Fifty Shades Freed Extended Version

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Mommy is gone. I don’t know where.

He’s here. I hear his boots. They are loud boots.

They have silver buckles. They stomp. Loud.

He stomps. And he shouts.

I am in Mommy’s closet.

Hiding.

He won’t hear me.

I can be quiet. Very quiet.

Quiet because I’m not here.

“You fucking bitch!” he shouts.

He shouts a lot.

“You fucking bitch!”

He shouts at Mommy.

He shouts at me.

He hits Mommy.

He hits me.

I hear the door close. He’s not here anymore.

And Mommy is gone, too.

I stay in the closet. In the dark. I’m very quiet.

I sit for a long time. A long, long, long time.

Where is Mommy?

There’s a whisper of dawn in the sky when I open my eyes. The radio alarm says 5:23. I’ve slept fitfully, plagued by unpleasant dreams, and I’m exhausted, but I decide to go for a run to wake myself up. Once I’m in sweats, I pick up my phone. There’s a text from Ana.

Arrived safely in Savannah. A 🙂

Good. She’s there, and safe. The thought pleases me and I quickly scan my e-mail. The subject of Ana’s latest message leaps out at me: “Do you like to scare me?”

No fucking way.

My scalp prickles and I sit down on the bed, scrolling through her words. She must have sent this during her layover in Atlanta, before she sent her text.

* * *

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Do you like to scare me?

Date: May 31 2011 06:52 EST

To: Christian Grey

You know how much I dislike you spending money on me. Yes, you’re very rich, but still it makes me uncomfortable, like you’re paying me for sex. However, I like traveling first class, it’s so much more civilized than coach. So thank you. I mean it-and I did enjoy the massage from Jean-Paul. He was very gay. I omitted that bit in my e-mail to you to wind you up, because I was annoyed with you, and I’m sorry about that.

But as usual you overreact. You can’t write things like that to me-bound and gagged in a crate. (Were you serious or was it a joke?) That scares me…you scare me…I am completely caught up in your spell, considering a lifestyle with you that I didn’t even know existed until last week, and then you write something like that and I want to run screaming into the hills. I won’t, of course, because I’d miss you. Really miss you. I want us to work, but I am terrified of the depth of feeling I have for you and the dark path you’re leading me down. What you are offering is erotic and sexy, and I’m curious, but I’m also scared you’ll hurt me-physically and emotionally. After three months you could say good-bye, and where will that leave me if you do? But then I suppose that risk is there in any relationship. This just isn’t the sort of relationship I ever envisaged having, especially as my first. It’s a huge leap of faith for me.

You were right when you said I didn’t have a submissive bone in my body…and I agree with you now. Having said that, I want to be with you, and if that’s what I have to do, I would like to try, but I think I’ll suck at it and end up black and blue-and I don’t relish that idea at all.

I am so happy that you have said that you will try more. I just need to think about what “more” means to me, and that’s one of the reasons why I wanted some distance. You dazzle me so much I find it very difficult to think clearly when we’re together.

They are calling my flight. I have to go.

More later.

Your Ana

She’s reprimanding me. Again. But she’s stunned me with her honesty. It’s illuminating. I read her e-mail again and again, and each time I pause at “Your Ana.”

My Ana.

She wants us to work.

She wants to be with me.

There’s hope, Grey.

I place my phone on my bedside, and decide I need that run, to clear my head so I can think about my response.

I take my usual route up Stewart to Westlake Avenue then around Denny Park a few times, Four Tet’s “She Just Likes to Fight” ringing in my ears.

Ana’s given me a great deal to process.

Paying her for sex?

Like a whore.

I’ve never thought of her that way. Just the idea makes me mad. Really fucking mad. I sprint once more around the park, my anger spurring me on. Why does she do this to herself? I’m rich, so what? She just needs to get used to that. I’m reminded of our conversation yesterday about the GEH jet. She wouldn’t take that offer.

At least she doesn’t want me for my money.

But does she want me at all?

She says I dazzle her. But boy, has she got that the wrong way around. She dazzles me in a way that I’ve never experienced, yet she’s flown across the country to get away from me.

How’s that supposed to make me feel?

She’s right. It is a dark path I’m leading her down, but one that is far more intimate than any vanilla relationship-or so I’ve seen. I only have to look at Elliot and his alarmingly casual approach to dating to see the difference.

