Chapter 36

vidasi

The exhaustion disappears the instant I feel Dr. Baker’s hands on my arm, removing the last of the wires monitoring my heart and the IV from the port in my elbow. I stare almost in disbelief as the last line is removed from my body.

“Do you think you can sit up?” Dr. Baker asks.

“Yes, of course,” I reply, enthusiastically.

Christian reaches his hands out and my whole body feels as though it’s shaking when I take them. Slowly, he helps me into a sitting position, and then to swing my legs off the side of the bed. I was reduced to oral pain killers last night, rather than intravenous, so moving is a little painful, but I do everything I can to hide it. I won’t let anything make Dr. Baker change her mind now.

“Alright. Easy, baby,” Christian says as I pull against his sturdy grip and try to stand. The pain spikes as my weight is transferred to the floor and when I groan, he hurriedly reaches for the wheelchair a few feet away.

“How is that, Ana? Any pain, dizziness, nausea?” Dr. Baker checks.

“No, I’m fine. I’m ready.”

“That’s very good news,” she says, smiling and then looking up at Christian. “I think we’re ready to downgrade her from the ICU. We’ll move her to a private suite on the maternity floor so she’s closer to Calliope. I’ll continue monitoring her there, but if she continues to progress as well as she has been, I don’t think she’ll need to be here much longer.”

“Really? So, she’s in the clear? There’s no longer any reason for us to be concerned…?”

“I don’t think so,” Dr. Baker assures him. “We’ll keep her a couple more days, but she’s really made a remarkable recovery, very quickly. You were right, Mr. Grey. She just needed to do things in her own time. She’s going to be fine.”

He lets out an elated breath. “That’s excellent news. Thank you.”

“Christian. Baby!” I exclaim, turning around and giving him a frustrated look.

“Oh, right. Let’s go. Thank you again, Dr. Baker.”

“Of course. Go enjoy your baby. She really is beautiful, Anastasia.”

I nod eagerly and Christian begins to push me forward. My nerves mount as we make it through the door and travel the long, bustling hallway towards the elevator. The NICU is only a floor down from my room but even just the short elevator ride feels as though it goes on for an eternity. My entire body is trembling with anticipation, like a runner trying to hold his position at the starting mark of a race. I hate that I’m confined to this chair. I hate that I can’t sprint to her the way I want to. Every step it takes to get to the NICU is agony, and I think it’s because, despite Dr. Baker’s assurances, I haven’t entirely accepted this is really happening yet. I’ve been denied this so many times, I feel as though any minute something will go wrong or someone will change their mind and I’ll be dragged back to my room. In fact, I’m not entirely convinced this isn’t just a dream until we round the corner and I see Kate, Mia, and Elliot hovering outside the doors that lead into the NICU, dressed head to toe in the same light pink medical gowns I’ve seen Christian peel off a hundred times after returning from Calliope’s bedside.

“There she is, there she is,” Mia says giddily.

“Hey, Meems,” I greet her as we come to stop. She hesitates for a moment, and then leans forward to give me a tentative hug that grows more ardent when I don’t immediately shatter into a thousand pieces like a china doll. “I’m so happy to see you up and around. You really scared us, you know.”

“I’m sorry. I won’t do it again, promise.”

“I’m holding you to that,” she says, pulling away with a large smile plastered across her face. I return the gesture and then look to Kate.

“How are you feeling?” she asks.

“Great. Dr. Baker says I’m going to be fine. Is she really in there? Calliope?”

“Yeah.” She smiles. “She’s really in there. You have to wear this though.” She holds out the sheet of pink plastic in her hands and I quickly slip my arms through the thin sleeves. Next, Elliot hands me a mask and paper-like covers for my hair and feet, and once I’m completely covered, Christian wheels me over to a hand sanitizer dispenser.

“Alright,” he says as I rub the alcohol over my hands. “Let’s go.”

I take a deep breath when he pushes me through the doors and we begin passing several plastic boxes surrounded by worried looking parents. I glance at each one, wondering which of the incubators is holding my daughter, but as we make it near the back of the NICU and I see Grace and Carrick cooing over a box filled with baby pink blankets, my search is over.

“Isn’t she the most perfect thing you’ve ever seen?” Grace asks. “I could just eat her up.”

“I’d settle for just being able to hold her,” Carrick replies. His finger strokes softly against the plastic casing just as we come up beside them, and when Grace looks up and sees me in the chair, her face immediately breaks into a smile.

“Ana, darling. Come here. There’s someone who wants to meet you very much.” I smile as she steps aside and lets Christian push me right up to the side of the incubator so that I can peer through the clear plastic at the tiny baby inside.

Despite the fact that I’ve thought of nothing else but this exact moment for almost three days, I’m unprepared for how seeing her for the first time makes me feel. I’m immediately absorbed in the small, delicate features of her face, the curve in her lips, the flutter in her eyelids as she sleeps. As I stare at her, memorizing her, counting each of her soft little breaths, I feel my heart begin to ache. Not from sadness or pain, but from overwhelming love. It’s instant, irreversible, and all consuming. Grace, Christian, Dr. Baker, Kate, my dad… they’re all right. She’s absolutely beautiful. I’ve never seen a face so perfect, so angelic, as my daughter’s. She’s mesmerising.

“She’s so small,” I whisper as I place my hand against the plastic box surrounding her.

“But she’s already putting on weight,” a voice says behind me, and I turn to see a doctor in a white coat smiling at me. “You must be Anastasia?”

“Yes.”

“My name is Dr. Craig, I’ve been watching over Calliope for the past few days. You should be very proud, she’s a fighter.”

“Just like her mother,” Christian says.

“I’ve heard,” Dr. Craig says, her smile widening as she looks up at him. She takes a step closer to the incubator, and her eyes seem to warm as she looks down at my baby. “Ah, do you see the way her mouth is moving?”

I look down and watch my baby’s lips pucker and relax a few times before she falls still again and then nod.

“She’s trying to suckle. We have her on a feeding tube now, but I think she’s ready to try eating on her own. Are you up to it?”

“Me? I can feed her?”

“Of course you can, Anastasia. I know this can be overwhelming, but she’s really yours. All yours.”

I let out an almost incredulous sounding laugh through the smile that’s so big, it makes my cheeks feel sore, and Dr. Craig reaches down to place a reassuring hand on my shoulder.

“Dr. Baker told me she’s having you moved to this floor. Why don’t you go get situated, and we’ll bring her to you in just a minute.”

“Wait, she’s leaving the NICU?” Christian asks.

“She’s breathing on her own, she’s gaining weight, she’s maintaining her body temperature… I think she’s ready to give it a try, at least to breastfeed. In fact, once she’s eating on her own, I think she should be just about ready to go home.”

“Already?”

“You have a very strong willed daughter, Mr. Grey. Good luck with her, you’re going to need it.”

Grace gasps and when I turn to look at her, I see her reach up to cover her smile with her hand as tears of joy well in her eyes. It’s a trigger, and immediately, I feel my own bottom lip begin to quiver.

“Let’s go,” I say, looking up at Christian from my chair. “I wanna hold her.”

“Okay.”

He reaches for the handles on the back of the wheelchair and I glance down at Calliope once more.

“I’ll see you in minute, okay? I love you.” My fingers move against the plastic shield between us, trying to grip it as though doing so will make her feel my desire to squeeze her, and with one last lingering look, Christian wheels me away.

The room the NICU nurse leads us to is really just a few doors down, which makes me happy. As long as Calliope has to remain in the NICU, I want to be as close to her as possible. Now that I’m no longer confined to my room in the ICU, I should be free to spend as much time with her as possible, the way Christian has been able to for the last six days.

“Here you are, Miss Steele,” the nurse says, motioning us through the door to my new room. I smile at her but when I get a glimpse of Taylor behind her, looking as though he’s interviewing (maybe even interrogating) a male nurse just down the hallway while Luke takes his picture, my smile falters.

“What’s that about?” I ask Christian, nodding in their direction.

“Oh, they’re just screening the nursing staff.  We need records and documentation of anyone who may come in contact with you while you’re here.”

“Why?”

“It’s just a precaution. Don’t worry about it.” He gives me a placating smile that I immediately see through and my eyes automatically narrow in suspicion.

“What happened? And don’t lie to me.”

He takes a steadying breath. “We’ll talk about it later.”

I press my lips together in frustration, but decide not to push the issue until after I’ve had time with him and Calliope together, alone. He probably thinks I’ll forget or maybe will just let it go, but I won’t. I haven’t forgotten what happened just before my abruption. I know he’s here somewhere.

Christian and the nurse help me get into bed and for a few minutes I’m surrounded by family, talking happily amongst each other about my daughter and the lives they’ve put on hold back home over this past week while Calliope and I hung in limbo. Kate was supposed to take her place as Vice President of Kavanagh Media on Monday, and now that she’s no longer worried about me, she happily shares her excitement about this next step in her life with the Greys. Even my dad ignores the game Elliot found on TV to share in the joyful atmosphere of the room.

“I’ll get used to it,” Kate says airily. “Brand new apartment, a corner office on the 22nd floor… You’re on the 8th floor at GEH, aren’t you, Christian?”

“Yes, Kate,” he replies, his voice deadpan. “You are clearly superior to me in every way.”

“Takes a strong man to admit it.” She laughs but then moves across the room to give him a hug from the side and as he squeezes her back he tells her that he’s proud of her and kisses her on the top of her head.

“We all are,” Carrick agrees, and then turns to look at his son. “When are you moving into your new building, Christian?”

“We’re just waiting on the final inspection from the city now,” Elliot answers for him. “Once we get the approval from them, he should be ready to move in anytime and I can move on to the Amazon campus expansion.”

“And my house,” Christian interjects. “Now that Calliope is born, I want to get her and Ana out of Escala as soon as possible.”

“And we can start planning the wedding!” Mia chimes in.

“Oh, speaking of the wedding,” Carrick turns around and picks up the leather bag he left in the chair under the window and pulls out a folder filled with official looking documents.

“The hospital staff brought Calliope’s birth certificate by this morning. You can make Christian official.”

“If I must,” I say, giving him a coy smile. He raises an eyebrow at me as I take the document and the pen that Carrick hands me and begin filling in the information.

“Detroit,” Christian says when I get to father’s place of birth, and I give him a hard, sardonic look.

“I know where you were born, Christian.”

“I just want to make sure it’s accurate,” he says defensively. I shake my head, scrawl my name across the signature line for Mother, and then slide the document over to him. Once he’s added his own perfect signature under father, there’s a noticeable change in his expression. Something between relief and pride.

“And that’s it,” Carrick says. “Calliope is officially on the record.” I smile as I hand him the birth certificate, but rather than place everything back in his bag, he hands me another document. “This is for you. It’s a medical power of attorney that I’d had drawn up after we found out what Carla had done. This will appoint Christian as your designated agent and he’ll be able to make healthcare decisions for you if for any reason you’re unable to do so for yourself. It’ll hold you over until you get married.”

“Oh.” I take the document and pick up the pen again, but as I sign the line at the bottom of the page, Christian looks away. I’m glad that Carrick had the foresight to have this done for us, but thinking about being in another situation like this so soon seems to put a damper on the great mood that fills the room. Thankfully, just as I hand the signed document back to him, there’s a knock on the door and a nurse pushes a small cart in with a box resting on top that holds my baby.

“Someone’s hungry,” she chirps as she pushes Calliope to my bedside. When she stops she looks at Christian and smiles. “Daddy, do you want to hold her?”

He nods, though his gaze is focused entirely on our baby. He seems almost dazed as he steps forward and reaches into box to lift the tiny pink swaddle of blankets into his arms. The moment she’s pressed into his chest, the small fussy noises she’s making stop and Christian’s face breaks into a breathtaking smile. He gives her the same look that up until now had been reserved solely for me, a look of pure love and adoration, and as I watch him hold and comfort our daughter for the first time, my heart feels as though it swells to the point of bursting.

“Wait, wait, wait!” Grace cries, stepping up to the other side of my bed with her phone out. “Look here, Christian.”

“Mom…” he objects, but before Grace can push her point, Carrick drapes an arm over her shoulder and pulls her back.

“What do you say we let Ana and Christian spend some time with the baby alone, huh? It’s almost lunch time, we can go out, get some real food, and come back to enjoy Calliope after they’ve had their fill of her.”

“Come back in thirty years,” Christian says. His father laughs and then nudges Grace around the bed so they can say their goodbyes. I cycle through hugs with the entire family, as does Christian, and after Mia has kissed Calliope’s head for the 8th time, Elliot is finally able to usher everyone, including the nurse, through the doors and Christian and I are alone.

“What do you say, little girl?” Christian coos to our daughter. “Are you ready to meet your mom?”

The baby doesn’t make a sound, but he leans over my bed anyway and gently places Calliope into my folded arms. Again, I’m floored by how tiny she is. Holding her is almost the same as holding nothing at all, but I can feel her. I can feel what little weight there is to her, I can feel her warmth, and I can feel the tiny movements she makes as she fidgets in her sleep. It finally feels real, like she’s actually mine and I’m going to get to keep her, and as I stare down at her beautiful, peaceful face, I once again feel as though I could cry.

“Have you ever loved anything so much?” I ask through the impending tears. Christian reaches out to place a gentle hand on my shoulder.

“Yes, I have.”

I glance up at him and feel my body melt when I see the loving way he’s staring at Calliope and I. He leans down and softly presses his lips into mine and when he pulls away from the kiss, I can’t hold back my ridiculous smile.

“I love you,” he says.

“I love you too. More now that I think I ever have before. This is perfect, Christian. Everything is finally perfect.”

 

To my chagrin, Calliope doesn’t take to breastfeeding. We try on and off for hours but she’s never able to latch, even after I have a lactation specialist come guide us through the entire process. Dr. Baker tells me it’s most likely because she doesn’t yet have the strength to latch to my breast and while I fear after the fourth failed attempt that they’re going to take her from me and reattach her to the feeding tubes in the NICU, a nurse comes in with a special bottle made for premature babies, lays my daughter in Christian’s arms, and, miraculously, she begins to eat.

“Of course she does it for you,” I complain as I stare longingly at him bonding so personally with our baby.

“Here, you can take her,” he says. He shifts towards me but never takes his eyes off Calliope and when I hear the reverence in his voice, I know that I’m not going to be able to separate them.

“No, keep her,” I concede. “Just… tilt her towards me and hold her still so I can see her.” He does, and we both watch her as if she’s the most engaging thing in the world until her bottle is finished and she falls back asleep.

Now that she’s eating on her own and she’s done well for the few hours we’ve had her in my room, the doctors decide it’s time to see how she does overnight outside of the NICU as a trial run so we can discuss taking her home from the hospital. For the next 24 hours she’s under intense observation at my bedside while I’m nearly permanently attached to a breast pump so we can build up a supply to bottle feed her. It’s terrifying having her only feet away from me, with no nurse or doctor hovering over her 24 hours a day, but it’s also wonderful. For the first time, it feels like Christian and I are parents. We’re allowed to feed her, to change her, and to hold her whenever we want to, and when I give her a bottle for the very first time and she opens her tiny gray eyes and stares up at me, the hope I’ve held onto since I awoke in the hospital vanishes and is replaced with absolute certainty. I see the strength and determination in her eyes that I feel in my own heart. She’s healthy, strong, and she’s not going anywhere. Once I’m sure of that, the remainder of our stay here feels very unintimidating.

We spend a total of ten days in the hospital and as the final days tick past us, more and more of our family leaves to head back to Seattle. Grace, Carrick, and Mia fly out on Friday to make it back for Mia’s ballet auditions on Saturday, and Kate and Elliot leave Sunday morning to get back for work. When we’re preparing to be discharged on Monday, only my father is remains with behind with us.

“What’s left at the house?” I ask, as Christian wheels me out to the parking lot where Taylor is waiting with a rental car, since my Lexus has been returned to the dealer.

“Not much,” he replies. “The movers took what Kate is keeping last weekend and Taylor had the rest of the security team load everything you wanted on my plane this morning.”

“So there’s no reason to go back?”

“Not if you don’t want to.”

I press my lips together and my mind begins debating what I want before we leave Cambridge for the final time. It feels wrong to just get on a plane without taking a moment to reflect upon the place where so much has changed for me, but as I imagine taking one last walk through the empty halls that will no longer hold any feeling of home, I’m not sure I’ll get the closure I intended to. That’s something that Kate and I should have done together, pausing to reminisce and laugh at every bump or nick in walls. And I can’t stop imagining the blood stained carpet or the memories the very idea of it conjures. No, I don’t think it’s a good idea to return, but I already feel the poignant sense of longing for the house that feels as though it built me.

