Chapter 19

Image result for paparazzi car

Google Alert: Christian Grey

The Seattle Times, June 1st 2010: The [Business] Empire Strikes Back. Christian Grey has finally responded to the charges of sexual harassment brought against him Monday morning by ex-employee Leila Williams in a statement released by GEH Publicist Jacqueline Knight, “Mr. Grey is both shocked and disheartened by Miss Williams’s false accusations as neither Mr. Grey nor GEH tolerate any kind of behavior which is degrading or threatening to any employee.”


“No, Mom…” I groan into the phone, rolling my eyes as I watch the buildings pass through the backseat window of the Lincoln on the way to my first day at SIP.

“It just didn’t make sense to me, Anastasia,” My mom argues. “I thought you hated him! You wouldn’t talk to him, you wouldn’t talk about him… Now all of a sudden you’re in Seattle, living in his building, working in his office… and then these reports come out and you’re name is all over the news…”

“Great, Mom. I’m really glad to know that you think so highly of me that you would believe that I would have sex with him just for an internship.”

“Ana, I know how hard it’s been for you. I’m not saying that you would do something like this, I’m saying that I know you’ve missed him and that he has a lot of power now, and he’s very charismatic and persuasive…”

“Mom!” I snap.

“Just tell me that he isn’t taking advantage of you.”

“He isn’t taking advantage of me. Look, I can’t talk about this right now. We’re pulling up to my building and there are paparazzi outside. I’ll call you later.”

“Okay, let me know what you hear from Harvard. I love you.”

“Bye, Mom,” I say irritably, and as Ryan comes to a stop in front of the curb at SIP, Luke jumps out of the passenger’s seat and walks around to open the back door closest to the entrance. The second the door is open, I see dozens of flashing lights behind Luke’s silhouette and though he reaches into the car for my hand to pull me out into the crowd, I maneuver around him and step out of the car on my own. I still haven’t forgiven him for stopping me from going after Elena yesterday and we haven’t spoken a word to each other since.

Holding up my purse and jacket to shield as much of my face as possible, I walk forward until I’m through the front doors and in a small, very commercial looking reception area. While I try to ignore the lights still flashing at me through the glass door, I look at to the two women standing behind the front desk, both looking at me with an air of uncertainty.

“Hello,” I greet them. “My name is Anastasia Steele, I’m the Implementation Director from Grey Enterprises Holdings.”

“Miss Steele, yes of course,” The woman seated at the computer says. “My name is Claire and I’m the receptionist here and this is Natalie, Mr. Hyde’s assistant.”

“Pleasure to meet you, Miss Steele,” Natalie says, holding her hand out to me. She smiles as I shake her hand and then reaches down to dial an extension on the phone.

“Jack, Miss Steele has arrived,” She says and as she hangs up the phone, I feel a warm breeze behind me and turn to see Brian Clark, Ros’s intern, who I thought had come across as sexist in orientation on our first day at GEH. He flashes a badge at Luke, who reluctantly lets him pass.

“What are you doing here?” I ask him and he raises an eyebrow at me.

“Mr. Grey reclaimed the project Miss Bailey had me assigned to. I’ve been reassigned to SIP,” He says.

“Oh, I thought I was on this project alone…”

“I’m sorry, Anastasia, right?” He asks, not waiting for me to confirm before he continues. “Look, I know you have uh… been promised things by Mr. Grey in return for certain, shall we say… favors that you’ve provided for him, but this is real business now. You study English, and I’m sure that’s fulfilling to you, but Grey Enterprises Holdings needs a certain level of expertise on this project. That’s why I’m here. I know business and Miss Bailey and Mr. Grey know that I can make this place a success. Don’t worry, you’ll be included in the whole process. It should be a great learning experience for you.”

I raise an incredulous eyebrow at him but don’t get the chance to respond because someone behind me calls my name.

“Ah, Miss Steele!” A man says, smiling broadly as he holds his hand out for mine. “My name is Jack Hyde. I’m the Commissioning Editor of SIP.”

“Mr. Hyde,” Brian says, stepping in front of me and taking Jack’s hand instead. “Brian Clark, I’ll be heading this implementation from the GEH side. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

Hyde gives him a confused look. “I’m sorry, who are you?” He asks. “I was under the impression that Miss Steele was to be the director on this project.”

“Miss Steele will be working in conjunction with myself throughout the duration of this implementation,” Brian says, “However, Miss Bailey has asked me personally to oversee the project.”

“Miss Bailey?” Jack says, his eyes shifting slightly as he tries to sort through his confusion and, when his face lights up with sudden recognition, I feel a wave of dread…

“That’s right, I apologize, I remember Miss Bailey’s email now. You’ll have to excuse me, it’s been a hectic morning.” He turns and waves his assistant over. “Natalie, this is the intern Miss Bailey has assigned to be Miss Steele’s assistant over the course of the summer, will you please show him to his desk?”

“Assistant?” Brian says, the horror apparent in his tone, but Natalie ignores his shock.

“I’d love to, Jack,” She says, turning her smile on Brian. “If you’ll follow me, I’ve cleaned out a work space for you near Miss Steele’s office.”

Brian is dumbfounded while he’s lead away by Natalie and as he looks back at me, clearly expecting me to say something, I smirk at him and turn to face Jack Hyde.

“Mr. Hyde,” I greet him, finally having the opportunity to shake his hand.

“Please, Jack,” He replies lightheartedly. “And, can I call you Anastasia?”

“Ana,” I correct him and he smiles in return.

“Well, Ana, if you’ll follow me, I will show you to your new office,” He turns and leads me through the small, slightly outdated building overfilled with filing cabinets, bookcases and a random assortment of desks all overflowing with papers, files, and what look like thick, unbound manuscripts. As he leads me to the door a few feet away from the desk Natalie is showing Brian around, I think to myself that one of the first changes that needs to be made here is the filing and organization system. This place is a mess…

“Here you are, Ana,” Jack says as he opens the door to my office for me, and I step inside and look around appreciatively. It’s not very big, in fact you could probably fit ten of my offices inside of Christian’s, but the desk looks nice, and the chair behind it looks comfortable. There is even an unruly looking ficus in the corner that adds a touch of life to the place.

