This is a work of creativity. As such, you may see words, concepts, scenes, actions, behaviors, pictures, implements, and people that may or may not be socially acceptable and/or offensive. If you are sensitive to adverse and alternative subject matter of any kind, please do not proceed, because I guarantee you’ll find it here. You have been warned. Read at your own risk.
I do not own Fifty Shades Trilogy, or the characters. They belong to E. L. James. I am only exercising my right to exploit, abuse, and mangle the characters to MY discretion in MY story in MY interpretation as a fan. If something that I say displeases you, please, just leave. If you don’t like this story or me, please don’t spoil this experience for everyone. Just go away. For the rest of you, the saga continues…
“OH, MY GOD! ANA! JESUS CHRIST!” Maxie screams.
Even though I knew this would be her reaction, I’m still not prepared for the immense humiliation I feel every time I dare to get undressed in front of someone. Even facing away from her, I can feel her glaring at the mutilated scarring on my lower back. I can’t prevent the mournful tears that follow. I know the thing looks absolutely hideous even though it’s all healed, for lack of a better word. I hear her rise from her chair before she spins me around and holds me in her arms as I sob. I don’t know how long we stand there. It seems like forever. When I’m all cried out, she helps me back down to my seat, takes out her phone and hit some numbers.
“Amy… I’m not going to be back in today. Reschedule everyone for whatever openings I have tomorrow and next week… Everything’s fine, Amy just… please reschedule everyone… Thank you.” She ends the call. “Ana, why didn’t you ever tell me?”
“I never told anybody,” I answer, never raising my head to look at her. “It’s one of the reasons I got into psychiatry. I thought I could heal myself… and it was working… until…” I put my hands over my face. Maxie takes my hands down.
“Until what, Ana?”
I sigh. “When I was well enough to travel, Ray took me back to Montesano. I think Mom let me go so that she and Stephen could deal with the social ‘fall-out’ of what had happened, I don’t know. She was, after all, more concerned about what the neighbors were thinking than what was going on with me.” I sneer. “When I came to live with Ray, I gave him the same story… that I didn’t remember what happened. We didn’t talk about it much, either. He tried to get me to open up about it, but I just couldn’t. I was there for months and I felt like I was at home again. Mom never called me once… not… once.” I wipe a stray tear from my face.
“Thinking I had finally escaped from the hell that was my life in Green Valley, I registered for school in Montesano for that fall, but I never got a chance to go. Mom and Stephen showed up to take me back to Henderson—back to the place that was the source of all of my nightmares; back to where the most horrific things happened to me that have ever happened even to this date.” I shake my head. “I don’t know why. I still don’t know why they brought me back. I begged them to let me stay, but they completely ignored me. I know they didn’t want me there. I was more of an embarrassment and a burden to them than anything. I don’t understand why they didn’t just let me stay with Ray. I was happy again in Montesano… and they brought me back… back to hell…
“None of the Henderson schools would take me—none of them. I’m surprised any school in Clark County took me. But Mom came up with the great idea to let me use my bio dad’s name and registered me in the closest school in Las Vegas.
“I was in school from 7am until 5 or 6pm every day, with extra classes, extracurricular activities, anything that kept me out of Henderson. I was out before dawn and never home before dark. I did babysitting jobs, went to summer school, cleaned houses in Summerlin and Northtown, anything to not go home. Stephen treated me like a pure and utter shit—like a rodent. He never put his hands on me, but the mental warfare was cruel and unusual.”
“Where was your mom during all of this, Ana?” Maxie asks.
“Oh, Carla had ringside seats—but she just pretended not to see it. She pretended not to hear him call me all those horrible names and tell me how I had completely ruined their lives and reputations in Henderson. A lot of times, as soon as he started berating me, she just left—got up, got in her car and took off to parts unknown.” I put my head in my hands again. “I cried for months… six, maybe seven. Every day, I cried. My soul hurt. I was sure that death was better than what I was feeling… but I wouldn’t give any of them the satisfaction of giving up. I can’t even remember my mom speaking to me after I came back from Montesano. I’m sure it happened once or twice, I just don’t remember it.” I stand up and zip my dress. I go to the kitchen and put a bagel in the toaster. The liquor is starting to make me a little sick and I need something in my stomach.
