Chapter 19

ANDREA POV

When I get into work, Rachel hasn’t arrived yet. It’s 7am on Monday morning and Mr. Grey isn’t here which means that he and Mrs. Grey either had a really good weekend, or a really bad one. I’m hoping it’s the former and that either way, Rachel gets here before Mr. Grey does. I check my email again but I don’t have anything from him. He usually texts or emails me every Monday morning for his schedule but I haven’t heard from him since Saturday morning. All things considered, that probably isn’t a good thing. I hear a ping from the elevator.

“Sorry I’m late,” Rachel cries and I’m relieved.

“It’s okay, can you start the coffee? I’m getting everything booted up here,” I tell her. She nods, putting her purse in the bottom drawer and scurries off to the break room. Ten minutes later, the elevator pings again.

“Good morning, Mr. Grey,” I greet him. “Can I get you some coffee?”

He doesn’t say anything and instead storms past me, throwing his office door open and slamming it shut behind him so hard I feel the things on my desk rattle. Okay, bad weekend.

“Get a cup of coffee, quick,” I tell Rachel and she practically sprints to the break room while I gather up the first round of the mail for the morning. Rachel’s hands are shaking and she hands me the coffee. Mr. Grey has been particularly cold to her this last week and I suspect it’s because she looks at him like an idiot in heat every time he addresses her. Well, when she’s not cowering from him that is.

I take the mail and the coffee and gently knock on the door. There is no answer. Shit, maybe now isn’t the time? No, if I don’t follow the routine, he’ll be even more pissed. Maybe if I’m just in and out, don’t make a sound, he won’t say anything to me at all.

Quietly, I push open the door and rush to his desk. He’s sitting in front of his computer, furiously pounding on the keys. As calmly, and with as much control as I can muster, I set the coffee down in front of him and place the mail on the corner of the desk. He doesn’t acknowledge me. Whew!

I hear him tearing through the mail as I walk away.

“What the fuck is this?” he yells and I stop in my tracks. Fuck.

“What, sir?” I ask, turning to face him. He’s ripping open a large white envelope and pulls out a jeweled case. As he looks at it, his anger fades into confusion and then back to fury in a nano second.

“Where did this come from?” he snaps.

“It must have come in with FedEx yesterday,” I reply. “It was with the legal documents the weekend crew left on my desk.”

“Get this out of my sight,” He says, tossing the jeweled case at me. “And if Anastasia calls or comes up here, you let me know immediately, understand?”

“Yes, sir,” I say, picking up the case from the desk and hurrying out of the office. Bad weekend, definitely a bad weekend. He and Mrs. Grey must be fighting. I know that Mrs. Grey gets through no matter what so his reminder must be because he doesn’t think she is going to call or come up here.

“Is it bad?” Rachel asks as I sit down next to her.

“Really bad,” I respond. “I think he’s fighting with his wife. It’s never worse than when he’s fighting with his wife.” Well now it is… but she wasn’t around during the submissive days, or lack of submissive days I should say.

“What’s that?” She asks, looking down at my hand. I’m still holding the jeweled case and I look at it for the first time. It’s a copy of Rihanna’s single S&M and in permanent marker scribbled across the front it reads: I like it, like it.

Oh shit. I try to hide it from Rachel’s view but I’m sure she’s seen it. Well, I guess that’s what the NDA is for.

 

CHRISTIAN’S POV

It’s September 10th. Anastasia’s birthday. She didn’t answer any of my calls or emails from last night or this morning. I’m going to have to ambush her when she gets here. Make her talk to me. Shit, do I want to do that on her birthday? Today was supposed to be… well special. I have plans, so many plans. Is that all down the fucking drain? I look down at my computer and flip through my emails again, the same question from last night bouncing around in my mind. Who the fuck is “S”?

It’s someone who knows, so that limits the possibilities. Susannah maybe? This doesn’t feel like Susannah, it has more of a Leila feel to it, but I don’t think Leila would test me like this. Not knowing what she’ll lose. I pull a black book out of the top drawer of my desk, find the number I need and dial on my office phone. It rings eight times before someone answers.

“Hello?” The sleepy voice responds. Shit, it is pretty early.

“Susannah?” I snap. “Tell me it isn’t you.”

“Mr. Grey?” She asks.

