Monday, November 26, 2012

Fifty Shades Freed CHAPTER 19


Tears stream down my face. He’s back. My daddy is back.
“Don’t cry, Annie.” Ray’s voice is hoarse. “What’s happening?”
I take up his hand in both of mine and cradle it against my face. “You’ve
been in an accident. You’re in the hospital in Portland.”
Ray frowns, and I don’t know if it’s because he’s uncomfortable with my uncharacteristic
display of affection, or that he can’t remember the accident.
“Do you want some water?” I ask, though I’m not sure if I’m allowed to give
him any. He nods, bewildered. My heart swells. I stand up and lean over him,
kissing his forehead. “I love you, Daddy. Welcome back.”
He waves his hand, embarrassed. “Me, too, Annie. Water.” I run the short
distance to the nurses’ station.
“My dad—he’s awake!” I beam at Nurse Kellie, who smiles back.
“Page Dr. Sluder,” she says to her colleague and hurriedly makes her way
around the desk.
“He wants water.”
“I’ll bring him some.”
I skip back to my father’s bed, I feel so light-hearted. His eyes are closed
when I reach him, and I immediately worry that he’s slipped back into a coma.
“I’m here,” he mutters and his eyes flutter open as Nurse Kellie appears with
a jug of ice chips and a glass.
“Hello, Mr. Steele. I’m Kellie, your nurse. Your daughter tells me you’re
In the waiting room, Christian is staring fixedly at his laptop, deep in concentration.
He glances up when I close the door.
“He’s awake,” I announce. He smiles, and the tension around his eyes vanishes.
Oh . . . I hadn’t noticed before. Has he been tense all this time? He sets his
laptop aside, stands, and embraces me.
“How is he?” he asks as I wrap my arms around him.
“Talking, thirsty, bewildered. He doesn’t remember the accident at all.”
“That’s understandable. Now that he’s awake, I want to get him moved to
Seattle. Then we can go home, and my mom can keep an eye on him.”
“I’m not sure he’s well enough to be moved.”
“I’ll talk to Dr. Sluder. Get her opinion.”
“You miss home?”
“You haven’t stopped smiling,” Christian says as I pull up outside the Heathman.
“I’m very relieved. And happy.”
Christian grins. “Good.”
The light is fading, and I shiver as I step out into the cool, crisp evening and
hand my key to the parking valet. He’s eyeing my car with lust, and I don’t blame
him. Christian puts his arm around me.
“Shall we celebrate?” he asks as we enter the foyer.
“Your dad.”
I giggle. “Oh, him.”
“I’ve missed that sound.” Christian kisses my hair.
“Can we just eat in our room? You know, have a quiet night in?”
“Sure. Come.” Taking my hand, he leads me to the elevators.
“That was delicious,” I murmur with satisfaction as I push my plate away, replete
for the first time in ages. “They sure know how to make a fine tarte Tatin here.”
I am freshly bathed and wearing only Christian’s T-shirt and my panties. In
the background, Christian’s iPod is on shuffle and Dido is warbling on about
white flags.
Christian eyes me speculatively. His hair is still damp from our bath, and he’s
wearing just his black T-shirt and jeans. “That’s the most I’ve seen you eat the entire
time we’ve been here,” he says.
“I was hungry.”
He leans back in his chair with a self-satisfied smirk and takes a sip of his
white wine. “What would you like to do now?” His voice is soft.
“What do you want to do?”
He raises an eyebrow, amused. “What I always want to do.”
“And that is?”
“Mrs. Grey, don’t be coy.”
Reaching across the dining table, I grasp his hand, turn it over, and skim my
index finger over his palm. “I’d like you to touch me with this.” I run my finger
up his index finger.
He shifts in his chair. “Just that?” His eyes darken and heat at once.
“Maybe this?” I run my finger up his middle finger and back to his palm.
“And this.” My nail traces his ring finger. “Definitely this.” My finger stops at his
wedding ring. “This is very sexy.”
