that feel?” He asks and I moan.

“Good,” I tell him. His hand moves away and he swats me on the behind, jutting the plug forward. I whimper at the sensation, which is foreign and yet wholly erotic.

“Good, what?” He asks.

“Good, Sir,” I correct myself.

“Remember that, Anastasia. I don’t want to have to punish you,” He tells me and he grabs onto my ass, making the plug shift in another, new, tantalizing way and I moan. He walks back over to the dresser for one last thing, something in a package and while I try to think of what we’d brought down here, but then I hear a low buzzing sound and his moan and I have an idea what it is.

He moves behind me, the tip of his erection brushing against me and I feel the low vibrations from the cock ring.

“I’m going to fuck you like this, Anastasia. It’s going to be hard and fast, and you’re going to have to hold yourself on the chair to keep yourself from falling. Can you do that.”

“I think so,” I tell him, and he swats my behind again, harder this time. “I mean, I think so, Sir,” I tell him.

“Good girl,” He tells me, “Don’t forget again or I will punish you.”

“Yes, Sir,” I tell him. I feel his erection brush against me again, still vibrating, as he lubricates himself and then he plunges inside of me.

“Oh fuck! Christian!” I cry out as I’m overwhelmed by the intensity of the fullness from having him and the plug inside of me.

“What did you just call me?” He asks, stopping his thrusts. I want to say something, at least correct myself but the feeling of him vibrating inside of me, filling me, stretching me… I can’t concentrate enough to say the words I need to. I wait for him to smack my behind again, but it doesn’t come. Instead, he simply thrusts forward again and I groan at the sensation. Maybe I’m forgiven, maybe I’m not, but in this moment, I don’t care. I’m lost in a euphoric cloud of ecstasy that I hope I never find my way out of.

His hand reaches forward into my hair again, wrapping it around his his wrist and holding me in place by the nape of my neck as slams into me. I’m unprepared for his assault and as I’m jolted forward, I lose my grip on the chair for a second and nearly send us tumbling over the back of it.

“Hang on, Anastasia,” Christian growls.

“Okay,” I say, and his fingers tug lightly at my hair. “I mean, yes, Sir.”

He begins again, moving in and out of me and each time his hips thrust against my behind, the plug jolts forward and sends waves of pleasure radiating through me. I’m gripping onto the arms of the chair so hard my knuckles turn white, but I’m so lost in his rhythm, I hardly notice. I don’t notice any parts of my body other than the ones that are electrified with pleasure. I begin to build, the tight ball of release building, growing stronger and tighter with each thrust of Christian inside of me. I can vaguely hear his rough breathing and his moans behind me, but my body reacts to the sound instinctively, edging me on and stoking the heat that pushes me towards my orgasm.

Christian shifts slightly so that he’s deeper, hitting me in all the right places, and the sensation in combination with the vibration and the plug still jerking and twisting inside of me, tips me over the edge and I’m sent spiraling down into my release, crying out as my body is seized by a mind numbing, life affirming orgasm.

Three again? Fuck, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to keep up with this lifestyle. And Christian hasn’t even finished yet…

He stills behind me, releasing my hair, removing the plug, and then pulling out of me. “Stand up,” He commands, and though all of my limbs feel like jello, somehow, I manage to obey.

“I told you…” He begins in a dark, detached voice, “That if you forgot etiquette again, I was going to punish you.”

Oh shit…

“I want you to trust me absolutely and that means that I have to follow through with my promises, Anastasia. You disobeyed the rules and there are consequences for that. Go and lay on the bed.”

I hesitate for a moment, looking into the hard, cold steel in his eyes. He straightens, challenging me with his gaze and so I nod and move to the bed. He turns back for the dresser and picks up the flogger I held in my hands the night before, twisting it, testing it. Once the long leather strands stop spinning, he shifts the handle so that he can grip it better and then he moves towards me.

“I want you to stand with your legs against the bed, and lean over the mattress,” He instructs me, and I do as I’m told, feeling a cold shiver of trepidation wash over me. I wish I would have tested this. I have no idea what to expect… Is this going to hurt? Of course it is, that’s why it’s called a punishment.

“Why am I doing this, Anastasia?” He asks when I’m bent over and he’s standing behind me.

“Because… ” I swallow hard, suddenly afraid. I don’t like the anticipation. It’s like being a little kid again, waiting in my room for Ray to come and yell at me and start taking privileges away from me one by one. “Because I forgot to call you Sir.” My voice is shaking.

“And why is that important, Anastasia?” He asks.

“Uh, because… because you told me to?”