“Ana?” Christian asks.

“No, we don’t need to go back. I don’t think I’ll get any closure there anyway”

“Well, what if you don’t need closure at all?”

“What do you mean?”

“This place is important to you, baby. It’s not like you’re never going to come back here again. What if we didn’t sell the house? You could keep it so that you could come visit anytime you wanted. Come back to stay a few days with Kate sometime, or bring Calliope to the Harvard vs Yale game every year. Maybe she can live there when she comes here herself.”

I glance up at him and the picture his words give me instantly changes my dismay into something beautiful and sanguine. The feeling of loss is replaced with visions of my daughter running through the back yard in a Crimson sweatshirt, laughing while Christian and I chase her. I think about escaping to the quiet solitude of the empty house for a weekend to put the finishing touches on my next novel, evoking the same inspiration from the four walls of my bedroom that got me through my first book.

“Yeah,” I tell him, smiling. “You’re right. I’m not finished with this place, we should keep it. Thank you, Christian.”

“No,” he says as we come to a stop at the curb and he reaches down to take Calliope out of my arms and kisses her softly on the forehead. “Thank you.”

I spend most of the drive to the airport splitting my attention between staring out the side windows at Cambridge disappearing behind us and worrying over every small bump the car makes and how it could possibly be endangering Calliope. It doesn’t bode well for the flight, but at least once we’re in the air, I can hold her in my arms, which feels safer and more comforting than having her buckled in the carseat in the seat next to me.

“She’s beautiful, Mr. Grey,” Natalia says once we’re at cruising altitude and she can come check on us. “Is there anything I can get for either you or Miss Steele?”

“We’re fine,” Christian says, but he turns to my dad who is sitting across the aisle and a few seats back from us. “Ray?”

“No.” He shakes his head. “But… I would like it if you’d join me back here for a moment to have a chat, son.”

Christian takes a deep breath, exhaling in one long breath, and his body slumps a little, but he nods and turns to me. “I’ll be right back.”

“We’ll be here,” I reply. “Good luck.”

They move to the seats at the very back of the plane, which means I can’t hear what they’re saying, and it has me nervous. Especially because I can’t see my father and every time I glance over my shoulder at Christian, all I see is pain or disgust reflected on his face. I expect them to be gone for… 30 minutes or an hour tops, but when the pilot flips on the fasten seatbelt light and tells us to prepare for landing at SeaTac, Christian still hasn’t returned. In fact, when we begin our descent, it’s my dad that slips into the seat next to me, not Christian, who is occupied with the security team at the back of the plane.

“Well?” I ask. He frowns.

“Your mom left a lot out. A Lot out. That’s… that’s some rough stuff.”

“Yeah,” I agree. “But we got through it and it’s done now. We’ve put it behind us and we’re very happy together.”

“Which is incredible. I’m so proud of you, Ana. The strength it must have taken for you to get through all of that, to stand by him…”

“He’s worth it,” I assure him.

“You know, I think you’re right. I don’t think any father ever thinks there’s a man out there who’s good enough or who deserves his daughter, but this one, this one I like.”

“Told you.”

He smiles at me and then looks down at the sleeping baby in my arms. “Can I hold her?”

“Of course you can.” Moving as little as possible, I slide her into his arms, and once he’s able to pull her against him, his face melts with the same look of pure devotion she seems to elicit from everyone she touches.

“She’s such a pretty baby,” he whispers. “I thought you were the most beautiful little girl I’d ever seen when I first met you, but she may have you beat, kid.”

“She definitely does,” I agree.

“You know, if she has even an ounce of your spirit, you’re in for a whole world of trouble.” The plane bounces as we touch down and before I answer my father, I glance quickly out at the glow of the city lights over the horizon coming from Seattle, waiting for the sense of foreboding that plagued me before I escaped this city what feels like a lifetime ago, but it doesn’t come.

“You ready for it?” my dad asks.

“I really am,” I tell him. “I can’t wait.”

 

I feel extremely tired as we step into the elevator at Escala and begin the journey up to the apartment. Not in the way I did when I was pregnant or in the hospital, but in the way you do after you’ve spent too much time on vacation. Like we’ve had too much of a good thing and now it’s time to relax, decompress, and get back to real life. Kate texted me to let me know she’d brought a crib over to the apartment, since we were expecting to be in the new house by the time Calliope arrived and never put in a nursery at Escala, so all I can think about in the elevator is putting her to bed, saying goodnight to my father, pouring my first glass of wine, and drawing a long relaxing bath to share with Christian. A smile crosses my face as I imagine it, but the dream comes to a crashing halt when the doors open and we hear Kate and Elliot’s voices coming from the kitchen.

“Oh my god, don’t you dare!” Kate squeals.

“I can’t stop it, it’s acting of it’s own accord. There’s nothing I can do. I’m sorry, Kate.”

“Elliot…” We hear her scream and then the sound of shattering glass, but as Christian moves Calliope’s carseat behind his back while taking a protective step towards me, and our security team rushes for the kitchen, we hear her laugh.

“Shit, we broke a wine glass,” Kate says. “And it’s Baccarat.”

“Way to go, Kate.”

Christian gives me a side glance over his shoulder, rolls his eyes, and then moves further into the apartment again. Before I follow him though, my dad kisses me goodnight and heads for the stairs that lead up to the guest room, leaving us to survey the damage on our own. Luke and Kommer step aside to let us pass as we walk through the living room and once we can fully see into the kitchen, we find Elliot still holding the sidespray from the sink and Kate gathering the broken pieces of the deep bordeaux glass they’d knocked off the rack. She glances up as she picks up the final shattered piece from the floor, sees us standing on the opposite end of the counter, and her face immediately shifts to a look a chagrin.

“Christian! Ana! You’re home…”

“Oh… hey, bro. Welcome back,” Elliot adds guiltily. Christian glances between them, shakes his head and places Calliope’s car seat on an oversized barstool pressed up against the counter.

“What are you two doing in here?”

“Well, we thought you might be hungry so we came to make you dinner,” Kate says.

Christian narrows his eyes. “I have a housekeeper.”

“We just wanted to make sure you had everything you needed. I wasn’t sure where you wanted to put Callie for the next few weeks so we set up a crib in one of the guest rooms upstairs and a bassinet in your bedroom. I also brought Ana a motherhood survival kit I put together filled with all of the things the internet told me she can’t live without.” She quickly moves from the kitchen to the dining room and pulls a giant basket off the table that seems to be filled with lotions, supplies, and a ton of assorted goods from The Honest Company.

“Awh, Kate,” I say, my bottom lip jutting out as I quickly glance through everything she’s put together for me. “You’re best godmother in the entire world.”

“I know. Mia and I also went to Barnes and Noble last night and bought every children’s book we could find. They’re up in the room with the crib but I should warn you, there’s like 200 of them. I fully intend for you to raise my goddaughter to be a scholar.”

“You’re unbelievable and so incredibly generous,” I say, smiling at her and moving around the counter. “Thank you so much, Kate.” She accepts the hug I give her but only for a moment as she quickly pushes me away and demands to hold the baby. I laugh, take her hand and lead her to the car seat.

“Yes, Kate is very generous,” Christian says, glancing over the basket and then shooting a pointed look at Elliot. “She’s doing an excellent job upholding her title as godmother.” Elliot gasps and places a hand over his chest, like he’s deeply offended.

“You didn’t really think I would forget you, did you Christian?”

“Yes,” he replies flatly. “Yes I did.”

“That hurts, bro. And after all the time I took meticulously wrapping this present for you…”

He too walks over to the table, but instead of picking up a basket, he pulls a square package from one of the dining room chairs, wrapped messily in birthday themed paper, and places it on the counter in front of his brother. Christian smiles, claps Elliot on the shoulder, and begins to tear away the paper. Once he’s got the package opened, he reaches inside, frowns, and then pulls out a bottle of lotion and a box of tissues.

“It’s going to be a long six weeks for you,” Elliot says solemnly. “I’m very sorry for your loss.”

Christian rolls his eyes and throws the items back in the box. “You’re such a fuck, Elliot,” he laughs.

“Oh, yeah?” he replies in good humor. “Who do you think put your crib together upstairs, you douchebag?”

“You mean it wasn’t Kate? Great, now I have to go up there and make sure it’s not going to fall apart and kill my baby in the middle of the night.”

Elliot laughs. “You could do that. Or we could go into the library, have a drink to celebrate your daughter, and let these girls catch up a little bit.”

“Yeah,” Christian agrees with a smile. “I think that’s exactly what we should do.”

He comes back to me, kissing me softly on the cheek before going to Calliope as she sleeps peacefully in Kate’s arms. Then both he and Elliot disappear down the long hallway towards the library.

“Ana, I’m obsessed with this baby,” Kate says. “She’s so freaking pretty. You’re like… champion babymaker.”

“Mmm,” I hum in agreement. “I can’t describe it to you, Kate. I love her so much it hurts.”

“And she smells so good. Ugh, I want one.”

I bite down on my lip as she leans down, inhales Calliope’s scent from the top of her head and then places a gentle kiss on each of her round cheeks.

“Speaking of which…” I begin awkwardly. “You seem to be spending a lot of time with Elliot, here… back at the hospital… I’m sorry but, where’s Carter?”

The adoring smile on her face falls, her body deflates a little, and she continues to look at Calliope, not me, as she answers.

“I’m not really sure. He’s… probably back in Georgia, I guess. He didn’t really want to talk to me after.”

“What happened?”

She sighs. “He asked me to marry him, Ana.”

“I know. Clearly, it was the biggest shock of my life.” She lets out a morbid kind of laugh but doesn’t continue, so I push her a little. “So… you said no?”

“I didn’t love him,” she says. “I thought maybe I could, one day, but… I don’t think it works that way anymore. At least not the kind of love I want.”

“What do you mean?”

She takes another breath before she answers me. “This is going to sound horrible but, when we were in the hospital, before Christian knew about Calliope or if you were going to be okay, I spent a lot of time just… watching him. He was devastated. I’m glad you didn’t see him like that, Ana, because it was bad. Really bad. But it was bad because he loves you so much. If you would have died, his whole world would have been destroyed. You consume him, and as terrifying as that makes the idea of losing you to him, it makes what you two have together…” She pauses as she tries to find the words.

“Beautiful?” I suggest. She presses her lips together and shakes her head.

“It’s more than that. It’s what makes life have meaning. I want that. I want someone whose world begins and ends with me. I want someone who would sacrifice anything, who would walk through fire if that’s what it took to make me happy. But also, I want someone who I love so completely, so passionately, that I can’t envision a world where they don’t exist. I want deep, meaningful, true love, Ana, and I was never going to have that with Carter.”

“Okay, that’s fair. If you didn’t love Carter, you shouldn’t have married him. But… what about Elliot? How does he fit into this?”  

She bites her lip. “I’m in love with Elliot, and I love him the way that I want to love the man I’m going to marry. I can’t deny that anymore, and the longer we’re apart the more I have to admit to myself that that love is unshakable. I love his family, I love his sense of adventure, I love the person that he is… I could happily spend the rest of my life with Elliot Grey, but… I don’t know that he loves me the way I need to be loved. If anything is ever going to happen between us again, I need to know that he does, and that he will. Forever.”

“Well, I hope it works out. Selfishly because he’s going to be in my life from now until the end and I can’t go through anymore Gia’s… More selfishly because I love you, Kate, very, very, much, and I want you to have everything in the world that your heart desires.”

“I love you too, Ana,” she smiles. “And I love this baby. Oh my god, I love this baby!” I laugh as she tightens her hold on Calliope and leaves feather light kisses all over her face. Calliope stirs for a moment, but just enough to squish her little face together in protest before her features smooth out and she’s lost to her dreams again. When Kate looks up at me, the pouting look of adorable overload on her face makes me wonder if she’s about to burst into tears, and once again I feel my heart swell.

A timer goes off behind me in the kitchen, so Kate kisses Calliope once more before placing her back in her carrier and coming around the counter with me to pull the lasagna she’s made out of the oven. I move to the cabinet to take out plates for the four of us and to set the table, but before I reach for the door, my eyes fall on a box resting on the counter across from me.

“What’s that?” I ask. Kate looks over her shoulder at the box and then turns back to the bread she’s pulling from the oven.

“Just mail. Whatever wasn’t forwarded to Cambridge, I guess.”

“Oh…” Curiosity gets the better of me so I cross the marble floor to begin sorting through the letters and packages inside. There’s nothing here for me, everything I touch has Christian’s name on it, minus a few letters from my mother which I fully intend to ignore, until my fingers close around a battered looking manilla envelope addressed to me, but with no return address.

“Who’s that from?” Kate asks, glancing over at me as she slices the bread.

“I don’t know, it doesn’t say.” My fingers probe the package, which is surprisingly heavy for something delivered in just an envelope, but as I feel around the edges, I’m able to identify the familiar shape and weight inside.

“It’s a manuscript,” I say.

“Did Random House do any editing?” Kate asks.

“I don’t know. I didn’t think so…” I quickly rip open the flap, reach inside, and pull out the rudimentary bound stack of papers. When I look down at the title page though, it’s not Escape or even Escaping Neverland that I see printed there. What I do see, sends a cold chill over my entire body, like my blood has suddenly turned to ice.

“What is it?” Kate asks. I turn the manuscript to her so she can read the title.

 

Monster.

The detailed first hand account from the broken southern girl that built America’s most powerful CEO

By: Elena Lincoln

Next Chapter

 

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94 thoughts on “Chapter 36

  1. The chapter till the last few lines was PERFECT.

    It’s cementing my suspicion that the Lincoln’s are the main conspiracy.
    But I don’t think lunch is that heartless ( or that powerful for that matter)

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  2. OMG! Elena wrote a book! And it’s called monster? I have a feeling she’s going to have the audacity to make Christian the monster and not herself. The fact that she wrote a book is just another swipe at attempting to goad Ana. Really, I hope she doesn’t give Elena the satisfaction of reading it. And how did it get into their apt? I still think they have someone (security) in the inside working with the conspiracy group. Someone should maybe, go over her mother’s letters for her incase, hers clues to rhinos doing this. I don’t think she was part of The Conspiracy knowingly but was used because she’s the weakest link and easily manipulated and gave them the real inside scoop or access. Love, that Calliope’s home and I know she have that special father/daughter bond with Christian that Ana has with Ray. Thanks for the update!

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    1. I’m wondering if Elena sent the book to CARLA. After all, Carla made a point of suddenly telling Ray about Elena and using THAT to scare Ray about Christian. AND Carla had been a friend of Grace’s, she was in communication with Grace about the baby and potential wedding plans, YET suddenly she is anti-Grace and NOT trusting HER as well. And she was ADAMANT about getting Ana AWAY from all things Grey.

      So Carla had DEFINITELY changed her tune following the attack. And it may have been that Elena sent the book to her. STILL, you would think Carla would contact Ana, since she KNOWS Elena is an enemy of her daughter’s as well. I’m just wondering if MAYBE Elena tried to bribe Carla by telling her that IF she separated Ana from Christian, then Elena wouldn’t go after Ana (or would portray Ana as a naive young girl taken advantage of by Christian).

      After all, Carla suddenly began presenting Ana as being “isolated” by Christian AND his family, something she would KNOW was not true, given the sheer amount of times Christian OR his family PAID for Carla to be present for family vacations AND holidays. YET Carla presented to Ray that Christian might have PURPOSEFULLY impregnated Ana in order to bind her to him and force her to marry him. Carla would HAVE to know that is NOT true, UNLESS someone ELSE had gotten to her first!

      ANOTHER thing to think about is that LEILA might have obtained the manuscript and had it MAILED or gotten to Ana somehow, KNOWING that the Conspiracy Head would kill her off before she could go public or get to a place of safety. Leila could KNOW that the IDENTITY of the Conspiracy Head and/or his confederates/Elena’s former allies would be REVEALED through the book. ELENA MIGHT not have intended the book to be published until AFTER Ana was killed and would be the last thing to further RUIN Christian.

      I’m just thinking there is a REASON that the book was provided to Ana NOW. While Elena COULD be seeking a REALLY rich PAYOUT from Christian (after all, Elena threatened to destroy him and leave him penniless if he wouldn’t agree to her terms previously, so this is either all-out REVENGE meant to COMPLETELY destroy Christian). HOWEVER, Elena has been ALL ABOUT HERSELF and getting money for HERSELF, so you would think it would be about MONEY to GUARANTEE her financial future upon her release from prison.