“Is it, now?”
“It sure is. It says this man is mine.” And I skim the small callous that has
already formed on his palm beneath the ring. He leans forward and cups my chin
with his other hand.
“Mrs. Grey, are you seducing me?”
“I hope so.”
“Anastasia, I’m a given.” His voice is low. “Come here.” He tugs my hand,
pulling me onto his lap. “I like having unfettered access to you.” He runs a hand
up my thigh to my behind. He grasps the nape of my neck with his other hand and
kisses me, holding me firmly in place.
He tastes of white wine and apple pie and Christian. I run my fingers through
his hair, holding him to me while our tongues explore and curl and twist around
each other, my blood heating in my veins. We’re breathless when Christian pulls
“Let’s go to bed,” he murmurs against my lips.
He pulls back further and tugs my hair so I am looking up at him. “Where
would you prefer, Mrs. Grey?”
My inner goddess stops stuffing her face with tarte Tatin. I shrug, feigning indifference.
“Surprise me.”
He smirks. “You’re feisty this evening.” He runs his nose along mine.
“Maybe I need to be restrained.”
“Maybe you do. You’re getting mighty bossy in your old age.” He narrows
his eyes, but can’t disguise the latent humor there.
“What are you going to do about it?” I challenge.
His eyes glitter. “I know what I’d like to do about it. Depends if you’re up to
“Oh, Mr. Grey, you’ve been very gentle with me these last couple of days.
I’m not made of glass, you know.”
“You don’t like gentle?”
“With you, of course. But you know . . . variety is the spice of life.” I bat my
lashes at him.
“You’re after something less gentle?”
“Something life-affirming.”
He raises his brows in surprise. “Life-affirming,” he repeats, astonished humor
in his voice.
I nod. He gazes at me for a moment. “Don’t bite your lip,” he whispers then
rises suddenly with me in his arms. I gasp and grab his biceps, fearful that he’ll
drop me. He walks over to the smallest of the three couches and deposits me on to
“Wait here. Don’t move.” He gives me a brief hot, intense look and turns on
his heel, stalking toward the bedroom. Oh . . . Christian barefoot. Why are his feet
so hot? He’s back a few moments later, taking me by surprise as he leans over me
from behind.
“I think we’ll dispense with this.” He grabs my T-shirt and drags it over my
head, leaving me naked except for my panties. He pulls my ponytail back and
kisses me.
“Stand up,” he orders against my lips and releases me. I comply immediately.
He lays a towel out on the sofa.
“Take your panties off.”
I swallow but do as I’m told, discarding them by the sofa.
“Sit.” He grabs my ponytail again and pulls my head back. “You’ll tell me to
stop if this gets too much, yes?”
I nod.
“Say it.” His voice is stern.
“Yes,” I squeak.
He smirks. “Good. So, Mrs. Grey . . . by popular demand, I’m going to restrain
you.” His voice drops to a breathless whisper. Desire streaks through my
body like lightning simply at those words. Oh, my sweet Fifty—on the sofa?
“Bring your knees up,” he commands softly. “And sit right back.”
I rest my feet on the edge of the sofa, my knees up in front of me. He reaches
for my left leg, and taking the belt from one of the bathroom robes, he ties one
end above my knee.
“I’m improvising.” He smirks again and fastens the slipknot above my knee
and ties the other end of the soft belt around the finial at the back corner of the
sofa, effectively parting my legs.
“Don’t move,” he warns and repeats the process with my right leg, tying the
second cord to the other finial.
Oh my . . . I am sitting up, splayed out on the sofa, legs spread wide.
“Okay?” Christian asks softly, gazing down at me from behind the sofa.
I nod, expecting him to tie my hands, too. But he refrains. He bends and
kisses me.
“You have no idea how hot you look right now,” he murmurs and rubs his
nose against mine. “Change of music, I think.” He stands and strolls casually over
to the iPod dock.
