Chapter 43

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I try twisting around but his grip only tightens. With his chin resting on my shoulder I have no purchase to manoeuvre even my neck. I want to see his face, to judge for myself what’s going through his head. Why did he make me promise to stay? Is this what he thinks will drive me away or is there more to his story?

cuddle

“I suspected as much at the time. Were you worried about telling me?” I hold my breath, all too aware of how his answer will impact on the shame I keep hoarding.

Instantly the steel bleeds from his hold as he relaxes around me, cuddling rather than restraining me. I resist the impulse to turn, giving him a moment to compose himself. “You know me too well Mrs Grey,” he breathes, kissing the shell of my ear. “And yes, I was…” he pauses, hunting – I suspect – for a tactful word, “uncertain about your reaction. I wasn’t prepared to take that risk.”

My heart melts even as it cracks wide open. Will I ever see the end of my failings? Using the slackened give in his arms I turn around, finding his gaze to pin it with mine. In his eyes I see what my actions have cost him, to repay him with the sincerity in my own feels inadequate but it burns there for him anyway. Framing his face with my hands I kneel between his spread thighs, “I know you don’t want me to dwell on it, and I know you don’t want me to feel guilty but how can I not? Look at how I’ve hurt you! I. Am. So. Sorry. I would do anything, anything at all to take it back. To show you that I’m here to stay.”

Reluctantly my hands leave his face to tug my wedding ring from my finger. I slip the platinum band just far enough to reveal the permanent promise I had inked around it. For a long beat he stares at it, our heads touching as he strokes the fine black lines with the tip of his finger. Finally he pushes the ring back into place before taking my hand and pressing it to his heart, “Mine,” he whispers as he finds my weepy eyes again.

43b

 

“Yes. Yours,” I swallow, fighting the threatening swamp of emotions as they well-up, burning in the back of my throat. “Always.”

Christian runs both his hands through my hair, letting it all hang down my back while those grey irises grow darker, more possessive as they search my face. “You were afraid earlier. Tell me what went through your thoughts when I brought you here just now.”

Suddenly the confessional bubble around us is too intimate, too intense for me to bear, making my self-preserving instinct kick-in with the fast thud of my pulse. Quickly I cut away my stare and the revealing truths they hold from his all-knowing one. Seeing as I can’t doge the question entirely I go for a half truth, “I thought you were mad at me.”

Even though I suspected that I wouldn’t get away with it I’m still reluctant to follow the lead of his finger under my chin, gently nudging my head up. His eyes instantly move to find mine, his frown doleful. “Tell me Anastasia.” Even though his words are tender, coaxing even it carries no less command.

I sigh, sitting back on my tucked legs. “I don’t know,” I lie. “Nothing specific but with what happened last night…” The edge of my t-shirt becomes very interesting as I drop my head, wanting to conceal the vulnerability of my blush.

“Hey,” he pleads, “don’t hide. What happened last night?”

Snapping up my stare I scan his expression. Did he forget? I feel the red of my flush deepen, the words uncomfortable and blaring insecurity as I mumble around them, “You rejected me. You didn’t want to…” My shoulders shrug once, dejectedly as I avoid his sharp granite gaze once more.

“Jeez,” he hisses, shaking his head as his strong hands clamp around my upper arms. “What the fuck are you and Flynn talking about? You think I don’t want you? How can that still be the first place your mind goes?”

My eyes widen, gaping with surprise. If he wasn’t mad before he sure is now. I blink, trying to find words that are sensible enough to explain something that seemed plausible to me a minute ago but now seems dangerously close to a betrayal of the trust I promised to give him. “I thought…”

“You thought what?” he barks, interrupting me. “You thought that I didn’t want you when I went down on you, licking that delicious peach into two orgasms because what? Please. Tell me.” He gives my shoulders a small shake, his frustration clear and rising.

I can’t help gasping, shocked at his blatant, sexy words, but of course, he’s perfectly correct and I suspect trying in his own way to make a point I’m only now beginning to see. As the image of his face buried between my legs reels through my thoughts I’m hit with both a hard desire and a bleak insight into just how insecure I am. It’s an alarming and confusing swirl of feelings that manifests itself in a heart wrenching sob. My hand flies up to cover my face as my tears brim and finally spill.

Christian – always there, always knowing – does exactly what I need him to do. Without another word he crushes me to him, holding me against him while he strokes my hair. “Sshhhh,” he soothes, “I’m not mad. I just can’t understand how you could even consider such a thing. Is Flynn not helping you? Talk to me baby, please. You promised that you won’t let this tear us apart.”

More words from him that make perfect sense, more guilt for me. I can only cry harder as I feel the sting, my inadequacies like cuts in my wounded psyche. Knowing that he’s right only makes it worse. “I…I…I’m sorry,” I stutter, my voice jagged from crying.

Christian just holds me, his patience as touching as it is welcome. When I’m done with the crying, still sucking in shuddering breaths, I push away from him, wiping my red rimmed eyes with the heel of my hands. The expression I find on his beautiful face is one of concern. I sniffle through drying my face and Christian helps, combing my hair away from my damp cheeks.

Regrouping I let out a breath, releasing the crush of my emotions in a long, slow blow. “Dr Flynn is helping me but with everything that’s been going on we’ve concentrated on dealing with my fear more than my insecurities. I know I made a commitment to you, I won’t break that promise.”

Again he strokes my hair, regarding me intently, “I won’t let you. I. Love. You.” He brushes his lips past mine, his mouth only half open as he lingers there, sharing my breath, our lips hardly touching. I get caught up in the exquisite torture of his nearness, his gentlest of kisses that barely skim but move me so deeply. “I want you more and more every day, I get lost in you – deeper every day,” he murmurs; the breath of his words warming my heart just as they warm my lips.

“I know,” I whisper, and I do, it’s just sometimes – I don’t.

“I don’t mind spending the rest of my life showing you but you have to believe it, I want the knowledge to become inherent in you.” He’s still murmuring softly, against my mouth, but the grip of his hand on the back of my neck is fierce, hard with the passion of his emotions.