“This is perfect,” I say gratefully as I turn back around to face him.

“I’m glad to hear that,” Jack replies. “If you’d like, you can take a few minutes to get settled in. We have a meeting with the department heads at 9:30 to go over your plan for our integration into GEH. It should take most of the day, and there are a lot of big personalities to take on here, so I’ll give you a few minutes to prepare.”

“Thanks, Jack,” I say and he winks at me before turning to leave the office, but before he disappears through the door, he stops and turns back to face me.

“Oh, I almost forgot,” He says. “Welcome to SIP, Miss Steele.”

I smile at him as he leaves the room and closes the door behind him. I glance around the office, mentally noting the things that I want to bring into make it feel a little more cozy, but before I pull out everything I’ve spent the last week preparing for this meeting, I hear my phone vibrate on the desk.

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Per your request…

Date: June 1st 2010 08:57 AM

To: Anastasia Steele

The elevator code to OUR apartment has been changed. Its is now 121907.

I know there are photographers outside of your building. I’m sorry. Please, try to stay at SIP as much as possible. You can send Sawyer out if you need anything.

I miss you already.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, INC

 

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: POW

Date: June 1st 2010 08:58 AM

To: Christian Grey

Thank-you for changing the code, although I will say that part of me is a little sad it isn’t my birthday anymore. It was sweet, and I liked that it had significance to you rather than something random.

You don’t have to worry about me leaving. I don’t want to face the photographers anymore than you do. It’s weird having people screaming at you as you walk into a building. Besides I’ll be in meetings most of the day anyway.

I’ll see you tonight back at OUR apartment later tonight. Have a good day at work.

Xxx

Your Ana

Anastasia Steele

Implementation Director, Grey Enterprises Holdings INC

I set my phone down and begin organizing the files and information I’ve compiled for the meeting, highlighting key points I want to focus on and questions I have about the way the organization is currently running, but a few minutes later I’m interrupted by an incoming email once again.

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Significance

Date: June 1st 2010 09:04 AM

To: Anastasia Steele

The new code is not random at all. On the contrary, it may be one of the most significant numbers of my life.

I love you, baby.

Christian Grey

CEO Grey Enterprises Holdings INC

I smile down at the email, my teeth sinking into my bottom lip as I read the three words that make the paparazzi, the disparaging headlines plastered across newspapers and gossip sites, and facing an investigation at Harvard all worth it. We’re in love and nothing that is being said about us can change that. That’s what is getting me through this, knowing that no matter what happens, in the end, we’ll still have each other.

I hit reply on the email, but before I can begin typing I’m interrupted by the phone ringing on my desk. Part of me wonders if someone is calling me by mistake. I mean, I’ve only been in this office for a few minutes and I don’t know the number so I haven’t given it to anyone… but then I realize it might be Christian so I hurry to answer it.

“Anastasia Steele.”

“Hey, Ana, it’s Ros. Sorry, I should have warned you about Brian, but I’ve only just gotten a chance to call you now. We’re still dealing with all this fallout from this lawsuit and it doesn’t help that we have a new receptionist fielding calls…”

“It’s okay,” I assure her. “He did come in here thinking he was heading this implementation so it was a little bit of a shock for him when he was told he’d be my assistant.”

“Is it vindictive of me to be happy about that?” She asks with a laugh. “I’ve never seen someone backhandedly belittle women the way that man does. His mother must not have loved him enough.”

I laugh as she continues.

“Anyway, just give me a call if you have any questions or need my help with anything. I’ve been fairly busy fending off Elena Lincoln this morning, but I’ll make sure Andrea and Olivia know to get you through to me, even if it’s interrupting something.”

“What’s going on with Elena Lincoln?” I ask and she sighs.

“She’s not happy with the audit that I’ve scheduled with her and she’s been trying to get out of it since yesterday morning. She’s already called for Christian three different times this morning and tried to schedule a meeting with him, like she thinks he’ll go over my head and stop me from doing due diligence on my projects.”

“Is Christian meeting with her?” I ask, alarmed.

“No, he’s overstretched as it is dealing with his lawyers, and the state project, and well… everything else. Every time she calls he has Olivia direct the call to me and that seems to be aggravating her even more. I expect she’ll show up here sometime this afternoon, but that’s fine… I’ll just have Taylor revoke her security permissions. If she wants to be in the Executive Office, she can get a guest badge, and if she wants a guest badge, she can make an appointment. Of course, she already has an appointment, and it’s for her audit,” Ros adds and there is a hint of spitefulness in her tone that gives me great joy.

Ros doesn’t like her either and the fact that Elena is fighting this hard against the audit means that she’s hiding something. Once Ros finds out what that is, Christian will finally be able to see what she really is.

There is a knock on the door and I look up to see Brian begrudgingly stick his head into my office.

“They’re gathering in the conference room,” He says bitterly and I nod.

“Ros, I have to go,” I tell her. “I should be able to complete everything in the implementation guide after this meeting and once it’s finished, I’ll send it over to you.”

“Sounds good. Thanks, Ana.”

I hang up the phone and hurry to gather the files in front of me before making my way to the conference room for my first meeting as the interim director of SIP.

Hyde wasn’t kidding when he said the meeting would take most of the day. We spend hours and hours going through the responsibilities and day to day of each sector of SIP: agents, editors, sales, marketing, art and design… Some of the department heads seem to be accepting of the need for change while others are more resistant. I spend probably close to an hour arguing with the agents about changing and standardizing the query process and by the end, each one of them is looking at me as though they think I’m an idiot. But Jack is on my side, and both Ros and Christian have approved this plan, so I stand firm and move on.

