- Book I
- Chapter I
- Chapter II
- Chapter III
- Chapter IV
- Chapter V
- Chapter VI
- Chapter VII
- Chapter VIII
- Chapter IX
- Chapter X
- Chapter XI
- Chapter XII
- Chapter XIII
- Christian’s Redemption
- Chapter XIV
- Chapter XV
- Chapter XVI
- Chapter XVII
- Chapter XVIII
- Chapter XIX
- Chapter XX
- Chapter XXI
- Chapter XXII
- Chapter XXIII
- Chapter XXIV
- Chapter XXV
- Ex-Subs New Rivals
- Chapter XXVI
- Chapter XXVII
- Chapter XXVIII
- Chapter XXIX
- Chapter XXX
- Book II
- Chapter I
- Chapter II
- Chapter III
- Chapter IV
- Chapter V
- Chapter VI
- Chapter VII
- Chapter VIII Master is Dark
- Chapter IX
- Chapter X
- Chapter XI
- Chapter XII
- Chapter XIII
- Chapter XIV
- Chapter XV
- Chapter XVI
- Chapter XVII
- Chapter XVIII
- Chapter XIX
- Chapter XX
- Chapter XXI
- Chapter XXII
- Chapter XXIII
- Chapter XXIV
- Chapter XXV
- Book III
- Livre I-Chapitre I
- Livre I-Chapitre II
- Livre I-Chapitre III
- Livre I-Chapitre IV
- Livre I-Chapitre V
- Livre I-Chapitre VI
- Livre I-Chapitre VII
- Livre I-Chapitre VIII
- Livre I-Chapitre IX
- Livre I-Chapitre X
- Livre I-Chapitre XI
- Livre I-Chapitre XII
- Livre I-Chapitre XIII
- LA REDEMPTION DE CHRISTIAN
- Livre I-Chapitre XIV
- Livre I-Chapitre XV
- Livre I-Chapitre XVI
- Livre I-Chapitre XVII
- Livre I-Chapitre XVIII
- Livre I-Chapitre XIX
- Livre I-Chapitre XX
- Livre I-Chapitre XXI
- Livre I-Chapitre XXII
- Livre I-Chapitre XXIII
- Capítulo I
- Capítulo II
- Capítulo III
- Capítulo IV
- Capítulo V
- Capítulo VI
- Capítulo VII
- Capítulo VIII
- Capítulo IX
- Capítulo X
- Capítulo XI
- Capítulo XII
- Capítulo XIII
- A REDENÇÃO DE CHRISTIAN
- Capítulo XIV
- Capítulo XV
- Capítulo XVI
- Capítulo XVII
- Capítulo XVIII
- Capítulo XIX
- Capítulo XX
- Capítulo XXI
- Capítulo XXII
- Capítulo XXIII
- Capítulo XXIV
- Capítulo XXV
- Capítulo XXVI
- Capítulo XXVII
- Capítulo XXVIII
- Capítulo XXIX
- Capítulo XXX
- Ex-Subs e Novas Rivais
- The Pella Series
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Ana is restless in her sleep. She moans calling out to her daddy, telling him not to die. Then she calls my name along with Charlie Tango. I know she's under a lot of stress, and immensely worried.
"Shhh!" I soothe her and rub her hair. "I'll take care of you and everyone you love, baby," I whisper. She relaxes once again, and falls into deep sleep. But sleep evades me. It's my wife's birthday today, and she's worried about her father. This is hardly the birthday I wanted her to have as her first with me. I wanted to celebrate it in New York showing her the finer aspects of the city. Instead, we are here, and watching Ray cling to life by the skin of his teeth as it seems; all because of a fucking drunk driver.
Lullaby - Dixie Chix
There’s a text from Taylor. He’s confirming that he’s going to be here at 7 a.m. He’s already had the Seattle dealer ship Ana’s car to a dealer in Portland. He’ll be bringing it to the hotel. I send him further instructions, to have the spare key sent with the room-service. That way I can give the key to my wife. I e-mail Andrea to confirm the flight schedule for all the guests, their hotel reservations as well as Ana’s party at the Heathman. Mom stayed at the hotel yesterday, and dad is joining her today. Momentarily I wonder what Anastasia will think of the dress I picked out for her. It was to be worn in New York, but we'll improvise.
Being unable to resolve all of Ana’s problems stresses me. Not having control on Ray’s well-being as much as I want to, is a territory I’m not familiar with. It’s her first birthday with me. Another first… How can someone’s love grow leaps and bounds for another human being? How could this be possible…for me? For Christian Grey? A man who didn’t believe in love, didn’t do love. Now I can’t imagine a day without her, let alone a lifetime! My life’s mission has changed gears big time. Anastasia became the singular distinct center of my entire universe, and making her happy is my sole purpose in life.
I need to get ready before she wakes. I take a shower and get dressed in my jeans and black t-shirt. I would have loved to take a shower with Anastasia, but I could never get my hands off her, and we’d never leave the hotel room. Ray is in the hospital. Shit! Poor Ray! And poor Christian.
I take the jewelry box from my jacket’s pocket, and shake the wrapped box. I handpicked every piece dangling from the bracelet I had them create. Each small piece of charm reminds me a special memory with my wife. A woman I didn’t know few months ago, but took over my life like an F5 tornado, and altered my whole being irrevocably. I go to our bedroom, and sit on a chair watching my wife sleep. She’s exquisite. Her beauty and innocence is displayed in the dim light seeping through the window. I play with the box as I gaze at her. Didn’t Bayard Taylor write, “I love thee, I love thee with a love that shall not die. Till the sun grows cold and the stars grow old, and the leaves of the Judgment Book unfold!” That’s how I love Anastasia. I watch her sleep in this bed where it all started for us. I watched her for hours the first night she slept here in her drunken stupor, I remember fondly. She bewitched me since the first moment I laid eyes on her.
First Time Ever I Saw Your Face - Roberta Flack
I get up and slowly make my way into the living room to not to disturb Anastasia. Take my Blackberry out and dial the ICU.
“Good morning. OHSU ICU. This is Janice, how can I help you?” answers a slightly irritated nurse for having been called at an ungodly hour.
“This is Christian Grey. I’ve called to ask about Raymond Steele’s condition this morning,” I say in a clipped tone.
“Mr. Steele… I mean Mr. Grey,” she stutters. Though I’ve not met this nurse before, she flusters over the phone upon hearing my name. “Our patient had a good night. All his vital signs are good. I can get one of the attending physicians this morning to further inform you, sir,” she says being overly helpful.
“That would be nice, thank you,” I reply.
“I will put you on hold for a moment,” she says and music comes on in the background. About two minutes later, a doctor trying to catch her breath comes on the line. She clears her throat.
