Some of you were saying that the chapter I posted yesterday was uploaded twice. I'm sorry about that, I really don't know what happened there. Anyway, here's another chapter for you guys :)
DISCLAIMER: The original characters of Fifty Shades of Grey are owned by E.L. James. The content, added characters and storyline of this story are owned by me. No copyright infringement is intended.
Rated M for adult language.
I'm not going to let Grey get to me tonight. Tonight, I'm stone. I saw the sadistic smirk on his face when he came to greet me, but I didn't let it get to me. As much as I wanted to fly kick his face, I restrained myself and played civil. I'm gonna have to. I can't have any more unwanted attention on me. I need to play in the shadows, but that's gonna be hard with Grey camped at every corner. I need to get him off my scent.
We make our way to the dining room and it's only then I realise that Ethan's here! He was supposed to attend last nights Gala but his flight was delayed. I can't help but feel a little excited seeing Ethan.
Ethan's your typical American heart throb. 6"2, messy blonde hair, green emerald eyes, a surfers body and a smile so dazzling.
I've always adored Ethan. Not in a sexual way but a brotherly way. I can be alone with Ethan and know that I'm safe. I remember before any of that shit went down, everytime I'd see him, he would always ask me out but of course I never gave him the time of day, I always saw him as a brother.
Sometimes I can't help but to wonder how would my life have turned out if I did say yes to him. Would I be where I am today? Would I be who I am today? Would those things have still happened to me?
I'm pulled out of my trip down memory lane by Ethan. "Well, well, well. If you aren't a sight for sore eyes. Still looking good Steele" Oh yeah and I haven't seen him in over a year.
"Wish I could say the same for you E, you've let yourself go" I joke, giving him a small smile. He gives me his boyish laugh and strides toward me, grabs my face in his two massive hands and gives me a big kiss on the cheek. I can't help but laugh. He knows I he can't hug me so instead he opts for a big kiss on the cheek.
"So.. you two, are you's... you know like. Do you's have a... like a thing or something" I hear Mia ramble at us. A thing? Oh God.
"She wishes" Ethan answers. I give him a playful punch and laugh.
"No Mia, nothing like that. We're more like siblings if anything." I tell her, trying to give her any sort of reassurance I can. I see her relax a bit.
"Oh, ok that's good" I don't know if she mean't to say that out loud but she did. I raise an eyebrow and give her a little smile. She blushes, yeah she didn't mean to.
I look over to Grey and see him glaring at Ethan. God, does this man just hate everybody?
Mia grabs my hand and drags me to the dining table, "Ana you can sit next to me!" she exclaims excitedly. I can't help but like Mia, she's such a breath of fresh air.
"Mia, Ana has to sit next to me." Kate complains, I can tell she wanted to stomp her foot too but she restrained herself.
"It's fine, I can sit in the middle" I say, trying to make both girls happy.
"Aren't you the popular one" Just the sound of her voice gives me shivers.
"Elena, I didn't know you were going to be here. What a lovely surprise" I say, giving her a
"Likewise, I do hope you're feeling better darling. You gave everyone quite a scare last night." She just had to bring it up didn't she.
"Yes, well I feel much better now thank you."
"That's good to hear." She purrs. Doesn't anyone else notice how creep this lady is?
I take a look at the seating arrangements, I notice all the men are on one side of the table and us women on the other. Of course I'd be seated across from Grey. Grace is at one head of the table and Carrick, hm, where is Carrick?
"Christian dear, can you please go check where your father is? He's always making us wait." Grace says whilst shaking her head.
Christian gets up to leave but sits back down when he sees Carrick and oh my, Paul Adkins walk in. That man is one fine specimen. Kate leans into me and whispers "What I would do to have one night with that fine piece of a-"
"Kate!" I whisper yell at her so no one can hear. "Last time I checked you had Elliot, and if I'm not mistaken we're currently sitting at his parents kitchen table." Seriously this girl has no boundaries.
"Oh my God he's coming over here, quick stand up!" Huh? I turn and sure enough Paul is standing there giving me his mega watt smile. Oh If only...