      Elena would HAVE to know that Christian would question the TIMING of the arrival of the manuscript, IF she sent it. It would ALL BUT REVEAL that she was SOMEHOW connected to the Conspiracy, which would make Christian look into HER TIES to the Conspiracy Head. And WHY would Elena do that AND RISK EXPOSURE? After all, the BOOK is seeming PROOF that Elena may be seeking to BLACKMAIL Christian, which could get her MORE time. So WHY risk that unless REVENGE was the ONLY motivation? And giving Christian the book EARLY gives him TIME to BLOCK the release of the book through legal means. AGAIN, WHY would Elena risk that?

      So I think there is something MORE behind the release of the book. THAT book might have been WHY Leila went on the run when she KNEW she would be hunted—she hoped to get the book into Ana’s and Christian’s hands BEFORE its release, KNOWING that it would reveal things that could LEAD to the Conspiracy.

      I REALLY HOPE that Taylor looks into the Visitors’ Log to Elena’s prison in order to find out just WHO has seen her and might be working with her. Either Elena is WITH the Conspiracy, KNOWS about the Conspiracy, OR is THREATENED by the COnspiracy Head, PARTICULARLY if Christian is removed as a barrier between her and the Head. So that BOOK MAY CONTAIN CLUES, whether Elena meant it to or not! So YEAH, Ana NEEDS to read it, no matter how BAD it may be, since IF Elena published it, CALLIOPE would someday have other school children telling her AWFUL things about her PARENTS.

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  3. What a moving, tender and loving chapter. I cried with almost every sentence. You are a great writer. So, Elena is making her move. I always thought that Elena had something to do with the conspiracy, but would she step out in front like this? This story is just unbelievably GOOOOOOOD. It’s not even noon on Monday and I want another Monday.

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  4. Great chapter. Someone is in trouble for that getting through and now Ana will want to know all that happen that has not been disclosed. Can’t wait. Thank you. Keep up the great work.

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  5. That bitch! The most vile, disgusting, low life, ass wipe, excuse of animal life. Can’t we just kill her or something. I was all teary eyed and happy and that package dried up my tears real quick. Now I’m just pissed and it’s only Monday.

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    1. Excellent, well written chapter!! When I was reading I felt like I was right there, watching over their shoulders // all due to your talent with words!! So, I always felt that someday , somehow, some way Elena would reappear to exact a full revenge on Christian. I am trying to remember — where is Elena right now?

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      1. She should be in prison still. HOWEVER, all things considering, she got a relatively short sentence and will be out on good behavior while Calliope is still a child.

        And yeah, Elena has shown that she wants REVENGE above all else, including waiting a full two years following the original trial to go after ANDREW LINCOLN for no other reason than that he told the Greys’ about what he overheard and divorced her. So she had Christian LIE for her on the stand so that she could get half of Andrew’s fortune, THEN had Christian take over Andrew’s COMPANY so that he would have NO remaining legacy of the company he had spent his PROFESSIONAL LIFE building!

        But it was ANA that got the best of her, ultimately, so it would be HER that she would LOATHE and wish to punish the MOST, in my opinion. And EVERYTHING so far just smacks of Elena, YET Mr. Conspiracy Head SEEMED to be running the show. So my question is WHETHER OR NOT Elena AND Mr. Conspiracy Head are working TOGETHER or if Mr. Conspiracy Head could be someone like ANDREW LINCOLN who would have as much reason to target ELENA as he would Christian.

        I LOVE how Tara keeps us GUESSING at each and every turn. JUST when you think you MIGHT have it all figured out, another shocker hits! (But I think we ALL knew that Elena WOULD come back. She wouldn’t just take her punishment and move on. For one thing, as Luke once said, she has gotten USED to the Good Life, AND she always expected CHRISTIAN to be her means to it, one way or another. So either this book is BLACKMAIL for money and so she can re-establish her brothel, OR it is just REVENGE.)

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    1. MAYBE. She. Did. NOT. (And by the by, LOVE the way you put that!!! Just a few words that say EVERYTHING about what we are ALL feeling about Elena right now, assuming she DID have the book delivered to Ana.)

      But I’m wondering if ELENA sent the manuscript. After all, her mailings from the prison should be MONITORED. She would have undoubtedly been FORBIDDEN by court ORDER from contacting Christian (and you would think Ana, as well). So SOMEONE ELSE would have had to be the MAILER for Elena to avoid being accused of blackmail, disobeying a court Order, etc.

      So I’m wondering if LEILA knew about the book, got a copy secretly, and mailed it (OR DELIVERED IT herself, allowing her to be captured and killed by Mr. Conspiracy Head) to ANA before it could be published in an attempt to allow Christian to 1) block the release through legal means or 2) get a copy as it inadvertently or possibly deliberately identifies the members of the Conspiracy.

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  6. Oh, good lord, I can’t believe she wrote a book. *rolling eyes
    Can’t catch a break, with all they been through and still going through and they have that to deal with.

    Ugh Elena just couldn’t help herself. I hope no one publishes that. I mean who would want to?

    Great chapter. I’m glad Ana is better and they left the hospital.

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  7. Oh boy everything is moving along smoothly since the hospital discharge and I’m happy. Ray’s final acceptance of Christian had to happen on his terms and that’s great. So happy Kate finally realized she is still in love with Elliot. I hope he makes the best of it now. But damn that troll is still messing with them from jail. She should not be allowed to keep that money. The state should make her pay restitution to all her victims.

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    1. And the state has laws to that effect as well. So tipping off Christian about the book and giving him a chance to PREVENT its publication is NOT like Elena. Unless she is REALLY just after a payout from him to secure her future.

      Either way, I think there is a reason why Elena has chosen NOW to send the book. And it MAY have been that LEILA’s last act was to send the book out to Ana in order to REVEAL who the Conspiracy Head might be. After all, we DON’T yet know that it WAS Elena that sent the book.

      For Mr. Conspiracy Head to have CAUGHT Leila, Leila had to be somewhere that the Conspiracy Head was MONITORING. And I think that person being monitored was ELENA. So either Leila approached Elena to get her HELP to save them both, and Elena betrayed HER. Or the OTHER possibility is that Mr. Conspiracy Head got Leila right AFTER she contacted Elena in order to show Elena JUST how close he is to getting HER as well!

      But I want to think that LEILA mailed out the manuscript right before she was caught and killed because she KNEW that it contained the identity of the Conspiracy Head. Maybe I’m wrong, but I just can’t see Elena showing her hand NOW when Christian could use LEGAL means to keep the book from being published. OR make all profits go to Elena’s VICTIMS, such as the girls at the club.

      I guess we have to wait and see, but I am SURE that SOMETHING that can help Ana and Christian WILL be in that book whether Elena intended it or not. Because it may not have been Elena that actually sent the book out at all if Leila actually got it and mailed it to ALERT Christian about what was coming. And Mr. Conspiracy Head COULD have been threatening ELENA as well.

      But I’m thinking Elena might want Christian and Ana as ALLIES against Mr. Conspiracy Head. Because if Mr. Conspiracy Head is NOT working with Elena, then she WILL be one of his targets!

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  8. OMG!! Will she just crawl of and die already?? Ughhh Great Chapter. Definitely ready for some Elliott and Kate loving. TIme for some bonus/outtake chapters Tara. So sorry again for all of the loss you have experienced lately. Definitely give people their flowers while they are here.

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  9. Oh, no! I wish you had stopped 8 paragraphs sooner and let me feel Anna’s happiness and Kate’s love all week.

    I’d like to see that “broken Southern girl” broken into a thousand pieces, burned, and her ashes re-burned. I don’t think Roget has words enough to describe her vileness and hatefulness.

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    1. I’m hoping that Mr. Conspiracy Head has reasons to break Elena himself. After all, that has always been my worry that Elena would NEVER go away unless someone removes her.

      But Elena OBVIOUSLY knows what is going on and WHO Mr. Conspiracy Head really is. And either he is working WITH Elena, or he has targeted HER as well and is baiting her with how he has already killed Leila.

      Because I can see Leila having been caught by having tried to contact Elena for some reason. Leila might have thought that ELENA could reveal HIS identity and even have enough dirt on HIM to stop everything. After all, Leila had to be found doing something to get Mr. Conspiracy Head revealed to the world.

      And if Mr. Conspiracy Head got to LEILA, then ELENA could now be scared. After all, if Mr. Conspiracy Head is exploiting HER former resources, then she would know that there would be nowhere for her to hide once SHE got out of prison. OR Mr. Conspiracy Head might even have people IN prison putting further pressure on Elena.

      But Elena has a REASON for sending the book NOW. Either it is an actual WARNING about who is targeting BOTH of them, OR she is announcing her revenge plan “coincidentally” at the same time AND giving Christian a chance to try to block the publishing of the book.

      Either way, I think Elena wants MONEY for what she REALLY knows about the Conspiracy and a promise of protection or more when she gets out. We will just have to wait and see.

      But either way, I hope Elena has put herself in between and rock and a hard place and is CRUSHED into a million thousand pieces in the process. She would deserve it, because I REALLY believe that Mr. Conspiracy Head has past ties to her and was burned by both her AND Christian. Hence, the reason for HIS revenge. But I’m hoping it ALL means that Elena will FINALLY get what SHOULD be coming to her! AND put her out of Christian and Ana’s life forever!

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      1. I think Elena’s name coming out in the open could be a bait to kidnap ana again coz obviously she would go after Elena to meet her in jail to know the conspiracy head’s name coz she would never let Christian go near Elena ever again

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      2. I agree with you, An. Elena has chosen NOW to basically open a dialogue with Ana for a PARTICULAR reason. Just WHAT she wants from Ana remains to be seen. But she KNOWS she will get a reaction from Ana, assuming that she is the one that sent the book. At this point, I try to assume nothing in regards to Elena and the conspiracy! You just KNOW there are more unexpected surprises to come!

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      3. I think she is pretty well aware that ana would do ANYTHING to save Christian from having any form of contact with Elena.
        But one thing that I can’t father is that I read in some story that u need the person who is being referred to in the novel to have given permission to write anything about him
        And considering it’s just a manuscript I think it’s just a ploy to kidnap ana

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      4. You may be right about this being the thing to draw Ana out into the open in order to kidnap her. But I CAN’T imagine that Ana would not tell Christian or let him know she was going. After all, Ana KNOWS what happened the LAST time she went somewhere without security. At least there, she had Champ and Leila to help her escape. NOW, Ana just had a traumatic delivery in which she nearly lost her OWN life. So she can’t move quickly and wouldn’t take such a risk without letting Christian know and having the proper security.

        HOWEVER, I could see some prison guard being paid to lead Ana OUT of the prison along another route and directly into Mr. Conspiracy Head’s arms. And she most likely would NOT have her security INSIDE of the prison interview room, so that MAY be why the book was sent out to Ana. Because we ALL know that Ana won’t just ignore it if she thinks she has a chance to bargain with Christian.

        And basically, you can publish anything you want. That is WHY there are “unauthorized biographies.” HOWEVER, IF YOU HAVE SIGNED a NDA, then the publication can be halted OR the holder of the NDA could sue. PLUS, if you CAN’T PROVE what you have written, then you can be sued for defamation of character/libel/sabotage of business, etc. And if MALICE is proved, you can get SUBSTANTIAL damages.

        So Elena would have A LOT to risk in publishing her account, depending on what it says. BUT ANDREW would ALSO know the details of the FIRST trial AND could have read or seen the clip of Ana and Elena’s bar conversations where Elena revealed her past. So ANDREW could have written the book in order to lure Ana into visiting Elena at the prison, exactly as you suggested.

        So the question is still whether or not Elena actually wrote the book OR IF SOMEONE ELSE wrote the book with their OWN agenda and reason for the book being sent to Ana.

        (And I still can’t let go of the belief that Andrew Lincoln is behind this, as he knows ALL ABOUT Elena’s history AND Ana’s involvement in the whole thing. And ANDREW would even like the finger to point back towards ELENA after Ana has disappeared following the prison visit. Would be revenge against BOTH Christian AND Elena.

        But I DO think you have a VERY valid point by saying that Andrew should NOT have the power to do all of this. After all, he was unable to prevent the loss of his company to Christian.)

        And the idea that HYDE could somehow have this much power seems ludicrous as well UNLESS he was somehow connected to Elena’s BAR. If he KNEW about the bar (either as a CLIENT or EMPLOYEE), then he could have found and threatened ISAAC into giving him Elena’s “dirty little secrets” box of recordings that you KNOW she kept on powerful clients to always ensure her “get out of jail free card.” With THOSE kind of blackmail material tapes, then HYDE could have control over a LOT of powerful people.

        But WHY would HYDE be driven so to madness to destroy Christian? There would HAVE to be a backstory that we DON’T know yet.

        BUT your overall THEORY that Elena’s “book” is the means to get Ana out of Escala and possibly away from her security team while in the prison in order to KIDNAP HER when she leaves has DEFINITE merit. It is the best idea so far for a way to get Ana ISOLATED, but it would require buying some prison employees. AND they would somehow have to get Ana out without her becoming suspicious OR Christian’s people realizing that Ana has been in too long. So TIMING would be everything!

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  10. Wow, another amazing chapter! I’m so glad to see that Ray finally sat down with Christian and was told the whole, ugly truth. I would love to read an outtake from both Christian and Ray’s POV of that conversation. Now Ray knows everything they have endured together and the incredible love and strength their relationship has been built on.

    One interesting item that caught my eye is that Kate thinks Carter is probably in Georgia….Carla was sent back to Georgia…this can’t be mere coincidence. Is there some connection there? Love the way Kate and Elliott are slowly getting closer and closer again, I just really hope that after everything that has happened Elliott is having a change of attitude about marriage and kids. Kate has given so much of herself, literally, she deserves to be loved the way she wants. I think the catalyst for that to happen is going to be when he finds out she is the kidney donor.

    Thank you making our Monday mornings something to look forward to! As usual, just when we think we may be getting closer to the truth, you throw another wrench at us! You are awesome!!

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    1. Hmmm. Something to think about with Carla and Carter being in the same state. And I agree with your thoughts about Elliot and Kate. I’d like to see Elliot brought to his knees when he the sacrifice Kate made for his family and how she did it for the love of him and his family and without fan fare. You rarely see his serious side but I think he could love just as deeply as Christian and I think/hope Kate’s for him.

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  11. Elena is ALL about revenge. And she will move heaven and earth to get it. I KNEW she had some sort of PLAN to get back at Christian.

    And yes, I can see MANY companies wanting to publish the book. After all, it will be a “tell-all” about Christian with a great deal of lies—in other words, the story she TRIED to present at trial.

    So Elena has done this for one of two reasons as follows:

    1) I always SAID that Elena saw Christian as her meal ticket. Christian now has to either watch Elena publish the book OR he has to PAY HER OFF. And she will want MILLIONS.

    2) Straight out revenge. Elena will insist on publishing no matter WHAT Christian pays her. She can sign a nondisclosure agreement, but she will then claim the book “accidentally” got leaked online or to another source. Even if Christian then tried to sue her for the money back, the damage would have been done.

    PLUS, I would GUARANTEE that Elena also paints ANASTASIA in a really bad light in the book as well since she would KNOW that would upset Christian more than anything.

    And Elena doing this is SMART. After all, when Joan Crawford’s adopted daughter, Christina, published her book after Joan’s death, there was nobody left to say whether it was true or not. Joan definitely seemed to raise her last two adopted children differently from her first two, but we will never know the truth of how much of a “monster” that she was ALL because we only have Christina’s account.

    And Elena doing this will FOREVER paint a version of Christian AND Ana that will follow them everywhere. And CALLIOPE will never be able to go anywhere without hearing about how “awful” her parents were.

    And no one will want to get Christian’s side of things–they will just want to villify him and sob over the “raw deal” that poor perpetually abused Elena got.

    Now there IS laws out there that are SUPPOSED to keep someone from PROFITTING from their crimes, and the Court found against Elena and that SHE ran the bar. But again, while Christian and Carrick could litigate it in court, the book would still be out there. At most, maybe they could deny Elena some of the profits.

    So this is BAD. Like, REALLY bad.

    PLUS, we STILL don’t know what went on at the hospital that had Christian taking the extreme (thank goodness, though) measures of security. So SOMETHING happened, and Christian said he would talk to Ana about it LATER.

    Just WOW. You know, I had thought about Elena doing something like this, but I had thought it would be to “encourage” other women to come out with salacious details surrounding Christian.

