I am floating so close to the edge.
Christian has been slowly savoring my breasts, sucking and tonguing them. I want him to touch me all over, but he won’t. He just smirks and me and continues unrelentingly. I am begging him for release. “Please”, I whimper. I know from experience, begging will get me nowhere. Things will happen Christian’s way at Christian’s pace. I start to feel the familiar pull, building ever so slowly. I buck my hips to try to make some contact, to feel any tiny bit of pressure, but I cannot find any part of Christian to press against. I am moaning and writhing, while he continues the protracted onslaught. My breathing is labored and my throat is dry. I. Am. So. Close. If only he would touch me. There. Just once.
Suddenly Christian bites down on my nipple and orgasmic waves wash over me and I feel like I am falling. I jerk awake.
Holy shit! Did that just happen? I am sitting in the glider in the nursery, it is an hour before dawn and my just fed son is lying in my arms in a milk induced sleep. I had read about women sometimes having an orgasm from nursing in one of the dozen or so pregnancy, childbirth, and baby’s first year books that Christian downloaded to my iPad as ‘suggested reading’ (such subtle suggestions!). I’m wondering what Christian will think about this, then it dawns on me that any story that starts with ‘I fell asleep while nursing our infant son’ isn’t going to sit well with Mr. Fifty. Despite the fact that while sitting in this absolutely luxe glider (that is more like a top of the line barcalounger than a nursery glider) with a nursing pillow fastened around my middle it is not physically possible to for Teddy to do anything but lie against me, I know my Fifty. He’ll only see the safety violation. I can’t help but roll my eyes recollecting the ‘safety tour’ of the house Christian had the baby proofers give me. Forgetting the fact that this baby won’t sit up for several months, let alone crawl, walk, or get into the liquor supply. Every shade, outlet, cord, sharp edge, and step has been secured, plugged, removed, padded, or gated.
The sun is starting to rise and I gaze down at our son. Thirteen days old today. Mr. Theodore Raymond Grey. Though I knew it was a long shot, I had hopes he would come on his due date, May 21st since the date holds a special memory…the anniversary of the ‘drunk dialing’ incident. Teddy had his own ideas though and arrived on May 14th.
I glance at the personalized clock with Teddy’s name on the wall and see that it is after 6 am. The clock is hung intentionally right across from the glider so I can keep track of the time nursed on each breast. Of course Christian has read up on this, too, and had taken it upon himself to act as my personal lactation coach, until I had to draw the line. I can concede his superior knowledge and the worth of studying up on the safety issues, but I would not take nursing advice from someone who never has and never will have breasts! Argh!
I should go back to sleep, but I don’t think I can after my little episode. Besides, the entire Grey clan is coming over for a Memorial Day weekend barbeque. Though I tried to set the time for late afternoon, Grace kept negotiating me down until I conceded to noon. She just couldn’t handle a day while she counted down the hours to seeing her grandson. And I really should cut her a break…after all she only comes over every other day, and she really did try to hold back while my Mom and Bob were here the first week.
I suddenly remember that I am thirsty. I glance over at the table next to the glider and see an empty glass. Whoops. Lactation coach Grey is tsk tsking in my head that I did not fill my water glass ahead so I could drink the required ounces of water while nursing. I stand up, unvelcro the nursing pillow and let it drop to the floor, and carry Teddy over to the crib. After laying him down, I head down to the kitchen, remembering to take the wireless monitor receiver with me.
By the time Christian joins me an hour later, I have imbibed two glasses of water, eaten an omelet, and I’m sitting at the kitchen island. He saunters into the kitchen in his typical Sunday morning pajama bottoms looking delicious. “Good morning, Mrs. Grey. You didn’t come back to bed after feeding Teddy. You really should sleep when he sleeps.” He kisses me on top of my head and inhales. I want to reach out and grab him and take him right on the island – which to be accurate is more like a small continent than an island. Christian has been taking the no sex for 6 weeks postpartum thing a little too literally. Since our first time together, the longest we’ve ever been apart has been 6 days. Now on day 13, this is killing me. I realize the lack of contact is likely the provocation for my dream. I will never make it to 42 days.
