I can hear a faint beep sound. I open my eyes and the light is dimmed. On my right arm, the IV tube is connected to my arm and drips were flowing through it. Grace (I have decided to call Grace and Carrick with their name as I have received some reviews asking me not to call them Aunty and Uncle… it is difficult for my Ana though J) is writing something on my chart. I clear my throat and Grace immediately looked up at me and smiled.
'Hi dear… how are you feeling?'
'Horrible' my voice is hoarse and cracked.
'You will feel better… you passed out at ESCALA while Gail and Christian tried to clean your cut…'
Oh dear… does Grace knows about Christian's ex sub? What story has he told her … before my thoughts run wild, Grace filled me in.
'She has been handover to the police. Funny.. a girl would want to break in and claim that Christian was her boyfriend. Christian said you were very lucky to be unharmed. Apparently the bullet missed you very narrowly but hit the posters which were behind you and the glass pieces from the frame few and cut you. Some glass pieces were still intact. I have removed and cleaned your wound. Did you eat anything last night?'
'No… I went to temple and returned home about 9.45… that is the time I walked in. I remember Christian carrying me to the room but don't remember being cut buy glass pieces. I vaguely remember the gun shoot. Gail brought first aid and then I don't remember anything.' I fill Grace with my story without giving away anything about Leila the ex-sub.
'You passed out darling… your blood pressure was extremely low. Nothing to worry. You are on IV but do you want to eat anything?'
'Where is Christian?'
'I have to force him to go and get some sleep and I promised him that you will be awake when he returns in the morning… and... It is about time..'
'Anastasia!' Christian slams the door open… looking fresh and handsome as usual. Grace was smiling away.
'Christian….' And I turn to Grace to ask, 'What time is it?'
'It is eight in the morning. You were out the whole night.' Grace filled me in.
'Are you hungry? Can she eat something mom?'
'Nothing heavy. She is still on her drips.'
'What do you want Anastasia?'
'Can I just have some soup?'
Christian pulls out his blackberry and punches a number… 'Taylor… Anastasia wants Chicken soup.' And he chucks the phone into his pocket and sits beside me.
'How are you feeling?'
'I am good… what happened?'
Christian turns to look at Grace and she smiled and said, 'Ok.. I have other patients to look at. I will see you later.' Grace closed the door after her.
'Anastasia… I am sorry for what happened.'
'It is not your fault Christian…'
'You passed out when I was cleaning your wound. I panicked and called my mother. She asked me to bring you to the hospital. She checked your pulse and stuff and said that your pressure is very low. I was here until 5 am waiting for you to wake up. Mom forced me to get some sleep at home but I just couldn't sleep… I came back as soon as I could.'
'You did not tell her about Leila?'
'No… did you?'
'No… I was not sure what you told Grace.. she said a lady thief… and I assumed you did not say anything about Leila… or ex-sub'
'I am sorry Ana… I can't tell my mom about my old lifestyle… she will break into pieces.'
'I understand. What happen to Leila?'
'Taylor was adamant to hand over her to the police. I feel she needs psychiatrist help but Taylor lost it after you were hurt. He and Sawyer got the police to take her away. The detective will be here in the afternoon to take your statement.'
'But what if she talks to anyone about your past relationship with her…. Won't that be damaging to your social life?'
'No one will believe her… the police doctor feels that she is under depression and they are not buying her story. She took such a great risk to break in and that is good enough to justify that she is not in her right set of mind. All this will pass. I was so worried when I saw your arm bleeding.'
'That is nothing. It is not painful.' I touched my forearm which is now band aided but it is not painful. Taylor walks in with a try of thermos and some bowls.
'Ms Steele… how are you feeling?'
'It's Ana… I am good. Have you got any rest?'
'I did. Here is the chicken soup.'
'Thanks Taylor…' Christian rises and takes the tray from Taylor and places it on the bed table. He pours the chicken soup into the bowl and fills a basket with garlic bread. The aroma of the chicken soup makes my stomach growls and it was loud enough for Christian to hear it. He chuckles.
'You are very hungry missy…'
'Yes… ' and I started eating what is in front of me. I eat without saying a single word… and Christian was just watching me … 'What?' I asked with full mouth and he just shakes his head.
'You look cute while eating…'
'Yeah right… '
After popping the last bread into my mouth, I took a glass of plain water and I feel stuffed.
'Has GEH issued the statement?'
'Yes… it is in all the newspapers. So technically you are with me and the whole world knows it. I believe the news has reached India because I checked with your mother about it and she confirmed that the press release extraction is published there.'
'That is good… we won't have anyone tailing us anymore.'
'I think your mother feels pretty happy with it… as I made it public that you are mine.'
