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"Oh Christian, this place is amazing but God it's so dull," Mia sighs dramatically, stomping around my apartment waving her arms about to enforce her point. My mother, who is sitting on the sofa, just looks on with an indulgent smile on her lips, shaking her head slowly. Mia skips over to the vast glass windows, pushing her face up close to the glass like a child, "If it wasn't for this wonderful view, this place would have no real appeal at all... Well apart from its size of course... This place is huge, but God it could do with brightening up, it's so... Sterile... Clinical and I don't want to say it again... But so DULL... White is such a boar...ring colour, if you can call it a colour" her voice grumbles, as she raise's her eye's skyward.

Holding my tongue and temper, I walk over to the fridge and take out a bottle of wine. I pour myself a glass, and drain it in one. I love my family but I so hate these drop in visits. I've only been home ten minutes, I have a mountain of work to get through before the weekend and I don't really have the time for all of this.

"Of course White is a colour Mia" I snap back, as I run my hand through my hair, trying to hide my ever growing frustration. I love my sister dearly but she can be so overbearing it's annoying. "White is at the opposite end of the spectrum to black, it's a very popular colour, and suits me, so enough Mia, I... " she cuts me off, with a screech, suddenly running towards me,

"Plleeease...Christian, let me liven this place up for you, just a few colourful feature walls, nothing major, just..." I try to curb her enthusiastic rant, as she looks up at me with the sad pleading face, that I have never been able to refuse, ever since she was small, but no... Not this time,

"I'm happy with Escala the way it is Mia, it has enough colour for me" a small smile hits my lips, as I think of my colourful room upstairs. "Mom, can't you take her home already?" I look at my mother for help, but she just laughs softly,

"Oh Christian be nice, you know she's harmless, and if you took time out to visit us more often, we wouldn't have to pop by unannounced to see if your okay" a sad look cross's her face. I know I don't give enough time to my family, I know it breaks her heart that I'm so closed off, but it's so draining trying to pretend to be somebody I'm not... If she knew the real me she wouldn't... I don't even want to think about it.

"Of course I'm okay mother... Why wouldn't I be? You know I'm very busy at the minute with..." once again Mia's shrill voice interrupts me,

"Yes... Yes there is always something... But is it really SO IMPORTANT, that you can't spare time for your family? We have not seen you in weeks Christian... You are always so busy... You're getting so old before your time... You so need to loosen up a bit, your whole life can't be just business, business, business" she rolls her eyes at me which gets my back up, but I rein in my temper. This is Mia after all, and irritation is her middle name, and no... My life isn't all business, but they can never find out about my other life...

"It's important to me Mia, I have a lot of commitments and import..." my voice defends but I feel my deep frown, as she waves her hand at me dismissively,

"Yes... Yes... What ever... No man, has ever been truly happy being married to his office. So live a little Christian, please... I have a friend who.." she looks up at me with hope filled eyes, I curse internally, Oh No... Not this again. My voice is harsher than I'd like but I have to stop this. Pushing her gently away, I take a step back, trying hard to hide my irritation,

"Don't even go there Mia please, we have been through this before... Your friends are of no interest to me" I glance at my mother pleading for help, "Mother stop her, please" she looks amused and can't hide her giggle, as she try's to rein in her daughter,

"Mia please... You know your brother well enough, to know that this is one subject you can't move him on... so enough" she looks at me eagerly, "So Christian, what are you doing next week for your birthday?" I know she is trying to distract Mia with a conversation change but this is not a good subject either. My family always want to make a big thing out of my birthday's, especially Mia, but I can't be bothered with it, who has the time for frivolity, and pretense...

"I will probably be out of town I have..." I see a look of sadness sweep over my Mom's face, before she fully composes herself. My demeanor softens, and my chest feels heavy suddenly,

"Oh Christian, we have to get together, at least for dinner, please darling" her soft voice pleads, the hurt in her voice breaks me, how can I refuse her?. I nod my head slowly, resigning myself to a family get together. Her face brightens instantly, I return her smile as best I can,

"Maybe before I leave... We can all have dinner" I mumbIe, looking towards Mia with a look on my face, that tells her that is all I will be willing to do, before she starts to plan anything on a larger scale, "I will check my schedule with Andrea, and let you know when I'm free" I state,

"That's wonderful darling, it would be lovely to have everyone at home, even for just one night... Now, we have taken up enough of your time, so we will leave you to it, come on Mia time to go" mom stands, picks up her purse from the sofa, an shuffle's Mia toward the elevator. Turning to face me, she leans in to kiss my cheek, I lower my head to receive it and sigh heavily. As my Mom steps away, Mia wraps her arms around my waist and hugs me tightly, I feel myself stiffen slightly then relax, as she looks up at me with love filled eyes,

"Oh Christian, we love you, and worry about you, we just want to see you happy, and live a little that's all" she hugs me tightly before stepping away, I answer quietly not really believing my own words,

"I'm happy Mia... You don't have to worry about me" I don't think I convince her though, as she pulls her brows upwards,

"Yeah right, who are you trying to kid? You don't make time to be happy... But a splash of colour in this place would help..." she smiles up at me, as her eye light up. God she never gives up...

