IE Ch 5: You Take My Breath Away


Breathless by Jean Luc Godard Dec 31, 2006 http://www.flickr.com/photos/birdsflysouth/339866144/

Your beauty takes my breath away

Oh how to love this way

You take my breath away

You Take My Breath AwayTiffany Eckhardt


How do you write about perfection? I try very hard not to dwell on the creeping ugly that I feel thinking about Ana and Christian Grey as they walked out of the Heathman. She still hasn’t arrived back and my nerves are shot as I go from a story that borders on defamation and my anxiety with every glance at the door. I don’t know what I think I saw in Mr Grey. If boxing at shadows fits as a metaphor for all the doubts I have about him then that is what I have been doing for the last few hours as I immerse myself in finishing the Christian Grey article.

My attempts at total impartiality in this report are futile and I desperately want to vent my spleen on the arrogance and charm of the Grey men. My keyboard is spouting forth about his philanthropy while a chill continues to work its way up and down my spine. And then there is Elliot Grey. What I wouldn’t like to say about him. So sure of himself in that honey-drips-from-his-lips way. While I was with him I was like the thousands beautiful airheads that probably grace his revolving door bedroom. Totally overcome by an unreasonable desire for his body that I couldn’t think. Now that I have distance, I also have perspective. He is probably worse than his brother. All wolf in sheeps clothing. Ugh!

In my frustration over the two of them I concentrate so hard I almost don’t notice Ana as she walks into the apartment. In fact, if she hadn’t had to walk past me then I think she would have snuck straight into her bedroom. When I do glance up I see red, watery eyes and a slight flush to her pale skin. Her eyes are cast down as if to say ‘don’t ask’ and I shouldn’t but I can’t help myself. My anger, barely suppressed by the act of writing leaps to the fore. What the fuck has that son of a bitch Christian Grey done now? I don’t question my assumptions. It has to be he who has reduced my normally unflappable friend to tears.

I don’t leap in and accuse him. My investigative reporter skills are better than that and it takes a while to get her to talk. When she finally does, she comes up with a bogus story about a bicycle nearly knocking her down. Now, the being knocked down bit I can accept since Ana is not the most graceful or coordinated person on the planet, but crying about it? I don’t believe that for one second.

In normal girl world I should be happy that my best friend may have snagged Seattle’s most eligible bachelor. If I was any sort of friend I would leave them to work their way through it while I make supportive comments from the sidelines. Ana should be able to count on me to be the cheerleader in her life, wishing her well and urging her forth. I just wish I could put my finger on just what is wrong with this whole Christian Grey thing. Am I jealous because it is her and not me? Could I possibly be as petty and shallow as all of those bitches I went to high school with?

In relaying the story of the near miss she claims that he saved her. Plucked her from the jaws of death, just in time. So is this some sort of hero complex? Is she projecting? Then there is the fact that she went for coffee with him when she hates coffee. Okay, granted that is petty and if he was mooning over me I would have been hard pressed to say no to his invitation too. Am I pissed that she blew off her friends? Ana doesn’t do stuff like that and it was one little date. She is entitled to one little date.

Perhaps it is because she is mooning over him in a very un-Ana way. It’s like he has sucked her into his vortex. I mean the pull of attraction between them was so evident in that room today. They couldn’t take their eyes off each other. Every time one of them moved the other followed with either their body or their eyes. Maybe it is that magnetism that has me feeling uncomfortable. He certainly didn’t have that affect on me. His brother on the other hand…don’t go there, Kate.

As much as I love Ana, I can’t work out why. It isn’t that she isn’t beautiful because she is. It’s just that she doesn’t have that guile, that seductive sophistication that many women have. Personally, I think that is a positive trait but a guy like Christian must see an awful lot of women. Or a lot of awful women. What does he want from her? As much as I love her, and I know there are dozens of guys on campus who would give their left testicle for a shot with her, I don’t get what Grey’s deal is. His interest seems far from benign and I can see that Ana, my beautiful friend seems to have been blindsided by it.