And I’d never hurt her physically or emotionally-how can she think that? I just want to push her limits, see what she will and won’t do. Punish her when she colors outside the lines…yeah, it might hurt, but not beyond anything she can take. We can work up to what I’d like to do. We can take it slow.

And here’s the rub.

If she’s going to do what I want her to do, I’m going to have to reassure her and give her “more.” What that might be…I don’t yet know. I’ve taken her to meet my parents. That was more, surely. And that wasn’t so hard.

I take a slower jog around the park to think about what disturbs me most about her e-mail. It isn’t her fear, it’s that she’s terrified of the depth of feeling she has for me.

What does that mean?

That unfamiliar feeling surfaces in my chest as my lungs burn for air. It scares me. Scares me so much that I push myself harder, so that all I feel is the pain of exertion in my legs and in my chest and the cold sweat that trickles down my back.

Yeah. Don’t go there, Grey.

Stay in control.

BACK IN MY APARTMENT I have a quick shower and shave, and then I dress. Gail is in the kitchen when I walk through on the way to my study.

“Good morning, Mr. Grey. Coffee?”

“Please,” I say, not stopping. I’m on a mission.

At my desk I fire up my iMac and compose my response to Ana.

* * *

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Finally!

Date: May 31 2011 07:30

To: Anastasia Steele

Anastasia,

I am annoyed that as soon as you put some distance between us, you communicate openly and honestly with me. Why can’t you do that when we’re together?

Yes, I’m rich. Get used to it. Why shouldn’t I spend money on you? We’ve told your father I’m your boyfriend, for heaven’s sake. Isn’t that what boyfriends do? As your Dom, I would expect you to accept whatever I spend on you with no argument. Incidentally, tell your mother, too.

I don’t know how to answer your comment about feeling like a whore. I know that’s not what you’ve written, but it’s what you imply. I don’t know what I can say or do to eradicate these feelings. I’d like you to have the best of everything. I work exceptionally hard so I can spend my money as I see fit. I could buy you your heart’s desire, Anastasia, and I want to. Call it redistribution of wealth, if you will. Or simply know that I would not, could not ever think of you in the way you described, and I’m angry that’s how you perceive yourself. For such a bright, witty, beautiful young woman, you have some real self-esteem issues, and I have half a mind to make an appointment for you with Dr. Flynn.

I apologize for frightening you. I find the thought of instilling fear in you abhorrent. Do you really think I’d let you travel in the hold? I offered you my private jet, for heaven’s sake. Yes, it was a joke, a poor one obviously. However, the fact is the thought of you bound and gagged turns me on (this is not a joke-it’s true). I can lose the crate-crates do nothing for me. I know you have issues with gagging-we’ve talked about that-and if/when I do gag you, we’ll discuss it. What I think you fail to realize is that in Dom/sub relationships it is the sub who has all the power. That’s you. I’ll repeat this-you are the one with all the power. Not I. In the boathouse you said no. I can’t touch you if you say no-that’s why we have an agreement-what you will and won’t do. If we try things and you don’t like them, we can revise the agreement. It’s up to you-not me. And if you don’t want to be bound and gagged in a crate, then it won’t happen.

I want to share my lifestyle with you. I have never wanted anything so much. Frankly, I’m in awe of you, that one so innocent would be willing to try. That says more to me than you could ever know. You fail to see I am caught in your spell, too, even though I have told you this countless times. I don’t want to lose you. I am nervous that you’ve flown three thousand miles to get away from me for a few days, because you can’t think clearly around me. It’s the same for me, Anastasia. My reason vanishes when we’re together-that’s the depth of my feeling for you.

I understand your trepidation. I did try to stay away from you; I knew you were inexperienced, though I would never have pursued you if I had known exactly how innocent you were-and yet you still manage to disarm me completely in a way that nobody has before. Your e-mail, for example: I have read and reread it countless times trying to understand your point of view. Three months is an arbitrary amount of time. We could make it six months, a year? How long do you want it to be? What would make you comfortable? Tell me.

I understand that this is a huge leap of faith for you. I have to earn your trust, but by the same token, you have to communicate with me when I am failing to do this. You seem so strong and self-contained, and then I read what you’ve written here, and I see another side to you. We have to guide each other, Anastasia, and I can only take my cues from you. You have to be honest with me, and we have to both find a way to make this arrangement work.

