Didn’t they always say we were the lucky ones?
I guess that we were once
Babe, we were once
But luck will leave you cause
It is a faithless friend
And in the end when life has got you down
You’ve got someone here that you can wrap your arms around
So hold on to me tight
Hold on to me tonight
We are stronger here together
Than we could ever be alone
So hold on to me
Don’t you ever let me go
There’s a thousand ways for things to fall apart
But it’s no one’s fault
No it’s not my fault
Maybe all the plans we made would not work out
But I have no doubt even though it’s hard to see
I’ve got faith in us and I believe in you and me
So hold on to me tight
Hold on, I promise it’ll be alright
Cause it’s you and me together
And baby all we’ve got is time
So hold on to me, hold on to me tonight
There’s so many dreams that we have given up
Take a look at all we’ve got
And with this kind of love
What we’ve got here is enough
So hold on to me tight
Hold on, I promise it’ll be alright
Cause we are stronger here together
Then we could ever be alone
Just hold on to me
Don’t you ever let me go
Hold on to me, it’s gonna be alright
Hold on to me tonight
They always say we were the lucky ones
My lunch with Carrick became strained after I showed him the public documents I had located. It isn’t always easy to get hold of these documents but as per usual, if Kavanagh media personnel grease the right palms then anything can happen. And if we can locate this information then so can anyone else who might have a grudge against the Grey’s including Jack Hyde, Linc Lincoln or Elena. Especially Elena.
Carrick opens the folder and reads the contents without giving anything away. Perhaps this is a lawyer’s bluff but he then he isn’t seeing anything that he didn’t already know about.
“What are you intending to do with this information Kate?” To be honest I don’t know. I was trying not to think about it beyond the need to show the evidence to him.
“Carrick, I don’t want to do anything with it. I did want you to know that it was out in the world for anyone to see. I guess with these media leaks from Jack Hyde I was a little worried that this was something that you didn’t want to become public knowledge without having some sort of heads up.”
“And you never thought for a moment that you couldn’t capitalize on the situation?” Of course I did. In the end the story angle that would have the most weight was not about Mia and Grace but about the link to Christian Grey, CEO billionaire. From that perspective this is a none-story for me. There would be a small wave of interest about the details of Mia’s birth but the real speculation would be around the fall out with Christian and speculation on why prominent lawyer Carrick Grey would desire to bury the truth. People would want to know and I have a feeling that the truth may have layers to it that nobody in the family wants to see uncovered.
“No, I mean it is probably one hell of a story, but I wouldn’t do that to the family. I presume that you won’t want anyone else to either.” I am a little hurt that he thinks so little of me but I can understand his concern. He is testing my loyalty.
“Kate, we haven’t hidden this but we also haven’t told the world for good reasons.” He has such an honest face, such an earnest look. This might be the closest thing to fear that one might see on the face of Carrick Grey. He is a media law specialist for Gods sake. Nobody does spin like these guys.
“To protect Mia and Grace.” And yourself. My discomfort over this conversation is growing exponentially.
“What will you do if Jack has this and sends it to another media outlet?” He runs his hand through his hair in a gesture that is reminiscent of his sons. Perhaps he isn’t their biological father but they are more like him than either of them realize. Now as I examine his face closely I can see the similarities between he and Mia. The nose, the forehead, the mouth. The eyes are all her mother.
“I guess there is nothing we can do. It might be time to at least come clean to the boys.”
“And Mia?” There is a moment of hesitation, a flash of guilt laced with regret.
“Mia already knows. She needed her birth certificate to get a passport renewal for Paris. She has known for a long time but has chosen to keep it from her brothers.” Why? “We always thought that when she finally knew we would tell them all but this was her choice. She was 18 years old when she found out.”
“How did she take it?” I don’t want this to sound like an interrogation, I just want to understand. This family has more damn secrets than the CIA and the worst part is how much they continue to keep from each other.
“Let’s just say it was not an easy discussion. We didn’t want her to go to France. She was determined to go and this tipped the balance in her favor. I think she has reconciled herself to it now but I am not sure that she has forgiven us, forgiven me.” The look of sadness that sweeps across his face almost brings me undone. I had assumed that Mia and her father were close but now that I think about it I haven’t seen them really interact on an individual level since she got back from Paris. She seems closer to Grace than to Carrick. I had assumed that was a mother/daughter thing.
