Thirteen days. Thirteen days he'd been holed up in meeting after meeting, hotel room after hotel room, dinner after dinner with the same people. Never having been a big fan of Rio de Jeneiro he'd felt claustrophobic for days now. The hotel room had long since lost its refuge status and each time the door clicked shut he'd felt a mild twinge of panic.
"Mr. Grey? Would you like to go out for dinner tonight? We can work through the sixth appendix over a glass of Malbec. I just can't be in that room for one more minute."
"Sounds great. I'll let Ros and Gary know." Her perfectly manicured hand shot up and touched his forearm, surprising him. It had been weeks since he'd had human contact outside of handshakes. It felt nice, normal.
"Just us for tonight, they both mentioned needing to get to bed early, they've got the plant visit in the morning."
"Shall we then?" His own manicured hand waved towards the door to usher them out where they slid into the back seat of the waiting town car. Loralei spoke in rapid Portugese to the driver, directing him to a high end restaurant across town before settling back on a soft sigh.
"Hot today, huh?" His head was back on the seat, shirt unbuttoned at the top. He'd taken off his tie the minute the meeting was over and had left his suit jacket in the boardroom. Taylor would bring it to his room later.
"Yes. I'd much rather be in Seattle right now." She leaned over him, her hip lightly pressing into his thigh so that she could adjust the air coming out of the vent directly onto him.
"There, that should feel better." He sat up then, embarrassed at his lack of formality. He'd hired her to work for him a year ago and over that year they had been on many trips together. Each time he'd let her in a bit more, showing her the real Christian Grey, not just the CEO. It was only natural, you can't be a force of nature 24 hours a day and when you're with someone as often and as long as he and Loralei were, personal relationships were bound to form.
"If you'll excuse me, I just need to check in at home." She smiled, showing off her perfectly straight white teeth before turning to the window. She'd met 'home' a number of times. Short with perfect skin, long dark hair, bright blue eyes. Anastasia. Christian's home.
"Hi." He said before she'd even answered. Just knowing she was on the other end made him feel better. It had been so long since he'd seen her, even longer since they'd been able to make love. They always indulged in the playroom before he'd leave for a trip but this time, there was a baby to think of. Two, actually. He was desperate not just for sex, but for dominating sex. He could feel the echo of it around his balls for weeks now and until he acted on it, he knew it would stay there, torturing him.
"How are you, baby?" He glanced quickly at Loralei, satisfied that she didn't seem to be listening. Her skirt had ridden up high enough that he could see the tops of her thigh highs and the clip of a garter belt. Fuck, the echo became a roar.
"Tired, hot, frustrated." She giggled that giggle, the one that shot straight to his dick and the roar became unbearable. "I want to come home."
"I'm sure you do. Is it still another four days? This is the longest we've been away from each other and it's killing me." He sighed, it was killing him too. His hand could only get him so far but it was something at least. But there was nothing he could do to take the edge off of his need for her body pressed against his or the soft moans of her voice as they cascaded over his chest when he thrust into her. No replacement would ever be found for the mere peace her presence afforded him or the joy she brought him just by being.
"Yes, another four days and then I'm all yours. Did you decide where we're going? Grace said she'd mind the babies?"
"Yes, I want to go to Napa. It's close enough to get there quickly and we can do nothing or we can sight see but I really just want to be alone with you." Just the knowledge that he'd be with her soon cooled the anxiety he'd been carrying around with him. Ana. A bed. No kids around. He'd go anywhere she wanted so long as he could have those three things. Fuck it, he didn't really need the bed.
"Sounds great, Ana. I'm heading into a restaurant right now, I'll check in tomorrow."
A sigh caressed his ear and he imagined he could feel it as he held her while she slept. "Love you."
"You too. I'll be home soon."
"How's the home front?" Her skirt was up a bit higher now, not so much that he could see the bare skin but enough to know it was just right there. If Ana didn't have those panty hose, he was buying them for her.
"Good. It's tough on her, having a two year old and a six month old alone all day." She squinted her nose in disgust.
"I could never do it. I like my independence. I mean, how boring must you get after a few months of doing nothing but taking care of children? Always tired, always needing a shower or a nap? No thanks!" She looked pointedly at him. "I'll take my carefree, spur of the moment, do whatever I want life instead."
He cleared his throat and she smiled.
"We're here, let's go, I've heard the octopus is amazing here."
