Dear everyone, thank you so much for being patient. I am still in a brace having broken my arm and dislocated my elbow in June. I have found typing too slow and painful to manage over the summer, but am beginning, with physiotherapy to type again. I have chapters planned... plot lines developing and much more to come. I hope to speed up again over the next few weeks. Thanks for staying with me! As always, apologies for typos, especially so these days... my left hand is hopeless!
Where has Steve gone? Is Elena Lincoln going to stay quiet forever? Has christian seen off Michael Tate, and can Ana continue to stand Christian's need to control who she keeps company with?
Hmmm questions questions!
I wake alone. Another rainy morning. It is 7am and darkness has not quite lifted. The rain outside is coming down hard. I feel like crap. My head hurts and I can't breathe through my nose. I pull the covers over my head, as if to fend off the day a little longer.
Eventually I have to concede the day has arrived and reluctantly I haul myself out of bed. In stand, eyes shut, in front of the basin and brush my teeth before standing limp under the shower. After a perfunctory wash, my arms hanging at my side and the warm water batters me from above, I dry myself; in the bedroom it takes all my effort to pull on underwear and a pair if grey flannel pants, a t-shirt and a sweater. I do not register the color. Sitting at my dressing table I examine my face. My eyes are dim, narrow, glassy and a little puffy, my nose red and my lips pale and cold looking. My hair is a tangled wet mess. I try and pull a brush through its chaotic tendrils, yanking and tearing. Eventually I manage to pull it into a pony tail. It drips a little down my back, so locating some hair pins, I somehow find the energy to wind it into a bun and pin it in place. I look nearly as crappy as I feel.
Christian still has not appeared. I'll go find out what he is doing, if I can summon the strength.
I head out into the apartment in search of my husband. In the kitchen Mrs Jones has set a place for each of us. In my place there is a large glass or orange juice, and on a plate some capsules, on inspection they are vitamin C and D supplements plus Echinacea - he is so thoughtful I smile inwardly. I swallow them down without hesitation, determined to shake off this thick head. "Is Christian in his study?" I ask Mrs Jones between gulps.
"Yes. Can I fix you an omelet?"
"I don't think I can do an omelet thanks. Can I have some of that thick yogurt with fruit please? And could you fix me some hot honey and lemon?"
I head off in search of my husband. I hear him from the corridor. His voice is cold and hard and loaded with authority; he does not shout; it is all in the tone of his voice, firm and measured, carrying weight in every syllable. Christian is the grand master at this tone and always uses it to great effect
"Do you think I give a shit about that? ... No... Over my dead body... No... Not an option... I said No... Miss Hoffmann, I strongly advise you don't test me on that... I will see you in my office at 9.30 and I will Mr Tate at 9.45... Legal were briefed last night... Yes the moment I get there... Just make it happen." And I hear him slam down the receiver. I guess there isn't much hope for Michael Tate's future at GEH. What am I going to do about that? I turn back and wander towards the kitchen. Before I reach the end of the corridor, I hear him calling to me.
"Ana? What are you doing?" I turn to face him as he approaches
"I heard you were on the phone... I didn't want to disturb you... you sounded kinda pissed."
"Your hair is still wet! You're going to get pneumonia. Have you eaten?" Erhh! now he's just getting on my nerves
"I was just about to"
"How are you feeling?"
"I was hoping you'd sleep a little longer."
"No, I needed to get up. I have stuff to do"
"Stuff?" He cocks his head and raises his eyebrow quizzically.
"Yes Christian, I have a job remember!" My cold has shortened my temper considerably. I turn and head for the kitchen before Christian can respond.
"Ana" he calls after me. I ignore him and go sit in front of my yogurt and granola peppering it with a handful of blueberries from the cut glass bowl in front of me.
Christian sits himself in the seat next to me. I sniff. He reaches into his pocket and hands me a handkerchief. "Have you had some Tylenol?"
"No, not yet."
Silently he stands and disappears in the direction of our bedroom, emerging a few moments later with a pack of Tylenol. He walks straight past me, fills a glass with water and sets it down in front of me. "Hold out your hand" he commands. I roll my eyes at him before obediently holding out my left hand. He pops out a couple of capsules into my palm and, holding his gaze, I slam them into my mouth, both at the same time, picking up the glass in my right hand and glugging them back. Both at capsules at once was a mistake and I wince in discomfort as I try to swallow them. Eventually my throat is clear of the uncomfortable lump.
"Jesus Ana, do you want choke yourself? Slow down." He places his hand against my forehead. "Hmm you don't feel hot but you look flushed." I bat his hand away angrily.
"I have a cold Christian, not the plague. And before you start, I AM GOING to work."
"Ana I th..."