When the meeting finally comes to an end late in the afternoon, I return to my new office to update and complete the implementation guide to send back to Ros and begin reading through the works of our current authors. When I walk through the door though, I’m immediately surrounded by the sweet fragrance drifting from the full bouquet of over-sized sunflowers, bright pink tulips, and round green chrysanthemums, that is sitting on my desk. It’s a little… bright for Christian but maybe that’s what he was going for. He knows exactly how stressful these meetings can be. Perhaps he’s being purposefully symbolic. I lean down and smell one of the tulips, and then smile as I reach for the card.

Congratulations on your first day at SIP, I hope these flowers will brighten up your office.

-Elena Lincoln

I gape down at the card and then turn and glare at the bouquet on my desk. What the fuck is she doing? Is this supposed to be some kind of peace offering to stop me from fighting against her? Maybe she thinks that if she sucks up to me, I’ll talk to Ros about the audit… But that seems unlikely. Elena knows I hate her. She knows that I’d never do anything to help her, no matter what it was for. This a game, and I’m not sure what it’s for, but I’m not going to play with her right now.

I grab a hold of the vase and carry it with me as I storm angrily to the security office GEH has added and find Luke staring out the window at the few photographers lingering on the sidewalk out front.

“Get rid of these,” I say, thrusting the vase into his hands, and since I take him by surprise, he fumbles briefly with the vase as he tries not to let it fall to the ground.

“Miss Steele?” He asks.

“Get rid of them! Keep this shit in my office, Luke,” I repeat and I turn around and storm angrily back to my office. It takes a great deal of effort to settle down and get back to work, though not as much effort as it takes to try and ignore the still lingering scent of the flowers that permeates the air of my office like a toxic gas. Between the paparazzi, my mother, that long and frustrating meeting, and the very unwelcome reminder of the bitch troll in the middle of my day… I’m feeling fried. All I want is to go home and relax, have a quiet dinner with Christian and maybe watch a movie or read a book. Unfortunately, I’m in charge here now, so the work, already piled up on my desk, can’t wait.

Once I’ve updated the implementation guide and sent it back to Ros, I begin skimming through the published works that are currently bringing in the most revenue for SIP, taking notes on who worked on each project as I go. I’m pleased to discover that most of the material is actually really good. So good in fact, that I end up wasting more time than I mean to by getting sucked into a novel by Boyce Fox, who it seems is currently carrying most of this company on just this one book. I’m several chapters into the story when finally, I’m drawn back into the real world by the ping of my email.

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Flower Delivery

Date: June 1st 2010 03:57 PM

To: Anastasia Steele

I heard that Elena had flowers delivered to you today and I’m sorry. I’ve just gotten off the phone with her and she will not be contacting you or sending you anything again.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings INC

I stare at the email dumbfounded…

He called her? But I thought… I mean, the point of him shifting Elena to Ros was so that he wouldn’t be in contact with her at all anymore! And then it hits me… that’s why she sent flowers to me. She’s not trying to suck up or win me over, she’s trying to get ahold of Christian and she knew that the easiest way to do that was through me. Fuck, I hate how well she knows him… How am I supposed to keep him away from her, when she knows exactly what to do to get him to seek her out? How did he even know about the flowers anyway?

But I know the answer to that too…

I clench my teeth together as I reach down and press the zero on my phone.

“Front desk,” Claire says brightly.

“Claire, this is Ana. Will you please send Luke back here for a moment?”

“Right away, ma’am,” She replies, and only a few seconds after I hang up the phone, I hear three gentle knocks on the door.

“Come in, Luke,” I say sharply and the door eases open with a creak.

“Miss Steele?” He says in the same low, even tone he uses when he addresses Christian. I wait for him to close the door behind him and then glare at him.

“You told Christian that Elena had flowers sent to me?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Don’t you see that that is exactly what she wanted to happen? She’s been trying to talk to him all morning and because of you, she not only got ahold of him, but she got him to call her.”

“I’m sorry, Miss Steele, I have instructions to inform Mr. Grey of any interactions between you and Mrs. Lincoln or any attempts she makes to contact you.”

“I don’t care what your instructions are, his family and I are trying to build a wall between her and Christian and by preventing me from finding out the truth about her involvement in this lawsuit and giving him reason to contact her privately, you’re undoing everything we’re trying to build.”

“I apologize, Miss Steele, but my job is not to keep Mr. Grey away from Mrs. Lincoln. My job is to protect you and to follow Mr. Grey’s orders, and his orders were for me to inform him if Mrs. Lincoln attempted to contact you in anyway.”

“Well you’re my CPO and I’m telling you that the subject of Mrs. Lincoln is off limits when it comes to Christian.”

“I’m sorry, that’s not how it works… “

“Come on, Luke,” I say, my voice sounding a little desperate as I realize arguing with him when he’s like this is like yelling at a wall. “Can’t you just drop the whole security detail thing for one second and understand that I need you to do this as my friend? She’s a manipulative, abusive, horrible person and it’s really important that she not be in contact with Christian. Please…”

He takes in a long drawn out breath and then stares at me with a defeated look in his eye. “Ana, this is why I didn’t fight to be your CPO when Mr. Grey assigned you Prescott again last week. Part of my job is to keep you from doing things that you want to do but that you’re not supposed to. I can’t be your friend over being your CPO… I did that when I was in Cambridge when I took you up that mountain and I got fired for it. When we’re out in public, I have to be your CPO before anything else, and right now that means that I have to keep you away from Elena Lincoln and let Mr. Grey know if she’s attempting to reach out to you.”

“Some things are more important than your job, Luke. I thought that you would think that I was one of them.”

“You are, Ana. My job is to keep you safe, I take that very seriously.”

“Luke, this isn’t about my safety. She can’t do anything to me worse than what she’s already done. This is about Christian and what that woman does to him. I need you to do this, as my friend, not my CPO.”

