Becoming Dr. Grey: Chapter 18—As The World Turns

I try to remember birthdays when I see them, so Happy Birthday to Laura Burdyn and Leah St Onge. A special shout-out to Aviance Bellamy, who was counting down the days, lol! Saturday is here, love.

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…

As The World Turns

Chapter 18—As The World Turns

ANASTASIA

“Ana, you can’t possibly mean that!” Annabelle Hightower is nearly hysterical when I speak to her later that afternoon.

“Yes, Annabelle, I’m afraid I do. Now, I can refer you to some other doctors that may be of more assistance to you, to help you move on to the next part of your treatment, whatever that may be. Unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to do it. I have to focus on my health and recovery since the accident. My own children will be born in less than three months and I need to be in tip-top condition when they get here. I just can’t do all of these things at this time, so something has to go.”

“So you decide to desert your patients!” she nearly hisses. No, this woman is not trying to give me a guilt trip! I almost died, lady! Do you think I give a fuck about the four patients I still have that won’t let go of the tity?

“I don’t see it that way,” I say, my voice a bit firm. “I see it as being more concerned about my health and well-being than I am about someone else’s, since this is my body. I understand that you may feel the same way about your health and well-being, which is why I have suggested that I direct you to another doctor.”

“I see,” she says, perturbed. “So you’re not deserting your position as director of that charity, but you are going to push your patients by the wayside. If I were to come and see you at that Center, would you then find time to treat me?”

What the fuck is this? This woman is acting like a jilted lover! She’s been my patient for years, almost since the beginning. I would have thought if anyone would have understood, it would have been her!

“Mrs. Hightower, I am certain that I am unable to be of any further assistance to you,” I say, changing my tone from friendly and apologetic to coarse, businesslike, and a bit perturbed. “My near-fatal accident has been all over the news. Each day, I’m working on relearning parts of my life and my past. I’ve had a traumatic brain injury that causes me more than a bit of discomfort and inconvenience. Having said that, the very last thing that my doctor or my husband would want to hear is that I’m arguing with a now ex-patient who can’t seem to understand the importance of my recovery. Now, the only thing left for us to discuss is if you would like for me to refer you to another doctor.” You disagreeable, selfish, inconsiderate little witch.

“No,” she says sharply. “I think I’ve had my fill of shrinks. I’ll probably be better off on my own.” Good! Glad to hear it, you dependent little twit.

“In that case, I wish you good day, Mrs. Hightower, and good luck!” I end the call quickly and take a deep breath. Something told me to use Marilyn’s phone to make that call and I’m so glad that I did.

“Good grief, I knew she’d be a hard sell, but I didn’t think she would be that hard!” Marilyn exclaims.

“Tell me about it! You would think I was breaking some type of secret pact between us.” Before the words are out of my mouth, Marilyn’s phone rings. She looks at it and I can tell by her expression that it’s Annabelle calling back. I angrily reach for the phone, but she puts one finger up to pause me and answers her phone.

“Hello, Marilyn Caldwell speaking… This is Marilyn Caldwell. Who is this?… Hello, Mrs. Hightower. Yes, this is my phone… I’m sorry, but Dr. Steele-Grey is currently unavailable… Unfortunately not. She’s terribly upset right now, and I assured Mr. Grey that I would keep an eye on her during her recovery. I’m sure you can imagine how detrimental stress can be to her in her delicate condition—carrying twins and all—and that horrible accident has put her in an even more precarious position. I couldn’t imagine having survived something so horrendous only to wake up two weeks later and have to learn several things all over again, can you? It must have been terrifying for her!” Marilyn sounds so syrupy sweet putting this woman in her place that I have to cover my mouth to keep her from hearing my laughter.

“Yes, that’s correct. Dr. Grey’s number has been changed. Her phone was destroyed in the accident, so when Mr. Grey replaced it, he also requested a new number for her—for the sake of privacy. You know that the accident is still under investigation… Oh, yes, I completely understand that, but just this once, I will have to pass on a message to her as I am not at liberty to give out her new number. Truth is, I’ve only seen it once and I don’t really remember it just now anyway… Unfortunately, no, Mrs. Hightower, I won’t be passing all of Mrs. Grey’s messages to her. I will only pass one message on to her and she will make the decision whether or not she will return your call…”

I notice through the call that I’ve gone from “Dr. Steele-Grey” to “Dr. Grey” to “Mrs. Grey.”

“Well, no, Mrs. Hightower. As I really do like my job as her personal assistant, I won’t be passing on that message, but I will be happy to relay something more professional for you…” Ooo, she’s mad. “I’m afraid I’m going to have to end this call now because you continue to use profanity with me and I’m not going to relay that to my boss. Have a good day, Mrs. Hightower.” She ends the call and proceeds to push some buttons on her phone.

“Blocking her?” I ask.

“Yep,” she says after pushing a few more buttons before raising her eyes to mine.

“What if she calls back unknown?”

“Unknown callers are already blocked from my phone. What’s next on the agenda?” And just like that, no more Mrs. Hightower.

I turn my attention to the guest list for Thanksgiving—all of the Greys and their significant others, Daddy and Amanda with provisions for my little brother, Allen and James, and Gail and Jason. I’ll have to ask if Christian plans on inviting anyone else. What about Chuck and Keri? She’s very far away from home and Chuck won’t be able to cook for her. I’ll have to see what my husband says.

“Marilyn, would you like to join us for dinner?” I ask.

“Oh, no, thanks. Gary and I are driving to Portland to see my folks.” I raise my eyebrow.

“You’re taking him to meet the folks?” I ask. “You’re there.”

“Yes, we’re there,” she laughs, “but only there, Ana! Don’t go pushing us down the aisle.” I put my hands up in surrender.

“I won’t!” I confirm. “I know that marriage can’t be rushed… except with my dad and stepmom. He couldn’t wait to make her Mrs. Steele.” I smile as I fondly remember Daddy’s wedding and the look in his eye when he saw Mandy. I also not-so-fondly recall a certain flaxen blonde’s attempts to derail the night along with Daddy’s best friend, Brian. Talk about unwanted advances!

“What’s got you scowling, Ana?” Marilyn asks.

“Evelyn… Elaine…” The image of children come to my mind. “Oh God…” I’m snapping my fingers trying to remember. “Pedo-Bitch…”

“Elena,” she says. I shiver all over.

“That bitch!” I say. “Was she at Daddy’s wedding?”

“Kind of,” she says hesitantly. “She ambushed Christian in the men’s room. You guys had a big fight about it…”

“Yeah, I remember that part,” I lament. “She’s in jail, right?”

“Yeah, for trying to…”

“I know, I know,” I interrupt her. “Enough of this shit, back to Thanksgiving. So as I don’t quite understand it, Valerie and I are not speaking, so we may be short two people. Far be it from me to tell Christian that his brother can’t come to Thanksgiving. I’ll let him handle that. It looks like we have a solid 18 people, but I know I’m leaving someone out, so I better prepare for thirty.”

“Better more food than not enough, right?” she says. I nod in agreement.

“Do we have any food allergies that you know of? Maybe we should have Gail in on this.”

“Definitely!” Marilyn says.

Gail, Marilyn, and I are all sitting around the kitchen island having drinks and some quick finger sandwiches that Gail made and working out the most fabulous Thanksgiving menu I’ve ever seen. Apparently, Thanksgiving is something of a four-day affair, to which the women in my family will be reintroducing me. I’m giddy with anticipation to be hosting this year, and Gail has agreed to do all of the heavy lifting in terms of making sure the spare bedrooms and guest quarters are in order. It’s one of the reasons that we’ll be needing extra staff.

We have the Adopt-A-Family Affair the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and since I was a bit indisposed, I never got my gown. As I’m lamenting about it to the ladies, Gail informs me that Christian would most likely be able to arrange something for me. What a perfect reason to call my perfect husband.

“Hello, Beautiful,” he says when he answers the phone, eliciting an impulsive girly giggle from me. “What a beautiful sound.” His voice is like melted butter. “To what do I owe this afternoon delight?”

“I… um… oh! Yeah,” he almost made me forget. “I don’t have a gown for the Adopt-A-Family Affair. I would hate to try to find something off-the-rack, but if I have to, I will. Gail says that you might be able to arrange something…”

“Yes. Yes, I can get you a personal shopper. When would you like to see her? She can probably come by the house, or would you like to go into town?” Hmmm…

“Having someone show me gorgeous in the comfort of my beautiful, luxurious home… hmmm…” I think aloud. Christian laughs.