You worry about not being submissive. Well, maybe that’s true. Having said that, the only time you do assume the correct demeanor for a sub is in the playroom. It seems that’s the one place where you let me exercise proper control over you and the only place you do as you’re told. “Exemplary” is the term that comes to mind. And I’d never beat you black and blue. I aim for pink. Outside the playroom, I like that you challenge me. It’s a very novel and refreshing experience, and I wouldn’t want to change that. So, yes, tell me what you want in terms of more. I will endeavor to keep an open mind, and I shall try to give you the space you need and stay away from you while you are in Georgia. I look forward to your next e-mail.

In the meantime, enjoy yourself. But not too much.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.

I press send and take a sip of my cold coffee.

Now you have to wait, Grey. See what she says.

I stomp into the kitchen to see what Gail has prepared for breakfast.

TAYLOR IS WAITING IN the car to whisk me to work.

“What was it you wanted last night?” I ask him.

“It was nothing important, sir.”

“Good,” I respond, and gaze out the window, trying to put Ana and Georgia out of my mind. I fail miserably, but an idea starts to take shape.

I call Andrea. “Morning.”

“Good morning, Mr. Grey.”

“I’m on my way in, but can you put me through to Bill?”

“Yes, sir.”

A few moments later I have Bill on the line.

“Mr. Grey.”

“Did your people look at Georgia as an option to site the tech plant? Savannah, in particular?”

“I believe we did, sir. But I’ll need to check.”

“Check. Come back to me.”

“Will do. Is that all?”

“For now. Thanks.”

MY DAY IS FULL of meetings. I look at my e-mail sporadically, but there’s nothing from Ana. I wonder if she’s daunted by the tone of my e-mail, or if she’s busy doing other things.

What other things?

It’s impossible to avoid thoughts of her. Throughout the day I exchange texts with Caroline Acton, approving and vetoing outfits she’s chosen for Ana. I hope she likes them: she’ll look stunning in all of them.

Bill has come back to me with a potential site near Savannah for our plant. Ruth is making inquiries.

At least it’s not Detroit.

Elena calls, and we decide to have dinner at Columbia Tower.

“Christian, you’re being so coy about this girl,” she chides.

“I’ll tell you everything this evening. Right now I’m busy.”

“You’re always busy.” She laughs. “See you at eight.”

“See you then.”

Why are the women in my life so nosy? Elena. My mother. Ana…I wonder for the hundredth time what she’s doing. And behold, there’s a response from her, at last.

* * *

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Verbose?

Date: May 31 2011 19:08 EST

To: Christian Grey

Sir, you are quite the loquacious writer. I have to go to dinner at Bob’s golf club, and just so you know, I am rolling my eyes at the thought. But you and your twitchy palm are a long way from me so my behind is safe, for now. I loved your e-mail. Will respond when I can. I miss you already.

Enjoy your afternoon.

Your Ana

It’s not a “no,” and she misses me. I’m relieved and amused at her tone. I respond.

* * *

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Your Behind

Date: May 31 2011 16:10

To: Anastasia Steele

Dear Miss Steele,

I am distracted by the title of this e-mail. Needless to say it is safe-for now.

Enjoy your dinner, and I miss you, too, especially your behind and your smart mouth.

My afternoon will be dull, brightened only by thoughts of you and your eye rolling. I think it was you who so judiciously pointed out to me that I, too, suffer from that nasty habit.

Christian Grey

CEO & Eye Roller,

Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.

A few minutes later her reply pings into my inbox.

* * *

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Eye Rolling

Date: May 31 2011 19:14 EST

To: Christian Grey

Dear Mr. Grey,

Stop e-mailing me. I am trying to get ready for dinner. You are very distracting, even when you are on the other side of the continent. And yes-who spanks you when you roll your eyes?

Your Ana

Oh, Ana, you do.

All the time.

I remember her telling me to keep still and tugging my pubic hair while she was sitting astride me, naked. The thought is arousing.

* * *

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Your Behind

Date: May 31 2011 16:18

To: Anastasia Steele

Dear Miss Steele,

I still prefer my title to yours, in so many different ways. It is lucky that I am master of my own destiny and no one castigates me. Except my mother, occasionally, and Dr. Flynn, of course. And you.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.

I find myself drumming my fingers, waiting for her reply.

* * *

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Chastising…Me?

