I don't own any of the Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy, the characters belong to E L James, any names, dates, places and products, actual or similar to reality are being borrowing just for fun and not for profit.
This statement applies for the whole story so I won't repeat.
I'm sitting here in my office, poring over the executive summary again of one delectable Anastasia Rose Steele. It's all I've done for the last 5 hours, every time I think I have put her out of my mind, I glimpse the paintings on the wall and hear her dreamy statement "Raising the ordinary to extraordinary" and I look back at the summary for a clue – why can I not shake her from my mind? "Raising the ordinary to extraordinary" indeed.
I reach for my jacket and call Taylor telling him we're going home. Just as I reach the door my phone rings and without thinking, I pick up, thinking maybe Ana is calling and then I shake my head. Seriously, why would SHE be calling? Get a grip Grey!
"Grey" I answer.
"Oh Mr Grey" I hear a voice thick with sickness, "I'm sorry to call you at this hour, it is Katherine Kavanagh" Well, this day is becoming just that little bit weirder.
"I apologise for bothering you but I was wondering whether Ana made it to the interview today?" and then before I have a chance to reply, she continues with a rush "It's just that she hasn't made it home or to work and no-one can reach her on her phone".
At her words a shiver of dread runs down my spine, oh no, what has happened to Ana? I told her she shouldn't be driving in this weather. Nothing can happen to Ana, I can't lose her, I have to find her, I have to save her if something has gone wrong. Really, what is going on, lose her? Save her?
"Ah, Mr Grey…. Are you there?" I hear on the phone.
Forcing myself to calm down and present a calm voice, "Yes, Miss Kavanagh, Anastasia did conduct the interview and left 5 hours ago, what sort of car was she driving? I will get my security to see if they can do something. What is her cell number?" No need to let her know I already have that information.
Kate gives me Ana's cell number and then tells me that Ana is driving her car, a Mercedes CLK. Well, at least it is a reasonably safe car but it's a fast car and if she isn't used to driving that sort of car in the rain, I could see how an accident could happen. Strangely, Kate then says "Oh you don't need to bother, I assume she must have gone to her dad's place, he lives in Monsanto, thank you for your help. Oh and thank you for the interview, I hope to hear it all when Ana comes back" and she hangs up. Why doesn't she sound more upset?
"Taylor" I call, "we need to track this cell number urgently".
As I lean against the steel pillars of this amazing monument to the confusing man upstairs, desperately attempting to bring my shaking limbs under control and calm my breathing, I see a woman who looks somewhat like me, staring at me from her little red car parked out the front – how weird, she looked away when I caught her staring but she seemed to have a malicious look on her face. What's her problem? Actually, what's my problem, why I am concerned about a total stranger – gah, that man has done something to my brain. Maybe if I call him "that man" he won't affect me so much.
Finally my heart is back under control and I can breathe and I realise that it looks like the rain is really going to settle in so I walk to the car and head home.
Flying down the I-5, I'm so thankful I am in the CLK instead of my darling Wanda, not only is it so much faster but the sound system is something to behold. I have the music pumping, dancing in my seat and choose the next song to keep the energy flowing, I have a long drive ahead of me. I need to stay alert as possible because I am still more than an hour away from Portland and while I am enjoying the feeling of the speed of the CLK the rain is really pouring down and there are a surprising number of other cars on the road.
Hmm, I really should be concentrating on the road and the other cars, I can't control what they do in the rain and I really should be paying attention. It pops into my head that Ray wouldn't be very happy with me if I wasn't concentrating in the rain, I love my dad and how he taught me so many things to keep myself safe, "Always be aware of your surroundings Annie, you never know when something is going to happen" and then I see something in the rear view mirror and shake my head, I must be seeing things.
As I try to figure out whether I could have imagined it, I stop focussing on the road ahead of me and I guess I just don't see the huge expanse of water, like a sheen over the road until I hit it.
Just as I start aquaplaning, I see the flash, feel the bump and I know what I saw and it wasn't my imagination.