Fifty Shades Freed Extended Version

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From: Christian Grey

Subject: Careful Yourself

Date: May 27 2011 00:03

To: Anastasia Steele

Why don’t you like me?

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.

I get up and open another bottle of sparkling water.

And wait.

* * *

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Careful Yourself

Date: May 27 2011 00:09

To: Christian Grey

Because you never stay with me.

Six words.

Six little words that make my scalp tingle.

I told her that I didn’t sleep with anyone.

But today was a big day.

She graduated from college.

She said yes.

We went through all those soft limits that she knew nothing about. We fucked. I spanked her. We fucked again.

Shit.

And before I can stop myself, I grab the garage ticket for my car, pick up a jacket, and I’m out the door.

THE ROADS ARE EMPTY and I’m at her place twenty-three minutes later.

I knock quietly, and Kavanagh opens the door.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing here?” she shouts, her eyes blazing with anger.

Whoa. Not the reception I was expecting.

“I’ve come to see Ana.”

“Well, you can’t!” Kavanagh stands with arms folded and legs braced in the doorway, like a gargoyle.

I try reasoning with her. “But I need to see her. She sent me an e-mail.” Get out of my way!

“What the fuck have you done to her now?”

“That’s what I need to find out.” I grit my teeth.

“Ever since she met you she cries all the time.”

“What?” I can’t deal with her shit anymore, and I barge past her.

“You can’t come in here!” Kavanagh follows me, shrieking like a harpy, as I storm through the apartment to Ana’s bedroom.

I open Ana’s door and switch on the main light. She’s huddled in her bed, wrapped in her comforter. Her eyes are red and puffy, and squinting in the overhead light. Her nose is swollen and blotchy.

I’ve seen women in this state many times, especially after I’ve punished them. But I’m surprised by the unease that grips my gut.

“Jesus, Ana.” I flick the main light off so she doesn’t have to squint and I sit on the bed beside her.

“What are you doing here?” She’s sniffling. I turn on her bedside light.

“Do you want me to throw this asshole out?” Kate barks from the doorway.

Fuck you, Kavanagh. Raising an eyebrow, I pretend to ignore her.

Ana shakes her head, but her watery eyes are on me.

“Just holler if you need me,” Kate says to Ana, as if she were a child. “Grey,” she snaps, so I’m obliged to look at her. “You’re on my shit list, and I’m watching you.” She sounds shrill, her eyes glinting with fury, but I don’t give a fuck.

Fortunately she leaves, pulling the door to, but not shutting it. I check in my inside pocket, and once again Mrs. Jones has exceeded all expectations; I fish out the handkerchief and give it to Ana. “What’s going on?”

“Why are you here?” Her voice is shaky.

I don’t know.

You said you didn’t like me.

“Part of my role is to look after your needs. You said you wanted me to stay, so here I am.” Nice save, Grey. “And yet I find you like this.” You weren’t like this when I left. “I’m sure I’m responsible, but I have no idea why. Is it because I hit you?”

She struggles to sit up and flinches when she does.

“Did you take some Advil?” As instructed?

She shakes her head.

When will you do as you’re told?

I go to find Kavanagh, who’s on the sofa, seething.

“Ana has a headache. Do you have any Advil?”

She raises her eyebrows, surprised, I think, by my concern for her friend. Glowering, she gets up and stomps into the kitchen. After some rustling through boxes she hands me a couple of tablets and a teacup of water.

Back in the bedroom I offer them to Ana and sit on the bed. “Take these.”

She does, her eyes clouded with apprehension.

“Talk to me. You told me you were okay. I’d never have left you if I thought you were like this.” Distracted, she toys with a loose thread on her quilt. “I take it that when you said you were okay, you weren’t.”

“I thought I was fine,” she admits.

“Anastasia, you can’t tell me what you think I want to hear. That’s not very honest. How can I trust anything you’ve said to me?” This will never work if she’s not honest with me.

The thought is depressing.

Talk to me, Ana.

“How did you feel while I was hitting you, and after?”

“I didn’t like it. I’d rather you didn’t do it again.”

