Hi again! I'm sorry for the never ending delay… you know, life! Thank you for your follows, favs and reviews (we've reached the 500 reviews!), I know it's hard to follow the plot with such a long distance between updates, so I'm terribly grateful.

These are the songs for this chapter:

Happy. Pharrel Williams.

Shout. Tears for Fears.

Roses. James Arthur feat. Emeli Sandé.

Homelands. Nitin Sawhney.


CHAPTER 20.

Christian was tracing lazy circles with his middle finger on Ana's lower back, on that alluring piece of skin that was inadvertently exposed when she bent over, between the hem of her shirt and the waistband of her jeans; he craved the feeling of her bare skin under his hands that much. She squirmed on her seat when a shiver ran up her spine, his tantalizing touch doing its job, and turned her head to her left to look at him with an admonishing face, finding that crooked smile painted on his lips, full of promises, and those smoldering eyes with a mischievous glint. She shook her head smiling and turned her attention again to Mia, who was talking animatedly about her new project of opening a restaurant.

They were about to enjoy of a family Sunday lunch at the Grey's. Elliot, Kate, Mia, Ana and Christian were sat around the breakfast bar. Carrick busied himself preparing some lemony cocktails and Grace paced the kitchen, picking at the different conversations among the young and also giving a look at the latest touches of their meal.

When they arrived, Carrick approached Ana more warmly, keeping the promise he made to Christian of treating her nicely and no interfering between them both. Ana, fully aware of Carrick's effort, acknowledged it giving him a grateful smile.

They were resting at the backyard after having lunch, enjoying lazily of the warm hours of a summer afternoon. Mia had put some background music and, suddenly, she stood up jumping and clapping her hands.

"I love this song." She said squealing while turning up the volume.

The family laughed at her outburst and Elliot joined her in the funny dance she was doing.

It might seem crazy what I'm about to say

Sunshine she's here, you can take a break

I'm a hot balloon that could go to space

With the air, like I don't care baby by the way

Ana tapped her foot on the ground and her hand on her thigh to the rhythm of the song. Its cheerful melody was infectious for her and, in other circumstances where her shyness had not stalled with the presence of his boyfriend's parents, she would jump and join them, as Kate had already done. Christian looked at her with a glint of adoration in his eyes, a clear grey, almost translucent, with that afternoon sunlight, and yanked her from her seat, pushing her flush against him and making her spin round his arm gracefully.

Because I'm happy

Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof

Because I'm happy

Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth

Because I'm happy

Clap along if you know what happiness is to you

Because I'm happy

Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do

Grace and Carrick watched mesmerized as Christian spun around with Ana, engaged in a carefree display they were not accustomed to see. His boyish grin was splitting his face in two, leaving no place for his usual mask of the tough and ruthless CEO. He seemed happy; he was happy indeed. Suddenly, Grace raised one of her hands to her mouth with a gasp and grasped her husband's arm with the other one, missing a heartbeat while her eyes filled with happy tears. In front of her, there was Ana with both her palms flat on Christian's chest, and he was beaming at her while hugging her tightly. There was no fear in his eyes, no trace of panic; only a look of adoration, that was mirrored in Ana's eyes. They had already seen Ana touching his chest during that dinner the other day, but that movement was more calculated, as a way to display the solidity of their relationship in front of them. This time was different; they weren't aware of the rest of them watching them and it had been completely spontaneous. Carrick looked at her wife and squeezed her hand with a warm smile and an apologetic look. Maybe Ana was not that bad. Maybe she really cared for his son. Yes, he would give the benefit of the doubt; he would confide in Christian's good judgment… the truth was it seemed she was good for him.

_§ § 0 § §_

Ana arrived at Everybody's with a smile on her face. In fact, she always arrived at work beaming, because waking up with Christian was like an injection of energy and bliss which fuelled her for the rest of the day. That day though, he had also dropped her at the office, and his kiss was still lingering on her lips. She touched them with her fingertips and her smile went wider.

"Uh, uh, someone is happy today!" Claire said in a sing-song with an amused smile.

"What can I say? I'm a happy girl, Claire." Ana said shrugging and winking at Claire at the same time she entered the elevator.

