04 January 2013

Chapter 50 - Skyfalling



Ros and I make a short unplanned sightseeing detour to view Mount St Helens on our way back from our successful meeting at WSU as she has never seen it before, and the TPR - temporary flight restriction - has now been lifted. 

But I never let myself get distracted when I’m piloting Charlie Tango, so when the engine overheat warning sounds, followed almost immediately by the engine fire alarm, I calmly follow the correct protocol to shut off the electronics to close the engine down, then hit the automatic extinguisher button. 

Although this is a highly unusual event, it’s nothing to panic about. The Eurocopter 135 has two engines; we can still safely fly to the nearest landing area, as long as the fire is extinguished.

But as the warnings continue, and before I can radio anything in to ATC, the instrument panel lights up like it’s fucking Christmas, and I realize with horror that both engines are on fire. I have no option but to shut both down, as the automatic extinguishers fail to put them out.

“What the fuck’s happening, Christian?” Ros yells at me, through the headset.

“Hold on tight. This could get a bit bumpy,” I yell back at her as I struggle to control the helicopter.

Shit. We are only two hundred feet AGL. I don't have time to reduce speed and position us for a safe landing. This is bad, really bad.

We are going down.

This is it. Curtains. The end of the line. Time to meet my maker, the old devil himself. I am going to die.

A picture of Ana’s beautiful, sweet face pops into my head.




No! I can’t leave her behind. This is not fair. Things are just getting good in my life. Now I've found Ana, I can finally see the point of my existence. 

She’s brought light into my life – she’s brought me into the light with her. She needs me to look after her and protect her; I'm not going to desert her, not when we have so much ahead of us. I still have to show her, prove to her that I am worthy of her love. I have to fight to get back to her. 

This is your punishment, Grey. The grim reaper claiming you, for daring to let yourself believe you were good enough for her.  

No! I refuse to believe that anything I feel for Ana can be wrong or bad. She is my salvation, my redemption, and I have to get back to her somehow. I must be given the chance to prove to her that I can be the man she deserves.

I frantically scan the landscape ahead of us, trying to locate somewhere amongst the rocks and boulders where I can attempt to get us down. I’m used to flying an engineless glider; now I call on those skills to try and maneuver us to safety.



There!  I suddenly spy a small flat area that is going to have to do, especially as Silver Lake is looming in the near distance. A safe landing on water is not a viable option in a helicopter, so it’s now or never.

“Brace yourself, Ros,” I yell, not looking at her, as I focus all my attention on getting us down in that one small area as we fall from the sky.

We crash into the ground far too fast and hard with a sickening jolt, and for a moment I think we’re going to flip right over, but somehow we remain upright. By some miracle, I have managed to land us safely.



It takes a few seconds for the fact that we have actually made it down to sink in, but then the horrible reality of our situation kicks in. As I glance behind us, I see flames. We are still on fire, and I have to get Ros out - fast. I quickly unstrap myself, before leaning over and hitting the buckle to release her harness.

“Come on, get out! Now! Move!” I shout, as she sits there in a state of stunned shock. I release her straps, before shoving the cabin door to open it. 

For a few horrid seconds it seems jammed as it refuses to open, but the image of us being trapped inside a burning wreck seems to give me superhuman strength, and I manage to force it open.

I jump out, and then reach back in to pull Ros out. She struggles in her tight pencil skirt and heels, although she seems unhurt.

“Christian, I…” she starts to speak, but I interrupt her.

“Get over there, behind the rocks, in case she blows,” I order, as I give her a shove in the right direction.

“But, what about you?” she protests, as I reach back inside to get the fire extinguisher.

“I’m fine. I’m going to try and put the fire out. Just go.”

I run round to the back, and deploy the extinguisher onto the flames before they can spread any further. From my training, I remember to use it most effectively by aiming it at the base of the fire rather than waste it on the actual flames, and thankfully I manage to put the fire out. I stand there for a second, panting in relief.

Both engines? What the fuck is that all about? How is that possible?

“Christian! Are you alright?”

Ros is peeking out from behind the rocks.

“Fire appears to be out, but stay over there, it’s safer. I’ll be over in a minute,” I shout back.

I reach back inside the cabin to retrieve my suit jacket, which has my cell phone in – and the precious black gift box that Ana gave me to open on my birthday. 

I’ve been carrying the stupid fucking thing around with me everywhere, and its intriguing rattle has been driving me fucking nuts. But I've kept my word and I've resisted the temptation to open it. So no way am I leaving it behind now.

“Get my purse too, it has my cell in it,” Ros yells over when she sees what I'm doing.

So now we’re sat together, leaning back against the rocks, trying to gather our scattered wits.

“Jeez, Christian, I really thought we were a gonna then,” Ros smiles shakily at me. “What the fuck went wrong?”

“I don’t know, to be honest. With two engines, the Eurocopter 135 is considered the safest in its class. For both of them to catch fire….”

“… is mighty unlucky. Have you been pissing the Almighty off more than usual lately Christian?” she tries to joke, as she reaches into her purse with an unsteady hand to get her cigarettes and lighter.

“No! For Christ’s sake, Ros, there might be fuel or fumes, so you can't risk lighting up. It’s a filthy habit anyway, so it's about time you gave it up.” I snatch the cigarettes from her hand.

“Now you sound just like Gwen nagging me. Okay, don't worry, I’ll be good,” she promises, as she retrieves her cigarettes from me, puts them back in her purse, then takes out her cell. “Shit. No signal. How about yours?”

“No, same. I’m pretty certain there's no cell phone coverage for most of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.”

“Fucking typical. This is why I hate nature and the great fucking outdoors,” Ros grumbles. “So, will anyone have a clue where we are? Can’t you use the radio in the helicopter to make contact with the authorities - that didn’t get damaged when we crash landed did it?” Ros suggests.

“I can’t risk switching on the electrics, especially as I’ve no idea what caused the fires.  One spark could be enough to set the whole thing off – she could blow sky high. Look, Ros, no one is going to realize we’re missing for quite a while yet. It’s already afternoon, and if we sit here and wait for someone to come and find us, it’s unlikely they’d locate us before it gets dark, so chances are we’d be out here all night.”

“Hasn’t Charlie Tango got some sort of tracking device on it? I thought it was standard practice for all modes of transport in GEH?”

“It’s missing. I just checked.”  Dropped off? Or removed?  

“So Taylor won’t be able to track it? Or our cells?”

“Nope.”

In any case I gave Taylor time off because he got a call from his ex-wife to say his daughter had been taken ill with suspected appendicitis, so of course I told him to go.  I didn’t think he’d be needed today while I was at WSU, especially as I have a covert security detail organized to keep a close check on Ana when she meets up with Rodriguez. 

Shit! I told them to report any intel directly to me rather than Taylor, and now I’m unavailable. At least they have orders to intervene immediately if they see her threatened or under attack in any way, but of course they won’t be following her into my apartment where she’ll be all alone with him, without even Taylor around.

A fine protector I've turned out to be. I’ve left her vulnerable and an easy target – in my own fucking apartment for Christ’s sake. I can only hope she’d knee him in the balls if he tried anything on with her, just like she did with that other fucker Hyde. Trouble is, she still thinks of Rodriguez as her ‘friend’, so she might get caught out, as he's so much bigger and stronger than her. 

I have to get back.

“Come on. We can hike over to the highway and then hitch a ride. We just need to go round the edge of the lake and then head west.”

I’m used to hiking, so although I'm not dressed for the part, it won’t pose any great problem for me. I’m not so sure about Ros though – I suspect her fitness level isn’t that great as she hates going to the gym or any kind of exercise. And she’s a smoker, of course.

“Hiking? In these shoes?” Ros exclaims, holding up her black Manolo Blahniks for me to admire.

“You wear them all day, every day. You must be used to walking in them. You make it look easy, so I’m sure you’ll manage just fine,” I try to cajole her, as I smile encouragingly.

“It’s no good trying your best Christian Grey winning smile on me, surely you know that by now?” she replies wryly. “You go for help and leave me here.”

“Nope. I think it’s best we stick together. Besides, there are bears out here. You wouldn’t want to be out here all night alone, would you?”

“Okay, okay, you win, but how are you going to know which way is west, seeing as you can’t see the sun?” She looks up at the heavily clouded sky.

“I have the inbuilt compass application on my cell, as do you, as you also have the latest model.” I insist my executive staff are always supplied with the most up to date equipment as soon as it becomes available.