“Anyway, long story shorter, Anastasia Lambert graduated from high school and the very next day, I took whatever could fit in a backpack and a duffel bag and caught the first bus back to Washington. I didn’t want to go to Ray. I knew that would be the first place they would look for me. So, I went to Tacoma instead, stayed at a homeless shelter for battered women, worked for a while until I got a grant to go to Bates. Then I got the scholarship to go to U-Dub, and you know the rest.” I take a bite of my bagel.
“So, what caused today’s breakdown?” she asks, taking another sip of her second double-shot. Oh yeah, I forgot about that part.
“I used to have terrible nightmares,” I begin, taking a seat at the dining room table. “For years, I relived that beating over and over and over again. I learned some coping techniques, did my best to deal with the past since I would never get justice, and I was able to live a semi-normal life. The nightmares eventually went away. Well, on Tuesday, I got a call from a friend in the Henderson Police Department. He was the same guy that worked my case and, I’m told, he was the officer that got me to the hospital that night. Anyway, he called me to tell me that someone is looking into Anastasia Lambert.” Maxie gasps.
“Why?!” she asks.
“I have no idea. Anastasia Lambert did nothing remarkable at all. She went to school for two years, got a diploma and disappeared. There’s absolutely no reason to look into her. I have no idea who’s looking or why, so needless to say, I’m scared to death. And last night, the fear sparked the dreams.”
“Oh,” Maxie nods. “Hence the need for the friend and professional.” She grabs my hand. “You came to the right place, Steele!” She smiles, then her mood goes somber. “So… now what?”
“Well, Ray has a friend from the military who… let’s just say he’s pretty resourceful. He’s looking into it for me and he should have some answers pretty soon.”
“So, I know you don’t know who it is, but who do you think it could be?
“I have no idea. One of the girls who beat me up? The bastard who raped me? I don’t know.”
“So, what are you going to do when you find out?”
“I’m going to face them head on!” I say angrily. “This is my life. It’s been more than 10 years; they can’t have it anymore! I’m not running this time!” Before I know it, I pick up my drink glass and dash it across the room and against the farthest wall shattering it to pieces. “I’m not fucking hiding anymore, Maxie.” I scream through angry tears. “They scarred me for life—physically and emotionally—so if they want me, come and fucking get me!”
Maxie scrambles out of her seat and embraces me again. “I need you to calm down, Anastasia,” she says in my ear as I try to regulate my breathing. “You’re absolutely right to be mad as hell for what those bastards did to you, but no use taking it out on your beautiful apartment,” she laughs. I chuckled a bit, too.
After Maxie calms me down a bit, I decide that the sycophants can do without me for one day… and I really don’t want to face Grey either. So, I call Ron and let him know that I won’t be able to cover the group session this evening.
“Are you alright, Ana? This doesn’t have anything to do with that guy, Grey, does it?”
“No,” I lie. I had had a long talk with Ron about all that was going on with Grey the day that I made him wait outside my office for me. He knew the outcome would not be pleasant. I don’t think either of us had any idea that it would be catastrophic. “It’s not that at all, Ron. I’m just not feeling well at all today and I really need to rest.”
“Okay, Ana,” he says, his voice laced with concern. “Feel better and let me know if there’s anything that I can do.”
“Thanks, Ron.” I hang up the phone and turn back to Maxie.
“There’s something else I need to tell you, Max.” She sits back in the chair and sips her drink again. “Yesterday, I renewed my CCW.” She put her hand over her mouth.
“You have a CCW?” she gasps.
“Ever since I turned 21.” She sinks down into her seat. “I just thought you should know. I meant it when I said I’m not running, and I need someone to know that anything that happens is not premeditated, but I will do whatever I have to do to protect myself.”
“What do you carry?” I can see that it’s morbid curiosity. Hold on to your pants, Max.
“Glock in my car, Beretta in my night stand, .44 Magnum mini in my purse.” She slumps in her chair.
