Summary: Anastasia Steele's life had been staked out for years. She was to marry her childhood friend and become a stay-at-home wife and mom. When it all came crashing down, she fell apart. Luckily, her boss, Elena Lincoln, knows the remedy for a life spinning out of control – and wouldn't a brown-haired pale-skinned girl to form and mold after your every wish and desire be a perfect birthday present for a man that already has everything money can buy?
My other story will be updated later tonight – I just had to get this one out of my mind and onto print before I could focus. I wasn't going to post it until I had gotten a few more chapters into For all eyes to see, but I just couldn't help myself!
Don't worry though, I'm still as excited about the plot of my other story as always and I will continue to write both that and my Gilmore Girls story – but you know how inspiration sometimes goes its own way…Really, I'm just following it…
The perfect birthday present
Oh God. I fight to keep my tears at bay. I can't have another break-down. Not here. Elena will surely kill me if I turn into a mess of tears and sobs in front of a customer. At the very least, she'll fire me – and I really can't afford to lose this job.
I take a deep breath. I can do this. Another deep breath. Smile. Pulling at a strength I didn't know I had I force a smile onto my lips.
"So when's the date?" I ask, thankful for the fact that my customer waited until I'd moved on to the pedicure before she told me about her fiancés proposal. I'm not sure I could have handled being so close to her face; to see the happiness shining out of her eyes. I used to have that.
"December fifth. We're having a winter-theme." The woman smiles wide and I focus my attention on her toes.
"Congratulations" I manage to murmur and swallow back my tears as the woman goes into a monologue about the wondrous man that had captured her heart. I tune out.
2 weeks and four days. That's how long it's been since my wondrous man left.
Everything was planned for our future together.
My wedding dress was the perfect shade of white and pearls. The flowers and centerpieces had been hand-picked by Seattle's most renowned wedding-planner, who also – in cooperation with my mother – had fine-tuned the seating-chart with uttermost precision.
Our two week long honeymoon was booked and planned. We were going to Aruba, to enjoy the sparkling sun, the turquoise ocean and the shimmering white sand beaches. And by the time we arrived back home, the house he picked out for us to live in would have been remodeled to his vision of perfection.
That was 2 weeks and five days ago, before the future that was planned for me came tumbling down. Before my lovely fiancé – the man I'd known and loved since as far back as I can remember – announced that he'd fallen head over heels in love with a florist. And not just any florist to that, but the florist that was hand-picked by Seattle's most renowned wedding-planner to provide the floral arrangements for the Camwell-Steele wedding.
Yep. That's right. My wondrous man fell in love with another woman a week before our wedding and right at this moment while I'm scrubbing the feet of a joyful bride-to-be, my former fiancé is in Aruba – on our honeymoon – with his new love.
"Sweetie, are you alright?" I look up to see my customer's worried face and it's not until then I realize that I've stopped scrubbing her feet and am now crying and sobbing out loud with her right foot still in my hand.
I let go of her foot and wipe my eyes. "Yes, I'm sorry" I continue to wipe my tear-drenched face and force a deep breath down my throat to try and stop the sobbing. "I'm so very sorry" I tell her again as I pickup her foot and resume the scrubbing.
"It's okay" She tells me and her voice is calm and soothing.
Shit! I'm pretty sure I just crossed the line unto completely and utterly pathetic. Hopefully, no one besides my customer took any notice and I'll still have a job tomorrow. Elena Lincoln is relentless and unforgiving.
Having suffered through and endless parade of pitying looks from the joyful bride-to-be, I'm finally done with her treatment and am alone in the room. God, how could I be so stupid to let my mind wander away like that during work-hours?
Colin Camwell and everything regarding our cancelled wedding is forbidden territory at any time or place where I need to function like a normal human being. I know that. And still…
I hear someone clearing their throat at the door and when I look up I feel a chill running throughout my body. It's Elena Lincoln – my boss, also, behind her back, referred to as the cold, stone-hearted bitch. I feel like I'm literally shrinking in her presence.
"Good afternoon, Mrs. Lincoln" I greet her, hoping all signs of my previous break-down has vanished from my face.
Her expression doesn't change, it's like her face is carved in stone. "When you're done in here, I would like to have a word with you in my office Miss Steele" She informs me and then she's gone before I have a chance to say anything.
Holy crap – she knows! She must have somehow heard about my break-down and now she's going to fire me. I'm screwed.
Almost in a trance I finish the cleaning with uttermost precision, my heart pounding in my chest the whole time. My legs feel wobbly as I walk towards Mrs. Lincoln's office and knock on the door.
She tells me to come on in and I draw a shaky breath before I push the door open and enter. The Ice-Queen sits behind her desk and watches me without saying anything as I approach her.
There's a chair in the far corner of the office, but I'm pretty sure I won't be here long enough to need to sit down.
"Would you care to explain to me what the hell happened in the treatment-room earlier?" Although she doesn't raise her voice or scream – the anger is evident in her voice and her green eyes are piercing right through me.
Yep. She definitely knows. I feel tears filling my eyes, threatening to spill over. I really need this job. I don't have anything else.
"I'm sorry" I wipe my tear-drenched eyes. "I'm so sorry" I repeat to the cold, hard face looking right at me. "It won't happen again. I promise, Mrs. Lincoln"
After what feels like an eternity, Elena finally speaks. "I expect my employees to behave professionally at all times, Miss Steele" Her words are stern and I pinch my eyes shut and bend my head down towards the floor.
This is it. She's going to fire me. I will not only be out of love, but also out of work and out of any means to pay rent for my shitty rat-hole apartment.