How does he do this? Here I am, trussed up and horny as hell, while he’s so
cool and calm. He’s just in my field of vision, and I watch the flex and pull of the
muscles of his back under his T-shirt as he changes the song. Immediately, a
sweet, almost childlike female voice starts to sing about watching me.
Oh, I like this song.
Christian turns and his eyes lock on mine as he moves around to the front of
the sofa and sinks gracefully to his knees in front of me.
Suddenly, I feel very exposed.
“Exposed? Vulnerable?” he asks with his uncanny ability to voice my unspoken
words. His hands are on his knees. I nod.
Why doesn’t he touch me?
“Good,” he murmurs. “Hold out your hands.” I can’t look away from his
mesmerizing eyes as I do what he asks. Christian pours a little oily liquid onto
each palm from a small clear bottle. It’s scented—a rich, musky, sensuous scent
that I can’t place.
“Rub your hands.” I squirm beneath his hot, heavy gaze. “Keep still,” he
Oh my.
“Now, Anastasia, I want you to touch yourself.”
Holy cow.
“Start at your throat and work down.”
I hesitate.
“Don’t be shy, Ana. Come. Do it.” The humor and challenge in his expression
is plain to see along with his desire.
The sweet voice sings that there’s nothing sweet about her. I place my hands
against my throat and let them slide down to the top of my breasts. The oil makes
them glide effortlessly over my skin. My hands are warm.
“Lower,” Christian murmurs, his eyes darkening. He doesn’t touch me.
My hands cup my breasts.
“Tease yourself.”
Oh my. I tug gently on my nipples.
“Harder,” Christian urges. He sits immobile between my thighs, just watching
me. “Like I would,” he adds, his eyes shining darkly. My muscles clench deep
in my belly. I groan in response and pull harder on my nipples, feeling them
stiffen and lengthen beneath my touch.
“Yes. Like that. Again.”
Closing my eyes I pull hard, rolling and twisting them between my fingers. I
“Open your eyes.”
I blink up at him.
“Again. I want to see you. See you enjoy your touch.”
Oh fuck. I repeat the process. This is so . . . erotic.
“Hands. Lower.”
I squirm.
“Keep still, Ana. Absorb the pleasure. Lower.” His voice is low and husky,
tempting and beguiling at once.
“You do it,” I whisper.
“Oh, I will—soon. You. Lower. Now.” Christian, exuding sensuality, runs his
tongue along his teeth Holy fuck . . . I writhe, pulling on the restraints.
He shakes his head, slowly. “Still.” He rests his hands on my knees, holding
me in place. “Come on, Ana—lower.”
My hands glide over my stomach down over my belly.
“Lower,” he mouths, and he is carnality personified.
“Christian, please.”
His hands glide down from my knees, skimming my thighs, toward my sex.
“Come on, Ana. Touch yourself.”
My left hand skims over my sex, and I rub in a slow circle, my mouth an O as
I pant.
“Again,” he whispers.
I groan louder and repeat the move and tip my head back, gasping.
I moan loudly, and Christian inhales sharply. Grabbing my hands, he bends
down, running his nose then his tongue back and forth at the apex of my thighs.
I want to touch him, but when I try to move my hands, his fingers tighten
around my wrists.
“I’ll restrain these, too. Keep still.”
I groan. He releases me then eases his middle two fingers inside me, the heel
of his hand resting against my clitoris.
“I’m going to make you come quickly, Ana. Ready?”
“Yes.” I pant.
He starts to move his fingers, his hand, up and down, rapidly, assaulting both
that sweet spot inside me and my clitoris at the same time. Ah! The feeling is intense—
really intense. Pleasure builds and spikes throughout the lower half of my
body. I want to stretch my legs, but I can’t. My hands claw at the towel beneath
“Surrender,” Christian whispers.
I explode around his fingers, crying out incoherently. He presses the heel of
his hand against my clitoris as the aftershocks run through my body, prolonging
the delicious agony. Vaguely, I’m aware that he’s untying my legs.
