hello all - please forgive the delay. As I mentioned in my other fic, I was on a knitting hiatus! Thank you so much for all your reviews, and PMs. I hope I have replied to them all.


Chapter 31

We step out into the faintly lit grounds. Little solar lights dot the path leading so far down the garden they disappear into a vanishing point, a faint yellow haze. Suddenly, my legs are swept from under me and I'm hanging over Christian's shoulder. I squeak in outrage, but he slaps my behind. "Shhhh. We have some unfinished business, Miss Anastasia Steele. And I do not need anyone hearing our business."

Oh shit. I've never heard his tone that stern before.

"Christian!" I whisper-hiss "put me down! Your parents!" He ignores me, and I resist the urge to slap his ass in outrage. Best to try another tack. I try to twist my head up towards him, instead wheedling hopefully, "Please, Sir, can you put me down? I can walk."

I am answered by another firm smack to my rear and a low growl. "You will be quiet now, Anastasia." He doesn't speak again, and I hear the soft crunching of gravel underfoot and I see the warm glow of the house retreating from view. It's not comfortable with the blood rushing to my head, but I trust him that I'll not be like this too long.

Christian eventually stops, opens a door and pauses again to flick on lights. He stands me up, not letting go of me as I readjust to the normal-way world, the blood returning through my body. I blink, adjusting to the light and take in my surroundings. It looks like a log cabin, albeit a very swish one, decked out in a nautical New England theme. In keeping with the crisp maritime decor of reds and blues, my gaze is drawn to a picture of a teenaged Christian in a scull boat, alongside several trophies. Another, he is fresh-faced in Harvard colours with his team mates. There are several action photographs of Elliott waterskiing. The difference in the photos is striking. Elliot looks like a young man enjoying life to the full, Christian, on the other hand is stony faced. His youthful appearance and determined features are a contrast to Elliot's exuberance. I involuntarily shiver. I'm not sure if it's the thought of my Sir being sad, or if it's the chill in the air. Regardless, Christian flicks another switch, a little gas fired heater sparks to life in the fireplace, the flames licking the wood effect hearth.

"Where are we? "

"The Boathouse." His response is as if it's the most natural thing in the world. Ray has a little workshop attached to our home. Of course, that leads me to think - his family have a boat? Duh, Ana – waterfront property is premium here; of course they do.

"Wow, it's beautiful, Sir." I go and sit on the sofa, and trying to lighten the mood, I prattle on, "You could have got to second base up here no problem."

"I'm not in the mood Ana. Stand up and face me." Uh oh. I stand up, and it's not so much that I face him, rather I'm under his shadow.

"You displeased me this evening." He folds his arms and glowers. "Do you know how and why you have failed to pleased me?"

I frown and think. I have been a model dinner companion and apart from Kate's spat, it's been fine. I fast-rewind through the evening. Dingdingding. The bells sound in my ears.

"Is this about the text? I'm sorry Sir, I should have put my phone on silent." That phone is going to be the death of me. Metaphorically of course.

"Yes, you should have put your phone on silent during the meal. It would have been good manners." He holds out his hand expectantly, and I drop my phone into it. He simply turns it off. "You are free to text and speak to whomever you want, but my displeasure is about the content of that text. And that is one of the things that has incurred my ire."

Realisation dawns. My trip to Georgia. "But Sir, SIP is still closed." I rationalise. "I hadn't anything planned. And ..." My voice trails off. Bugger, I'm not a gadabout student any more. Not only am I working, under contract to GEH/SIP, I am also under an entirely consensual contract to Christian Grey." In his stony silence I have an odd compulsion to try and explain myself. I hate the fact that he is upset with me. I want to make it better. "It would only have been for two days. In the contract I have one weekend off."

He runs his fingers through his hair, giving it that just-fucked appearance I love. Not now, Ana, I chide myself. That's not where my head needs to be. "This isn't about the contract?" It's not?

"This is about you and I getting to know each other, not just as Dom and sub. I have already explained that trust and communication is essential."

"I'm sorry, Sir. I didn't think."

"No, Anastasia, you didn't think. There are two people in this relationship. Do you understand that? For forgetting to include me in your holiday plans, you will be punished. Do you understand?"

He's going to spank me, I know it! I swallow nervously. "Yes, Sir."

"Secondly, Anastasia, you refused my advances earlier this evening."

Now he has got to be shitting me. That's a hard limit if there ever was one. "You tried to feel me up in front of your parents!" I shriek. Ok, so Christian had a much more subtle approach than that, but still, it was at the dinner table, with people all around. Non-kinky people.