“This is Dr. Clark,” she greets.
“Good morning Dr. Clark. I’d like to ask about Ray Steele’s progress.”
“Are you the next of kin?” she asks knowing full well what the answer is.
“This is his son-in-law, Christian Grey. Yes, my wife and I are the next of kin.”
“I apologize, Mr. Grey. We have to confirm every time. Yes, Mr. Steele did well last night. All his vitals are normal. He’s improving at an expected pace.”
“That’s good to hear. Any changes at all?”
"We still have to conduct several tests on our patient today. But the pace which he's recovering is remarkable. We'll let you know if there's any change."
“My pleasure Mr. Grey. There’s nothing to worry about. Mr. Steele is doing well so far.”
I hang up, and walk back into the bedroom again. Anastasia is still sleeping. The sun starts rising in the east painting the sky in an orange-crimson color. The bewitching hour. A new day is dawning. I turn back and continue gazing at Anastasia as the morning lights fill the room. She stirs in bed. Momentarily confused, trying to decipher where she is. She hits her head, gasping, “Shit! Daddy!”
“Hey,” I soothe her as I lean forward towards her. I stroke her cheek with my knuckles, calming her. “I already called the ICU this morning. Ray had a good night. It’s all good,” I say reassuring my wife.
“Oh, good. Thank you,” she mutters as she sits up in bed. I smile, lean in and kiss her forehead.
“Good morning, Ana,” I whisper, placing another kiss.
“Hi,” she replies, eyes me, and notices I’m dressed up. She smiles tentatively.
“Hi baby,” I say warmly. “I want to wish you a happy birthday. Is that okay?” I ask, knowing how upset she has been since Ray had the accident.
“Yes, of course. Thank you. For everything.”
I furrow my brows. Why is she thanking me? “Everything?” I ask.
“Everything,” she replies. What does ‘everything’ entail? I am confused, but I don’t want to dwell on it. I want to give my gift to Anastasia. “Here,” I say nervously handing her my gift box with the tiny gift card on it.
She takes the card immediately and reads it. Her face softens as she reads my feelings for her:
For all our firsts on your first birthday as my beloved wife.
I love you.
She lifts her blue gaze up at me and smiles sweetly. “I love you, too,” she murmurs. She unwraps the box, and her eyes light up when she sees the red leather Cartier box. She carefully opens it, and finds the platinum charm bracelet. Her eyes are alight when she examines each charm: the Eiffel Tower, a London black cab, Charlie Tango, a glider, The Grace, a bed, a heart, the letter C, a key and vanilla ice cream. When she looks up at me finding the cone, she looks at me puzzled.
“Vanilla?” I say shrugging apologetically. Maybe it was silly, but those are our firsts. She laughs, delighted.
“Christian, this is beautiful. Thank you. It’s yar!” She remembered. I grin. She holds the small heart shaped locket charm.
“You can put a picture or whatever in that,” I say.
“A picture of you. Always in my heart,” she says looking up through her lashes.
She caresses the charm with the letter C, remembering she’s the first girl to call me by my first name. Then the key. She holds the tiny charm examining it.
“Key to my heart and soul,” I whisper. Her eyes brim with tears and she launches herself at me, wrapping her arms around my neck as she climbs on my lap. “It’s such a thoughtful present. I love it. Thank you,” she whispers against my ear. She inhales my scent, and starts crying. I groan softly in response and envelope her in my arms.
“I don’t know what I’d do without you,” she says in a cracking voice. I swallow hard, and tighten my embrace around her. I can’t live without her either. If she only knew what she meant to me.
“Please don’t cry,” I say softly.
She sniffles loudly. “I’m sorry. I’m just so happy and sad and anxious at the same time. It’s bittersweet.”
“Hey,” I say in a soft voice. I tip her head back and plant a soft kiss on her lips. “I understand,” I say. More than she knows.
“I know,” she whispers making me smile at her shyly.
“I wish we were in happier circumstances and at home. But we’re here,” I shrug apologetically for not being able to fix this. “Come, up you go. After breakfast, we’ll check on Ray.”
As Anastasia takes her shower, I call the room service and order breakfast for us: Egg white omelet for me with coffee, Greek yogurt and granola with Twinings English tea for Ana. By the time the breakfast is delivered along with the spare keys to her R8 and Ana showered and dressed, I read the Sunday paper. My Blackberry buzzes with an incoming text.
“Everything is a go, sir. I’ll be waiting outside. Just signal the concierge. He’ll call me.”
I smile, anxious to see what Anastasia is going to think about her next gift. She comes out dressed in blue jeans and t-shirt Taylor had purchased. She beams at me when she sees the breakfast I ordered.
“Thank you for ordering my favorite breakfast.”
“It’s your birthday,” I say softly. “And you have to stop thanking me,” I roll my eyes, exasperated. I am her husband. It’s my job to attend all her needs.
“I just want you to know that I appreciate it,” she replies gently.
“Anastasia, it’s what I do,” I say in a serious expression. I had promised to take care of her, watch over her, and protect her. I’m the man who is supposed to make everything right in her universe. She smiles.
“Yes, it is.”
I’d love to know what is going through her beautiful head. She’s a conundrum.
“Shall we go?”
“I’ll just brush my teeth.”
“Okay,” I smirk. Few more minutes. I’d never thought I’d be this happy or anxious at the same time for giving a birthday gift to anyone. But, Anastasia isn’t anyone. She’s the love of my life. I text Taylor.
“We’ll be down in a few minutes”
When Anastasia comes back out, she looks happier. I take her hand, and we leave our suite walking towards the elevators. She deliberately shakes the hand with her bracelet on. They give a satisfying rattle. I hold her hand up, and kiss her knuckles. My thumb brushes over Charlie Tango on her bracelet. “You like?” I ask.
“More than like. I love it. Very much so. Like you!” she gushes. Her declaration makes me smile. I hold her hand again up to my lips and kiss her knuckles once more. She’s cheerful today. Maybe it’s because of the positive outlook in Ray’s condition. Maybe it’s the hope a new day brings. Whatever the reason, I don’t dwell on it. I’m just happy that she’s happy. When the elevator door opens, another memory blooms in me. One of my fondest. It’s the first time I kissed my wife. We step into the elevator, my eyes gleam down at her, knowing, remembering. I smirk at her again. She bites her lower lip in response, making me gasp. This elevator, my wife, and the flood of memories clench my groin, and arouse me. She has that look on her face, the look that says ‘take me now!’ and it’s like a siren’s call; I’m helpless against it.
“Don’t,” I whisper huskily as the doors close.
“Look at me like that.”
