I am happy everyone liked my story I love how Teddy has come out so far. Thank you to dm1990, I must have been so tired trying to write the chapter I over looked that. Not much to say on this chapter but just a note, I do welcome ideas! If anyone has something they think would be fun or interesting to see let me know.
Chapter six: Homecoming
To say life with the Grey's was like living in an alternate universe would be a serious understatement. I had been living with them a week and I was already exhausted. Somewhere between Phoebe's nearly ADHD personality, Christian's refusal to let me refuse any of his gifts (all of which I found extremely expensive and unnecessary) and Ana's need to mother me like a wounded bird I had no more energy.
Don't get me wrong, I was already so attached to the family, and the fact that Teddy lived in the city so I didn't have to deal with his attitude problems fit well with me. Daniel had called twice now to check in on me and I found it quite endearing.
Slowly I looked over at my alarm clock, five am. I still had half an hour before the alarm went off but I was feeling restless. I jumped out of bed and prepared myself for the school day.
Walking into my closet a feeling of nostalgia filled me, this was the one thing I hadn't put up a fight over but I wouldn't dare say out loud how much I loved my closet. Christian would no doubt fill another room in the house with clothes for me if he found out how much I loved the ones I had received.
I pulled on my grey, auburn, and white plaid skirt and a white button up shirt. I pulled out a navy blazer with the school emblem on it and auburn and grey stripped tie and a pair of knee high socks. I styled my curls to my liking and walked out of the room to the kitchen.
Slowly as I crept down the stairs I made sure to look around every corner before proceeding. I held my studded black boots in my hand to ensure I made no noise. When I looked into the kitchen and saw no one I almost jumped up in glee. "I won this one Mrs. Jones" I said dropping my boots at the door and walked in.
"Not this time darling" I screamed and jumped looking back I saw Mrs. Jones walking in holding a grocery bag "The farmer's market had a nice sale one fruit, I thought you would like strawberries on your waffles this morning"
I moaned and slumped onto the counter "Mrs. Jones, I really can make myself breakfast, and lunch, and snacks,…and milkshakes" I started helping her unpack the groceries, she had gotten more than strawberries, there were many fruits here that were almost out of season with the fall almost completely in season.
"Miss Valentine, if I let you do that I would be out of a job" she didn't look up at me as she started the batter for the waffles. This is what my mornings had become, instead of walking throughout a dirty apartment and cleaning I was now trying to beat Mrs. Jones to the kitchen so I could make my own damn breakfast, the woman was good I gave her that.
I laid my head down on the counter in defeat, the sweet smell of home cooked waffles keeping me content with the quietness of the morning before Phoebe was up and running around. Although we were the same age we were so different, that could be why we have come to become so close. The whole opposites attract thing and all.
"Good morning Natalia" I felt a tap of my head, I didn't need to look up to know Christian had walked in the kitchen "lose again?" I grumbled my defeat and heard an almost inaudible chuckle "next time"
I sighed and turned my head to look at him, fully dressed and ready for work as he looked over the paper. Christian Grey was an odd one. He 'bought' me from my father right away when he realized what transpired between us, he never asked anymore about what had previously happened, never asked for anything in return, he showered me with gifts I refused and when I flinched away from other's touches to my shoulders or back he looked at me with an almost knowing look.
He didn't treat me any different then he treats Phoebe and he even helps with Ana when her worrying gets a tad overbearing. Looking at him now I can't help but think if this was how it was supposed to be like if my dad had been different. Would he have cared for me as much as Christian does? Is this what it feels like to have a real father?
He glanced up and met my gaze "yes?" he asked putting the paper down and giving me his undivided attention.
"Thank you" I felt shy and my voice didn't come out as strong as it usually does, his face showed that he was a bit confused so I continued "For everything, taking me in. for not asking any questions. And most of all for being so understanding"
He looked a bit uncomfortable as he took the paper again averting his gaze "It's silly to be thanking me, I simply did what was right" I felt my face drop a bit and lay back down on the table. I knew he wasn't the go to person when you wanted a pep talk, Christian was very blunt. But I still didn't expect his answer to be so blunt as well "But if you must thank me I will accept it"
I smiled now feeling a bit better I decided not to pursue the conversation further. Mrs. Jones put a plate down in front of me and I began to eat in silence with Christian. Phoebe and Ana aren't morning people so this has become quite a morning ritual.
