Chapter 05

I went to bed Thursday night disappointed, not having received an email from Christian, but when I wake up the next morning, his email is waiting for me in my inbox.

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Survey of British Literature, Study Sessions

Date: September 7th 2007 02:16 AM

To: Anastasia Steele

Attachment: September_2007.exe

Anastasia. I have an open evening on Mondays around 7:00 PM or Tuesdays 6:00 PM. Please let me know if these times fit into your schedule. If they do not, I have attached a copy of my schedule so that you might find a more suitable time. Please keep in mind, I try to schedule as little as possible on the weekends as I may need to clear my schedule at a moment’s notice. My brother’s flight comes in at 04:45 Friday evening, please forward me the details for the party on Saturday.

-Christian Grey.

Holy cow, he sent this at two-sixteen in the morning? I wonder why he was up so late last night? I suppose a double major in economics and politics with electives in literature and god knows what else probably does create a lot of homework but two AM? Yikes!

It just so happens that Tuesdays at 6 work fine for me but before I email him back I decide to take a quick peek at the schedule he’s sent to me. When I do, I’m floored by the number of things he packs into one day.

Monday:

05:00 AM-06:30: Gym, Regimented Weight Training #3

06:45 AM- 08:00: Team Rowing Practice, Newell Boathouse

08:30 AM- 09:00 Breakfast, Annenberg Dining Hall

09:10 AM – 10:10: Economics 1010A: Microeconomic Theory

10:20 AM- 11:20: Economics 1035: Market Failure, The Economics of Regulation

11:30 AM- 12:30: Government 10: The Foundations of Political Theory

12:30 PM- 01:40: Lunch, Annenberg Dining Hall

01:50 PM-02:50: Economics 1393: Poverty and Development

03:00 PM- 04:00: Government 20: Foundations of Comparative Politics

04:00 PM- 05:00: Study, Library

05:00 PM- 05:30: Dinner, Annenberg Dining Hall

06:00 PM- 07:00: Standing Appointment, Dr. A. Fisch.

07:00 PM -09:30: [OPEN]

09:30 PM-10:30: Scheduled Session, Paine Hall

10:30 PM-12:30: Homework

Tuesday:

05:00 AM-06:30: Gym, Kickboxing session with J. Waithe

06:45 AM- 08:00: Team Rowing Practice, Newell Boathouse

08:30 AM- 09:00: Breakfast, Annenberg Dining Hall

09:10 AM – 10:10: Government 40: International Conflict and Cooperation

10:20 AM- 11:20: Government 94au: Political Economy

11:30 AM- 12:30: Economics 1389: Economics of Global Health

12:30 PM- 01:40: Government 94bp: Business, Power and American Politics

01:50 PM-02:50: Lunch Study Group, Economics 1035, Salts Restaurant

03:00 PM- 04:00: English 131: Survey of British Literature

04:00 PM- 05:00: Business Development Research and Drafting

05:00 PM- 05:30: Dinner, Annenberg Dining Hall

06:00 PM- 07:00: OPEN

07:00 PM -09:30: Study Group, Government 40

09:30 PM-12:00: Homework [Available per E. Lincoln Schedule]

Wednesday:

05:00 AM-06:30: Gym, Regimented Weight Training #6

06:45 AM- 08:00: Team Rowing Practice, Newell Boathouse

08:30 AM- 09:00 Breakfast, Annenberg Dining Hall

09:10 AM – 10:10: Economics 1010A: Microeconomic Theory

10:20 AM- 11:20: Economics 1035: Market Failure, The Economics of Regulation

11:30 AM- 12:30: Government 10: The Foundations of Political Theory

12:30 PM- 01:40: Lunch, Annenberg Dining Hall

01:50 PM-02:50: Economics 1393: Poverty and Development

03:00 PM- 04:00: Government 20: Foundations of Comparative Politics

04:00 PM- 05:00: Study, Library

05:00 PM- 05:30: Dinner, Annenberg Dining Hall

06:00 PM- 07:00: Standing Appointment, Dr. A. Fisch.