“Do I? I never bother to read about all the extras every time I get an upgrade. But in any case, with no signal, surely it’s useless?”

“This app doesn't require a signal. The integral magnetometer measures the magnetic field, so once it’s been calibrated, it works just like a regular compass.”

“How the hell do you know all this shit?” she mutters, as she watches me first set my cell up, and then hers. I notice her cell is only showing a quarter charged, while mine shows half. Using the app is going to eat up the battery, so I suggest we just use hers until it runs out, then switch to mine.

“Sounds good to me, Christian.  Once we get to the road, have you got any cash on you, in case we need to persuade someone to give us a ride? Somehow I don't think there’ll be a convenient cab just waiting there for us.”

I check my wallet, as Ros counts up how much she has in her purse.  Between us we come up with $600.

“Hopefully that should be enough. In any case, once we get a signal we can make a few calls, get something sorted out.” 

That's if our cells last that long. I haven’t told Ros how far we have to walk in case she refuses to even attempt it.

~~~

I don't let her light up, even when we’re a long way from the crash site. 

Truth is, just the slightest whiff of cigarette smoke brings back terrible sickening memories of what the crack whore's pimp used to do to me, and I really don’t need any additional stress.

“As of now, you have officially given up smoking,” I state firmly.

“Says who?” Ros retorts.

“Your employer, who normally has a golden unbreakable rule of only employing nonsmokers. I bent the rules for you in the beginning, on the understanding that you would be giving up a.s.a.p. That was years ago; I've been very lenient. You should give up anyway, for Gwen’s sake, if not your own. You know how she hates you smoking, and how she worries about you. I think you’ve been very selfish towards her actually.”

“Okay, okay, I’ll give up, starting tomorrow. However, it may have escaped your notice, Christian, but we’ve had kind of a stressful experience. I need a cigarette.”

“No, you don’t. Show a bit of backbone, woman. If you can get through a day like today without lighting up, it’ll be a piece of piss from then on,” I insist as I grab her purse, take out the cigarettes and rip them into little pieces as she tries to wrestle them from me. “I’m doing you a favor. You’ll thank me for it later.”

“Fuck you, Christian! You have no right to mess with my things,” she yells as she stomps off. We walk in silence for a while after that, which suits me just fine. But it doesn’t last, of course. Ros seems to think hiking together in the middle of nowhere is the perfect opportunity to start grilling me about my personal life.

“So you and this new girlfriend of yours - Anastasia isn’t it?” Ros asks.

“What about her? How do you know about Anastasia? Who’s been gossiping – Andrea?” I ask tetchily.

“Christian, your picture with her was in all the papers, for crying out loud. And of course everyone at Grey House has been gossiping about this juicy piece of news – everyone except Andrea actually, because she knows you’d fire her ass if she so much as breathed a word out of place.”

“Hmm, I should think so. Why do people have to be so fucking nosy all the time? So I’ve got a girlfriend – what’s the big deal?”

“Oh come on! Of course everyone is going to gossip. The great swoon-worthy, ridiculously good looking, sex on legs, multi-millionaire Christian Grey, that everyone thought was gay, suddenly turns out to be straight? How do we know this? Because it transpires that he’s fallen madly in love with some young student girl who came to interview him and has captivated his heart. You really couldn’t make this up, Christian; it’s like some third rate, badly written paperback.”

“Mind your own fucking business, Ros.”

“So it’s serious then? You’re not denying it?” Ros laughs at me even as I attempt to silence her with the famous Grey glower.

“Not working. None of your usual intimidating tricks work on me, remember? That’s why you employ me. I'm not scared to tell you to go fuck yourself, unlike all your other employees. You even have Taylor, ex forces Green Beret and all that shit, asking how high whenever you say jump. So come on. Spill to your Aunty Ros. You and Anastasia, is it serious?”

“Yes, it’s serious. At least I hope it is. I guess you could say we're a work in progress.”  Hopefully Ros will be getting to meet Ana soon enough if things go according to plan and I get her to marry me, so I finally succumb to her questioning and open up with just enough information to hopefully silence her. 

“Gwen will be over the moon. She’s such a terrible soppy romantic. She’s always been worried that you were lonely, and she really wants to see you in some kind of a relationship, happy with another person of whatever sexual persuasion rocks your boat, which in the end turns out to be a girl.”

“I’ve never been gay. I wouldn’t have a problem admitting it if I was, but I'm not, and never have been. Ana hasn’t ‘turned’ me, if that’s what everyone is thinking. Not that I give a fuck what people think.”

“I've always known you weren’t gay.  I’ve never once seen your eyes light up when you've looked at another guy. And granted, you usually hide it pretty well, but you still glance at a woman’s tits before you look at her face, and I can tell that you really appreciate a woman with a great ass, don't you?”

I’m pretty shocked that Ros has assessed me so accurately, but I'm not going to give her the satisfaction of admitting she’s right.

“Fancy yourself as some sort of an expert in reading body language? That’ll be useful in finding a new career when I fire you,” I sneer.

“The only thing I’ve never figured out is what the hell you do about getting laid. I mean, a man in his twenties is in his prime, so you’ve got to have been banging someone, somewhere. So I figure you’ve probably had a high class hooker discretely tucked away somewhere. And I bet Taylor knows all about her, but he never lets anything slip. He really is very good you know. The archetypal strong, silent, discrete henchman.”

“I’m well aware of Taylor’s attributes.”

“So am I right? Go on, you can tell me, now that you’re out of the relationship closet, so to speak.”

“No comment.”

“There’s nobody to overhear us out here, Christian, so you can tell me. Am I right? Maybe not a hooker, but some sort of a private arrangement with a very discrete lady to cater for your particular needs? But is she going to go quietly? Or is she going to make trouble for you, now that you’ve gotten yourself a serious girlfriend?"

“That’s enough, Ros!” I snap. Thinking about Leila, Ros is getting uncomfortably close to the truth. “My private life is not up for discussion. Subject closed and off limits.”

“Hmm. Struck a nerve, have I? Very well, have it your own way. I just thought you might appreciate an opportunity to open up to an old friend and talk things over with someone non-judgmental. I mean, I’ve hardly got a conventional private life, have I?”

“You and Gwen have one of the most conventional and stable relationships I know of,” I scoff.  “It’s totally irrelevant that you’re gay.”

“That’s not how most folk see things, let me tell you, Christian. My mom has never forgiven me for not being the daughter she dreamed of. And my dad copes by burying his head in the sand and pretending that Gwen and I are just regular girlfriends. It’s not a great feeling to know that you’re a disappointment to your folks.”

Oh, I know all about that, believe me. I wrote the original fucking textbook on how to be a major disappointment to your parents.

“I’m sure they’re proud of you, in their own way,” I try to reassure her.

“That’s sweet of you to say, but it’s okay, I’ve gotten used to the reality of things. I just get upset for Gwen sometimes, when my mom ignores her.”

Thinking of how my family have warmly and enthusiastically welcomed Ana into the fold, I can only imagine how hurt and angry I would have been if they had tried to exclude her in any way. 

But my mom is far too wise a woman to run the risk of alienating either of her sons, so she has welcomed both Ana and Kate with open arms, because she can see that they make us happy. 

Thinking of this makes me realize that I'm actually looking forward to seeing my family at my birthday gathering tomorrow.

~~~

Four hours later, we reach the highway. I could have made it in half the time, but Ros has struggled to keep up, especially with her unsuitable foot attire. 

I shall have to insist she has a thorough medical examination and a review of her exercise schedule when we get back. As my second in command, she is a vital member of my team, and I need her fit and well, so she must look after herself. At least I know that Gwen will back me up on this, as we've discussed our concerns about Ros previously.

Hitching a ride is not as easy as they make it out to be in films.  Dozens of trucks and cars ignore us, until finally an ancient looking truck with a faded sign saying ‘McAllister Trucking’ on the side pulls over.

“You folks need a ride somewhere?” the driver calls out of his window to us.

“Sure would appreciate a ride as far as Seattle,” Ros beams up at him, as she glances over at me. I nod my agreement, as I don't think we have much choice, seeing as both our phones are now well and truly dead, and no one else has stopped for us.

“Climb on board then, that’s the direction I'm headed, so I can take you most of the way anyhows,” the guy replies.

“Just let me do all the talking and handle him,” I whisper to Ros.  She gives me a funny look as she raises her eyebrows, but I guess she’s too tired to argue after our long hike to get here.

