Fifty Shades Freed Extended Version

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My mother hugs me tightly.
“Follow your heart, darling, and please, please – try not to over-think things. Relax and enjoy yourself. You are so young, sweetheart. You have so much of life to experience yet, just let it happen. You deserve the best of everything.” Her heartfelt words are com- forting whispered in my ear. She kisses my hair.
“Oh, Mom.” Hot, unwelcome tears prick my eyes as I cling to her.
“Darling, you know what they say. You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince.”
I give her a lopsided, bittersweet smile.
“I think I’ve kissed a prince, Mom. I hope he doesn’t turn into a frog.”
She gives me her most endearing-motherly-absolute-unconditional-love smile, and I marvel at the love I feel for this woman as we hug again.
“Ana – they’re calling your flight,” Bob’s voice is anxious. “Will you visit, Mom?”
“Of course darling – soon. Love you.” “Me too.”
Her eyes are red with unshed tears as she releases me. I hate leaving her. I hug Bob, and turning, head to the gate – I do not have time for the first class lounge today. I will myself not to glance back. But I do… and Bob is holding my mom, and tears are streaming
down her face. I can no longer hold mine back. I put my head down and proceed to the gate, keeping my eyes on the shiny, white floor, blurred through my watery tears.
Once on board, in the luxury of first class, I curl up in my seat and try to compose my- self. It is always painful to wrench myself away from Mom… she is scatty, disorganized, but newly insightful, and she loves me. Unconditional love – what every child deserves from its parents. I frown at my wayward thoughts, and pulling out my BlackBerry, stare at it despondently.
What does Christian know of love? Seems he didn’t get the unconditional love he was entitled to during his very early years. My heart twists, and my mother’s words waft like a zephyr through my mind: Yes, Ana. Hell – what do you need? – a neon sign flashing on his forehead? She thinks Christian loves me, but then she’s my mother, of course she’d think that. She thinks I deserve the best of everything. I frown. It’s true, and in a moment of startling clarity, I see it. It’s very simple: I want his love. I need Christian Grey to love me. This is why I am so reticent about our relationship – because on some basic, fundamental level, I recognize within me a deep-seated compulsion to be loved and cherished.
And because of his fifty shades – I am holding myself back. The BDSM is a distrac- tion from the real issue. The sex is amazing, he’s wealthy, he’s beautiful, but this is all meaningless without his love, and the real heart-fail is that I don’t know if he’s capable of love. He doesn’t even love himself. I recall his self-loathing, her love being the only form he found – acceptable. Punished – whipped, beaten, whatever their relationship entailed – he feels undeserving of love. Why does he feel like that? How can he feel like that? His words haunt me: ‘It’s very hard to grow up in a perfect family when you’re not perfect.’
I close my eyes, imagining his pain, and I can’t begin to comprehend it. I shudder as I remember that I may have divulged too much. What have I confessed to Christian in my sleep? What secrets have I revealed?
I stare at the BlackBerry in the vague hope that it will give me some answers. Rather unsurprisingly, it is not very forthcoming. As we haven’t taken off yet, I decide to email my Fifty Shades.

From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Homeward Bound Date: June 3 2011 12:53 EST
To: Christian Grey
Dear Mr. Grey
I am once again ensconced in first class, for which I thank you. I am counting the min- utes until I see you this evening, and perhaps torturing the truth out of you about my nocturnal admissions.
Your Ana x

From: Christian Grey Subject: Homeward Bound Date: June 3 2011 09:58 To: Anastasia Steele
Anastasia, I look forward to seeing you.

Christian Grey
CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

His response makes me frown. It sounds clipped and formal, not his usual witty, pithy style.

From: Anastasia Steele Subject: Homeward Bound Date: June 3 2011 13:01 EST
To: Christian Grey
Dearest Mr. Grey
I hope everything is okay re ‘the situation.’ The tone of your email is worrying. Ana x

From: Christian Grey Subject: Homeward Bound Date: June 3 2011 10:04 To: Anastasia Steele
Anastasia
The situation could be better. Have you taken off yet? If so you should not be emailing. You are putting yourself at risk, in direct contravention of the rule regarding your personal safety. I meant what I said about punishments.

Christian Grey
CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

Crap. Okay. Jeez. What is eating him? Perhaps ‘the situation’? Maybe Taylor’s gone AWOL, maybe he’s dropped a few million on the stock market – whatever the reason.

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Fifty Shades Freed Extended Version
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