From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Soft Limits Date: May 26 2011 19:23
To: Christian Grey
I can come over this evening to discuss if you’d like. Ana
From: Christian Grey Subject: Soft Limits Date: May 26 2011 19:27
To: Anastasia Steele
I’ll come to you. I meant it when I said I wasn’t happy about you driving that car. I’ll be with you shortly.
CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.
Holy crap… he’s coming over now. I have to get one thing ready for him – the first edition Thomas Hardy books are still on the shelves in the living room. I cannot keep them. I wrap them in brown paper, and I scrawl on the wrapping a direct quote from Tess from the book:
“Hi.” I feel unbearably shy when I open the door. Christian is standing on the porch in his jeans and leather jacket.
“Hi,” he says, and his face lights up with his radiant smile. I take a moment to admire the pretty. Oh my, he’s hot in leather.
“If I may,” he says amused. He holds up a bottle of champagne as he walks in. “I thought we’d celebrate your graduation. Nothing beats a good Bollinger.”
“Interesting choice of words,” I comment dryly. He grins.
“Oh, I like your ready wit, Anastasia.”
“We only have teacups. We’ve packed all the glasses.” “Teacups? Sounds good to me.”
I head into the kitchen. Nervous, butterflies flooding my stomach, it’s like having a panther or mountain lion all unpredictable and predatory in my living room.
“Do you want saucers as well?”
“Teacups will be fine, Anastasia,” Christian calls distractedly from the living room. When I return, he’s staring at the brown parcel of books. I place the cups on the table. “That’s for you,” I murmur anxiously.
Crap… this is probably going to be a fight.
“Hmm, I figured as much. Very apt quote.” His long index finger absently traces the writing. “I thought I was D’Urberville, not Angel. You decided on the debasement.” He gives me a brief wolfish smile. “Trust you to find something that resonates so appropri- ately.”
“It’s also a plea,” I whisper. Why am I so nervous? My mouth is dry. “A plea? For me to go easy on you?”
“I bought these for you,” he says quietly his gaze impassive. “I’ll go easier on you if you accept them.”
I swallow convulsively.
“Christian, I can’t accept them, they’re just too much.”
“You see, this is what I was talking about, you defying me. I want you to have them, and that’s the end of the discussion. It’s very simple. You don’t have to think about this. As a submissive you would just be grateful for them. You just accept what I buy you be- cause it pleases me for you to do so.”
“I wasn’t a submissive when you bought them for me,” I whisper. “No… but you’ve agreed, Anastasia.” His eyes turn wary.
I sigh. I am not going to win this, so over to plan B. “So they are mine to do with as I wish?”
He eyes me suspiciously, but concedes. “Yes.”
“In that case, I’d like to give them to a charity, one working in Darfur since that seems to be close to your heart. They can auction them.”
“If that’s what you want to do.” His mouth sets into a hard line. He’s disappointed. I flush.
“I’ll think about it,” I murmur, I don’t want to disappoint him, and his words come back to me. I want you to want to please me.
“Don’t think, Anastasia. Not about this.” His tone is quiet and serious.
How can I not think? You can pretend to be a car, like his other possessions, my sub- conscious makes an unwelcome vitriolic return. I ignore her. Oh, can’t we rewind? The atmosphere between us is now tense. I don’t know what to do. I stare down at my fingers. How do I retrieve this situation?
He puts the champagne bottle on the table and stands in front of me. Putting his hand under my chin, he tilts my head up. He gazes down at me, his expression grave.
“I will buy you lots of things, Anastasia. Get used to it. I can afford it. I’m a very wealthy man.” He leans down and plants a swift, chaste kiss on my lips. “Please.” He releases me.
‘Ho’ my subconscious mouths at me. “It makes me feel cheap,” I murmur.
Christian runs his hand through his hair, exasperated.
“It shouldn’t. You’re over-thinking it, Anastasia. Don’t place some vague moral judg- ment on yourself based on what others might think. Don’t waste your energy. It’s only because you have reservations about our arrangement, that’s perfectly natural. You don’t know what you’re getting yourself into.”
I frown, trying to process his words.
“Hey, stop this,” he commands softly, cupping my chin again and pulling at it gently so I release my lower lip from my teeth. “There is nothing about you that is cheap, Anastasia. I won’t have you thinking that. I just bought you some old books that I thought might mean something to you, that’s all. Have some champagne.” His eyes warm and soften, and I smile tentatively back up at him. “That’s better,” he murmurs. He picks up the champagne, takes off the foil top and cage, twists the bottle rather than the cork, and opens it with a small pop and a practiced flourish that doesn’t spill a drop. He half fills the cups.
“It’s pink,” I murmur, surprised.
“Bollinger Grande Année Rosé 1999, an excellent vintage,” he says with relish. “In teacups.”
“In teacups. Congratulations on your degree, Anastasia.” We clink cups, and he takes a drink, but I can’t help thinking this is really about my capitulation.
“Thank you,” I murmur and take a sip. Of course it’s delicious. “Shall we go through the soft limits?”
He smiles, and I blush.
“Always so eager.” Christian takes my hand and leads me to the couch where he sits and tugs me down beside him.
“You’re stepfather’s a very taciturn man.”
Oh… not soft limits then. I just want to get this out of the way; the anxiety is gnawing at me.
“You managed to have him eating out of your hand.” I pout. Christian laughs softly.
“Only because I know how to fish.” “How do you know he liked fishing?” “You told me. When we went for coffee.”
“Oh… did I?” I take another sip. Wow he has a memory for detail. Hmm… this cham- pagne really is very good. “Did you try the wine at the reception?”
Christian makes a face. “Yes. It was foul.”
“I thought of you when I tasted it. How did you get to be so knowledgeable about wine?”
