A/N: In general, I miss Christian's POV in the books. In particular, I've missed this one the most. I think this was the turning point for him, when he understood that things with Anastasia were different. I feel kinda cheated that we never got to know what went through his mind! LOL. Incidentally… does anyone know if E.L James is planning to write some more Grey filling the gasps or from Christian's POV? I mean, like the last two scenes she added at the end of the third book. That would be cool. Anyway, back to topic: I decided to write myself a little about the five days Anastasia and Mr. Grey spent separated, so maybe like that I could find some 'peace of mind' :p There will be only one or two parts more. I hope you enjoy it :)
"Ana, good bye. "
She doesn't even look at me as the elevator's doors close.
And like that, she's gone. She's left me. I have to gather all my strength not to run after her, not to call Taylor and tell him not to drive her anywhere. I dig my nails in my palms not to press the lift button and go down myself.
She's gone. She's left me.
I walk back to the big room, glancing at the piano. Only a few hours ago we were sitting there and she was resting her head on my shoulder. With tenderness, with, now I know… love. Love! How can she possibly love me? She doesn't know me! I have made things she would never approve, she would never understand. She can't love me! That's just wrong. I can't be loved, I don't deserve to be loved!
I couldn't bear to lose you. That's what I said. And still, I beat her like never before.
Why did I make it? Why? I knew it, from the first minute, that she wasn't for me. That she was the hearts and flowers kind. I should have never beaten her like that. But she had been so brave and strong all this time. I thought it would work. I never thought she would react like this. She told me she didn't want to leave me. In her dreams. And you never lie in your dreams, do you? But there she is, gone. She has just left me. Alone and pained.
I go to my study, I need to do something, anything, whatever that can take this void, this pain from my chest. I pick up the phone, I should make some calls, check again on the Leila problem… but all I want to do is call her. Hear her voice. I close my eyes tight and summon all my willing not to throw the damn cell against the wall.
I need a shower. I need to relax. I walk to my room, and the view of my bed paralyzes me. Empty. I've never slept with anyone, and I am used to my empty bed. That's how it's always been, I like it. My room, my space. But the thought that she won't be lying there beside me anymore makes me feel as if someone were taking all the air from my lungs. I stumble to the bathroom and undress myself, numb. I never thought I could feel like this. What's going on?
And then I see it. The little bag and the note.
"This remind me of a happy time. Thank you. Ana".
I grab it, surprised to see that my hands shake. Happy time was two days ago. "She's my girlfriend" I said. First time ever I used that word. My girlfriend. If it wasn't impossible, If I didn't know better, if I had any hope of having a heart, a soul, I would go as far as to think that I… that I… that I love her. But I don't. I can't. I just can not.
I get into the shower, angry with myself, angry with the world. Afraid. I hadn't felt like this since I was fifteen. The hot, scalding water, falls over me. I rub my skin frantically, upset, and then I place my hands on the wall, breathing hard. I've had her here as well. My forehead touches the cool surface and I feel the urge to let myself fall and hug myself in the floor, but I won't. Turning the water off, I step out the shower and my eyes rest one more on her note. Even her handwriting is lovely. I've been such an idiot! Guilt, regret, it all comes back to me with a vengeance, making me sick.
I dress myself and go to my study once more, forcing me to function, to regain some normally. I call Welch. My voice is clipped and harsh. Still no news. I hang up and think of Leila, lost and hurt somewhere, in the streets. This is what I do, this is what I'm good at: hurting people, breaking them. Anastasia has done the right thing. She should have left me the moment I offered to introduce her to my lifestyle. I should have been stronger and never pursue her.
The phone rings and takes me out of my dark thoughts. Anastasia? I see the ID of the caller and close my eyes tight, let the air leave my lungs slowly.
"Christian! Are you OK?"
Of course, she has noted immediately.
"Anastasia?" she asks tentatively.
"She just walked out on me"
Elena is silent for a few seconds. Mrs Robinson, she would say. Pain surges through me once more.
"I'm sorry. Maybe it was for the best" she adds, softly.
"You'll get over it, you'll find a new one, you always do"
"Not this time" words are out of my mouth before I know it, even before I know my brain has formed then. Where did that come from?
"You want to meet and talk about it?"
Anastasia's reaction at my meeting with Elena since she was in Georgia comes unbidden to my mind.
"No. I need to… I need to work or something"
"Christian, you don't sound well. I'm here, you know that. Let me help you"
"Anyone can help me" I murmur. Except, maybe, Anastasia.
I close my eyes tight, I feel broken as Elena insists that we should meet and talk. I've never felt like this, I don't know what's happening to me. I need to recover my equilibrium.
"I got to go"
And with that, I hang up. I think I had never hang up on Elena before, but right now I can't take any advice from her. I know what she might tell me, and I don't want to hear it. I close my eyes tight again. Light fills the study, but everything around me is dark and cold. I dial a number.
"I need an appointment. Today. Now"
I know I sound kind of desperate as I run my hands through my hair. A surprised Flynn tells me we can meet in an hour.
Until then, I turn on my computer and reply to some emails I had pending.
At John Flynn's.
"I shouldn't have listened to her. She told me, that she hated it, the same way I hate being touched. But she also said she wouldn't left me"
I'm walking around the room, too nervous to sit down. John watches me impassively from his couch.
