Tuesday, 14 August 2012
Chapter 1 part 5
At that moment one of the Blondes stuck her head in the room and announced the arrival of Gray’s next meeting. He stood up and extended his hand. “I’m afraid I have to leave. Anna, it was nice meeting you. I hope you’ve got everything you need.”
“Thank you for taking the time to talk to me today, Mr Gray. I am sure Ms Montgomery will be very pleased and our students very excited to read an interview with one of our most successful graduates. Your story is truly inspiring.” I shook his hand, grateful the whole thing was over.
I was led out of the office by the Blonde and back to the elevators. Halfway down on the way to the lobby I realised I had left the tape recorder on the coffee table in Gray’s office. I had to ride back up. The blondes were nowhere to be seen, maybe it was finally time for their lunch break or they needed to do a mandatory retouching of makeup. So I went straight into the anteroom and knocked on the office door – no answer. I knocked again, louder this time. It was still quiet inside. Short of pounding on the door there was nothing else I could have done to announce my arrival. I decided to go for it and snuck into the office with my heart pounding. What if he was in there, screwing one of the Blondes? I wondered. He seemed to be the type. Probably made her polish the desk afterwards, too.
To my relief the office was empty. I hurried over to the coffee table and bent down to pick up the recorder when I heard a discrete cough. I spun around.
Standing uncomfortably close behind me was Christian Gray. He must have been as silent as a cat when he had come into the office.
“Mr. Gray.” My voice sounded slightly high-pitched.
“Anna. Would you be so kind to explain what you are doing here? I thought you left.” His tone was the opposite of the friendly politeness he had shown me earlier.
“I am so sorry, I forgot my tape recorder and came back for it but there was nobody here so I thought I would just get it and leave. I didn’t want to trouble anyone.” I was talking very quickly now, fiddling with the recorder in my hands.
“There’s a meeting going on in the conference room down the hall, all the staff members are there. I was just getting a file” Gray explained coolly.
“Ah.” There was a moment of uncomfortable silence. Why did I feel like he caught me with my hand in the cookie jar? The spanking image returned and I had to suppress a nervous giggle. While I previously thought he was pompous and full of shit I now felt intimidated. There was anger lurking behind the calm expression on his face.
“I see you’ve got your recorder now so how about I show you the way to the elevator?” The words were polite but Gray wasn’t asking a question.
“Of course, I am so sorry to have bothered you.” I was expecting him to grab my arm and drag me out but he just turned around and strode out of the room, me at his heels. He walked so fast I almost had to run to keep up. As the elevator doors opened he stepped inside with me. “I thought I better make sure you find your way out this time.” I let out a little laugh but when I saw his face I realised he wasn’t joking.
I cleared my throat. “That’s very kind of you, Mr. Gray.” I decided to examine my shoes for the rest of the ride.
He pressed the button for the lobby. While he leaned over I caught a whiff of him. I had expected expensive aftershave but I could only detect soap and his natural scent. We stood closely while the elevator moved down to the lobby with excruciating slowness. No elevator music to break the silence.
Gray turned to face me and I looked up. “By the way, Anna, have you spent some time in the UK?”
He must have calmed down since we were back to small talk.
“Uh, I am from there, actually. I moved to the States when I was 15.” I explained, silently praying the numbers on the little screen next to the elevator door would go by faster. He looked intrigued but didn’t ask any more questions.
Finally the elevator doors opened with a ping to the lobby. I was free.
“It was a pleasure to meet you again, Anna. I’ll make sure Ms Montgomery receives a picture of Charles.” Gray extended his hand once more and I shook it. He held my gaze while my fingers were in his, his grip tighter than before and slightly uncomfortable. I could have been wrong but he looked almost ... puzzled. Then his face became a calm, polite mask again and he let go of my hand.
“Thank you very much, Mr Gray. Good day.” I replied with half a smile and turned around to walk past the security guard and out into the afternoon light. Even though I couldn’t see him somehow I was sure Gray’s gaze had followed me but as I turned around to look inside the building the elevator doors had closed already. I walked to the car and drove back to Vancouver. It certainly had been an interesting afternoon.