We both rush to Ana, who is sitting on the sidewalk, looking faint. I sink down beside her. “Ana, Ana! What’s wrong?” I pull her into my lap to check what’s wrong, holding her head between my hands. She closes her eyes and sags against me as if in relief. “Ana.” I grasp her arms and shake her. “What’s wrong? Are you sick?”
“Jack,” she whispers.
“Fuck.” Adrenaline sweeps through my body, leaving a murderous fury in its wake. I glance up at Taylor. He nods and disappears into the building. “What did that sleazeball do to you?”
Ana giggles. “It’s what I did to him.” And she doesn’t stop laughing. She’s hysterical. I’m going to kill him.
“Ana!” I give her a shake. “Did he touch you?”
“Only once,” she whispers, and her giggling stops.
Rage fuels my muscles as I stand holding her in my arms. “Where is that fucker?” From inside the building we can hear muffled shouts. I set Ana on her feet. “Can you stand?”
She nods. “Don’t go in. Don’t, Christian.”
“Get in the car.”
“Christian, no.” She clasps my arm.
“Get in the goddamned car, Ana.”
I’m going to kill him.
“No! Please!” she begs. “Stay. Don’t leave me on my own.”
I drag my hand through my hair, trying and failing to hang on to my temper while the muffled shouting inside SIP intensifies. Abruptly it stops.
I pull out my phone.
“Christian, he has my e-mails,” Ana says in a whisper.
“My e-mails to you. He wanted to know where your e-mails to me were. He was trying to blackmail me.”
I think I’m going to have a coronary.
That motherfucking asshole.
“Fuck!” I growl, as I call Barney.
“Barney. Grey. I need you to access the SIP main server and wipe all Anastasia Steele’s e-mails to me. Then access the personal data files of Jack Hyde and check they aren’t stored there. If they are, wipe them.”
“All of them?”
“All of them. Now. Let me know when it’s done.”
I hang up and dial Roach’s number.
“Hyde. I want him out. Now.”
“But—” Roach blusters.
“This minute. Call security. Get him to clear his desk immediately or I will liquidate this company first thing in the morning.”
“Is there a reason—” Roach tries again.
“You already have all the justification you need to give him his pink slip.”
“You’ve read his confidential file?”
I ignore his question. “Do you understand?”
“Mr. Grey, I completely understand. Our HR director is always defending him. I’ll see to it. Good evening.”
I hang up, feeling somewhat mollified, and turn to Ana. “BlackBerry!”
“Please don’t be mad at me.”
“I am so mad at you right now,” I snap. “Get in the car.”
“Get in the fucking car, Anastasia, or so help me I’ll put you in there myself.”
“Don’t do anything stupid, please,” she says.
“Stupid!” I see red. “I told you to use your fucking BlackBerry. Don’t talk to me about stupid. Get in the motherfucking car, Anastasia—now!”
“Okay.” She holds up her hands. “But, please, be careful.”
Stop shouting at her, Grey.
I point to the car.
“Please be careful,” she whispers, again. “I don’t want anything to happen to you. It would kill me.”
And there it is. She cares. Her affection for me is plain in her words and in her kind, concerned expression.
Calm down, Grey. I take a deep breath.
“I’ll be careful,” I say, and I watch her walk to the Audi and climb in. Once she’s in the car, I turn on my heel and stride into the building.
I have no idea where to go, but I follow Hyde’s voice.
His irritating, whiny voice.
Taylor is standing outside an executive office, beside what must be Ana’s desk. Inside, Hyde is on the phone and a security guard stands over him with his arms crossed.
“I don’t give a fuck, Jerry.” Hyde is protesting into the phone. “The woman is a pricktease.”
I’ve heard enough.
I storm into his office.
“What the—” Hyde says, shocked to see me. He has a cut over his left eye and a purplish bruise is forming on his cheek. I suspect Taylor has been administering his own brand of discipline. I reach down to the phone cradle and press the hook, ending his call.
“Well, look what the fucking cat dragged in,” Hyde says and sneers. “The boy fucking wonder.”
“Pack your things. Get out. And she may not press charges.”
“Fuck you, Grey. I’ll be pressing charges against that little bitch, for kicking me in the balls in a completely unprovoked attack—and I’ll be sending your goon here down for assault, too. Hi, handsome,” he calls to Taylor, and blows him a kiss.
Taylor remains stoic.
“I won’t tell you again,” I state, glaring at the cocksucker.
“Like I said, fuck you. You can’t come in here throwing your fucking weight around.”
“I own this company. You are surplus to requirements. Get out while you can still walk.” My tone is low.
The color drains from Hyde’s face.
Yeah. Mine. Fuck you, Hyde.