“I’m not knowledgeable, Anastasia, I just know what I like.” His gray eyes shine, almost silver, and it makes me flush. “Some more?” he asks, referring to the champagne.
Christian rises gracefully and collects the bottle. He fills my cup. Is he getting me tipsy? I eye him suspiciously.
“This place looks pretty bare, are you ready for the move?” “More or less.”
“Are you working tomorrow?” “Yes, my last day at Clayton’s”
“I’d help you move, but I promised to meet my sister at the airport.” Oh… this is news.
“Mia arrives from Paris very early Saturday morning. I’m heading back to Seattle tomorrow, but I hear Elliot is giving you two a hand.”
“Yes, Kate is very excited about that.” Christian frowns.
“Yes, Kate and Elliot, who would have thought?” he murmurs, and for some reason, he doesn’t look pleased.
“So what are you doing about work in Seattle?”
When are we going to talk about the limits? What’s his game?
“I have a couple of interviews for intern places.”
“You were going tell me this when?” He arches a brow. “Err… I’m telling you now.”
He narrows his eyes. “Where?”
For some reason, possibly because he might use his influence, I don’t want to tell him. “A couple of publishing houses.”
“Is that what you want to do, something in publishing?” I nod warily.
“Well?” He looks at me patiently wanting more information. “Well what?”
“Don’t be obtuse, Anastasia, which publishing houses?” he scolds. “Just small ones,” I murmur.
“Why don’t you want me to know?” “Undue influence.”
“Oh, now you’re being obtuse.” He laughs.
“Obtuse? Me? God, you’re challenging. Drink up, let’s talk about these limits.” He fishes out another copy of my email and the list. Does he wander about with these lists in his pockets? I think there’s one in his jacket that I have. Shit, I’d better not forget that. I drain my cup.
He glances quickly at me. “More?”
He smiles that oh-so-smug-private smile of his, holds the champagne bottle up, and pauses.
“Have you eaten anything?” Oh no… not this old chestnut.
“Yes. I had a three course meal with Ray.” I roll my eyes at him. The champagne is making me bold.
He leans forward and holds my chin, staring intently into my eyes. “Next time you roll your eyes at me, I will take you across my knee.” What?!
“Oh,” I breathe, and I can see the excitement in his eyes.
“Oh,” he responds, mirroring my tone. “So it begins, Anastasia.”
My heart slams against my chest, and the butterflies escape from my stomach into my constricting throat. Why is that hot?
He fills my cup, and I drink practically all of it. Chastened, I stare up at him. “Got your attention now, haven’t I?”
I nod. “Answer me.”
“Yes… you’ve got my attention.”
“Good,” he smiles a knowing smile. “So sexual acts. We’ve done most of this.” I move closer to him on the couch and glance down at the list.
To be discussed and agreed between both parties:
Which of the following sexual acts are acceptable to the Submissive?
“No fisting, you say. Anything else you object to?” he asks softly. I swallow.
“Anal intercourse doesn’t exactly float my boat.”
“I’ll agree to the fisting, but I’d really like to claim your ass, Anastasia. But we’ll wait for that. Besides, it’s not something we can dive into,” he smirks at me. “Your ass will need training.”
“Training?” I whisper.
“Oh yes. It’ll need careful preparation. Anal intercourse can be very pleasurable, trust me. But if we try it and you don’t like it, we don’t have to do it again.” He grins down at me.
I blink up at him. He thinks I’ll enjoy it? How does he know it’s pleasurable? “Have you done that?” I whisper.
Holy crap. I gasp. “With a man?”
“No. I’ve never had sex with a man. Not my scene.” “Mrs. Robinson?”
Holy shit… how? I frown. He moves on down the list.
“Okay… swallowing semen. Well, you get an A in that.”
I flush, and my inner goddess smacks her lips together glowing with pride. “So.” He looks down at me grinning. “Swallowing semen okay?”
I nod, not able to look him in the eye, and drain my cup again. “More?” he asks.
“More.” And I’m suddenly reminded of our conversation earlier today as he refills my cup. Is he referring to that or just the champagne? Is this whole champagne thing more?
“Sex toys?” he asks.
I shrug, glancing down the list.
Is the use of sex toys acceptable to the Submissive?
“Butt plug? Does it do what it says on the tin?” I scrunch my nose up in distaste. “Yes,” he smiles. “And I refer to anal intercourse above. Training.”
“Oh… what’s in other?”
“Beads, eggs… that sort of stuff.” “Eggs?” I’m alarmed.
“Not real eggs,” he laughs loudly, shaking his head. I purse my lips at him.
“I’m glad you find me funny.” I can’t keep my injured feelings out of my voice. He stops laughing.
“I apologize. Miss Steele, I’m sorry,” he says, trying to look contrite, but his eyes are still dancing with humor. “Any problem with toys?”
“No,” I snap.
“Anastasia,” he cajoles. “I am sorry. Believe me. I don’t mean to laugh. I’ve never had this conversation in so much detail. You’re just so inexperienced. I’m sorry.” His eyes are big and gray and sincere.
I thaw a little and take another sip of champagne.
“Right – bondage,” he says, returning to the list. I examine the list, and my inner god- dess bounces up and down like a small child waiting for ice cream.
Is Bondage acceptable to the Submissive?
Hands in front • Hands behind back
Ankles • Knees
Wrists to ankles
Tied to furniture
Bondage with Rope
Bondage with Tape
Bondage with leather cuffs
Bondage with handcuffs/metal restraints
“We’ve talked about suspension. And it’s fine if you want to set that up as a hard limit. It takes a great deal of time, and I only have you for short periods of time anyway. Anything else?”
“Don’t laugh at me, but what’s a spreader bar?”
“I promise not to laugh. I’ve apologized twice.” He glares at me. “Don’t make me do it again,” he warns. And I think I visibly shrink… oh, he’s so bossy. “A spreader is a bar with cuffs for ankles and/or wrists. They’re fun.”
