Chapter 42

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Riding up the elevator with Carter to our apartment in Escala is a much different experience now than it was last March. Then, he was bouncing up and down with excitement and chatting happily to Kate about the grandeur all around us that he was now very happy to be apart of. Now, he’s silent and still.

The doors open and Christian gestures him inside with the hand that isn’t holding the handle to Calliope’s car seat, then frowns as we step into the great room. It’s dark inside, except for the dozen or so artfully placed candles around the room, and the low burning fire in the fireplace. There’s soft music floating around us and, on the coffee table, a chilled bottle of champagne with two empty flutes and a bowl of fresh strawberries and melted chocolate. On the floor before the fireplace is a makeshift bed comprised of blankets and pillows, completely surrounded by flowers and loose petals.

“Uh… sorry,” Christian says awkwardly. “It’s our wedding night.”

“No, that’s fine,” Carter replies with the same uncomfortable tone. “I’m sorry I’m… interrupting.”

“Have a seat.” Christian nods to the couch and then picks up the remote to his iHome and flips off the music. Luke hits the lights and we all settle down on the sectional, looking expectantly at Carter.

“Tell us what happened,” Taylor says. “Be specific, no detail is too small.”

“Okay,” Carter begins. “I’ve been working with my dad this summer, and it’s been kind of hard. He’s… disappointed in me. I was supposed to get into Harvard law, and I didn’t. I didn’t graduate at the top of my class, my girlfriend did, and when I proposed to that girlfriend, she dumped me. I have nothing to show for my four years at Harvard, and he’s been riding me really hard about it. Anyway, I made an appeal to Harvard Law to try and get in for the fall semester and when I got my second rejection notice, the phone rang. It was some guy…”

“You didn’t recognize the voice?” Taylor asks.

“No.”

“What did he sound like?” Luke chimes in. “How did he speak to you?”

“Um… his voice was very low, deep. I think he sounded like he might be about my dad’s age, but I’ve never really been good at judging that kind of thing. He was calm, like almost too calm. He spoke to me with a kind of familiarity that shouldn’t exist between two strangers. You know what I mean? Like how there’s a difference in how you talk to someone you know versus someone you don’t. He sounded like we were old friends or something. Like he was calling to check up on me because he knew I was having a hard time and he wanted to help.”

“Did he have an accent or use any colloquialisms that might give you an idea where he was from?”

Carter shakes his head. “No. He he was actually very formal.”

“Ana?” Christian asks. He turns to me and I know that he’s checking to see if what Carter is saying matches what I remember from the times I’ve spoken with him.

“Yeah, I think older too. But he didn’t speak to me like that. He sounded like he was taunting me most of the time and there was like a…” I shiver as I recall our last conversation and his voice rings through my ears again. “He was very cold to me.”

“So we have no idea if this is even the same guy,” Christian says, leaning back and running his fingers through his hair in frustration.

“Wait,” Luke says. He gets off the couch and moves into the security office. When he returns a few seconds later, he has a small black box in his hand. “We were able to record the last bit of Ana’s conversation with him at graduation.”

He hits play on the small voice recorder and I feel my body go stiff as I listen to my shaking voice play through the speakers.

Is she dead?

He laughs. Goodbye, Anastasia. Have fun at the arts center tonight with your family. I’ve seen what they’ve done with the place and it looks wonderful. Your graduation celebration will be truly special. Oh, and I’ll see you soon.”

Luke presses stop and looks up at Carter. “Is that the man who called you?”

He nods. “Without a doubt.”

“Good, then we’re on the right track,” Taylor says. “What did he say to you?”

“Well, I answered the phone and he greeted me by name. I didn’t recognize his voice so I asked who he was and he told me it didn’t matter. He was calling because he wanted to help me. I asked what he meant and he said…” He pauses, looking as though he’s trying to remember the exact words before he continues. “Doesn’t it feel terrible when you just can’t get what you want? When you try again and again, but always come up short? When you fail. And then you look around and you see the people who do have everything, everything you want, and you that realize they’re the ones who deserve it the least.”

“And?” Taylor presses him.

“He called those people the takers. People who use other people’s hard work to get ahead, or who steal from others. He said he had a way to get me what I wanted, to correct the imbalance, and if I was willing to help him, he was willing to help me.”

“What did he offer you?” Christian asks.

“Harvard Law.”

“And what did you tell him?” Luke asks.

“Well, first, I asked him what he meant by being willing to help, and he went off on this weird tangent about… well, you, Grey. He asked me if I knew that Ana was going to be expelled last year but that you called and bought her back into the university. He said that was unfair. That her spot could have been given to someone else, someone who earned it. Instead, it went to a…”

“To a?” I press him when he stops and looks at me uncomfortably.

“To a billionaire’s whore.” He gives me an apologetic look, but I simply shake my head and motion for him to continue. “He also said that Grey’s career was a lie. He wasn’t the genius everyone thought he was, he built him empire on lies and then used Ros’s talents to keep it going. He said your entire business model was to steal, to take the hard work of others and claim it as your own, like you built this great thing, but you’ve never actually built anything in your life. He said that even when you get caught, you continue to take. He said that you took from him, that you took Ana from me, and together we could take from you.”

“Take what?” Christian asks. “Ana?”

“I don’t know. He just asked me if I would help him. By then, I’d figured out who he was. That he was the man who tried to kidnap Ana over spring break, and who was trying to hurt her. I knew what he was asking from me, and I thought maybe whatever he asked me to do could help you find him, so I said yes. He said he’d be in touch and hung up without another word. I don’t have your numbers anymore so I looked up the number for GEH and after talking to like, eighty people, I was directed to the security office and talked to Ryan. He flew me out here and now, here we are.”

“I followed the protocol exactly,” Ryan interjects, looking at Taylor. “I got him out and into an unmarked chartered plane without anyone noticing he’d left. He’s here in absolute secrecy.”

“Who drove him to the airport?”

“Wirtz flew down and met him in a public place, smuggled him into a car, and drove to Chattanooga. We used a decoy to make it look as though he’d returned home.”

“Flight staff?” Luke checks.

“Stevens was the pilot, no other staff aboard. They’re at Boeing now, waiting to fly him home.”

“Good,” Taylor says. “This is it, then. This is our chance to get on the inside and find out what he’s planning before he can execute.”

“He didn’t tell you what he was planning?” Christian asks. Carter shakes his head.

“No, he just told me he’d be in touch. Oh, and that someone would be coming to meet me. Someone one who is going to help me with whatever he’s got planned.”

“So he is planning something,” Christian says, getting up from the couch and pacing back and forth. “He’s not threatened or backing off, he’s just planning his next move. And it’s been too long since we’ve heard anything from him. Whatever is coming next, it’s going to be big.”

“We don’t know that,” I argue. “We don’t know that everything we’ve done isn’t just… working the way it’s supposed to. Maybe he did try to target the wedding, he just couldn’t get through security. Leila said they tried to get me in Cambridge before, but couldn’t because of Luke. Maybe we’re finally outsmarting him.”

Taylor shakes his head. “No, he wouldn’t call Reed the day before, if the wedding was his plan. Not with how well he thinks everything through before he acts. He’s got a different target in mind.”

“Her book tour,” Christian says, as though this was the answer he was expecting all along. He sits back down on the couch, dropping his head into his hands for a moment and then scrubbing them over his face. “He’s waiting for us to be separated. For our security team to be spread out. You live in Atlanta, right?”

“Yeah,” Carter says.

“Ana has a stop there next week.”

“I’m on top of it,” Luke says. “In every city we’re stopping at along the tour, we have three separate hotel reservations, all booked under aliases, and only myself and Taylor know where we’re actually staying. We have security arranged for each hotel and secure transportation. I’ve already received the clearance badges for television and radio appearances, and book signings. She’ll never have to leave my side. He’s not going to get anywhere near her on this trip.”