She kept humming the same song she had danced with Christian the day before at his parents' until she reached her desk. She sat placing her bag mindlessly on the table, thinking about how good it was to have a family like that, and how happy she was for Christian to be able to open to them a little more. Coming back to the here and now, she noticed a freshly printed copy of the latest edition of the magazine just next to her computer. She grabbed it with both hands grinning, excited to see its contents, although she knew them perfectly. She brushed her fingertips on the cover, following the outline of Ara Malikian, the Lebanese violinist whose article occupied the main pages of the magazine. She wiggled her fingers on his unruly hair while remembering the last staff meeting, when they choose that photography. She opened the cover and searched her name on the list of team members; Anastasia Rose Steele, junior editor. Her face drew a childish grin again and turned the pages until find her article. There it was; it were only two pages, but she was extremely proud. She even had had the chance to pick the photos. Bruce Kane's wife was his own photographer, and she was pretty amazing in her job. But her face fell when she saw the signature at the end of the article: Jack Hyde. Jack fucking Hyde. She squinted her eyes turning the page back and forth, scanning the words, searching for her name. She awoke to the realization of what was the matter and searched for the signer of the main article, the Ara Malikian one. She knew it was Michael Harris work, one freelance reporter who worked for different musical magazines around the country. Jack had gone with him to the interview, she was the one who arranged the flights and hotel reservations, but he had nothing to do with the writing. And again, there it was his name, as the one and only author. The bastard.

She ran to the nearest desk and inspected the magazine that was there, in a futile attempt to ensure herself there was some kind of mistake with the one at her table. Louis, the graphic designer who sat on that desk, glared at her arching a brow and she stared back with wide eyes, waving her hands in the air while shaking the magazine. Incapable of forming two coherent words together, she huffed in frustration and dropped the magazine back on the desk, turning back to hers stomping on the vinyl floor with each step.

She closed her eyes and took a pair of deep breaths to cool herself down. What the hell? Who did he think he was? She licked her bottom lip and exhaled soundly. And with cold collected fury, she went towards Jack's office.

Jack shoved the half-empty bottle of whiskey into the first drawer of his desk when the firm knocks on his door startled him of his self-induced limbo.

"Come in." he barked brushing a hand over his face.

Ana came in, trying to maintain a poker face.

"Oh, Ana, it's you!" He said relieved, grabbing the bottle again and taking a large gulp from it. "I thought it was that sucker of old Roach."

Ana pursed her lips in disgust. Timothy Roach was the founder of Everybody's possession. An old school pianist with a great vocation for education, who had devoted his life to the ungrateful art of teaching music and spreading his knowledge. Jack had joined him in his younger years, being kept under his wing and giving the magazine a new and needed modern approach, which earned them a renovated attention.

"Anyway…" she said waving a hand in the air, as if that way she could erase the lack of respect he had shown for his mentor. "Don't you think it's a little bit early for whiskey, Jack?"

"Not at all." He said smirking. "You could try it; probably it would loosen you a bit." His eyes roamed all over Ana's body.

"Sure thing, Jack." She said rolling her eyes. Jack's eyes darkened, but Ana kept his stare without flinching. "Ok… This. What does it mean?" She said throwing the magazine over his desk opened at the page of her article.

Jack stretched himself on his seat and shook his head with a face of fake ignorance.

"Oh, sorry… what are you talking about?" His eyes were wide, feigning innocence.

"You are the only one signing the article." Ana stated.

"I don't get you, Ana." He said frowning.

She looked at him with disbelief. Was he that obtuse?

"Jack, I wrote that article." She clenched both her hands into fists as she was becoming more and more frustrated.

"Well…" he said leaning comfortably in his armchair, "I gave you the questions, you interviewed the guy and then you wrote down nicely the result." He looked at her with his elbows resting on the armrests and his hands joined in front of his chin.

Ana was speechless. She gaped at him dumbfounded until she recovered her composure.

"Pardon me? You gave me the questions… Are you serious?" Her voice raised too high-pitched for her liking.