“My turn,” he murmurs, and flips me over so I am face down on the sofa with
my knees on the floor. He spreads my legs and slaps me hard across my behind.
“Ah!” I yelp and he slams into me.
“Oh, Ana,” he hisses through clenched teeth as he starts to move. His fingers
grip me hard around my hips as he grinds into me over and over. And I’m building
again. No . . . Ah . . .
“Come on, Ana!” Christian shouts, and I shatter once more, pulsing around
him and crying out as I come.
“Life-affirming enough for you?” Christian kisses my hair.
“Oh, yes,” I murmur, gazing up at the ceiling. I am lying on my husband, my
back to his front, both of us on the floor beside the sofa. He’s still dressed.
“I think we should go again. No clothes for you this time.”
“Christ, Ana. Give a man a chance.”
I giggle and he chuckles. “I’m glad Ray’s conscious. Seems all your appetites
are back,” he says, not disguising the smile in his voice.
I turn over and scowl at him. “Are you forgetting about last night and this
morning?” I pout.
“Nothing forgettable about either of those.” He grins, and when he does, he
looks so young and carefree and happy. He cups my behind. “You have a fantastic
ass, Mrs. Grey.”
“So do you.” I arch a brow at him. “Though yours is still under cover.”
“And what are you going to do about that, Mrs. Grey?”
“Why, I’m going to undress you, Mr. Grey. All of you.”
He grins.
“And I think there’s a lot that’s sweet about you,” I murmur, referring to the
song still playing on repeat. His smile fades.
Oh no.
“You are,” I whisper. I lean down and kiss the corner of his mouth. He closes
his eyes and tightens his arms around me.
“Christian, you are. You made this weekend so special—in spite of what
happened to Ray. Thank you.”
He opens his large, serious gray eyes, and his expression tugs at my heart.
“Because I love you,” he murmurs.
“I know. I love you, too.” I caress his face. “And you’re precious to me, too.
You do know that, don’t you?”
His stills, looking lost.
Oh, Christian . . . my sweet Fifty.
“Believe me,” I whisper.
“It’s not easy.” His voice is almost inaudible.
“Try. Try hard, because it’s true.” I stroke his face once more, my fingers
brushing against his sideburns. His eyes are gray oceans of loss and hurt and pain.
I want to climb into his body and hold him. Anything to stop that look. When will
he realize that he means the world to me? That he’s more than worthy of my love,
the love of his parents—his siblings? I have told him over and over, and yet here
we are as Christian gives me his lost, abandoned look. Time. It will just take time.
“You’ll get cold. Come.” He rises gracefully to his feet and pulls me up to
stand beside him. I slip my arm around his waist as we wander back into the bedroom.
I won’t push him, but since Ray’s accident, it’s become more important to
me that he knows how much I love him.
As we enter the bedroom, I frown, desperate to recover the very welcome
light-hearted mood of only a few moments ago.
“Shall we watch TV?” I ask.
Christian snorts. “I was hoping for round two.” And my mercurial Fifty is
back. I arch my brow and stop by the bed.
“Well, in that case, I think I’ll be in charge.”
He gapes at me, and I push him onto the bed and quickly straddle him, pinning
his hands down beside his head.
He grins up at me. “Well, Mrs. Grey, now that you’ve got me, what are you
going to do with me?”
I lean down and whisper in his ear, “I am going to fuck you with my mouth.”
He closes his eyes, inhaling sharply, and I run my teeth gently along his jaw.
Christian is working at the computer. It’s a bright early morning, and he’s tapping
out an e-mail, I think.
“Good morning,” I murmur shyly from the doorway. He turns and smiles at
“Mrs. Grey. You’re up early.” He holds open his arms.
I bolt across the suite and curl into his lap. “As are you.”
“I was just working.” He shifts as he kisses my hair.
“What?” I ask, sensing something wrong.
He sighs. “I got an e-mail from Detective Clark. He wants to talk to you
about that fucker Hyde.”
“Really?” I sit back to gaze at Christian.
