Hey guys. Sorry for not updating so soon, but I have been very busy with life and what not. Hard to believe that we are about to hit the 30,000 mark, so thanks to everyone that has been along for the ride. As for updates, Im thinking about writting a second installment to this story rather than just cutting it short. Let me know what you think.
And a note, thanks to all those who have sent those lovely messages that are encouraging me to continue writing. I am so grateful.
FROM ME TO YOU :)
So this morning I over heard from some overly loud nurse that someone had leaked my stay to the media. Apparently I was on the front page this morning, and there was nothing I could do about it. It was out there and even though I knew Christian was trying his hardest to get the press to stop printing the story, there would be no way to stop it. This story was too hot and too entertaining to the people reading it. My story, would be the subject of morning conversations throughout the city, and no doubt soon throughout the country. And I hated that I would be forever known as "Christian Grey's Love Interest & Jack Hyde's Rape Victim". I could never go back to recluse life, and I could never have things the way I wanted to again. I couldn't walk down the street in the mornings to my local bakery to get a coffee and cinnabun anymore. There would always be people watching. I couldn't go for jogs when I felt fat anymore, because people would forever be following me. And I couldn't look at people the same way because I would never know again if I could trust them. How many people did I call friends, of whom I had only met on a few instances? How many acquaintances had I let into my home because I loved meeting new people and making new friends? How many secret lives did these people have? Would I ever be safe? These questions ran through my head over and over, and no matter how hard I tried to reason with myself, there was no way of logically thinking them away. Jack had taken a part of me that I could never get back. It was a little bit of my shine, and that part of me that took people on for face value that was gone. I would forever be questioning people and their motives now, and for a reason I knew I didn't want talk about, all I could think about is what would happen to me when I left this room.
I could hear people pacing outside my room and I knew that it was security that Christian had put in place. I could see them when the nurse would come in and out to check on me. When she gave a pill the morning after, all I could think about is this little thing going to stop the possibility of something growing in me. What was it about this pill that was so sure? How could everyone be sure? I sure as hell couldn't, but when I asked the nurse if I could take a second one for good measure, she assured me that one was only needed. One, just one. When I was about to object, I realised that Taylor was standing at the door, not looking in, but obviously listening. And for the first time, I felt a wave of embarrassment crash over me. He had always been nice and civil to me, and sometimes even friendly to me. But I couldn't look at him or even bear the thought of him looking at me at all. He would judge. I knew they all would, eventually. Why was I unable to save myself? Or at least call for help somehow? Could I have fought him off in my apartment instead of just complying? I knew if something like this had happened to Taylor, he wouldn't have been compliant. He would have fought and fought hard. He wouldn't have given in. I couldn't let him see me like this, beaten and broken. I had always been a happy person when I was around him and to let him see me like this, would break me even more. I was already feeling sorry for myself, but I didn't want to see the pity growing in the eyes of those who I still trusted.
"Ms Steele? Can I come in?"
Speak of the devil. Taylor must have some sort mind power to be able to hear what I was thinking, because he always had a knack of showing up when I was thinking about him. Wiping away my tears, and sitting up straight, I nodded. I didn't look at him though, just at my hands knotted on top of an itchy white cotton sheet.
"Of course you can come in Taylor. You have stood out there for hours now. The least I could do is let you sit inside my room. "
" I just..."
"Its Ana, Taylor. I keep telling you this. I'm just Ana."
"Ok Ana, I just come to tell you that you are getting discharged today and that will be able to go home. told me to come and retrieve your things."
"And what things would they be? A room of flowers fit for a funeral?"
"Just your personal items Ana that's all."
I could see it on his face that I was making him uncomfortable. I was taking my frustrations out on him and he didn't deserve it. If anybody deserved to be treated well, it was him. He was always on my side, always ready to do what was best for me at my request. He was like a second dad, and I was treating him like the enemy. I didn't even recognise myself anymore.
"I'm sorry Taylor. I shouldn't have spoken to you like that. I think I just need to get out of here."
"You have been here for 3 days now. It would make anyone slightly... agitated."
"Its been that long? The days are just blurring together now. I just cant wait to get home and see my parents and sleep."
