“Please, Anastasia. I’m sorry,” Carter begs. I shift the phone to my other ear and sigh.
“No, Carter. I’m sorry you’re upset but I don’t want to be in a relationship with you anymore. Look, it’s getting late, I need to go,” I tell him.
“Is Grey there?” He asks, his tone changing to anger in an instant.
“No,” I say, rolling my eyes. “Believe it or not, Christian and I aren’t together 24 hours a day.”
“But you and Grey aren’t dating right?”
“No, Carter. We aren’t dating. I have to go.”
“Meet me for breakfast in the morning. Let’s talk about this,” He pleads again.
“Anasta-” He says, but I hang up the phone and throw it down irritably on my comforter. Kate is staring at me from her desk where she’s working on a paper for her broadcasting class and I shake my head and roll my eyes at her to express my irritation with Carter.
“Why is he still calling you?” She asks. “It’s been over two weeks. How many times have you said no, like a thousand?”
“Probably right around there,” I say, annoyed.
In the beginning, immediately after Carter and I broke up, when he begged my forgiveness and asked for another chance, I was sympathetic. When the flowers started appearing at my dorm, I felt sorry for him. When my phone started ringing off the hook and I started noticing him everywhere I went around campus, I started getting pissed. Fortunately, the one class I can escape without seeing Carter lurking outside waiting for me is Survey of British Literature and I have a feeling that it has something to do with the fact I leave every class with Christian.
“Are you picking your brother up from the airport tonight, or is Kate?” I ask Christian when we leave class on Tuesday.
“I think we both are. Elliot wants to have dinner in Boston before coming back to Cambridge.”
“Oh, sounds like fun,” I say.
“Do you want to come?” He asks.
“Of course, I know Elliot wants to see you and believe me, the idea of spending time alone in a public setting with Elliot and Katherine after they’ve been apart for nearly a month and a half is not my idea of a great evening.”
“Well, I wouldn’t want you to have to suffer through that alone,” I laugh. “I’d love to come.”
He smiles at me and I feel warmth rush over me and I can’t contain my grin. The more weeks pass and the farther I get away from my break up with Carter, the easier it is to admit that I really, really like Christian Grey.
The past few weeks with him have been the best since I’ve been to Harvard. He’s lighter now, more fun to be around, and much easier to talk to. We’ve studied together the past few weeks and listening to his criticisms of the foundations and theories in his business and economics books is both hilarious and awe inspiring. I’m dumbfounded by how much Christian seems to know about the business world, having never been in it. We don’t often speak about our plans for after graduation, but when we do, he talks about owning a huge mega-conglomerate company that will make him millions of dollars a year. He and Ros, who he tells me will be his partner in this venture, have already started working on formulating their business plan and about a week ago, he had one of his “strategy meetings” with Ros and when I saw him later that night he was positively beaming with happiness. Something must be going right. Perhaps that’s the reason for his new uplifting mood.
“I’ll see you in about an hour?” Christian asks as he unlocks the door to his dorm.
“If Kate’s ready,” I sigh. “I know she wants to look her best so we may spend the next hour debating over which outfit looks best with which shoes. God forbid she adds a jacket to the mix, we may be here all night.”
Christian frowns. “Tell her not to be late, I don’t do late.”
“Yes, sir!” I say in a mockingly serious tone, but he raises and eyebrow and smirks.
“What?” I ask, confused by the almost satisfied expression on his face.
“Nothing,” He says quickly, though his voice retains his humor. “I’ll see you in an hour.”
I open the door and step into my dorm room. It looks like a bomb went off in a department store. There are clothes thrown all over the room, on the floor, both the beds, the dressers, the desk, there is even a light pink, lacy bra hanging off the light fixture.
“Kate?” I ask, as I remove the bra and tuck it into her underwear drawer. She sticks her head out of the bathroom, holding a curling iron in her hair. Luckily her makeup is already done. Wow, she looks flawless.
“Ana, thank god you’re back!” She says with relief, and she pulls the curling iron away and the strand of hair cascades down in a perfect spiral curl. She comes out of the bathroom with apprehension on her face.
