Ch. 62 Backsliding

There were certain days when Chris' personality grew a bit unbalanced. That happened when Edward emerged and dominated our interactions in ways that were, to say the least, unpleasant. Those dark days meant that he persisted in treating me like a servant or possibly just a recalcitrant child. For example, after a particularly disturbing nightmare, he couldn't seem to snap out of his domineering and overbearing persona for an entire 24 hour period.

That meant I had to endure a series of commands and even physical directives that made me want to rebel. I thought carefully about how I ought to react. I needed to be creative in order to discourage his regression or else he'd revert back into his uptight Edward mode much too often. Therefore, when the old style of behaving emerged, I chose to act like a total brat. I made a conscious decision to misbehave, in public, in an attempt to motivate him to merge with his better half.

I never intended to hurt or humiliate him in any way. It's just that rewarding him by cooperating with his demands wasn't an option. On that particular day, he insisted on taking me to one of his favorite high-end restaurants for dinner. I'd made it clear that I preferred to stay home and eat something that Mr. Jones concocted. Edward wasn't listening and literally dragged me out that night to eat. He even selected the dress and heels that I wore. I played along until we were seated at our table and surrounded by a roomful of Seattle's movers and shakers.

Edward sat across from me at Canli's consuming his meal and exhibiting nothing but very proper manners. I picked at my food at first, while he gave me threatening looks. Then I began using my fingers to pull my steak bones apart. When he glared at me with an arched brow and growled, I asked our waiter for a straw. Once that was delivered, I began slurping and gurgling in my cabernet glass.

The sounds coming from my side of the table could only be described as obnoxious and annoying. Other diners were beginning to look our way with alarm. I had no idea I was even capable of being such a child. I justified my actions by thinking of the end result. That would be keeping his persona under wraps deep within the unconscious mind of Chris.

My dinner companion regarded my rude behavior with a deep frown line growing between his brows. However, Edward tried to pretend he wasn't bothered by my bizarre actions. He attempted to look quite unfazed after I sent my meat back to the kitchen for more cooking because it was too rare. Then I stuck my tongue out at him. He gave me a disapproving sneer as soon as the waiter left our table with my dinner plate in his hands however.

"I know what you're doing Anastasia. Your ploy tonight, designed to annoy me, won't work."

I made a dismissive sound through my nose. "Do you really know what I'm doing, Edward? Tell me."

"You're trying to upset me so that I'll let Christian surface again. You must realize that I'm not going down that easy though."

The man certainly had a clue about my motives. Therefore, my mood grew more sour by the minute.

"Edward, you're not even trying to share yourself with him today. He's much more generous with you than the reverse. You also know that what you're doing, by repressing your other half, is against the rules."

"Really? I don't think so. My powers of resistance are actually needed right now. I'm feeling vulnerable since I dreamt about Elena last night. In the dream, she whipped me into submission. That's why I'm coming on strong today."

My heart lurched with sympathy for all that Edward had endured at her behest over the years. However, the name of his ex just leaving his lips also inspired me to throw a tantrum.

"You're just using Elena as an excuse to avoid fusion with your better half."

I made a dramatic pouty face that would have stopped Christian in his tracks. Then I took a long drink from my wine glass and plopped it down on the table with so much vigor so that the deep rich burgundy of the cabernet splashed onto the pristine white tablecloth.

He shook his head at me and spit out an insult. "You're looking and acting like a fool just now, Anastasia. This is so unlike the real you. And more along the lines of some Los Feliz hipster who can't get attention in any other way than being rude and crude."

"Dr. Flynn warned us about your regression. You need to relax and chillax when your start backsliding like this. Quit being so controlling. I can't believe you made me wear the lavender dress and a pair of Steve Madden black stilettos tonight."

He seemed to grow more pliable as I spoke. "The dress looks banging hot on you and the heels make me want to take you to the Submissive Club. Now settle down and enjoy your dinner. Or else I'll take you across my knee right here, right now."

I gave him a defiant smile but persisted with my routine of gurgling in my wine glass with the straw.

He huffed then dabbed at his sexy lips with the linen dinner napkin. "You're being purposefully obstinate tonight. Why don't we just try to get along while we eat this delicious filet?"

Then Edward tried using all of his beauty and charm on me. He began by staring into my eyes like a love struck teenager. He then looked me up and down as though he was undressing me with every twitch of his face. I started to tremble while getting mesmerized by those sexy gray eyes. There's no doubt I wanted him as much as he did me. He reached across the table to stroke my knuckles with his fingers. He blew a kiss my way when I nearly drooled while staring into his smoldering gaze.