I nod a small nod, my lips lightly grazing his with the movement, and it’s all he needs to kiss me properly. Tilting his head he takes my mouth, the firm mould of his lips sealing over mine. His tongue plunges deep, persistent, possessive, licking against mine with slow strokes, hot and soft like velvet.

My hands slip up his neck, roaming into his hair. Into my open mouth he issues a groan, the vibration of it is so raw, so primal, so needy. In the tangle of our melding I feel everything he gives me – his possession, his love, himself. If I could only hold on to these perfect moments, remember them in the times I doubt I would never lose faith in what we have, in what he so freely gives me.

Despite being out-of-my-mind aroused I sense that this is not that type of kiss. Rather it’s an affirmation of the bond between us, like a reminder – offering me sense in my senselessness. I feel him winding it down, bringing it to a close as he gentles the play of his tongue, slowly withdrawing until he ends it with a firm press of his lips to mine. It leaves my mouth tingling, our bonded lips reluctantly pulling apart.

When my lids flutters open I find him watching me, his eyes almost black with desire and he’s making a show of it for me. His hooded gaze moves to my bee-stung pout as he brushes them with the pad of his thumb, “We’ll finish this tonight,” he promises in a sexy-as-fuck rasp.

Again I nod, too dazed with lust to trust my words, drooling an all too real possibility.

“So you’re okay with this?” he asks, running his nose along mine.

Swallowing to buy time I shift gears in my mind, “About Jose?” blinking my lashes I risk a peek at him, only to see a rueful smile tugging at my mouth. “I’m not happy about it but I’m not surprised.”

When a grin cracks over his face I realise that a stern word might not be out of place here. All things considered Christian isn’t above the law. In my very best mommy voice I scold him, “I’m sorry I put you in that position, but I hope you know that what you did was wrong, no matter how justified you felt.”

The grin gives way to a full beam, boyish and utterly charming, “Mrs Grey, your concern for my wellbeing does things to me,” on a growl he makes as if he’s going to bite me, a wicked glint in the slate of his near predatory gaze.

I roll my eyes well before I have a moment to think about it then suck in a quick breath at the change that comes over him. His head drops ever so slightly as he regards me from below the thick line of his lashes, his lids heavy but does nothing to conceal the raw carnality burning in his stare. “Mrs Grey, me and my twitching palm will be only too happy to remind you that being courteous to your husband is a minimum requirement of this marriage.” Both his hands round my hips, each finding the cheeks of my ass. His large hands cups then squeezes, almost painfully as his fingers dig deep into the soft flesh.

I moan despite the threat. Any possible fear negated by the grind of his hard length against my always aching sex. I hear him chuckle as my back arches, pushing into him for more, “Always so eager Mrs Grey.”

Offering him a shy smile I bite my lip, “Mmmhhh,” I agree. “Only for you.” The pleasure he takes from my words are plain,  encouraging even but when I try to move my hips for more of that mind blowing friction his hands grip me harder.

“Behave Mrs Grey. We’re not done talking,” he smirks at my pout, my sole effort to make my objection known.

Reluctantly I sit back down, still facing him, “What else would you like to talk about Mr Grey?” I ask tartly. I know I’m pushing him, fully aware that I have this tiger by his skilled tail but what is a girl with needs to do?

He fails to take the bait, knowing me well enough to know exactly what I’m trying to do. “You and that smart mouth of yours will have to wait.” With a grin he taps me on the nose with a finger before he turns serious again, “Baby, I really need you to understand that until this is resolved I’m going to rely on your cooperation. You know the drill – nowhere alone.” His lids narrow into slits, the grey of his eyes turning hard. “I hope I’m making myself clear. I overlooked too much shit with David. I will not be making the same mistake again. Just knowing that I relaxed my guard when I should’ve been cautious is a jagged fucking pill for me to swallow. We are so damn lucky that nothing happened.”

I pushed up onto my knees again, sitting up so I could meet his gaze directly, “I understand. All I ask is that you not keep me in the dark. I also want us to be safe,” tilting my head I give him a pointed look, “– all of us.”

He nods, mercifully not arguing his inclusion. Maybe, I thought hopefully, he was beginning to understand his worth to us. Satisfied I relax, turning to lean back into the circle of his arms once more. Christian shifts in his seat, finding the best mould for our pressed-together bodies. “So the Dom/sub contract, the sniper shot, the flowers, the photos – is there anything else?” I ask quietly, keeping the conversational tone light around a subject that is anything but.

“Taylor is following up on how the person that sent the flowers knew we were married. We suspect that leak came from the Bellagio and if that’s the case, the culprit is keeping a very close eye on us. The wedding was so out of the blue, so few people knew about it, and the fact that we didn’t arrive to a press frenzy when we got back from honeymoon is proof that we managed to contain the story. We know for a fact that the butler from our Villa was approached for information about us, but according to Taylor he declined.”

“How come we’re only pursuing that now?” I inquired on a frown.

“We’re not only doing it now. Taylor was onto it as soon as we saw the note that came with the flowers but he did stop investigating when we uhm… eliminated the threat. It did strike me as strange that David would offer money for information and not turn on the pressure if someone declined to help. Usually a guy like that would use other methods of persuasion to get what he wanted if a simple bribe didn’t yield results. At the time we thought he was being overly cautious not to draw attention to himself but now I think it’s because our perp just doesn’t have the skillset that normally goes with being a criminal.”

“Which neatly ties in with Jose and Linc as the main suspects,” I finish, following his thoughts bleakly. Talking like this makes it seem all the more real, and I feel that uneasy knot settling in the pit of my stomach again.

Christian kisses my temple, “Smart and pretty,” he mumbles against my skin, but it doesn’t draw my usual smile, the compliment losing some of its lustre in the context of our conversation. We fall into a ponderous silence as we nurse our theories and the facts that we’re basing them on.