“Does this outfit say No I didn’t dress up for you, I just always look this hot?” She asks, turning around to give me a full view. She’s wearing tight dark skinny jeans, a white button down blouse (unbuttoned perhaps a little too far), and a tan ¾ sleeve blazer. She accents the outfit with a gold necklace and turquoise high heels.
“I think you look great, Kate. Amazing even. Your makeup looks really good.”
“Thanks,” She says, invigorating the roots of her blonde hair with her perfectly manicured fingernails. The curls start to loosen and she flips her her head a few times until her hair is a cloud of loose waves and curls that beautifully frames her face.
“That didn’t take as long as I expected,” She says looking down at the clock on her phone. “I don’t need to leave for another hour or so.”
“Christian invited me to come with you guys,” I say hesitantly. I’ve just realized, in this moment, looking at how beautiful Kate looks, that my agreement to go along this evening may be an intrusion. I was already the third wheel on their first date.
“Really, you’re coming?” Kate ask excitedly, her delighted tone washing my concerns away. “That’s awesome! We’re going to have so much fun tonight! Well… except that Christian will be there.”
I roll my eyes at her grimace.
“He’s calmed down a lot in the last few weeks. He’s been nice and fun to hang out with.”
“Yeah, because you broke up with Carter and he’s no longer riddled with jealousy,” Kate says as she glosses her lips in the mirror she has propped over her dresser.
“No,” I contend. “I think whatever he and Ros are working on is going well. Did you know he wants to start a company?”
“Yes,” Kate says, as she finally stops fiddling with her make up and turns to face me. “He’s wanted to for a long time, but his parents said they wouldn’t help him or give him any money to get started until he graduated college. He argued with them for months before he finally had to give in and just come to school.”
“How do you know these things?” I ask, exasperated that Kate knows more about Christian than I do even though she spends approximately zero time with him other than when we’re all together.
“Elliot,” She answers plainly and again I roll my eyes.
“Elliot gossips like a highschool girl,” I say.
“Yes, but he’s all man,” Kate says, raising her eyebrows at the innuendo.
“Katherine Kavanagh!” I exclaim, faking surprise that she would be so audacious. She laughs and then looks me up and down and I know she’s examining my worn in jeans and t-shirt.
“I don’t know where we’re going to dinner, but it might be somewhere nice. Are you going to change?” She asks.
“Uh… I wasn’t planning on it, but I suppose,” I say. “So… are we just winging it tonight then? For the restaurant, I mean.”
“Christian picked the restaurant, I just don’t know what he chose,” She says. I nod and get up to dig through my drawer. I choose the pair of tight black jeans Kate bought me for the party at the beginning of the year and slip on a white, v-neck, sleeveless blouse and Kate lends me a white blazer.
“Do you want me to do your hair and make-up?” Kate asks, looking down at her phone with frustration. I know she hates waiting and we still have a little over a half an hour.
“Sure,” I shrug, knowing this will at least distract her. She sits me down and works my hair up into a messy bun on top of my head. Thankfully she keeps my makeup fairly natural and after she hooks some drop earrings made of black beads through my ears, I slip on my black flats.
“You need color,” She says, frowning slightly and she turns to look at the pile of shoe boxes stacked neatly in the corner. When she finds the box she’s looking for, she pulls out a pair of blush colored, round toed pumps and hands them to me. I look at them nervously as I remember the last time Kate gave me heels to wear to the party at the beginning of the year, but decide the only way to get better at walking in heels is to wear them. I take the shoes and switch them out for my flats.
Kate begins to touch up my lips with some gloss when my phone buzzes. I look down at the text from Christian telling me he’s waiting downstairs.
“Ready?” Kate asks after I’ve passed her final inspection.
