I do not own the Fifty Shades Trilogy or its characters; those belong to E. L. James. However, my characters do belong to me.
Chapter 6 | Carry On
So sleep is out of the question I take it.
My, aren’t you perceptive and for so early in the morning too. I am impressed.
Don’t get our balls in a bunch fucker it was just a question. We have no meetings today, Grey, so we can finish researching the Australian building site and possibly schedule a tour, that is, if you truly intend to leave Seattle.
Relocating GEH Headquarters means nothing to me. I can run my company from anywhere on the globe and I know it, all I need is internet access and a cellular signal. I am leaving Seattle to give Ana space. It is all up to her now.
I never took you for a coward Grey.
That is because I am NOT a coward. What the fuck do you suggest shit-head? Do you have some words of wisdom to make all of this magically go the fuck away?
I do not know, you tell me. How about we talk this through without Flynn and without Steele, hmm?
Fine, you talk…I am tired.
Ahem…we have established that Steele is not your submissive, correct?
I am going to stop you right there. If all you are going to do is take mental inventory of the obvious or replay conversations we have already had then you might as well shut the fuck up now because I am in no mood.
As I was saying, before I was so RUDELY interrupted, we have established that Steele is not your submissive, correct?
GRRR all you want motherfucker, ANSWER ME!
NO! Anastasia is NOT my submissive. I wanted her to be my submissive when I first met her, but at some point in this bizarre bullshit we fondly refer to as our relationship, my feelings on that changed. I want to spend time with her outside of my Playroom and outside of my apartment. I want her to be comfortable with my family. I want her to be actively involved in my day-to-day life. I care about what she thinks, how she feels, her opinions and I want her love.
I find myself thinking about her for absolutely no…fucking…reason, and before you make another nasty-ass comment, I do not only think about her sexually. I think about all of her, mentally, physically and spiritually, makes me smile. I cannot maintain my tough guy, Master of My Universe persona when she is around, she sees right through that and gets at the heart of whatever caused me to “go Dom” in the first place. It is all part of what I love about her.
You spend a vast majority of your time thinking about what to do for her and what to give to her. What do you want from her?
What do you mean?
Hello there, Harvard. We dropped out, but that was from boredom not stupidity. It may be a difficult question for you to comprehend, so let’s ask again, slowly, what…do…YOU…want…FROM…Anastasia?
Oh, you have digs , huh? Well…I want her to be happy. I want her to feel loved and cherished. I want it to return my affection and let me express my love for her. I do not want her to shower me with gifts or to kneel and beg me to be with her, if that’s what you mean. Does that answer your question, smartass?
Oui, oui it does Mr. Grey. So this has nothing to do with money or power? I mean, you are not just out to make her a trophy wife?
No, this is not about control, power or money. If I tried to take control of Ana or exert some kind of power over Ana, she would leave me. Not to mention, it is an impossible feat because, as I just stated, I cannot maintain the will to do that when she is involved. I cannot stand to hurt her in any way.
I want to make her happy and take good care of her. As it stands, if I want to take her to Monte Carlo for a night on the town, what am I supposed to do? Tell her to save up and pay her share? Do I take a tugboat to get there or am I just supposed to not do anything for her that she cannot do for herself?
All you can do is wait. We already discussed this. It is not your fight. You cannot make her accept you. And I mean the entire package. We know you do it big, from yachts to jets, from helicopters to penthouses. You cannot force her accept those things. Then it is no longer your Ana sharing with you, it is your submissive following your instructions.
Something is preventing Anastasia from enjoying what you have to offer. Something is causing her to have a negative impression of your actions. It is not your job to figure out what that something is; it is hers.
Go play the piano. How about some Rachmaninoff? Play the one with all of the rifts and scales and please, watch your phrasing. The challenge will do us good.
You know me so well my friend.
That I do.
And play I do, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Haydn and numerous others. I played until I saw the sun on the horizon.
Fuck this, I did not come over here to waste away. I came over here to conduct business and conduct business is precisely what I am going to do. I went to more business dinners and network lunches than I care to acknowledge. Every fucking single time, there is a rogue flash or a multitude of clicks going off around me. The next thing I know…BAM!