    But this is SO in keeping with Elena’s character—if she can’t get Christian one way, then she WILL go after him another way. She is DETERMINED to always have revenge, and Christian damaged her reputation in court and got her jailed. So she doesn’t care WHAT she has to do to get revenge.

    And I GUARANTEE that she says equally AWFUL things about Ana in that book. She would KNOW how much both Christian and Ana would want to shelter Calliope from Christian’s past, and NOW Calliope will hear such terrible things about her parents from others. Just wow.

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    1. To be really honest I don’t understand Elena’s reason for publishing this book bcoz if she tells them she abused him when he was a teen, she would be proved a pedophile and other than that, everything is already proved in the court.

      What content does she have in the book that would potentially lead them to the conspiracy head

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      1. And THAT is what had me puzzled originally puzzled UNTIL I thought it through. After all, Elena is not about to implicate HERSELF, especially when CHRISTIAN can’t tell what REALLY happened at the first trial since it would be an ADMISSION as to his OWN CRIMINAL ACTS which could get HIM jailed and separated from both Ana AND his child. PLUS, Christian could even risk losing EVERYTHING, since GEH could not have been started BUT FOR the funds that ELENA provided.

        Thus, MY SPECULATION on Elena’s book is in keeping with what we KNOW about her character. She always LIES about HER involvement and presents herself as the victim. So, I expect her to CLAIM that CHRISTIAN LIED about the original abuse by her to his parents in order to protect himself/get their pity (OR to secure Ana’s pity and thus get her in a relationship wtih him), but he was then “stricken” with a conscious at the first trial and admitted under oath that he had NOT had sex with Elena. She could THEN claim that she felt “sorry” for Christian being estranged from his family AND Ana as a result of his OWN actions, so she gave him the start-up money for his company. THAT WAY, she presents herself as the “aggrieved person” that still felt sorry for Christian and his “brutal” treatment at the hands of the Grey family, so SHE gave him the means to independence, ONLY for him to TURN on her when she no longer had any money left to give and was “dependent” on him for her own businesses through GEH.

        After all, Elena will want to seemingly make things “fit” with the testimony at the trials, YET she will CLAIM to be the victim, NOT the perpetrator. HER STORY WOULD FIT the supposed facts of the FIRST trial, and for Christian to show Elena as the villain, he would HAVE TO ADMIT to his OWN criminal acts, such as KNOWINGLY taking a bribe for false testimony. AND if Christian admitted to LYING on the stand, then ANDREW LINCOLN could ARGUABLY have a CLAIM TO GEH, since HE was deprived of money as a result of CHRISTIAN’s criminal acts!

        THUS, if CHRISTIAN tries to dispute the above story, CHRISTIAN would HAVE to admit that he PERJURED himself and lied on the stand at the FIRST trial. AND give the REASON why he lied, THUS ADMITTING TO HIS OWN CRIMES and that he took the money to FUND GEH. Which could then DESTROY GEH. So Christian has almost NO CHOICE but to let Elena’s “account” of the first trial stand unless he admits to his OWN criminal wrongdoing.

        (AND if Christian admitted to his OWN wrongdoing, that might get ELENA’S CONVICTION thrown out since it would be poisonous fruit from the tree type thing—meaning that Elena could have never done her OWN criminal acts BUT FOR the opportunity that came from CHRISTIAN’S CRIMINAL actions.)

        So ELENA has played the ULTIMATE trump card here. She OBVIOUSLY wants to make a “new deal” with Ana. And if Ana goes along wtih this, she potentially criminally implicates herself. Elena has gone to A LOT of trouble for this, so she obviously has a longterm game plan OR she has ensured herself REVENGE (or maybe even BOTH).

        So the above is my current theory, assuming Elena wrote the book AND arranged for it to be sent to Ana.

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    2. I think that Elena knows that publishing the book would be a vague attempt considering the fact that she did give him the startup money but at the end of the day, all incidents of the court trial happened with full media attention so she cannot play that innocent card.

      I feel as if Elena is a bit concerned about the success of the plan and hence offering a deal to ana to get her out of the jail as consideration for revealing the conspiracy head’s game plan.

      Or she might be the mastermind with that guy that Mia knew acting as her puppet coz he works closely with Christian and can easily manipulate GEH accounts
      I still don’t believe that Carter is involved in any of this coz he has time and again proved that he is too damn stupid

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      1. And ALL of the above is assuming ELENA wrote the book AND sent it to Ana. (BUT I definitely agree with you that Carter is unlikely to be involved. He didn’t even do well enough at Harvard to get into Harvard Law, and that was WITH him being the legacy of a powerful father.)

        But the first trial was SEALED per Carrick. So although the media KNEW there was a “first trial” between Elena and Christian, they COULD NOT get to the facts or contents or results of said trial. So ONLY a few people should KNOW about the First Trial. Which limits the suspects list somewhat.

        IF Elena did NOT write the book, then it goes back to your original suggestion that Mr. Conspiracy Head did it in order to get Ana to go to the prison to visit Elena. Since there is SUPPOSED to be a “no contact” Order between Elena and Christian and Ana, the visit would have to be arranged through official channels presumably (although I still can’t see how Elena gets around violating the Order if Ana has supposedly received a manuscript written by her!).

        So Mr. Conspiracy Head would KNOW that Ana would respond with a VISIT to the prison AND that it would have to be specially scheduled due to the court Order. So he would have KNOWLEDGE of when and where Ana’s visit would take place, and he could bribe prison guard(s) to bring Ana out another way in order to kidnap her.

        ANY way you look at it, the BOOK was meant to LURE Ana to a prison visit with Elena. And with the TIMING, Elena almost HAS to know something about the Conspiracy OR, if she was completely mystified as to why Ana was visiting her, then that is the TELL that Mr. Conspiracy Head has left the TRAIL of the supposed “book” as a means of pointing the finger at ELENA for being the Head of the Conspiracy. Double revenge then against Elena AND Christian and Ana would be achieved!

        No wonder this story will take more than 47 chapters to complete it—we are JUST fixing to get to Chapter 37, and we STILL haven’t talked about what happened in the hospital related to the Conspiracy, just WHY Mr. Conspiracy Head is after Christian AND Ana, how to bring HIM down, if Elena is involved, etc. SO MUCH has to be covered before we even GET to how Christian could stop HIM (and Elena as well, because if she DID write that book, it is to get a payout OR revenge, one way or another. Meaning Christian would NEVER be through with her and the resulting DAMAGE her book would cause!).

        And if Elena were somehow NOT involved in the book OR plan to get to Ana and Christian, then she is STILL getting out in a few years. So we almost NEED Mr. Conspiracy Head to target Elena if she is ever to get out of their lives for good!

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    3. Of all the people that have any resentment towards Christian , Elena is the strongest.

      But I still can’t fathom how she is so resourceful even being behind the bars!!

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      1. We know from MIA that Elena had some POWERFUL clients. After all, just LOOK back at the money Elena offered to Mia to go along with the male client that wanted her. So my assumption is that Elena secretly FILMED the acts going on in her various rooms, and she is able to BLACKMAIL these powerful people in order for their wives and significant others OR the public to not know about their clandestine lifestyles.

        As long as she had her bar, Elena had no reason to threaten to reveal the secret tapes. After all, her clients had to TRUST her not to reveal information, and Elena clearly had a LOT of clients. And Elena would want to keep business coming, so she had no reason to resort to blackmail then.

        BUT AFTER the bar was closed and Elena jailed, she then MUST have used SOMEONE on the outside. My first guess is Isaac, since I imagine she would have taken great pains to psychologically bind him to her, since she ultimately failed with Christian. (AFTER ALL, she had to trust Isaac enough to run the bar with her, so he HAD to know about everything going on.)

        And the clients would NOT want to report to the police that Elena was extorting money from them, since they would have to REVEAL what they had done AND how she was blackmailing them. So Elena potentially has NO END of people, both WITHIN and outside of GEH.

        We all KNOW the pains Elena took to be at GEH often, and how she knew the various department heads, secretaries, etc. So Elena had REASONS to do this, in order to most likely secure CLIENTS that she could later BRIBE to do her bidding within GEH.

        So the ABOVE would explain why Elena would have enough power to from behind bars to go after Christian.

        BUT if Elena STILL plans on using Christian as her meal ticket, then seeing him lose everything would seemingly defeat the purpose. Elena originally wanted to be the woman behind the most powerful man in Seattle. So either Elena has decided that REVENGE is more important, OR she is backing Mr. Conspiracy Head in HIS efforts to take down Christian, so that she can work with him.

        That assumes that Elena KNOWS about the Conspiracy and is supporting the guy running it. HOWEVER, Leila seemed adamant that it was a HE behind the whole Conspiracy.

        But I just CAN’T see Elena choosing RIGHT NOW TO SEND HER BOOK to be a “coincidence.” With ELENA, there are NO such things as coincidences! So Elena HAS to know something! And the ultimate question remains whether or not she is working with Mr. Conspiracy Head OR if HE has targeted her as well (please oh please oh please let Mr. Conspiracy Head target Elena as well! Is it too much to ask that she get taken out in this whole thing? Otherwise, how could Ana and Christian EVER feel safe and hope to protect Calliope, because you KNOW that Elena would go after that child and use EVERY possible weapon at her disposal. She would WANT to get Calliope and turn her over to people like her step-father and Stephen Morton to guarantee that child was harmed in the worst way, so SOMEONE needs to take Elena out!)

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  12. AND I bet I just KNOW the “SOURCES” that contributed to Elena’s tell-all book: CARLA and GIA!! BOTH of these individuals will be revenge-minded enough to come after BOTH Christian AND Ana. After all, if Carla wants Calliope still, she would HAVE to prove BOTH Ana and Christian UNFIT PARENTS!

    So if Elena presents Christian as dominating and ABUSING ALL brown-haired girls, then the claim would be that he would HARM Calliope as well! So Elena’s allegations, supported by a FAMILY member of Ana’s as well as a former girlfriend of Elliot, will present Ana and Christian as bad parents that have jeopardized the welfare of Calliope. IN FACT, Carla would probably claim that CHRISTIAN’S “abuse” of Ana led to the placental abruption that almost cost BOTH of them their LIVES.

    After all, we ALL know that Carla had harped on the Elena stuff to Ray and was trying to do ANYTHING to keep Christian OUT of BOTH of Ana AND Calliope’s lives. So I’m thinking Elena had ALREADY contacted Carla. She might have even showed Carla the manuscript or TOLD her so many terrible things about Christian, and providing Carla with “proof” in the form of pictures of what-not.

    We all KNEW that Carla’s attitude had suddenly CHANGED towards Christian’s after the attack, and I think that Elena contacted her after that, claiming to be “concerned” for what Christian would do to Ana and Calliope once he got them all to himself. Carla was OBSESSED about getting Ana away from the Grey family, and I think ELENA has EVERYTHING to do with it.

    After all, Elena has now got everyone RIGHT where she wants them—Carla is alienated from Ana and has NOTHING else to lose. So going in with Elena ultimately gets Carla a REALLY GOOD shot at having SOLE custody of Calliope, since Elena’s allegations OBVIOUSLY will include the WHOLE Grey family and how they “protected” Christian while he “abused” women, including Ana.

    So Leila’s presentation of Ana as a “victim” of Christian’s is obviously going to come up again. UNLESS Elena presents Ana as a “monster” as well. But I think Elena will try to go with Ana as an immoral but willing victim of Christian’s. I guess we will have to wait and see.

    AND NOW we know WHY the police have been SO willing to turn everything that happened to Ana BACK on Ana (and maybe Christian). Elena COULD present Ana as the baby-mama that Christian HIMSELF tried to kill because he did not want Calliope. BUT Elena is likely going to go for the angle of Ana as the gold-digging girl that deliberately got pregnant by Christian in order to get his money who “faked” her attack in order to get money and/OR attention from Christian. THUS, if Ana is supposedly ALL about attention and willing to hurt HERSELF to get it, then she would hurt HER CHILD to continue to get attention, a medical condition known as munchausen syndrome by proxy. And if Ana had THAT diagnosis, then she WOULD hurt her daughter and possibly kill her for attention, making her UNFIT to have custody!

    So the book could be used as “evidence” that Christian AND Ana are unfit parents. REALLY explains Carla’s change of position, in my opinion. And Carla WILL side with Elena in order to get Calliope, claiming that Christian, the “Abuser,” has already “manipulated” her daughter into kicking her out of her life, because Carla tried to “SAVE” Calliope by keeping the whole Grey family away!

    Just WOW. Elena REALLY has Christian in a corner now. She also has UNTOLD number of GEH employees AND former “staff” willing to make claims against Christian. And if Christian tries to BUY Elena off, then THAT would be used as evidence of his guilt!

    And Elena has really TIMED her revenge attack at the perfect time! And Carla AND Gia have EVERY reason to throw in their lot with Elena, assuming someone ELSE hasn’t gotten to Gia first!

    Like

    1. I would agree with you on some of this but if you think back Christian never had a submissive he was Elina submissive the he was with Ana till they broke up. Then while they were broken up he never was with anyone, so he doesn’t likeven what he like in the book he truly only ever had eyes for ana. And as far as Carla if you think about it she really hasn’t been around to really give anyone any information about them. She didn’t even come when ana go attacked in the alley she made phone calls. Gia the only person that could have told her anything was Elliott, his family never liked her Christian gave her a chance for a while for Elliott’so sake but quickly dismissed her because of how him spending time with her made Ana feel. Even Elliott stopped giving her information before they even broke u. Carter now that’s a whole not here ball game he is pissed and being in the house with the girls he knows things about them all Ana, Christian and Kate surgery and security things. I always wondered why his family never wanted to meet Kate tho, is it because they already know her and they rest of them maybe they are the conspiracy heads maybe the guy that tried to get Mia is his father and Ana stopped that then she and Christian shut down Elina had her locked up and he now he can’t get submissive like he use too anymore, then Christian took Ana from Cater, and now Elliott has Kate heart. Maybe that’s why he wanted to get in so good with Kate marry her and you have all access to the rest of them and any info you want about them

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      1. But remember how Elena’s CLAIMS were that Christian had her bring the various girls to his office. Elena tried to claim that CHRISTIAN was behind everything and MADE her run “his” business. So while Elena lost in court, she could STILL claim the same type of stuff in the book.

        WE all know Christian was never unfaithful to Ana. But even LEILA was able to learn from the web that Elena was bringing prostitutes to Christian’s office, so it almost goes without saying that someone as POWERFUL as Christian should have had SOMEONE looking into Elena’s “girls” and how she was finding (and using) them.

        But Elena also KNOWS that Christian previously LIED on the stand back in the ORIGINAL trial AND that she PAID him to do so. HOWEVER, if Elena REVEALS that in her book, then SHE could be prosecuted for perjury. But REMEMBER in the chapter of ABSOF where KATE learns about what Christian had done at the first trial, she TOLD Ana that there could be MULTIPLE consequences for CHRISTIAN if that EVER came out.

        After all, Christian’s WHOLE COMPANY was started on FUNDS GOTTEN THROUGH ILLEGAL MEANS—felony tampering with a witness. Christian KNOWINGLY took a bribe that caused Andrew to LOSE half his fortune to Elena. For all we know, ANDREW actually WROTE the book about Elena THAT CONDEMNS CHRISTIAN as well, knowing that an ADMISSION of having taken said bribe COULD arguably cause Christian to be prosecuted AND even forfeit his WHOLE company, since he was SOLE proprietor and owner of a company started with dirty money.

        ELENA has to risk prosecution if she reveals what Christian did back in the day. So she is either WILLING to risk it for revenge OR someone ELSE wrote the book, claiming to be Elena, that KNOWS all her deep-dark secrets and how SHE was the one that seemingly “made” Christian. That might be ANDREW’S revenge, which could keep Elena in prison longer.

        There are any NUMBER of ways this could go. Ana NEEDS to read that book ASAP. But it is a lot to ask of Ana right NOW, especially when she is STILL healing and trying to care for Calliope as well.

        Sigh. HOW long is it until next Monday???? Can someone start a Countdown clock????

        Like

  13. Wow!! This is Elena getting her revenge and now I’m more convinced she’s part of everything that’s happened to a Christian and Ana. I love Kate! I hope that she and Elliot will find their way back together. Awesome chapter! 😍

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    1. OR Elena has LEARNED the identity of Mr. Conspiracy Head through OTHER means and is reaching out NOW for a reason. After all, if the Head of the Conspiracy turned out to be her ex-husband, then he has EQUAL reason or even MORE motivation to come after HER once Christian is out of the way. After all, ELENA pushed Christian to RUIN Andrew Lincoln. She bodily put herself in New York to persuade the board members of the company to SELL to Christian. So Andrew would KNOW who was REALLY behind Christian’s interest in his company!