“I can’t. I have my orders, Ana,” He says, quietly, breaking eye contact with me, and I feel a surge of anger. It’s like he’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. My best friend Luke, who I know would move heaven and earth for me if I needed him to, and this horrible security robot Luke, who is so black and white about his job to protect me, that he’s going to be the reason I get hurt.

“Get out of my office,” I say bitterly as I turn angrily back towards my computer screen.

“Ana…”

“I said get out!”

He nods and then steps silently into the hallway, and once the door is closed behind him, I bring my email back up and quickly type out a response to Christian.

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Unneeded Phone Calls

Date: June 1st 2010 04:11 PM

To: Christian Grey

Why did you call her? Don’t you see that you’ve just played right into her hand? She sent me those flowers to get you to contact her because you kicked her out of your apartment and have been ignoring her phone calls all day. I don’t want you talking to her, period. I did the appropriate thing and had them immediately thrown out. I ignored her, as you SHOULD have.

Anastasia Steele

Implementation Director, Grey Enterprises Holdings INC

I hit send and then try and return to my work, but it only takes another minute or so for Christian’s response to come in.

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Careful

Date: June 1st 2010 04:13 PM

To: Anastasia Steele

Anastasia, I do not need you telling me what is and is not the necessary course of action when dealing with my employees. There was a problem, it’s handled. I was simply informing you of the outcome as a courtesy.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings INC

His response is irritating, a reiteration of every reason I don’t want him talking to her in the first place. He thinks he’s in control, but he’s not. That illusion is just another one of Elena’s games.

There’s still a ton of work to get through by the time five o’clock rolls around, so I gather the few manuscripts I wanted to get through today and take them with me. Once I’ve powered everything down, I gather my things and make my way out to reception where Luke is waiting for me, ready to go. He holds up his jacket in front of me as we walk out of the building and into the blinding flashes from the photographers screaming questions at me. As I make my way to the SUV idling on the curb, I type out a quick text to Christian letting him know I’m on the way home.

Luke is quiet when we get into the car, and it stays that way as Ryan pulls out onto the street towards Escala. I’m in the back, so, unfortunately, I can’t turn off Luke’s shit music as we sit in the evening traffic that is going to make me late getting home. Christian still hasn’t responded to my text and it’s been twenty minutes, so I assume that means he’s busy dealing with work or maybe something with the lawsuit, and that leaves me with a sinking feeling deep inside my stomach.

He’s been so stressed out the past few days and me fighting with him isn’t helping that. I don’t know how to balance this… being his emotional support while also not accepting him talking to her, especially in private. I don’t know… Maybe he needs to see Flynn. It’s like he’s on a sinking boat, bailing water, but everytime he gets ahead, the boat springs another leak. Why can’t we just have one boring week? Maybe I need to see Flynn…

I can feel Luke looking at me in the mirror on the visor of the front passenger’s seat and when I glance up, I see that he looks worried, although he looks away the second I catch him staring at me. He focuses his attention on the line of cars creeping forward ahead of the SUV and when we come to another dead stop, he sighs and reaches down to change the radio station. Despite my best efforts, a smile creeps across my face as the soft music of Train fills the car.

When we get back to Escala, I put the new code into the elevator and that gives me a sense of peace as we make our way up to the penthouse. At least Elena can’t get in here… that’s one less way she has access to him. The doors to the elevator open and I immediately make my way to Christian’s office, but he isn’t there. I lean around the corner to see if maybe he’s in the library across the hall, but he isn’t. I decide to check our bedroom but once I’m out in the great room, I hear the low thumping sound of music drifting down the stairs.

I head upstairs to check it out and find Christian in the new gym we put together over the weekend. He has Eminem blasting over the stereo while he uses an extremely heavy looking set of weights to do bench presses with Taylor standing behind his head as a spotter. I watch him for a minute, impressed by his strength as he lifts the bar again and again. Neither of them notice me hovering in the entryway, so I turn around and head back downstairs to get a glass of wine and change out of my work clothes.

Because I’m feeling so mentally fatigued from the long day, I decide to crawl into bed and read the manuscripts, rather than work out of my office upstairs. I don’t get very far though as only twenty minutes later, Christian comes into our bedroom, relief washing across his face when he sees me sitting on the bed.

“There you are. I didn’t know you’d gotten home yet,” He says. “How was your first day?”

“Fine,” I tell him. “How about you?”

“Stressful. I need to be focusing all of my energy into this fiber optics project. It’s the biggest contract GEH has ever gotten and it requires a great deal of time and careful planning, but with this lawsuit taking up so much of my day…”

“It’ll be over soon,” I assure him and he lets out a long, drawn out breath before kneeling on the bed and kissing me.

“I’m not sure I like not having you in my office anymore,” He whispers against my lips.

“I know,” I reply, “But I live here now, so I’ll be here every night and every morning when you wake up.”

He moans at the thought and pushes me back into the pillows, his lips becoming more insistent upon mine until his tongue invades my mouth. I gasp, breaking away from the kiss, and his lips move down to the line of my jaw as his fingers begin creeping over my stomach towards the band of my leggings.

“Christian, you’re all sweaty!” I giggle because the light touch of his hands on my sides tickles. I try to push him away, but he doesn’t budge.

“Good,” He replies. “Let’s get you that way too.” He slides his hand under my panties and automatically the muscles south of my navel clench as his fingers find my clitoris. My mouth drops open as I enjoy the sensation of his fingers rubbing slow circles around me until my desire is heightened enough that his fingers become slick with my arousal.

“Oh, baby,” He groans, “I love feeling how wet you get for me.” He thrusts a finger inside of me and I gasp again, clawing at his t-shirt still damp with sweat. I want to feel him against me.

“Take your clothes off,” I tell him and gives me a wicked smile.

“But I thought you had objections, Miss Steele. Perhaps I should take a shower instead…” He eases another finger inside of me, slowly pumping them in and out as he curls them around in a come hither motion against the front wall of my vagina.

