It's 7.30pm by the time I arrive at the airport. I scan the departure board looking to see where the remaining flights of the day are going, there's one to San Francisco at 9pm and another to Miami an hour later. I sit with a coffee, not drinking it but it's something to do without making me look suspicious and it allows me to think about where to go. I switch my blackberry back on, there are no messages, perhaps he really doesn't care anymore. The look in his eyes, pure hatred, I don't ever want to see anyone look at me like that again, it haunts me just visualising that look. I have seen Christian angry before but never like this with me, I mean we've had our moments, he gets cross then five minutes later we're friends again.
Before I make my final decision on which flight to take I email Christian, he might not read it but at least he has that choice.
From: Matthew Grey
To: Christian Grey
Subject: Please don't hate me.
I am so sorry for today.
Yesterday I happened to be in the foyer at the same time as Olivia and I walked her to her car and opened the door for her, she kissed me on the cheek to say thank you. Today I went for a walk at lunchtime and she was on the sidewalk at the same time, she invited me for coffee and I did go with her but I was in such a daze from events with the girl this morning that I didn't realise what was happening. We did walk back to Grey House together and she kissed me on the cheek again to say thank you for the coffee. Nothing else happened.
You trusted me and I broke that trust by going against your word. I am so ashamed of myself.
I will leave your life as you requested. Thank you for the opportunity to share so many things with you, I have enjoyed so much, anything else will pale in insignificance.
The look in your eyes tonight will haunt me forever but it's what I deserve after letting you down so badly, I do not want to see that look again from you or anyone in the family that I love so much so will leave you all.
Please don't hate me.
I hit send then turn the phone off. Standing in the queue at the ticket desk I'm still undecided, perhaps time will decide for me as there's only one sales desk and it's moving so slowly. It's my turn next, I'm still in with a chance of both flights providing there's a seat left on them. I feel someone grab my elbow and steer me away from the queue.
'You're not going anywhere tonight whilst emotions are high and everyone is this upset. I'll take you somewhere now and we can look at the situation tomorrow' I turn and look into Taylor's eyes, they're full of sympathy.
'Did he make you follow me?'
'No, Mrs Jones did. Mr Grey does not know I am here. Please come with me so that we can sort it all out tomorrow. Mrs Jones will never forgive me if I let you go.' Taylor says.
'He might fire you'
'He will have to fire us both and we will take the risk' Taylor replies and smiles gently.
I go with him to the car, they care about me and I feel slightly better. I climb into the front passenger seat, wanting the comfort of being near someone I trust. As we drive back towards the city I let the lights flash by in a daze. Taylor tells me he has booked me into a hotel quite close to Escala, I don't reply, the words are stuck. I have never stayed in a hotel on my own before. Taylor parks in the car park, takes me to reception to check me in and then shows me to my room. He has my bag with him so at least I have some clothes.
'Are you going to be ok?'
I shrug my shoulders.
'Shall I call your mom?'
I look at him in horror.
'Do you want me to tell Mr Grey where you are?'
I shake my head.
'Can I leave you here for now?'
'Ok, I am going back to Escala now. I will not tell anyone where you are tonight but you must promise to call me if you need anything at all. You do not need to speak; I will be here in five minutes if I see it is you phoning. I will be back tomorrow morning to check you are OK'
I nod again and give him a small smile to show that I understand. As he leaves I lock the door, then sink onto the bed and stare at the ceiling.
There's a quiet tapping at the door but I ignore it. I'm still fully dressed, lying on the bed staring at the ceiling. I don't know what time it is, I haven't slept. The knocking gets more insistent.
'Matthew, open the door or I will break in' Taylor shouts.
I climb off the bed, unlock and open the door for him. He enters the room and looks around, nothing has moved because I haven't touched anything.
'Have you slept?'
I shake my head.
'Have you eaten?' Another shake
'Are you hungry?' Another shake
Can I get you anything?' Shake
'Are you ok here?' Nod
Can I call anyone for you?' Look of horror
'Mr Grey does not know you're here, I will leave you here for another day at least as you are safe here. He has not told your parents that he threw you out yet so they won't be worried at the moment. I will send Mrs Jones this afternoon, try and get some sleep'
He turns to leave and I am left alone again. I can't settle back on the bed so move a chair to the window, I sit and stare at the patterns in the clouds. I'm cold so take the duvet off the bed and wrap it round me before sitting back in the chair to continue my staring.
I must sit like this for hours because the next thing I know the door to my room opens and Mrs Jones walks in. She walks over to me and gives me a hug.
'Taylor gave me the key card for the room. I know I shouldn't hug you with you being the boss's brother but I figure you could do with it right now. I have brought you some chicken soup and will sit with you whilst you eat. Taylor and I are worried about you. Go and wash and I'll get the soup out.' She says gently.
I do as I'm told and go to the bathroom. As I sit and eat Mrs Jones talks. I focus on eating and listen in and out to her one sided conversation, only catching parts.
'Ana is due back soon; Taylor is collecting her from the airport. Mr Grey is frantic because Leila checked herself out of the hospital and she obviously needs help.'
She doesn't mention anything about whether Christian is frantic with worry about me, or whether he read my email, or missing me, or whether he's regretting throwing me out.
'I'm going to go now; I will leave you some cold drinks and fruit. Taylor will be coming back to check on you later and will bring some food. Do you think you might go back to Bellevue tomorrow?'
I shrug and frown. She gives me another hug as she leaves and tells me that I need some sleep. I close the door and return to the comfort of the duvet on the chair. I must have fallen asleep, when I wake I am too warm and it is dark outside. I take a long hot shower and dress in some clean clothes. Leaving the bathroom rubbing my hair I see Taylor has arrived.
'Did you sleep?' Nod
'Did you eat?' Nod
'More food now? Mrs Jones has sent lasagne' Nod. I sit down to eat as Taylor continues
'Ana is back, Mr Grey is calmer. Shall I tell him where you are?' Shake
'Will you consider going back to Bellevue tomorrow? I can call you mom' Shrug
'OK, I will come in the morning again to check on you and we will take it from there. When I leave tonight I want you to sleep in the bed. Plug yourself into your iPod if you need to but you need to sleep. Will you do that for me and Mrs Jones?' I nod.
'Good, have you switched on your phone since yesterday evening?' Shake
'Do you want to do it now whilst I'm here?' Shake
'Can I do it for you?' Nod. With my nod he picks my blackberry up off the side table and turns it on. It vibrates a few times before Taylor announces 'Twenty one messages, someone is popular' I smile at his joke.
'Seriously you have four from your mom, three from Elliot, two from your dad and from Mia and ten from Mr Grey.' I slump my shoulders forward, elbows on my knees and put my head in my hands. Taylor sits next to me on the bed, putting his hand on my shoulder.
'Do you want to read them now?' Shake.
'Shall I switch the phone off?' Nod
'OK, it's off and I'll leave it by the bed. I am going now. Same rules as last night, phone me if you need anything. Double lock the door behind me and then go to bed. Sleep, I will see you tomorrow.'