I notice Christian is staring at me waiting for a response. “I was hungry”, I shrug. This is the Christian Grey equivalent to a get out of jail free card. “I had an omelet, would you like one?” The patented Ana Steel, er, Grey distraction technique. It never actually fools Christian, but he recognizes it means I want a topic change and he usually obliges.
“I would love one, Mrs. Grey”. I slide off my chair and on tip toe give him a quick, modest peck. “As you wish, Mr. Grey”.
In the kitchen, I am in my element. I glance in the fridge for ingredients and quickly grab the eggs, a brick of cheddar any foodie would die for, and a green pepper. I have to tease my husband a little, “Want to dice the pepper?” I ask innocently.
“Are you mocking me, Mrs. Grey? You know how I feel about that.” He is scowling at me, but I know he is teasing.
“Stow your twitchy palm, Mr. Grey and I will exercise every bit of willpower I have to resist rolling my eyes at you”. I giggle, which elicits an ear to ear grin from my husband.
I whip up an omelet with the peppers, made with three egg whites and one whole egg, sprinkled with some grated cheddar. The mix of eggs and egg whites is Christian’s new favorite, ever since a hotel chef introduced him to it on a business trip a few months back. I sit back to watch him eat. Christian really relishes food. The obsession goes far beyond the deep fear of being hungry; he truly savors each bite and appreciates each flavor. He is just finishing when the monitor grabs our attention.
“I believe our son would like his breakfast, too, Mrs. Grey. I’ll get him and bring him down.”
“Meet me in the family room, and grab the nursing pillow, please.” Now I am grinning ear to ear as I get up and head to the family room. Who would have thought it, Christian Grey does diapers?
Initially Christian hired a registered nurse to be on duty with Teddy, but she and I kept tripping over each other. Plus, since I am nursing she could not feed Teddy anyway. And I couldn’t help but feel territorial around her. Yes, she knows more about babies than I ever will…but Teddy is my baby and I’ll figure it out. It isn’t like he is the first baby ever born, women do this every day! After witnessing my frustration level rising each day, Christian finally conceded that maybe a nurse was not essential after all. Thank God for small victories.
Christian walks into the family room taking very deliberate steps. He has both hands wrapped around Teddy, has the nursing pillow strapped around his shoulder, and a burp cloth and receiving blanket under his arm. I know he wants to be relaxed and casual, but he just can’t help himself. I empathize with the overwhelming responsibility of such a vulnerable charge, but I am struggling less with these feelings than my poor husband.
I also note that he put a t-shirt on before getting the baby. Sigh.
I smile, take the nursing pillow and fasten it around my waist, and sink down in an exceedingly comfortable armchair. Everything in this room is remarkably comfortable. Big, cozy couches face an indescribably large television; there is a wall of shelves and cubbies overflowing with toys Teddy won’t use for months, and a wide open space for Teddy to play in the middle.
I open my robe and Christian hands the baby to me and I position him to nurse. He latches immediately and I’m relieved – no need for Mr. Control freak to try and offer positioning tips (again!).
While Teddy feeds, I think about the undeclared elephant in the room. I need to address this, but I need a strategy. Christian doesn’t want Teddy touching him. It never even occurred to me that he would have the same qualms with a baby that he has with others. Teddy is not some stranger, after all, this is his son, his flesh and blood. And I have to agree with all the books – there is just something about the skin to skin contact with your baby that is so…unifying.
I look up and realize that while I have been lost in my thoughts, Christian has been studying me intently. “See something you like, Daddy?” I say with a smirk as I switch Teddy to my other breast.
“It’s just…difficult to...comprehend that something that was…something I enjoyed solely for pleasure...can be so…functional.” Hmmm…functional? I’m not sure how I feel about that. What I was feeling earlier was not was one would call functional. Christian is still staring at me. I have a sense he wants to ask me something, but I can’t decipher it from his expression. “Where is your water glass?” Whoa, change in direction. Now he is scowling at me.
“Um, I, uh, forgot” I mumble sheepishly.