"Ana, you have worked here for about five minutes; you can't pretend we give you the credit you don't deserve yet." He enunciated the words slowly, as if gently admonishing a child. "You're a brilliant girl. Don't rush things; I'm sure you will escalate quickly and will get wherever you want with all your… talents." He gave her that dark look again ogling her up and down. "If not, I assure you I will help you with that matter. For now, just thank me for the opportunity I brought you."

Bullshit. He wanted to manhandle her, he wanted to make her feel not worth it, when he was just an arrogant, idle, alcoholic prick.

"And what about the Ara Malikian article? Did you write it by your own too?" Ana shivered with contained fury.

"Oh… that." He stiffened in his seat. "Well, we will arrange an amendment in the next number."

Ana ran of Jack's office slamming the door. She was fuming. Not paying attention of her job mates' glances, she grabbed forcefully her bag and went to the bathroom. After locking herself into one of the cabinets, she searched for her iPod, scattering on the floor some other items in the process, and put on the ear buds. Searching frantically among the list of songs, she sat on the toilet wrapping her arms around her knees once she found the suitable one. Rocking herself back and forth with her eyes closed, she let the jangling sound of the bells of the tune spark her soul and the words dispel the blurred mist her mind was into and reinforce her resolution of not letting Hyde trample on her.

Shout, shout, let it all out

These are the things I can do without

Come on, I'm talking to you come on

Shout, shout, let it all out

These are the things I can do without

Come on, I'm talking to you, come on

In violent times, you shouldn't have to sell your soul

In black and white, they really really ought to know

Those one track minds that took you for a working boy

Kiss them goodbye, you shouldn't have to jump for joy

You shouldn't have to (jump for joy)

_§ § 0 § §_

Christian rubbed his chiseled chin with his thumb and index finger while rereading for the umpteenth time the extended background check about Jack Hyde that Welch had sent him a few minutes ago. His left foot tapped furiously on the marbled floor, making a frenzied unsteady rattle.

Jack Simon Hyde. Age: 36. Born in Detroit of a single mother with a severe alcoholism, he ended up in child care at the age of four. Being in different foster homes until the age of 15, her mother claimed his custody again due to her completely rehabilitation after an arduous and uneven process of rehab and a successful marriage. He got a scholarship for Journalism in Seattle University and never contacted again his mother or stepfather after moving there. It was at the age of twenty when he met Timothy Roach and became his protégé and his second in command.

Christian shifted his gaze to an undetermined point on the opposite wall, his eyes failing to hide the uncertainty he was feeling. He couldn't help but finding some similarities with his own story, although he had been luckier than Hyde. What would he have done if his mother wouldn't have died and had claimed him eleven years after leaving him? He frowned, trying to figure it out. A knock on his door took him from his reverie.

"Come in." He said running a hand on his face.

It was Welch. His trustworthy head of security. On his early fifties, the man oozed the powerful presence of the hard badass general he once was. He had retired ten years ago due to the sequels of an ambush during a reconnaissance mission which made him sport a telltale limp.

"Good afternoon Welch. Take a seat, please." Christian said motioning towards the chair in front of his desk.

"Sir." Welch, frugal in words as always, nodded and gave Christian a folder after sitting down. Christian opened it. "Here you have the information about the three women hired by Hyde during the last year."

"What can you tell me, Welch?" Christian asked scanning the pages. "I mean, not the facts per se, but your insight of them."

"All three were in their early twenties, graduate with a major in Journalism, middle class families, single. No physical characteristics in common." Welch shrugged. "I don't think he picked them specifically. All three left the position without any fuss and began working somewhere else in less than a month."

"Have you talked to anyone of them?" Christian asked assessing the information.

"No, sir. No one have wanted to talk about their time in Everybody's Possession. One of them, though, needed antidepressant treatment for eight months."

Christian exhaled running both his hands through his hair with his elbows on his desk. They didn't have proof of any kind of inappropriate behaviour, but he was sure the fucker was bad news and he didn't want him near Ana.

"OK, Welch. Keep a man on him for the moment. I want daily reports. Thank you for a good job. You can leave now."

"Good bye, boss." Welch said with his usual curt nod and left Christian's office.