“Shit, Steele, they’ve got you terrified,” she says just above a whisper.
“Oh no, not anymore. This is just a side of me that you guys haven’t seen,” I sigh. I didn’t know I was going to have to tell anybody my life story, except maybe Edward since I was so convinced that he was the one. Thank God, I didn’t spill the beans to him!
“After I turned 18 and I knew Carla and Stephen couldn’t drag me back to Henderson, I contacted Ray and told him where I was and where I had been staying. He helped me out because I was already in school by then and didn’t want to move to Montesano. Between my little job and grants and Ray, I had a little money to work with, so I started looking for an apartment. I met Val and we became roommates since the rent was in my range and her apartment was right on campus. I told Ray that I was afraid for my safety. I didn’t give him any details, but hell, he was there while I was comatose for three weeks, so he really didn’t need any explanation, did he?” I go to the kitchen to find the broom and dustpan to clean up the broken glass.
“Ray started teaching me self-defense and instructing me on how to shoot. It made me feel a little safer knowing that I could defend myself, but I wasn’t able to carry until I turned 21, and Ray wouldn’t tolerate me carrying without a license. So, I learned to immobilize an assailant with other items and I had three years to practice before I got my CCW.”
“So how precise are you with that firearm, Calamity Jane?” she jokes.
“I can hit a paper clip stuck in a fence post at a hundred feet,” I say blankly. Maxie is visibly surprised.
“That’s pretty fucking precise.”
“Yeah, I’m a surgeon with a nine.”
“A nine?” She shakes her head, confused.
“A nine millimeter.” Maxie seems to be a little apprehensive now.
“So why don’t you own one of those?” I laugh at her gently. Poor little naive Maxie.
“That’s the Glock, Hon,” I say a little slowly with a laugh, but Maxie doesn’t seem to be laughing with me so I stop laughing. “I wasn’t trying to scare you or anything, Max, but I had to tell someone. I’ve been holding on to this for ten years. I couldn’t even tell Ed, and he saw the brand.”
“Didn’t he ever ask you about that? I mean… in… certain… positions, you can’t miss it!”
“Yeah, unfortunately, that was kind of the idea. It’s a ‘tramp stamp.’ But I asked him not to ask me about it, and he never did. Strange thing was… I subconsciously wanted him to ask. It would have meant that he cared. At least that’s how I saw it.”
“You saw correctly,” Maxie nods. “There’s no way you would see that on someone you claim to love and not want to know how it got there… no way in hell, but…” I can tell she’s curious but didn’t want to ask.
“I was unconscious after the first brand. My guess is that someone came upon the scene and stopped them before they could finish.” I shiver at the reminder of the metal searing my skin. “You know what the worst thing about this whole thing was, Maxie?” She shakes her head, amazed and bewildered by my tale.
“These were kids,” I finish.
She seems a little confused by my meaning, so I elaborate.
“These were children that did this to me. No one in the group was over the age of 18. We’re not talking about merely humiliating me in front of the whole school or the whole town even—which was the ultimate outcome nonetheless. We’re talking about gravely injuring another human being to the point where I was comatose for three weeks. Do you know how much hatred you have to have in your heart to do that to another person?” I ask incredulously. “How vicious and vindictive you have to be to stand there and burn another person’s flesh… like it’s a party game? How do you hurt someone that way and not feel it? How do you qualify that, how do you justify that in your brain? Do these people have nightmares about what they did to me, or do they chalk it up to ‘one of those crazy things I did back in high school?’” I say the last part in a mocking tone.
“And these were children, half of them I’m sure I didn’t even know me… raised with that kind of hatred in their hearts. And now… they’re adults… all of them. They’re members of society somewhere in this world, some of them quite possibly very powerful members of society—deciding someone’s future in some way. Some of them are most likely raising children of their own—little entitled sadists growing up to be just like their hateful parents—and that really scares the shit out of me. If I were to have children any time soon, they would grow up with these little… ” Before I can complete my thought, my blackberry rings. I don’t recognize the number, but like I said, I’m not running anymore.
“Dr. Steele,” I answer.