I get in the cab of the truck first, so I'll be between this guy and Ros, just in case he turns out to be some kind of a weirdo – I mean, I don't really blame anyone for not stopping to pick us up - what kind of idiot stops to pick up total strangers from the side of the road, right? 

He’s middle aged, probably around fifty years old, scruffy, overweight, unshaven and dressed in jeans, plaid shirt and baseball cap. But as I look round his well-worn but comfortable cab, I don't pick up any bad vibes about this guy, especially as I see pictures of a woman I assume is his wife, and notice he's wearing a wedding ring.

“Don’t suppose you’ve got a cigarette to spare?” Ros inquires as she ignores my disapproving glare.

“Sorry, ma’am, I don't smoke,” he says, and I smile triumphantly back at Ros.

“Shame,” she mutters, as she sighs resignedly.

“Dan McAllister, of McAllister Trucking,” the guy introduces himself, as he waves proudly at a faded logo at the top of his windshield, while we both scoot along the large bench seat.

“I’m Christian, and this is my work colleague, Ros,” I reply, not wanting to give too much away about our identity, as I rummage around to find the seat belts, much to Dan’s amusement as he drives off. The anti-kidnapping training that Taylor insisted I completed is kicking in – no point in letting the guy know I'm worth a small fortune.

“Pleased to make your acquaintance, I'm sure. So, how come you’re reduced to hitching? I mean, no disrespect, but you don't look like the usual kind of folk I pick up out here,” he says, glancing at my obviously expensive, if somewhat dusty suit, and Ros’s high heeled Manolos, which she has immediately discarded with a loud groan of relief, and is now busily checking out her blisters.

“Oh, just an unfortunate set of circumstances. We broke down in the middle of nowhere, and had to walk some considerable distance. And both our cells died – speaking of which, could we borrow your cell just to make a couple of calls? We’ll pay of course, as well as cover your gas costs if you’ll take us all the way back to Seattle.”

Dan McAllister guffaws loudly, and as I’m squeezed right up next to him, I get to see close up that he is really badly dentally challenged, with only a few sparse teeth left.

“I don't have one of them fancy cell phones. Times have been real hard these last few years, what with fuel costs rising, and the recession, and bills appearing left right and center, so I can’t really afford one, and anyway I figure there’s no point in wasting my precious hard earned dollars on something that doesn't even work half the time out here. And when I'm out on the road, I don't want nobody ringing me to talk about all kinds of shit that I just want to escape from, if you catch my drift?”

I think about how my cell rarely stops, how I can never escape from it for very long, even when I'm with Ana, and I guess I can see his point.

 “Fair enough, but how about taking us all the way to Seattle? I really do need to get back very urgently, and like I said, we’re willing to pay,” I repeat, anxious to get back as soon as possible.

It’s already evening, and I'm really worried about what’s going to happen when Ana heads back to the apartment with Rodriguez, when she'll be totally on her own with him. 

I have to get back. 

It sounded pretty serious about Taylor’s daughter, so I can't expect him to have returned.

“Oh, keep your money, son. What’s the world coming to if folk can’t do a good turn without expecting some sort of payment in return? So don't you worry, I can drop you right in town, it’s not really much out of my way I guess,” he insists with a big grin as he slaps his hand on my knee, much to Ros’ amusement as she smirks at me. I subtly nod towards the pictures of the woman dotted about the cab. Not gay, see?

“That really is very good of you, Mr. McAllister. Perhaps we could just stop on the way, so I could get to a phone to call my partner?” she suggests. And buy some more cigarettes, no doubt.

I glare at her. I don't want to waste time on making any stops. I’d rather we just pressed on and made good time, especially as I know there are road works and speed restrictions on the I5 that mean we aren’t going to get back any time soon. 

That was the main reason I decided to take Charlie Tango today rather than drive. Ironically, I didn’t want to risk being stuck in traffic and be delayed getting back for when Ana met up with Rodriguez.

“Just call me Dan, otherwise you sound like the bank manager talking to me, and I hate talking to the bank manager. Nowhere to stop for quite a while, I’m afraid. Will he be worried about you? Your partner, I mean.”

Now I’m the one smirking at Ros. Are you going to enlighten him? I silently ask by raising my eyebrows at her.

“Gwen, that’s my partner, will probably just think I’ve been delayed and that I’ve let my phone die, to be honest. She knows I forgot to charge it last night, because she heard me cussing about it this morning. So I guess as long as we’re going to be back tonight, it’s no big deal if we don't stop.”

“That’s settled then. So, when did you folks last eat, if you’ve been walking for miles?” Dan inquires, making no comment about the fact that he’s just learnt that Ros is gay.

My stomach grumbles loudly at this point, as if answering for me, and he laughs again.

“See that bag down there in the corner? Fetch it up here, if you would, Ros. Help yourselves, there’s plenty to go round. My wife always sends me off with far more than I need. That’s how come I've ended up looking like Homer Simpson.”

I can’t help smiling, as he does actually resemble the character, but even so I protest.

“No, Mr. McAllister, we can’t take your food from you. We’ll be fine,” I lie. 
Our light lunch at WSU was hours ago, and we’ve both worked up a considerable thirst and appetite after our hike.

“I told you, call me Dan, or I’ll start getting offended, especially if you decline my hospitality. There should be some bottles of water, a flask of coffee, some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, some fruit, and probably a couple of chocolate bars. Nothing fancy, and no beer I’m afraid. I never carry alcohol in my cab, then there’s nothing the cops can pick me up on,” he explains.

“Okay, thank you, that is very generous of you, but at least let us compensate you for the food,” I try to insist.

“Christian, will you stop going on about money! This is what’s wrong with society today. Everybody worrying about making money, trying to suck the life out of poor souls like me. That’s how come I’ve ended up in such a sorry financial mess with my business,” Dan mutters.

“What do you mean?” I ask, as I take a bite of one of the generously filled peanut butter sandwiches, then wash it down with a swig of water. 

I swear it tastes as good as any of the expensive meals I’ve had, and by the look on Ros’ face I can tell she is thinking just the same as she bites into her jelly sandwich.

“Oh, you don’t want to hear about all my woes,” Dan smiles sadly. “I wouldn’t want to bore you.”

“It wouldn’t bore me. It’s what I do. I find that kind of thing fascinating, actually. And it’ll help pass the time,” I suggest, as I look at the long line of traffic ahead of us, slowed right down by the road works. Maybe it’ll help take my mind off what might be happening with Ana back in Seattle, seeing as there is nothing I can do about it right now.

“Go on, Dan. I’ve found that Christian is quite good with figures,” Ros says sardonically, knowing that Dan hasn’t got a clue that I’m one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country.

“Oh, does he work for you then?” Dan says innocently, as I choke on my sandwich.

“Something like that,” Ros grins, as she pats me on the back, and passes me the water bottle. “Go down the wrong way did it? Have a sip of water to help. Now tell us about the problems with your business, Dan.”

 “Okay, you asked for it. See, I’m a one man band – just me and my truck. And I know pretty much everything there is to know about transportation and trucking. Driving is all I’ve ever done. I know all the routes like the back of my hand. I know how far it is from A to B without looking at the map, and how long it'll take at different times of the day. I can pretty much tell you every bump in the road along this here interstate. 
And I love this truck, she’s like my best friend, outside of my dear wife Betty, of course. But just like me, this truck is getting old. She’s seen better days, and she’s a real greedy gas guzzler, even though she hasn’t the capacity of the newer trucks. So a while back I figured I’d go talk to the bank about getting me some finance for a new truck.”

“I can see that would be a sound investment for your business,” I agree.

“Well, the trouble is, I’m not much good with paperwork. All that bookkeeping, all those figures, and bills, and receipts – I get so muddled up and confused that I can’t make any sense of it. And I can't afford to pay some fancy accountant to do it for me. So when the bank said I had to produce five years’ worth of audited accounts, and a three year business plan before they could consider my application, I knew I didn’t have a hope in hell of getting a loan from them to get me a new truck. Now that sure is frustrating, because to bid on the more profitable contracts and be able to make more money, I really need a truck with a bigger capacity than this one.”

“Banks have to follow set procedures to ensure they are not taking an unreasonable risk in lending you the money. They can’t just take your word for it,” I explain.

“Well they used to in the good old days, when the bank manager wasn’t some young kid who’s only just learned to wipe his own backside,” Dan grumbles.

Ros laughs her throaty smoker's laugh.

“I know exactly the type you mean,” she agrees. “Did you explore other options? Look for a partner to invest in your company, for example?”

