After we finish our visit to the Red Room of Pain, Christian continues our tour of his Escala penthouse by leading me down a long corridor. We pass several rooms until we reach the one at the end. He opens the door to reveal a bedroom decorated entirely in white.
“This will be your room,” Christian says.
“My room? You mean I’m not going to share your bed?” I gasp in disbelief. What will the great Kate Kavanaugh think?
“I told you, Miss Steele, I don’t sleep with anyone.”
“Ok…um, wow. So, all of your previous girlfriends slept in here?” I ask, trying to wrap my mind around this strange arrangement. “Is this SOP for dominant/submissive relationships?”
Christian sighs. “I’m afraid this particular element of my lifestyle was borne of necessity rather than form.”
“What do you mean?” I ask curiously.
“It all started with Submissive #3,” Christian explains. “I was craving Mexican one night, so I decided to fire up the chopper and fly us to Oaxaca for dinner. We had quite a feast that evening: tlayudas, tamales, and seven different varieties of mole sauce! Afterwards, I couldn’t wait to get home and try out the new collars I’d picked up at the pet store. But as soon as we got into the helicopter, it started.”
“What? What started?” I whisper anxiously.
Christian closes his eyes. It’s clear the memory is painful. His words are so soft that I nearly miss them.
I intake a sharp breath. My inner goddess pinches her nose in disgust, while swatting her hand back and forth as if to dispel the aroma.
“It was horrible,” Christian continues, raking a hand through his untamable hair. “It sounded like rapid-fire gunshots; I thought we were being attacked by yet another one of my murderous enemies. But then, the telltale sulfuric odor set in. Charlie Tango was never the same after that.”
“What did you do?” I ask nervously.
“At first I tried to wait it out, thinking it would pass. But by the time we arrived home, the situation had escalated. Taylor had no choice but to escort her to the guest room.”
“Hey, that’s what bodyguards are for,” I murmur, stroking his arm sympathetically.
“After that, I couldn’t rest until I figured out a way to stop this from ever happening again,” he continues. “So I spent hours at my desk at Grey Enterprises, typing ‘How To Make Girls Fart Less,’ into Google. My findings indicated that a healthy diet and exercise should help. So I amended the contract and added Appendix 4, a prescribed list of foods.”
“That must have fixed everything!” I exclaim.
“Oh, how I wish it had, Anastasia,” he groans. “Unfortunately, I had no idea about legumes.”
My thoughts drift uneasily to José and his passion for making me homemade black bean dip.
“Submissive #5 subscribed to the Mediterranean diet,” Christian continues. “I’ve never seen a woman consume so many chickpeas. One night, while I was spanking her for rolling her eyes at me, she shot a one cheek squeak directly into my mouth.”
I gasp in horror. “What did you do?
“What choice did I have? I gave her one last wallop, and then released her from her contract.”
“Holy crap!” I exclaim, biting my lip with horror. Literally! my inner goddess cackles, as she doubles over with laughter. She’s a sucker for a good fart joke.
“Stop biting your lip, Anastasia. You know what that does to me.”
I stop immediately, but can’t help but wonder if my lip biting makes Christian worry that I’m attempting to hold back an anal salute of my own.
“Submissive #6 was the worst by far. As a vegetarian, she lived exclusively on hard-boiled eggs, broccoli, and artichokes. And then one night… there was an incident.”
“An incident?” I whisper fearfully.
“I had her chained to the bed, and just as I approached her with my flogger, she full-on sharted. I’ll never forget the smell. She tried to blame the shit stains on the anal beads, but I wasn’t fooled. Poor Mrs. Jones must have had a hell of a time with the laundry. All those white sheets.”
My inner goddess curls into a ball and begins retching.
“Miss Steele, I may be fifty shades of fucked up, but that doesn’t mean I can tolerate fifty shades of female flatulence. And that is why I have a guest room for my submissive.”
“I completely understand,” I say sympathetically. “I will do my best to control myself.”
“Not to worry,” Christian says affectionately. “As a precaution, I slipped a Gas-X into your Chardonnay this evening. Now, let us retire to my study, and resume our discussion on the many merits of butt plugs.”