“Okay… Well gagging me. I’d be worried I wouldn’t be able to breathe” “I’d be worried if you couldn’t breathe. I don’t want to suffocate you.” “And how will I use safe words if I’m gagged?”
“First of all, I hope you never have to use them. But if you’re gagged, we’ll use hand signals,” he says simply.
I blink up at him. But if I’m trussed up, how’s that going to work? My brain is begin- ning to fog… hmm alcohol.
“I’m nervous about the gagging.” “Okay. I’ll take note.”
I stare up at him, realization dawning.
“Do you like tying your submissives up so they can’t touch you?” He gazes at me, his eyes widening.
“That’s one of the reasons,” he says quietly. “Is that why you’ve tied my hands?”
“You don’t like talking about that,” I murmur.
“No, I don’t. Would you like another drink? It’s making you brave, and I need to know how you feel about pain.”
Holy crap… this is the tricky part. He refills my teacup, and I sip.
“So, what’s your general attitude to receiving pain?” Christian looks expectantly at me. “You’re biting your lip,” he says darkly.
I stop immediately, but I don’t know what to say. I flush and stare down at my hands. “Were you physically punished as a child?”
“So you have no sphere of reference at all?” “No.”
“It’s not as bad as you think. Your imagination is your worst enemy in this,” he whis- pers.
“Do you have to do it?” “Yes.”
“Goes with the territory, Anastasia. It’s what I do. I can see you’re nervous. Let’s go through methods.”
He shows me the list. My subconscious runs, screaming, and hides behind the couch.
Other types/methods of pain
“Well, you said no to genital clamps. That’s fine. It’s caning that hurts the most.” I blanch.
“We can work up to that.”
“Or not do it at all,” I whisper.
“This is part of the deal, baby, but we’ll work up to all of this. Anastasia, I won’t push you too far.”
“This punishment thing, it worries me the most.” My voice is very small.
“Well, I’m glad you’ve told me. We’ll keep caning off the list for now. And as you get more comfortable with this stuff, we’ll increase intensity. We’ll take it slow.”
I swallow, and he leans forward and kisses me on my lips. “There, that wasn’t so bad was it?”
I shrug, my heart in mouth again.
“Look, I want to talk about one more thing, then I’m taking you to bed.”
“Bed?” I blink rapidly, and my blood pounds round my body, warming places I didn’t know existed until very recently.
“Come on, Anastasia, talking through all this, I want to fuck you into next week, right now. It must be having some effect on you too.”
I squirm. My inner goddess is panting.
“See? Beside, there’s something I want to try.” “Something painful?”
“No – stop seeing pain everywhere. It’s mainly pleasure. Have I hurt you yet?” I flush.
“Well then. Look, earlier today you were talking about wanting more,” he halts, un- certain all of a sudden.
Oh my… where’s this going?
He clasps my hand.
“Outside of the time you’re my sub, perhaps we could try. I don’t know if it will work. I don’t know about separating everything. It may not work. But I’m willing to try. Maybe one night a week. I don’t know.”
Holy cow… my mouth drops open, my subconscious is in shock, Christian Grey is up for more! He’s willing to try! My subconscious peeks out from behind the couch, still registering shock on her harpy face.
“I have one condition.” He looks warily at my stunned expression. “What?” I breathe. Anything. I’ll give you anything.
“You graciously accept my graduation present to you.”
“Oh.” And deep down I know what it is. Dread spawns in my belly. He’s staring down at me, gauging my reaction.
“Come,” he murmurs and rises, dragging me up. Taking his jacket off, he drapes it over my shoulders and heads for the door.
Parked outside is a red hatchback car, a two-door compact Audi.
“It’s for you. Happy graduation,” he murmurs, pulling me into his arms and kissing my hair.
He’s bought me a damned car, brand new by the looks of it. Jeez… I’ve had enough trouble with the books. I stare at it blankly, trying desperately to determine how I feel about this. I am appalled on one level, grateful on another, shocked that he’s actually done it, but the overriding emotion is anger. Yes, I’m angry, especially after everything I told him about the books… but then he’d already bought this. Taking my hand, he leads me down the path toward this new acquisition.
“Anastasia, that Beetle of yours is old and frankly dangerous. I would never forgive myself if something happened to you when it’s so easy for me to make it right,” he trails off.
His eyes are on me, but at the moment I cannot bring myself to look at him. I stand silently staring at its awesome bright red newness.
“I mentioned it to your stepfather. He was all for it,” he murmurs. Turning, I glare at him, my mouth open in horror.
“You mentioned this to Ray. How could you?” I can barely spit the words out. How dare he? Poor Ray. I feel sick, mortified for my dad.
“It’s a gift, Anastasia. Can’t you just say thank you?” “But you know it’s too much.”
“Not to me it isn’t, not for my peace of mind.”
I frown at him, at a loss what to say. He just doesn’t get it! He’s had money all his life. Okay, not all his life – not as a small child – and my world-view shifts. The thought is very sobering, and I soften towards the car, feeling guilty about my fit of pique. His intentions are good, misguided, but not from a bad place.
“I’m happy for you to loan this to me, like the laptop.” He sighs heavily.
“Okay. On loan. Indefinitely.” He looks warily at me. “No, not indefinitely, but for now. Thank you.”
He frowns. I reach up and kiss him briefly on his cheek. “Thank you for the car, sir.” I say as sweetly as I can manage.
He grabs me suddenly and yanks me up against him, one hand at my back holding me to him and the other fisting in my hair.
“You are one challenging woman, Ana Steele.” He kisses me passionately, forcing my lips apart with his tongue, taking no prisoners.
