“What do you fucking mean you have no signal from the black box?” I scream into the phone.
“Mr. Grey, you’re a pilot. Surely I don’t have to explain to you that we have to be within a 15 mile radius of the box to receive a signal, and, calculating the distance of the search and rescue craft off the water, and the distance from the ocean surface to the ocean floor, we could be talking about a margin of error of as little as six miles. The search efforts cover an area of over 12,000 miles. Surely, you can appreciate the difficulty of the situation.”
“What I would appreciate is fewer excuses and more results.”
“Everything that can be done, is being done, Mr. Grey. I assure you.”
“Your assurances mean nothing until you find my wife,” I snap, and hang up the phone.
I’m sitting in my office at home. I haven’t been able to leave the house since the news of the missing flight broke. Several key employees from GEH have temporarily set up office in my house, unable to get their work done without me being in the office. Andrea has set herself up on my breakfast bar and she’s mostly been fielding phone calls, cancelling meetings, and keeping Ros out of my office. I haven’t gotten any business done at all, how could I? I can’t think of anything except Anastasia.
There is a knock on the door, but I ignore it. Andrea enters anyway, a few seconds later. She’s holding a phone against her chest, covering the microphone while she speaks to me.
“Mr. Grey, I have CNN on the line. They’re asking for a statement.” I glare at her.
“Why the fuck are they asking for a statement from me?”
“The passenger list for the flight has leaked, sir. They know your wife was on board.”
Fuck. As if I didn’t have my hands full already, now I’m going to have to be fielding media calls?
“Andrea, what did I tell you this morning? Unless that’s search and rescue on the phone telling you my wife has been found, I don’t want to be interrupted. Is that search and rescue on the phone?”
“Then get out of my fucking office!” I scream. She calmly lifts the phone back up to her ear.
“I’m sorry, but Mr. Grey has no comment to make at this time,” she says gently as she slowly exits the room. My outbursts don’t even phase her anymore. I’ve been screaming at her all morning. I’ve been screaming at everyone all morning. The only thing I’ve allowed myself to feel is anger. I can’t handle the fear. It’s too much. It consumes me. It ruins me. Anger is safe. I know anger. I am used to anger. Anger is good.
I push away from my desk and head out to check the news headlines on the TV again. The first thing I see when I open the door to my office is Andrea leading Ros away from my door again. I head into the living room and there are dozens of people scattered around, laptops open, but I don’t look at them. I don’t acknowledge any of them. I only look to the TV, which unfortunately is a mistake.
Breaking News: Qantas Flight Manifesto Revealed
Mia is still on the couch, in the same place she was yesterday. I bark at her to turn the volume up when Anastasia’s name flashes across the screen.
“We have now learned that among the list of passengers of Qantas flight 107 was Anastasia Grey, who you may know as the wife of Seattle billionaire, Christian Grey, the CEO of Grey Enterprises Holdings. The couple was married last summer and welcomed a new baby boy, Theodore Raymond Grey, less than 7 weeks ago.”
I have to turn away from the TV as the wedding picture that was run in the Seattle Times flashes on the screen. I can’t see her like that now. Not at her most beautiful. Not looking so happy. Not on the day she officially became mine. A painful shiver reverberates through me and I cringe. The pain is returning. I grip the counter of the breakfast bar and brace myself. Focus on the anger, Grey. Only anger.
“Would you like something to eat, Mr. Grey?” Mrs. Jones asks as she enters the kitchen.
“No,” I snap, without even looking up at her.
I reach into my pocket and dial Anastasia’s number again, hoping against hope, that she’ll answer.
Hi, you’ve reached Anastasia Grey. I’m unable to answer my phone right now so please leave me a message.
“Please, Ana…” I moan desperately into the phone and hang up. Her voice has cut me like a red hot blade fresh out of the flames of the forge.
No, shut it down, Grey. You don’t have time for this shit. You need to focus now. Focus on the anger.
As I stand over the counter trying to regain my control, I hear the baby crying. The sound sets my teeth on edge. My mother rushes into the kitchen, holding him in her arms, and she holds him out for me.
“Christian, I’m sorry. I have patients. I have to go to the hospital. You’re going to have to take Teddy.”
“Are you fucking kidding me?” I snap venomously, “I can’t take the fucking baby right now.”
“Christian Trevelyan-Grey!” My mother gasps, pulling the baby back into her chest. “How dare you! Don’t you ever talk about your son like that again. Just because you’re dealing with a tragic situation, doesn’t mean you get to stop being a father.”
I push past her, scowling. “I don’t have time for this shit right now.”
“Christian, you get back here and take your son. You can’t just abandon him.”
“Call a fucking nanny,” I yell and stomp towards my office. Teddy’s cries get louder as I walk away.
“Somebody shut him up, I have fucking work to do!” I slam my office door behind me and slump angrily into my desk. This chair used to be a seat of fucking power, but I don’t feel it now. I’m helpless. I need control. I have to have control and everything is out of my hands right now. I run my hands through my hair as I feel I’m being driven mad by fear and pain. What the fuck am I going to do?
Andrea appears at the door again, not bothering to knock this time.
“Andrea, I’m not going to fucking tell you again.”
“I’m sorry, sir. It’s Governor Warren, returning your call.” My face hardens and I wave her over, reaching my arm out for the phone.
“Governor,” I said coldly.
“Mr. Grey. What can I do for you today?” He asks.
“I want to know why you haven’t offered assistance to increase the search efforts for Qantas flight 107.”
“I’m sorry, Mr. Grey. The responsibility for flight recovery lands on the airline and search and rescue efforts are put in place by the country of the plane’s origin.”
“That’s not good enough,” I snap. “I want the national guard involved.”
“Again, I’m sorry, Mr. Grey. But I cannot allocate state resources simply to find your wife.”
“I’m sorry to hear that, Governor. If that’s the way you feel, perhaps I will be unable to allocate my resources to your campaign fund. In fact, I might even have to reallocate my resources to your opponent in hopes of electing a Governor who puts the health and safety of his constituency above all else. I might even be a little extra generous if that were the case.”
“Mr. Grey,” he responds nervously. “Of course, the well being of the people of the great state of Washington is my highest priority. I suppose it wouldn’t be wasteful to send out the national guard. Tell you what, I’ll even make contact with the Governor of California. Perhaps he can have his coast guard get involved, in addition to the National Guard, of course.”
“Excellent, Governor. I appreciate your support.”
“And I shall appreciate your support, come November, Grey.”
“Absolutely,” I promise and hang up the phone.
That’s going to do it, I tell myself. That’s what was needed to bring her home. Fuck, why didn’t I insist she fly on my private plane? Why didn’t I go with her? Better yet, why didn’t I keep her here? Tie her to the bed if necessary! My gut clenches at the last thought, but it’s non-sexual. It’s pain. That’s all there is now, pain, and anger, and fear.
I reach out for my blackberry again. I’m going to find someone who can bring her home if I have to get the President of the United States himself.