“I take it you want her to come by the house,” he says with a chuckle.

“You take it correctly,” I confirm.

“I’ll have her call you, Butterfly.”

“You can have her call me, but you’re the only one that can call me ‘Butterfly.’” There’s silence on the line for a moment.

“Don’t make me leave this place early,” he says, his voice seductively.

“There’s nothing between us but air and opportunity,” I reply, my voice wanton. He gasps, then hisses on the other end.

“Dammit! I’ve got a meeting in ten minutes and now I’ve got a raging boner. Why do you do this to me, Mrs. Grey?”

“It’s not intentional,” I say innocently, “this time.”

“After work, woman,” he promises. “I’ll see you after work!”

“I’m counting on it. Don’t forget the personal shopper.” I hear his fingers snap.

“I almost did. I’ll call her now and work on getting this boner down.” I don’t like the sound of that.

“You’re going to call the shopper and work on your boner?” I ask.

“Baby, Athena’s Spear only sharpens for you.” I break out in uncontrollable laughter.

“Our honeymoon!” I exclaim. “You’re terrible!” I can actually hear his smile on the other end.

“And you’re wonderful… and beautiful. Now let me call the shopper. I love you.”

“I love you, too, Christian. Have a good afternoon and I’ll see you when you get home.”

“You can count on it,” and he ends the call. I put my phone down, smiling from ear to ear and turn around to the knowing face of Gail and Marilyn. I can actually feel the blood rushing to my face.

“You forgot other people were in the room, didn’t you?” Gail says. I purse my lips.

“I did,” I say, coyly, and the ladies have a laugh at my expense. Now, back to planning Thanksgiving.

“I need to order some furniture for the two empty guest apartments,” I declare as I look at the list of people who will be staying for the weekend.

“You’ve got the one big room upstairs that’s empty—the one with the balcony,” Marilyn says.

“For some reason, I think we’re saving that for something else,” I tell her. “It connects two of the rooms and it’s the only room that doesn’t have a private bathroom. We’ll have plenty of room with the four spare bedrooms and the guest apartments and we have the boat house if anyone wants extreme privacy. I just need to find someone who can deliver furniture and set up in two days for those two empty guest quarters.”

“Let me see what I can do. Any preferences?” Marilyn asks as she types into her tablet.

“New, clean, and classic,” I tell her. “Simple, nothing fancy.” She nods.

“I’m on it,” she says without raising her head.

“Not only that, but I really need you to meet with the candidates that we’re considering as staff for the house,” Gail interjects. “I did most of the interviewing while you were in the hospital and Jason saw to the background checks. Christian has done some preliminary screening, but he hasn’t approved or vetoed my final choices yet. He says he wants you to meet with them because he trusts your instincts.”

“I think Mr. Grey has forgotten that my instincts are not what they used to be,” I say, looking at Gail. She shrugs.

“He said that your instincts have always been spot on,” she retorts. “He says that you had him pegged the first day that you met him, so that means that they were impeccable all along. He insists that you have the final say on who gets hired.”

“Are they aware that they will be working on Thanksgiving and possibly the entire weekend if they are selected?”

“Yes, they are.”

“Well, then we need to do this soon. I don’t want to hold up anyone’s holiday if I decide against them. When are we supposed to meet with them? The sooner the better.” My cell rings just as I’m asking the question. “Hello?”

Mrs. Grey? This is Victoria Stewart. Mr. Grey requested that I give you a call to dress you for a gala this weekend.” My brain freezes for a moment. Oh! The shopper.

“Yes, Ms. Stewart. We have the Greater Seattle Adopt-A-Family Affair this weekend and I don’t have anything at all to wear. I’m six months pregnant and while I have attire for other occasions, I have absolutely nothing formal.”

“I’m sure we can find something that you’ll be pleased with, Mrs. Grey. May I ask what your choice of color would be?”

“Oh, I’m versatile. I just want it to be pretty and not make me look so much like a whale.” She laughs nervously.

“What size were you before you got pregnant?”

“I was between a four and a six, but everything has gotten bigger… and I do mean everything—hips, butt, boobs, everything!”

“Got you. So I can bring a few choices by your home and we can work with color, style, and sizing. When would you like to meet? The sooner we can meet, the sooner we can complete any alterations that may be needed.”

“Gail, when were we supposed to meet with the candidates for the staff?” I ask.

“They’re on standby waiting for my call,” she tells me.

“Maybe we should meet with them tomorrow—probably as a group and then individually. That would help us to see how they might interact together. Can you set that up?”

“Sure can,” she says and goes over to another counter in the kitchen.

“Ms. Stewart,” I say, turning my attention back to the phone, “I wouldn’t suppose you would be available this evening, would you?”

“For you, Mrs. Grey, I can have some wonderful ideas at your home in an hour,” she responds.

“Oh, that’s wonderful! Yes, please, I would be so grateful.” I’m so pleased to hear this.

“Fantastic. Now, Mr. Grey told me that your home is on Mercer Island, but he didn’t give me the address…”

I give her the address and notify security that she should be here in about an hour. Gail is at the other counter setting up the group interview for tomorrow and Marilyn is awaiting instruction.

“Mare, any luck with furniture for those guest apartments…?”

*-*

Later that afternoon, Gail has set up the mass interview for tomorrow for several people that she’s hoping to choose as members of the staff. She will be the estate manager and everyone will report to her or me. Most of her past duties are going to be delegated to someone else over the next few months as she has agreed to become part-time nanny for our children. That will be her primary duty and everything else will be secondary. I’ll only need her to assist with the twins as my focus has now shifted from my practice to being a mom and to Helping Hands.

Immediately, we are going to want three housekeepers—Gail will serve as executive housekeeper until the New Year, at which time she will have to hire one. For the holiday season, we will also need a laundress, two butlers, three additional cooks and two servers. We already have between 7 – 10 security personnel on the grounds at all times whose jobs include securing the grounds and the waterways and shoreline at all times. Chuck is out of commission, so Ben is currently my personal security until Chuck is back on the job, at which time I’m told that they will both most likely be guarding me and there will be a third when the twins are born. Val’s going to have a field day with that—selfish cow.

Marilyn has almost secured delivery of the furniture for the guest apartments when a gorgeous 30-ish African-American woman arrives with a young assistant and several clothes bags that require Chance’s help in bringing them in.

“Mrs. Grey, I’m Victoria Stewart,” she says, extending her hand to me and flashing a wide smile.

“Ms. Stewart, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Please call me Ana.” I shake her hand.

“Thank you, Ana, and call me Vickie, please. This is Adele. She’ll be assisting with the fitting.”

“Mrs. Grey,” Adele says, her arms full of clothes bags.

“Adele, call me Ana. Please, come and bring those things to the parlor. Your arms must be about to fall off. Marilyn, would you please come and help her?” Before Marilyn can get out of her seat, Chance quickly retrieves the other clothing bags from her hands.

“I’ll take care of that, Mrs. Grey,” he says. “The parlor, you said?”

“Yes, thank you, Chance. Ladies? Marilyn, you, too, please.” I follow Chance and lead them to the parlor.

“Where would you like these, Ms. Stewart?” Chance asks. She shows him where to put the bags that he’s carrying and another member of our staff shows up with even more bags—shoes I think.

“Oh, I guess I should have told you, I have more shoes than any one woman should have—probably more than any five women should have!” I tell her. She laughs good-naturedly.

“That’s usually the case,” she admits. “I bring shoes just in case, so that you can see how the dress looks with different shoes and heights, we can get an idea of any lengthening or shortening need to be done. Also, if you see a pair of shoes that look good with the dress, you can match it up with a similar pair out of your collection.” I purse my lips and nod.

“That’s a really good idea,” I tell her. “It keeps me from dragging everything out of my shoe closet.”

“Exactly! Now, Mrs… Ana, now that we’ve met, I have a few pieces that I’m sure you’ll be pleased with.” She starts to pull different dresses from her clothes bags and I have to say, I’m more than impressed.

“Oh, Vickie, these are stunning!” I exclaim while admiring the texture of the chiffon and silk pieces. I have to pick just one?

“Well, do you have somewhere that we can use as a dressing room? Let’s see how these look on you.”

“We can use my office…”

After trying on at least ten absolutely breathtaking dresses, I narrowed my choices down to three and couldn’t decide between them. So I got them all. At first, I felt guilty for getting all three, but Vickie assures me that they will all be ready by Friday as they are free-flowing dresses and require very few alterations. That really put my mind at ease as I still don’t know which one of them I’ll be wearing to the affair.