“Because in this room, you are mine,” He tells me. “Using proper terminology reminds you of that. It’s important, Anastasia, and since you can’t seem to remember on your own, perhaps five lashes will help you.”

Five? I swallow again.

Out of my peripheral vision, I see him lift the flogger into the air and I prepare myself for the blow to follow but it doesn’t come.

“What are your safe words, Anastasia?” Christian asks, and I frown. Why is he drawing this out so much?

“Red and Yellow,” I repeat.

“And you’ll use them if you need to?” He asks. “You don’t have to be brave if it’s too much. That doesn’t help anyone.”

“Okay,” I tell him.

“Okay,” He says, more firmly this time. I clench my jaw as I wait for the sharp lick of the straps to rain down over my skin, but again, nothing. I sit there for probably five… ten seconds, and still, he doesn’t hit me.

I look back at him. His jaw is tight, and he’s staring down at me with a pained kind of look behind his eyes, like he’s struggling with something and I don’t understand what. I thought this was what he wanted…

Slowly, he lowers the flogger, looking down at it with confusion, maybe? “I don’t…” He says, but when his words cut off he changes direction. “I think we’re done here.” He says.

“What do you mean?” I ask.

“I mean, the scene is over. We should go back downstairs. Come, I’ll draw you a bath,” He reaches down for my hand and pulls me up off the bed, collecting both of our clothes and handing me his t-shirt as we head for the door. His fingers entwine with mine as we walk down the stairs, but as he leads me into our bathroom, I can’t shake my confusion over what just happened. Why did he stop? We weren’t finished, he wasn’t finished…

While he fills the tub with hot water, lavender oil, and vanilla bubble bath, I sit there and try to comprehend what just happened. It doesn’t make any sense, he said this is what he’s always wanted. He wanted to be a Dominant, I was playing a Submissive… is it me?

“Come here,” He says, holding his hands out for me so that he can help me off of the counter and into the tub. The warm water feels amazing as I sink down into the luxurious bubbles, but Christian doesn’t climb in after me.

“You’re not getting in?” I ask him.

“No. You enjoy. I’m going to check my email. I have to make sure everything on Lincoln Timber was taken care of this afternoon.”

“But… you didn’t finish,” I say guiltily. In what world is it okay for me to have three orgasms and for him to be left hanging? Especially on his birthday…

“I’m fine,” He says. “Thank you for tonight.”

He leans over and kisses me, but the uncertainty in his lips doesn’t assuage any of the confusion I feel over what just happened. I try to smile at him as he stands from the edge of the tub but I’m not sure it’s convincing. He leaves the bathroom and I sink back into the tub, trying to relax, push aside my worries, and chalk all of this up to us just needing to find what works in this new sexual frontier together… but it’s pointless. It bothers me on a deep level that he just wanted to stop like that. I need to know what’s wrong…

I get out of the tub, wrapping a towel around myself, and then set through the apartment towards his office. I’m going to try and convince him to come get into the bath with me and talk about what just happened, but when I’m outside his office door, I can hear that he’s on the phone so I have to stop and wait.

“I just couldn’t do it,” He says, in a bewildered kind of voice. “I was standing there, ready, looking down at her, and I-I couldn’t do it. She knew it was coming, she didn’t try and stop me, she knew her safe words, but I… That never happened to you.”

What the fuck? He’s not… no, he wouldn’t. Not about me. Not about us…

“No, Elena. It’s not her,” He says firmly. “She was the one who… I was just… I mean, tonight was… and she…”

I feel my gut clench and my body go cold as I realize what’s happening. Christian is having some kind of existential crisis about what just happened upstairs, but instead of talking to me about it… he’s talking to her. He’s talking to her about our sex life, asking her for advice. He ran to her. I feel my body shaking and I don’t know if it’s anger, or pain, or disgust that’s overpowering me in this moment because my body seems to have gone into some kind of self preservation mode and isn’t allowing me to actually feel the emotion. Is it pain then? Is this the betrayal that’s been in the back of my mind since I came back here?

I take a deep breath and push open the door, trying to find some of the anger I know is inside of me to cling onto and keep me from breaking down. Christian’s head shoots up and I see the color drain out of his face as he sees me standing there, still wet and wrapped in a towel in his doorway.

“I’ve got to go,” He says in the phone and he quickly hangs it up.

“What the fuck, Christian?” I spit at him. “You think you can just put me away, find something to distract me so that you can call your ex-domme for advice about our sex life. You lied to me. You told me that you were coming in here to check your email and instead I find you, once again, talking to her.”

“Ana…” He hesitates, but I cut him off.

