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 18 | Another Point of View
“DAMN Christian, does your father know about saving trees? I understand this stuff may not have originally been saved electronically, but surely these things could’ve been scanned and sent to you?” I agree with her completely. There’s a lot of shit here.
“I agree Baby, but like you said things were done differently back in the day. But these are legal documents, so I need hardcopies for validity. Plus, if these things were scanned at any point, we run the risk of loosing data.”
“I guess” she says, as if I’m making this up as I go along. I need this stuff, in this format, to strengthen my case against Ole’ Man Brown. “What is all of this?” She frivolously waves a stack of papers around.
“This is my life Anastasia” I snap. My voice crisp and clear. Her demeanor changes immediately. We found my adoption papers, the Crack-Whore’s Death Certificate, police reports about the crime scene and statements from the people who resided in the area where the body and I were found.
“Where’s your Birth Certificate Christian.” Ana is digging around, scattering pages all over the table and, now, the floor where we’ve piled things up as well.
Sitting to my right, I quickly push the paper at her then try to reorganize the mess she’s now made of my filing system, “Dammit Ana, here. Look, it took me an hour to make sense of all that shit. Put it back.”
“Make sense of huh? My ass.” She’s been mocking my organizational skills, or the lack thereof according to her, all afternoon.
Ha, ha, ha…you two are funny.
“I’ve got something for your ass Baby and I have no problem showing how well I can file it.” I wink at her. My reward? After all this time, it’s nice to know I can still make her blush. “You still turn that beautiful shade of pink Baby. I love it.”
The blush, still shining on her cheeks she says, “Cool it Grey. We’ve got work to do. Gimme that.” She snatches the paper out of my hands.
“This is an Adoption Certificate. I’m looking for your Birth Certificate.” She flips the paper under my nose. There’s no way in Hell we could go into business together.
I know, that feisty little attitude would have her on her back on the boardroom table all the time.
“As far as I’m concerned that is my Birth Certificate Anastasia. I wasn’t alive until Grace and Carrick Grey rescued me.” What the fuck does she want, evidence that some sorry bitch pushed out a little bastard she didn’t really want? All she has to do is look this direction for that. I’m living proof.
“I can see the wheels spinning Grey. If you want to be able to disprove the Browns accusation, and I know that’s the only reason for this Trip Down Misery Lane, then you need to have documentation about your natural birth family.” She’s right, I know she is. I just didn’t want to delve that deep. I just want all of this to go away and leave me alone. Leave me in peace.
When have you ever found peace? Even in that God forsaken ‘Playroom’, when have you ever found peace? Aside from sailing and soaring…alone…you couldn’t spell peace before Ana came along.
I’m very well aware of that, thank you.
And while we’re at it…
Mon Dieu, aidez-moi s’il te plaît!
Call on God all you want motherfucker. We talk when I say so remember? Contrary to the world’s belief, I’m running this shit.
What the fuck do you want…this time?
Listen to what she’s telling you Grey. Go to the Family Meeting and listen to what the Brown’s have to say. Hear them out. What’s there to lose? You keep saying you don’t want to associate with them so if you hear something to solidify that mindset then you’re all the better. If you hear something to make you feel differently then who knows what could happen. Just keep an open mind and listen.
That’s my point. I’m not sure I want to listen to what they have to say. I have questions. I want answers. I want to know why they left us in that situation. Brown has more money than I do, surely he could afford to bring us home…bring me home after she died. I want to know why he didn’t come for me. Where the fuck was he?!
Then go to the fucking Family Meeting and ask, stupid fuck! Damn, what the hell does Steele see in you anyway?
“Christian, you have to face this. You have to speak with your grandfather at least. You have questions, I know you do. You must. You’d be remiss if you didn’t. Ask Mr Brown or your uncle, Hell ask your cousins. Don’t be afraid. Just ask. I’ll be right there by your side if you want.” Ana crawls onto my lap and holds me around my neck. I love when she does this. It’s for my benefit, and hers as well, I think.
“Baby, Ella called me last night.” Ana’s eyes widen in surprise.
“I thought you said you didn’t have each other’s cell phone numbers” she whispers, with hurt in voice.
I shake my head at her. “Baby, she comes from money, so I’m pretty sure Ole Man Brown is worse than me when it comes to security. I didn’t even bother wondering how she got my number, let alone ask. For all I know, she’s had the damn number since I got the phone.” I smile ruefully at Ana. No one is above a background check. It just depends on the ability of your investigators, and Brown’s men are good. All the more reason for him to have found us.