“Oh, Mrs. Grey, what would you do without me?” Oh, Mr. Grey, I would be lost. I give him a shrug and he smiles as he gets up and heads to the kitchen. He returns in a moment with a large glass of ice water which he places carefully on a coaster on the table beside me. I’m suddenly aware that I am exceedingly thirsty.
“Thank you, Mr. Grey.” I pick up the glass and swig several large gulps. “Much better.” He has a smug look on his face – but not entirely. Ever since he found out I was pregnant, and even more so the past two weeks, I catch glimpses of fear in his eyes. And I know what he is afraid of – loss of control. He cannot control a baby, or the child he will become.
I have come up with a plan – a direct attack. I lift Teddy to my shoulder and pat gently until I hear a burp that could belong to a tattooed guy who had just drunk a six pack. Both Christian and I laugh.
I stand up and extract myself from the nursing pillow. “Christian, I want you to do something.” He is on his feet immediately and looking at me questioningly. “Take your shirt off.”
He instantly knows where I am going. “Ana, I…I don’t think I can”.
“I do. I’m not trying to push you past your limits and I don’t want to expatiate about it. Just try.” Our eyes are locked. I don’t want a showdown over this, but I know if I let him persist with this avoidance, the anxiety in him will proliferate. “Please, Christian.”
He takes a deep breath and whispers “I’ll try.” He reaches for the hem of his shirt and slowly lifts it over his head and lets it drop to the floor. His breathing has increased. I had better move expediently lest his resolve fail.
“Lie down on the couch” I command. In the back of my mind I find that intriguing, and make a mental note to think about it another time. He lays down with his head on one overstuffed arm of the couch and his feet on another. A thought pops into my head and I lay Teddy on the carpet and remove his onesie. Then I pick him up and look into Christian’s gray eyes. I see his trepidation, but he gives me a nod of ascent. I place Teddy on Christian’s bare torso and I take Christian’s hand and place it on Teddy’s back. I let my lips brush his chest before I kneel on the carpet beside them. Christian is panting, so I sit up on my knees and brush my hand across his brow. “Shhhh. He can’t hurt you. He is just a baby, your baby, and he loves you. Shhh.” Teddy nuzzles against his father’s chest and Christian flinches. I persevere, murmuring to Christian, soothing his anxiety. Christian is grimacing, but he hasn’t asked me to take Teddy. “Shhh, baby. You’re doing so well.” I don’t know how long we go on, but slowly Christian’s breathing becomes regular. After I while I sit back on my ankles, I glance at Teddy. “Well Daddy, it appears you son has dozed off.”
My husband glances down at the sweet baby asleep on his chest. Christian hesitantly rubs Teddy’s back. “Yes, it appears he has.”
“Are you okay? Did I push you too far?”
“No, Anastasia, you did not push me too far. You pushed me just far enough.” He is gazing down at his child and I feel the tears welling up. I look in his gray eyes and see they, too, are watery.
Without thinking I spring up and press my lips to his. “You are going to be an amazing father, Mr. Grey” I whisper. Suddenly I have a fabulous thought. “Wait - don’t move!”
“Sweetheart, where could I go” he chuckles, glancing down at Teddy.
I quickly run to his study where I find the camera. Every night since Teddy’s birth he downloads the photos of the day. The nautical clock on the wall says it is 11 am. Where does the time go on a lazy Sunday! I dash back and Christian quickly realizes what I am up to. “Oh Mrs. Grey, you are taking advantage of my temporary immobility. I will get you back for this.”
“I know, Mr. Grey” I say as I snap away. I finish with our little photo session and kneel down next to my two men again. “Are you still okay?”
I get the answer I’m hoping for, “Yes. This is so…tender. He trusts us so much.” Fifty sounds almost surprised.
“That’s what babies are, absolute love and trust.” I feel myself starting to get weepy again. Damn hormones. “Honey, I want to take a quick shower, will you be okay if I leave you like this?”
“I think I’m going to be fine.” Christian fixes he eyes on mine, “you’re really going to mentor me through this whole parenting thing, aren’t you?”
