The candle flame is too hot. It flickers and dances in the over-warm breeze, a breeze that brings no respite from the heat. Soft gossamer wings flutter to and fro in the dark, sprinkling dusty scales in the circle of light. I’m struggling to resist, but I’m drawn. And then it’s so bright, and I am flying too close to the sun, dazzled by the light, fried and melting from the heat, weary in my endeavors to stay airborne. I am so warm. The heat… it’s stifling, overpowering. It wakes me.
I open my eyes, and I’m draped in Christian Grey. He’s wrapped around me like a victory flag. He’s fast asleep with his head on my chest, his arm over me, holding me close, one of his legs thrown over and hooked around both of mine. He’s suffocating me with his body heat, and he’s heavy. I take a moment to absorb that he’s still in my bed and fast asleep, and it’s light outside – morning. He has spent the whole night with me.
My right arm is stretched, no doubt in search of a cool spot, and as I process the fact that he’s still with me, the thought occurs that I can touch him. He’s asleep. Tentatively, I lift my hand and run the tips of my fingers down his back. Deep in his throat, I hear a faint distressed groan, and he stirs. He nuzzles my chest, inhaling deeply as he wakes. Sleepy, blinking gray eyes meet mine beneath his tousled mop of hair.
“Good morning,” he mumbles and frowns. “Jesus, even in my sleep I’m drawn to you.” He moves slowly, unpeeling his limbs from me as he gets his bearings. I become
aware of his erection against my hip. He notices my wide-eyed reaction, and he smiles a slow sexy smile.
“Hmm… this has possibilities, but I think we should wait until Sunday.” He leans down and nuzzles my ear with his nose.
I flush, but then I feel seven shades of scarlet from his heat.
“You’re very hot,” I murmur.
“You’re not so bad yourself,” he murmurs and presses himself against me, suggestively.
I flush some more. That’s not what I meant. He props himself up on his elbow gazing down at me, amused. He bends, and to my surprise, plants a gentle kiss on my lips.
“Sleep well?” he asks.
I nod, staring up at him, and I realize that I’ve slept very well except maybe for the last half-hour when I was too hot.
“So did I.” He frowns. “Yes, really well.” He raises his eyebrows in confused surprise.
“What’s the time?”
I glance at my alarm.
“7:30… shit.” He scrambles out of bed and drags on his jeans.
It is my turn to look amused as I sit up. Christian Grey is late and flustered. This is something I have never seen before. I belatedly realize that my behind is no longer sore.
“You are such a bad influence on me. I have a meeting. I have to go – I have to be in Portland at eight. Are you smirking at me?”
“I’m late. I don’t do late. Another first, Miss Steele.” He pulls on his jacket and then bends down and grasps my head, his hands on either side.
“Sunday,” he says, and the word is pregnant with an unspoken promise. Everything deep in my body uncurls and then clenches in delicious anticipation, the feeling is exquisite. Holy hell, if my mind could just keep up with my body. He leans forward and kisses me quickly. He grabs his stuff from my side table and his shoes – which he doesn’t put on.
“Taylor will come and sort your Beetle. I was serious. Don’t drive it. I’ll see you at my place on Sunday. I’ll email you a time.” And like a whirlwind, he’s gone .
Oh my, Christian Grey spent the night with me, and I feel rested. And there was no sex, only cuddling. He told me he never slept with anyone – but he’s slept three times with me.
I grin and slowly climb out of my bed. I feel more optimistic than I have for the last day or so. I head for the kitchen, needing a cup of tea.
After breakfast, I shower and dress quickly for my last day at Clayton’s. It is the end of an era – goodbye to Mr. & Mrs. Clayton, WSU, Vancouver, the apartment, my Beetle. I glance at the mean machine – it’s only 7:52. I have time.
From: Anastasia Steele
Subject: Assault and Battery: The after-effects Date: May 27 2011 08:05
To: Christian Grey
Dear Mr. Grey
You wanted to know why I felt confused after you – which euphemism should we apply – spanked, punished, beat, assaulted me. Well during the whole alarming process I felt demeaned, debased and abused. And much to my mortification, you’re right, I was aroused, and that was unexpected. As you are well aware, all things sexual are new to me – I only wish I was more experienced and therefore more prepared. I was shocked to feel aroused.
What really worried me was how I felt afterwards. And that’s more difficult to articulate.
I was happy that you were happy. I felt relieved that it wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be. And when I was lying in your arms, I felt – sated. But I feel very uncomfortable, guilty even, feeling that way. It doesn’t sit well with me, and I’m confused as a result. Does that answer your question?
I hope the world of Mergers and Acquisitions is as stimulating as ever… and that you weren’t too late.
Thank you for staying with me.
From: Christian Grey
Subject: Free Your Mind
Date: May 27 2011 08:24
To: Anastasia Steele
Interesting… if slightly overstated title heading Miss Steele.
To answer your points:
I’ll go with spanking – as that’s what it was.