When the food was done I looked to my Iphone for the time, another thing I refused but Christian forced on to me. (He had won this one when he pointed out that if there was ever an emergency there was no way for me to contact everyone and vice versa) it was almost seven…Phoebe was late.
I jumped down from the breakfast island and made my way up to her room.
The first thing I noticed when I got there was that Phoebe was not in her bed, the second was the very potent smell of vomit that was in the room. I made my way to her bathroom and found her blowing chunks into the toilet bowl.
I had to stop for a second and gather myself before I preceded "Phoebe? What's wrong?" she turned to glare at me "ok stupid question, fair enough" I said throwing my hands up in defense. She turned back to the toilet bowl and continued to gag. I reached out and held her hair up and started rubbing her back.
"Do you know what caused this?" she shook her head. I reached over and felt her forehead, it was dripping with sweat and she had a fever. "I'm going to get your dad" I tied her hair into a pony tail and stood to leave but she reached out and stopped me. I looked back and she shook her head "Don't leave me"
I was torn, I couldn't do much to help her and I know Christian or Ana could help her so much better than me, but when she asked like that I couldn't say no. I reached into my pocket and pulled out my cellphone.
Dialing the number that was preset into my phone "Natalia? Why are you calling me from inside the house?" Ana asked "Phoebe is sick" I said rubbing her back "she's tossing cookies left and right up here. I need you or Christian asap"
"I'm coming now" she said and hung up.
Poor Phoebe began gagging some more and I continued to rub her back "It's ok Phoebe, your parents are coming now" she nodded and kept her face in the bowl. "I'm going to get a wash cloth ok?" I didn't wait for an answer as I walked to the sink and took a face cloth and ran it under hot water. Returning to Phoebe I gently pulled her head back and positioned her to face me.
"I'm going to get rid of some of this sweat ok?" she nodded but looked pretty dazed. I began to pat her face with the wash cloth. The door opened and Christian stood in the doorway surveying the situation Ana standing behind him.
"I'm taking her to the hospital" he declared stepping into the bathroom. I stepped back as he took Phoebe into his arms and cradled her to his chest. I followed him and Ana out of the room as he stated making orders "Ana call my mother and let her know I'm coming with Phoebe now, also call my secretary and have her cancel all my appointments for today" Ana nodded and pulled out her cell phone "Natalia, you will go with Reynolds and proceed to school as originally planned"
"Awe man" I mumbled "I want to stay with Phoebe, she is going to get bored without me and I want to make sure she is ok" I complained.
"Did I ask what you wanted to do?" he asked shooting me a quick look over his shoulder. I sighed in defeat "No" he nodded "Good now go meet Reynolds he should be at the car by now, and if you would be so kind as to pick up Phoebe's homework for today"
I nodded and reached over to ruffled Phoebe's hair "see you later Pheebs I will text you all the school day gossip so you don't get too bored" she clasped my hands in hers "you're a life saver!" she managed I giggled and pulled away.
"I'm off then, good bye!" I called Christian gave me a curt nod and Ana a heartwarming smile "have a great day at school honey" she called. A warm feeling filled my chest, having a family, even though they weren't mines, really made me feel whole.
I pulled on my boots and grabbed my bag and headed out the door. As Christian said Reynolds was standing outside the car looking up at the door. I waved and he gave me a questioning glance. "Phoebe is sick so she's staying home today"
"I see" he said opening the back door for me "I hope she feels better" I nodded and stopped before the door "is it okay if I sit in the front? It will feel weird sitting alone in the back" he shrugged, closed the door and walked me around to the other side opening the passenger side door. "Thank you" I jumped into the seat.
Soon we were on our way, it was a good forty five minute drive to school now and that was including morning traffic into Seattle but that was better than the three bus's I was used to so I never complained. Without Phoebe the ride was quiet and that was bothering me. I turned to Reynolds.
"So what's your first name?" I asked and I could see his face take on a look of confusion "Marc"
I nodded "Marc Reynolds" I tried the name out "and how long have you been a driver?"
"I'm not only a driver, I'm in charge of security of you" he adjusted his dark sunglasses "And I have been employed with your family for a little over a week now"
A week? That was how long I was here "you mean you're my personal security?" he nodded "Christian hired you specifically for me?" again he nodded "why would I need someone like you around?"