Date: May 31 2011 19:22 EST

To: Christian Grey

Dear Sir,

When have I ever plucked up the nerve to chastise you, Mr. Grey? I think you are mixing me up with someone else…which is very worrying. I really do have to get ready.

Your Ana

You. You chastise me via e-mail at every opportunity-and how could I ever mix you up with anyone else?

* * *

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Your Behind

Date: May 31 2011 16:25

To: Anastasia Steele

Dear Miss Steele,

You do it all the time in print. Can I zip up your dress?

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.

* * *

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: NC-17

Date: May 31 2011 19:28 EST

To: Christian Grey

I would rather you unzipped it.

Her words travel directly to my dick, passing “Go” on the way.

Fuck.

This calls for-what did she call them? SHOUTY CAPITALS.

* * *

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Careful what you wish for…

Date: May 31 2011 16:31

To: Anastasia Steele

SO WOULD I.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.

* * *

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Panting

Date: May 31 2011 19:33 EST

To: Christian Grey

Slowly…

* * *

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Groaning

Date: May 31 2011 16:35

To: Anastasia Steele

Wish I were there.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.

* * *

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Moaning

Date: May 31 2011 19:37 EST

To: Christian Grey

SO DO I.

Who else can turn me on via e-mail?

* * *

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Moaning

Date: May 31 2011 19:39 EST

To: Christian Grey

Gotta go.

Laters, baby.

I smirk at her words.

* * *

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Plagiarism

Date: May 31 2011 16:41

To: Anastasia Steele

You stole my line.

And left me hanging.

Enjoy your dinner.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.

Andrea knocks on the door with new schematics from Barney for the solar-power tablet we’re developing. She’s startled that I’m pleased to see her. “Thanks, Andrea.”

“You’re most welcome, Mr. Grey.” She gives me a curious smile. “Would you like some coffee?”

“Please.”

“Milk?”

“No thanks.”

MY DAY HAS IMPROVED immensely. I have knocked Bastille on his ass twice in our two rounds of kickboxing. That never happens. As I slip on my jacket after my shower, I feel ready to face Elena and all her questions.

Taylor appears. “Would you like me to drive, sir?”

“No. I’ll take the R8.”

“Very good, sir.”

Before I leave I check my e-mail.

* * *

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Who are you to cry thief?

Date: May 31 2011 22:18 EST

To: Christian Grey

Sir, I think you’ll find it was Elliot’s line originally.

Hanging how?

Your Ana

Is she flirting with me? Again?

And she’s my Ana. Again.

* * *

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Unfinished Business

Date: May 31 2011 19:22

To: Anastasia Steele

Miss Steele,

You’re back. You left so suddenly-just when things were getting interesting.

Elliot’s not very original. He must have stolen that line from someone.

How was dinner?

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.

I press send.

* * *

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Unfinished Business?

Date: May 31 2011 22:26 EST

To: Christian Grey

Dinner was filling-you’ll be very pleased to hear I ate far too much.

Getting interesting? How?

I’m glad she’s eating…

* * *

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Unfinished Business-Definitely

Date: May 31 2011 19:30

To: Anastasia Steele

Are you being deliberately obtuse? I think you’d just asked me to unzip your dress.

And I was looking forward to doing just that. I am also glad to hear you are eating.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.

* * *

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Well…There’s Always the Weekend

Date: May 31 2011 22:36 EST

To: Christian Grey

Of course I eat…It’s only the uncertainty I feel around you that puts me off my food.

And I would never be unwittingly obtuse, Mr. Grey.

Surely you’ve worked that out by now. 😉

She loses appetite around me? That’s not good. And she’s making fun of me. Again.

* * *

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Can’t Wait

Date: May 31 2011 19:40

To: Anastasia Steele

I shall remember that, Miss Steele, and no doubt use the knowledge to my advantage.

I’m sorry to hear that I put you off your food. I thought I had a more concupiscent effect on you. That has been my experience, and most pleasurable it has been, too.

I very much look forward to the next time.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.

* * *

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Gymnastic Linguistics

Date: May 31 2011 22:36 EST

To: Christian Grey

Have you been playing with the thesaurus again?

I hoot with laughter.

* * *

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Rumbled

Date: May 31 2011 19:40

To: Anastasia Steele

You know me so well, Miss Steele.

I am having dinner with an old friend now so I will be driving.

Laters, baby©.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.