"Yeah, your parents have waited for you. If it wasn't for those damn papz they would have been here and not left, but we all thought that they should wait till you were at home. It saves them from having to deal with all those obscene questions."
"Yeah. I just want my mum, you know. And I miss Gail's cooking. This hospital food is getting me feeling all types of strange."
"Gail is missing you too, Ana. But Ana, how are you... really?"
A single sentence brought me back to reality. I could put on brave face and joke like nothing has happened, but really its always there. I could pretend like it didn't eat away at everything in my mind and body, but it would always be there in the back of my mind.
"I don't know. One minute I'm fine and I can't wait to get back to my life. I can't wait to work and go out and hang with Kate, and even Elliot. But then I remember everything that happened and its like I never want to leave my home again. Its like I can still feel him under my skin, and I can hear his voice in my head. And I don't even know what happening beyond this room. I don't know if the police even know where Jack is, or if he is coming after me. I don't know if I can trust anyone ever again. I don't know if I can even trust Christian again, and most of all.. I.. I just don't want to lose myself. I don't want people to pity me.. or... judge me. I don't want to be the victim but I'm so scared, Taylor. I'm scared that when I close my eyes, he will come and get me. I'm scared that he will hurt people I love to get to me... but most of all... I'm.. scared... that..."
"That what Ana?"
"What if Christian doesn't want to try to love me after this? What if I am damaged goods and he can't stand to look at me? I know now, he seems all focused and determined to keep me safe, but once Jack is gone, what will there be? He wont see me the way he used to, and I know as much as he says he will, I know he wont. I wont be the same girl he knew and even after everything, after all the cheating and the lying and the hurt, there is no one else for me. And that's what get me most. When it's just us, will I be enough?"
"Ana, I can't speak for him. I have known him for a very long time and I can only say how I think things will be. And I'm going to be honest with you because I think that you deserve it."
"That is all I have ever wanted."
"I don't know how things will be. He could turn away from you, but not because of all the things you said, but because he will look at you and only see that he failed to protect you. And I know him, he will think about it and try to control everything, but it will be too much; his own guilt will eat away at him."
"But he could take you in his arms and never want to let you go. And that is something you will have to overcome. He will want to watch over you and protect you and if you want things to get better you will have to let him. As much as you're hurting now, he is hurting just as much. You will need to heal with him, and let yourself heal. You cannot keep blaming yourself Ana."
"Ho..how... did you know?"
"I could tell. And Ana?"
"He wont ever come near you again. I could kill him with my bear hands myself. You may feel alone now, but believe me, you have more people than you know. I will never understand what you are going through and I wont ever try to tell you that I do, but we will be here for you every step you take. And if Christian is a fool and pushes you away a second time, we will always be there for you. I think of you as.. as... family. And I protect my family. I wont fail you again Ana."
And with that he came over and engulfed me in a hug that showed me so many emotions all at one time. It may take sometime, but I know that if I have the support of at least him, things would be ok.
Stepping out the lobby, I was ambushed. There were at least 60 people with their cameras jammed all close together. Taylor was in front of me, and Christian had me wrapped in his arms. My chest was still hurting and I couldn't really walk by myself, but I found myself trying to look strong in front of the cameras. I could tell that Christian had not expected them to be here and that Taylor was worried to. Just looking at them I could see the tension just radiating of them. And all the while the questions were just being flung at me.
! ! Is it true that you carrying a child?
Are you sure of the baby's father?
How do you feel about 's adultery?
Are you and Grey still together?
How do you feel about the escape of Jack Hyde?
Do you fear for your life?
Where are you going to hide out?
LOOK HERE! LOOK HERE! LOOK HERE!
I couldn't take it anymore. They were painting my story like some sort of drama playing out on their television screens. And no matter how many time both Christian and Taylor would yell no comment, they continued on and on. They were attacking me. They couldn't even leave me alone to allow me to go home safely. I was trying to rush, when it hit me, that somewhere where ever Jack was, he would be watching this. He would see how broken and battered I was and how much damage he had done to me. And I could see him smiling, smoking his cigarettes thinking he had won. I wouldn't let him win.
"What are you talking about Ana! The car is just across the road. You can make it. We don't have to give these vultures anything."
