Sunday, 26 August 2012

Chapter 2 part 2

The next day I had to work. I worked as a waitress in a small diner near campus. It was a nice place where you could get good, unpretentious food and a decent cup of coffee. I didn’t even have to wear one of those impossible uniforms, jeans, sneakers, and a black t-shirt was acceptable. The owners were Mr and Mrs Blake, an elderly couple who treated me like the grandchild they never had. I had walked in there in freshman year, overwhelmed by money troubles and the newness of everything. After the sympathetic Mrs. Blake had listened to my story they offered me a job to help me out. It was a good place to work and it almost felt like a second home after three years. My mother lived in Colorado and worked as a vet. My stepfather was a carpenter. Together they didn’t make much. I went to WSU on a scholarship but there were still living expenses to be covered and my mum couldn’t really afford to support me. Thanks to Katie’s parents and the Blakes I could get by. After my shift was over Mrs Blake insisted I take home some leftover pie for Katie and me. Like a real grandma she always worried we didn’t eat enough. Usually, not eating enough wasn’t the problem but Mr Blake used to be a baker and made the pies himself so I was happy to eat as much pie as she wanted me to.
The next two days went by as usual. I did two more shifts at the diner and tried to study as much as possible. Katie got better, the rash slowly beginning to fade. On Wednesday afternoon I was in my room with my biochemistry book when Katie knocked on my door, an excited expression on her face.
“Christian Gray’s assistant just called, he wants to do a photo shoot.”
I rolled my eyes. “Does he have too much time? Or maybe he just loves it so much when somebody takes his picture.” My attention went back to the book on my lap.
“No no, he will be in town on business and thought it might be a good idea to complement the article with a few pictures of him on campus, you know, in the library and such. Reliving the good old times” she explained. “Isn’t that wonderful? He said he’d read a few of my articles and was very impressed so he thought he could help me out and maybe even give another interview. Isn’t he sweet?” Katie seemed oblivious to the fact that I was trying to concentrate.
I frowned. Gray was a very busy man indeed, almost too busy for an interview so why all of a sudden had he enough time for a photo shoot? He must have had a number of portraits done by professionals. Katie could have picked any one of those. There were even pictures of him visiting the campus, handing over large checks to the dean. What was going on?
“Look, Katie, I am happy for you Gray’s giving you this opportunity but I will stay as far away from him as possible. He didn’t seem to like me much either.”`I made a show of turning a page and reading the first paragraph, my eyes positively glued to the page.
“About that...” Katie looked frightened.
“Katie, what did you do?” I had a feeling I wouldn’t like what came next.
“I am still sick!” Katie sniffed. “The doctor said I should stay at home for at least another three days. So I told Mr Gray’s assistant I would find a photographer and you would be there instead of me to organize the whole thing” she mumbled.
I was stunned but it didn’t take me long to go from stunned to furious.
“Bloody hell, Katie! I told you I didn’t like the guy, he didn’t like me and I am sure he would not appreciate seeing me again. Besides, I have to study; I don’t have time to do the photo shoot or babysit Mr Gray” I yelled.

“Anna, please. His assistant said Mr. Gray doesn’t like to work with people he doesn’t know and you’re the only person he’s met. In fact, she said he asked about you and if you could be there.” Katie said with a small voice.
“He did?” I was confused. But then I remembered the way he looked at me when I stepped out of the elevator. Like he was seeing something strange and oddly fascinating. It had made me curious.
“Okay, I’ll do it. But you owe me.” I grumpily agreed.
“I’m sure you’ll remind me the next time somebody has to clean the bathroom or do the dishes.” Katie was beaming, almost dancing out of the room.
“I was thinking of something more in the lines of buying me a small island or letting me borrow your car the next time I want to go home to my mother’s.” I shouted after her. Katie guarded the Corvette like a mother lion her cub and only let me drive it in emergency situations. Or when she was trying to bribe me.
“Small island it is” Katie plastered a bright smile on her face. “Any particular location? Caribbean perhaps?”
“Let me get back to you on that.” I tried to concentrate on my bio chemistry book again but Gray’s face kept creeping into my thoughts, looking grim.

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