It’s difficult going home on Sunday, but not nearly as difficult as getting through the next few weeks. Christian’s workload isn’t letting up, if anything, it’s getting heavier, and without Ros, he’s travelling more which means I’m spending fewer and fewer weekends in Seattle. By the time midterms roll around at the end of March, I’ve only been home twice, and while it’s been nice spending some time with Kate and building a real friendship with Carter, I’m starting to miss Christian so much that it almost feels like it’s causing me physical pain. Thankfully, today is the last day of classes before Spring Break and, after finishing my Kaleidoscopic Romanticism midterm, I’m off to the airport with Luke, Kate, Carter, and Champ.
As of today, I’m six months pregnant and with only fourteen weeks left until my due date, Kate has decided it’s time to throw me a baby shower. She and Grace have been on the phone making plans all week, so this weekend we’ll be entertaining friends and family at the Grey Mansion before she and Carter continue onto Cabo for the rest of Spring Break. It’s the first time Carter has ever been to Seattle and his nervous kind of elation becomes tangible as we pull onto the tarmac and into the shadow of Christian’s private jet.
“Fancy digs, Steele,” he says, eyeing the plane through the window as we come to a stop.
“It’s top of the line,” I reply. “Doesn’t make the flight shorter though…”
“Good,” he says excitedly, and then he scrambles out of the back seat to retrieve his luggage from the trunk before Luke even has the time to get out of the car to open the door for us.
“Carter, will you grab Champ, please?” Kate calls, holding tightly to his leash while he desperately tries to escape the car.
“Sorry, babe,” he says. He comes back around to guide Champ out of the back seat, while Kate gathers the last of her things and Luke finally makes it around the car to help me out.
“Be good, okay?” he says, the worry apparent in his voice. “Listen to Kommer and Cardella, and don’t do anything stupid.”
“Stupid? Who do you think you’re talking to?”
“Anastasia Steele,” he says bluntly. “The girl who notoriously ditches her security the moment they become inconvenient to whatever she wants to do.”
I frown. “Yeah, well I have a baby to look out for now.”
“I just wish you cared as much about protecting yourself. You’re important to people too, Ana.”
“I know,” I tell him, and he nods.
“Alright, be safe. And have a good break.”
“You too. Call me when you figure out where Leila went.”
“Will do,” he says, and then moves to the back of the car to take my bags to the cargo hold while I turn to follow Kate and Champ up the stairs into the plane.
“Why isn’t he coming again?” she asks once we’ve taken our seats.
“He’s getting his concealed carry for Massachusetts this week. He’s got to take a bunch of classes and a practical test and it’s just easier to get that done when he doesn’t have to worry about me being back at the house alone. Taylor lives in my apartment in Seattle so I guess they agreed it was better for him to stay behind now while I’m on break and have the boss man around than to try and get it done while I’m in school.”
“What about your other security?” she asks, nodding in the direction of Anthony and Cardella, who are sitting on the opposite end of the plane from us. “Don’t they need concealed carry permits, too?”
“No… Christian’s not crazy about guns and he’s not comfortable with them enough yet to have them armed around us. He’s not even crazy about Luke having a gun, but he trusts him and he trusts Taylor’s judgement.”
“And what about Leila?”
I shake my head and roll my eyes. “She just disappeared like two days ago. Luke checked the registration on her car to find out where she lived but when they went to her apartment, she wasn’t there. Kommer has been camping out there for the past couple days, but she hasn’t come home once. Luke can’t track her cell phone… she’s just disappeared.”
“Yeah,” I agree.
“I can’t believe you complain about having to fly back to Seattle all the time,” Carter says, plopping down across from Kate and I. “This plane is amazing. It’s better than my house! I’d actually move in here if I could.”
I let out a blunt sounding laugh. “Well, have fun flying around with Christian all the time. This jet is never stationary for more than three days.”
“Worth it,” he says.
“But it’ll be flying you away from me,” Kate pouts. “That’s really why Ana hates it. It’s the flights back from Seattle more than the flight to Seattle. It’s the flight away from Christian. Are you saying that wouldn’t bother you?”
“Will I get to come see you every weekend like Ana does?”
“Is that enough for you?” Kate retorts. “A couple days a week?”
“No,” he says. “You’re right. I have everything that I need right here.” She smiles at him as he gets out of his seat and moves to the sofa that she and I are sitting on so that he can wrap her in his arms, but their cute moment of canoodling is quickly interrupted by Natalia.
“The captain is ready to take off, Miss Steele.”
“Great, so are we.”
“Can I get you something? Some tea perhaps? Orange juice?”
“A Diet Coke, please. And some champagne for Kate and Carter.”
“Right away, ma’am.” She smiles her very toothy smile at us and then disappears into the nook at the front of the plane. Once we begin taxing over the tarmac, Natalia returns with my Diet Coke and two flutes filled with bubbly pink champagne, and when she hands a glass to Carter his eyes widen.
“Nope, I changed my mind,” he says. “I’m moving in.”
“Shut up,” Kate laughs, and she elbows him in the ribs.
Despite Carter’s excitement, the fight seems longer than usual because Champ doesn’t do very well once we’re in the air. The five and half hour flight is filled with his constant whining and uncomfortable fidgeting, so by the time we land the three of us are about ready to go out of our minds.
“Looks like you weren’t exaggerating about the rain,” Carter says gloomily as he looks out the window at the dark gray sky.
“We’ll be in Cabo on Sunday,” Kate reassures him. “You can handle the rain for a couple days. Especially since we’re staying in Christian’s apartment. It’s difficult to be upset by the weather when you’re spending the weekend in a luxury penthouse.”
“Truth,” Carter says, and then turns to me. “You’re sure Grey is okay with me staying with you over the weekend?”
“Of course,” I lie. In reality, saying Christian was less than thrilled when I asked if Kate, Carter, and Champ could stay at Escala is probably the understatement of the century, but since Kate’s mom has cats and has always stuck firm to Grace’s abandoned stance that boys and girls who aren’t married shouldn’t share rooms, her house wasn’t really an option for them this weekend. At first, I thought about finding them a hotel, but since I’m watching Champ for the week once Kate and Carter leave for Cabo anyway, and Christian is now of the mindset to not deny Kate anything she could ever want or ask for, he eventually consented to having them stay with us. He’s just not very happy about it.
“And limo service from the airport,” Carter says, looking out the opposite window now as we prepare to deboard the plane. “The way the other half lives.”
“Limo service?” I repeat, and, after I too look out the window and confirm that there’s a limo waiting there for us rather than Christian’s SUV, I hurriedly move for the doors. The back door of the limo opens when I exit the plane onto the stairs that reach down to the tarmac, but it’s not Christian that steps out, it’s Ryan, and my stomach immediately drops with disappointment.
“Welcome home, Miss Steele,” he says, stepping to the side to hold open the door for me.
“Where’s Christian?” I ask.
“He’s still in Chicago, ma’am.”
“Still? I thought he was flying home last night?”
“That was the plan, but there were some last minute problems with the deal he’s there to close and he’s been delayed. He asked me to ensure you’re comfortable and have everything you need. He’ll be home early tomorrow morning.”
“I’m afraid so, ma’am.”
I sigh and then turn back to Kate and Carter, who are both now trying to pull a still anxious Champ down the stairs. I help them get him into the back of the limo with us and once the flight crew has stowed our luggage in the trunk, we pull away from the jet and follow the signs to the freeway that lead us into downtown Seattle.
“Escala,” Carter whispers in a mysterious, vaguely spanish accent as we pull up in front of the building, and when we’re inside and he gets a first hand look at the opulence of the lobby and the immediate attention from the staff, he starts walking with an arrogant kind of swagger.
“Stop it,” Kate says, laughing as she pushes him away from the elevator doors.
“What?” Carter replies. “We’re going to the Grey residence, Kate. We’re very important people now.”
“You’re a loser,” she says. He gives her a devious grin as he pulls her into his arms and then makes vicious sounding snarling noises while he nibbles on her neck. She giggles and squirms, but doesn’t seem to be fighting too hard to get out of his grip. I feel the corner of my mouth tick up as I see her face light up with delight in a way that it didn’t for so long and then step to the side, next to Kommer, to try and give them a little privacy together until the elevator arrives. Once we step inside, I wait for the doors to close and then press the button for the penthouse.
“Please enter your passcode,” the robotic voice says, so I reach forward and enter the code on the keypad.
“You changed the code,” Kate observes as the elevator hums to life and whisks us up towards the 31st floor.
“Yeah,” I reply. “I didn’t like Gia having the elevator code, but we changed it and it only took like two more weeks for her to get it again. You can’t give it to Elliot without her finding out.”
“Yeah… he’s pretty easy to get stuff out of if you’re motivated enough,” she says. I roll my eyes as the elevator dings and the doors slide open, and then motion forward for Kate and Carter to enter the apartment first.
It’s a pretty quiet night with just the three of us. I give Carter a tour of the apartment, which he seems overly astonished with. Especially Christian’s office, which I have to pry him out of with a death grip to keep him from messing with anything. I show them their room and give them a minute to unpack and then we all sit down for a late dinner that Mrs. Jones has prepared for us.
“So, you could just ask her to make you anything, at anytime, and she will?” Carter asks, once Mrs. Jones has disappeared again.
“Yep. She’s seriously one of the nicest people I know. I don’t think I would have ever stopped puking my guts out if she hadn’t found those anti nausea lozenges at Thanksgiving.”
“And you have how many extra bedrooms upstairs? Because, fuck the plane, I’m moving in here.” I roll my eyes as he takes a bite of the pasta on his plate. “Oh my god, this is delicious. How do you leave this place every weekend, Ana?”
“Because she remembers that I’m in Cambridge,” Kate says, emphasizing again that he seems to be forgetting her.
“Oh, right.” He nods but the second Kate looks down to take another bite, he shakes his head and mouths, never leave this place again, at me.
After dinner we sit down to watch a movie, but since the long stretches of time I’ve spent in Cambridge over the last few weeks haven’t been punctuated by weekends home, I’m no longer acclimated to Pacific time and find myself falling asleep only a few minutes into the movie. Kate and Carter seem content to stay up and stick it out though, so I wish them both a good night and then make my way into mine and Christian’s bedroom alone.
I’m up earlier than I want to be the next morning and I’m not sure if it’s because of the time difference or the vast amount of empty space in the bed next to me. As I lie there, I stare longingly at the place where Christian should be until eventually I pull his pillow towards me and hug it close to my body, inhaling his lingering scent that still clings to the pillowcase. It’s comforting but doesn’t chase away the loneliness that fills the darkness around me, so the moment the sun comes up, I climb out of bed to start on breakfast for Kate and Carter. Unfortunately, it seems Gail has beat me to it.