"I need to speak"
"And I need you safe. Stop it. We are going."
And with that he began to pull me along, like I was some errant child. I knew he meant well but as per usual, he went about it the wrong way. He was showing his love in his old fashion controlling sense, and any other time I would have thought it funny and playful and tried to turn it into a game, but now, he was just stopping me from doing something I needed to do. Pulling my hand out of his, and standing at tall as I could I looked at one camera that was directly in front of me. The man behind it looked about 20years old. He had brown eyes and black hair and looked tired and frustrated.
"If you want a comment and a chance to record this I suggest all of you stand behind this man."
They suddenly all moved to get in front of me. I lost sight of Christian and Taylor as the crowd moved. I could feel the breath in me quicken, but I needed to get this out and I needed it to be now, not in a week when the chance of Jack seeing this would be less.
"Hello. My name as you all know is Anastasia Steele. I was brutally victimized by Jack Hyde that left me in the hospital. I had many injuries including cigarette burns and fractured bones. Yes, Jack did rape me. He took something from me that I wont ever be able to replace. And yes, the police have not been able to find him as yet. But I know that they will find him."
From somewhere in the crowd, a reporter yelled to me more questions.
"Is it true that you were held in some sort of dungeon?"
"No, I was not. It was more of a warehouse than dungeon. It was a horrible place and there is no way I will disclose the location of said place."
"Are you fearful for your life and the life of your child?"
"First of, I am not pregnant. There are precautions being taken in order for that not to happen. Secondly, no. I am not scared. Jack Hyde is a coward, who took something from me and ran. He hides in the shadows, whilst I will continue. I wont let him destroy me."
"If Jack Hyde is watching this right now, is there something you would like to say to him."
This was my chance. My opportunity to tell my abuser that I would never let him win.
"Yes. Jack, I will never be yours and you will never have what you want. The police will find you and you will rot away in prison where you belong. I am not going to be broken by you. I wont let you take anything more from me and my family. You may have stolen what you think is a win, but in the end you will lose. I plan on moving on with my life, and you can't scare me into living it anyway less than what I deserve. They will find you."
Behind me, I felt Christians arms engulf me, and pull me towards the car. Once in the car, I could feel his tension. He wasn't looking at me and Taylor wasn't saying anything but looking forward.
"TALK TO ME!"
"YOU CANT DO THAT! WHAT IF HE HAD BEEN WATCHING YOU? OR IF HE WAS IN THE CROWD? HE COULD HAVE GOTTEN TO YOU AGAIN, AND THEN I WOULD HAVE TO COME LOOKING FOR YOU AGAIN! DO YOU LIKE ANTAGONISING HIM DO YOU? DO YOU LIKE BEING IN THE HOSPITAL? BECAUSE IF YOU KEEP GOING ON LIKE THIS, THATS WHERE YOU WILL END UP! ITS LIKE YOU WANT TO GET HURT. YOUR ALWAYS PUTTING YOURSELF IN THESE STUPID SITUATIONS. WHY CANT YOU EVER JUST LISTEN!"
It was pure shock that came first. I was trying to ready myself for the break, trying to work my way around how I would act when it came. But I never thought it would come so soon. I thought it would take days, weeks even. But never did I think that it would be within minutes of us leaving the hospital.
"Why cant I listen? That's what you want to say to me?"
"After everything that has happened, one would assume you would listen. You would think that maybe you would have been scared enough to try and keep yourself safe, but you just keep putting yourself in harms way. I can't believe this is happening again. Do you know how worried I have been about you? Do you know how hard I have worked to try to stop that fiasco from happening and you just welcome it."
"NOTHING happened to you! You didn't go through what I have been through. You didn't wish for death, or hope that somehow I wouldn't have to feel anymore. You didn't question yourself over and over and wish that you weren't weak. Nothing happened to you! So don't sit there high up on your horse and pretend that you know anything about what happened to me."
There was an uncomfortable silence. I didn't want to be in the car with him and for some reason, I didn't want him to look after me anymore. I didn't ask for this. I didn't want this to happen and I sure as hell didn't ask for it. He didn't have to worry, hell he didn't even have to be here. I wasn't some child who could be scolded over spilt beans. I needed to say what I said. I needed to get it off my chest and let Jack know that I wasn't scared of him, regardless of the fact that I was. I wanted to appear strong, even though I wasn't. And I was stupid to think that maybe Christian would see that.
