"What are you doing?" I squeak.
"Carrying you over the threshold," he says.
"Oh." Isn't that supposed to be at home?
He carries me effortlessly up the steps, and Taylor follows with my small suitcase. He leaves it on the threshold of the plane before returning to the Audi. Inside the cabin, I recognize Stephan, Christian's pilot, in his uniform.
"Welcome aboard, sir, Mrs. Grey." He grins at us both. Christian puts me down and shakes Stephan's hand. Beside Stephan stands a dark-haired woman in her what? Early thirties? She's also in uniform.
"Congratulations to you both," Stephan continues.
"Thank you, Stephan. Anastasia, you know Stephan. He's our captain today, and this is First Officer Beighley."
She blushes as Christian introduces her and blinks rapidly. I want to roll my eyes. Another female completely captivated by my toohandsome-for-his-own-good husband.
"Delighted to meet you," gushes Beighley. I smile kindly at her. After all - he is mine.
"All preparations complete?" Christian asks them both as I glance around the cabin. The interior is all pale maple wood and pale cream leather. It's lovely. Another young woman in uniform stands at the other end of the cabin - a very pretty brunette. Who the hell is that?
"We have the all clear. Weather is good from here to Boston."
"Not before Boston. There's a weather front over Shannon that might give us a rough ride."
"I see. Well, I hope to sleep through it all," says Christian matter-offactly. Sleep?
"We'll get underway, sir," Stephan says. "We'll leave you in the capable care of Natalia, your flight attendant." Christian glances in her direction and frowns, but turns to Stephan with a smile.
"Excellent," he says. Taking my hand, he leads me to one of the sumptuous leather seats. There must be about twelve of them in total.
"Sit," he says as he removes his jacket and undoes his fine sliver brocade vest. We sit in two single seats facing each other with a small, highly polished table between us.
"Welcome aboard, sir, ma'am, and congratulations." Natalia is at our side, offering us both a glass of pink champagne.
"Thank you," Christian says, and she smiles politely at us and retreats to the galley.
"Here's to a happy married life, Anastasia." Christian raises his glass to mine, and we chink. The champagne is delicious.
"Bollinger?" I ask.
"The first time I drank this it was out of teacups." I grin at him.
"I remember that day well. Your graduation."
"Where are we going?" I'm unable to contain my curiosity any longer.
"Shannon," Christian says, his eyes alight with excitement. He looks like a small boy.
"In Ireland?" We're going to Ireland!
"To refuel," he adds, teasing.
"Then?" I prompt.
His grin broadens and he shakes his head.
"London," he says, gazing intently at me, trying to gauge my reaction.
I gasp . Holy cow. I thought maybe we'd be going to New York or Aspen or maybe the Caribbean. I can hardly believe it. My lifetime ambition has been to visit England. I'm lit up from within, incandescent with happiness.
"Then Paris," he adds.
"Then the South of France."
"I know you've always dreamed of going to Europe," he says softly.
"I want to make your dreams come true, Anastasia."
"You are my dreams come true, Christian."
"Back at you, Mrs. Grey," he whispers.
Oh my . . .
I grin and do as I'm told.
As the plane taxis out on to the runway, we sip our champagne, grinning inanely at each other. I can't believe it. At twenty-two years old, I'm finally leaving the United States and going to Europe - to London of all places
Once we're airborne, Natalia serves us yet more champagne and prepares our wedding feast. And what a feast it is - smoked salmon, followed by roast partridge with a green bean salad and dauphinoise potatoes, all cooked and served by the ever-efficient Natalia.
"Dessert, Mr. Grey?" she asks.
He shakes his head and runs his finger across his bottom lip as he looks questioningly at me, his expression dark and unreadable.
"No, thank you," I murmur, unable to break eye contact with him. His lips curl up in a small, secret smile and Natalia retreats.
"Good," he murmurs. "I'd rather planned on having you for dessert."
Oh . . . here?
"Come," he says, rising from the table and offering me his hand. He leads me to the back of the cabin.
"There's a bathroom here." He points to a small door then leads me on down a short corridor and through a door at the end. Jeez . . . a bedroom. The cabin is cream and maple wood and the small double bed is covered in gold and taupe cushions. It looks very comfortable.
Christian turns and pulls me into his arms, gazing down at me.
"I thought we'd spend our wedding night at thirty-five-thousand feet. It's something I've never done before."
Holy cow . . . another first. I gape at him, my heart pounding. . .the mile high club. I've heard about this.
"But first I have to get you out of this fabulous dress." His eyes glow with love and something darker, something I love . . . something that calls to my inner goddess. He takes my breath away.
"Turn around." His voice is low, authoritative, and sexy as hell. How can he infuse so much promise into those two words? Willingly I comply and his hands move to my hair. Gently he pulls out each hairpin one at a time, his expert fingers making short work of the task. My hair falls in swathes over my shoulders, one lock at a time, covering my back and down to my br**sts. I try to stand still and not squirm, but I'm aching for his touch. After our long, tiring but exciting day, I want him - all of him.
"You have such beautiful hair, Ana." His mouth is close to my ear and I feel his breath, though his lips don't touch me. When my hair is free of pins, he runs his fingers through it, gently massaging my scalp . . . oh my . . . I close my eyes and savor the sensation. His fingers travel on down, and he tugs, tilting my head back to expose my throat.