“Ana? Hi… it’s Brian.” Finally! The news I’ve been waiting for.
“Hi, Brian. Thanks for calling me back.”
“No problem, Ana. As for you ‘seeker…'”
“What do you have for me?”
“The person digging into your background is Alexander Welch. Does that ring any bells to you?” I wrack my brain but nothing comes up.
“No, nothing. I don’t know who that could be.”
“Have you applied for any jobs lately… or for a loan?”
“Nothing like that, Brian. Nothing at all. Why would this guy be looking into my background… and so deep into my background? Is he local?”
“Yeah, he is. He works for a huge company there in Seattle. That’s why I asked if you might have applied for a job or a loan or anything like that.”
“Well, what company does he work for?”
“He’s head of security for Grey Enterprises.”
Grey Enterprises? Why would Grey Enterprises be doing a background check on me…?
Then it hit me.
In all its horror, one word came flying at me in fabulous technicolor.
“GREY!” I whisper with dread.
I can run six miles in 30 minutes.
I have masterful techniques that I employ on a woman’s body that will have her speaking in tongues.
I acquire multi-million dollar companies without even being in the room.
I strike fear and induce cold sweats in a board room full of grown men.
I can say my name, wave my hand, speak a command, or smile and basically have anything I want anywhere in the world.
But I have no idea how to formulate a fucking apology, much less to a woman who probably despises me now.
When is the last time I had to apologize to anybody? Hell, I don’t know… when I was a teenager, maybe? These are situations that I normally walk away from. It’s a no-win for me, because I never apologize. I’d be putting myself in a position of weakness, and I just don’t do that. But now I have to. I played my cards all wrong and now I have to go all contrite to the good doctor or I may end up in jail. This could’ve all turned out so differently, I think to myself as I look out over Seattle from my office window. I would so much rather be testing her limits, tantalizing her core and bringing her right to the edge, torturing the sensitive flesh of her inner thigh…
My mind wanders back to the night I watched her dance. Her moves were so fluid, almost poetic. The way her hair swayed, as if it were also part of the perfect ballet. I can still smell her scent… captivating. And again, I’m adjusting my pants.
Fuck, Grey. Why are you thinking about the one woman in Seattle that you definitely cannot have? Because I have to find some way to apologize to her and save my ass.
I run my hands through my hair. I guess I just have to bite the bullet and simply say…
Shit! It sounded fucking weird coming out of my mouth, but it’s a start. Hell, what am I sorry for? Staring at her in group? Threatening her job? Calling her “Ms.” instead of “Dr.?”
How about the truth… being an ass.
Yeah, that about covers it.
Even though I hate coming here, I hate being late even more. Today, I have more of a reason to be early than anything. As I walk to the last office at the end of the hall on the 10th floor. I notice the light is out and the door is locked. It’s almost time for group to start—where is she? I knock just in case. Of course, there’s no answer. I look bemused over at Taylor, like he would have a solution to this problem. His impassive gaze only pisses me off as I turn and walk back to the elevator.
Before walking down to an obviously dark and empty 239, I knock on the door of the gentleman that had been talking to Ana in her office on Monday. I open the door after a voice from the other side invites me in.
“Excuse the interruption, Mr. …” I begin.
“Carlisle. Ronald Carlisle.” He extends his hand.
“Mr. Carlisle,” I accept the shake, “Have the group sessions been moved to another room?”
“No, sir, I apologize, Mr. … Grey, correct?”
“Yes.” Carlisle pauses for a moment, answering my question that he knows who I am most likely from some not-so-flattering comments about me from Ana.
“Mr. Grey,” he continues. “There’s supposed to be a sign on the door. The session has been cancelled for the day. However, if you sign in, you will still get credit for attending.” Now I’m certain he knows who I am and exactly why I’m here.
“If you don’t mind my asking, why has it been cancelled?”
“Dr. Steele is unavailable,” he says, coolly. Unavailable? What the fuck does that mean?
“Oh, I hope it’s nothing serious.” He tilts his head at me.
