These past three weeks since Elena first went to the hospital have given me a whole new insight on where I need to go and what I need to do with my life. I have a clarity that I didn't have before. With the help of the club I am more focused than ever before to fulfill my goals.

I was given 10,000 dollars by my dad to invest a while ago and I have since doubled it. But that is not nearly enough to get going. It will take a lot more money and the right mindset to accomplish what I have set out to do.

I read an article on businessmen that talked about image. Yes, that is a significant component to achieve what I desire. I need to get myself out there into the business world to show them that I am confident and trustworthy. In order to do that, I need to look and act professional. To jump start that, I am attending all the functions that my parents have that could give me political and business acquaintances. So some of the money I made is going to my wardrobe. That way, I look the part as well as act it.

My drive and Dom nature have given me confidence to stand up straight and take the bull by the horns. I haven't visited Elena since that first night but have been at the club almost every night and I can already feel the change happening.

Those women, the ones at the club, to submit to me they have to put their bodies and minds under my control. They have to trust me that I know what they need, when they need it in order for it to work. That not only gives me the upper hand but this feeling of superiority. I pay close attention to their signals so that I can adjust the pain or pleasure that they desire. To know deep down that I can do that is success in itself.

I don't feel that a board room is much different in that I need to use just the right amount of authority but at the same time get them to trust me.

Just like at the club, there is no emotion involved. As long as I bury that, I can keep focused. Elena has helped me immensely to learn to control the emotional parts of my being and for that I owe her. I am fully aware that love is a fantasy. Sure, I believe that my family thinks they love me and I care for them deeply but no woman is going to love someone as fucked up as I am. And I as well, have no room in my life for pretending to love them. It just isn't in me to love anyone.

When I look at my subs, all I see are brown haired girls that I want to beat in order to release all my pain and anger. They are essentially business associates. We give one another what we want within the bounds of the contract.

Ring, ring

I am pulled from my thoughts when my phone rings next to me at the dining room table.

"Hi," I say seeing that it is Elena calling me.

"Hi Christian," she says.

"It's….uh….been a while," I say.

"Yes it has." She replies. "Do you have time to meet me for lunch tomorrow at the bistro?"

"Sure, why?" I say in wonder.

"I would like to see you," she states.

"Ok, when?"

"Meet me at 1pm?"

"Ok, see you then."

For several minutes I stare at my phone after hanging up. It was so good to hear her voice, God I miss her.

Though by the sound of her voice, I think that we both know that our relationship dynamics have changed. I can't go back to being her sub and she knows it. Seeing her so vulnerable in the hospital that night was a shock to my system. Even after Linc would hit her and she came to my mom, she never appeared weak like she did that night. That image will forever be engrained in my mind.

The following day, Elena POV

I am sitting at the table sipping my wine when Christian comes in. He steps inside wearing jeans and a collared shirt. He is different. There is a certain dignified air about him as he scans the room and his eyes fall on me. His stride is more pronounced and his chin is held high.

Though she is not supposed to say anything, my close friend from the club had told me that Christian had been going there quite frequently lately, as a Dom. It's not typical for people to switch like that but just looking at him shows me that he definitely did. Though it saddens me, maybe he has found his niche.

"Hi," I say as he comes to the table of the small elegant Italian bistro.

"Elena," he says and leans down to kiss my cheek before taking the seat across from me.

"You are looking well," he says as his grey eyes sweep over me.

"Thank you. So are you." I reply.

We sit quietly while the waiter pours him a glass of wine from the bottle sitting in the stand beside our table. I can see the sparkle in his eyes, both of us silently reminiscing about our playroom time.

"Christian, you know that we can't…." I start to say but he interrupts me.

"I know," he states.

He has grown up so much from that insecure 15-year-old boy I first took into the playroom on that day. I want to help him. He did just as much for me as I did for him during our relationship. That is why I am here today.

Christian POV

Elena never ceases to amaze me as I sit here before her. She looks as radiant as ever in her little blue dress with her hair up and make up done to perfection. The remnants of her abuse faded as if it almost never happened.

I have to tell her that I am not a sub any longer but I don't want to see the disappointment in her eyes. Confidence, I remind myself.