_§ § 0 § §_

Ana managed to spend the remaining of the work day without any more interactions with Hyde, focusing in her work, not only because she liked it, but to reassure herself of her abused value. When it already was five o'clock, she had made up her mind, so, before shutting down her computer, she gathered all the possible information which could reveal Hyde's cover.

She was distracted searching for her iPod, which surely was at the bottom of her purse, when she bumped into someone in her way out of the elevator.

"Ups, I'm sorry!" She said to the woman in front of her.

The woman raised her gaze from the floor and beamed at her.

"Ana!" Leila squealed, looking Ana with wide eyes, as if they were old friends.

"Oh…" Ana recognized her, but didn't remember her name. It was odd that extremely friendly demeanour, but she put aside that thought, trying in vain to gather her thoughts.

"Leila." The woman said not minding at all Ana's lack of memory. "How are you doing?" She asked leaning on the nearest wall.

Ana puffed tiredly. She wanted to get out of there as soon as possible.

"Fine, Leila. Errr… It's been nice to meet you again, but I need to get going…" She said walking to the main door.

Leila seemed oblivious to Ana's lack of interest and followed her.

"Is someone picking you up today?" Leila asked her with too much enthusiasm.

"Yes…" Ana said distractedly. "Oh, crap, I have to text him." Ana took out her phone and began texting Sawyer. She was not used to it and simply kept forgetting it.

"The same man than the other day?" Leila kept asking while following Ana.

Ana stopped in her tracks and turned around to face Leila. She noticed then that she had changed her attire to more suitable clothes; she was wearing a cream colored blouse and a black skirt.

"Emm… no." Ana said frowning. They were too much questions for her liking.

"Oh!" Leila's face showed shamelessly her disappointment. Then, suddenly it changed into a mischievous grin and began giggling. "You're so lucky… He's gorgeous!" She said between giggles, her hand went automatically to her mouth as if the words had escaped without wanting. "Don't tell him I said this!" She added still giggling.

Ana looked at Leila in disbelief, frowning and wondering what was wrong with her. Was she blatantly showing her interest for Christian? Was she crazy or what? She didn't seem too much stable.

"I won't tell him?" She finally said, lacking for a better choice of words. "Ok, I'm going. Bye." She said and kept going. She turned around once more and found Leila still giggling and waving her good bye.

Leila stood still in the same spot for several minutes. Her giggling had faded into shallow breaths until she sighed heavily. Then, her face drew a pained expression and she intertwined her hands on her chest. He was not her Master anymore. She didn't have to mess around with him, or with his current sub, did she? But the truth was that the only reason for her being there in that precise moment was to see him. Her knuckles went white by the way she tightened her fists. She gulped, and noticed Claire looking at her sideways. She glared at her defiantly and went to the elevator.

She arrived to the second floor when Jack was about to leave his office.

"What the hell are you doing here?" Jack hissed through clenched teeth while grabbing her by her elbow and shoving her into his office.

"I wanted to see you." She lied in a sweet voice.

"Bullshit." He said crossing his arms on his chest. "I don't treat you that well." He chuckled. " Come here baby…" he was leaning on his desk, and gestured her to stand between his legs. She complied, and he planted a kiss on the top of her head. "Tell me blondie, what do you want? Is it drugs? I don't have in here, but at my place…"

"It's nothing, jack. I wanted to say hi." She interrupted him.

He grabbed her by her arms and shook her.

"First, don't you dare to interrupt me never again. Second, tell me the truth. Who did you want to see, uh?"

"I wanted drugs, that's it." She answered quickly. He glared at her menacingly and she rectified. "I wanted to see… Ana."

"Ana?" He asked frowning. She nodded, hopeful that he did not find the truth. "Do you know her? Do you like her…?" Leila was about to speak when he resumed his talking. "Because I like her. A lot. Do you want her to join us in our dirty naughty little games?" He added tickling her on the ribs as if she were a child.

"No!" She said too vehemently. A wave of jealousy took over her. She already had Christian! "She can't. She has a boyfriend."

"Oh, don't you worry for that boyfriend of hers… I will get rid of him as soon as possible." He said looking her in the eye.