07:00 PM -09:00: Study Group: Economics 1389

09:00 PM-12:00 AM: BLOCKED [Per E. Lincoln]

Thursday:

05:00 AM-06:30: Gym, Cardio

06:45 AM- 08:00: Team Rowing Practice, Newell Boathouse

08:30 AM- 09:00: Breakfast, Annenberg Dining Hall

09:10 AM – 10:10: Government 40: International Conflict and Cooperation

10:20 AM- 11:20: Government 94au: Political Economy

11:30 AM- 12:30: Economics 1389: Economics of Global Health

12:30 PM- 01:40: Government 94bp: Business, Power and American Politics

01:50 PM-02:50: Lunch Study Group, Economics 1035, Salts Restaurant

03:00 PM- 04:00: English 131: Survey of British Literature

04:00 PM- 05:00: Investment and Acquisition Strategy, Ros Bailey

05:00 PM- 05:30: Dinner, Annenberg Dining Hall

06:00 PM- 07:00: Open Session, Paine Hall

07:00 PM -09:30: Study Group: Government 94bp

09:30 PM-12:00: Homework [Available per E. Lincoln Schedule]

Friday:

05:00 AM-06:30: Gym, Regimented Weight Training #1

06:45 AM- 08:00: Team Rowing Practice, Newell Boathouse

08:30 AM- 09:00 Breakfast, Annenberg Dining Hall

09:10 AM – 10:10: Economics 1010A: Microeconomic Theory

10:20 AM- 11:20: Economics 1035: Market Failure, The Economics of Regulation

11:30 AM- 12:30: Government 10: The Foundations of Political Theory

12:30 PM- 01:40: Lunch, Annenberg Dining Hall

01:50 PM-02:50: Economics 1393: Poverty and Development

03:00 PM- 04:00: Government 20: Foundations of Comparative Politics

04:00 PM- 05:00: Study, Library

05:00 PM- 05:30: Dinner, Annenberg Dining Hall

06:00 PM- 07:00: Standing Appointment, Dr. A. Fisch.

07:00 PM -09:00: Study Group: Economics 1035

09:00 PM-12:00 AM: Homework


How many credits is he taking? It’s almost as if he is trying to graduate in two years rather than four. And the schedule? He even schedules his free time! The whole month of September is here, and I notice each week is different. Besides class today, he has scheduled to pick his brother up from the airport and dinner in town. It looks like he’s flying home in a couple of weeks, but it still doesn’t tell me where home is. I wonder what his standing appointment with Dr. Fisch is? And what is an Economics major doing in Paine Hall? That’s the music hall. Maybe I’ll ask him when I see him next time I see him. Okay, Ana, focus.

I minimize the spreadsheet and pull up my email again to type a quick reply.

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Don’t get lost

Date: September 07th 2007 09:15 AM

To: Christian Grey

Tuesdays at 6 work great for me! The party is at 86 Brewster St. at 8:00 PM. Call me if you get lost. (360) 945-6682.

-Ana

Once the email sends, I pull up his schedule and debate whether or not I should save it to my computer.

No Anastasia, you will not use this to stalk him.

I move the mouse to close out of excel, but I can’t help myself. Instead of save, I hit print and then stare guiltily at Kate’s printer on the other side of the room. Apparently even cosmic intervention isn’t enough to stop my madness because when the document doesn’t print, I go back and hit the button again. When finally, the printer hums to life and gives me the spreadsheet, I stuff it into my bag and head out the door for class.

During the day, I find myself looking at buildings I pass simply because I know Christian is there. I almost skip my 12:30 class just so I can happen to stop by the dining hall and have lunch with him, but I’m afraid if I let it happen now, it’ll become habit and I pay way too much for these classes to just bail.

