Fifty Shades of Secrets
Three years ago, Anastasia Steele saw she could never be the sub that Christian Grey wanted, and she ran away from everything she knew in Seattle. So, when Christian Grey popped back into her life after a drunk night, things became complicated. Will Anastasia's secret get out, and can she make amends with the elusive Mr. Grey?
(AU where Ana ran away before Fifty Shades Darker)
Chapter One: Fifty Shades of Old Habits
Fuck. Everything hurt.
I knew those shots were too much, but I hadn't expected this.
I was never good at hangovers. The last one I had was when I drunk dialed Christian Grey and woke up in his hotel room, starting the biggest adventure of my life. Though our relationship- if I could even really call it that- was brief, I'd never loved anyone like I loved Christian, but he didn't want love. He wanted a nice, obedient little sub who didn't quiver at the sight of the Red Room of Pain, and I wasn't that girl. I knew that it would never work, so I left even though it killed me.
Really, I did try my best to put Christian and our time together out my mind, but it was impossible...
I shifted in the bed, trying to remember where I kept my Aleve. Did even bring any with me? I didn't remember packing any, but I was sure that Scarlet packed it for us. After all, she planned on our trip to Puerto Rico be a drunk, relaxing haze where she could forget the messy details of her third, very profitable divorce. As her best friend, she'd forced me to come along, and I hadn't gotten really drunk the entire time. Even back in New York, I was the designated the driver, the responsible sober friend.
Until last night.
Scarlet seemed to be having so much fun. I didn't have enough fun. I hadn't had enough fun since Christian, and I thought that maybe Vodka could change that if only for one night.
I sat up slowly, taking my time blinking open my eyes. To my dismay, the Puerto Rico sun seemed even brighter than usual, and I winced. It took me time to adjust to the light, and when I did, I jumped.
This is not my hotel room.
Panic slowly filled my body as I frantically scanned the room. This suite was expensive-certainly more expensive than mine- but was nondescript otherwise. There were no distinguishing marks that would clue me in to how I arrived here, or if there were, my head too much to notice them.
This couldn't be happening, not again. I'd already woken up hungover in an expensive hotel room, and that was how Christian entered my life. I didn't want a repeat of that. I'd seen too many shades of Fucked Up, and I'd rather go back to my own Fifty Shades of Boring.
"Oh my God," I groaned, rubbing my neck, and as I averted my eyes once more from the expansive windows, I noticed a bottle of Aleve and a glass of water.
Whoever brought me home last night was at least thoughtful...
Quickly, I popped two pills into my mouth and downed it with a few gulps of water. Once the medicine kicked in, I slowly became more aware of my surroundings. For starters, the tight, black dress I'd worn last night to the club had been replaced by a much more comfortable tee shirt that was far too big for me.
Upside down, I could see the words "Harvard Business School" in bold letters.
Why did that feel familiar?
I cradled my head in my hand, deciding to hold off my investigation until I felt better.
"I will not get drunk again," I murmured, reassuring myself that this hangover would be my last.
While I was repeating my new mantra, the door to the suite opened, and I peered up to see whoever I'd shared this room with last night. I'd hoped they wouldn't return until I could locate my things, get dressed, and properly sneak out to begin my walk of shame.
My jaw dropped as I stared at the figure emerging from the door.
I must have been imagining things. Maybe my bartender slipped some hallucinogen in my drink last night… There was no possible way this was real.
"Good morning, Anastasia," his voice was warm and sultry. Deep inside, my muscles clenched, and I knew.
This was Christian Grey in all his intimidating, fuck-me-right-now glory.
"Christian," I stared at him.
"Breakfast is on the way. English tea, bacon, waffles, scrambled eggs. I remembered you liked that before," his stride was confident as he moved towards me, and his expression was confusing. He seemed to be disappointed in me yet so happy as well.
Of course, Christian Grey looks confusing. Confusing is practically the man's middle name.
"Thank you…. What… What happened last night?" I bit my lower lip, and Christian's eyes lingered on my lip until I released it. How I wanted him to bite my lip instead.
No, I can't want that. It's been three years. I am an adult woman who will not cave to such desires. Even if they are incredibly strong...
"You were very drunk, Anastasia. You shouldn't drink like that," Christian admonished me, but a small smile formed, "At least you didn't puke on Azaleas this time," he smirked, and I blushed.
"I don't drink like that. At least, not usually," I was flustered, "But, I don't even remember seeing you. How did I end up here?"