“Which actually may make this the perfect time to try and lure him out,” Taylor suggests. “Draw him into a trap while making him think that he’s got a clear path to Ana.”

Christian shakes his head. “No, I’m not going to use my wife as bait. Absolutely not. I want him to be so sure that there is no way he could be successful in getting to her on the road that he won’t even try.”

“Sir, I understand your hesitation, but if you’ll forgive me, that’s what we’ve been doing and it’s not working. We have done everything to be sure we stay one step ahead of him and he hasn’t made a move. She’s been safe, yes, and that’s fine for now, but we’re no closer to finding out who he is or ending this permanently. We cannot maintain this level of security forever. My team is overworked and mentally exhausted. Sawyer hasn’t even had a day off since March…”

“I’m fine,” Luke interrupts, but Taylor cuts him off.

“As long as he’s hiding, he’s got the upper hand. We need to force him out of the shadows so we can deal with this for real.”

Christian doesn’t respond, and from the look of him, I think it’s because he doesn’t know how. Every instinct he has tells him to protect me, to keep me out of harm’s way, but Taylor is right. As long as this person is still out there, none of us will ever be out of harm’s way. He takes a breath, deflating a little, and turns to look at me.

“You said you wanted to play offense,” I tell him. “It looks to me like we have the inside man Taylor wanted.”

He sighs again and looks back at Taylor. “Okay. She leaves in two days and she’ll be in Atlanta on Friday. What’s the plan?”

“Reed needs people,” Taylor replies immediately. “At least two within close proximity to keep an eye on him and to monitor his activity, including tapping his phone. If we have some people down there keeping him under 24 hour surveillance, we should know everything he knows without him having to reach out to us again, which will limit our risk of exposure and make sure we’re set for whatever comes.”

“Okay, who do we have to spare?” Christian asks, but when Taylor and Luke look at each other, they frown.

“I don’t need three body guards,” I offer. “I trust Luke to keep us safe.”

“No,” Christian says immediately. “I’m not going to lower your security when we’re purposefully trying to draw him to you.”

“But you won’t be. Not really. The whole point is that we’ll have two people with Carter, right? When they try to execute their plan, I’ll have those extra people too. They’ll be on our side and they’ll know exactly what to do to make sure we’re safe because they’ll be in on the plot.”

“We can coordinate,” Luke agrees. “I’ll know what’s coming and we’ll be prepared. We might even be able to make it so he thinks he’s got a clear shot on Ana while in reality, she’s not even present.”

Christian inhales very slowly through his nose and then gets up to pace again. “Fine, but if we’re going to rely on whoever we send with Reed, then they have to be the best.

“Yes, sir,” Taylor says. “I have some names in mind.”

“No,” Christian says. “You. Taylor, you’ll go with Reed, and so will Ryan. Sawyer will stay with Ana and Kommer, you’ll be here with me.”

“Sir,” Taylor protests, but Christian cuts him off.

“That’s how it’s going to be.” He turns back to me, and then looks up at Luke. “Sawyer, you can have the rest of the weekend off, Ana and I won’t be going anywhere. I suggest you fill that time with some practice at the range. If you’re going to be the only person protecting my wife, I don’t want you to be rusty.”

“Yes, sir,” Luke agrees.

“Mr. Grey, I very strongly believe that I should remain by your side. This book tour aside, you are still the primary target.”

“I’ve noted your concerns, Taylor, and I’m choosing to disregard them. Anastasia and Calliope remain this team’s top priority and as head of my security team, I expect you to honor that. I’ll be fine. You can coordinate directly with me once you’re set up with Reed.”

“Mr. Grey…” Taylor tries again, but this time, Christian cuts him off.

“You’ll be on a flight to Atlanta tonight, Jason. I suggest you pack your bags.”

Taylor takes a deep breath, looking as though he’s trying to hold back more arguments, then nods and turns back for the stairs that lead to the servants quarters where he and Gail share a living space.

“I can take them to the airport,” Luke says, getting off the couch. “We have an unregistered car in the lower levels of the garage. If someone is watching the apartment, we should get out of here undetected.”

“Thank you, Sawyer,” Christian says. “Reed, may I speak to you privately in my office for a moment?”

“Uh… sure,” Carter replies.

Christian nods and gestures for the hallway off the great room, but before he follows after Carter, he turns to me and reaches out for my hand. For a moment, I think he wants me to go with him, but he simply helps me off the sofa and presses a soft kiss into my lips.

“I’ll be quick.”

“Oh… okay. I’ll just put Calliope down then.”

“Good. Kiss her goodnight for me.” He kisses me again and then leans in to whisper into my ear. “Don’t take off this dress. I want that.”

I smile, stand up on my tiptoes so I can kiss him on the cheek, then turn to pick up my daughter, still buckled in her carseat, and carry her off to our bedroom. Once we’re alone, I focus solely on Calliope to try and keep my mind from running through all the possible would be scenarios of what we now have to prepare for. Thankfully, since she has to be changed and fed before I lay her in the bassinet by the bed, it’s not difficult to prevent my mind from wandering. Since I’m still in my wedding dress, I have to be meticulous as I’m changing and burping her, but for once, probably because she’s so tired, she lies still and lets me change her with very little fuss. Instead, she stares up at me with wide, captivated eyes, and for the very first time, I think I see her purposefully smile.

“Hi, baby girl,” I whisper, stroking my hand over the soft thin hair on top of her head while I beam down at her. “I married your daddy today.” She stretches her tiny little limbs, her mouth opening into a perfect round “O” as she yawns, and I smile. “We’re a family now. A real family. Just the three of us. And we love you so much. You, sweet Calliope, are a very loved little girl.”

Her eyes droop so I scoop her into my arms and move to the rocking chair Grace and Carrick gifted me for my very first mother’s day. We stare at one another for a long time as she fights sleep and part of me wonders if, even though she’s so young, she knows there’s something special about today and she doesn’t want to miss any of it. But eventually she loses the battle, and once I’ve laid her in her bed and placed the baby monitor next to her, I hurry into the bathroom to freshen up and then take the other monitor back into the great room with me.

It’s been long enough that I assume the security team has already left with Carter and I see immediately that Christian has taken advantage of the time I was shut away with Calliope. The lights have been turned off again so that the room is lit only by the soft flickering light of the candles and the fire. There’s romantic music once again filling the space around me and on the table, next to the bowl of strawberries, melted chocolate, and a new canister of whipped cream, the two previously empty flutes have been filled with champagne. The only thing I don’t see, is my husband.

“Christian?” I call, stepping further into the room, but as I lean forward to look around the corner into the kitchen, I feel a hand trace softly up the bare skin on my back.

“This dress is incredible,” Christian says quietly, from behind me. “You have never looked more beautiful than you do today, Anastasia.”

I bite down on my bottom lip and turn to face him. “You don’t look so bad yourself, Mr. Grey.”

The corner of his mouth upticks into a relaxed, half-smile, but his entire face seems to light up. He pulls me close so that I’m fully pressed against him and then brushes the tip of his nose over mine.

“All for you, Mrs. Grey.”

Heat floods my body as I hear the words for the first time, and while I bask in the joy of it, he leans down to kiss me. The kiss is slow, deep, and when he slips his tongue into my mouth, I feel my body melt into his. His hands move into my hair but don’t pull at the roots. There’s no fiery need burning too hot or fast in either of us. The reaction set off by this one kiss is potent, but controlled. Neither of us intends for this to be quick, and so when I finally pull away from him, my teeth sink into my bottom lip and I move to the table.

“You know, you didn’t have to put me through all that. You could have just told me the other wedding was a rouse.”

He smiles and steps closer. “Secrets only work if you protect them.”

“You don’t think I can keep a secret?”

