When Taylor and I walk into the elevator to go up to the penthouse, I inform him that I would like to be the one to tell Ana and Gail about the day’s events. I want them both to know that we are fine and no worse for the ware. Taylor answers me with a simple “Sir”. The elevator door opens and Ana is there to great her husband with a big hug. “I don’t know what this is all about”, I say, “but I gladly accept it”. Taylor makes his way into the kitchen and gives Gail a hug and she receives it with “a glad to see you,’’ response. “Me too”, he says.
I ask Ana if she wants to join me in a glass of wine and she tells me that she would be delighted. “It’s been one heck of a day”, she tells me. I give her my smile that reaches to my eyes. After we finish our drinks, I ask Gail and Taylor to come into the great room where Ana and I are seated. I ask Taylor to summon Sawyer and Ryan as well. Gail comes in with a puzzled look on her face and Ana glances over at me as if to say, “Okay, Grey….what’s up now”?
I motion for them to sit and start off by telling them that Taylor and I have something to tell them but they shouldn’t get panicky “because as you can see, we are just fine”. Both Ana and Gail jump to their feet and at the same time, ask, and not in a calm way, “What happened?” I go into a full blown explanation of what took place. During my explanation, when I come to the part about thinking that Taylor got hit by bullets, Gail does the unexpected. She faints. As she starts to fall to the floor, Ana grabs her giving Taylor enough time to get to her before she hits the floor. He lays her on the couch while Ana darts off and returns as quickly as she left, with a bottle of smelling salts. I’m wondering where in the hell did she get those from. I didn’t even know there were any in here. I’ll ask her about that later.
When Gail is revived and snuggled safely in Taylor’s arms, Ana just stares at me as though she is reaching into my soul to pull it out of my very being. I go to her, wrap my arms around her and say to her “please, baby. Try to keep it together. We are both fine as you can see”. I ask them if they want me to continue. Gail just shakes her head in the affirmative while Ana just continues to stare at me like I am an alien from outer space. I’m thinking that maybe I should wait for a few more minutes. I look at Gail who has tears running down her face and I look at Ana who still has that blank stare and make the decision to just get it the hell over with.
After the incident is completely relayed, I tell Ana what I have agreed to let the ball crusher do. As I start to escort my wife to our bedroom after telling her that we need a private moment, my blackberry rings. I look and think, “Oh fuck! It’s Elena”. I let the call go to voice mail and proceed to guide Ana. She is like a zombie. I don’t know how she made it to the medicine cabinet unassisted. All of a sudden, Ana starts gasping for air, tears start flowing and she starts shaking. “Ana, baby”, I say as I scoop her up in my arms. She throws her arms around me and goes completely ballistic. She starts screaming “no, no, no”, and thrashing around to the point that I almost drop her. I deposit her on our bed and just hold her as close to me as I possibly can and start rocking her gently.
When she finally calms down and her sobs become whimpers, I start planting kisses all over her beautiful face, ending up on her lips that get so soft when she cries, runny nose and all. I reach for the box of tissues and gently wipe her nose. She quiets and looks at me with those beautiful blue eyes. “Christian, if anything ever happened to you, I would die….just die. Please! Don’t leave me, Christian. I would not be able to live”. “Anastasia, I feel the same way about you so I guess we are stuck with each other, forever and always, even in death and beyond. Don’t worry, baby. It looks like neither one of us is going anywhere”.
I tell her to go wash her face and get ready to come with me to meet her best friend and then we are going to play Santa Claus. “How do we do that, Christian?” Her voice is still rather weak but she seems to perk up at the thought of seeing Kate. I tell her that every year, I go to some of the stores that have layaway plans in and around Seattle and pay for all of the layaways that parents have had to cancel because the money was just not there. She looks at me, throws herself on me, hugs me tight and tells me that I am the best person in the world. I just smile, and ask, “You think? Now let’s get going, baby, before we end up doing the vanilla thing. The stores stay open much later around this time of year so we should be good to go”.
After we spend about $25,000 dollars, we head for Escala. I tell Anastasia what my plans are for Taylor and the rest of our staff at home as well as my mom, dad and grandparents. She can’t believe when I tell her what we are getting for Taylor. “That reminds me”, I say to Ana. “Don’t let me forget to give Elliot and Mia a call tomorrow”. She agrees, pulls my head down and gives me a loving kiss on the cheek. “Oh, and by the way, I will leave it up to you to choose gifts for Ray, and your mom and Bob. And please don’t spare the cost. Remember Ana, you are a wealthy lady now and money is just not an object. Ana smiles, holds my hand and says in an almost whisper, “Thank you, Christian”. I ask her what she is thanking me for. “Remember my wedding vow to you”? I repeat what I vowed to her…”What’s mine is now yours”. You don’t need to thank me for what is already yours, baby”. I look down at her and gently wipe away a tear that has fallen down her cheek. Damn, I love this woman, I think to myself.