"You're mine," he breathes and his teeth tug my ear lobe. I groan.
"Hush now," he admonishes. He sweeps my hair over my shoulder and trails a finger across the top of my back from shoulder to shoulder following the lace edge of my dress. I shiver in anticipation. He plants a tender kiss on my back above the first button on my dress.
"So beautiful," he says as he deftly undoes the first button. "You have made me the happiest man alive today." With infinite slowness, he unfastens each one, all the way down my back. "I love you so much." Trailing kisses from the nape of my neck to the edge of my shoulder. Between each kiss he murmurs, "I. Want. You. So. Much. I. Want. To. Be. Inside. You. You. Are. Mine."
Each word is intoxicating. I close my eyes and tilt my head, giving him easier access to my neck, and I fall further under the spell that is Christian Grey, my husband.
"Mine," he whispers once more. He peels my dress down my arms so that it pools at my feet in a cloud of ivory silk and lace.
"Turn around," he whispers, his voice suddenly hoarse. I do so and he gasps.
I'm dressed in a tight, blush-pink satin corset with garter straps, matching lacy briefs, and white silk stockings. Christian's eyes travel greedily down my body, but he says nothing. He just gazes at me, his eyes wide with want.
"You like?" I whisper aware of the shy blush creeping across my cheeks.
"More than like, baby. You look sensational. Here." He holds out his hand and taking it, I step out from my dress.
"Keep still," he murmurs and without taking his darkening eyes off mine, he runs his middle finger over my br**sts, following the line of my corset. My breath shallows and he repeats the journey over my br**sts once more, his tantalizing finger sending tingles down my spine. He stops and twirls his index finger in the air, indicating that he wants me to turn around. For him, right now, I'd do anything.
"Stop," he says. I'm facing the bed, away from him. His arm encircles my waist, pulling me against him, and he nuzzles my neck. Gently he cups my br**sts, toying with them, while his thumbs circle over my ni**les so that they strain against the fabric of my corset.
"Mine," he whispers.
"Yours," I breathe.
Leaving my br**sts bereft he runs his hands down my stomach, over my belly, and down to my thighs, his thumbs skimming my sex. I stifle a moan. His fingers skate down each garter, and with his usual dexterity, he simultaneously unhooks each one from my stockings. His hands travel around to my behind.
"Mine," he breathes as his hands spread across my backside, the tips of his fingers brushing my sex.
"Hush." His hands travel down the backs of my thighs, and once more he unclips my garters.
Leaning down, he pulls back the cover on the bed. "Sit down."
I do as I'm told in his thrall, and he kneels at my feet and gently tugs off each of my white bridal Jimmy Choos. He grasps the top of my left stocking and slowly peels it off, running his thumbs down my leg . . . Oh my. He repeats the process with my other stocking.
"This is like unwrapping my Christmas presents." He smiles up at me through his long dark lashes.
"A present you've had already . . ."
He frowns in admonishment. "Oh no, baby. This time it's really mine."
"Christian, I've been yours since I said yes." I scoot forward, cupping his beloved face in my hands. "I'm yours. I will always be yours, husband of mine. Now, I think you're wearing too many clothes." I bend to kiss him, and suddenly he leans up, kisses my lips, and grasps my head with his hands, his fingers threading into my hair.
"Ana," he breathes. "My Ana." His lips claim mine once more, his tongue invasively persuasive.
"Clothes," I whisper, our breath mingling as I push back his vest and he struggles out of it, releasing me for a moment. He pauses, gazing at me, eyes wide, eyes wanting.
"Let me, please." My voice is soft and cajoling. I want to undress my husband, my Fifty.
He sits back on his heels, and leaning forward I grasp his tie - his sliver-gray tie, my favorite tie - and slowly undo it and pull it free. He raises his chin to let me tackle the top button of his white shirt; then once it's undone, I move on to his cuffs. He's wearing platinum cufflinks - engraved with an entwined A and C - my wedding present to him. When I've removed them, he takes the cufflinks from me and fists them in his hand. Then he kisses his fist and shoves them into his pants pocket.
"Mr. Grey, so romantic."
"For you Mrs. Grey - hearts and flowers. Always."
I take his hand, and glancing up through my lashes, I kiss his plain platinum wedding ring. He groans and closes his eyes.
"Ana," he whispers and my name is a prayer.
Reaching up to his second shirt button, and mirroring him from earlier, I plant a soft kiss on his chest as I undo each of them and whisper between each kiss,
"You. Make. Me. So. Happy. I. Love. You."
He groans, and in one swift move he clasps me around the waist and lifts me on to the bed, following me down on to it. His lips find mine, his hands curling around my head, holding me, stilling me as our tongues glory in each other. Abruptly Christian kneels up, leaving me breathless and wanting more.
"You are so beautiful . . . wife." He runs his hands down my legs then grasps my left foot. "You have such lovely legs. I want to kiss every inch of them. Starting here." He presses his lips against my big toe and then grazes the pad with his teeth. Everything south of my waistline convulses. His tongue glides up my instep and his teeth skim my heel and up to my ankle. He trails kisses up the inside of my calf; soft wet kisses. I wriggle beneath him.