“No!” I cry out, losing myself in the heat that slowly begins to consume me. “I don’t have objections. I want you, Christian.”

“Are you sure?” He asks, pressing his thumb against my clitoris and working it back in forth in tandem with his fingers moving in and out of me. It sends a jolt of pleasure through me so intense I involuntarily squirm away from him but he lowers himself down on top of me to keep me in place.

“Oh no, baby. You need to be still…” He tells me, and as I lie there, trying not to move as he slides his fingers in and out, I begin to build, higher and higher, until I’m tight around him.

“That’s right, Ana. Should I make you come this way?”

“No,” I whimper.

“You’re sure?”

“No, I mean, yes, I’m sure. Christian… Ah!” I gasp, the heat now swirling around me, transforming into the overwhelming sense of pleasure that tells me how close I’m getting.

“What do you want me to do, Anastasia?” He asks. He forces his fingers deeper inside of me, holding them there, pushing hard against me and then swirling them around. I tilt my pelvis upwards, trying to put off my orgasm but I know it’s no use. I’m almost there, just at the brink…

“Fuck me, Christian,” I tell him. “I don’t want you to make me come with your hand, I want you to make me come with your cock.”

“Oh, Ana,” He says, a hint of disapproval hidden beneath the carnal need in his tone. “Such a dirty mouth. Maybe I should fuck that instead.”

“Christian, please!” I cry out. He moves his fingers back, keeping me just on the edge of release but not pushing me far enough to find it. I watch hungrily as he sits up, releases his erection, and then settles down between my legs. His fingers disappear and then are replaced as he thrusts deep inside of me and I immediately tip over the edge and begin to come, exquisitely, all around him. He pounds into me with savage force while I ride the wave of my orgasm, intensifying the pleasure, prolonging the ecstasy, whispering the words in my ear that keep the lust ignited inside of me.

“You’re so beautiful when you come, Anastasia,” He says when I’ve come back down to earth. “I want to see it again.”

So quickly, I hardly have time to react, he pulls out of me and then grips my hips and one of my legs to flip me over onto my stomach. Once I’m face down in the pillow, he grabs onto my leggings and roughly yanks them the rest of the way off of me. I squeal as his hand comes down, hard, on my behind and then in one swift movement, he’s inside of me again. I push back into him as he leans down and wraps my hair around his hand, pulling slightly while he thrusts in and out of me and to my surprise, the slight amount of pain from him pulling at my hair seems to increase the pleasure everywhere else.

I scream into the pillow as I’m overcome by raw, animalistic desire. It’s almost as if I’ve lost my mind and I don’t know if it’s the pheromones radiating off of him after his workout or just the need to release the stress from the day. The only thing I can think of is getting more, doing more… I want him to do things to me he’s never done before, to push me farther than he ever has before…

“Oh, Ana,” He growls as the hand not tangled in my hair, digs into my hip. “You’re ass is so fucking sexy. I love the way you look like this. I can’t wait to claim your ass baby.”

I bite down on my lip and in a moment of sex dazed braveness, I whisper, “Do it.”

“What?” He asks as if he didn’t hear me correctly.

“Do it, Christian. You want to claim my ass? Do it.”

He groans and then leans over me, pushing deep inside me again and eliciting a quick, high shriek as he yanks back on my hair and I feel him hit against my cervix.

“It doesn’t work like that, Anastasia,” He says in a low, deep voice that is thick with carnal promise. “If you want me to fuck your ass, then your ass is going to require extensive preparation.”

He punctuates every few words with a sharp thrust and by the time he’s finished speaking, my entire body is trembling, my breath coming in short, shallow pants.

“Okay,” I reply and I feel his teeth sink into my earlobe.

“What am I doing to you?” He asks. “You’re turning into quite the wanton little creature.”

“Yes,” I reply, unable to get out more than one syllable as his movements inside of me have reawakened the pulsing heat inside of me that tells me my orgasm is fast approaching. His hand moves away from my hips and he brings it down hard on my ass again. I clench around him as the sting rocks through me and hear him exhale sharply. He does it again, and again and by the third slap, I explode around him in a mind boggling orgasm that rockets through my entire body and wipes away all sense of thought and coherence.

I’m lost, completely overcome by the ecstasy and when I hear him yell my name from somewhere far off in the distance and feel him erupt inside of me, the pleasure peaks again until I can no longer hold myself up and I collapse onto the bed.

I’m shaking when he lies down next to me and pulls me into him, kissing my hair as he wraps me in his arms. We lie there for what feels like forever, and yet when he eventually does roll out of bed, it feels like not enough time at all.

“Where are you going?” I pout as I watch him pick up his phone and frown down at whatever he reads.

“I’m going to take a shower,” He says distractedly while he begins typing on the screen of his iPhone. When he looks back at me, I can see the tension in his face again.

“What’s wrong?” I ask.

“Nothing, just… It’s just my lawyers,” He says. “Do you want to take a shower with me?”

“No, I want to lay in bed with you,” I tell him and the small, crooked smile he gives me isn’t enough to erase the strain in his eyes.

“I’m sorry, baby. There are a few things I’ve got to take care of. You stay here and relax. It’ll make me feel better knowing you’re in my bed.”

I give him a sad kind of smile as he turns and disappears into the bathroom, but as I lie back into the pillows and listen to the water of the shower turn on, my phone vibrates on the bedside table and I turn to look at it.


Google Alert: Christian Grey

TMZ, June 1st 2010: Grey’s Mistress Revealed. Check out the exclusive pictures of Christian Grey‘s hot intern, Anastasia Steele, arriving at Seattle Independent Press (a new acquisition of GEH) this morning. According to whistleblower Leila Williams, Miss Steele’s appointment at SIP is one of the many perks she has received for providing excellent and very personal “service” to the CEO.