While I was being sized in my regal gowns, Marilyn managed to find a store that would let her order the items she found online and would deliver and set-up on Wednesday. I couldn’t believe she could find someone on such short notice, but I’m no fool. I’m certain that the name Grey and the location on Mercer Island had a lot to do with that. Once Vickie and Adele have packed up and bid me Goodnight, Marilyn shows me the furniture she purchased—simple, tasteful, exactly what I asked for. That makes me happy, too.

“Why do I feel like I’m planning my wedding all back over again?” I lament a bit as I sit in one of the more comfortable chairs in my office.

“Because you’ve lost a lot of time and you’re trying to squeeze a lot in the little time that you have left. Let’s face it, Ana. Two weeks for you might as well be dog years.” Marilyn stands and puts her purse on her shoulder. “If I’m honest, I have to say that I’m glad you let go of the practice. If it had been my only job, I’d be hyperventilating right now. Since you made me your full-time personal assistant, I can tell you that it would have been too much for you… especially Mrs. Hightower!” She shivers as she says the woman’s name.

“Yeah, the last few people that I had left were proving to be more stressful than most of the patients I had. It was becoming a bit trying. I’m glad I let them go, too. I haven’t told Christian yet. That means he’s going to want to do something else with that building, now.”

“Um, Ana, I think that building is yours now,” she says. I frown.

“It is?” she shrugs.

“I’m not sure, but I think so. Wasn’t it in some contract you guys signed or something?” I think hard.

“I know my condo’s in the prenup, and I know that once we got engaged and he discovered my office was in the office building, he eliminated my rent.” That was when I ran away to Montana to consider leaving him completely. I can’t even imagine having that thought now. “I don’t remember him giving me the building, though.”

“Well, he’ll be able to tell you once you tell him that you’ve closed the practice. I’m sure he won’t have a problem with it.”

“Are you kidding? He’ll be thrilled!” I exclaim. She laughs.

“Well, I need to get going. I’m meeting Gary for dinner in an hour. I want to freshen up.”

“Before you go, can I have just a few more minutes of your time?” She sits down in the seat across from mine. “You’re available to me at a moment’s notice. I know that may cut into your personal time a lot and I really appreciate it.”

“It’s really no problem, Ana,” she says sincerely.

“Let me ask you—where do you see yourself in ten years?” She takes her purse off her shoulder and put it in her lap.

“I don’t know,” she says. “I was thinking about going to school while I was working for you, but I didn’t know what I wanted to study. Then my job duties changed and there was no time for school, so I just dropped the idea.”

“Would you still like to go to school?” I ask. She shakes her head.

“No, I don’t think so,” she admits. “I’ve been your secretary and then personal assistant for quite some time now. I’ve actually garnered some contacts and learned some things. I’ve done some research on being a personal assistant and I really think this is what I would want to stick with. If I couldn’t do it for you, then I would do it for someone else, but I can honestly do this until I can’t walk anymore at which time, I could become a virtual assistant. I don’t even have to go to school for it.”

“You have no idea how happy that makes me,” I say, breathing a sigh of relief. “I can see your job duties changing again.”

“Really?” She sounds uncertain.

“Yes, really. If it’s okay with you, I’d like to renegotiate your compensation.” She swallows hard.

“Um, in what way?”

“Well, first, you’re traveling out to Mercer Island now. You’re not going to downtown Seattle anymore. In addition, there’s going to be a lot of running around that you’re going to be doing for me—a lot of it—which you’ve already seen.”

“Yes?” She still uncertain.

“I’d like to give a 10% raise. I’d also like to give you an expense account and an Amex card for emergencies.” Her eyes grow wide.

“You’re kidding!” she breathes.

“No, I’m not. I know that you can write off most of your expenses, but you have to pay them first. That can be very costly, especially with the cost of gas and vehicle maintenance.”

“Yes… it can,” she laments. That makes me even more certain about my next offer.

“I’d also like to buy you a car.” She gasps loudly.

“What?”

“It doesn’t have to be an Audi. It can be whatever you want, but like I said, you now have to travel across the bridge to get to me and there’s going to be a lot of running around that you’re going to be doing for me.”

“Wow… I don’t know what to say…”

“Before you say anything, you may want to consider a few things. Your wardrobe may have to change a bit because you’re going to be going places with me. You don’t have to dress all fancy, just a little more refined. When we’re here at the house or at the Center or doing the things we normally do, you can dress your normal way, that’s fine. But you’re going to want to have something with you that’s a little more polished if I need you to go somewhere with me or represent me somewhere. We’re going to have to get you some red carpet clothing, too. There may be a time when I need you at one of these infernal events.”

“Is something about to happen, Ana?” she asks uncertainly.

“It already has, hon,” I answer, struggling out of my seat. “I did one of my impromptu interviews when I was leaving a baby boutique a few weeks ago. The next day, some crazy bitch T-bones my car and I end up in a coma for two weeks. That little YouTube-esque video of the interview went viral! I have three local talk shows wanting me to make an appearance and talk about my experience and Helping Hands. If Christian hasn’t heard already, he’s going to flip when he does. Whatever the case may be, one way or another Helping Hands is about to get a lot of exposure. Things are about to change.”

“That’s going to be one wild ride,” she says, and I think she’s having second thoughts. “I wouldn’t miss it for the world.” I sigh.

“Really?” I ask, relieved.

“Really, and you’re offering me all these perks, too? How could I say ‘no’?”

“Oh, thank God!” I say, walking over to her and embracing her warmly. “It’s going to mean you might lose some of your privacy. The paparazzi can be a bit brutal.”

“I was preparing for that anyway,” she admits. “They already started when you were in the hospital, so it’s not really new to me.”

“Thank you, Marilyn. That really takes a load off my chest.”

“Don’t mention it,” she says with a smile.

“So, your first order of business is going to be getting my office cleaned out,” I tell her. “It’ll probably just be best to pack the small personal stuff and hire movers for the rest.”

“Got it,” she says, tapping on her tablet again.

“I recommend getting an iPad,” I advise her. “Wait until I get you the credit card. It should be about a week, maybe a little more because of the holiday. Think about what kind of car you’d like. You won’t be here for Black Friday shopping, so we’ll have to plan a shopping trip soon to get you some necessities. Think about if you would like to have an office here in the mansion or if you would rather have an office at home and just be mostly mobile—or both. We have two libraries downstairs. One of them can be converted into an office.”

“Okay, I’ll give it some thought.”

“Okay, go meet your boyfriend. I’ve kept you long enough,” I say, shooing her away.

“Thank you, Ana. This means a lot to me. I won’t let you down.”

“I have no doubt,” I say with a smile. She returns my smile and leaves. I make my way to the middle of the mansion and the gourmet kitchen.

“I’m starving!” I say to Gail. “I want cheesy crushed potatoes. I feel like I haven’t made them in forever.”

“That’s because we haven’t,” she says with a glint of fondness in her eye.

“Do we have all the ingredients?” I ask. She nods.

“I think we do.”

“Well, what are we waiting for?” I say. She smiles widely and reaches into a narrow door—some kind of closet—and hands me my chef’s apron.

Now, you’re talking!


CHRISTIAN

“There’s a Carla Morton on line one for you,” Andrea tells me. Mini-Morton? What the fuck does she want? Does she think Butterfly’s memory of how she treated her was lost in the accident?

“Grey!” I snap when I answer the phone.

“Christian, it’s Carla.” Her voice sounds different—softer, but I don’t allow it to deter me.

“I know who it is. What do you want?” I hear her sigh on the other end.

“I saw the news. I didn’t want to bother you while… well… I just want to make sure she’s alright,” she says. I can hear the concern in her voice, nothing like the Mini-Morton who showed up in the hospital after the kidnapping, or the woman who came to visit her last year before the wedding… for the last time.

“She’s fine,” I say firmly, but softer. “She was touch and go for a moment, but she’s fine now. She’s expected to make a full recovery from all of her injuries.”

“Nothing too serious, I hope.” I can tell that she’s sincere, but I still don’t trust her intentions.

“Nothing that won’t heal,” I say, giving her the shortest answer possible. She sighs again.

“Thank you. That’s all I wanted to know. I didn’t mean to take up your time. Goodbye, Christian.” Her voice is still soft, like a real mother, when she ends the call. I silently replace the receiver and almost feel a small twinge of guilt for how I spoke to her… almost.