“I don't like the idea of a partner. I’m a bit of a strange old codger; I like to do things in my own way, so a partner might find me hard to work with, even if I did manage to find anyone foolish enough to sink some funds into the business. But I did look into borrowing money from some of those loan companies that advertise on the TV.”

I look at Ros. She looks as horrified as me.

“Please say you didn’t take out a loan with one of those sharks,” I state grimly. They make it look so easy, yet all they do is rip people off with horrendous interest rates that they don’t explain properly, with all the details hidden in the small print.

“No, I didn’t this time. Once bitten twice shy, as they say. I made that mistake a few years back, and I’m still paying off the high interest loan I took out to top up my mortgage to pay for some repairs on my house. Well, I'm still paying off the interest, haven’t even begun to pay off the actual loan yet, and now the house needs more work doing to it, but I can't afford to get it done. Even I realize that loan was a bad deal, but I’m tied into it so I’ve got no choice. And that was before Betty needed to go to the doctors so much. Now we’ve got her medical bills to try and cover on top of everything else, so I guess it’s just as well I don't have some fancy new truck to pay for,” he sighs heavily. “Truth is, I was only just keeping my head above water before we had all these extra bills, so we don’t have much medical insurance cover. Hell, I can't even afford a set of decent teeth. That’s why Betty makes me sandwiches with soft fillings – she even gets me smooth peanut butter these days instead of crunchy.”

“What’s the matter with your wife?” Ros asks.

“Osteoarthritis. She really needs a hip replacement, but that’s not covered under our health insurance. So she has drugs and physio to help her cope, but although she tries to hide it, I know she’s still in a lot of pain most of the time.”

 “That must be very hard for you to deal with,” I say. 

I can't imagine how I’d cope if Ana was in constant pain and I couldn’t do anything about it to make her feel better. I look at Ros, and I'm sure she’s thinking the same thing about Gwen.

“Yeah, it’s pretty shit for me, but nowhere near as shit as it is for Betty, she’s the one who has to endure constant pain. But you know that woman never complains? She always says there’s plenty of folk much worse off than she is.”

“She sounds like quite a woman. Do you have any family?” Ros asks.

“We had a son, but he got killed over in Afghanistan. Not sure that Betty's ever got over losing our boy,” Dan says quietly.

“Sorry for your loss,” is all I can say.

“Well, at least we were blessed to have had him in our lives for twenty two years. It would have been Philip’s birthday tomorrow. He would have been twenty eight.”

“Jeez, Christian, exactly the same as you,” Ros murmurs.

I’m pretty shocked myself, but I shake my head at Ros not to say anything to Dan about my birthday.  He's now steadfastly concentrating on the road ahead. Talking to us has no doubt stirred up some very private memories of his son.

It seems that none of us really feels like talking any more, as we all sit lost in our own thoughts, and then both Ros and I doze off for a while  as we  head towards Seattle.

I’m thinking that everyone says that money can't buy you health and happiness, which I guess is true, but it can make life much easier and more comfortable if you get sick. 

I’m also thinking that I can't wait to see my Ana and once I’ve made sure she’s safe, all I want to do  is hold her in my arms and thank my lucky stars that she is fit and well. 

And then I'm thinking I'm going to get her to fucking well agree to marry me, whatever it fucking well takes to do it. I want her to be my wife, so I can always take care of her in the way she deserves.