“Yep,” I say and I bounce up and grab my purse. She purses her lips and goes to the tiny wardrobe set against the wall by the food of her bed. After digging through a mess of scarves, purses and belts stuffed into the top of the wardrobe, she pulls out a black clutch which she hands to me. I take all of the things out of my purse and am barely able to squeeze them in the little bag. Kate takes another small clutch, turquoise to match her shoes, grabs her keys, and we’re out the door.
“You girls look lovely,” Christian says politely as Kate and I come down the stairs to the main foyer of Grays Hall. He’s dressed in dark, well fitted jeans, a gray sweater and white button down with the sleeves rolled up to the elbows and the top button undone, and a pair of well polished, brown leather dress shoes. We must be going somewhere at least a little nice for dinner… I’m glad Kate made me change.
“Should we take one car?” Kate asks, looking at the keys Christian holds in his hand.
“We should take two,” Christian says. “I assume you’re staying with Elliot at his hotel tonight? You can drive him back to the hotel and I can bring Anastasia back here.”
“Good plan,” Kate says. “Are you riding with me, Ana, or do you want to go with Christian.
I look between the two of them.
“I think if I’m riding back with Christian, I’ll ride up with you, Kate,” I say. She nods and Christian steps aside and motions us to the door, suggesting we should lead the way.
I slide into the passenger’s seat of Kate’s Mercedes and we follow Christian’s Audi out of the parking lot. It’s only about a 20 minute drive from Cambridge to Logan International Airport but it’s enjoyable as Kate and I sing along with the radio.
“Are you excited to see Elliot?” I ask as we pass Fenway Park.
“Very excited. I really like him, Ana. I’ve never felt this way about another guy before and I feel like I haven’t seen him in forever!’
“It’s been awhile,” I concede. “Maybe you’ll have to make some trips down to Stanford to see him since he’s only going to be here once a month.”
“I do love San Francisco,” She says with a smile. “It would be nice to visit more often.”
“And luckily you both live in Seattle so you’ll see each other on breaks,” I add.
“Not Thanksgiving,” She says sadly. “I’d never thought the day would come when I’d rather spend my vacation in dreary, wet Seattle than the warm and sunny Bahamas.”
“Well, there’s always Christmas,” I say. “And there is only what.. Three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas break?”
“That’s true. Are you going home to Vegas for Thanksgiving since Ray is abroad?”
“No, I can’t afford to go home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, and since the dorms close over Christmas break, that’s the vacation I’ll be going home for.”
“Ana!” Kate scolds me. “Why didn’t you say that. If I’d have known I would have booked you an extra ticket and you could have come to the Bahamas with me and my family.”
“I’ll be fine,” I say. “I can get caught up on all the essays I have to finish before finals and I’ll stock up on books at the library before break starts.”
“You shouldn’t be alone on Thanksgiving,” She continues with a frown but I shrug. I know Kate’s family is really close and she couldn’t fathom spending a holiday away from her family, but to be honest… this isn’t the first Thanksgiving I will have without my mom. Not the first by far…
“Maybe Christian is staying behind,” She says, her attitude brightening. “Elliot says he never goes home.”
“I think there’s a difference between not going home on a long weekend and not going home for a holiday, Kate. I doubt he’s staying behind.”
“You’re right. From what I’ve heard about Grace, she’d probably come drag him back to Seattle by his ear if he didn’t at least come home for Thanksgiving.”
We pull into the parking garage at Logan International Airport, Kate pays the meter and we look around for Christian. He’s waiting for us by the stairs and together, we walk to the gate and wait for Elliot. It takes about 25 minutes before we see him behind the barrier. His face splits into a wide, warm grin and he barrels forward through the doors to the terminal and sweeps Kate into his arms, spinning her around as they kiss passionately. You’d think Elliot just came back from war the way they’re behaving.
Christian coughs lowly and then looks down at me.
“Thank you for coming,” He says wryly and I giggle. He smiles down at me and I see a rare glimpse of warmth in his grey eyes.
“That’s a lovely sound,” He says. I feel warmth rush to my cheeks as I begin to blush furiously. He reaches down and interlocks his fingers in mine, caressing the back of my hand with his thumb.