But I can’t say any of this. As much as I might want to talk her out of whatever she is feeling, I know that my girl has never shown an interest in any man, even the stunningly gorgeous Jose. I feel compelled to support her while she explores this… attraction, so although it irks me, as I go into a half-hearted cheerleading mode.

“He likes you, Ana.” She steps out of my concerned embrace and turns to hug herself as a visible shiver shakes her body. It breaks my heart. She doesn’t trust easily and I can tell she doesn’t trust him. But that hypnotic attraction is working its way under her skin. It seems that Christian Grey is too much to resist. For the first time in a long time I begin to pray.

“Not anymore. I won’t be seeing him again.” She is trying to be circumspect but I can tell she feels hurt. Dear God in heaven, please don’t let the steely-eyed fucker hurt my friend.

All I can trust myself to say is “Oh?”. I want to tell her that he would be lucky to have her. That he is up to no good and this is far from over. I want to tell her about my encounter with his gorgeous but somewhat flippant brother. None of this seems appropriate just now so I let the silence stretch.

She looks at me sadly, “Yeah, he’s out of my league, Kate.” Oh, Ana, you are so out of his. I hate what he is doing to her. Always insecure, she doesn’t need to be reminded by the likes of him that she thinks so little of herself. That prick should worship the ground that she walks on and the air that she breathes. I am so fucking angry at him right now. And if his brother thinks he is coming anywhere near me again then he has another thing coming. Time to pull out the self esteem fairy.

“What do you mean, sweetie?” I ask trying to keep my voice neutral. I want her to tell me what she’s thinking so that I can, in the way of best friends, shoot her insecurities down in flames. I might not be able to talk him down but I can least talk her up.

“Oh, Kate, it’s obvious.” She walks into the kitchen away from me, probably to hide the doubt writ large on her face. As I follow behind her she whirls around to look at me, a kind of resigned innocence. I would prefer her to be mad. Or a little desperate but she’s doing a good line in blank. To anyone else she would appear not to care but I know her better than this. It’s an act. Come on, Ana. Give me an opening here.

“It’s not obvious, Ana. Not to me or anyone else who knows you well.” I pause but get nothing. “Okay, yes, he’s got more money than you, but then he has more money than most people in America!” And I know that the money means nothing to you, Ana but just try telling me that you are not smart enough or pretty enough. Then you’re going to get the Kavanagh full treatment.

If she could only see the way that they’re all lining up for her. Jose, Christian Grey, Paul Clayton, hell, even my brother would love a piece of Ana action but I have threatened him with bodily harm if he ever thinks of going there. Not one of them is fit to lick her boots but she never notices the drooling hoards. She simply doesn’t understand how incredibly attractive she is. If I batted for the other team, hell, I would tap her!

Then the most petty and awful thought crosses my mind. Elliot Grey hasn’t seen Ana yet. One look at her and he’ll probably join the queue of admirers. Fuck! I usually never feel insecure about my looks and I have never felt in competition with Ana but there is something about her that makes men either want to take care of her or fuck her into submission. Usually both!

The differences between us are like night and day. From our looks to our personalities. So I guess I will never come across to the world as vulnerable, not like Ana. Guys seem to be intimidated by women like me. And no man will ever feel the need to take care of me because I am so strong and independent. Yeah, right! And where Ana has this incredible inner strength and moral core, I am an emotional marshmallow with questionable ethics. It is a wonder that we are friends.

“Kate he’s—” Oh, here comes the self deprecation thing again. Leaping all over that before it gets started!

“Ana! For heaven’s sake— how many times do I have to tell you? You’re a total babe,” If I continue with this line I might keep her off balance while I outline the thousands of reasons why men want her and women want to be her but in an unusual move for Ana, she interrupts me.

“Kate, please. I need to study.” I’m so fucking disappointed in her. This is classic Ana strategy. Avoidance through diligence. Once she shuts down there will be no getting any more information out of her. She really is that strong-willed. I wonder if I can sidetrack her, instead.

“Do you want to see the article? It’s finished. José took some great pictures.” She really doesn’t look like she does. In fact, it seems that Ana would rather stick pins under her fingernails but as ever, her selflessness surprises me. She has agreed to look for my benefit not hers.