I’ve also decided that once we get back, Ros and I are going to be looking into the affairs of McAllister Trucking, to see just what we can do about turning things around for our good Samaritan.

~~~


As we drop Ros off at her apartment, which is just across the road from Escala, she snaps back into efficient business woman mode, saying she’ll contact Andrea to let her know what’s been happening, and suggesting we also bring Sam up to speed just in case we need some PR backup regarding the helicopter incident.

“Okay, I’ll leave that with you,” I agree.

“And Christian? Thanks for getting us down safely today. That was one hell of a flying stunt you pulled off,” she says emotionally, then reaches up to kiss my cheek, as she stands there with her ruined shoes in her hand. There has never been any kind of PDA between us before, so it feels rather awkward, but I appreciate her sentiments.

“Well, you know me. The ultimate thrill seeker. I thought it might liven up a rather boring day for us to have a little adventure.”

Ros just smacks my arm playfully, then disappears inside.

Dan insists on taking me right to the entrance of Escala, but still adamantly refuses any kind of payment for his trouble.

“It’s been real nice to have some company on the ride. That’s why I pick up hitch hikers, so I get to meet all kinds of different folk. You never did tell me exactly what it is you do, Christian, you just listened to me jawing for most of the journey. So what exactly does that nice lady Ros employ you to do? And is she really a … you know…?”

“You mean a lesbian? Yes, she is. And what do I do? Just mess around with figures and business plans mostly.”

“Oh yes, she said you were quite good, didn’t she?”

“I suppose you could say I’m not bad at my job,” I say, as I hand him my business card. “I’ll see about looking into some figures for you, if you like, see if I can come up with a decent business plan for you.”

“Oh, don't you go bothering yourself about me, I'm sure you’ve got far better things to occupy yourself with. Didn’t you have something - or someone you needed to get back urgently for?” he winks at me, as he tosses my card into his cab without even looking at it.

He’s right. Anastasia. Just a few hours ago I thought I wasn’t going to see her again. I thought I was going to die. Now I’ve made it back here safely, I need to find out just exactly what’s been going on with her and Rodriguez. I hope she’s not going to be mad at me for getting back late, and not contacting her, but hopefully once I explain the circumstances, she’ll understand.

The reporters hanging around the entrance to Escala are the first inkling I have that there might be some sort of a reaction to the events of today.
“Mr. Grey! Christian! What happened to your helicopter? Where have you been? How did you get back?”



They all shout at me at once, as their cameras flash in my face. I ignore them and push my way through, as the concierge tries his best to stop them following me in.

It gets worse. As I walk into the living area of my apartment, I’m astounded to see that all my family is there for some reason, even Elliot and Kate. My mom shrieks and comes running towards me as I stand there bemused, holding my filthy shoes, socks and jacket in my hand. I just about manage to drop them in time to catch Mom as she launches herself at me to hug and kiss me.

“Mom?”

“I thought I’d never see you again,” she cries emotionally, as she throws her arms around my neck.

It never occurred to me that everyone would be informed about my helicopter going down. It was scary as hell at the time, but after that it was just an inconvenience, just the same as if my car had broken down.

I don't ever remember Mom hugging me like this, because she’s always held herself at a distance, out of respect for my phobia of being touched and held. But by her reaction, it’s obvious she’s been really worried and scared, so now she’s breaking her self-imposed rule to allow herself the luxury of holding me close. 

I think she’s probably bracing herself for me to push her away, but for once I'm able to indulge her.  

“Mom, I’m here,” I reassure her. I’ve never seen her so upset, and I find it pretty unsettling. My mom is always so calm and strong, whatever happens.

“I died a thousand deaths today,” she whispers, and then to my horror she starts sobbing uncontrollably.

I’m not sure what to do, but instinctively I wrap her up in my arms and gently rock her to try and comfort her, because she seems so vulnerable and fragile right now. She thought I was dead? She’s been worrying herself sick about me? 

I wish she hadn’t been told about any of this, because then she wouldn’t have been put through such an unnecessary ordeal. It feels weird – but in a nice way – to comfort Mom like this, as she carries on crying and weeping while I hold her tight. 

Maybe it’s possible for me to do this now, since Ana has started to help me overcome my fear of being touched. Close physical contact has always brought bad memories of intense pain flooding into my head, but now I have other far more pleasurable associations to call on that are starting to cancel out the shit.

Then I hear my dad hollering ‘He’s alive!’ as first he, and then Mia come over to start hugging me as well. Mia wallops me on my chest and tells me off for scaring her, and then everyone is crying and laughing and hugging.

Finally Dad pulls away, and I think even he’s wiping a tear away as he claps me on the back. Then Mom pulls away too.

“Sorry,” she mumbles, as she pulls herself together and then starts quizzing me about where I've been and what happened. 

I’m scanning the room now, looking for Ana as I try and explain that it just took a while to make my way back from Portland.

Then I see her. My beautiful Anastasia. She’s here and she’s fine. Tears are streaming down her face, so I guess she’s been really worried about me too. 

Not out enjoying herself or worse, fighting off Rodriguez, as I've been imagining. I see he’s sitting with her and holding her hand, which he lets drop when he sees me looking. 

In that split second it suddenly occurs to me that while I've been worrying myself sick about Ana being alone with him, it turns out my entire family has been chaperoning them. That’s really quite funny, in an ironic kind of way.

I’m still being berated by my family for not stopping on my journey back to let them know I was okay, but how was I to know they’d all be so worried? 

Even Elliot gives me a fucking hug and gets all emotional. He must be turning into a big girl or something.

Enough, now. I need to be with Ana.

“I'm going to say hi to my girl,” I tell my parents, and they finally let me go, as I head over to her, but before I get very far, Ana is on her feet and throwing herself into my arms.

“Christian,” she sobs.

“Hush” I say, as I hold her tight and kiss her. 

God, she feels and smells so damn good. Thinking of her is what forced me to find a way to get that helicopter back down safely, when by all rights it shouldn’t have been possible. She saved me yet again.

“Hi,” I murmur as I bury my nose in her soft silky hair.

“Hi,” she whispers back softly.

Everyone else disappears. Nothing else matters in this brief moment in time. It’s just us here, reconnecting with each other. 

I feel a calmness descending over me, now that I know Ana is safe and well, and I’m back here with her. All day it’s been as if part of me was missing, because I couldn’t make contact with my girl. 

I always need that lifeline. I need to be able to reach out to her, make contact in some way with her, wherever she is, whatever she is doing. She makes me whole again. Without her, I am nothing.

“Miss me?” I whisper.

“A bit,” she sniffs, as the tears continue to stream down her cheeks.

“I can tell,” I grin, as I try to wipe away her tears.

“I thought… I thought…” Ana bursts into tears again.

“I can see. Hush… I’m here. I’m sorry. Later,” I whisper, as I gently kiss her soft lips. 

I had no idea she would be worrying herself like this, and now I feel really bad that we didn’t stop off and make a couple of phone calls. It just never occurred to me that everyone would be so worried.

“Are you okay?” she asks anxiously, as she runs her hands over me to check.

“I'm okay. I’m not going anywhere,” I reassure her again, as she puts her arms around my waist to hug me, and I put my arm around her tightly too, because I crave having her body in close contact with mine.

“Are you hungry? Do you need something to drink?” she wants to know.

“Yes.”

She tries to leave to get me something, but hungry and thirsty as I am, I don't let go of her. I never want to let her go, and I tuck her even closer under my arm.

I see Rodriguez watching us. I feel calmer about him because I know nothing untoward has gone on, so I manage to be civilized. 

We shake hands; I tell him to call me Christian; he thanks me for letting him stay.

I can't really blame him for the way he feels about Ana. It’s obvious the poor sucker’s been in love with her for a long time, by the way he’s captured her so brilliantly in the photos he took of her, which is the reason he’s here, after all – to deliver the pictures I bought. 

And now he has to watch our touching reunion – talk about rubbing his nose in it. I think he’ll be in little doubt of how Ana feels about me after this evening, and he’ll hopefully have realized that he doesn’t stand a chance with her. Game, set, and match to me, photographer boy.

Then I notice Gail hovering anxiously, casually dressed as officially she should be off duty now, dabbing her eyes as she asks if she can get me something. So she’s been crying too. What is it with all these tears? For me? No way.

I ask for something to eat, and a Budvar - I was dreaming about having a nice cool beer during the long hike back.

“I’ll fetch it,” Ana offers, but I tighten my grip on her, and refuse to let her go. Gail’s on the case, so there’s no need for her to go. She brings me the beer, and I drink it straight from the bottle. It tastes fucking wonderful, like nectar to the gods.

So now my family starts with the inquisition.

“So what the fuck happened to you? First I knew was when Dad called me to say the chopper was missing,” Elliot wants to know.

“Helicopter,” I correct him, as he grins at me.

“Elliot!” Mom exclaims. 

She knows we regularly argue about him using this term, but Elliot loves to wind me up, so he can't resist. No pilot ever uses the term chopper, only non-flying lay people. And of course, in his usual juvenile manner, Elliot also thinks it’s funny to call his dick his chopper. I don’t find any humor in this at all, but that’s my brother for you.

As I sit down to explain what happened, I notice Taylor hanging around in the doorway. So he’s back. That relaxes me, knowing he’s around. I nod at him.

“Your daughter?”

“She’s fine now. False alarm, sir.”

“Good.”

“Glad you’re back, sir. Will that be all?”

“We have a helicopter to collect.”

“Now? Or will the morning do?”

“Morning, I think, Taylor.”

“Very good, Mr. Grey. Anything else, sir?”

I shake my head, and raise my bottle to him, and he actually smiles back at me before he heads off. A smile from Taylor? Shit, that’s a rarity. Maybe he has gas, that’s more likely.

So I sit on the couch with Ana safely curled up under my arm, and recount my story. She holds my hand tightly and keeps looking at me, as if she can't believe I'm actually here. In truth, I can't quite believe it myself.

Dad picks up straight away that it’s highly irregular for both engines to have caught fire. That’s the lawyer in him I guess – picking out the important facts and details. I can see that he’s already figuring out that something doesn't add up, but I'm too tired to think about all that shit right now.

I feel Ana starting to relax as she rests her head against my chest, and she doesn't seem to mind the fact that I’m dirty and sweaty, and in desperate need of a shower. Then for some reason, she starts crying all over again as she hugs me.

“Hey. Stop with the crying,” I whisper, as I tilt her head back to look into her beautiful blue eyes that are brimming with tears.

“Stop with the disappearing,” she sniffs back at me, which makes me smile.

Much as it’s great that my family are all here, I'm relieved when they decide it’s time to leave, now that they know everything is fine, and that I'm back safe and sound. I really don't understand why they all got themselves so worked up, but when Elliot tells me that I made the news on TV, I guess I have to blame the media for blowing the whole incident out of proportion. 

Must have made a good story for them on a quiet day, seeing as they managed to make headline news out of me being a bit late back from a meeting.

Somehow Ana's ended up on my lap, so I reluctantly have to move her onto the couch as I stand up to say my goodbyes. 

Mom hugs me again, and I'm able to hug her back.

“I was so worried, darling,” she whispers.

“I’m okay, Mom.”

She studies me, and then looks over at Ana and slowly smiles.

“Yes. I think you are,” she says contentedly. Yeah, Mom. She’s fixing me. She’s pretty amazing, isn’t she?

Finally, everyone’s gone, just leaving me, Ana and José.

Hell, I must be going soft or something, but I actually feel sorry for José fucking Rodriguez. It must be obvious to him tonight that Ana is unquestionably my girl. To the victor go the spoils. I can be magnanimous.

“I’m going to eat whatever Mrs. Jones has put out for me. Goodnight José.” 

Then I leave them alone, which I think is very tolerant of me, and I even resist the temptation to listen in on their conversation. Perhaps I'm just too fucking tired to worry needlessly any more. 

As my cell is dead, I take the opportunity to make a quick phone call to Welch from the landline in the kitchen.  I brush aside his concerns about the crash for now – that will take some serious investigation, and I will be focusing my full attention on it tomorrow. But for now, I just want to set in motion another matter.

“I want you to run a full background check on a guy called Dan McAllister, he owns a small company called McAllister Trucking. I want to know everything there is to know about him; his financial details, debts, loans, all that kind of thing. And I want full details on his wife as well, I think he said her name was Betty. I particularly want to find out what medical treatment she’s currently undergoing.”

 “Of course, Mr. Grey. I’ll have it ready for you tomorrow,” he promises. 

“And er… I’m glad you got back safely. I’ll have some initial reports concerning the helicopter maintenance records ready for you tomorrow as well.”

~~~

It’s after midnight, and technically it’s now my birthday, so Ana says I can finally open my birthday present from her. This stupid rattling box that I've been carrying around everywhere. Thank fuck.

I quickly unwrap and open it. It’s a keychain. I'm flummoxed.  Why would she give me a flashing Seattle keychain? This is what I’ve been carrying around with me all this time? I look over at her, puzzled because I don't get what this is about.

“Turn it over,” she whispers, with a shy smile on her face, as her eyes sparkle with some kind of secret mischief.

There’s another word flashing on the other side.

It flashes 'Yes', on and off.



This is her answer!  She’s saying yes to my proposal! That’s what this means, isn’t it? I shoot a look at her face to confirm I've got this right, and by the happy grin on her face, I know I’m correct.

“Happy birthday,” she whispers.

“You’ll marry me?”

She nods shyly.

“Say it.”

“Yes, I’ll marry you.”

I grab her and swing her in my arms, elated and happy and relieved all at once. I love her so much. Ana is going to marry me! She is going to be my wife! We’re going to spend the rest of our lives together!

