Fifty Shades Of Grey: My Years With Elena *Warning - Explicit Content*

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'Picture this, an adolescent boy looking to earn some extra money so he can continue his secret drinking habit. So, I was in the backyard at the Lincolns', clearing some rubble and trash from the extension Mr. Lincoln had just added to their place. Elena - Mrs. Lincoln appeared out of nowhere and brought me some lemonade. I made some smart-ass remark...and she slapped me. She slapped me so hard. She then seduced me and I became her submissive for six years.'

And this is my account of what happened.

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43. THE MASKED BALL

A hundred thousand dollars. A. HUNDRED. THOUSAND. DOLLARS!!!

Is he serious????

I swallow my shock and horror but cannot stop my gasp. I look around quickly but most people around me are thankfully acting the same way. Christian has more fucking money than sense at the moment! I have NEVER seen him behave as irrationally as he has done since meeting that damn little mousy witch. I watch in shocked disbelief as he escorts her off the stage with a nod to Flynn. I wish he had let Flynn outbid him – maybe HE would have seen straight through her. I take a step back into the crowd as they glide past. He leans in and whispers something to her and grins wickedly as she blushes. I continue to watch as they head away and out towards the house and my heart sinks. Given the way he'd just looked at her, I doubt he was taking her to see his kickboxing trophies...

Maybe he'd been right about tonight. Maybe I should have just stayed away. So far it has been an unmitigated disaster and my plan to get her alone and warn her off, doesn't look likely to happen any time within the next half hour.

But...Now I'm here I might as well make the most of Grace and Carrick's extravagant hospitality and have a glass of expensive champagne...

...or four...

**********

I rise a little unsteadily from the table. I have no concept of how much time has passed since I began drowning my sorrows, I just know my alcohol to canapé ratio is way off balance. I take a deep breath. I need to get out into the outside air, then call a cab and go home. I can finish my little pity party there with a nice bottle of chilled Sancerre...

I find my centre of gravity and look around the tent. I hadn't realised it was quite so deserted - apart from a couple who are literally eating each other's faces off. I narrow my eyes at them.

UGH! If I see one more happy couple here tonight, I'm going to rip my arm off and throw it at them!

I take a deep cleansing breath. That little shot of adrenalin has shaken off my tipsiness. With a new resolve I head towards the outdoors. Suddenly to my utter surprise and joy, Anastasia enters the tent and walks across to the empty Trevelyan-Grey table and reaches over for her bag. I seize the opportunity and swoop on her like an avenging angel.

"Anastasia?" I begin sweetly in a soft voice.

She jerks in surprise as she turns. She  gapes at me as those huge startled eyes of hers take me in. "I'm so glad you're on your own," I continue in the same soft tone. "I've been waiting to talk to you all evening."

I can see the confusion clouding her bright blue eyes. "I'm sorry, I don't know who you are."

She has a surprisingly confident tone for someone who looks like Bambi's mom. For a moment I contemplate telling her, but I'm feeling bold from the alcohol so I go for the big reveal instead and sweep off my mask for maximum impact.

It works.

Her eyes grow wider in shock – I didn't think that was even possible given their size – and her mouth drops open.

Maximum. Impact. Achieved.

"I'm sorry, I startled you." I say as apologetically as I can. I'm not sorry in the slightest. I want to knock her off-kilter so she reveals her true self. I gesture to the chair for her to sit down. Her already pale skin has drained of all colour and I fear she may faint before I've even said my piece. She thankfully slips into the seat and I sit in the chair next to her. I need to get this done quickly before Christian realises she's missing.

"I'll be brief, Anastasia. I know what you think of me...Christian's told me."

That you think I seduced a helpless teenager. Believe me, he was anything BUT helpless...

She sits staring at me with a look of apathy. If I have have gotten to her, she hides it well. There is a sudden movement at the tent entrance and Taylor appears with a younger man in a similar dark suit – no doubt another addition to Christian's security team.

"Taylor is watching us." I almost whisper and she peeks around. Both men suddenly avert their gaze and pretend to find something highly interesting in the white canopy instead.

"Look, we don't have long," I begin in a rush. Taylor will have notified Christian by now and I don't want to cause a scene with him. Time to churn out my patented spiel about love like I have to all his submissives and then I can sit back and watch it all go to hell like it did with all the others...

"It must be obvious to you that Christian is in love with you. I have never seen him like this, ever." I emphasise the last word as it's the only truth I have said. I genuinely have never, EVER seen him behave like this.

The sudden rapid blinking of those ridiculously large blue eyes, is the only sign she gives me that my claim has hit a nerve. I take a deep breath and rattle off my next statement, hoping in my slightly inebriated state that I get all my words out in the right order.

"He won't tell you because he probably doesn't realize it himself, notwithstanding what I've said to him, but that's Christian. He's not very attuned to any positive feelings and emotions he may have. He dwells far too much on the negative. But then, you've probably worked that out for yourself. He doesn't think he's worthy."