My blood heats immediately, and I’m returning his kiss with my own passion. I want him badly – in spite of the car, the books, the soft limits… the caning… I want him.
“It’s taking all my self-control not to fuck you on the hood of this car right now, just to show you that you are mine, and if I want to buy you a fucking car, I’ll buy you a fucking car,” he growls. “Now let’s get you inside and naked.” He plants a swift rough kiss on me. Boy, he’s angry. He grabs my hand and leads me back into the apartment and straight into my bedroom… no passing go. My subconscious is behind the sofa again, head hidden
under her hands. He switches on the sidelight and halts, staring at me. “Please don’t be angry with me,” I whisper.
His gaze is impassive; his gray eyes cold shards of smoky glass.
“I’m sorry about the car and the books,” I trail off. He remains silent and brooding. “You scare me when you’re angry,” I breathe, staring at him.
He closes his eyes and shakes his head. When he opens them, his expression has soft- ened fractionally. He takes a deep breath and swallows.
“Turn round,” he whispers. “I want to get you out of that dress.”
Another mercurial mood swing, it’s so hard to keep up. Obediently, I turn and my heart is thumping, desire instantly replacing unease, coursing through my blood and settling dark and yearning low, low in my belly. He scoops my hair off my back so it hangs down my right side, curling at my breast. He places his index finger at the nape of my neck and ach- ingly slowly drags it down my spine. His well-manicured fingernail gently grazes down my back.
“I like this dress,” he murmurs. “I like to see your flawless skin.”
His finger reaches the back of my halter dress midway down my spine, and hooking his finger beneath the top, he pulls me closer so that I step back against him. I feel him flush against my body. Leaning down, he inhales my hair.
“You smell so good, Anastasia. So sweet.” His nose skims past my ear down my neck, and he trails soft, feather light kisses along my shoulder.
My breathing changes, becoming shallow, rushed, full of expectation. His fingers are at my zipper. Achingly slow, once more he eases it down while his lips move, licking and kissing and sucking their way across to my other shoulder. He is so tantalizingly good at this. My body resonates, and I start to squirm languidly beneath his touch.
“You. Are. Going. To. Have. To. Learn. To. Keep. Still,” he whispers, kissing me around my nape between each word.
He tugs at the fastening at the halter neck, and the dress drops and pools at my feet. “No bra, Miss Steele. I like that.”
His hands reach round and cup my breasts, and my nipples pucker at his touch. “Lift your arms and put them around my head,” he murmurs against my neck.
I obey immediately, and my breasts rise and push into his hands, my nipples hardening further. My fingers weave into his hair, and very gently I tug his soft, sexy hair. I roll my head to one side to give him easier access to my neck.
“Mmm… ” he murmurs into that space behind my ear, as he starts to extend my nipples with his long fingers, mirroring my hands in his hair.
I groan as the sensation registers sharp and clear in my groin. “Shall I make you come this way?” he whispers.
I arch my back to force my breasts into his expert hands. “You like this, don’t you, Miss Steele?”
“Tell me.” He continues the slow sensuous torture, pulling gently. “Yes.”
“Yes, what.” “Yes… Sir.”
“Good girl.” He pinches me hard, and my body writhes convulsively against his front.
I gasp at the exquisite, acute, pleasure/pain. I feel him against me. I moan and my hands clench in his hair pulling harder.
“I don’t think you’re ready to come yet,” he whispers, stilling his hands, and he gently bites my earlobe and tugs at it. “Besides, you have displeased me.”
Oh… no, what will this mean? My brain registers through the fog of needy desire as I groan.
“So perhaps I won’t let you come after all.” He returns the attention of his fingers to my nipples, pulling, twisting, kneading. I grind my behind against him… moving side to side. I feel his grin against my neck as his hands move down to my hips. His fingers hook into my panties at the back, stretching them, and he pushes his thumbs through the mate- rial, shredding them and tossing them in front of me so I can see… holy shit. His hands
move down to my sex… and from behind, he slowly inserts his finger.
“Oh, yes. My sweet girl is all ready,” he breathes as he whirls me round so I’m facing him. His breathing has quickened. He puts his finger in his mouth. “You taste so fine, Miss Steele.” He sighs. “Undress me,” he commands quietly, staring down at me, eyes hooded.
All I’m wearing is my shoes, well, Kate’s high-heeled pumps. I’m taken aback. I’ve never undressed a man.
“You can do it,” he cajoles softly.
Oh my. I blink rapidly. Where to start? I reach for his t-shirt, and he grabs my hands and shakes his head, smiling slyly at me.
“Oh no.” He shakes his head, grinning. “Not the t-shirt, you may need to touch me for what I have planned.” His eyes are alive with excitement.
Oh… this is news… I can touch with clothes. He takes one of my hands and places it against his erection.
“This is the effect you have on me, Miss Steele.”
I gasp and flex my fingers around his girth, and he grins.
“I want to be inside you. Take my jeans off. You’re in charge.”
Holy fuck… me in charge. My mouth drops open. “What are you going to do with me?” he teases.
Oh the possibilities… my inner goddess roars, and from somewhere born of frustra- tion, need, and sheer Steele bravery, I push him on to the bed. He laughs as he falls, and I gaze down at him feeling victorious. My inner goddess is going to explode. I yank off his shoes, quickly, clumsily, and his socks. He’s staring up at me, his eyes luminous with amusement and desire. He looks… glorious… mine. I crawl up the bed and sit astride him to undo his jeans, sliding my fingers under the waistband, feeling the hair in his oh so happy trail. He closes his eyes and flexes his hips.
“You’ll have to learn to keep still,” I scold, and I tug at the hair under his waistband. His breath hitches, and he grins at me.
“Yes, Miss Steele,” he murmurs, eyes burning bright. “In my pocket, condom,” he breathes.