"You called me," Christian seemed surprised that I didn't remember, "At two in the morning, you called me in tears, apologizing and saying you needed to talk to me in person. It was actually pretty convenient. So convenient I thought you might have planned it…" Christian seemed to be floating the idea past me for confirmation, but my expression must have proven it wrong. I wouldn't have ever planned this. I wanted to move on from Christian, not wake up in his bed. Staring at me, Christian began again, "My family is at this resort. We're celebrating Elliott's engagement, so I knew the bar you were at. I went there immediately, and you passed out in my arms. You were very drunk."
I knew exactly what I'd wanted to tell him, and I swallowed nervously. It was the right thing to do, but how could I?
I didn't want to talk about it, so I changed the subject.
"Elliott is engaged?" I shoved my hair behind my ear.
"Yeah, to Kate. I thought you knew. I mean, she said she hadn't spoken to you since you left, but I always thought she was lying," Christian knit his eyebrows together, and I swallowed.
Kate was engaged.
And I'd missed it.
After I left Christian, I'd been so distraught. I'd run away to Ray and then Savannah for a while, doing my best to avoid my problems. I couldn't go back to Seattle and face the facts, so I roamed for a bit before ending up in New York City and settling down.
I'd always missed Kate but never contacted her. I knew she might tell more than I'd like her to if I let her in to my life now. Trusting her with a secret never worked out well, and I couldn't risk that.
"No, she wasn't lying. We haven't spoken in three years. I had no idea they were still together…" I sighed, "That's great for them."
"Yet, you had my number this entire time," Christian's eyes bore into mine, and I nervously stared at my knotted fingers, "Why didn't you call me before now, Anastasia?"
I shrugged, smoothing my tee shirt, "I just didn't, okay? I lived in New York, and you were in Seattle. I thought that it was just over. You weren't going to wait on me to get a new sub."
I was making Christian mad.
"A new sub?" his jaw tightened, "I haven't been able to have a sub after you. I don't-" Christian was cut off by the familiar, high-pitched chirp of my smartphone. He stopped, trying to compose himself, and I crawled out of bed to see that Scarlet was calling.
Did he really just say he hadn't had a sub after me? What did that mean? Of course, he hadn't been celibate for the last three years.
Oh no, he didn't have a girlfriend, did he? I couldn't handle that.
I'd been okay -well, okay enough- for the last three years because I knew he needed a sub. He couldn't be in an equal relationship. He needed to be a dom, and I couldn't be a sub. But what if I was wrong? What if another girl had tied him down?
The thought made me sick.
"I'm sorry. It is my friend I'm here with. She'll be worried," I murmured, taking the call. Christian was still annoyed, but he got up, going towards the balcony to let me talk to my friend.
I took a deep breath and leaned against the wall as I accepted the call and watched him leave the room. How did he manage to look sexy doing literally everything?
"Where the fuck are you?" Scarlet's sudden yell nearly made me wince, and I forced my attention to the phone call, "I had to go to yoga alone and hungover. Do you have any idea how much that sucked?" Scarlet complained.
"I'm sorry…. Apparently, last night, I called Christian, and he picked me up. He's at this resort," I ran my fingers through my hair, my voice hardly a whisper. Even as I told Scarlet, I couldn't believe this morning at all. Surely, I had to be dreaming. This doesn't just happen. Out of all of the resorts in the world, how did we end up at the same one at the same time?
"Christian? As in, that Christian?" Scarlet quickly dropped her complaints to focus on this. Clearly, she understood the importance of this situation, but part of me wished she didn't. Then I could pretend everything was alright, and I could stick my hand in the sand like I always do. "Wait, Ana, did you… tell him?"
"No, I don't think so. I need to get out of here. Where are you, Scarlet?" I looked around for my clothes. Running probably wasn't the best idea. Christian would find me again sometime during my stay at the resort, and I couldn't exactly just catch a flight back to JFK. But I didn't care. I wanted out of this hotel room as soon as possible.
"Just left the spa. We'll meet for food, okay? That café by the water," Scarlet told me, and I nodded, finding my dress from last night. It was wrinkled and smelled vaguely of whiskey. Damn, I did drink a lot.
"Okay, yeah, I'll be there in half an hour…" I hung up, and before I could even start to get dressed, Christian entered the room.
"Taylor got you clothes. I assumed you wouldn't want to walk around like that," he motioned towards my dress, "You did look fantastic in it though," he smirked, and I instinctively blushed.
