Christian's POV – 11 August 2011
The room, why did she mention the room? I look wildly around and pulling her up from the bed, grab her shoulders as I look aghast at her, she reaches up a hand to touch my face. "Christian, calm down, it's ok, I just know what you need, what we both need. You need to feel in control, everything that has happened lately and especially the last few days has been so unexpected, I want you to feel like you're back in control, that way things won't spiral. We need to go back to the room but that's days away, can you improvise? What do you need…oh…." And she gasps.
All I see is her big eyes and know I must have transformed before her and immediately feel ashamed and as I start to turn away she grabs my arms. "No, don't go there, I understand this, I really do," her words tumble out of her mouth, she can't say them fast enough, "… and last time, when we went into the room, I discovered that by you taking control, I felt safe, my fears faded away and I understood. I understood that I needed that. I need to let you do it because it made me feel cared for, it made me realise that I longed for someone to make the decisions, to make them out of love, to know what I needed and for once, someone to actually do this, do something for me, FOR ME. No-one ever did things for me. I also saw how when you focussed on me, you were able to get out of your own head, and your demons were quietened, I saw how it helped you. In helping me, you helped both of us and,…" at this point, my girl who blushes so easily turns fire engine red and her voice drops to an awed whisper "And what you did was ….." she struggles for words and her voice is barely a whisper, "Amazing, mind blowing, exquisite, beyond anything you've ever done and yet you said it was just a "taste"," her voice trails off as a smile starts to creep across my face. "So can you improvise here?"
I can improvise…. Oh, I can improvise, but not tonight, tonight my girl needs to sleep and rest this poor shattered body that is still trying to heal and into which, with my insatiable desire for her, I have planted a seed now growing and taking even more out of her.
"Baby, you are as always right, we are not going into the room though, that's a week of more away before we are home and when we do go home it will be to the Sound where there is no room and not to Escala, no, on the yacht, maybe tomorrow, I will improvise but now, now you are going to sleep, we have an early start tomorrow." As I look down at her I can see her trying hard to stop her eyes closing and she has a contented smile on her face, I see no vestige of fear and am calmed.
I'm so glad my kitten liked our last visit to the room and that the two times we have been in there since the worst day of my life appear to have erased its memory and awoken the deep desires she has had hidden, possibly never knew she had and thankfully has very much enjoyed.
Glad to have had this discussion, her words calming the beast inside of me by having shone a light on what I need, we go to bed and I drift off to sleep with her in my arms and delicious thoughts and plans forming for the next few days, days that are for rest and maybe some private play.
Christian's POV – 12 August 2011
Waking I am again amazed that we have woken in exactly the same position we went to sleep, neither of us have moved, she's still snuggled tight in my arms, my scarred chest against her scarred back, my arms around her, my hand resting on her belly, naked, no need for pretence and totally and utterly safe, no nightmares, nothing but love. I'm enjoying her quiet breathing and then her growling belly almost makes me jump, my goodness how much noise a body part can make!
The sound and obviously attendant rumble wakes Ana, that wiggle I will never tire of, has me holding her tighter, placing kisses on the back of her neck and whispering a "Good morning beautiful, it's time to feed the baby bear."
Somehow hitchhiker seemed wrong and yesterday at some point, Ana called him baby bear and each time I hear her say that, I smile, if that means I'm big bear, then I'm ok with that as no-one but no-one is going to mess with my cub or with Ana. Just as I'm thinking that, I hear, "I'd prefer to feed the big bear first," as she languidly stretches against me, making sure I feel every part of her delectable body pressed against me and I marvel at how her sheer carnality overrides my even more strident "must eat" never to be messed with rule – it just flies straight out of the window until that grumble repeats and breaks the moment.
Nope, someone needs to be fed and I can't even remotely think of feasting on her when I can hear him asking for food. "No my darling, and don't look so disappointed, we need to eat breakfast and head off to the yacht and then…" I let my voice trail off "and then, there will be feasting and resting, much resting."
"Permission to growl" she all but purrs with no hint of a growl and with the smile on her face I know she's ok with my plans, more than ok.
Christian's POV – 16 August 2011
Finally, finally Ana is relaxing, she has done nothing other than eat, rest and share herself with me, I could say "give herself to me" but still, despite everything I do, she is still holding herself back and I can't believe the self-preservation gene which is not present when I want her to look after herself is there when I try to lead her to the deepest places of her psyche to give her the pleasure she deserves. I get so close and then she pulls back.
Our first day on the yacht, Ana simply slept, every time she woke we cuddled, I hadn't realised how much stress I'd been under, all I wanted to was hold her, lie in the sun, rub on the sunscreen and simply hold her some more. I didn't improvise, the solitude, Ana's absolute tiredness, my tiredness had us both sleeping and enjoying each other but not going any further.