A life that I thought I was about to lose as we fell out of the sky. 

I looked into the jaws of death, but I managed to claw my way back out. Someone was definitely on my side today, looking out for me.



I experienced indescribable fear for a few short minutes. 

Now I am experiencing indescribable joy at being given a future to share with Anastasia.


I don’t own any of the Fifty Shades Trilogy or the characters therein. They belong to E L James. I’m just borrowing them for fun and not for profit. Please refer to the Legal’s page for further details. This work is not to be copied or reproduced in any way without permission. 


141 comments:

  1. Welcome back and hope you had a wonderful Christmas. As always. you have done a beautiful job with this. I especially LOVE the part when Roz was giving him a hard time about his relationship with Ana. I had not ever thought of that angle. Very interesting from Roz's perspective. Have you decided if you are going to include his visit with Flynn that he had the night prior to this crash or the hot scene in the elevator (or lift as you guys refer to them)?

    Gosh, its so great to have your new installment. I guess with the hectic holiday season, I forgot how much I looked forward to your blog. God bless and hoping you had a wonderful holiday. Thanks again for a new chapter.

    Bethann

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    1. Hi Bethann - going forward I'm concentrating on writing chapters that fill in the gaps, rather than ones that ELJ has written in great detail already. Hope that helps to explain any omissions.

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    2. Thanks for explaining. I guess we all have our own parts of the book that we remember more than others. Each of his visits with Flynn I find extremely telling since Flynn seems to keep his cool in the mist of Christian's crap. But you still amaze me with your incredible writing skills and vivid imagination. I am sure to stay awake until midnight each Friday so that I can be awake when you post your new chapters. Always a great way to begin my weekend.

      Bethann

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    3. I really enjoyed your story & it's point of view. I'm surprised that ELJ did not research Helicopter autorotation as it is required pilot's training. Many videos on youtube. Autorotation not withstanding, the helo is still coming down. The rotor pitch must be quickly changed and rudder pedals employed hard to prevent a reverse spin as there's no longer motor torque. It's one thing over a practice field... quite another over rough or wooded terain. Things seriously go to crap in a hurry of a blade hits anything. I hope Christain continues to train with his Flight Instructor. (After flying military & commercial jets my BIL is ejoying retirement... and has now returned to the air as a flight instructor)
      Anyrate, congrats on well done writing.

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  2. Beautiful, just beautiful. Your writing is so descriptive and detailed that I actually pictured this entire chapter. Amazing, as always! Thank you for sharing your gift... and making my Fridays that much better!!

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  3. Amazing, Amazing....
    Can't wait for the next one.......

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  4. Love it. Best chapter yet. Any more info to come about McAllister?

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  5. All I have to say is Wonderful just Wonderful!!!!

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  6. wow, that was incredible!!!! Keep up the amazing writing!!!

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  7. oh loved it thanks

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  8. Love love love this chapter, Bravo. The details with truck driver Mcallister were an added bonus, very interesting. It'll be nice to see Christian take care of him. Anxiously looking forward to birthday party when Elena gets slapped by Grace. Happy New Year to you

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  9. Also will we also get Grace's POV for the birthday party?

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    1. Yes, I will be updating Grace's blog once I have written chapter 51 on Christian's blog :)

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  10. Me encanta, no puedo esperar a leer el proximo capitulo, espero sea pronto!! ;)

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    Replies
    1. Lulu, hay una versión en español, lo has visto?

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    2. For me it's difficult to read in english, but your work is wonderful!
      With Lulu I can say "Me encanta"!
      Thanks and happy New Year!
      Paola

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    3. Te invitamos a leernos en español, aunque no vamos tan adelantadas, es la misma historia :D

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  11. Well Happy New Year to you from all of your fans, so glad to have you back!!!
    As always, EXCELLENT chapter , wonderful writing , witty banter and spot on POVs
    Can't wait for the birthday party with Mrs. Robinson :D

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  12. that was my favourite chapter so far, just brilliant. Loved the ref to the third rate paperback and Christian's 'tolerance' of poor defeated Jose. He didn't mention pulling her onto his knee and Grace's askance expression - I loved that bit. Thank you so much for sharing and happy new year.
    Mrs P

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    1. Grace will be giving her views on seeing Ana on Christian's lap :)

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  13. loved it, thanks... would definately be back for more... keep up the good work.

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  14. Absolutely fantastic!!!! Can't wait for the next chapter, hope you had a great Xmas and new year!!!

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  15. what a chapter!!! love it great to read the chat between him and ros superb!!!.....and now the forth coming chapter everyone will be on tender hooks for next wk.......Great writing as usual...x

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  16. Absolutely brilliant, as usual. Hope you had a good Christmas break.
    Very much enjoyed this chapter!!!
    Excellent.
    Xx

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  17. Awesome!!!! Loved the banter btwn Christian and Ros - had me smiling the whole time! Glad you're back - can't wait for more!

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  18. Love it!! I've been totally looking forward t this chapter to see how'd you spin it for christian's POV for the charlie tango incident. Great job!

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  19. So glad to have you back! I hope that you had a wonderful Holiday and New Year. Things here were pretty low key as I was pretty sore due to the cold weather. But at least I got to have a partially white Christmas since my dad lives at a higher elevation. :)

    This chapter was so fabulous! I loved it so much. I thought that having Ros question him about Ana and then pretty much hit the nail on the head about Christian's sexual gratification before Ana was genius. Though I must say that when Mr. McAllister was questioning what it was that Christian did working for Ros I just about fell over from laughing so hard. Especially when Ros then started teasing him about it. Epic stuff here.

    Thanks so much for another amazing update. I'm glad that I slept all day today and am having trouble falling asleep. It made it possible for me to read this that much earlier! ;)

    XOXO,
    Ang

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    1. Hi Ang. Hope things are improving for you, and maybe the Spring and Summer will see you feeling better.

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  20. Wow great chapter thank u , hope u had great holiday and time off .

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  21. Thank u for the chapter, I loved it.

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  22. This chapter was brilliant and riveting as usual you really captured the whole MIA emotions Thankyou and I hope you had a great Xmas and i hope you keep on your writing in this new year you have a amazing talent and i for one Thnakyou for making my Fridays better

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  23. Brilliant as ever.....you simply amaze me every week....woke at 2am to read! Now bk to bed.......aaahhhhh.....

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  24. All the above comments reflect exactly how I am feeling, so no need to reiterate. You are a "f_____g" amazing writer!

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    1. Thanks Nancy. You could wait until the morning to read it ....practice delayed gratification? I'd hate you to feel knackered all the time on my account!

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    2. Ah excellent, I will look forward to that too.

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  25. Happy New Year... I hope you had a great time with your family over the holidays...
    This chapter is amazing just as the book itself you are a great writer, and I can't wait until the
    Next chapter!!!

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  26. This is one chapter I couldn't wait to read, as I love it when you can write your own part to the story line. It was such an amazing and beautiful chapter, I was crying at the end when Ana said 'yes'. I'm looking forward to see what Christian does for the trucker, he was such a lovely character to add, so sweet and helpful.
    Hope you had a lovely Christmas and New year. I am already counting down the weeks to 2013 as I'm constantly waiting for Friday to come again ;) xx

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    1. Oh forgot to ask, will Grace's blog have an update now. Would love to read how she felt when Christian was missing and when she got to hug him xx

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    2. Yes, Grace's blog will have a new chapter after I've written chapter 51 from Christian's pov.

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  27. What a beautiful chapter! Nice to finally get to know Ros better. What a perfect 'friendly foe' for Christian. And can't help but love 'Dan the Man' McAllister. What a colorful character! I'm sure Christian rewarded him well! I loved the reunion between Grace and Christian where he doesn't mind her tearful hugging. What can I say. Easily one of my favorite chapters!

    Hope your Christmas was great and Happy New Year!!!

    Nan :D

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  28. Amazing chapter! So worth the wait!!

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  29. thank you, thank you, thank you!! what a wonderful way to start my day :)
    diane

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  30. Thank u for the chapter.Excellent.It's amazing. I really like your writing!
    ERIKA SHOVAL

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  31. It's worth planning going to bed early and getting out of bed at 4am to read your new chapter. It was wonderful! You are best when you can write your own thoughts. Hope you update Grace's sooooon.
    Thank you.
    Kim

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  32. This was so good that I am now over an hour late for work! :-) thank you! Well worth the wait

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  33. Amazing chapter as always. Somehow, I think that your story has given us what we were all missing from the novel. You have done an incredible job. Thank you and Happy New Year.