"Stop!..." I cut him off "...I am going to work. If I feel any worse I'll come home. I have a nasty cold and that is no reason not to go to work."
I face forward, and mechanically spoon breakfast into my mouth, unable to taste it, but determined not to provoke Christian further. I am surprised that he doesn't persist in his attempt to get me to stay home. He takes his seat next to me. Mrs Jones places an omelet in front of him and he begins to eat.
"I know you are feeling crappy but that's no reason to talk to me like a piece of shit."
"Oh just stop will you?"
"Anastasia, I won't warn you again..."
He is right. I'm taking it out on him. I feel all footstampy and cantankerous!
"...I'm not going to make you stay home, but you know all the experts agree that the best thing you can do for a cold is rest. You can take all the vitamins available, but a day's rest will do you more good than all the vitamin D in the world." I feel embarrassed by my bad mood; I know he's only being kind.
"Thanks for the vitamins" I mumble an attempt at apology for my grump... "believe me I'd love to curl up in bed, but my job is important to me and I'm not calling in sick just because I have a cold. I promise to take it easy and get an early night."
The corners of his mouth rise fractionally in a whisper of a smile and he leans over and kisses my forehead.
"If only all my employees had your work ethic..." Hmmm... I am reminded of another of his employees
"Christian... Have you decided what you're going to do about Michael Tate?"
He narrows his eyes then looks away, focusing on his coffee as he takes a sip.
"I told you last night. He's gone. It's not up for discussion Anastasia."
And I know this is a battle I cannot win. I concentrate instead on finishing breakfast.
Work drags slowly by in a haze of sneezing and Kleenex with only a brief respite when Guillome brings chicken noodle soup and walnut bread for lunch. I do my best but have no appetite to finish all of it.
At 4pm I have had enough; I can't concentrate and I want my bed.
From: Anastasia Grey
Subject: Enough is enough
Date: October 26th 2011 4.03pm
To: Christian Grey
I am going home to bed.
See you later
Editor, Seattle Independent Publishing
I do not wait for a reply. As soon as I get home, I put myself to bed, not before swallowing down 2 Nyquil capsules and another vitamin C.
When I wake it is dark and I hear soft rain falling against the windows. I am alone. I squint at the clock on the nightstand, 01.16. Jeez, I've been flat out for 7 hours! I sit up. I realise I can breath a little better and my headache has subsided. I need a pee. Crawling out of bed I make my way to the bathroom. My mouth feels icky, probably from sleeping with it open. I brush my teeth. When I return to the bedroom there is still no sign of Christian, but I notice on the nightstand, a glass of orange juice, a plate with a sandwich and a banana on it and a cup of tea. When I inspect the offering closer I realize that the tea is stone cold and the sandwich a little stale. Christian must have left it there hours ago in the hope I'd wake hungry.
My heart constricts. I have been so ratty with him, and he so patient with me. I know he will worry that I haven't eaten it and then we'll fight... I resolve not to disappoint him, although I am not eating a stale sandwich at 1am, so I wrap it in the napkin, peeling the banana and placing that in the napkin package as well, and conceal them in the larger drawer of my nightstand, placing a book on top to better hide my little white lie. I pick up the plate with the discarded banana skin on it and the full mug of cold tea and carry them into the kitchen. Just I'm about to turn to find Christian in his study, I am startled.
"You're awake" Christian's voice drifts out of the darkness of the great room and despite his smooth tone, it makes me jump, and I spin round towards him.
"I didn't mean to startle you baby."
"What are you doing all alone in there?" I question
"I was just having a quiet drink before coming to bed. I didn't want to disturb you... you obviously needed sleep. I missed you. I see you found your supper." He says indicating with a nod the banana skin and empty plate on the counter.
"Yes. Thank you." I feel myself blush at my little deception. Christian doesn't seem to make the connection. His lifts my chin, releasing the bottom lip I didn't realise I was biting with his thumb, leans down and places a cushion soft kiss on my lips.
"You feeling any better?" he whispers.
"Yes... I can breathe at last."
"Good - let's get you back in bed". He takes my hand, striding towards our bedroom, pulling me behind him.
The week passes slowly and miserably but it passes. My cold fades and my temper improves a little. I feel low... post viral or something I expect. On Thursday at college I am not surprised by Michael Tate's absence. I feel awkward, and there is no doubt that now people realize who I am, or more precisely who I am married to, I am no longer just one of the crowd. I get the distinct feeling that people quiet as I walk past and that they whisper and discreetly point when they feel I can't see them. This is a nightmare. Being the center of attention does not sit well with me, but this is worse... They are all too polite to overtly point and stare, but point and stare they do... furtively, trying to be subtle, but failing. I feel almost faint from blushing and cannot wait to get home. I am sure Sawyer notices my discomfort but he says nothing. The moment out lecture I bolt for the door followed of course by Sawyer. I fumble in my purse in the rain for my keys. By the time I slam the door of the R8 shut and pull out of the parking lot, Sawyer close behind me, my cheeks are wet with a cocktail of raindrops and tears.
