A/N: Just another chapter. Seems like they are finally going to be three ;) And after this, I will keep on going with 'Moments in time', although I have a couple more ideas for some short fics, so who knows. Sorry for the grammar or vocabulary mistakes :( Maybe I should search for a beta. I'll see how that works. Oh, and the flower shop does really exists, LOL. Don't you just love Google? ^^ And since we're on it: Happy New Year! From Spain, with love :)
Just another day gone by. Or starting, as you prefer, since it is only 1 AM.
I enter the room upstairs as I take my shoes and socks off with one hand, undone my bow tie with the other. I just came back from a very boring, very dull, too long gala. The usual. I sit on the bed, Anastasia's bed, the bed where we laid together before she left me, but immediately I stand up, agitated. I watched the sunrise with her in my arms, not knowing if we could overcome what had just happened, realizing we couldn't. Not good memories.
I walk into the closet. I turn on the light inside and the lines of clothes I had bought for her aim straight to the soft, sharp, incisive pain that hasn't left my chest since yesterday. The one that touching my scars causes is nothing compared to this. And I thought there would be nothing worse than that. How wrong I was. That wasn't excruciating. This is.
I walk to the cocktail dress I had envision Anastasia in, to accompany me to the party. I caress it, and I'm so stupid as to actually smell it, as if she had really wore it and her scent would linger there. The silk is soft against my fingertips, but it can't compare to the silkiness of her pale skin. Not even close. From the inside pocket of my jacket, I reach for the little red box and open it. Diamonds form Cartier. Only the best for my girl. Yes, I've been so ridiculous as to take them with me. Some elegant, beautiful ear rings I bought for her to accompany the dress. Not as beautiful as my Ana, though. I wanted to see them in her lovely little ears. I wanted her in silk and diamonds and I wanted to show her off, to show everybody she was mine.
I place the ear rings in the box and my pocket again. I walk out of the closet, turning off the light behind me. The room is dark except for the Seattle lights behind the windows. My Ivory tower. My prison.
I walk to the bed, taking the jacket off. Maybe the pillow still smells of her. Of her hair…
She's laying on the floor, my mother. She's not moving, and for the first time, I'm not a four years old kid by her side, afraid and alone. I am an adult, looking directly at her, standing on my feet, feeling nothing. I catch a movement out of the corner of my mind. Anastasia! She's opposite to me, looking at my mother as well, but she is crying. Ana… she looks up, to me, and her face reflects horror and pain. I am a monster, I know! But you… you can save me. Anastasia… I try to move, to walk toward her. The air surrounding me is heavy and it makes moving difficult. Ana… She shakes her head, steps back. Ana… Please. She cries harder and leaves, she leaves, I can't reach her, I can't run… Agony, painful agony…
I sit up in bed, bolting, my heartbeat quick and unsteady. Nightmares. Again. Like any other night Anastasia hasn't been by my side. It happened when she went to Georgia, and I have the confirmation now, in case I still had any doubt.
Disoriented, I realize I'm still in Anastasia's room. How did this happen? Since when do I go around falling asleep? And still on my tuxedo.
I sit down, my feet on the floor. I place my elbows on my knees and bury my face on my hands. After a while, I look at the clock. It's 4AM. Not surprise here. If I ever sleep past five, it's a miracle. I remember the day I arrived late to the meeting in Portland, when I slept at Ana's apartment. Slept like a baby until 7.30AM. The things she does to me… Did, I correct myself. I only want to sleep with her again. To have her with me, her back pressed to my chest, her round, lovely ass against my body. All of me surrounding her, claiming her. Mine.
I run my hand through my hair, rub my eyes and walk purposely to my own room. Not to sleep, though. Enough of that for today. I change into more comfortable clothes and head to my study.
The bag with the glider is in there. I promised myself that assembling it would be the first thing I'd do in the morning, since I know it will take time and I didn't have it yesterday. Seems like I'm going to start on it a little earlier than I thought. I sit on my desk and take it out the bag. Everything seems to be there: the air brake, the rudder, the horizontal stabilizer, the nose, the wing tip…
Happy time, the note says. I remember our flight, Ana's bright eyes when it ended, telling me that it was more. I can see her face so clearly that I feel as if she were right in front of me and I could touch her just by reaching out.
But she's not.
I concentrate on the pieces that are now scattered all over my desk. Dawn surprises me still assembling it and Taylor appears on the door, looking uncertain. I hate being interrupted.
"What?" I bark.
"Just wondering if you needed anything, sir"
I go back to the glider without even answering and he leaves, no saying a word either.
A couple of hours later I realize I haven't had any breakfast. Meals are sacred for me. I can always eat, hungry or not. I have never lost my appetite. Although today, this morning, is starting to look suspiciously as if I could. Almost midday and not hungry at all. Another first, Miss Steele.
I drag myself to the big room and try some music. Music always heals me, helps me. I pick up the remote and press the button. In the kitchen, I warm up on the microwave some omelet Mrs. Jones always leaves prepared for me, just in case. I seat on one of the stools as I wonder if Ana is eating. She eats way too little! Worry grips me. I'm sure she's not eating. She needs to be watched, she needs someone to take care of her. And I could be that guy. I want to be that guy. I don't want anyone else doing it.
For a brief moment, I contemplate that possibility. That she can really find someone else, that any other fucker takes care of her, hugs her, moves inside her, makes love to her. Caresses her skin, grabs her hair, bites her lips. I'm dying. This is what dying feels like.
