It doesn’t hurt me.
You wanna feel how it feels?
You wanna know, know that it doesn’t hurt me?
You wanna hear about the deal I’m making?
You be running up that hill
You and me be running up that hill
And if I only could,
Make a deal with God,
And get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
Be running up that building.
Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill
If I only could, oh…Being under lock down most of our days and nights, unable to move about the city without the entourage of dark-suited, sunglass-wearing shadows has become our reality. Not that Elliot ever moves far from the treehouse, nor I for that matter. I’ve never been fond of guns but given the hidden unknown we are dealing with I don’t mind that these guys are packing. Ana has even encouraged me to take some shooting instruction and Luke Sawyer has been happy to put both Elliot and I through our paces on a regular basis. This happens out at the compound, the nickname we have given Christian and Ana’s mansion. The work was completed in record time and on the back of the bomb incident, all security in the place is now so completely over the top that you almost need your passport to get in and out. I am glad that they’re safe. It’s one less thing to worry about.
Elliot has had similar measures added to the treehouse and we have round the clock security and a perimeter fence that kills first and asks questions later. I know I should be grateful for the extra care that is being taken with our safety, only I don’t want to live like this. The secure environment is not the issue. The problem is this constant fear.
Two months have passed since the bomb blast and Elliot’s progress, while agonizingly slow in the first weeks, has continued improving exponentially since Christian personally took charge. I know he hates leaving Ana under any circumstances but he does it for his brother. Christian offered me a position with GEH, working in their PR and Communications division. I turned it down. Much as I love my newest brother, I think we will get along just fine at a distance. Plus I don’t want to muddy the waters with the uncomfortable boundaries that can occur around family and work.
Elliot is in the pool with Mike when Christian ascends to my office in the turret. The war room display still sits prominently on the wall, a testament to the complexity of our lives. We always felt like there was a piece of the puzzle missing but could never work out where. Mia and Ethan have been gone all of this time and waiting for them to return from their mission is killing each of us by degrees. I see the pain etched on Christian’s face as he takes it all in.
“Kate, I think we need to get ready to go to Haiti.” I do a double take. As much as I would like to get the adoption finalized and bring my son home, Elliot’s recovery is far from full, not even three quarters. Mattie is safe where he is and we need to concentrate our energies here, with Elliot’s ongoing rehabilitation. “Elliot is more mobile so we really need to go and get your son.”
“He is managing two crutches but I would hardly call it walking.” I love that Christian pushes Elliot but this is too much.
“No, he isn’t walking but he is starting to plateau and the trip as a motivator might help.”
“What, by putting him in an environment where he can’t cope?”
“He’ll cope. He’ll have all of us with him.” Christian removes a photo of Elliot and him as small children. It is one of only a few that Carrick has been able to provide with Elena present. Only back then she was just plain Lena.
“Any word from her?” He shakes his head. Elena Lincoln had gone into hiding not long after Linc was released from prison.
“No, the FBI predicted that if she met with bad luck that her body would have washed up somewhere. Her accounts haven’t been touched and the businesses were all set to run themselves indefinitely. We have to assume now that she helped Linc to disappear.”
“Does that mean we’re safe now?” He looks at me with a raised eyebrow. Stupid question. As long as Linc Lincoln in out in the big wide world none of the Greys will ever be safe. Picking up my iPad and phone I lead him back downstairs.
“That’s why we need to go, Kate. I’m not sure how safe Mattie actually is. The sooner we get him back stateside the happier I will be.” I pause on the bottom step and stare back up at him. He makes me feel small for not worrying more about my son.
“You think Linc would go after him? To get at us?” A chill settles in my heart.
“I know that Linc is desperate and capable of anything. We can’t wait any more.” We continue down to the next level and into the kitchen.
“What about Mia and Ethan? I promised them we would wait for them to get back before we had the Haitian ceremony.” Placing my equipment on the bench I cross to the kettle and flick the switch.
“I’m going to try to contact them. Get them to meet us there if only for a few hours. But I don’t think you can wait to get Mattie because of them. We need to convince Elliot that he can do this trip.” Christian gets cups down from the cupboard and places them next to me. I drop a tea bag into mine while he pours coffee for himself.