Almost the second I end the call with Mini-Morton, my cell vibrates. It’s Butterfly. Should I tell her about Mini-Morton? No need, she’s got enough on her plate. She’s all giggly when she answers the phone and by the time I hang up, I’m all horny. I have five minutes to convince a personal shopper to drive to my house on Mercer Island—possibly today—with gowns for my wife to wear to a red carpet affair on Saturday. Who to call? Who to call?

“Victoria’s. This is Adele speaking.”

“Hello, Adele. May I speak to Ms. Stewart please?”

“She is currently doing a fitting. May I take a message please?”

“This is Christian Grey. My wife needs a formal immediately and I didn’t know who else to call.”

“Christian Grey?” she repeats. I hear her broken speech for a moment and some fumbling before I hear, “Christian, you sonofabitch! How could you not call me all this time?”

“Hello to you, too. Victoria. I don’t have much time, I’m heading into a meeting. Ana needs a formal by Friday for the Adopt-A-Family Affair on Saturday. Can you help me?”

“You know I can help you. That’s why you called me. How is Ana? Doing better since the accident, I hope.”

“Much better. I should tell you, though. She… doesn’t know about you.”

“Of course, she doesn’t know about me, you idiot! Do I look like I fell off the turkey truck? ‘Hey, Baby, I slept with this girl ten years or so ago when I was at Harvard. I’m going to ask her to fit you for a dress. I hope that’s okay.’” And now she’s mocking me. “Besides, you know you were just a phase I was going through. I want Mia, not you. How is that little fiery ball of sexiness these days?”

“Engaged to be married, haven’t you heard?” I retort.

“Yes, I’ve heard, but she’s not married yet. Fifteen minutes with me and she’d forget all about Eggbert, Emmanuel, whatever the fuck his name is.”

“Oh, for Christ’s sake, Victoria, that’s my sister!” I bellyache.

“Get used to it, Grey. She’s hot!” she replies shamelessly.

“So is my wife. Do I have to worry about her around you?” Victoria scoffs on the other line.

“Are you fucking kidding me?” she exclaims. “I’ll admit Ana’s a hot little morsel, but I’ve kind of gotten used to this whole breathing thing, okay? She’s going to love me, though. She’s going to ask me to come back. So don’t come at me with a machete and shit when I make her look like a million bucks and she calls me every time she needs a dress. She’s gonna love me, Grey. You just watch.”

“How are you so successful with that mouth?”

“Because I don’t talk to everybody like I talk to you. You’re one of my boys. These ladies need to feel like princesses. I have to speak their language and believe me, I do… in more ways than one,” she adds suggestively.

“If you approach my wife…” I begin in a threatening tone.

“Man, will you keep your damn shirt on? I’m not going to come on to your wife! Are you like this with everybody?”

“Yes, I am,” I answer truthfully.

“Well, you need to put a lid on it,” she scolds. “It’s unbecoming and irritating. Ana’s what—five months pregnant? I highly doubt she wants some bitch licking her clit, even though I am the fastest tongue in King county.” I roll my eyes.

“She’s six months pregnant—with twins. Let her tell you that. She’s very subconscious about her size.”

“Most women are, then they’re not even as big as they think they are. When will she be coming in?”

“Um, yeah, about that. I need you to go to her. As you can imagine, she’s not 100% yet and her personal bodyguard is not back on duty yet. I’d much rather she stay put as much as possible over the next few days. You know, she’s under doctor’s care and whatnot…”

“Alright, alright, I get it. She at Escala?”

“No, she’s at our new house on Mercer.” Victoria whistles.

“Mercer Island!” she says. “I get to go across the bridge and stay in the playpen for a while. You have arrived, Grey.”

“Yeah, yeah. The house is like a fortress. I’m going to give you her cell number. You better call her or you won’t get in.” I give her Butterfly’s number.

“Any likelihood Mia will be there?” she probes.

“None whatsoever,” I say. “Mia won’t be at our house until Thanksgiving.”

“So can I get an invitation to dinner?” she presses.

“Absolutely not, and call me when my wife has picked a dress.”

“Damn, Christian, why are you cock-blocking?”

“That would be impossible, considering the fact that you don’t have a cock,” I reply matter-of-factly.

“You know what I mean.”

“Just call me when you’re done.”

“I’m not going to tell you what dress she chose.”

“I didn’t ask you to tell me what dress she chose, I said call me when you’re done.”

“If I tell you what dress she chose, can I get that invite to dinner?” she bargains.

“No.”

Asshole,” she says before hanging up. I look at my watch. Shit, I’m late for my meeting.

The afternoon drags by as I’m thinking about my Butterfly and I’m nearly giddy when I’ve finished my last meeting and it’s just about time to wrap things up. Vickie calls and informs me that the fitting was phenomenal and that Ana will have her choice of three dresses on Friday morning tailor-made for her beautiful body. I couldn’t be happier.

Home is certainly a sight for sore eyes and when Jason and I come into the mudroom from the garage, we are instantly hit with a familiar aroma. We look at each other, questioning.

“Could it be?” I ask him.

“I sure hope so,” he says, nearly pushing me out of the way to get to the kitchen. We are literally fighting like a couple of teenagers to get to the kitchen. There I find my lovely wife perched on a stool at the island with Gail sitting across from her. They’re sharing some private joke that has them laughing hysterically. Between them sits a mountain of southern fried chicken and none other than those long-lost buttery garlic cheesy crushed potatoes. I knew that’s what I was smelling!

“Is that what I think it is?” I say, dropping my briefcase on the counter and undoing my tie as I make my way over to the delicacy that my wife introduced to me when we were dating.

“Um, I don’t know. What do you think it is?” Butterfly says while sipping on a cranberry spritzer. Gail is trying to hide her mirth.

“Those garlic cheesy potatoes!” Jason says for me.

“Then, yes, it is what you think it is,” Butterfly says. Gail reaches for the plates on the other side of the mountain of chicken and hands one to Jason. I’m too busy with my nose in the pot to see Butterfly handing one to me.

“They taste even better than they smell,” she says, breaking my bonding moment with the garlic cheesiness.

“Get your fuckin’ schnozzle out the pot, man!” Jason protests. “I don’t want you contaminating the potatoes with your funky breath.”

“Shut the hell up before you’re looking for work tomorrow,” I threaten.

“Now, now, boys behave,” Butterfly scolds. “Come on, Gail. Let’s feed them before they kill each other.” Butterfly piles my plate high with that fluffy cheesy goodness and two extremely large pieces of chicken before handing me the piled plate with flatware. I completely forget about Jason and dig into this heavenly feast.

“Oh my God, these are so good,” I say taking a heaping spoonful of the potatoes.

“Slow down!” Butterfly chastises me. “Your food is not going to run away!” I don’t think she remembers how long it’s been since we’ve had these. They are so delicious, I can barely concentrate. She puts two large glasses of something—soda, I think—in front of me and Jason. He hasn’t said a word since Gail placed his plate in front of him. He’s buried face first into the plate, taking monstrous bites of this chicken that tastes like it was cooked by the gods.

“Either I’m extremely hungry or this is the best food I’ve ever tasted,” I say, rudely speaking with my mouth full. I can’t help it—it’s so good…

Gail and Ana continue with their conversation about Thanksgiving dinner, staffing needs, and where everyone is going to sleep while Jason and I continue to shove food into our faces. Once we finally show signs of slowing, Butterfly decides to include us in the conversation.

“Christian, help me out with the guest list for Thanksgiving,” she says. “So far, I’ve got your mom and dad, your grandfather and uncle, your sister and brother and their significant others if Val gets that massive bug out of her butt, Daddy and Amanda and Harry, Al and James, and Gail and Jason. I was also thinking that Chuck and Keri should come if she’s still here. What do you think?”

“Have you asked Charles yet? He may not feel up to being around a crowd of people yet,” I point out. She shrugs.

“No, I haven’t. It’s just that Keri is so far away from home that I thought it might be nice to invite them over. Do you think I might be too presumptuous?” she asks.

“No, I don’t, but ask him just in case. Jason has his new number. His phone was destroyed in the crash, too.” I so don’t want to think about the crash. That damn thing stole two weeks from our lives and could have killed my wife and children. It appears that Butterfly must have gotten lost in the thought, too, because she gets quiet and just kind of stares off into nowhere.

