"All that is mine is now yours," he says, his voice ringing out clearly reciting his vows from memory.
All mine? Holy cow.
"It's odd. Going from nothing to" - I wave my hand to indicate our opulent surroundings - "to everything."
"You'll get used to it."
"I don't think I'll ever get used to it."
Taylor appears on deck. "Sir, you have a call." Christian frowns but takes the proffered Blackberry.
"Grey," he snaps and rises from his seat to stand at the bow of the yacht.
I gaze out at the sea, tuning out his conversation with Ros - I think - his number two. I am rich . . . stinking rich. I have done nothing to earn this money . . . just married a rich man. I shudder as my mind drifts back to our conversation about prenups. It was Sunday after his birthday and we were seated at the kitchen table enjoying a leisurely breakfast . . . all of us, Elliot, Kate, Grace, and I were debating the merits of bacon versus sausage, while Carrick and Christian read the Sunday paper . . .
"Look at this," squeals Mia as she sets her netbook on the table before us on the kitchen table. "There's a gossipy item on the Seattle Nooz website about you being engaged, Christian."
"Already?" Grace says in surprise. Then her mouth purses as some obviously unpleasant thought crosses her mind. Christian frowns. Mia reads the column out loud. "Word has reached us here at The Nooz that Seattle's most eligible bachelor, the Christian Grey, has finally been snapped up and wedding bells are in the air. But who is the lucky, lucky lady? The Nooz is on the hunt. Bet she's reading one helluva prenup."
Mia giggles then stops abruptly as Christian glares at her. Silence descends, and the atmosphere in the Grey kitchen plunges to below zero.
Oh no! A prenup? The thought has never crossed my mind. I swallow, feeling all the blood drain from my face. Please ground, swallow me up now! Christian shifts uncomfortably in his chair as I glance apprehensively at him.
"No," he mouths at me.
"Christian," Carrick says gently.
"I'm not discussing this again," Christian snaps at Carrick who glances at me nervously and opens his mouth to say something.
"No prenup!" Christian almost shouts at him and broodingly goes back to reading his paper, ignoring everyone else at the table. They look alternately at me then him . . . then anywhere but at the two of us.
"Christian," I murmur. "I'll sign anything you and Mr. Grey want."
Jeez, it wouldn't be the first time he's made me sign something. Christian looks up and glares at me.
"No!" he snaps. I blanch once more.
"It's to protect you."
"Christian, Ana - I think you should discuss this in private," Grace admonishes us. She glares at Carrick and Mia. Oh dear, looks like they're in trouble, too.
"Ana, this is not about you," Carrick murmurs reassuringly. "And please call me Carrick."
Christian narrows cold eyes at his father and my heart sinks. Hell . . . He's really mad.
Everyone erupts into animated conversation, and Mia and Kate leap up to clear the table.
"I definitely prefer sausage," exclaims Elliot.
I stare down at my knotted fingers. Crap. I hope Mr. and Mrs. Grey don't think I'm some kind of gold digger. Christian reaches over and grasps both my hands gently in one of his.
How does he know what I'm thinking?
"Ignore my dad," Christian says so only I can hear him. "He's really pissed about Elena. That stuff was all aimed at me. I wish my mom had kept her mouth shut."
I know Christian is still smarting from his "talk" with Carrick about Elena last night.
"He has a point, Christian. You're very wealthy, and I'm bringing nothing to our marriage but my student loans."
Christian gazes at me, his eyes bleak. "Anastasia, if you leave me, you might as well take everything. You left me once before. I know how that feels."
Holy Fuck! "That was different," I whisper, moved by his intensity.
"But . . . you might want to leave me." The thought makes me sick.
He snorts and shakes his head with mock disgust.
"Christian, you know, I might do something exceptionally stupid -
and you . . ." I glance down at my knotted hands, pain lancing through me unable to finish my sentence. Losing Christian . . . f**k.
"Stop. Stop now. This subject is closed, Ana. We're not discussing it any more. No prenup. Not now - not ever." He gives me a pointed give-it-up-now look, which silences me. Then he turns to Grace.
"Mom," he says. "Can we have the wedding here?"
And he's not mentioned it again. In fact at every opportunity he's tried to reassure me about his wealth . . . that's it mine, too. I shudder as I recall the crazy shopping fest Christian demanded I go on with Caroline Acton - the personal shopper from Niemans - in preparation for this honeymoon. My bikini alone cost five hundred and forty dollars. I mean, it's nice, but really - that's a ridiculous amount of money for four triangular scraps of material.
"You will get used to it," Christian interrupts my reverie as he resumes his place at the table.
"Used to it?"
"The money," he says rolling his eyes.
Oh, Fifty, maybe with time. I push the small dish of salted almonds and cashews toward him.
"Your nuts, sir," I say with as straight a face as I can manage, trying to bring some humor to our conversation after my dark thoughts and my bikini top faux pas.
He smirks. "I'm nuts about you." He takes an almond, his eyes sparkling with wicked humor as he enjoys my little joke. He licks his lips. "Drink up. We're going to bed."
"Drink," he mouths at me, his eyes darkening.