Good old Edward certainly felt confident of the power he wielded over me at the moment. I gulped and closed my eyes for a full minute. I had to resist his moves or my schema for punishing him would be futile. He'd get rewarded for backsliding into his old and tired habits once again and the merged persona of Chris would grow weaker.

"I think it's time you allowed Christian out to help. He needs to surface and learn to balance your two halves. All of us want your more mature personality to develop. When you allow Edward free rein, he's too overbearing. Not my kind of man." I tried to make my voice sound confident as I made my point.

Edward's mouth pursed in a sign of clear irritation. "Sorry, Ana, that's just not going to happen tonight."

"If you don't let Christian surface, I'm going to leave Canli's. Right now."

The look of shock that momentarily filled his face seemed more than priceless. He paused to size me up. I'm sure Edward was weighing the possibilities before us. After a moment of hesitation, his game face appeared and prevented any capacity to read his emotions. He shrugged and stared back at me with a look of utter control.

"No one here is going to stop you from leaving, baby."

I looked around and studied the other elegant dinners nearby. I realized he was correct. They were consumed with their partners and the quality of the food. Who'd even notice that I'd slipped out on my date?

I sat there staring at Edward with an expression of growing frustration on my face. Then I snorted loudly before a drunken sounding chuckle escaped from my throat.

That's when he put his fork down and looked me squarely in the eyes. "You don't have to be such a brat about your dinner out with me, you know."

"I hate it when you keep Christian under wraps and force me to do your bidding."

He leaned across the table then lowered his voice to speak to me. "Your tantrum's just going to motivate me to stay in control, Ana. At this rate, you're due for quite a spanking and then a long, hard fuck."

I nearly slapped him there and then. Instead, I sprayed out a small amount of wine that was in my mouth and made sure it made its way to his plate. "Are you embarrassed by the noises and fun I'm having, Edward?"

He shook his head back and forth as though I'd become a four year old. Not a word left his mouth for another two minutes. That's when I grabbed the wine bottle from the center of our table and refilled my crystal glass. I glugged down the contents in a few minutes while he observed me in a state of disbelief. No doubt my actions were totally inconsistent with the Ana he'd come to know and love. My behavior in public at this particular point in time shocked him in all the ways that I intended.

He whisked the wine bottle away from my grasp within seconds.

"Take it easy with the drinks. You're embarrassing yourself. We both know you can't really handle alcohol."

He was right on all counts about my incapacity to ingest alcohol. However, I felt quite powerless and needed to exert some type of control over the situation before us.

"You like this restaurant, and want to return again, right?"

He cocked his head to one side and gave me a disappointed look. "Why are you threatening me, Ana?"

"Because I want to see Christian tonight. Not you. I know you like Canli's and would be mortified if they kicked us out of here."

"How do you know that I've been to this place before, anyway?"

I chuckled about his question. "That's easy. The host called you Mr. Grey and the waiter's been kissing your ass all evening. The main room hostess even took you to your regular table and suggested the kind of wine and meal you might like to order. You wouldn't want them to bar us from the place now, correct?"

"I'm well-known around Seattle, Ana. But if you keep making these noises and acting out, Canli's might actually bar you, not me, from the establishment."

"I'll make such a fool of myself here tonight that you'll never want to return. I'll tell everyone about your dissociative identity disorder."

He looked at me as though I'd gone bipolar. Then openly scowled at my latest threat. "Remember, Ana, we're married. What sort of wife tells her husband's secrets to strangers? Your behavior reflects poorly on your judgment. As I recall, this place is also one of your favorites. You'd ruin your good standing among the movers and shakers in our community. That's for sure. Do you really want a bad reputation on social media, among those who might do business with me or you?"

I raised my brows at the logic of his latest compelling and well thought out argument. By then the wine had gone to my head. I digested his point by taking a long gulp from my glass and staring into his eyes. At this juncture, the room started spinning around like roulette wheel. I rested my head against the leather of the high backed chair I sat in to clear it. Nothing much left my lips for the next few minutes. The wine had taken the best reactions from me for sure.

Edward seemed more than crestfallen while watching me wallow in the haze of my drunken state. He gave me several minutes to calm down and come to my senses. I felt myself going limp but resisted falling apart.

"I think it's time we took you home, baby," he announced at last, while rising from his seat.

I sniggered at him but felt quite light headed. I wasn't capable of making any sort of coherent response. I'd be lucky to put two words together.