“Tell me it isn’t you, Susannah, because if I find out it is, so help me…” I don’t even know how to finish the threat. I’m so preoccupied with my anger at Elena and Linc that I don’t have the capacity for ex-submissives right now.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Mr. Grey. I didn’t tell anyone, if that’s what you mean.”

“You haven’t sent me any packages?” I demand.

“No.”

“Good-bye then, Susannah.”

“Mr. Grey?” She asks again, but I hang up the phone. Well if it’s not her, who the fuck is it? S… Submissive? Fuck it could be anyone of them. I spend the morning going down the list, but none of them seem to know what I’m talking about, and the ones who are married now are pretty pissed that I’m calling them.

It’s nine o’clock when my phone buzzes, and I reach down for it irritated.

“What?”

“Mr. Grey,” Andrea says hesitantly. “Mrs. Grey’s security team is out here, they would like to speak to you.”

“Send them in!” I demand and Sawyer and Ryan step into my office.

“What’s wrong?” I ask. Shit, did Elena get to her? Linc?

“Mrs. Grey fired us, sir,” Sawyer says and I glare at him.

“Mrs. Grey, doesn’t have the ability to do that,” I tell them, “Get back downstairs and do the job I pay you for.”

“We would, sir,” Ryan hesitates. “But she’s hired her own security team. They won’t let us in the office.”

“What!” I roar and I bolt out of my seat.

“Mr. Grey?” Andrea calls as I run past her desk and begin pounding on the elevator button. When it opens, I press 19 and pace around the tiny space until it releases me into the lobby outside of Grey Publishing. There are two men standing in suits on either side of the glass doors. I storm past them but one of them reaches out and grabs me by the shoulder, holding me in place and preventing me from going into the office.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” I ask, furiously.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Grey, but you are on Mrs. Grey’s list of proscribed visitors,” he says flatly.

“Excuse me?” I ask incredulous.

“I can’t allow you in, sir,” He says again.

“How about I own the fucking building and if you don’t get out of my way, I’ll call the police and have you both removed?”

The two men glance at each other and step aside, but they follow me as I make my way across the room. When I get to Anastasia’s office, the door is locked and I begin to pound on it furiously. I turn to look at Hannah, who cringes each time my fist hits the door.

“Anastasia, open the fucking door!” I call. I hear the long beep of a phone and Anastasia’s voice come from Hannah’s desk.

“Go away, Christian. I don’t want to see you.”

“I’m not going to let you fire your security team, Ana. And I’m certainly not going to let you hire your own team to keep me away!” I yell through the door.

“I don’t want you keeping tabs on me through security, Christian,” Hannah’s phone says.

“Anastasia!”

She doesn’t answer. I bang on the door again. Nothing. Everyone in the office is staring at me. I look down at my watch, fuck it’s almost time. I glare at the door. I’ll email her when I get back up to my office.

I’m sure everyone can feel the anger in the wake I leave as I stomp out of GP. When I’m back on my own floor, I walk single mindedly towards Andrea and Rachel.

“Are they in place?” I ask.

“Yes, sir. What’s…?” Andrea begins but I cut her off.

“Let me know when my 09:30 is here, Andrea. I am not to be disturbed during the meeting. No phone calls, no visitors. Not even Mrs. Grey, do you understand?”

“You want me to keep Mrs. Grey out, sir?” She asks skeptically.

“Yes.”

“Yes, sir,” She responds and I storm into my office, sit at my desk, and begin composing my email.

 

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Happy Birthday?

Date: September 10th 09:23 AM

To: Anastasia Grey

Anastasia. I don’t want to fight with you. Please trust me when I tell you I had nothing to do with that package last night. It’s your birthday. Please let me treat you tonight.

Christian Grey

CEO Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.

 

I stare at the screen for another five minutes, but I don’t get a reply. The phone buzzes.

“Mr. Grey?” Andrea says. “Your 09:30 is here.”

“Send them in,” I say and I straighten my tie. The door opens and, dressed in a tight, low cut black dress, Elena walks in.

“Christian,” She says as she enters. The door closes behind her but she doesn’t approach my desk.

“Elena,” I say, gesturing to the chair on the other side of the desk.

“Why have you asked me here, Christian?” She asks.

“I want to talk to you. Anastasia left me and I believe she spoke with you before she made that decision. I was hoping you could tell me what happened?”

She seems to exhale and then saunters over to my desk, sitting gracefully in the chair across from me.

“She didn’t tell you what happened?” Elena asks.