Anastasia still maddeningly says nothing in response, so I finish off my glass of champagne, watching her closely. It's so hard to read her emotions whilst she's hiding behind her mask – surely if I've taken mine off it's only polite that she does the same? Her eyes seem to glaze over and I don't know whether she's mulling over my words, the effect of alcohol or if she really doesn't have a thought in her head.

Seriously, apart from the physical, just what does this girl have that has seemingly enraptured him so? It certainly isn't her conversational skills.

Oh, this is getting me nowhere and I know I'm running out of time. I need to wrap this up and go, as being nice just isn't cutting it...

"I've never seen him so happy, and it's obvious that you have feelings for him, too." I feel a smile tug my lips and I nearly give my game away. I quickly reign myself in.

Time to go for the jugular...

"That's great, and I wish you both the best of everything. But what I wanted to say is if you hurt him again, I will find you, lady and it won't be pleasant when I do." I give her my best Malificent stare - trying to bore through her damn mask and into whatever sorcery she hides behind it. But to my utter horror and disbelief, the little witch giggles!

WHAT. THE. FUCK? Is she laughing at me right now???

That's it. I snap. "You think this is funny Anastasia?" I begin in dismay. "You didn't see him last Saturday." Technically neither did I, but it wasn't for the want of trying.

Finally, she visibly reacts. Her face falls and her plump bottom lip wobbles. Yes! I've got to her at long last. She gazes at me intently as she rises slowly from the table and I expect her to run off. But to my amazement she stands her ground.

"I'm laughing at your audacity, Mrs. Lincoln. Christian and I have nothing to do with you. And if I do leave him and you come looking for me, I'll be waiting - don't doubt it. And maybe I'll give you a taste of your own medicine on behalf of the fifteen-year-old child you molested and probably fucked up even more than he already was."

I'm so taken aback by her harsh words, that all my bravado immediately falls away and I can't stop my mouth from gaping open. Christian said she had an issue with me seducing him. He never said she thought I'd abused him!

THAT'S NOT HOW IT WAS!!!

"Now if you'll excuse me, I have better things to do than waste my time with you." And with that self-righteous sentence hanging in the air, she turns on her heel and stalks towards Taylor at the entrance of the tent, as I sit there reeling from her words. Christian suddenly appears next to Taylor looking agitated. He says something to her, then looks up and frowns at me, where I sit mute and immobile. Anastasia seemingly ignores him and strides straight past him. He calls out to her then hurries after her, swiftly followed by Taylor and the other guy.

What the hell just happened?

I was getting to her, I know I was. I'll admit she's harder to break down than any of his previous submissives - even Goddamn Leila had been an easier challenge -  but I was making progress. I was in control.

I'm ALWAYS in control.

So where had it all gone wrong? When did she suddenly become the one with all the power? I know Christian said she had no experience as a submissive, but she was willing to try for him. Is she just incapable of understanding what's required?

And then it hits me like a wrecking ball. Christian's erratic behaviour; why he was so distraught when she left him, why he hadn't wanted me over, why he was panicking so much about me meeting her and why he was so worried I'd ruin it for him.

He really IS in love with her!

He's just too afraid to admit it.

That's why he'd been so devastated. She'd broken his heart. And he'd blamed himself, when technically it was her stupid fault for asking for a belting. Oh, he'd been upset when the rest of his relationships had broken down, but he'd gotten over them because he'd never been in love with any of them. He's never gone chasing after them like he has done with Anastasia. And for the life of me, I can't understand why she is different to all the others! But I shall make it my mission to find out!

THIS IS NOT OVER!!

With a new resolve I stand up and head to the entrance of the tent. I fish out my cell from my bag to call a cab, but it vibrates with an incoming call. When I look at at the screen I realise it's Christian. I debate ignoring it, but I don't want to add fuel to the fire. I know I can't avoid him. I can placate him though. I've always been good at that. I stab at the screen.

"Chris..."

"WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU JUST SAY TO ANASTASIA?" He barks aggressively down the line, taking me so off guard my step falters and I nearly stumble.

"I-I didn't say anything. We were just...talking." I lie.

"Why did you change your mind? I thought we'd agreed." He continues angrily.

"I only wanted to see the auction, then I had a little too much champagne and bumped into Anastasia in the tent."

"Well, leave her alone." He snaps.

"Okayyyyy. I was just leaving when you rang." I take a breath and purposely adjust my indignant tone, to one that is much softer. "I'm just worried about her hurting you again, darling."

Annoyingly, Christian seems oblivious and continues his rant. "This is the first regular relationship I've ever had, and I don't want you jeopardizing it through some misplaced concern for me. Leave. Her. Alone. I mean it, Elena."

My heart sinks, not so much at his sharpness with me, but at his actual words. 'Regular relationship'? I was right. She isn't his submissive.

She's his girlfriend.

"You're in love with her, aren't you?" I say in a hoarse voice.

There's a pause before he finally speaks in a gentler tone. "No, of course not."

Oh Christian, YOU ARE! Why can't you see it?

I open my mouth to say this, but he beats me to it. "I have to go. Good night."

Before I even have a chance to reply, the line goes dead.

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