Fifty Shades of grey – Chapter 13

The following day, I call my mom when I’m home from work. It’s been a relatively peaceful day at the Clayton’s, allowing me far too much time to think. I’m restless, nervous about my showdown with Mr. Control Freak tomorrow, and at the back of my mind, I’m worried that perhaps I’ve been too negative in my response to the contract. Perhaps he’ll call the whole thing off.

My mom is oozing contrition, desperately sorry not to make my graduation. Bob has twisted some ligament which means he’s hobbling all over the place. Honestly, he’s as accident-prone as I am. He’s expected to make a full recovery, but it means he’s resting up, and my mother has to wait on him hand and sore foot.

“Ana honey, I’m so sorry,” my mom whines down the phone.

“Mom, it’s fine. Ray will be there.”

“Ana, you sound distracted – are you okay, baby?”

“Yes, Mom,” Oh if only you knew. There’s an obscenely rich guy I’ve met and he wants some kind of strange kinky sexual relationship, in which I don’t get a say in things.

“Have you met someone?”

“No, Mom.” I am so not going there right now.

“Well, darling, I’ll be thinking of you on Thursday. I love you… you know that honey?”I close my eyes, her precious words give me a warm glow inside.

“Love you too, Mom. Say hi to Bob, and I hope he gets better fast.”

“Will do, honey. Bye.”

“Bye.”

I have strayed into my bedroom with the phone. Idly, I switch the mean machine on and fire up the email program. There’s an email from Christian from late last night or very early this morning, depending on your point of view. My heart rate spikes instantly, and I hear the blood pumping in my ears. Holy crap… perhaps he’s said no – that’s it – maybe he’s canceling dinner. The thought is so painful. I dismiss it quickly and open the email.

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Your Issues

Date: May 24 2011 01:27

To: Anastasia Steele

Dear Miss Steele

Following my more thorough examination of your issues, may I bring to your attention the definition of submissive.

submissive [s uhb-mis-iv] – adjective 1. inclined or ready to submit; unresistingly or humbly obedient: submissive servants.

2. marked by or indicating submission: a submissive reply.

Origin: 1580 – 90; submiss + -ive

Synonyms: 1. tractable, compliant, pliant, amenable. 2. passive, resigned, patient, docile, tame, subdued. Antonyms: 1. rebellious, disobedient.

Please bear this in mind for our meeting on Wednesday.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

My initial feeling is one of relief. He’s willing to discuss my issues at least, and he still wants to meet tomorrow. After some thought, I reply.

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: My Issues… What about Your Issues?

Date: May 24 2011 18:29

To: Christian Grey

Sir

Please note the date of origin: 1580-90. I would respectfully remind Sir that the year is 2011. We have come a long way since then.

May I offer a definition for you to consider for our meeting: compromise [kom-pr uh-mahyz] – noun

1. a settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles, etc., by reciprocal modification of demands. 2. the result of such a settlement. 3. something intermediate between different things: The split-level is a compromise between a ranch house and a multistoried house.

4. an endangering, esp. of reputation; exposure to danger, suspicion, etc.: a compro-

mise of one’s integrity.

Ana

From: Christian Grey

Subject: What about My Issues?

Date: May 24 2011 18:32

To: Anastasia Steele

Good point, well made, as ever, Miss Steele. I will collect you from your apartment at 7:00 tomorrow.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: 2011 – Women can drive

Date: May 24 2011 18:40

To: Christian Grey

Sir

I have a car. I can drive.

I would prefer to meet you somewhere.

Where shall I meet you?

At your hotel at 7:00?

Ana

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Stubborn Young Women

Date: May 24 2011 18:43

To: Anastasia Steele

Dear Miss Steele

I refer to my email dated May 24, 2011 sent at 1:27 and the definition contained therein.

Do you ever think you’ll be able to do what you’re told?

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Intractable Men

Date: May 24 2011 18:49

To: Christian Grey

Mr. Grey

I would like to drive.

Please.

Ana

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Exasperated Men

Date: May 24 2011 18:52

To: Anastasia Steele

Fine.

My hotel at 7:00.

I’ll meet you in the Marble Bar.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

He’s even grumpy by email. Doesn’t he understand that I may need to make a quick get-awayNot that my Beetle is quick… but still – I need a means of escape.

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Not So Intractable Men

Date: May 24 2011 18:55

To: Christian Grey

Thank you.

Ana x

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Exasperating Women

Date: May 24 2011 18:59

To: Anastasia Steele

You’re welcome.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

I call Ray, who is just about to watch the Sounders play some soccer team from Salt Lake City, so our conversation is mercifully brief. He’s driving down on Thursday for graduation. He wants to take me out afterward for a meal. My heart swells talking to Ray, and a huge lump knots in my throat. He has been my constant through all mom’s romantic ups and downs. We have a special bond that I treasure. Even though he’s my stepdad, he’s always treated me as his own, and I can’t wait to see him. It’s been too long. His quiet fortitude is what I need now, what I miss. Maybe I can channel my inner Ray for my meeting tomorrow.

Kate and I concentrate on packing, sharing a bottle of cheap red wine as we do. When I finally go to bed, having almost finished packing my room, I feel calmer. The physical activity of boxing everything up has been a welcome distraction, and I’m tired. I want a good night’s sleep. I snuggle into my bed and am soon asleep.

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