"Come. " Christian holds out his hand, frowning at me. I take it and we leave the hospital.
I pick at my food. It s Mrs. Jones s chicken chasseur, but I m just not hungry. My stomach is knotted in a tight ball of anxiety.
"Damn it! Ana, will you tell me what s wrong?" Christian pushes his empty plate away, irritated. I gaze at him. Please. You re driving me crazy. I swallow and try to subdue the panic rising in my throat. I take a deep steadying breath. It s now or never.
"I'm pregnant." He stills, and very slowly all the color drains from his face.
"What?" he whispers, ashen.
"I'm pregnant." His brow furrows with incomprehension.
"How? "I blink at him. How . . . how? What sort of ridiculous question is that? I blush, and give him a quizzical how-do-you-think look. His stance changes. immediately, his eyes hardening to flint.
"Your shot?" he snarls.
"Did you forget your shot?" I just gaze at him unable to speak. Jeez, he s mad really mad.
"Christ,Ana! "He bangs his fist on the table, making me jump, and stands so abruptly he almost knocks the dining chair over.
"You have one thing,one thing to remember. Shit! I don t fucking believe it. How could you be so stupid?"
"Stupid!" I gasp. Shit. I want to tell him that the shot was ineffective, but words fail me. I gaze down at my fingers.
"I m sorry", I whisper.
"Sorry? Fuck!" he says again.
"I know the timing s not very good."
"Not very good!" he shouts.
"We've known each other five fucking minutes. I wanted to show you the fucking world and now . . . Fuck. Diapers and vomit and shit!" He closes his eyes. I think he s trying to contain his temper and losing the battle.
"Did you forget? Tell me. Or did you do this on purpose? "His eyes blaze and anger emanates off him like a force field.
"No," I whisper. I can t tell him about Hannah he d fire her.
"I know.I thought we'd agreed on this! he shouts."
"I know. We had. I m sorry." He ignores me.
"This is why. This is why I like control. So things like this don't come along and fuck everything up."
Thing . . . little Blip is not a thing.
"Christian, please don't shout at me. Tears start to slip down my face.
"Don t start with waterworks now," he snaps.
"Fuck." He runs a hand through his hair, pulling at it as he does.
"You think I m ready to be a father?" His voice catches, and it s a mixture of rage and panic. And it all becomes clear, the fear and loathing writ large in his eyes his rage is that of a powerless adolescent.
Oh Fifty, I am so sorry. It s a shock for me, too.
"I know neither one of us is ready for this, but I think you ll make a wonderful father", I choke "We ll figure it out."
"How the fuck do you know?" he shouts, louder this time.
"Tell me how!" His gray eyes burn, and so many emotions cross his face. It s fear that s most prominent.
"Oh fuck this! "Christian bellows dismissively and holds his hands up in a gesture of defeat. He turns on his heel and stalks toward the foyer, grabbing his jacket as he leaves the great room. His footsteps echo off the wooden floor, and he disappears through the double doors into the foyer, slamming the door behind him and making me jump once more.
All I am left with is the silence the still, silent emptiness of the great room. I shudder involuntarily as I gaze numbly at the closed doors. He s walked out on me. Shit! His reaction is far worse than I could ever have imagined. I push my plate away and fold my arms on the table, letting my head sink into them while I weep
"Ana, dear". Mrs. Jones is hovering beside me.
Oh. I sit up quickly, dashing the tears from my face.
"I heard. I m sorry," she says gently.
"Would you like an herbal tea or something?"
"I'd like a glass of white wine." Mrs. Jones pauses for a fraction of a second, and I remember the Blip. Now I can t drink alcohol. Can I? I must study the do's and don'ts Dr. Greene gave me.
"I'll get you a glass."
"Actually, I'll have a cup of tea, please." I wipe my nose. She smiles kindly.
"Cup of tea coming up." She clears our plates and heads over to the kitchen area. I follow her and perch on a stool, watching her prepare my tea.
She places a steaming mug in front of me.
"Is there anything else I can get for you, Ana? "
"No, this is fine, thank you."
"Are you sure? You didn't eat much."