“So where are we going for dinner? I’m starving,” Elliot says, turning to me and Christian, who drops my hand.
“It’s not far,” Christian says. “Is seafood alright with everyone?”
“Oh! I feel like I haven’t had good seafood in a long time!” Kate says happily.
“Ana?” Christian asks.
“Sure. I like seafood,” I say.
“Then let’s get the luggage and get going,” Elliot says taking Kate’s hand.
“You checked a bag?” Christian asks, like it’s the most outrageous thing any person has ever done in the history of air travel.
“Needed room for my costume. You’re going to love it, Kate. I went all out,” Elliot says with a huge grin.
“Awesome!” Kate squeals as we begin walking through the terminal for the baggage carousel. “I can’t wait for you to see Ana and I, it’s adorable.”
“What are you going to be, Christian?” I ask as we stop at carousel number two, which thankfully is already spinning with suitcases. Elliot snorts at my question.
“Christian in costume? Ha! That would imply he had any sense of fun about him at all.”
Christian glares at Elliot but he doesn’t answer my question so I assume he must be right. Elliot’s bag takes nearly no time at all to arrive. He collects his luggage and then he and Kate head to Kate’s car while Christian leads me to his. He drives to a restaurant called Atlantic Fish Company and when we get inside, we’re seated right away. I order the New England Clam Chowder and Elliot entertains us with stories of Stanford until the food arrives.
“How’s everything going?” Elliot asks Christian. “I haven’t heard from you in a few days.”
“I knew you were coming today. Is it so hard to live without talking to me for a few days at a time?”
“Well Mom said you haven’t called her either… and she said Mrs. Lincoln has tried calling a few times but can’t get ahold of you.”
I nearly choke on my soup at the mention of Mrs. Lincoln.
“Are you okay, Ana?” Kate asks, concerned as I cough into my napkin. Christian looks down at me with a warning glance.
“I’ve been busy,” He lies cooly. “I’m taking a lot of classes this semester.”
“I told you that was a dumb idea,” Elliot says. “See Christian, sometimes you’re older brother is right.”
“Not enough for me to bet on it,” Christian says and Elliot laughs. Kate begins talking about her upcoming vacation to the Bahamas and I realize, Christian has gotten away with avoiding Elliot’s question. Man, he’s distracted easily. That crap would never work with Kate.
When we’re finished, Kate and Elliot drive back to Elliot’s hotel in Cambridge and Christian drives me home.
“You were quiet at dinner,” He says as we pull on the interstate heading back to Harvard.
“Your brother sure can talk,” I say, attempting the same aversion he used earlier.
“I don’t think that’s the reason why.” He says, not falling for it. Damn. I guess obliviousness isn’t a family trait. Well, they say honesty is the best policy.
“When are you going to talk to Mrs. Lincoln about your decision? I ask quietly. His eyes narrow as he looks at the dark road ahead of us.
“I think it’s a better idea for my mother to meet you before I speak with Elena. She’s my mother’s best friend and if she were to find out about you before my mother got to know you, she might have… unpleasant things to say about you. My mother listens to her, and I don’t her turning my family against you,” He says.
“Why? Is she jealous or something?”
“You have no idea, Anastasia,” He says darkly.
“But when am I ever going to meet your mother? Ray’s gone, I won’t be going back to Washington for years, most likely.”
“I’m sure my mother will come here before too long. She loves the North East.”
“And until then I’m just supposed to wait for you?”
“Why wait? Just because I haven’t spoken to Elena doesn’t mean I’m not finished with her. I’ve told you before Ana, it’s you I want.”
I snort and look out the window.
“What?” Christian asks.
“If you think I’m going to be in a relationship with you while you’re still technically in a relationship with another woman, then you really don’t know anything about women at all, Christian Grey.”
“Perhaps you’re right, Miss Steele. Then we wait for my mother to visit.”