Drop it! If you’re not going to the source then fucking forget about it.
“What did she want?” Ana murmurs, and pouts a little.
I smile. I know jealousy isn’t supposed to be attractive, but I like that she’s possessive of me. I like belonging to Ana. “She demanded I attend a Family Meeting. She gave me 24 hours notice, seeing as though I wasn’t accustomed to their way of doing things. Apparently it’s more than mandatory and unless I was in some remote area of the world without internet access, giving birth, dying or dead I have no excuse for my absence.”
“Hmm, sounds like you come by your control freak tendencies honestly.” She tries to hold her smile at bay.
“THERE IT IS! You had your arm on it all along. Why didn’t you tell me?” Ana points to the envelope on my right, under my elbow, clearly labeled Birth Records.
“I was ignoring it. I wanted it to go away.” I say, mostly to myself, as I stare at the sealed envelope.
“Well, let’s see what your options are Mr. Grey.” Huh? When did she go all business savvy on me?
She frowns as she begins, “As I see it, you can open the envelope and read its contents here, forewarned is forearmed after all. You can take the information and knowledge with you to your Family Meeting.” The word your doesn’t go unnoticed and she knows it. “You can leave the envelope sealed and open it in front of your family,” again with the word your, ”and read it together, but then you run the risk of the Browns being correct and you haven’t had a chance to mull it over beforehand.”
“You can call Carrick and ask him if this is the original and if there are any copies then decide to read it here or in front of the Browns,” good, no your “or you can destroy it altogether, forget about it and behave as if the Browns never existed. Remember, with the last option, you’ll never get answers to any of the questions you’ve ever had or will have as this races around in your waking or dreaming mind.”
Just what the fuck I told you, right?
“What’s holding you back Christian? You’re a successful man. You have a family who loves you. You have me, who loves you. What’s holding you back?” Ana whispers the words I’ve asked myself since this entire shit-storm blew up. “Talk to me Christian. Analyze it if you must, but talk to me.”
There are tears in my voice as I tell her my feelings, not just the simple facts, we’ve discussed those hundreds of times. My feelings, then, and my feelings now, it’s rare for me to share those. “She didn’t stop the hurt Anastasia. She didn’t stop the pain. She was in the same room with me and she would just watch. I felt like a sideshow for her entertainment…and his.”
I’m old enough now to understand she was strung out and probably didn’t even see what was going on, but the damage had been done. I manage to push those memories, those feelings back and keep them at bay most of the time, but if I begin to think about any of this my blood boils, literally.” My voice instinctively starts to rise.
Ana holds up a hand up to my chest and I take a deep, calming breath. “I can’t get past that hurt, Ana, that pain. Pain is what’s holding me back. Pain was always on my mind. Pain was how I began my life and although Grace and Carrick didn’t perpetuate that feeling, it seemed to be ingrained in my psyche.”
“Elena got her claws into me because of pain. I wanted to have sex, I was horny as Hell. I couldn’t get close enough to the girls my age. I couldn’t accept tenderness. The only thought in my mind was pain. I know now Elena had inside information about how to approach me, how to relate to me, how to handle me and she used it all to her advantage. She wanted to fuck me just as much as I wanted to fuck…any girl. Hell, she could’ve been a fifteen year old girl for all I gave a damn, as long as she knew how to go about getting to me.” I shake my head at the realization. It wasn’t her I wanted, I wanted sex, I wanted closeness. And I wanted pain. Pain was the only way I knew to be close…to be intimate.
“I can’t say it enough Anastasia and I’m glad you don’t understand me. Pain is all there was to me.” I shrug my shoulders and say the magic word again, “Pain.” I take another deep breath and put my head in my hands. I feel like a lost cause. I feel weak and vulnerable and hurt, even now. Going back there, is what’s preventing me from moving forward, from getting on with my life.
I feel her petite, delicate hand slowly glide through my hair and stop at the back of my neck, “Christian.” I lift my head to look into her eyes, empathetic blue to agonizing grey. I shudder for a moment then give a very small smile. “Love, there are other points of view to consider in this story. There were…there are…things going on in this world, around the corner, up the street, across the pond with people you know, people you don’t know and people you never will know.”
“Remember, there are three sides to every story. You have to consider the point of view for every person involved. Your birth mother isn’t here to defend herself. You have the opportunity to speak ill of her as much as you want and she can’t contest you. You have the opportunity to curse and shun the people who knew her. You are afforded liberties she will never have.” I frown at her logic.