I gaze up at her
I'm just not hungry. "Ana, you should eat. It s not just you anymore. Please let me fix you something. What would you like?"
She looks so hopefully at me.
But really, I can t face anything. My husband has just walked out on me because I'm pregnant, my father has been in a major car accident, and there is Jack Hyde the nutcase trying to make out that I sexually harassed him. I suddenly have an uncontrollable urge to giggle. See what you ve done to me, Little Blip! I caress my belly.
Mrs. Jones smiles indulgently at me.
"Do you know how far you are?" she asks softly.
"Very newly pregnant. Four or five weeks, the doctor isn't sure. "
"If you won't eat, then at least you should rest." I nod, and taking my tea, I head into the library.
Its my refuge. I dig my BlackBerry out of my purse and contemplate calling Christian. I know it s a shock for him but he really did overreact. When does he not overreact? My subconscious arches a finely plucked brow at me. I sigh. Fifty Shades of fucked up.
Yes, that is your daddy, Little Blip. Hopefully he ll cool off and come back . . . soon. I pull out the leaflet of dos and don ts and sit down to read. I can t concentrate. Christian's never walked out on me before. He s been so thoughtful and kind over the last few days, so loving and now . . . Suppose he never comes back?
Shit Perhaps I should call Flynn. I don t know what to do. I m at a loss. He s so fragile, in so many ways, and I knew he'd react badly to the news. He was so sweet this weekend. All those circumstances way beyond his control, yet he managed fine. But this news was too much. Ever since I met him, my life has been complicated. Is it him? Is it the two of us together? Suppose he doesn't get past this? Suppose he wants a divorce? Bile rises in my throat.
No. I mustn't think this way. He'll be back. He will. I know he will. I know in spite of all the shouting and his harsh words he loves me . . . yes. And he ll love you, too, Little Blip.
Leaning back in my chair, I start to doze. I wake cold and disorientated. Shivering I check my watch; eleven in the evening. Oh yes . . . You. I pat my belly. Where is Christian? Is he back? Stiffly I ease out of the armchair and go in search of my husband. Five minutes later, I realize he s not home. I hope nothings happened to him. Memories of the long wait when Charlie Tango went missing flood back. No, no, no. Stop thinking like this. He s probably gone to . . . where? Who would he go and see? Elliot? Or maybe he s with Flynn. I hope so. I find my BlackBerry back in the library, and I text him.
*Where are you?*
I head into the bathroom and run myself a bath. I am so cold.
He still hasn't returned when I climb out of the bath. I change into one of my 1930s-style satin nightdresses and my robe and head to the great room.
On the way, I pop into the spare bedroom. Perhaps this could be Little Blip s room. I am startled by the thought and stand in the doorway, contemplating this reality. Will we paint it blue or pink? The sweet thought is soured by the fact that my husband is so pissed at the idea and is absent. Grabbing the duvet from the spare bed, I head into the great room to keep vigil. Something wakes me. A sound.
"Shit!" It's Christian in the foyer. I hear the table scrape across the floor again.
"Shit!" he repeats, more muffled this time.
I scramble up in time to see him stagger through the double doors. He s drunk. My scalp prickles.
Shit, Christian drunk? I know how much he hates drunks. I leap up and run toward him.
"Christian, are you okay? "He leans against the jamb of the foyer doors.
"Mrs. Grey, " he slurs. Crap. He s very drunk. I don t know what to do.
"Oh . . . you look mighty fine, Anastasia."
"Where have you been? "
He puts his fingers to his lips and smiles crookedly at me.
"I think you'd better come to bed."
"With you ". . . He snickers.
Snickering! Frowning, I gently put my arm around his waist because he can hardly stand, let alone walk. Where has he been? How did he get home?
"Let me help you to bed. Lean on me"
"You are very beautiful, Ana. "He leans onto me and sniffs my hair, almost knocking both of us over.
"Christian, walk. I am going to put you to bed."
"Okay," he says as if he s trying to concentrate.
We stumble down the corridor and finally make it into the bedroom.
"Bed," he says, grinning.
"Yes, bed." I maneuver him to the edge, but he holds me.