“Yes. I told him you’re in Portland for the time being, so he’ll have to wait.
But he says he’d like to interview you here.”
“He’s coming here?”
“Apparently so.” Christian looks bemused.
I frown. “What’s so important that can’t wait?”
“When’s he coming?”
“Today. I’ll e-mail him back.”
“I have nothing to hide. I wonder what he wants to know?”
“We’ll find out when he gets here. I’m intrigued, too.” Christian shifts again.
“Breakfast will be here shortly. Let’s eat, then we can go and see your dad.”
I nod. “You can stay here if you want. I can see you’re busy.”
He scowls. “No, I want to come with you.”
“Okay.” I grin, and wrap my arms around his neck and kiss him.
Ray is bad-tempered. It’s a joy. He’s itchy, scratchy, impatient, and
“Dad, you’ve been in a major car accident. It will take time to heal. Christian
and I want to move you to Seattle.”
“I don’t know why you’re bothering with me. I’ll be fine here on my own.”
“Don’t be ridiculous.” I squeeze his hand fondly, and he has the grace to
smile at me.
“Do you need anything?”
“I could murder a doughnut, Annie.”
I grin indulgently at him. “I’ll get you a doughnut or two. We’ll go to
“You want some decent coffee, too?”
“Hell yeah!”
“Okay, I’ll go get some.”
Christian is once more in the waiting room, talking on the phone. He really should
set up office in here. Weirdly, he’s by himself, although the other ICU beds are
occupied. I wonder if Christian’s frightened off the other visitors. He hangs up.
“Clark will be here at four this afternoon.”
I frown. What could be so urgent? “Okay. Ray wants coffee and doughnuts.”
Christian laughs. “I think I would too if I’d been in an accident. Ask Taylor
to go.”
“No, I’ll go.”
“Take Taylor with you.” His voice is stern.
“Okay.” I roll my eyes and he glares. Then he smirks and cocks his head to
one side.
“There’s no one here.” His voice is deliciously low, and I know he’s threatening
to spank me. I am about to dare him, when a young couple enters the room.
She is weeping softly.
I shrug apologetically at Christian, and he nods. He picks up his laptop, takes
my hand, and leads me out of the room. “They need the privacy more than we
do,” Christian murmurs. “We’ll have our fun later.”
Outside Taylor is waiting patiently. “Let’s all go get coffee and doughnuts.”
At four o’clock precisely there’s a knock on the suite door. Taylor ushers in
Detective Clark, who looks more bad-tempered than usual. He always seems to
look bad-tempered. Perhaps it’s the way his face is set.
“Mr. Grey, Mrs. Grey, thank you for seeing me.”
“Detective Clark.” Christian shakes his hand and directs him to a seat. I sit
down on the sofa where I enjoyed myself so much last night. The thought makes
me blush.
“It’s Mrs. Grey I wish to see,” Clark says pointedly to Christian and to Taylor
stationed beside the door. Christian glances then nods almost imperceptibly at
Taylor who turns and leaves, shutting the door behind him.
“Anything you wish to say to my wife you can say in front of me.” Christian’s
voice is cool and businesslike. Detective Clark turns to me.
“Are you sure you’d like your husband to be present?”
I frown at him. “Of course. I have nothing to hide. You are just interviewing
“Yes, ma’am.”
“I’d like my husband to stay.”
Christian sits beside me, radiating tension.
“All right,” murmurs Clark, resigned. He clears his throat. “Mrs. Grey, Mr.
Hyde maintains that you sexually harassed him and made several lewd advances
toward him.”
Oh! I almost burst out laughing, but put my hand on Christian’s thigh to restrain
him as he shifts forward in his seat.
“That’s preposterous,” Christian splutters. I squeeze Christian’s leg to silence
“That’s not true,” I state calmly. “In fact, it was the other way around. He
propositioned me in a very aggressive manner, and he was fired.”
Detective Clark’s mouth flattens briefly into a thin line before he continues.