“You’ll wait. I’m open for anything. You better hope that no one else comes along,” I say smugly. Sure it’s a little immature and may come off as a little bit of a threat, but it’s true. I really have no way of knowing what he’s really thinking. He might be telling her one thing and me another and I’m not going to be his backup plan. He seems to hear the threat too because his knuckles begin to grow white as he grips the steering wheel tightly. Good. He deserves to be uncomfortable. If he wants me, he can have me. All he needs to do, is break it off with the bitch troll.
We pull into the parking lot by Gray’s and I climb out of the car. Christian meets me at the walkway and once again takes me by the hand. Once we’re standing outside of our respective dorms, I pull the keys out of the too small clutch in my hand, unlock the door and open it half way.
“You’ve been robbed,” Christian says, looking, astonished, around my room as I flip on the light.
“Kate had a little trouble getting ready today,” I say, embarrassed by the mess inside. “I guess I”ll have to clean up before I go to bed.”
“I suppose this is good-night then,” Christian says, looking down at me with burning gray eyes.
“Good-night,” I say quietly, slightly overwhelmed by his gaze. After a brief moment of hesitation, he leans down to kiss me but just before his lips touch mine, I come to my sense and place my hand up to stop him.
“Make the phone call,” I say, and I step into my room and close the door.
“We look so good!” Kate squeals with delight the following evening as we stand in front of the mirror. We’re both dressed in our Halloween costumes, ready to head out to a house party being held at the same place the party at the beginning of the year was at. Elliot is sitting on Kate’s bed, dressed in an elaborate Bowser costume he made himself. His work is impressive to behold.
We head out of the room and while Kate locks up, I knock on Christian’s door. He answers wearing another pair of well fitting jeans and a white t-shirt under a crimson, half-zipped hoodie with the word HARVARD emblazoned over the front in white bold letters.
“You call that a costume?” Elliot laughs and Christian looks smugly at his brother.
“What are you supposed to be, a dinosaur?” He asks as if he’s embarrassed for Elliot. .
“No, I’m Bowser, enemy of Mario World and the nemesis of my girlfriend here,” He says, pulling Mario Kate into a tight, side hug. “What are you supposed to be? Cool guy who doesn’t do costumes?”
“This is a costume,” Christian says defensively. “I’m going as a student who enjoys college.”
I roll my eyes and I think my sentiment is shared by Kate and Elliot as I hear Kate scoff and begin dragging Elliot down the hall after her.
“Lead the way, Miss Steele.” Christian says.
The house is much more crowded than it was the last time we were here, although that could just be because of the added bulk of dozens of costumes. Most of the girls are dressed in skimpy lingerie with wings or halos attached. Christian is the only one not wearing a real costume and I wonder if he feels uncomfortable. He doesn’t look like it.
“Can I get you a drink?” Christian asks, leaning down to speak in my ear so I can hear him over the music.
“Please!” I yell and we walk together through the throng to the kitchen where they keep the booze. Rather than the kegs they had at the last party, there are several giant buckets filled with fruit floating in red juice.
“Jungle Juice,” A guy pouring a half gallon of vodka into one of the bucket explains. “Cups are $5”.
Christian reaches into his wallet and pulls out a $20 for him, Kate, Elliot and I.
“Are you sure?” I ask, worried about how much he seems to be paying for me lately. “I have some cash. I can get me and Kate.”
He rolls his eyes as he hands me a cup filled with the red liquid.
“What kind of man would I be if I made you pay for your own drinks?” He asks.
“A regular one,” I say, and I take a drink. The jungle juice tastes like straight alcohol and burns when I swallow. I make a face when I pull the cup away.
“That bad, huh?” Christian asks.
“It’s pretty awful,” I admit. “But I’ll get used to it.”
He hands me Kate’s drink and takes the two remaining cups and we make our way through the crowd looking for Kate and Elliot.
“Ana!” I hear someone call and turn to see Jose coming towards me dressed as a Spartan warrior. He’s holding the hand of a red haired girl wearing a Grecian style dress.
“Jose!” I exclaim, as he pulls me into a hug. “It’s been so long, what have you been up to?”
“Just studying mostly,” He admits. “Have you met Heather? She’s in my advanced calculus class. We started dating about two weeks ago.”