I click on the article and scroll through the dozen or so pictures of me getting out of the car this morning and making my way into SIP. You can’t make out my face clearly in any of them thanks to my jacket and purse and, in a few rare cases, Luke, but that doesn’t make me feel any better. In fact, I know it will probably just make them more aggressive in trying to get the first real photo.

I let out a defeated sigh as I climb out of bed, pull my leggings back on and head into the bathroom. Christian is already in the shower and he doesn’t notice me through the cloud of steam that fills the room, so I slide open the door a little to see him better.

“What’s wrong?” He asks when he sees me watching him.

“Just… there are pictures of me online. I just got the Google Alert…”

“I’m sorry, Anastasia,” He says, truly regretful and I give him a weak, I-know-it’s-not-your-fault smile.

“Maybe we should get away this weekend,” I tell him. “I mean, we’ve been cooped up in the apartment and we can’t go anywhere in the city. What if we went out of town for a few days, just the two of us?”

“Where do you want to go?” He asks.

“I don’t know.”

“We could fly down to Cabo, or Puerto Vallarta,” He suggests.

“I think leaving the country is a little extravagant for a weekend…”

“New York?”

“No!” I say, a little too harshly and he blanches. “I mean, we’ve already been to New York together,” I add, trying to cover my idiotic reaction. “I want to go somewhere I’ve never been with you.” Or at least somewhere without bad memories.

“So Bora Bora is out?”

I roll my eyes. “Yes.”

“Well then, how about Friday after work, we go to the airport and we buy tickets for whatever flight is leaving next? We’ll leave it up to chance. Like airline roulette.”

“That sounds kind of romantic,” I reply with a smile.

“Shocking, right?” He asks

“Not at all,” I tell him.

He reaches over to turn off the water and as he steps out of the shower, I lean up onto my tiptoes and lightly press my lips into his. He brushes my hair away from my face and stares back at me with look so full of love and awe that I feel as though it could make my heart stop. He kisses me once more, his lips are gentle against mine and lingering there just long enough to elicit a shiver that runs through my body and reinvigorates the desire within me that should be sated.

“What do you want to do now?” I whisper against his lips and I feel, rather than see him smile.

“Oh, Ana, I think you know what I’d like to do. Unfortunately, what I have to do, is meet my father for dinner. We’re going over some of the things he’s gotten through with the lawsuit today. I have some decisions to make. Do you want to go with me?”

“Do you want me to?” I ask.

“Not if you don’t want to.”

“Well… I mean, it’s not that I don’t want to, it’s the photographers… Can your dad come here?”

“He’s already made reservations,” He tells me. “Don’t worry about it, Anastasia. Stay in tonight and relax. I’ll draw you a bath and then have Mrs. Jones make you something for dinner. I’ll only be a couple of hours and then we can do some of the things I would, in fact, like to do.”

“It’s a date,” I say, and he smiles at me before I turn around and head out of the bathroom.

An hour later, Christian has left and I’m swaddled in a plush bathrobe, my hair wound tightly in a soft fluffy bath towel, and I’m finishing the delicious mushroom bisque Mrs. Jones has prepared. When my soup is gone, I get up to put the dishes away but Mrs. Jones insists that she’ll take care of everything for me, so instead I head back to my bathroom to blow dry my hair and get dressed. Even though Mrs. Jones had my clothes brought up and put away in the closet with Christian’s while I was at work this afternoon, I still pull my favorite pair of his sweats and the Harvard t-shirt out of his drawers.

I take the book I was reading earlier off the bedside table and head back out to the living room, to read and cuddle up with a blanket on the couch. Halfway through the chapter though, I find that I’m having difficulty concentrating on the text. Mrs. Jones has disappeared, where to, I’m not sure, and the apartment is dead silent. I think the google alert is getting to me more than I thought and as a result I’m realizing that I’m not really comfortable alone right now. It gives me too much time to think and to worry about the lawsuit and Christian and Harvard… I try to distract myself by turning on the TV but it doesn’t help. I need company.

My first thought is to call Kate and ask her to come over, but she’s in Mercer Island, or maybe even Bellevue, right now and by the time she leaves and fights through the traffic to get here, we would probably only have forty minutes or so before Christian came home. It doesn’t seem fair to make her drive all the way over here and then ask her to leave.

I let out a long sigh and then turn around to face the foyer, my lips pushed together in an irresolute pout as I try and decide how much holding onto this grudge and feeling like I’m right is worth spending the next couple hours alone. With a defeated sigh, I get up and make my way towards the foyer and around the corner to Taylor’s office.

Luke is sitting at the desk typing on a computer and looking a little bit bored, which I suppose is a problem for a guy whose job it is to look after a person who has spent the entire night doing absolutely nothing. I lean against the door frame and stare at him until he finally looks up, jumping slightly when he sees me standing there.

“Jesus, Ana,” He says irritably, and I let out a breathy laugh.

“Scared you,” I taunt him and he shakes his head before turning a more serious look on me.

“What can I do for you, Miss Steele?”

“Well, you could stop calling me Miss Steele.

“Ana…”

“Luke, I get it, okay? I’m sorry. You’re right, I asked for you to be my CPO and I should have known that sometimes that was going to mean that your job had to come before our friendship. I’m sorry I’ve been so rude to you today. I know that I keep putting you in awkward positions with Christian, and I don’t mean to. I’m not going to ask you to do things anymore that can get you in trouble and I won’t hold it against you if you piss me off because you have to do your job.”

“Well… thank you,” Luke says. “And I’ll try and find a better balance between being professional and being your best friend.”

“It’s kind of lonely out here…” I tell him. “Do you want to watch a movie with me?”

“Sure,” He says, a smile creeping across his face which I return as I watch him close down his system and then walk around the desk to join me.

“So what’s it going to be, Steele?” He asks as he plops down on the couch. “It’s a Wonderful Life? Some Like it Hot? Wait… let me guess, It Happened One Night?”

I laugh. “Well, as much as I know that you love that movie, what if we watched something from this century?”

“I’d die of shock,” He says dryly, making me laugh again.