“Please excuse my candor, Mr. Grey, but I was led to believe that you were—how should I say this gently—less than enthusiastic about the group sessions. You seem to have had a change of heart?” He eyes me suspiciously. I can’t say that I blame him even though it’s still pissing me off.
“I was just inquiring about the well-being of Dr. Steele, Mr. Carlisle. Nothing more.” I answer coolly. He nods, knowingly. Fucking asshole.
“Dr. Steele didn’t share with me her reasons for being unable to facilitate the session this afternoon, Mr. Grey. I’m sure if her… well-being… was compromised in any way, she’d say so. She probably just needed a moment or two for herself to regroup and seeing as to how she has never taken a day off, I deemed it appropriate to allot her this time to herself without prying too much as to the reasons for her actions.” You snide little fucker! He’s taking a jab at me! Is he trying to say that I’m the reason why she’s not here today?
Well, you could be, Grey. She was pretty fucking upset when she left Monday night. Fuck! This is going to be harder than I thought.
“Is there anything else I can do for you, Mr. Grey?” Fucking Carlisle asks impatiently as I stand there glaring at him.
“Where do I sign in, Mr. Carlisle?” The asshole hands me a copy of one of the sign-in sheets for the session and I sign my name on the top line. “Please give Dr. Steele my regards… in case she’s not feeling well.”
“You’ll be able to give your regards to her yourself on Monday, Mr. Grey.” That’s his snide little way of telling me that he won’t be passing along my message, but from the irritated tone in his voice, I’m sure that he will. I smirk at him and walk out of his office.
What’s wrong with Ana? Is she not well? Did I really upset her that badly?
Of course, you did, you asshole. Do you not remember watching her get into someone else’s car while a third person drove her car back to her apartment after you eviscerated her on Monday evening? Didn’t you just tell yourself that you could induce cold sweats on boardrooms full of businessmen? What do you think a good old fashioned Christian Grey threat can do to Little Miss Doctor Girl?
Such a fucking asshole, Grey. Such. A. Fucking. Asshole.
He’s going to do it. He’s really going to do it. He’s going to ruin my career. That’s the only reason he can be looking into my past. That’s the only thing it could be. I have no idea what he’s planning… no idea he’s going to do…
I stand up and start pacing the dining and living room area, nervously gnawing on my bottom lip. What’s his plan? What can he do with this information?
“Ana?” Brian’s voice wakes me from my internal interrogation.
“What does he know, Brian?”
“You know him, Ana!?” he asks incredulously.
“Yes, Brian, I know him,” I sigh, putting my hand on my forehead. Maxie takes notice to my “tell.”
“Well, he knows everything about Lambert, which honestly isn’t much to know. I don’t know how much he knows about pre-Lambert but if he’s gotten this far, it’s easy for him to find out about the incident. So, I’m sure he knows about that, too. To be honest, I would say he knows everything that Henderson Police knows.” Fuck. Me.
I knew it. I don’t know how I knew, but I knew it. I knew that one way or another, he would end up in my secret place. I have no plan of defense against this guy because I have no idea what he’s going to do.
“Why would Christian Grey want information on you, Ana?” I can’t tell Brian that he’s one of my “patients,” so to speak.
“I don’t know.”
“You have an idea, though.”
“Let’s just say that I was uncooperative with him.” I rub my forehead again.
“Is this something I need to handle, Ana?” I can hear it in his voice. Oh, fuck! No!
“No! Brian, no!” I exclaim. “It’s nothing like that!” I sigh again. “Can you find out anything on him?” I ask as a last resort.
“I knew you would ask. Check your email.”
I don’t know if information on Christian Grey would be of any assistance to me, but hell, he’s knows my life story. I might as well know his.
“Thanks… for everything,” I say to Brian.
“You’ll call me if you need me?” He’s almost begging.
“Yes, I will. I promise.”
I hang up from Brian and turn into the searching eyes of Maxine. “Well, I know who’s looking into Lambert now.”
“Who?” She leans in.
“Christian Grey,” I answer dismally.
“Christian Grey?” she says with disbelief. “The Christian Grey?” I’m still nodding. “Billionaire bachelor Christian Grey?” The nodding continues. “Hot, fine, sexy ass CEO of Grey Enterprises Christian Grey?”