"The Grey family is well known, you never know what creeps are out there and he wants to make sure you're well protected as a member of the Grey family"
When he said my family I couldn't help but feel a little odd "Their not my family" I said quietly.
"That's not what Mr. Grey said" I didn't expect Reynolds to answer my last statement "When I was hired I was hired to protect his daughter"
His statement shocked me "He said that?" I asked in disbelief Marc only nodded. "So what did you do before you worked for the Grey's" I asked changing the subject.
"I was in the Navy, Navy seals to be precise" I couldn't miss the proud tone of his voice.
"How old are you?" now I was curious he was a navy seal? But he didn't look that much older than me. "Twenty three, ma'am" my jaw dropped "you're only six years older than me?" I was shocked.
"Five years and three months, I turned twenty three in September you turn eighteen in December" he said with a small grin playing at his lips. Now that I got a better look at him Marc Reynolds was quite handsome. He was very clean shaven and his ash blond hair was cropped in a very clean cut. He had almost crystal blue eyes. I felt myself getting carried away in my thoughts and decided to continue the conversation.
"What is there a file on me?" I asked sarcastically. One thing I had come to learn about Christian Grey is that he can get any and all information he wants about a person. I imagine him having a storage room full of information on anyone remotely close to the Grey's all to his disposal.
"Yes" he acted as if it was simple and I could almost catch a hint of annoyance in his voice.
Change of subject. I didn't want to think of what else Christian Grey was capable. "So do you have a family Marc Reynolds?" family…not a good topic. Why would I even go here? I face palmed myself in my head.
"Nope" he popped the p when he spoke. I was curious "Really? No parents? No Kids? No Scary uncle who touched you inappropriately?"
Marc's façade broke now, he let out a gut pulling laugh that I didn't expect, the car even swerved a little. I had to admit it sounded nice and I even giggled a little myself his laughter now becoming infectious. "Your something else you know that?" he asked I giggled again. He didn't seem so uptight now he even seemed more his age "and to answer your question my mother died giving birth to me and my father left me to my grandparents"
That sure put a damper on the mood, I fell silent "well at least you have grandparents, their family right?"
He nodded "yeah they were, when they were alive. I lost them both the same year I turned eight. I was in and out of foster homes until I was eighteen and I joined the navy and now I am put in charge of watching a valuable member of the Grey family" he looked over at me and gave me a quick and barely noticeable smile as if to tell me it was ok.
I still felt bad about prying and kept quiet the rest of the ride. I shouldn't get too nosey about other people or then they might start asking me questions back and those I didn't want to answer.
Soon enough we made it to school, Marc told me he would be waiting for me after school and made me double check to make sure I had his number in my phone before he let me out of the car. Everyone had gotten over the initial shock that I was no longer commuting to school, although no one really asked me any questions I could see them all begging to know why one day I just started to come to school with Phoebe Grey.
I had asked Christian to not let it be too obvious that I was no longer a scholarship student, but that was like asking for the moon. My plain uniform had been upgraded to a blazer, my used books all replaced with brand new ones and I was told I no longer needed to report to community service on Sundays anymore because they were no longer a requirement to keep my scholarship.
I walked into my homeroom checked in with my teacher and headed to the front office for morning announcements. I walked in and picked up my notes about what I needed to touch up on. Looking through them and heading to the small desk wear the camera was I bumped into someone.
I fell back and watched as all my note cards went flying. "Damn!" I cursed scrambling around to pick them up. I stopped when I was looking at a pair of men's dress shoes. I followed them up to a man who looked to be in his forties like Christian. He was just staring down at me and I felt the annoyance build up, I couldn't stop the smart remark back.
"You have a heartbeat, why not put it to use and help me" I rolled my eyes at the man, I expected him to yell or scold me but this guy went totally south and busted out in laughter. Great that's two guys in one day; I should look into being a comedian apparently.
"I'm sorry I should have been watching where I was going" he said kneeling down and helping me pick up the note cards.
I sighed "I'm sorry for being rude" I apologized now feeling guilty "it's just been a rough morning"
He nodded in understanding "well I'm Shawn the new theatrical department administrator" he handed me the cards he had picked up. "Shawn? Shouldn't it be Mr. Shawn? Or Mr…whatever your last name is?"