“Hyde alleges that you fabricated a tale about sexual harassment in order to
get him fired. He says that you did this because he refused your advances and because
you wanted his job.”
I frown. Holy crap. Jack is even more delusional than I thought.“That’s not
true.” I shake my head.
“Detective, please don’t tell me you have driven all this way to harass my
wife with these ridiculous accusations.”
Detective Clark turns his steely blue glare on Christian. “I need to hear this
from Mrs. Grey, sir,” he says with quiet restraint. I squeeze Christian’s leg once
more, silently imploring him to keep his cool.
“You don’t have to listen to this shit, Ana.”
“I think I should let Detective Clark know what happened.”
Christian gazes at me impassively for a beat then waves his hand in a gesture
of resignation.
“What Hyde says is simply not true.” My voice sounds calm, although I feel
anything but. I’m bewildered by these accusations and nervous that Christian
might explode. What’s Jack’s game? “Mr. Hyde accosted me in the office kitchen
one evening. He told me that it was thanks to him that I had been hired and that he
expected sexual favors in return. He tried to blackmail me, using e-mails that I’d
sent to Christian, who wasn’t my husband then. I didn’t know Hyde had been
monitoring my e-mails. He’s delusional—he even accused me of being a spy sent
by Christian, presumably to help him take over the company. He didn’t know that
Christian had already bought SIP.” I shake my head as I recall my distressing,
tense encounter with Hyde.
“In the end, I-I took him down.”
Clark’s eyebrows rise in surprise. “Took him down?”
“My father is ex-army. Hyde . . . um, touched me, and I know how to defend
Christian glances at me with a brief look of pride.
“I see.” Clark leans back on the sofa, sighing heavily.
“Have you spoken to any of Hyde’s former PAs?” Christian asks almost
“Yes, we have. But the truth is we can’t get any of his assistants to talk to us.
They all say he was an exemplary boss, even though none of them lasted more
than three months.”
“We’ve had that problem, too,” Christian murmurs.
Oh? I gape at Christian as does Detective Clark.
“My security chief. He’s interviewed Hyde’s past five PAs.”
“And why’s that?”
Christian gives him a steely glare. “Because my wife worked for him, and I
run security checks on anyone my wife works with.”
Detective Clark flushes. I shrug apologetically at him with a welcome-to-myworld
“I see,” Clark murmurs. “I think there’s more to this than meets the eye, Mr.
Grey. We are conducting a more thorough search of his apartment tomorrow, so
maybe something will present itself then. Though by all accounts he hasn’t lived
there for some time.”
“You’ve searched already?”
“Yes. We’re doing it again. A fingertip search this time.”
“You’ve still not charged him with the attempted murder of Ros Bailey and
myself?” Christian says softly.
“We’re hoping to find more evidence in regard to the sabotage of your aircraft,
Mr. Grey. We need more than a partial print, and while he’s in custody, we
can build a case.”
“Is this all you came down here for?”
Clark bristles. “Yes, Mr. Grey, it is, unless you’ve had any further thoughts
about the note?”
Note? What note?
“No. I told you. It means nothing to me.” Christian cannot hide his irritation.
“And I don’t see why we couldn’t have done this over the phone.”
“I think I told you I prefer a hands-on approach. And I’m visiting my greataunt
who lives in Portland—two birds . . . one stone.” Clark remains stony faced
and unfazed by my husband’s bad temper.
“Well, if we’re all done, I have work to attend to.” Christian stands and
Detective Clark follows his cue.
“Thank you for your time, Mrs. Grey,” he says politely.
I nod.
“Mr. Grey.” Christian opens the door, and Clark leaves.
I sag into the sofa.
“Can you believe that asshole?” Christian explodes.
“No. That fucker, Hyde.”
“No, I can’t.”
“What’s his fucking game?” Christian whispers through gritted teeth.
“I don’t know. Do you think Clark believed me?”
“Of course he did. He knows Hyde is a fucked-up asshole.”
“You’re very sweary.”
