Ana sat upright at the table. A glass of water sat next to her left hand, and a manila folder sat directly in front of her. Her phone buzzed from inside her purse, which she had resting on her lap.
"Yes? Really? Good. About how much longer would you say till he's here? Really? That soon? I thought that you were going to give me more of a warning. No, I understand, he's a hard man to keep track of." She smiled sadly as she said this last sentence. A few weeks ago she had no idea how true that statement was. "Thank you for your help, Andrea. I wish you all the best. Goodbye."
Ana ended her call with her husband's P.A. The woman had grown on her through the years; her intimidation with having such a beautiful woman working so closely with her husband diminishing with many trips to Christian's office. Andrea was always so sweet to Ana, even minding Teddy when he was very small (before he became mobile) so she and her husband could enjoy a peaceful lunch together (and maybe a few less peaceful activities, involving Christian's desk and Ana's skirt hiked up around her waist.)
Without Andrea, she might not be aware of her husband's… extra-curricular activities. It was roughly three weeks ago when she called Christian's office, late in the evening, just before Andrea was leaving for the day. Her husband wasn't answering his phone, and Teddy, the love of his parent's life, had taken a tumble after rushing down the marble stairs leading to the front walk. He was okay, but the first time mother was taking no chances after seeing her little boy's head hit the stone walkway, and was taking him to the E.R. Sawyer was behind the wheel and a distraught Ana was keeping a keen eye on her son in his car seat, looking for any signs of abnormal behavior. The young boy had quite a goose egg on the left side of his head, and his eye were puffy from many shed tears, but his sniffles were slowly easing and he was well on the way to recovery.
"Christian Grey's office, Andrea speakin. How may I help you?"
"Andrea, it's Ana, please get Christian on the line. Tell him it's an emergency."
"Mrs. Grey, Christian hasn't been back since he left for lunch. It's Tuesday."
"Yes, Tuesday, the night he works late. He's not answering his cell, Andrea, and Teddy's taken a spill down the front steps. I'm taking him to get checked over."
Andrea was silent for several beats. "Andrea, please! I know that no matter what he's doing, he wants to hear about this!"
Of course, she had to face the fact that she was wrong about that. Very wrong indeed. The last thing on Christian's mind that Tuesday, and apparently every Tuesday for the last four months, was his family.
Andrea told Ana that Christian had let his staff know that on Tuesdays after 1:00 pm, he was to be considered inaccessible, presumably to spend time with his family, and Ros was to be notified of any issues that might arise in his stead.
This most definitely did not mesh with the story that Christian had told Ana; that Tuesday was his designated day to stay late and take care of any excess paper work that built throughout the week, thus ensuring that he would be home at a reasonable hour every other night of the week.
Everything Ana believed she knew about her life ended with that phone call. She took her son to the Emergency Room, relying on her security guard for support rather than her husband. The name Grey was enough to get immediate service, and it was only after a barrage of tests had been performed on the little man and his mother was about to receive the resulst from a kind faced pediatrician that her husband stormed through the E.R.'s sliding doors, Taylor following closely behind.
"How did you find out we were here?" were the first words of Ana's mouth. Her son's laughter during his examination was enough to tell her that her previous fears were unwarranted, and her focus turned to where he husband was when no one could seem to locate him. Sawyer had been silent the entire time she was attempting to hunt Christian down, only speaking quietly on the phone once, after Ana had given up on finding her missing spouse and resumed checking her son for signs of trauma.
"Taylor" was his one word response. He turned to the Doctor and began a series of questions regarding Teddy's well-being. Ana observed him silently, noting everything. His hair was even wilder than usual, which could be explained with his proclivity towards running his fingers through it when stressed, but what if…?
She was afraid to follow that train of thought, instead continuing with her assessment of her husband's physical state. His pants had an unnatural crease running diagonal across his thigh, as if they had been sitting crumpled somewhere. His collar had lost the stiffness that it had when he started the day, and instead was hanging loose around his neck, with the top two button of his dress shirt undone. There was no sign of the tie he had left the house with.
Then she noticed something that made her gasp, though she tried to cover it up. Christian gave her a quick side glance before resuming his interrogation of the Doctor that had been in charge of his son's examination, listening intently for any signs of incompetence in his responses.
His wedding band was missing.
