I want you to want me
I need you to need me
I’m beggin’ you to beg me
Writer – Rick Nielsen (1977)
I can hear it. Ana is flushed with what? Embarrassment? Excitement? As she tells me about her encounter with Christian Grey. He just happened to drop into Clayton’s Hardware, where she works, to buy some supplies. Traveled all the way from Seattle to Portland to do this. On a Saturday! Why do you think this is sane and rational activity? Are you nuts?
“But what was he doing at Clayton’s?” Think through the possibilities here, Ana, surely you must see that this is NOT normal behavior. This guy must be seriously into her. Creep!
“He was in the area.” Yeah right, and he just happened to drop into your place of work, accidentally. Wake up and smell the roses Ana!
“I think that is one huge coincidence, Ana. You don’t think he was there to see you?” For fuck’s sake! I love Ana, but she takes naive to whole new level.
”He was visiting the farming division of WSU. He’s funding some research,” she mutters, and I hear the disappointment she tries so hard to hide. Oh, no Ana. He is just a pretty face. You can do so much better.
Playing along with her view of the world is all I can do, although I don’t believe for one minute that this is a coincidence. No billionaire businessman drops into hardware stores to shop for a start. He has people who do this. Ana’s lack of guile is usually charming but in this case there is a whole lump of stupid in the mix.
“Oh, yes. He’s given the department a $2.5 million grant.” I offer. Well, that just made things worse. Her despondent tone speaks volumes.
“How do you know this?” Come on, Ana. I’m a reporter – or I will be once I start my internship at my father’s media company in a few weeks time. Graduation is just around the corner and once I have had a relaxing, exotic beach holiday, my real life will begin.
“Ana, it’s my job, this is what I do. You know I’ve written a profile on this guy.” Although, I have to admit I am a little disappointed by the things I don’t know about Christian Grey. For a start, he has secrets. I am sure of it. But there is not a sniff of scandal around his personal life except for the endless speculation about his homosexuality, and that has never been proven. The guy is a shadow.
What are you up to Christian Grey? Why this sudden interest in my room mate? Not that Ana isn’t totally worthy of his attention. She is beautiful and funny. Forthright and loyal. Few people get close enough to know this about her and I count myself as one of the lucky ones . I bet she can keep secrets too. Yes, Ana could give you a run for your money, Mr Grey, but if you are going to mess with my girl you will have me to answer to.
“Okay, Carla Bernstein, keep your hair on. So do you want these photos?” Do I ever!
“Of course I do.” A plan is hatching in my mind. I could get Levi to do the photos, of course. As staff photographer on the student newspaper, he would jump at the chance. But wouldn’t it be more interesting to put our dear friend, Jose and Christian Grey in the same room? Jose, who has had a crush on Ana for as long as I can remember. Then I would know exactly what the connection between Ana and Grey was and how much protection she might need from me as her best friend. A little misdirection is in order. I try to keep my question as innocent as possible. “The question is, who is going to do them and where?”
“We could ask him where. He says he’s staying in the area.” Interesting. Why so close Mr Grey?
“You can contact him?” I ask.
“I have his cell phone number.” Shit! I have been working on this guy for months and Ana has his private number in a matter of a few days! This guy is seriously into her and she doesn’t seem to see it coming.
“The richest, most elusive, most enigmatic bachelor in Washington State just gave you his cell phone number?” I can almost hear her brain clicking over the phone. Come on, Ana. He is so into you!
“Er…yes.” Typical Ana, not giving anything away.
“Ana! He likes you. No doubt about it.” I say, stating the obvious. Surely she can see this for what it is. This man, the most eligible bachelor in Seattle, possibly the greater Western area, is seriously, if not pursuing, then at least making himself available to her. The thought both terrifies and excites me. I don’t want to push her too hard because she will run a mile from him. Maybe I should push, just to keep her safe. I don’t ever want Ana to be broken by the shit that can happen in my world. For all I know Grey might have a kinky fetish that he wants to dump on Ana, and she, being such an innocent, will just get hurt by the disappointment that he is less than perfect. I couldn’t bear that for her.