"Join me," he says.
"Christian, I think you need some sleep."
"And so it begins. I've heard about this. "
"Heard about what? "
"Babies mean no sex."
"I'm sure that's not true. Otherwise we'd all come from one-child families."
He gazes down at me.
"You're funny. "
"Yes." He smiles, but his smile changes as he thinks about it, and a haunted expression crosses his face, a look that chills me to the bone.
"Come on, Christian," I say gently.
I hate his expression. It speaks of horrid, ugly memories that no child should see.
"Let s get you into bed." I push him gently and he flops down onto the mattress, sprawling in all directions and grinning up at me, his haunted expression gone.
"Join me," he slurs.
"Let s get you undressed first. " He grins widely, drunkenly.
"Now you re talking." Holy cow. Drunk Christian is cute and playful. I'll take him over mad-as-hell Christian anytime.
Sit up. Let me take your jacket off.
"The room is spinning. " Shit . . . is he going to throw up?
"Christian, sit up " He smirks up at me.
"Mrs. Grey, you are a bossy little thing "
"Yes. Do as you re told and sit up. "
I put my hands on my hips. He grins again, struggles up onto his elbows then sits up in a most unChristian-like, gawky fashion. Before he can flop down again, I grab his tie and wrestle him out of his gray jacket, one arm at a time.
"You smell good."
"You smell of hard liquor."
"Yes . . . bour-bon. " He pronounces the syllables with such exaggeration that I have to stifle a giggle. Discarding his jacket on the floor beside me, I make a start on his tie. He rests his hands on my hips.
"I like the feel of this fabric on you, Anastasia," he says, slurring his words.
"You should always be in satin or silk. " He runs his hands up and down my hips then jerks me forward, pressing his mouth against my belly.
"And we have an invader in here". I stop breathing. Holy cow. He s talking to Little Blip.
"You re going to keep me awake, aren't you?" he says to my belly.
Oh my. Christian looks up at me through his long dark lashes, gray eyes blurred and cloudy. My heart constricts.
"You'll choose him over me," he says sadly.
"Christian, you don t know what you re talking about. Don t be ridiculous I am not choosing anyone over anyone. And he might be a she. "
"A she . . . Oh God."
He flops back down on to the bed and covers his eyes with his arm. I have managed to loosen his tie. I bend, undo one shoelace, and yank off his shoe and sock. I make a start on the other and succeed in no time. When I stand, I see why I've met no resistance Christian has passed out completely. He s sound asleep and snoring softly.
I stare at him. He's so goddamned beautiful, even drunk and snoring. His sculptured lips parted, one arm above his head, ruffling his messy hair, his face relaxed. He looks young but then he is young; my young, stressed out, drunk, unhappy husband. The thought lies heavy in my heart. Well, at least he s home. I wonder where he went. I'm not sure I have the energy or the strength to move him or undress him any further. He s on top of the duvet, too. Heading back into the great room, I pick up the duvet I was using and bring it back to our bedroom. He s still fast asleep, still wearing his tie and his belt. I climb onto the bed beside him, loosen his tie further then remove it and gently undo the top button of his shirt. He mumbles something incoherent in his sleep, but he doesn't wake. Carefully, I unbuckle his belt and pull it through the belt loops, and after some difficulty it s off. His shirt has come dislodged from his pants, revealing a hint of his happy trail. I can t resist. I bend and kiss it.
He shifts, flexing his hips forward, but stays asleep. I sit up and gaze at him again. Oh Fifty, Fifty, Fifty . . . what am I going to do with you? I brush my fingers through his hair. It s so soft. I lean down and kiss his temple.
"I love you, Christian. Even when you re drunk and you've been out God knows where, I love you. I'll always love you."
"Hmmm, " he murmurs. I kiss his temple once more, then get off the bed, and cover him up with the spare duvet. I can sleep beside him, sideways across the bed . . . yes, I ll do that.
First I ll sort out his clothes, though. I shake my head and pick up his socks and tie, and fold his jacket over my arm. As I do, his BlackBerry falls to the floor. I pick it up and inadvertently unlock it. It opens on the texts screen. I can see my text, and above it, another. Fuck. My scalp prickles.