“And the relationship with her real mother?” I could smack myself for asking but my curiosity gets the better of me.
“I don’t know. Mia keeps Grace near, nothing has changed there so I am sure that she still looks on her as her mother. As to her biological mother, well, Mia is always free to make her own choices. I don’t know if she wants a relationship with her if there is any possibility it could hurt Grace.” Again, he looks so full of remorse.
“Carrick, I think you need to discuss this with the boys. They need to know so that they are not blindsided by this if Jack goes public. And Mia and Grace need to know more about the threat too.” He shakes his head. Typical Grey alpha male response. They think they can best protect their family by keeping them in the dark. Well, life doesn’t work that way. “You are not the only one who is keeping secrets. I think that both Elliot and Christian have to open up a bit too.”
“Christian will never open up with his secrets. He doesn’t know how. As for Elliot, he is an open book. What could he possibly have to hide?” Oh Carrick, how little you know either of your boys if you think that.
“Just try. Please. Elliot has been living under a shadow for such a long time and I suspect that you are the one person who can help him. But this secret, your secret, seems to have some bearing in what he is dealing with.” As for Christian, well I suspect that Ana is opening him up in ways that the family couldn’t hope to. It might just be enough to save him.
No one could have been more surprised than me when Carrick presses the folder back into my hands and kisses me on the cheek after lunch. I am not fooled, I don’t think he completely trusts me yet. He promises to call Elliot. The last thing either of us expect is for Elena and Elliot to come charging across the road at us. My ire is raised by the thought that they have been together somewhere and I stare at the hand Elliot has gripped around Elena’s forearm. His explanation after Elena and Carrick disappear into the building offers some reassurance and I can’t resist kissing him as the relief sweeps through my body. Then I remember what we have been through in the past two weeks and I feel myself pulling away from him again. It is unintentional and I hate myself for it when I see the look of dismay on his face.
Having made a vague plan to meet up with him later after he has spoken to his father I throw myself back into research on a local celebrity story that I don’t particularly care about. Late in the afternoon my phone rings and it is Grace asking me to meet her at the Rainier at 7.30. This can only mean that Carrick has spoken with her and they have agreed to tell Elliot everything.
So now Grace has unloaded this bomb and the look on Elliot’s face makes me feel awful. I can’t imagine what is going through his head as he processes this piece of information. The secrets and lies that he imagines have been spun around his sister’s adoption would be enough to unsettle anyone. All of their lives with the Grey’s have been spent under the illusion that all three of the children were adopted. Now I see as Elliot realizes that not only is his sister biologically related to his father but there is a reason why this information has been kept from he and his brother. My heart hurts for him and part of me is dying to hear the justification too.
Grace continues, “When your father and I were first married all our friends and family considered us lucky. We were both successful professionals emerging into our careers, we were very much in love with each other and the world was our oyster. To all intents and purposes others saw us as a perfect couple, with perfect lives and perfect prospects. Including to a certain extent us. Only life had other plans.”
Carrick leans over and takes her hand, holding it firmly for a moment and then letting it go. Grace smiles, looking at where he has just touched her. “Th funny thing is, that you don’t notice the cracks appearing at first. Time just does its work and before you know it the erosion has set in.”
“Mom, what are you saying? That Dad had an affair?” Elliot is leaning over the table trying to get her to look him in the eye. When she looks up the tears are hovering just under the surface. I have to look away for a moment. Carrick is staring intently at the floor.
“Your father had…a relationship when you were very young. It was a difficult time for us. We wanted so desperately to have children of our own but I wasn’t able to…” Her voice chokes with tears that she hastily wipes away. Even after all these years she feels the pain and I wonder, did Grace lose her babies the same way I lost mine. I can’t help it. My hand automatically reaches for hers in solidarity. “…then your mother and brother died so tragically. I was caught up in looking after you, trying to arrange for your adoption. That year was a difficult one for us. I was preoccupied with grief, I had had my fifth miscarriage in two years and been told no more. Your mother was my best friend and I felt lost without her. The only thing that stopped me falling apart was you.”