When I get back to my dorm that night, I don’t fiddle in the doorway with my keys as usual because it’s 4:15 and Christian’s schedule tells me he has gone to pick up his brother from the airport. I sigh as I realize how crazy I’m starting to sound, then open the door to my room and see Kate sitting at her desk, her hair piled on top of her head with wispy strands hanging down over her face. She’s wearing her thick black rimmed glasses that she only wears when she’s in investigation mode.

“Ana!” She cries, jumping up and pushing papers aside as if I’ve caught her doing something she wasn’t supposed to be doing.

“I just got out of class, what’s up?” I ask suspiciously. Her face falters slightly and then hardens with determination.

“Where did you get this?” She demands, and she holds out a copy of Christian’s schedule to me. My face goes red. How did she get that? Oh crap, the 2nd copy must have printed after all!

“He sent it to me to set up a study time.” I explain, wanting to rip the paper out of her hands, but I know the damage has already been done. She smiles and sits back at her computer typing furiously.

“This is a gold mine,” She says happily. “I haven’t been able to find anything on E. Lincoln, too vague, but Ros Bailey is a student here. I looked her up on Facebook and she’s from San Francisco, California, which doesn’t help us at all because Christian already told you he’s not from California.”

“I met her,” I say, almost a little smug to know something the great sleuth Katherine Kavanagh had yet to uncover. “She’s an economics major here, too. They have several classes together and are in the same study groups.”

“Oh,” Kate says. “Well, I don’t think it matters. From her pictures and her relationship history, I think she’s gay.”

At these words, I turn away from Kate to put my backpack down and hide my ridiculous grin. Sure, I knew that they were studying together because they had the same classes, but the fact that Ros was a very pretty girl did shake my confidence a little.

“Has he told you about Dr. Fisch?” Kate asks slyly, and she’s piqued my interest so I turn around to face her.

“No,” I say and her face lights up.

“Well, he’s a psychiatrist here in Cambridge. Granted he deals with everything from bipolar depression to psychopaths so it doesn’t give us much, but he is in therapy. From this schedule, I’m guessing it’s OCD.”

“A lot of people are in therapy, Kate, and I don’t think you should rule it out,” I say.

“Touchy,” She says. “I’m just trying to help.”

“And I appreciate it, but I don’t need you to help me by stalking our neighbors. Come on, let’s go get dinner, I’m starving..”

“Are you sure you don’t want to wait another 30 minutes so we don’t miss Christian?” She smiles slyly.

“No,” I say. “Besides, if your read the schedule you would know that he’s having dinner at Hungry Mother with his brother tonight.”

Kate laughs, rolls her eyes, and then gets out of bed to follow me as I lead the way from our dorm to Annenberg Dining Hall.

When we get back from dinner, Kate insists my make-over must start now. She deep conditioner my hair with some conditioner that comes out purple and smells like jasmine. After I’m shaved to perfection, she exfoliates the skin on my face, legs, and underarms, and begins work on a manicure and pedicure. I go to bed that night with some kind of cream on my face that smells like Peonies, which makes me dream of fields full of wildflowers.

The next morning, Kate and I eat an early breakfast and then lay in bed all morning watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The movie is just about over when someone knocks on our door. Kate jumps up and opens the door and squeals in delight as her dad wraps his arms around her.

“Hey, Sis!” He says, as he hugs her tightly. When her feet are back on the ground, he takes a step back as if to examine her.

“Hmmm…” He says thoughtfully. “Nope, you definitely don’t look any smarter. Harvard must not have worn off on you yet.”

“Dad!” Kate protests, and she playfully slaps him on the arm.

“I’m just kidding, honey. You look great.” He kisses her on the forehead and then looks past her to see me sitting with my legs crossed on her bed.

“Hi Ana, how are you sweetheart?” He asks, and he holds his arms open for me too. I spring off the bed and let him envelope me in a hug as I answer.

“I’m doing great! How are Mrs. Kavanagh and Ethan?” I ask.