“Butterfly?” She turns to me like I’ve interrupted her, then looks down at her plate. “Talk to me, baby,” I say, putting my arm around her. She shrugs again.

“It’s not that I’m trying to relive this horrible experience, but I don’t remember anything about the accident. I only remember Chuck coming at me like a wild man and then absolutely nothing. Everything after that is like cloudy pieces of a dream that I can’t quite put together. Then I woke up in the hospital. It’s terrifying to wake up and realize that you lost two weeks of your life… then to realize that you actually lost about four years.” She shivers.

“But it came back to you, baby,” I try to comfort her.

“Not all of it,” she says, wiping a tear that escapes her eye. “I may never get it all back. I remember dates, but not places; people, but not events; one occurrence, but not another one that happened the same day…” She chokes back a sob after the last statement. I hate to see her like this. She’s still so fragile. I get off my stool and walk closer to her, holding her close to me while she lays her head on my chest.

“I know, baby,” I soothe. “I can’t imagine how you must be feeling right now, but I promise that you’ll get through it. We’ll get through it together, and if everything doesn’t come back to you, then I’ll remember for both of us and remind you what a wonderful woman, wife, and friend you are—and you’re going to be an outstanding mother.” She squeezes me around my waist and kisses me on the cheek.

“Thank you, Christian. I’m sorry for being so selfish. I keep forgetting that you’re going through this, too,” she says, softly.

“Hey, you have a right to be a little selfish,” I tell her. “I may have an emotional thing going on here, but you’re carrying the lion’s share of this burden—emotionally and physically. Just know that I, your friends, and your family will be here with you every step of the way.” She smiles a small smile at me. I know we’re thinking the same thing, but I won’t say it. One of her friends won’t be here with her, and that bothers her a bit.

“Okay, enough of that,” she says, wiping her cheeks with her hands. I reach into my jacket and give her a handkerchief. She looks at it and laughs quietly before continuing to dry her eyes. “This was my first memory,” she says, now looking at the handkerchief. “You pulled one of these out of your pocket in the hospital and I saw your initials. It was the first thing that I remembered—that your name was Christian Trevelyan Grey.” She caresses the letters gently as she speaks. It’s a very small thing, but it’s very significant to her… and to me.

“So… back to our guest list. Is Chuck out of the hospital yet?”

“He is,” Jason announces. “He was released yesterday. He’s a bit of a bear, though.”

“Oh?” Butterfly sounds concerned.

“Yeah, first, there’s the fact that we all know Chuck is a bit of a pretty boy, so those scars on his face have him none too happy. But more importantly, Chuck is very active in his recovery—from alcoholism, that is. He’s been in some serious pain and is quite remiss to take any pain killers. It took a collaboration between his AA sponsor, his doctors, and Keri to get him to understand that he had to take them. First of all, it’s inhumane to expect someone to suffer through the kind of pain he’s in—a broken tibia and fibula, three broken ribs, a collapsed lung. He’s got to be able to get enough pain relief to take a deep breath…”

“… Or he’ll develop pneumonia,” she says, completing Jason’s thought. He nods.

“He still won’t take his meds like he should. He’ll suffer and breathe through the pain. Poor Keri is in tears most of the time.” Butterfly shakes her head at this news.

“I don’t want to call him,” she announces. “I want to see him.”

“Are you sure about that?” I ask her. If he’s angry and he lashes out at her, it’s going to hurt her feelings and I’m going to be pissed.

“He’s my friend and he saved my life. Yes, I’m sure.” She turns back to Jason. “You’ll get me his address? Ben can take me tomorrow, I’m sure.” Jason looks at Butterfly, then at me. Oh, no, Buddy, you’re on your own on this one.

“Consider it done,” he says, following no protest from me.

“Wait!” Gail says. “We’ve got the interviews of the potential staff tomorrow.”

“Shit! I forgot about that,” Butterfly exclaims. “I’ll just have to go after the interviews,” she says. It’s plain to see that she’s not going to be swayed in this. She’s going to see Chuck and none of us can stop her.

“Okay, that’s settled. What’s for dessert?” I ask trying to lighten the mood. She and Gail look at each other.

“Well, we hadn’t gotten that far,” Gail says, “but there’s always ice cream.”

“Ice cream works for me,” Jason chimes in.

“Me, too,” Butterfly concurs.

“Sounds like it’s ice cream,” I say, and Gail goes into the freezer.

“Butterfly, do you remember Luma?” I ask her.

“Yes, I remember Luma. Are she and the girls coming to Thanksgiving?”

“I was hoping to ask them if you didn’t mind.”

“Absolutely!” she says. “I would love to see how they’re getting along.”

“Do you remember Marlow and Marcia?” I ask. She has to think for a minute. I certainly won’t tell Marlow that.

“Yes, and there was a little girl,” she says, finally.

“Yes, Maggie,” I say. “They’ll be joining us, too.”

“We’re going to have quite the party here, aren’t we?” she says with a smile.

“Do you mind?”

“Absolutely not! I think it’s fantastic. Now, I have to approach the elephant in the room. Has Elliot said anything about him and Val?” I purse my lips.

“No,” I respond. “The invitation has been extended because he’s my brother, but no response so far.” She nods her head and looks down at her ice cream.

“C’est la vie,” she says, taking a large spoonful of ice cream and shoving it in her mouth.

*-*

She’s in the sitting room in the big chair, looking out over the lake when I get to our room. Her hands are rubbing our babies and she’s humming a song I haven’t heard.

“What are you humming?” I ask her as I quietly approach.

“Tomorrowland,” she says. “My mother used to sing it to me when I was younger… much younger.” She adds that last bit with venom. Apparently some things you never forget. “I don’t know why the song came to me now.” I clear my throat. She must be on Butterfly’s mind and it can’t be a coincidence that I spoke to her this afternoon.

“She called today,” I confess. Butterfly’s glare whips over to me.

“Oh, you’re kidding!” she says in disbelief. “What the hell did she want?”

“Nothing,” I tell her, “just to see if you were okay.” She looks at me skeptically.

“Like she did after the kidnapping?” she asks. “What, has she spent all the money already?” I see the amnesia has not affected her bitterness towards Mini-Morton. I hope she doesn’t have to go through burying that hatchet all back over again.

“No, she just wanted to know if you were okay. I told her you were fine and she ended the call.” She scoffs and turns back to the view of the lake.

“She’s probably trying to get in on that ‘good mom gene’ that she lost somewhere along the way.” She continues rubbing our babies. “I feel sorry for her sometimes,” she admits. “She’ll never be able to meet her grandchildren or be part of their lives. She traded that opportunity to love, honor, and cherish a worthless alcoholic who isn’t even here anymore. He vowed to love, honor, and cherish that bottle and till death did they part.” She looks down at her swollen belly. “I love you, Christian. I really do, but please don’t ever make me choose between you and our children.” She doesn’t even make eye-contact with me when she says it. I walk over to her and remove her hands from her belly.

“I would never do that,” I say, my voice laced slightly with disbelief. “I would never, ever put you in that position. What kind of man would I be to ever think of doing something like that to you? To our children?”

“I know,” she says, shaking her head wildly. “It’s ridiculous. I don’t know why I said that!”

“Because you’re scared,” I tell her, cupping her cheek in one of my hands. “There are a lot of things right now that seem uncertain. As they come back to you, they come back with a vengeance. Do you know how hard it is to find that song, ‘Tomorrowland?’ You never even told me that your mom used to sing that song to you.” She nods.

“That’s when I first fell in love with Cary Grant,” she admits. “He was the most handsome man alive as far as I was concerned—second only to my Daddy,” she chuckles. “Every little girl wants to grow up and marry her Daddy one day and I was no different. Ray Steele was the whole kit and caboodle of what a man should be and no one would ever be able to measure up. Then she took him away from me and all I had left was Cary. I think of him every time your mom calls Carrick Cary,” she laughs. I realize that she’s rambling, but I just let her keep talking.

“As long as I saw him in movie after movie after movie—the gorgeous young man with the waxed, black hair—he would never grow old. The law of averages told me that he was dead by the time I was born, but I wasn’t having it. I wouldn’t even watch movies where his hair was gray because that would mean that he was aging. If I didn’t let him age, he never died. Even now, I have only seen one film where his hair was slightly gray, and that was Charade with Audrey Hepburn, but nothing after that. It’s always The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer or An Affair to Remember or Notorious.