As much as I’d like to keep up the banter with Ana, I don’t want to be late for dinner. If I were, Elena would be displeased. I power down my computer, collect my wallet and phone, and take the elevator to the garage.

THE MILE HIGH CLUB is on the penthouse floor of Columbia Tower. The sun is sinking toward the peaks of Olympic National Park, coloring the sky with an impressive fusion of oranges, pinks, and opals. It’s stunning. Ana would love this view. I should bring her here.

Elena is seated at a corner table. She gives me a small wave and a big smile. The maître d’ escorts me to her table, and she rises, presenting her cheek to me.

“Hello, Christian,” she purrs.

“Good evening, Elena. You’re looking great, as usual.” I kiss her cheek. She tosses her sleek platinum hair to one side, which she does when she’s feeling playful.

“Sit,” she says. “What would you like to drink?” Her fingers and her trademark scarlet fingernails are wrapped around a champagne flute.

“I see you’ve started on the Cristal.”

“Well, I think we’ve got something to celebrate, don’t you?”

“We do?”

“Christian. This girl. Spill the beans.”

“I’ll have a glass of the Mendocino sauvignon blanc,” I tell the hovering waiter. He nods and hurries off.

“So, not a cause for celebration?” Elena takes a sip of her champagne, eyebrows raised.

“I don’t know why you’re making such a big deal of this.”

“I’m not making a big deal. I’m curious. How old is she? What does she do?”

“She’s just graduated.”

“Oh. A little young for you?”

I arch a brow. “Really? You’re going to go there?”

Elena laughs.

“How is Isaac?” I ask with a smirk.

She laughs again. “Behaving.” Her eyes sparkle with mischief.

“How boring for you.” My voice is dry.

She smiles, resigned. “He’s a good pet. Shall we order?”

HALFWAY THROUGH THE CRAB chowder I put Elena out of her misery.

“Her name is Anastasia, she studied literature at WSU, and I met her when she came to interview me for the student newspaper. I gave the commencement address this year.”

“Is she in the lifestyle?”

“Not yet. But I’m hopeful.”

“Wow.”

“Yeah. She’s escaped to Georgia to think it through.”

“That’s a long way to go.”

“I know.” I look down at my chowder, wondering how Ana is and what she’s doing; sleeping, I hope…alone. When I raise my head Elena is studying me. Intently.

“I haven’t seen you like this,” she says.

“What do you mean?”

“You’re distracted. That’s not like you.”

“Is it that obvious?”

She nods, her eyes softening. “Obvious to me. I think she’s turned your world upside down.”

I inhale sharply but hide the fact by raising my glass to my lips.

Perceptive, Mrs. Lincoln.

“You think?” I murmur after my sip.

“I think,” she says, her eyes searching mine.

“She’s very disarming.”

“I’m sure that’s novel. And I bet you’re worrying about what she’s doing in Georgia, what she’s thinking. I know how you are.”

“Yes. I want her to make the right decision.”

“You should go and see her.”

“What?”

“Get on a plane.”

“Really?”

“If she’s undecided. Go use your considerable charm.”

My snort is derisive.

“Christian,” she scolds, “when you want something badly enough, you go after it and you always win. You know that. You’re so negative about yourself. Drives me crazy.”

I sigh. “I’m not sure.”

“The poor girl is probably bored to tears down there. Go. You’ll get your answer. If it’s no, you can move on, if it’s yes, you can enjoy being yourself with her.”

“She’s back Friday.”

“Seize the day, my dear.”

“She did say she missed me.”

“There you go.” Her eyes flash with certainty.

“I’ll think about it. More champagne?”

“Please,” she says, and gives me a girlish grin.

DRIVING BACK TO ESCALA, I contemplate Elena’s advice. I could go to see Ana. She said she’s missed me…the jet’s available.

Back home I read her latest e-mail.

* * *

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Suitable Dinner Companions

Date: May 31 2011 23:58 EST

To: Christian Grey

I hope you and your friend had a very pleasant dinner.

Ana

P.S. Was it Mrs. Robinson?

Shit.

This is the perfect excuse. This is going to need an answer in person.

I buzz Taylor and tell him I’m going to need Stephan and the Gulfstream in the morning.

“Very good, Mr. Grey. Where are you going?”

“We’re going to Savannah.”

“Yes, sir.” And there’s a hint of amusement in his voice.

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Fifty Shades Freed Extended Version
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