Prologue:

He's come back. Mommy's asleep or she's sick again.

Mommy! Mommy! Mommy is asleep on the floor. She has been asleep for a long time. I brush her hair because she likes that. She doesn't wake up. I shake her. Mommy! My tummy hurts. It is hungry. He isn't here. I am thirsty. In the kitchen I pull a chair to the sink, and I have a drink. The water splashes over my blue sweater.

Mommy is still asleep. Mommy, wake up! She lies still. She is cold.

I fetch my blankie, and I cover Mommy, and I lie down on the sticky green rug beside her.

Mommy is still asleep. I have two toy cars. They race by the floor where Mommy is sleeping. I think Mommy is sick. I search for something to eat. In the freezer I find peas. They are cold. I eat them slowly. They make my tummy hurt. sleep beside Mommy. The peas are gone. In the freezer is something. It smells funny. I lick it and my tongue is stuck to it. I eat it slowly. It tastes nasty. I drink some water. I play with my cars, and I sleep beside Mommy. Mommy is so cold, and she won't wake up. The door crashes open. I cover Mommy with my blankie .

I hide and curl up small under the table in the kitchen. Through my fingers I can see Mommy.
She is asleep on the couch. Her hand is on the sticky green rug, and he's wearing his big boots
with the shiny buckle and standing over Mommy shouting.
He hits Mommy with a belt. Get up! Get up! You are one fucked-up bitch. You are one fuckedup
bitch. You are one fucked-up bitch. You are one fucked-up bitch. You are one fucked-up
bitch. You are one fucked-up bitch.
Mommy makes a sobbing noise. Stop. Please stop. Mommy doesn't scream. Mommy curls up
small.
I have my fingers in my ears, and I close my eyes. The sound stops.
He turns and I can see his boots as he stomps into the kitchen. He still has the belt. He is trying
to find me. He stoops down and grins. He smells nasty. Of cigarettes and drink. There you are, you little
shit. He kicks me, and I hit my head on the floor. My head hurts. He calls somebody and he goes. He locks the door. I lay down beside Mommy. My head hurts.

The lady policeman is here. No. No. No. Don't touch me. Don't touch me. Don't touch me. I stay by Mommy. No. Stay away from me. The lady policeman has my blankie, and she grabs me. I scream. Mommy! Mommy! I want my Mommy. The words are gone. I can't say the words.

Mommy can't hear me. I have no words.

"Christian! Christian!" Her voice is urgent, pulling him from the depths of his nightmare, the depths of his despair. "I'm here. I'm here." He wakes and she's leaning over him, grasping his shoulders, shaking him, her face etched with anguish, blue eyes wide and brimming with tears.

"Ana," His voice is a breathless whisper, the taste of fear tarnishing his mouth. "You're here."

"I know. I'm here, I'm here."

"Ana." He breathes her name, and it's a talisman against the black choking panic coursing through his body.

"Hush, I'm here." She curls around him, her limbs cocooning him, her warmth leeching into his body, forcing back the shadows, forcing back the fear.

She is sunshine, she is light . . . she is his.


So My Story starts from here:

"Let go… no... " And I find myself struggling out his grasp, pushing him away. Fighting him.

"Don't touch me!" I hiss. I straighten and stare at him, and he's watching me as if I might bolt, gray eyes wide, bemused. I dash the tears angrily out of my eyes with the backs of my hands, glaring at him.

"This is what you really like? Me, like this?" I use the sleeve of the bathrobe to wipe my nose.

He gazes at me warily.

"Well, you are one fucked-up son of a bitch."

"Ana," he pleads, shocked.

"Don't you dare, Ana me! You need to sort your shit out, Grey!" And with that, I turn stiffly, and I walk out of the playroom, closing the door quietly behind me.

I clasp the door handle behind me and briefly lean back against the door. Where to go? Do I run? Do I stay? I am so mad, angry scalding tears spill down my cheeks, and I brush them furiously aside. I just want to curl up. Curl up and recuperate in some way. Heal my shattered faith. How could I have been so stupid? Of course it hurts.

Tentatively, I rub my backside. Aah! It's sore. Where to go? Not his room. My room, or the room that will be mine, no, is mine… was mine. This is why he wanted me to keep it. He knew I would need distance from him.

I launch myself stiffly in that direction, conscious that Christian may follow me. It is still dark in the bedroom, dawn only a whisper in the skyline. I climb awkwardly into bed, careful not to sit on my aching and tender backside. I keep the bathrobe on, wrapping it around me, and curl up and really let go – sobbing hard into my pillow.

What was I thinking? Why did I let him do that to me? I wanted the dark, to explore how bad it could be – but it's too dark for me. I cannot do this. Yet, this is what he does, this is how he gets his kicks.

What a monumental wake-up call. And to be fair to him, he warned me and warned me, time and again. He's not normal. He has needs that I cannot fulfill. I realize that now. I don't want him to hit me like that again, ever. I think of the couple of times he has hit me, and how easy he was on me by comparison. Is that enough for him? I sob harder into the pillow. I am going to lose him. He won't want to be with me if I can't give him this. Why, why, why have I fallen in love with Fifty Shades? Why? Why can't I love José, or Paul Clayton, or someone like me?