"Ana, it's great seeing you again."
"Same here Paul." I reach out my hand for him to shake but of course he takes it and plants a soft kiss on it. I hear the girls beside me swoon. Oh God, what is this High school? I could've sworn I heard a growl coming from Grey's direction.
Paul goes to take his seat next to Ethan. Ethan gives me a little wink, I can't help but roll my eyes, yep we're in high school.
The dinner table is lively and you have your dinner banter going in all directions.
"So Ana, how's the empire going in New York?" Carrick asks while taking a sip of his wine.
"It's going well, actually, it's better than ever right now."
"That's good, you should be proud of yourself." Carrick says, giving me a warm smile.
"Well of course I couldn't have done it without all the support I had from my friends and father." It's true, if it weren't for them I'd probably be dead in a ditch somewhere.
He nods. "Your father, what does he do?"
"He owns a shooting range in New York." I notice Carrick flinch a bit.
"I take it you're not a fan of guns?" I ask.
"That obvious huh?" He laughs.
"It's understandable. My father was in the marines so learning how to handle and use a gun was a necessity in my upbringing. I was also taught different forms of self defence before I even touched a gun. To me, a gun is a last resort."
He nods in understanding.
"Our family is anti-gun but we won't hold it against you" Carrick says kindly.
"And your mother? What does she do dear?" Grace asks. Shit, I need to diffuse this conversation.
"I actually don't know my mother. It's just Ray and I." The pity is evident on her face. Great, pity, I love that, I think sarcastically to myself.
"I'm sorry I didn't mean to bring it up."
"Don't apologize Grace, it's perfectly fine." I give her a reassuring smile.
"You were adopted weren't you Anastasia?" Christian asks with an eyebrow raised, taking a sip of his wine. He must have read my background check, he should know I was fucking adopted.
"Yes, I was actually. Ray adopted me at the age of 8 but I don't really remember my childhood before then." I lie, everyone seems to buy it, but Grey of course.
"Really? seems to me that you'd be advanced enough at the age of 8 to remember certain things about your childhood. You really can't remember anything?" He asks.
Kate rubs my thigh reassuringly, the contact made me flinch a bit. I'm feeling overwhelmed and she can sense it.
"Ana, do you mind coming to the bathroom with me for a sec?" Kate asks, grabbing my hand.
"I think you're big enough to go on your own Katherine, don't you?" Christian says to Kate.
"Oh shut it Christian." Kate says and drags me away. I can't help the giggle that escapes my lips. I turn to see Christian sitting there looking frustrated.
"God what is up with him tonight?" Kate asks as she reapplies her lipgloss.
"Who?" I ask, playing dumb.
"Mr Money bags down there! Seriously, talk about a little too personal. He should know more than anyone not to pry on peoples lives considering his life before the Greys."
I stare at Kate through the mirror. Elliot must've confided in her about Christian and his childhood. I wonder just how much she knows. I can't just ask her, can I? I never show any interest in gossip and Kate will surely suspect something.
"Did you know, even after the Grey's adopted him, he just kept getting worse."
Okay, I might not need to ask.
"He was even on drugs at the age of 14."
Well, this is news to me, considering what he witnessed his birth mother go through.
Kate shakes her head. " How can someone with parents like Carrick and Grace turn out to be like that? I mean Elliot and Mia had pretty bad childhoods before the Grey's too and they didn't turn to alcohol, drugs and violence."
"Well, he must've gotten his act together in time for college considering he was accepted into Harvard" I say, trying to probe more information out of Kate. I feel bad, but this kind of presented itself to me.
"Yeah cause gardening really straightens fucked up delinquents out" Kate says sarcastically while rolling her eyes. Gardening?
Kate turns towards me, "Elliot said that Christian started to get his life on track right after he started working for Elena Lincoln. He used to garden or some crap like that and unless her tulips could talk and had a direct link to God, it's horse shit, I can tell."
That's why Kate's such a good journalist. She sniffs out all the possibilities and comes up with all these theories. Some whacky, some spot on and I know she's on to something with this. But is that a good or bad thing?