"No colour Mia, it's fine the way it is" I run my hand through my hair, an action my mother doesn't miss. She pulls Mia into the elevator and they both say goodbye, leaving me standing in the hallway feeling totally drained.

I head back into the kitchen, grab the bottle of wine I opened earlier, along with my glass and head for my office. Switching on my computer, I start to deal with my emails. I find I can't concentrate, my sister's words are running round and round in my head... My family loves me, they tell me often but I just can't feel it... I won't let myself feel it, I don't know how to, if I did, maybe I could be happy...

But I'm not unhappy... I'm successful, powerful, rich beyond my wildest dreams... But at what cost?... My family is kept at a distance, I have no real close friends, no one to share everything with... But why would I want to, why would I think, for a single second that I deserve that... I'm not the person they think I am, the person they want me to be... Nobody really knows, the true me... The fucked up me, that has to hurt to feel, that has to punish, just to maintain control and feel some sort of self worth.

They would've had a glimpse of the real me, if they had turned up announced tomorrow night, that's when my true self comes out to play. When my submissive is naked, tied and punished by my hand, begging and obeying only me. A shudder runs through me at the thought of them ever finding out.

It's Susannah's last weekend with me this weekend, her three month contract is up, and I have no intention of extending it. I can see the tell tale sign's of the line's beginning to blur, she has started to feel for me, has hinted she wants more from me... God only know's why. I have shown her nothing but my Dominant nature, the true me. I've been very stern with her, she doesn't have many limits, her tolerance for pain is welcomed by someone like me, and I have definitely pushed her limits. As I will this weekend, for one final time.

It's a shame her contract is over, she is a wonderful sub, everything I could want and need, but it's happened again... So it has to end... I sigh contentedly, as images of my planned final scene's with her flash through my mind. Closing my eyes I lean back in my chair, reveling in my images. A smile plays on my lips... Yes, I will definitely relieve all of my stress, from this hectic week, on her beautiful complient body. I will... I'm pulled out of my daydream by a sharp rap on my office door, "Come in" I shout, before sitting back up straight in my chair, Taylor enters my office.

"Sir, has Miss..." I smile nodding my head. Taylor also finds it hard dealing with Mia, he is another one who can't refuse her ridiculous requests. I see him physically relax in the knowledge that she has left the apartment,

"Yes Taylor, Mia has left" he nod's gratefully,

"Shall I get Gail to prepare you something to eat sir?" he asks,

"Yes Taylor, just something quick, a sandwich or something is fine. Is Gail all packed and ready for leaving tomorrow?" Taylor nod's, as I continue, "I have to attend dinner at my parents house next week for my birthday" I roll my eyes "I will clear Monday evening, and we will head straight to the airport after dinner, so prepare everything we need. I hope Mrs Jones is not too put out by having to spend a whole week with her sister, instead of just the usual weekend?" to my surprise Taylor's face splits into a wide grin, I raise my eyebrows curiously to his reaction,

"Not at all Sir, her niece has just had a baby and is also visiting, so Gail is really looking forward to her extended visit, she told me to thank you, for the extra time off" I cut him off with a wave of my hand,

"No Thanks needed Taylor, there is no need for her to be here, while we are both away, she might as well spend the time with her family" a thought occurs, my family's visit has obviously touched me more than I had realized, "Do you wish to stay too? Spend some time with her and... Family's are important, if you want..." my voice trails off, as Taylor's eyes widen in surprise at my question, and rambling but he recovers quickly,

"No sir, it's fine, I will drop Gail off on Friday and spend a few hours with them, then return back here, in time for Miss Harper's visit... But Thank you for the offer Sir" I can tell from his expression he is still quite bemused, and before either of us can feel anymore awkward, I dismiss him.

Turning my attention back to my computer, I shake my head trying to clear all my wayward thoughts. Half an hour with my Mother and Sister, and I'm totally thrown. Taking a slug of wine from my glass, I open up my email account and continue with the task at hand.

Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx T

Leaving Mr Grey's office, still slightly dazed, I walk towards the kitchen where I find Gail already rummaging through the fridge. She looks up at me, as I approach and try's to read my expression. A worried look appears on her face,

"Jason what is is? is Mr Grey okay? Does he not want any food?" her tone is anxious, I reach for Gail, wrap my arms around her waist and pull her close to me. Her arms rise and circle my neck, I lean down and kiss her silencing her, as I pull my lips away I answer,

"Grey's fine, and yes, he wants to eat, a sandwich or something light he said" Gails brow furrows, and she huff's,

"He needs more than a sandwich after working alday, you both do, it won't take me long to rustle up something for you both" she steps out of my embrace and starts to pull a few more things from the fridge, "So what's up? You seem..." she cocks her head to one side still trying to read me, I shake my head,

"It's nothing baby... Grey just asked me if I wanted to stay behind with you... That's all" her eyes shoot open in surprise, she goes into auto pilot placing a frying pan on the stove and precooked baked potatoes on a tray, then placing them into the oven for reheating. Jesturing for me to carry on, I do "He mentioned how family's are important and stuff" I shrug and share Gail's wide eyed look. She starts preparing the steaks and salad, she's frowning slightly now and I can tell her brain is working over time, mine too. What the hell has got into Grey, he has never cared about taking me away from Gail before,

"Wow... Well maybe... Do you think he is finally realizing that these weekend relationships he has... Are not really going to get him anywhere? He is such a good man... He deserves so much more than that, he needs to meet a nice girl who will..." Gail's eyes water slightly, as her voice falters, her heart breaks for Grey. She would love to see him settle and have a proper relationship, but I can't see it somehow.

The women he has had in that room of his, some of them have been beautiful, good company for him, even though he would probably never admit it. One of them should have suited him, but he's never let himself go, no matter how intimate they got with each other, his guard was always up. They were always kept at a distance, no personal physical contact at all, not from them anyway. Whenever it happened "accidentally" he would always reprimand them, remind them of his rules, made them regret crossing his lines. It would have to be someone pretty darn special, to ever break down his walls.

The room and its occupants scare Gail a bit I think, not that she would ever say such a thing but I know she find's it hard to accept that part of him. It's good that she is not here at the weekends, if she saw some of the things I had seen, she would never be able to look Grey in the eye again, even I struggle and I've seen ALOT in my time, but hey... Each to their own. Gail is still looking at me with hope in her eyes, better nip this in the bud. Pulling her into my arms again, I nuzzle her neck,

"Not everyone can be as lucky as you and me, can they baby" she snuggles closer to me and wraps her arms around my waist sighing softly. God I love this woman, so much compassion for others "Seriously Gail... We have both known Christian long enough, to realize he want's nothing more than these sexual weekend partners. We have seen it ourselves, the minute they start to try and get close to him, he gets rid of them. I don't think this new one is going to last either, he has never encouraged any of the women that have chased him, so please don't waste your time or energy, wishing he would change or that he wants anything more than what he has. He seems happy with the life he has chosen for himself" my voice is knowledgable but she pulls away from me scowling, and I'm slightly taken back, by the out right anger on her face,

"What?" I frown, as I question,

"Happy...he isn't happy" she almost snarled, then her voice softens at my reaction, "It's written all over him how lonely he is, his whole being is crying out for love and comfort, this hard cold exterior people see is just a front... You and I know first hand what a good man he is but also how broken he is, the nightmares, the sleepless nights" she realized her voice was beginning to carry around the room, so she takes a moment to pull herself together. She sighs heavily and looks at me with tears in her eyes "Most nights, we hear how sad he is, well I do, your usually snoring" she rolls her eyes at me, and I have to defend myself,

"I don't snore" I whine, as she scoffs and continues.

"Jason... You don't have to understand or know the music he plays to be able to feel it, some of the music he plays is heartbreaking. You don't have to be Dr Flynn, to recognize a lost soul when you see one, he needs someone Jason, a proper loving person, who can help him, change him, open him up to his full potential" she glances around nervously making sure we can't be heard, "Not some old, cold hearted bitch... Who likes to belittle and control him... Or some young beautiful sub, that is so screwed up herself, that she needs fixing too... How can he possibly heal in that environment? He needs someone to pull him up from the darkness, that he feels he needs to wallow in, he..." she catches my wide eyed expression and stops her rant, looking slightly sheepish,

"God you have given a lot of thought to this haven't you... I never realized... But Gail, it's not our place to interfere, I feel for him too, I'm not a total rock, but what can we do? It's his life, we can't change him. We work for him Gail that's all, we can't tell him what to do, he would NEVER listen anyway, so please don't fret." trying to lighten her mood, I tease her "So come on wench, cook the food already, your man is starving to death here" she pulls away and faces the stove, attending to the steaks. Laughing softly, she rubs away a stray tear, "And make it quick, we have a long separation ahead of us, so I intend to make the most of our last night together" My voice is full of inuendo, she turns to me and blushes slightly,

"It doesn't have to be... Are you sure you don't want to stay home with me?" she looks up at me hopefully. Sorry baby, but you got no chance,

"You have got to be kidding... I love you baby, but a week of vomit, crying and crap, coming from something no matter how small an cute, is not my idea of fun, I would sooner deal with Grey.