Oh, his distraught look as I left. I was so cruel, so shocked by the savagery… will he forgive me… will I forgive him? My thoughts are all haywire and jumbled, echoing and bouncing off the inside of my skull. My subconscious is shaking her head sadly, and my inner goddess is nowhere to be seen. Oh, this is a dark morning of the soul for me. I'm so alone. I want my Mom. I remember her parting words at the airport,

Follow your heart, darling, and please, please – try not to over-think things. Relax and enjoy. You are so young, sweetheart, you have so much to experience, just let it happen. You deserve the best of everything.

I did follow my heart, and I have a sore ass and an anguished, broken spirit to show for it. I have to go. That's it… I have to leave. He's no good for me, and I am no good for him. How can we possibly make this work? And the thought of not seeing him again practically chokes me… my Fifty Shades.

I hear the door click open. Oh no – he's here. He puts something down on the bedside table, and the bed shifts under his weight as he climbs in behind me.

"Hush," he breathes, and I want to pull away from him, move to the other side of the bed, but I'm paralyzed. I cannot move and lie stiffly, not yielding at all. "Don't fight me, Ana, please," he whispers. Gently, he pulls me into his arms, burying his nose in my hair, kissing my neck.

"Don't hate me," he breathes softly against my skin, his voice achingly sad. My heart clenches anew and releases a fresh wave of silent sobbing. He continues to kiss me softly, tenderly, but I remain aloof and wary.

We lie together like this, neither saying anything for ages. He just holds me, and very gradually, I relax and stop crying. Dawn comes and goes, and the soft light gets brighter as morning moves on, and still we lie quietly.

"I bought you some Advil and some arnica cream," he says after a long while.

I turn very slowly in his arms so I can face him. I am resting my head on his arm. His eyes are flinty gray and guarded.

I gaze at his beautiful face. He's giving nothing away, but he keeps his eyes on mine, hardly blinking. Oh, he is so breathtakingly good-looking. In such a short time, he's become so, so dear to me. Reaching up, I caress his cheek and run the tips of my fingers through his stubble. He closes his eyes and exhales slightly.

"I'm sorry," I whisper.

He opens his eyes and looks at me puzzled.

"What for?"

"What I said."

"You didn't tell me anything I didn't know." And his eyes soften with relief. "I am sorry I hurt you."

I shrug.

"I asked for it." And now I know. I swallow. Here goes. I need to say my piece. "I don't think I can be everything you want me to be," I whisper. His eyes widen slightly, and he blinks, his fearful expression returning.

"You are everything I want you to be."

What?

"I don't understand. I'm not obedient, and you can be as sure as hell I'm not going to let you do that to me again. And that's what you need, you said so."

He closes his eyes again, and I can see a myriad of emotions cross his face. When he reopens them, his expression is bleak. Oh no.

"You're right. I should let you go. I am no good for you."

My scalp prickles as every single hair follicle on my body stands to attention, and the world falls away from me, leaving a wide, yawning abyss for me to fall into. Oh no.

"I don't want to go," I whisper. Fuck – this is it. Pay or play. Tears swim in my eyes once more.

"I don't want you to go either," he whispers, his voice raw. He reaches up and gently strokes my cheek and wipes away a falling tear with his thumb. "I've come alive since I met you." His thumb traces the contours of my lower lip.

"Me too," I whisper, "I've fallen in love with you, Christian."

His eyes widen again, but this time, with pure, undiluted fear.

"No," he breathes as if I've knocked the wind out of him.

Oh no.

"You can't love me, Ana. No… that's wrong." He's horrified.

"Wrong? Why's it wrong?"

"Well, look at you. I can't make you happy." His voice is anguished.

"But you do make me happy." I frown.

"Not at the moment, not doing what I want to do."

Holy fuck. This really is it. This is what it boils down to – incompatibility - and all those poor subs come to mind.

"We'll never get past that, will we?" I whisper, my scalp prickling in fear.

He shakes his head bleakly. I close my eyes. I cannot bear to look at him.

"Well… I'd better go, then," I murmur, wincing as I sit up.

"No, don't go." He sounds panicked.

"There's no point in me staying." Suddenly, I feel tired, really dog-tired, and I want to go now. I climb out of bed, and Christian follows.

"I'm going to get dressed. I'd like some privacy," I say, my voice flat and empty as I leave him standing in the bedroom.

Heading downstairs, I glance at the great room, thinking how only hours before I had rested my head on his shoulder as he played the piano. So much has happened since then. I have had my eyes opened and glimpsed the extent of his depravity, and I now know he's not capable of love – of giving or receiving love. My worst fears have been realized. And strangely, it's very liberating.