“Good morning, Miss Steele,” she greets me. “Can I get you anything?”
“Some tea, please,” I sigh. She smiles as she reaches for the kettle.
“He’ll be home soon,” she says reassuringly. “Taylor asked to have me arrange a pick up at the airport for 9:00 AM.”
I turn to the digital clock on the stove, see that it’s already 7:15, and smile. Two more hours. I can do two more hours.
“Good morning,” Kate chirps behind me. I turn to see her coming down the stairs in a fluffy pink bathrobe that contrasts with the clothes that Carter is wearing. She settles down into the chair next to me, looking perfectly comfortable and at home as she reaches for one of the freshly made cranberry scones Gail has laid out on the counter.
“What?” she asks as I give her a pointed look, but I just smile, shake my head, and reach for a scone of my own.
After breakfast Kate agrees to go on a run with me, mostly because Champ is getting antsy and hasn’t been outside all morning. It is a good way to show Carter downtown however, and it actually pushes me to go farther than I normally would. It is weird not having Luke with us though. Kommer is fine and he runs along behind us without complaint, but his perfect professionalism and stoic nature have still prevented me from warming up to him and his presence now is just a reminder that Luke isn’t here, which makes me miss him more.
When we make it back to Escala, I’m in a hurry to get upstairs and get in the shower before Christian gets home, but Carter, who isn’t used to running everyday, is dragging behind us.
“You doing okay there, babe?” Kate laughs as he trudges through the lobby.
“I don’t know what hurts worse,” he says. “My body, or the fact that a girl who is six months pregnant just ran circles around me.”
We both laugh as I reach for the button to the elevator, but nothing happens when I press it. I can see the illuminated letter g over the doors that tells me it’s in the garage, and I can hear that it’s on and working, moving even, but we wait over a full minute and the doors never open.
“Should we ask the front desk?” Kate asks, pushing the button again, but no sooner do the words come out of her mouth then we hear the high ding and the doors slide open.
“That was weird…” I say as we step inside and push the button for the penthouse. I think we’re all a little cautions as we rise through the floors, wondering if something is wrong with the elevator and we’re about to break down any minute and drop to our death, but I realize exactly what happened when we get to the top floor, the doors open, and we find Taylor standing in the foyer waiting for us.
The elevator can’t be called once you put in the code for the penthouse.
“Welcome home, Miss Steele,” Taylor greets us and I begin beaming so brightly that I almost want to hug him.
“Hi, Taylor,” I say as I quickly move through the foyer to get to the bedroom.
“Your shower is in two hours!” Kate calls after me. “And we have to go all the way to Bellevue. You need to get ready!”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” I mumble under my breath, but I don’t falter in my stride. I’m single minded in my destination. But when I open the bedroom door, I find that the room is empty and I frown.
“Christian?” I check, but he doesn’t answer. I step further into the room, thinking maybe he’s in the bathroom unpacking his dopp kit, but before I get there, I hear the door close behind me and I jump. When I turn around, Christian is standing in front of the door, giving me a wolfish grin.
“Take your clothes off,” he says, and I smile as I practically leap at him. His arms close around me when I reach up to claim his lips, and while we kiss, I feel the burden of three weeks of longing melt away in an instant.
“I’ve missed you,” I whisper against his mouth.
He moans. “I’ve missed you too. So much.”
His hand moves down and creeps under my t-shirt, but the moment I feel his fingers touch my skin, I squeal and worm out of his grip.
“Christian, I’m all sweaty.”
“Good. You taste better that way.”
“Stop,” I protest, giggling when he moves to touch me again. “I’ve got to get ready to go to your parents’ house. I need to take a shower.”
“But… it’s been three weeks.”
“I know, but I’m the guest of honor. I can’t be late.”
“But it’s been three weeks,” he repeats, more emphatically this time, and I laugh.
“Later.” He pouts as I turn away from him, but I only make it a few steps before I turn around and eye him again. “Well, maybe I can be a little late,” I tell him. He smiles as I dig my fingers into his shirt and drag him to the bathroom and into the shower with me.
He’s still inside of me when Kate begins banging on the bathroom door forty five minutes later, and the ensuing argument between them eats fifteen more of the minutes I have to get ready. Once I’m finally in the ethereal looking baby pink gown that Kate had special ordered for the shower and she’s finished with my hair and makeup, she, Christian, Carter, Kommer, Taylor, and I head down to the parking garage where Christian directs me to the front seat of his Lamborghini, while everyone else piles in the back of the SUV.
Pulling into the long driveway of the Grey Mansion in Bellevue immediately tells me how much effort Kate and Grace have put into the shower. Each of the lamp posts that edge the drive have pink and white balloons tied to them and the pillars beneath the overhang before the front door are wrapped in soft, pink gossamer, which is a theme that continues into the entrance hall and through the living room. The oversized sectional that usually dominates Grace’s living room is gone now and has been replaced by enough chairs to accommodate what looks like thirty or so people. There’s a long table that stretches the entire length of the back wall that is draped with a white tablecloth and is covered in tiny pink cakes and treats that rest in front of a chalkboard that says, it’s a girl! There’s another table off to the left that’s mostly empty, except for the silver trays resting on different levels of platforms and the same vases overflowing with peonies that cover everything else in the room, and a final table to the left that is already overflowing with gifts, despite the fact that the guests haven’t arrived yet.
“It’s perfect,” Kate beams as she takes everything in. “Carter, will you put this on the gift table for me. I’m going to look for Grace in the kitchen.” She hands him a flat, black box tied with pink ribbon and scurries off to the kitchen while I move further into the room to get a better look at the decorations. Before I get too far from him though, Christian grabs a hold of my hand and pulls me back to him.
“There’s a surprise for you in the guest room,” he says, and I raise an eyebrow at him.
“What kind of a surprise?”
“One you’ll like very much, I suspect.” I stare at him suspiciously for a moment, analyzing his tone for any kind of innuendo, but before I’ve made up my mind, he turns and leads me by the hand back into the entrance hall, towards the downstairs guest room.
“After you,” he says, stepping aside to let me walk in first. I narrow my eyes at him and push open the door just in time to see a woman step out of the en-suite bathroom, securing an earring in her left earlobe.
“Mom!” I cry. She turns around, smiles broadly, and then holds her arms open for me to rush into. I hug her as tightly as I can until she pulls away and stares down at my bump with a mixture of radiant happiness and astonishment.
“Look at you, you’re so big! Oh, you’re glowing!”
“Well, it’s been a wonderful day,” I reply, and then reach forward to hug her again. “Thank you so much for coming.”
“Of course. You don’t think I’d miss my only daughter’s first baby shower, do you? It’s your fiancé over there who you should be thanking. He made all of the arrangements.”
I turn and move to give Christian a quick kiss, before helping my mom gather the large pink gift bag in the corner and heading back out to the living room. As we round the corner into the entrance hall however, the front door opens and Elliot steps inside with Gia holding tightly to his hand.
“Mom?” he calls, but stops when he sees us. “Hey there, prego!”
“Hi, Elliot,” I say, and then step forward to hug him. Gia gives me a tight smile before leaning forward and giving me a quick, very awkward hug herself and then reaches out to hand me a chocolate colored box with gold writing over the top that says Roberto Cavalli.
“Thank you, Gia,” I tell her, trying not to be insincere even though she looks as though giving something to me is actually causing her physical pain.
“You ready to go?” Elliot asks turning to Christian, and I immediately round on him with wide, panicked eyes.
“Today’s about you,” he says. “I don’t want to detract from that. Besides, I have my own gift for you but it’s not finished yet.”
“Poor fella,” Elliot sighs as he reaches up to rest an arm on Christian’s shoulder. “Needed the help of a real man to get the job done right.”
“Which is why I’m bringing Reed,” Christian replies pointedly as he shrugs him off. Elliot furrows his brow.
“Reed? Carter Reed?”
“Yeah,” Christian confirms.
“Ana,” Kate’s voice says behind me, accompanying the sound of her heels clacking against the marble floor of the entrance hall. “You have to come see…” Her words cut off when she sees us standing there with Elliot, and both of them seem to be taken back a bit.
“Kate,” Elliot breathes in surprise.
“Hi… Elliot,” Kate replies, and then looks to the now very irritated woman standing beside him. “Gia.”
“Katherine,” Gia replies through clenched teeth. The tension between them is so thick it feels like it can be cut with a knife, and the awkwardness of the situation isn’t lost on anyone, not even my mother who, thankfully, intervenes.
“Well, let’s get these gifts on the table and get you situated, Ana,” she says. “You shouldn’t be on your feet so much.”
“Right,” Kate says. “The caterers are putting out the food. You have to see how cute everything is. Grace went all out.”
I nod and then follow Kate and my mother, ignoring the hissing argument between Gia and Elliot that we leave behind.
We find Grace standing in the living room, looking completely in her element as she directs the men in white jackets, who are laying out trays of English tea sandwiches, pastries, strawberry and goat cheese crostinis, stuffed mushroom caps, shaved tuna on fried rice, and prosciutto wrapped melon balls. She turns as we enter the room and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen her happier than she is the moment she lays eyes on me and my very obvious bump while she’s standing in a room that is filled with baby themed food and gifts.
“Anastasia,” she says, the tears in her voice already obvious. “You look so beautiful.”
“Thank you,” I reply, hugging her. “This party already looks incredible. Thank you, so much.”
“It’s my pleasure,” she assures me. We smile at each other for just a moment until the doorbell rings and her attention is distracted once again. “That’ll be the first guests,” she says.
“Which is my cue to leave,” Christian says, wrapping his arms around me. “Have a wonderful afternoon, baby.”
“You too. I’ll see you in a few hours?”
“Of course.” He leans over and kisses me very deeply and then turns to Elliot, standing on the other side of the room, and motions for him to follow him. They move to leave, but before they completely exit the room, Christian turns back to Carter.
“Uh… Reed, I assume you don’t want to spend the afternoon with the girls. There’s a project my brother and I are working on for Ana and we could use your help if you’re interested.”
“Sure,” Carter says, looking simultaneously astonished and overjoyed by the invitation. “You’ll be okay here if I go, won’t you, baby?”
“I’ll be just fine,” Kate says, and Elliot frowns again.
