‘We don’t have long,’ Christian says to the waiter as we sit. ‘So we’ll each have sirloin steak cooked medium, béarnaise sauce if you have it, fries, and green vegetables, whatever the chef has; and bring me the wine list.’
‘Certainly, sir.’ The waiter, taken aback by Christian’s cool, calm efficiency, scuttles off. Christian places his Blackberry on the table. Jeez, don’t I get a choice?
‘And if I don’t like steak?’
Right, because it’s always hot when he doesn’t let you decide for yourself what to order.
‘I’m a child because I don’t like steak?’ I mutter trying to conceal my hurt.
‘For deliberately making me jealous. It’s a childish thing to do. Have you no regard for your friend’s feelings, leading him on like that?’ Christian presses his lips together in a thin line and scowls as the waiter returns with the wine list.
I blush—I hadn’t thought of that. Poor José—I certainly don’t want to encourage him. Suddenly, I’m mortified. Christian has a point; it was a thoughtless thing to do. He glances at the wine list.
You didn’t encourage José. Stop with the bullshit, and stop listening to Christian. Though scorched earth is the best policy in this.
What’s eating him? Oh, me probably, and somewhere in the depths of my psyche, my inner goddess rises sleepily, stretches, and smiles. She’s been asleep for a while.
‘I’ve missed you . . . really missed you, Christian. The past few days have been . . . difficult.’ I swallow, and a lump in my throat swells as I recall my desperate anguish since I left him.
This last week has been the worst in my life, the pain almost indescribable. Nothing has come close. But reality hits home, winding me.
Please just be honest and tell him you only missed his penis.
‘Appearances can be deceptive,’ he says quietly. ‘I’m anything but fine. I feel like the sun has set and not risen for five days, Ana. I’m in perpetual night here.’
‘So help me God, Anastasia, if you don’t eat, I will take you across my knee here in this restaurant, and it will have nothing to do with my sexual gratification. Eat!‘
Yes, Ana, keep pushing your luck! Get him to spank you so he gets his ass tossed in jail for assault! Let’s do this!
‘Let me ask you something first. Do you want a regular vanilla relationship with no kinky fuckery at all?’
My mouth drops open. ‘Kinky fuckery?’ I squeak.
‘I can’t believe you said that.’ I glance nervously at Taylor.
‘Well, I did. Answer me,’ he says calmly.
I flush. My inner goddess is down on bended knee with her hands clasped in supplication begging me.
‘I like your kinky fuckery,’ I whisper.
Her inner goddess is back with a vengeance, now singing Boyz II Men songs!
He strokes his chin, deep in thought. ‘Anastasia, I want to start again. Do the vanilla thing and then maybe, once you trust me more and I trust you to be honest and to communicate with me, we could move on and do some of the things that I like to do.’
Translation: There will be a honeymoon period for awhile, but soon it will be back to the same old bullshit.
‘I need you more, Anastasia. These last few days have been purgatory. All my instincts tell me to let you go, tell me I don’t deserve you.’
Because you don’t deserve her, Christian, however dumb she is.
Holy cow. I have a Christian Grey mix-tape in the guise of a high-end iPad. I shake my head in disapproval because of the expense, but deep down I love it. Jack at the office has one, so I know how they work.
Well, isn’t he clever to give you one of his new contraptions!
I slide the arrow at the bottom of the screen to unlock it and gasp again. The background photograph is of Christian and me at my graduation in the marquee. It’s the one that appeared in the Seattle Times. Christian looks so handsome and I can’t help my face-splitting grin, as my inner goddess curls up hugging herself on her chaise lounge—Yes, and he’s mine!
Your inner goddess is stupid, just like you, Ana.
The song ends and tears spring to my eyes. I quickly scroll to another—“The Scientist” by Coldplay—one of Kate’s favorite bands. I know the track, but I’ve never really listened to the lyrics before. I close my eyes and let the words wash over and through me.
I heartily object to the use of “The Scientist” in this novel!
And that’s a wrap for today! Stay tuned for Chapter Three later this week!