"Are you mad at her for not keeping up her word?" his British accent sounds calm and firm.
"Well, actually… she said that on her sleep"
As I hear myself I realize how stupid that sounds.
"You know you can't hold it against her, then. The things we think and feel sometimes go against our benefit and we have to take painful decisions that we really wouldn't want to take"
I sound sulky and childlike but I couldn't care less. She said she wouldn't leave me!
"Why did you make it, then? Maybe deep down you wanted her to leave?"
"Why would I want to do that?" I sound angry again.
"Because you think you don't deserve her"
"And I don't" I agree grumpily.
"Isn't it clear? I can't make her happy. I can't give her what she wants and she can't give me what I need"
She told me so, and she was right.
"We'll go over you later, but regarding Anastasia, what do you think she wants?" He motions me to sit down and I finally do.
Hearts and flowers.
"She deserves someone able to love her and treat her good"
"I didn't ask what she deserves. I asked what do you think she wants"
She wanted me, but I blew it.
"I don't know"
"I think you do know, Christian"
He presses me and I run my hands through my hair, exasperated.
"She said she loved me"
Even though I try to sound nonchalant, I don't succeed and my voice gives it away.
"And that frightens you"
I can't answer that. I'm not sure, I don't know. She has made me feel so many unexpected and intense and extreme emotions. Tenderness, happiness, worrying, anxiety, pleasure like never before, crazy expectations… I thought I was safe in my cocoon, in my Ivory tower, as she called it. Until she came. And then everything was colorful and I felt alive for the first time… ever.
But she has also hurt me like no one else before. Anastasia has that power on me. That's what she fails to understand: she has all the power. I lose my self control when I'm with her. Yes, maybe that scares me. Maybe I can't do it. Maybe a normal relationship is too demanding and I can't make it. Can I?
I blurt all my thoughts out to him.
"I've gone to limits I never thought I would" I continue. "I have had a lot of first times with her. And I don't regret them. I would go to lengths for her that even I can't understand. Still, she asked for more. And she gave me hope I could have more too"
Now my voice sounds weak and longing.
"According to you, what's more?"
"A normal relationship. What normal couples do"
"So you weren't a normal couple? Because you sound like any other man in love"
In love? Elena said so too, but I don't believe it. But then, what is this that I feel?
"You know we weren't, you know my problem. I'm sick. I can't love anyone"
I look at him hard. He's my shrink, he knows this better than anyone.
"Don't you love your family?"
"Well, I don't practice sex with my family" I snap at him.
You think you're funny? He keeps going as I glare at him as if I wanted to rip off his head. But he's the only person in this world that I have never been able to intimidate. Which I guess makes sense, since he knows all my miseries.
"I've told you this numerous times, Christian. You're not sick. You have a way to cope through sex, that's all. As far as I know, you have never forced any woman to accept your ways, have you?"
"Of course not!"
"And as I have explained to you a few times now, your lifestyle is not even a psychiatric term anymore. So why couldn't you be a normal couple? Just because of the sex?"
"Because I need… I need control. I need to punish her… you know why"
I sound exasperated and impatient now. Where does he want to go with this? He already knows all this shit. It's the reason why I pay him a fortune.
"Do you need that more than you need Anastasia?"
I gaze at him. What? I think about it for a moment. All the vanilla sex we've had, and how gratifying it was. How much I love her laughter. The nights we've spent together, with me watching her sleep, with my arms around her, my nightmares at bay while we laid in bed together. The great moments in the playroom but also her witty mouth, her blue eyes, her way to defy me and how I even liked it. Feeling uneasy away from her, thinking that she had to escape from me, and hating that she had that need. Me going after her to Georgia, the gliding, the hope for… more. I do want more, too.
Do I? Can I?
"So maybe, you can compromise. Can't she tell you her limits, can't she stop you somehow when you go too far?"
I have never been too explicit with Flynn about my contracts with the submissives and the rules. That's part of my privacy, so I save the details for me. But he's right. She did have a way to stop me. The fucking safe word! Why didn't she use it? I've been so wrapped on my own misery that I hadn't even thought of that!
"Yes, she did"
"Why didn't she use it?"
"I don't know"
My hands go to my hair once more. Damn you, Anastasia! And here we go again. This should be it, this should be the end. It's one of the rules: if you walk out that's it, it's over. But is not over. I want her back. I need her back. Do we have any future? I don't know, but I want to try.
"If you want her back, you should concentrate on that"
Did I speak out loud?
"It's what I've been trying to make you understand lately. We need to focus on the future instead of thinking of the past, and work our way to the place where you want to be"
"The stupid Solution-Focused Brief Therapy?"
He nods, ignoring my tone, and I doubt. Where do I want to be? Where do I want to go? To Anastasia. I feel miserable without her.
"For starters, I suggest you try and talk to her. Like any normal couple do when they have a problem"
Are we a couple? Yes, we are. We were. My girlfriend, I said.
"I doubt she wants to"
"There's only one way to know"
"I've never done this before. Women do what I want and that's t. I don't need to discuss anything with them"
I get up again. Can I do this? For Anastasia?
"Well, maybe it's time to change the modus operandi" He smiles at me, full of himself.
Yes, I can and I will.