The article following a visit to the hotel’s pool area was particularly entertaining. I chuckled as I read the headline, “Go Get ‘Em Grey” with a picture of me naked from the waist up. There were two women on their knees, in the submissive pose, on either side of the doorway where I stood. I could not keep from laughing. This clip apparently made it back to the US because it resulted in a text from the Bitch-Troll:
BT: Hello Pet. It is nice to see you are not brooding over there.
Grey: GO THE FUCK AWAY!
BT: Now Pet, there is no reason to be hostile. I am proud of you for exploring your surroundings and not pining away for the same ole same ole here in the States. Enjoy Pet. I will see you when you return.
I do not care if she is proud or not, her opinion means nothing to me. I do not want to have contact with her ever again.
My last night in Taipei consisted of dinner with the Executive Leadership Team from my shipyard. I was seated between the wife of one Director and the fiancée of another Director. Of course they were beautiful women, which only lead to speculation about the seating arrangement. You could hear the camera clicks a mile away. Whoever the journalist was the fucker did not have the decency to find out the identity of the women seated beside. The news about that dinner read “Business or Pleasure”
Seated here, Mr. Christian Grey is being entertained by executives from a local shipping company. Who are the mystery women? Does Mr. Grey have a bigger investment here in Taipei than he is admitting? Rest assured, we will find out.
Needless to say the outcome lead to the photographer being blackballed and Reynolds’ dismissal.
“Just where in the fuck were you? All you have to do is look and listen. A deaf child could hear those camera clicks. I thought you FBI guys could hear a fly fart from 100 miles away. Obviously I was wrong. YOU ARE FIRED!”
“Yes sir. I will notify Mr. Taylor immediately.” He says with his eyes looking at the floor like a kindergartener caught in a lie.
“Did I ask you to notify Mr. Taylor?” I growl, “I will take care of any notifications. Hand over your GEH identification and that fucking BlackBerry. I have half a mind to let you figure out how to get a commercial flight back to the States. However, the jet is available so get your ass on it. You are welcome; you can thank Miss Steele for my change of heart.”
“Yes sir. Thank you sir.”
What the fuck ever, stupid little prick. He thought no one saw him trying to make time with the maitre’d. Well he thought wrong.
I sent Taylor a text letting him know about Reynolds and told him to immediately change all of the pass codes and locks for the areas Reynolds could access and let me know about his progress.
Just as I hit Send, my phone rang, “Sir, this means you are alone and unprotected.”
“Yes Taylor, it means I am alone and unprotected, but it is a mute point because I will be in a new location in a few hours.”
“Reynolds is returning to the US by commercial flight I take it.” Nope, you got to give it to the bastard Grey he is thorough, nosey as all fucking hell, but thorough.
“No Taylor, the jet is taking Reynolds back.”
“Then how will you be traveling sir?” Nosey prick.
“I have my ways Taylor. Look, you are just returning from your vacation. I hope you had a good time and tell Gail I said hello. So settle in, liaise with Sawyer then take care of the security updates. I will be fine.”
“Sir, this is…” Shut this fucker down Grey. What the fuck did we do before Taylor came along? We’ve been in more than our fair share of street fights, most of which we initiated by the way, beaten and fucked by a pedophile and threatened for a majority of our life over whiners and haters who cannot manage their own companies so who the fuck is he to ‘protect’ us now?
“Enough Taylor. I will be in touch.” I say as I hit the End button. Give me a fucking break. Maybe we need to be totally on our own. There is no need for a fucking babysitter.
I spoke with Ros and updated her on the shipyard situation then told her I was on my way to Townsville Australia. The city is on North Queensland’s east coast. Building for the new Grey House is underway and I will have a perfect view of the Great Barrier Reef.
“…and let Human Resources know they will be receiving employment applications shortly. I want everyone checked five times over so get Taylor and Welch involved ASAP. We should treat this even more carefully than when GEH started. Brush off your pointy hat and broom and be ready for Skype interviews.” I laugh. She loves employment interviews. It is her time to shock the shit out of perspectives, vent her frustrations of the day and flex her muscle all at one time. I have seen her in action. She is a true bitch at interview time.