Oh my, the look he gives me could be solely responsible for global warming. I pick up my gin and drain the glass, not taking my eyes off him. His mouth drops open, and I glimpse the tip of his tongue between his teeth. He smiles lewdly at me. In one fluid move, he gets up and bends over me, resting his hands on the arms of my chair.
"I'm going to make an example of you. Come. Don't pee," he whispers in my ear.
I gasp. Don't pee? How rude. My subconscious looks up from her book - The Complete works of Charles Dickens, Vol. 1 - with alarm.
"It's not what you think." Christian smirks, holding his hand out to me. "Trust me." He looks so sexy and genial. How can I resist?
"Okay." I place my hand in his, because quite simply, I'd trust him with my life. What has he got planned? My heart starts pounding in anticipation.
He leads me across the deck and through the doors into the plush, beautifully appointed main salon, along a narrow corridor, through the dining room, and down the stairs to the main master cabin. The cabin has been cleaned since this morning and the bed made. It's a lovely room. With two portholes on both the starboard and port sides, it's elegantly decorated in dark walnut furniture with cream walls and soft furnishings in gold and red.
Christian releases my hand, pulls his T-shirt off over his head, and tosses it onto a chair. He steps out of his flip-flops and removes his shorts and trunks in one graceful move . Oh my. Will I ever tire of looking at him naked? He is utterly gorgeous, and all mine. His skin glows - he's caught the sun, too, and his hair is longer, flopping over his forehead. I am one lucky, lucky girl.
He reaches forward and grasps my chin, pulling slightly so that I stop biting my lip and runs his thumb along my lower lip.
"That's better." He turns and strides over to the impressive armoire that houses his clothes. He produces two pairs of metal handcuffs and an airline eye mask from the bottom drawer.
Handcuffs! We've never used handcuffs. I glance quickly and nervously at the bed. Where the hell is he going to attach those? He turns and gazes steadily at me, his eyes dark and luminous.
"These can be quite painful. They can bite into the skin if you pull too hard." He holds up one pair. "But I really want to use them on you now."
Holy f**k. My mouth goes dry.
"Here." He stalks gracefully forward and hands me a set. "Do you want to try them first?"
They feel solid, the metal cold. Vaguely, I hope I never have to wear a pair of these for real.
Christian is watching me intently.
"Where are the keys?" My voice wavering.
He holds out his palm, revealing a small metallic key. "This does both sets. In fact, all sets."
How many sets does he have? I don't remember seeing any in the museum chest.
Reaching up, he strokes my cheek with his index finger, trailing it down to my mouth. He leans in as if to kiss me.
"Do you want to play?" he says, his voice low, and everything in my body heads south as desire unfurls deep in my belly.
"Yes," I breathe.
He smiles. "Good." He plants a featherlight kiss on my forehead.
"We're going to need a safe word."
"Stop won't be enough because you will probably say that, but you won't mean it." He runs his nose down mine - the only contact between us.
What does he mean? My heart starts pounding. Shit . . . How can he do this with just words?
"This is not going to hurt. It will be intense. Very intense, because I am not going to let you move. Okay?"
Oh my. This sounds so hot. My breathing is too loud. Fuck, I am panting already. My inner goddess has her sequins on and is warming up to dance the rumba. Thank heavens I'm married to this man, otherwise this would be embarrassing. My eyes flick down to his arousal.
"Okay." My voice is barely audible.
"Choose a word, Ana."
Oh . . .
"A safe word," he says softly.
"Popsicle." I say, panting.
"Popsicle?" he says, amused.
He grins as he leans back to gaze down at me. "Interesting choice. Lift up your arms."
I do as I'm told, and Christian grasps the hem of my sundress, lifts it over my head, and tosses it on the floor. He holds out his hand, and I give him back the handcuffs. He places both sets on the bedside table along with the blindfold and yanks the quilt off the bed, letting it fall to the floor.
I turn, and he undoes my bikini top so that it falls to the floor.
"Tomorrow, I will staple this to you," he mutters and tugs on my hair tie, freeing my hair. He gathers it into one hand and yanks gently so I step back against him. Against his chest. Against his erection. I gasp as he pulls my head to one side and kisses my neck.
"You were very disobedient," he murmurs in my ear, sending delicious shivers through me.
"Yes," I whisper.
"Hmm. What are we going to do about that?"
"Learn to live with it," I breathe. His soft languid kisses are driving me wild. He grins against my neck.
"Ah, Mrs. Grey. You are ever the optimist."
He straightens. Taking my hair, he carefully parts it into three strands, braids it slowly, and then fastens my hair tie to the end. He tugs my braid gently and leans down to my ear.
"I am going to teach you a lesson," he murmurs.
Moving suddenly, he grabs me by the waist, sits down on the bed, and yanks me across his knee so that I feel his erection pressed against my belly. He smacks my backside once, hard. I yelp, then I'm on my back on the bed and he's gazing down at me, his eyes molten gray. I'm going to combust.
"Do you know how beautiful you are?" He trails his fingertips up my thigh so that I tingle . . . everywhere. Without taking his eyes off me, he gets up from the bed and gathers both sets of handcuffs. He grasps my left leg and snaps one cuff around my ankle. Oh!
Lifting my right leg, he repeats the process so I have a pair of handcuffs attached to each ankle. I still have no idea where he's going to attach them.