“Baby?” he repeats, but there isn’t time to explain before Christian ushers him out of the room. I frown as I start at the empty doorway they just walked through. Poor Christian is now going to have to deal with that revelation, and then spend the entire afternoon with Elliot and Carter being in the same room with no planned escape route.
The guests are slow to trickle in at first, but at Grace’s insistence I’m not to leave the chair they have specially designated for me. She says I’m absolutely not to lift a finger all day and so I sit and smile as she introduces me to each and every one of her friends. It’s nice though, Mia comes to sit next to me so that we can talk when there’s downtime, and I get to meet Christian’s Grandmother Trevelyan for the first time. Carrick, who’s coming fresh off his latest round of chemo comes downstairs to give me a hug and kiss, but is too weak to stay out of bed for too long. I insist though, that he at least take some of the food as I’m passed off to another one of Grace’s friends.
“Anastasia?” a familiar voice asks. I turn away from Mrs. Hanover, Grace’s favorite tennis partner at her country club, and then feel my mouth drop open when I see Ros and Gwen standing a few feet away, holding onto a package wrapped in silvery paper.
“Hi, Ros,” I reply, unsure of how I’m supposed to feel with her standing there.
“How are you?”
“Well, it’s been a difficult few weeks with Christian being so busy managing GEH all by himself. Being away from him all the time is hard.” My tone is more biting than I mean for it to be and she presses her lips together before taking a step closer so that she can lower her voice when she speaks again.
“Can I speak with you, please?”
“Just for a moment,” she promises. I take a quick, sweeping glance around the room and find that most everyone is engaged in conversation, including Kate and Grace, so I nod and then lead her to the family room off the side of the entrance hall that is very rarely used.
“Okay, what?” I ask, crossing my arms as I turn to face her.
“Ana, look… I know Christian thinks he knows what happened, but he’s wrong. I never contacted PixC, I never pursued any kind of position with them. I mean… why would I? Why would I leave my position as COO of the top performing company on the west coast, a company that I helped build, to take the top job at an organization that was months away from bankruptcy and that I know Christian would take away from me anyway?”
“I don’t know,” I admit. “But the emails…”
“I never wrote those emails!”
“Then where did they come from?” I demand. “I was there the night Christian got the call. PixC was backing out of his deal because they were pursuing you for CEO. It wasn’t something they were considering, it was something already in motion. So, if you never sent those emails, how did that happen?”
“I don’t know who he talked to or why they would say that, maybe they were trying to take some of his leverage away to get a better deal, more control, I don’t know… but I swear to you, I never sent those emails, Ana.”
I purse my lips. It’s difficult to believe what she’s saying when there are multiple parties verifying the evidence that Christian found, but the vulnerability and the brute honesty I hear in her voice is hard to ignore.
“Look,” she continues. “When he… when I left GEH, I talked to Welch. Christian found emails from him on the server too… emails to the different department heads trying to stir up support for forming a board within GEH. He said he never sent those emails either and I talked to some of the department heads who he supposedly contacted and they never received any of those emails. There’s something going on here. GEH is under attack but Christian is so used to people he trusts betraying him that he’s being blinded to what’s really going on. Welch was our best line of defense to protect the GEH servers and he’s gone. I’m the person who has the most access to Christian, the only person who can share his workload, and now I’m gone too. If they could get to me, they could get to anyone. Taylor could be next, and that leaves him open to so much more than corporate espionage. Someone needs to open his eyes to what’s going on and since he won’t talk to me, there’s only one person who can get through to him.”
She gives me a look like the answer should be obvious.
“Me?” I ask, and she nods. “Ros, I don’t know the first thing about any of this. I mean, I honestly don’t even know if what you’re telling me is true…”
“Ana, you know me. You know how much I care about GEH and how much I care about Christian. So, just ask yourself, what would I have to gain from doing something like this? After all the legal trouble, after Christian bars me from ever breaking back into the only world I know… what would I have to gain? And if there’s nothing to gain, why would I throw everything away?”
I frown again, so she quickly jumps in before I can say anything.
“Just… get him to talk to me. If I can just have one real conversation with him, I know that I can make him see reason. Please, Ana. GEH is my entire life’s work.”
I take a breath and nod. “Okay, I’ll try to get him to talk to you, but I can’t make any promises. I know everyone thinks I have the ability to convince Christian to do anything, but at the end of the day, he always does whatever he believes is right, and what he believes is right, is that you betrayed him. That’s been really hard on him, Ros. You couldn’t possibly understand how hard.”
“I do though. I know him, Ana, better than I know myself sometimes, and I would never do this to him.”
“Okay,” I agree. “I’ll talk to him tonight.”
“Thank you,” she says, reaching out to pull me into a hug, and while I hug her back, I suddenly feel a whole new sense of dread cross over me. Either Ros is lying to me right now, or someone is trying to sabotage Christian, isolate him even, and neither of those options mean good things.
“Ana?” Kate asks, behind me. I turn around to see her glancing worriedly between Ros and me. “We’re about to start some games.”
“Okay.” I nod, and then turn to Ros. “Shall we?”
“Of course. After you.”
The rest of the shower is absolutely wonderful, despite the fact that most of the people in attendance are Grace’s friends and I’ve actually never met any of them. The food is amazing, the atmosphere is light and fun, and, even though I’m not opening anything until later this evening when I’m with Christian, the gift table is overflowing.
Kate is in charge of games and some of the things she has come up with have the entire room bursting with laughter, while others turn out to be quite useful. We play two or three games that are aimed at helping Christian and I finally chose a baby name, and while I would never seriously consider 99% of the names that come up, it does at least give me motivation to start taking the whole name thing seriously.
When the party is over, I receive several hugs and wishes of congratulations, and I thank each person graciously for their company and their gifts as they leave the Greys’ house. I’m preparing myself for the clean up as we meander back into the living room, but before I can even reach the table covered in discarded plates and napkins, the catering staff comes in to do the work for us and Grace and Kate both begin ushering me towards the door.
“What in the…” I begin, feeling confused by their persistence as they shove me through the front door.
“We’re not done yet,” Grace chirps happily.
“We still have Christian’s gift,” Kate adds.
“Oh, right.” I smile and then turn to look at the limo pulling up the drive through the gentle spritz of spring rain. When the car stops in front of me, Grace opens the door and begins ushering everyone in side.
“I’m sorry,” Gia interjects. “I thought it was just family from this point on.” She shoots a glare in Kate’s direction and Grace immediately goes on the defensive.
“It is,” she replies harshly. “Kate, after you dear.”
Kate smiles with a little bit of embarrassment as she moves around Grace into the limo and I glare back at Gia as I follow after her, making sure to sit right next to her and even hold on to her hand as we pull back down the driveway and for the remainder of the ride.
“Wait…” I say, when I start to recognize the surroundings of our destination. “This is… this is my house.”
“Yeah,” Kate nods. “Christian’s already here.”
The driver presses the button on the box at the end of the driveway and the gates swing open for us, but before I can get out of the car, Kate wraps a blindfold around my eyes.
“Don’t be scared,” she says as she tries to guide me out of the car.
“Are you sure?” I ask, lowering my voice so that only she can hear me. “You did say Christian was inside and everytime I’ve been blindfolded around him there’s at least a little reason to be nervous.” She laughs and then takes both of my hands to lead me toward the front door.
I can tell we’ve stepped into the house by the smell of sawdust in the air and the echos of our feet moving over the exposed subflooring in the entrance hall. I know all about the extensive renovations being done to update the house, but I haven’t actually been in here since Christian bought it, and now I wish Kate hadn’t blindfolded me so that I can see everything that’s been done.
“Oh good, you’re here,” Christian’s voice echos from above us, and the moment I hear him, I immediately begin reaching for him, even though I can tell he’s on the stairs by the echos of his steps on the wood.
“I’m right here, baby,” he says. “Take my hand.”
I feel his hands slide into mine and then it’s him pulling me forward instead of Kate. The footsteps of his family continue following behind us until Christian stops and scoops me in his arms.
“What are you doing?” I ask, panicked by the sudden, unexpected movement.
“We’re going up the stairs and I don’t want you doing that blindfolded,” he explains. I grip tightly to his neck as he makes his way upstairs and then continues carrying me down the hallway.
“Ready?” he asks as he sets me down.
“Yes,” I reply, and I feel him reach up to take my blindfold off. While I’m still unable to see, I reach forward and touch the smooth wood in front of me, which tells me we’re standing outside a closed door and not next to a wall, and then reach down for the handle. The moment the blindfold is gone, I twist the knob and push the door open, and what I find takes my breath away.
This is the room Christian and I agreed would be the nursery and the room we’ve spent hours and hours fighting about because I didn’t want to hire someone else to get it ready for our daughter. I wanted to do it myself. I wanted her to know that even though we have money, we will never be the kind of parents to pass the responsibility of raising her off to anyone else. That she will always be our main priority and that we will do anything for her. Unfortunately, once my doctor told me I shouldn’t paint, I assumed what I wanted would be immediately dismissed and the completed room in front of me seems to be proof of that. New cream colored carpet, softer than I’ve ever felt, has been installed. Bright white crown molding has been laid into the wall just above the carpet, at the conjunction of the wall and the ceiling, and around the raised circle over the center of the room, which now includes soft, recessed lights that cast a soft glow around the entire room.
The walls, which were once a horrible saturated yellow color, are now a soft taupe, and there’s a new crib framed in a veil of sheer white fabric, a chair that looks perfect for rocking a baby to sleep in, a changing table, and a wall filled with children’s books. Above it all is a magnificent crystal chandelier.
“Christian,” I breathe as I step further into the room. “It’s beautiful.”
“I may have taken inspiration from you Pinterest board…” he admits. I smile and turn around to thank him properly, but stop when I see him. There’s paint on his t-shirt, the same color as the walls, and caulk residue on his fingers and caked over his knuckles.
“Wait… you did this?” I ask.
“Well, Elliot did a lot of it while I was travelling but we painted and brought everything in here today. I assembled the crib.”
“I love it,” I tell him. “This is the best thing you could have given me. Not just the nursery, but that you did it. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” He kisses me and then turns me in his arms so that we can look at the room together again. “Did you enjoy your shower?” he asks.
“Very much. I met a lot of your mom’s friends and got to watch her gush with excitement over being a grandmother.”
He laughs. “Yes, I can imagine she’s just about on cloud nine.”
“Mmm. We need to figure out a name for the baby. I guess it’s weird that we haven’t come up with one yet, so Kate organized some games to help give us ideas.”
“Anything you liked?”