“No,” I say, wishing I had a free hand to reach out to her. “Hi, Heather. I’m Ana! That’s a great costume.”
“You too!” She says with a smile.
“I think I see Elliot,” Christian says, eyeing Jose suspiciously.
“Okay, well I’ll see you later, Jose. We should hang out soon.”
“Sounds great, Ana!” He says and then he turns to Christian. “Make sure she sets that drink down if you’re going to dance. That juice looks like it stains.”
“I’ll keep that in mind,” Christian says, and he nudges me forward.
“What’s this?” Kate asks when I hand her the drink. “
“Jungle Juice. Be careful, it’s dangerous,” I warn her. She takes a drink and her eyes widen and she grimaces.
“What is this, vodka with food coloring?”
“Basically,” I say and she looks down at the drink and then shrugs and takes another drink.
“I think it’s awesome!” Elliot says draining his glass. “Come on, Kate.”
He pulls Kate out onto the dance floor and they begin grinding against each other to Smack That by Akon. Kate is dancing more seductively than usual and I know what that means. They won’t be at this party long. I hope they plan on going back to Elliot’s hotel again…
“Shall we?” Christian asks, holding out his hand.
“Jose wasn’t kidding. I’m a terrible dancer, I might spill this all over you.”
“It’s all in the leading,” He says, holding his hand out to me. I hesitate, staring down at his hand uncertainly. Before I take his hand, I take a long, draining, gulp from my cup, hoping to make it spill proof. It burns as it goes down and before Christian is even able to lead me out on the dance floor, I feel the effects of the alcohol. These drinks really are strong.
Christian can move on the dance floor. He pulls me around and spins me, and under his guidance, I feel almost graceful. His hand caress my sides and between the heat of the room, the heat of the alcohol, and the heat of his gaze, I feel a deep, delicious desire begin to build inside of me. I look down at his body moving around me and wonder what it would look like if he took off his shirt… or his pants.
There is a break in the music and Christian looks down at me.
“Do you want another one?” He asks as I drain the last of my drink. I nod and hand him the empty cup and watch as he disappears into the crowd of people towards the Jungle Juice. Kate and Elliot are dancing together close by and as soon as Christian leaves, Kate whispers in Elliot’s ear and pulls him off the dance floor towards me.
“Ana!” She says with delight, hugging me. I want to laugh at her, she’s positively beaming and it’s a joy to see her this happy. Elliot really is good for her, I’m glad they found each other.
“We need a picture of our costumes,” Kate says, handing Elliot her drink and cell phone. “Mario and Luigi!” She cries, possibly a little drunkenly, as she pulls me next to her to face Elliot.
“Smile!” She chimes as Elliot takes our picture. She strikes a fierce pose and I roll my eyes and lean in close to her and smile. Elliot snaps the photo and hands Kate’s phone back to her, but she demands we take the picture again three more times before she’s fully satisfied with the way we both look.
“I’m going to print this and hang it on our wall, Ana. This looks awesome!” She says happily and I smile back in agreement.
“How much have you had to drink?” I laugh and she smiles back at me mischievously. “Not enough and neither have you! Where is your drink?”
“Christian went to get it!” I shout over the music. Wait a minute where is Christian? It can’t take this long to refill two drinks.
“I’ll be right back guys,” I say, pointing in the direction of the Jungle Juice. Kate, who is already wrapped around Elliot moving grinding to the music, waves me off.
I turn around and weave my way through the crowd of dancing people until I can see the punch buckets on the counter. Christian is standing there with a thin, tall girl with long blonde hair, who is talking excitedly to him. Christian looks uncomfortable and he keeps looking down at her hands nervously. She reaches out to touch him lightly on the arm and he takes a wide step to the side.
I walk forward and take one of the drinks from Christian with my right hand and then put my left hand in his.
“Baby, what’s taking so long?” I ask in a high, sweet voice. Christian smiles down at me gratefully as I turn to look at the girl who’s talking to him. She’s staring at our interlocked hands, frowning.