“Great, they’re doing great. They’re just a little sad that they couldn’t make it this weekend.”

“Right Dad,” Kate says sarcastically. “I’m sure Ethan was so upset that he couldn’t fly home to see a football game. I do hear Italy is a terrible place to spend a semester.”

“You’re right, what am I doing here? I should have definitely gone to visit Ethan this weekend,” Mr. Kavanagh jokes as he turns around and pretends to walk back down the hall.

“Dad!” Kate says again, giggling as she grabs his arm to pull him back into the dorm. Mr. Kavanagh laughs as Kate drags him.

“Come on kids,” He says warmly. “I want to take you girls out to lunch before my alma mater shows Princeton how to play football.”

Kate and I grab our bags and rush out the door after him. The drive out of campus is a joy as Mr. Kavanagh has rented a convertible for the day and we drive through town enjoying the cool fall air. We eat lunch at a restaurant called Oleana and Mr. Kavanagh makes us both laugh when he enters the restaurant with an over the top flourish of importance and jokingly demands their best table.

Kate and I both order Quiche Lorraine and it is so delicious we are nearly finished before we are able to hold up a conversation with her dad.

“The food they serve you kids can’t be this terrible,” Mr. Kavanagh jokes. “What am I paying $40,000 dollars a semester for?”

“It’s not bad, Dad,” Kate says as she eats her last bite. “We just didn’t eat very much at breakfast.”

“I see,” He says and launches into a lecture about how breakfast is the most important meal of the day. When he’s finished and we’ve both promised not to skip a meal again, he happily moves on to other topics.

“So how are your classes going, Sis? Your mother told me you have a couple classes you’re not too pleased with.”

Kate tells him about how much she hates her Organizational Communication class while I scan the room to see what an upscale French restaurant looks like on a Saturday morning in Cambridge. I glance past dozens of faces of people I don’t recognize until my gaze falls upon a familiar pair of steel gray eyes. Christian is sitting a few tables away from us across from a young man with curly blonde hair. He seems to only look at his lunch companion when he has to participate in the conversation, otherwise he’s looking at me. Eventually, the person across from him turns around to see what he’s looking at and I see that blonde haired young man, who I assume must be his brother, is also very handsome, around 20 or 21 years old, and has bright, friendly, blue eyes. His brother turns around and points at me over his shoulder and Christian nods and gets up from his table.

“Kate!” I hiss, turning back around. “Christian is coming over here.”

“What? Chri—” She begins but stops as he comes up to the table and reaches his hand out for Kate’s dad.

“Alec Kavanagh,” He says, very formally. “My name is Christian Grey. I just have to say that I’ve followed your career extensively and have found Kavanagh Media’s expansion during the past seven years to be rather impressive.”

“Um… Thank you, young man.” Mr. Kavanagh says as he shakes Christian’s hand with confusion.

“Christian goes to school with us, Dad. He actually lives across the hall from Ana and I.”

“Oh,” Mr. Kavanagh says, more brightly this time. “Are you studying Mass Communication, Christian?”

“No, Sir. Economics. Though I am interested in development in Telecommunications.”

“Well then,” Mr. Kavanagh says as he reaches into his wallet and pulls out his business card. “Take my card and let me know if you have any questions. I’m always happy to help any friend of Katherine’s.” Christian smiles politely as he reaches out to take the card.

“Thank you, Sir. Katherine. Anastasia. I’ll see you this evening,” He says with a nod, and he leaves the table to return to his brother.

“Quite the formal young man.” Mr. Kavanagh says. “Is he a boyfriend of yours, Kate?”

“He’s actually into, Ana.” Kate replies with a satisfied smile.

“Handsome, well mannered, Harvard education,” Mr. Kavanagh says as if he’s running through a check list. “Better than anything this one has ever brought home. Good choice, Ana.”

Kate rolls her eyes as her dad signals for the check and I bite my lip as I turn to look back at Christian, who is staring at our table with an expression of satisfaction.