      The TIMING means Elena HAS to know what is going on. Either she is a part of it or set it in motion OR learned about it through OTHER contacts. I just want to know which it is.

      I mean, it still does NOT make sense to me about WHY Elena would give Christian a heads-up on the book she plans to publish. After all, she would KNOW that he would try to get his lawyers to BLOCK the book. So she either wants a MAJOR PAYDAY in order to NOT release the book OR she has ANOTHER REASON ENTIRELY for sending the manuscript out NOW.

      It would be the ultimate turn-about if ELENA feared Mr. Conspiracy Head trying to kill HER after HE has finished off Christian and Ana. And Elena would KNOW that Christian would be the ONLY thing standing in HIS way.

      So ELENA may be trying to FORCE Christian to contact her in order to tell/sell her information about WHO is really behind everything.

      (And MY first thought was this book SHOWS Elena’s Ultimate Revenge Plan, but it may be MORE complicated than that. After all, someone bent on killing Ana and torturing and/or killing Christian who HAS come close to actually ACCOMPLISHING said plan would KNOW all about Elena. And if Elena were NOT a friend of Mr. Conspiracy Head, then that would mean that HE would turn his eyes to killing ELENA once Christian as out of the way. So we don’t completely know WHY Elena has sent the book yet.)

      I hate to say it, but Ana REALLY needs to read that book STAT! After all, Elena already told her story to ANA, so something may be in that book to enlighten Ana AND Christian as to who the REAL worst enemy is!

      SO MANY POSSIBLE OUTCOMES for all this! WHAT is in that book??? IS it Elena’s ultimate revenge plan OR her way of getting HELP, either financially OR to protect her from HIS wrath????

      But yeah, Elliot needs to TELL Kate if his feelings regarding marriage and children have changed. She DESERVES happiness and someone that will completely love her, and if that can’t be Elliot, then he needs to stop trying to get her back. Elliot CLEARLY still loves Kate, but he will HAVE to articulate it and discuss his intentions with her.

      And WE need to know what ELSE happened at the hospital AND WHAT CHRISTIAN NOW KNOWS about the Conspiracy that Ana doesn’t yet know. SO MUCH to look for in the next chapter!

      Like

  14. NOW my question is about whether or not Elena KNOWS about Mr. Conspiracy Head. I would think that she would almost HAVE to know, since some of the contacts used have TIES back to HER.

    So Elena is either someone who EGGED on the Conspiracy BEHIND the scenes, or she has knowledge of it and plans to EXPLOIT it to her advantage.

    I always SAID that Mr. Conspiracy Head had TIES or a former relationship with Elena. I could see Elena happily exploiting Andrew’s misery to somehow drive him crazier in the hopes that he would single-out CHRISTIAN as the source of ALL of his misery, thus providing further “proof” of her claims.

    So Andrew Lincoln may be STILL being used by Elena, if he IS the Conspiracy Head, without even knowing it. OR it could be ISAAC, Jack HYDE or even Stephen Morton. Because Elena WOULD have looked into Anastasia’s BACKGROUND and could have sought out Morton, depending on what she found out.

    But whoever the Conspiracy Head is, his Origin Story still almost HAS to be with Elena. Because we KNOW that Mr. Conspiracy Head is exploiting people that had connections to ELENA. So there IS a knowledge of Elena OR AN ALLIANCE with Elena. It remains to be seen WHICH Possibility that it is.

    But Mia REALLY needs to come FORWARD with her KNOWLEDGE about KNOWING the name of Christian’s finance guy. Because THAT GUY could have “leaked” money or company details or any NUMBER of things. After all, the AUDIT that was conducted may have made Elena’s CONTACTS nervous who KNEW that she was using GEH to launder her dirty money she gained through the BAR. So MULTIPLE people had things to hide, if they had KNOWLEDGE of what Elena REALLY did. WHICH SEVERAL MEN undoubtedly DID know, as Elena probably enticed clients FROM GEH in order to “ensure” compliance with her later demands!

    So at the heart of everything IS Elena. HOWEVER, Elena MAY have let something lose that even SHE can’t control—such as Andrew Lincoln OR whoever Mr. Conspiracy Head may be. THAT person wants ANA tortured and DEAD in order to make an ALIVE Christian suffer AND lose EVERYTHING, including his daughter.

    So whoever “HE” is, my remaining question is whether or not he is WORKING with Elena or NOT, and HOW will Christian PROVE it??????

    UUUUGGGGGG!!!!!! As ALWAYS, when SOME things get CONFIRMED (such as KNOWING Elena had a REVENGE PLAN in place), there are so many MORE questions raised!! Oh Tara, you have me salivating for the next chapter that is a WHOLE WEEK AWAY!!!!! I will NEVER make it until next MONDAY!!!!!!!!

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    1. I think the conspiracy head would turn out to be someone whose name has not yet been introduced because I don’t think the Lincoln’s or Leila or Gia, Carla etc are powerful enough to create such a havoc in the Grey’s life.

      Leila was petrified of taking his name, he was able to trick ros and Welch and also almost kidnap ana. I agree that Elena is shrewd but you need someone powerful and resouceful( which Elena can’t be while in jail) to do so

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      1. You can rule the world from a prison cell IF you have the right resources. Which Elena COULD have, if she filmed powerful people engaging in acts of BDSM with known prostitutes. ESPECIALLY if abuse of the girls happened in the bar. After all, Elena at trial HINTED at such “relaxing” of the rules to suit the clients.

        So YES, Elena COULD be controlling powerful individuals from her jail cell due to their fear of EXPOSEURE. Elena could be communicating with Isaac, her former submissive, and using him or someone ELSE to do her dirty work for her.

        After all, we THINK that Mia RECOGNIZED the name of the guy controlling SO MUCH of Christian’s investments/fortune as a NAME of someone from the club. HOWEVER, Mia has NOT reported it yet, as far as we know. She just got REALLY pale at the table and left, without telling anyone WHAT had her so upset.

        But my OTHER THEORY is that Elena HERSELF may be afraid of Mr. Conspiracy Head and what he will do to HER for revenge, once he finishes with Christian. Because if it IS Andrew Lincoln or someone else that has proof AGAINST ELENA of what all she has been doing, then she could be OFFERING to NOT publish her book in return for money/protection, etc.

        So Elena could have MULTIPLE reasons for reaching out to Ana NOW. I gave my NEW Theory on what Elena’s book contains. She would EXPLOIT Christian’s testimony at the ORIGINAL trial that he NEVER had an affair with her and supposedly admitted that UNDER OATH at the trial. THUS, his family would have NOTHING to do with him BECAUSE he would NOT lie for Andrew Lincoln, WHOM CARRICK REPRESENTED at the time.

        (IN OTHER WORDS, Elena could be claiming that CARRICK tried to make Christian “LIE” about an underage affair in order to cause Elena to LOSE EVERYTHING as a result of the pre-nup. But Christian then had a “guilty conscious” and came clean under oath that Elena had never done anything to him. THEN Christian was “thrown away” by his family, so Elena felt SORRY for him since he “told the truth” to “protect” her. So Elena gives Christian ALL her money in order to start GEH and give him the “independence” he needed so that he would not be homeless, since his family cast him aside. But AFTER Christian became rich and powerful, he used Elena’s now-dependent state and his company interest in her salons, her only means of income, into “coercing” her into running his bar. When Elena “tried” to tell the “truth,” Christian sent ANA in to supposedly get a false confession or something to that effect. That way, Elena “explains” away her guilt, AND CHRISTIAN CAN’T SAY ANYTHING because if he ADMITS TO LYING on the stand at the first trial, he could be CRIMINALLY CHARGED.)

        And Christian is STILL potentially screwed if he tries to admit that Elena gave him money for his testimony, since Christian received the money only AFTER he testified. Had Elena gave him some sort of partial payment PRIOR to the testimony, he might have better proof.

        But ANY way you look at it, if Christian disputes Elena’s story, then he essentially CONVICTS HIMSELF without necessarily convicting Elena.

        So the BOOK is ELENA’S WAY of showing she STILL has power from a prison cell. Either she is the REAL force behind the Conspiracy’s origins, OR she is a potential TARGET of the conspiracy Head and wants to make a deal. But she OBVIOUSLY wants to insight ANA to TALK TO HER.

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      2. What if Mr. Conspirisy is really Christian. He built this Alter to scare Elana and keep her in line. She then reaches out to Ana to scare her into helping her and getting Ana to have Christian protect her from Mr. Conspirisy . I still believe Kommer is deep in this.

        Sent from my iPhone

        >

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      3. Okay, now THERE is a plot to a fanfiction story—CHRISTIAN being behind the Conspiracy trying to take himself down due to guilt over his past actions!! That actually IS plausible IF Christian had split personalities (I think that is now called Disassociative Identity Order, by the by) and felt SO UNWORTHY of Ana’s love, that one of his “personalities” was created to DELIBERATELY separate Ana from him!

        (And hey, THAT would explain WHY Leila would say that HE is crazy AND would refuse to name “HIM” to Ana!)

        Still, there would be NO WAY that could happen HERE, given all the security surrounding Christian and Ana. SOMEONE would have noticed Christian having “blackout” periods or behaving strangely.

        Buy hey, THAT is definitely an interesting theory for another story. That recent movie about the killer with the multiple personalities has definitely increased the interest in stories to that effect, PARTICULARLY if CHRISTIAN is a victim of HIMSELF!

        (And bless Tara, because with ALL the theories being generated in order to figure out who is behind the Conspiracy in her story, there is certainly grounds/ideas for about a dozen other fanfiction possibilities! So bring on all theories, I say, because you never know WHO will be inspired next!!! OR we get Tara so inspired that she HAS to keep writing Christian/Ana stories!!!! WIN/WIN I say!)

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      4. Does making amends means killing Leila in the process??
        And Christian would never even dare to hurt a hair on Ana’s head……it’s obviously not possible.

        But Leila mentioned to ana that the conspiracy head has a great influence in seattle.could it be ros??

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      5. I refuse to believe it was Ros, simply because she and Christian have been working together for SO MANY years. They basically rise and fall together, so I can’t think Ros would risk potentially losing it all to seemingly discredit Christian and drive him from GEH.

        And since Christian has already been so BLINDSIDED by Elena, I just don’t want him to find out that ROS has betrayed him as well. That would be just too much. Having Christian duped by those closest to him outside of Ana just seems too much. So I can’t bring myself to even see Ros as a potential suspect in ANY way.

        However, WELCH still could be a suspect, in theory. AFTER ALL, Welch getting discovered to seemingly be undermining GEH could be the reason why Mr. Conspiracy Head was SO DETERMINED to make Ros appear as having done the SAME thing. By “planting” things on Ros, who WAS innocent, it looked like Welch was framed as well. So Welch was convinced to come back. And Welch HAS been with Christian since the beginning of GEH, so he would know a lot of the dirt that has happened over the years.

        STILL, I can’t see a MOTIVE for Welch doing this. After all, he is well-paid at GEH. Whoever Mr. Conspiracy Head is, he seemingly wants to DESTROY GEH, at least from what we know now. He WANTED Christian stretched too thin so that he would make mistakes, lose his bond with Ana or something that would seemingly drive GEH from the ground. He wanted Christian left with NOTHING, and is motivated to that effect.

        As a result, it STILL makes me lean towards finding someone who was ALSO left with nothing as a result of Christian. That STILL seems to point towards Andrew Lincoln, who was behind bailing Hyde out in the original EL James’ works and so had STILL wanted revenge after ALL those years. And he clearly didn’t JUST want Christian hurt, he wanted to go after Christian’s WIFE, since Christian had been with HIS wife.

        I ONLY include Welch as a possibility for Mr. Conspiracy Head in case Tara was going for the SHOCK factor. I still think Linc or Hyde make FAR more likely possibilities, given the histories presented by Tara thus far.

        Like

    1. My question remains WHAT does ELENA know about the Conspiracy? Is she working WITH them? Is she afraid OF HIM? Was this book meant to get Christian to BRIBE her to prevent its release? OR was Elena sending it to him now supposed to actually provide CLUES over who might be trying to manipulate and ruin them BOTH?

      The TIMING tells me that Elena KNOWS about the kidnapper/Mr. Conspiracy Head. Either they are working TOGETHER or Elena has reasons to FEAR him coming after HER once Christian is out of the way.

      And that would be a REAL funny turn of events if CHRISTIAN AND ANA were ELENA’s ace-in-the-hole to try to keep herself alive! But Elena has a REASON for REACHING OUT NOW. After all, if she JUST wanted REVENGE, then she could publish the book WITHOUT giving Christian ANY warning. So WHY give him a heads-up to get his LAWYERS involved in trying to PREVENT the release of the book?

      But it always DOES come down to Elena. Either she set it all in motion OR she is worried about becoming the NEXT victim. The Conspiracy Head said he would send part of LEILA to Ana, NOT a threatening book. So Elena’s MOTIVATIONS for choosing NOW to send the manuscript are TELLING!

      We just need to figure out exactly WHAT MESSAGE Elena REALLY is sending! And HOW the manuscript got AROUND security?

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      1. I would think she probably has something to do with it! I mean since the Beginning she has been trying to get Ana out the picture. They got Welsh, and Ros both of which were involved into looking Elena doing her club and money laundering. Now Ana, if they can get everyone out the picture Christian wouldn’t be thinking clearly and would start doing things that he shouldn’t, like getting involved with Elena again

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      2. DANIMONTFF,

        You have an EXCELLENT point—Mr. Conspiracy Head IS targeting ENEMIES OF ELENA.

        Ros had Elena audited, which was why Elena wanted revenge against her and was willing to let Christian off, with extreme payment of course, in order to exact REVENGE on ROS. So Mr. Conspiracy Head makes Christian seemingly turn on Ros and leave her without employment (and likely not to BE employed, when others would hear about how Ros seemingly turned against Christian AND GEH).

        And ANA is how Mr. Conspiracy Head plans to PUNISH Christian THE MOST, KNOWING that Ana is what Christian values the most. After all, few people KNOW that Christian would willingly sacrifice GEH or whatever money it took for Ana.

        And interestingly enough, Mr. Conspiracy Head wants Christian BROKEN, not dead. Which was ALWAYS Elena’s plan so that she could either rebuild him into what SHE wanted OR in order to get final REVENGE, which we all KNOW is what primarily motivates Elena (after all, look what she did to Andrew Lincoln because he exposed her!).

        So maybe Leila was WRONG in assuming that Mr. Conspiracy Head REALLY leads the Conspiracy. It may be that HE leads the Conspiracy ONLY under the direction or authority of ELENA, who would want to seemingly keep her distance in order to keep herself from more jail time.

        But Elena would be unable to resist letting ANA know who the REAL enemy is! BUT if Elena IS the REAL power behind the origins of the Conspiracy, then it would NOT be Andrew Lincoln. It would almost HAVE to be HYDE. Or else one of Christian’s financial advisors, whom Elena would have used one of her girls to SEDUCE into submission or by blackmail.

        OR it could be ISAAC, acting under Elena’s explicit tutelage. (HOWEVER, that would be the ultimate shocker to ELENA as well as US if Isaac had gone insane and was doing this all on HIS OWN, in his misguided attempt to impress his mistress.)

        But yeah, WHY do ELENA favors by going after her enemies UNLESS she were PART of it all?

        (But it is SURPRISING then that Mr. Conspiracy Head has NOT targeted LUKE, considering it was LUKE that ultimately hacked Elena’s bar to get the actual VIDEO of Ana meeting with Elena. Maybe Elena just doesn’t know that it was Luke that did this. But that is food for thought.)

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  15. I’m REALLY hoping Ana, Luke and Christian held onto Elena telling her “story” to Ana at the bar that was entered as EVIDENCE at the trial. Because it SHOWS Elena going after Ros AND admitting that CHristian knew NOTHING about her “secret profession” of being a pimp. If nothing else, going public with THAT and playing it on television and the internet would AT LEAST show Elena’s reasons for going after Christian.

    But this is bad. And the TIMING of her book has been WELL thought out. I mean, if someone tries to attack Ana and Calliope NOW, then Elena can turn it against Ana AND present Christian as the “monster” really behind the attack. Either way, Carla has enough grounds to go for custody of Calliope.