I get a moment of reprieve when the waiter comes to take our orders.

Then I take a deep breath, "Look Elena, I….I have….been going to the club." I pause to assess her. She does not seem ruffled by the news. I run my hand through my hair, "But….not as a sub." I say looking directly into her eyes. All I see there is tenderness.

"It isn't easy to switch roles but…..I see you are adapting well," She says while her eyes roam over me.

"It is helpful yes," I say, " But it's all because of you."

She smiles but I can tell she doesn't believe me because her smile does not reach her eyes.

"Elena," I say taking her hand into mine from across the table. "Without you I would be a junky, a drunk, or in jail by now. You were the one to help my channel all of my tormented emotions in a way that made me what I am today. For that I am eternally grateful."

There it is, a genuine smile.

"Thank you Christian." She says. "I see that my hard work paid off where you are concerned." She says teasingly.

"You know," she continues, "There were many times over the years that you told me of your dreams and goals for the future once you established what it is you wanted."

I am taken back by her words, back to the times we sat on the patio and talked, other times when we were done with a session and were simply lying on the bed. Elena has always been the one person I could talk to.

We pause as the waiter comes to set down our plates. Then I ask her what has been plaguing my mind for the past three weeks.

"What is going on with you and Linc?"

"We are working things out." She says casually.

"What does that mean?" I ask. I don't want her near that bastard but according to my mom she is still living in that house with him.

"We are settling our affairs. It's over between us." She states.

"Thank fuck for that," I mutter.

"She takes my hand and squeezes it. "You don't have to worry about me Christian, I will be just fine."

After the waiter takes away our plates, Elena reaches into her purse and pulls out an envelope, setting it down on the table in front of her.

"Christian, your parents have told me how proud they are of you for what you have been doing, investing your dad's money wisely and all the research that you have done in order to make the right choice of companies to invest in."

I chuckle, "Yeah, they said as much." I tell her.

"I want to help you. I want to help you achieve your success." Elena says very seriously all of a sudden.

The intense gaze she gives me and her tone of voice makes me straighten my back unconsciously in my seat.

"This is for you." She says sliding the envelope across the table.

I can't help the puzzled look on my face as I take it slowly. She sits quietly as I open it to reveal its contents. Holy fucking shit!

My shocked expression is not lost on her as she smiles back at me.

"Elena, I….I don't know what to say." I stammer as I hold a check for 100,000 dollars in my shaking hand.

"You don't have to say anything, just take that, go out there, and make your million." She states.

I study her with a mixture of admiration and fear, "You really believe in me that much?" I ask.

"Of course I do." She laughs. "I know that you can do it so here is your chance."

I give her a tender look, "Thank you."

I stare at the check thinking, not just for me but for you too, Elena, I will prove to you that your faith in me is not misplaced. I will not fail!

We finish our wine and I take the check when it comes. I know she invited me but I am a gentleman so I pay the bill and we head toward the door of the bistro.

Once outside, I walk her to her car. The moment is strained since this is kind of a goodbye. She must sense it too or sees it written across my face.

She cups my cheek in her hand, "Christian, I am not going anywhere and anytime you want to talk or need some advise since I am a bit business savvy, just call me."

I lean into her palm and close my eyes, taking a moment to revel in her touch one last time.

"Even in the lifestyle, if you need anything just call. Just because we are not intimate like before does not mean we are not close friends."

"So….this is not goodbye then?" I ask, lowering my eyes.

"No, no this is just the start of something new for both of us." She states.

I pull her into a tight embrace. She really is quite a woman and I will always be indebted to her for all that she has given me.

We pull back and she moves to get in her car, "I'll see you soon," she says smiling.

I can't help but smile back and say, "Definitely."

I make no move to leave until her taillights have completely vanished down the street.

I think to myself, I won't let you down.

The End

Thanks for reading and reviewing. I think it is time to move on from this story. Not sure if a sequel is in the near future or not? This was a fun, and difficult, story to write and I appreciate all the support that you all have given me during this journey, but sadly it is time to move on. I can't say enough about how important your feedback is for any story that you read so keep in mind that the writer needs your motivation to help them in their work.

Love to all,

Tessa Moon