The man who, last time I saw him, was trying to push his tongue into her mouth. Perhaps this is a long-anticipated rendezvous between them. She stares at me and my stomach tightens. I want you back, and I want you healthy. We pull up at the gallery and I have no time to explain before the show.
Fifty Shades Darker - Chapter 8. Fifty Shades Darker - Chapter 9. It's Ana. What time should I be there tomorrow for your show? Good-bye, Jose. What time would you suggest? I shall collect you at I look forward to seeing you. I'm going to see Christian, and for the first time in five days, my spirits lift a fraction and I allow myself to wonder how he's been. Has he missed me? Probably not like I've missed him. Has he found a new submissive from wherever they come from? The thought is so painful that I dismiss it immediately.
I look at the pile of correspondence I need to sort for Jack and tackle it as I try to push Christian out of my mind once more. That night in bed, I toss and turn, trying to sleep. It is the first time in a while I haven't cried myself to sleep. In my mind's eye, I visualize Christian's face the last time I saw him as I left his apartment. His tortured expression haunts me. I remember he didn't want me to go, which was odd.
Why would I stay when things had reached such an impasse? We were each skirting around our own issues - my fear of punishment, his fear of Turning on my side, I hug my pillow, filled with an overwhelming sadness.
He thinks he doesn't deserve to be loved. Why does he feel that way? Is it something to do with his upbringing? His birth mom, the crack whore? My thoughts plague me into the early hours until eventually I fall into a fitful, exhausted sleep.
The day drags and drags and Jack is unusually attentive. I suspect it's Kate's plum dress and the black high-heeled boots I've stolen from her closet, but I don't dwell on the thought. I resolve to go clothes shopping with my first paycheck.
The dress is looser on me than it was, but I pretend not to notice. Finally, it's five thirty, and I collect my jacket and purse, trying to quell my nerves. I'm going to see him! Not really. An ex-boyfriend. You've had a stellar first week, Ana. We should celebrate. Putting his hands in his pockets, he saunters through the double doors. I frown at his retreating back. Drinks with the boss, is that a good idea? I shake my head. I have an evening of Christian Grey to get through first.
How am I going to do this? I hurry into the restroom to make last-minute adjustments. In the large mirror on the wall, I take a long, hard look at my face. I am my usual pale self, dark circles round my too-large eyes. I look gaunt, haunted. Jeez, I wish I knew how to use makeup. I apply some mascara and eyeliner and pinch my cheeks, hoping to bring some color their way. Tidying my hair so that it hangs artfully down my back, I take a deep breath. This will have to do. Nervously I walk through the foyer with a smile and a wave to Claire at reception.
I think she and I could become friends. Jack is talking to Elizabeth as I head for the doors. Smiling broadly, he hurries over to open them for me. Outside on the curb, Taylor is waiting. He opens the rear door of the car. I glance hesitantly at Jack who has followed me out.
He's looking toward the Audi SUV in dismay. I turn and climb into the back, and there he sits - Christian Grey - wearing his gray suit, no tie, his white shirt open at the collar. His gray eyes are glowing. My mouth dries. He looks glorious except he's scowling at me. Oh no! Yes, it's nice to see you, too. Answer me. I had a yogurt at lunchtime. Oh - and a banana.
Taylor slips into the driver's seat, starts the car, and pulls out into the traffic. I glance up and Jack is waving at me, though how he can see me through the dark glass, I don't know. I wave back. Your last meal? Tell me. I groan in frustration, rolling my eyes heavenward, and Christian narrows his eyes.
And for the first time in a long time, I want to laugh. I try hard to stifle the giggle that threatens to bubble up. Christian's face softens as I struggle to keep a straight face, and I see a trace of a smile kiss his beautifully sculptured lips. He closes his eyes as fury and possibly regret, sweeps across his face.
Please eat, Anastasia," he scolds. Jack has started to hover over me, irritating me, asking me personal questions. What does he want? I'm polite, but I need to keep him at arm's length. I sit and begin trawling through a pile of correspondence addressed to him, and I'm pleased with the distraction of menial work. My e-mail pings, and I quickly check to see who it's from. I note that tomorrow is the gallery opening for your friend's show, and I'm sure you've not had time to purchase a car, and it's a long drive.
I would be more than happy to take you - should you wish. Tears swim in my eyes. I hastily leave my desk and bolt to the restroom to escape into one of the stalls. Jose's show. I'd forgotten all about it, and I promised him I'd go.
Shit, Christian is right; how am I going to get there? I clutch my forehead. Why hasn't Jose phoned? Come to think of it - why hasn't anyone phoned?
I've been so absentminded, I haven't noticed that my cell phone has been silent. I am such an idiot! I still have it on divert to the Blackberry. Holy hell. Christian's been getting my calls - unless he's just thrown the Blackberry away. How did he get my e-mail address? Can I see him again? Could I bear it? Do I want to see him? I close my eyes and tilt my head back as grief and longing lance through me. Of course I do. Perhaps, perhaps I can tell him I've changed my mind No, no, no.
I cannot be with someone who takes pleasure in inflicting pain on me, someone who can't love me. Torturous memories flash through my mind - the gliding, holding hands, kissing, the bathtub, his gentleness, his humor, and his dark, brooding, sexy stare.
I miss him. It's been five days, five days of agony that has felt like an eternity. I put the thought out of my mind because I don't want to dwell on the negative. Flynn would be proud.
Quickly, I type a response to her e-mail. I bought one for myself. Now, if I were there, I would kiss away your tears. But I'm not--so go to sleep. I want her well rested for tomorrow. I stretch, feeling a contentment that's entirely unfamiliar, and wander into my bedroom. Looking forward to collapsing into bed, I put my phone on the nightstand and notice there's another e-mail from her. I know something that could ease that.
But then, you're not here--you wouldn't let me stay, and you expect me to beg Dream on, Sir. Flynn know? And there it is. The Anastasia Steele wit. I have missed it. I sit down on the edge of the bed and compose my reply. Usually consensually and in a sexual context You'll be relieved to know that Dr.
Flynn also enjoys my sense of humor. Now, please go to sleep, as you won't get much tomorrow. Incidentally--you will beg, trust me.
And I look forward to it. I watch my phone, waiting for her reply. I know that she won't let this go. And, sure enough, her response appears. Lord, she's confusing. Then I remember her squirming in the car while we talked of spanking. Oh, baby, it's not a threat. It's a promise. I get up and wander into my closet to take off my jacket while I think of something to say. She wants a softer approach; surely I can think of something.
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