“From Kate? No. And once Kate knew, Elliot would know. And once Elliot knew…”

I let out a breathy laugh, “It would be on the front page of the Seattle Times.”

“Exactly.”

I laugh again and then my eyes sweep over the strawberries on the table before I glance back up and give Christian a coy look.

“Would you like dessert, my dear husband?”

“Very much, my darling wife.” I can hear the hint of pride in his voice as he says the word, but the joy I take in that for myself is quickly cut short as I turn for the bowl and he once again steps behind me and moves the tips of his fingers up my back. I shiver with anticipation as he moves his hands across the back of my shoulders and begins easing the lace straps of my dress down over my arms. His lips follow the trail of excited goosebumps his fingers leave going down my left arm and as the dress falls to my waist, leaving my breasts exposed, he drops to his knees behind me and nimbly undoes the last of the fastenings holding the rest of the gown in place.

I’m left standing before him in nothing but my panties and the garters attached to my stockings, and he groans in approval as his hands reach up and kneed my behind.

“Turn around,” he says hoarsely. When I do, his face crinkles with obvious want. “Ana, you look… oh, baby, you look…”

“Good enough to eat?” I ask playfully. His eyes glimmer.

“Don’t mind if I do…” I gasp as he leans forward and kisses me over my panties. Through the thin lace, I can feel the heat of his breath and the moisture from his tongue, and instantly, he has me quaking with desire.

“Christian,” I breathe.

He moans and moves his mouth around me for a few seconds more, then sits back on his heels and licks his lips. “Delicious, as always.”

I giggle and he stands, glancing over my entire body one last time before he backs up to the sofa and takes a seat. “Turn around,” he tells me again. “Put your hands on the table and bend over for me.”

I do as I’m bid and then glance over my shoulder at him, watching his eyes darken enticingly as he stares at my only partially covered ass. “That’s quite the view, Mrs. Grey.”

“Oh really?” I take a breath and then begin moving my legs up and down to the beat of the soft music still playing around us, making my ass sashay back and forth. He hums his approval and then leans forward to take one of the glasses of champagne off the table, placing a soft kiss on my behind as he pulls away again.

“Go on.”

I smile and dip down, bending my knees so that I’m fully crouched down with my legs spread, and then slowly rise again until I’m standing with straight legs. My hands move up over my body and into my hair while I swing my hips back and forth, exposing more of my skin to him. I don’t know if I feel more secure, knowing Christian has now fully committed himself to me, or if I’m just too exalted over this perfect day to worry about insecurities, but for some reason, right now, I feel better about my body than I have in almost a year and all I want to do is show it off to my husband.

With my hands still in my hair, I turn my torso to face him, giving him just a peak of my naked breast before I let my hands drag down my body again. When they move past my hips and I grip firmly to my own ass, his breath hisses between his teeth.

“You’re so fucking sexy, Ana,” he whispers. I smile before moving towards him and climbing into his lap. His hands move back to my behind while I straddle him and grind my panties over the very noticeable bulge in his pants. My tongue sweeps hungrily over my bottom lip as the friction between us heightens my already intense desire to have him, but when his hands move up my body to cup my breasts, I quickly slap them out of the way.

“Not yet,” I chide him. “You are far too dressed to be allowed to touch.”

He gives me a crooked smile. “Well, what do you plan to do about that?”

“This.” I reach forward and slowly begin to unravel his tie, taking my time so I can sit up and press my breasts into his face while I pull it out from under his collar. He begins to kiss the curves of my breasts between my cleavage while I work on the buttons of his shirt, but once I have him naked from the waist up, I move from his lap onto the floor before him and very purposefully hold his gaze as my fingers begin work on his belt.

“Yes,” he hisses when I have his pants open and reach down past the band of his Calvin Kleins for his waiting erection. I slide my hand up and down over him for a moment, using just enough pressure to give him pleasure, but not enough to start building him toward any kind of release. His hips buck up, searching for more, and I feel a sense of power course through me that makes my entire body tingle. Right now, this beautiful man is completely mine, and I plan to indulge in him as long as I can for the rest of the night.

“Your mouth, baby,” he pleads. “I want your mouth.”

“Like this?” I drag the flat of my tongue up the entire length of his erection and then swirl it around the head, tasting the bead of precum that has already begun to form there.

“Yes,” he breathes. “Oh, suck me, baby.”

I smile and then engulf him with my mouth, pulling hard with my lips each time I rise up off him. His breathing become more irregular, punctuated with deep groans and shallow gasps at each new sensation of my lips or tongue moving around him. I take him as deep into my throat as I can, willing myself to ignore the threat of my gag reflex so I can swallow more of him each and every time I move my mouth down his extremely hard erection. He grips my hair again, but doesn’t force me further down onto him. Instead, his fingers massage my scalp while he allows me to pleasure him at my own pace.

“Ana, fuck you’re so good. I want you so much, baby. My wife. My beautiful, brilliant, sexy wife.”

I hum my approval as I continue to suck him, then use my hand to grip him firmly at the base of his erection. When I begin moving my fist over him in opposition of my mouth, his legs start to shake.

“Ana, baby. Wait,” he begs, his voice breaking now. “I want to come inside of you…”

“You will,” I promise, laving him with my tongue before taking him back into my mouth. He groans and lets his body relax, tilting his pelvis towards me to give me the best angle. I can feel him grow harder in my mouth, the head of his erection swelling as he climbs closer and closer to the edge. Knowing the end is near, I pull him as deeply into my throat as I can, and as he gasps at the added tightness around him, I feel him pulse inside my mouth, and then his hot release begins to drip down my throat.

“Fuck! Ana!” he cries out, his reverence clear in the way he says my name. I swallow over and over again, keeping my mouth as tight around him as possible while he unravels beneath me, and once it’s over, I start to suck him again. He shudders.

“Baby. Oh fuck…”

Suddenly, his hands cup either side of my face and he’s pulling me off of him, but the second my lips are free, he claims them with his own. His tongue moves through my mouth ardently as he slowly moves off the sofa, pulling me with him, to the bed in front of the fire. I sink easily back onto the pillows and blankets thanks to the sure grip of his strong hands, but once I’m lying flat over the floor, he pulls away from me.

“No,” I pout, but he simply smiles. I watch intently while he reaches over for the bowl of strawberries, selects a particularly plump, bright red one from the top, and then dips it in the melted chocolate.

“Hungry?” he asks, and the salacious tone beneath his voice tells me he isn’t really talking about the fruit he holds between his fingers.

“Starving,” I whisper back.

He pouts enticingly as he reaches down and places the berry against my lips, and I suck the chocolate off before biting the end. While I chew, he reaches for the chocolate again, but instead of dipping the strawberry for a second time, he picks up the entire container and moves it over the top of me.

“My turn,” he says. I watch him tip the bowl and then the steady stream of dark chocolate as it drips down over my body. It doesn’t burn, but it is hot, so I hiss as he continues to pour a line from my chest, over my breast, and down to my stomach. When he stops, he places the bowl back on the table and then gives me a lascivious grin. I bite my lip again, watching intently as he lowers his mouth down to my skin, and then groan as he begins to lick the chocolate from my body.

“Yes. Oh, Chrisitan!” He sucks lightly against me, taking his time as he moves up my body to make sure he’s left no trace of the chocolate behind, particularly over my breasts. When he’s finished, he continues up and kisses me deeply again, so that I can taste the hint of chocolate left on his tongue.

“So, sweet,” I tell him.

“And yet, not enough.” His eyes flash and I feel his fingers move down to pop open the snaps on my garters that hold my stockings in place. He rolls the nylon down each of my legs, then moves up again and hooks his fingers beneath my panties.