I wonder if Christian will always have his past lifestyle choices levelled against him. Even with the NDA’s that all his subs and employees have signed in the past I can’t imagine that he’s naïve enough to believe that it would be enough to keep his secret indefinitely. Yes, you can sue someone that breaks the agreement but if that person has nothing to lose then suing them just doesn’t seem like a big enough deterrent. Apart from these recent leaks Christian has been very lucky so far, and I believe it’s only because he always treated his subs and employees so well but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t still change.

It must be unpleasant, I muse, to have a sword like that hanging over your head. The fear of exposure must always play in the back of your mind. If it was me I’d try to find a way of getting it out on my own terms rather than risk having it leaked in an ugly, uncontrolled media mess. The more I think about it the more the idea draws me as the pieces of a plan start forming in my mind.

“Christian, do you remember that series of sexy fictional books that came out about five years ago? It was written by an English author, and it was wildly successful.”

I feel his snort vibrate against my back, “Yes, I remember. Every publishing company in the world remembers and regrets the fuck out of not foreseeing that success. It was the Fifty Shades Trilogy by E L James. BDSM themed as I recall.” I smile at the hint of the smirk I hear in his voice then yelp as his hand plunges into my yoga pants to snap the elastic of my thong against my hip. Immediately he soothes the spot by rubbing his palm over the sting. “What about it?” he asks, more than a little perplexed.

“How much do you think it’s influenced popular culture? I read somewhere that the sales of the sex toys mentioned in the book boomed and generally awakened a whole generation of woman to the joys of un-vanilla sex.”

Christian laughs; the hearty sound natural and genuine. He moves my hair away from my shoulder to drag his bristled chin over the soft skin there, “You better make your point quickly Mrs Grey. Keep mentioning toys and un-vanilla sex and I’ll show you a trick or two from the book,” he teases.

I giggle, shivering as a race of delicious goose bumps raise the tiny hairs on my arms and legs. Christian takes full advantage, his hand drifting along my arm to feel for himself the results of his ministrations, “Mmmmhhh,” he groans, before tweaking a predictably tight nipple over the fabric of my t-shirt.

Playfully I bat his hand away, “Stop it you fiend! How can I make my point if you keep distracting me?”

“I’m sorry Mrs Grey,” he apologises sounding anything but. “Please, continue.”

“Thank you Mr Grey,” I quip, “but you haven’t answered my question yet. Do you think it had a big influence on the public’s view about the BDSM scene in general?”

He takes a moment to think about his answer before replying, “Yes I do. Generally speaking I think the public became much more accepting of what previously would have been regarded as kinky. In a lot of ways it redefined and greatly expanded on what people considered as “normal”, especially as it pertained to sexual behaviour.”

“Hhm,” I mused, “that’s what I thought.” Careful now, my subconscious cautions, and she’s right. At the very least I needed him to give my idea some serious thought before he dismissed it.

My silent ruminations has him suspicious, “What are you up to Mrs Grey?”

At his prompt I turn my whole body around to face him. “I have an idea,” I test, my teeth unconsciously gnawing at my lip as I wonder how he was going to take what I was about to suggest. I see his eyes fall on my mouth but I quickly release my battered lip before he can speak, while I take a leaf from his extensive playbook. “But you have to promise to hear me out before you say no.”

Quirking a sceptical brow he watches me. I could tell he was talking himself into agreeing before finally giving me a stiff nod. I offer him a reassuring smile when I see the discomfort in his cautious stare, “If your Dom past stays hidden it will always be something someone could use against you but if it’s out in the open then that threat is eliminated.”

When he starts to shake his head I do the same, reminding him of his promise. He shuts his mouth with a snap but instead of curious the line of it turns hard. I ignore his closed-off expression and plough on, certain that my plan at least deserves to be heard. “If this blog leak is anything to go by the NDA won’t necessarily stop someone from blabbing. The last thing you want is a sub spilling the beans to the tabloids before you have your say. You now just as well as I do that the public almost always remembers the first version of a story that breaks.”

He nods his agreement but his jaw muscles are bunched, undoubtedly with the strain of keeping his thoughts to himself. “What if you come out of the “Dom closet” so to speak in a soft puff-piece to some hot male publication like GQ? That way you can completely control what’s being said as well as the angle of the story. Done well a story like that could be spun into something sexy rather than the reputation damaging thing it would be if it was leaked to an unsympathetic reporter out to prove the corruption of every industry mogul.”

Seeing his jaw drop is as pleasing as it is unnerving. I can’t tell if he’s impressed or mad. “I… I don’t know,” he stammers, clearly unconvinced.

“You don’t have to decide now. Just think about it for a few days. Consider, for a moment, that you may be so caught up in the why and how you got started that you don’t see the part that would be okay to reveal. You said it yourself, people are so much more tolerant of kink it may actually do your image some good.” Getting into my stride I warm to the idea a little more, becoming convinced that it’s a great solution for an otherwise sticky problem that will never go away.

At his dubious look I launch the rest of my argument, “Provided we warn our parents with the same edited version of the story,” my grin is lopsided, if not also a little rueful. There’s no need to share Elena bitch troll’s influence here – not even with his parents, “I’m sure the public will lap it up like saucy celebrity gossip we will intend it to be. You’ll be a hot topic for a month, and then they’ll move on to the next sex tape or scandal that the rags will blow out of proportion. At worst we’ll have to deal with a media circus but your PR department will be completely prepared and not railroaded into near impossible damage control.”

gq1

I can understand his reluctance. This has been a secret for so long I don’t think he’s ever considered being free of it. He drops his gaze, following my hands as I link my fingers with his. I can almost see the cogs grinding in his head as he thinks through the possibilities of my proposal. “You know that any piece about me, especially one related to anything sexual will inevitably lead to women showing a certain interest?” His full attention is on me now, watching for even the smallest of cues.

If it was any other man I’d laugh at his arrogance but Christian has a point. I can’t deny that part of me feels more than a little nauseated at the thought. I can only imagine the myriad of stunning women reading the article, drooling over the inevitable photos that will accompany such a feature, all of them going weak in the knees with lashings of desire for Mr Sexpertise – my husband. A shudder runs through me but I shrug it off. A month tops, I say to myself. Surely I can handle that if the pay-off is a husband that can’t be blackmailed?