The pain is such that I refuse to acknowledge it. I feel numb. I have somehow escaped from my body and am now a casual observer to this unfolding tragedy. I shower quickly and methodically, thinking only of each second in front of me. Now squeeze body wash bottle. Put body wash bottle back in rack. Rub cloth on face, on shoulders… on and on, all simple, mechanical actions, requiring simple mechanical thoughts.

I finish my shower – and as I haven't washed my hair, I can dry myself quickly. I dress in the bathroom, taking my jeans and t-shirt out of my small suitcase. My jeans chafe against my backside, but quite frankly, it's a pain I welcome as it distracts my mind from what's happening to my splintering, shattered heart.

I stoop to shut my suitcase, and the bag holding Christian's gift catches my eye, a modeling kit for a Blahnik L23 glider, something for him to build. Tears threaten. Oh no… happier times, when there was hope of more. I take it out of the case, knowing that I need

to give it to him. Quickly, I rip a small piece of paper from my notebook, hastily scribble a note for him, and leave it on top of the box.

I gaze at myself in the mirror. A pale and haunted ghost stares back at me. I scoop my hair into a ponytail and ignore how swollen my eyelids are from the crying. My subcon scious nods with approval. Even she knows not to be snarky right now. I cannot believe that my world is crumbling around me into a sterile pile of ashes, all my hopes and dreams cruelly dashed. No, no don't think about it. Not now, not yet. Taking a deep breath, I pick up my case, and after placing the glider kit and my note on his pillow, I head for the great room.

Christian is on the phone. He's dressed in black jeans and t-shirt. His feet are bare.

"He said what!" he shouts, making me jump. "Well, he could have told us the fucking truth. What's his number, I need to call him… Welch, this is a real fuck-up." He glances up and doesn't take his dark and brooding eyes off me. "Find her," he snaps and presses the off switch.

I walk over to the couch and collect my backpack, doing my best to ignore him. I take the Mac out of it and walk back toward the kitchen, placing it carefully on the breakfast bar, along with the BlackBerry and the car key. When I turn to face him, he's staring at me, stupefied with horror.

"I need the money that Taylor got for my Beetle." My voice is clear and calm, devoid of emotion… extraordinary.

"Ana, I don't want those things, they're yours," he says in disbelief. "Please, take them."

"No Christian – I only accepted them under sufferance – and I don't want them any more."

"Ana, be reasonable," he scolds me, even now.

"I don't want anything that will remind me of you. I just need the money that Taylor got for my car." My voice is quite monotone.

He gasps.

"Are you really trying to wound me?"

"No." I frown staring at him. Of course not… I love you. "I'm not. I'm trying to protect myself," I whisper. Because you don't want me the way

I want you.

"Please, Ana, take that stuff."

"Christian, I don't want to fight – I just need the money."

He narrows his eyes, but I'm no longer intimidated by him. Well, only a little. I gaze impassively back, not blinking or backing down.

"Will you take a check?" he says acidly.

"Yes. I think you're good for it."

He doesn't smile, he just turns on his heel and stalks into his study. I take a last linger ing look around his apartment – at the art on the walls – all abstracts, serene, cool… cold, even. Fitting, I think absently. My eyes stray to the piano. Jeez – if I'd kept my mouth shut, we'd have made love on the piano. No, fucked, we would have fucked on the piano. Well, I would have made love. The thought lies heavy and sad in my mind. He has never made love to me, has he? It's always been fucking to him.

Christian returns and hands me an envelope.

"Taylor got a good price. It's a classic car. You can ask him. He'll take you home." He nods in the direction over my shoulder. I turn, and Taylor is standing in the doorway, wearing his suit, as impeccable as ever.

"That's fine, I can get myself home, thank you."

I turn to stare at Christian, and I see the barely-contained fury in his eyes.

"Are you going to defy me at every turn?"

"Why change a habit of a lifetime?" I give him a small, apologetic shrug.

He closes his eyes in frustration and runs his hand through his hair.

"Please, Ana, let Taylor take you home."

"I'll get the car, Miss Steele," Taylor announces authoritatively. Christian nods at him, and when I glance around, Taylor has gone.

I turn back to face Christian. We are four feet apart. He steps forward, and instinc tively I step back. He stops, and the anguish in his expression is palpable, his gray eyes burning.

"I don't want you to go," he murmurs, his voice full of longing.

"I can't stay. I know what I want and you can't give it to me, and I can't give you what you need."

He takes another step forward, and I hold up my hands.

"Don't, please." I recoil from him. There's no way I can tolerate his touch now, it will slay me. "I can't do this."

Grabbing my suitcase and my backpack, I head for the foyer. He follows me, keeping a careful distance. He presses the elevator button, and the doors open. I climb in.

"Goodbye, Christian," I murmur.

"Ana, goodbye," he says softly, and he looks utterly, utterly broken, a man in agonizing pain, reflecting how I feel inside. I tear my gaze away from him before I change my mind and try to comfort him.

The elevator doors close, and it whisks me down to the bowels of the basement and to my own personal hell.


So, I'll continue if I get a good response =)