“Well, we played one where everyone had 30 seconds to come up with ten names that started with a different letter of either one of our names… this is what your sister came up with.” I reach into my pocket and hand him the paper I saved.
- Amelia, the second
“I appreciate the one she changed,” he laughs. “It’s different, but not really.”
I laugh too. “She certainly has your persistence. But, seriously. Any real ideas?”
“Not really. I’ve thought of a few, but none that I’m overly attached to.”
“What have you thought of?”
“Phoebe?” he suggests, but I nix that idea immediately. “What’s wrong with Phoebe?”
“She’s my least favorite friend,” I reply. “Do you want kids singing Smelly Cat to her all the time?”
He rolls his eyes. “She’s not going to school for several years. I doubt her schoolmates in 2016 will even know what Friends is.”
“How dare you,” I say, accusatory. “Besides, by kids, I meant your brother.”
“Okay, Phoebe’s out,” he concedes. “What about… Elizabeth?”
“Meh,” I say, and he frowns again.
“What’s wrong with Elizabeth?”
“I just feel like it’s so common, you know? How many Elizabeths do you think she’s going to have in her class when she goes to school?”
“You’re not going to try to sell me on something ridiculous like Apple or Sunday, are you?”
“No, I don’t want it to just be weird,” I tell him. “I want it to mean something. I want something strong, unique.”
“Ummm…” I hesitate, knowing he’s going to think weird is actually the perfect word to describe the name I’ve been stuck on for weeks. “Calliope?”
“Calliope?” he repeats, and the doubt is clear in his voice, so before he rejects it, I quickly begin to explain.
“I first read about her when we were in Paris, in the Louvre. She’s the goddess of eloquence and epic poetry and she was the wisest and most assertive of all of the Muses. And that’s part of it, she’s a Muse… It’s said that she inspired Homer’s Iliad and The Odyssey, and Virgil’s Aeneid. I’m a writer, I kind of like the symbolism of that. She’ll always be my Muse.”
“Calliope,” he says again, more thoughtfully this time. “I don’t hate it.”
“Is that a yes?” I ask, and he moves his head from side as he weighs the name in his mind.
“What would her middle name be?’
“You choose,” I tell him, but then hold up a stern finger. “But not Amelia.”
“Okay, what about… Katherine?”
“Katherine? You mean… after Kate?”
He nods. “She saved my father’s life, Ana, and I won’t ever be able to repay her for that. We may never have another daughter, I’d like to honor her.”
“Calliope Katherine Grey,” I say aloud, and Christian smiles.
“That’s our daughter’s name,” he says.
“Yeah, I think it is.” I smile and then lean up to press my lips into his, but as his kiss intensifies and his fingers reach down to the straps on my dress, I quickly step back to stop the heat between us from progressing any further.
“We can’t have sex in our daughter’s room,” I tell him. He looks around, frowning, and then reluctantly nods.
“Yeah, I think you’re right. Come, they’ve been bringing in your gifts from the car and my mother is probably dying downstairs waiting for you to unwrap all the things she’s bought for you.”
“Okay,” I agree excitedly, and then wrap my hand in his so that he can lead me downstairs where the rest of the family is waiting.
79 thoughts on “Chapter 27”
Hate the name. It will probably frequently mispronounced CAL-EE-OPE, mocked with Callie PEE and end up shortened to Callie. But, your story. Beautiful name but no. Gia’s still trying to get into CG’s place? What a wanker!
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I absolutely love this story
so glad that it looks like Ros is being framed. Is anyone else sick of Gia? I am cant stand her and you’re making it REALLY difficult for me to dislike Carter. LOL Why do I get the feeling Gia/Leila maybe Elena is somewhat involved in this whole Ros scenario maybe getting info from an unsuspecting and trusting Elliot. Loved the name of baby grey and I am hoping there will be more interaction with Christian and Kate as I love their banter. Glad you are back Monday’s are now bearable.
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How is the first name pronounced? I like Katherine.
Yep Ros and Welch were set up, Ana has her work cut out to get CG to see the light. I don’t think he will believe until something else happens.
Gia/Lelia/ and the Guy that wanted CG head on the platter in the previous book.
Calliope = Kah/Lie/Oh/Pee
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I am so glad that Ros is trying to make her point. I don’t think she had anything to do with it!! I am NOT a fan of Kate and Elliot not being together. I hope that changes……I don’t like Gia! LOVE your writing!!! I would have loved to be at the baby shower! Sounds beautiful!
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Loved the baby shower! Carter grew on me a little bit more this chapter. He seems to have a sense of humor and he makes Kate happy. I’m curious to read what Elliot thinks of Kate and him together. I still think he’s not over her (at least I hope that’s the case) and I’m crossing my fingers that seeing her with someone else has given him a jolt. Loved, loved how Grace stood up for Kate after Gia’s comment about only family was to be going to the next event. How audacious of her as just a “girlfriend”, of a few months, to even say something about someone who’s cohosting the baby shower and is roommates and best friends with the guest of honor. And speaking of audacious, she got to either be completely clueless or she’s in on the conspiracy if she was still insisting on having the passcode to the elevator after it was clearly made aware that Ana didn’t want her to to have it to drop by the apartment unannounced with, especially while she was gone. That’s like have the key to someone’s house! Who insists on having the key the their boyfriend’s brother’s house. That alone should make Elliot suspicious of her motives. I’m glad Ross got to talk to Ana. I really, really, hope she convinces Christian to talk to her. He needs her and not just for work but he needs her friendship and to know he’s not alone and hasn’t been abandoned. Finally, Christian putting the Nursery together, especially, when he’s been so busy and could easily of paid someone to do it was a big AWE moment. He’s going to be an amazing dad! I love that their going to name the middle name after Katherine. She’ll be touched! (Yes, Gia! She Is Family) I admit though, I’m not sure about the first name but that’s mainly because I don’t know how to pronounce it 🤔 Thanks so much for the update! Love this story and your writing. I hope you had a good time in the Mountains last week!
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I hope Ana can talk him into meeting with Ros. Someone in IT must be behind the emails (Barney maybe) if the recipients didn’t get them and Ros and Welch never sent them. Is that who Leila is talking about him always watching and being everywhere?
Love the baby shower and his surprise. Especially how Grace made it a point to imply that Kate is family.
Love the middle name, the first will have to grow on me but I like that it is different.
Looking forward to Monday.
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I love the thought and meaning that the baby’s name has. I personally loved reading (sanitized) Greek and Roman myths as a child, and I loved the movie “Xanadu” as well. So being named after one of the nine muses really DOES seem appropriate for Ana and Christian’s baby. And I can see “Callie” becoming her go-to nickname, since it will probably be a LLLOOONNGGG while before the baby can pronounce her own name!
But I truly LOVE that her middle name will be “Katherine.” It remains a beautiful name despite its commonality, and it honors someone SO important to the entire Grey family AND Ana!
As to the rest—I have always believed that definitely Ros and most likely Welch were set up. Again, the goal is to isolate Christian AND give him WAAAYYYY too much to handle.
Interestingly enough, Gia is still DETERMINED to get the Penthouse codes, despite knowing that neither Ana nor Christian want her in their apartment. And because Elliot always gives her the codes, she will have access to their HOUSE as well, undoubtedly.
But Elliot AT LEAST has a good enough relationship with Christian, still, despite the “interference” of Gia, that he will work on the baby’s room with Christian. THAT is a good sign. And even GIA should have enough sense to WANT Elliot and Christian to get along, as she doesn’t want to be denied all the SOCIAL invitations that come her way on account of Christian’s company and standing in the community.
But Leila’s disappearance —THAT is NOT a good sign. She “failed” in her task. Taylor should probably check in with Leila’s PARENTS to see if they have heard from their daughter recently. OR Leila has been moved to ANOTHER location where the COnspiracy expects to bring in Ana soon. EITHER POSSIBILITY is scary. But something is CLEARLY going to happen SOON!!
And Luke’s comments to Ana are TELLING about how protective she is of OTHERS and how she is so likely to put herself in danger due to that.
But I hope Elliot TRULY SUFFERS when he realizes that Kate has seemingly moved on. And quite frankly, I hope Kate HAS moved on. And I’m hoping that Gia FINALLY overplays her hand in her continuing to berate Kate to the Grey’s. She should have learned by NOW that Kate is NOT going to go away, due to being close to Ana. PLUS, I wouldn’t be surprised if GRACE hasn’t found out by now that Kate was the one to donate the liver. Grace would have access to the MEDICAL FILES, and would have eventually found mention of Kate’s name, or else found out that Kate was in the hospital at the same time, so put two and two together.
But SOMETHING is going to come to a head by next chapter, obviously. Assuming Leila has been “brought in” to wherever it is that the Conspiracy needs her, then it is because they are READY to strike. The baby is viable at this point and could be born, BUT the pregnancy complications that Ana is at risk of having mean that medical help is a NECESSITY at the time of delivery. And a kidnapping is likely to push Ana into labor at this point.
Still thinking Gia has been TASKED with getting the CODES. And Gia would have a REASON and much motivation to get Ana out of the picture, although I don’t want to see her so coldblooded that she would have no problem actually seeing Ana and the baby die. I wish Christian would have done some sort of extensive BACKGROUND check on Gia to see if she had any former ties to anyone, as GIa may be a “recruit” of the Conspiracy. Even if she isn’t, if the Conspiracy DID think to grab her, they could easily enough get the information regarding schedules AND codes from Gia for the ENTIRE GREY FAMILY.
With EVERYTHING going on at GEH as well as trying to get additional security at Camebridge, Taylor has been spread TOO THIN as well. The Conspiracy DEFINITELY seems to have everyone where they want them to be.
I am admittedly trembling in my shoes for Chapter 28! One week away!!!!
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😂 I thought me and my sister were the only ones that loved the movie Xanadu! Thanks for the memory. I agree, I do love Greek and Roman mythology and the meaning of the name, even though the name it’s self may have to grow onion me. 🙂
Hey, that baby better be grateful that Ana didn’t go with “Terpsichore,” which was the real muse name of Olivia’s character from the film!
THAT is how they should explain the baby’s name to her–show her the film! And be prepared for the demand for little roller skates after she gets done dancing to the lovely songs (which I still have memorized to this day) from the film! I mean, where else do you get music from ELO, Olivia Newton-John, AND The Tubes! Plus, some of the dancers/9 Muses in the film starred/danced on the tv show that was big at the time, “Solid Gold,” so that movie was a BIG part of my childhood, and is the reason that my sister has permanent knee damage to this day from roller skating so much when little!