Meeting his intense scrutiny head-on I fuse my stare with his, blue meeting grey in complete honesty, “I can’t say that I’d like it but for what you’ll gain it will be more than worth it.”

His expression changes, from analytical to admiring, “You would endure that for me?”

I frown, taken aback by his surprise, “Of course.”

He breaks out the full HD beam for me, “You never cease to amaze me Mrs Grey.” The curve of his mouth is beautiful enough but the thing that really gets me, that makes me catch my breath is the heat in his eyes. When he wants to that schooled impassive emptiness can morph into the most stunning show of emotions, lighting up those deep mercury depths with such fierce love that they glow.

I watch him enjoying my flustered reaction before I manage to smile back, feeling shy of my pinking cheeks. Instinctively I drop my head, casting my eyes down as my inner submissive comes to the fore, “Anything for you husband of mine.”

It doesn’t go unnoticed by Christian, I hear him suck in a ragged breath. I don’t know whether it’s the compliant pose or the ring of my words that does it for him but a second later I’m in the crush of his embrace, his whisper almost harsh with his declaration, “Mine!”

After long moments he releases me. His touch as he smooths my hair is tender, reverential. “I’ll think about it,” he offers. “You’ve opened my mind to a possibility I never thought was possible, and being free of that past certainly holds a great deal of appeal I just need  to think it through, but more than that, I need you to be absolutely sure. I wouldn’t even consider doing it if I thought it could hurt you or us in any way. If the tables were turned there would be no fucking way I’d consent to you doing something similar.”

I can only grin at my jealous, possessive husband; I wouldn’t want him any other way. “Okay,” I drawl, keeping my lilt light for my following question. “While I have your undivided attention Mr Grey, can I ask you something?”

Christian chuckles softly, shaking his head, “That question never ends in anything good but I’m guessing if I say no you’ll ask anyway.”

I give him a small, noncommittal shrug but hold my smile, batting my lashes coquettishly.

Throwing his head back he laughs, but there’s an unmistakable nervousness to what should be a carefree sound, “If we ever have a daughter she’ll be the death of me. If I can’t say no to the mother how the hell will I say no to a mini version of you?”

My heart comes to an abrupt halt, my mind momentarily taken in by his fantasy. I blink a few times, seeing the image of a little girl in Christian’s arms, her smile charming, her father – besotted. Oh boy… when I snap out of my daydream I find him watching me expectantly. Oh yes, my question.

“Were you Dr Shawn’s benefactor?” I ask without preamble, keeping a close eye on his expression.

His smile slips from his lips, his wide eyes turning hesitant again. The change in his face is all the confirmation I need but I still want to hear it from him. It always surprises me that he’s so utterly confident in everything he does, so competent yet when it comes to me he’s always careful. Knowing that I know he doesn’t deny it, “Are you mad?”

“No, just curious about why you didn’t tell me.”

He lets go of a held breath, and his shoulders relax. “He’s not my favourite person to discuss, especially with you. Any man who wants into your panties will always be a problem for me but his cause is something I hold dear and if it gets him out of the way,” he shrugs casually, his mouth taking a slight down turn. “I’ll call it a win all round.” His eyes, when they swing to me, are unapologetic and unrepentant.

“You know that the feelings weren’t mutual? There was no need for you to get rid of him. I can’t help feeling guilty about the money you’ve spent. It must’ve been a small fortune.”

He smirks, an arrogant smirk that only he can pull of, “A fucking fortune,” he confirms, “and worth every damn cent for my peace of mind, besides,” he adds with a wicked wink, “my wife is going to make it big real soon. I think we’ll manage.”

I clamp my hand over my mouth to stop the un-lady like giggle-snort from escaping, “Only you can get rid of a romantic rival and look good doing it.”*

*Audrey, thank you for the line!

Be kind and review, please.

Link to chapter 44

 

104 thoughts on “Chapter 43

  1. aturner0530 says:

    As always Monique another great chapter….until next Friday! 🙂

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  2. mandygarratt says:

    Brilliant, as usual. Mentioning FSOG a master stroke x

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  3. Vicki Alberts says:

    Fabulous! Thanks!

    Like

  4. Sheila Hall says:

    Just had a quick read through the chapter, I will come back later to digest it all again. (supposed to busy doing something else, but I had to log on quickly to see if this chapter was in 🙂 ). Thank you Monique this is a brilliant chapter, a lot of things are coming together. The chapters get more exciting as we move along.

    Like

  5. Janien Meissner says:

    O how very funny to bring FSOG into the story! I love it! Very interesting to think about using the books in that way. Who knows, maybe it will happen some day. I just love this story! EL should really read this, I am sure she would love it too! Have a nice weekend Monique and keep on writing! Xx Janien

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    • Monique Lain says:

      HI Janien Thank you for the lovely review. I’m glad you feel that way. I would love to hear from her! Boy would that be fun! 😉 I hope you have a great weekend as well!

      Like

  6. Sharon says:

    GQ sales would go through the roof – they might anyway just because of this chapter! Now, I’m hoping for at least some excerpts from the article to show up in Meander! Maybe the whole article as a chapter? Please?Ana has no clue of the media monster sensation that would create. One month tops? Poor Christian will have to be stepping over prostrate female (and male) bodies everywhere he goes. (Including mine.)
    What a sexy solution! Flynn had better get busy on Ana’s insecurities in a big hurry!! AWESOME chapter!!!

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    • Lynne says:

      The article in GQ would make aGREAT one shot . Please give us that gift! It would be so fun to read!!!!
      Thanks for the great chapter.

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      • Monique Lain says:

        Hi Lynne, yes I was thinking along those lines but like I mentioned in another post, don’t hold me to it. I don’t always know what’s going to happen with these two… 😉 Glad you enjoyed it! 😉

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    • Monique Lain says:

      LOL! Yes I was thinking about a one shot maybe – don’t hold me to it though, I don’t always know how the story will go. I agree with you, Ana is naive if she thinks it will just blow over. Glad you liked it! xx

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  7. sharon Metcalf says:

    What a wonderful twist! Monique, you are wonderful! Can’t wait until next Friday!