Once I’m naked, he turns for the table again, but this time, he picks up the canister of whipped cream. I watch, intrigued, as he shakes it over the top of me and then points the tip down at my mouth. I giggle slightly as he gives me a little too much, so that my cheeks puff out, but as his eyes glint with mirth, he moves the cannister down and begins leaving a trail of small dollops of whipped cream from my navel to my pubic bone.

“Mmm,” he hums. “Now, for my favorite dessert.”

I tilt my hips up towards him as he slowly licks each and every bit of whipped cream from my skin. The wait is agonizing as I anticipate what’s about to come, namely me, until he finally moves down between my legs.

“Mine,” he whispers, hovering over my lower lips. “You, my wife, are finally and completely mine.

“Yours,” I agree, and then he lowers his mouth onto me. I gasp and then tangle my fingers into the blankets at my side. He starts to devour me, giving me no time to become accustomed to the feel of his tongue or his lips before he begins his expert ministrations. I arch my back off the floor, feeling the pleasure radiating from where his mouth moves against me through my entire body. His fingers grip my thighs, opening me further for him, and when I feel his tongue sink inside of me, I begin to tremble.

“Yes, Christian. Oh god, yes!”

“Let me hear you, baby,” he says, keeping his lips against me. “I want you to scream when I make you come.”

I groan as he begins again and then push against him, taking everything I can from him as his tongue flicks against my clitoris. My cries of pleasure fill the room, overpowering the music while I build closer to release and growing louder still when his fingers move through my lips. With an expert skill that comes from years of learning and memorizing my body, he curls his fingers to exactly the place inside of me that makes my toes curl. He pumps his fingers in and out of me in time with each pulse of suction from his lips, and soon the heat burning hotter and hotter inside of me boils out of control and sends me spiraling down into a mindblowing orgasm.

“Christian!” I scream. He groans and presses his face against me harder, pulling every last ounce of pleasure out of me that he can until the quivering between my legs dies out and I’m left panting.

There’s hardly anytime for me to compose myself before he moves up my body and guides his erection inside of me. Immediately, the sudden fullness causes the pleasure to spike again. I reach up and wrap my arms around him but as he pistons in and out of me, I end up scraping my nails down his back, making him groan and thrust harder. His mouth comes down on mine, his insistent tongue moving forcefully, frenzied even.

“I love you, Ana,” he pants, his voice strained with his own pleasure as he continues to pump in and out of me, and it drives me crazy. I want him, all of him, as deep and as close to me as possible.

“I love you too, Christian,” I reply. “Hold me tighter. Love me, baby.”

“I do. Today, you’ve made me the happiest man alive. My wife. My love. My life.”

I whimper and pull his mouth back down to mine, then push against him so that he rolls off of me.

“Ana, what are you…” he begins, confused and a little indignant as he slides out of me, but his words cut off when I quickly throw my leg over him and then ease down onto his erection again. “Oh… fuck, baby.”

I throw my head back as I ride him, not holding back the cries of ecstasy that escape my lips as I feel him stretch me over and over again. His hands reach up and cup each of my breasts and he pinches my nipples tightly between his middle and index fingers. I moan, wishing I could feel his mouth on my breast again but not daring to ask for it as his erection hits me in exactly the right place to electrify my body each and every time I fall down on him, and I’m desperate not to lose it. I can feel the heat spreading through my body again and even though, after a while, my thighs begin to burn from my aggressive pace, I ignore it and hold out for the reward I know will be worth the discomfort a hundred times over.

“I’m close,” I breathe. “Fuck, baby. You going to make me come.”

“Keep riding me, Ana,” he commands. He sits up, pulling my body against his as I continue to move up and down over the top of him, and gives in to my silent wish, lavishing the nipple on my breast with his tongue. When he pulls it gently with his lips, I can’t hold back any longer. I come, hard, my insides gripping him and taking from him all he’s worth, and as I convulse around him he groans and tightens his grip around me, almost to the point where I think he might leave behind bruises.

“That’s it, baby. Come for me. Oh god… Ana!”

My orgasm is heightened when I feel the faint ripple of his release inside of me, and then the sharp bite of his teeth against my breast. His muscles tense as he fucks me through his own orgasm, trying to prolong mine as long as possible, and when we finally come down, we’re both completely drained. I collapse on top of him, unable to hold myself up anymore. It feels as though all of my muscles have turned to liquid. But instead of shifting me off of him and into the crook under his arm at his side, he simply wraps his arms around me and holds me tightly against his chest.

“I can’t imagine it ever gets any better than this,” he whispers, turning his head and kissing my hair. “Making love to my beautiful wife. This, what I feel right now, has to be the purpose of life.”

I feel a tingling sense of pleasure at his words, and then force myself to sit up so I can look into his eyes. “I know. I don’t think I’ll ever do anything greater in my life than love you. I meant what I said to you over the alter. You are my dream, Christian. Thank you for letting me live it.”

He smiles. “Believe me, the pleasure is all mine, Mrs. Grey.”

Next Chapter

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44 thoughts on “Chapter 42

  1. Linc or the professor are looking good for this, but man I don’t know anymore. I am dying to know who it is but more I want to know the reason this person got so cray cray. This all got me even thinking it could still be Carter and that he is lying to Christian and Ana.

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    1. When it all comes down to it, I think Carter would be safe trusting that Christian would actually reward him if Ana was kept safe, while Mr. Conspriacy Head would just put a bullet in his back to tie up lose ends. In fact, given the amount of people that have DIED at Mr. Conspiracy Head’s hands, it is a wonder why ANYONE would want to work with him now. And CARTER was in a position to hear just how much Mr. Conspiracy Head HAD done to others.

      STILL, I find it VERY interesting about Mr. Conspiracy Head approaching Carter NOW, AND the information that Mr. Conspriacy Head KNOWS about Christian is TELLING as well. HE seemingly KNOWS that Christian came to Harvard to plead Ana’s case, BUT HE THINKS Christian “bought off” Harvard rather than that he presented evidence as to what Ana really HAD accomplished at SIP.

      And Mr. Conspiracy Head REFUSES to acknowledge Ana’s being at Harvard due to MERIT rather than money or connections. AND that Ana had the brains to STAY there as well, even doing BETTER than other legacies such as Carter. So MR. CONSPIRACY HEAD in this conversation seems to have a mostly BAD attitude about women, BUT HE does acknowledge what ROS can do for GEH.

      Mr. Conspiracy Head is also VERY bitter against Christian AND thinks Christian seemingly doesn’t DESERVE GEH. And NOT just because it was begun through ill-gotten means. And that is TELLING. That puts Mr. Conspriacy Head as being more likely to be someone like Hyde or Astor, people that want to think they don’t have the life they deserve because others had it handed to them. BUT ANDREW LINCOLN would also be likely to think similarly. However, I can’t see Andrew wanting to do such hideous things to Ana and blaming her for so much since it was ANA that got Christian away from Elena. Still, Andrew COULD want to possess and destroy Ana just because Christian ALSO got his woman in addition to his company.

      And ANDREW would be likely to DWELL ON THE FACT that Christian seemingly doesn’t “create” companies. AFTER ALL, ANDREW created his own timber company and did all the work to make it great. THEN Christian just comes in and “steals” it from out underneath him. So THAT LINE of discussion from Mr. Conspiracy Head would SOUND LIKE IT CAME FROM ANDREW.

      As always, Tara REVEALS things BUT said things could be in keeping with MULTIPLE INDIVIDUALS’ beliefs as to Christian and Ana. But STILL, SOMEONE has had to be eyeing Carter for some time. The person that recruited him SEEMS to know that Carter has ambitions, BUT he discounts Carter having A REAL FRIENDSHIP and relationship with these women (Ana and Kate).

      So WHOEVER Mr. Conspiracy Head is, he EXPECTS a woman to be a “trophy wife” and DISCOUNTS THEIR INTELLIGENCE—and THAT was always Elena’s chief complaint against ANDREW, as he would NOT allow her to use her Princeton degree but INSTEAD expected her to be the doting wife.