“Fuck the paperwork,” she mutters grinning. I laugh at her reply, almost feeling without a care in the world. I tug her pulling her into my arms, and tilt her head up.
“Someday, I’ll rent this elevator for a whole afternoon,” I murmur.
“Just the afternoon?” she arches her eyebrows, surprising me. My wife’s sexual appetite is back with a vengeance.
“Mrs. Grey, you are a greedy girl.”
“When it comes to you, I am,” she replies.
“I’m very glad to hear it,” I say kissing her gently. I love the effect I have on her. I want to be the only man interesting her, raising her sexual desires, arousing her. Our touch is once again electric. Her fingers lace into my hair, and she deepens her kiss, sucking my lip, forcing her tongue into my mouth, demanding, wanting more. She is the one who pushes me to the elevator wall this time, bringing her soft curves flush against mine. My erection is growing and desire unfurls like the sails of the Grace. I groan in her mouth and cup her head, nestling her. Our kiss is a wild fire, unchecked, uncontrollable, all consuming, and fueling. Our tongues caress each other’s mouths in sensual licks, wanting more, sucking, pushing, and taking, demanding. She bites my lower lip sucking it deeply, licking to soothe the sting.
“Ana,” I breathe.
“I love you, Christian Grey. Don’t forget that,” she whispers as she gazes into my eyes darkening with desire and passion for her. I’m going to be hot and bothered all day and had Ray not been in the ICU, I’d have fucked her in this elevator. But I have plans.
“Let’s go and see your father before I decide to rent this today,” I say kissing her quickly and take her hand and lead her into the lobby.
The concierge desk is manned by a kindly middle aged gentleman. He eyes me expectantly, and I give him an imperceptible nod. He picks up the receiver, and dials the phone. Anastasia notices the exchange that passes between us. She looks up at me questioningly; but the only answer she will get from me is my ‘I-know-something-you-don’t’ smile. She frowns at me. Oh shit! She doesn’t like surprises. She hated it when I bought her the Audi, which she conveniently called the submissive-special. Even though it was a relatively inexpensive car. What will she think of a very expensive sports car? I feel nervous immediately. Shit! Shit! She might hate it!
“Where’s Taylor?” she asks distracting me momentarily.
“We’ll see him shortly,” I reply as my anxiety grows leaps and bounds.
“Sawyer?” she asks.
“Running errands.” She looks at me questioning what kind of errands Sawyer might be running. That would be chauffeuring the guests from Seattle, but I won’t be telling her that. I don’t go through the revolving door, because I don’t want to let go of my wife’s hand. The doorman holds the door for us, and we are greeted with the warm scent of late summer morning. Anastasia looks around for the SUV or a sign of Taylor. But, of course neither of them is here. I hold her hand even tighter. She’s puzzled and looks up at me, finding me anxious. This can go either way. I know she hates expensive presents. Giving her gifts can be a torturous experience at times.
“What is it?” she asks nervously but curious. I shrug as nonchalantly as I can. I can now hear the throaty engine of Ana’s R8. Anastasia turns in the direction of the noise, and Taylor stops the car right before us, and climbs out of the shiny white sports car. Anastasia’s head whips from the car back to me.
“Happy birthday,” I say, holding myself back, trying to assess her reaction. She gapes at me. That’s a first. It can still go both ways. I hold out the spare key.
“You are completely over the top,” she whispers. Then she beams with the biggest grin I have seen on her face. Holy fuck! She’s happy! She jumps up and down on the spot, completely overjoyed, excited, and she is cheering in utter delight. I am relieved and her ardent excitement is entirely contagious. Once she stops jumping like a bungee, she dances into my welcoming arms. I swing her around.
“You have more money than sense!” she shouts. “I love it! Thank you.” I am completely aroused, haven’t had sex with my wife more than 24 hours, and here she is graciously, enthusiastically, agreeable in accepting a gift I purchased for her. It’s heady, seductive...tantalizing even. I stop swinging her around, and in a startling move, I dip my wife low, making her cling to my upper arms, and kiss her in full view of all the patrons and Taylor alike. She’s my woman, I do whatever the hell I want, wherever I want with her.
“Anything for you, Mrs. Grey,” I grin down at her. I bend and kiss her again. “Come. Let’s go see your dad.” Otherwise we’re not going to go far without me fucking my wife until the edge of this desire subsides.
“Yes. And I get to drive?” she says breathless.
I grin down at her. “Of course. It’s yours.” I stand her up, and release her. She rushes to the driver’s door like a bat out of hell. She is excited! I’m ecstatic to see her joyful response. Taylor opens the door for Anastasia who gives my wife a broad smile. I think her happiness is quite contagious if she can make Taylor smile like that. “Happy birthday, Mrs. Grey,” he says.
“Thank you, Taylor,” she replies cheerfully and gives him a quick hug which is unexpected by Taylor, and he clumsily returns it. I look at him impassively, and he blushes, my rough on the edges, seen-everything black-ops soldier, head of my personal security blushes! That’s Anastasia Grey effect for you. After Anastasia climbs into the car, he closes it for her.
“Drive safe, Mrs. Grey,” he says in a gruff tone. She grins delightfully, completely elated.
“Will do!” she says putting the key in the ignition as I sit in the passenger seat. Seeing 'the-need-for-speed' in my wife's eyes, remembering how she put pedal to the metal when we were being chased, I feel I have to remind her to relax.
“Take it easy. Nobody is chasing us now,” I warn her. She turns the key on, and there’s the thunderous, reassuring, healthy, very familiar sound from the engine.
Audi R8 V10 Sypder
Anastasia checks the rear-view and side mirrors, and catching a spot in the flow of ever present traffic eases into it, but then performs a huge U turn completely disregarding my warning of being careful and roars in the direction of OSHU.
“Whoa!” I exclaim, completely alarmed. Of course momentarily I’m mad at myself for giving her a car built for speed with a top speed in excess of 223 mph (360 km/hr.)
“What?” she asks completely unfazed.
“I don’t want you in the ICU beside your father. Slow down,” I growl with finality. I will not make concession against her safety. I also make a mental not to never let her drive alone in the R8. She finally eases her foot off the accelerator, listening to me for a change.
“Better?” she asks feigning innocence.
“Much,” I mutter, trying to look forbidding, but I miserably fail, because I’m much too happy to I know that she’s overjoyed about her gift, and I’ll take her happiness over “why the hell would you buy me an expensive present?” anytime.
We make it to the hospital without accidents, or issues. When we get to the ICU, we find out that Ray’s outlook is the same. Seeing this man lie in the bed motionless again, reminds me the fragility of life, and I feel better for having warned Ana against speed. I could not have handled it, if it was Ana who was lying in the hospital bed like this because of a drunk driver. Ray looks a little healthier. There’s color in his cheeks, though he’s still in his induced coma.