“Hi, I’m Ana.” I say.
“Becca,” She answers sourly and I smirk at her before turning back to Christian.
“Come join us?” I ask. He nods once to me and we turn away from the extremely disappointed looking Becca.
“Thank you,” Christian says as I take a drink of Jungle Juice again. The more I drink, the less I taste the burn of the alcohol and I know that’s not a good thing. Christian takes a drink himself and pulls me back on the dance floor. Placing his hand on the small of my back, he pulls me in close to him so my body is flush against his. His hand slowly creeps down my back while we move until his fingers gently caress my backside. I gasp and he moves his hand up back to my back, and dips me backwards, swinging me around and quickly bringing me back up again until my breasts are pressed against him. I feel alive in his arms. My heart is pulsing with the beat of the music and my skin is electrified by Christian’s touch. He brings his face close to mine, less than an inch away, so I can feel his breath as he lazily drags his fingertips down my over sensitive sides. I bite my lip, trying to suppress a groan and he grabs me by the hand and drags me off the dance floor.
I stumble as I try to keep pace with Christian as he leads me out the front door and onto the porch. He looks around, making sure no one is around and then pushes me roughly against the banister next to the stairs and then, his mouth is on mine. Our tongues move together in a kind of forbidden dance while his hands greedily explore my body. I feel him grasp my hair by the nape of my neck, holding me in place so I can’t escape his desperate kiss, even though I don’t want to. I am desperate for this kiss, I want more. I reach up to pull him closer to me but he captures my wrists and holds them above my head. I groan in his mouth as I feel his erection grinding into my hip. Oh please…
“Come home with me,” He says, and I can hear the lustful desperation in his demand. I’m about to say yes when suddenly, we hear footsteps coming up the wooden stairs to the porch and a voice only a foot or so away calls my name.
Reluctantly, I turn to look at the person who is speaking. It’s one of Carter’s friends that I recognize as Kyle, who I met at the frat party we went to. Carter is standing next to him and he’s glaring daggers as Christian and I.
“You told me you weren’t dating,” Carter says in a low, shaky voice and I realize he’s trying to control his anger. “You said that all of this wasn’t because of Grey.”
“It wasn’t. I…” I start but he holds his hand up to stop me and, perhaps, to try and suppress the anger he’s feeling. I can see him shaking and it’s making me nervous. Christian grabs my arm and pulls me behind him protectively.
“What the fuck is going on?” Kyle asks, confused. “Did you two break up or something? I thought she was your girlfriend?
“She was,” Carter says darkly. “And then I found out she was a whore.”
Christian moves so quickly, I don’t know what’s happening until it’s already happened. Carter falls to the ground gripping his face as blood starts to gush down his face. Christian shakes his hand to relieve the sting and then moves towards Carter, only to be stopped when his friend grabs Christian’s shirt to stop him.
The door to the house opens and Kate and Elliot come out.
“What’s going on?” Elliot demands, staring at Christian worriedly. Carter stands up, holding his hand to his nose to try and staunch the flow of blood.
“You can have her, Grey.” He spits venomously. “I don’t know what I ever wanted with this slut anyway.”
Christian moves threateningly towards Carter again, but Elliot steps in the way.
“Come on, bro, let’s take a walk. Calm down for a minute,” He says in an even tone, forcing Christian to make eye contact with him. Christian is shaking as Carter is rushed in the door by Kyle and when the door closes behind him, Christian pushes angrily away from Elliot and storms off down the street.
“I’ve, uh… got to go deal with that,” Elliot says. “I’ll call you in a little bit and let you know what’s up. Why don’t you guys head home and maybe I’ll see you there later?”
“Okay,” Kate says, leaning forward to kiss him gently. “Be safe.”
“This isn’t the first time I’ve dealt with this,” He says. “I’m sorry, Ana.”
“Just make sure he’s okay,” I croak and I realize, there are tears in my eyes. Kate wraps a protective arm around me as we watch Elliot chase Christian down the street.