Elliot looks close to tears as he listens to his mother speak. My emotions are so close to the surface that the hot salty liquid is already slipping down my cheeks. Carrick looks broken but he urges Grace on.
“We were trying to support each other as best as we could but we were young too. Sometimes fate deals you a hand that you have to play and so we knew that you and Christian were the best chance at a family we would have. We had arranged for a transfer to Seattle but couldn’t leave Detroit without you. Then Carrick got summoned for an immediate court case and in the middle of the adoption process he had to leave. I, to my great shame, barely noticed his absence. I was too caught up in my own needs, my own grief. All I wanted was to make sure that you boys were taken care of. I let him go back to Seattle without a second thought so what happened next was as much my fault as it was his.”
At this point she looks to Carrick. Their hands grip and he brings her hand up to his mouth, kissing the back of it before turning it over and kissing the palm. It is such an intimate gesture but I can’t look away, my own hand is gripping Elliot’s under the table. Grace places her palm on Carrick’s distraught face and nods. It seems that he is going to take on the story from here.
“I found a small apartment and befriended a young couple in the building who helped me get settled in. It was meant to be a temporary accommodation until Grace arrived with the boys. She had promised to come as soon as the adoption was finalized but the months dragged on and I was on my own. My new friends made life a little more bearable without her. We would have dinner together at least two or three times a week and go out to bars on the weekend. He and I were both in our late twenties but she was a good ten years younger, barely out of high school. One night we got a little too drunk and they revealed a little more about the true nature of their relationship. I was drunk, I was lonely, Grace and I had distanced ourselves from each other emotionally and I did something foolish at their request. He convinced me that he wanted it, that he wanted to watch someone else sleep with his wife. She was less sure but I suspect that she was attracted to me in the way that a young girl develops crushes. She was also intimidated by him. I should have known better, but the drink and the isolation did their work. Grace and I hadn’t been intimate in over a year, since the last miscarriage. I was in a vulnerable state and I agreed. In reality he never really forgave either of us for what happened that night. I have never forgiven myself for not being better husband for Grace. It only took one time for her to get pregnant and he made it very clear that he would not raise a child of another man. He threw her out of the apartment. She was 18 years old, pregnant and alone and I felt I had no choice but to move her in with me.”
Elliot’s face goes from open mouthed shock to grim tight-lipped disgust. My immediate reaction is that I don’t know if he would have been any different given the circumstances and that stops me from making any further judgments of Carrick. For the first time I have to ask myself how far am I prepared to push Elliot away and how long before he would give in to temptation. His sense of honor would not permit him to abandon a child either. With incredible clarity I can instantly see that their situation could easily become ours. Disrupting my reverie, Grace takes up the story again.
“So eventually I arrived in Seattle with two little boys in tow to find this young girl, Elena Lincoln, living in my spare room.” Elliot gasps.
“Elena Lincoln is Mia’s mother? Shit!” Elliot is stunned by this revelation.
“Elliot, language, please.”
“I’m sorry Mom. I’m just…so you just arrived back and she was there…in your home?” He glares at his father and I think he might be thinking about taking a swing at him.
Grace rests a hand on his arm. “Your father was honest with me from the beginning, he had prepared me by making a trip to Detroit to confess.”
“And you just forgave him and took her in?” Now his anger is directed at her.
“Don’t think that I was blindly accepting of any of this. I did not forgive easily. We had been apart emotionally and physically for months so there was a lot of work to do there. The person who seemed like a victim in all of this was Elena. Her husband had manipulated and then abandoned her. So I found a house, moved us into it and we told everyone that Elena was our housekeeper.”
“Oh, God, I remember her now. Lena! Shit! Lena was…is Elena?” I look at him. How could he not remember her, he was six years old? Surely if someone lived with you for a year and had a baby you would remember her. “Lena in my memory was a large woman with dark hair. Elena has always been small with blond hair. I guess she went for a complete image change post-Mia.”