"I don't like that formal shit, I'm here to look over the department, nothing special so everyone can call me Shawn" he explained
I nodded "I see…well I'm Natalia Valentine" I accepted the cards from him with a smile "I will be seeing you around the school then, I have to get these announcements going" he nodded and allowed me to pass as I made my way to my desk.
I sighed as I went over the next two pages for the yearbook. The computer lab was empty and lunch was about halfway through, I texted Phoebe earlier and told her about the Shawn incident and she texted me back about some play the school was doing. I assumed that was why he was here.
I laid my head against the monitor the football team staring back at me as I did so. Sometimes I wish I didn't have to work this hard. Even though now I really didn't need to I know no one else on yearbook was going to be able to handle all this work load and most of them have other clubs their apart of so I didn't want them to have too much to deal with.
"You've always been like this" a voice said from behind me I felt something cold on my neck and shrieked falling out of my seat. Before I hit the floor I was caught in the ever so resourceful arms of Steven. "Ever since we were kids, taking on the heavier work load" he smiled and waved a can of mello yellow in his hand.
I glared at him as I fixed myself "yeah well I had a lot I needed to work for"
He sighed as he sat next to me "you still need to learn to lighten up" again my glare fixated on him. Not that it affected him or anything Steven had been immune to it for a long time now. "Hey! You were talking about homecoming this morning"
"So you are awake in the mornings" I said sarcastically which earned a tug on one of my curls, I slapped his hand away.
"You really aren't cute" he mumbled "I guess that's why I will take it upon myself to be your escort for homecoming." I stopped typing away at the computer and stared at him "what?" he shrugged "we can let our senior student body president show up without a date. I think it's only my civic duty as captain of the baseball team to be your escort. Plus a lot of guys were thinking of asking you but your too intimidating"
I laughed "too intimidating?"
"Hell yeah" he laughed back "do you see the way you handle the morning announcements? Like a damn pro. Everyone feels like your way too good for us that's why barley anyone approaches you and you have freshman shaking in their socks"
Our laughter filled the computer lab. Steven is always in and out of my life, we've been friends since were kids but I had always pushed him away when it became too personal like I had most of my friends growing up. I kept them all away from my father, but Steven always pushed back and would hate me for pushing him away get over it and we would be friends again. It's been this way since third grade.
"So what do you think?" he asked "be my date for homecoming?"
I smiled "I really wasn't even planning on going" I answered honestly.
"Nat you missed homecoming every year of high school, you can't miss this one" he pulled on my cheeks…this cheek thing is getting old "it's your senior year!"
"Stop!" I yelled trying to pull at his hands but he didn't let go
"Not until you say yes!" he yelled back.
"Fine! Yes!" I gave in but he didn't let up
"Yes what?!" he pushed
"Yes I will go to homecoming with you!" I screamed and almost instantly felt relief "okay I guess I will have to bring you if you beg like that" Steven patted my head "but I hope you know I'm breaking a lot of girls hearts by taking you" he started walking out of the lab and I tossed my notebook at him.
"If Shawn is there that means Vince found out about Grey" a woman spoke into a phone her free hand clenched in a fist "keep her the hell away from Shawn! If he keeps snooping around and finds out about that damn alcoholic no doubt he will try and step in personally" she sighed as she stared out at the New York skyline "this girl had better not inherit her mother's ability to drag my husband out of New York and away from his responsibilities"
"I'll make sure to keep her away from Mr. Callahan" a voice spoke back to her finally
"Why the hell is she even with the Greys to begin with!" the woman yelled "did that drunkard finally die? Or was she taken out of the house because someone reported him?"
"Reported ma'am?" The voice asked
"Child abuse" she scoffed "although if she would have just died in the car accident like a good little girl she wouldn't have to suffer like she did" now the woman seemed to be much more calm "regardless Vincent should be back from lunch email me any more occurrences"
No sooner had she hung up her cell did Vincent come into his office. "Karin? What are you doing here?"
She smiled "can't a wife come visit her husband on her lunch break?"
Things are about to get a little heated for Natalia, no Teddy this chapter which hurt me to write but I wanted you to get a little bit of a better view on her life thus far. I promise he will be in the next one! Let me know what you think!