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  8. Retta says:

    I love love love this chapter! You always keep me wanting more and more =) as I’ve said before thank you for making Friday even better! =)

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  9. DianeG says:

    Monique, Monique, Monique…what a creative mind you have. Love the twist. I’m so glad it was Ana who is the mastermind behind the clever, forthright, and possibly beneficial ‘coming out’ article to save her husband from anymore blackmail threats. Smart and pretty.

    The homage to E.L. and FSOG is touching, cheeky, and funny. I love a good inside, wink-wink joke.

    And boy Ana better start working on those insecurities or the onslaught of hot, all-too-willing women will wreak havoc on their too new marriage.

    You naughty, naughty girl…’licking that delicious peach into two orgasms because what?’ I had to close my eyes and grab the sides of my desk to keep from sliding straight out of my chair, cheese eatin’ grin all over my face.

    Great chapter….still hooked 😀

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    • Monique Lain says:

      LOL for wink-wink inside joke! You’re right about Ana though, I think it’s going to be a wild ride if they go for it. Love that you liked the dirty talk, I must say that even writing that made me blush! 🙂 Thank you for the awesome review!

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  10. gmbizette says:

    You did it again my friend !!! Love when you have them talk and build a closer connection.

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  11. Susan says:

    Truly enjoyed this chapter. Great plot twist to add ridding Christain of further blackmailing possibilities. I think Christain and Ana are equals in the brain department in different ways, of course. Very anxious to get to the bottom of the Jose – Linc situation and on with the pregnancy! Keep up the excellent work. Love every word.

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    • Monique Lain says:

      Thank you Susan, glad you enjoyed the little turn of events. They are great equals I just hope she sees it because I think he does, at least from an intellectual point of view.

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  12. Mary says:

    Mmmm I love how u describe the kiss 😉
    Too short .. Can’t wait to read more 🙂

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  13. Deb says:

    Oh my merciful heavens………………what have you gone and done now?
    Bringing in FSOG and EL James was brilliant, but you already know that! YOU. ARE. BRILLIANT.
    I was thinking that Christian should just tell his own story, but…..you take doing that to a different level!
    Women swooning…….done
    Dropping at his feet…….done
    Reading about him in a magazine…..done. ( blog)…….
    And he still only has eyes for his Ana………drool pooling from my mouth!
    I have one wish, now two…..
    To have my own Christian….in my dreams, I know……
    And now…..to someday meet you, dear Mo……to see the person that single handedly, brings me so much joy when, right now, I only see darkness in my real life…..
    I hope you can find the time to keep writing this story,while doing your own life. I know one person that will be quite sad when this amazing ride is done!
    You are a treasure that I am very glad to have found……
    *smiling warmly*
    Thanks, again, bestie!!!!!
    xoxo

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    • Monique Lain says:

      Ah Deb, you sure know how to stroke a girl’s ego. Boy, if I was a guy I’d have a head the size of a house just from your reviews.. 😉 I’m so glad you like it and I hope that you find that one person that makes you toes curl in every direction! I also hope things improve for you, stay strong! I don’t even want to think about ending this, I don’t know if I would know how to stop! 😉 Happy to share as long as you’re happy to read babe! Wink/shoulder bump! xx

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  14. Marion Evans says:

    Wow how clever are you to bring in FSOG was bloody brilliant …… will be so sad when this Meander ends

    Like

    • Monique Lain says:

      Shhhh, don’t say it, I don’t want to think about ending it! I’m quite happy to stick my head in the sand and ingnore the idea completely! Maybe we can be like Days of Our Lives and go on for years… LOL! The soap opera of FSOG! 😉 Glad you liked the FSOG ref Marion. xx

      Like

  15. SusanW says:

    I *love* this conversation between Ana and Christian — it’s such a clear illustration of how much they’ve matured and changed during their time apart. They each grappled with their own anxieties and set them aside, talking openly with each other about things they once would have kept secret. Thank God — it means that the misery they went through won’t have been for nothing. And Ana is thinking like a lawyer — when the opposition is in possession of damaging evidence about you that is inevitably going to come out, it’s always better to reveal the facts yourself rather than let the other party have the advantage of dropping a huge bombshell. However, I don’t think it’s going to be as cut and dried as Ana imagines. No competent journalist is going to let Christian control the interview and only give the information he wants disclosed. There will of course be questions (and maybe some investigation by the journalist) about how and why he got into that lifestyle, and I think it’s going to be really hard to avoid any revelation of his early childhood and the fact that he was “mentored” by someone. On the upside, they would undoubtedly want photos for the article, and that would probably necessitate getting the Red Room back into working order — if Christian hasn’t already done that on the sly. And then kinky fuckery can ensue 🙂 Awesome chapter, Monique — thank you!

    Like

    • DianeG says:

      Oh I think there will definitely be some unintended consequences for both, but atleast they will be controlling the narrative and can downplay or outright refute the revelations that are just too damaging or personal. But I don’t think Ana understands the ruthlessness of some women. There will be those who will be determined to test the bonds of her marriage. Will our Christian be strong enough to resist (I think he will)?

      Like

    • Monique Lain says:

      Thank you for making that point. Yes, it’s not something he wants to reveal but rather a pre-emptive strike before irreparable damage is done. I agree with you Susan on the cut and dried aspect also, but I do think the fact that he owns such a large chunk of the publishing industry will give him quite a bit of control over what his own or partner publications print about him. In the magazine (especially glossy) industry I think the fact that they will feature CG who is normally so very private will be a big enough scoop to make them accept almost anything. Can you imagine what the sales will be like if this was for real? If it was a newspaper I think a hard hitting journalist would for sure treat it very differently. I think it’s probable that a really tenacious journo might uncover Elena’s mentoring but because so few know about his circumstances as a very small child (apart from what’s available on public record) the childhood trauma might be much harder to uncover, if at all. The people who knows the story is loyal to him to a fault and none his subs ever knew. Elena might be the only weak link in the chain… Ooohhh exciting stuff. I love your comment. Thank you so much for it! 😉

      Like

  16. Donna says:

    I loved it!!!! Can’t wait to read how Anna’s idea plays out!