I burst into tears when Christian said the middle name should be Katherine.
I’m so glad Ros approached Ann about her thoughts on GHE. Ros is right about Taylor being the next one. If that happens, Luke will know that something is all wrong. I think Ana will make a difference when she talks to Christian. Something happened between Christian and Gia and I still can’t wait to find out what it was.
Good play on Grace’s part including Kate as family. She always will be part of the family even if she ends up with Carter. I hope nothing happens to Carter either. I am beginning to like him.
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Loved your comments, as I think Ros may be right as well. Taylor has coordinated EVERYTHING for security and communication between Seattle and Camebridge, so him being out would throw EVERYTHING into chaos and would be just what the Conspiracy needs. I think the Conspiracy has hesitated to try this, as Christian would DOUBT that Taylor would leave himself OPEN to something like that. But NOTHING seems beyond this Conspiracy’s reach, including safeties supposedly in GEH. (And the Conspiracy would WANT to target ANA before she can put the pieces together and convince Christian of what is going on! Ana knows herself that FULL EMAIL ACCESS to the servers was possible to AT LEAST herself. SURELY when Ana thinks about it, she will remember that her laptop HAS been left behind in Camebridge when others had access to it!)
Still wondering how Welch failed to NOTICE the emails put on the serve against him when he WAS the head of security. But Ros had LISTENED to him, so the Conspiracy went after HER, too, rather than risk her convincing Christian. PLUS, that leaves the #2 position OPEN, and a person like Gia could be recruited with the promise of said position. I know I’m grasping at straws here, but I DO think that some of the members of the Conspiracy were recruited WITHOUT knowing that the REAL scheme was to destroy Grey utterly and completely, including torturing and killing some of those closest to him. WHY would anyone sign on to THAT, especially since a Conspiracy Head with that much EVIL planned would NOT HESITATE to kill off any lose ends (like Leila, Gia maybe).
I’m rather fond of Carter myself. Since he could be seen as previously having had a grudge against Christian (WAAAYYY back in his freshman year), I can see Carter being EXACTLY what the Conspiracy is looking for—someone that the Conspiracy targets to place BLAME on for whatever is in store for Christian. After all, Carter would be an EASY suspect for the police, having lost Ana to Christian previously. I DON’T think that Carter is a part of the Conspiracy, but I would be remiss in NOT seeing him as someone that the Conspiracy would have WATCHED, at least, due to his access first to Ana and now to Christian. I’m wondering if poor Carter will survive this. For Kate to find her way back to Elliot, I sadly see Carter as being a victim of the Conspiracy and Gia turning out to have given information to them. Leaves both Elliot and Kate grieving and leaning on one another. I hope this does NOT turn out to be the case. But ANYTHING is possible and not out of reach at this point!
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That name is so . I don’t know if I should love it or hate it. Reminds me of my fav character from Greys. I like the name Cali / Calli / Callie but damn that’s a rough name but her life will be too. Plus she’s going to be rich so LMAO
I can see the Conspiracry targeting Ana for kidnapping at this point as Christian would NEVER forgive himself, especially if his being spread so thin made it easier to grab Ana.
The Conspiracy should also EXPECT Ana to be the ONE person that can convince a paranoid Christian to actually LISTEN to Ros (and Welch). The emails were apparently ONLY on the server, meaning they were never even actually SENT. And Christian has already SEEN that AT LEAST Ana had full complete access to the server, although Ana would NEVER have sabotaged Christian or created those emails. But someone ELSE obviously could have!
But Ana is definitely the key to getting Christian to figure out who is REALLY behind the Conspiracy. I still say that AT LEAST one Lincoln is in on this thing OR has confederates in on the Conspiracy. Someone knows Christian’s MODE OF OPERATION way too well and has anticipated his EXACT responses to everything thrown at him so far. The only thing the Conspiracy cannot count on is ANA’s influence over Christian, which is doubly WHY the Conspiracy will go after Ana sooner rather than later, in hopes of keeping Christian from narrowing in on the truth.
While I’m still petrified for Ana and Christian, I see ANY of the Greys being potentially at risk, given Gia’s knowledge of their schedules and access to them. So ANYONE could be nabbed in the next chapter, as Ana is still SO MUCH like Ana in the original books—she WILL intervene for the safety of those she loves, putting herself at risk. WHY must next Monday be a WHOLE WEEK AWAY!!!! AAAUUUGGGGHHHHHH!
(And glad that this morning’s chapter proved that Tara was unsuccessful while on vacation in tracking and capturing Jamie Dornan for her own exclusive use. We all know that this story is REALLY her attempt at figuring out how to get a Conspiracy off the grounds in order to “liberate” Mr. Dornan from his life before her!!! Think Stephen King’s “Misery!” This story goes silent after she has successfully completed her stalkery mission!!! As long as Jamie Dornan remains free, we get more chapters regarding Conspiracies bent on kidnapping! heeheehee!!)
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Hahahahah! So everyone better be watching him closely, following when he’s on set, when he’s back home. That way, when he goes missing, I won’t have to worry about posting anything about not posting anymore. lol
I mean, seeing Jamie as Christian working out in “50 Shades Darker”. . . . Oh the beautiful rippling muscles, with the sweat dripping off his body. . . .WHAT was my point again? Oh yeah.– While I certainly don’t want to see your stories ever come to an end, if you had THAT to come home to, NO ONE would blame there no longer being any time left for writing!
If Carter’s behaviour is genuine, I don’t want Kate to go back to Elliot
I like this new pair 😍
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I AGREE. And Kate SO deserves happiness. BUT MY WORRY is that the Conspiracy will TARGET Carter after this, especially if Gia HAS given them information. (I mean, at this point, WHY does she want those codes so much? She clearly isn’t getting Christian, but I think she has been ORDERED or tasked with continuing to get these codes for the Conspiracy).
Gia also wants to cause Kate grief in her desire for revenge. So giving over Carter AND his access to Kate and Ana’s place could get Carter killed. (And with Gia having been found to be part of the Conspiracy, or at least of giving information to them, then Gia would be out of the picture as well.)
I’m hoping Carter is as genuine as he seems (which I tend to think he is). And that he survives this and continues to be with Kate. But only time will tell!
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I think Elena manipulated Mr Lincoln to take revenge on christian, as obviously HE tried to take his company.
And the gang includes leila, Barney( who may have been manipulated by Leila) nd the lincolns
Considering Carter is nt that resourceful to manipulate with GEH mails
I love the name especially with Katherine in honor of her and most of all coming from Christian. Its a beautiful baby shower with Grace and Kate planning it and Christian’s very hands-on work in the nursery, means a lot. Am sure Elliot is none too happy with Carter. Eat your heart out, Elliot, Carter makes Kate happy and is fun and look likeable. So happy Grace insists Kate is family, snubbing Gia. Being a doctor does Grace know Kate is the donor?
I believe in Ros and her concerns for Christian and GEH. Ana has a mammoth task to convince Christian to give Ros a chance in explanation.
Thanks very much for the update, Tara. Hope you had a great break. Look forward. Xoxo daytona
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Being a doctor, Grace would presumably have all kinds of access to the hospital. We know that Kate had to be in the same hospital as Carrick at the same time that he was. Even BY CHANCE, Grace could have learned that Kate was in the hospital scheduled for surgery at the same time (they often post those things on a surgical board, which Grace might have checked, due to seeing the time/info. for Carrick and accidentally seen Kate’s name). And doctors TALK to one another.
So I see Grace having found out someway that Kate was the donor. (Maybe Christian even told her. After all, Grace would ALSO have to see that Christian is MORE than willing to accommodate and be nice to Kate, which he had not done so much previously. AFTER the break-up, Christian was pretty down on Kate, which has NOW suddenly CHANGED. That ALONE may have clued Grace in!)
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I’m so happy Ana had one of her parents at her shower. So happy Kate was part of it. I knew Roz and Welch were being set up. I love how loyal and protective they still are over Christian. This speaks volume for the type of employer he is despite his young age. Could it be someone at SIP hacking into the system creating this havoc? I love Grace’s reaction to Gia’s dumb remark. I hope Ana could talk and convince Christian to listen to Roz. And where the hell is Leila? Could one the the security members be in this too? Or Carter? At this point I suspect Gia too!! Great stuff today.
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What is scary is that you now have almost ALL the people that Christian values MOST in the world at the HOUSE. And it would be easy enough for the Conspiracy to plan one of the “pick-up cars” or limos to be run by the Conspiracy, and for GIA to be tasked with making sure that ANA (and Kate and Carter) are sent to THAT particularly car upon leaving the house. Christian wouldn’t even think anything of it if Ana’s car was “delayed” due to stopping off at someplace, supposedly based on Kate’s wishes. By the time that Christian realizes that Ana has NOT arrived back home, the trail will be cold.
My hope is that the Conspiracy would want Ana to access the GEH server prior to her torture and death in order for them to “plant” evidence, not knowing that Ana’s access has NOW been limited AND flagged, giving Christian insight into Ana’s kidnapping and possible whereabouts.
Gia’s comment about “only family” being allowed to go to the house indicates that she knew AHEAD of time of Christian, Ana and most Grey family members being at the House AT THIS PARTICULAR TIME. And if Gia IS in contact with the Conspiracy, then this SHOULD be the opportunity that they were looking for! Especially since NO ONE would anticipate a kidnapping from THE HOUSE. And Gia would be instrumental in getting the job done, in either letting Conspiracy members IN or in directing Ana into their clutches! In this way, Gia would assume that neither Elliot or Christian would get nabbed in the process, but BOTH her competitors would be out of the way!
WHY OH WHY is Monday SO FAR away!
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Kate and Carter are ALSO staying at Ana’s and Christian’s APARTMENT until Sunday, when they go to Cabo. AGAIN, Gia has access to the apartment CODES and has made SURE to keep getting them. So I can see KATE AND CARTER being kidnapped, either BEFORE they leave, or WHEN they get into the car to go to the airport—the Conspiracy would REALLY be the ones controlling the car. And as Christian previously stated to Ana, Ana WOULD likely put herself at risk without thinking if KATE were targeted!
And I could see Gia WILLING to work with the Conspiracy if she thought that they were JUST going to get rid of Kate. Because Gia WANTS Christian and Elliot to remain rich and at large, since she wants to get with whichever richest Grey man that she can have.