The second day was swimming in quiet lagoons, reminiscent of that one time in Aspen, we were able to swim and play naked in the lagoons, no tourists this time and seeing a free and happy Ana goes a long way to soothing my demons. Although when she took one of the jet skis without my permission and roared around the yacht, taunting me without a care in the world while I was having a minor heart attack envisaging her flipping it or ploughing into something and simply not listening or paying heed to my frantic angry waves, attempting to stop her, my anger went through the roof and I gave chase on a jet ski until she turned, rolled her eyes at my obvious anger and pulled back alongside the yacht. Catching up with her, my anger, my shouting had her trying to placate me but I wasn't listening, I withdrew from her and locked myself in the office on the yacht. Sulkily, I refused to come out for afternoon tea, which has become a ritual for us and I was seriously so angry that I was not going to have dinner with her either but a quiet word from Taylor that I was distressing Ana and that was not good for her blood pressure, flicked the switch and I realised that I couldn't act like this anymore.
Her contrite albeit defiant face raised to mine with a tentative hand on my chest had me looking down at her with frustration and valiantly holding my temper I said "Baby, when will you learn?" but she lifted her hand and stopped me mid sentence.
"Christian, YOU need to learn. You need to understand that I am an adult, capable of making decisions on behalf of myself, our baby and even you, sure, I don't have the worldly experience you have, I have very little experience of life but what I do have is experience of my own limits. I know what I can and can't do, I also know how to push myself and look after myself and by extension, baby bear in here, you're going to have to trust me otherwise we are going to be disagreeing a lot. You cannot make all my decisions for me, how many times do you need to be told, I'm not a vacuous brunette clinging to your arm? I want to stand on my own two feet and I want you standing next to me, not telling me what to do but supporting me and guiding me and definitely , definitely not sulking. Baby bear will not be allowed to sulk so neither can you. Our life needs to be a "sulk free" zone." And her eyes, flashing with emotion haven't strayed from mine and I can do nothing but crush her to me.
"I'm sorry but you're the most precious thing, part, of my life, you are my everything and you scare me sometimes, I don't know if you think through the consequences, do you know what could have happened today? Your body is so fragile…" I couldn't keep the anger out of my voice as I relived my terror again.
Putting her hands on my chest, she pushed out a little so that she could lift those doe eyes at me, "You know Christian, I did think through the consequences. I made sure there were no other vehicles, I made sure Taylor could see me at all times, I made sure there was no one that could have kidnapped me, I made sure I was wearing a life jacket, I'd actually read the instructions on the jet ski and I made sure that when I took it out that there was another one available to be able to get to me if something happened….. See, I thought it through. I actually went through a mental checklist of what could be your concerns as well as my own because despite what you might think, I do want to look after this body and baby bear, I want the best possible outcome but I also want to be able to have some fun. Christian, I'm only 21 and most people my age are lying in the gutter after a night of binge drinking…. Not responsibly deciding how to be semi-spontaneous. Have some faith in me. Please!"
I had to concede that her admission that she'd thought things through means that she's at least thinking about the things that concern me and understands the importance of safety and perhaps I do need to lighten up a little and enjoy life, now that I have someone to enjoy it with and we continued onto dinner, glad that I hadn't continued to sulk as we sat under the stars, just us and the universe above us, the stars twinkling, a light breeze and a beautiful dinner. The major benefit of the yacht is that Daniel is able to basically be security allowing Taylor and Gail a few more days of effective honeymoon of their own, except when my errant wife decides to do things like today…. I hold my tongue, knowing I have no real argument other than the one I have stated often enough.
The third day was spent wandering around the streets of local villages which was a joy, finding a little woodworking shop meant that Ana was able to find some useful and unique tools for Ray and in amongst some other little shops, some trinkets for Kate and for her Nonna and new relatives. In doing so, Ana mentioned her aunt and wanting to catch up with her once we're back and I truly hope she takes after her Nonna and not Carla, I don't know what Welch will find but he's looking through all details in relation to her now as well as continuing to dig into the Elena side of things. Even the thought of that woman annoys me but I'm determined to enjoy these last few days of total freedom before we leap back into the real world and consciously turned my thoughts back to Ana and was greeted by a smiling look and a squeeze of the hand. She knows, every single time there's a speck of darkness, she knows and squeezes my hand. I wish I could do the same to her. When I attempted to buy some jewellery for her, I was told in no uncertain terms that she didn't want it so I made a note of it all, so that Daniel could return and purchase it for me, I intend to shower her with gifts for her birthday and quite frankly, I don't care how annoyed she is, she deserves to be spoiled and with me, she will be.