And then, Jack noticed it. Leila couldn't help it. It was subtle, almost imperceptible, but there it was. That flash in Leila's eyes, so quick, it was only a blink, but he saw it. A shadow of fear and recognition when he named him.

"Do you know him? You know Christian fucking Grey, don't you?" Leila's eyes went wider and that flash showed again. "Now, tell me how a slut like you knows a dude like him… and better tell me the truth."

_§ § 0 § §_

"Damn! I can't believe I will have to go there to tie their fucking toddler shoes!" Christian said standing up abruptly from his chair. He paced to the floor to ceiling window of his office and looked at Seattle's nocturne skyline.

"You know how it works, Christian. This people need this kind of approach, some personal interaction. Play your cards, show your charm, eat some sushi, drink a few sake shots with them to celebrate and they will be yours!" Ros said calmly, completely impassible to Christian's outburst.

Christian glared at her in such a way most men would piss in their pants. But not Ros.

"You know it's our last chance to get the deal." She said as a matter of fact.

The negotiations with the Japanese didn't go as smooth as they were supposed to be; they required the presence of the CEO there, in Tokyo, to define some aspects and seal de deal. It was late, Christian was tired, pissed and he needed Ana; touch her, smell her, feel her.

"Fuck!" He muttered, realizing he had not any other chance. "You!" Christian said pointing at Ros with his index finger. "You, no matter what, will come to Tokyo too. If I have to put up with them, you too!"

Ros rolled her eyes, which pissed off Christian even more, and hastily left the office. He dropped himself on his chair again and took his head between his hands. He felt out of control. And the reason was not the stubbornness of the Japanese, but the fact that he would have to travel there, without Ana. That feeling of dependence he felt made him feel vulnerable. With a cool mind, which was not the case, it was not such a big deal; three, four days max, in Tokyo and it would be all sorted out, but she was like a drug to him, which heated his senses and weakened his strength and self-control. She made him come undone. And, added to that obsession, that deep-rooted need, now there was Jack Hyde, who he saw as a threatening figure towards Ana.

Not wanting to lose more time, he shook his head and called Taylor to tell him he was ready to go home.

_§ § 0 § §_

Ana waited for Christian on the couch of the living room, with a glass of red wine, good music and a good book. The pang of deception she felt at Jack's betrayal was still there, but the achievement of almost finishing the song she was writing with Bruce had just lightened her mood. She left the book on her thighs and sighed, closing her eyes while turning back her head. The ethereal chords of the song playing caressed her soul.

I could've chose anybody but I chose you, Ooh ooh

Help me get better, you pull me right out of the blue, Oh oh

And daddy don't like you, but daddy and I never speak, Ee ee

Every night when I wake up I need you to get back to sleep, Ee ee

Smells like roses to me

Two young lovers at sea

Tastes so bitter, so sweet

You're my bang, together we go bang bang bang

Bang bang bang

Bang bang bang

Oh oh, oh oh

Would Christian have chosen her in other circumstances? If he weren't so damaged? Probably not. Their paths wouldn't have crossed again and she would be still mourning about that mysterious guy until she had desisted. Or maybe, just maybe, they were meant to be together no matter what. She smiled at that thought. With him by her side, she felt as if she could endure whatever life could bring. She felt powerful and invincible. She got up of the couch and wrapped her arms around her chest, rocking herself to the rhythm of the song.

You could've chose anybody but you chose me, Ee Ee

Hiding in bedsits cause no one around us agrees, Ee ees

And I feel romantic cause since morning I've been acting wild, I, I

Shall we eat all the poison and leave all the questions behind, I, I

Smells like roses to me

Two young lovers at sea

Tastes so bitter, so sweet

You're my bang, together we go bang bang bang

Bang bang bang

Bang bang bang

Christian arrived at his penthouse and gave Taylor the rest of the night off. As he approached the living room music embraced him in a warm salute. She was always surrounded by music. He stopped at the threshold to observe her. She was swaying slightly with the song, her bare silky legs rocking her weight from right to left, glowing in the dim light as if she were some ethereal creature, so near and so far. His fingertips ached for the feeling of her soft skin, to test she was for real. Too good for him. She didn't deserve her, but she had chosen him. The reason why was a completely mystery for him; she could chose whomever she wanted. Without any doubt, money was not the reason, although he had always thought it was his main appeal. The money and his good looks. But, although Ana was as attracted to him as he was to her, it didn't seem to be neither what she cared the most, which scared him to the bone, because he was sure one day she would realize it was just an illusion.