“You’re not being fair. You always say I force you to watch what I want to watch but how many Tarantino movies have I sat through for you?”

“Not nearly enough,” He replies with a sly smile and I shake my head.

“Well, Elliot is always telling me how much he loved Avatar and I saw it on On-Demand earlier, why don’t we watch that?”

Avatar it is,” Luke says, and I pick up the remote to order the movie and then curl up on the couch next to him. The movie is okay. Mostly I want to laugh because Luke says I don’t watch movies if they have too much color in them, and that definitely isn’t the case with this movie. I am a little peeved though as I’ve given up a golden opportunity to force him to sit through It Happened One Night again, but he’s more interested in his phone than what’s on the screen.

“Are you even watching this?” I ask. “Because if you’re not, I’ll put on a Shirley Temple movie. Don’t think that I won’t. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm is literally in the DVD player right now.”

“Sorry… it’s Leah,” He says, as his phone vibrates with another text.

“Oh,” I say, surprised. “Your girlfriend, right?”

“Well, I think it’s a little soon to be calling her my girlfriend. Oh wait, sorry… I forgot who I was talking to.”

“What is that supposed to mean?” I ask indignantly.

“Nothing. Just that you moved to Seattle sixteen days ago and now you’re not only dating Grey, but you’ve moved into his apartment… Soon doesn’t seem to be a problem with you.”

“Yeah, but… I mean, we dated before and we were going to move in with each other right before we broke up and, and… and we’re not talking about me, right now, we’re talking about you. Why don’t you want to call her your girlfriend? I thought you liked her?”

“I do, but my job is really time consuming. It’s kind of a 24/7 thing and it makes it difficult to have a relationship, you know?” His phone vibrates again and he frowns as he reads the text. “See what I mean? She’s not very happy that I have to work tonight and she’s being a little passive aggressive about it.”

He hands me his phone and I look down at the text.

Okay, but say you WERE here. What would you want to do?

My brow furrows as I scroll through the last few messages and then a broad smile crosses my face as I realize what’s actually going on.

“She’s not being passive aggressive, Luke. She’s trying to get you to talk dirty to her.”

“What?” Luke asks, surprised and I shake my head.

“Here…” I tell him, and I begin typing out a quick, sexy message in reply. He looks over at what I’m writing and then immediately reaches out for his phone, which I’m just barely able to keep out of his reach.

“Ana, what are you doing? I would never write that!”

“I know, that’s why you need my help,” I reply with a giggle.

“God damn it, Ana, give me the phone.”

“Never!” I cry and then try to get off the couch and run, but he hooks his arm around my waist and pulls me back onto the couch, kneeling over me to hold me down as he pries his phone out of my hand. But I’m not going to give in that easily. The moment I’m free, I dive at him, laying on top of him to keep his left arm down as I try and reach for the phone he’s holding in his right.

“Stop it, Ana. You’re not sexting my girlfriend.”

“So she is your girlfriend!” I say, looking down at him with a satisfied smirk and he narrows his eyes at me.

“No, she’s my… I don’t know.”

“Give me the phone, Luke.”

“No!” He says defiantly and I reach further forward, my fingers inching up his arm towards the phone while I do my best to keep his other hand pinned to the couch. It’s hard though, because he’s stronger than I am, and after only a few seconds, with my fingers just about to the phone in his outstretched hand, he breaks my hold on his arm and reaches up and begins tickling my sides. I involuntarily flinch and then squirm away from him.

“Stop it, Luke!” I laugh/scream at him. “I don’t know why you’re fighting me. I’m just trying to get you laid!”

“What the fuck?” A cold voice says from behind the couch and both Luke and I freeze. I look over the back of the couch and see Christian standing in the entryway of the living room, staring at us so intently that it feels as though his gaze could burn right through us.

“What the fuck is going on in here?” He asks icily and immediately, Luke rolls me off of him and scrambles to his feet.

“My Grey, I…”

“You think you can come into my house and put your hands on my girlfriend?” Christian asks as he begins stalking towards Luke.

“No, sir,” Luke replies, backing away from him. “I would never…”

“You would never what? Don’t act like I didn’t just fucking walk in on you feeling her up on my couch!”

“Christian!” I shout, standing up and instinctively placing myself between him and Luke. “It’s not what you think, he wasn’t doing anything wrong. I was just trying to get his phone.”

“Get out of the way, Anastasia.”

“No!” I exclaim, but Luke tugs slightly on my arm to pull me out of the way and Christian stalks forward again until he’s only inches away from Luke’s face.

“Pack your things and get the fuck out of my house,” He snarls. “You’re fired.”

“Yes, sir,” Luke says, and he quickly turns and walks hurriedly through the great room towards Taylor’s office, Christian’s angry gaze following him the entire way.

“What the hell is the matter with you?” I ask as I start after Luke, but Christian grabs onto me, holding me in place and he stares furiously down at me.

I’m just trying to get you laid?” He quotes me in a tight voice.

“Yes, with his girlfriend,” I reply defensively. “He was texting her and I was joking around with him for being bad at sexting.”

“You were on top of him and he had his hands all over you, Anastasia.”

“I was trying to get his phone back and he was trying to get me away from him. His hands weren’t all over me, he was just trying to move me.”

“I don’t want him touching you. I don’t want anyone touching you.”

“Christian… Luke is not a threat to you, or to us, you have to stop treating him like he is! Nothing happened, nothing ever will happen. Not with him, not with anyone else. I would never do something like that to you.”

I stare back into his eyes, imploring him to see reason and watch as he takes a deep calming breath and some of the anger behind his eyes begins to recede. He looks down at the floor, almost guiltily for a moment and then back at me, clearly struggling to find the right words for what he wants to say.

“Everything is a threat to me,” He says quietly. “Sawyer, work, this lawsuit… Anything that has the potential to make you leave is a threat to me. I can’t lose you again, Anastasia.”