I take a deep breath and massage my temples. Maybe I could write her an email. A short one. Just to make sure she is OK and eating. But then I remember she left the Blackberry and the Mac in here. There's no way I can contact her right now. Loneliness and isolation become bigger and heavier as I realize this. It feels as if I'm in the middle of an ocean and there's no land in sight. Fuck! I only want to know how she's doing! Maybe I should ask Taylor to go and check on her.
Get a grip, Grey. Don't ruin it even before trying to start it again. I know even I could go myself to check on her. As I know that I wouldn't stop there. It would a total disaster, I wouldn't be able to stay away from her the moment I saw her and try to convince her somehow to give me a second chance.
No. I have to find the moment. I have to make my way back to her slowly, patiently. She has already mocked me many times because of my 'stalker tendencies', but right now I don't think she would find them funny. I don't want to suffocate her, I don't want to impose myself on her. I don't do waiting, I don't do patient. But for her, I will. I have to.
I haven't been paying much attention to the music until "Embraceable you" starts to sound. I had planned to dance to it with Anastasia today. I had planned to warm up some lunch that we could eat quietly in here, assuming she would be tired after her trip to Georgia, last night's gala, and all the fucking we would have had in between and this morning. I wanted to give her a quiet Sunday evening, hopefully have some slow, gentle vanilla sex, so she could be relaxed and well rested for her first day at job tomorrow. And I wanted to dance with her to this song. To take her in my arms and smell her hair as we swirled around. To kiss her until she confessed to me, awake, what she had said in her sleep. That she wouldn't leave me, that she didn't want me to ever leave her.
But still, here I am, without her. I hate this!
Focus Grey. Just do what you have to do. I feel like such an idiot for feeling like this, for going around feeling bad for myself. I deserve this. I should just get over it or die trying to do so. I should just forget about her and let her go on with her life.
But I am selfish and I won't do that. Not without trying to win her back at least once.
I stand by the windows of my office, where the glider is sitting proudly on a glass stand on my desk, so I can see it every time I want to remember Anastasia and me chasing the dawn. Not that I need much to remember her, anyway. I thought I would be safer here, unlike at home, where every place holds a memory and is a painful reminder of what I have lost.
But no such luck. Same problem at my office: everything reminds me of her as well. I've been all day glancing to the door like an idiot, to the place where she fell on her knees. I've been standing for minutes again and again by the couch where she sat when she came to interview me. "Are you gay?" "Maybe you're just lucky" "You sound like a control freak". I've been watching the paintings that caught her attention the moment she entered. The ordinary raised to extraordinary.
Hell, during the boring to death meeting I have had first thing in the morning, I have been reading on my BlackBerry all the emails we sent to each other. Going over hers until I had practically committed them to memory.
And I've been all day thinking about her first day at work. Did they treat her well? Is she comfortable? Does she like the place? Is the job everything she expected it to be? If everything goes well, I'll take care of that too. Yes, I'm on my way there. Overprotective? Yes. Do I have a right to make this? Ask me if I care.
Finally, I can't help myself anymore and decide to write her a note, send it with some flowers, see how she would react. If there is a reaction at all. Maybe it is too soon yet? To contact with her in any form, I mean. How much time should you let pass by before trying to win a woman back? Is there a protocol for this out there? Maybe in the Internet? Now I feel like I am the virgin. I have no idea, really no idea at all on how all this works.
This is stupid. So I take a paper and… realize I have no idea what to write. What can I possibly tell her? I'm obsessed with you. I can't sleep, I can hardly breath, this pain installed in my chest making me feel uneasy and lost every second of every minute of every hour. I don't know what you did to me, but I need you to fix it. I need you. Period. I don't know how this happened, but this is how I feel.
Since I can't tell her that, I settle for something more formal, and after several drafts I come up with:
Congratulations on your first day at work.
I hope it went well.
And thank you for the glider. That was very thoughtful.
It has pride of place on my desk.
I reach for the phone.
"Andrea, I need you to order two dozen long-stemmed, white roses from the best flower shop in the area and have someone come here to pick up a note. Everything has to be delivered today around seven at this address"
Two minutes later she knocks on my door. I hand her the note in a closed envelope and I know she is dying to know what this is all about, although I think she has her suspicions. I couldn't care less.
"The best roses they have in the shop" I punctuate.
"Of course Mr. Grey" she is about to turn and leave when I stop her.
"Actually, never mind. I'll do it"
She looks at me with such wide eyes that I think they're going to pop up. I narrow my eyes at her and she realizes my hand is in the air, waiting for her to give me back the note. She goes all red and starts to fumble.
"Sorry. Sorry, Mr. Grey. Of course"
"Well? Which shop?" I ask, irritated. I think I'm gone totally mad.
"I would go with 'Floral Masters', at 1st Avenue"
Floral Masters? Are you kidding me?
"Give the address to Taylor"
"Yes, sir" and with that she leaves.
Floral Masters. I snort. What the…?
Five minutes later, Taylor is driving me to the shop in question. I justify myself saying that this is important. That I can't let this in the hands of who knows who. That those need to be the best two dozen long-stemmed, white roses available. To impress her, to show her that I only want the best for her.
"Raindrop" Prelude, by Chopin, starts and fills the car. As I am driven through the streets of Seattle, watching the people without seeing them, my mind starts to drift once more.
Anastasia… I recreate in my mind the way her name sounds when I say it out loud, how it rolls off my tongue. Anastasia…