“I’m going to work tomorrow, Christian,” I say as we finish our dinner Sunday night. He doesn’t answer, he continues to look down at Teddy, who is cradled in his arms suckling from a bottle.
“Did you hear me?” I ask.
“Yes,” he says, not looking up at me.
“And you don’t have anything to say?”
“No, I don’t.”
My brow furrows and my lips mash together. This isn’t like Fifty. I was expecting a fight.
“So, you’re okay with it?” I ask hesitantly. Finally he looks up at me.
“No, I just don’t want to argue with you, Anastasia. You won’t be going.”
“No, Ana. I want you to quit. None of this would have happened if you hadn’t gone to the writer’s summit. I’m not going to let anything like that ever happen again.”
“So what?” I snap. “You’re planning on just locking me in the house. Keeping me here, barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen?”
He smiles. “As much as I love the thought of you barefoot and pregnant in my kitchen, baby, I don’t plan on holding you prisoner here. Just think of the things we could do if you didn’t work. We could travel, show Theodore the world. You can do charity work. You can be active in Teddy’s school.”
“I want to work, Christian. I love my job.”
“I don’t want you to work, Anastasia.”
“Well that’s just tough shit, Christian!” I snap and I storm away from the table. He’s not going to force me into quitting my job. I want to show my children that it’s okay for a mom to be proud of her success. That their dad isn’t the only one who wins the bacon in this family. I push my way into the bedroom and pick up the blackberry charging on the nightstand.
“Hello, Ana. How are you?” Roach asks when he answers.
“I’m doing great, thank you. I’m ready to return to work tomorrow,” I say.
“Great, glad to hear it!” He says. “We, uh, have a special project to complete tomorrow, so if you’re coming in you’ll need to probably wear jeans and some tennis shoes or flats.”
“Sure,” I say. What is going on that I need to wear jeans for?
“I’ll see you tomorrow, Ana,” he says.
“Bye, Roach.” I hang up the phone, satisfied. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Grey.
Twenty minutes later, Christian bursts into the room, furious. I’m pretty sure Roach has called him.
The fight that ensues isn’t pretty. He’s pretty fucking pissed at me and he’s locked himself in his study. Normally that wouldn’t bother me too much, space usually helps him calm down in situations like these, but he’s taken Teddy with him. I walk downstairs and knock on his study door.
“What!” he snaps. I open it and step inside. He’s leaning over his computer, holding the sleeping baby in his arms as he works. He looks up at me and glares.
“Not now, Anastasia.”
“I want the baby, Christian,” I say softly. He looks angry and I’m afraid he’s going to tell me no, but his face softens and he motions me forward. I reach into his arms and take Teddy from him, smiling as I cradle him.
“I don’t want you to go,” Christian mutters.
“I know. I’ll be careful,” I promise. “No more business trips and if I do, I’ll take your plane and I won’t go without you.”
“Or security,” He adds darkly. I sigh.
“I don’t want to fight with you.”
“I don’t either, Christian,” I grab his hand and pull him away from his desk. We take Teddy upstairs together and then I lead him into the bedroom, effectively ending our fight.
Christian leaves early in the morning. I wake up and he’s gone. I suspect he doesn’t want to see me leave for work. Jeez, I hope he’s not still gone by the time I get back.
I grab a pair of jeans from my side of the dresser and wrinkle my nose at them. I haven’t tried jeans yet, but when I slip them on I am able to buckle them without difficulty. Ha! Four months and I’m already back in my pre-pregnancy jeans.
When I get downstairs, Mrs. Jones is in the kitchen cleaning up Christian’s breakfast.
“Hi, Gail,” I greet her. “How early did he leave this morning?”
“Around, seven,” She says. “He went to drop off Teddy with Mia today since he fired the nanny.”
“Oh,” I respond. Shit, I forgot about that. Was I really just planning on leaving my baby here all day? Fuck, maybe I’m not ready to go back to work. Thank god Christian remembered.
“I guess I’ll need to start looking for new nannies today,” I say. Gail smiles at me.
“What can I make you for breakfast Mrs. Grey?” she asks.
“Nothing, Gail. I want to get to work early this morning.”
She frowns. “Mrs. Grey… Mr. Grey was rather insistent that you eat a good breakfast this morning.”
I sigh, ever controlling Fifty. “I’ll have some granola, I suppose,” I say, and Mrs. Jones smiles.
When I’m ready to leave, I walk out to my R8 and find a man there waiting for me. It’s Sawyer.
“Sawyer!” I say, waving at him.
“Mrs. Grey,” He greets me. I smile. I’m glad that if I have to have security with me now, at least it’s someone I know. We drive in silence down the highway to GP. When I arrive, I notice there are two trucks parked on the curb that look like U-hauls. That’s strange.
I walk in through the front door and Claire’s face lights up like christmas.
“Ana!” She cries, “Welcome back! We were so worried about you!”
“Thanks, Claire. I’m really happy to be back. I was going crazy cooped up in the house like that.” It’s then that I notice she’s packing all of her things into a brown box, like the kind they give you when you’ve been fired. Oh no!
“Claire!” I start. “Are you leaving us?”