Grace nodded. “Lena was shy and timid. Never thought much of herself. Lacked confidence. I guess a year of being treated like a real human being was enough to raise her self-worth. During that time I helped her to finish her high school diploma and enroll in beauty school. Carrick lived in the apartment for that first year only coming home on weekends. It took most of the year for us to gain anything like a marriage back. I felt sorry for Lena in all of this, she was young, naive, alone. For her sake, I agreed to adopt Mia quietly and we would never tell anyone about what happened. It would all seem like we were helping out a young woman who was victimized. And you know that I liked Lena. No one was more surprised than I was when she changed her image and went back to Linc a few months after Mia was born. During their marriage Linc never socialized with us unless it was a large networking or charity event but Elena, as she now wanted to be called, stayed close and I was happy to give her that access to Mia. She insisted that she was not the motherly type so she never wanted to make her relationship to Mia known. It wasn’t until much later that I found out Linc was hitting her. When they finally divorced she confessed that most of his anger stemmed from Mia’s birth.” Most but not all.
Elliot and I lock eyes. Linc has more motive than we ever imagined. His hatred for the Greys must run very deep. Carrick, Mia, Elliot and Christian are all in the firing line. And now Linc has access to a loose canon by the name of Jack Hyde who seems as intent on his own brand of vengeance. We have assumed up until this point that Jack was leaking information to the media but it seems that Linc has held all the cards and perhaps responsibility lays with him. We simply don’t know what or how deep the connection between Linc and Jack is.
Carrick is gazing at Grace with such a look of mixed love and regret that it almost breaks my heart. I think about my own parents and my father’s affair, about my accusations of Elliot’s past and I wonder at our incredible capacity to forgive even when we can’t forget. Grace returns that look in a way that says that she still accepts part of the blame. Grace is certainly a name that fits her.
Back at the apartment Elliot and I are going through the motions again. He is caught up in the revelations from his parents about his sister. I am caught up in my own emotions around Grace’s story. She has suffered so much more than I ever could imagine and yet she is so strong. To have spent that first year with the boys in such a tenuous relationship. Having the capacity to feel any morsel of empathy for Elena or Lena after she has slept with her husband. Doing so much on her own. Her magnanimity makes me feel small and insignificant.
I keep replaying the discussion over in my head and I hit upon a detail that brings me up short. Linc the voyeur and the idea that he might have wanted to watch Lena and Carrick, to share his wife with another man. I am reminded of our conversation last night and previous ones where we have talked about this as a fantasy and I feel ill. I finish brushing my teeth and go into the bedroom where Elliot is sitting on the bed working on his laptop.
“Hey.” I feel shy, standing at the doorway to the room not sure how to proceed.
He looks up at me and seeing the look on my face he closes the laptop and puts it on the side table. “Hey.” Reaching one hand to me is enough to encourage me to slip onto the bed beside him. I don’t snuggle up, this is a time to talk. Instead I sit facing him and hold his hand. “What’s up?”
“Last night, I know I was drunk but did we talk about…sharing?” I can feel my face flushing bright red. He is slow to answer.
“Well, yeah, but it was in the context of you trying to pick up strange men in bars. As I recall, you were pretty drunk.” He has such a beautiful smile. I feel reassured that he isn’t making fun of me.
“I see. And did you mean it when you said you would consider it?” Please say no, please say no. Again, he hesitates, choosing his words carefully.
“Babe, I would consider anything if it was a fantasy that you really wanted. I love you that much.” Oh. Now it is my turn to hesitate.
“So, do you want to share me?” I can’t even look him in the eye but this time there is no hesitation.
“No.” His voice is firm but still tender. Bending down to make me look at him, he gives me the most sincere and loving look that I could ever wish to see. “But if you wanted it…I’m not sure I could refuse. Katie, what is really on your mind?”
“I just…with your Dad’s confession and the way we keep doing things in places where we might get caught and then twice now you have talked about someone watching us. And then you said you have shared before…” I’m babbling and I feel so stupid. In a quiet whisper I say,”I just wondered if I am enough for you.”
His strong arms pull me onto his lap and I snuggle into his chest, too embarrassed to look at him. He simply strokes my back and kisses my hair.