“Every step of the way, baby,” I lean in and nuzzle my nose against his, then turn and kiss the top of Teddy’s head.
“Okay then, you can hit the showers.” I look at him, uncertain for a moment. Then I rise, grab the receiving blanket and drape it over Teddy, and head upstairs.
I call back over my shoulder “Laters, baby.”
Though I am tempted to linger in the hot water and indulge myself a bit, I know the Grey tribe will be arriving in less than an hour. I cut my shower short, dry my hair, and set about the challenging task of finding clothes. I refuse to wear maternity clothes, but my body is nowhere close its pre-Teddy shape after only 2 weeks. I can’t wait until I’m cleared to work out with Claude. Since I was already pregnant when I started exercising, Claude kept things pretty light. However, I know he has a post pregnancy boot camp planned for me.
I find a teal-blue, a-line, sundress that falls just above my knee. It was never a favorite before because it didn’t emphasize my waist, but today that is a plus. And it fits. It is a little snug across the chest, which reminds me Teddy will be due to eat soon. I slip on a pair of tan flats and head downstairs.
I’m heading towards the kitchen when Ryan intercepts me. “Mr. and Dr. Grey just drove through the main gate, ma’am.” They’re early. Grandparents just cannot be denied. I tip toe back to the family room and see that Christian and Teddy are napping. It occurs to me I’ve never seen my husband nap before. He barely sleeps at night, and never when the sun is out. I hear the Grey’s car outside and realized I’d better intercept them before they knock or, God forbid, ring the bell. I reach the door just in time and open it, surprising Grace, with her finger heading towards the bell, and Carrick, with his hand raised in a fist to knock.”
Grace begins to squeak “And where is my”
“SHHHH!” I interrupt. I motion for them to follow me and indicate with my finger to my lips that they should be quiet. They obediently do as requested, but Grace’s smart pumps are clacking against the marble floor. I point to her shoes and gesture for her to take them off. She looks quizzical, but lifts each foot in turn to her hand and removes them. They follow me to the family room entrance and I give them the quiet sign one more time.
Then I lead them in the room and around the couch to see. I hear Grace gasp emotionally and I turn to see tears in Carrick’s eyes as they gaze upon their son and grandson sleeping. They know the enormity of seeing their son bare-chested with another person, even if it is an infant. Grace wraps an arm around me, and Carrick stands behind us with one hand around each our shoulders as we watch Christian’s chest rise and fall.
Then Teddy stretches, yawns, and blinks his eyes open. He makes the cutest little ‘eh’ sound, at which Christian’s eyes fly open. Christian takes in the scene of the three people gazing at him and the now squirming child on his chest. “Looks like I am the entertainment.” I’m not certain if he is angered, amused, or confused. “A little help here?”
I jump in and take Teddy off his chest and immediately hand him over to his raring to go grandparents. “Can you take him up to the nursery? I’ll be there in a minute to get him dressed in something that will meet with his fashion savvy aunts’ approval.” As Grace and Carrick make their way out, goo-ing and gah-ing with each step, I grab the burp cloth from where I left it on the chair and hold it out to Christian. “Mr. Grey, it appears you have been drooled upon.”
As he takes the cloth from me and wipes his chest he replies “Yes, it appears our son takes after his mother in that respect.”
“I do not drool!”
“Yes you do, Mrs. Grey. In your sleep.” I am faced with the infamous Christian Grey heart warming, full on charm smile and he pulls me into an embrace. His expression turns serious, “Thank you.”
“For your patience, your understanding, for knowing what I need. In short, for being you. Someday you will have to tell me how I got so fortunate to win you over all the other suitors.” He kisses me gently on my lips, then my nose, then my forehead.
“Mr. Grey, as you well know there were no other suitors that were ever considered viable. Only you.” Since we are on the verge of a house full of guests, I add “and though I am yours, your son is getting hungry and I must attend to him.”
Christian’s smile returns partially as he retorts “Make sure the young master realizes you and certain aspects of your anatomy are a loan and are not his to keep.”
“Yes, sir!” With that, I rush off to see what the doting grandparents have accomplished and Christian heads off to a shower.