“No!” I yell at him. “You know how I feel about her, how I feel about you talking to her at all. Why would you call her and talk to her about me? About us? How could you possibly think that was okay?”

“I just needed to… I mean, I… She’s in the lifestyle, Anastasia,” He says defensively, “She understands, she has experience with this. Back there, with you, I froze. I didn’t expect that. I didn’t expect to feel… I just, I needed to know…” His sentence dies off as he struggles to find the words to express what he wants to say, but that only makes me angrier. Why is it that he can talk to her, and not to me?

“Christian, I’m your girlfriend. I’m the person that was in that room with you. If you’re having a problem with something, you have to talk to me. You can’t shut me out like this, you can’t keep running away from me and worse, running off to her. You told me back there that you wanted me to trust you absolutely. How am I supposed to trust you if you won’t talk to me? How am I supposed to be okay with you tying me up and doing things to me sexually if I know that you’re getting your advice from Elena? I’m not okay with it, Christian. I won’t let you do to me what she did to you.”

“That’s not why I called her, Ana. I’m not asking her for technique, for fuck sake. This is Dominant thing. You don’t know anything about it, you can’t help me.”

“No, but I know you. You were fine until you tried to punish me. That’s what you’re struggling with, right? The punishment? You didn’t want to hurt me.”

I watch a muscle jump in his jaw and I know that I’m on the right track.

“Did she ignore your safewords?” I ask him. “Is that why you kept bringing them up? Was that you trying to reassure me that you would stop if I wanted you to because she didn’t stop for you?”

“Of course not, Ana. She’s never ignored a safeword. Jesus, why do you always have to try and turn me into some kind of victim? It wasn’t abuse! You were going to let me hit you, Ana. You let me tie you up, and you were going to let me hit you. You wanted this tonight. I wanted to make love to you in our bed, but you wanted this. How can you stand there and call what she did to me abuse when not thirty minutes ago, I had you tied to a chair and coming in my fucking hand. It wasn’t abuse.”

“Then why are you so freaked out right now?” I ask, my voice cold now. He straightens up, the gray in his eyes cold like steel as he stares back at me.

I know, as much as I don’t want to admit it, I’ve been waiting for something like this to happen. It’s why I wanted boundaries in the beginning, it’s why I wanted to keep us a secret, it’s why I still feel such a strong, visceral reaction to even hearing Elena Lincoln’s name. This is it, the regression Flynn warned us all about. I knew this was a possibility, but I ignored it. I wanted to believe that I could come back here and it would be different. That I could love him enough to help him break away from this but… he always goes back to her.

“If you can’t talk to me about how you fuck me, then you don’t get to fuck me at all. You said earlier that you knew my limits, but tonight you showed me that that is not true. Elena Lincoln is my hard limit, Christian. You need to be very aware of that going forward.”

I turn around and storm angrily back to the bathroom. My mind is racing a thousand miles a minute as I drain the tub and try and figure out my next move. This is the real test, am I going to stick it out and try to fight for him, or am I going to run?

Part of me thinks that I should run. This is bigger than me, obviously, and going through this again and again is too painful. Part of me thinks I should call Kate and have her come and get me. We could have my things packed and out of this apartment tonight. I’d have to quit my job at SIP, but if I leave him, this internship isn’t going to be helpful anyway… I’ve gotten back into Harvard which means I have something to look forward to get me through the summer. I’d have to find new housing, but I have a couple months to figure that out. If I’m going to leave, I need to do it now, before we get anymore wrapped up in this.

I take a deep breath and head back into the bedroom. My iPhone is on the charger next to the bed and I pick it up and begin scrolling through my contacts until I find Kate’s name but, just before I tap her name on the screen to call her, I stop. I stand there, frozen, staring down at my best friend’s name on my phone, but I can’t make the call.

I can’t do this.

I can’t run away from him again. I can’t go through what I went through last time again. I thought I could before, I thought I was strong enough to handle this, but when I climbed that mountain and made that decision, I’d forgotten the depth of my feelings for him. When I left him last time, I didn’t know what was waiting on the other side of that decision. I didn’t know about the agonizing months of pain, and loneliness, and even regret. I don’t want to go through that again, but more than that, I don’t want to leave him. I want to love him. I want him to love me.

Dr. Flynn said this could happen, that we should expect this to happen. That must mean that just because it has, doesn’t mean there isn’t hope. I have to believe there is hope. I wanted to fight for him, I told Elena I would fight for him, and this is the battle. I was raised by a soldier, and I know that no one escapes war without hurt, or hardship, or even a few scars. I will not concede to her, and I will not leave Christian behind.

I just have to find away to do that without giving away every piece of myself along the way.

Next Chapter

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