*It was good to see you. I understand don't fret. You ll make a wonderful father.*
It s from her. Mrs. Elena Bitch Troll Robinson. Shit. That s where he went. He s been to see her.I gape at the text then look up at the sleeping form of my husband. He s been out until one thirty in the morning drinking with her! He snores softly,sleeping the sleep of a seemingly innocent, oblivious drunk. He looks so serene. Oh no, no, no.
My legs turn to jelly, and I sink slowly to the chair beside the bed in disbelief. Raw, bitter, humiliating betrayal lances through me. How could he? How could he go to her? Scalding, angry tears ooze down my cheeks. His wrath and fear, his need to lash out at me I can understand, and forgive just. But this . . . this treachery is too much. I pull my knees up against my chest and wrap my arms around them, protecting me and protecting my Little Blip. I rock to and fro, weeping softly.
What did I expect? I married this man too quickly. I knew it I knew it would come to this. Why. Why. Why? How could he do this to me? He knows how I feel about that woman. How could he turn to her? How? The knife twists slow and painfully deep in my heart, lacerating me. Will it always be this way? The tears flow, and his prostrate figure blurs and shimmers through my tears. Oh, Christian. I married him because I love him, and deep down I know that he loves me. I know he does. His achingly sweet birthday present comes to mind.
For all our firsts on your first birthday as my beloved wife. I love you. C x No, no, no I can t believe that it will always be this way, two steps forward and three steps back. But that s how it s always been with him. After each setback, we move forward, inch by inch. He will come around . . . he will. But will I? Will I recover from this from this treachery? I think about how he s been this last, horrible, wonderful weekend. His quiet strength while my stepdad lay broken and comatose in the ICU . . . my surprise party, bringing my family and friends together . . . dipping me down low outside the Heathman and kissing me in full public view. Oh, Christian, you strain all my trust, all myfaith . . . and I love you. But it s not just me now. I place my hand on my belly. No, I will not let him do this to me and our Blip. Dr. Flynn said I should give him the benefit of the doubt well, not this time.
I dash the tears from my eyes and wipe my nose with the back of my hand. Christian stirs and rolls over, pulling his legs up from the side of the bed, and curls up beneath the duvet. He stretches out a hand as if searching for something, then grumbles and frowns but settles back to sleep, his arm outstretched. Oh, Fifty. What am I going to do with you? And what the hell were you doing with the Bitch Troll? I need to know. I glance once more at the offending text and quickly hatch a plan.
Taking a deep breath, I forward the text to my BlackBerry. Step one complete. I quickly check the other recent texts, but can only see messages from Elliot, Andrea, Taylor, Ros, and me. None from Elena. Good, I think. I exit the text screen, relieved that he hasn't been texting her, and my heart lurches into my throat. Oh my. The wallpaper on his phone is photograph upon photograph of me, a patchwork of tiny Anastasia's in various poses our honeymoon, our recent weekend sailing and soaring, and a few of Jose's photos, too. When did he do this? It must have been recently. I notice his e-mail icon, and an idea slithers enticingly into my mind . . .
I could read Christian s e-mails. See if he s been talking to her. Should I? Sheathed in jade-green silk, my inner goddess nods emphatically, her mouth set in a scowl. Before I can stop myself, I invade his privacy. There are hundreds and hundreds of e-mails. I spin down through them, and they look dull as ditchwater . . . mostly from Ros, Andrea and me, and various executives in his company. None from Bitch Troll. While I m at it, I m relieved to see there are none from Leila either. One e-mail catches my eye. It s from Barney Sullivan, Christian s IT guy, and the subject line is: Jack Hyde. I glance guiltily at Christian, but he s still snoring gently. I've never heard him snore. I open the email.
From: Barney Sullivan
Subject: Jack Hyde
Date: September 13, 2011 14:09
To: Christian Grey
CCTV around Seattle tracks the white van from South Irving Street. Before that I can find no trace so Hyde must have been based in that area. As Welch has told you the unsub car was rented with a false license by an unknown female, nothing that ties up to the South Irving Street area. Details of known GEH and SIP employees who live in the area are in the attached file, which I have forwarded to Welch, too. There was nothing on Hyde s SIP computer about his former PAs.
