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I glare back at him. He grins his boyish grin. Komal Chauhan. Its him. He turns and I can see his boots as he stomps into the kitchen. Christian puts his arms around me, surprising me, and kisses my temple. He frowns, grasping for the word.
Youll do, wench. His ever-present, ever-active BlackBerry buzzes. I frown and he smirks. My eyes only, Mrs. He raises his eyebrow in playful warning, slaps my backside once more, and sits back down on his lounger to take the call.
My inner goddess purrs. Maybe tonight we could do some kind of oor show for his eyes only. She smirks knowingly, arching a brow. I grin at the thought and drift back into my afternoon siesta. Et quelque chose a manger. Christian speaking uent French wakes me. My eyelashes utter in the glare of the sun, and I nd Christian watching me while a liveried young woman walks away, her tray held aloft, her high blonde ponytail swinging provocatively.
Yes, I mutter sleepily. I could watch you all day. I ush. I didnt get much sleep last night. Me neither. He grins, puts down his BlackBerry, and stands. His shorts fall a little and hang.
Christian takes his shorts off, stepping out of his ip-ops. I lose my train of thought. Come for a swim with me. He holds out his hand while I look up at him, dazed. When I dont respond, he shakes his head slowly. I think you need a wake-up call. Suddenly he pounces and lifts me into his arms while I shriek, more from surprise than alarm. Put me down! I squeal. He chuckles. Only in the sea, baby. Several sunbathers on the beach watch with that bemused disinterest so typical, I now realize, of the French, as Christian carries me to the sea, laughing, and wades in.
I clasp my arms around his neck. You wouldnt, I say breathlessly, trying to stie my giggling. He grins. Oh, Ana, baby, have you learned nothing in the short time weve known each other? He kisses me, and I seize my opportunity, running my ngers through his hair, grasping two handfuls and kissing him back while invading his mouth with my tongue. He inhales sharply and leans back, eyes smoky but wary. I know your game, he whispers and slowly sinks into the cool, clear water, taking me with him as his lips nd mine once more.
The chill of the Mediterranean is soon forgotten as I wrap myself around my husband. I thought you wanted to swim, I murmur against his mouth. Youre very distracting. Christian grazes his teeth along my lower lip. But Im not sure I want the good people of Monte Carlo to see my wife in the throes of passion.
I run my teeth along his jaw, his stubble tickly against my tongue, not caring a dime for the good people of Monte Carlo. Ana, he groans. He wraps my ponytail around his wrist and tugs gently, tilting my head back, exposing my throat. He trails kisses from my ear down my neck.
Shall I take you in the sea? Yes, I whisper. Christian pulls away and gazes down at me, his eyes warm, wanting, and amused. Grey, youre insatiable and so brazen. What sort of monster have I created? A monster t for you. Would you have me any other way? Ill take you any way I can get you, you know that. But not right now.
Not with an audience. He jerks his head toward the shore. Sure enough, several sunbathers on the beach have aban-. Suddenly, Christian grabs me around my waist and launches me into the air, letting me fall into the water and sink beneath the waves to the soft sand below. I surface, coughing, spluttering, and giggling. I scold, glaring at him. I thought we were going to make love in the sea. He bites his lower lip to stie his amusement.
I splash him, and he splashes me right back. We have all night, he says, grinning like a fool. Laters, baby. He dives beneath the sea and surfaces three feet away from me, then in a uid, graceful crawl, swims away from the shore, away from me. Playful, tantalizing Fifty! I shield my eyes from the sun as I watch him go. Hes such a tease. While I swim to the shore, I contemplate my options. At the lounges our drinks have arrived, and I take a quick sip of Diet Coke. Christian is a faint speck in the distance.
I lie down on my front and, fumbling with the straps, take my bikini top off and toss it casually onto Christians sun lounge.
Put this in your pipe and smoke it. I shut my eyes and let the sun warm my skin. You may kiss the bride, Reverend Walsh announces. I beam at my husband. Finally, youre mine, he whispers and pulls me into his arms and kisses me chastely on the lips. I am married. I am Mrs. Christian Grey. I am giddy with joy. You look beautiful, Ana, he murmurs and smiles, his eyes glowing with love. Dont let anyone take that dress off but me, understand?
Holy crap. How does he do this, even here with all these people staring at us? I nod mutely. Jeez, I hope no one can hear us. Luckily Reverend Walsh has discreetly stepped back. I glance at the throng gathered in their wedding nery. My mom, Ray, Bob, and the Greys are all applaudingeven Kate, my maid of honor, who looks stunning in pale pink as she stands beside Christians best man, his brother Elliot.