“For fuck’s sake, YES! Dammit!” I’m starting to feel like a bobble-head here!
“Why in the hell is Christian Grey….”
“Stop right there!” I interrupt her. “I. Don’t. Know.”
“Oh, you know something.” Maxie points a long, polished fingernail at me. “I heard that conversation. If you can’t trust me after what you just told me, who can you trust?”
I sigh heavily. “It’s doctor/patient-type stuff, Max.” I look at her defeated.
“And I am operating in the capacity of a professional. Spill it!” She sits up and folds her arms.
I sigh again. “He’s one of the participants in my Monday/Thursday group sessions.” Her mouth flies open.
“Why in the world would Christian Grey take part in group sessions at a neighborhood community center? He could buy any shrink he wanted!”
“Yeah, that’s the problem. He couldn’t buy me! He couldn’t convince me or coerce me or intimidate me or whatever it is that he does to get people to do what he wants them to do!”
“What did he need from you?” she asks incredulously.
“He’s a COA.” And the light goes on in Maxie’s expression. “And now you see my problem. He has been a thorn in my side since the day I met him. It’s so hard to believe that somebody so hot and beautiful can be so relentlessly annoying and callous. It’s awful!”
“How hot?” Is that all she heard out of that whole spiel?
“You have no idea.” I’m almost panting.
“That hot, huh?”
“Fucking gorgeous!” Okay, I’m borderline salivating now.
Get a fucking grip, Steele. He’s the enemy!
Oh, and now here you go! Where the fuck were you when I was falling the fuck apart?
Um… er… uh…
I thought not! As per usual, shut the fuck up, Bitch!
It’s a good thing I cancelled session tonight. There’s no way in hell I would be able to face that man… not after this. This bastard is the reason these fucking dreams are back—why I have to go through all of my exercises and overcome this shit all back over again.
“Come on, Maxie. I need a massage.”
When I need to unwind and get the stress worked out of me, I have two choices.
Hot sex—not an option right now. Shit!
Dreamclinic—now we’re talking.
Dreamclinic is the only place I can go to where I don’t have to repeatedly tell them, “Do not move the towel and do not massage anywhere covered by the towel.”
I don’t like for strangers to see my brand.
I don’t like having to deal with the awkward silence that goes along with strangers seeing my brand.
I don’t like for anybody to touch my brand.
I don’t like for anybody to talk about my brand.
I can’t tell you how many strange looks I have gotten from massage therapists who don’t understand why I will stop them in the middle of a massage, turn around full frontal, swing my tits in their face and ask them why the fuck they’re moving my damn towel when I asked them not to. I had one remark to me that my ass is not that big and I should not be ashamed of it. I went the fuck off on her.
I had another one, out of morbid curiosity I guess, blatantly snatch my towel off of me claiming that it fell—like I don’t know the difference between a falling towel and a snatched towel. We came to blows and I was almost arrested.
I went to a few massages wearing a tank top after that. That was an exercise in futility. I even stopped going completely for a while.
Then I found Dreamclinic.
I only had to instruct Sylvia one time on what I needed and as soon as she asked me if I was sensitive in any areas, I knew I had found home. Walking in without an appointment can be iffy sometimes. Sylvia may not be available and I have to deal with some of the newer therapists trying to get me on their table, but I’m totally faithful to Sylvia—sorry guys. Can’t blame ‘em for trying.
Luckily for me, Sylvia has an opening in about half an hour and I’m willing to wait while Maxie goes in for a full body treatment. I ponder opening my email to see what Brian has sent me on Mr. Christian Grey, but I decide that I don’t want to do that in the middle of the lobby at Dreamclinic. So, I put Mr. Grey out of my head and, after a while, go back for my massage.
An hour and a half and a whole lot of de-stress later, we decide to go to The Crab Pot for dinner. I’m just dying for some coconut shrimp and calamari. I pick off some of Maxie’s salmon, too. It’s a very nice short escape from the pressures of life. Since we took Maxie’s car, she drops me off at my apartment after dinner and, after making sure I would be okay, she goes home to snuggle with Phil. I always feel a small pang of jealousy for the happiness that they share. I have no one to blame but myself for my current lack of companionship. I shut myself down completely after Edward, and now I’m “Single in Seattle…” and I hate it.