He appreciated how adventurous his new CFO was. She would try anything, always looking for a solution to a tough problem, always tenacious and demonstrative. It would take a hell of a man to bring Loralei Thompson to heel.
As usual their time together was enjoyable. She was well educated and well traveled and had experiences to draw on that he found intriguing and fascinating. She had been the first woman he'd ever hired who looked like one of his previous subs. Brown hair, blue eyes, and, if he was honest, and he always was, a pretty little body.
He was no fool though, he'd set her office up on the 18th floor and kept their meetings minimal. Not because he didn't trust himself but because Ana didn't need any reason to be wary of him or his staff. She'd overcome a lot to be with him, not just within herself but on behalf of him. Never in his wildest dreams had he expected to find love, get married and have kids.
Yet, he had never been happier. Even now, sitting across the table from a woman who was not his wife he was happy, content, satisfied. For no other reason than that he knew Anastasia Grey was alive, well and his.
"How's the wine?" He snapped back to his current surroundings and smiled over the rim of his glass.
"Good. A bit too fruity for me but good nonetheless. Yours?" She licked her lips, her eyes on his and smiled back.
"Delicious." The mood shifted, he felt it. It had happened a few times over the past few weeks but he'd just chalked it up to missing Ana but there was no doubt about it, this was all about Loralei. He bit into his fish and continued on, all the while her one finger traced circles on the rim of that crystal glass.
"That was a rough meeting today, I thought your counterpart was going to jump on the table and start beating you." He was going for levity but it fell short, even to his ears.
"I like it a bit rough sometimes, let's me work out my frustrations, helps me to figure out what it is I really want." She sipped again, slowly, holding his eyes with hers. "As far as being beat?" She shrugged and rolled her neck. "I could go for a little bit of that. Makes me feel alive."
Holy shit she was good. Did she know? He'd spent enough time with her to know that she didn't really date anyone serious but that she went out with men occasionally. Nothing serious which surprised him. She was a very beautiful woman, whenever they'd go anywhere it was reminiscent of his outings with Ana. Stares and gawks for both of them were common place.
He'd cooled considerably from before but her attention and the way she worded her answers had him hot all over again. Christ he needed to get home and get Ana in that playroom. He could hear his voice talking to her, something about tying up lose ends but all he could think about was his wife, spread eagle on that St. Andrew's cross in nothing but the diamond ring he'd put on her finger five years ago.
Fuck his dick was going to shoot off his body if he didn't get out of here soon. He tuned towards her finally, hearing her sing song voice talking about the view of the ocean from her balcony. She was in the room directly below his, he had the same view but he didn't have nearly the appreciation for it that she did. Now, if his wife were standing on the balcony, maybe he'd be more inclined to take it all in.
Mindlessly he flicked his phones screen, a picture of his two children smiling at each other was his screen saver. Ana had sent it this morning along with a picture of her cleavage. He was definitely a fan of breastfeeding. He didn't give two shits about her worries that it would make her saggy and therefore undesirable. She couldn't possibly understand that his desire for her went far deeper than the breasts on her chests or the wet silk between her legs.
He was in love with her, sex was just the bonus. And now, after begging her for years to have children she had finally wanted them. Seeing her round and pregnant with his child was perhaps the most beautiful he had ever seen her. Already he was thinking about when they could add number three to their growing roster of kids.
Four years she had made him wait to marry her and another three before she'd wanted to get pregnant. It seemed so long at the time but now, just nine and a half years later he realizes that it flew by. The thought of his life before her caused him to physically react, his chest curling involuntarily in on itself at the ache and the acute fear of being without her. She hadn't just brought him to life, she had breathed it into him.
"Are you ready? I've a few calls I need to make before it gets to be too late back home."
Ugh. Home again, she knew what that meant. He was thinking about her. What did she need to do for Christ's sake? She looked enough like her, she'd even managed to perfect that stupid lip bite that she could see set him off every time they'd been together. And that was the rub, she looked the part, she played the part, she was smart, bright, funny, engaging and a fucking tigress in bed.
She had yet to meet a man who resisted her. Every one of the ones she wanted she had had. Some were for the night, some were for a few months but none, not one of them had captured her obsession like the one sitting across the table from her.