Elena and Grey do have some history together. The intel I was given didn't give too much to go on but it was enough to make me want to dig deeper.
Turns out Grey is actually a silent partner in the Esclava salons. I also noticed that quite a substantial amount of money goes into Esclava from Grey's personal account.
Now I'm not one to judge on ones sexuality but Grey doesn't seem like the one to get a mani, pedi, full body wax and beauty treatments every 2 weeks. Well except for the last 2 months, Grey hasn't made any transactions.
He does have a sister and a mother, has it occurred to you that maybe he takes them there? It has occurred to me and it is plausible, but I wouldn't be one of most successful women in the world if I didn't follow my instincts and my instincts told me to run an in depth background check on Elena Lincoln. Bank records, medical records, you name it. I'm getting it all, and in the result that I am wrong then that's fine by me, I don't lose anything.
Why would Grey be a silent partner in salons? If you look at all of his acquisitions and mergers, there are no beauty salons. Nothing even remotely related to beauty, and why wouldn't he want Esclava to be under Grey enterprises? It would make more money if it were. It just makes no sense to keep it silent. Unless he didn't want to be connected to it? But why would he want that?
I'm pulled out of my thoughts by Kate's fingers clicking in my face.
"Geez Steele, you alright? I've been talking to you for the last 3 minutes and you just zoned out on me, whats up with you?"
I shake my head and laugh, "Sorry, still must be feeling groggy from last night." I can't tell Kate what's going on between Grey and I. It would interfere with her relationship with Elliot and I won't have that. This is between Grey and I.
Kate has an uneasy look on her face, I can tell she wants to ask me something.
"Ana... has Christian said or... done anything to you? I mean after last nights events, it just seemed that you two had this angry tension and you said that you took something that he wanted, he didn-" I hold a finger to Kate's lips successfully shutting her up.
"Kate, Grey and I have nothing going on but a business rivalry. I acquired a publishing house that he was trying to acquire and the fact that he lost it to me didn't sit that well with him. It's Grey we're talking about here. When does he ever get denied of something that he wants? It's nothing but business, plain and simple."
I see the wheels in Kate's head turn as she processes this information. I've learnt to never underestimate Kate, I'm taking a big risk telling her all this.
"Okay Ana. But I still don't trust him. Everytime I catch him looking at you it's like he wants to eat you up and devour you, it's a little intense."
Well hate is an intense thing I think to myself as we walk out of the bathroom.
Kate and I make our way back downstairs and enter the dining area.
"You know Christian, it's so nice having you stay longer than usual." Grace proclaims to her youngest son.
"Well, I'm enjoying myself so it wouldn't hurt to stay a bit longer." Christian gives Grace a little smile.
I've noticed that Elliot hasn't said a word to Christian all night, much less looked his way.
"Kate?" I whisper.
"What's up with Elliot? Is he okay?"
Kate looks at Elliot and sighs. "I don't know Ana, ever since last night he's been a bit reclusive, deep in thought. I don't know what's happening with him, I just hope that..."
Kate looks down at her lap, I know what she's thinking.
"Kate, Elliot cares about you. Trust me it's obvious. Maybe he just has some other thing on his mind, like work or something. I highly doubt you have anything to worry about." I tell her, giving her a hand a squeeze. I better be right though, I really wouldn't want to have to destroy two Grey's.
My phone starts buzzing and I realize it's Price. "If you'll all excuse me, I need to take this" I announce to everyone at the table.
"Not at all dear, take your time." I hear Carrick say. I make my way out of the dining room and head to the nearest room that secures privacy.
I shut the door behind me and take the call.
"What do you have Price?"
"Ma'am, we didn't find much on Elena Lincoln. Nothing that connects anything to Grey."
"Fuck" I hiss.
"However..." Oh, I'm liking however.
"In 2002, Mrs Lincoln was hospitalised. To put it bluntly Ma'am, She had the shit kicked out of her. She was in hospital for three weeks. She suffered from a broken jaw, broken left arm, and 4 cracked ribs and major bruising and swelling on the face. She was unrecognizable."