Ana had already known what truths she would find when she hired the man to follow her husband the next Tuesday afternoon. She found the most expensive P.I. she could find in the phone book, and paid him triple his going rate for his discretion. She gave the man the rundown of Christian's security personnel, and hoped that he would be able to avoid detection long enough to get the proof that she needed. Not that she needed to see the evidence to prove to herself that her suspicions were true. She never mentioned that she noticed that his ring was missing, and the next day when he returned from the office, it was back in place. She could only assume that in his haste to check on Teddy he had neglected to check his appearance as meticulously as must have been his normal routine, to keep his wife in the dark for so long.
The P.I. hand delivered the manila envelope that Ana had in front of her the very next day. It contained photographs of Christian and a young, beautiful brunette eating lunch at one of Ana's favorite restaurants, feeding each other with their hands and engaging in what have must have been some incredibly titillating conversation, given the looks of lust that they were throwing across that table. They were followed by more pictures of the couple out on the town together; at the market picking up fresh ingredients for a meal, at the high end liquor store selecting a wine, and finally in a passionate embrace outside of Escala, before walking in through the front lobby after enjoying a midafternoon stroll. The sight of Taylor in the background of several of the photographs showed Ana just how far the treachery extended. She spent more time with her guards that she did with her husband most days, and to learn that everyone in her inner-circle; all of those people that she saw every day must know what Christian was up to tore her to the quick.
She had no one that she could confide in. Her best friend was married to Christian's brother, and she couldn't ask Kate to keep this from Elliot indefinitely until she figured out how to proceed.
Her friend wouldn't be in the dark for too much longer, and Ana had a feeling that Kate would give her overwhelming approval of how Ana had decided to handle the situation.
For one week, she did nothing but bury every emotion, waiting to see what was going to happen next. On the following Tuesday she waited outside of GEH's offices herself, security be damned. She knew that they know she was there, and not a one of them said a single word to her. Nor to Christian, it seemed, as he met with the woman again, this time greeting her right outside of the front door of his company's headquarters with a quick kiss, and opening the door to the Audi that Taylor had parked in front of the building for him. Taylor handed him the keys to the vehicle as they passed each other, and Christian got in the driver's seat and took off into traffic.
Ana's intention had been to follow them, but she no longer thought that she could drive safely. Her hands were shaking on the wheel, and her breathing was becoming more erratic. She was oblivious to Taylor crossing traffic and making his way to her car until her was outside her door, motioning for her to unlock it. She slid her left hand slowly off of the wheel and hit the button on the door, and Taylor opened it, crouching down and getting into position to look Ana in the face.
"Mrs. Grey? Mrs. Grey? Look at me, please." Ana slowly turned her head, still seeing nothing but her husband wrapping he arms around another woman. "Mrs. Grey, Ana, please pay attention. I need you to get into the backseat. I'm going to take you home."
She moved her legs slowly to the asphalt, and Taylor assisted her into the back of the car. She could hear him on the phone during the drive, but nothing he was saying registered in her mind. When they pulled up to the front of the house that she shared with her family, and their extensive staff, Gail was waiting at the foot of the walk to assist Ana inside the house. Gail hadn't a single word of comfort to give the distraught young mother and wife. She knew what was happening; everyone in Christian's employ did, at least those that made up the security team and the household staff. She had known that it would come to this, but she couldn't convince Taylor to break the silence that the staff held regarding their employers recent activities. Taylor had asked Gail herself not to speak to Ana, stating that to do so would be to cross the lines between employee and friend. He knew that everything would come out eventually, and he wanted to have nothing to do with the reveal when it finally happened. He had, however, alerted Gail to what had taken place that afternoon, and prepared her to take care of a near-comatose young lady.
It took two days for Ana to break herself out of her daze, during which time Gail tended to Teddy's need for love and affection; Ana being unable to provide anything beyond the immediate necessities. Christian himself was oblivious to any change in his wife, spending the majority of his time at home in his home office and only emerging to eat and sleep.
On the third day, Ana "woke up", and she knew exactly what she had to do.
E. L. James own the Fifty Shades Trilogy.
I hope that everyone can handle another cheat fic. I'm going to let writing this exorcise all the demons that have been haunting me since they first started cropping up. I hope you enjoy it.