“But then, terrible shit started happening to me. There was no Daddy. There was no Cary—only vicious teenage boys who rape you and lie to their vicious teenage girlfriends who organize vicious teenage mobs to try to kill you. Yeah, that’s when Cary died for me. Born Archibald Alexander Leach in 1904, Cary Grant died in 1986 at the age of 82 from a brain hemorrhage and all of my little fantasies died with him in 2001. Do you know I’ve been in a coma twice in my life? Unconscious for more than 24 hours three times in my life? Each time I was put in that state by someone who viciously wanted to hurt me for no good or valid reason whatsoever. I’ll spend the rest of my life looking over my shoulder, waiting for axes to fly at me and hoping that my children aren’t subjected to the cruelty I had to face!” She’s getting angry now and I need to pull her back.

“I wish I could tell you that everything will be sunshine and roses from here, but I can’t, baby. All I can tell you is that I will be here by your side through all of the turmoil so that you will never have to face it alone—and we’ll manage to make some memories and some good times in between.” I can see her mind racing. Her doctor told me that things may come back to her at any given time and at an alarming pace, like a movie playing in her head. I think that’s what happened at dinner tonight and it looks like it’s about to happen again.

“What the hell is Brian’s problem?” she blurts out. Okay, I wasn’t ready for that one, but I guess I’ll just rip the Band-Aid off.

“Brian is in love with you,” I respond. “He has been for years. “ She frowns.

“Eeewww!” she exclaims and I can’t help but burst out in laughter. “I mean, he’s an attractive guy and all but… he’s like… Uncle Brian!” The entire time she’s talking, her face looks like she’s smelling something bad. It never occurred to me that she would look at sex with Brian as something incestuous. I just looked at the age factor… that is, until Ray married Amanda.

“He staked his first claim about a year ago,” I tell her.

“So I’ve been told,” she says. Who told her?

“He was the best man at your father’s wedding at Escala…”

“I remember that,” she says, “when that awful woman kissed you and I just wanted to scratch her eyes out!” She shivers at the thought. As a matter of fact, so do I.

“He let me know in no uncertain terms that he had no plans of going away. He tried to derail our engagement, and even though he was helpful during the hacker situation, he wanted to use that as ammo to win you from me. You put him in his place about that, though.”

“Yes, I know. Geez. I knew he had a little crush on me over the years, but nothing like this. He’s really got to let this go.”

“Yeah, he’s still hovering around. I think he wants to keep an eye on you since the accident. I hate having him here. He’s fulfilled his usefulness and he needs to take his ass back to Montesano, but I’m sure he won’t. The accident was quite a scare and I hate leaving you to go to work, but at least I get to come home to you. I can only imagine what he’s feeling.” She looks at me like she’s seeing an alien.

“Mr. Grey, is the empathy? For Brian, no less?” she asks. I shrug.

“I fucking hate the guy, but I can understand how he feels. You’re my whole world, Anastasia. I would die without you. I know I would.” She stares longingly into my eyes, then gently cups my cheeks and plants a tender, longing kiss on my lips. Suddenly, I’m longing to share that connection that we haven’t shared in what feels like so long. I don’t know how to tell her, but without a word, she slowly begins to undress me—suit jacket, tie, shirt, pants… When I’m naked, she removes her gown and gestures me to the floor. I sit cross-legged as usual and she climbs into my lap, wrapping her legs and arms around my body. She gently runs her fingers through my hair and I wrap my arms around her while she gazes lovingly into my eyes. She places her forehead on mine…

… and it begins…


A/N: Just a little something to move us from today to tomorrow. I’m in the mood for a little peace… just a little…

Pictures of places, cars, fashion, etc., can be found at https://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/becoming-dr-grey/

You can join my mailing list on the “Contact Me” page. Just click the link and it will lead you to a form to join the list.

Love and handcuffs 🙂 
Lynn X

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64 thoughts on “Becoming Dr. Grey: Chapter 18—As The World Turns

  1. thanksgiving will be intresting if val is there
    i really liked this chapter
    rachel

  2. Carla Myers says:

    Wonderful chapter again as usual!

    I hope this Vickie girl doesn’t end up stirring up any trouble! But for some reason I feel like Ana will find out about her and Christian’s past..

    Mrs. Hightower is going to go all crazy on Ana isnt she?!

    I’m sitting on pins and needles wondering what’s going to happen between Ana and Val and finding out what made Val go all psycho towards Ana in the first place!!

    Will be impatiently waiting for the next chapter!!

    Carla xoxo

  3. pocketgal says:

    What’s fantastic chapter. Love the change in Marilyn’s position. Looking forward to Thanksgiving.

  4. Darla says:

    Great chapter as always.

  5. Mar says:

    I really really love your writing always looking forward to Saturday for new chapters

    Is wired that Carla call she might want something from Ana or Christian

    Can’t wait for next chapter

  6. Ana Maria says:

    You out did yourself again, great chapter! I did laugh and Vickie and Christians phone conversation and wow to Mare and Ana’s talk 🙂 also can’t wait to read how chuck reacts to seeing Ana again after the accident.

    Can’t wait to see what dress Ana chooses, and then to see how their Thanksgiving goes!

    Well Miss Lynn I hope you have an amazing week can’t wait to read more from you :).

  7. serafina says:

    Fantastic, utterly fantastic chapter. Enough said.
    Oh, and THE CHEESY POTATOES RETURN ❤ ❤ ❤ love it. I want some :3

  8. Georgie Pickle says:

    I may be wrong but, it seems like Ana’s way of seeing things is different. It’s like things are more black and white like she stopped overthinking things. I know there is much more to come to this couple so it was nice to have some “normal” time for a change.

  9. Darcy says:

    So happy to see you’ve got them connecting again! Christian certainly has grown into the perfect husband role.

    Perfect chapter just loving it and I can’t wait for the next one. I finally got a friend to start on “Paging Dr. Steele” and she is hooked already!

    As always, thank you so much sharing your unique view for our beloved Ana & Christian.

  10. lovesfiftyshades says:

    Ah…how nice and peaceful…and then so much to think about…Carla calling, Vickie from Harvard, something tells me Mrs. Hightower isn’t going away; Brian Colonoscopy is still a pain in Christian’s ass (no pun intended); Chuck is angry and in pain; hope he doesn’t start drinking again :-(. I imagine the Ana/Chuck meeting will be filled with emotions of all sorts. LOVE Marilyn’s new role! And we STILL don’t know what bug is up Valerie’s butt! Thanksgiving would be a great time to resolve whatever is bothering her and for her to hopefully realize she has everything Ana has all wrapped up in Elliott; does she not see how tremendously blessed SHE is??? (Can’t wait to find out!) As always, this is the best part of my week; reading this amazing tale and getting to see what’s going on in the life of C&A according to Your Highness Bronze Goddess! Thank you for not giving in or giving up!

  11. Falala says:

    Hey Goddess,

    All day yesterday from the time I woke up until I went to bed you were on my mind. “The Goddess is coming” over and over. lol I was bummed when I didn’t see you. But joy joy, this morning I woke up and there you were. lol I was so happy I could barely sit down to read. I think you are giving me reader’s whiplash. lol I want to read the chapter as fast as I can but then I want it to never end.

    This was a lovely chapter. Ana’s memory is coming back. yea! Both Christian and she are becoming more. Ana’s slowly becoming use to being a person of means. Letting herself get the three gowns rather than just one, yeah she’s getting there. She’s no longer letting having wealth disturb her.

    I loved what she did with Marilyn.

    Carla calling kind of put me on red alert. I don’t trust this bitch. grin

    And then there are the mentions of Val, yeah this will roam around in my brain until you set me straight. I think we all are waiting for this with baited breath. I know it’s going to be so yummy. But at the same time you are something of a master of the red herring and keep me completely off balance. And I love that about you. So keep me hanging all you want because to me it just tells me there is MORE to come. YEA!

    You seem to be in a happier space. It reflects in the tone of your writing. I’m glad for you. I’m glad for us. We reap the benefits.

    Thank you Goddess. You have yet to disappoint me. And I believe you never will.

    Peace, Falala

    • My Ana never was adverse to being wealthy. If you remember she probably was surprised when question brought her 100 pairs of Louboutins instead of just one but remember she said I’m dating Santa Claus when he was buying her all the gifts and how she loves to go shopping. So she wasn’t adverse to wealth, just kind of adverse to losing her independence but now she kinda understand what the situation calls for, so she has agreed to listening to her husband and security and being safe, as if she had a choice…

  12. Kim frein says:

    Loved it as always especially the part with Christian and Victoria. You rarely see him having a fun conversation with anyone.