“You weren’t meant to like it.”

“Why do you like it?” she asks, and her voice is stronger.

Shit. I can’t tell her why.

“You really want to know?”

“Oh, trust me, I’m fascinated.” Now she’s being sarcastic.

“Careful,” I warn her.

She pales at my expression. “Are you going to hit me again?”

“No, not tonight.” I think you’ve had enough.

“So.” She still wants an answer.

“I like the control it gives me, Anastasia. I want you to behave in a particular way, and if you don’t, I shall punish you, and you will learn to behave the way I desire. I enjoy punishing you. I’ve wanted to spank you since you asked me if I was gay.”

And I don’t want you rolling your eyes at me, or being sarcastic.

“So you don’t like the way I am.” Her voice is small.

“I think you’re lovely the way you are.”

“So why are you trying to change me?”

“I don’t want to change you.” God forbid. You’re enchanting. “I’d like you to be courteous and to follow the set of rules I’ve given you and not defy me. Simple.” I want you safe.

“But you want to punish me?”

“Yes, I do.”

“That’s what I don’t understand.”

I sigh. “It’s the way I’m made. I need to control you. I need you to behave in a certain way, and if you don’t-” My mind drifts. I find it arousing, Ana. You did, too. Can’t you accept that? Bending you over my knee…feeling your ass beneath my palm. “I love to watch your beautiful alabaster skin pink and warm up under my hands. It turns me on.” Just thinking about it stirs my body.

“So it’s not the pain you’re putting me through?”

Hell.

“A bit, to see if you can take it.” Actually, it’s a lot, but I don’t want to go there right now. If I tell her, she’ll throw me out. “But that’s not the whole reason. It’s the fact that you are mine to do with as I see fit-ultimate control over someone else. And it turns me on. Big-time.”

I must lend her a book or two on being a submissive.

“Look, I’m not explaining myself very well. I’ve never had to before. I’ve not really thought about this in any great depth. I’ve always been with like-minded people.” I pause to check she’s still with me. “And you haven’t answered my question-how did you feel afterward?”

She blinks. “Confused.”

“You were sexually aroused by it, Anastasia.”

You have an inner freak, Ana. I know it.

Closing my eyes, I recall her wet and wanting around my fingers after I spanked her. When I open them, she’s staring at me, pupils dilated, her lips parted…her tongue moistening her top lip. She wants it, too.

Shit. Not again, Grey. Not when she’s like this.

“Don’t look at me like that,” I warn, my voice gruff.

Her eyebrows rise in surprise.

You know what I mean, Ana. “I don’t have any condoms, and you know, you’re upset. Contrary to what your roommate believes, I’m not a priapic monster. So, you felt confused?”

She remains mute.

Jesus.

“You have no problem being honest with me in print. Your e-mails always tell me exactly how you feel. Why can’t you do that in conversation? Do I intimidate you that much?”

Her fingers fiddle with the quilt.

“You beguile me, Christian. Completely overwhelm me. I feel like Icarus, flying too close to the sun.” Her voice is quiet, but brimming with emotion.

Her confession floors me like a swift kick to the head.

“Well, I think you’ve got that the wrong way round,” I whisper.

“What?”

“Oh, Anastasia, you’ve bewitched me. Isn’t it obvious?”

That’s why I’m here.

She’s not convinced.

Ana. Believe me. “You’ve still not answered my question. Write me an e-mail, please. But right now, I’d really like to sleep. Can I stay?”

“Do you want to stay?”

“You wanted me here.”

“You haven’t answered my question,” she persists.

Impossible woman. I just drove like a maniac to get here after your fucking message. There’s your answer.

I grumble that I’ll respond by e-mail. I’m not talking about this. This conversation is over.

Before I can change my mind and head back to The Heathman, I stand, empty my pockets, remove my shoes and socks, and strip off my pants. Slinging my jacket over her chair, I climb into her bed.

“Lie down,” I growl.

She complies, and I lean up on my elbow, looking at her. “If you are going to cry, cry in front of me. I need to know.”

“Do you want me to cry?”