Ana and I finish up our last minute shopping as she tells me what she has purchased for Ray, her mom and her husband, Bob. She looks at me to see what my reaction is when I find out how much money she spent. I smile at her approvingly and we walk, hand in hand through the beautifully decorated stores. Christmas is such a special time of year but it certainly hasn’t always been that way. My thoughts go back to when I was with my biological mother. Not pleasant thoughts but that is going to be taken care of soon.
When we arrive at home, the live Christmas tree has been delivered, decorated and is standing tall in the great room, looking every bit as beautiful as any she has ever seen. Ana just marvels at how beautiful it is. I tell her to wait until she gets into her house with all of its decorations, inside and out. The house is just about done but Ana changed her mind about a few things which threw the renovations off a little bit….quite a bit, really but Elliot is doing a fantastic job. No problem, her ‘brother’ tells her. (My brother). She calls him brother ever since he made that toast at our wedding where he referred to her as his “sister”. “Anything for you dear sister. I just want you to be as happy as you have made my little brother”. Talk about someone making someone happy. Ana beams and lets me know how much she loves my family. I tell her that they love her back just as much. “Sometimes, I think they love you more than they love me”. She makes my most favorite sound in the world….she giggles.
As Ana and I prepare to go to our prospective places of work, she reminds me as we enter the elevator, not to forget to give Elliot and Mia a call. I thank her, give her a kiss and tell Sawyer to take care of my girl. He smiles and says that he “has her covered, sir”. Ana and I say our “see you laters” (never good bye” as it sounds too final}.
Taylor and I walk into my building with a bevy of “glad to see you both, sir”, from the staff. I want to make sure that Andrea is okay so both Taylor and I, enter her office after a slight peck on her opened office door. “Glad to see that you are here and okay, Andrea. “I’m fine, sir. I was just a little shaken when I took the call”. I laugh out loud and repeat in a question like format. “Just a little shaken huh”? “Yes, sir.” she says looking down, embarrassed. “I hope to hell I never see you a lot shaken”, I retort. Taylor tries to stifle a chuckle which he is not very successful in doing. I ignore him and ask Andrea if she is up to taking instructions for the day. She jumps up, pad in hand and follows us into the office.
This is top priority, Andrea. Write a memo to all thirty thousand employees and remind them that GEH is a zero tolerance company. This is in light of the recently passed law that makes that whacky tobacky shit legal. If an employee is sick enough to have to smoke it, then they are too sick to be employed here. If I get fined for discrimination, then so be it. I will just have to pay the fine. There will be absolutely no drugs of any kind allowed on the premises of any building that is under the name of Grey Enterprises Holdings, here in the United States as well as those that are abroad. Put it in language that there will be no reason for them to not understand and have each one of them sign that they have read and understand this directive. I want them returned to me within three days. Each building manager will be responsible for checking to make sure that all have signed and dated, and then they are to be sent back to me with the manager’s signature, verifying that each employee has signed. Any breach of this directive will be cause for immediate dismissal, regardless of what the law says. This is Christian T. Grey’s law and it is to be followed to the inth degree. If anyone has any questions or is not clear, they are to get in touch with me directly. Antibiotics or over the counter drugs for the relief of a headache, cold or any preexisting or newly acquired ailment i.e. diabetes, high blood pressure, etc., is exempt. Sincerely, so on and so forth. And by the way, while I am thinking about it, send a notice out to all of the staff here in our north east area that all offices will be closed tomorrow, due to the predicted heavy snow warning. I don’t want anyone sliding in on the road just to get here. Notify Welch that he is to activate the security system to automatic and notify the police department in all locations of our plans. Tell the security detail that they also have the day off. We will play it by ear for the next few days.
I proceed to let Andrea know what else she is to do. I then ask her if she has heard from my European interest. She tells me that it is all taken care of and we can expect delivery early next week to the company here. She is talking in code and I understand every word. “Good job, Andrea”, I tell her. “One last thing. Is everything set for Christmas Eve?” She said that it is. I thank her and tell her that she deserves a medal. I turn to Taylor and ask him if everything is taken care of per my instructions. “Yes sir”, he says and looks like he is going to salute. I simply say to him, “Thank you, Taylor. Have you and Gail made plans yet for the wedding?” “I’m not sure, sir. I will have to check with her”. “Taylor, you act like you are already married, but that’s okay. Women are supposed to take care of all of that kind of stuff. You are not expecting a bachelor party, are you? “Yes, sir”, Taylor says. Taking me completely by surprise, I look at him and say “WHAT?” “Yes, sir. Ryan, Sawyer and Welch insist on it”. I’m wondering if I am going to be invited since I didn’t know anything about it. As if he is reading my mind, he says, “I think they are going to ask you if you will help to plan it.” I tell him that I will gladly accept the challenge. “Oh, fuck….what in the hell did I just agree to do? I think to myself. “I don’t do shit like that”. Oh well, I guess I’m committed. “Damn”.