She felt him before he could move, and when she turned around she saw him standing still in the threshold of the room, his arms hanging on both sides and his fingers curled as if in pain. His mesmerizing eyes piercing her devoted soul.

And all the chemicals and alcohol make for a volatile love

But stay with me

Just stay with me

And I never wanna lose you but I feel that this closeness will tear us apart

But stay with me

Stay with me

Bang, bang, bang

Was this thing between them volatile? He asked himself again while approaching her. It seemed so real, so strong… but it had happened so fast he was scared that it collapsed like a house of cards. Yes, in the end, he didn't deserve it. That was his worst fear.

"Hi," he muttered finally brushing his aching fingertips on her face. A sigh of relief left his mouth.

"Hi," she whispered back, fluttering her eyelids with the contact of his hand. "How was your day?"

"Long. Much better now that I am here… I have to tell you something."

"Me too."

He nodded and lowered his head to kiss her, tasting the red wine on her lips.

"Ok… we eat, talk and then I want to bury myself in you." He said against her neck. "And for once in a long time," he added lowering her head to be eye to eye, "we will do it this way and in this order."

His tone was dead serious, but didn't match the look in his eyes, needy and pleading. Ana understood what was beneath Christian's words. It wasn't an order, but a plea. Control. He needed control. That she could do.

She cupped his face with both hands and lovingly said "It sound for me like a good plan".

After dinner, they turned back to the couch in the living room, soft background music still playing and the same bottle of wine Ana had opened set on the coffee table.

"You first." Christian said sipping his glass. He had changed into sweat pants and a t-shirt, barefoot, and was leaning comfortably with his free hand stretched along the back of the sofa and sitting with one of his legs tucked beneath him.

"Ok…" Ana said with a sigh. "Today I found out…" Her calm and collected self changed dramatically into a feisty one. She got up of the sofa stomping one foot on the carpeted floor, the tribal sounds of Nitin Sawhney's Homelands serving as soundtrack of her movements. "I found out… wait and see!" She walked to the library muttering unintelligible words. Christian gaped at her, without a clue about what was going on. She came back a few seconds later with a magazine in one hand.

"Look! Page nineteen. Look at it! It's unbelievable!" She said throwing it on the couch.

With the magazine in his hands, Christian realized with wide opened eyes it was Everybody's Possession number of the month.

"Oh, Ana! I thought it came out on Tuesdays… I wanted to buy it tomorrow first thing in the morning… You know I'm really proud of you!" He said apologetically.

"Oh, it comes out on Tuesdays, Christian. This is a copy they give to the employees the day before the release." Ana took the magazine from his hands, opened it at page nineteen and gave him back. "Look… this is the article I wrote…" She said crossing her arms on her chest.

Christian looked at her with a look of disbelief, one questioning brow raised. He turned his gaze at the magazine and his eyes squinted the same time a growl escaped his mouth.

"Is this the f… the guy you interviewed?" He asked pointing at the black and white photograph of a gorgeous Bruce Kane.

"Yes." She answered slightly annoyed because Christian was not paying attention to the matter of the problem there.

"You… you spend some afternoons with him…" One single thought filled his mind; that tattooed fucker spending time with her, in the intimacy of two artists sharing their own creation, and he taking advantage of that vulnerable moment for Ana to use his bohemian charm on her. He lifted his face and looked daggers at her, but she, completely oblivious to his discomfort, rolled her eyes at his rambling.

"Christian! Focus here…" She said taping with her fingertip at Hyde's name.

Christian lowered his gaze again to where Ana was pointing, dumbfounded by her weird demeanour, and finally saw that it was not Ana's name the one which was at the end of the article. He looked at her, all the previous white and jealous fury forgotten, with eyes full of concern.

"Ana… what… why?"