“Baby, I’ll leave you alone to be with Ray. I need to make some phone calls in the waiting room.”
“Okay, Christian,” she says, and resumes talking to Nurse Kellie.
I dial Andrea on the way to the waiting room.
“Good morning Mr. Grey,” she answers.
“Andrea, what’s the status?”
“Yes, GEH jet left around 2:00 a.m. this morning to bring your guest Mr. and Mr. Adams from Georgia. I have confirmation that they have arrived in Georgia, already have collected the passengers, and are on their way to Portland. Your brother Mr. Grey, your sister Miss Grey, Mr. and Miss Kavanagh, and your father will leave Seattle this afternoon on Charlie Tango. I have all the accommodations allocated for all the guests at Heathman Hotel. The party is also set for the time you’ve indicated. Both Taylor and Sawyer are informed of all the details as you know, and they will help put things in motion once you are ready to take Mrs. Grey down to the mezzanine for the party.”
“Great. Thanks, Andrea.” I say surprising her.
“My… pleasure, sir,” she says and I hang up.
I dial my father next.
“Hello?” he replies.
“Oh, hello, son. I am just leaving the courthouse. I have obtained the police records regarding Ana’s father’s accident this morning. The other driver is a 29 year old Joe Williams from Southeast Portland; a habitual drunk, it seems,” he says, and I start pacing in the waiting room. “This is not his first DUI, clearly he has not learned his lesson. Unfortunately for Ray, this is the first DUI where he put someone in a hospital. As you have suspected, he was well over the limit.”
My blood boils in anger, and I feel the urge to hit something. Ana walks into the waiting room, and slowly closes door. Seeing my face angry, she looks concerned.
“How far above the limit?” I ask.
“His Blood Alcohol Content was .25%. More than three times the limit. State of Oregon takes Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants very seriously. The first time offense without any accidents automatically triggers a fine up to $10,000. He can be in jail 2 days up to a year… Driver’s license can be suspended 1-3 years, a probation period ensues, and an addiction evaluation is done. Among other things, he can lose his driver’s license. But this imbecile was over three times the limit! This being his third offence, it’s a Class C felony within 10 years of last conviction, and he can spend up to 5 years in prison, up to $10,000 fine, vehicle and license plates impounded, permanent driver’s license revocation, probation, drug and alcohol addiction evaluation and attendance at a Victims Impact Panel,” my father explains.
“Currently this low life is charged with DUII but there are companion charges. Violation of Speed Limit, Careless Driving, Violation of Open Container Law, Reckless Driving and Reckless Endangering because the case does involve an accident and of course Criminal Mischief in the second degree. He’s committed misdemeanors and number of felonies. I can pursue all charges.”
Fucking asshole! Keep him locked. He’s a danger to society!
“I want you to pursue all charges, everything. Ana’s father is in the ICU—I want you to throw the fucking book at him, Dad…”
“He’s caught with DUI and cited for it three times. It’s habitual. Last time he had a passenger in it. He won’t see the light of day for the next 10 years.”
“Good. Keep me informed.”
“I will son. See you tonight,” he says as I hang up.
Anastasia looks at me. “The other driver?” she asks.
I nod, still reeling. “Some drunken trailer trash from Southeast Portland,” I spurn with rage. I don’t want some fucking asshole tainting our day, my wife’s birthday. I walk over to her.
“Have you finished with Ray? Do you want to go?” I ask.
“Uhm…no, not finished yet,” she replies peering up at me. Surprised at my rage.
“What’s wrong?” I ask.
“Nothing. Ray’s being taken to radiology for a CT scan to check the swelling in his brain. I’d like to wait for the results.”
“Okay. We’ll wait,” I say. I sit down and open my arms up for Anastasia to crawl on my lap. That’s where she feels the safest, and where I feel complete. She curls up in my lap. If it wasn’t for that drunken fucker, we would have been in New York, and having fun. Instead, we’re at a hospital on Ana’s birthday, hoping her father stays alive and not a vegetable!
“This is not how I envisaged spending today,” I murmur into Ana’s hair.
“Me neither, but I’m feeling more positive now. Your mom was very reassuring. It was kind of her to come last night.” Yes, my mother loves Anastasia. I stroke her back absently. The motions relax us both. I rest my chin on her head. “My mom is an amazing woman.”
“Yes, she is. You’re very lucky to have her,” she says.
I know. I nod in agreement. My mother saved me in more than one way.
“I should call my mom. Tell her about Ray,” she murmurs, and I stiffen immediately. Shit! Carla is en route to Portland. I asked her to hold off calling. “I’m surprised she hasn’t called me,” Anastasia says, her tone hurt. My baby does want people to remember her birthday. My heart melts.
“Maybe she did,” I say. With a big hope she fishes for her Blackberry out of her pocket. She checks the missed calls, but of course there is none. She checks her texts hoping her mother might have sent her a text. She finds others’ messages from Kate, Jose, Mia and Ethan. Her face falls as she shakes her head in the negative. She won’t even voice her heartbreak over it.
“Call her now,” I coax her softly knowing full well that no one will answer. She dials, and the phone ominously rings, but only as a testament that no one is home. The answering machine comes on, and Ana hangs up disappointed.
“She’s not there. I’ll call her later when I know the results of the brain scan.”
I hold her in my tight embrace, nuzzling into her hair once more, hoping she forgets about her mother’s call. It’s not Carla's fault after all. As we’re sitting in the chair snuggled up, my Blackberry buzzes. I lift myself up the seat, twisting to fish my phone out without letting go of my wife.
“Andrea,” I snap with the residual irritation.
“Mr. Grey, I apologize for disturbing you,” she starts. Anastasia moves to get off my lap, but I stop her by holding her tightly around her waist. She curls back on my lap as I listen to Andrea.
“I’ve called to inform you that contracts have arrived from Taiwan as they are fifteen hours ahead of us, and waiting for your signature to be returned to our lawyers in the country. Ros would like me to tell you that everything is as scheduled.”
“Also, GEH jet with your guests form Georgia is currently in the Oregon skies.”
“ETA is what time?”
“It’s 2:30 p.m. local time, sir.”
“And the other, uhm… packages?” I ask cryptically. It’s hard to plan a surprise party when the object of the surprise is sitting in your lap.
“Charlie Tango left Seattle over an hour ago. They should be arriving within the next twenty minutes,” she says and I check my time. That’s good. Everything seems to be on schedule. “Sawyer is already at the airport waiting for their arrival, sir,” she adds.
“Does the Heathman have all the details?”