Who knew that even Elliot could scrub up so well? All wear huge, beaming smilesexcept Grace, who weeps graciously into a dainty white handkerchief. Ready to party, Mrs. Christian murmurs, giving me his shy smile. I melt.
He looks divine in a simple black tux with silver waistcoat and tie. Hes so. Ready as Ill ever be. I grin, a totally goofy smile on my face. Later the wedding party is in full swing.
Carrick and Grace have gone to town. They have the tent set up again and beautifully decorated in pale pink, silver, and ivory with its sides open, facing the bay. We have been blessed with ne weather, and the late afternoon sun shines over the water.
Theres a dance oor at one end of the tent, a lavish buffet at the other. Ray and my mother are dancing and laughing with each other.
I feel bittersweet watching them together. I hope Christian and I last longer. I dont know what Id do if he left me. Marry in haste, repent at leisure. The saying haunts me. Kate is beside me, looking so beautiful in her long silk gown. She glances at me and frowns. Hey, this is supposed to be the happiest day of your life, she scolds. It is, I whisper. Oh, Ana, whats wrong? Are you watching your mom and Ray? I nod sadly. Theyre happy.
Happier apart. Youre having doubts? Kate asks, alarmed. No, not at all. Its just. I love him so much. I freeze, unable or unwilling to articulate my fears. Ana, its obvious he adores you. I know you had an unconventional start to your relationship, but I can see how happy youve both been over the past month. She grasps my hands, squeezing them. Besides, its too late now, she adds with a grin. I giggle. Trust Kate to point out the obvious.
She pulls me into a Katherine Kavanagh Special Hug. Ana, youll be ne. And if he hurts one hair on your head, hell have me to answer to. Releasing me, she grins at whoever is behind me. Hi, baby. Christian puts his arms around me, surprising me, and kisses my temple. Kate, he acknowledges. Hes still cool toward her even after six weeks.
Hello again, Christian. Im off to nd your best man, who happens to be my best man, too. With a smile to us both, she heads over to Elliot, who is drinking with her brother, Ethan, and our friend Jos. Time to go, Christian murmurs. This is the rst party Ive been to where I dont mind being the center of attention. I turn in his arms to face him. You deserve to be. You look stunning, Anastasia. So do you. He smiles, his expression heating. This beautiful dress becomes you. This old thing?
I blush shyly and pull at the ne lace trim of the simple, tted wedding dress designed for me by Kates mother. I love that the lace is just off the shoulderdemure, yet alluring, I hope. He bends and kisses me.
Lets go. I dont want to share you with all these people anymore. Can we leave our own wedding? Baby, its our party, and we can do whatever we want. Weve cut the cake. And right now, Id like to whisk you away and have you all to myself. You have me for a lifetime, Mr. Im very glad to hear that, Mrs. Oh, there you two are! Such lovebirds. I groan inwardly. Graces mother has found us. Christian, darlingone more dance with your grandma? Christian purses his lips.
Of course, Grandmother. And you, beautiful Anastasia, go and make an old man happydance with Theo. Theo, Mrs. Grandpa Trevelyan. And I think you can call me Grandma. Now, you two seriously need to get working on my great-grandkids. I wont last too much longer. She gives us both a simpering smile. Christian blinks at her in horror.
Come, Grandmother, he says, hurriedly taking her hand and leading her to the dance oor. He glances back at me, practically pouting, and rolls his eyes. As I walk toward Grandpa Trevelyan, Jos accosts me. I wont ask you for another dance. I think I monopolized too much of your time on the dance oor as it is. Im happy to see you happy, but Im serious, Ana. Ill be here. If you need me. Jos, thank you. Youre a good friend. I mean it. His dark eyes shine with sincerity. I know you do. Thank you, Jos.
Now if youll please excuse meI have a date with an old man. He furrows his brow in confusion. Christians grandfather, I clarify. Good luck with that, Annie. Good luck with everything. Thanks, Jos. After my dance with Christians ever- charming grandfather, I stand by the French doors, watching the sun sink slowly over Seattle, casting bright orange and aquamarine shadows across the bay.
Lets go, Christian urges. I have to change. I grasp his hand, meaning to pull him. He frowns, not understanding, and tugs gently on my hand, halting me. I thought you wanted to be the one to take this dress off, I explain. His eyes light up. He gives me a lascivious grin.