I did receive a missed call from Ron while I was out with Maxie. I didn’t bother answering since I had already told him that I wouldn’t be in tonight, but I see that he left a message. Don’t tell me the bleeding hearts are complaining.
“Hey Ana, it’s Ron. I hope you’re doing okay. Listen, that guy Grey came to my office and couldn’t stop asking about you. I thought you said he was a real asshole. Granted, he seemed like a real asshole to me, but when it came down to you he was just oozing with concern. Kept saying he was just worried about your ‘well-being.’ You may want to talk to this guy. If he is the asshole you say he is, you might be the one that can save him. I hope you’re doing better, Kid. I’ll see you on Monday!”
Concern my ass! That wasn’t concern. That was disappointment that he wasn’t able to torture me tonight.
I open my Acer and go to my email. I open the email from Brian and start going through the information.
To: Anastasia Steele
Re: Tit for Tat
Date: Thursday, June 21, 2012, 8:15
From: Brian Cholometes
Here is some valuable information on your stalker. This information is not completely public, but it’s not that hard to find if you know who to ask and how to ask them. Let me know if you need any help with anything, okay? Dinner sometime, maybe?
A guy’s gotta try…
Poor Brian. I may have gone out with him had he not been a friend of my dad’s. Granted, he’s significantly younger than my father, but he’s still my father’s friend. Maybe if I went out with Brian, Ray would see how ridiculous he looks with Mandy.
That wouldn’t be very nice, though.
I open the attachments he has forwarded to me concerning Mr. Christian Trevelyan Grey. He’s originally from Detroit—29 years old. He plays the piano and speaks fluent French. Fucker—he would have to choose my language!
«Égocentrique riche magnifique fils arrogante de pute!” Translate that, Asshole!
He started Grey Enterprises when he was 19 and made his first million by age 21. No wonder he’s so damn cocky. One thing in particular that I notice about Mr. Grey is that he wasn’t born Christian Grey. He was Christian Fields. He was adopted at the age of four by Grace Trevelyan Grey and Carrick Grey. There are pictures of him as a child. He’s got some terrible black and blue bruising on his side. On his chest, those look like… they can’t be… How could they be? He looks to only be about two years old here, but those scars are unmistakable! I, of all people, would know a burn when I see one, but he’s so young. Oh well, I can’t very well ask him, can I?
And why not? He’s got a background check on you. Turnabout is fair play!
This is one of those few moments where the Bitch is actually right, but how do you broach this topic? So, Mr. Grey, you blatantly disregarded my right to privacy and delved into my very painful past so guess what? I did the same thing to you. Now tell me, are those burn marks all over your chest?
Probably not the best way to approach that topic…
After reviewing all the other miscellaneous information Brian has sent me—his insanely high net worth, the fact that he lives in the most expensive multi-residential edifice in the state, the fact that he was once one of Barbara Walters’ “Most Fascinating People,”—I decide to take his advice and Google him.
Pictures everywhere of this strikingly beautiful man—at fundraisers and red carpet events… never with a date, though.
Probably because he feels like there’s not a woman beautiful enough to share a frame with him.
I do wonder why he’s never photographed with a date. He is so hot. Why is this unbelievably, breathtaking man cursed with such a terrible temperament?
Why, God? Why!?
There is one picture of him with his mother, Grace. She’s gorgeous, too. This would be his adopted mother. Gorgeous young doctor and her husband adopt troubled, beautiful little boy who grows up to be an arrogant, self-absorbed egomaniac. I wonder what went wrong there?
I spend well too much time going over pictures of Mr. Grey as well as his many philanthropic endeavors (who knew?) before I realize that it’s well past midnight and I need to get some rest if I plan on facing any of my patients tomorrow. After I’ve changed into my pajamas and snuggled under my sheets, I drift off to sleep with visions of a beautiful man in a black Caraceni tuxedo and bow tie beaconing me to join him on the red carpet…
… And the nightmares didn’t follow me that night.