“Do not give me any shit Grey. You know interview time is better than Christmas for me. So this is really going to happen, huh? You really are not coming back here? Oh hey, can I have your office?” I know good and well she is fucking serious.
“Yes it is real and FUCK no you cannot have my office. When I DO come to Seattle I do NOT intend to be some redheaded, homeless stepchild in my own building.” Shit.
“Whatever, it was just a question.” And I just gave her the answer.
“Anything else Ros?”
“Yeah, SIP is doing…” OH NO YOU DON’T. Not this shit. She knows protocol. When there are no issues affecting my pocket then she can have it. We knew it was doing well based on its ratings in Barron’s and because she would have lead off with its fucked up shit if things were going badly. So, we do not want to know.
“STOP! Is there a problem at SIP that requires my attention?”
”No, I just thought…” I do not pay her to think for me. I pay her to be my second and think for GEH.
“STOP! You thought wrong. SIP is just another GEH subsidiary. You do not discuss subsidiaries with me unless there is a situation that only I can address, correct?”
“Yes.” She knows this. We have never had to have this conversation and I do not ever intend to have it again.
“This is not new protocol. We have conducted things this way since you came onboard with GEH, correct?”
“Yes.” Plain and simple, I wish the rest of my world functioned this way.
“Then why in the fuck would things change now? Think very carefully before you answer that question Ros.”
“No reason, Grey. Other than to brag on their standing with GEH.” Good answer.
“Ok then, they are doing well. I know that from the financial news that you know I read every fucking day.”
“Yep”, she pops her ‘p’.
Then changing the subject she says, “I will let you know when I have scheduled the interviews. Since this year is over, will you be coming back here during the First Quarter? If so, we should schedule the End of the Year Reports meeting.”
“I will think about that and let you know Ros. Bye.” Mission GEH update accomplished.
Now it is time for Operation Family Confrontation. I am truly dreading this. I did not call at Thanksgiving or Christmas on purpose. I did not want to overtly ruin my mother’s holidays. For some masochistic reason I feel the need to contact her before the New Year to let her know that I moved my company and myself to Australia. “Please God be with me.”
She answers on the second ring, “CHRISTIAN! Where are you son? How are you son? When are you coming home? We all miss you so much. Anastasia is devastated.” Damn caller ID. Talk about let a guy get a word in edgewise, but that is mom for you.
I do not have the opportunity to speak when I hear a commotion in the background. Based on the ear-piercing scream I know it is Mia. I take it mom was trying to keep the call all to herself. Not going to happen with Mia around. She should have been on duty instead of Reynolds, that picture would never have made it to press. True, very true.
“Is that Christian?”
“Yes darling it is him. Just give me a moment…” then there is a struggle for the phone. I have never heard my mother and sister tussle over anything. I am picturing Mia struggling over an article of clothing at Niemen’s; it is too funny.
“…Let me talk to him mom…”
“…Mia, calm down. I will give you the phone when I am finished.”
“Please mom…” I am on the edge of my seat betting on which one will end up with the phone. This is better than any gift. I should disappear more often.
“Give me that damned thing. Christian Trevelyn-Grey, where the fuck are you? You are killing your mother.” Uh oh, the party is over; it is dad.
“Hello dad. I am still in Taipei. I thought I should call and check in before I move on.”
“Just a fucking second mister. You will just be spending a shit-load of money on this long fucking ass distance call. That is what you will be doing. Now, I want answers, but your mother has been in tears since you told her you would not be in Seattle for the holidays so I will let her speak with you first. Then you will touch base with your sister and brother and finally, you will answer to me. Do you understand?” Now you know why the man is a good lawyer. If you cannot get me out of this shit-storm then just give it a fucking break and let me suffer through this. Be my fucking guest.
“Yes sir,” I say very quietly. He is pissed, my mom is pissed, and my sister is pissed. I know Elliott will not give a fuck so I am not worried about him. Mom mentioned Ana, what are you going to do about that? That is when you can cash in your two cents, but for now, piss off. Hee, hee, hee you will need me sooner than you think. The thing that pisses me the fuck off is I know he is right.