“Not particularly. I just want to know how you’re feeling. I don’t want you slipping through my fingers. Switch the light off. It’s late, and we both have to work tomorrow.”

She does.

“Lie on your side, facing away from me.”

I don’t want you to touch me.

The bed dips as she moves, and I wrap my arm around her and gently pull her against me.

“Sleep, baby,” I murmur, and breathe in the scent of her hair.

Damn, she smells good.

Lelliot is running through the grass.

He’s laughing. Loud.

I am running after him. My face is smiling.

I am going to catch him.

There are small trees around us.

Baby trees covered in apples.

Mommy lets me pick the apples.

Mommy lets me eat the apples.

I put the apples in my pockets. Every pocket.

I hide them in my sweater.

Apples taste good.

Apples smell good.

Mommy makes apple pie.

Apple pie and ice cream.

They make my tummy smile.

I hide the apples in my shoes. I hide them under my pillow.

There is a man. Grandpa Trev-Trev-yan.

His name is hard. Hard to say in my head.

He has another name. Thee-o-door.

Theodore is a funny name.

The baby trees are his trees.

At his house. Where he lives.

He is Mommy’s daddy.

He has a loud laugh. And big shoulders.

And happy eyes.

He runs to catch Lelliot and me.

You can’t catch me.

Lelliot runs. He laughs.

I run. I catch him.

And we fall down in the grass.

He is laughing.

The apples sparkle in the sun.

And they taste so good.

Yummy.

And they smell so good.

So, so good.

The apples fall.

They fall on me.

I twist and they hit my back. Stinging me.

Ow.

But the scent is still there, sweet and crisp.

Ana.

When I open my eyes I’m wrapped around her, our limbs entwined. She’s regarding me with a tender smile. Her face is no longer blotchy and puffy; she looks radiant. My cock agrees, and stiffens in greeting.

“Good morning.” I’m disoriented. “Jesus, even in my sleep I’m drawn to you.” Stretching out, I disentangle myself from her and scan my surroundings. Of course, we’re in her bedroom. Her eyes glow with eager curiosity as my cock presses against her. “Hmm, this has possibilities, but I think we should wait until Sunday.” I nuzzle her just below her ear and lean up on my elbow.

She looks flushed. Warm.

“You’re very hot,” she scolds.

“You’re not so bad yourself.” I grin and flex my hips, teasing her with my favorite body part. She tries a disapproving look but fails miserably-she’s highly amused. Leaning down, I kiss her.

“Sleep well?” I ask.

She nods.

“So did I.”

I’m surprised. I did sleep really well. I tell her so. No nightmares. Only dreams…

“What’s the time?” I ask.

“It’s seven thirty.”

“Seven thirty? Shit!” I leap out of bed and start dragging on my jeans. She watches me dress, trying to suppress her laughter.

“You are such a bad influence on me,” I complain. “I have a meeting. I have to go-I have to be in Portland at eight. Are you smirking at me?”

“Yes,” she admits.

“I’m late. I don’t do late. Another first, Miss Steele.” I tug on my jacket, reach down and take her head in both my hands. “Sunday,” I whisper, and kiss her. I grab my watch, wallet, and money from her bedside table, pick up my shoes, and head for the door. “Taylor will come and sort your Beetle. I was serious. Don’t drive it. I’ll see you at my place on Sunday. I’ll e-mail you a time.”

Leaving her a little dazed, I rush out of the apartment and to my car.

I put on my shoes while I’m driving. Once they’re on I open up the throttle and weave in and out of the traffic heading to Portland. I’ll have to meet Eamon Kavanagh’s associates in my jeans. Thankfully this meeting is via WebEx.

I burst into my room at The Heathman and switch on my laptop: 8:02. Shit. I haven’t shaved, but I smooth my hair and straighten my jacket, and hope they don’t notice I’m only wearing a T-shirt underneath.

Who gives a fuck, anyway?

I open WebEx and Andrea is online, waiting for me. “Good morning, Mr. Grey. Mr. Kavanagh is delayed, but they’re ready for you in New York and here in Seattle.”

“Fred and Barney?” My Flintstones. I smirk at the thought.