He was stunning. He'd just turned 40 the month before but he didn't look a day over 30. She'd only ever seen him in a suit and tie and once at his home for a dinner his wife had thrown for his senior staff, in khakis and a button down. It didn't matter, she could see the strength under the fabric, the cut lines of his arms when he crossed them in concentration or the tapering of his waist in one of those tailored dress shirts he wore.
There was no way he could hide the size of his dick either. No matter what he wore, if you were looking, you could tell he came well prepared. She knew just what to do with that particular piece of anatomy, she could make men cry with desire and yet, for an entire year she'd remained celibate, focused on one thing and one thing only. Fucking Christian Grey.
Even now as she watched him call over the waiter and hand his black AMEX card over she felt the moisture between her flawlessly smooth legs. Just the way his lips moved when he spoke and the movement of his adam's apple had her panting. One look at him and she could tell he was an amazing lover. The man screamed sexual prowess, control, domination, respect. From his 'just fucked' hair to the aftershave that he used, every sense of hers was directly in tune with his raw maleness.
She'd seen hundreds, literally hundreds of women try to get his attention over the last year. Everything from subtle flirting to throwing themselves at him and not one, not even the super model turned actress got a second glance. But then, none of them had a direct line to him like she did.
She'd been calculating, watching for signs of weakness in his carefully constructed life but she'd found none. He was either asexual, which she couldn't believe, or so devoted to his wife that he simply wasn't aware of female attention. So her plan was to undermine his marriage, emulate the good qualities of his wife while highlighting the bad. It hadn't been easy, his private life was guarded like nothing she'd ever seen but there had been tiny opportunities here and there.
That phone call in the car had been timely, surely a man like Christian Grey wasn't into being a dad, doing the dirty work of raising dirty snotty kids and surely it had caused a crack in their perfect little world. She had enough girlfriends who whined on and on about their husbands demand for sex and how they hated doing it. Shit, her sisters marriage had lasted less than one year after she had a baby. So she'd thrown that tried and true stay at home mom line right at him and he'd said nothing. Which said it all. It was time to move in.
The truth was she liked the chase. Oh sure, she wanted that man thrusting in to her hard and fast, fantasized about what his face looked like when he came and just how big that dick really was but it was the thrill of the hunt that she enjoyed most.
There's was the perfect setup. They had to travel together, often overseas and often for more than one night. It would be easy to hide an affair for them. She'd promise him her absolute silence and make him believe that all she wanted was sex. No holds barred, wild hot sex.
Always the gentleman, she thinks when he escorts her to the car. She waits to feel his hand on her lower back like she's seen him do to his wife but even in this heat it remains cold. In the car his phone rings and he smiles, answering it with a panty drenching, "Hey baby, what's up?"
His laugh resonates through the car just as her panic begins to creep up. She's got to get him off that phone, he needs to be as far away from her as she can get him. By some divine intervention he's cut off mid sentence by the screams of a baby and hangs up, running his hands through his hair in frustration.
"Kids. Always in the way, huh?"
"Well, they do force change that's for sure. You don't want them one day?"
Perfect, it's as if he just handed her the condom.
"Not really. I mean, I don't want to sound vain but I work hard to have this body and besides that, I hear they make, you know, that, feel different for your man and give you saggy, well, you know." He's shocked but she couldn't be happier. Think about that, she implores him without words. She's lost her body, she's not as tight.
Her words shock him for two reasons. One, he's never had a female employee be so brazen in front of him but he quickly justifies it by reminding himself of just how much time they've spent together over the last year. And two, Ana's body has only gotten better. The womanly curves he found so delectable in her all those years ago have filled out and do more for him now then they did then if that was even possible. As to her, that, as Loralei called it, he didn't have so much as murmur of a complaint. Damn, now he was hard again.
He shrugged, "I guess it's different for all women then." He was not about to discuss Ana's pussy with anyone, man or woman. His jealousy was still as alive and well as ever though he'd learned to temper it and rationalize a lot of it over the years. He'd had to, Ana wasn't going to deal with it and there was no way in hell he was going to upset her.
The short walk from the car to the lobby had him unbuttoning another button. Damn, he couldn't wait to get in the room, shower, get a drink and call Ana. Maybe the kids would be asleep and she'd indulge him in some skype sex. If he didn't have sex soon, he was going to lose his mind. It's all he could think about for days now, every rise of his cock more painful than the last.
"Would you mind signing the POA papers tonight? This way I can hand them in before our sit down tomorrow morning and we can save an hour or so."