It had been pretty short…
"Oh, thank you," I murmured as Christian brought out the clothes. Taylor really was good at that… I wondered how many other girls Taylor had shopped for, and the thought made me uncomfortable.
"I hope you're staying for breakfast. After last night, you should really eat," Christian seemed concerned, and I shrugged awkwardly. Oh how I wanted to stay for breakfast. I wanted to reconcile, to go right back to Escala, and to be with Christian again. But things were so different now. I couldn't do that anymore.
"My friend, Scarlet, and I planned to get breakfast together. Since I left her last night, I really should make it to this breakfast," I walked towards the clothes, hoping Christian would accept my pathetic excuse to leave.
"I'd really like to talk to you, Anastasia. Maybe I could come along or meet you for dinner. It has been a long time," Christian asked.
I shrugged idly, struggling not to bite my lower lip.
"Maybe dinner. I'll see what Scarlet's plans are, and I will call you about it," I swallowed.
Christian stared at me as if considering it. We both knew I wasn't going to call. I couldn't start this relationship again. Things had changed too much, and I needed to just go back to New York and live my normal life.
"Last night, you said you missed me," Christian's voice was small as if he was afraid of saying it. My heart broke, and my first instinct was to make him better, make him happier. I closed my eyes, bowing my head.
"I did-I do. Things are complicated," I slowly opened my eyes.
"Then why did you leave me? You could have just used a safeword!"
"It wasn't about the safeword! It wasn't about the pain. It was that you hurt me. You need to do that, and I can't be that girl. I wish I could have," I bit my lower lip hard. There was silence.
"Don't bite that lip," he whispered, and my eyes moved back to him.
Fuck, I wished he was biting it.
"Come to dinner with me, please. We need to talk. I'll pick you up tomorrow night at seven," Christian pressed his lips to mine gently, and instinctively, my body melted against his. He smiled against my lips and winked before leaving me alone in his hotel room.
"Well? Are you going?" Scarlet stared at me as she dumped four packets of Splenda into her green tea.
Even hungover, my friend looked fantastic. Of course, I guess that made sense. After all, she'd married three of the wealthiest tycoons in the country and convinced them that pre-nuptial agreements were useless.
Scarlet's sandy blonde hair was permanently in a soft blowout that framed her angular face. Her lips were plump and always shiny, and her nose had inspired multiple nose jobs in Manhattan. Her body had been sculpted by a talented personal trainer, and her eyes were emerald green. But most importantly, she had an impressive amount of self-confidence.
When I first met Scarlet, I was intimidated by her. She was so beautiful, so confident, and so successful. I'd met her on my first day at Lewis Publishing. Technically, Scarlet was my boss, but we'd grown so close that we both often forgot it.
Her second husband, Gregory Lewis III, was the head of a publishing dynasty. In their very nasty divorce, Scarlet threatened to expose pictures with him and two young models, and Gregory grudgingly gave her the publishing company. I worked for one of the subsidiaries in Atlanta, and I was promoted to the New York office. There, Scarlet took me under her wing, and we became best friends. Though I'd tried to talk her out of it, she promoted me to vice president of the company last year, and I'd surprisingly done well.
"No, of course not!" I shook my head as I picked at my pancakes.
"Why not? You're still completely in love with him," Scarlet took a sip of her tea, and she stared at me as if it was actually a valid suggestion, and I returned her stare incredulously.
"Scarlet Davidson, you know why!"
"Firstly, the papers have gone through. I am Scarlet Rhodes again," Scarlet waved her hand dismissively, "And, secondly, we both know you could just tell him. In fact, you should tell him. He deserves to know."
I stared at Scarlet, raising my eyebrows.
"Are you serious? A year ago, you said I was doing the best thing," I crossed my arms, angrily. I wanted Scarlet to be on my side.
"Yeah, and I thought you were. But he's changed. You said so yourself."
"I don't know that. Anyone can put on a show for a few minutes in front of an ex," I frowned, but I doubted what I was seeing. Christian seemed different, better even.
"Listen, it is your choice, but I think you should tell him. This affects him, too," Scarlet shrugged, and my frown deepened.
I missed when Scarlet just told me I was right…
"I forgot to call Theo last night. I should probably call him soon," I changed the subject, and Scarlet nodded.
"Tell him I said hello," Scarlet raised her hand to catch the waitress's attention, "I can't deal with this hangover any longer. I need a hair of the dog that bit me. I'm getting us mimosas."
Honestly, this is a large departure from what I've written before, and I hope you like it. Please review and follow this story!
What do you think Anastasia's secret is?