I stand there in complete shock. Fuck. I certainly didn't expect that. Who would do such a thing? and what would cause someone to do that much damage to another person?
"Do we know who did it? Were they caught?"
"Ma'am, the person responsible was Mr Lincoln, Elena Lincoln's husband."
What the fuck?!
"No charges were pressed against him, and Mr Lincoln made sure that this would never see the light of day."
Well until this day. I suddenly remember seeing something on the file about Grey's involvement with Lincoln Timbers.
"Price, I need all of Grey's acquisitions and mergers. If it's locked up tight then get Rick to hack Grey Enterprises server and get the information. This can't be led back to us in any way, do you understand? If it can't be done then let me know, I need this to happen without a hitch, no chances taken. I don't want a 99.9% chance that this won't lead back to Steele Inc, I need 110% guaranteed this won't bite us in the ass. Grey is a ruthless man and he'll stop at nothing, you know that. Grey's security is going to be a tough nut to crack so no doubt this is going to take a while. Just keep me informed on the process."
"Of course Ma'am, I'll get on it right away."
"Thank you, Price." I say as I hang up. There's definitely some strange connection with Grey and Elena, I can just feel it. I look at my phone and realize I've been in here for quite a while. I go to open to the door, only bump into a very hard chest. I look up and of course it's him. He pushes me inside the room and shuts the door behind him and makes sure to lock it.
Shit, he didn't hear me did he?
"What the fuck, Grey?!" He just continues to glare at me.
"Get out of my way" I hiss. He just smirks. I roll my eyes and make my way to the door only to have Grey block me completely from it. Don't panic Steele, don't panic. He takes a few steps toward me, I don't know I'm taking steps back until my back hits the desk behind me.
"Don't come any closer to me Grey, I'm warning you." I say with as much confidence as I can, which isn't a lot. Is it just me or is the room getting smaller and smaller? Fuck. I didn't work and train this hard to be cornered by a bully and succumb to his torment.
I straighten my posture and square my shoulders, which only results in him laughing at me.
"You think you can intimidate me Steele?" he laughs.
"You know, you have a lot of balls showing up here tonight, Steele. After last night, I thought you'd be on the first flight back to New York. Or did you come here to beg?"
"To keep your dirty little secret." I don't reply. I just stand here with an impassive expression. He's not getting to me.
"What's wrong Steele? Cat your tongue?" He's so close to me now that I can smell his scent and feel his warm breath on my face. It disgusts me. He disgusts me.
I look up at him, staring straight into his eyes.
"You will never, ever, hear me beg." I whisper deathly to him. His jaw clenches.
"Beg." He says. Is he serious?
"No." At this point he has me practically under him as he places both arms on the side of
table and leans down making me fall back onto the table, trapping me with his body.
"Beg!" He says sternly. Is this guy fucking mental?
"I said, No!" I yell as I push on his chest as hard as I can, causing him to stumble back. He's holding onto his chest, confusion evident on his face.
"You ever pull that shit on me again, Grey. You're gonna wish you were six feet under." I say and storm out of the room. I can't help the few tears that escape my eyes. Ugh, I fucking hate crying.
I step out to the back yard to get some much needed air. Why do I feel like breaking down? I'm having trouble keeping my emotions in check and I don't fucking like it. Ever since Grey stepped into my life, my world has been coming undone.
I hear someone coming from behind me. I quickly wipe the tear remains and straighten myself up.
"Are you okay, darling?" I hear the cold voice speak.
"Yes I'm fine, Elena. Thank you." She's standing next to me, staring out into the beautiful backyard.
"It's not a nice feeling when you lose control is it?" My head snaps to hers. She has a knowing smirk on her face.
"Believe it or not Anastasia, I've dealt with a few people like you in my life time. People with power, but sometimes that power becomes too much and control starts to slip. That's where I can help darling."
If I said this woman creeped me out earlier, I take it back. She makes my fucking skin crawl. I can't let her see that though. Hmm... an Idea starts to form in my head.
I turn my whole body to Elena, "How can you help?" I ask softly.