But Im not undressing you here. We wouldnt leave until. I dont know. He waves his long-ngered hand, leaving his sentence unnished but his meaning quite clear. I ush and let go of his hand. And dont take your hair down either, he murmurs darkly. But No buts, Anastasia. You look beautiful. And I want to be the one to undress you. I frown. Pack your going-away clothes, he orders. Youll need them. Taylor has your main suitcase. What has he got planned?
He hasnt told me where were going. In fact, I dont think anyone knows where were going. Neither Mia nor Kate has managed to inveigle the information out of him. I turn to where my mother and Kate are hovering nearby. Im not changing. Christian doesnt want me to. I shrug as if this should explain everything. Her brow furrows briey.
You didnt promise to obey, she reminds me tactfully. Kate tries to disguise her snort as a cough.
I narrow my eyes at her. Neither she nor my mother have any idea of the ght Christian and I had about that. I dont want to rehash that argument. Jeez, can my Fifty Shades sulk. The memory is sobering. I know, Mom, but he likes this dress, and I want to please him. Her expression softens. Kate rolls her eyes and tactfully moves away to leave us alone.
You look so lovely, darling. Carla gently tugs at a loose tendril of my hair and strokes my chin. I am so proud of you, honey. Youre going to make Christian a very happy man.
She pulls me into a hug. Oh, Mom! I cant believe how grown-up you look right now. Beginning a new life. Just remember that men are from a different planet, and youll be ne. Christian is from a different universe, if only she knew. Thanks, Mom. Ray joins us, smiling sweetly at both Mom and me. You made a beautiful baby girl, Carla, he says, his eyes glowing with pride.
He looks so dapper in his black tux and pale pink waistcoat. Tears prick the backs of my eyes. Oh no. And you watched her and helped her grow up, Ray. Carlas voice is wistful. And I loved every single minute. You make one hell of a bride, Annie. Ray tucks the same loose strand of hair behind my ear. Oh, Dad. I stie a sob, and he hugs me in his brief, awkward way. Youll make one hell of a wife, too, he whispers, his voice hoarse.
When he releases me, Christian is back at my side. Ray shakes his hand warmly. Look after my girl, Christian. I fully intend to, Ray. He nods at my stepdad and kisses my mom.
The rest of the wedding guests have formed a long human arch for us to travel through, leading around to the front of the house. Christian says. Taking my hand, he leads me under their outstretched arms while our guests shout good luck and congratulations and shower. Waiting with smiles and hugs at the end of the arch are Grace and Carrick. They hug and kiss us both in turn.
Grace is emotional again as we bid them hasty good-byes. Taylor is waiting to whisk us away in the Audi SUV. As Christian holds the car door open for me, I turn and toss my bouquet of white and pink roses into the crowd of young women that has gathered.
Mia triumphantly holds it aloft, grinning from ear to ear. Once Im safely in, he bids the waiting crowd farewell. Taylor holds the car door open for him. Congratulations, sir. Thank you, Taylor, Christian replies as he seats himself beside me. As Taylor pulls away, our wedding guests shower the vehicle with rice.
Christian grasps my hand and kisses my knuckles. So far so good, Mrs. So far so wonderful, Mr. Where are we going? Sea-Tac, he says simply and smiles a sphinxlike smile. Taylor does not head for the departure terminal as I expect but through a security gate and directly onto the tarmac. And then I see herChristians jet. Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc. Dont tell me youre misusing company property again!
Oh, I hope so, Anastasia. Christian grins. Taylor halts the Audi at the foot of the steps leading up to the plane and leaps out to open Christians door. They have a brief discussion, then Christian opens my doorand rather than stepping back to give me room to climb out, he leans in and lifts me. What are you doing? I squeak. Carrying you over the threshold, he says. Isnt that supposed to be at home? He carries me effortlessly up the steps, and Taylor follows with my small suitcase.
He leaves it on the threshold of the plane before returning to the Audi. Inside the cabin, I recognize Stephan, Christians pilot, in his uniform. Welcome aboard, sir. Christian puts me down and shakes Stephans hand. Beside Stephan stands a dark-haired woman in herwhat? Early thirties?
Shes also in uniform. Congratulations to you both, Stephan continues. Thank you, Stephan. Anastasia, you know Stephan. Hes our captain today, and this is First Ofcer Beighley.
She blushes as Christian introduces her and blinks rapidly. I want to roll my eyes. Another female completely captivated by my too-handsome-for-his- own-good husband. Delighted to meet you, gushes Beighley. I smile kindly at her. After allhe is mine. All preparations complete? Christian asks them both as I glance around the cabin.