      (You are right that the Professor would know about Christian visiting Harvard, but the Professor would have been expected to get the DETAILS right. Which Mr. Conspriacy Head did NOT. And I still can’t see why this Professor would have been driven mad by Christian. Still, if there was the right backstory. . . .)

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      1. I think maybe the Conspirator is Stephen Morton … because …

        Tara said someone has mentioned the correct person in a comment.

        If the voice on Luke’s tape was:
        Andrew – Christian would have recognized him
        Professor – Ana would have recognized him
        Astor – Ana or Christian or Carter would have
        Bob – Ana would have
        Pimp – Christian would have
        Gresham – assume Christian should know his voice

        So it’s either Morton, who Ana hasn’t heard for years, or someone who is described but not by a specific name, and has not talked to Ana or Christian.

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    1. Yeah, what a lovely and unexpected present for Friday!!!!! AND gives us a lot to ruminate over for the weekend.

      INTERESTING about the ATTITUDE that Mr. Conspiracy Head has towards women. He can’t IMAGINE that Ana could be at Harvard FOR HER BRAINS. Or that they kept her for that. He sees Christian as employing Ana JUST to get her near to him rather than because he KNOWS she can do the job. After all, WE all know that Christian bought a publishing company KNOWING that would entice Ana and be a way to keep her at GEH longterm. It would give Ana the CAREER she would want AND would make her dreams come true. BUT MR. CONSPIRACY HEAD can’t picture a man doing something like that for a woman he loves. HE thinks that a woman should be a TROPHY WIFE, which is in keeping with ANDREW LINCOLN.

      So Lincoln still seems a likely suspect. But SO DOES Hyde, who would be expected to have a similar attitude towards Ana. So this chapter GIVES little clues, but those clues could STILL fit with all the most likely suspects!

      Still, it is GOOD in my mind that Mr. Conspiracy Head is likely to UNDERESTIMATE Ana’s own intelligence, since HE is determined to discount it due to her looks. Let’s hope that is enough to give a heads up, because HE clearly has a PLAN, even if we haven’t figured it out yet.

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  2. How embarrassing for Carter to interrupt their wedding night! BUT they got the confirmation that they needed that it was indeed the same man. Now they have their own planning to do but it seems that Luke has been on top of things and has been doing his own planning to keep Ana safe. Lets just hope that that will be enough? My fear is that Christian not having Taylor will put him at risk? Does this horrible person not know Taylor? I mean he is always by Christian’s side? Had to ask.

    They certainly consummated their marriage beautifully and I loved what they said to each other.

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  3. I don’t know if Carter is real or fake. I hope that Ana and Calliope will be fine. I’m also worried about Christian when Taylor goes with Ana.

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  4. what if this is what the guy wanted to know what they are planning by using Carter knowing he will call them. And they just revealed everything to him. I still don’t trust Carter. I just hope this is not another trap.

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    1. And THAT is my biggest worry. Even IF Carter is on the up and up (which I rather hope and believe he is), Mr. Conspiracy Head could have EXPECTED Carter’s actions and be prepared to seize and torture Carter when he returns.

      And Mr. Conspriacy Head would HAVE to know who Taylor is. HOW can Taylor remain seemingly undercover AND protect Carter? Mr. Conspiracy Head would have to KNOW that Carter has been to see Christian when Taylor is observed in the vicinity.

      So if Carter WAS successfully captured, Mr. Conspiracy Head would eventually be able to torture the information out of Carter. BUT I FIND IT INTERESTING that Mr. Conspiracy Head ASSUMED that Carter would be as easy to convince as Leila. CARTER, however, seemingly DID have some very REAL feelings for Ana and Kate. So he wouldn’t want them tortured and killed by a sick psycho.

      I admit that I want to trust Carter. Some things have seemed off about him at times, though, but that is in keeping with most young men Carter’s age. While he has been known to be petty and immature in the past, he has also been a good FRIEND to Ana for MULTIPLE years, so I don’t want to think of so much evil being THAT close to Ana and Kate. Carter certainly would have had A LOT of opportunities for revenge if he had wanted it. So I tend to think Carter IS trying to help.

      It ALL COMES DOWN TO whether or not Mr. Conspiracy Head expects Carter to be loyal to Ana or not. It may be that Mr. Conspiracy Head is using CARTER without him being aware of just HOW.

      AFTER ALL, Mr. Conspiracy Head MAY have just gotten Christian to do EXACTLY what HE wanted! Christian has NOW DIVIDED UP his security team more, with his best person off following CARTER. So if Mr. Conspriacy Head meant for CARTER TO BE A RED HERRING, then Christian just may have fallen for his trap!

      So like you, I’m WORRIED that this is all a TRAP. Christian is now EXPECTING something on the book tour AND even in a specific location. And Mr. Conspriacy Head may be seeking to DIVIDE the team and concentrate on another location entirely! So possible trap indeed!

      (BUT if Carter is on the up and up AND lives through this, then I’m SURE that Christian will secure his future!)

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    2. Christian is putting himself in danger…..spotting Taylor wud be a very easy task for the head nd it would immediately make Christian d vulnerable one
      Ana would surely surrender herself if Christian was under his captive

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  5. Gracias por el bonus!!!!
    Ya tienen un plan, cara vez estoy mas intrigada.
    No me gusta que Christian quede sin seguridad.
    Fue hermosa su noche de bodas. Se aman tanto

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  6. “Assumptions close doors. Intrigue opens them.”
    ― Sam Owen

    “May your wedding night be like a kitchen table, all legs and no drawers.”
    ― Melinda Heald

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  7. How to make my day? Post a bonjs chapter. Thanks, thanks, thank you so much. I though you were going to reveal who Mr Conspiratory was, but regardless we have to wait Til Monday (I hope you still plan to do it), the chapter was so beautiful, a very good lemmon.

    And I can’t keep thinking that Carter is faking it. I mean.. Christian, who is the one who is really at danger, is going against his security… Does not Ana have anything to say about that? I wouldn’t be happy if I was her. Maybe mr Conspiratory expected Carter to do what he did. He anticipated Christians move before, maybe he is doing it now.
    I hope his identity will be revealed next chapter.

    My main posibilities right now are Lincoln and Hyde. But I also have a feeling that they are not.

    TARAAAAAAA could you give us a little clue now that we are close to discover who he really is, you know you want to say it. You have been years keeping that secret… You know, give us a clue and free your conscience.

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  8. OMG UR KILLING ME!!!! TY SO MUCH FOR THE BONUS!!! I still don’t trust Reed! He’s got more to it that’s for sure and I have a feeling it’s his father. How many more chapters left?

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  9. WOW!!!! I never even guessed that we would get a BONUS CHAPTER!!!! I was coming to the website to check the chapter 41 comments, and THERE IT WAS!!!!!

    OKAY. First thoughts. KOMMER is the last hire–the one with the least checks and the security officer most likely to be compromised, in my opinion, if there is a leak on the security staff. AND NOW, he is the ONLY security officer covering CHRISTIAN. Yep, I’m worried.

    Secondly, whoever Mr. Conspiracy Head is, he believes he has the POWER to give Carter Harvard Law. And THAT could be revealing. To have the power to do that, then HE would have to have A LOT of wealth AND clout, OR he would have to have HARVARD connections. (Or he could be promising Carter something impossible, KNOWING that HE plans to kill Carter as soon as he has served his purpose.)

    As usual, though, Mr. Conspiracy Head is sending ANOTHER operative to work with Carter. HE is playing it safe always, never being present for the ACTUAL kidnapping attempts.