(AND I bet that is why Christian is now so anti-Gia. I bet Gia has tried to “accidentally” encounter Christian when he was at the House working on the baby’s room, seemingly because she wanted to give him recommendations from “an interior designer.” THAT would be why Christian would sneer in the previous chapter about Gia’s position, because she tried to USE that position to get Christian alone at the house she has always wanted to live in herself!)
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I think Lelia is dead!
Quite frankly, that was my first thought as well. If she wouldn’t cooperate fully with the Conspiracy, then why would they keep her around? Security WAS increased after Leila’s car was found to be sitting OPENLY for several days. Leila may have even done this to tip off security. Either way, her discovery may have caused the Conspiracy Head to see her as a LIABILITY and gone ahead and killed her.
OTHERWISE, the Conspiracy may have ironed out its final kidnapping plans and sent Leila to the facility ahead of time to have people on the scene for when (presumably) Ana or Kate is brought in. AFTER ALL, the Conspiracy would want Ana and Kate to identify someone PARTICULARLY, that would NOT be the Conspiracy head, in case anything went wrong.
But Leila had told Ana that the Conspiracy Head guy was crazy. And watching everything. So if Leila didn’t produce results, then she may have been offed. Only time will tell.
But I think the indications are that WHATEVER has been planned is fixing to come to fruition. Now. SO either Leila is no longer necessary and has been killed, or there is another plan for her.
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I kept waiting for elliot to find out. Wish we got to see his reaction. I really liked elliot and kate but i’m kind of rooting for carter and kate now.
Lets hope ros is telling the truth
Honestly, I hope Christian is the one that tells him and in front of Gia to boot. Maybe Elliot will smart off something about Kate and Carter and Christian has enough and just lets the secret out! Oh pretty please!
Omg…can’t wait for them to reveille the baby’s name Kate will most likely figure out that Christian to knows what she did for Carrick. Hopefully Ana does convince Christian to speak to Ros and that he believes her and then he hires her and Welch back but he doesn’t make it known to anyone that they are back so the person who is trying to sabotage Christian and GEH won’t know and like that Welch can figure out who it is , cause who ever is doing this knows has vulnerable Christian and GEH are without Ros and Welch. It’s true what Ros said that maybe the next one in line could be Taylor . Loved how Grace made it loud and clear to Gia that Kate is and will always be family whether she’s with Elliot or not and once it is known that Kate is the Carrick’s secret donor it will definitely be set in stone how much they love Kate . I do love how Kate and Carter are together she deserves to be happy and it’s good that Elliot has witnessed that with his own eyes . Wonder how it was while Christian,Elliot and Carter where getting the baby’s nursery ready I wonder how thick the tension was once they were all there and Elliot knew who Carter was to Kate
How dare that bitch Gia try and exclude Ana’s best friend! Gia is really ignorant to say that in front of Ana! I was so glad that Grace stuck up for Kate. That was so like spitting on Gia. 😉 So Ros was setup and was not trying to work for PixC? That does make more sense even if Ros was mad at Christian but she did help put GEH on the map. Ros is right why would she jeopardize that. So who is the inside mole now, there must be one? Will Christian believe Ana and Ros? He should and take precautions. I like the name for their daughter and especially the middle name. Can’t wait for Kate and Gia for that matter to hear it. 🙂
There must be… one?
Yeah, I see there HAVING to be more than one. It would be the ONLY way to make sense of Leila’s previous ramblings. I see HYDE as being an easy recruitment mole, as he would be promised a NEW and greater position in GEH once it has been taken over, dissolved or whatever.
I also see GIA as being an easy recruit, at least in theory. AGAIN, she would have been recruited by someone claiming to ONLY want Christian’s BEST INTERESTS at heart, and that would be to get ANA AND KATE out of the way permanently. Gia is a social climber and may be working on her own. But WHY would she be so possessed to get Christian’s APARTMENT codes? It can’t help her get anyone to trust her more, and she is already clearly wearing on the other Grey’s patience. Carrick never warmed to her. Grace clearly now doesn’t like her. And Mia also never liked her.
Elena was wonderful at manipulating people, and I wonder if Gia might have been a former client to her salons. Issac could have found her after Elena’s imprisonment and convinced her that Ana set her up, etc. and that Christian would be SO much happier with someone like HER at the helm.
While Elena may NOT actually be part of this Conspiracy, I’ll just BET she has KNOWLEDGE of it through former clients/contacts that the Conspiracy recruited.
I still see ANDREW LINCOLN as being the most likely suspect to run the whole thing. He has EVERY reason now, sadly, to want revenge against Christian. And even in the original books, it was Mr. Lincoln who bailed out Hyde, knowing that Hyde would go after Ana and Christian again. So I see ANDREW LINCOLN as once again being the Puppet Master.
You still have other likely candidates out there that could be recruits for the Conspiracy Head. And if Elena WERE involved, then I see her previous Submissive ISAAC having a hand in it and gathering the forces together behind the scenes. And he truly could have gone over the edge after losing Elena and everything that came from working/sleeping with her.
I keep wondering if I am putting too much on Gia by assuming that she has been recruited by the Conspiracy. After all, she has her own ax to grind against Ana (and Kate now). And she so OPENLY hates Kate. YET I see the Conspiracy EASILY being able to manipulate her by telling her that they only want revenge against ANA and want her out of Christian’s life for good. As Gia thinks she is so perfect, with Ana gone, she would THINK that she could have Christian so easily thereafter. After all, Gia would NOT want Christian destroyed, presumably, in order to become his wife and acquire the social position she so ardently desires more than anything.
And WHY OH WHY would she be so determined to get Christian’s apartment codes anyway? It would be hard to get into the apartment without anyone knowing on account of the security and Gail being present. (However, if Gail doesn’t work on the weekends in Tara’s universe, then with Christian at work ALL the time, Gia COULD get into the apartment with the code and get information/access to Christian’s things through his office at Escala. HHmmmm. Wonder if the Conspiracy has tasked Gia with anything beyond getting all Grey family members schedules and the codes?
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^That makes sense. Gia could have went to Elena’s salons because she knew that Christian backed it and was probably hoping to either run into him there or find a way to meet him through Elena. But would Gia align herself with the pariah that Christian clearly hates now? I think that she would only do that under the assumption that they would leave Christian and his business alone but get rid of Ana. And I like the theory that the conspiracy may have told Gia that to get her on board but really plan to tear Christian down. Gia just seems way to obsessed with the security codes for it to be something simple.
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Loved this chapter so much!! The name was odd at first, but with kathrine as the middle name, it has a nice ring to it. Carter is funny and cool and much better than Gia, but I still want a Elliot and Kate reunion in the end, without and hard feelings between Kate and carter. Now Gia can be as mad as hell and I will love every minute of it haha…..
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I am admittedly truly torn as to who Kate should end up with. I’m mad at Elliot for moving on so quickly to someone like Gia and seemingly wanting just a “fun” rather than real and forever relationship. ADD the fact that Elliot lets Gia come in between him and the family he claimed to love more than anything. YET, Kate and Elliot really seemed to belong together previously and brought out the best in one another. And Carter still seems somewhat immature, but he seems to be an overall decent guy.
At any rate, MY WORRY is that Carter will get caught in the crossfire and get kidnapped along with Kate and/or Ana. And the Conspiracy would choose to kill Carter first to show they mean business (and to just confirm that the Conspiracy Head is truly crazy, psychotic and willing to go ALL OUT to realize his twisted vision of making Christian pay).
So if Carter is killed, then we can still miss him and regret that he can’t be with Kate. AND I still see Gia as somehow being used by the Conspiracy. I could even see Gia revealing information that allows Christian and Elliot to get to Ana and Kate in time, once Gia realizes that her involvement is going to come out anyway.
If the above happens, Gia is off to jail, and Elliot is a MUCH, much wiser man. PARTICULARLY if Kate gets wounded, and it would be revealed at the hospital on intake that Kate had had RECENT SURGERY, as I could see Ana having to announce said information in front of the doctors and the Grey family, if Kate were out cold.
Once Elliot realizes he unintentionally HELPED the Conspiracy almost end his family and those he loves most DUE to his relationship and trust of Gia, THEN he not only regrets his OWN previous values, BUT he comes to see just HOW much Kate did for his family. It leaves the POSSIBILITY of an Elliot/Kate reunion at some point down the road. BUT ELLIOT would have to WORK hard for the relationship, similar to what Christian went through in ABSOF, due to what happened to Carter.
I just don’t want to see Kate chose Elliot over Carter at this point. Elliot needs to EARN his place back in Kate’s life, and I don’t want to have seen Carter be used by Kate, even unintentionally. I think Kate is GENUINELY moving on with Carter. BUT time will only tell as to what Kate’s relationship fate will be!
Really don’t like the name. It has me thinking of cantilope. Love her middle name. I hope Christian listens to Ana about Ros and Welch. Even if the way he started GEH is fucked up I would hate for him to lise all of his hard work. Can someone please kick Gia. Please don’t make Carter a bad guy, Kate doesn’t deserve that. Can’t wait for what’s next to come.
Okay, I am so glad that I wasn’t the only person who thought of cantilope when I saw the name! Whew! I just thought it was my blondeness coming through! But I do like it now that I’ve had some time. It’s pretty and I love the meaning!
So did they change the passcode again and kept it from Elliot? Gia has no business having access to their penthouse. Someone needs to put her in their place. She’s such a snob to Kate who is more family than she is. Ugh.. I hope her time is ending.
Hopefully Ana can convince Christian to talk to Ros. Maybe she can talk to Taylor about Ros’s suspicions.
Yeah, I was wondering that too. It’s sad that it’s gotten to the point where they can’t even give Christian’s own brother the passcode to their apartment… Elliot needs a reality check and a swift kick in the ass for good measure!
I love the name. Clever you using your imagination. Hate, HATE hate gia. I really like Carter and I hope him and Kate go the distance Elliot doesn’t deserve her!!
WELL I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO MAKE OF BITCHY GIA… SHE CAN GET THE NEW CODES ANYTIME SHE WANTS? STOP GIVING ELLIOT THE CODES! THAT WILL STOP GIA. POOR ROS, I THOUGHT MAYBE SHE WAS SET UP. WHY WOULD SHE CHANCE SOMETHING LIKE THAT WHEN SHE KNOWS HOW CHRISTIAN WORKS AND WHAT HE WOULD DO, SHE WOULD BE BROKE AND HAVE NO JOB. I’D LIKE TO KNOW WHO IS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS CONSPIRACY. AND WHY PICK ON ROS AND WELCH. THEY KNOW AS MUCH AS CHRISTIAN, MAYBE? I DON’T LIKE THE BABYS NAME! IT’S SILLY. I’M VERY HAPPY THEY DOWNED AMELIA. I DON’T LIKE THAT NAME EITHER.
