The Date

Phoebe POV:

I walk out of the board room, with my second in charge, Bryan Walsh, following me. I ensure I retain my passive expression until I am behind the closed doors of my office. It is only then that I allow myself to smile and enjoy my most recent success.

"Bulls-eye!" Bryan accurately assesses the success level of our meeting. All contract and head of agreements have been signed, and it the company is ours. I grin as I commence my almost ritualistic first task after completing any major deal.

"I guess there are no prizes for guessing who you are emailing." I can't help but laugh out loud. I am going to enjoy this heckling session.

To: Theodore Grey

From: Phoebe Grey

Subject: Change the scoreboard

Dear, dear Big Brother,

I wanted to be the first to tell you that I have closed the Chu deal and if in case you weren't aware or had forgotten, it is worth over half a billion dollars to Grey Enterprise. I will allow you to do that Math on how much bigger this deal is to your highest.

Miss and love you - Yes I thought the obligatory sentiments would be nice. Throw your best brotherly heckle's and comments at me. I am more than ready.

Phoebe Grey

COO Grey Enterprise Holdings, Hong Kong Division - who honestly does miss and love her one and only big brother. ;-)

I can't help but laugh. I so wish it wasn't late on a Thursday night in Seattle. Damn this sixteen hour time difference. Sometimes it was an advantage but at other times a real negative. I grin when I see an immediate reply. Thank gosh Ted wasn't busy or asleep. This is going to be so much fun.

To: Phoebe Grey

From: Theodore Grey

Subject: More than one piece on a chess board.

Good evening (or afternoon in your case) Phoebe,

Nice play. I will happily amend our personal scorecard.

Miss and love you 2 - Thought I would add the obligatory sentiments as well and yes. yes.. yes. I do mean it also.

Theodore Grey

COO Grey Enterprise Holdings

I raise eyebrows at my brother's reply. No funny comment. No mocks. No comeback about he is about to top me. Not even some throwback comment to our youth about how he would let me win in some sports game only to be able to beat me harder when I got too confident.

"Something wrong?" Bryan queries

"I don't know. My brother didn't even attempt to heckle or put me in my place."

"That's unusual. It's Ted's favorite sport. Maybe his girlfriend Abigail is keeping him busy." I agree but shrug my shoulders. "I am going to grab a latte. Want a coffee?"

"Yes. Black. No milk or sugar." I request.

To: Theodore Grey

From: Phoebe Grey

Subject: Missing person report

Okay, where is my brother and what have you done with him? No jeer, comment or heckle to put me back into my place? Come on Ted; I am on a high and ready to play our game of words.

Or are you busy with Abigail? :-O

Phoebe Grey

COO Grey Enterprise Holdings, Hong Kong Division

To: Phoebe Grey

From: Theodore Grey

Subject: Redundant

I am right here little sister and trust me; words are not needed.

I am no longer seeing Abigail. She got too clingy.

Theodore Grey

COO Grey Enterprise Holdings

Oh, so no more Abigail. Shame! I didn't mind her, but my brother is not ready to settle down by any means. I groan at my brother's riddle. I don't understand what he means about words not needed. Is he drunk or something? I pull out my cell phone and decide just to call him. I am on cloud nine and can't let him hide in the corner.

Ted: Well hello Phoebe.

Phoebe: You drunk?

Ted: No.

Phoebe: Smoking something?

Ted: Not since my freshman year in college and we both know what our parent's reaction was. Our parents wouldn't hesitate to kick our ass, then so would Taylor.

Phoebe: True, though none of this is making sense. Where is Ted, my smart ass brother?

Ted: Oh I am here.

Phoebe: Really?

Ted: Absolutely!

Phoebe: Then were your cocky email reply. I was so looking forward to your response to me after breaking your previous record deal. I don't get it. You love this game as much as I do.

Ted: As I said in my email to you, no words are needed

Phoebe: What? I don't get it!

Ted: You will.

Phoebe: Ted you are many great things, but you're not good at jokes or riddles. What are you going on about?

Ted: Since you are my only sister and I just happen to love and miss you, I will help you out. Have you looked at your calendar recently?

Phoebe: I look at my schedule every day!

Ted: The date. What is today's date?

I roll my eyes but do as my brother suggested. It takes me a few moments to realize what Ted is referring to. Fuck! The date. It's today. Why didn't it occur to me? Damn! No.

Ted: Checkmate little sis!

And as Ted spoke those three words the climate in The Hong Kong office of the Asian division of Grey Enterprise shifted. It was almost electrifying. There was only one explanation for it.

Phoebe: He's here. Isn't he?

Ted: He left last night. Considering his departure time, being sped through the VIP customs and immigration and driving straight over to you, then I would say he is right on time.

Phoebe: Crap. I am not ready. I don't want to.

Ted: Chin up Princess or the crown slips.

Phoebe: Thanks for the advice. I would have liked a reminder or warning.

Ted: Consider it my comeback for you landing the biggest deal this year, and beating me. Besides, I would have thought you would have been expecting this.

I hear Ted sigh loudly. He didn't have a choice.

Ted: Sorry Phoebe. See you soon?

Phoebe: Maybe.

I end the call and stand up slowly. I straighten my skirt and do up the top button of my blazer. I figure it isn't going to hurt to look as professional as possible regardless of blood. I exit my office and see him. My father. Christian Grey. He hasn't been to this office while I have headed it up; however, but he has floated in as if this was the Seattle office or a regular visitor to this division. My entire staff is standing in awe and intimidated. I don't blame them. So am I in a way and this is the man who would happily wear fairy wings and have tea parties with me as a child, taught me to swim, to ride a bike and helped me through my first period until mom was able to get home from a rare work trip away. Though at this moment, Christian Grey is in full CEO mode; dressed smartly, defying his age and exuding authority. I regain my ability to move and walk straight up to him. I keep my head up high and look at my father right in his eyes.

"Mr. Grey, what a wonderful surprise." I greet my father formally. In this office, I don't know how to respond. I have seen my dad and other family member's over the past two years; though usually back in Seattle, or on holidays. Never here. This office has been my domain.

"Miss Grey, it is wonderful to see you. May I speak to you in your office?"

"Of course," I turn on my heel and walk into my office. I smile warmly at Taylor before he close's my door, effectively leaving my alone with my father.

"I like what you have done with your office." My dad states and then faces me. His expression is softer, and he is 'dad' now. "I missed you, Princess Phoebe." I smile briefly at his nickname for me and wraps his arms around me hugging me tightly.

"I have missed you too Dad." I temporarily forget why he is here and enjoys the light-hearted moment. My dad kisses my forehead and smiles at me.

"Your mother wanted me to kiss you for her."

"Is mom in Hong Kong?"

"No. She wanted to come, but the combination of Grey Publishing, helping organize the Coping Together ball, and her stubbornness since we just took at month long holiday together kept her from traveling with me. Mom is excited to see you."

"I will be in Seattle for the Coping Together Ball. I told grandma I would never miss it." I remind my father hoping that this would buy me some time. I take a deep breath out as my dad realizes I didn't refer to Seattle as home.

"Yes, your mother is aware that you will be home for the event. Phoebe, it's time. Your time is up. It is time for you to go home." My father's voice is a combination of loving, authoritarian and with a sense of excitement.

Home.. Seattle? I don't want to go... I can't go back. Not yet at least.