“Sweetheart, you are more than enough for me. I have done some pretty reckless and stupid shit in the past but that isn’t really me. It isn’t how I want things to be with us. It’s just that you keep pulling away from me, and I get it, I really do, but it scares me. I said that last night because I want you to know that I would do anything for you. Anything at all to make you happy.”
“I see.” The relief flooding through me is immense. He tilts my chin up and looks me in the eye before pressing the gentlest of kisses to my mouth. Pulling back I look him in the eye. “You know it is only the fantasy that turns me on. I read this stuff in books and I like the idea of it on paper but I couldn’t really imagine doing that. It’s just the idea that turns me on and I like the idea that it turns you on too. I’m sorry but if it ever became I reality then I would probably chicken out.”
A smile spreads across his face as he holds my face. “You are mine. And in spite of anything that you said last night, this is an exclusive, for life kind of a deal. I know you aren’t ready for that right now and I am willing to wait as long as it takes. For you to get your career together, for you to feel that you can move on from losing the baby, for you to feel that my past isn’t about to bite us all on the ass. I don’t care. I am here for you when you need me. I have never felt, nor do I think I will ever feel like this about anyone. You’re it for me Kate. I just hope that soon, you will feel the same way about me.”
I sink into those beautiful blue eyes that are so full of love and honesty. There is a moment when I can almost feel the pain lance my heart again but I pull away from it. Not tonight. It won’t get me tonight. Tonight I am his. I may not be healed, but I don’t want the distance that Carrick and Grace had to deal with. I can push past this, for him. For me. For us.
“I want to make love to you.” I whisper against his cheek. He pulls back and looks directly at me.
“Are you sure? I mean, are you ready? It hasn’t even been two weeks, I understand. Honestly, I can wait. You don’t …” I place my finger on his lips to silence him then with one more look in his eyes I lean in a kiss him. My tongue slips into his mouth and tastes his fresh minty lips. I suck on them for a moment, running my fingers up through his hair before pulling back.
“I’m ready.” He turns me around and presses me down into the bed, leaning his strong body against the length of mine, his thigh pressing between my legs. The gentle pressure of his body against my core is enough to elicit a soft moan as he devours my mouth with his. His hands slide up my thigh, lifting the edge of my nightdress and sliding up my hip to my waist. Pausing for a moment he refocuses the attention of his mouth to my neck and nips at the flesh below my earlobe. My body pulses beneath him and I press my groin into his thigh in response.
Raising himself away from me results in the baby doll negligee being lifted up above my head, leaving me naked except for a lacy white g-string. Once more his hands span my waist and then slide up my sides as he descends to suck on each of my nipples. His thumbs trace a line under my breasts and once more I am moaning and pressing up against him.
Kissing down my body his tongue tastes every part of my stomach causing me to undulate beneath him. He presses me firmly into the bed.
“Keep still.” His voice is harsh with barely restrained passion. I am aware of the rigid erection against my thigh and I want very much to take it into my mouth, into my body. To feel every hard inch of him inside me. The wetness pools at the thought and I know he feels the moisture as he lifts his thigh up higher between mine. I wriggle against it, trying to get some relief. “I said, keep still.”
His body slides down completely and he pulls the lace away from me as he goes. Once I am divested of all clothing he stops to look at me.
“So beautiful. May I?” His nose is mere inches away from my pussy and I want him there more than I can say. I simply nod and it is enough for him to place a hot breath mouth over my swollen lips. It feels so amazing and I realize how much I have missed his body.
“Stop!” He lifts up immediately and sits back on the bed. His look is dismayed resignation and he is about to turn away. “No, I mean I want you naked too.” The heat of desire in his eyes is intense. Quickly I help him remove his t-shirt and then he stands to remove his boxers, taking his hard length into his hand and stroking it as he kneels back on the bed.
He goes to resume his position and I stop him once more. Instead, I push him down on the bed. “I want to taste you too.” He smiles I give him a quick kiss before turning to straddle him. I gaze at the his rigid cock proudly standing up before me and I pull down the length of it. Cupping his balls in one hand and working his length with the other I begin to kiss and lick the tip. He moans and thrusts a little into my mouth then pulls my hips down to his face,licking my clit.