“Yes, sir. And Ros, too.”

“Great. Thanks.” I’m breathless. I catch Andrea’s fleeting puzzled look and choose to ignore it. “Can you order me a toasted bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon and a coffee, black. Have it sent to my suite ASAP.”

“Yes, Mr. Grey.” She posts the link to the conference in the window. “Here you go, sir,” she says. I click the link-and I’m in.

“Good morning.” There are two executives seated at a conference table in New York, both gazing expectantly at the camera. Ros, Barney, and Fred are each in separate windows.

To business. Kavanagh says he wants to upgrade his media network to high-speed fiber-optic connections. GEH can do it for them-but are they serious about buying in? It’s a big investment up front, but a great payoff down the line.

While we’re talking an e-mail notification with an arresting title from Ana floats onto the top right corner of my screen. As quietly as I can, I click on it.

* * *

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Assault and Battery: The After-Effects

Date: May 27 2011 08:05

To: Christian Grey

Dear Mr. Grey,

You wanted to know why I felt confused after you-which euphemism should we apply-spanked, punished, beat, assaulted me.

A tad overdramatic, Miss Steele. You could have said no.

Well, during the whole alarming process, I felt demeaned, debased, and abused.

If you felt that way, why didn’t you stop me? You have safe words.

And much to my mortification, you’re right, I was aroused, and that was unexpected.

I know. Good. You’ve finally acknowledged it.

As you are well aware, all things sexual are new to me-I only wish I was more experienced and therefore more prepared. I was shocked to feel aroused.

What really worried me was how I felt afterward. And that’s more difficult to articulate. I was happy that you were happy. I felt relieved that it wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be. And when I was lying in your arms, I felt…sated.

As did I, Ana, as did I…

But I feel very uncomfortable, guilty even, feeling that way. It doesn’t sit well with me, and I’m confused as a result. Does that answer your question?

I hope the world of Mergers and Acquisitions is as stimulating as ever…and that you weren’t too late.

Thank you for staying with me.

Ana

Kavanagh joins the conversation, apologizing for his tardiness. While the introductions are made and Fred talks about what GEH can offer, I type out my reply to Ana. I hope to those on the other side of the computer screen it looks like I’m taking notes.

* * *

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Free Your Mind

Date: May 27 2011 08:24

To: Anastasia Steele

Interesting…if slightly overstated title heading, Miss Steele.

To answer your points:

I’ll go with spanking-as that’s what it was.

So you felt demeaned, debased, abused, and assaulted-how very Tess Durbeyfield of you. I believe it was you who decided on the debasement, if I remember correctly. Do you really feel like this or do you think you ought to feel like this? Two very different things. If that is how you feel, do you think you could just try to embrace these feelings, deal with them, for me? That’s what a submissive would do.

I am grateful for your inexperience. I value it, and I’m only beginning to understand what it means. Simply put…it means that you are mine in every way.

Yes, you were aroused, which in turn was very arousing, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Happy does not even begin to cover how I felt. Ecstatic joy comes close.

Punishment spanking hurts far more than sensual spanking-so that’s about as hard as it gets, unless, of course, you commit some major transgression, in which case I’ll use some implement to punish you with. My hand was very sore. But I like that.

I felt sated, too-more so than you could ever know.

Don’t waste your energy on guilt, feelings of wrongdoing, etc. We are consenting adults and what we do behind closed doors is between ourselves. You need to free your mind and listen to your body.

The world of M&A is not nearly as stimulating as you are, Miss Steele.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.

Her response is almost immediate.

* * *

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Consenting Adults!

Date: May 27 2011 08:26

To: Christian Grey

Aren’t you in a meeting?

I’m very glad your hand was sore.

And if I listened to my body, I’d be in Alaska by now.

Ana

P.S.: I will think about embracing these feelings.

Alaska! Really, Miss Steele. I chuckle to myself and look like I’m engaged with the online conversation. There’s a knock on my door, and I apologize for interrupting the conference while I let room service in with my breakfast. Miss Dark, Dark Eyes rewards me with a flirtatious smile as I sign the check.