“Sure.” She plasters a fake smile on her face as she approaches the lap top. Sure you do, Steele. I turn the screen toward her and she studies it for a while trying to make me believe that she is reading the words. Her eyes haven’t left his image. I could have written the Desiderata for all she knows. Damn Jose for being such a good photographer, damn Christian Grey for being so fucking perfect and damn Ana Steele for not being honest with herself or me.

I study her face, searching for anything that will allow me to engage her again but the shutters have come down. As I look over the photograph once more I feel the visceral effects of the Christian Grey factor and I don’t even like the fucker. Poor Ana. After gazing at him for the longest time she finally excuses herself to go and study. More excuses in a sea of deception. You’ve got it bad, Ms Steele.

Later that evening I sit up in bed and open the lap top once more to check my story. Or at least that is what I tell myself. Instead, I find myself doing a google search for images of Elliot Grey. In almost every photo he has a different woman on his arm at some social function. Some of them I recognise, including a couple of girls were two or three years behind me at school. Shit! Do the sums, Grey, fucking cradle snatcher!

In disgust I log in to my blog and notice that there are an extraordinary number of hits in one day. In fact, thinking about it, in the last few hours. I trawl through the stats trying to find out what the sudden interest is. I mean, I am very proud of the work that I do here but I don’t kid myself that my writing skill is elevating my cause. It took me a long time to learn how to find a balance between my causes and the kind of humor that would draw a readership. Suddenly today the figures have gone through the roof.

When I check the new comments and likes I feel my world tilt on its axis. He has signed in, as himself and he has read every post for the past three months leaving his mark on each one. Liking every single one. I write about the environment, about politics, about WSU research. I write about relationships and business ethics and the state of education in this country. How can he like and agree with each one? But there it is, his comments, his thoughts. Sometimes one word, sometimes a fully formed argument designed to support my ideas or challenge them. It takes me over an hour to read through all of them. Maybe this is someone pretending to be him but within each comment I hear his voice, his tone, his turn of phrase.

Fuck! What the hell are you up to, Mr Grey!

I find myself responding to some of his comments. I can’t help it. He is so freaking smart and insightful. Within moments he has answered back, as if he is waiting for me. We stay on topic going back and forth on the blog before moving to chat for the next couple of hours. The challenging and debating is the best time I have had for a long time. Crap! I don’t want to like this man. Finally, I plead fatigue and go to sign off but I can’t resist one more question.

What do you want?

To know you better

Why?

Because you are her friend.

Buy on itunes here

Chapter 6: Little Bad Girl

FanFic Reviews

Guest 8/13/13 . chapter 5

Wow, who would have thought but it makes perfect sense.
  LoveMyMan2 8/12/13 . chapter 5

OMG I LOVE IT
(and falling in love with Kate as predicted)
  Carmelroads 3/16/13 . chapter 5

Another great chapter. I love Kate’s little moment of insecurity at the end. Elliot is the only thing that can shake the unshakable Ms. Kavanagh. They really are a perfect foil to C&A..

6 thoughts on “IE Ch 5: You Take My Breath Away

  1. Hopeless says:

    I am new to this site and I am loving it!!Your writing is terrific and I love the “other point of view”

    Like

    • Gosh – I am usually better at responding to comments than this. I apologise… thanks for dropping by and supporting my blog. Hope you have been enjoying the rest of the story.

      Like

  2. Amazing!!!! The untold stories of the supporting characters…
    Sasha Cameron you could make movies with this it’s GOLD!!!!

    Like

  3. Natalie Conrad says:

    I just finished your rewrite of chapters 1-10 and love them even more. Can I ask you sho Kate is talking to at the end of chapter 5? It seems like she could be talking to either of the Grey men.

    Like

    • Hi Natalie,

      Welcome to the blog. I’m so glad that you have taken the time to read the rewrites. The conversation is definitely with Christian. It doesn’t mean that either of them like each other at this stage but there may be a grudging respect.

      Like

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