I knock quietly, and Kavanagh opens the door. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing here?” she shouts, her eyes blazing with anger. Whoa. Not the reception I was expecting. “I’ve come to see Ana.” “Well, you can’t!” Kavanagh stands with arms folded and legs braced in the doorway, like a gargoyle. I try reasoning with her. “But I need to see her. She sent me an e-mail.” Get out of my way! “What the fuck have you done to her now?” “That’s what I need to find out.” I grit my teeth. “Ever since she met you she cries all the time.” “What?” I can’t deal with her shit anymore, and I barge past her. “You can’t come in here!” Kavanagh follows me, shrieking like a harpy, as I storm through the apartment to Ana’s bedroom. I open Ana’s door and switch on the main light. She’s huddled in her bed, wrapped in her comforter. Her eyes are red and puffy, and squinting in the overhead light. Her nose is swollen and blotchy. I’ve seen women in this state many times, especially after I’ve punished them. But I’m surprised by the unease that grips my gut. “Jesus, Ana.” I flick the main light off so she doesn’t have to squint and I sit on the bed beside her. “What are you doing here?” She’s sniffling. I turn on her bedside light. “Do you want me to throw this asshole out?” Kate barks from the doorway. Fuck you, Kavanagh. Raising an eyebrow, I pretend to ignore her. Ana shakes her head, but her watery eyes are on me. “Just holler if you need me,” Kate says to Ana, as if she were a child. “Grey,” she snaps, so I’m obliged to look at her. “You’re on my shit list, and I’m watching you.” She sounds shrill, her eyes glinting with fury, but I don’t give a fuck. Fortunately she leaves, pulling the door to, but not shutting it. I check in my inside pocket, and once again Mrs. Jones has exceeded all expectations; I fish out the handkerchief and give it to Ana. “What’s going on?” “Why are you here?” Her voice is shaky. I don’t know. You said you didn’t like me. “Part of my role is to look after your needs. You said you wanted me to stay, so here I am.” Nice save, Grey. “And yet I find you like this.” You weren’t like this when I left. “I’m sure I’m responsible, but I have no idea why. Is it because I hit you?” She struggles to sit up and flinches when she does. “Did you take some Advil?” As instructed? She shakes her head. When will you do as you’re told?
Published on Jun 2, 2016