    PLUS, we STILL DON’T know what Christian was keeping from Ana at the hospital. OBVIOUSLY, Christian didn’t want to BURDEN Ana with whatever ATTEMPTS Mr. Conspiracy Head made to get to them prior to Ana’s reviving. So SOMETHING happened, and Christian will now HAVE to tell Ana.

    That ALSO could explain just WHY Christian and Ray’s “talk” took so long on the plane. Christian may have had to explain to Ray about who all is motivated to come after him (and by extension Ana). I found it REALLY interesting that Ray came on back to Escala WITH Christian and Ana rather than giving them a few days on their own. So hopefully Ray now knows EVERYTHING, and the two men just have to fill Ana in on the GAPS that happened while she was unconscious.

    Because the placental abruption ALMOST gave Elena AND Mr. Conspiracy Head what they wanted—a devastated and broken Christian, blaming HIMSELF for what happened to his daughter and love-of-his-life. So the TIMING to me of ALL of this just CAN’T be coincidence! Either Elena is EXPLOITING the Conspiracy, or she is the REAL power behind the Conspiracy.

    I have always suspected that Mr. Conspiracy Head would HAVE to be using some of Elena’s contacts, as HE seems to KNOW all about Christian’s “history.” I hate to say it, but I’m HOPING that Mr. COnspiracy Head wants revenge against ELENA as much as he does against Christian, but Elena seems to be untouched by Mr. Conspiracy Head thus far. I guess everything remains to be seen, but it makes me wonder if Elena is working WITH the Conspiracy OR just EXPLOITING it.

    Tara, you KNOW it is SSSSSSSSSSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO long until next Monday!!! Give us a CLUE, a spoiler, SOMETHING. Oh pretty please, with a cherry and naked Jamie Dornan on top!!! You KNOW you want to talk! You are just DYING to let us know SOMETHING!!! This is me BEGGING here!!!

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  16. On TOP of my Wish List is that Mr. Conspiracy Head would be motivated to go after ELENA as well as Christian and would kill her off. BUT we saw from the conversation Mr. Conspiracy Head had with LEILA way back in ABSOF that Mr. Conspiracy Head was CONTENT to sit back and WATCH Elena try to take Christian down through the trial. When that failed, the Conspiracy Head took up the cause HIMSELF. Which would seemingly suggest that he was working WITH or at least had the same GOAL of destroying Christian AND was willing to let Elena alone.

    So REALLY makes me have to RE-EVALUATE the possible list of suspects for Mr. Conspiracy Head. AND if Mr. Conspiracy Head is REALLY running the show, or if Elena set something in motion HERSELF before she was found out, KNOWING that Mr. Conspiracy Head would be MOTIVATED to go after Christian.

    After all, Elena made CHRISTIAN be the one to take Andrew’s company away from him. Elena had OTHER powerful clients, but she got CHRISTIAN to do her dirty work FOR her. THAT way, Andrew Lincoln would be motivated to go after CHRISTISN first. After all, Mr. Conspiracy Head does NOT seem to have tried to go after Elena SO FAR.

    Elena CLEARLY thinks she has EVERYTHING under control. But Tara has proven adept at turning things on their head. So it MIGHT be that Elena THINKS she is controlling people from behind the scenes, but it is really a set-up to take HER down as well. It is ALSO possible that even ELENA is afraid of Mr. Conspiracy Head and has been approached BY HIM to take this action.

    SO MANY questions. Obviously, in my mind, Elena HAS to know about the Conspiracy, either because she is PART of it, is voluntarily working WITH it, OR is being controlled/manipulated by HIM. However, if HE had a way to get to Elena, you would think that HE would have used it before.

    But Elena clearly thinks she is untouchable. So she doesn’t SEEM to be worried about Mr. COnspiracy Head, which makes you think that she PROFITS by the Conspiracy and helped or nudged it in motion. But it remains to be seen. Just wow.

    Did I ask yet if it was next MONDAY YET????????

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  17. I also NOW see why ASSOF will be more than 47ish chapters! We are only at chapter 36, and we already KNOW that there are AT LEAST two MAIN enemies of Christian and Ana’s—Mr. Conspiracy Head AND Elena!!!

    After all, Mr. Conspiracy Head expected Ana to RECOGNIZE him. So it IS someone KNOWN to Ana PERSONALLY—meaning Andrew Lincoln, Isaac, Stephen Morton OR Jack Hyde. I would have thought that Ana would RECOGNIZE Hyde, since she worked with him for a WHOLE summer and saw him at the GEH party. And Stephen’s face would have been drilled in her memory undoubtedly.

    But Isaac and Andrew Lincoln are people that Ana encountered briefly and has not seen in a while. ISAAC couldn’t expect Ana to remember him from such small encounters, so I’m still leaning towards Andrew Lincoln. I am discounting recent security members because Ana would have recognized them.

    I can’t think of anyone else that was around Ana enough to hold a grudge against her enough to want her dead AND would be someone that we have come across in the prior books. CARTER might fit the bill in theory, but Ana would have recognized him at the graduation. The only OTHER person I can think about would be ASTOR Harrington.

    I can think of ONE other bizarre possible scenario worth mentioning. ELENA might have actually mailed the book to Ana KNOWING that she would read it. The book might ACTUALLY contain CLUES, such as how Elena FIRST encountered Astor Harrington or someone ELSE. It MIGHT be that ELENA is being blackmailed and threatened by Mr. Conspiracy Head AS WELL and has been ordered to produce the BOOK that would destroy Christian and Ana’s life.

    While ELENA would WANT revenge on Christian, she has ALWAYS seen CHRISTIAN as being her ticket to POWER AND MONEY. So WHY would she want to destroy him outright when she could still find a way to USE him???

    But if ELENA had reason to FEAR Mr. Conspiracy Head, then she would be motivated to give ANA and Christian THE MEANS to know his identity and DESTROY him first. THEN with no one in HER way, she could plan her OWN means of exploiting and getting revenge on Christian.

    So there are STILL multiple possible reasons WHY Elena SENT THAT MANUSCRIPT to ANA. I mean, WHY would Elena send the book to ANA first? If she JUST wants revenge, WHY give Christian a heads-up??? After all, Elena would KNOW that Carrick and a team of lawyers would try to PREVENT the books’ publication, so you would EXPECT her to keep it quiet until the book was RELEASED. So Elena either WANTS tons of MONEY from Christian, OR she is TRYING TO PROVIDE a clue to a MUTUAL ENEMY.

    After all, “the friend of my enemy is my friend” could be a POWERFUL motivator for Elena to actually be trying to TELL Christian and Ana something about WHO is coming after ALL THREE of them.

    So Tara has MULTIPLE ANGLES to work with here. There is an almost infinite number of combinations that could be at work at the SAME time for the same OR DIFFERENT purposes.

    And THAT is my hope—that you have multiple enemies after ONE ANOTHER in addition to Christian and Ana, meaning that an enemy gets targeted in the crossfire. After all, I have always said that Elena would use ANYONE to do her dirty work for her–she BURNS HER ALLIES as well as her enemies, meaning that SHE has more potential enemies even then Christian! So she would have REASON to reach out for Christian to get HIM to knock out a potential enemy/rival.

    Once again, is it NEXT MONDAY YET?????? (My brain physically HURTS from going over ALL the possible scenarios!)

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    1. And I meant to say “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” but how I actually accidentally stated the quote above could actually be a possibility as well, depending on WHO is supposedly helping Mr. Conspiracy Head.

      It really ALL comes down to Elena’s book —she sent it NOW for a REASON. I can’t imagine her wanting to IMPLICATE herself in with the Conspiracy Head, so she may have sent the manuscript to TELL THE IDENTIFY of who is the HEAD. And she WOULD send it to Ana, because she KNOWS Ana will read it to see how Elena has “altered” the past.

      That would be hilarious if Elena is being threatened IN PRISON by Mr. Conspiracy Head to the point that the book that SEEMS to be her revenge is her actual way of letting Christian and Ana know exactly WHO is behind everything in order to get HER WORST enemy from getting revenge against HER!

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    2. I think Elena’s main purpose would always be firstly to get out of jail.

      So she would be thinking of making a pact with the Grey’s against not publishing the book

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      1. But it is not up to Christian about how long Elena stays in jail. After all, he hoped Elena would get a FAR longer sentence than she got!

        It was the JUDGE that sentenced Elena based on the charges and the length of potential time that they carried. And apparently, once it was clear that Elena would be found guilty, her lawyer secured her a plea deal so that she served time for the crimes altogether rather than having to serve time for each crime, one at a time.

        So Christian CAN’T get Elena out of jail earlier. So Elena has USED her jail time to plot revenge. And while I’m SURE she wants money, I can almost guarantee that she would have plans to “leak” the manuscript even IF she was paid off!

        But it is the “COINCIDENCE” factor of the book being mailed NOW, when the Conspiracy Head has OBVIOUSLY made his presence known that has my attention. The TIMING makes it clear that Elena knows SOMETHING. Either she is BEHIND Mr. Conspiracy, OR she seemingly KNOWS who he is. And HOW would she KNOW about what is going on beyond her prison bars?

        After all, Elena’s resourcefulness and ability to build AND TEAR DOWN certain individuals is a powerful enough skill to have made her virutally unstoppable before. And you just KNOW she had something on her “powerful clients” to ensure that she would never go broke, IF she DID get taken down for anything!

        So figuring out Elena’s End Game is the ultimate puzzle Ana NEEDS to work out. AND figure HOW Elena fits in with the Conspiracy.

        (After all, the Conspiracy seemingly smacks of Elena, since it is ALL ABOUT using “inside people” to take one out from the outside. And Elena was ALWAYS about making it LOOK like someone ELSE was involved. So makes you REALLY re-think the “planted” evidence, and if it was always intended for someone to find SOME planted evidence in order for OTHER things to go unsuspected!)

        So Tara has a LOT of possibilities to work with here. But I always SAID it all came back to Elena, one way or another. I’m guessing she made or broke Mr. Conspiracy Head. We just don’t know for sure the connection yet.

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  18. I’m so glad that Ana and Christian finally got to hold their baby girl. That was very emotional for both of them especially being able to finally bring them both home. (¬‿¬)

    What was it that Christian was not telling Ana? Oh and what did Ray and Christian talk about for that amount of time?

    Holy SHIT to the shock factor that you just sent our way! Elena sent Ana a book that she wrote about Christian and how she made him! WTF He made himself! Plus the fact that after all that they went through with that bitch when she tried to lie in court and got caught in her own lie. That was a great day especially when the footage of her conversation with Ana was finally allowed. ಠ‿↼

    What are they going to do about that book? Although everyone knows that Elena is a lair and a Madam for that matter. Can’t wait to read what’s going to happen with that book and what it says? How is Christian going to feel about that one? That bitch is just trying to stir up trouble again! (ง’̀-‘́)ง

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  19. OMG! THAT BITCH TROLL IS AT IT AGAIN! WHY CAN’T THEY JUST HAVE SOME PEACE AND LOVE FOR AWHILE? THEY JUST GOT THE BABY HOME AND HAVEN’T HAD A CHANCE TO ENJOY HER AT HOME YET. I HATE ELENA SO VERY MUCH, WHY CAN’T SOMEONE JUST SLIT HER THROAT AND BE RID OF THAT TROUBLE MAKING BITCH! NOW SHE WROTE A BOOK ABOUT CHRISTIAN? SHE MADE HIM THE WAY HE IS. IS SHE BRAGGING ABOUT THAT? OH I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE WHAT ‘MONSTER’ IS ABOUT. WHO ALL IS IN IT. I AM GLAD KATE GOT RID OF CARTER. NOW WITH HIM AND CARLA IN GEORGIA, WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT. MORE TROUBLE. I’M SO GLAD RAY AND CHRISTIAN SPOKE AND HE RALLY APPROVES OF CHRISTIAN! I LOVE HEA. I WANT KATE AND ELLIOT BACK LOVING IT UP AND HAVING THIER OWN BABY. KILL ELENA OFF SOMEHOW AND BURN THAT TRASH SHE WROTE! IT’S MOST LIKELY A BUNCH OF LIES ANYWAY! THANK YOU FOR THIS MARVELOUS CHAPTER! I CAN’T WAIT TILL THE NEXT ONE!

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  20. Wow,Tara, talk about leaving us with a Cliff-hanger. That really came from out of left-field and caught me, as I’m sure most of your followers, by surprise But then, I have come to expect the unexpected from you. The ramifications are too numerous to list and I worry so much about what this could do to the state of Christian’s world (and Ana’s) in its entirety. Even if no one would publish the book for all the legal repercussions it would obviously bring, there is always the uncontrollable self-publishing. I expect Christian to be livid when he learns that the package, with no return address, was able to get through Security to Ana. (I wonder if he had received the same thing and that might have been what he told Ana they would discuss later.)

    Your thinking and writing is exemplary and has given Mondays new meaning. Tara Day may just be a better way to define Mondays. (Although, a little bonus and/or hint now and again would certainly be welcomed). Delighted all is well with Ana and the baby and that they were able to return to Seattle so quickly. (Loved Taylor’s vetting of the medical staff, which also answered my concerns.) Christian has already shown what a proud, caring and ‘hands on’ Dad he is and it is great that Ray has decided to accept him in spite of all his ‘baggage.’ Would have loved to have been a fly on the wall during their conversation on the plane.

    However, with all the excitement with the Ana, the new baby, temporarily closing the Cambridge house and return to Seattle, et al it is imperative that, along with Escala, the Security has been stepped up to include a major sweep (maybe even daily) of Christian’s new office building and the house on the Sound. Both would be more than ideal scenarios for stealth monitors, bugs, etc. (and even a secret passage-way – although far-fetched, would not be out of the realm of things with all those distractions.) With all the activities at the sites, it would not seem that great of a difficulty for someone to slip through Security; especially as adept as they have been at garning all the pertinent information re location, comings and goings, and all related actions with Christian, Ana and the families.

    Such a nice touch that Christian had already thought about keeping the Cambridge house before it occurred to Ana. Will really come in handy for Carrick, Kate and Ana Alumni weekends among many other things. Christian will, with all certainty, have the house baby-fitted to the max and given an entire new ‘look’ so it will not bring back unhappy memories for Ana.

    And, fingers crossed that, through all everyone went through almost losing Ana and Calliope, Elliot may soon realize on his own how much he truly does love Kate on so many levels and perhaps change his way of thinking re marriage and a family. Double-Wedding anyone??

    Next Monday seems so far, far, away!

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  21. Glorious place for our couple, new baby, family and friends did not last long with the bomb manuscript courtesy of Elena. How will Christian counteract the accusations that could be in the manuscript, afterall it was Elena who groomed him to be what he was when he was underaged. How can she accuse Christian as a monster when she was actually the real monster. Anybody can publish it but where is the credibilty to the story. Would it be treated as fiction, truth or just a malicious manuscript. Elena was not the injured party, she was the one that created many problems for many, and now turning her story to discredit the success of Christian Grey? The evil doers cannot continue to succeed without repercussions. Interesting turn of events and waiting for Monday for more. Thank you, Tara.

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    1. The CREDIBILITY to the story depends on just how FAR Elena is willing to go to take down Christian. AFTER ALL, she KNOWS where Christian got his start-up money to fund his company. Even ANDREW LINCOLN knew, alerted Carrick about Elena’s transferring the funds to Christian, yet Carrick did NOTHING.

      So CARRICK is implicated, too, since he KNOWS his son committed PERJURY, lied under oath, AND took a bribe WHICH ALLOWED ELENA to remain free and later start the business that almost saw MIA become a child-victim.

      So Christian KNEW of Elena’s “badness” and predilection for “young” males such as himself, yet he did NOTHING to stop her when he FIRST had a chance. INSTEAD, he PROFITTED by getting the start-up money for GEH. So GEH WAS STARTED WITH ILLEGAL FUNDS gotten as a result of a BRIBE. That is FRUIT FROM A POISONOUS TREE, and if proven, can be the means to cause Christian to lost his ENTIRE company AND be a reason for prosecuting CHRISTIAN, Carrick and the rest of the Greys, potentially, who later LEARNED FROM CHRISTIAN that he had taken the money from Elena.

      HOWEVER, Elena is JUST as guilty for offering Christian a bribe. So she should go down as well for the action. THAT IS WHY MY NEW THEORY could be that ANDREW LINCOLN wrote the book, KNOWING about Elena’s and Christian’s actions WAY back when. AFTER ALL, HE was the one that told CARRICK after the transfer was made.

      So Andrew Lincoln has ALWAYS known about Elena’s bribe. And THIS could be his REVENGE against Christian as well as Elena.