“Christian?” I can hear the pain in my mother’s voice. God I hate this. I knew I should not have called.
“Hi mom. I am fine. I am still in Taipei Taiwan, but I will be leaving here on my way to Townsville Australia. I wanted to let you know about the change in my location.” Did I answer all of her questions? After all the fuss, I forgot what she asked.
“I am glad you called son. I miss you terribly, we all do.” I want to laugh. I know she misses me and Mia does too, but as for dad and Elliott, I know better. My father and I have never seen eye-to-eye on a damn thing and that only got worse when I dropped out of Harvard. Elliott, well, he is a big brother so it goes without saying. I am too big and too ugly for him to worry his pretty little head over.
“Well, that is all I wanted to say mom. I just wanted to give you an update.” You did not give her an update. You forgot one question. What was that? Wait for it.
“When are you coming home son?” Oh, shit. I did miss that one didn’t I? Deep breath Grey, just give it to her straight.
“Mom, I am relocating myself and GEH to Australia. Building is underway for the new office, new employee interviews will begin shortly and I have a few local companies I am looking into acquiring, so things will be really busy for me. I will be back sometime next year for business in the Seattle office.” That should be enough. I am not going to promise I will visit because I probably will not. Escala will be available for me to stay the night, as I do not plan on staying for long.
“Christian, what happened between you and Ana? Why have you distanced yourself from us all? It has been impossible for me to contact her and she just lives in the city. While finding you is like looking for a needle in a haystack.” Mom says with tears in her voice. I can hear Mia sniffling somewhere beside her.
“More like looking for Waldo.” Elliott yells. For once, I am glad for his stupid sense of humor.
“It is a long story mom and not one I want to discuss. Suffice it to say, I am expanding GEH and Anastasia is building her career.” And she is doing it the way she wanted to, without our interference and even our knowledge at this point.
I have not spoken to Ana in about a month. The days and nights are running together anymore. All I have are my dreams to keep her with me. To protect me from whatever is out there, especially at night.
“I do not believe you Christian. You have no reason to expand GEH. You have more money than is necessary for the Brady Bunch, let alone a single man with no dependents. I want you back here and I want you back here now!” My bossy mother; she makes me smile when she acts this way. It reminds me that she is the parent and I am the child and that she really does give a damn. The thought makes me smile. You can never get too grown up for mommy.
“Mom, no disrespect intended, but I would if I could but I can’t so I won’t.” She takes a deep breath and simply passes the phone to Mia. No goodbye, no fuck you, nothing. So I know I have fuck up that relationship for good. Way to go Grey, two down three to go.
“Christian? “ I cannot take this. I am going to say this shit once more then I am getting off this damn telephone.
“Mia, would you put the telephone on speaker please?” I am trying to keep my composure. I know I have not called and I have been gone for a while, but it is not the first time in my life that I have been away on business so I do not get the big fucking deal.
Mia announces, “Ok, we are all listening.”
“I am currently in Taipei City Taiwan and am on my way to Townsville Australia. I am moving GEH Headquarters to Townsville. Building is underway, sorry El, you would love Townsville. According to the Australian Conservation Foundation, Townsville is the fourth most self-sustainable city in Australia, including building and transportation. It is wonderful. That is it.”
“What about Ana you pretentious, self-centered, uncaring motherfucker?” she shouts in true self-righteous bitch fashion. Then there is dead silence. I mean dead silence. Libraries should have such sound control.
Finally, I hear the low growl I recognize, without a shadow of a doubt, is my father. In a bare whisper that sounds like a faint spring breeze I hear, “Get the fuck out of my house and do not ever return. Do you understand me? Elliott, if you bring her back on the premises, I will have you both arrested for trespassing and you of all people know I will do it.”
So much for the ball-buster, hee, hee, hee, the bitch deserves that and worse. It is a mystery just what the fuck Elliott sees in her, aside from possibly a decent fuck and a blowjob. With the filth that comes out of that bitches yap it is a wonder he has not needed shots because of the tea-bagging tart.
“Mr., Mrs. Grey, I apologize for my language. Ana has been upset and distant from me for months and it is your son’s fault. She will not tell me what happened, but I know she never behaved this way before she met him. And…” she does not get to say another insincere word because Elliott finally takes control.