"Taylor, can you please take me to my apartment. I will not be staying at Escala tonight."
"Ana, you cannot be serious."
"And if you are doing nothing tonight, I would like you to stay with me Taylor... If you wish to do so."
"Of course Ana."
"ANA! You will be staying at Escala. There is no way your staying at your apartment."
"Are you going to take away my will Christian? Are you going to force me to do something I don't want to do? Is that the type of person you want to be? Do you want me to be scared of you Christian? Because now, all I can see I another man taking away something that doesn't belong to him."
He just looked at me. Fury. Anger. Hate. Pain. All over his face was these emotions, and now I couldn't care how he felt. This was my story and my pain. This wasnt about him and how he felt and it shouldn't have been about him. He should be supportive and careful with me, but he wasn't. He was letting his hate for Jack come in between us and even though I knew that he wasn't anything like Jack, you couldn't help see minor similarities between them. He wanted me safe, and I understood that, but I couldn't do something I didn't want. As much as I didn't want to go back to an empty apartment, I didn't want to walk on eggshells around Christian. I just wanted to go back to normal. I wanted to go to my bathroom and have a bath in my jasmine bath salts. I wanted to watch tv with my best friend and laugh at the idiot things those reality show characters say. I wanted to eat a grilled cheese sandwich and drink my favourite apple juice. I just wanted to go back to normal, and I knew I couldn't. If Christian was in this mood until Jack was found, I was better off being away from him. I needed to heal and he was so focused on Jack, that he would push me away. And no matter what I loved him enough to know the dangers of being together. I knew if I was there, I would be a constant, slowly healing reminder of the failure he thought he had made. I couldn't do that to him or to me.
When we arrived at my apartment, there was lights on in the house. Kate was home and a small smile grew on my face. I wanted to see her so much, but had little chance because of the papz. She had come to the hospital the night I had arrived, but was not able to come anytime after. Although I knew she would be beyond angry, I was happy she stayed away. I needed time and I wanted to come to her, on my own.
"Ana, I would never want to take your will away. I would never hurt you in anyway. I love you too much."
"I know. But we can't be together, not until Jack is found. You will be furious everyday that he isn't found and we will fight. I don't want us to fight. I want us to be stronger than this and I want us to get better. I cant lose us to him again. I don't care about Hannah or any other girls. I don't care about the red room or the pain it brings. I want you and we will deal with that when things have calmed down. I want us back. And you need to do this. But I will be here, and when we are both ready we can start again. But right now, we need the distance."
"I cant bear to be away from you Ana. I cant lose you again."
"You wont. But I wont put our relationship in jeopardy. I need to work through some stuff and you need to find Jack. I just want things to be back to the way they were. I want to be that giggling girl who just realised she is in love again."
With that he kissed me. His lips were as smooth and beautiful as I remembered them. But there was more. It was filled with sorrow, and I could tell he was holding back. He was kissing me like I would break under his pressure and to be honest and I didn't know if I wouldn't. But this kiss was something we both needed. It was sweet and tender. It was everything we both needed.
Taylor walked me to my door with my bags and I waved as Christian drove away. Knocking on the door, I could running footsteps on my wooden floor. When I opened the door, I didn't expect to see Elliot standing there. He looked at me like I was a little sister coming home. We hugged and he whispered welcome home in my ear. Walking into my lounge room, there sat my mother and father, Kate, Cameron and Ethan. They all looked at me and I could tell what they where seeing; a small girl with a black eye, split lip, bandaged hand who was limping. But in an instant it was gone. Kate was at me within a second and holding me saying she was glad I was back. It was Ethan next who held me, than Cameron. My mother just cried and held my hand. It was obvious she was scared that she was scared I would break. I just kept telling her I was ok. But it was my dad, who wouldn't look at me. He just kept looking at the red shag rug beneath his feet. Walking over to my dad, I could tell he wouldn't look at me.
"Ray?... Ray?... Dad?"