I search in his pocket slowly, watching his face as I feel around. His mouth is open. I fish out both foil packets that I find and lay them on the bed by his hips. Two! My over- eager fingers reach for the button of his waistband and undo it, fumbling a little. I am beyond excited.
“So eager, Miss Steele,” he murmurs, his voice laced with humor. I tug down the zip- per, and now I’m faced with the problem of removing his pants… hmm. I shuffle down and pull. They hardly move. I frown. How can this be so difficult?
“I can’t keep still if you’re going to bite that lip,” he warns, then arches his pelvis up off the bed so I’m able to tug down his trousers and his boxers at the same time, whoa… freeing him. He kicks his clothes to the floor.
Holy Moses, he’s all mine to play with, and suddenly it’s Christmas.
“Now what are you going to do?” he breathes, all trace of humor gone. I reach up and touch him, watching his expression as I do. His mouth shapes like a letter O as he takes a sharp breath. His skin is so smooth and soft… and hard… hmm, what a delicious combina- tion. I lean forward, my hair falling around me, and he’s in my mouth. I suck, hard. He closes his eyes, his hips jerking beneath me.
“Jeez, Ana, steady,” he groans.
I feel so powerful, it’s such a heady feeling, teasing and testing him with my mouth and tongue. He tenses underneath me as I run my mouth up and down him, pushing him to the back of my throat, my lips tight… again and again.
“Stop, Ana, stop. I don’t want to come.”
I sit up, blinking at him, and I’m panting like him, but confused. I thought I was in charge? My inner goddess looks like someone snatched her ice cream.
“You’re innocence and enthusiasm is very disarming,” he gasps. “You, on top… that’s what we need to do.”
“Here, put this on.” He hands me a foil packet.
Holy Crap. How? I rip the packet open, and the rubbery condom is all tacky in my fingers.
“Pinch the top and then roll it down. You don’t want any air in the end of that sucker,” he pants.
And very slowly, concentrating hard, I do as I’m told. “Christ, you’re killing me here, Anastasia,” he groans.
I admire my handiwork and him. He really is a fine specimen of a man, looking at him is very, very arousing.
“Now. I want to be buried inside you,” he murmurs. I stare down at him, daunted, and he sits up suddenly, so we’re nose to nose.
“Like this,” he breathes, and he snakes one hand round my hips, lifting me slightly, and with the other he positions himself beneath me, and very slowly, eases me on to him.
I groan as he stretches me open, filling me, my mouth hanging open in surprise at the sweet, sublime, agonizing, over-full feeling. Oh… please.
“That’s right, baby, feel me, all of me,” he growls and briefly closes his eyes.
And he’s inside me, sheathed to the hilt, and he holds me in place, for seconds… min- utes… I have no idea,, staring intently into my eyes.
“It’s deep this way,” he murmurs. He flexes and swivels his hips in the same motion, and I groan… oh my – the sensation radiates throughout my belly… everywhere. Fuck!
“Again,” I whisper. He grins a lazy grin and obliges.
Moaning, I throw my head back, my hair tumbling down my back, and very slowly, he sinks back down on to the bed.
“You move, Anastasia, up and down, how you want. Take my hands,” he breathes, his voice hoarse and low and oh so sexy.
I clasp his hands, holding on for life. Gently I push off him and back down, oh my. His eyes are burning with wild anticipation. His breathing is ragged, matching mine, and he lifts his pelvis as I come down, bouncing me back up. We pick up the rhythm… up, down, up, down… over and over… and it feels so… good. Between my panting breaths, the deep down, brimming fullness… the vehement sensation pulsing through me that’s building quickly, I watch him, our eyes locked… and I see wonder there, wonder at me.
I am fucking him. I am in charge. He’s mine, and I’m his. The thought pushes me, weighted with concrete, over the edge, and I climax around him… shouting incoherently. He grabs my hips, and closing his eyes, tipping his head back, his jaw strained, he comes quietly. I collapse on to his chest, overwhelmed, somewhere between fantasy and reality, a place where there are no hard or soft limits.
Slowly the outside world invades my senses, and oh my, what an invasion. I am floating, my limbs soft and languid, utterly spent. I’m lying on top of him, my head on his chest, and he smells divine: fresh, laundered linen and some expensive body wash, and the best, most seductive scent on the planet… Christian. I don’t want to move, I want to breathe this elixir for eternity. I nuzzle him, wishing I didn’t have the barrier of his t-shirt. And as rhyme and reason return to the rest of my body, I stretch my hand out on his chest. This is the first time I’ve touched him here. He’s firm… strong. His hand swoops up and grabs mine, but he softens the blow by pulling it to his mouth and sweetly kissing my knuckles. He rolls over so he’s gazing down at me.
“Don’t,” he murmurs, then kisses me lightly.
“Why don’t you like to be touched?” I whisper, staring up into soft gray eyes. “Because I’m fifty shades of fucked-up, Anastasia.”
Oh… his honesty is completely disarming. I blink up at him.
“I had a very tough introduction to life. I don’t want to burden you with the details.
Just don’t.” He strokes his nose against mine, and then he pulls out of me and sits up. “I think that’s all the very basics covered. How was that?”
He looks thoroughly pleased with himself and sounds very matter-of-fact at the same time, like he’s just marked another tick box in a checklist. I’m still reeling from the tough introduction to life comment. It’s so frustrating – I am desperate to know more. But he
won’t tell me. I cock my head to one side, like he does, and make an enormous effort to smile at him.
“If you imagine for one minute that I think you ceded control to me, well you haven’t taken into account my GPA.” I smile shyly at him. “But thank you for the illusion.”
“Miss Steele, you are not just a pretty face. You’ve had six orgasms so far and all of them belong to me,” he boasts, playful again.
I flush and blink at the same time, as he stares down at me. He’s keeping count! His brow furrows.