“You can plainly see she wasn’t born into her situation and I refuse to believe it was her life’s goal to become dependent on drugs or sell her body for any reason. I also seriously doubt she rejoiced in the vision of her only child being beaten in front of her very eyes. You’re an accomplished man Christian. You’re an intelligent man. Do you really think that’s a situation anyone aspires to?” When she puts it like that, I have to shake my head.
“Go to the Family Meeting. Listen to the Browns, ask your questions. If you don’t feel as though your getting enough answers, ask your questions again. Ask for more tangible information. Make them tell you everything you don’t know.”
She’s right. Ella’s not here to tell me herself. I’ve spent years with Flynn alone and countless other shrinks before him. My parents can only tell me so much. The Browns are my last stop when it comes to the mystery of the Crack…I mean Ella’s story.
Quietly, almost afraid of being heard I say, “You’re Ana, although I’m gonna call Dad to ask about the Birth Certificate first. Can we discuss how to handle all of this after we talk to him?”
Ana runs her fingers through my hair several times before responding. “Anything for you Christian” then she places her hand under my chin and lifts my lips to meet hers in a soft, healing kiss. “I love you” she whispers against my lips. I smile and nod the same.
“Hello? Christian? How are you? Is Ana with you? When are you coming home? We miss you both so much!” Damn Caller ID.
“Hey Mia.” I roll my eyes and Ana stifles her giggle, “ Yeah, Ana’s here and we’re both fine. Look, may I speak to…”
“When are you coming hommme?” she whines and drags the word out as much as her breath will let her. I have the call on speakerphone so Ana and I can hear the same information at the same time. Cut out the need to replay the conversation. Ana is sitting on my lap, as usual, and I squeeze her tightly as I try to formulate a response to Mia’s question. I look at Ana, begging for help and she quickly comes to my rescue.
Looking pointedly at me Ana jumps in, “Hi Mia, how are you? How are things with you and Ethan?” With that, Mia’s off, and running about herself first and the boring things to do in Seattle then she tell us how things with Ethan are strained at the moment due to the Grey v. Kavanaugh Feud.
“…and Kate has become simply bitch-tastic. At first Elliott and I were like, ‘ok, this’ll pass’, but after you left Ana, she just lost all sense of reason. Elliott believes she’s jealous of your happiness and he said he won’t have her projecting her problems on you, Christian or this family. They went out last night, but I haven’t seen or talked to him so I don’t know how it went. Ana, have you heard from Kate? She said she’s tried to reach you and some guy keeps answering your phone.”
I mouth ‘Barney’ to her and she continues with Mia. “Oh yeah, um…I mean no. I was having trouble with my phone and I gave it to Taylor to fix so…”
In true Mia fashion, she cuts Ana off, “I figured it was someone with GEH, which is what I told Kate when she started talking about you ‘coming to your senses’ and dumping Christian.” My eyes widen at the comment. Ana shakes her head and places a finger over my lips. “…that it had to be someone with GEH or something like that, if not Taylor himself. Well, that was like opening the floodgates. Kate rambled on and on, I couldn’t get a word in edgewise. Elliott left the room and a few minutes later we heard the door slam shut and his truck pulling out of the driveway.” Ana had to put her hands over my mouth to keep Mia from hearing my chuckle.
“Mom and Dad were too pissed, so I first took Kate back to Elliott’s. He, of course, wasn’t home, but since no one but he and Dad have keys to the new locks…” my eyes widen again and Ana nods confirmation to me. She told me Elliott put Kate out, but I figured all was well by now.
She really tore her skinny ass this time didn’t she?
I guess so.
“…we got back to her place and she didn’t even say thank you for the ride. Humpf. So how are things with you guys? How’s the weather? I bet the beaches are gorgeous aren’t they? You know I’m coming to visit Christian.” Now I know the coast is clear.
“I’m sure you want to Mia. May I speak with Dad now?”
“Dad? Oh, yeah. He’s not here.” She could’ve said that an hour ago, dammit. “He does have a job you know. Not everyone is a mega-billion-millionaire like you and you do recall the 14-hour time difference? It’ 9 AM in Seattle Big Brother.”
Oh yeah, I keep forgetting about that don’t I? Oh well, he’s been cussing me out from the privacy of his office for weeks now, what’s one more time, “Ok, I’ll try him at his off…”
“He’s in court all day. He should be home early this evening, I guess it’ll be like 7 AM your time. Give him a call then.”