After lunch, Mr. Kavanagh takes us to a store in town that sells Harvard gear and he buys us each a sweatshirt to wear to the game. We drive over and after we spend a half an hour trying to find a parking place, we pick up our tickets and follow the crowd towards the stadium.

Harvard Stadium is packed and the atmosphere is electric as we take our seats. Jose finds us just before kick off and he seems to join in with the excitement in the atmosphere, but by the middle of the first quarter, it’s very clear that he’s bored as he begins playing a game on his cell phone. When the game is over Harvard beats Princeton 27-10 and the stadium erupts with cheers. Kate’s dad is high fiving everyone within arm’s reach and Kate is bouncing up and down, holding me by the upper arms.

We leave the stadium to a chorus of “Fight Fiercely, Harvard” which Kate and her dad sing happily at the top of their lungs. I have a feeling the party tonight is going to be crazy with this much excitement buzzing through the air.

Jose and I walk back to the dorms alone so that Kate can say goodbye to her dad in private.

“I’ll meet you at the house tonight,” Jose says as he hugs me good-bye once we’re standing outside Gray’s Hall. “Do you know where you’re going?”

“I think Kate does,” I say. “She knows a few people from the Journalism department that are going.”

“Cool. Bye, Ana,” Jose says, and he waves as he turns to leave.

“Bye, Jose!” I say waving back to him, and I turn and make my way up to my room.

I’m in the shower when Kate gets back and the moment I’m out, she pounces on me, makeup and hair tools in hand.

“Hold still, Ana!” Kate whines as I try to struggle out of her grip.

“That’s way too much, Kate.” I protest, trying to fight off her and the lip gloss wand in her hand.

“Trust me, you look hot,” She says once she’s able to get around my flailing arms and finish applying the candy flavored goo to my lips. She stands back and smiles, and when I look in the mirror, I have to give it to her.

My long brown hair, which normally hangs in loose waves, is now silky, straight, and shiny. My eyes are smoky and my skin looks bright and flawless. Surprisingly, the tight black jeans I managed to squeeze into bring out feminine curves I hadn’t anticipated and the taupe sequin tank top is flattering and… sexy. Besides the straps that go around my shoulders and one thin strap that connects each side of the top, my back is completely exposed. Kate pulls out a pair of killer red stilettos that have a platform under the toe and a heel that must be at least six inches, but I’m able to successfully talk her down to a more sensible nude pump.

Kate puts on her own sparkly gold jacket over the tight black dress she’s wearing and after she’s added a dab of perfume to each of our pulse points, we’re headed out the door.

The party is off campus but only by a couple of blocks. Still, by the time we reach the house and meet Jose, my feet are desperate for a break.

“Get Ana a beer, Jose.” Kate giggles. “It’ll dull the pain from her shoes.”

Joes smiles and leads me through a crowd of people dancing and grinding against each other to T-Pain’s Buy You a Drank.

After Jose artfully pours me and Kate a beer from a keg against the wall, we head back into the crowd to find Kate. She’s dancing with a guy with dark hair and broad shoulders, so I simply hand her the red solo cup, which she takes with a smile before turning her attention back to her dance partner. Jose grabs my hand and pulls me close to him to dance, what he wasn’t prepared for was how awful I am at dancing.

I take approximately two steps before I stumble and, as I try and prevent myself from falling, I pour most of my beer down Jose’s front.

“Ana!” He cries, jumping back to avoid the flow from my cup.

“Oh my god, Jose. I’m so sorry. Come on, let’s find something to clean you up.”

I grab him by the hand and lead him through the crowd of people towards the kitchen where we find some paper towels. I rip off a handful from the roll and begin dabbing them on his shirt, desperately apologizing over and over again as I do.

“It’s fine, Ana.” Jose says with an exasperated smile after my 10,000th “I’m sorry”. “Look, it’s practically dry. No harm done. Come one, let’s dance some more.”

