I flush, and my inner goddess grabs a rose between her teeth and starts to tango.
I am panting now, excited by this game. He strolls to the end of the table, sets up the black ball again, then runs the white ball back down to me. He looks so carnal, dark eyed with a lascivious smile. How could I ever resist this man?
I am not sure how many more strokes I can bear — but hearing him, knowing how turned on he is, feeds my arousal and my willingness to continue. I am crossing to the dark side, a place in my psyche I don’t know well but have visited before in the playroom — with the Tallis.
I’m cozy and comfortable in this vast modern monolith with Christian at my side. I stretch and turn to the delicious man beside me. His eyes spring open and he blinks sleepily.
“I’ll rustle up a packed lunch for you, ma’am.”“Please, Mrs. Jones, call me Ana.”“Ana.” She smiles and turns to make me tea.Wow . . . this is so cool.I turn and cock my head at Christian, challenging him — go on, accuse me of flirting with Mrs. Jones.
“Yes. We’ll need to go Wednesday and stay overnight. I think you’ll find it a very educational experience.” His eyes darken as he says this, but his smile is polite. “Would you make the necessary travel arrangements? And book an additional room at the hotel where I am staying? I think Sabrina, my previous PA, left all the details handy somewhere.”
ChristianI don’t need protecting from my own boss.He may make a pass at me, but I shall say no.You cannot interfere. It’s wrong and controlling on so many levels.
I have seen how “effective” you are at fighting off unwanted attention. I remember that’s how I had the pleasure of spending my first night with you. At least the photographer has feelings for you. The sleazeball, on the other hand, does not. He is a serial philanderer, and he will try to seduce you. Ask him what happened to his previous PA and the one before that.I don’t want to fight about this.If you want to go to New York, I’ll take you. We can go this weekend. I have an apartment there.
After our wonderful weekend, the reality is hitting home. I have never felt more like running. Running to some quiet retreat so I can think about this man, about how he is, and about how to deal with him. On one level, I know he’s broken — I can see that clearly now — and it’s both heartbreaking and exhausting. From the small pieces of precious information that he’s given me about his life, I understand why. An unloved child; a hideously abusive environment; a mother who couldn’t protect him, whom he couldn’t protect, and who died in front of him.
I shudder. My poor Fifty. I am his, but not to be kept in some gilded cage. How am I going to make him see this?
“I don’t want anything to happen to you. You being hurt . . . the thought fills me with dread. I can’t promise not to interfere, not if I think you’ll come to harm.” He pauses and takes a deep breath. “I love you, Anastasia. I will do everything in my power to protect you. I cannot imagine my life without you.”Holy cow. My inner goddess, my subconscious, and I all gape at Fifty in shock.