“Oh hey, Mom just came downstairs, do you want to say hello? She misses you too you know.” Before I can protest I hear, “Hey Mom, Christian and Ana are on the phone!”
I lower my head and groan inwardly. Ana pats my back in a ‘there-there’ gesture then whispers in my ear, “It’ll be alright. You don’t have to work at distracting her. Just be honest.” I lift my head and nod. “Good Boy” she smirks at me.
HA, HA, HA!
“CHRISTIAN?” Why are they yelling? It’s not like we’re talking through tin cans…damn.
“Hi Mom,” I say, using my indoor voice, “how are you?” The weary sound in my voice is clear to my own ears.
“I’m fine Son. You sound tired Christian, are you all right?” Oh, just peachy.
“Yeah Mom, we’re good.” That’s the extent of my participation in this part of the conversation. Mom is off like a shot at the word we. I see where Mia gets it from. It’s laughable actually.
“Ana, Sweetheart how are you? I’m so pleased you’re there.” Once again, they’re talking about everything and nothing at all.
After about another hour or so of mindless chatter, as far as I’m concerned, Mom politely throws a left-cross, right-hook and upper-cut, “So, how are wedding plans going? Are you going to return to Seattle or will you hold the ceremony there?” She nailed it. When are we getting married, where are we getting married and when are we coming home? All in foul swoop.
Ana looks at me, lost at sea. Now it’s my turn to smirk causing Ana to squints her eyes.
Like that’s gonna do anything Little Girl.
Being the gentleman I am, I come to her rescue. “We‘ve just been taking things one day at a time Mom. We haven’t even discussed the wedding. Ana’s looking into career avenues and GEH is landing new deals everyday.” Ana winces a bit when I mention career avenues.
Hell, it’s better than saying Ana’s applying for jobs.
“Well that’s good Son. I’m glad you two are together again, that’s the important thing.” I know she’s disappointed, but right now it’s not about her. As selfish as it may sound, this is about me and Ana. Grace and Carrick have helped me all they can. I have to carry the ball from here.
Hearing the sorrow in her voice, I have to give her something, “Mom, I know you want us home and we’ll visit…soon. Life here really is different and we’re enjoying it too much to walk away just yet. Please don’t be sad. I love you Mom. I’m not turning my back on you. You know I love you don’t you?” I’m desperate not to hurt this wonderful woman, the woman who saved me all those years ago and gave me the opportunity to get to this point. She gave me a life I didn’t know existed before I met her.
Another point of view in this story huh Grey?
I guess so.
“Of course I know you love me Son and I love you too. I also miss my baby boy and his beautiful fiancée.” Abruptly she calls out, “Ana?”
“Yes Mrs. Grey…I mean Grace.” I giggle at her slip. Nice save Baby.
“I’m trusting you to look after my son Ana. Take good care of him and remember to treat him like he’s your own.” I can hear her smile at the last part. I smile too.
Ana grins, “I promise I will Grace.”
“Good. Goodbye children.”
In unison we say, “Bye Mom” and end the call, somehow managing to keep the smiles on our faces after what was, in my opinion, an excruciating conversation. Ana and I share a deep kiss, our tongues reveling in their familiar and exciting dance.
When we come up for air Ana says, “Well? How would you like to proceed Mr Grey?” She’s obviously strategizing.
Oh, that’s easy because I have my own agenda. “It’s after 10 PM and there are still some virgin surfaces that require our attention Baby. We can pass the time while we wait for the Sun to rise so we can call my Dad.” My dick twitches underneath her just at the thought. My hands glide, slowly, up the sides of her delicious body to her shoulders then down her soft back. I stop midway down and quickly unfasten her bra through the fabric of her t-shirt, and smile at the look of disbelief on her face. It’s called skill Baby.
I pull her close to me and begin to lick and nip and kiss from her collarbone, up her neck to her earlobe. She willingly leans her head away from me so I have better access to her beautiful skin. I keep one hand on her back as the other rubs her thigh, then moves to her ass, up to her waist and finally reaches around her torso to her breast. I rub the palm of my hand over her nipple feeling it harden then I squeeze her sensual, full breasts causing her to moan into my mouth.
“Is that a yes Anastasia?” Unable to speak, she quickly nods her head, but that’s not good enough for me. “Say it Baby. Is that a yes?”
“Yes Christian…yes. Ah…” I stand with her in my arms and make my way to the stairs. “Where are we going?”
