Chapter 43

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Google Alert: Christian Grey

TMZ, August 31st 2010: Check out the exclusive pictures of Christian Grey‘s romantic Hawaiian getaway with Anastasia Steele last weekend. The pair spent a week in a private beach rental priced at over $13,000 a night!

I stare down at the screen of my laptop and at the pictures that were taken from Katherine Kavanagh’s and Mia Grey’s social media accounts and plastered all over the internet for the world to see. The first picture is of Anastasia and Mr. Grey sitting at a table together, half of Mia’s face in the frame, and what looks like a Hawaiian feast laid out on the table before them. It’s fairly dark in the picture, and their faces are only illuminated by the torches set around the table, but they’re both smiling broadly at the camera. Clearly genuinely happy.

I scowl at the screen and then click the arrow for the next picture, this time of Anastasia sneaking up behind Mr. Grey, who is sleeping on a lounger next to the pool, with a bucket in her hands while she smiles mischievously at whoever is taking the picture. Next, Anastasia and Mr. Grey are in the ocean together, waist deep in the water, and his arms are wrapped tightly around her. There is a fan of water droplets sparkling in the air around them as Mr. Grey spins her around in the water and she throws her head back in laughter. I focus in on his face, and the look of pure, uninhibited love that he gives her as she loses herself in the joy of the moment makes me want to break something. I jab my finger down on the touchpad of my laptop to move to the last photo, a picture of Mr. Grey and Anastasia walking down the beach, hand in hand, at sunset. Her long dark hair contrasts perfectly against her full length flowy white dress, both of which are blowing gracefully in the wind as they walk. If it weren’t for the fact that Mr. Grey was wearing a pair of dark navy swim trunks and a heathered gray t-shirt, it would look like a wedding photo.

That’s going to come next. I think bitterly to myself, and I close the lid of my laptop.

The apartment around me is small and messy, and I have to share it with two roommates even though there is barely enough space for one. It’s nothing like the giant penthouse apartment Mr. Grey takes Anastasia home to every night. There are no vacations planned for my near future, no fancy cars for me to drive to the publishing house my adoring boyfriend bought for me just so I could be around him for a stupid, pointless internship that didn’t even pay anything. There are no gargantuan diamond rings waiting for me, no ridiculously expensive and elaborate white gowns with cathedral long trains, no aisles to walk down, no handsome billionaires to proudly proclaim, I do. There will be no picket fences, or gray eyed children, or a pair of rocking chairs on a front porch somewhere, groaning slightly as they sway back and forth while Mr. Grey holds tightly to my now wrinkly hand, playing absentmindedly with the wedding band he put there decades before.

I’d pictured these things in my mind over and over again, every night. Obsessed about them, spent countless hours trying to figure out how to make them a reality. But it will never be reality, never my reality. This is the future for Anastasia Steele.

I can’t even think her name without contempt any more. The hatred I feel for her, for the both of them, as they flaunt their perfect lives and their complete devotion to one another has completely consumed me. I’ve done everything I could think to do to take that from them, but the first time, I was rash, angry, and stupid. I acted too quickly and they ruined my plan before it even got started. I’d felt the sting of that loss especially hard, but still, the second time has been a much more difficult pill to swallow.

Elena Lincoln may be a legitimate psychopath, but I’d never been more confident that someone could take Grey and Anastasia down than her. She was smart. She’d planned everything to the last detail and she had everything she needed right in her hands. I’d thought for sure when she called me and asked me to testify, it was going to be the end of Mr. Grey. Anastasia would receive no guilty verdict, and that was a shame, but the pain she would feel in losing him would be vindication enough for me. I still remember the fleeting sense of joy I felt at the idea whenever I pictured them taking him from the courtroom in handcuffs and Anastasia bursting into tears of heartbreak and misery. But that was taken from me too.

I stare down at the outdated copy of the Seattle Times I still have sitting on my desk, proclaiming Mr. Grey innocent of what I’d accused him of and telling the world I’m a liar, their proof in the picture of the text messages I’d stupidly sent to Andrea displayed across the front page. I swallow hard as the bitter taste of my hatred creeps into my mouth, my mind racing for another move, another way I can end the abomination that is their happiness, when my attention is caught by the gentle buzz of my phone on the desk.

I purse my lips together, unsure of whether or not I want to answer the unknown number, but eventually, I pick it up.


“You disappoint me, Miss Williams,” The cold, unfamiliar male voice answers. “Two golden opportunities to ruin Christian Grey, wasted.”

“Who is this?” I ask, my attention suddenly piqued.

“Do you want to see him suffer?” The voice asks, ignoring my question. “Do you want to see him lose everything dear to him and leave him a shell of the man he once was?”

I swallow. “Yes.”

“Good. Then let’s get started.”


Book 3: A Stronger Shade of Fifty


5 thoughts on “Chapter 43

  1. I love, love, love your stories Tara!!! I missed the outtake chapters for ABSOF that you posted on your Fan fiction site. Were can I find them?
    Please keep on writing forever 😁


  2. I keep re-reading this chapter, intent each time on figuring out just WHO is on that other line with Leila. Since we don’t yet know the history of the Hyde in Tara’s Fifty Shades, there is no guarantee that it is him.

    That IS the sheer genius of Tara’s writing—she has presented us with MULTIPLE possibilities of someone with a lingering, personal grudge against Christian. Because this grudge clearly IS very VERY personal–that is why the said person is recruiting Leila. This bad man obviously recognizes that Leila wants to utterly and completely destroy Christian Grey and anyone connected to him.