“What trip?” Elliot walks into the kitchen where we are standing. His progress is painfully slow but he insists on staying on his feet as much as he can manage when we are at home. He begins lurching from bench to refrigerator in a practiced move as he gets himself a drink and a snack. Mike hovers at the ready but Elliot makes it look easier than I know it is. There have been a couple of times when he has fallen, unable to get up in the middle of the night and we’ve struggled to move him. I know I’m frowning as I consider all the implications of us going right now and weigh them up against what could happen if we don’t. In the end the only person who can make this call is Elliot.
“Honey, Christian thinks we should get to Haiti, now.”
His eyes close as he throws back his drink making us wait. Finally he drops the bottle to the bench and wipes his mouth and looks from me to Christian. The subject of Haiti has slipped from our conversation recently, mostly because it has become too painful to consider. Every day that we delay is a day when our future fails to begin.
“You think Mattie’s in danger?” Elliot’s calm freaks me out. He’s not at all surprised that Christian would make this claim and he isn’t agitated at the thought that our little boy might be in danger. Meanwhile my heart is doing somersaults. I’ve been avoiding talking about Mattie because I don’t want to lay any more guilt on Elliot about not being able to go. I would have gone by myself but I haven’t wanted to leave him during his recovery and we know that the Haitian authorities want to interview both of us. Under normal circumstances we would be ineligible to adopt a child there but Christian has pulled all sorts of strings to make this happen. They are simply not going to issue Mattie a passport without us fronting up in person. Now Elliot is calmly hearing that we need to go even though he may not be able to walk into the government offices under his own steam. This could work against us if he is in a wheelchair. It is such an unknown quantity.
“Babe, another month. I’m sure he will be safe.”
“Are you, Kate? I’ve sent TJ and Will down to help James keep him and the other kids safe but we can’t get any more security placed around the orphanage than that. We’ve tried. I’m not leaving him there, Katie. I want to bring our son home. Just like we planned. I vote we go.”
Two weeks later we are sailing around the Caribbean on the Christina O, a charter yacht that spends half the year in the Mediterranean and the other half sailing anywhere in the world that it is required. Christian’s requirements involved enough room for an army which is exactly what we brought with us. We took a circuitous route, with everyone arriving in Labadee at different times from different directions. Carrick, Grace, my parents, Christian’s PA Andrea and Ana’s father Ray arrived first via Atlanta. They came in the GEH jet and stopped off to pick up Ana’s mom, Carla and her husband, Bob then flew directly to Haiti. Elliot and I came via Fort Lauderdale with Mike, Jason, Gail and Jason’s daughter, Sophie. From there we boarded a Royal Caribbean cruise liner and sailed into Labadee a few days later. Ana and Christian flew the helicopter down the West Coast in stages, finally stopping in San Diego where they met up with the Christina O.
Elliot is able to move around freely in his chair but as usual he chooses to walk as much as he can. The routines started at home continue with Christian, Jason and Mike work with him every day. His strength is returning more rapidly than any of the doctors ever expect. However, at the end of the day, I see the pain, the stress and the strain that he fights to hide from everyone else, and it kills me. If I could be the one to hurt, even for one night, so that he could get some peace, then I would do it without hesitation.
“Baby, come here.” His voice is soft and low, a sure sign that we’re operating on about a 6/10 on the pain threshold. His body, still ripped and toned for the most part calls to me even without his words. The air tonight is still, the water calm as we anchor off the Western coast. I walk towards him, slowly, trying to gauge his mood. There are nights when he can’t tolerate any proximity. I try not to feel too empty, knowing that if I can give him space, I am giving him more of myself. He smiles, “take it off.”
I raise an eyebrow. Maybe we’re at 4. I don’t want to get my hopes up. We have to be creative but I’m okay with that. There is a lot more oral in our repertoire than ever before. I might get lucky tonight. His naked form as he reclines on his side is still the most breathtaking part of my day. He’s already starting to respond to me and to prove a point he pats the bed beside him. I lift my nightie over my head. If nothing there will be skin.