“You’re not going to, Christian, but you can’t try and hang onto me by pushing everyone else out of my life. Luke and I are friends, that’s all, but we are friends. You have to accept that and stop being threatened by him. I’ve told you a hundred times, I’m not going anywhere, not for Luke, not for anyone else in the world.”

He stares back at me for a second, his eyes searching mine, and then he shakes his head slightly as he speaks. “I’m sorry. You’re right, if I want you to trust me then I need to trust you. It’s my fault he’s in your life anyway, I suppose I’m just going to have to find a way to accept that. You could make it easier by not climbing on top of him though…”

“I can’t make any promises. Sometimes, Luke is a butthead and he needs to be put back in his place by being physically brought down to the ground. He’s a big guy, it takes my whole body.”

Christian rolls his eyes, but he’s trying to cover a small chuckle with an exasperated sigh. He leans down to kiss me, but I stop him by putting my hand up in front of my face and the second his lips touch my fingers, he opens his eyes and then frowns.

“Oh no, Mr. Grey. There will be none of that until you march back into Taylor’s office and make this right with Luke.”

“But…” He begins, but under my stern gaze his jaw clenches and he turns around and heads back into the foyer. I make my way back into the bedroom to start getting ready to go to sleep and am just crawling into the bed when Christian appears, looking agitated.

“Well?” I ask him, keeping my tone as pleasant as possible.

“He’ll pick you up first thing tomorrow morning to take you to work,” He replies, and I smile at him.

“Thank you,” I say, and he sighs and begins to undress for bed. “How was dinner with your dad?” I ask.

“Fine,” He says. “He’s been combing through all the interviews Leila has given, looking for inconsistencies in her story, but she hasn’t varied once from her original statement, like she’s reading from a script or something. Unfortunately it’s very difficult to prove that sexual abuse didn’t occur, especially since she’s not giving any specific dates or events that I could provide an alibi for.”

“What about the cameras in your office? She threatened me when she left, she said that she would ruin you. Can’t that be used for something?”

“It could… if the security footage had an audio feed. Taylor told me a year ago that the system needed an upgrade but I pushed it off for the new building. Stupid mistake… and I will not make it again.”

He climbs into the bed next to me and holds his arms open for me to cuddle into his side and as I lie down over his chest, he continues.

“Speaking of security footage… What were you and Elena talking about outside the office last week?”

“How much I hate her,” I reply and he lets out a quick, breathy laugh.

“Well, it looks like you’re not the only one. I swear this audit that Ros is doing on Esclava is going to start a war between her and Elena. They’ve both been hell to deal with all day.”

“I thought you weren’t dealing with her at all. Wasn’t that the point of handing Esclava off to Ros?”

“It was. She was calling me all morning and I ignored her until Sawyer told me about the flowers she sent to you. I called her to tell her to leave you the fuck alone and she apologized and asked me why she was being audited and I told her to take it up with Ros.”

“You shouldn’t have called her, Christian. She sent those flowers to get you to reach out to her and you played right into her hand.”

“I didn’t call her for an afternoon chat, Anastasia. If that’s what she was really doing, it didnt’ work. I didn’t talk to her about the audit. I called her to tell her that you were off limits and she was not to reach out to you in any way and that’s all I said. I don’t want her contacting you, and I put a stop to it, that’s all it was.”

“I don’t want her talking to you either, Christian. I don’t care what it’s about.”

“We run a business together, Anastasia. What you want is impossible.”

“Then, I hope Ros finds out she’s doing something shady at Esclava so that you’ll get rid of the salons and then you won’t have any reason to contact her.”

“I hope that doesn’t happen,” He says calmly. “Esclava is a very profitable division of GEH and right now I’d prefer it if there weren’t any other breaking news scandals associated with my company.”

I grind my teeth together and take a deep breath because I don’t want to get into another fight with him right now, not with everything else he already has on his plate. Perhaps once Carrick gets this lawsuit sorted out, I can schedule an appointment with Flynn and maybe the rest of his family so we can have a real discussion about Elena and why he needs to several all ties with her, including business ties. Like an intervention.

“There is one more thing Dad and I talked about…” He says hesitantly and I turn so that I can look up at him. “To keep you from being expelled, he thinks it’s best we come out to the public that we’re dating, not just fucking. We need to tell people that this isn’t some tawdry affair, this is a real relationship that has nothing to do with work.”

“Yeah, I figured we’d have to eventually…”

“And, since the relationship disclosure paperwork wasn’t filed before the lawsuit, he thinks it’s best we come out in a very public way, so that we can control the message…”

“Like a public appearance?”

“Not exactly. Something more detailed… Jacqueline is scheduling an interview with Elizabeth Vargas for later in the week.”

“What? That public? That’s not just Seattle News that’s… ABC.”

“I know, but this has turned into a national story, Ana… The New York Times ran article about it, it’s being talked about on all of the late night talk shows. People have been waiting for me to fall from grace for two years. There are a lot of people out there who want to see me fail.”

I take a deep breath and exhale sharply. “So… we don’t give them the satisfaction. And, if this is what it’s going to take to keep me from being expelled, then I guess there isn’t a choice. When is the interview?”

“Jacqueline is scheduling it first thing tomorrow morning. It should be sometime this week.”

“Okay, just let me know…” I tell him. “My mom is going to want to set her DVR.”

He laughs, and I can hear his relief. “I know this isn’t how you wanted to world to find out, but it really is going to be for the best, I promise you. I know my Dad and what he’s capable of and I trust his judgement.”

“I know, me too,” I tell him.

I turn to look at him again, this time pushing myself up so that I can kiss him, and when my lips touch his, his hands move into my hair. As I try and deepen the kiss rather than pull away, he moans and moves me off of his chest and onto the mattress before rolling over on top of me. His tongue explores my mouth eagerly, and as I wrap my arms around him to pull him into me, his hands move under my t-shirt and pull against my panties.

Next Chapter

 

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