"He's a scumbag, good for nothing!" She said raising her hands in the air. "Not only he has pretended he's the author of this article, MY article," she aimed at her chest with one single finger, "but has done the same with others." At that, she had stood up and was pacing the room muttering expletives.

"Fuck, Ana, I'm really sorry." He said reaching for her and hugging her from behind. "I will see what I can do. I assure you he will regret trying to appropriate others' work."

"Oh, of course he will! He tried to make me feel bad, he tried to convince me I'm not good for the job…"

"He did what?" He asked her spinning her round to face her.

"Yes, I went to his office asking for an explanation and…"

"Did you go to confront him? Were you two alone?" Christian face went pale; he was livid. It will be only his fault if something happened to Ana; he knew Hyde was trouble and his duty was protecting her.

"Of course I went! He had stolen the fruit of my job, Christian. I won't let him manhandle me!"

"Don't worry, baby. I will take matters in my own hands." He said closing the space between them and kissing the top of her head.

"Oh, I think I have it covered. I can manage it." She said raising her head to look at him.

"No, Ana. This man is dangerous. I don't want you to do nothing." He said grabbing her by her arms.

"Dangerous?" She asked frowning.

He sighed and, stepping backwards, ran a hand through his hair.

"I ran a background check on him some days ago. He is bad news, Ana. He hired three young women during last year, and the three of them left the job before the first three months..."

"Of course they did!" She interrupted him. "It's nearly impossible to work with him. He's not only a thief, but a jerk!" She said angry.

"Ok then. You quit tomorrow first thing in the morning and then we can figure out how to deal with him." He said satisfied. Ana was safer far away from that asshole. He was about to kiss both her hands when she suddenly retreated them.

"No! I'm not quitting! If I do, he wins. That's not gonna happen! I already informed Timothy Welch. I have proof of his dirty tricks!"

"Baby, I'm proud of your determination, but let me handle this. I don't want you to be near Hyde… you could get hurt." Christian tried to coax Ana.

"Don't be paranoid Christian. The guy is an alcoholic asshole and a thief… but that's all!" She said nonchalantly.

"He's a sexual predator, Ana. We have no proof yet, but I'm sure he harassed or sexually attacked those women."

Images of all the inappropriate comments and weird looks Jack had given to her passed through Ana's mind in a nanosecond, but she stubbornly got round them. "Christian…" She began to say.

"No!" He yelled. "You are not going to Everybody's never again!" He stated hovering over her with a steely gaze.

"Yes I am." She faced him, holding his stare.

Christian closed his eyes and counted to ten taking a deep breath and exhaling heavily. If she were really his… everything would be easier. And she would be safe.

"Ana…" He barely whispered opening his eyes. "Don't be stubborn."

"I'm not being stubborn. You are being overprotective." She repeated. Then she watched him stiffening; he was like a bomb about to explode, barely covered by those taut muscles, tense with the boiling fury underneath them. "I know you care for me… and I love you for it. Just trust me." She added sweetly.

His eyes were burning, leaving hot trails over her skin. She was about to caress his face when he grabbed her hand and put it behind her back, holding it there and trapping her in a tight embrace with his other arm. Her whimper was silenced by his hungry mouth, crushing with hers in a desperate kiss. Need, fear, love, lust; that kiss was an open door to his feelings, and she surrendered to him, molding into his arms and giving him the control he painfully needed.

He rested his forehead on hers when he broke the kiss, panting for air, and slowly loosened his grip on her. His eyes were a stormy grey, lost in his own inner battle, and Ana held his gaze once again, reassuring him she was ok.

He brushed his lips against hers, and once again kissed her hard, dominating her mouth. Hastily he took off her shirt, leaving her mouth just for one second, and roaming his hands over her breasts as he nipped at her bottom lip.

"Touch me." He demanded her, removing his t-shirt over his head.

Ana looked him in the eye. Slowly, she brushed her fingertips along his neck. Using both hands, she traced the outline of his taut pectorals and the dark disks of his areolas, making him fall his head back. She feather-touched his rippled abs, outlined his navel and made her way up on the sides of his rib cage, making him shiver. His eyes were glued to her hands, watching every movement.

"I said touch me." He said hoarsely, grabbing both her hands and putting them flat on his chest.