“Are you sure?” I ask skeptically.

“Of course. Just… leave your beer here.” He laughs. I laugh too and set my now empty keg cup on the counter and follow Jose back out to the living room where everyone is dancing. We sway together, me trying to move as little as possible, and watch the people around us. There is a guy doing a keg stand in the corner to a chorus of cheers, a girl crying over her cell phone on the stairs while her friend tries to comfort her, and Kate, dancing with a different guy across the room from us.

The song changes to The Sweet Escape by Gwen Stefani and girls all around us start squealing and singing along with the song as they dance. I don’t see Christian anywhere and I’m starting to think he changed his mind and decided not to come. I stop dancing with the music and reach into my back pocket for my phone to check the time, but it’s not there. Crap, I think I left it on the desk.

“Do you have your phone?” I shout in Jose’s ear so that he can hear me over the music.

“Yeah, why?” He asks, but he pulls it out before I can answer.

“What time is it?”

He holds the phone up so I can see the time. It’s 10:45 which I’m sure means Christian isn’t coming. My heart sinks with disappointment as I realize how much I had been looking forward to seeing him tonight.

“Do you want to get a drink?” I ask Jose and he smiles and leads me through the living room back to the kitchen. Kate is sitting at the counter with a group of people and I once again find myself amazed at how easily she seems to make friends. It seems every person she meets immediately falls victim to the charm of Katherine Kavanagh.

“Ana!” She cries with delight. “We’re gonna do a shot, do you want one?”

“Sure,” I say, and the guy with the Grey Goose bottle in his hand hands me a shot glass filled to the brim. I take it hesitantly but when Kate hands me a wedge of lime, I find new conviction and slam it down with the group. It burns and tastes horrible but the lime helps, and when they pour a second round I take it without complaint.

“Let’s get a beer,” I say to Jose as Kate gets up to dance and mingle some more.

“Don’t you think you should slow down?” Jose asks, concerned.

“I’m fine,” I say, motioning for him to follow me to the keg. And I’m trying to crush the feelings of disappointment from Christian not showing up.

I try to pour myself a beer, but end up with 80% foam, so Jose is kind enough to pour another one for me. We stand together talking for a while, away from the speaker in the living room and about half way through my third or fourth beer, I feel the alcohol hit me. My body gets warm and I feel woozy.

“Do you want to dance some more?” Jose asks.

“Um… No. No, I think I need to sit down.” I say, and I feel a pair of strong hands on my upper arms, holding me steady. But, when I look up, I’m surprised to see they aren’t Jose’s.

“Come on, let’s get you outside for some fresh air,” Christian says, and I nod and follow gratefully after him.

“Hey! I’ve got it. We were in the middle-” Jose yells, but Christian ignores him and leads me through the living room and out the front door.

“Are you alright?” He asks as we sit on the step. I breathe in the crisp night air and nod.

“Yeah, thanks,” I say. “It was getting kind of stuffy in there.” I shiver slightly as the cool air brings Goosebumps up on my arms and Christian sighs as pulls his jacket off and drapes it over me.

“How much have you had to drink?” He says, with slight irritation.

“A couple shots and… four beers, I think.”

“And when did you last eat?” He asks.

“Umm… Lunch.”

“Do you know how dangerous it is for a person of your size to drink that much alcohol with no food in their stomach? There are people here trying to take advantage of drunk girls, Anastasia.” I stare down at my fingers while he lectures me and after a moment’s pause, he puts his arm around me rubbing my shoulders to cause friction.

“Are you still cold?” He asks.

“No, your jacket is just what I needed,” I say diplomatically, hoping we can move onto subjects that make me feel less like an errant child.

“When did you get here?” I ask.

“A while ago. I just came inside to find you, I had to take a phone call. Elliot is in there somewhere. I’ve tried calling you for the past hour. You told me the party was on Brewster St. This is Berkley St.”

