Chapter 42


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.


“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.”


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.”

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