It’s about 1:30 on Friday afternoon. I know one of the crew has decided to be my babysitter tomorrow evening, though I don’t know which one and I have no idea where we’re going. I’ve seen my last patient for the day and I’m sitting at my desk, mulling over some information and deciding my next move. Although I now know who has shaken the hornet’s nest and allowed my past to make an appearance into my once-content present again, I still have no idea what he plans on doing with the information. It has sent me into a complete state of unease that massages and yoga can’t seem to alleviate.
“Marilyn?” I call through the speaker.
“Yeah, Ana?” her disembodied voice responds.
“Can you see if Luc has any openings for the next few days?” There’s a long pause, I’m just about to hit the button and ask if she heard me when she responds,
“Did you say ‘Luc?'” Marilyn has been with me for a while. She’s a bright girl. She’s knows there’s a problem if I’m asking for an appointment with Luc.
“Yes, I did.” I wait for her response.
“I’m on it.” She knows not to say much more.
As I continue to examine the information that Brian sent to me as well as some additional information I found from searching the internet, I walk over to my window. From the address and location given, I look off to the north and I think I can probably see Grey House from here. There are more than a few large buildings in that direction and it’s not far from here at all. However, standing here in my office, I don’t know which building is his. Marilyn’s voice startles me from my daydream.
“Ana, Luc has an opening in an hour and two for tomorrow.” An hour is too short notice. I don’t even have a change of clothes here.
“What does he have for tomorrow?”
“10:30am and 2:00pm.”
“Make it 10:30.” Luc is my self-defense coach. I know he’ll put me through the paces since he hasn’t seen me in a year. I’ll definitely need a good night’s sleep for that.
I walk back over to the window and look at the ominous buildings downtown. Grey is in one of those buildings… looking down on the world and deciding people’s fates with the wave of a hand or the push of a button.
“Go home. We’re calling it a day.” After a pause,
“Okay. Thanks, Ana. Have a good weekend.”
I’m not running anymore…
If you would like more information on branding, YouTube has quite a bit of videos on branding animals AND humans.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvvjGTHDRg4 – Quick video on horse branding
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QmCtG8dy3o – Human branding with a cauterizer (kind of like a tattoo)
http://www.youtube.com/watch/?feature=player_embedded&v=wg-Z0pYw79E#t=7s – This is more like what would have been done to Ana, but not as civil and not as quickly. Oh, and it was more than once.
There are a couple of pictures of some voluntary brands on my Paging Dr. Steele Pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/pin/2040762303518306/
I did find some brands that were done for punishment, but they were so disturbing that I couldn’t put them on my page. The picture embedded in the story was a voluntary brand done as a protest to animal cruelty.
Just a little bit of background. As you can see from Ana’s description of the event, this was a vicious premeditated act against her. I had someone remind me that livestock brands are registered to their owners. I kind of knew that (kind of), but this particular attack was not performed with a livestock brand… she may not have survived that, I don’t know. Keep in mind that they were trying to mark her AND hurt her. So, whereas animal branding takes a couple of seconds and it’s done, we can assume that if she passed out from the pain that her brand sat on her longer than a couple of seconds. Livestock brands are normally made of iron, made to burn through coarse fur and animal skins. This attack was performed with stainless steel brands. They are easy to get—you can find them in some specialty stores in some areas. There’s even a company in Texas that will ship you a personalized brand in one day—and they are very cheap; we’re talking like $20 American. So, I just wanted to point out that these kids didn’t use a registered branding iron.
Someone else asked why she didn’t get the brand removed. In general, burns aren’t something that can be removed like that. We all know at least one person who has a burn scar (or even some pretty brutal burn scars) on their skin that never went away. Human branding is irreversible—it’s a scar. They do designer branding in Singapore in a controlled environment with sterile cauterization tools and those tiny little brands are irreversible. So, unfortunately, a vicious “sit a branding iron on my back” scar is not something the knife can cut away.
Pictures of places, cars, fashion, etc., can be found at http://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/paging-dr-steele/
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