    Like

  17. Moire says:

    mmmh mmmh – or is the Phhooarrrr – you have the right picture on the front of that GQ!!!!sigh ———–

    Only hope that the saying of “First Rule of Defence – Do not set up skittles to have them knocked down” – does not ensue.
    As others have said cool to bring in FSOG tribute – and so love Ana’s total belief in the strength of their marriage to suggest it – hope she does not regret it later(s) with her insecurities leaping to the fore as every sub going will want to throw themselves at this stunning man for all that Christian will be constantly confirming his committment to Ana.

    Again Monique, a great Saturday morning even as winter approaches and it is wet and cold outside – it sure is warm in here – and it ain’t the cuppa !!!??? 🙂

    Like

  18. Katherine says:

    I loved this chapter! The more they communicate the happier they will be and I think it’s great that it is Christian wanting to start conversations for a change
    Brilliant idea for Christian to do a piece in a magazine coming out as a dom! I would read that especially if there was pictures – oh my!
    I can understand why Ana wants him to do it but something tells me that she will not be able to handle even more women wanting him – I think it will play on her own insecurities big style and that will be so good to read.
    I love love love this story – you are an amazing writer and always without exception leave me wanting more.
    Oh and that line “licking that delicious peach into two orgasms” swoon worthy – You sure have a way with words girl
    Did I say I love this story 🙂
    I find myself stalking it from midnight Thursday night just in case the email alerts don’t work lol
    Roll on Friday I cannot wait

    Like

    • Monique Lain says:

      Yes definitely with pictures! LOL! I also think Ana underestimates the impact it will have, let’s hope she copes… 😉 So glad you enjoyed it, I’ve been toying with the GQ thing for a while. I wasn’t quite sure how it would go down but I see, so far, the idea is well liked. Glad you liked the naughty bit. Funny how just a single line can be as hot as lemon… Love that you’re stalking it! 😉 Thank you for a fantastic review Katherine, great to hear from you!

      Like

  19. twinkie55 says:

    You genius you! Well done Monique, i did not see it comimg. You never fail to surprise and thrill the mind, it is just mind blowing what Anna is asking CG to do …it’s the cheapest therapy as well; thank you.

    Like

  20. Jane Jones says:

    Brilliant what more can I say

    Like

  21. Maggie says:

    OK, first – thank you for not having the mid-week tease turn out to be another incredibly dumb Ana moment! Phew! I was worried for a bit. I enjoyed this chapter – good communication between these two but I can’t help feeling it’s the calm before the storm, eh? Too much heavy stuff to still settle for these two. It is nice, though, to have a little window into their married moments…there is always that delicious undercurrent humming along between these two and you write it soooo beautifully! So, a daughter? Yep, I think that could be fun for CG… Bring on 44 🙂

    Like

    • Monique Lain says:

      Whahaha! Maggie, love that I had you worried… 😉 Glad you liked it! Just on the side line, do you see my Ana as dumb in general? Thank you for the lovely review. xx

      Like

      • Maggie says:

        Dumb? In the ‘what ARE you thinking, girl!’ kinda way….there were times in the trilogy when I wanted to slap her…ugh. I LOVE the way you write both of them 😉 – actually Taylor, too! I see absolutely no reason this story has to end – ever 😉
        Personally, I think it would make an awesome HBO or Showtime series…and, as you get these two so deeply, you would be my first choice as the screenwriter 🙂
        I know there are some very interesting things coming their way soon, but my heart does tug for another little one, too. Just finished re-reading the Valentines meander and it doesn’t appear she’s preggers by that point 😦
        Laters, baby – keep up the AWESOME writing –

        Like

        • Monique Lain says:

          LOL! Thank you Maggie, that would be a scoop and a half! Valentine’s Meander is one of my fav too, my hubby said about Christian, after reading it: “he seems so, so happy!” I thought that was cute! Thank you for the feedback! xx

          Like

  22. Deanna says:

    Nice. After all this time, I feel like they’re still getting to know each other. Mentioning FSOG was not only a brilliant nod to the original creator of the characters we love so much, but also a great way to incorporate the possibility of Christian coming out.

    Reading about Christian & Ana + a glass of red wine = HEAVEN!

    Like

  23. marisol says:

    Loved the story, i have cried, I’ve been anxious, mad, worried, exasperated at anastacia for being so insecure……..great job,, I am your fan

    Like

    • Monique Lain says:

      Hi there! Thank you so much! Insecurity is an ugly thing, you feel it in spite of the evidence against and you can’t help acting accordingly. She so needs to sort herself out! 🙂 Thank you for the comment, I love to hear that I managed to elicit an emotion from someone… 😉

      Like

  24. Diana says:

    Here I go again, Monique, Monique, Monique…..but then again, you know this means you’ve literally blown my mind once again!!!!! You are totally, brilliant, fantastic, AMA……ZING….and things that hold high standard!!!!! Every twist & turn is so breathtaking……WOW~~~~ The way you so amazingly put E L James in this CHapter was totally “BrIlLiAnT!!!!!! You know this already….I’m still numb from your words! I so must remind you of this please:
    Monique is “Brilliant”……”Amazing”….”Fantastic”………”Heavenly”..etc…. a total package that you so kindly share with us!!!!
    You have given all your followers a great POV from both AG * CG you never ever disappoint and I thank you for that!!!! This Chapter had such a different twist—a good one :+)))
    Until the next time, Thank you so much……awating the “lust”////lol

    Like

    • Monique Lain says:

      Hi Diana,PHEW! Another breathtaking review! Thank you for that! Between you and Deb you have my ego purring! LOL! 😉 Glad you liked the chapter and the FSOG ref and love hearing your kind words. 😉

      Like

  25. skinsavant says:

    i believe that the longer they stay together, the more they will learn that communication, trust, some sacrifice and compromise are the key elements that they need to rebuild their marriage. it appears that christian and and handling their relationship in a more mature way. slowly but surely, they’re working on their insecurities.

    they will always have problems created by outside forces due to their unique status but as long as they continue to love, believe, trust and support one another, they will have a much stronger love and marriage.

    i love your story and how you develop the main characters without losing their traits and personalities and you build the story so brilliantly!
    with the lemons, suspense, glamour, romance, love, humor, etc and your intelligent way combining some if not all of them together in every chapter, i’m never bored! i love your story and it’s on top of my favorite list of fifty shades fanfiction stories (actually, my list is getting longer :D)!