He bit her hard on her neck and she moaned digging her nails on his flesh.

He moaned loudly, welcoming her harsh touch. He didn't mind if he drew blood; he wanted to feel her, to mark her and be marked by her. Hastily, he lifted her and carried her to the couch with her legs wrapped tightly around him and her hands all over him.

He put her on the couch on all fours and hovered over her, placing his hands over hers.

"Stay still." He whispered hoarsely on her ear.

Slowly, his hands made their way up to her hips, making her back arch with the feather-touch of his fingertips. He took off her shorts and panties in one swift movement. He caressed her buttocks, kneading the soft flesh, and parted them to reveal her hot wet core. He marveled at the sight and stayed like that for a moment, licking his lips. She squirmed under his stare and her eyes rolled at the back of her head when she felt his teeth nibbling at her buttocks, so near her sex, but avoiding it. Her breath hitched when he blew over her.

"What do you want me to do, Ana?" He asked against her, almost touching.

"Whatever you want." She whispered, unable to raise her voice louder.

He groaned in response and parted her buttocks even more, his fingers digging into her flesh, deliciously near her rosette, and licked her sex from clit to ass with his tongue flat. Ana's head fell on the couch, lifting her ass in the air. Greedily, he drank of her, licking, sucking and nibbling her folds, driving her wild until she was panting. He took off his pants and positioned the head of his cock at her slick entrance, relishing in every inch he slowly sank in, all the way, to withdraw immediately until only his head was inside her, relishing in the way his cock glistened with her juices, or the way her sex throbbed to accommodate him.

He kept that slow pace for several minutes, enticed with the lustful sight, and then slammed hard, burying himself deep inside her.

"Cum for me, baby." He said on her ear. Ana was panting, moaning with every thrust of his hips.

"I want you to cum with me, Christian." She replied hoarsely while circling her hips.

"Stubborn!" He whispered pressing his forehead on her upper back.

Raising his torso again, he reached for his clit with one of his hands and began circling it. Ana's moans become louder and her grip tighter. Then, he gently poked one soaked thumb into her rosette, splaying the rest of his hand over one of her buttocks. That stimulation sent Ana over the edge, and climaxed incredibly hard, making all her muscles tighten and shiver in pleasure. Christian relished in the way she squeezed his cock and his thumb, and the way her juices poured down his belly and his balls; his stare glued again to the beautiful sight.

When she came down of her orgasm, he flipped her around to place her on her back, and immediately entered in her again, grabbing her by her thighs. After some more thrusts, he withdrew completely off her cumming on her belly and breasts. Ana watched mesmerized as he gripped himself, hot, hard and throbbing, and after one last past of his thumb over the purple head, thick streams of hot white pleasure poured over her. She looked fascinated at his eyes, consuming her, and his face, one of lust and oblivion.

But once he returned of his nirvana, his eyes went wide open, and a shadow of paralyzing guilt crossed his face. Ana, still mesmerized, reached a hand over her belly and picked a little bit of his nectar between two fingers, tasting it avidly circling her tongue on them. His face changed again, erasing the fear and gaping at her with lust and veneration when she spread his cum over her body.

_§ § 0 § §_

"You don't have idea how hot you looked with my cum all over your delectable body." He told her once again while kissing her neck. They were on the bed, after a necessary hot shower.

"It was really hot. You are a sight, Mr. Grey." She said against his ear.

He stop kissing her and looked her in the eye.

"I wanted to mark you." That shadow of guilt reappeared again, and Ana understood his previous demeanour.

"You… you don't need to mark me to make me yours. I'm already yours, you know that, right?" She said running her hands on his hair. "This is yours." She placed his hand over her heart.

"I know…" He sighed. "You know I love you, don't you Ana? More than anything or anyone."

"I know. I love you too…" She leaned her head on his chest looking at the red marks of her fingernails.

"I'm going to Tokyo next week." He said with a pained voice.

Ana understood in that precise moment why he had behaved that way. She caressed his jaw tenderly, feeling the soft stubble against her fingers, and smiled.

"Thank you for wanting to help me with Hyde's ... we can meet half way and get to an understanding."


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