I DO HOPE ANA CAN TALK CHRISTIAN INTO LISTENING TO ROS. HE DOES NEED HELP AND SHE IS THE ONLY ONE LEFT TO DO IT. THANKS FOR THE UPDATE! CAN’T WAIT FOR THE NEXT ONE!
Hopefully Christian reevaluate the Ros situation after Ana has the chance to talk to him. Can’t wait for the conspiracy to succeed and Christian has to start all over again. There has to be an end to a bad situation. Christian cannot be broken again, it already happened in this trilogy.
Can’t understand why Gia continually has access to Escala. It is a private residence and doesn’t Elliott know anything about privacy? He cannot be so idiotic about it. Escala is supposed to be a secured place, yet it is still easy to access.
Hopefully baby Grey will like her name and thank her mother for her love of mythology.
Good to have Ana’s mom present to keep the bond of motherhood where she will be enjoying in a few more months.
Carter seems to be good for Kate, even the relationship was not the same as she had with Elliott who failed her, she is happy now and it is important in her existence.
When will the conspiracy of breaking Christian be uncovered, that I am anxiously waiting to be coming soon.
Thank you, Tara.
I wish I was at the baby shower. It sounds beautiful. So glad Gia wasn’t there! I’m glad Ros was there and hopefully Ana can get Christian to look into it. It definitely sounds like Welch and Ros were framed which leaves Christian vulnerable. I think Gia is a spy and using Elliot to get info!! I think the baby’s name will grow on me but I love how Christian wants to honor Kate. I love how Grace stood up for Kate against Gia! I would love to know what Elliot was thinking when he realized that Kate was there with Carter and Carter calling Kate ‘baby’.
This is your story, so I really almost had a feeling you wouldn’t be using the name Phoebe. Which is fine, even the name you chose is fine. Calliope. My issue with it is that you were bagging on Phoebe, because people could make fun of her, and Elizabeth because it was over used… while Calliope isn’t over used, can you really not see that name being made fun of? Annnnd, what’s not weird about it? I just find it laughable that you made those comments, well Ana made the comments, but then chose something as equal as what she was complaining about.
I had a gut feeling that Ros was being set up. And now Welch too? I hope Christian has an open mind and listens to Ana when she talks to him. Now Calliope is certainly different. I think I see them calling her Calli for short. Can’t wait fir next weeks update. 😊
Elena had contacts on the board of Lincoln Timber that she talked to prior to GEH buying out/absorbing the company. Some of THOSE individuals would STILL be within GEH, as Christian doesn’t fire everyone upon acquiring a company–he only replaces those that he NEEDS to replace.
And I have ALWAYS suspected that Elena Lincoln would have gone to NY before the sale to PARTICULARLY find out who she could still count on within Lincoln Timber. She may have set up a mole(s) within at that VERY time. Elena NEVER does something without having a reason that will help HER in the future.
So both Elena AND Andrew Lincoln have Lincoln-friendly individuals that are now within GEH. And WELCH could NOT have set Ros up, since he was already out of GEH and wouldn’t have access to the servers still. So whoever set up Ros (and Welch) had to be a really GOOD TECH guy (or girl) to know just HOW to put those emails on the server AND to keep from being discovered, even WHEN the tech guys went over the servers.
And SOMEONE tried to stir up various factions/departments of GEH to push for a board. So there should be MULTIPLE possible individuals, such as HYDE, who want better than they have. Christian hired from the OUTSIDE for the top position at SIP, but if Hyde seduced that person and taped it, as he did in the original books, then that person may be begrudgingly serving Hyde and the Conspiracy Head, whoever he or she may be.
Isaac seemed to know EVERYTHING about Elena’s concerns and business interests, and yet he was totally SUBMISSIVE to her. So Elena may be using Isaac to effectuate her REVENGE PLAN from inside the prison walls. SHE had IMPORTANT CLIENTS through her bar that would have an interest in keeping Elena happy so that she does not blackmail them. And THOSE individuals could be pushing Elena’s Agenda from within.
After all, we KNOW that Elena came regularly to GEH and MADE HER PRESENCE FELT in the meetings. EVERYONE in that particular meeting where Elena was NOT allowed to sit by Christian was SHOCKED when he made her move. Leila, herself, told Ana how “important” Elena seemingly was to GEH. So Elena HAD to have other contacts within GEH.
So there are multiple possibilities for moles within GEH, especially since Elena had the ability previously, per Leila, to get assistants and employees of GEH fired if she did not like them.
And Andrew Lincoln would have employees still loyal to HIM from within his company. So I see EITHER of the Lincolns as having multiple mole potentials within GEH.
Still see the Lincolns as being the two individuals who MOST want to destroy Christian AND know how he operates. ROS MADE THE PERFECT POINT in this chapter—it HAS to be someone that KNOWS how Christian thinks and KNOWS his vulnerabilities, PARTICULARLY that he is likely to DISTRUST the very people that he trusts MOST, because he has been betrayed so badly by Elena, Leila, etc. (even Ana, in his mind, as he said in ABSOF, because she left him. However, they have resolved those previous issues and are now close enough that IF the conspiracy DID try to put fake emails from Ana, Christian WOULD listen to her still).
But corporate espionage at THIS level almost HAS to be an “inside job.” I’m just wondering WHO is ultimately calling the shots, and how Christian will keep this from happeneing again (as I am assuming that he triumphs in the end, due to this being a STRONGER shade of Fifty!). I just hope everyone ELSE that I love in these stories survives, as well as GEH!
(AND at least the Conspiracy didn’t arrange for some sort of “accident” to befall Welch and Ros after they were fired from GEH. So if Ana can only convince Christian in time to let Taylor and Welch look into it, then MAYBE there is still time.)
And if Gia IS a plant/spy/mole for the Conspiracy, then that could be REALLY BAD, since she is an Interior Designer. Who KNOWS what card readers or whatnot in technology could be hidden as “artwork” that the Interior Designer has brought in to the NEW office building and/or the HOME. Super scary thought!!!
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Agreed! It’s scary how much access Gia has and how easily she got Elliot to trust her. Elliot seems to be a dumbass at this point so her could be giving her all kinds of information that he doesn’t think is important but is actually incredibly helpful to the conspiracy. And it is crazy how the conspiracy seems to be cutting Christian off from those closest and most important to him… First Welch, then Ros. Elliot and Christian are having their differences thanks to Gia. Taylor is probably next which leaves Ana 😖
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It would be great if Champ bites Gia right on her butt, better when she comes to Escala using the codes thinking she owns the place. Sure Champ would welcomed her properly….lol
Can’t wait for Grey and Ross talk. Who is the master puppeteer?
Ooooh, pretty please! I would buy popcorn and just laugh!
OMG! That would be hilarious. Go get her Champ.
Great chapter as always.
Is it wrong of me to actually WANT Champ biting Gia in the butt to be the VERY WAY that Gia gets discovered as working for the Conspiracy?
It would be just PERFECT—maybe Gia had some sort of tracker or something else that she put on the baby gift. OR she is tasked with getting something SPECIFIC either into OR out of Christian’s home office at Escala, and while she was sneaking around the apartment, thinking no one is there, Champ goes right for her because he has been allowed to roam around that section of the floor while everyone was out! Would be logical, because Christian’s office would be CLOSED OFF, but Gia going in there allows Champ to get at her.
And THAT would be how Gia gets discovered, since she will be found bleeding in the office with the incriminating data and has NO CHOICE but to admit her involvement, in the hopes of cutting a plea deal, once she realizes JUST what the Conspiracy intends to do (and that she has been duped through the Conspiracy Head playing on her machinations to nab a Grey).
Oh, one can only dream! Gia just HAS to get what is coming to her!
“I just feel like a whole lot of traps are being set up that leaves me feeling helpless.”
“Some are never held accountable for anything it’s always everyone else’s fault. Well my darlings its all gonna come right back to ya.”
“There were moments when it honestly seemed as if the world were conspiring against her.”
– Nicholas Sparks
“Two kinds of gratitude: The sudden kind we feel for what we take; the larger kind we feel for what we give.”
-Edwin Arlington Robinson
Great chapter. I’m glad we’ve got ros’s version now hopefully all can work together to caught whom ever is after Christian. Taylor will definitely listen to Ana. Can’t wait. Thank you.
HEY! I never even THOUGHT of that! Ana could approach TAYLOR and/or LUKE to look into Ros’ allegations. But with security being SO tightly crunched, it would be a race against time to see if Taylor and Luke can find anything before the Conspiracy sets its plan in motion!
A few things to add while I’m on my break at work:
1) Gia is STILL trying to get into the penthouse? That’s messed up. I’m sure she will try and get access to their house as well. Wait, Gia didn’t help design the house right? I wouldn’t think so after Christian & Ana hating her so much but you never know. It was mentioned by Christian at Thanksgiving but I don’t remember it being mentioned again… I think Gia wants the codes so badly so that she can try and catch Christian unaware of in a “moment of need” after being apart from Ana for so long. We know it wouldn’t happen, Christian & Ana know it wouldn’t happen, but Gia is desperate and thinks too highly of herself. Anything is possible in her delusional mind.
2) LOVE that Grace stood up for Kate. Gia is a bitch. I can’t wait for the chapter that she leaves.
3) I think (hope) things will change now that Elliott knows about Carter. Before he was just with Gia and thinking that Kate was alone and pining over him. Now that he knows Kate has moved on (and with Carter!) he may finally pull his head out of his ass! I hope he drops Gia like the bad habit that she is and begs for Kate to take him back. And then I hope she says no (at least for the time being, I do eventually want them back together). As you can tell, I am just a little bit passive aggressive 😉
4) FINALLY Ros sought out Ana and made her see reason, I’m surprised it took her this long. It made absolutely no sense for Ros to betray Christian & GEH. Now Ana just needs to convince Christian. But wait, who told her about and invited her to the baby show at the Grey home? Is there someone else (Grace or Kate perhaps) who thinks that Ros is innocent as well?
5) Love that Katherine will be included in the baby’s name… Gia is gonna be PISSED! HA! And I hope Christian is the one to tell everyone. After all, Kate will be the baby’s Godmother so it is only natural 😇
6) I may just be paranoid but I’m kind of worried that Carter seemed oh so interested in Christian’s office at Escala… Yeah, definitely paranoid but can you blame me? My favorite stories are the ones with little details hidden in plain sight so I love to be suspicious of everything!