    Like

    • Monique Lain says:

      Thank you for making that point, I agree, they are getting there. I’m blown away by your comment about not being bored, I think that’s one of the hardest things to overcome when writing FF. I’m sure you know, because your body of work is not read as a single body but as pieces you need to keep your audience. Love topping your list honey! 😉 Thank you for another lovely review! xx

      Like

  26. Mrs. G says:

    I like Ana’s idea! An article I’d definitely read….over and over like Meander! Can’t wait to see if they go through with it and how it effects the perp’s next move. I didnt miss Christian “tonight” promise. Bring on the baby making!!!

    Like

  27. tammy mcdonald says:

    omg.just found the site today and did nothing but read all your chapters until I finished. at first my heart dropped when I read they divorced but it made the coming together so hot, I still think its jose and Leila. she was an artist and she did get the pics to begin with so I think its them. I will continue to read to find out. thank you very very much.

    Like

  28. Deb says:

    Mo……
    I do not think of Ana as “dumb”…….. She, like most of us, is so unsure of why this fantabulous man is so into her….Her entire journey, from the moment they met, has been about trying to understand him and his feelings for her, and why he choose her! No….not dumb, scared, perhaps, unsure, definitely, wanting him beyond all reason, ok…..but surely NOT dumb!
    As I have said, before, a lot……….your writing is crazy good….you have taken “my” beloved Christian and Ana to higher grounds in such a beautiful and moving way, made them real, made me root for them, made me wish for my own Christian, made me believe that true, deep, unwavering love just might be real, maybe …………
    No, sweet Mo, not dumb……….just real!
    You continue down this path, you have so generously chosen to share with us, and we will hang on with both hands and…..simply…….enjoy the ride!
    muah, bestie…………
    xoxo

    Like

    • Monique Lain says:

      Ah that’s a lovely sentiment Deb, thank you so much. Isn’t it just wonderful how we can get so engrossed into something? And you’re perfectly correct, she is so unsure of herself. We get taught so quickly that if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. It makes you wonder how many good things we’ve passed up because we just can’t seem to believe it can last… Good comment Deb xx

      Like

  29. Cassandra Hall says:

    I am in freaking love with your spin on the story. I can not wait to read more!!

    Like

  30. 1klkelly says:

    The reference to FSOG made me laugh. CLEVER. This was Janice intimate conversation between the two. 😀

    Like

  31. 1klkelly says:

    ” a nice “

    Like

  32. Halla says:

    Hey
    A girlfriend told me about this version. COOL.
    Maybe you want to know a Danish songwriter. Mads Langer. His new albus ” in these waters”. Have some realy fantastic song. “Elephant, heartquake or dire straits” ex…..
    Waiting for next chapter 😄

    Like

  33. Danielle says:

    Oh Monique…brilliant as always! I have to say my favorite part was coming across the delectable Alexander Skarsgaard in the middle of your chapter because…well…Yum!!! Thank you for that 🙂
    So many things to love but have to mention the hot words always coming out of CG’s mouth, your amazing ability to suck us right into the moment, the brilliant mention of FSOG & well…everything! You my love are amazing!

    Like

  34. louise thomas says:

    Loved it. Cant wait to read more hope i dont have to wait long!

    Like

  35. jewels 24 says:

    Please, Please,Please…. It’s killing me!! When will we b able to read chapter 44? I’m going through withdraw… 😉 Love this story, r u thinking of venturing out on ur own? u r a damn fine writer… Where can I find ur fan fic on the cross fire stories? I need my Christian and Anna fix!! I live for fridays…. LOL Happy Birthday by the way, although it might b belated… My b-day is the end of the month, I’ll b 21….cough,cough… again.. 😉

    Like

    • Monique Lain says:

      I’m sorry Jewels 24, I posted a monster one-shot here on the blog on Friday as a treat and it’s left me completely drained. I will, if all goes to plan, post chapter 44 next week. Hopefully Spanish Meander will tide you over. 😉 You can find all the Christian and Ana one-shots (sequels to Meander) as well as the Crossfire one-shot in the sidebar here on the blog. I’ve got Fifty Shades Meander listed first, followed by all the music from the chapters followed by the one-shots. Let me know if you have difficulty finding them then I’ll send you the links but you just need to go down on the long, left hand side, bar. Love that you’re looking forward to the updates and thank you for the birthday wishes! 😉

      Like

  36. elena says:

    Omg I love this story I hope ana gets pregnant again so you can show us how happy Christian can be. I just started reading yesterday and am already done with chapter 43. Do u post a new chapter every week? I was also wondering how many chapters you have .

    Like

    • Monique Lain says:

      Wow Elena, that’s amazing. For the industry standard Meander is over four books long already! Some book hangover you must have! LOL! I’m so glad you like it. I usually post once a week, and usually over a weekend. If you follow the blog you’ll get an e-mail notification, otherwise start checking in on Friday night. I have no idea how many chapters I have left, I wing it and already postponed the ending many times with new twists, but I think still quite a few to go! There are some one-shot stories as sequels to Meander in the side bar that can keep you entertained in the mean time… Thank you for posting! 😀

      Like

  37. Kim says:

    Just recently came across your blog and was instantly hooked!! Can’t wait to read more 🙂

    Like

  38. yolanda says:

    Girl you are absolutely amazing, you are a soap opera please don’t change the channel yet.