    And clearly, the BOOK TOUR is the planned attack. That puts Ana in locations that she does NOT know and surrounded by strangers (after all, it IS a book tour–so she is expected to be present for signings, meet-and-greets, etc.).

    But I think Taylor is RIGHT to be suspicious of all of this. You need TAYLOR to coordinate everything, AND if Carter IS a decoy, then Taylor is effectively out of the game when all the action unfolds.

    So this chapter actually gives me a great deal to ponder over.

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  10. I am not so sure about Carter and I hope he’s being sincere. I hope everyone stays safe but somehow I feel Christian will get hurt. The lemons were fantastic as always.

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  11. FABULOUS PRE-WEEKEND SURPRISE, Tara ~ Mega-Thanks! Almost couldn’t believe I was actually seeing #42 this morning! Wow!

    Great that you didn’t keep us in suspense to hear about Carter. Just hope he IS on the up and up. Trying to imagine what Christian had to say to him in private. Figure he must have told Carter his life would be over immediately if this is was a ruse and, if not, the quality of his life was about to take a giant leap forward with Christian’s assurance that it would definitely guarantee the respect of his father. Wonder if he gave him a burner phone to contact him, and only him, directly.

    Now, if you will just fill us in on what went on at the ‘decoy’ wedding – who DID attend…whether Christian had some sort of a video or other ‘apology’ and arranged a sumptuous meal with entertainment for the guests; assuming there WERE actual VIP dignitaries and other important guests present. And, would love to hear how the Media must have gone absolutely ballistic! (Also cannot wait for status updates for Gia, Elena, and the other ‘players.’) You have us all totally ‘invested’ in every aspect of ‘Stronger,’ as we were in your previous books. So very many additional questions, but am trying my best to remain patient and let it all unfold at your tantalizing pace. However, it is difficult!

    I must admit, though, that I felt I was ‘invading’ their privacy on the most romantic, intimate wedding evening they could possibly have – although that feeling did not last long enough for me to not read on! Christian’s arrangements could not have been more perfect – the ‘bed’ in front of the fire-place, music, candles, flowers, flower petals and, of course, the champagne, whipped cream, melted chocolate and the strawberries were the ‘frosting on the cake’ of their first night together as man and wife. Even Calliope seemed to sense the night’s importance and allowed Ana to get her to fall asleep before Christian returned from his Carter ‘chat.’

    Hopefully, Carla will not deign to show up at Ana’s Atlanta book signing. Although, if she does, I am certain strict instructions have been given to Security to not allow her enter the book store and absolutely not be allowed to approach Ana, whatsoever.

    Dangerous for Christian to be without Taylor – and, it would seem that Ray, with his military background, could be quite an asset to the security team (unless he will be busy watching over Calliope during the book tour).

    Tara – YOU ARE THE BEST! You never, ever cease to amaze and you always ‘deliver.’

    Cannot wait for #43 – and, now, it will feel like such a loong wait!

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  12. It is INTERESTING what Mr. Conspiracy Head chooses to reveal in his conversation wtih Carter. HE HAS A VERY NEGATIVE IMPRESSION OF ANA here, but HE DOES credit ROS with keeping GEH going. Brian CLark, the intern, would have just hated BOTH, in my opinion. AND I can’t see how JUST an intern could pull all this off.

    But Mr. Conspiracy Head is clearly BITTER with Christian having so much AND not having to pay the consequences for his previous bad actions. That attitude could be in keeping with Lincoln OR Hyde, but HYDE would be more likely to see Ana as ONLY a “billionaire’s whore” rather than acknowledge that she actually had BRAINS to get into Harvard in the FIRST place. Mr. Conspiracy Head seemingly wants to IGNORE that Ana had 1) the intelligence in BOTH scores and GRADES from high school to get into Harvard in the first place WITHOUT any connections OR being a legacy and 2) Ana kept an A average throughout her Harvard career, SHOWING that she was MORE than just “arm candy” for a billionaire.

    But the WAY that Mr. Conspiracy Head talks SOUNDS like someone that DID work with Ana and didn’t realize just how much she DID do for the job. So Brian Clark AND Hyde would BOTH be likely to DISCOUNT Ana’s talents because NEITHER got the job that EACH felt he was entitled to have at SIP. BOTH Clark AND Hyde wanted Ana’s position AND EACH thought that he would get it at one point or another.

    So the ATTITUDE behind the conversation is DEFINITELY more in keeping with SOMEONE AT GEH who felt bitter over what Ana was allowed to do in relation to SIP. And that would NOT be Andrew Lincoln.

    AND MR. CONSPIRACY HEAD HAD KNOWLEDGE that Christian went to Harvard to meet with the investigators there to plead Ana’s case. Even Ros seemingly didn’t know that Christian did this for Ana. BUT Mr. Conspriacy Head “ASSUMES” that Christian bought off Harvard rather than simply talk to them. (This was right after Christian had paid to fly Elena to NY over Andrew’s company, so Elena MAY have had the information/knowledge that Christian was going to Harvard after NY. Otherwise, HOW would Mr. Conspiracy Head KNOW about Christian’s trip to Harvard??? SOMEONE had to give him this information, and Leila was long gone from GEH by then. Hhhmmmm.)

    So I can’t tell YET whether the conversation from Mr. Conspiracy Head’s end was tailored JUST to say what HE thought CARTER would be interested in OR if it TRULY reflects a bitter man that was passed over by Christian at GEH. But IF it was someone from GEH, then HOW on earth would they have the wealth and power to pull this off???? This person would HAVE to be heavily dependent on Elena for so much, and Elena would NOT have as much reason to fear such a person.

    So there is MORE going on here, in my opinion, then we yet know. AT THIS POINT, it sounds like Carter is trying to do the right thing. But HOW would Mr. COnspiracy Head know JUST what Carter’s situation was at this time? CLEARLY, he had a reason to NOTE how Carter might make a perfect recruit, under the right circumstances. And that makes me think of ASTOR.

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    1. Firstly, how many people actually knew Christian went to Harvard during that controversy time!!!!
      I don’t think it was something of public knowledge

      The guy that called Carter cud be Lincoln but I think d head maybe be morton

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      1. I agree that Morton can’t be ruled out. After all, Carla would have cause to truly FEAR Morton, and it would help explain Carla’s previous actions at the hospital. (And let’s face it—we all want to believe that Carla was coerced into doing what she did rather than think she was hateful, spiteful and selfish enough to come up with her plan to steal Calliope on her own.)

        HOWEVER, for Morton to be behind this, there would have to be SO MUCH MORE to his backstory then we know.

        But you are correct that Christian’s trip to Harvard was NOT common knowledge, as ROS didn’t even seem to know what Christian was staying over for. So HOW would Mr. Conspiracy Head KNOW about the contact? I have speculated that Elena knew or overheard Christian say that he was going to Harvard after they concluded the negotiations regarding Lincoln Timber.

        While Mr. Conspiracy Head has been undoubtedly planning his attack on Christian and Ana for some time, he seemed content to watch ELENA try to take Christian down first through the trial. So I wouldn’t think Mr. Conspiracy Head would have had his surveillance up and running then. FEW people outside of security (and maybe Welch) would have known Christian’s exact whereabouts.

        But someone at HARVARD would definitely know that THE Christian Grey made an appearance and could guess at what it was for. HOWEVER, the DETAILS of the visit are WRONG, as Christian did NOT bribe Harvard to get Ana back in. He was there to provide PROOF of Ana’s work while at SIP and show that she wasn’t just given the job for sexual favors.

        But IF Ana and Carter are RIGHT about the age-factor for Mr. Conspiracy Head, then Morton would also fit the bill as being an older individual. (And I just can’t see Elena fearing some young person.)