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I also wish I was a guest at the shower, lol! You did a great job of describing it. I’m glad Gia was annoyed at Kate’s presence, but I loved how Grace hopped to Kate’s defense of joining the family on the car ride to the house. That was priceless. I wonder if Christian is going to have any stories to tell about Elliot and Carter’s afternoon together. Thanks for the update. Xo
Por fin llego el lunes
Amo esta historia
Me encanto el significado del nombre de su hija. Katherine también es hermoso y me parece perfecto que lo hagan en su honor.
Espero que Ros pueda llegar a hablar con Christian y puedan detectar quien esta completando contra Christian.
Me encantó que Christian preparará la habitación para la bebe.
After hearing the pronunciation, I LOVE the name.
The Conspiracy against Christian I feel runs pretty deep. It has to be someone in IT, could be Barney or someone else. I also think Gia is in on it, I mean she’s had access to GEH and to his apartment. Leila was obviously a part of it from the beginning and it possibly went back to the summer with Elena being a major part and the rest being loyal to Elena (maybe they were connected to the club or at least benefiting from it).
I love Carter and Kate together. I hope he is in no way a part of the conspiracy against Christian. After Elliot telling Ana that he couldn’t give Kate what she wants (marriage and kids), he moved on and even if it hurts him to see that she moved on, he is the one that let her go because of how he feels about the future.
Second review! My phone locked up now I nee to rewrite.
Now we all know that Ros and Welch was set up. His most trusted and loyal employees. Two employees who has been with him since pretty much the beginning of GEH. For Ros to approach Ana at her shower or to attend speaks volumes to her character. Please don’t let Ana forget to have that necessary conversation with Christian regarding said conversation.
I honestly don’t think that Gia has a part in the conspiracy. She’s simply a woman out to get what she wants. May that be Elliott or Christian. I think that her only agenda. However, Carter appears to be a lose cannon to me. Everything for him is happening to easy and too quickly. If I recall very shortly Kate went to forgive Elliott and restart. However, Gia mastermind something totally different. Well planned.
I think Carter might be working with Mr. Lincoln who hates Christian. (with good reason). I can’t do a review on my phone. Maybe another day I will complete my review.
You may very well be right about Gia. I FREELY admit that I want Gia to have been DUPED and USED by the Conspiracy, when she thinks she has everything ALL figured out.
Quite frankly, I don’t see Elliot dumping Gia UNLESS he realizes that he has been played by her. So if Gia is NOT involved in the Conspiracy, I see her still inadvertently being USED by them because she was trying to set up Ana or Kate AND her being seen using the codes allows the Conspiracy to get said codes (or maybe Gia buzzes someone up to Christian’s apartment, thinking she is doing something to get Christian to notice her, etc.).
I just want Gia humiliated and dumped for good cause. She deserves it, in my opinion. But ANYTHING is still possible at this time, even Gia being someone that could be reformed and turn out to be decent IF she was motivated to do so and gave up her social-climbing ways!
LEILA’s sudden disappearance may have ANOTHER possibility. It may have been that Leila was transferred to SEATTLE in time for the baby shower, as the Conspiracy is ready to ACT now.
Luke and Taylor would NOT have found a plane ticket for Leila because she was flown out on a PRIVATE JET, so wouldn’t know she has been relocated. Which would also mean that the Conspiracy Head has enough money and resources to either have a private plane OR utilize someone that DOES have one!
I do believe that something horrible has happened to Lelia. I think Christian meeds to meet with Ros, and both with Welch. The three of them together can destroy anything and anyone. Ros conversation with Ana just makes sense to me. That exactly why I’m truly wishing that Ana remember to have that necessary conversation with Christian. She’s a little to forgetful and careless for my liking with pertinent information. With Christian, Ros, and Welch I’m more than sure they’re stronger than any plan of battle against them. However, I worried that bringing Carter to Seattle was a mistake. He now knows to much. The Greys, the penthouse, house on the sound etc. We will have to wait patiently for the next chapter to see what bread crumbs are left for us.
Thanks Tara for another wonderful chapter. We’re all praying for your peoples and your country. I really hoped that you enjoyed your vacation.
I forgot to say that I absolute HATE the name. Understanding the meaning and all it just a different time in the world. I think I mentioned it before I hate the dog. I think Carter planted the dog for a reason, and now he’s in Seattle in The Penthouse.
I can’t see the dog being a plant due to the fact that the dog absolutely LOVES Ana and would defend/protect her. For the dog to be useless as protection, it would have had to be exposed to ALL the Conspiracy people so that no one gets bitten.
Still, it could be done, of course. And that would be a smart move. But dogs like Champ attract attention, and the Conspiracy would want a snatch and grab that attracts as little attention as possible.
And did Carter get the dog, or did Kate? I know the dog is friendly with Carter, but I assumed that was because Kate had him get used to Carter. And if CARTER was the one to get Champ, then that would implicate Carter if the dog did NOT go after the Conspiracy people, so I can’t see Champ being a plant for that reason as well. But only time will tell.
Ethan got the dog
love the baby’s name….so different…..yeah, I would worry about how people pronounce it…..but who cares. Now when Ana tells Christian what Ros said will he listen,? He’d better……if he’s smart he will….I don’t like Carter or Gia…..at all….who can be doing this to Christian and GEH……love this story….great job, thank you…..
Champ was bought by Ethan, Kate’s brother. During the week that Ana is at the penthouse Champ will his opportunity to have his meeting with an unsuspecting Gia. Can’t wait for that one. I think, Cater is being genuine, but I have a feeling he is going to be scarified when the Conspiracy makes their move on Ann. Why doesn’t anyone think the Conspiracy will make a move on other members of the family?
THAT tends to be why I assumed Gia had some part in the Conspiracy, since she has tried to learn ALL the Grey family members’ schedules. WHY is she so concerned about where they go, their service providers, etc.? And now that Christian has refused to be around her unless part of a group, then there isn’t a real reason for her to be so determined to have those apartment codes UNLESS she has been tasked with getting them by someone ELSE.
And you are RIGHT, by my way of thinking, that ANY of the Greys are fair game to the Conspiracy. The Goal of the Conspiracy is to leave Christian an empty hollow shell of a man. And to do that, EVERYONE he loves would have to be gone. So ANY of the Grey family members could have been targeted.
It comes down to WHICH GREY members are easier to kidnap for the Conspiracy—after all, Mia is probably sticking close to home to be with Carrick and Grace, who also probably don’t go out and about with any frequency at this time due to Carrick’s poor health. Elliot, as well, has been working hard on Grey House, surrounded by his people (presumably, although Grey Construction WAS originally part of GEH back when Elena attended all the department head meetings).
So the other Grey family members may be FAR harder to kidnap, at the moment, without anyone seeing it and reporting it.
I tend to look at ANA or Kate being kidnapped/targeted FIRST, since Elena (and Andrew) Lincoln BOTH know how important Ana is to Christian. And getting Kate means having absolute leverage over Ana.
And I assume that Ana and Kate would be easier to kidnap AT SCHOOL, since they have to go back and forth to various school buildings, the library, etc. The paparazzi isn’t trailing Ana in school the way they do in Seattle, so kidnapping Ana or Kate would seemingly be easier at Camebridge, since the house (prior to this) has not been as easy to secure as Escala or places in the heart of Seattle.
However, LEILA’S sudden aparent absence from Camebridge means that she is EITHER 1) holed up at some location in Camebridge where the Conspiracy plans to bring Ana or Kate or 2) has been relocated by the Conspiracy to SEATTLE in anticipation of snatching one OR MORE people attached to Christian.
While it certainly would SEEM harder to kidnap or coerce someone into the Conspiracy’s hands in Seattle, it is by no means impossible, PARTICULARLY if GEH people have been blackmailed or bribed and are desperate to get the thing over and done with.
With Christian AND Ana both being IN TRANSITION from apartments to residences AND even in location of businesses, there is just TOO MUCH to cover, realistically, every minute of every day. There is BOUND to be CONFUSION during the whole MOVING PROCESS, so ANY of the Greys or Ana and Kate (OR EVEN LUKE) could be kidnapped at any time.
Thanks for the clarification on Champ. I was under the impression that Carter brought Champ. Don’t know just me. I’m not feeling the dog.
I would love a chapter or two of Christian, Elliott and Carter. I would love to see if Christian reads something different from Carter.
LUKE could be a definite target now. No one is watching him while he remains behind to get his concealed carry permit and weapon. And LUKE secured the necessary FOOTAGE of Elena and Anastasia that cleared Christian previously. So I DEFINITELY see Elena OR Andrew Lincoln wanting to target LUKE.
And talk about stress! Something happening to Luke would definitely hurt Ana so much, particularly as she would probably blame herself for not having relocated sooner, etc.
Sigh. There is SO MUCH that could happen, as the Conspiracy should be motivated to strike NOW while Christian is most vulnerable. In fact, Christian actually LOOKING INTO Ros’ claims could be the VERY THING that causes the Conspiracy to act before proof is found of their existence.
So no matter WHAT I have thought or tried to work out beforehand, I am sure Tara has something entirely UNEXPECTED or an unusual twist that no one would have seen coming.
STILL too many days until next Monday, when THE Chapter 28 takes it to the next level!!
OMG That name is like fingernails down a chalkboard combined with lemon juice in my eyes. The Katherine part is perfect, but pleeeassse change the first name. I hope Elliott and Kate reunite. His is a dead set bitch. Carter seems ok, but he could be just good at acting the part of a good guy. Very mysterious and lots to uncover. I love it and can’t wait for more.
Typo…….I meant Gia is a dead set bitch. Using a new phone and my fingers are like a bunch of bananas. 😂😂
I wonder if Christian is still choosing special dates for him and Ana for the code into the apartment?
And since we now know that trouble is coming next chapter, I wonder if the Conspiracy plans on attacking/putting its plan in place while everyone is at the house, OR if it will be when everyone leaves. Because you now have MULTIPLE Grey members, Kate AND Ana (and Christian and Elliot) altogether in one place. THIS may be why Leila was relocated to Seattle, assuming she isn’t dead, as the Conspiracy decided to act NOW. But HOW would the Conspiracy KNOW about the shower UNLESS someone provided this information (say Gia?).
Commencing nailbiting until Conspiracy acts!!! (And hoping the fallout isn’t TOO bad for our beloved characters!!!!!!!)
Yes, the date is still special! 🙂