    Like

  39. Samara S. says:

    That was so clever about the book. I loved it. I wasn’t expecting it. Lol…

    Like

  40. Ivonne says:

    Monique, amazing writting!!! way better than FSOG even I still dont like Ana´s way of thinking, but hell thats what a charácter in a book makes either you like them or not, anyways years ago I told my friends and my sisters I started Reading FSOG and got them read them all, I bump into your blog this past sunday, I havent stop reading between work and chores, so far made it to the 43th, damn!!! Im almost at the end I dont want it to finish, my money is on Jose and the “artist” I recalled that the ex-sub went to painting rehab.

    But Thats not the point, I want to let you know, that again I recomended new Reading material to my friends and my sisters, and all of them are hooked in you blog since this last monday. They are not fast readers as I am but havent stop receiving calls ans texts from that, that this is so gooooodddd!!!. So girl you have a fan base in Mexico City, you Rock Monique!!!

    Greetings and admiration bows all the way from Mexico City to you girl

    Goto go keep Reading chap. 44 got only two more hours

    Ivonne

    Like

  41. Penny says:

    Incredible…love Ana’s idea!

    Like

  42. dshelley says:

    OK, this chapter is genius! I haven’t read the comment thread yet, but I am sure everyone agrees. Having Ana acknowledge the FSOG trilogy was brilliant on several levels: 1) It was a very respectful homage to E L James work. 2) It gives a wink to your readers and their intelligence. 3). It is a brilliant plot point that opens so many possibilities for Christian and Ana.

    I love having Jason and Christian’s POV thrown into the mix as well. I am now not only a fan of this work, but you can be sure that I will be digging into your other works as well.

    Like

  43. Christian obsessed says:

    I love the fan fiction… But i only wish you got Mrs. Taylor for their wedding

    Like

  44. SIP editor says:

    I’ve been wrestling with writing any comments as I tend to be a bit critical and don’t want to come off as a total jerk. However, since you mentioned a rewrite so recently (and assuming you weren’t joking), I’m really hoping you find these helpful and not dismissive or harping in any way.

    1. The PR plot to get rid of the blackmail cloud of doom is a good strategy. (I’m sorry, I know everyone will probably throw rotten food at me for this, but I have to be honest.) Referencing FSOG in its own world doesn’t quite sit well with me. (We’re in Ana and Christian’s world and the fact that the books are about them removes the “reality” of their world.

    I think this chapter would be stronger by not referencing the books. Simply acknowledging BDSM in popular culture and its burgeoning acceptance would be enough of a vehicle for the PR plot.

    As reference, the show Supernatural (TV show on CW in US) does something very similar witha series of novels about the show popping within the “reality” of the show. The differce is they exist in a world of magic and the way the novels are introduced is a plot device that transcends multiple seasons creating the main story arch of the 2nd half of the series to date.

    2. Though I value the addition of Christian’s POV, I had trouble following it as solely Christian’s. Perhaps I misread, but there seemed to be a lot of Taylor’s thought process. As a result, I found myself losing track and wondering if it was still Christian’s POV or Taylor’s. I’d recommend rereading the end of the FSOG 3rd book where we get to see Christian’s POV and character’s “voice”. It may help as reference to anchor the POV to Christian.

    3. In general, Ana and Christian’s characters seem to have departed quite a bit from the character’s original voices from FSOG. I’m not sure if this is intentional or not, so the comment may be moot. If you would like to discuss further, please let me know, I’d be happy to dialogue.

    Again, I’m not trying to be critical and I’m so sorry if it does come across that way. I really hope this helps strengthen the story as I’ve enjoyed being able to continue escaping into Ana and Christian’s world.

    Like

    • Monique Lain says:

      Hello there. Firstly, thank you for your feedback and keeping it constructive. I am indeed doing a rewrite but it’s slow going. We are onto editing chapter 4 ATM.
      Were your first point is concerned I might have agreed with you if the reference was a plot device but it’s simply that, a reference; a tip of the hat in EL James’s direction for the wonderful characters she gave us. It’s of no consequence to the chapter either way.
      I’m sorry you had difficulty following the switches in POV. In total I’ve Christian, Ana, and Taylor’s POV. I’ve marked the switches in bold but I could add page breaks to make it clearer. In all POV’s though there are aspects of other character’s thoughts as they are usually physically present at the time. In my story they are, however, necessary plot devices as I wanted the readers to see things that could not have been shown through Ana. The point about following the book in this regard (CG POV in the first person) is moot as Freed starts with third person CG POV, so I have indeed taken another leaf from EL James there – only ever trying to follow the canon as it’s fan fic.
      Regarding point three; yes it certainly is intensional. Not only is Ana 5 years older, but she’s become a mom AND she made a horrific mistake that’s forever altered the lives of the people around her. I cannot imagine an Ana that’s not changed dramatically as a result.
      Again, thank you for taking the time to review 🙂

      Like

  45. crystal says:

    Hi,
    I will never look a peach again the same way! Not for sure How i feel about coming out of the closet per say, on the
    BDSM. Look forward to reading your spin on it.

    Like

  46. Tara Hess says:

    I loved how you mentioned the FSOG books! I am as inthralled with your writing as I was with the books!

    Like

  47. cherie says:

    I discovered this book a few weeks ago and I am totally hooked. I am stunned by the quality of it! I really don’t know if Jose did it! I’m addicted! I never actually read the main books , after reading a few chapters I stopped as I found it a little disturbing. But this is everything a good book should be. I applaud you!

    Like

  48. Raine says:

    I only have 3 words. Absolutely fucking perfect!

    Like

  49. Melanie says:

    I have not commented on many chapters, but I am completely taken in by your story. It is very creative and I love how consistent you are with the characters from the original and even the way you phrase things. I love love love when you bring in comments from her inner goddess and her snarky subconscious! Outstanding!

    Like

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