“Yes, sir. I reserved suites for all your guests as you requested.”
“Would you like me to send a receipt of the documents to Taiwan?”
“Yes. Go ahead.”
“Do you wish to send the contracts back right away? Shall I e-mailed to you, sir?”
“They don’t need to be sent back right away. It can hold until Monday morning, but e-mail it just in case—I’ll print, sign, and scan it back to you.”
“I was thinking of the time difference sir. They’re fifteen hours ahead of us. Considering the timed material…”
“They can wait. It’s still Saturday here. Go home, Andrea…”
“Is there anything else I can do for you sir?”
“No, we’re good, thank you.” I hang up.
“Is this your Taiwan thing?”
“Yes,” I say and shift to put the phone back in my pocket.
“Am I too heavy?” I snort. She’s too light.
“Are you worried about the Taiwan thing?”
“I thought it was important.”
“It is. The shipyard here depends on it. There are lots of jobs at stake.” But we’ve established a base of trust. Initial contracts have been signed. New agreements came back to register GEH’s ownership of the new shipyard in Taiwan.
“We just have to sell it to the unions. That’s Sam and Ros’s job. But the way the economy’s heading, none of us have a lot of choice,” I say and she yawns. I managed to bore my wife.
“Am I boring you, Mrs. Grey?” I ask nuzzling her hair again, completed amused.
“No! Never… I’m just very comfortable on your lap. I like hearing about your business,” she replies. That surprises me.
“You do?” This confirms it then: she can be great at owning SIP after all.
“Of course,” she says leaning back, gazing at me directly. “I like hearing any bit of information you deign to share with me.” She smirks, and I stare at her for a moment, utterly pleased. I shake my head.
“Always hungry for more information, Mrs. Grey.”
“Tell me,” she urges me as she snuggles up against my chest again.
“Tell you what?” I ask confused.
“Why you do it.”
“Work the way you do.”
“A guy’s got to earn a living,” I say amused. Everyone else works for a living.
“Christian, you earn more than a living,” she replies sardonically. I frown and think about it. How could I explain it to someone that I spent my early childhood never knowing when my next meal was coming, or whether it was coming? One of the first things I remember of my time with the crack whore is the feeling of extreme hunger and thirst… If one of the lowest forms of human race, her pimp thinks you are lower than he is and not worth feeding, you can’t get any poorer than that. Poverty is a harsh disciplinarian. This simple concept of being poor isn’t just being thirsty or hungry, or being in ragged clothing. It brings its other companions of being unwanted, unloved, and unimportant right along with it. Because it simply strips you off all spirit and virtue. This is a world where money buys the shield to cover you from the poverty and its miserable companions.
“I don’t want to be poor,” I explain simply, my voice low.
“I’ve done that. I’m not going back there again. Besides…it’s a game,” I murmur. “It’s about winning. A game I’ve always found very easy.”
“Unlike life,” she murmurs to no one in particular.
“Yes, I suppose,” I reply, frowning. “Though it’s easier with you.” Because I simply love her. What she brings into my life is acceptable.
She holds me tightly. “It can’t all be a game. You’re very philanthropic.”
I shrug. I don’t want to talk about things that resurface the memories of a time where I had no say or control over my life. “About some things, maybe,” I say softly. Providing a cure for hunger is one of them.
“I love philanthropic Christian,” she murmurs.
“Just him?” I ask raising my eyebrows. Her comment peaks my curiosity.
“Oh, I love megalomaniac Christian, too, and control-freak Christian, sexpertise Christian, kinky Christian, romantic Christian, shy Christian…the list is endless.”
“That’s a whole a lot of Christians.”
“I’d say at least fifty,” she replies making me laugh.
“Fifty Shades,” I murmur into her hair.
“My Fifty Shades,” she says taking ownership of me.
I shift in my seat, tip her head back and kiss her.
“Well, Mrs. Shades, let’s see how your dad is doing.”
*****❦ ♡ ❧*****
After discovering Ray’s brain back to normal from Doctor Crowe, and consulting with Doctor Sluder who informed us he will wake Ray up from his coma tomorrow, we leave the hospital to salvage her birthday.
“Can we go for a drive?” Anastasia asks in the R8, completely excited, and animated with the good news.
“Sure,” I reply grinning. Far be it from me to spoil her desire to have fun. “It’s your birthday – we can do anything you want.” That ‘anything’ entails a whole list of dirty things I like to do with her as well. The salacity in my tone makes her turn to gaze at me. Her reciprocity gets my desire a notch higher, making my eyes dark with hunger for her.
“Anything?” she asks.
“Anything,” I reply with a lot of promise.
“Well, I want to drive.”
“Then drive, baby,” I grin. She grins back.
We hit I-5. She’s not used to driving an R8; when she puts her foot down on the accelerator, the car responds immediately. This car can go from 0 to 60 in 3.8 seconds. We are immediately forced back into our seats.
“Steady, baby,” I warn her.
She eases off the accelerator and heads back into Portland.
“Have you planned lunch?” she asks tentatively.
“No. You’re hungry?” I ask hopefully. She hasn’t eaten nearly enough since we’ve been here.
“Where do you want to go? It’s your day, Ana.”
“I know just the place.”
She drives us to Le Picotin restaurant where I took her after she broke up with me. It’s also the place where I remember worked my ass off to get her back into my life. I grin.
“For one minute I thought you were going to take me to that dreadful bar you drunk dialed me from.”
“Why would I do that?” she replies chagrined.
“To check the azaleas are still alive.” I arch an eyebrow acerbically. She blushes crimson, of course. I love her blush.
“Don’t remind me! Besides… you still took me to your hotel room,” she smirks.
“Best decision I ever made,” I say, with nothing but love in my eyes.
“Yes. It was,” she says leaning over and kissing me.
“Do you think that supercilious fucker is still waiting tables?” I ask thinking of the waiter we had that day.
“Supercilious? I thought he was fine.”
“He was trying to impress you.”
“Well, he succeeded.” He did, did he? I shake my head in an amused disgust. I don’t want to be mad on her birthday.
“Shall we go see?” she asks, trying to taunt me.
“Lead on, Mrs. Grey.”
*****❦ ♡ ❧*****
The lunch is uneventful and quiet. We make a quick detour to the Heathman to pick up my laptop, and Anastasia’s manuscript she wants to read. While she’s reading to her father the manuscript, I set up a work environment in the waiting room. It’s uncomfortable. The chairs are enough to accommodate people for a short period of time, but not for work. I try to assume a comfortable position to keep my laptop on my lap, but it’s hard to achieve it. “This is for Ana,” I remind myself, and go over the documents Andrea had sent. I hate using the touchpad mouse, because it’s not very user friendly. I have a small mouse, but then there is no flat surface to utilize it properly. When I nearly finish each page of the very large document, Taylor calls.