Gently, I step into the bed and slip into his body so that my back touches his front. His hand rests on my hips as he raises himself to kiss my jaw. Slowly his tongue licks down my neck before he settles his teeth in the soft flesh of my shoulder, sucking on my skin. I lean my head to the side, tossing my hair out of his way to give him access. My hand slides back on to his hip and I grip him to keep myself firmly anchored, pushing my ass back against him. The firm length of his cock brings a smile to my lips. Oh, definitely operating at 4 tonight.
His slow seduction continues as he circles his tongue around my ear before biting my lobe. His free hand slips around to graze my breast and once more I give him free access spontaneously lifting my arm to wrap it around his neck. He palms my breast firmly taking the nipple between his fingers and rolling it gently. I suck in air as he tweaks and the shock pulses through my body.
“I want to be inside you tonight.” His whispered plea opens the door to a whole raft of questions that I don’t ask. If he wants it, I am more than willing to give. I love the way he brings me to orgasm with his fingers. I love his cock, hard and heavy in my mouth. We have a full complement of toys that we employ to keep things interesting. But these rare occasions when we can work through his pain and the logistics of penetrative sex? These are the best.
For a moment I toy with the idea of presenting this as a back door option but I need to read him and that means face to face. I turn in his arms, raising myself up his body so that he can attend to my heavy aching breasts with his mouth. He willingly obliges, latching on to my nipples like a hungry child. His teeth graze the under side of my breast causing me to throw my head back. He uses that movement to position me where he needs me. Where I need him.
I lift my leg and drape it over his hips as he slowly pushes into my moist folds. Keeping my eyes focused on his, I look for any sign that the discomfort is more than he can bare. The blue darkens but he is still very much with me. The head of his cock presses in further and inch by aching inch we join. He kisses me deeply, his tongue swirling around mine. This is not our hot and heavy lovemaking of the past. This is a slow burning need that’s almost painful in its intensity. I revel in the fullness that I miss so often lately. Every internal muscle is straining to draw him in.
Finally, I have the full length of him within me and I can feel him touching spaces inside me that only he has ever been. I love it. I love him. Once we’re fully engaged, we pause. The next movement will tell whether we can continue or not. The effort required to thrust and the requisite movement that accompanies it can send him into a spasm. Instead of anything sudden, he holds me firm and still against him. His eyes on mine, filled with lust and love.
“I love you, Kate. I love that you would do this for me.” My fingers go to his lips to silence him.
“I would do this with you every day of the rest of our lives. It’s enough, baby. It’s all I need.” I don’t want him to stop but I cannot bare him to associate pain with our physical love. I would rather die than have that. He has to know that my being here is so much more than that. I try so hard to remind him of that every day. “Just hold me still.”
My husky whisper betrays me. I want him to thrust and couldn’t bare it if he did. Instead he places his hand on my cheek and presses his forehead on mine. I place my hand on his heart. A security blanket for me. Just when I think this can go no further I feel a pulse inside. I return it with a squeeze. He looks at me and I feel it again. Once more my muscles respond.
“I’ve always loved your eyes when we make love. That stormy green when your passion builds. When I do that,” he pulses inside me again, “your eyes sparkle.” He turns his hand and runs the back of his fingers down my cheek while offering that almost imperceptible pulse once more. I grip and find myself throwing my head back. It’s enough to move him deeper.
“Nothing ever fills me the way you do, Elliot. I would die a happy woman just to have you right where you are now.” I have to suck in a breath when he pulses again. There is hardly a wave of his hips when it happens and I marvel and just how strong his cock is. I can’t help biting my lip and he leans in to suckle it again.
He frowns, “I would hope nothing fills you but me.” I’ve hit a nerve just by not thinking. Just when he needs me to build his confidence I open my stupid mouth and stomp all over the place with my big feet. He gets that little lost look on his face.
“You getting paranoid there, Mr Grey?” I squeeze him as hard as I can and he comes back to me. A gentle kiss keeps him in the room with me.
“God, Katie. Your heat is intense, baby.” He tries to push his hips but I can tell it hurts.
“Stop, baby. Let’s just enjoy this moment, right now. I promise I will make you come, sweetheart, but right now I just want to feel you inside me.”