"Come to me, now. We're going home." He issued his command while simultaneously gesturing at me with his fingers. He reached out with both hands to where I sat then stood at the side of my chair.

"Make me," I taunted while setting my glass down and staring into his fuming face.

He crossed his arms and thought for a long minute while gazing at me with the most perplexed look on his brow that I'd ever seen. Then he made a quick, calculated move that surprised and pleased me.

"Alright. You win. I'll let Christian surface right now. If, and only if, you walk out of here without making any more of a scene. Will that satisfy you, Mrs. Grey?"

I smiled and nodded my head in agreement but still couldn't find the will to speak. All my resolve to resist Edward faded instantly. I'd achieved a small but significant victory tonight. I'd won the battle of wills.

After noting my compliance, Edward closed his eyes for a few seconds. He seemed to enter a trance like state quickly and with ease. My plan to motivate the appearance of Christian worked like a charm. I wasn't prepared for the rapid change in persona that his alter seemed more than capable of negotiating, however.

Unfortunately, my head felt muddled and my legs had turned to jelly from the effects of drinking. That happened to be the same moment when I realized that the man standing next to my chair and about to swoop me into his arms was none other than Christian himself. His megawatt smile indicated how pleased he happened to be with the situation at hand.

I couldn't wait to leave Canli's and show him how much I cared for the alter I truly loved. Christian had come out to play at last. He wanted to seal the deal with me as soon as possible. I wasn't sure how much I could fully participate in any sort of physical interaction with him at the time. No doubt, I'd make things up to him as soon as I recovered from my drunken state.

My husband realized the signals of catatonia I'd managed to attain, immediately. So he picked me up in both his arms and literally carried me out of the place like a bride being taken across a threshold. The other diners clinked their glasses, cheered and clapped as they watched us leave. I gave them a wave and smiled for all to see. That was the least I could do to save face. I hoped my behavior wouldn't be the subject of gossip on any of the popular SM sites.

"She's had a long day," Christian explained to the group in the most confident manner possible. The waiter's tip was likely quite large that night. As he carried me to our vehicle, I gloried in the power I'd demonstrated to shut Edward down. We'd need a long session with Dr. Flynn before he'd be allowed to surface in conjunction with Christian again.

I passed out in the SUV immediately and didn't surface again until the next morning. Christian greeted me with enthusiasm when I finally opened my eyes. He looked incredibly stunning as I perused his sculpted cheekbones and carefully proportioned face in detail. The features of the alter I loved were softened and smoothed over by the presence of the more trusting and loving persona within.

"You're so perfect on so many levels," I whispered while examining every inch of his face and body.

"I can say the same about you, Anastasia. You're a goddess to me. In addition to your physical beauty, you're also incredibly bright and creative. Thank you for convincing Edward to let me out last night. I'm sorry he surfaced and acted like a brute."

I looked down at his chest before sharing any more details. "I'm afraid that I behaved in a very childish manner at our restaurant last night. We may never be able to return and get the sort of table you're accustomed to receiving. Not after I gurgled in my wine with a straw and sent my meat back for a re-do."

He threw his head back and laughed for a full minute while imagining the scene. "Don't worry. They see all sorts of untoward behavior on a regular basis. Canli's is known for its discretion. Their service record is laudatory. Plus the tip I gave that particular waiter should cover your misdeeds and then some."

Once I explained more about the situation with Edward and my desperate moves while at Canli's, he pulled me in for a long embrace. That was followed by an hour of vigorous sex. The best we'd experienced in at least a month. His various body parts couldn't signal their enthusiasm and appreciation for a merger with mine in a more enthusiastic and obvious manner. I put more than a full workout into my performance. Christian needed to be rewarded in a manner that spoke to all his deepest values.

In the meantime, Gayle and Jason's dating relationship began to flourish. Once Taylor received the green light from his physician, their time as a couple took on a whole new dimension. Their first date lasted for an entire weekend. They talked for hours while walking in the city park, stopping to eat at small bistros along its periphery, listening to an impromptu rap concert at a popular pub, and seeing a well regarded film. They analyzed the characters and theme for quite a while.

The couple finally made their way to Gayle's small but tidy apartment. Her place just happened to be located a few blocks away from the financial district and also near the action of Pike Place in downtown Seattle. Jason admired what she'd done with the d├ęcor. They started making out on her couch after she gave him a get well gift that included his favorite kind of chocolate treat and of a book of poems by Walt Whitman.

AN: Happy with Ana's control over Edward and how she achieved it? Do you want more details about Gayle and Jason's love life?