  13. kia08mc says:

    I’m loving Victoria!!!

  14. Cheryl L. says:

    Chapter read. Weekend made. That is all.😉

  15. Bumptious says:

    It was good to see a semi normal day!

    I know there are many variable things surrounding the Valerie issue, but from my experiences it’s inevitable that a friend group begins taking a majority side when an issue arises between two members. Its very difficult to maintain both relationships without them interfering with eachother. I’m very curious to see where this part of the story will lead.

    Then there’s Elliot. He must feel awful to be back in that familiar “Kate” place with members of his family. I’m also very curious about what’s going through his mind recently. Is he aware of Vals of problem? Is that why he’s a no comment for thanksgiving? I know the Scooby gang was put in an awkward place but I’m surprised more of them (aside from Al) have not attempted to address Vals rage towards Ana. Have others discovered her personal issues since Ana’s birthday? I thought Maxie was hiding something when Ana visited her.

    Ana and Chucks up coming visit will be tough. I’m glad Keri is back and sticking around!
    In my head they’ll be moving into one of the apartment suites in the mansion. 😊

    Thanks for writing and sharing BG!

    • All I will say just now is that you’re very perceptive. 🙂 as you read the next few chapters, please remember that I’ve already gotten my chapters written up to 22 and then read this comment again and you’ll see what I mean. 😉

      • Bumptious says:

        Oh boy… Way to give me something else to wait for! Now I’m over analysing my own comment! 😂

  16. seralynsmom says:

    First, yay on them finally taking the hint and going bye, bye, bye!!

    Second, I saw some people wary of Victoria but I just don’t know why. Maybe it’s because we’ve become so used to those curveballs you like to throw at us that everyone is suspicious? Lol. But I have a feeling Victoria could be come the new (or old) Val. Despite her and Christian’s past I can see Ana loving this woman and becoming great friends. She clearly bats for the girly team, even when she was with Christian and they’re obviously really good friends. Not just anyone can get away with talking to Christian that way after all, not even the subs that came BA- Before Ana.

    As for Chuck, I doubt he’ll start drinking again, my dad, grandfather and uncle are all recovering alcoholics, but they don’t seem to have issue with taking prescription drugs. My dad even got hooked on crack at one point but it’s not an issue with anything he has to take for pain. He’s a concreter and lugging 90 lb. bags of concrete around all day wrecks havoc on his back. So I can see why Chuck is wary, but if it’s necessary for him to take them I think he should and he will be fine. A man with the strength of mind to quit drinking, to admit he had a problem in the first place, has the strength of mind needed to stop himself if he feels he’s becoming addicted and he had a great support system around him. Both Christian and Taylor would kick his ass and Ana would not only do that but also shrink the hell out of him. Lol. I have a feeling she’s going to go over there and either guilt trip him into being a good boy or straight out tell him he will shut up and take them and quit complaining. 🙂

    I love the way Christian and Taylor practically tackled each other over the potatoes. It always amuses me greatly. And the fact that she’s taking herself back a little at a time is nice. As for their connecting, I think she needs it as much as he does and I think in the long run it’ll help her remember some more things. It seems her connection to Christian is her great healer.

    As for the other players, her reaction to Brian was hilarious! And I have the feeling theirs a confrontation with him and her coming soon. Carla, I don’t think there’s anything nefarious there. I could be wrong of course she could be checking on things for one of the Green Valley crew, to see if maybe Ana forgot what happened and maybe they could get away with it again and the trial won’t happen, but I really just think she’s finally regretting her former actions and is lonely. She did it to herself of course, but it doesn’t mean she still doesn’t feel it. Val, well I just don’t know what’s going on there but like someone else said I have a feeling that will all come to a head at thanksgiving because either Ana, Al, Maxie, Christian, Elliot or even Grace may finally have enough of her snide comments and stuff and call her out. And lastly!! Lol. Mrs. Hightower. What a piece of work, no wonder she’s in therapy, but I have a feeling she would act the same way of it had been another shrink and not Ana. She seems to be dependent on therapy. Almost like she just can’t let go. I do wonder if she won’t show up in different places and begin harassing Ana though. Perhaps Helping Hands like she asked. Maybe even somehow the Mercer Island house? And when will Chuck stop being an idiot and ask Keri to marry him?!!! He had the near death experience it takes most stubborn ass men to realize they need to grip things while they can. Lol. And unfortunately she may be quite alone-ish soon if what she said about her mom is any indication. It’s sad it’s come to that. I’ve seen death by a broken heart before though. They just kind of waste away.

    Great chapter as usual and it’s nice having some peace, in more areas than one. I know it’s not going to last of course since Myrick Sr., Green Valley, and Val still need to be dealt with. Plus there’s the pedo-bitches trial and all that and I have a feeling Strauss is going to pop her head back up eventually. What I want to see in Ana’s recovery, After the babies of course…….. A trip to the gun range. She’s left that part of herself behind for far too long. It’s time to take back her badassery. Christian has been playing with guns recently, and looked FUCKING HOT!!!! doing so. It’s her turn. 😉

    • Girl, you are always doing this to me! You know I have to address everything you say… :-p

      I know why people are wary of Victoria. It’s because she’s a new character, we don’t know what her MO is yet, she slept with Christian, and every time I introduce a new character it’s like you said… You never know what they’re going to do lol! So everybody’s suspicious.

      I can tell you without a doubt that Chuck will not start drinking again, but that’s all I can tell you about that particular story line.

      You know my characters very well…

      Carla, hmmm…

      Chuck and Keri… I can’t say if anything will happen between them or not, but I knew that that question was going to come up because Keri is always popping up lol. Do keep in mind that for Chuck to marry Keri is not something as simple as Keri’s got to move from Ohio to Seattle. Keri is from another country, so marrying her means they have to go through immigration and naturalization. So just bear that in mind.

      Mom is not Keri’s mother. Do you remember when they went to Anguilla and Ana ate that huge hot dog with french fries and she went to the candy shop and bought all that candy and the candy store owner’s name was “Ma?” That’s that’s what she’s talking about. Everybody calls her Ma. And she kept saying that she had a good man and “Dead” took her good man but she wasn’t ready to join him yet. Now she’s feeling like she might be ready to join him.

      Although I haven’t mentioned Ana and her guns, it’s kind of understood that she never stopped carrying her guns. Of course with the big baby belly, she’s not going to the gun range, but she never stopped carrying her guns.

      Fun as always… 😉

      • seralynsmom says:

        You don’t have to answer everything. Lol. I just like getting my ideas out of my mind, otherwise they’ll sit there and poke me going “why didnt you mention what you thought about that?” Lol. I have really analytical mind, I have to think through pretty much EVERYthing. O.O

        It drives me nuts sometimes! But thanks for answering me on this stuff, and clearing up that thing with Ma. For some reason I thought she was really Keri’s mom. And I get that about Keri I just want him to propose already! Lol.

        And I wondered about Ana’s guns merely because they hadn’t been mentioned in a while, though I wouldn’t mind more Christian gun toting sexiness cause Me-ow!!

      • I kind of like answering your questions. Some of them get answers sometimes and some of them don’t, but I still kinda like it 🙂

  17. bdawgholyfield@aim.com says:

    I just have to say that Annabelle is so lucky to have had a person like Ana as her physician. When my daughter’s neurologist withdrew care it was through a certified letter! Ana took the time to call her patient to explain the situation! And I get the sneaking suspicion that it’s not the last we hear from Annabelle either! Careful Ana!!

    The phone conversation between Christian and Ana really touched my heart! It shows that no matter what happens between and to them, they’re always going to have that playful, loving side to their relationship. Very touching!

    Thank you, BG, for giving us this story. Love it, love you!

    N

  18. Christian618 says:

    I could see why you did this quiet chapter today. To bring us up to speed where Ana’s recovery is at and build up what might be revealed by Val. I thought Ana’s and Marilyn’s conversation was sweet and yet needed bc Ana needs people she can absolutely trust by her side. But Victoria Christian’s old fuck buddy was a bit funny I don’t know how Ana would take it if she found out, hopefully she never would. Mini Morton was a surprise hopefully these r signs of someone remorseful! I can’t wait for the thanksgiving dinner and see if Val shows up or not!

  19. Teri says:

    I loved the Uncle Brian comment. Sweet, sweet ending of a wonderful chapter. Thank you.