His hands begin a steady pattern of movement, setting up a trail of sensation that burns over my skin. Starting at my hip he slowly but firmly brushes up my side, making my stomach undulate as he touches my waist, then I arch a little as he arrives at that tender spot at the side of my breast. His hand travels inland over the top of my aching breast before traveling down the gap between to my navel and back out to my hip. He does this four or five times, never actually palming my breast just tracing around it, tempting me, all the while pulsing inside of me.
On the sixth pass he continues up, pushing my arm above my head and reaches high to weave his fingers between mine. His eyes never leave mine as he twists our arms around and brings our clasped hands down between our bodies. He bends his head slightly and kisses each finger tip, slowly sucking them; again, his eyes completely engaged with mine. I bite my lip as he does this and he uses his thumb to unhook my lip from my teeth before inserting it in my mouth. I suck on his thumb, swirling my tongue around the soft callous of his knuckle.
My upper body gets pressed back a little so that he can take my breast into his mouth. Starting with soft sucking kisses on every part before he finally engulfs my nipple. He changes it up, sometimes taking large chunks of nipple and breast into his mouth and then pulling back to lick and nip. It goes from hard, pulling, electric pain to gentle soothing ministrations in a heart beat and back again. With every pull of my flesh he pulses again inside me causing me to contract hard around him. Other than this, we barely move. My hand brushing the muscles of his shoulders, upper back and neck, sets up a counter movement to his and I am sensitive to every twinge under his skin.
I had never believed that a person could orgasm just by having their breasts played with but I find myself building; slowly but surely aided by his heavy cock flicking to life inside me. He cannot move but I can and my hips begin to undulate gently, helping him to judge where my body is at. Every push from me earns a spectacular pull from his mouth and my breath hitches expectantly. Somewhere on the boat, classical music is playing, a soulful cello that matches our mood. My body ripples beneath his hand but if anyone was watching us they might struggle to see where and how this occurs so minuscule is the movement.
My breathing becomes heavier, filled more sighs and longing. He is silent except for the quiet lapping of his tongue and the strong sucking on my skin. The music, the sway of the boat, my undulating body and his rhythmic pulling and pulsing all complement each other until I can hold back no more. I feel the intensity at my core and let go of a long slow, excruciatingly intense orgasm that starts low and slow as it echoes out through my body. My pussy is pulling hard on his shaft, gripping and milking him and he looks directly at me as he comes. At the height of the wave his eyes close for a second, his voice groaning out his release. I feel it but I almost don’t believe it.
We look at each other, breathing in each others air, not talking just being. Our hands hold each others faces, as if this is the only way we can remain tethered in this earthly space.
“No more deals with God, Katie” For a moment I have no idea what he is talking about. “This is what we have and it might get better or worse, in time. Who knows? But you don’t get to trade off anything of yourself to keep me. To keep us. When we go back home, you need to go back to being you. As long as I have you and this, I’ll keep fighting with all of my being to get back to where I was. Maybe I will make it, maybe I won’t. But, sweetheart, I see you trying to take my pain away from me and you need to stop. I would feel that pain every day, as long as I get to wake up with you, as long as you come home to me. You feel me?”
Tears well beneath my closed lids. He tilts my chin and I lift my lids to look at him. He kisses away the moisture before taking my lips.
“I would do anything to make it stop. I…” His finger silences my words.
“I know you would, angel. I see it in your eyes every day and it hurts me more than my stupid back. You don’t have to feel that way. It’s pointless.” He kisses my nose. “You and I have a long life ahead of us. With Mattie and with whatever other little people come our way. I’m gonna be perfectly fine with all of that. We’re gonna be fine. You’ve shown me that. Thank you for not letting me go. For not allowing me to make the biggest mistake of my life. And thank you for this. For all of this. I always thought I knew the best ways to make love to a woman. But you, you teach me something new every day.”
“No, we learn something new every day. Together.” I disengage from him and roll over so that he is spooning my body once more. His legs slip between mine, using me as an anchor to hold his body in alignment. And we sleep a deep dreamless sleep as the ocean sends us on our way.