I had told her of our plans to go out later.
"Don't forget the way to a man's heart," she reminded me.
"His stomach?" I offered, hopefully.
"Further south," she corrected.
My boss, Mr. Clayton--the owner of the store and my friend Paul's uncle--asks me if I know where he is.
"You're standing right in front of me," I answer.
"Not me, you idiot. Paul! Have you heard from him?"
"Well, I thought I heard him yelling for 'hep' from the trunk of Christian Grey's car, but why would he be in Christian Grey's trunk and why would he be yelling 'hep'? What does 'hep' even mean?"
We both get a hearty chuckle out of my ignorance.
Crockett is waiting for me when I finally clock out and leave the hardware store. He's supposed to drive me to Christian's office "or die trying."
Thanks to Kate, I'm ready for whatever's about to happen. Besides being groomed and deloused to within an inch of my life, she also made me do a short line of a white powdery substance "for energy."
"What is it?" I asked her.
"Nose candy," she answered.
Oh, goody... I like candy.
And then she had me take a few puffs from a hand-rolled cigarette "to take the edge off."
"What is it?"
Besides their various medicinal properties, herbs are also a nice way to season your food without using salt. Salt is poison! If you don't believe me, just ask Lot's wife.
"Here, take this," she said, handing me a pill. "It'll keep you from getting the munchies and give you additional energy."
"What is it?"
"Speed," she said.
Only my favorite movie of all time. What's good enough for Sandra Bullock...
"And for that additional energy, take this," she said, handing me another little pill. "It's a 'lude."
"Allude to what?"
She waited a few minutes, then...
"How do you feel?"
"Good," she said, and handed me a little blue pill.
"And what's this?" I asked her.
Once I'm at Christian's office at the top of the building, we immediately catch the elevator down to the first floor.
"Where are we going?" I ask him.
"Someplace special," he says.
We step off the elevator--What is it about elevators?--walk out of the building, and step into the limousine I arrived in. Crockett holds the rear door open for both of us and accidentally slams it shut on my hand.
"Sorry, ma'am," he apologizes, and then does it again.
I don't care. I'm in love.
"Where are we going?" I ask Christian again.
Crockett drives us to the back of the building, where the prickly Mr. Grey's personal helicopter sits on his private helipad. I look up at Christian perplexed.
"Where are we going?" I ask a final time.
"Shut your pie hole."
We climb into the helicopter, and, as Christian straps me in, his hand "accidentally" brushes against my breast.
"I wish they were bigger," I admit to him.
"What?" he says. He seems honestly confused about my confession.
"My breasts. I wish they were bigger."
"Try rubbing toilet paper on them."
"Toilet paper? Does that really work?"
"Why not? Look what it did to your bottom."
As it turns out, the hand belongs to Crockett. I accidentally sat on him. Silly me, that's how I lost my cat.
Mr. Grey straps himself in next as a voice comes over the helicopter's radio.
"Ground control to Major Tom," the voice says.
I look at Christian in surprise, and mouth the words, Major Tom? He shrugs sheepishly. Who knew he was into Bowie? What a freak!
After a gentle reminder to take our protein pills and put our helmets on, ground control okays us for take-off. As I feel the ground move away from us, it reminds me of Chuck Norris. Did you know that when Chuck Norris does a push-up, he doesn't lift himself away from the Earth, he pushes the Earth away from himself!
That's a fact!
The helicopter goes up, up, and lands on a helipad at the top of the building.
"Weren't we just here?"I ask him.
"The rich are a curious bunch," he explains. "We all have our quips and quirks, our odds and ends, our abbotts and costellos." But apparently no common sense. "Why sit when you can stand? Why stand when you can walk? Why walk when you can drive? Why drive when you can fly?"
I look at my inner goddess. She fell asleep during his monologue. I wake her up.
"Hey! Where's my subconscious?" I ask her.
"She gave me five bucks to take her place once your boyfriend started talking."
"And this, Ana, is my Batcave," he says leading me back inside the building, and dang if we don't walk into a room that looks exactly like Batman's Batcave.
There's the cap and cowl. There's the giant penny. There's the mechanical dinosaur. There's the giant joker card. It's exactly like the comic book. Aw... and there's a cute little kitten dressed in a Batcat costume.
"That's Fluffy," Christian tells me. "The only thing I've ever loved."
"Well, riddle me this, Christian," I say. "Am I gonna get lucky here or what?"
I'm surprised by my boldness, but, let's face it, I'm a 21-year-old virginian whose lower extremities haven't been filled since I accidentally sat on my cat.
Mr. Grey is surprised, too. He hands me several pages of paper--a contract--and asks me to sign my name at the bottom. I don't bother reading what it says, and sign My Name where it indicates.
"Now, come to mama!" I say, opening my arms and shimmying my shoulders as I waddle toward him seductively.
"Not so fast," he says, giving me a loving shove back.
I bump into the giant penny. It falls over, tears the huge joker playing card in two, and lands on the cat.
I look frantically at my inner goddess. Her eyes are wide and her jaw just hit the floor. She wakes my subconscious up, gives her her five dollars back, makes like an amoeba, and splits!
Fluffy can't be dead, can she?
"Meow!" comes a plaintive cry from under the giant penny. Oh, thank Goobers... Fluffy's ALIVE!
Relieved, I put a hand on the mechanical dinosaur to steady myself, and that causes it to take one giant step forward.
On the penny!
Thankfully, Christian has his back to me. He's moved on to talking about onions and doesn't notice. I have to distract him. So...
"What do you mean 'not so fast'?" I say, feigning anger.
"I mean, why hurry? We have all night and so many pages to fill. Besides, we have to go over the Do's and Don'ts."
"The Do's and Don'ts?"
"Yes, the Do's and Don'ts. The birds and bees. The simons and garfunkles. The things you'll do because I want you to, and the things you don't... unless I tell you to."
"That sounds fair."
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