I wipe my eyes, slam on the gas and head for home.
I punch the code into the elevator, the doors closer just in time for me to catch sight of Sawyer pulling the Audi into the space next to my car. I pull myself together on the short ride up to the penthouse. As I stride across the foyer of the apartment and into the great room, I scan the room for my husband to locate him perched on a stool at the breakfast bar, a large glass of wine in one hand an ipad on the counter in front of him.
I march across the floor between us, tossing my purse and keys down on the way, Christian raises his head to see me and barely has time to turn his body towards me before I reach him and press my lips to his, taking his hair in my hands, and holding his face against mine. His hands find my behind, pressing my body to his as his initial surprise at my assault slides into his own passionate response.
After minutes, Christian pulls back and observes me, a smile curling at the corner of his mouth, his eyes narrow. I lunge in aiming to silence him before he can even speak. I close my eyes, as I surge forward hungry for his lips; he pulls back, moving his hands up to my shoulders and holding me tight at arms length.
"What's going on Mrs. Grey?"
"Nothing" I say lunging towards him again. He holds me firm and my attempts to kiss him are dashed. He cocks his head in that way he has and raises his eyebrows.
"What?" I protest... "Can't a girl make a pass at her husband without an inquisition?"
I fix him with my determined gaze. He regards me impassively. Finally I snap "Christian, I have had a crappy week... I take me to bed and fuck me..." biting down on my bottom lip in the way I know he cannot resist, I whisper my last demanding syllable, "...hard"
His eyes widen a fraction and he seems to grow taller somehow.
"Well Mrs Grey, you certainly are a demanding little thing, and who am I to deny you?"
He takes my hand and leads me across the great room. Stopping on the other side he turns to me... "Playroom I think" He states. I give a little nod and he leads the way upstairs.
I am blindfolded. Naked but for soft leather cuffs binding my wrists at the small of my back, I feel goosebumps rising on my skin, not from cold but from anticipation. The heavenly tones of soprano drift in the air... Madame Butterfly I think. The warm and sensitized flesh of my freshly spanked bottom tingles, heightening my patience for what is to come. I cannot quite locate Christian in my minds eye... is he by the museum chest? No the bed I think? What was that? Something wooden? A toy of some sort? I move my head to my left trying to understand what I can hear, only to be rewarded with another deliciously sharp slap against my behind.
"I said still Anastasia"
suddenly his large hand is at the small of my back "Step" he commands, and I take a step forward. He placing his other hand on my neck he guides me over the leather bench... that bench; the one over which he spanked me with a belt all those months ago. My already pink butt clenches involuntarily at the memory.
"Relax... I am not planning to spank you again... unless of course you misbehave." His threat does not fill me with dread as it might have once... even if he does spank me again, he will not hurt me... not beyond what I can endure anyway. Endure and enjoy.
His hand moves from my neck, down my spine towards the place just above my behind where my cuffed hands rest arousing every nerve on it's way. His finger makes its way down lower, exploring the valley between my cheeks. I feel something cold against my exposed flesh. He begins to massage that most private of places with his thumb and the cold gel liquid, before he slips his thumb inside my passage. I feel the familiar, cold, hard, metal bullet shape of a butt plug just above the space his thumb now occupies. Suddenly his thumb is gone and I feel myself stretching to accommodate the plug as he slides it deep. As my behind finally swallows up the invading object, Christian stands me up, guiding me toward the leather couch I think. He bends me over again, this time over the arm of the couch, and taking my hips in his hands, guides me towards the tip of his erection. With one fast, winding thrust he is inside me. I let out a half whispered yelp as my body feels to full to accommodate Christian as well as the butt plug and the air in my lungs!
"Alright?" He asks
"Yes, God yes!" is all I can utter and he does not hesitate. Slamming hard into me again and again, against my red hot behind and the plug, forcing the air from my lungs he also hammers the tension and frustrations of my week from my mind and body.
I build and build fast. As Christian thrusts hard into me he twists the plus expertly. Feeling me tighten around him, at the last moment he pulls it free and I explode.
I am lifeless... aware, just, of my hands being released, as I lie limp across the arm of the couch. Christian lifts me and folds me in his arms. I do not open my eyes as I feel him padding with me across the room. By the time my senses return enough for me to open my eyes, Christian, still naked, is placing me on our soft bed in our bedroom. All is good with the world.