“Oh,” I reply, my cheeks reddening. “I left my phone in my dorm.” I want to apologize but the sensation from the alcohol is getting stronger instead of fading and I’m now finding it difficult to sit up straight.

“Come on,” He says. “Let’s get you home.”

“But Kate…” I protest.

“I’m sure she’ll be fine. Mr. Rodriguez can help her home.”

I nod and take the hand he holds out for me. We take the quick walk through campus in silence, but I’m perfectly content as he holds me against him, supporting most of my weight and holding me up as we go. I can feel the hard muscles under his black and white checkered button up shirt but when I reach my hand out to touch his chest, he grabs me by the wrist to stop me.

“What are you doing?” He asks, looking down at me with something close to panic in his eyes.

“I-uh. I was just…”

“I don’t like to be touched,” He says flatly and he pulls away from me and reaches out to open the door to Gray’s Hall for me.

I walk through the door and I don’t know if it’s the walk through the cool night air or Christian’s rejection that has sobered me up some, but I’m feeling much more stable on my feet. There is an awkwardness between us now, but I feel it lessen a little as he takes my hand and leads me up the stairs. However, once we’ve walked down the hall to our rooms, I realize very quickly that I don’t need to worry about Kate making it home from the party okay. She’s already here, I can hear her through the door… loudly.

“Do you want to come in and… um… wait?” Christian asks once he’s unlocked his door. I nod my head and follow after him, for the first time, into his dorm.

The room is much more spacious than mine as there is only one bed and one desk occupying the space. Everything is immaculate: clean, neat, and orderly. I suppose I’ve got another personality trait to add to the list, Christian Grey is very organized.

“Make yourself comfortable,” He says as he pulls his jacket from my shoulders and hangs it on the hook by the door. I cross the room and sit on the bed, watching him take his blackberry, wallet and keys out of his pocket to set on the desk. The walls of the room are covered in an eclectic mix of decorations.

There is a bulletin board over the desk with pictures of Christian all over the world and several with the same group of people, who I assume must be his family. There are a couple pieces of framed sheet music across from the bed and in a frame on the nightstand, there is a cutout from a map of the state of Washington with a heart drawn over the Seattle area. In the corner is says, Forever your home sweet home, we miss you. Love Mia.

“You’re from Seattle?” I ask, turning to look at him astonished. I think my voice is a little too bright with exultation as I’ve finally uncovered the mystery of where he’s from.

“Yes,” He says, coming to sit next to me on the bed.

“I’m from Montesano,” I tell him, but he doesn’t seem to be surprised.

“I figured you must be from somewhere in Washington, having Katherine Kavanagh as your best friend. Her dad is a big name in the Seattle business world.”

“I know,” I say smartly, but the irritation I have with Mr-Know-It-All quickly fades as I lock eyes with him. There is something there, something behind the cold steel that makes my heart quicken.

“Your hair is different,” He says, capturing a lock of it between his fingers.

“Kate straightened it,” I answer.

“I think I like it better natural,” He says. He tucks the strand behind my ear and shiver runs through me as his fingers caress the skin down my neck. He’s staring into my eyes, and then suddenly, his lips are on mine. He kisses me with a kind of fierce hunger that I cannot explain but desire explodes within me at his fervor. I feel his tongue brush softly across my bottom lip and as I open my mouth to accept him, he pushes me slowly backwards onto the bed.

My heart is racing and I can feel my body flush with heat at his touch. This is it. After all these years, I’m about to lose my virginity to Christian Grey, and I’m astounded with how utterly pleased I am with the idea. I want this, I want this so badly. My hands reach up to his face to hold him in this kiss for as long as possible. While my fingers curl in his hair, his hand travels down, brushing the bare skin on my sides beneath my top, but just as he’s about to cup my breast, he stops. The kiss ends and he leaps off the bed, backing several paces away from me.

“I’m sorry, I can’t.” He says, clearly confused and frustrated. “I shouldn’t have, it was wrong… I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, Anastasia.”