Forty minutes later, Teddy is fed, burped, and attired in a little infant sailor’s outfit, complete with matching booties and a sailor’s cap that keeps falling off. Nevertheless, Kate and Mia give adoring shrieks as we come out onto the patio and my son is swept from my arms and is being fought over by the swarming aunts. The gang’s all here, Grace and Carrick, Elliott and Kate, and Mia and Ethan, who are, depending upon the day you ask, a couple, just friends, in between, or something else. Christian joins us just as I am distributing margaritas and iced tea to everyone.
Christian and I wade through Grace’s innumerable questions on Teddy’s progress. Eating every three hours. Check. Sufficient action in the diapers. Check. Sufficient sleep for baby. Check. Sufficient sleep for Mommy. Since my early morning start, I am flagging a bit, but I’ll last. As soon as I see an opening, I go for the topic change.
“Is there anything left to organize for the wedding? Four weeks to go!” And Kate and Mia are off. Elliott and Kate’s nuptials, aka: THE wedding will be at the Hotel Monaco in downtown Seattle, there will be about 275 guests including some of Mr. Kavanaugh’s business contacts, and promises to be a production worthy of Broadway. There are seven bridesmaids, including Mia, 2 friends from college, 2 cousins, a new friend from work, and yours truly as the matron of honor. Kate, Elliott, and the Kavanaugh’s evidently had the food tasting this week and have settled on eleven butlered hors d’oevres, four sit down courses plus an intermezzo, a trio of desserts plated together, and, of course cake. Did I say cake? I meant to say a five tiered tira misu cake with a mocha sauce waterfall. There will be three bands: one for cocktail hour, one for the main dance floor, and a jazz combo in a ‘quiet’ room to the side. That doesn’t count the six piece string section for the ceremony. Kate is ebullient and glowing. As she moves on to talking about the brunch the next morning, which we will all be at since we’ll all be staying at the hotel, Christian and I glance at each other. I’ll have to persuade Kate later, but with a newborn there is really no way we are staying at the hotel. We’ll come home and go back the next day for the brunch.
The conversation has turned to the bachelor party. Christian isn’t thrilled about that, either, but as the best man, he has no choice but to host one. Christian pretends to be coy and tight lipped about the plan, but I know he hasn’t really made one since he would much rather get out of it. I’ll have to work on him.
The afternoon passes agreeably. Christian gives the guys a demonstration of the upgraded security system with high definition video monitoring. I excuse myself periodically to feed and change Teddy. I think I could be one of those moms that is comfortable nursing in public, but it really isn’t worth the chastisement I would get from Mr. Fifty. It would not do for the wife of Christian Grey to have ‘the girls’ visible in even a family setting, let alone public. I cringe when I recall the topless sunbathing incident from our honeymoon. Nope, don’t want to go there again.
When it’s time to eat, Mia helps me set out an array of salads, and the men take the marinated steaks out to the grill. The grill is an excessively feature laden top of the line propane model, and everyone knows off the bat that Christian hasn’t a clue what to do with it. Carrick takes over as grill master with Elliott as his sidekick.
As everyone is relaxing after dinner a yawn escapes me. Christian hops up and ‘rescues’ me. “Ladies and gentleman, I believe it is time for my sleep deprived wife to go to bed.” A flurry of hugs, kisses and goodbyes later, our little family is heading up to bed.
After getting Teddy fed and in bed, I turn my attention to my husband. In my closet I slip on a pink silk chemise that falls just below my bottom. I sachet out into the bedroom mustering every ounce of sexy I can wrangle from my tired inner goddess. I come up behind Christian, put my arms around him, kiss his shoulder...
“Anastasia, the good doctor said six weeks and that’s that.” Argh!
“Christian, she specifically said no sex for six weeks. There are, um, other things we could do.”
Christian sighs, turns and looks at me. “Fair point, well made, Mrs. Grey. Let me just have a quick shower, and I’ll join you. Wait for me in bed.” He gives me a teasing kiss on the lips and I smile. In the back of my head I’m wondering if he is trying to trick me into falling asleep, so I pledge not to doze off.