“Mr. Grey, everyone is here, and they will be ready to assemble in about two hours, sir,” he reminds me.
“Thank you Taylor.”
“Do you need me to come and pick you up sir?”
“No. We’re good. Just make sure that everyone is there by the time we get to the dining room.”
“Will do sir.” I hang up and packing up my laptop, I make my way to the ICU. Nurse Kellie is also entering the ICU just as I reach the door. Anastasia turns around and sees me and the nurse standing at the end of Ray’s bed.
“It’s time to go, Ana,” I remind her. She holds her father’s hand tightly, unwilling to leave.
“I want to feed you. Come. It’s late,” I say insistently. There are a lot of people who came a long way to celebrate her birthday.
“I’m about to give Mr. Steele a sponge bath,” says the nurse coming to my aid.
“Oh, okay,” Ana concedes. “We’ll be back tomorrow morning.”
She kisses her father’s stubbly cheek.
*****❦ ♡ ❧*****
“I thought we’d dine downstairs. In a private room,” I say with a sparkle in my eyes as I open the door to our suite.
“Really? Finish what you started a few months ago?” she says teasing.
I smirk. “If you’re very lucky, Mrs. Grey.”
She laughs. “Christian, I don’t have anything dressy to wear.”
I smile as I hold my hand out to her and take her to our bedroom. Opening the wardrobe, I show her the large white dress bag hanging inside.
“Taylor?” she asks. Somehow her assumption makes me feel wounded.
“Christian,” I reply, my voice coming out both compelling and hurt. She laughs at my response. Taking the bag out, she unzips it to reveal a navy satin dress with thin straps.
“It’s lovely. Thank you. I hope it fits,” she says looking its small size. It will hug all her curves.
“It will,” I say with conviction. I know the size of every curve of my wife’s body. “And here,” I say picking up a shoebox with matching shoes inside it. “Shoes to match,” I say with a predatory smile.
“You think of everything. Thank you,” she says gratefully, and stretches up on her tiptoes to kiss me.
“I do,” I say with a wicked smile handing her another bag. She gazes at me quizzically. She opens the bag and takes out a black strapless bodysuit with a central panel of lace. I caress her face, tilt her chin up, and kiss her.
“I look forward to taking this off you later,” I say.
Anastasia takes her bath while I work. When I get back into the bedroom, she’s sitting on the edge of the bed, just starting up the hair dryer. I want to do that for her.
“Here, let me,” I say, and point to the chair in front of the dressing table.
“Dry my hair?” she asks.
I nod in response. She blink, confused.
“Come,” I say, regarding her steadily. I think combing my wife’s hair is very intimate, sensual, and endearing all at the same time. She knows not to disobey, and does as she’s told. I dry her hair one lock at a time, slowly, savoring, taking my time.
“You’re no stranger to this,” she murmurs. I smile at her, and she locks eyes with my reflection in the mirror. I don’t want to reply her fishing comment. She can guess. I have done it more times than I can count before, but I will only do it for Anastasia from now on.
When Anastasia is dressed in her satin dresses hugging her every curve, as if poured on her body making her look more beautiful, complimented by her shoes, light make up, and her gorgeous chestnut locks, she is mouthwatering. I put my white linen shirt, black jeans and jacket. As Anastasia is putting the finishing touches to her make up, I text Taylor.
“We’ll be downstairs in 5 minutes.”
We step into the elevator occupied by two women who shoot admiring gazes at me, and disobliging ones in Anastasia’s direction. She tries to hide her smile, but I can see the bright glint in her eyes. I take her hand, and pull her closer to me showing them we belong to each other. When the elevator reaches the mezzanine level, we exit.
It’s a busy evening with people enjoying their Saturday evening, sitting around talking, drinking and socializing on the first day of the weekend. Male eyes follow Anastasia, but I purposefully lead her to the private dining room I had reserved for the occasion. We pass the room I’ve had reserved to discuss the contract, and she briefly eyes the place but follows me silently. I open the wood paneled room’s door in the far end of the corridor.
A collective, “Surprise!” echoes in the room. Anastasia’s eyes widen when she sees her friends and family. Her mouth agape, her eyes unblinking she looks around the room and sees Kate and Elliot, Mia and Ethan, my mom and dad, Mr. Rodriguez and Junior, and finally she sees her mother and Bob all raising their glasses for the honor of her birthday. She whips her head back to me, and I squeeze her hand pleased with her shocked reaction. I have rendered my wife speechless. Her mother steps forward and holds her in a hug only a mother can.
“Darling, you look beautiful. Happy birthday!”
“Mom!” she utters with tearful joy, as she sobs in her mother’s neck. Everyone is pleased to see the emotional reunion.
“Honey, darling. Don’t cry. Ray will be okay. He’s such a strong man. Don’t cry. Not on your birthday,” she says, her voice cracking, but maintaining her dignified composure. Carla holds Ana’s face in her hand, and wipes away her tears with her thumbs.
“I thought you’d forgotten.”
“Oh, Ana!” her mom chides her sweetly. “How could I? Seventeen hours of labor is not something you easily forget.”
My baby giggles through her tears and her mother smiles to that sweet sound.
“Dry your eyes, honey. Lots of people are here to share your special day.”
Anastasia sniffles, looks around shyly.
“How did you get here? When did you arrive?”
“Your husband sent his plane, darling,” she says grinning. That impressed Mrs. Adams, I pleasantly note. Anastasia laughs. “Thank you for coming, Mom.” To my utter surprise, Carla takes out a tissue, and wipes Anastasia’s nose, like she would a toddler!
“Mom!” my girl scold, trying to compose herself like the woman she is.
“That’s better. Happy birthday, darling,” Carla says stepping away as a line forms to hug my wife and wish her happy birthday. My mother is next in line.
“He’s doing well, Ana. Dr. Sluder is one of the best in the country. Happy birthday, angel,” she says hugging Ana.
“You cry all you want to, Ana. It’s your party,” Rodriguez Junior says as he hugs her tightly.
“Happy birthday, darling girl,” my dad says smiling as he cups her face.
“S’up babe? Your old man will be fine. Happy Birthday!” Elliot says enveloping her into his arms. Too much fondling of my wife, and I’ve had all I can take thus far.
“Okay,” I say, taking her hand, and pulling Anastasia out of my brother’s more than brotherly hug. “Enough fondling my wife. Go fondle your fiancée.”
Of course my brother grins wickedly and winks at Katherine.
Before we take our seat, a waiter presents me and Anastasia with glasses of pink champagne. I clear my throat to get everyone’s attention.