“Kate, he’s just trying to be nice.” Yeah, Christian Grey doesn’t do nice. Shit, she is going to continue to play this down and perhaps for her sake I should too. But I can’t help thinking that this is the work of a highly effective stalker. This guy has found out where my quiet, mousey room mate lives and works. He turns up on a day when she is at work, which is not easy since she is only there part time and will be finishing up in a few days. He has traveled out of his way to find her and just ‘run into her’. I don’t believe for a second that he hasn’t orchestrated this whole thing and I am worried for Ana but I can’t let her know this. Not yet anyway. Not until I can get to see them together. I need to know what her interest in him is, as well. She may very well need protection. I would seriously hate to see Ana in pink flannelette pj’s, scoffing down Ben & Jerry’s in an effort to forget her pain. Of course, a broken heart might be the least of her worries. It’s time to put this plan into action and I will need Jose there to get this all into perspective. I just hope that Jose doesn’t get hurt too.
“I don’t know who we’ll get to do the shoot. Levi can’t.” I lie smoothly, feeling a little guilty. Levi will have a fit when he hears I cut him out of this project. “He’s home in Idaho Falls for the weekend. He’ll be pissed that he blew an opportunity to photograph one of America’s leading entrepreneurs.” Come on Ana, take the bait.
“Hmmm…What about Jose?” Bingo!
“Great idea! You ask him – he’ll do anything for you. Then call Grey and find out where he wants us.” I’ll have to square this with Jose later but given his unrequited love for Ana, I can’t see him refusing. Right now I need to hand the organization to her. Grey is now her contact, after all. Besides, if Ana gets Jose to do this then I get to convince myself not to feel so bad about trying to get the three of them in the same room. It won’t be my fault and I can casually observe the dynamics without feeling like a complete ass.
“I think you should call him.” Shit, Grey or Jose?
“Who, Jose?” I ask, feigning innocence. I don’t want to call either of them but I will if I have to.
“No, Christian Grey.” She says his name almost reverently. Scared Ana? No, this is one that you are going to handle Miss Steele. Let’s just see how far you can push Mr Christian Grey.
“Ana, you’re the one with the relationship.” God, relationship? From what I know Christian Grey doesn’t do relationships.
“Relationship? ” She squeaks, echoing my thoughts. “I barely know the guy.”
“At least you’ve met him.” This irks me. I have been trying to meet with him for months. Damn flu. I am seriously pissed off with her now. This guy wants to see her. It is the only reason he has agreed to any of this. I need to shut this down now before I say something I can’t take back. “And it looks like he wants to know you better. Ana, just call him.”
I hang up the phone. Shit, was that enough to make her do it? I know that I have been able to coerce her into doing things in the past but there are lines that Ana Steele will not cross not even for her best friend. I have never seen her drunk, I have never seen her get laid. She doesn’t blow off classes very often and she certainly doesn’t take money from friends and family. Even rich friends who can afford it and have her best interests at heart. Being complicit in setting up a mogul might be one line she won’t cross. So will she do this? Will she call him?
Part of me is seriously curious about this as a social experiment. I would like to get some good dirt on Christian Grey and perhaps this is a way of getting to know him. But do I really want to see Ana hurt by someone who is only looking for his next big purchase? He probably collects little girls like Ana as notches on a bed post and I don’t ever want to see her hurt like that. She will fall in love and guys like Christian Grey and his brother Elliot, they break hearts. I have known guys like this all my life. Shit, shit, shit. I hope this doesn’t backfire.
Guest 8/13/13 . chapter 2
Carmelroads 3/16/13 . chapter 2
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- Caitlin Liveblogs Fifty Shades Darker: Chapter 13 [Part 2] (caitlinliveblogs.wordpress.com)
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- ’50 Shades of Grey’ Movie Cast: Fans Still Want Ian Somerhalder as Christian Grey, Hashtag #NoIanNoMovie Takes Off on Twitter (SEE REACTIONS) (hngn.com)
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- Fifty Shades of Matt Bomer (rougekiss.wordpress.com)
- 50 Shades Producers Desire Charlie Hunnam As Christian Grey! Here’s 6 Gifs To Support Him! (perezhilton.com)
- Charlie Hunnam reconsidering ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ role (Photos) (examiner.com)
- ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’: Garrett Hedlund Says “No” to Role of Christian Grey (reellifewithjane.com)
- I love Christian Grey. (baconandjackrussells.com)