'Hey Mister… I don't belong to anyone…' but I am smiling feeling happy that Christian is mine and I am his. Who would have thought that a girl… born in America… raised in India and returned to US for higher study and wanted to be an editor ends up being a multi billionaire's girlfriend and has nothing to worry about.
'Fine… you don't belong to anyone.. but me!'
'That will never change... it is a second nature to me.'
'When can I go back?'
'Afternoon. I have checked with my mother. She said you can leave if you are fine and I can see that you are fine.'
Grace checks my vitals just before noon and allowed me to leave. We left the hospital through the back entrance. The paparazzi were camping outside the hospital when they saw Christian's SUV. Taylor decided to leave the SUV at the parking lot to give illusion that we are still in the hospital. We escaped the hospital in the A6.
'Ana… I have purchased SIP.'
I turn and look at Christian surprised.
'Expansion. I started the takeover about over a month ago and now everything has materialized. I am the sole owner of SIP.'
'Why didn't you tell me when I told you I have got a job offer at SIP?'
'I was still fine tuning some of the details. Still at 50 – 50 stage.'
'I see.. at least you could have told me about it when I started work.'
'I wanted to but so much happened since they sacked you.'
'I know…' my arm is stinging slightly.
We reached ESCALA and head straight to the garage. Taylor is shadowing us where ever we go. He doesn't leave us even for a second since Leila's incident.
'Mrs Jones!' I greet her as I walk in to the apartment. Gail is at the big room arranging a vase of roses.
'Hi … How are you doing Ana?'
'I have made some vegetable soup and bread. Do you want some?'
'Yes… but let me change first. I feel yucky' I wink at her. Christian is just standing and smiling at our conversation.
I walk back to our room with Christian.
'Anastasia… how are you feeling?'
'I am fine..' I replied sweetly.
'Honestly… I am really fine.' After few moments of silence, 'Christian, I want to call my mother.'
'By all means with Ana…. Why are you asking in the first place? I never stopped you from speaking to your mother.'
My eyes started to tear. All these drama has taken a toll on me and I feel that I am cracking. I need to speak to my mother.
'Ana… baby…. What is wrong? Why are you crying?'
'I just feel down… I just want to get away from all this. My life has been full of drama since I met you…. I am not sure if I can carry on like this.'
'Anastasia… are you leaving me?' Christian whispers.
'No… I am just tired…'
Christian holds my shoulder and looks straight at my face, 'Anastasia… you can't leave me… I will be lost… I know how it is if you are not with me and I can't take it. I can't go there again…'
'I am not leaving you Christian… I just need a break.'
Christian drops on his knees and kneels down in front of me.
'Christian…' I too join him on the floor.
'Anastasia… I can't imagine my life without you. I need you… you are my life line. I know how it is if you walk out and I will die if it happens again.' I can hear the sincerity in his voice. He is now holding both my hands close to his heart... I can feel his heart racing. My tears are free flow.
'Do you know that my life was peaceful and quiet before you popped up from nowhere? You have thrown my life upside down after you walked in… '
'Anastasia…. You were like a tornado in my life… you threw my controlled life out of the window the moment you walked in for the interview… I have been head over heels and you brought out feelings that I never felt before.'
I just can't find a word to reply…. My mind is blank. Christian takes a deep breath.
'Anastasia…. Marry me.'
Huh! What? Now my mind is racing… what is he talking about?
'Christian… I am not going anywhere…. '
'Anastasia… marry me… that is the only way I will be assured you won't leave me no matter what happens.'
'Christian! You are saying this because you are afraid…. Trust me… I won't leave.. I am not going anywhere.'
'Ana… please…' I just sat there staring at him… feeling his insecurities, fear, uncertainties, he look lost.
'Christian… I need time to think about this. I barely know you…'
'I have known you enough… '
'That is not the point Christian. You are saying…'
'I know why I am saying this… please… be my wife…' I remained silent.
'You are the first woman I took to my bed…first one to meet my mother, my family… the first woman who I fell in love with… the first woman I will do anything for… the first and the last woman I want in my life… I want you to be part of me…'
'I don't know what to say….' I whisper…
'Please say yes….'
'This is so sudden…'
'Ana.. please…' Christian is pleading now. He looks so…. Child like.
'Christian… this is a very big decision… I need time.' Christian still looks at me.. his eyes are pleading.
'Christian.. I will answer you when I am ready…'
Christian lets a huge sigh. 'Fine… One day…'
'No… I will let you know whe ready.'
'Ana… don't push… I am hanging on a thin thread here… If I fall.. it is 30 floors down… I won't survive…'
'You will… ' I kiss his forehead and continued, 'Can we get up? My knees are aching… I am not use to this kind of punishment you know…'
Christian smiles and pulls me up. He embraced me in a big hug and whispers… 'Please be my wife…'
'I will let you know' I whisper back.