He wouldn't look at me and it was then that I could see the tears. He was crying and I couldn't help it. I couldn't hold back anymore. Leaning down next to him, and taking his hands, I rubbed them over and over.
"Please dad. Look at me."
Turning his face to me, I could see the shock. I wasn't the daughter he knew. I wasn't the girl that he took to the batting cage, I wasn't the girl he took to the ice cream parlour with. I looked horrible and he couldn't look past it.
"Ana, I'm so sorry."
"Dad, please. Don't make me feel worse. Please just treat me the same. I need you, daddy."
He looked at me and I could see the new tears building in his eyes. A small smile grew on his face, but I knew that I what it took to put it there. He was putting on a good face because I had asked him, and right now he knew I needed to just feel like nothing happened. He took my hands and kissed them, and then rubbed my face. It was a beautiful gesture, because I knew he would have thought that touching me I would break. But he stood up, reached down and offered his hand.
"I hear that Ethan here brought some choc chip ice cream, and you would never guess, but your mother even bought some sticky date pudding. Looks like we are having a sleep over kiddo. You and Taylor just waked into the most happening place right here."
"Yeah Steele, I even went out to the shops and bought it myself. Kate didn't even come with me. Look, I'm making progress as a grown up."
"Shut up Ethan, I hardly think buying a tub of ice cream is a mans job."
Trust it that Kate would cut him down, and with the look on his face we all started laughing. Taylor then walked over an placed the bags in the hall, and wondered the apartment. I knew he was on the look out. I was thankful that he was doing it, and that I wouldn't have to worry about anyone coming in throughout the night. I thought the my apartment would feel cold and empty, but looking around I could see all the love here. I felt like this was home, and that no matter what was happening out there, in here, there was nothing but love.
"Ana, are you ok?"
Everybody was in the kitchen, and it was funny to see that Taylor was eating ice cream too, chatting and talking about a game that was on. It was Ethan that stayed behind. He was looking at me like I was a victim, and I didn't like it.
"Ethan, I am ok. I just feel really good. I'm not going to pretend and say I'm over what happened, but look at this. My family is here and the love here makes me realise that the good far outweighs the bad. I'm just worried that when I go to sleep when I wake up, he will be here and ..."
"You don't have to worry about that. We are all staying here to hang out. I don't want you to worry."
Just then there was a knock at the door and my heart jumped. I walked to the door and opened it. There was Christian standing with 4 pizza boxes in one hand, and a pack of beers and a bottle of wine in the other. I had no idea how he was holding on to it all but I quickly grabbed the bottle of wine and the beer.
"What are you doing here?"
"I know you said that you need space, but I need you. I wasn't fair to you and I took my frustrations out on you and I shouldn't have. I want to be with you tonight Ana, even if that means I sleep on your couch. But I want to be here for you, just as you need it. I wont tell you how to live, but I cant stay away. Plus, Elliot told me there was some sort of slumber party."
"I.. I... I guess there is. I don't know how we are all going to fit though. There is only 2 beds."
"Well, I bought over extra pillows and blankets and some yoga like mats. They are more comfortable then they sound."
"You didn't have to."
"I know. But it sounds like fun... and I have never had a sleep over."
"Well your in luck. Whoever brings pizza and wine, can have some of our choc chip ice cream."
Christian walked in and I could tell Cameron was eyeing him off, but thankfully he said nothing. My mother and father looked like they wanted to say something but again choose not to. Then there was another knock on the door. I walked to the door and opened it and was swarmed by people with camera's who were shouting at me. I didn't know what to do, but within seconds Christian was at my side holding my waist and blocking the cameras lenses.
"WHAT IS THIS ABOUT?"
"Grey! Grey! Grey! How do you feel about the statement that Jack Hyde has sent to the police?"
"Grey, is it true that you and Jack were in some type of underworld sex club?"
"ANA! Are you going to renege on your rape claim?"
"ANA! Are you in some type of BDSM sex slave cult?"
"Grey! Are you Ana's Dom?"
I looked at Christian and saw his face and grip on my back tense. With that he yelled no comment and shut the door.
"Taylor! Call the police and get this statement that Jack has apparently sent."
"Christian what's happening?"
"Jack is trying to spin this on you. He is going to tell the media you wanted this. And its all my fault."