“Kate, we have discussed this a million times. I am tired of you belittling my brother. Ana is a grown woman and she can stand up for herself. Being her friend may mean listening to her when she needs you, but it most certainly does not give you free license to attack my brother.” Now step the fuck back bitch.
“If you did not like Christian because of something he did to you personally, then I would understand the contempt you constantly display, but even then your actions, especially tonight, would not be acceptable. However, that is not the case. You do not like him because of the goings on in his relationship with your friend and that is not only unreasonable and utterly ridiculous on your part but also none of your fucking business,” which we have all told this whore for the longest time.
“I cannot stand by and let this continue anymore. I will call a cab to take you back to your Pike Market Place apartment and I will pay to have your personal items delivered to you tomorrow. Keep the key because I will have the locks changed before you get back to the city.” Oh shit, that has got to hurt.
“Now, I believe my father told you to leave and do not for one instance think you can apologize satisfactorily enough for disrespecting my family so do not even try. Get out.” WOW! YOU GO BOI! Never in our wettest dream did we believe he had it in him.
As proud of him as I am, I do not know what possessed me, but I cannot be the reason he ends up unhappy in life. I am not worth it, even if he does not understand why. “Elliott don’t, I am a big boy. She can say whatever she likes to me, although Miss Kavanaugh, I demand you make penance to both of our parents and our sister.”
“My relationship with Anastasia is none of your concern so you can stop wasting your vile breath attempting to disparage me because I know for a fact Anastasia would not appreciate your effort.” I want Elliott to get rid of that bitch, but that will be his own choice based on whatever parameters are set in their relationship. I want nothing to do with the situation at all, ever.
I do not need to hear anymore so I try to make my escape, “I bid you all ado.”
I am trying to give my dad the slip, when all of a sudden, the same soft, stinging voice says, “Just a fucking second son. I am not done with you yet. Tell everyone else good bye, but you are not getting away from me that easily.”
DAMMIT! “Bye mom, bye Mia, bye El, take care and I love you.”
“Good-bye darling. I wish you would come home. I do not understand why you left, but I will not press you for an answer. I love you too.”
“Bye Christian. I do not care why you left. I just want you to come back.”
“Hang tough lil bro, give the babes hell for me, will ya? Oh, I did like that pic of you by the Jacuzzi, although, you need to workout dude. You look like you are getting flabby around your middle.” He does not understand what he just stepped into does he?
I cannot let that one go, “Above or below the towel?”
“EWWW, touché lil bro, touché. Laters Chris.” He says with a chuckle in his voice. Score one for us.
“Laters El.” This is the first time I have ever enjoyed his humor. Hmm, I kind of like this feeling.
Then all is quiet on the western front again and I know my dad has taken the telephone into his office. If he had FaceTime the damn thing would be sitting in the chair on the opposite side of his desk so he could stare at me, just like he did when I was a kid. Thank God he has no interest in Twenty-First Century technology.
“Ok Christian, start talking.”
“What do you want to know dad? I said my peace a few minutes ago.” This is going to be a do not ask do not tell conversation. He is getting truthful responses to his expressed questions, only. He better remember you are only as good as you are specific. No doubt.
“Why did you go to Taiwan Christian, why are you relocating GEH to Australia and when will you be back in the United States permanently?” Pretty good, but not good enough.
I repeated the answers I gave to mom, verbatim. I am not discussing my personal life with either of them. This conversation is over. “Dad, I have a flight to catch. I need to get going.”
“Bullshit Christian, that plane leaves when you say so, even when you have a flight plan mapped out you can always arrange a delay.”
“I am not using the jet. It is taking Reynolds back…” OH SHIT! What have you done?
Then, we are back to the whisper, “Taking who back where?”
“Taking Reynolds back to the States. He failed in his duties and I fired him. I put him and his belongings on the jet and sent him back to Seattle for Taylor to handle.” Open mouth, insert foot; you really should be conducting a seminar on your method because you are hitting the mark directly today.
