It’s very quiet. The light is muted. I am comfortable and warm, in this bed. Hmm… I open my eyes, and for a moment, I’m tranquil and serene, enjoying the strange unfamiliar surroundings. I have no idea where I am. The headboard behind me is in the shape of a massive sun. It’s oddly familiar. The room is large and airy and plushly furnished in browns and golds and beige. I have seen it before. Where My befuddled brain struggles through its recent visual memories. Holy crap. I’m in the Heathman hotel… in a suite. I have stood in a room similar to this with Kate. This looks bigger. Oh shit. I’m in Christian Grey’s suite. How did I get here?
Fractured memories of the previous night come slowly back to haunt me. The drinking, oh no the drinking, the phone call, oh no the phone call, the vomiting, oh no the vomiting. Jose and then Christian. Oh no. I cringe inwardly. I don’t remember coming here.
I’m wearing my t-shirt, bra, and panties. No socks. No jeans. Holy shit.
I glance at the bedside table. On it is a glass of orange juice and two tablets. Advil.
Control freak that he is, he thinks of everything. I sit up and take the tablets. Actually, I don’t feel that bad, probably much better than I deserve. The orange juice tastes divine.
It’s thirst quenching and refreshing. Nothing beats freshly squeezed orange juice for reviving an arid mouth.
There’s a knock on the door. My heart leaps into my mouth, and I can’t seem to find my voice. He opens the door anyway and strolls in.
Holy hell, he’s been working out. He’s in gray sweat pants that hang, in that way, off his hips and a gray singlet, which is dark with sweat, like his hair. Christian Grey’s sweat, the notion does odd things to me. I take a deep breath and close my eyes. I feel like a two-year old, if I close my eyes then I’m not really here.
“Good morning Anastasia. How are you feeling?”
“Better than I deserve,” I mumble.
I peek up at him. He places a large shopping bag on a chair and grasps each end of the towel that he has around his neck. He’s staring at me, gray eyes dark, and as usual, I have no idea what he’s thinking. He hides his thoughts and feelings so well.
“How did I get here?” My voice is small, contrite.
He comes and sits down on the edge of the bed. He’s close enough for me to touch, for me to smell. Oh my… sweat and body wash and Christian, it’s a heady cocktail – so much better than a margarita, and now I can speak from experience.
“After you passed out, I didn’t want to risk the leather upholstery in my car taking you all the way to your apartment. So I brought you here,” he says phlegmatically.
“Did you put me to bed?”
“Yes.” His face is impassive.
“Did I throw up again?” My voice is quieter.
“Did you undress me?” I whisper.
“Yes.” He quirks an eyebrow at me as I blush furiously.
“We didn’t,” I whisper, my mouth drying in mortified horror as I can’t complete the question. I stare at my hands.
“Anastasia, you were comatose. Necrophilia is not my thing. I like my women sentient and receptive,” he says dryly.
“I’m so sorry.”
His mouth lifts slightly in a wry smile.
“It was a very diverting evening. Not one that I’ll forget in a while.”
Me neither – oh he’s laughing at me, the bastard. I didn’t ask him to come and get me.
Somehow I’ve been made to feel like the villain of the piece.
“You didn’t have to track me down with whatever James Bond stuff you’re developing for the highest bidder,” I snap at him. He stares at me, surprised, and if I’m not mistaken, a little wounded.
“Firstly, the technology to track cell phones is available over the Internet. Secondly, my company does not invest or manufacture any kind of surveillance devices, and thirdly, if I hadn’t come to get you, you’d probably be waking up in the photographer’s bed, and from what I can remember, you weren’t overly enthused about him pressing his suit,” he says acidly.
Pressing his suit! I glance up at Christian, he’s glaring at me, his gray eyes blazing, aggrieved. I try to bite my lip, but I fail to repress my laughter.
“Which medieval chronicle did you escape from?” I giggle. “You sound like a courtly knight.”
His mood visibly shifts. His eyes soften and his expression warms, and I see a trace of a smile on his beautifully chiseled lips.
“Anastasia, I don’t think so. Dark knight maybe.” His smile is sardonic, and he shakes his head. “Did you eat last night?” His tone is accusatory. I shake my head. What major transgression have I committed now? His jaw clenches, but his face remains impassive.
“You need to eat. That’s why you were so ill. Honestly Anastasia, it’s drinking rule number one.” He runs this hand through his hair, and I know it’s because he’s exasperated.
“Are you going to continue to scold me?”
“Is that what I’m doing?”
“I think so.”
“You’re lucky I’m just scolding you.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, if you were mine, you wouldn’t be able to sit down for a week after the stunt you pulled yesterday. You didn’t eat, you got drunk, you put yourself at risk.” He closes his eyes, dread etched on his lovely face, and he shudders slightly. When he opens his eyes, he glares at me. “I hate to think what could have happened to you.”
I scowl back at him. What is his problem? What’s it to him If I was his… well I’m not. Though maybe, part of me would like to be. The thought pierces through the irritation I feel at his high-handed words. I flush at the waywardness of my subconscious – she’s doing her happy dance in a bright red hula skirt at the thought of being his.