"You have disappointed me Anastasia. Your non-compliance is not a quality I seek or expect in a submissive. Granted, you are not experienced in the lifestyle, but a sub would have opened her legs willingly for her Dom."

"B-but your parents!" I stammer. "What would they have thought!"

"Do you think I would want my parents to see that?" He snorts. "Hardly. The arousal is in the control, in your willingness to cooperate. Your submission under my direction and will. You should have been able to place your trust in me that I would not expose your literally or figuratively in front of my parents."

"I am sorry, Sir." I mean it, and I'm starting to sound like a broken record.

His tone is ominious. "You will be." The silence is deafening. "Do you know exactly what you did wrong now?"

"Yes, Sir." I try not to sniffle.

He settles himself on the couch. Patting his lap expectantly, I take a step forward, but glance behind at the door. I'd be so embarrassed in case anyone comes in. He gives me one look and I know.

He caresses my backside and I try not to flinch, but I do so.

"Explain to me why you are here, in this position."

"I didn't tell you about Georgia, Sir, and I should have. Also, I should have granted your access when you sought it."

"Very good, Anastasia. Don't move." He is reaching around for something; although I can hear him, I don't move, not wanting to earn additional discipline. I breathe with relief at my epiphany. He is right, there are two people in this relationship. I suppose I've never had a serious boyfriend. I've never thought about myself as being selfish, but I've only ever had to consider myself in my day-to-day activities.

"You may sit up for a moment, Anastasia. Kneel on the floor." I don't need to be told twice, and I crawl off his lap and kneel at this feet. In his palm he is holding a tube of something, a tiny tube, not a brand of anything that I recognise.

"Do you know what this is?"

I shake my head. "No Sir." I look around, embarrassed in case anyone comes in. He gives me that Dom stare again, and I know that he wants my full attention.

"It's capsaicin cream." He lightly taps the unopened tube on my nose. Isn't that peppers? Obviously reads my mind as he explains, "The active ingredient is the same as in chilli peppers Anastasia. Give me your wrist." He unscrews the cap and drops a small nub onto my wrist. Fuck! It's on fire. I look up at him.

"Sir?"

"Yes, Anastasia. He casts a shadow over me. "This will sting like a spanking, but without the noise. You were worried about noise, weren't you?" His voice is stern. "Get back over my lap now." Trembling, I do so. This time he flips my dress over my head, effectively hooding me, and my behind exposed and in the air.

"Sir, I am sorry."

Just as I feel I've apologised for the umpteenth time, he says quietly, "I know." He caresses my backside, but there is no burning. Yet. "I am putting a glove on, Anastasia. It is not I who is receiving this punishment."

"I understand, Sir."

"For not communicating with me about Georgia, you will receive the following punishment." He clears his throat and continues, "For not turning off your phone, as obviously you can't seem to be off grid for more than a minute, you will be on grid for the duration of your trip. I will buy the tickets for an airline of my choosing, I will arrange for you to be met by a driver, and you will contact me twice per day, at 9pm and 9am to assure me of your safety. That shouldn't be too hard for someone who is as enthusiastic phone user as yourself." My smart mouth dries up. Once upon a time I might have mentioned his own bloody blackberry, that's never out of his hands.

"For the infraction of not granting me access earlier, you will now have a silent spanking." I whimper a quiet agreement as I feel the cream being smoothed over my naked backside. His light touch is melting my brain, juxtaposed with the burning of the cream. My ass is on fire. I want to squirm, run, throw myself into the cool water just outside. I try not to sniffle.

"Mm, such a delicious shade of pink, Anastasia." He stands me up, grabs my butt cheeks and I wince. "You are mine. So perfect. And so much fun to train." I nod. "Do you think you have learned your lesson, Anastasia?"

"Yes, Sir. I truly am sorry." I mean every word of it. Seeing him upset with me is the worst thing in the world. I don't know how to make it right, other than to have him happy with me.

"I sincerely hope so."

He gives me back my panties and I am grateful for them, although they don't cover much of the redness as I step into them. The light flimsy material wouldn't provide any protection from his hands anyway. That point has been well proven now.

He drops a kiss on my head. "You were a very good girl. You took your punishment like a good sub." I smile and breathe in the words. He is pleased with me again.

Suddenly, the door rattles. Mia comes flying in. "Hey! What are you two up to?" Her eyes narrow with mischief. "Having a little Boathouse romance? Heheh, Christian, you never brought a girl home before, and now, here you are canoodling like a teenager!"

My face turns as red as my ass. If only she knew.