“Sweary?” Christian smirks. “Is that even a word?”
“It is now.”
Unexpectedly he grins and sits down beside me, pulling me into his arms.
“Don’t think about that fucker. Let’s go see your dad and try to talk about the
move tomorrow.”
“He was adamant that he wanted to stay in Portland and not be a bother.”
“I’ll talk to him.”
“I want to travel with him.”
Christian gazes at me, and for a moment, I think he’s going to say no. “Okay.
I’ll come, too. Sawyer and Taylor can take the cars. I’ll let Sawyer drive your R8
The following day Ray is examining his new surroundings—an airy, light, room
in the rehabilitation center of Northwest Hospital in Seattle. It’s noon, and he
looks sleepy. The journey, via helicopter no less, has exhausted him.
“Tell Christian I appreciate this,” he says quietly.
“You can tell him yourself. He’ll be along this evening.”
“Aren’t you going to work?”
“Probably. I just want to make sure you’re settled in here.”
“You get along. You don’t need to worry about me.”
“I like worrying about you.” My BlackBerry buzzes. I check the number—it’s
not one I recognize.
“You going to answer that?” Ray asks.
“No. I don’t know who it is. The voice mail can take it for me. I brought you
something to read.” I indicate the pile of sports magazines on his bedside table.
“Thanks, Annie.”
“You’re tired, aren’t you?”
He nods.
“I’ll let you get some sleep.” I kiss his forehead. “Laters, Daddy,” I murmur.
“I’ll see you later, honey. And thank you.” Ray catches my hand and
squeezes it gently. “I like that you call me Daddy. Takes me back.”
Oh, Daddy. I return his squeeze.
As I head out the main doors toward the SUV where Sawyer is waiting, I
hear my name being called.
“Mrs. Grey! Mrs. Grey!”
Turning, I see Dr. Greene hurrying toward me, looking her usual immaculate
self, if a little flustered.
“Mrs. Grey, how are you? Did you get my message? I called earlier.”
“No.” My scalp prickles.
“Well, I was wondering why you’d cancelled four appointments.”
Four appointments? I gape at her. I’ve missed four appointments! How?
“Perhaps we should talk about this in my office. I was going out for
lunch—do you have time right now?”
I nod meekly. “Sure. I . . .” Words fail me. I’ve missed four appointments?
I’m late for my shot. Shit.
I follow her in a daze back into the hospital and up to her office. How did I
miss four appointments? I vaguely remember one being moved—Hannah mentioned
it—but four? How could I miss four?
Dr. Greene’s office is spacious, minimalistic, and well appointed.
“I’m so grateful you caught me before I left,” I mumble, still shell-shocked.
“My father’s been in a car accident, and we’ve just moved him here from
“Oh, I’m so sorry. How’s he doing?”
“He’s doing okay, thank you. On the mend.”
“That’s good. And it explains why you cancelled on Friday.”
Dr. Greene wiggles the mouse on her desk, and her computer comes to life.
“Yes . . . it’s been over thirteen weeks. You’re cutting it a bit close. We’d
better do a test before we give you another shot.”
“A test?” I whisper, all the blood rushing from my head.
“A pregnancy test.”
Oh, no.
She reaches into the drawer of her desk. “You know what to do with this.”
She hands me a small container. “The restroom is just outside my office.”
I get up as if in a trance, my whole body operating as if on automatic pilot
and I stumble to the restroom.
Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit. How could I have let this happen . . . again? I suddenly
feel sick and offer a silent prayer. Please no. Please no. It’s too soon. It’s
too soon. It’s too soon.
When I reenter Dr. Greene’s office, she gives me a tight smile and waves me
to the seat in front of her desk. I sit down and wordlessly hand her my sample.
She dips a small white stick into it and watches. She raises her eyebrows as it
turns pale blue.
“What does blue mean?” The tension is almost choking me.
She looks up at me, her eyes serious. “Well, Mrs. Grey, it means you’re
What? No. No. No. Fuck.


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