So, I've always wondered about the lost conversation between Christian and his Dad after his birthday party. Ana hints at it in the beginning of 50 Shades Freed, during the pre-nup scene when they're having breakfast with his family. I've also wondered about what the rest of the breakfast conversation was about so, I will tackle that here as well. There is some changing of POV taking place. The conversation between Christian and Carrick is told from Christian's POV.
Chapter 1: Hearts and Flowers
I'm sprawled, naked, across Christian's chest. We're lying on one of the couches in the boathouse on the grounds of the Grey family home. Dreamily, I let my eyes wander slowly around the small space, taking in the beautiful meadow flowers and the enchanting twinkling lights as I remember Christian's sweet proposal just two hours before. Reflexively, I lift my left hand to examine the large, oval diamond ring that he slipped onto my finger when I said 'yes.' It is breathtakingly beautiful. Hearts and flowers, indeed. Who knew my Fifty could be so heart-stoppingly romantic. We've just decided to have the wedding here at his folk's place and Christian says his mother will be thrilled. I hope he's right.
Christian's arms tighten around me. "Shall we sleep here or do you want to go back to my room?" His deep voice is soft as silk.
"We're spending the night here," I ask in surprise.
"Yes. I forgot to tell you. My mother wants to have a family breakfast in the morning. I believe Elliot and Kate are staying too. I had Taylor pack us an overnight bag; it's still in the car."
I smile at the thought of Taylor rooting through my underwear drawer and packing clothes for me again. It's a wonder I can look that man in the eye.
"Well then," I reply, lifting my head from Christian's chest to gaze up at him with a small smile, "by all means, Mr. Grey, let's go to bed."
"Excellent choice, Miss Steele," he smiles down at me.
We dress slowly as we put our party clothes back on, as if neither of us wants this special encounter to come to an end. Finally, I give a last look around at the lovely decorations as Christian takes my hand to lead me down the stairs of the boathouse. "Come."
After walking around to the front of the house to retrieve our bag from the trunk of the R8, we walk hand in hand back to the house and enter through the front door. The house is dark and quiet now that all of the guests have gone and his family have headed up to bed. Idly I wonder what time it is and how Grace is doing. She was so upset earlier this evening after finding out about Christian and Elena Bitch Troll Lincoln. I can't blame her for being upset; I'm sure it came as quite a shock for her. At least she doesn't know all the gory details. That's something to be grateful for.
Christian wraps his arm around my waist and pulls me close as we head to the staircase. We're just about to ascend the steps when we hear, "Christian?"
Turning, we see Christian's dad standing in the doorway of his study beside the the staircase.
"Dad," Christian says, his voice registering his surprise. "We thought everyone had gone to bed."
"I've been waiting for you to come back inside," Carrick responds gruffly. "I want to talk to you." His voice and his expression are full of consternation. He is obviously upset about something. He tears his lethal gaze from Christian to look at me and both his eyes and his voice soften measurably. "Anastasia dear, would you mind giving us a few moments alone?"
I glance at Christian questioningly and feel his whole body stiffen as his arm tightens around me. His mouth sets into a hard thin line. "You know what Dad, if this is about Elena, whatever you have to say, you can say in front of Ana. She knows everything."
I look up at Christian thoroughly surprised. Do I know everything? No, I don't think I do. Granted, I know more of the details than either Grace or Carrick, and really … they don't need those details in their heads. But I'm certain I don't know everything.
Carrick's eyebrows shoot up in surprise at Christian's outburst, but he recovers quickly. He frowns at Christian and his consternation is back. "This is about more than just Elena, son."
They stand glowering at each other for a moment. Then reluctantly, Christian turns and looks down at me. "I won't be long, baby." He hands me our overnight bag and I turn to head up the stairs.
"And Ana, dear?"
I stop on the bottom step and turn back to look at Carrick. He is looking at me with a warm, genuine smile that touches his eyes. "Welcome to the family," he says sweetly.
Taken aback by his sudden kindness, I smile shyly at him and glance back at Christian. He gives me a slow smile and a wink and my insides flutter as I blush slightly. "Thank you," I say looking back at Carrick before I turn and head up the stairs to Christian's childhood bedroom, wondering about their coming confrontation and hoping that Christian is able to control his temper.