We pick up Anastasia and Sawyer and I tell Taylor that I want to make a stop at the Sherman Clay Music store where I bought my piano. Taylor says, “Sir” and weaves his way expertly through the heavy holiday traffic to Fourth Avenue. We arrive in record time, due to Taylor knowing all of the shortcuts. As we exit the Audi SUV, Taylor tells Sawyer that he is “going in with the Grey’s and he should keep a watchful eye at the door”. Sawyer says, “Yes sir, boss”. I smile as we enter the store. Anastasia asks me if I am going to buy another piano. I tell her yes but it is going to be a surprise for her. She looks at me quizzically.
The same salesman that met me before greets us and shakes my hand. Mr. Bellamy is expecting you. I introduce Mr. Bellamy to Ana and he surprises her by saying “Mrs. Grey. How very nice to meet you, and congratulations on expecting your first child.” Ana’s mouth drops almost to the floor and I have to laugh. I put my arm around my wife’s expanding waist. “We are here to purchase a child’s Baby Grand piano”, I tell her. She looks at me like I have just taken leave of my senses. “Christian, we haven’t purchased anything for the baby yet. Not a crib, not a diaper, not a bottle…..nothing and you are going to purchase this unborn child a piano?” You can’t give this child lessons until he or she is born”. Mr. Bellamy says, “Well I always say, you can’t get them started too early”. Everyone in earshot starts laughing, even Taylor. I lean over, kiss my wife and tell her to “let’s get this over. I’m hungry.”
I have instructed Mr. Bellamy to order in 3 pianos of different colors, because we don’t know if this child is a boy or a girl.
I tell Ana that we can just chose the white one if she would like. She looks at me, frowns and says, in a shocked tone. “If I’d like?” Why don’t we just ask the baby?” she says. “Wow”, I think. I haven’t heard her smart mouth in ages. I really have missed it. That is one of the reasons why I fell in love with this person. “Well sir, ma’m, when the children out grow them, we can exchange them for larger ones”, Mr. Bellamy says. I say that we will probably keep them all because we plan to have several children. I have to catch Ana as she stumbles back and says, “We are?” “Yes, baby”. I whisper quietly in her ear. I want as many extensions of you as I can possible get. Ana sighs and says, “As you wish, Christian. We are going to have to add a special room for all of these pianos”, Ana says. I tell her “that there will be no need for that…they can stay right in the room with my Steinway. Elliot has already made plans to have the room maintained at the right temperature for my piano and there will be plenty of space for all three.”
“I see that I am not the only one who has delayed the finishing of our house”, Ana pips. I have to laugh and she utters my favorite sound: She giggles.
We pay for the pianos, make arrangements for them to be delivered and walk out of the store, with Taylor leading the way. “Everything okay?” I ask my wife who is staring at nothing in particular. “Everything is just fine. I was just giving thanks for your being my husband and the father of our children to be. How blessed we all are”. I pull my loving wife closer to me and ask her quietly, “playroom?” She nods and giggles out, “before we eat or after?”
After supper, Roz rings me on my blackberry. The hospital called and told her that the injured would be assassin was being taken to their “inside jail holding room” and that he is no longer on the critical list and he is under heavy guard. The police are going to get a statement tomorrow morning. I tell Roz that I can’t wait to hear this one. I thank her and as soon as I hang up my call from Roz, my Blackberry goes off again. “FUCK”, I say louder than I intend to. Ana looks up but doesn’t say anything. I think to myself, does that woman have bricks for brains?” I let Elena’s call go to voice mail. “I know that sooner or later I am going to have to deal with her but not now, not in front of Ana. I would like to go to bed in one piece tonight and that includes me having my balls in their proper place”.
My wife and I head for bed and bid each other good night in the only way we know how.
All of the characters belong to ELJames. The reference that is made about the toast by Elliot to his “new sister”, is borrowed from eminethe1st.blogspot.com. The piano store and the owner are borrowed from http://fifty-shades-of-grey.me/fifty-shades-after-harvard/ The introduction of the new idea and new characters, if any, belong strickly to me and are subjected to copywrite laws.