As a reminder, here is a list of what was retrieved from Hyde s SIP computer.
Greys Home Addresses:
Five properties in Seattle
Two properties in Detroit
Detailed Resum s for:
Dr. Grace Trevelyan
Newspaper and online articles relating to:
Dr. Grace Trevelyan
Elliot Grey Photographs:
Dr. Grace Trevelyan
I continue my investigation, see what else I can find. B Sullivan Head of IT, GEH. This odd e-mail momentarily sidetracks me from my night of woe. I click on the attachment to check through the names on the list, but it s obviously huge, too big to open on the BlackBerry.
What am I doing? It s late. I've had a tiring day. There are no emails from the Bitch Troll or Leila Williams, and I take some cold comfort from that. I glance quickly at the alarm clock: it s just after two in the morning. Today has been a day of revelations. I am to be a mother, and my husband has been fraternizing with the enemy. Well, let him stew. I am not sleeping here with him he can wake up alone tomorrow.
After placing his BlackBerry on the bedside table, I retrieve my purse from beside the bed and, after one last look at my angelic, sleeping Judas, I leave the bedroom.
The spare playroom key is in its usual place in the cabinet in the utility room. I grab it and scoot upstairs. From the linen closet, I retrieve a pillow, duvet and sheet, then unlock the playroom door and enter, switching the lights to dim. Odd that I find the smell and ambience of this room so comforting, considering I safe worded the last time we were in here. I lock the door behind me, leaving the key in the lock.
I know that tomorrow morning Christian will be frantic to find me, and drag my BlackBerry from my purse. Checking my texts, I find the one from the evil Bitch Troll that I forwarded from Christian's phone. I press Forward and type:
*WOULD YOU LIKE MRS. LINCOLN TO JOIN US WHEN WE EVENTUALLY DISCUSS THIS TEXT SHE SENT TO YOU? IT WILL SAVE YOU RUNNING TO HER AFTERWARD. YOUR WIFE*
I press Send and switch the volume to mute. I huddle under my duvet. For all my bravado, I m overwhelmed by the enormity of Christian s deceit. This should be a happy time jeez, we re going to be parents.
After putting my blackberry into my purse I quietly go to our closet and pull out a black suitcase. Then I pack some clothes. I go into the bathroom and pack my toothbrush and my brush. As soon As I'm finished in the bathroom I walk back into the bedroom and I get my suitcase. Christian looked so peaceful sleeping. As I leave the bedroom i turn out the light. It's so quiet in the apartment. I assume Taylor and are sleeping. I exit the apartment and get into my R8.
After I check into the hotel and put my suitcase down. I climb into the bed. and I started to sob. I couldn't help everything we've been through.. Me leaving and him fighting to get me back,his plane almost crashing,everything with Leila, Him asking me to marry him, everything with Elena, Ray and his accident, everything with jack. And now I'm pregnant. And he ran to the one person I despise the most in this world and tells her something he should have discussed with me.I could understand his need to get out of the apartment to clear his head. I could deal with him going to his mom,dad, or brother, but this. This is just unacceptable. I felt the tears falling from my eyes and soon after I drifted off to sleep.
I wake up uncertain of where I am. Oh yes. I'm at a hotel because My husband went to see Mrs. Robinson the woman who abused him for years. My body aches. I feel so betrayed. So Alone in all of this. But I have to get to work. I have to keep going. After showering and getting dressed I put all my stuff back into my suitcase. I grab my purse and pull out my blackberry. It says I have 7 missed calls. 3 voicemails and 9 texts.
I check the calls first 6 from Christian. 1 from Kate. Oh crap! Christian must have called her when he realized I wasn't there. I check the voicemails next and they're all from christian saying that he's worried. He needs me to call him back. I Check the time and it's 8:00. I need to get to work I don't have time to deal with him right now.
Work was exhausting. I feel like it was just minutes through the day. When I go outside heading to my car to go back to the hotel. Someone is waiting for me. It's Christian.