        Sigh. No matter HOW it turns out, there will be a surprise element in finally learning the identity of MR. Conspiracy Head. I am dying to know about how many OTHER suspects for Mr. Conspiracy Head will end up being involved. There has to be a REASON that Christian chose to invite Astor Harrington to the wedding after all these years. And SOMEONE seemingly thought they knew Carter well enough to think he would readily agree to go after Christian and Ana. Which tends to imply a Harvard connection somehow.

        What is fascinating is how relatively easy it is to speculate how any NUMBER of people could be Mr. Conspiracy Head. Even CARRICK would fit the bill if he had somehow been driven mad by his brain tumor enough to blame his son for keeping Elena so close to his family for so many years.

        But above all else, I WANT to believe that Carter is completely on the up and up. TAYLOR has now been tasked with watching and following Carter, which I don’t see HOW he can manage to do. IF Taylor follows Carter closely, then he would be immediately identified by Mr. Conspiracy Head. And if Taylor just tries to blend in with the crowd, then he can’t be close enough to defend Carter if he is snatched off the street. So that alone is a balancing act.

        But it will DEFINITELY be interesting to see just WHO Mr. Conspiracy Head sends to “help” Carter. AND if Taylor will be able to get the details to Christian and/or Ana and Luke.

        (And let’s ALL hope that Kommer is on the up and up since he is now the only one left with Christian! I’m wondering if Christian’s back-up plan IS to make Mr. Conspiracy Head think that CHRISTIAN would be the better target than Ana!)

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  13. As always, Tara is brilliant at what she gives us—Mr. Conspiracy Head’s gripes against Christian AND ESPECIALLY ANA are very revealing. After all, we get to SEE JUST HOW MUCH Mr. Conspiracy Head KNOWS about certain things. But is is INTERESTING that Mr. Conspiracy Head KNOWS that CHristian came to Harvard to FIGHT for Ana, but HE thinks that Christian just PAID SOMEONE OFF rather than showing what Ana REALLY did on her internship.

    Ana was definitely MORE than a figurehead, but Mr. Conspriacy Head does NOT know that OR he refuses to accept that. Mr. Conspiracy Head wants to credit Ana with NOTHING. HE basically IGNORES that Ana got EVERYTHING (INCLUDING Harvard) due to MERIT, not looks OR being a legacy.

    Based on the above, HYDE would be someone that would REFUSE to see Ana as anything more than a “dumb broad” that got everything due to her looks. BRIAN CLARK would also think the same, but he would NOT have access or knowledge to the fact that Christian went to Harvard to fight for Ana. ASTOR Harrington MIGHT have found out about OR SEEN Christian come to Harvard and GUESSED that Ana got to stay at Harvard as a result.

    AND ASTOR would have been LIKELY TO REPORT ANA in the first place to try to get her kicked out of Harvard. But Astor, himself, would HAVE to know from working with Ana previously that she IS smart enough to be at Harvard. STILL, Astor could be BITTER that Ana REFUSED his advances. He could try to RATIONALIZE it in his mind by claiming Ana ONLY chose Christian due to his MONEY, which we all KNOW was NOT true.

    But Mr. Conspiracy Head is as much FOCUSED on ANA as HE is on Christian. HE FEELS SLIGHTED by Ana in some way. And that applies equally to HYDE, ASTOR, and even to Brian Clark. So Tara is VERY clever to keep ALL suspects still very much possible candidates.

    HYDE, though, would NOT be expected to know about CARTER. I can’t see how BRIAN CLARK would know about Carter either. SO THAT DOES make it more likely to be ASTOR rather than the other two.

    After all, Mr. Conspiracy Head SEEMINGLY KNOWS Carter and how Carter would be EXPECTED to feel and think, especially being denied entry to Harvard. THAT would make it more likely to be someone like Astor Harrington. OF COURSE, Astor COULD be a RECRUIT of the Conspiracy SINCE HE WORKED WITH ELENA before.

    But the CLEAREST connection to CARTER would be ASTOR. And ASTOR would be someone suggested by ELENA. So Mr. Conspiracy Head COULD still be Andrew Lincoln or even Hyde. CLEARLY, though, Mr. Conspiracy Head is FOCUSED on HARMING ANA before he does anything to Christian. HE wants to POSSESS ANA, and exert his will over her. ANDREW LINCOLN would be MORE likely to focus on Christian than Ana, in my opinion. But ASTOR ALWAYS WANTED what Christian had, and HYDE FELT HE DESERVED what Christian had.

    So certain things FIT MORE for some candidates then for others. I will have to THINK over what Mr. Conspiracy Head has said. There are CLEARLY things revealed about just WHY Mr. Conspiracy Head resents Christian AND ANA so much in that conversation HE had with Carter.

    ISAAC still fits as well, since he would BLAME Christian and Ana for taking ELENA down and imprisoning Elena while CHRISTIAN didn’t have to suffer ANY for his illegal gains that started the company, ALL of which came from ELENA (or more specifically, from ANDREW’S funds). But Isaac wouldn’t be expected to know so much about ANA and what she did for GEH.

    INTERESTING in what Mr. Conspiracy Head seemingly got WRONG in what he describes to Carter. HE has ASSUMED certain things which are NOT true, and Astor would KNOW about Ana’s GPA and would NEVER discount her brains. HYDE and Brian WOULD discount Ana’s intelligence. But INTERESTING how Mr. Conspiracy Head basically ASSUMES that Carter would WANT to harm Ana.

    Just wow. I have to go absorb this chapter overnight. But THANKS TARA for the extra chapter!!!!!! It OBVIOUSLY now has me going round and round in circles over possible candidates again. So much so that I couldn’t even take time to appreciate Ana and Christian’s first night as a married couple.

    (But I am rather sure that putting Taylor where he is right now is the WRONG choice. I hope I’m wrong about that.)

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  14. What a wonderful surprise to read C42, my eyes popped from sleep to read immediately.
    Can Carter be trusted? Security did great covering his transportation to Escala. Truly hope he doesn’t play them. What did Christian say to him? That he could get him to Harvard and some warnings? Christian without security is a big concern, not liking that but they’re spread thin. That has to be the most beautiful, very, very intimate lemons, they belong together. What they said to each and their happiness to be Mr and Mrs Grey finally can be felt and radiates jubilation, just perfect. Thank you, Tara, for the bonus. So happy to read. Look forward to Monday. Have a great weekend. Xoxo daytona

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  15. Wow! Thank you for the great Friday surprise. Loved this chapter…and the plot thickens…excited to see what happens next…looking forward to Monday 🙂

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  16. Yeah Bonus! Thank You Tara

    I’m on the edge of my seat. So OOC for Christian and Taylor to reveal such information to Carter without knowing which team he’s truly on. What will Carter really do with all the informations that was revealed to him. Not, Not. NOT feeling good about Carter at all. He appeared to me to know too much. Could Kate have told Carter about the incident at school with Ana. I have no doubt that he was contacted or part of the plot.

    The conversation that was revealed by Carter was all Lincoln. Everything that happened to Linc was summarized by Carter. Linc would definitely be an older man as him and Carrick was once friend prior to the betrayal. His company was stolen by Elena and Christian. His entire life went into that company which Christian dismantle and sold to the highest bidder.

    I’m truly hoping that with taylor protecting Carter, Christian has to have a plan other than what was discussed in sight of Carter. I could be wrong but I think not.
    I have read and re-read to attempt to connect the dots as to why the HE has so much hatred for Ana. The only theory that I have as to why Linc would hate Ana – Ana was overheard by Linc having a conversation with Elena regarding Elena’s relationship with Christian. Once Linc confirmed what was heard and alerted Carrick and Grace and the s–t hit the fan.As a result Linc filed for divorce to be reps by Carrick.
    As a result of Christian’s betrayal on the Witness stand to Ana, and his family. Linc was force to give Elena fifty percent of everything. After two years Ana and Christian gets back together. In the meantime Linc lost his wife and half of everything he owned almost. Ana later discovered that Christian was dissolving Linc company. She wasn’t happy but never approached the conversation with Christian.