“Do you have something to tell me?” his voice is suddenly stern. I frown. Crap.
“I had a dream this morning.” “Oh?” He glares at me.
Double crap. Am I in trouble?
“I came in my sleep.” I throw my arm over my eyes. He says nothing. I peek up at him from under my arm, and he looks amused.
“In your sleep?” “Woke me up.”
“I’m sure it did. What were you dreaming about?”
“What was I doing?”
I throw my arm over my eyes again. And like a small child, I briefly entertain the thought that if I can’t see him, then he can’t see me.
“Anastasia, what was I doing? I won’t ask you again.” “You had a riding crop.”
He moves my arm. “Really?”
“Yes.” I am crimson.
“There’s hope for you yet,” he murmurs. “I have several riding crops.” “Brown plaited leather?”
“No, but I’m sure I could get one.” His gray eyes blaze with excitement.
Leaning down, he gives me a brief kiss then stands and grabs his boxers, oh no… he’s going. I glance quickly at the time – it’s only nine-forty. I scoot out of bed too and grab my sweat pants and a cami top, then sit back on the bed, cross-legged, watching him. I don’t want him to go. What can I do?
“When is your period due?” He interrupts my thoughts.
“I hate wearing these things,” he grumbles. He holds up the condom, then puts it on the floor, and slips on his jeans.
“Well?” he prompts when I don’t reply, and he looks at me expectantly as if he’s wait- ing for my opinion on the weather. Holy crap… this is personal stuff.
“Next week.” I stare down at my hands. “You need to sort out some contraception.”
He is so bossy. I stare at him blankly. He sits back on the bed as he puts on his shoes and socks.
“Do you have a doctor?”
I shake my head. We are back to mergers and acquisitions – another 180-degree mood swing.
“I can have mine come and see you at your apartment – Sunday morning before you come and see me. Or he can see you at my place. Which would you prefer?”
No pressure then. Something else that he’s paying for… but actually this is for his benefit.
“Your place.” That means I am guaranteed to see him Sunday. “Okay. I’ll let you know the time.”
“Are you leaving?”
Don’t go… stay with me please.
“How are you getting back?” I whisper. “Taylor will pick me up.”
“I can drive you. I have a lovely new car.” He gazes at me, his expression warm.
“That’s more like it. But I think you’ve had too much to drink.” “Did you get me tipsy on purpose?”
“Because you over-think everything, and you’re reticent like your stepdad. A drop of wine in you and you start talking, and I need you to communicate honestly with me. Oth- erwise you clam up, and I have no idea what you’re thinking. In vino veritas, Anastasia.”
“And you think you’re always honest with me?”
“I endeavor to be.” He looks down at me warily. “This will only work if we’re honest with each other.”
“I’d like you to stay and use this.” I hold up the second condom. He smiles and his eyes glow with humor.
“Anastasia, I have crossed so many lines here tonight. I have to go. I’ll see you on Sunday. I’ll have the revised contract ready for you, and then we can really start to play.”
“Play?” Holy shit. My heart leaps into my mouth.
“I’d like to do a scene with you. But I won’t until you’ve signed, so I know you’re ready.”
“Oh. So I could stretch this out, if I don’t sign?”
He gazes at me assessing, and then his lips twitch into a smile. “Well, I suppose you could, but I may crack under the strain.”
“Crack? How?” My inner goddess has woken and is paying attention. He nods slowly, and then he grins, teasing.
“Could get really ugly.” His grin is infectious.
“Oh you know, explosions, car chases, kidnapping, incarceration.” “You’d kidnap me?”
“Oh yes,” he grins.
“Hold me against my will?” Jeez this is hot.
“Oh yes,” he nods. “And then we’re talking TPE 24/7.”
“You’ve lost me,” I breathe, my heart is pounding… is he serious?
“Total Power Exchange – round the clock.” His eyes are shining, and I can feel his excitement from where I sit.
“So you have no choice,” he says sardonically.
“Clearly.” I can’t keep the sarcasm out of my voice as my eyes reach for the heavens. “Oh, Anastasia Steele, did you just roll your eyes at me?”
“No,” I squeak.
“I think you did. What did I say I’d do to you if you rolled your eyes at me again?”
Shit. He sits down on the edge of the bed. “Come here,” he says softly.
I blanch. Jeez… he’s serious. I sit staring at him completely immobile. “I haven’t signed,” I whisper.
“I told you what I’d do. I’m a man of my word. I’m going to spank you, and then I’m going to fuck you very quick and very hard. Looks like we’ll need that condom after all.” His voice is so soft, menacing, and it’s damned hot. My insides practically contort with potent, needy, liquid, desire. He gazes at me, waiting, eyes blazing. Tentatively, I uncurl my legs. Should I run? This is it, our relationship hangs in the balance, right here, right now. Do I let him do this or do I say no, and then that’s it? Because I know it will be over if I say no. Do it! My inner goddess pleads with me, my subconscious is as paralyzed as
“I’m waiting,” he says. “I’m not a patient man.”
Oh for the love of all that’s holy. I’m panting, afraid, turned on. Blood pounding through my body, my legs are like jelly. Slowly, I crawl over to him until I am beside him.
“Good girl,” he murmurs. “Now stand up.”
Oh shit… can’t he just get this over with? I’m not sure if I can stand. Hesitantly, I clamber to my feet. He holds his hand out, and I place the condom in his palm. Suddenly he grabs me, tipping me across his lap. With one smooth movement, he angles his body so my torso is resting on the bed beside him. He throws his right leg over both of mine and plants his left forearm on the small of my back, holding me down so I cannot move. Oh fuck.
“Put your hands up on either side of your head,” he orders. I obey immediately.
“Why am I doing this, Anastasia?” he asks.
“Because I rolled my eyes at you,” I can barely speak. “Do you think that’s polite?”