“This would be a perfect day if Ray were here with us celebrating, but he’s not far away. He’s doing well, and I know he’d like you to enjoy yourself, Ana. To all of you, thank you for coming to share my beautiful wife’s birthday, the first of many to come. Happy birthday, my love,” I say my heart expanding with love for my woman. I raise my glass to her in the midst of a chorus of happy birthday wishes.
We take our seats, and somehow being among family and friends is immensely relaxing, heartwarming. My sister who studied cookery in Paris praises the food, and examine everything on the table with delightful enthusiasm. From what I observe, Kavanagh is slyly watching her. That means he’ll have less time to watch my wife. Mr. Rodriguez is just sitting back and enjoying the conversations about football, fishing, current events, and friendly family banter. Because it’s so normal. Seeing Jose attentive to his father, caring for him with food and drink raises him in my regard a little.
“So, you moved your operations to Portland little bro?” asks Elliot.
“For the time being. I go where my wife goes,” I say smiling.
“It’s a beautiful hotel, but I think you would miss your mega million Dollar view on top of your fortress Casa Escala,” he grins.
“No matter how much I miss home, it would never be as much as I would miss a warm bed with my wife in it. I belong with her. Then again bro, wouldn’t you do the same for your fiancée?” I ask raising my eyebrows.
“You got me there, little bro.”
“Ethan, did your classes start yet?” my dad asks, Kavanagh.
“Yes, Mr. Grey. The term began on August 28th.”
“It’s rather early. Is it not? I would have said it would start after Labor Day.”
“No dad,” my sister chimes in. “The fall classes at the university begin before Labor Day.”
When the conversation continues on the classes he’s taking, my sister takes over praising Kavanagh up and down. I turn my head towards Anastasia who is carrying on a conversation in whispers with Katherine. When the ball crusher is whispering in a hush hush tone, it’s worth to pay attention. I don’t want her stirring any pots, though I don’t think she will do it since we had our brush the night we announced our engagement.
“…yes, all of us! And to think Christian can fly it,” she says. She must be talking about Charlie Tango. Anastasia nods.
“That’s kinda hot.”
“Yeah, I think so,” replies Anastasia. My wife is impressed with my flying skills. They grin at each other.
“Are you staying here tonight?” Anastasia asks.
“Yes. We all are, I think. You knew nothing about this?”
Anastasia shakes her head.
“Smooth isn’t he?” Anastasia nods again enthusiastically.
“What did he get you for your birthday?”
“This,” she says holding up her charm bracelet.
“Yes.” Then they go on examining the contents of the charms. Of course she examines everything. The girls laugh out loud. And I can guess why my wife is blushing like the communist manifesto holding the ice-cream charm.
“Oh… and an R8,” Ana blurts out, and Katherine the ball crusher Kavanagh spits her wine like a drunken sailor in her shock.
“Over the top bastard, isn’t he?” she says, making both of them giggle. Glad I could get her approval.
For dessert, the waiter presents Anastasia with a sumptuous chocolate cake with twenty-two silver candles, and all our family and friends sing her a chorus of “Happy Birthday.”
I see my mother from my peripheral vision; she’s practically glowing in joy and awe to see me sing for my wife. She blows my wife a kiss.
“Make a wish,” I whisper to Anastasia. She takes a deep breath, and blows out all the candles.
At around midnight, Mr. Rodriguez and Jose excuse themselves to leave.
“Thank you so much for coming,” Anastasia hugs Jose tightly. Too tight for my comfort, but it’s her birthday.
“Wouldn’t miss it for the world. Glad Ray’s heading in the right direction.”
“Yes. You, Mr. Rodriguez, and Ray have to come fishing with Christian in Aspen,” she says informally inviting them.
“Yeah? Sounds cool,” he says grinning. Then he makes his way to get his dad’s coat. Ana crouches down to the level of Mr. Rodriguez’s wheel chair to say her goodbye.
“You know Ana, there was a time…well, I thought you and Jose…” he voices wistful desire for my wife to have a relationship with his son. Though I wouldn’t blame him. My wife has no equal. Poor man must have known how much his son loves Anastasia.
“I’m very fond of your son, Mr. Rodriguez, but he’s like a brother to me.”
“You would have made one fine daughter-in-law. And you do. To the Greys,” he says smiling morosely, making my wife blush.
“I hope you’ll settle for a friend.”
“Of course. Your husband is a fine man. You chose well, Ana.”
“I think so. I love him so much,” Anastasia whispers making my heart melt. She hugs Mr. Rodriguez.
“Treat him good, Ana.”
“I will,” my wife promises.
*****❦ ♡ ❧*****
After sending off our family and friends to their rooms, we make our way up to our suite. I close the door finally to a successful surprise birthday party, but hopefully open it to another party of my kind. I lean back against the door and watch Anastasia.
She steps towards me and runs her finger over the lapels of my jacket. “Thank you for a wonderful birthday. You really are the most thoughtful, considerate, generous husband.”
“My pleasure,” I respond shyly.
“Yes… your pleasure. Let’s do something about that,” she whispers, and tightening her hands around my lapels, she pulls my lips to cover hers.
“Ana,” hiss breathless, my hand clutching her hair at the nape of her head, tilting her mouth up, keeping it in place. Nearly forty-eight hours without fucking Anastasia is too long. I need to fuck her good and long tonight. Her hands are on my chest, an act I used to find unbearable is now immensely arousing.
“Arms, up,” I command. She obeys immediately. I peel the navy satin dress off her. She’s left with her bodysuit and her high heels I’d like to fuck her in.
“Why are you still dressed?” she asks attacking my jacket yanking it off my arms. Her fingers reach up to my shirt’s buttons, but she’s too impatient to unbutton them. I capture her hands.
“Christian! It’s been nearly two days. I’m starved for you!” she says. I give her a lascivious grin, guide her hands to hold right below the lapels of my shirt and let her rip the buttons off. Her hands dive under my shirt, pushing it off my shoulder, letting it pile on the floor. My eyes are dark and dilated. I’m a man greedy to have my wife, beyond the limits of my control. Every muscle in my body is harsh with lust and desire. I want to nail her hips to the first surface I can find. When her hands reach my belt, I capture her hands and hold them behind her back with one of mine. I walk her backward, my body flush with hers until we reach the wall.
“First surface,” I murmur. I hold her hands in one of mine again and pin them on top of her head against the wall.
“Yes,” she gasps. I slowly descend my head over her lips, and start kissing, and sucking. I suck her bottom lip, making her moan with desire, and push her hips into me. My mouth travels over to her jaw line slowly placing kisses, and moving across her throat. My right hand caresses her sides, traveling my way up. I pull the cup of the body suit down and it pushes her breast upward into my welcoming hand. My mouth travels to her shoulders, slowly down her body and finally reaching down to her nipple. I lick, and twirl my tongue around her nipple, and then gently blow on it, making Anastasia groan.