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  34. What a great chapter!! I cracked up when I read what Ros said "You really couldn’t make this up, Christian; it’s like some third rate, badly written paperback.” Again you've stayed perfectly in character and filled in what we didn't know. Too bad Ros doesn't give up cigs for good! We know she has a smoke at Christian's birthday party.

    You're keeping my 50 Shades addiction fed so thank you very much for that. Best wishes to you and your family for a very happy and healthy 2013.

    Boots.

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    1. I thought the "novel" comment was novel as well! I also liked the use of the word " guffaw" ! Fine point, well made! :-)

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    2. It was a bit of a tongue in cheek comment!

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  35. love this thank you

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  36. Thank you so much for making my Fridays that much better. I absolutely love your writing!

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  37. I can not wait for the next chapter....The Birthday Party....I hope you also do a chapter for Grace as well...Can not wait...LOVE YOUR POV....KEEP THEM COMIN'!

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  38. Beautiful !!! I love it!! Well done.

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  39. Absolutely fantastic, LOVED IT, as i always do!!! Your writing is amazing!!! THANK YOU!!! :)

    And HAPPY NEW YEAR to you, i hope its everything you deserve and all your dreams come true!!

    xxxx

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  40. another wonderful chapter i love the new character dan the man do hope we here more about him and what Christian does for him,can you tell me something (and im not complaining i never would)but is there a reason why you did not cover the mile high club the elevator and the table without the flowers on it im just curious.i love your writing and look forward to friday thankyou.

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    1. Hi Georgina - I'm trying to concentrate more on filling in the blanks rather than re covering chapters that ELJ has already done brilliantly in great detail. Hope that explains any omissions.

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    2. my question exactly------ thanks for enlightening me. :D

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  41. Thanks so much! I so look forward to my Friday mornings are spent reading your latest chapter & drinking coffee. I loved this as always - especially loved the banter btw Christian and Ros. Also about Mr. MacAlister - very nice touch! I'm sure good things are in store for him & his wife.

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  42. Wow love it thank you x

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  43. Hi, I hope you had a lovely holiday season! Beautiful story you wrote. Another 10 tissues worth! Christian is so compassionate as he listens to Dan and allows his.mom to hug him. He gives compassion, but feels unworthy of it himself. He is a work in progress! Love ya, Carol

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  44. Happy New Year XXXX And that was amazing, thankyou XXXX

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  45. your amazing and what makes it so good was the way there are good people out there like dad i cant stop smiling coz i know he is gonna help him xxx

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  46. Once again, Fine job, well done!

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  47. Once again, Fine job, well done!

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  48. Once again, Fine job, well done!

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  49. Once again, Fine job, well done!

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  50. Each chapter seems even better than the last! Loved the dialogue between Christian and Roz and the story with McAllister. Hope you had a a relaxing Christmas, and thanks for writing and sharing.

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  51. I was looking forward to this chapter so much and you haven't disappointed. Brilliantly written thank you and Happy New Year!

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  52. Thanks, thanks, thanks!!!! Have the best new year ever!!!!!

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  53. Oh what a great chapter,so well written as always.I loved this part of the story,i could imagine them so worried about Christian and Ros and the wonderful feeling when they returned safe and well.x

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  54. Amazing, just amazing I loved it and can't wait for more :)

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  55. Made me all teary eyed. I tell you, you definately must be Christian Grey to write his feelings and capture his essence so profoundly. Great writing. Love the whole dialogue between Ros and Grey. Sounds exactly like I would imagine. Brilliant. As always looking forward for the next chapter.

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  56. BRILLIANT! Love love it. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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  57. OH MY ROB ! What an amazing chapter, there is more than one kind of salvation in it. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful skills at writing with us.
    I wish you and your family all the best for 2013 "and beyond".

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  58. Loved the truckers story and that christian follows it up, good to have you back!

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  59. Thanks for the new chapter I look forward to the next one!

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  60. Happy New Year... Thank you so much for a beautiful chapter you never disappoint.. Can't wait for next weeks chapter

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  61. You never disappoint......Bravo.........Can't wait for next chapter. :-)

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  62. Another great chapter and thanks.xxx

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  63. Awesome Chapter. I look forward to Fridays to read your story. Looking forward to the next. I cannot wait to see what CG's POV is about the whole Elena thing.... :)

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  64. Excellent chapter as always. I loved getting the details behind Dan. You still continue to amaze me with your talent.

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  65. Ich bin beeindruckt. Ich bedanke mich für Ihren stetigen Einsatz, mal etwas lesen zu können aus der Sicht eines Mannes . Ich habe alle Bücher mehrmals hintereinander gelesen und war gefesselt. Aber diese Sicht ist wirklich schön, mir fehlen die Worte! Gibt es denn Hoffnung auf die Sicht von Frau Dr. Grey.? Hochachtungsvoll und voller Hoffnung machen Sie weiter so es ist genial!!!!!!!!!

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    1. http://christiangreymomstory.blogspot.de/
      wie sie schon schrieb, wird moms story nach kapitel 51 fortgesetzt... viel spaß!

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  66. Happy new year! I was anxiously waiting for this chapter, and it was great. :-) I loved the interaction between Ros and Christian, and the scene when he returns to Escala and finds that everyone has been worrying about him. The last few chapters of "Fifty Shades Darker" are my favorites of the trilogy, and I have really been enjoying your version. I don't want it to end!! There are still some great scenes ahead, and I thank you again for keeping Fifty Shades going for all of us. :-)
    Brenda in NYC

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  67. I have been waiting for this since you said you were on a "Holiday" hiatus. Glad you're back and Merry
    Christmas and a Happy New year.

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  68. Another amazing piece of work. I hope you had a wonderful Holiday, we missed your writing. I think you have captured Christian and Ana perfectly. Please don't stop writing. I can't wait for another installment. I loved what you added about the truck driver and would love to know more.

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  69. Wow, another amazing and emotional chapter! One of my most favorites yet. Your captured the whole thing perfectly. I like the Taylor has gas part, lol. Funny. Such a beautiful job! Tha k you and cannot wait for the next!:-)

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  70. Welcome back and Happy New Year Another great chapter I always wondered why Christian didn't want to stop to call someone thanks for the incite Friday is my favorite day again

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  71. LOVE.....LOVE....LOVE IT!!!!!!!

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  72. welcome back I hope you had a great Christmas. As always amazing well written chapter, the next should be
    good too. You are almost finish with book two and ready for book three.

    Later

    C.P

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  73. I love the YES part. It gives me such butterflies and makes me smile :) can't wait for more!

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  74. Happy New Year. Loved, loved, loved this chapter. You had me crying like I cried when I first read the book. This was so emotional and heart warming. Just loved the way you wrote it from Christian's point of view. Almost done with book 2 and onto book 3. I look forward to Friday's every week so I can read your chapters. Thank you so much. Loved it.

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  75. Holy hell that was awwesome! I LOVE Christian's journey back to Escala and how he is going to take care of the trucker. Just like him to want to take care of others. Lovin' Fifty more and more!! Thank you for your amazing insight into Christian's soul! Happy New year and as always you leave me wanting more.
    Can't wait until Friday!
    Lisa x

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  76. Another amazing chapter, loved loved loved the story of Christian and Ros in the helicopter and making their way home, what they went through and their banter is funny well done again
    Chez xx

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  77. awesome as usual., keep up the good work. look forward to it every week :)

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  78. LOVE LOVE LOVE this chapter!! You out did your normal awesome self. I was in tears and laughing and loving every sentence. I so enjoy knowing what he was going thru on that long trip home. His surprise at finding everyone waiting was soooo touching. Can't wait to see how he helps Dan McAllister. Looking forward to the NEXT chapter!!!
    Kelly

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  79. OMG loved it as usually you never disappoint. Thank you for sharing =)

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  80. can't believe darker's end is just around the corner O.o ------------happy much :))))))) thanks for doing this fan-fic...love your takes on Chrisitian's POV!!!!!!its great to have someone like you,,,,

    till next Friday!!!

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  81. Awesome chapter can't wait for more welcome back and merry Christmas and a happy new year

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  82. Oh my that was one hell of a chapter christian, i cried most of it. I hope you had a wonderful xmas & a nice new year to, all the best for 2013 christian xx

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  83. Hey forgot to say its mu birthday tomorrow to

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  84. Happy New Year & so gald you are back posting new chapters. I had to re-read the previous chapters, but just as good the second time around. I really love the way you are developing Christian's personality by his interactions with other people. He really is a quite caring & giving person which makes him so easy to love.
    Yet another amazing chapter!
    Congratulations on reaching over 2 million followers!! That's really impressive and shows your talent for writing.