His fingers stroke through the lips of my vagina and he pulls the wetness out to massage my aching nub. It feels like it has been so long since I had an orgasm and it is all I can do to hold back at this moment. Then his tongue dives into my wet hole and I gasp as he drags his tongue forward and begins to flick it over my clit again.
The salty tang of pre-cum is on my tongue making him impossible to resist. My lips wrap around his cock and I take his full length into my mouth, squeezing his balls gently as I go. I drag back softly with my teeth and then repeat the action sucking back hard this time. Once more he gasps and moans.
“Fuck, baby, that feels so good.” His fingers are moving in and out of me as he sucks and flicks my clit with his tongue and I can’t resist thrusting. He stops my movement when he inserts another finger, moist with my own juices, into my ass. I reciprocate, stroking down the line from his balls to his hole. I suck and moisten my finger before I start to rim and he thrusts his cock into my mouth again. The sound of our lovemaking is wet and passionate and full of lusty moans that have us building together. Finally I can’t hold back and I come hard, pulsing around his fingers. Almost simultaneously I feel his body stiffen beneath me and hot salty liquid pulses into my mouth. I swallow it all down and suck the last of it from him.
We make love once more before falling into a deep dreamless sleep. In the morning when I wake he has already gone, leaving a rose on my pillow. Smiling at his thoughtfulness I know, that somehow, everything is going to be alright.
Watching the two couples leave the Rainier Club last night had created a wave of barely suppressed rage. Now he sat in his twentieth story office overlooking downtown Seattle, directly across from Grey House and seethed. The Grey family had continued to be the thorn in his side for the past two decades and the opulence of Grey House represented everything that he hated about them all. He turned to face his guest.
“You need to disappear for a while.” His voice was calm.
“What? No! I nearly got that fucker. Who knew that the prick could fly the fucking thing?” Linc looked at Jack Hyde and wondered once more if he had made a mistake bringing him to Seattle.
“You stupid little fuck!” He hissed, “Christian Grey has pulled out all the stops. He has more security than the fucking presidential detail. How close do you think you’re going to get to him right now?”
Jack looked around desperately. “I’ll take the fucking lot of them out at the wedding.” For fuck’s sake, he’s a fucking loose nutter. This fucker will land us all in jail.
“You stupid prick. You won’t get within twenty miles of that wedding.” Linc turned a malevolent stare on Jack who paled under his scrutiny. “Our problem is no longer Grey but the evidence that you left on your computer.”
“How was I supposed to know that he would buy the company and fire me.”
“If you had kept your fucking prick in your pants then you would still be at SIP gathering evidence. Instead you had to have a go at that little cunt of his.”
Jack pouted and Linc toyed with the idea of taking a hit out on him. Perhaps later. Definitely later.
“Those files implicate both of us so you are going to find a way to get them back. Your best shot is going to be when he is away on honeymoon.” Jack looked blank. For a bright man he was fucking thick. “Do I have to spell it out? Most of his security detail with be with him including that fucker, Taylor. That is when Grey House will be at it’s weakest and you can take out the servers. That is when you hit, not before. Now piss off and don’t let me see your ugly fucking face in Seattle until I am good and ready for you to come back.”
Jack looked ready to explode but he turned on his heel and left without a word. Linc flicked back through the photos on his desk. What he saw before him presented more of a problem. The blond woman in the photograph was laughing, beautiful and a lying, deceitful bitch who had played him. She needed to be dealt with and this was one job he wanted the pleasure of doing himself. He studied the photo for a moment longer, feeling himself getting both turned on and more irrational as he studied her face and clothes. Crushing the photo in his hand he picked up his phone and dialed a number.
The female voice answered with some trepidation. “Linc.”
“Lena. We need to talk.”
The End. – Next ‘Going Grey’
A/N : I have spent a great deal of time thinking about where to end Kate’s story and this seems like as good a place as any. She still has some stuff to get through and there are still mysteries to solve but they all seem better placed against the last story. Also felt that we needed to slip one more steamy in there for fun. Thanks for sticking with this story and please keep looking out for ‘Going Grey’. Sasha xoxo
- Chapter 10: Dirty Little Secrets (sashacameron.com)