Her smirk gets wider and she hands me a card. Not a business card but a card with all her numbers, email address and home address.
"Whenever you're ready, you know where I am." She purrs and walks back inside.
Maybe she's into witchcraft?
Well, whatever it is, I'm going to find out.
I make my way back inside to let Kate know that I'm heading back to the hotel. It's been a real long night. Instead of finding Kate, I find Paul.
"Oh hi Paul, I was just looking for Kate, have you seen her?"
" I think she went to the boathouse earlier with Elliot." Hmm wonder what their doing in there. What do you think they're doing, cleaning the boat?
Paul takes a few steps towards me. "It's a shame I didn't get to talk to you that much tonight. When I heard you were going to be here tonight, I couldn't help but feel a little excited." He says softly. I can't help the smile that grows on my face and the blush that graces my cheeks. I can't believe I'm fucking blushing right now, get a grip Steele.
"Come to dinner with me tomorrow night." It's not a question, but a demand almost. Dinner? like a date?
"Oh.. I uh, I don't know Paul. I have a lot of wor-"
"It's not a marriage proposal Ana, just dinner." He chuckles. I can't help but giggle also. It's been a while since I've gone on a date. Years actually. Not since... I sigh, what the hell.
"Ok." I say and he smiles a bright smile that could light up a room.
"But I'm going to have to bring my security personnel with me, I hope you understand?
He's a little taken back by that I can tell, but there's no way in hell I'm going anywhere with any man without Price. Take it or leave it.
"No problem." He says. Okay then, that's good. I give him my card and he gives me his.
Kate's staying with Elliot again, I haven't told her that I'm having dinner with Paul tomorrow yet. She'll make a big deal about it and I just want to rest. I say my goodbyes to everyone. I notice Grey must've left earlier. He didn't even say goodbye to his mother, he just left.
Price opens my door and I get in. It's weird but... I'm actually a little excited for dinner with Paul tomorrow night. Don't get too excited, he's still a man.
I bolted right out of there, without even saying goodbye to anyone. I can't think straight. She touched me... she touched me... she touched my chest... and I didn't feel anything. What did she do to me? What the fuck did she do to me?!
"Mr Grey, are you alright?" A concerned Taylor asks.
"Take me to Cadenas. Now." I snap. Taylor gives me a disapproving look.
"Anything you want to fucking say Taylor?"
"No sir." He replies in a clipped tone.
Cadenas is a very exclusive BDSM club here is Seattle. Cadenas is spanish for chains. I found this club when I was starting out as a Dominant. I haven't been there in while and I think it's been long overdue.
I make my way inside and my senses are hit with the smell of citrus and leather. I've always found comfort in the mixture of these two scents.
I don't even take notice of the changes this club has undertaken since I've last been here and head straight to the bar.
"Give me a shot of your strongest." The bartender nods. I drink the brown liquor and swallow the bile that's creeping up my throat. This shit is really fucking strong.
"Another." I say as I slam two hundred bills on the bar. He doesn't hesitate to pour me another. I down the shot and order a few more.
"Count!" I yell as I bring the cane down on her back.
"sev...seventeen" She cries. I hit her again, harder than previously. She cries out in pain.
"Red!" she cries out. I ignore her cries and keep going. "I said count, Anastasia!" Anastasia?
Her cries becomes sobs. "Plea..please.. I can't take anymore...stop... please".
I drop the cane and take a step back, what am I doing? I take a look at the little brunette who's name I can't even remember. Her back is seriously messed up... Why did I lose control like that? You know why. It wasn't your crack whore mother you were beating. It was Anastasia.
I turn my attention back to the girl who's arms are still attached to the chains hanging from the ceiling. She doesn't seem to be holding any of her weight. I quickly detach the chains before he arms are pulled out of their sockets. She just drops to the floor. I quickly contact Taylor and tell him to come deal with this. She'll be well compensated for this, I can't have her going public.
I came here because I thought it would make me feel better, I thought it was what I needed. It didn't even turn me on the slightest. All I wanted to do was... punish her, and that's what I did. I just punished her.