  20. VRB Mariposa says:

    Well, I for one cannot wait for Thanksgiving. I wonder if Val will have the nerve to show up; can you imagine her comments about this palace that she lives in. Maybe CG, feeling all of this empathy will invite Brian..ewww. What about her other friends Maxie and Phil? I hope that she can get through to Chuck; maybe Keri will stay in the states since Ma is determined to go be with her husband. Thanks for the update and the entertainment 😀

    • Maxie and Phil are going to be with their own families like they did last year. Ma is the lady from Anguilla that owned the candy store, she’s not Keri’s mom. Just saying that because I think somebody else thought she was Keri’s mom, too, lol.

  21. leoedi0306 says:

    I enjoyed reading this chapter. Still curious about Val and if she and Ana will mend things. Did Elena know CG fucked someone else at Harvard? I was surprised by that.

    • Hmmm, didn’t approach that issue. It’s kind of irrelevant now, though, isn’t it? That’s something for the author to say, gee, don’t know if she knew or not, lol.

      • tinucoker says:

        I was thinking the same thing while reading the chapter. The thing that came to my mind was: “so, that’s the person Christian slept with while he was away at college whom Elena whooped his butt badly over up to the point where he never got with another woman again while he was away at school”. I remember Christian mentioning that in E.L. James’ version of the Christian Gray books and I just thought it was the same character backstory. Lol.

        I absolutely enjoyed reading the chapter. Thanks for making my weekends the most relaxing experiences…it’s only going to get better now as well cos it’s winter so I can snuggle up with my blanket and enjoy The Butterfly Saga in the comfort of my bed. Yay! Have a fantastic week.

      • Do you remember where he talked about that? I remember hearing something on the order of that, but I thought he said that he never slept with anyone at Harvard because he was afraid she was going to beat him…

  22. Lucy says:

    Such a nice, quiet, peaceful chapter, which I loved! (However you ended it a little too soon there at the end. 😉 )But nothing stays quiet for long, does it?

    Victoria is like, my new favorite character. What a funny little spitfire! I love her. And…conspiracy theory coming atcha…I think Mrs. Hightower is behind EVERYTHING! Either that, or she’s just a really cranky old lady…not sure. And I know we keep asking about Val, but I feel like she has been a little too quiet for a little too long. I feel an implosion coming, and what better than to do so at a wonderful holiday where happy families convene, therefore turning it into a normal dysfunction family holiday…but who knows, my conspiracy radar is a little wonky today.

    And have we ever gotten the recipe for those cheesy potatoes? I feel as though we have, but I honestly don’t remember, and I want in on that shit. Regardless, my reaction to those potatoes would be quite similar to Christian’s and Jason’s which was hilarious!! But I mean, really, where do ever go wrong with cheese?

    Can’t wait for next week! Get to test my conspiracy theories. Probably all wrong. Lol!

    Great Chapter as always!

  23. Michelle B says:

    Here comes trouble Mr Grey you got someone you had sex with to dress your wife and you don’t tell her how stupid can you be. last week bonus chapter was like an episode of life styles of the rich and famous and you were Robin Leach taking us on tour I am 44 do anyone else remember that show

  24. jeangb says:

    A nice settling down and coming to terms chapter, loved it. Did you base Vickie the personal shopper on yourself? 30ish African-American? I think so, she seems to have some of your fire. Looking forward to Thanksgiving party. see yea soonx

  25. Laura Burdyn says:

    First, thank you for the birthday wishes, I really appreciate it. Second, great chapter as usual, can’t wait for the next one.

  26. Maranda says:

    I absolutely loved this chapter is like she’s falling in love with him all over again……..💜 I can’t wait for thanksgiving to see what unravels…… I absolutely loved the ending….. And it begins…… Wish we could ask find that kind of connection with someone…… I love you BG and your story….. Counting down till next Sunday….

  27. Maranda says:

    Of and the fighting between him and Jason over the potatoes was priceless I giggled a few times…..

  28. MichelleCheri' says:

    Love, love, love this chapter! I thought the sitting room in their bedroom would be their “connection” room even if you didn’t put it the “tour ” from last chapter . 😀

    I’m glad you are showing the healing process, is the Scoby gang going to come back together or is that one of the things Ana is deferring to Christian on right now? Not to be around her friends? But that can’t be because she is going to be at Adopt-a-family affair. I assume Val will be there with Elloitt and she will have to see Ana. Will she talk to her??? Dun-da-dun

    • Well as we both know know, Christian has never kept Ana from her friends, so I don’t think he would do it now either. But also the Scooby Gang as you can see have been going on with their own lives as well. So even though they will still be interacting with Ana at some times, there’s a lot of things that’s going on in their lives too, i.e. Maxi and Phil having a baby, Val flipping out, etc. You haven’t seen the last of them. 🙂

  29. nedbella says:

    Excellent chapter. For a minute there I thought cyclone Carla was going to swoop in and wreak havoc. It sounds like she’s been getting therapy ( I think she did in this story, or I may have it mixed up with another FSOG story I’ve read ) and the therapy is working. I can’t see Ana letting her back in her life, especially with children now in the picture. She won’t expose them to Carla’s poison. I loved the guys fighting over the cheesy garlic potatoes….LOL. Those two are such close friends and it’s funny moments like that, that show just how close they are. Family fight over food and Christian and Taylor are like family. I can’t wait to see if Val and Elliott come for Thanksgiving. It would be sad if they didn’t. I’m so happy for Marilyn. She’s such an awesome friend and assistant and I’m glad Ana is paying her more and adding all the perks to her job. Would she get a CPO as well. Especially when she is out on her own doing errands. I guess anyone associated to The Grey’s is a potential target. Just a thought. Can’t wait for more.
    I can’t thank you enough for sharing this ( insert Barney Stinson’s high pitched voice here ) AMMAAAAZZZZIIIINNGG! saga with us. Yes I said saga. It’s gone beyond a simple story and has evolved into a saga that just blows me away. ❤️❤️❤️

  30. valentinesgenie says:

    So I just finished reading tbe chapter it was amazing loved every bit of it the banter between Christian and Victoria was really light hearted and funny after all they have been through a little banter is needed .Ana’s thoughts about Brain was too funny ewww I’m done that was really good .I’m excited about Thanksgiving at Grey Crossing see you next time take care…

  31. ndreeves says:

    Hey I love that Ana is coming back, and I loved Victoria – that was HILARIOUS!!! Can you post the recipe for those cheesy potatoes I really want to make them! Thanks Love

  32. vamomoftwins says:

    That Hightower bitch is a loon but it worries me she might make trouble! I LOVED that Vicky girl what a hoot she is! Now Thanksgiving, it will be very interesting to say the least if Val shows up! Excellent as always!!

  33. Jennifer Elsner says:

    Love this chapter. Do we know what Val’s problem is does she have a terminal illness or is she just a *itch? Can’t wait to read about Thanksgiving. Pour Elliott. I feel for him. He loves Val and he loves Christian and Ana. What is going to happen I wonder.

  34. Leah says:

    I love the new chapter 🙂
    Although the suspense is killing me here, it was calming to read a chapter with less drama in it. I hope that there are more coming and the Valerie situation is coming soon though because I’m really curious.

  35. jjgoldmann says:

    The bit with Vickie and Christian and the one with Jason and Christian were priceless!

  36. Amy says:

    I have just discovered your story so that’s why I’m so behind. It’s great and I love it. It’s so more realistic than the actual book. Just a quick question in this chapter does she remember the wedding, meeting Christian and them dating?

    • Welcome, Amy! Glad to have you! I know I’ve mentioned it in a few places, so I’m trying to remember where she is in her memory right now. I know that at some point, I mentioned that she remembered parts of the wedding, but in this chapter I think she asked why she felt like she was planning her own wedding all back over again. So, yes, she’s remembering her wedding, but I have to go back and check what I’ve said about how much she remembers about them meeting and dating–parts, I know she remembers but I can’t remember exactly what I wrote just now.

  37. Ron says:

    If you don’t mind my curiosity I’d like to know, does Ana’s memory loss have any role in future events?

    • I honestly don’t know yet. Right now it’s just playing a part in that she occasionally forgets key pieces of information, and she has to be reminded. I don’t know how Amnesia behaves in real life as I haven’t had full experience with it, but I don’t think that anybody ever gets total recall. With my strokes, I’ve had short term memory loss from which I still suffer. But I really don’t think anybody ever gets total recall after Amnesia. I may be wrong, though.

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