    I just remember something. When Ana was contacted at the graduation. Wasn’t it said that the conspiracy head expected her to know him. (How could she have forgotten Mr. Lincoln). I could be somewhere in left field and missing the obvious.

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  17. I think this has something to do w Ann college professor. His behavior was inappropriated. Who ever it is I think is using Carter and splitting up the security in a mistake. Hope this Ana knows how to shoot a gun cause I think she will need it.

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    1. I still can’t see it being the college professor mainly because Mr. Conspiracy Head’s connection to Christian and Ana seems to be SO much more PERSONAL than that. I mean, how would a professor even have lost anything to Christian?

      At least the other suspects have truly experienced actual LOSS at Christian’s hands. Some candidates lost MORE than others, though. NO ONE has lost MORE than ANDREW LINCOLN, which is why he has always been an obvious candidate to me. HYDE only lost a position that he was never guaranteed in the first place. Plus, he still has a job at GEH, and we DON’T have the same backstory for Hyde here that we did in the originals (at least, not yet).

      ASTOR recognized Ros’ importance to Christian and tried to lure her away from Christian. He tried to do the same thing to Ana, who could have actually had Astor EXPELLED for what he did. But Ana did NOT do this. And while Astor may not yet have his own company, he IS in Harvard Law and seemingly has a bright and brilliant future ahead of him. ANA’s actions prevented Astor from getting more money from Elena, but other than that, Astor has not been harmed by Christian. Astor HAS however, shown an obsessive need in the past to try to take things from Christian. He saw Christian as his ONLY competition at Harvard. But WHY do all this NOW??? After all, as said above, Astor has a virtually secured future on his own. Going after Christian would destroy that. AND Elena had seemingly screwed him over previously as well, so why choose to put his future in her hands now? And why would she have cause to fear him? So unless Astor has a BACKSTORY to explain the hatred, he still doesn’t top my suspect list.

      I have never been able to completely rule-out ISAAC due to his position to KNOW so many intimate details that Mr. Conspiracy Head knows. And Elena trusted him enough to run her business with him at her side. Isaac would have had to have lost EVERYTHING but his freedom when Elena went to prison. But WHY would Elena FEAR Isaac? That part does NOT track, so Isaac seemingly is NOT our man (although he would probably be a ready recruit UNTIL Elena was threatened, which she seemingly now is).

      But I also wondered at Christian’s so easily seeming to TRUST Carter, even giving away the plan of just WHO would be protecting Ana and Christian. Christian has ALWAYS seemed to discount Carter, which could be for any number of reasons. He never saw Carter as sophisticated or overly intelligent, so Carter was never truly a threat to Christian EXCEPT when he was dating Ana. Even THEN, Christian was fairly confident that he could steal Ana away from him.

      So I HOPE Christian is right about Carter. And I also don’t want to find out that Carter was evil given his relationship with Kate and even Ana. I still credit Carter with being one of the first people to really get Ana thinking about talking with Christian. He seemed GENUINELY concerned with Ana’s happiness, and I DON’T want to think of Carter just playing at being a friend, ALL while plotting against Christian for things that happened their freshman year. So HOPEFULLY, Carter is really TRYING to do the right thing. And if so, then Carter HAS to know that he could potentially DIE from this.

      But Carter DID say that Mr. Conspiracy Head seemingly acted like he KNEW Carter. AND Mr. Conspiracy Head expected ANA to remember him. INTERESTING on BOTH accounts.

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  18. Thank you for the wonderful bonus chapter, Tara.

    I really want Carter to be a “good guy,” and I’m sure Christian will reward him well, either by helping him into Harvard Law School or by giving him a position at GEH, across the country from his disapproving father.

    Anxious to see what Monday brings.

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  19. Unexpected arrival of Carter under a shroud of secrecy on their wedding day delayed their post nuptial celebration. Even without all that chocolate,strawberries and cream their wedding night is blissful with the adoration that Christian have for Ana and their climactic lovemaking. No need for all the extra trimmings if you love someone with your body and soul. Christian and Ana have all that and more and Calliope to show it for. Their words for each others are what come from within and all their love to cherish forever.
    Is the Conspirator reaching desperation that he ends up contacting Carter and bribing him to be used for his revenge. He thinks Ana is a whore, and he thinks Christian is cheating in business to be where he is and think Ros knows more about running the company than him. He is intensely hating both of them even more now that they were able to marry without a hitch. So who is he that even had control on Elena. He must hate her too. He has to be someone with wealth and power to have been able to accomplish much and good in bribing people to use them to do his work and killing them when they don’t deliver as requires. Will Taylor be able to unravel the enemy before he strikes again?

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  20. Another thought as to why Mr. Conspiracy Head keep references Ana as a whore. The only conclusion that I can come up as ro why Lincoln would think of her as a whore. On their vacation in Aspen when Ana and Christian had the room next to the Lincoln. Christian and Ana went at it all night against the wall to ensure they was heard. The next morning if I’m not mistaken Linc walked pass Ana and Christian without acknowledge them. Just trying to think why Lincoln would hate Ana so much. Grey I get but not sure If I understand Ana as much. I understand the dislikes but not the hatred.

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  21. I hope everyone is kept safe as they try to bring out the Conspiracy Head. I hope Carter is truly helping to aid A & C because only they can try to keep him safe because Mr. Conspiracy Head will have no use for him after he gets what he wants. Loved the wedding lemon. 😍 Thank you for the bonus chapter!

    Like

  22. I agree with some others that I hope Carter is s good guy. My concerns even if he is, is that first, Carter is being used to create a false decoy, (which I think someone brought up) and as were already seeing leaves Christian more open and second, Carter gets seriously hurt. Though, if he’s not a good guy then that would be ok. It would seem that someone either Ana, Christian, Taylor or Luke would recognize the voice of Lincoln or Hyde so it’s either someone completely new like Stephen Morton or the voice has been distorted on the phone. The problem with Morton is I don’t see how he knows Christian and why he would have an issue with him. I wouldn’t be surprised if Hyde was involved though. At the business party where he drunkenly confronted Ana, he did tell her he thought Grey was a taker and she sold out to be a trophy wife, she was a liar and he regretted being nice to her but he did say she had potential and was smart which contradicts what mystery voice told Carter. I don’t see him having the means to influence and finance all these people but I think he’ll gladly lend a hand. Maybe, he’ll be the one sent to met Carter. I don’t think the professor is the mastermind because Lea mentioned he did not have the connections in Cambridge like he does in Seattle. Ugh! I wish Mia would come forward with what she knows. Ana’s first stop on her book tour is Alanta. Doesn’t her mother live just a few miles away in Savanna? I wonder if she’ll try to she Ana and if she does if she’ll complicate the security process (unknowingly, of course)! Thanks for the bonus chapter!!! Loved, Loved, Loved it! And despite everything they had an amazing first night!
    🍋🍋🍋🎉👍🏻

    Like

  23. I think we are going to get the unexpected. Christian wouldn’t leave Ann go back to Cambridge without him, when she only had weeks before graduation. I can’t see him allowing Ann and Calliope to go away without him. I think he will have it set up that it looks like he is in Seattle, but he is behind the scene. I really don’t think Christian would trust Carter. If Cater is the real deal, great, but, I think, Christian fed that information to Carter to see what would happen. Thank you for the bonus chapter. SOOO UNEXPECTED.

    Like

  24. I think that Christian and the security team are trusting Carter took much and wrong for discussing and setting out their plan in his presence. How do they know that he wasn’t wired. I just dont like how Christian is handling this whole mess. I wish he would let Taylor and Sawyer handle security matters. I feel a storm brewing and shit is about to hit the fan.

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