      YES, the above is far-fetched. Elena probably IS the author of the book, BUT I would think she was after MONEY rather than to actually publish the book, since it would mean MORE potential prison time for HER as well. If Christian refused to pay, then Elena would probably find it WORTH her while to publish, knowing that an investigation could happen as a result of the book. AFTER ALL, Christian would either LIE AGAIN about where the FUNDS for GEH came from, OR he would tell the truth, KNOWING that would condemn him and get him prison time.

      But if Christian PAYS Elena, there is really no way to prevent her from EXTORTING money again from him later OR publishing the book anonymously or through the web, CLAIMING that it was NOT her that did it.

      RIGHT NOW, I can’t see HOW Christian could possibly get out of this. HOWEVER, I thought that at points of ADSOF and ABSOF. And SOMETHING ended up coming through. ANA has always ended up being the ace up Christian’s sleeve and the person that saved him, so we will have to see what happens next.

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  22. “In this world everything comes to an end except mothers love which start long before we are born and never ends.

    Anurag Prakash Ray
    “A baby is something you carry inside you for nine months, in your arms for three years and in your heart till the day you die.”
    – Mary Mason
    “Loving a baby is a circular business, a kind of feedback loop. The more you give the more you get and the more you get the more you feel like giving.”
    – Penelope Leach

    “The real world is where the monsters are.”
    ― Rick Riordan
    “Are you sure this isn’t a nightmare? And that we won’t just wake up?
    Yes.
    Because dreamers always wake up and leave their monsters behind.”
    ― Alexandra Bracken

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  23. I agree with most of what have been commented. I don’t think that Ana should throw away Carla’s letters without reading them. If she doesn’t want to read them herself let Christian or Ray read them, because who knows if she’s sending some information about the conspiracy.
    After Ana received that manuscript from Elena, which by the way, I’m quite sure that Jack Hyde has something to do with, as Elena may have a MBA from Princeton but she isn’t a writer or editor. Someone must have written it for her. I’ve always thought that Hyde was part of the conspiracy. Because there must be more than one person involved, I don’t think it’s a ‘one man show’. Once again I admit that I don’t see the reason or motive for the conspiracy yet, and I’ve been looking, because there are so many alternatives that by the end I think it would be the simplest one. Elementary Dr. Watson.
    I would like to see Taylor use Ray’s abilities or skills as an ex-marine officer, he must have ex-marine friends that could help, like going undercover at the penitentiary and see who’s visiting Elena or who she’s calling. They can even set a command center outside of GEH, which I think is compromised by some inside conspirators that may include Barney, which I don’t trust. At this time I don’t trust anyone outside the family circle (excluding Carla of course, she doesn’t love anyone other than herself).
    As I said before, I’m guessing that things are going to get heavy from now on, I only hope that there’s no more physical danger for any of them. Do you think that you can drop a bomb on Elena’s jail cell?
    I love this story very much and can’t wait to see all the evil around them disappear so they can live happily with their whole family (excluding Carla). You have written the best Kate character that I’ve read, even in the original books. I hope that Elliot realizes soon by seeing the happiness of Christian and Ana with Calliope, of what he’s missing and that there’s no one else for him but Kate. Thank you Tara.

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    1. You know, with everything ELSE going on in this chapter, I totally MISSED that Carla has mailed some letters to Ana. AND with Ana now having received Elena’s supposed “book,” she is likely to forget all about Carla’s letters.

      And yeah, I feel Ana ought to read the letters. I mean, if for no other reason, it would contain an ADMISSION IN WRITING as to what Carla TRIED to pull. That gives Ana evidence for any paperwork she and Christian might draft regarding GUARDIANSHIP of Calliope, should she and Christian die while Callie is still a minor.

      You can’t “will” a child to anyone, but you CAN create legally-binding paperwork regarding custody and/or guardianship in the event of unexpected death. And giving REASONS within the documentation can HELP prevent a court from overturning it, IF someone tried to contest it.

      After all, FAMILY is usually given precedence to having the custody of a minor child UNLESS there have been REASONS given to the contrary. So Carla’s LETTERS might be just the written evidence Ana NEEDS to justify having KATE assume custody IF something happened to her and Christian.

      The whole REASON that a child is given “godparents” is in case of the above. You want to KNOW that these people, even if not family, will come through and raise the child.

      And while I AGREE that Carla’s actions should have NO justification, Ana is the type of person that will REALLY think if there is any way that Carla could safely be a grandmother to Callie rather than denying Callie the right to know her family. Carla could always TRY to reach out to Callie through the years, like through the internet or her friends, so reading and holding onto those letters might be Ana’s proof to Calliope later on that CARLA was the bad-guy, NOT Christian OR Ana!

      And I can’t HELP but wonder what Carla could POSSIBLY say to justify her actions. So I hope we DO get a glimpse of the letters’ content!

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    1. Elena is in her 50’s at least, and Hyde always struck me as MUCH younger. BUT I have always thought that Christian would NOT have been Elena’s ONLY victim through the years. After all, we STILL don’t know HOW she got to Astor Harrington in the first place. Because I can’t imagine her just being able to know and call up Astor’s phone number at Harvard and convince him to try to seduce Ana for money without him knowing her OR her motives. AFTER ALL, Astor KNEW that Elena was going to be at that hotel. WHY would he know that? Elena clearly didn’t want to be seen with him, so you have to wonder about the Astor/Elena connection and just HOW she convinced him to “work” for her.

      But we KNOW that Hyde was OBVIOUSLY disgruntled, as he even complained openly to Ana at the GEH party. AND ELENA WAS AT THAT SAME PARTY and might even have OVERHEARD Hyde with Ana. So Elena could have established some sort of relationship with Hyde, either through GEH or through her bar.

      But it just seems probable that Hyde and Elena DID connect through GEH at least.

      Tara has done a FAR better job, in my opinion, at connecting people with one another than the original EL James’ works. After all, we KNOW from the last book that EL James had Mr. Lincoln bail out Hyde. We are never told just HOW the men knew each other, or if “Linc” just bailed him out because he figured Hyde would continue to go after Christian. But how would he KNOW that Hyde would risk getting MORE charges UNLESS he somehow KNEW Hyde would go after Ana? So we just are left to “guess” at the motivations in the original.

      HERE, in Tara-World, Tara has given far more information about WHY the characters are motivated to do what they do. We know far MORE about Andrew Lincoln then in the original. AND we know that Elena DELIBERATELY got Christian to buy-out Andrew’s company with HER help. (In the EL James’ work, Christian only buys and destroys Andrew’s company AFTER he finds out that Andrew bailed out Hyde, NOT BEFORE.)

      So in Tara-World, we know WHY Andrew Lincoln has a reason to want revenge on Christian. We don’t YET have enough information on Hyde to know why he would go to such lengths. We also KNOW that there are other people, both within and outside GEH, that could be CLIENTS of Elena’s that would have connections to GEH.

      So Tara has provided MANY people that might be motivated to go after Ana AND Christian as a result of her accounting of the last four years. Something MORE though is needed, and I suspect Elena’s appearance NOW is to provide us with the connection.

      BUT whatever reason there is to LURE Ana to contact Elena, you just KNOW that SOMEONE has a PLAN for the contact!

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      1. Alumni reunion perhaps? Although I don’t imagine any of these two awful characters assisting, like Carrick and Mr. Kavanagh do to Harvard’s, but who knows, ‘anything can happen in the twilight zone’. Don’t ask me why, but I’m quite sure that Hyde IS behind this manuscript and part of the conspiracy. I only hope that this time Ana uses her brilliant mind and doesn’t fall into the trap, she won’t be able to fool Elena twice by recording their conversation. She has to trust Christian and his team, at least those he KNOWS can be trusted, and once again I say that they can use Ray’s experience, he could be the unexpected ace under their sleeves with his unassuming personality. We will have to wait until Monday to see what this manuscript is about, and maybe Carrick can put an injunction on it to gain some time.

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      2. Tara’s latest post with the sneak-peak of a part of Elena’s book lets us KNOW that Elena actually DID write it. Elena talks about the first time she knew of Ana’s existence when Ana answered Christian’s phone. That is one of those details that only ELENA would know and talk about. Christian and Ana wouldn’t have had any reason to mention it to anyone else.

        So now we KNOW that Elena wrote the book. But she NEEDS a PUBLISHER, so that pretty much means that HYDE would probably be the insane Conspiracy Head due to his CONTACTS within the publishing field. OBVIOUSLY, Christian wouldn’t publish the book, but once Hyde’s identity is officially known, he would be out of his job anyway. So Hyde must have a PLAN to get SIP back out from under GEH or he has ANOTHER job worked out, having promised them Elena’s book as part of the package, no doubt.

        So Hyde has more of a backstory then we have previously guessed or known about, but I’ll just bet he has TIES to Elena’s club/bar. At any rate, the ONLY WAY Hyde could have GAINED SO MUCH POWER would be through Elena, by using her former club contacts (most likely through bribery). OR ELSE he took over the bar, operating elsewhere. There could be ANY NUMBER of possibilities at this point, which gives me even MORE REASON to look forward to MONDAY!!!!!!

        But I KNEW Elena’s book would be as much about trashing ANASTASIA as it would be about Christian. IN FACT, IT WOULD BE ENTIRELY IN KEEPING WITH ELENA’S WAYS for her to claim Ana has been FAKING the attacks against her in order to get sympathy and her own book deal, etc. Elena will have made outrageous claims about Ana’s villainy and manipulation of the entire Grey clan, and I wouldn’t put it past her to claim CALLIOPE isn’t even Christian’s baby. It would make Ana potentially a pariah in Seattle and would make her a potential paparazzi permanent TARGET so that she could never have ANY kind of normal life there.

        And Elena choosing NOW to send this book to Ana means that she HAS to have ties with the Conspiracy. So Leila was WRONG and most likely duped in thinking the Conspiracy was solely run by Hyde.

        Elena obviously HAD hoped to have made Christian more VULNERABLE and isolated from everyone else by discrediting Ros and Welch, AND ELENA HAS MADE IT LOOK LIKE ANASTASIA PLANTED FALSE EVIDENCE against Ros, Welch and others at GEH since it ALL CAME FROM HER LAPTOP LINK!!!! So Elena seemingly has “PROOF” that ANA has been behind the Conspiracy!!!

        Wow, what a NIGHTMARE!!! Christian and Ana almost HAVE to track down Mr. COnspiracy Head, but even if they do, he is unlikely to turn against Elena. IN FACT, he is likely to “claim” to have been hired by Ana!!!

        So really as bad as it gets, at this point. I’m in a literal tailspin seeing how this has all come together! Christian and Ana HAVE to find and break this Conspiracy AND get PROOF that Elena is behind ALL of this. UNBELIEVABLE!! Elena has a plan for EVERYTHING!

        But Ana and Christian defeated Elena once. Somehow, they have to do it again, PARTICULARLY to keep Calliope from having to hear all these negative and false things about her parents as she grows up. AND the pressure on ANa and Christian would be ridiculous. If they can’t defeat Elena, then they’d basically have to sell GEH and move abroad, and even then, Elena would do EVERYTHING to follow. Obviously NOTHING is worth more to her than REVENGE!!!

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  24. Everything was going so well until the end! I didn’t see that coming. What a bitch! I’m not surprised, though. I didn’t know Elena was a Southerner. I wonder how the leech has twisted the facts in order to justify calling Christian a monster? Can’t wait to find out more.

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    1. THAT was what kept me re-thinking everything—HOW could Elena present Christian as the monster. I finally came up with what I THINK is in her book. (And oh yeah, Elena DID tell us her origin story and WHERE she came from in her story to Ana at the bar in ABSOF that was later presented at trial. So Elena is STUCK with certain things, based on how that went down. But the REST is subject to interpretation, and I have put my Newest Theory in a couple other posts, but will go over it again here.)

      Elena will NOT want to criminally implicate herself to any other crimes, so she will present a WHOLE NEW theory as to why Christian did what he did at the FIRST TRIAL. My Newest THEORY as to what Elena’s BOOK says is as follows: Elena will claim that ANDREW LINCOLN wanted a DIVORCE from Elena, but he did NOT want to have to pay her half of his fortune or whatever the pre-nup made him pay. IF it could be proved that Elena had an AFFAIR, then Andrew did not have to pay Elena ANYTHING. So Andrew gets CARRICK to represent him, and TOGETHER, the men go to Christian to make Christian “LIE” and CLAIM that he had an underage affair with Elena, KNOWING that the “age factor” will make what Elena did a CRIME. And that ANDREW supposedly promised Christian start-up money for GEH in order to get Christian to go along with it.

      So Christian goes along with Carrick and Andrew’s “story” UNTIL the trial, when “wracked with guilt,” he TELLS the “TRUTH” under oath that he never had an affair with Elena. So Elena gets her part of the money in the divorce, but she SEES HOW CARRICK kicks Christian out of the family for NOT going along with the plot.

      So “feeling so sorry” for POOR Christian being homeless and out of the Grey family, Elena OFFERS, “out of the goodness of her heart and fondness for the child she had helped raise,” to give Christian START-UP money for GEH that Andrew and Carrick DENIED him due to his testimony. THEN once Christian got to be powerful, he CONVINCED Elena to FUND her OWN salon business through GEH.

      AFTER Elena then seemingly “trusted” Christian with her remaining funds for her salon business, CHRISTIAN then told Elena that she HAD to do the BDSM bar or lose EVERYTHING. So Elena would have “made” Christian the man he was, only to be “broken” by him and forced to do things against her will. So this book could REALLY make Christian a villain that no one wants to work with, particularly if Christian CANNOT OPENLY DISPUTE Elena’s accounting.

      And Christian CANNOT DISPUTE Elena’s accounting of the first trial UNLESS HE REVEALS HE DID, in fact, COMMIT criminal PERJURY and TOOK A BRIBE for his testimony. So Christian could be CRIMINALLY CHARGED for knowingly doing what he did for MONEY, as well as potentially lose GEH.

      AND CHRISTIAN’S GOING AFTER ANDREW’S company would FURTHER look like “retribution” for what Andrew originally tried to make him do. ANDREW LINCOLN may actually be further victimized by Elena AND HYDE if this is their plot.

      While Andrew Lincoln has LOOKED like the perfect person to be BEHIND the Conspiracy before now, the “book” ready for publication SMACKS OF HYDE, who is part of a publishing company and has his OWN reasons for going after CHristian and Ana. CLEARLY, Hyde would HAVE to know Elena from the club, and he may even be the guy that went after MIA at the bar. We just don’t know enough yet.

      But the BOOK PUBLICATION does seemly bring HYDE into the picture. AFTER ALL, we KNOW that Elena KNEW other GEH people and made it a point to have CONTACTS in Christian’s company prior to being ousted from the place. UNDOUBTEDLY, Elena would have wanted to get her contacts’ hands dirty by offering them “SERVICES” at the club—HENCE WHY MIA recognized the NAME of one of Christian’s BIGGEST FINANCIAL guys as a name she had “heard” at the bar.

      So Elena really IS at the root of everything. Either she CREATED the Conspiracy Head or gave him enough INTEL to proceed. SO WHO IS THE REAL HEAD of the Conspiracy? Elena or HYDE (or Andrew, if he is not just the dupe and/or fall-guy for Elena once again).

      This BOOK provides a WHOLE other LEVEL to the Conspiracy. Either Elena started or ran the Conspiracy through “Mr. Conspiracy Head,” OR she is now THREATENED by Mr. COnspiracy Head (in case it WAS Andrew Lincoln). EITHER WAY, Elena STILL has a card to play with this book, since she KNOWS Christian risks his fortune AND FREEDOM if he contradicts what she says in the book!

      Like

  25. Above all else, I want to know IF Elena is working WITH the Conspiracy OR if she is working alone for her own gain/game. Quite frankly, I’m rather hoping Elena is a TARGET of the Conspiracy as well. After all, since it LOOKS like Elena wrote a book and sent it to Ana and Christian, she could potentially be found guilty of trying to EXTORT money from Christian as well as having previously BRIBED him to LIE on the stand. And felony tampering with a witness can have some real TEETH to it and get her still MORE time as well. I mean, EVEN if you know you have a potential windfall of money coming your way, it doesn’t help if you get out of prison at age 80! So potentially sending Christian something that INCRIMINATES HER as much as him seems like a stupid, ill-conceived thing to do UNLESS REVENGE was the SOLE motivation. (I mean seriously, it could look like Elena was clearly trying to EXTORT money from Christian, so there are any NUMBER of ways this little stunt could come BACK on her. So WHY risk it? There HAS to be MORE going on here!!!)