“Will you do it again?” “No.”
“I will spank you each time you do it, do you understand?”
Very slowly, he pulls down my sweatpants. Oh, how demeaning is this, demeaning and scary and hot. He’s making such a meal of this. My heart is in my mouth. I can barely breathe. Shit, is this going to hurt?
He places his hand on my naked behind, softly fondling me, stroking round and round with his flat palm. And then his hand is no longer there… and he hits me – hard. Ow! My eyes spring open in response to the pain, and I try to rise, but his hand moves between my shoulder blades keeping me down. He caresses me again where he’s hit me, and his breath- ing’s changed – it’s louder, harsher. He hits me again and again, quickly in succession. Holy fuck it hurts. I make no sound, my face screwed up against the pain. I try and wriggle away from the blows – spurred on by adrenaline spiking and coursing through my body.
“Keep still,” he growls. “Or I’ll spank you for longer.”
He’s rubbing me now, and the blow follows. A rhythmic pattern emerges, caress, fondle, slap hard. I have to concentrate to handle this pain. My mind empties as I endeavor to absorb the grueling sensation. He doesn’t hit me in the same place twice in succession
he’s spreading the pain.
“Aargh!” I cry out on the tenth slap – and I’m unaware that I have been mentally count- ing the blows.
“I’m just getting warmed up.”
He hits me again then he strokes me softly. The combination of the hard stinging blow and his gentle caress is so mind numbing. He hits me again… this is getting harder to take. My face hurts, it’s screwed up so tight. He strokes me gently and then the blow comes. I cry out again.
“No one to hear you, baby, just me.”
And he hits me again and again. From somewhere deep inside, I want to beg him to stop. But I don’t. I don’t want to give him the satisfaction. He continues the unrelenting rhythm. I cry out six more times. Eighteen slaps in total. My body is singing, singing from his merciless assault.
“Enough,” he breathes hoarsely. “Well done, Anastasia. Now I’m going to fuck you.” He caresses my behind gently, and it burns as he strokes me round and round and down. Suddenly, he inserts two fingers inside me, taking me completely by surprise. I
gasp, this new assault breaking through the numbness around my brain.
“Feel this. See how much your body likes this, Anastasia. You’re soaking just for me.” There is awe in his voice. He moves his fingers, in and out in quick succession.
I groan, no surely not, and then his fingers are gone… and I’m left wanting. “Next time, I will get you to count. Now where’s that condom?”
He reaches beside him for the condom and lifts me gently, pushing me face down onto the bed. I hear the sound of his zipper and the rip of the foil. He drags my sweatpants off and then guides me into a kneeling position, gently caressing my now very sore behind.
“I’m going to take you now. You can come,” he murmurs.
What? Like I have a choice.
And he’s inside me, quickly filling me, I moan loudly. He moves, pounding into me, a fast, intense pace against my sore behind. The feeling is beyond exquisite, raw and debas- ing and mind blowing. My senses are ravaged, disconnected, solely concentrating on what he’s doing to me. How he’s making me feel, that familiar pull deep in my belly, tightening, quickening. NO… and my traitorous body explodes in an intense, body-shattering orgasm. “Oh, Ana!” he cries out loudly as he finds his release, holding me in place as he pours himself into me. He collapses, panting hard beside me, and he pulls me on top of him and
buries his face in my hair, holding me close.
“Oh, baby,” he breathes. “Welcome to my world.”
We lie there, panting together, waiting for our breathing to slow. He gently strokes my hair. I’m on his chest again. But this time, I don’t have the strength to lift my hand and feel him. Boy… I survived. That wasn’t so bad. I’m more stoic than I thought. My inner goddess is prostrate… well at least she’s quiet. Christian nuzzles my hair again, inhaling deeply.
“Well done, baby,” he whispers, quiet joy in his voice. His words curl around me like a soft fluffy towel from the Heathman Hotel, and I’m so pleased that he’s happy.
He picks at the strap on my camisole.
“Is this what you sleep in?” he asks gently. “Yes,” I breathe sleepily.
“You should be in silks and satins, you beautiful girl. I’ll take you shopping.” “I like my sweats,” I murmur, trying and failing to sound irritated.
He kisses my head again. “We’ll see,” he says.
We lie for a few more minutes, hours, who knows, and I think I doze.
“I have to go,” he says, and leaning down, he kisses my forehead gently. “Are you okay?” His voice is soft.
I think about his question. My backside is sore. Well, glowing now, and amazingly I feel, apart from exhausted, radiant. The realization is humbling, unexpected. I don’t understand. Holy shit.
“I’m okay,” I whisper. I don’t want to say more than that. He rises.
“Where’s your bathroom?” “Along the corridor to the left.”
He scoops up the other condom and heads out of the bedroom. I rise stiffly and put my sweatpants back on. They chafe a little against my still-smarting behind. I’m so confused by my reaction. I remember him saying – I can’t remember when – that I would feel so much better after a good hiding. How can that be so? I really don’t get it. But strangely, I do. I can’t say that I enjoyed the experience, in fact, I would still go a long way to avoid it, but now… I have this safe, weird, bathed in afterglow, sated feeling. I put my head in my hands. I just don’t understand.
Christian re-enters the room. I can’t look him in the eye. I stare down at my hands. “I found some baby oil. Let me rub it into your behind.”
“No. I’ll be fine.”
“Anastasia,” he warns, and I want to roll my eyes but quickly stop myself. I stand fac- ing the bed. Sitting beside me, he gently pulls my sweatpants down again. Up and down like whores’ drawers my subconscious remarks bitterly. In my head, I tell her where to go. Christian squirts baby oil into his hand and then rubs my behind with careful tenderness
from makeup remover to smoothing balm for a spanked ass, who would have thought it was such a versatile liquid.
