I was running. Fast.
Running away from him.
"Ana!" He shouted after me. I couldn't stop, I had to keep going. I continued running until I came across a small bunker, just by some trees. I hid behind that and held my breath.
"Ana..I know you're here somewhere." He shouted. Shit. He was near. I closed my eyes and prayed that he would look somewhere else, just so I could run back to the house.
"Ana, seriously. This game sucks now. I'm bored and hungry!" He whined. Typical Christian.
I rolled my eyes and stood up, showing myself, giving away my place of refuge.
I frowned at him. He smiled, his grey eyes crinkling at the corners. No. Don't smile at me.
"Let's get back. Our mom's will be looking for us." He muttered as he took my hand and pulled me along side him. I sighed deeply and bit down on my bottom lip. I looked down at my scuffed shoes and frowned again, my mom will kill me. These were just new.
As we came to the house, Christian stopped, looked through the window and frowned at Elliot who was playing the piano.
"What's wrong?" I asked quietly, following his line of sight. He shook his head and pulled me inside. I glanced at Elliot and gave him a small smile. He returned it with a big childish grin. Christian let go of my hand and wandered into the kitchen where our moms were sitting, gossiping over a coffee.
"Ana!" My mother exclaimed, taking in my dirty appearance. "What in Jesus' name were you doing?" She demanded as she wiped muck from my cheek.
I glanced at Christian, who was staring down at the tiled floor, mouth shut.
"We were..playing Hide and Seek." I told her softly.
Mrs Grey looked at her son and sighed, "Christian..why didn't you ask Mia to join you?" She asked softly, bending down to look at her son. Christian wriggled away from her and my heart stung. He remained silent, gazing down at the floor.
"We came back...Christian said he was hungry." I told his mom. She looked at me, her eyes slightly wide before she nodded and hurried to the cupboard for something for her son.
My mom grabbed my arm and sighed, "Well we best be getting home, Ana." She mumbled.
I never understood why Christian never spoke to his family. He was like a tortured soul in that way. Never speaking. Always quiet. Always observing.
"You're eight, Ana. You're far too old to be playing Hide and Seek." My mother told me during the car journey home. I rolled my eyes, I can do whatever I want. I had fun, wasn't that all that mattered? Christian's thirteen and he was still playing it ; I wanted to say that, but for fear of a slap across the jaw, I shut my mouth.
During Summer Vacation, I would sit in my room sometimes. I would read. A lot.
My mom didn't really have the money for the latest things kids wanted and I was fine with that. I wasn't spoiled.
Not for an eight year old anyway.
Sometimes I'd go to Christian's house. We'd play Hide and Seek, Tag and on rare occasions he'd play the piano for me. For a thirteen year old, he was incredibly talented.
His little sister Mia would sometimes include herself in our antics. She was a very hyperactive child and Christian adored her. His mood would instantly brighten whenever she was there. It was adorable.
"Ana...I think you should maybe try and make some friends at your school." Christian had said to me, on the last day of Vacation.
I frowned. He knew what I thought of the people there, what the said.
"Why? They're all so mean." I mumbled sadly.
"Just try!" He ordered. I flinched. He was scary sometimes.
"Ana Banana!" Their shrill voices broke my train of thought. I looked up to see my only two friends grinning at me.
It was my tenth birthday and I was having a slumber party. Even though there were only three of us, it was still fun.
I took Christian's advice and made new friends. They welcomed me with open arms.
I hadn't seen Christian in a few months. He promised he'd come and see me for my birthday. He never showed. My mom told me he had gotten a job and that was keeping him busy. I missed him.
The Grey's were having a dinner party. My mom, Ray (husband number two) and myself were invited. My mother dressed me in one of my many dresses. God, it was hideous. I'd rather have went in my jeans.
"Best behaviour." She warned as we walked up the steps to the Grey's front door. I nodded absentmindedly. I wondered if Christian would talk to me.
I bit my lip and took a deep breath as Mr Grey opened the door, "Hello!" He beamed as he moved so we could enter their elaborate and massive house.
We made our way to the dining area where everyone was standing around, talking and laughing. I noticed Mia and Elliot...but no Christian. I couldn't keep the disapointed frown from showing on my face.
"W-Where's Christian?" I asked Mr Grey quietly.
He looked down at me and smiled, "Mrs Lincoln had some extra work for him to do."
Mrs Lincoln? Was she who he was working for? I made a face. I didn't like it. All he did was work. It wasn't like him to miss a family event.
As we left the Grey's, I took a minute to admire their garden. It was huge. I looked to the trees and frowned when I noticed Christian walking over. Stupid boy. I followed my mom down the steps and over to the car.
"Ana!" He called to me. I sighed and turned around, he looked tired...but he looked well.
"You were working..." I stated quietly, biting my lip.
He nodded, "Yeah, sorry. And sorry about your birthday, I'll make it up to you and stop biting you lip." He mumbled.
I nodded slowly, "Okay." I whispered.
He smiled, "I'll come see you tomorrow. I promise!" He hugged me before he jogged to his door.
Tomorrow. Tomorrow came and went. He didn't show. It hurt. I'll admit.
He promised. I grabbed the phone from the lounge and dialled his number.
Oh yes. He was working. Always working.
I was twelve now.
Christian was seventeen.
We hadn't seen each other in so long. He kept breaking his promises. He was never there at the family events. He was always working.
I made my way to his house, mentally preparing myself for my talk with him.
Mrs Grey answered the door, "Ana, Christian is at work sweetie." Of course he fucking was!
I nodded and turned away, going back the way I had came. I wandered across the street until I saw him, exiting a house.
"Christian!" I shouted, running over to him.
"Go away, Ana." He mumbled, running a hand through his messy hair. He was slightly breathless.
I frowned, "We haven't seen each other in so long...you're always working." I told him. I wanted to work this out.
"Leave Ana. I don't want to see you." He hissed, turning to me. Oh my. His eyes were dark and angry.
"Why?" I whispered. What had happened?
"I just don't, okay? We haven't seen each other in so long because I've been busy being a teenager! Christ, Ana! I'm not your fucking babysitter." He growled, "The only reason I was ever friends with you was because you had no one. I felt bad for you, okay? But if I knew how clingy you would get I never would have bothered." He shook his head and began to walk away.
"Is it her?" I asked, following him. I refused to believe him. I wasn't some niave twelve year old. I was smart.
"Don't you dare speak about her." He snapped.
I frowned, "It is her! Is she making you work too much? Tell me!" I pleaded.
"Ana," He said slowly, "Mrs Lincoln is...different." He whispered.
"Just different. She's...domineering." He mumbled.
I frowned, I didn't really know what that word meant, but okay.
"Please, Ana. Just fuck off." He told me before he started sprinting back home.
I stood there, my eyes watering. I thought he was my friend. I watched his retreating figure until he was no longer in sight.
"I got it! I finally got it!" Kate squealed as she rushed into the apartment.
"What?" José and I said in unison. We looked at each other and laughed.
"The interview!" She grinned and sat down beside us. I fell silent. "You know? The one about Grey Enterprising? With the one and only Mr Christian Grey, CEO." She grinned.