    Given the above, the list of suspects, in my opinion are as follows:

    1) Astor Harrington, who may have had some other ties to Elena beyond being hired to break up Ana and Christian. After all, they personally hated each other and competed with one another despite the fact that Astor was always going to law school, not starting his own business. But I don’t see it being him, as Astor seemed sorry on some level, at least in regards to Ana, and genuinely wanting to make it up to Ana. AND, Ana did NOT report him to Harvard and get him kicked out for what he had done, which she legitimately could have done, given the school’s honor code. So Astor would have no real reason to harm and kill Ana. Thus, I am not thinking that Astor has anything to do with this.

    BUT Tara DID make a point of throwing Astor’s name in when Ana was looking at the list of law students to help Ana get a copyright for her book. Almost as if Tara wanted to remind us all that Astor is STILL out there and might hold a grudge. . . .

    2) Andrew Lincoln, who seemingly lost his wife to Christian. Then was prevented from having revenge on Elena in his divorce action BY Christian, who profitted monetarily from Christian’s lies on the stand. (And it WAS Andrew’s money, after all, that Elena used to boot.) And Christian went unpunished for that (at least, at the time). THEN, to top it all off, Elena helps Christian to take Andrew’s company away, leaving him with nothing and no legacy. So YEAH, I could see Andrew definitely wanting to destroy Christian and leave him with nothing. But would he really extend his revenge to ANA as well?

    Plus, if Tara was giving us clues in Ana’s dreams, then it doesn’t sound like the person is Andrew Lincoln. This person talked about a brief acquaintance with Ana that DOES sound more in line with Hyde. But WHY would Hyde have triggered Ana’s Spidey Sense? There was nothing inappropriate in his interactions with her in Tara-world. And Andrew Lincoln DID have a brief acquaintance with Ana, seeing her at that Thanksgiving during Christian’s year at Harvard as well as at the Christmas vacation, the ballet-secret reveal, and again at the trial. So Andrew Lincoln still makes my list as being someone that should harbor SIGNIFICANT anti-Christian yearnings.

    3) Issac in Tara’s universe seemed to have a lot more to do with Elena’s business, since he was behind the bar and knew stuff to say to Ana in that store. He also lost EVERYTHING as well when Elena’s underground business was shut down, and she was sent away. He has met Ana, and she has heard him speak twice at least, once in the sex store and once at the bar.

    4) And finally, of course, Jack Hyde. We have not gotten any information regarding his history in Tara-world yet, so I am reserving judgment. We DO know that he had hoped for the top position, but BECAUSE Ana had worked well with him, Christian actually did NOT fire him. So he doesn’t have that burning drive for revenge against Christian, at least not yet. It remains to be seen if Tara will give Jack the same history as in the books. But I tend to DOUBT IT, as Leila was completely different and served a completely different role (same as Susannah) in Tara-verse.

    5) Carter Reed is a remote possibility. But I really only mention his name in passing. He genuinely seems to care about Ana, so I just can’t see him having ANYTHING to do with this. He even seems to idolize Christian from afar, and he has now slept with Kate. He just seems to be there without harboring any serious grudge match against Christian. He even encouraged Ana to talk to him when she was not. So I don’t see him being the guy.

    6) The BDSM guy that tried to sexually assault Mia. He was someone “very important” that Elena was anxious to please. And Ana kept him from being able to get Mia that night at the bar. So this is a well-connected person that had CLEARLY pressured Elena into risking everything to get Mia. I mean, even Elena had to know that had anything actually happened to Mia at the club, Christian WOULD finally come after her. We NEVER learned about who this guy was. But for all we know, he COULD have been Jack Hyde or someone else with a serious grudge against the Greys as a whole who always knew who Mia was.

    I will continue to obsessively and feverishly attempt to identify the Male would-be destroyer of Ana and Christian’s relationship and happiness. Tara is a wonderful author who is vastly adapt at shocking the heck out of you when you least expect it. Elena was SO much more devious, and Tara even brought in the psychology to explain her (and Christian’s) reactions and history. So a complex villain IS coming, and I just don’t want to miss the signs.

    Tara, obviously, I will continue to obsess. So you could DEFINITELY throw some clues or signs our way. Pretty pretty please. Just HAVE to know something. Really is cramping what little is left of my down time in constantly trying to come up with theories. So, really think about dropping some heavy clues soon!!!!!

    (And count my plea in as well for a return of the Outtakes. Some of them were so moving, especially Carrick’s and Christian’s in ABSOF.)


      1. Yep. Blame your darn superior writing talents for weaving in multiple complex characters with psychological reasons who have justifiable reasons (at least, in their minds) to want revenge on Christian. And Christian can be ruthless in the business world, giving him multiple sources that have an ax to grind against him. So while I absolutely LOVE the romantic storyline of Christian/Ana, the mystery element manages to be equally compelling. (Darn your insatiable talent that leaves me salivating for more!!!)

        And I forgot to include in my above theories the possibility of WELCH, since Christian did fire him without going through anyone else (like Ros). He was in contact with Hyde, per Christian. And Welch has been with Christian’s company since basically the beginning, yet seemed to be instigating things from behind the scenes. So why would he do that–his loyalty ought to have been to Christian.

        Are there some deliberate red herrings in the mix??? Give me something here!!!! (Pretty please!!)

        Please reward the obsessive maniac determined to root out the bad guy before you actually shock the heck out of me with the actual reveal! Or “reveals” if it is a conspiracy group. Hmmm. I hadn’t even thought of that route. . . .


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