I smile against her lips then say, in a deep, lust-filled voice, “Second floor…Library. I’m gonna fuck you on the couch, you’re gonna ride my cock as I sit in one of the wingback chairs then I’m gonna fuck you against each and every one of the bookshelves in there. If you want, we can fuck on the desk…your desk…and in the chair behind it too.”
I’m gonna spread your legs apart, lick your sweet, slick folds and slide my tongue in and out of you until you Come like you never have before. You can suck my balls, run your tongue along the underside of my cock and devour me with your luscious, sinful talented mouth. How does all that sound to you Baby?” Ana lets out a soft, sweet moan and she’s panting by the time we reach the Library door.
As I lift my head from between her thighs, I untie the drapery sashes from Ana’s knees. I gently massage her knees, making sure she’s not stiff, and lick the insides of her thighs as if telling the ladies bye-bye…for now. “You look so beautiful with your legs bound open to the arms of this chair Baby. I’m never going to be able to think about this room without getting hard.” I lay my head in her lap and breathe in deeply, the smell of sex on her body. Sex with me. I’m the only man to see her this way, the only man to touch her this way and only man to have her. She is mine, all mine.
“Ana…” I look at her post-coital beauty and see the love she has for me in her eyes and I feel that familiar tightness in my chest…in my heart.
I must have a frown on my face because her reply has a note of concern, “Christian?”
I shake my head, take a deep breath and say a silent pray for strength then quietly utter the words I’ve repeated to myself countless times, awake and in my sleep, “Anastasia Rose Steele, I love you. I want to love, cherish and protect you for the rest of my life. Be mine, always. Share my life with me. Marry me.”
With tears in her eyes she says, “Christian, I accepted your proposal months ago. My feelings for you haven’t changed. I still want to marry you. I still want to be your wife.” She softly touches my face and instinctively I lean into her touch.
“You misunderstand me Ana. I mean right now…right here. Not after a planned trip back to Seattle. Not after dress fittings and cake tastings. Not after guest lists, invitations and bachelor parties. Not after a practice run and a night with the families. We’ve anticipated this for months. The 30-day window I gave my mother has long past and we’ve gone through enough trials to last us from now on and even after we die. Please Ana. Marry me now.” I’m begging her. She’s my strength. She’s all the good I don’t have in me. She’s all the stamina I lack and I need her with me, forever.
“Christian, what about…” I cut her off at the pass.
“Our families? They love us and we can celebrate with them at another time. Ray gave us his blessing and if you want him to walk you down the aisle I’ll fly him here right now. Hell, I’ll swim back to Montesano and bring him to you. Whatever you want Baby it’s yours, just please marry me now.”
Her response stings a little, I’ll admit “Let’s get through this Family Meeting then we can decide how to go about getting married. I’m not going to let you go Mr. Grey. You’re stuck with me. We can be married in Seattle, in Townsville or in fucking Timbuktu for all I give a damn as long as we’re together…forever.” She takes my face in both of her hands and leans down to kiss me and it’s the softest, sweetest kiss I’ve ever felt.
“Now, let’s get your father on the phone so we can finish organizing for your meeting with the Browns.”
“We still have time baby, remember there’s a 14-hour time difference? We still have christenings to do. Next are the guest rooms. I’m angry I have neighbors now because I’d love to fuck you on each balcony of this grandiose home.”
“Alas, three out of four ain’t bad is it Mr Grey?” Is she fucking kidding me? Ain’t bad?
It’s the best fucking sex we’ve ever had and that’s saying something.
I’ve told her and told her, but she doesn’t believe me.
“Baby, you don’t know just how ain’t bad sex is with you.” I kiss the inside of her thigh, again, then run my tongue up to the apex between her legs and breathe deeply. I don’t have to look up to know she’s blushing. Her legs turn that adorable shade of pink as well.
I stand and hold my hand out to her. “Come.”
As she reaches for me, the house phone rings. What the fuck? “It might be Mom baby. Something must be wrong somewhere.” Ana, my parents, Elliott, Ros and Taylor have this number. After Taylor and Barney explained the issue with Ana’s phone I felt the need for another mode of communication. Hopefully this is secure. I reach across the desk for the receiver, “Grey!” I really need to learn to look at the Caller ID window. My ears begin to burn and my fists immediately clench at the sound of the voice on the line.
Mon Dieu, aidez-moi s’il te plaît
Dear God, help me please.