Returning to the WebEx, I find Fred briefing Kavanagh and his associates on how successful this technology has been for another client company dealing in futures.

“Will the technology help me with the futures market?” Kavanagh asks with a sardonic smile. When I tell him that Barney’s hard at work developing a crystal ball to predict prices, they all have the grace to laugh.

While Fred discusses a theoretical timeline for implementation and tech integration, I e-mail Ana.

* * *

From: Christian Grey

Subject: You Didn’t Call the Cops

Date: May 27 2011 08:35

To: Anastasia Steele

Miss Steele,

I am in a meeting discussing the futures market, if you’re really interested.

For the record, you stood beside me knowing what I was going to do.

You didn’t at any time ask me to stop-you didn’t use either safe word.

You are an adult-you have choices.

Quite frankly, I’m looking forward to the next time my palm is ringing with pain.

You’re obviously not listening to the right part of your body.

Alaska is very cold and no place to run. I would find you.

I can track your cell phone-remember?

Go to work.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.

Fred is in full flow when I get Ana’s response.

* * *

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Stalker

Date: May 27 2011 08:36

To: Christian Grey

Have you sought therapy for your stalker tendencies?

Ana

I smother my laugh. She’s funny.

* * *

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Stalker? Me?

Date: May 27 2011 08:38

To: Anastasia Steele

I pay the eminent Dr. Flynn a small fortune with regard to my stalker and other tendencies.

Go to work.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.

Why hasn’t she gone to work? She’ll be late.

* * *

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Expensive Charlatans

Date: May 27 2011 08:40

To: Christian Grey

May I humbly suggest you seek a second opinion?

I am not sure that Dr. Flynn is very effective.

Miss Steele

Damn, this woman is funny…and intuitive; Flynn charges me a small fortune for his advice. Surreptitiously, I type my response.

* * *

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Second Opinions

Date: May 27 2011 08:43

To: Anastasia Steele

Not that it’s any of your business, humble or otherwise, but Dr. Flynn is the second opinion.

You will have to speed, in your new car, putting yourself at unnecessary risk-I think that’s against the rules.

GO TO WORK.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.

Kavanagh throws me a question about future-proofing. I let him know that we’ve recently acquired a company that’s an innovative, dynamic player in fiber optics. I don’t let him know that I have doubts about the CEO, Lucas Woods. He’ll be gone anyway. I’m definitely firing that idiot, no matter what Ros says.

* * *

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: SHOUTY CAPITALS

Date: May 27 2011 08:47

To: Christian Grey

As the object of your stalker tendencies, I think it is my business, actually.

I haven’t signed yet. So rules, schmules. And I don’t start until 9:30.

Miss Steele

SHOUTY CAPITALS. I love it.

I respond.

* * *

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Descriptive Linguistics

Date: May 27 2011 08:49

To: Anastasia Steele

“Schmules”? Not sure where that appears in Webster’s dictionary.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.

“We can take this conversation offline,” Ros says to Kavanagh. “Now that we have an idea of your needs and expectations, we’ll prepare a detailed proposal for you and reconvene next week to discuss it.”

“Great,” I say, trying to look engaged.

There are nods of agreement all around, then good-byes.

“Thanks for giving us the opportunity to quote for this, Eamon,” I address Kavanagh.

“It sounds like you guys know what we need,” he says. “Great to see you yesterday. Good-bye.”

They all hang up except Ros, who’s staring at me as if I’ve grown two heads.

Ana’s e-mail pings into my inbox.

“Hang on, Ros. I need a minute or two.” I mute her.

And read.

And laugh out loud.

* * *

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Descriptive Linguistics

Date: May 27 2011 08:52

To: Christian Grey

It’s between control freak and stalker.

And descriptive linguistics is a hard limit for me.

Will you stop bothering me now?

I’d like to go to work in my new car.

Ana

I type a quick reply.

* * *

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Challenging but Amusing Young Women

Date: May 27 2011 08:56

To: Anastasia Steele

My palm is twitching.

Drive safely, Miss Steele.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.

Ros is glaring at me when I unmute her. “What the hell, Christian?”

“What?” I feign innocence.