"Sure." Anything, he'd do anything to get home sooner and if he could save an hour, he'd do it.
In the elevator she unbuttoned the top two buttons of her white silk blouse, pushing it open and fanning herself to draw his eyes to her. He looked and lifted out his phone, swiping through his damn pictures again. Fuck! She almost slapped him when he grinned like an idiot at a picture of Ana, hugely pregnant on the boat they had together.
She'd planned this down to the last detail. The room was as she had requested, cold, lit only by dimmed lamps in each corner, bottle of Cristal chilling near the bed. His room was a suite, she'd rather fuck him there but it was easier to get him in here. No matter, she'd wind up in his bed tomorrow night then. Tonight she'd take him anywhere he'd have her.
"Just give me a moment, I need to change, I'm dreadfully hot." He waved her away and went to the sliding glass doors to watch the waves. He and Ana had conceived Phoebe in a hotel room overlooking the ocean. The memory made him hard as granite and happy as a loon.
"Christian?" He startled at her casual use of his name, only Ros ever said it at GEH but he turned anyway. She was still dressed but now all she wore was a short black silk robe and the thigh highs. Her hair was down, recently brushed out into loose waves over her shoulders. His own hair stood on end, what the fuck was going on?
"The papers, Ms. Thompson?" Her face fell a bit but she was a pro at this game of seduction. So he wanted to play hard to get, no problem. She'd seen the rise in his pants in the car when he saw her garters, she'd just need to remind him of them now wouldn't she?
"Of course, they're right here on the desk." With practiced ease she made her way to the oversized desk and bent over, just enough for the skin above the thigh highs to peek through. She heard him inhale, heard him walk over and saw him slide the papers from under her fingers.
Yes! Finally she'd get what she wanted so badly. Finally a full year of effort, of constantly being sexy, of constantly creating reasons to be alone with him was coming to fruition. And she knew from experience that once a man had had her, they would do anything to have her again.
"What the fuck are you playing at?" His harsh growl was like a bucket of ice water but she recovered quickly, turning and facing him, only a foot apart.
"What? The papers, you've got them, just sign here." She leaned in and pointed at the X on the bottom. He was the CEO of a multi-billion dollar empire. He didn't need to be told where to sign on a legal document for fucks sake.
His eyes cut her in half, the gray blazing and dangerous. It had taken him awhile, he'd been so engrossed in missing his wife that he'd not seen the hints and crumbs she'd left for him all night but now that he had, he was furious with her and with himself. How could he put himself in this position? How could he be so stupid?
He turned to go, unwilling to give her even another minute of his time but she called his name again and he turned to tell her she was fired. Instead he was stunned silent. In the short walk to the door she had stripped off the robe and was sitting on the desk, her legs crossed, breasts bare and perky, begging to be touched.
"Christian, no one has to know. I wouldn't breathe a word to anyone, ever. I don't want love, or even a relationship. I just want to fuck. Hard, brutal, raw fucking." His dick twitched, his palms sweat, he could feel the beat of his heart pick up. But it wasn't because of the whore on the desk 12 feet away from him. Without even trying he had envisioned Ana on that desk, in that outfit the same way he'd fantasized about her wearing the thigh highs in the car.
His hand dropped from the door, his voice cold and calculated.
"Nobody would know?" Hope, she felt that shiver of hope and anticipation run down her spine.
"Never. I'd never say a word to anyone."
"And all you want is sex? With me?" Yes! He was hers, she knew it, could almost feel his lips on hers.
"Yes, raw sex. I want you to dominate me in bed like you do in business." She opened her legs then, sure that the black silk was visibly wet and would tip him just over the precipice he was standing on.
She was right.
He tipped alright, but not in the direction she was hoping. Instead his eyes turned black and hard, she'd seen something close to this look when he'd discovered that one of his conglomerates was a drug front but this, this look terrified her. Instinct had her snapping her legs shut but she was frozen to the spot, the robe too far to get now.
"Here's the thing. I would know. Even if Ana, the love of my life and mother of my children never suspected a thing, I would know and that, you whore, is enough. How dare you parade yourself in front of a married man. You lack respect for me, my wife, my children and for yourself. There's not a woman in this world who could tempt me away and I find it appalling that you thought you'd try."
Heat was radiating off of him in waves so fierce she felt them against the burn of her own skin. His hand was on the door when he turned back.