“No,” I say, running a finger over my bottom lip. She raises and eyebrow, intrigued.

“She said she couldn’t trust you anymore, Christian. That’s the problem with romantic relationships over contractual ones. She can question your motives.”

“It seems I should have listened to you from the beginning, Elena.”

She smiles. “Yes, Christian.”

Her tongue runs over her top lip. “Is that the only reason you asked me here?” Her voice is suggestive.

“No,” I tell her. I stand up and walk languidly around the desk, tracing my finger across the wood as I go. When I’m standing next to her, my finger moves from the desk to her elbow and as I circle around her, I lightly run my fingertip up her arm, over the fabric of her dress on her shoulder, and up her neck. My thumb brushes the spot behind her ear and she shivers. I grasp the hair at the nape of her neck and yank her to her feet, holding her in place by her hair. She groans as I run the tip of my nose up her neck where my finger had just been.

“I want you to tell me where I can find Linc,” I whisper in her ear. She freezes.

“Why would I tell you that?” She snaps.

“Because he kidnapped and tortured my wife, Elena. You hired a man to kidnap and torture my wife under his orders, didn’t you.”

“Christian…”

I grip her hair harder, pulling, and she gasps with pain. I smile against her neck and reach out to take her arm, pulling it behind her and securing it with my hand and forearm.

“That’s what happened, isn’t it?” I hiss.

“Yes,” she moans. I force her down onto the desk and reach out for the ruler from the cup on my desk and run it lightly down her back.

“I may be out of practice, Elena. But I haven’t lost my touch. Tell me where he is.”

“I can take a little pain, Christian,” She purrs up at me. I laugh lightly, though not with humor.

“Would you like to find out how much?” I ask. She whimpers and I release her, walking back around the desk to my chair. I can see how flustered she is and I smile wickedly at her.

“I’ll make you a deal,” I say.

“A deal?” She pants.

“Last year, when I told you Ana was pregnant, you asked me to sleep with you. You told me you’d never had it as good as me since we stopped. You said you wanted me.”

“Yes,” She breathes.

“Well, if you tell me where Linc is, you can have me, anyway you want me. Anyway I want you.” My gaze is dark and I can see the effect my words have on her.

“Anastasia?” She asks.

“I told you. She’s left.”

Her lips press together as she resolves herself. “He’s staying at the Fairmont Hotel under the name Conor Parrish. Room 1489.” She licks her lips and stands up.

“Thank-you, Elena,” I say, and I raise my voice as I continue, “Detective?”

The room is suddenly full. A man in a sharp suit and a police officer come out of the coat closet against the far wall of my office. The double doors open and six more armed officers pour in. Taylor enters the room and closes the double doors behind him. Elena stutters and glares down at me. I’m impassive, my finger running over my bottom lip.

“That should be enough for a prosecutor, Mr. Grey. Good work,” the detective says, and Elena rounds on me, fury alight on her overly made up face.

“You betrayed me, Christian,” she hisses.

“No, Elena. The betrayal was yours,” I say. One of the officers approaches her, takes her right wrist and slaps a cuff over it. Once she’s fully cuffed, he reads her her rights.

“We’ll need you to come downtown and make a statement, Mr. Grey,” Detective Clark says.

“I’ll follow you,” I tell him and rise from my chair. We walk out of the office and I freeze. Anastasia is standing at the desk, presumably talking to Andrea, who is looking, horrified, at a piece of paper in her hands.

“Is this one of your sick, twisted games?” Anastasia shouts, her eyes shooting between me and Elena.

“Anastasia!” I shout. But she turns and steps into the elevator, disappearing to the floor below.

“Well, he wanted to ruin your marriage,” Elena sneers. “Looks like Linc wins after all, Grey.”

“Get her out of here,” I say coldly.

I walk across the lobby, press the elevator button for the detective, and. when it arrives, I let him know that I’ll meet him at the station. When they’re gone, I walk towards Andrea, who is burning bright red and holding the piece of paper out for me. I look down at it:

 

Hard Limits

No acts involving fire play

No acts involving urination or defecation and the products thereof

No acts involving needles, knives, cutting, piercing, or blood

No acts involving gynecological medical instruments

No acts involving children or animals

No acts that will leave any permanent marks on the skin

No acts involving breath control.

No activity that involves the direct contact of electric current (whether alternating or direct), fire or flames to the body.

I accept your limits, Mr. Grey. -S