“You know what. Don’t hold a goddamn meeting when you’re obviously not interested.”

“Was it that obvious?”

“Yes.”

“Fuck.”

“Yes. Fuck. This could be a huge contract for us.”

“I know. I know. I’m sorry.” I grin.

“I don’t know what’s got into you lately.” She shakes her head, but I can tell she’s trying to mask her amusement with exasperation.

“It’s the Portland air.”

“Well, the sooner you’re back here, the better.”

“I’m heading back around lunchtime. In the meantime, ask Marco to investigate all the publishing houses in Seattle and see if any are ripe for a takeover.”

“You want to go into publishing?” Ros splutters. “It’s not a high-potential-growth sector.”

She’s probably right.

“Just investigate. That’s all.”

She sighs. “If you insist. Will you be in later this afternoon? We can have a proper catch-up.”

“Depends on the traffic.”

“I’ll pencil in a catch-up with Andrea.”

“Great. Bye for now.”

I close WebEx, then phone Andrea.

“Mr. Grey.”

“Call Dr. Baxter and have him come to my apartment on Sunday, around midday. If he’s not available, find a good gynecologist. Get the best.”

“Yes, sir,” she says. “Anything else?”

“Yes. What’s the name of the personal shopper I use at Neiman Marcus at the Bravern center?”

“Caroline Acton.”

“Text me her number.”

“Will do.”

“I’ll see you later this afternoon.”

“Yes, sir.”

I hang up.

So far it’s been one interesting morning. I can’t recall any exchange of e-mails being that fun, ever. I glance at the laptop, but there’s nothing new. Ana must be at work.

I run my hands through my hair.

Ros noticed how distracted I was during that conversation.

Shit, Grey. Get your act together.

I wolf down my breakfast, drink some cold coffee, and head into my bedroom to shower and change. Even when I’m washing my hair I can’t get that woman out of my head. Ana.

Amazing Ana.

The image of her bouncing up and down on top of me comes to mind; of her lying over my knee, ass pink; of her tethered to the bed, mouth open in ecstasy. Lord, that woman is hot. And this morning, waking up next to her, it wasn’t so bad, and I slept well…really well.

Shouty capitals. Her e-mails make me laugh. They’re entertaining. She’s funny. I never knew I liked that in a woman. I’ll need to think about what we’ll do on Sunday in my playroom…something fun, something new for her.

While shaving I have an idea, and as soon as I’m dressed I get back on my laptop to browse my favorite toy store. I need a riding crop-brown plaited leather. I smirk. I’m going to make Ana’s dreams come true.

Order placed, I turn to work e-mails, energized and productive, until Taylor interrupts me. “Good morning, Taylor.”

“Mr. Grey.” He nods, looking at me with a puzzled expression, and I realize I’m grinning because I’m thinking about her e-mails again.

Descriptive linguistics is a hard limit for me.

“I’ve had a good morning,” I find myself explaining.

“I’m pleased to hear it, sir. I have Miss Steele’s laundry from last week.”

“Pack it with my things.”

“Will do.”

“Thank you.” I watch him walk into my bedroom. Even Taylor is noticing the Anastasia Steele effect. My phone buzzes: it’s a text from Elliot.

You still in Portland?

Yes. But I’m leaving soon.

I’ll be there later. I’m gonna help the girls move.

Shame you can’t stay.

Our first DOUBLE DATE since Ana popped your cherry.

Fuck off. I’m picking up Mia.

I need deets bro. Kate tells me nothing.

Good. Fuck off. Again.

“Mr. Grey?” Taylor interrupts once more, my luggage in hand. “The courier has been dispatched with the BlackBerry.”

“Thanks.”

He nods, and as he leaves I type up another e-mail to Miss Steele.

* * *

From: Christian Grey

Subject: BlackBerry ON LOAN

Date: May 27 2011 11:15

To: Anastasia Steele

I need to be able to contact you at all times, and since this is your most honest form of communication, I figured you needed a BlackBerry.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.

And maybe you’ll answer this phone when I call.