“Oh, please, Christian! I need to be fucked!”
“I know baby,” I whisper, “and I need to fuck you desperately, but…” I say, covering her nipple with my mouth sucking it deep and hard. I slightly bite it, and then lick around it to take the sting off and give her a maddening pleasure. My hand slowly peels her body suit down, while my mouth assaults her nipples relentlessly. I have a feral need for her. As I peel her body suit down, my lips travel along with it. Once it pools down below her high heels, I walk her out of it.
Sex on Fire - Kings of Leon
“Ana, put one knee down on the floor to support yourself,” I say and help her put her knee down. “Your back on the wall, baby,” I order, helping her align her back. “Now, lift the other knee up, and plant your foot down, like you are on your haunches.” She obeys. I push her haunched leg further open. I lay down on the floor, and slide right under her sex. My tongue dives for her wet flesh, pushing into her. I lick with my tongue and part her sex with my index and middle finger. My tongue flickers across her pulsating clitoris. I feel her push her head back to the wall as she arches her back.
“Oh, Christian!” she shouts.
I cover the opening of her sex with my lips and suction it, and lick, and thrust my tongue into the depths of her sex harder, circling my tone. I hear her hands slamming to the wall to accommodate the vibrating and pulsating orgasm. I don’t stop licking until every ounce of pleasure is drawn out of her. I pull out under Anastasia, and pull my wife up to her shaky feet. Getting my wife in the throes of pleasure is a fucking turn on. I lift her up further, and push her against the wall pinning her. I unzip my pants, and quickly divest them off along with my boxers.
“I want you to first wrap your arms around my neck then wrap one leg around my torso, baby.” She obeys immediately.
“This is going to be fast. I want to fuck you very hard. You’re not the only one starved for sex,” I say. I dip my fingers into her sex, and she is drenched. I rub my pulsing cock over her sex, and slowly inch by inch I enter, and finally slam balls deep, and savor the feeling for a moment. With one hand I hold her leg up supporting her, with the other hand, I push her ass into me. I pull out my cock to the tip, then without warning slam forward hard, pushing her upward. A primitive, animalistic sound escapes my throat, mixing with her moans. I drive into her over and over again fiercely like the man who lost control.
“You are my woman!”
“Your sex is so wet, so tight… Agh. Ana! I want to pound my cock into you so deep. I want you to feel me inside you, baby,” I groan.
I hold her buttocks and swivel my hips, stroking the sweet spot located in the front wall of her vagina, pleasuring her, rubbing, over and over again. When her muscles start tightening again and her nails start digging into my ass, urging me to pump into her ferociously, I thrust harder. Capturing her lip, I kiss her with all I’ve got, and suck her invading tongue, while my cock grinds her inside.
“Come for me baby!” I order into her lips, and she comes apart with pleasure as I spurt thickly into her while we swallow each other’s moans. Once the orgasmic ripples stop, I lift my wife in my arms, and carry her to our bed.
“One more time…” I murmur. “I need to fuck you one more time.”
*****❦ ♡ ❧*****
After having a communal breakfast with the family and friends, Anastasia opens all her presents. We send my family and Kavanagh with cheery goodbyes to return to Seattle via Charlie Tango. Sawyer drives them to the airport while Taylor drives me, Anastasia and Carla to the hospital. Her stepfather Bob graciously declines visiting Ray. No current husband would want to visit his wife’s ex in a hospital or another place willingly.
I go to the ICU with Anastasia and Carla, but leave them by themselves to give them some privacy. I go back to the waiting room to my uncomfortable usual spot to work. Taylor occupies another chair silently. But it’s near impossible to make this work without a proper table. I opt going over the contracts instead.
“Mr. Grey, are we intending to stay in Portland for an extended period of time? If we are, I can try to help you set up a better work environment even if it is in the waiting room.”
“I don’t think we’ll be here for more than a couple more days. Ray is coming out of coma tomorrow. As soon as the doctor gives her okay, I will have him transferred to Seattle. I can endure a couple more days like this,” I say.
I can do some of my business remotely, but I have to be at work to run my company. Although we’ve made some very expensive business decisions, I know that nothing is as important as supporting my wife right now, because she needs me. Then again, I want her to need me. I crave to take care of her needs, and fulfill her desires. I need to be where she is even if it is uncomfortable and a little hard to run my company. I can still instruct people with talent and tenacity. Money is not the most important thing for a man like me; time is - my time cost a lot more than the majority of the people in the world. It is true that everyone is given 24 hours each day. But to run a company worth billions of Dollars, it is an absolute essential to dedicate a lot of time to run that business and to be the decision maker. Though I employ a lot of expensive help, it is imperative that I oversee what they do, and keep them on their toes. Thousands of jobs count on me doing my job well.
I also miss home. We can have the same care provided for Ray in Seattle, and both Ana and I can spend the night in the comfort of our home while I can be in my home turf running my business.
When Anastasia and her mother leave Ray’s side, they come and find us in the waiting room. We go back to the hotel to pick Bob and their luggage up. I drive the SUV with Ana’s family, and Taylor follows us with the R8 to send them back to Savannah.
“Take good care of her, Bob,” Anastasia whispers as he gives her a hug.
“Sure will, Ana. And you look after yourself.”
“Will do.” She turns to Carla. “Goodbye Mom. Thank you for coming,” she whispers, her voice cracking. “I love you so much.”
“Oh my darling girl, I love you, too. And Ray will be fine. He’s not ready to shuffle of his mortal coil just yet. There’s probably a Mariners game he can’t miss,” she jokes, making Ana giggle. We both watch them climb into my company yet. Carla waves us tearfully, and my wife’s eyes brim with tears. I wrap my arms around her shoulder to give her support.
“Let’s head back, baby,” I murmur.
“Will you drive?” she asks.
*****❦ ♡ ❧*****
After resting a few hours, and having dinner, we return back to the hospital to visit. The ventilator is gone, and since Ray’s been being brought out of coma, he’s able to breathe on his own. Relief floods us both. Anastasia strokes her dad’s stubbly face, and takes a tissue and wipes the spit from his mouth in a very loving gesture. I purposefully march out of the ICU to find Doctor Sluder and Doctor Crowe. I tell the nurse in the Nurse’s station that I wish to speak with the good doctors. Not four minutes after I’m waiting for the doctors to come out to find me in the waiting room, one of the nurses rushes back.
“Good news Mr. Grey! Mr. Steele is awake!”