The next morning, Jess went out with Mia to get her uniform grumbling the whole way after they dropped Harry off at the nursery. It was early in the day and she had only seen Christian in passing, knowing that Ana had left him but she didn't really know the details, and she was in such a mood she hadn't bothered to ask.
The uniform was a grey skirt, white shirt, dark blue tie and a similar colour blazer with a gold crest on the chest. Mia announced that Jess looked like something from Gossip Girl, and Jess simply grumbled in response.
Rather than go to lunch with Mia as planned, Jess asked her to drop her off, saying she wanted to go back to sleep. Harry had been exhausting recently, and she was grateful he was in nursery if she was honest, not able to deal with his constant excitable nature.
Mia dropped her at the bottom of Escala and drove off, leaving Jess with the uniform bags to get the lift up to the apartment. She wasn't aware of the fact Christian wasn't expecting her back for a few hours, putting her headphones in and leaving the bags in the entrance hall, taking her shoes off and padding barefoot through the apartment.
As The Black Keys played into her ears Jess walked into the empty main room, seeing a stack of files on the white coffee table, looking around and seeing that there was no one else around her and she sat down on the sofa, looking at the files with curiosity.
They were grey files with a thick wad of paper in them all. Jess counted sixteen and frowned, looking at the front of them and seeing the neat handwritten notes on them.
'L. Scott' 'E. Lincoln' 'N. Prescott' 'V. Smithson' 'K. Black' … none of the names really rang a bell to Jess but she stopped when she saw a familiar name 'A. Steele'.
Jess knew it was none of her business and she was vastly overstepping a line, but she couldn't help herself from opening Ana's file.
There must have been nearly a hundred sheets of paper in it and Jess flicked through with confusion and intrigue.
There was copies of her birth certificate, high school transcripts, drivers licence, her resume and several other personal and private documents. Frowning, Jess flicked through more pages, coming across a bound domument.
'CONTRACT. Made on this day…'
Eyebrows raised, she continued to flick through the document, feeling bile rise up in her throat.
'The submissive will obey any instructions given by the Dominant immediately without hesitation or reservation…clothing approved by the dominant…soft limits…does the submissive consent to be blindfolded?... Does the submissive consent to be gagged...following forms of pain/punishment/discipline…'.
She felt sick, shocked and disgusted, pulling out her headphones and hearing Christian's footsteps and voice as he headed towards the main room
'Yes, Taylor, I've put them out, I want them all destroyed, all copies are out on the-'.
He stopped and Taylor seemed to disappear from his side, clearly understanding this wasn't the time for him to be around. Christian stared at Jess, his surprise at seeing her in the apartment overshadowed by the horror of seeing her with one of the open files in her hand.
Jess blinked, looking over at Christian. He saw the expression in her eyes and felt sick, it wasn't pity, it wasn't annoyance, it wasn't upset and it wasn't confusion.
It was disappointment.
'Jess…I can explain, I- I'm getting rid of all of these-'.
It clearly didn't placate Jess, her eyes dark.
'I…I know men like you Christian. You treat women like garbage. Just disposable 'things' you can pass around, drop them, click your fingers and have another pretty little girl at your every beck and call'.
He swallowed, mouth dry 'Jess, Jess it's not like that'.
She raised an eyebrow slightly 'oh, isn't it? Do you have them here at your ever beck and call? Do you keep them away from your family and your friends, do you lie about their existence to anyone who asks, are they your dirty little secret?'.
Christian's throat was so dry, he couldn't say anything. There was nothing to say anyway, she was right, that was exactly what all those 'relationships' had been.
'Jess, I'm not…you don't know what this is, men like me-'.
Jess narrowed her eyes slightly 'don't tell me I don't know about men like you Christian, how else do you think I ended up with Harry so young?'.
She stood up, shaking her head 'Jess- please- can we talk about this, it's not what you think'.
She blinked slightly 'it never is, is it?'.
She turned and left the room, slamming the door of her bedroom behind her.
Christian ran after her and tried to bang on the door, talking, shouting and pleading with her, but was rewarded with the sound of the door locking and music being turned right up, drowning him out.
Christian didn't know what to do or say, there was hardly any way to justify what he was doing.
He had been arguing with Ana the night before about the records he had of her, Elena and all his previous subs.
So, he had made sure that he had emptied that filing cabinet and was attempting to rid his Study of everything to do with his subs in a desperate attempt to get Ana back.
With Jess however, he'd seen the expression in her eyes, she would never speak to him the same way again. Lashing out with anger at his own stupidity, Christian stormed off down the hallway and punched the framed image in front of him.
The glass frame smashed and Christian felt the pain ripping through his hand, which was quickly veering in blood.
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