At 11:30 I have another conference call, with our director of finance, to discuss GEH’s charitable giving for the next quarter. That takes the best part of an hour, and when it’s over I finish a light lunch and read the rest of my Forbes magazine.

As I swallow the last forkful of salad, I realize I have no other reason to stay at the hotel. It’s time to go, yet I’m reluctant. And deep down I have to acknowledge it’s because I won’t see Ana until Sunday, unless she changes her mind.

Fuck. I hope not.

Pushing that unpleasant thought aside, I start packing my papers into my messenger bag, and when I reach for my laptop to put it away, I see there’s an e-mail from Ana.

* * *

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Consumerism Gone Mad

Date: May 27 2011 13:22

To: Christian Grey

I think you need to call Dr. Flynn right now.

Your stalker tendencies are running wild.

I am at work. I will e-mail you when I get home.

Thank you for yet another gadget.

I wasn’t wrong when I said you were the ultimate consumer.

Why do you do this?

Ana

She’s scolding me! I respond immediately.

* * *

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Sagacity from One So Young

Date: May 27 2011 13:24

To: Anastasia Steele

Fair point well made, as ever, Miss Steele.

Dr. Flynn is on vacation.

And I do this because I can.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.

She doesn’t answer straightaway, so I pack my laptop. Grabbing my bag, I head down to reception and check out. While I’m waiting for my car, Andrea calls to tell me that she’s found an ob-gyn to come to Escala on Sunday.

“Her name is Dr. Greene, and she comes highly recommended by your M.D., sir.”

“Good.”

“She runs her practice out of Northwest.”

“Okay.” Where is Andrea going with this?

“There’s one thing sir-she’s expensive.”

I dismiss her concern. “Andrea, whatever she wants is fine.”

“In that case, she can be at your apartment one thirty on Sunday.”

“Great. Go ahead.”

“Will do, Mr. Grey.”

I hang up, and I’m tempted to call my mother to check Dr. Greene’s credentials, as they work in the same hospital; but that might provoke too many questions from Grace.

Once in the car I send Ana an e-mail with details about Sunday.

* * *

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Sunday

Date: May 27 2011 13:40

To: Anastasia Steele

Shall I see you at 1 p.m. Sunday?

The doctor will be at Escala to see you at 1:30.

I’m leaving for Seattle now.

I hope your move goes well, and I look forward to Sunday.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.

Right. All done. I ease the R8 onto the road and roar toward I-5. As I pass the exit for Vancouver I’m inspired. I call Andrea on the hands-free and ask her to organize a housewarming present for Ana and Kate.

“What would you like to send?”

“Bollinger La Grande Année Rosé, 1999 vintage.”

“Yes, sir. Anything else?”

“What do you mean, anything else?”

“Flowers? Chocolates? A balloon?”

“Balloon?”

“Yes.”

“What sort of balloons?”

“Well…they have everything.”

“Okay. Good idea-see if you can get a helicopter balloon.”

“Yes, sir. And a message for the card?”

“ ‘Ladies, good luck in your new home. Christian Grey.’ Got that?”

“I have. What’s the address?”

Shit. I don’t know. “I’ll text it to you either later today or tomorrow. Will that work?”

“Yes, sir. I can get it delivered tomorrow.”

“Thanks, Andrea.”

“You’re welcome.” She sounds surprised.

I hang up and floor my R8.

BY 6:30 I’M HOME and my earlier ebullient mood has soured-I still haven’t heard from Ana. I select a pair of cuff links from the drawers in my closet and as I knot my bow tie for the night’s event I wonder if she’s okay. She said she would contact me when she got home; I’ve called her twice, but I’ve heard nothing, and it’s pissing me off. I try her once more and this time I leave a message.

“I think you need to learn to manage my expectations. I’m not a patient man. If you say you are going to contact me when you finish work, then you should have the decency to do so. Otherwise I worry, and it’s not an emotion I’m familiar with, and I don’t tolerate it very well. Call me.”

If she doesn’t call soon I am going to explode.

I’M SEATED AT A table with Whelan, my banker. I’m his guest at a charity function for a nonprofit that aims to raise awareness of global poverty.