    I could see ANDREW LINCOLN trying to make it LOOK like Elena wrote something and sent it to Christian because then Christian could BLOCK the book’s release, potentially, through legal means. HOWEVER, the book ITSELF would look like ELENA was the one behind EVERYTHING, thus keeping the police or anyone ELSE from looking for the REAL person behind the Conspiracy, which would be Andrew. PLUS, it would keep Elena in prison (where she frankly belongs) until her death or REALLY old age.

    So I’m not convinced entirely YET that Elena is behind everything UNTIL Ana and Christian READ the book and confront Elena. Either ELENA is behind the whole thing OR is working with Mr. Conspiracy Head, OR she is spooked by what someone EQUALLY driven to revenge may do to HER.

    I always said that the root of ALL of the evil was ultimately Elena. She is at the foundation of having destroyed whoever Mr. Conspiracy Head was and driven him mad, at least, in my opinion. Even if Elena is NOT working with Mr. Conspiracy Head, then she helped create him. And if she DID help create him (MEANING he IS Andrew Lincoln), then she DESERVES everything that he sets in motion to come after HER. However, he wants to destroy CHRISTIAN AND ANA as well.

    And say what you will about Christian, as he IS guilty of some VERY serious crimes, as well as leaving Elena free after ADSOF to EXPLOIT others, ANA does not deserve ANYTHING that would come HER way. HOWEVER, I think the Conspiracy Head feels Ana PROTECTED Christian and could have been the means of MAKING Christian take responsibility for what he did. So THAT may be WHY Mr. Conspiracy Head is targeting HER as well.

    SO MANY MANY THEORIES that I have now!!!! I will have to think on it overnight and make a new LIST tomorrow.

    (I KNOW you’re out there Tara, cackling at all our various theories and rubbing your hands together sinisterly as you plan out the next complete shocker. OH HOW THIS MESSES with one’s head!!!! And we SHOULD have seen this coming—after all, we ALL know that Elena was NEVER going to go away quietly. And that OTHERS are lurking on the sidelines, waiting to go after Christian. So you have us all bonkers wondering just WHO else out there is IN on the Conspiracy or is helping, knowingly or otherwise. And WHAT is Mr. Conspiracy Head’s End Game Strategy? He MEANT for Ana to see AND possibly even KNOW who he was, meaning he somehow STILL expected to get away with it!?!? So he HAS to have a strategy to destroy them all YET get away with it. AAACCCCKKKK, the ENDLESS possibilities!!! SOMEONE go snap some nekkid pics of Jamie Dornan in order to bribe Tara into revealing what is to come before we ALL go as mad as Mr. Conspiracy Head!!!!!)

    Like

  26. It has been such a beautiful chapter from the moment Ana was out of her tubes, ICU, made her way to Calliope. So precious and what a relief they’re all well to head home! The package is like an execution! The bt is still in their lives and cant give them a break! How i hate her with a passion! Could Carla and Carter be involved? This is a huge cloud over their happiness. No matter their strong, deep love and intelligence will get them through. What was Christian going tell Ana about security? So glad Ray and Christian had the talk and he approves. Kate and Elliot need to be together, they’re soul mates just like Ana and Christian. Thank you very much for such an excellent update, Tara, you’re so good in your craft and spinning this story. Look forward. Take care and sending you love. Xoxo daytona

    Like

  27. Elena probably had nothing to do with the manuscript. Could just as easily have been Hyde, Carter or the professor (cannot recall his name); or even Gia or Leila. Anyone might get court transcripts and embellish Elena’s story. I suspect Carter is in this up to his eyebrows, though; and he has help — do we actually know Leila is dead? — Has had access to Escala as well as the Cambridge house (Ana’s computer, perhaps?). It’s not far fetched that he got Carla’s ear and put the fear of God into her. His behavior with Kate, and, to some extent Christian, is entirely too “previous” not to look at him with a squint.
    You are a very good storyteller. Hope you stick to it. Also, though we are strangers, you are in my prayers on the loss of your loved one.

    Like

    1. Tara CONFIRMED Leila IS dead in an earlier comment for the chapter (34 maybe?) where the Conspiracy Head contacted Ana by phone. HOWEVER, like you, I DID wonder if maybe Leila’s LAST act was to MAIL or deliver the Book to Escala, thus sadly ensuring her capture, since Escala was still watched. HOWEVER, whatever is in the book MAY have been Leila’s way of REVEALING the REAL party behind the Conspiracy.

      And we don’t yet actually KNOW if Elena REALLY wrote the book. BUT ANA WOULD KNOW, since she was present for all the major events (FIRST AND second trial) and everything that went on BEHIND the scenes.

      So there is a REASON that SOMEONE sent that book to Ana NOW. My only question is WHETHER OR NOT Elena is working WITH Mr. Conspiracy Head. If NOT, then the book could be Elena’s way of striking a deal for protection and/or money in order for her to reveal what she knows.

      And HYDE has worked in the publishing industry editing books. He could easily enough write one meant to discredit Christian and claim that Elena wrote it. After all, HYDE or WHOEVER Mr. Conspiracy Head is obviously knows of Elena’s FULL history wtih Christian, possibly because he is a “member” of Elena’s previous bar.

      But if LEILA was the one that actually SENT THE BOOK TO ANA, then it would be BECAUSE Ana would comfront Elena, ONLY to get a mystified response from Elena. And if ELENA realizes that she WOULD be in danger from Mr. Conspiracy Head, then she has EVERY reason to give Christian the means to destroy him in order to protect himself.

      So for WHATEVER REAON, Elena either WANTS a conversation wtih Ana, or she knows NOTHING about this supposed “book.” But WHOEVER is the REAL author, he would NOT want Elena to deny the book, meaning that HE plans to dispose of Elena next! Which COULD be the proof needed to convince Elena to divulge what she knows about the Conspiracy.

      I just think Leila was caught TRYING to make up for what she had done. She was trying to alert ANA as to the identity and End Game of Mr. Conspiracy Head, so she mailed the book.

      Again, the ABOVE is just another theory. (Actually THEORIES, as Elena may OR MAY NOT be involved with the Conspiracy. This book was written by her OR BY MR. Conspiracy Head, either with her permission OR without her knowledge.) SO MUCH remains to be seen. But SOMEONE wanted ANA to see that book and REACH OUT to Elena.

      (And Carla’s motives COULD have been completely self-serving, OR she could have been contacted/coerced into acting in the manner she did due to THREATS made against Ana and the baby if she did not comply. Carla now has NOTHING left to lose in regards to her relationship with Ana, so if she HAS been contacted by the Conspiracy, she NEEDS to report it. While Ana might not read her letters, I would think that Ray WOULD still talk with her.)

      And that IS the beauty of Tara’s story—multiple individuals have their OWN self-interests and motives for going after Christian that may not have ANYTHING to do with the Conspiracy. Elena has every reason, in her mind, to want REVENGE, but she may be the fall-guy for Mr. Conspiracy Head, since everyone would naturally suspect her. But SOMEONE seems to know the FULL story of what happened. And HOW Mr. Conspiracy Head got that knowledge would be TELLING.

      Like

    1. Well, your theory WOULD explain all the security compromises. Because there seems to be a SERIOUS security leak that everyone seems unable to plug. But the Conspiracy Head seems to have been involved for FAR longer than Kommer has been a part of the security team. And if it WAS him, you would think he would have had easier access to Ana’s laptop then to have to go through everything he did.

      But WHAT is his motivation, because Mr. Conspiracy Head CLEARLY expected Ana to RECOGNIZE him. And he has a PERSONAL stake in all of this. So HOW would he be connected to Christian or have the intel on him from the past?

      Still, you could easily enough be right, since Tara loves to surprise us when we think we have it all figured out. So there would be some sort of TWIST to explain Kommer’s determination to manipulate things to get on the security team in order to bring Christian down from the inside-out. I guess we just have to wait and see.

      But I would LOVE to hear more about your theory for why it is Kommer.

      Like

  28. What a beautiful chapter, so soft and sweet……until Elena had to crap on it. Can’t you have her hang herself in prison?

    I can’t wait till next week’s chapter. I love this story and your writing is excellent. Xo

    Like

  29. The Ana/ calliope part literally made me want to cry. It was so sweet and adorable and just OHMYGOSH.
    And Christian?! Seriously! His love for Ana and Calliope was just astounding. HE was sweet and it’s amazing to see just how much he loves Ana and Calliope. It truly is world-ending kind of love and you write it so goddamn well that you can’t help but love this family so much!
    Kate.
    God.
    Love that girl.
    She’s the best friend, sister, girl ANYONE could ask for. I LOVED her revaluations about being in love. And I just love her and Ana’s relationship.
    So sweet.
    That ending was cruel though!! That was terrifying lol!
    Can’t wait for next Monday! 😉

    Like

    1. LAST COMMENT on current theories regarding the Conspiracy and the REAL force behind it all.

      Leila was adament that it was a HE that was behind the Conspiracy, and that seems to have been CONFIRMED on the phone to Ana. It WAS someone that THOUGHT Ana should recognize him.

      And Tara has shown a certain fondness for keeping INTACT certain original conclusions from the ORIGINAL EL James’ works. ELENA still abused Christian, but we got FAR better insight and motivation to Elena’s actions than was ever found in the original. In fact, Tara made sure to show how EVIL Elena truly was and the LASTING IMPACTS of abuse. She even provided us with a suitable backstory to explain Elena’s OWN character history and development.

      And LEILA remained someone that seemingly wanted to kill Ana and get Christian for herself, although like in the original works, she had a CONSCIOUS in the end that kept her from hurting anyone other than herself. She even approached Ana at GEH in an attempt to force a last moment between herself and Christian, but she seemingly bonded with Ana in the end. Once again, Tara basically PRESERVED that tie between Leila and Ana in the end. And once more, Leila was a DANGER to Ana and Christian, BUT she was NOT the ultimate Evil. Again, in keeping with the originals, BUT WITH A TWIST.

      Tara even has the FORCED SEPARATION between Ana and Christian that occurred in the original works between Book 1 and Book 2. Once again, we have a separation in Tara-World, but it ends up being two years. AND we can ENTIRELY see why Ana had to separate herself from Christian AND HIS CHOICES at the end of Tara’s Book 1 in a far better and more significant way than what ended up happening in Book 2 of EL James’ work. But in both Tara-World and EL James’ book, CHRISTIAN’S CHOICES and past come between his and Ana’s present, dividing them until it can be resolved.

      In the original works, Elena won’t let go of Christian AND seeks to break him and Ana up. Tara gives a whole WORLD of more substantial reasons WHY Elena acts the way she does, but the ultimate results are the same regarding Elena trying to manipulate the situation to keep Christian for herself.

      KATE and ELLIOT also get together in both authors’ works, although the Kate/Elliot pairing almost self-destructed in Tara’s World. Still, it seems that the two of them are End Game. (Since Mia is YOUNGER in Tara-World, the Ethan/Mia coupling has NOT happened and wouldn’t make sense here.)

      So if Tara plans on continuing with KEEPING certain aspects/important benchmarks of the ORIGINAL works, then HYDE is unquestionably the Head of the Conspiracy. We will just get a WHOLE NEW TWIST from Tara as to WHY Hyde is motivated to go crazy and go after Christian and Ana.

      BUT IF Tara wants to go in a whole new direction, then Mr. Conspiracy Head could be Andrew Lincoln. EVEN IN THE ORIGINAL James’ work, it was ANDREW LINCOLN that PAID Hyde’s extensive BAIL MONEY so that Hyde would get out and continue to go after Christian. AFTER ALL, the final book ENDS with Christian completely absorbing and destroying Andrew’s company, which HAS happened here as well, but for different reasons. So MR. LINCOLN WAS someone always LURKING in the background in EL James’ work. AND Christian even TOLD ANA at one point in the book that Andrew Lincoln “had gotten his own” back against both Christian AND Elena back in the day by beating Elena and leaving her hospitalized. Christian never told Ana EXACTLY what Mr. Lincoln did to him, but Mr. Lincoln had clearly sought AND GOTTEN VENGEANCE against Christian. HOWEVER, it was clearly NOT over for Mr. Lincoln, since he funded Hyde, which meant he “went after my family” per Christian, which was unforgiveable and the reason Christian struck back.

      So there IS a part of keeping with the original in having ANDREW LINCOLN be the Conspiracy Head. AND he went after Elena AS WELL AS CHristian and later ANA, through Hyde, which could be the SAME THING happening HERE.

      So I’m eagerly waiting to see if Tara has found a WHOLE new take on the original, as she has previously seemed to enjoy doing, OR IF she is going a WHOLE new way, with someone COMPLETELY unexpected. While all the SIGNS seem to point in one direction, Tara loves to then throw the proverbial wrench in the works by having something COMPLETELY unexpected and surprising to come out of left field, as the saying goes.

      In Tara-World, Andrew Lincoln’s HISTORY would best indicate his present desire to destroy CHristian and Ana AND why he would, in keeping with the originals, have a motivation for revenge. SAME DEAL with HYDE, although we do NOT have an extensive backstory for Hyde YET. HOWEVER IN THIS CHAPTER, Christian EMPHASIZES HIS ORIGINS BEING DETROIT, which was SO IMPORTANT in the original works as to WHY HYDE was motivated to come against him. So DETROIT may play into everything all over again, but in a NEW and UNSUSPECTED WAY.

      But if Tara DOES plan to keep in line with the original works, then Elena is NOT working with Hyde OR Andrew Lincoln. With presents SEVERAL intriguing possibilites as to this “BOOK” that she has allegedly written. So someone ELSE could have written it WITH OR WITHOUT her permission. But if the book was written WITHOUT her knowledge, then someone IS POTENTIALLY MOTIVATED TO KILL Elena in order to keep her from revealing the TRUTH! (Which means that the commentator wanting Elena to be found DEAD in her prison cell COULD get that end result IF Mr. Conspiracy Head reaches Elena FIRST!!!!)

      After all, Tara is the Absolute MASTER in turning EVERYTHING on its head and surprising us at every turn. So whatever we THINK we know may all be just another red herring! Christian CLEARLY KNOWS something that happened while Ana was unconcious in the hospital (again, a tribute to the original where facts about Hyde were learned/investigated while Ana was unconscious in the hospital), and we NEED to know what that is, as it undoubtedly provides further CLUES!

      As always, IS IT MONDAY YET?????? And Tara remains Master of OUR Universe with her diabolical plotlines. Oh the fiendishness of Elena OR Hyde OR Andrew OR MAYBE ALL of them!!!! (Or Carla, Carter, Astor Harrington, a new security hire, Christian’s finance guy if he had a previous relationship wtih Elena, Isaac, OR SOMEONE ELSE we completely missed or failed to recognize could be an enemy, like Barney.) Sigh. You might as well say that ANYONE we have encountered could be behind all this. I’m just literally dying to know HIS (and/or HER) motivation for everything! Just WHAT drove HIM insane?

      (We’ve got about a 140-something hours to go until next Monday, right???)

      Like

  30. Last comment of humor: Elena was from Greenwood, South Carolina. Carter lives in Georgia, as does Carla.

    For those of us who are actually from the South, could we have SOMEONE decent in the story hail from here??? Seriously, I’d like to think SOME decent people come from the South, even in works of fiction!

    Like

  31. So glad I was directed to your story. I started at the beginning and reread…and then caught all the way up. Fabulous story…now that I’ve found you I can’t wait for the next chapter!!

    Like

      1. CONGRATULATIONS TARA on getting more than a THOUSAND FOLLOWERS!!!!

        Let us now all celebrate with you by you giving us SPOILERS for upcoming chapters!!!! (Hey, it’s worth a try! I mean, feel FREE to BRIBE all your lovely followers with HINTS of things to come!!!!! I mean, really, it makes us want to find you even MORE followers when the ravenousness from being denied spoilers has been FED! Really, scientific fact! I’m sure Dr. Pascale from “The 9th Life of Louis Drax” would agree with me. And Jamie Dornan really DID look fetching in that doctor’s coat, after all. Sorry, lost my train of thought for a moment drooling over Jamie Dornan. I’m sure you understand THAT particular effect!)

        At least give me this one—did Carla do her nastiness of last chapter ALL on her own, OR was she given “incentive” by being contacted by the Conspiracy and/or Elena????

        Like

  32. Elena just can’t stay away can she, was not expecting that. Is it Monday already? Lol. Elliot needs to get it together, he finally has the chance to get Kate back, i hope to see a little bit more of them. Ana, Christian and calliope are EVERYTHING! So damn cute!! Can’t wait for more

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