"Gary Ashland has copies of all your documents and spec sheets?" Bile coated her tongue but she nodded, super aware of her nakedness that he found so appalling. Embarassment flooded her, tears springing to the corners of her eyes but she wasn't done. She had worked too hard for too long for him to discard her like this.
"Christian, I'm sorry, please, just" she stopped when he walked away from the door, another burst of hope that made her nipples pucker but he didn't look at her even as he walked towards her. "Christian." Her hand went out to him and touched his bicep, just as strong as she had suspected.
Her admiration was cut short when he yanked the laptop off the desk, ripping the power chord. Fast as lightning he took the papers that had been forgotten on the floor and then opened the desk to take out the few files she had put there.
"Christian don't do this, we can forget this ever" but he cut her off. Not a roar, not even a yell. It was a sinister low growl that made her knees shake.
"Don't ever call me by that name again. You're fired. As of this minute you are no longer employed by GEH." He strolled to the night stand and picked up the company issued phone, sliding it in his pocket. "What else do you have in this room related to GEH?"
Her heart was pounding in her chest so hard she thought she was having a heart attack. The sting of his rejection paled in comparison to the vile way in which he was treating her.
"You're firing me because I came on to you?" She half laughed, surely this was a joke. Nobody made rash decisions like that with someone in her position. How could he close this deal without her?
"No. I'm firing you because you disrespected my wife and nobody, nobody fucks with Ana." He stomped to the door and swung it open. "You have 12 hours to clear out of this room. How you get home is your problem. Your company cards and expense account will be deactivated in less than two minutes. If you ever set foot near me or my family I will blackball you to every place you apply to."
With one foot out the door he turned and offered her the final blow.
"Oh, and even after nursing two children and the incredible amount of time I spend on them, Anastasias breasts are still fantastic. They beat yours by a landslide."
The door shut with a hushed click, his footsteps in the hall loud and demonstrative. He was pissed. He took the stairs and punched in the code to open the door to the penthouse. Who the fuck did she think she was? He was MARRIED for god's sake. Did that mean nothing to her? Hell, it meant everything to him. He had busted his ass to get healthy and to a place where Ana would marry him, worked even harder to get the family he saw when he had first looked into her eyes.
"Ros, Loralei's been fired effectively immediately. I've already emailed Welch and Barney to cancel electronic access and to make sure no GEH files were outsourced or put on a hard drive elsewhere. Call finance and have them cancel her cards, I want her car towed from the airport as well."
"So she finally did it?" He pulled the phone away and looked at it, his brows knitting together.
"She came on to you. I was wondering when she'd show her hand. Shame too, she's damn good at her job." She paused and whistled. "Want me to fly Stephanie Fept down here tonight? She's been working closely with her, knows her shit too." She must have sensed the wariness in his silence because she sighed and chuckled. "Bats for my team, Grey. No worries on a repeat performance."
Logistics of firing that tramp completed he called Ana. The shower could wait, he needed to hear her voice if nothing else.
"Baby, I miss you."
"You never let me even say hello!" she giggled into the phone and he fell onto the bed without taking his shoes off. "What's the matter?"
She always knew when he was off. No matter how small or large the issue was she knew what he needed but right now, the one thing he needed was to bury himself in her soft, slick warmth.
"Loralei Thompson, my CFO?"
"She asked me into her hotel room to sign a document and wound up taking off her clothes." He'd learned over the years that keeping her from things was never a good thing. Telling her the blunt truth of the matter was the easiest and most honest way to go about it so he laid it at her feet and waited the nine seconds it would take for her to process it.
"So another woman was naked in front of you tonight?"
He sighed. "Yes."
"And did you fire her?"
"Yes. Ripped the chord to her laptop right out of the wall. It was quite the show."
She grinned into the phone and even though she was a world away she knew exactly what he needed.
"Well, I was just about to take a shower. Join me?" he sat up then, unbuttoning the rest of his shirt and getting his shoes tangled in his pant legs in his haste.
"I'll face time you in one minute. Be ready baby, I want you on that little bench. Run and get the waterproof wand." Fuck his dick was definitely going to shoot off. "Fair warning, it's going to be quick, I'm desperate for you."
She laughed. "When are you not, Christian?"
He paused and smiled. She knew him so well.
"You got me there. Actually you've got me everywhere, even in Rio."