“Glad you could make it,” Whelan says.

“It’s a good cause.”

“And thank you for your generous contribution, Mr. Grey.” His wife is cloying, thrusting her perfect, surgically enhanced breasts in my direction.

“Like I said, it’s a good cause.” I give her a patronizing smile.

Why hasn’t Ana called me back?

I check my phone again.

Nothing.

I look around the table at all the middle-aged men with their second or third trophy wives. God forbid this should ever be me.

I’m bored. Seriously bored and seriously pissed.

What is she doing?

Could I have brought her here? I suspect she would have been bored stiff, too. When the conversation around the table moves to the state of the economy, I’ve had enough. Making my excuses, I leave the ballroom and exit the hotel. While the valet is retrieving my car, I call Ana again.

There’s still no answer.

Perhaps now that I’m gone she wants nothing to do with me.

When I get home, I head straight to my study and switch on the iMac.

* * *

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Where Are You?

Date: May 27 2011 22:14

To: Anastasia Steele

“I am at work. I will e-mail you when I get home.”

Are you still at work or have you packed your phone, BlackBerry, and MacBook?

Call me, or I may be forced to call Elliot.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.

I stare out of my window toward the dark waters of the Sound. Why did I volunteer to collect Mia? I could be with Ana, helping her pack all her shit, then going out for pizza with her and Kate and Elliot-or whatever ordinary people do.

For God’s sake, Grey.

That’s not you. Get a grip.

I wander around my apartment, my footsteps echoing through the living room, and it seems achingly empty since I was last here. I undo my bow tie. Perhaps it’s me that’s empty. I pour myself an Armagnac and stare back out at the Seattle skyline toward the Sound.

Are you thinking about me, Anastasia Steele? The winking lights of Seattle have no answer.

My phone buzzes.

Thank. Fuck. Finally. It’s her.

“Hi.” I’m relieved that she’s called.

“Hi,” she says.

“I was worried about you.”

“I know. I’m sorry I didn’t reply, but I’m fine.”

Fine? I wish I was…

“Did you have a pleasant evening?” I ask, reining in my temper.

“Yes. We finished packing, and Kate and I had Chinese takeout with José.”

Oh, this just gets better and better. The fucking photographer again. That’s why she hasn’t called.

“How about you?” she inquires when I don’t respond, and there’s a hint of desperation in her voice.

Why? What isn’t she telling me?

Oh, stop overthinking this, Grey!

I sigh. “I went to a fund-raising dinner. It was deathly dull. I left as soon as I could.”

“I wish you were here,” she whispers.

“Do you?”

“Yes,” she says fervently.

Oh. Perhaps she’s missed me.

“I’ll see you Sunday?” I confirm, trying to keep the hope out of my voice.

“Yes, Sunday,” she says, and I think she’s smiling.

“Good night.”

“Good night, Sir.” Her voice is husky and it takes my breath away.

“Good luck with your move tomorrow, Anastasia.”

She stays on the line, her breathing soft. Why doesn’t she hang up? She doesn’t want to?

“You hang up,” she whispers.

She doesn’t want to hang up and my mood lightens immediately. I grin out at the view of Seattle.

“No, you hang up.”

“I don’t want to.”

“Neither do I.”

“Were you very angry with me?” she asks.

“Yes.”

“Are you still?”

“No.” Now I know you’re safe.

“So you’re not going to punish me?”

“No. I’m an in-the-moment kind of guy.”

“I’ve noticed,” she teases, and that makes me smile.

“You can hang up now, Miss Steele.”

“Do you really want me to, Sir?”

“Go to bed, Anastasia.”

“Yes, Sir.”

She doesn’t hang up, and I know she’s grinning. It lifts my spirits higher. “Do you ever think you’ll be able to do what you’re told?” I ask.

“Maybe. We’ll see after Sunday,” she says, temptress that she is, and the line goes dead.

Anastasia Steele, what am I going to do with you?

Actually, I have a good idea, provided that riding crop turns up in time. And with that enticing thought I toss down the rest of the Armagnac and go to bed.

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Fifty Shades Freed Extended Version
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