I doubt that Elena Lincoln is in possession of a softer side, but as the situation is – I don't have anything to lose. "My life has been a mess lately…" I explain, hoping that she'll take some sort of pity on me and not fire my sorry ass on the spot. She has to give me another chance. This job is all I've got right now.
"…my fiancé left me for another woman a week before our wedding" Her face doesn't give away the least clue as to what she's thinking.
Why should she take pity on me? I'm a pathetic mess and no one in their right mind would want me as an employee right now.
"Go on" She suddenly demands and I flinch. Have my explanation made an impact on the stone-hearted bitch that is my boss?
"My whole life, other people have been making decisions for me – where to go to school, who to date, who to marry, where to live – and when my fiancé left, I lost all that and right now I'm struggling to gain a control I just realized I've never had"
The words comes tumbling out of my mouth, and there's no denying the desperation in which they are spoken. This is my one chance to get her to understand that I'm not usually this pathetic, unprofessionally emotional mess of a woman.
Elena simply nods and I take that as my cue to continue. "It's hard, confusing and scaring, but I think I'm starting to get the hang of it even though it might not look like it right now and I swear I won't break down like this during work hours again"
There's a screeching sound as she pushes her chair back and stands up, moving towards me, still not taking her eyes off me.
She doesn't say anything, instead I hear her stiletto-heels clattering against the floor as she slowly walks around me and I get the strange feeling that she's measuring me up. "What's your definition of control, Miss Steele?"
"What do you mean?" I notice my voice trembling as I speak, her indiscreet inspection of me is making me nervous. It feels like she's undressing me with her eyes.
Oh God! She doesn't swing that way, does she? What if she'll require sexual services in exchange for me keeping my job?
"I mean: how do you define control?" Her voice is coming from right behind me. "You said you'd never had control – I want you to develop that statement" It's not a question, it's an order and I don't know why, but I want to please her by following through on it.
"I've always done what I'm told to do; first by my parents and then by my fiancé" And now by you, I add in my mind, not daring to say the words out loud. But somehow I like that she's taking control over the conversation, it takes the pressure of me and I am actually starting to feel more relaxed than I did when I first stepped into her office.
"I've never had to make any decisions or choices" I continue. "There was always someone there to tell me what to do"
She walks back to my front and there's a sly smile on her lips. "And you obeyed I assume?"
I look at her, puzzled. Of course I did. What other choices are there?
Before I can gather myself to answer her, she starts laughing. It's not a heart-felt laughter and it's making me feel uncomfortable again. "No need to answer, Anastasia" She says as she reaches out and caresses my cheek. "I know you did, because you're a good girl, right?"
"I try to be" I offer. Should I bolt? She's obviously some sort of crazy.
She starts laughing again, releasing my cheek. She shakes her head and smiles. "That's great Miss Steele" She takes a step back and slowly looks me up and down, her gaze is making my skin creep. "In fact…" She continues when she reaches my eyes again and I have to look down. I can't meet the intensity in her eyes. This woman scares the shit out of me – but at the same time she makes me feel calm. How's that even possible? "…that's just perfect"
She takes a step closer and reaches her hand out, grabs my chin and tilts my head up until my eyes meet hers again. "You know Miss Steele, not being in control could be a very pleasurable feeling – with your history, I'm sure you're very well aware of that. Am I right?"
I nod and she frowns, pursing her lips together. "I said: am I right Anastasia?" She asks again with the voice of a parent scolding their child, obviously a nod wasn't a good enough answer.
"Yes Mrs. Lincoln" I answer, surprised by my sudden need to be formal and she smiles, nodding to herself as she taps a well-manicured index-finger against her red lips.
"I might be able to help you after all, Miss Steele" She says with a smile on her lips and I feel hopeful again for the first time since Colin left. If anyone can help me – it's Elena Lincoln, she seems to know all about control.
The perfect birthday present
Oh, yes. I smile to myself. This young brunette is a born and bred submissive. Just take the way she's looking at me right now; her innocent blue eyes overflowing with gratitude because I stepped in and took control. Christian will love this.
It's his birthday in a week and I think I just found the perfect gift for him; a pale-skinned brunette in desperate need for someone to control her. She'll need some grooming of course. That chestnut hair is a dull mess and her finger nails are in desperate need of a manicure. And the way she dresses! Preposterous! Thank God she has to wear a uniform as she works, otherwise there's no way I could ever let her show herself to customers.
But still…I think she holds potential. It will be a wonderful experience for Christian to train her from the beginning; to be able to form and mold her to his every wish and desire. Just like I did with him.
I know he doesn't have a submissive right now and that makes him testy. I frown remembering how he stormed in here yesterday demanding to see my bookkeeping. He knows I'm competent enough to handle the salons – but when he doesn't have a sub to control, his need for control spills over into things he doesn't have any business sticking his nose in.
I have to fight hard not to let out another content laugh when I look at Anastasia before me. She's looking down at the floor, nervously wringing her hands in front of her as she chews on her bottom lip. Poor child…I guess my frowning made her think she has displeased me. This will almost be too easy.
"I have a proposition for you" I inform her and her eyes immediately shoot up to meet mine. "Come to my house at 7 and I'll tell you what you need to know"
She nods energetically. "Thank you, Mrs. Lincoln" It looks like her eyes are filling up with tears again. Grateful tears this time, I'm guessing.
Yes, this girl will be perfect for Christian.
"You may leave" I tell her and she makes a curtsey as she thanks me again. A fucking curtsey!? I see her cheeks turning red before she turns around to leave, so I'm guessing the curtsey wasn't intentional on her part. She simply has it in her.
"I appreciate punctuality, Anastasia" I inform her before she steps out of my office.