However after one day of shopping, when I suggested we might go into another local village, she turned those eyes on me and there was no way I was forcing her to go shopping, it's the last thing she cares about and I have nothing more I want to buy. I knew there was one more thing that needed purchasing, so I sent off Gail and Taylor to collect that and any things we might need for the baby, Ana waved her hand at them giving free rein, she knows I've researched the safest everything already and Gail and Taylor buying it here would mean that we don't have to do it back home and we will be able to stave off anyone knowing for as long as possible. I can only imagine the mayhem when the news breaks.
When Ana said sadly, "Here I am, not even 22 for another month and still on our honeymoon and pregnant. Everyone is going to have a field day, they are all going to call me a gold digger that got pregnant to get your money," my heart broke in two and all the anger that I'd felt towards Carrick came to the fore and it took some concerted distraction to calm me down.
What am I going to do about Carrick? I had so many run ins with him as a teenager until Elena caught me in her clutches and when I was being better behaved, I saw the carer that he'd been when I was younger but he didn't have faith in me and was so disappointed with me dropping out of Harvard and that bitterness wasted a couple of years and drove me deeper into Elena's clutches. In hindsight, I'm sure Elena was feeding him and Grace erroneous information and also simultaneously filling my head with Carrick's displeasure which may actually have never been said…. Hmmm, thinking back, I wonder how much was Elena's words and how much was my own experience, I did pull away and allow her to pass information to Grace and who knows what she said, who knows how much of what I believed was actually true.
Despite her machinations, once I showed that I'd been right to back myself, Carrick had apologised and really despite my desire to keep my rottenness away from them, he had really been positive and always been there for me. His legal expertise had been invaluable over the years and while I'd not used his firm for my legal affairs, I'd asked him when I needed some specialist advice. I couldn't fault him for everything he did when everything hit the fan when Ana came into my life and the Elena situation was exposed, despite all the revelations. It was Carrick that held mom together as I broke her apart with revelation after revelation, he has put so many things in place to protect us and hopefully protect us into the future from Elena but why, why did he ask Ana to sign the prenup on our wedding day? What reason could he possibly have when he knows what Ana is like? He said I hadn't made good choices with women in the past but I still can't believe he could lump Ana into the same class as everyone else.
Thinking about this drives me into a foul mood and then I had a thought, having met some of Carla's relatives, and with Ana pregnant, I need to safeguard Ana and baby, I have to make sure that if something happens to me that Ana is looked after and that if something happens to Ana that nothing can ever end up in the clutches of Carla and the worst of Ana's family, maybe I'll have to speak to Carrick about that and perhaps if he can see what I want to do, he'll be happy with the arrangements and never ever try to pull a stunt like that one again.
"Why are you so tense?" Is the question sleepily mumbled against my chest and I marvel at how in tune her body is with mine.
"Oh baby, there's only part of me that's too tense and needs relaxing" I respond and she is no longer sleepy, practically purring at me…. She was receptive before but now she's insatiable, the pregnancy hormones are doing their work and she is always ready for me and she's hungry and eating… what more could I want… a happy, eating, sexy wife and I whisper, "I wish we could hide away here for ever, away from the stresses of business, life and the upcoming trial."
That horrid upcoming trial, even the thought of it makes my blood run cold and I struggle to think of anything else, even the lips moving down my body and then she lifts her head and says, "Stop it, don't think about it, you're here with me, they can't hurt you, the damage was done years ago, now, now we rebuild, now we make sure this doesn't happen again to anyone else, you are not that little boy, that out of control youth that was looking for anything to anchor him, to make him feel wanted. You are an amazing man with your whole life ahead of you, new adventures to go on and right now, right now there's a big bear that needs to eat or be eaten…" and I believe her, the last bit anyway and flip her over… Big bear needs to eat…. needs to disappear into his favourite place which is better than anything he'd ever imagined, nowhere in any dreams had there been a thought of anyone like Ana.
There had been no dreams, just emptiness and nightmares, emptiness that drove me to work like a demon and the nightmares that kept me awake at night, working until I was too tired, in the hope that I'd be able to sleep and avoid the nightmares and never quite succeeding. Now I have a reason to work that isn't destructive and with the nightmares gone, I sleep like I'm trying to catch up all those years, waking refreshed and renewed each day, thankful for the beautiful woman in my arms and the days at the moment that have all started similarly. Pleasurable starts to the day where I'd eaten, we'd both eaten, food had even been eaten and then we'd fallen asleep once again, how we'll go back to normal life I don't know and then reality decided to rear its head, but not normal reality, whatever that might be but our particular brand…. Unbelievable reality.