“Oh no, Ana. Haven’t you heard? We’re moving offices today.”
Moving offices? No, I hadn’t heard anything about that. The door opens behind me and Roach enters pushing a dolly in front of him.
“Oh, Ana, you made it. Great to have you back!” He says.
“Roach. What’s going on? Why are we moving offices?
“It’s coming from the top, Ana. GEH is selling this building,” he frowns as he shoves the dolly under a filing cabinet.
Of course he is. That’s his plan. He thinks if he puts me in a small office that’s impossible to work in and that I hate, I’ll quit. He’s going to make this as unpleasant for me as possible until he gets what he wants. Well, sorry, Mr. Grey. I’m not giving in that easily.
“I’d get your things together, Ana. We’re supposed to be out of the building before 10.”
Shit! It’s nine already. I dash to my office and open the door. Hannah is there packing things away for me.
“Hannah!” I say and she looks up and beams. I cross the room and hug her tightly, feeling a slight but easily ignorable pain in my ribs.
“When I heard about what had happened, I was so sick, Hannah,” I say. “I’m so sorry you had to go through that alone.”
“It was hard,” She admits, “But I was happy you weren’t there. I didn’t want you to go through that with me. But what happened to you…” her eyes start to water. “When Mr. Grey showed up looking for you at the recovery center I knew something was really wrong, but I never imagined…”
I hug her again, feeling tears come to my own eyes.
“Let’s get packing, or we’ll never get out of here in time,” I say with a smile, wiping tears away from my eyes.
With Hannah’s help and Roach’s dolly, it only takes me half an hour to pack up my entire office. I’ve loaded what I can into my own car, which isn’t much as I’m carrying a security detail around with me, and Hannah has graciously offered to take the rest of my things.
I still have no idea where we are going. I didn’t think to ask for an address before we left. Shit, I hope I don’t lose Roach in traffic. We drive for about 5 minutes and my heart drops as we begin taking a familiar route. He wouldn’t have… would he?
Ten minutes later, I’m standing outside of my car staring infuriated at the building before me. GEH. He’s moving me into his own fucking building. I’m mad. Really mad. This is just too controlling. He can’t sell my office just so he feels like he can keep a better eye on me.
“Exciting isn’t it?” Hannah says as she comes up beside me. “It’s such a beautiful building, and we get to work in the middle of downtown!”
“Exciting isn’t the word I would chose,” I say. I see Taylor running up the sidewalk to me and I roll my eyes. Am I going to be escorted in and out of the building too? And then I realize, I have my own security. I already am going to be escorted in and out of the building. Why is Taylor coming to meet me?
“Mrs. Grey,” He says as he approaches.
“Taylor,” I reply cautiously.
“I have a parking permit for you ma’am. You’re not to park on the street or in the main garage with the other employees. If you’ll take your car around to the underground garage, your parking space is number two.
I sigh and reach out to take the pass from him. Sawyer and I climb back into the car and pull into the garage. I drive past a line of really expensive looking cars and pull into the empty space that is mine, not surprised that the car parked next to it, belongs to Christian.
When I get out of the car, more men approach the car and let me know they’ll be taking my boxes upstairs.
“I think I can manage,” I tell them. “It really isn’t much.”
“No ma’am,” the man closest to me says. “Mr. Grey says you’re not to carry anything.”
I roll my eyes and stomp after them. This is ridiculous. My anger grows as we take the elevator up to the 19th floor, not the 20th floor where Christian’s office is. Oh good, for a moment I wondered if he was going to make me work with him in his office.
I step out of the elevator and I’m in a large square lobby with warm dark brown walls. On the left, there is a single door with a metal handle. The right wall is made entirely out of glass with two glass double doors. I step through them and see Claire setting up her desk at the front of the empty looking office. Behind her, there is a giant, silver, shiny placard on the wall that says “Grey Publishing”. It’s nearly identical to the one downstairs that says “Grey House.”
I follow the men carrying my boxes through the open space that is huge in comparison to the building we had before, and into my office. It’s nearly three times the size of my previous office and it has huge floor to ceiling windows that give me a fantastic view of the Seattle skyline. The office has white marble flooring and light gray painted walls. It’s all a little too clinical for me, but I’m sure I can warm it up a bit. I take another look at the view, which is a little too familiar, and then look up. Am I directly under him? I shake my head as I sit at the desk, which has been all set up for me and begin to unpack my things.
Over the next hour, IT has come in to add my email to the GEH network and to set up extra security precautions on my email. I want to laugh as I wonder if that was supposed to be tongue and cheek, but I don’t. I’m too angry to be entertained by playful Fifty right now. I need to give controlling Fifty a piece of my mind.
When I’m finished unpacking my things and I’ve made sure Hannah has settled into her desk outside my office, I storm out of the office space and jab the elevator button furiously. When the elevator doors open to the 20th floor, I march out and see Andrea’s surprised face.
“Can I help you, Mrs. Grey?” She asks.
“Is he in there?” I demand. There is a new girl sitting at the desk with her, but I’m too mad to acknowledge her right now.
“Yes, Mrs. Grey. He’s in a meeting…” She begins but I storm away from her and throw the door to his office open before she can finish her sentence.