“DO YOU FUCKING MEAN TO TELL ME YOU ARE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE GLOBE WITH NO FUCKING SECURITY? ARE YOU REALLY THAT FUCKING STUPID?” I can hear him panting for breath and mom beating on his office door.
“Carrick, what is going on? I demand you open this door. Let me in Carrick Grey…NOW!” Grace is frantic. She is calling dad by his full name, he best watch out.
I hear the doorknob click then I hear, “Christian, are you without security? Where is Taylor? Son, what is going on? You are never without security.” Good grief, remind me never to call home again. I cannot take this shit.
“Mom, yes I am without security. Taylor is at Escala because I gave him vacation time with Gail. I was fine without him because I had Reynolds with me until he managed to let a shutterbug get some pics and put out articles that should not have happened. I have notified Taylor and I will be fine.” E-fucking-nough already. Get off the fucking telephone and it has nothing to do with call charges. This shit is exhausting and we have traveling to do.
“Look mom, dad, I will be in touch. I really have to go. I love you both.” I am trying to be sensitive to their position in all of this but I am not there, I am not coming back anytime soon and they just have to face it. I will not be guilted into returning to Seattle.
“Alright son, I will give you a pass for now,” thank you Heavenly Father, “but if you insist on remaining out of the country and you want to avoid this type of situation in the future, I recommend we hear from you on a more regular basis. Do you understand me?”
“Yes sir.” Once again, the child is chastened.
“Good. Be well Christian and travel safe son.” My father says with as much finality as he can muster. There is a twinge of emotion in his voice, but I cannot make out what it is so I just end the call.
I have spent what feels like hours just sitting on the balcony of my new Townsville City home with a 180 degree north facing views taking in Castle Hill, North Ward, The Palms, Magnetic Island, brilliant ocean views and surrounds proud of my decision to move. I could not stand to be in that hotel any longer. Do not get me wrong, Taipei is beautiful and there were any number of places to visit and sites to see, but Ana was not with me so there was really no point in a spending a night on the town alone, plus, I was ready to be somewhere more permanent.
I have to get out of here; the fucking walls are closing in on me. I get in my new Audi Spyder R8 and drive off to parts unknown. I get on Cape Pallarenda Road and head toward Cape Pallarenda Conservation Park. As I ponder my next plan of action Darren Hayes’ Walk Away pulls me out of my reverie:
I’ve been polishing blame for so long now
My pride and joy
A bit of tragedy never hurt
Somehow this man become a boy
You took the blame but maybe I was wrong
Walk away now and be gone
You don’t have to want to go on
I can see it’s killing you
You don’t always have to be so strong for me
Every angel had dirty hands
Even Judas planned to just carry on
Just picking up the pieces
Of what lies behind those sorrowful eyes
You can walk away
You have been silent for so long
I let the world know
I turned a bit of my pain into a song
Then carried on
You took my shame but maybe that was wrong
Walk away now and be gone
You don’t have to want to go on
Even when they’re killing you
You don’t always have to be so strong for me
Every angel had dirty hands
Even Judas planned to just carry on
Just picking up the pieces
Of what lies behind those sorrowful eyes
You can walk away
Now and be strong
I know you can carry on
Ana is telling me to go. I put the top up and get out of the car. As I do, I am met by a beautiful set of crystal blue eyes staring at me. I am speechless.
What do they tell you? When you least expect it be prepared.
She stares back at me for a moment then lowers her head as her face turns a lovely shade of pink. I almost call her Ana, when she suddenly turns and walks away from me. It is a dream? I am nailed to the spot, my eyes wide in disbelief.
No, it could not be. She would not be here and not tell me.
Then who was she?
I have no fucking idea.
They say everyone in the world has a twin. Maybe this is your second chance to make a first impression.
Do you know what angers me most?
Yes. You are thinking it and we are saying it. Grey, Steele left you remember not the other way around. She told you she loved you then she walked away from you. She got mad that you purchased SIP and when you tried to explain your actions she treated the situation as an overt attack on her free will. Her friend and her foolish pride are misguiding her; that is the long and the short of it. Keep in mind my friend, she had you and she let you go. Let the chips fall…
Touché mon ami.
Touché mon ami |Touché my friend