“I’m fine, Christian. I wanted you to do that,” I say defensively but he looks away from me.

“I know you did and I… but I just… can’t.” He stutters, running his hands through his hair. It’s strange seeing him so addled, he normally seems so sure of himself.

I too have to look away as I feel the threat of tears begin to prick my eyes. There is a dry stinging sensation in my throat and I take a deep, purposeful breath to try and bury the feelings of hurt and rejection. He doesn’t want me. It was all in my head. He had his chance to have me, he knew I wanted him, but he didn’t want to take it.

“Look,” He says uncomfortably. “I’m going to… take a shower. If Kate isn’t, uh… finished soon, you can stay here tonight. Elliot has a hotel room and I can stay with him.”

“Okay,” I croak, unable to hide the now eminent tears.

He looks at me, his expression sad and almost confused, as if he’s battling with himself, but then he turns to the bathroom and closes the door behind him.

I lay back on the bed and listen to the sound of the running water from the shower, tears flowing silently down the sides of my face. After a minute or two, I hear Christian’s phone ring on the desk across the room and it gives me something to concentrate on besides the aching hurt inside of me. It rings for about thirty seconds and then goes to voicemail. When the sound stops I sit up, determined to stop feeling sorry for myself, and decide to look more closely at the pictures on his bulletin board, but before I’ve even gotten out of bed, his phone rings again.

The caller ID on the screen shows “Mrs. Lincoln” and I think back to that time I saw him texting this same number back in class. For a moment I’m wondering who would be calling him this late. It’s now past midnight after all, but then I remember that in Seattle it’s only 09:00 PM. The call goes to voicemail again and now the screen shows “2 Missed Calls: Mrs. Lincoln”. I turn my attention back to the bulletin board but as I do, the phone rings for a third time. It’s Mrs. Lincoln again and now I’m sure something must be wrong, so I decide to answer the phone, at least to tell the other person that Christian is in the shower.

“Hello, Christian Grey’s phone,” I answer hesitantly, but I hear nothing on the other end. “Hello?” I repeat.

“Who is this?” A woman’s cool, even voice responds.

“This is Anastasia Steele. I’m Christian’s um… neighbor.”

“And where is Christian?” She asks.

“He’s in the shower,” I tell her and once again I’m met with radio silence.

“Tell him to call me back, immediately,” She says after a few moments, and then I hear a click and the phone goes dead. I stare down at the phone with confusion. That was weird. I hope everything is okay. She did say call her back immediately. My thoughts are cut short when the door to the bathroom opens and Christian steps out of a cloud of steam, a towel wrapped firmly around his waist.

“What are you doing?” He ask when he sees me holding his phone.

“Um… You got a call. Several calls actually. Mrs. Lincoln wants you to call her back, immediately.” I recite nervously.

The color drains from Christian’s face. He looks horrified as he takes the blackberry from me and looks down at the missed call notification. I stare at him awkwardly for a moment and watch as his newly pale skin begins to redden. He looks up at me with a fiery rage in his eyes.

“You answered my phone? Why would you do that?” He demands.

“She kept calling, I was worried there was an emergency.”

“That is none of you concern, Anastasia.”

“I’m sorr-“

“Get out,” He says in a voice that is so quiet and controlled it’s almost scary.

“Christian?”

“Anastasia, get the fuck out!” He screams, and he charges over to the door and throws it open. I move as quickly as I can to get out the door, but before he is able to slam it shut behind me, my door opens to reveal Kate giving a guy I recognize as Christian’s brother, Elliot, a goodbye kiss.

“What’s going on out here?” Elliot says in a cheerful, satisfied voice that contrasts horribly with the hostile atmosphere behind me. Christian slams his door closed and I’m left standing in the hallway, confused and bereft. Elliot and Kate stare at me questioningly but before I can answer their inquisitive looks, I burst into tears.

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