“I like my hands on you,” he murmurs, and I have to agree, me too. “There,” he says when he’s finished, and he pulls my pants up again. I glance over at my clock. It’s ten-thirty.
“I’m leaving now.”
“I’ll see you out.” I still can’t look at him.
Taking my hand, he leads me to the front door. Fortunately, Kate is still not home. She must still be having dinner with her folks and Ethan. I’m really glad she’s not been around to hear my chastisement.
“Don’t you have to call Taylor?” I ask, avoiding eye contact. “Taylor’s been here since nine. Look at me,” he breathes.
I struggle to meet his eyes, but when I do, he’s gazing down at me with wonder.
“You didn’t cry,” he murmurs, then grabs me suddenly and kisses me fervently. “Sun- day,” he whispers against my lips, and it’s both a promise and a threat.
I watch him walk down the path and climb into the big black Audi. He doesn’t look back. I close the door and stand helpless in the living room of an apartment that I shall only spend another two nights in. A place I have lived happily for almost four years… yet today, for the first time ever, I feel lonely and uncomfortable here, unhappy with my own company. Have I strayed so far from who I am? I know that lurking, not very far under my rather numb exterior, is a well of tears. What am I doing? The irony is I can’t even sit down and enjoy a good cry. I’ll have to stand. I know it’s late, but I decide to call my mom. “Honey, how are you? How was graduation?” she enthuses down the phone. Her
voice is a soothing balm.
“Sorry it’s so late,” I whisper. She pauses.
“Ana? What’s wrong?” She’s all seriousness now. “Nothing, Mom, I just wanted to hear your voice.” She’s silent for a moment.
“Ana, what is it? Please tell me.” Her voice is soft and comforting, and I know that she cares. Uninvited, my tears begin to flow. I have cried so often in the last few days.
“Please, Ana,” she says, and her anguish reflects mine. “Oh, Mom, it’s a man.”
“What’s he done to you?” Her alarm is palpable.
“It’s not like that.” Although it is… Oh crap. I don’t want to worry her. I just want someone else to be strong for me at the moment.
“Ana, please, you’re worrying me.” I take a big breath.
“I’ve kind of fallen for this guy, and he’s so different from me, and I don’t know if we should be together.”
“Oh, darling. I wish I could be with you. I am so sorry I missed your graduation. You’ve fallen for someone, finally. Oh, honey, men, they are so tricky. They’re a different species, honey. How long have you known him?”
Christian is definitely a different species… different planet.
“Oh, nearly three weeks or so.”
“Ana, darling, that’s no time at all. How can you possibly know someone in that kind of time frame? Just take it easy with him and keep him at arm’s length until you decide whether he’s worthy of you.”
Wow… it’s unnerving when my mother is so insightful, but she’s just too late on this. Is he worthy of me? That’s an interesting concept. I always wonder whether I am worthy of him.
“Honey, you sound so unhappy. Come home – visit with us. I miss you, darling. Bob would love to see you too. You can get some distance and maybe some perspective. You need a break. You’ve been working so hard.”
Oh boy, is this tempting. Run away to Georgia. Grab some sunshine, some cocktails.
My mother’s good humor… her loving arms.
“I have two job interviews in Seattle on Monday.” “Oh, that’s wonderful news.”
The door opens and Kate appears, grinning at me. Her face falls when she sees I’ve been crying.
“Mom, I have to go. I’ll think about a visit. Thank you.”
“Honey, please, don’t let a man get under your skin. You’re far too young. Go and enjoy yourself.”
“Yes, Mom, love you.”
“Oh, Ana, I love you too, so much. Stay safe, honey.” I hang up and face Kate who glares at me.
“Has that obscenely rich fucker upset you again?” “No… sort of… err… yes.”
“Just tell him to take a hike, Ana. You’ve been so up and down since you met him.
I’ve never seen you like this.”
The world of Katherine Kavanagh is very clear, very black and white. Not the intan- gible, mysterious, vague hues of gray that color my world. Welcome to my world.
“Sit, let’s talk. Let’s have some wine. Oh, you’ve had champagne.” She spies the bottle. “Some good stuff too.”
I smile ineffectually, looking apprehensively at the couch. I approach it with caution.
“Are you okay?”
“I fell over and landed on my behind.”
She doesn’t think to question my explanation, because I am one of the most un-coor- dinated people in Washington State. I never thought I’d see that as a blessing. I sit down gingerly, pleasantly surprised that I’m okay, and turn my attention to Kate, but my mind glazes over and I’m pulled back to the Heathman – “Well, if you were mine you wouldn’t be able to sit down for a week after the stunt you pulled yesterday.” He said it then, and all
I could concentrate on at the time was being his. All the warning signs were there, I was just too clueless and too enamored to notice.
Kate comes back into the living area with a bottle of red wine and washed teacups. “Here we go.” She hands me a cup of wine. It won’t taste as good as the Bolly. “Ana, if he’s a jerk with commitment issues, dump him. Though I don’t really under-
stand his commitment issues. He couldn’t take his eyes off you in the marquee, watched you like a hawk. I’d say he was completely smitten, but maybe he has a funny way of showing it.”
Smitten? Christian? Funny way of showing it? I’ll say. “Kate, it’s complicated. How was your evening?” I ask.
I can’t talk this through with Kate without revealing too much, but one question on her day and Kate is off. It’s so reassuring to sit and listen to her normal chatter. The hot news is that Ethan may be coming to live with us after their holiday. That will be fun – Ethan is a hoot. I frown. I don’t think Christian will approve. Well… tough. He’ll just have to suck it up. I have a couple of teacups of wine and decide to call it a night. It’s been one very long day. Kate hugs me, and then grabs the phone to call Elliot.
I check the mean machine after I brush my teeth. There’s an email from Christian.