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  85. Welcome Back! I hope you had a great holiday and a Happy New Year. As usual your writing is superb. I love this chapter, when CG finally knows that Ana says yes. I know the chapter ended right at that point but I would love to hear more of CG's feeling about her answer, I know I am asking a lot. You probably already have the next chapter figured out. It was nice to learn about Dan, and I am sure CG's good side will show itself immensely with this new character. Thanks for filling those blanks. As usual I can't wait until the next chapter. I tried filling in your time away with reading other books, and though they were good books, I still missed my time with Christian and Ana. Thanks for feeding my habit. ~Brooke

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  86. OMG! This chapter was by far the most touching! I found myself tearing up a little throughout. NO ONE does Christian better than you and I am addicted! Can't wait for the next chapter!

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  87. Oh wait. I forgot to ask. Who is the actress who is pictured as Ana in this chapter? She is perfect!

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    1. She's Emilia Clarke, and I think she would be very good. She plays Daenerys in Game of Thrones, but wears a blonde wig for that part, as she is a natural brunette.

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  88. great job again.. :) I love this point of view, i've wondered how it all went once the "chopper" went down.. I would of loved to have read the part when Christian helps out the trucking company.. :) Thanks again..

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  89. You write so beautifully! It really seems like it's Christian! And I support your choice of Emilia Clarke for Anastasia...she really suits the character description. Another great chapter. Can't wait for the next one!

    - A Die-hard fan

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  90. So I'm a ridiculously dedicated 50 shades fan and I happened to stumble onto your blog right after Christmas. I spent the entire break reading it and I have to say I'm now your biggest fan. I think you've done an incredible job retelling the story from Christians p.o.v. It fills in so many holes and I've thoroughly enjoyed it. Keep up the great work! I await anxiously for every chapter! THANKS

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  91. Me encantó el capítulo. Como todos, son una obra maestra, pero no puedo negar que me hubiese gustado leer a través de los ojos de Christian el momento en que están en el ascensor después de la cena.!

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  92. I hope you'll hurry with the rest of the chapters im getting so excited to read on how the story goes!

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  93. I love the way you write Christian!! I cried many times during this chapter! Write another one soon. :)

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  94. Thank you for writing this blog. I have never commented on a site before so I hope this is ok. I love the way you write Christian's POV. I have read other blogs and they seem to have made him really soppy after he realises the feelings he has for Ana. You have not done that. Yes he is a man in love but you have still kept his arrogance and the edge he has about him and it's great. Love Grace's blog too. Looking forward to reading your new one after his birthday party. Keep up the good work. Hope you continue to write Book 3 too.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment, and I'm glad you're enjoying my blog. I'd hate to see Christian get too soppy and lose his edge. ELJ kept him as a bad, dirty boy all the way through, even when he found love didn't she, and we all love that about him I think. :)

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    2. I agree. I have read other blogs but your view is so intuned to Christian grey we know from the book. Others portray Christian more soppy and chatty. I don't find him attractive like that. I like him like the way you portray, an arrogant.

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  95. really good love that they are getting married

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  96. i love this chapter,I'm anxious to read the next one wich I know it will be sooo awesome!!! :) Happy new year CG50S!! July :)

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  97. can wait for the next chapter come on how can I get the email to me ?

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    Replies
    1. Just fill in the 'Follow By Email' link on the left hand side of the blog. You will then be sent a link that you have to click on to verify your request. If you don't receive this, check your spam to see if it has ended up in there - if it has, you will just need to unspam it. Once that is done, you should receive an email each time there is a new chapter posted. Hope that helps :)

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  98. Another great chapter! I love what you added about Dan McAllister...I love a charitable Christian!

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  99. It was sooooooo fantastic! !!!! I get so excited when u post a new chapter, your way of looking at it is very creative. And i enjoy your perspective on everything. Keep up the amazing job! You rock!

    One small request, ok actually two small request pllllleeeeeaaassssse dont skip over the shower scene and jose in the kitchen scene they are both favorite parts. I thought the shower scene was very intimate between Ana and christian. And the kitchen scene was so very cute with christian being jealous; ) my other request is please write Grace's pov!!!! I always wondered what she was think ing through out the night. Especially when she of course hugged him and how he interacted with Ana ( her sitting on his lap and what she meant by him being ok ) of course I understand you probably get tons of request so I understand if you are unable to. Thank u for giving us a great view into his thoughts xoxoxo

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    1. Hi there - you'll have to wait and see what I put in chapter 51, which will be the conclusion of the second book and will be a very long chapter.
      The reason I skip over certain parts is that if ELJ has gone into great detail in the original, it gets very repetitive for me to just re write it and not bring anything new to it. Hope you understand.
      After chapter 51, there will be an update to Grace's blog next, which you can access via the link on the left of this blog. If you wish to be notified when that chapter is posted, fill in the 'Follow By Email' link on the left hand side of THAT blog. You will then be sent a link that you have to click on to verify your request. If you don't receive this, check your spam to see if it has ended up in there - if it has, you will just need to unspam it. Once that is done, you should receive an email each time there is a new chapter posted. Hope that helps :)

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  100. love love cant wait for more!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  101. GREAT chapter!!!!!!!!!!! Loved loved LOVED IT :o)
    I was with out my internet for AGES & have finally caught up on all that I've missed... Well done you!!
    Thank you yet again for your creation & filling our 'After FSOG' needs!
    Hope you had a fantastic Xmas & New Year xox May 2013 bring you all that you desire.
    Looking forward to more.
    Jenni

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  102. Amazing!!!!! Stumbled on your blog by chance and I am beyond captivated!!! Your writing is AWSOME!! I have read all of the chapters twice!! I'm on pins and needles waiting for confrontation with Elena-Mrs. Robinson....from both Christian and Grace's point of view. Thanks for sharing your Incredible Talent!!

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  103. Thank you! Just made me cry. Again! Thanks!

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  104. This is my favorite chapter thus far.... I Christens POV and the gaps you fill in about what he is doing and thinking when he isn't with Ana.... Simply brilliant the way you bring him to life. You've even shed some light on things about Ana we hadn't noticed before.... THANK YOU.... I can't wait read Christens POV in Freed about the wedding... Lela turning up at SIP the pregnancy & of course the final show down with Hyde! You are awesome

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  105. AMO DEMASIDO LO QUE HACES...SALUDOS DESDE MEXICO

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  106. I thought it was great to see the story of the helicopter crash from Christian's pov, since in the book it was all about Ana's worry for him. I love how he finally begins to see that his family WAS worried for him, and that he's worth their concern. I would love to see what all Christian does to help Mr. McCallister as well...does he buy him the truck? Pay for his wife's medical care? All of the above? Oh, and it was good to see more about how Christian & Ros get along in a non-work situation...and the pic you have for her is totally fitting in my opinion, by the way.

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  107. this was truly amazing!!! I love the books and this is soo much fun to read, I'm addicted lol. Good job this really portraits what happened really nicely! I loved him chocking on a pb&j that was awesome!!! Keep going you're doing great!!!!!

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  108. Along side the chapters including sessions w flynn, meeting mcallister was a story line that desperately needed attentionand it was perfection really amazing job kudos &thnx

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    1. Glad to hear you're enjoying reading my blog :)

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  109. Thanks you for adding this story to Christian's helicopter crash. It adds a back story which makes Christian's experiences deeper and more meaningful. You are always "in character" with EL James' intentions and I'm so glad I found this POV story . I love imagining how "Dan" will be woven into Christian's life.

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  110. Fantastic job with the Charlie Tango accident.

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  111. Hi!! I can't tell you how delighted I am about finding your blog!! I'm so thrilled to read both, Christian and Grace's PVO. But I also read that you mentioned that you're filling the gaps. Did E L James wrote one herself? Please let me know where to find it!! Many congratulations your writing skills are just Awesome :D.

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    1. E L James wrote a couple of teaser chapters at the end of 'Freed', and I take up where she leaves off. :)

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  112. Ohh yes those!! :D for a minute I thought you were talking about others. Anyway, I have to say congratulations again for such an amazing talent you have!! I have really enjoy reading your blog, and I'm starting to read both again :D

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Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. Be sure I read each and every one, even if I don't always reply individually.