The interior is all pale maple and pale cream leather. Its lovely. Another young woman in uniform stands at the other end of the cabina very pretty brunette. We have the all clear. Weather is good from here to Boston. Not before Boston. Theres a weather front over Shannon that might give us a rough ride. I see. Well, I hope to sleep through it all, says Christian matter- of-factly. Well get underway, sir, Stephan says.
Well leave you in the capable care of Natalia, your ight attendant. Christian glances in her direction and frowns, but turns to Stephan with a smile. Excellent, he says. Taking my hand, he leads me to one of the sumptuous leather seats. There must be about twelve of them in total.
Sit, he says as he removes his jacket and undoes his ne sliver brocade vest. We sit in two single seats facing each other with a small, highly polished table between us. Welcome aboard, sir, maam, and congratulations. Natalia is at our side, offering us each a glass of pink champagne. Thank you, Christian says, and she smiles politely at us and retreats to the galley. Heres to a happy married life, Anastasia. Christian raises his glass to mine, and we clink. The champagne is delicious.
The same. The rst time I drank this it was out of teacups. I remember that day well. Your graduation. Im unable to contain my curiosity any longer. Shannon, Christian says, his eyes alight with excitement. He looks like a small boy.
In Ireland? Were going to Ireland! To refuel, he adds, teasing. I prompt. His grin broadens and he shakes his head. London, he says, gazing intently at me, trying to gauge my reaction.
I gasp. Holy cow. I thought maybe wed be going to New York or Aspen or maybe the Caribbean. I can hardly believe it. My lifetime ambition has been to visit England. Im lit up from within, incandescent with happiness. Then Paris. Then the South of France. I know youve always dreamed of going to Europe, he says softly. I want to make your dreams come true, Anastasia. You are my dreams come true, Christian. Back at you, Mrs.
Grey, he whispers. Oh my. Buckle up. I grin and do as Im told. As the plane taxis out onto the runway, we sip our champagne,. I cant believe it. At twenty-two years old, Im nally leaving the United States and going to Europeto London of all places. Once were airborne, Natalia serves us yet more champagne and prepares our wedding feast.
And what a feast it issmoked salmon, followed by roast partridge with a green bean salad and dauphinoise potatoes, all cooked and served by the ever-efcient Natalia. Dessert, Mr. He shakes his head and runs his nger across his bottom lip as he looks questioningly at me, his expression dark and unreadable. No, thank you, I murmur, unable to break eye contact with him.
His lips curl up in a small, secret smile, and Natalia retreats. Good, he murmurs. Id rather planned on having you for dessert. I know. I can still take you there and feed you. He glares at me. I shake my head and decide not to antagonize him. Its very beautiful up here, thank you. Impressive, isnt it? Impressive that you can do this. Flattery from you, Miss Steele? But Im a man of many talents. Im fully aware of that, Mr. He turns and smirks at me, and for the rst time in ve days, I relax a little.
Perhaps this wont be so bad. Hows the new job? Good, thank you. Whats your boss like? Oh, hes okay. How can I tell Christian that Jack makes me uncomfortable? Christian glances at me. Whats wrong? Aside from the obvious, nothing. The obvious? Oh, Christian, you really are very obtuse sometimes. Im not sure I appreciate your tone, Miss Steele. Well, dont, then. His lips twitch into a smile. I have missed your smart mouth, Anastasia. I gasp and I want to shout, Ive missed youall of younot just your mouth!
But I keep quiet and gaze out the glass shbowl that is Charlie Tangos windshield as we continue south. The dusk is to our right, the sun low on the horizonlarge, blazing ery orangeand I am Icarus again, ying far too close.
Its a clear, crisp evening, and the lights of Portland twinkle and wink, welcoming us as Christian sets the helicopter down on the helipad. We are on top of the strange brown brick building in Portland we left less than three weeks ago. Its been hardly any time at all. Yet I feel like Ive known Christian for a lifetime. He powers down Charlie Tango, ipping various switches so the rotors stop, and eventually all I hear is my own breathing through the headphones. Briey it reminds me of the Thomas Tallis experience.
I blanch. I dont want to go there right now. Christian unbuckles his harness and leans across to undo mine. Good trip, Miss Steele?
Yes, thank you, Mr. Grey, I reply politely. Well, lets go see the boys photos. He holds his hand out to me and taking it, I climb out of Charlie Tango. A gray-haired man with a beard walks over to meet us, grinning broadly, and I recognize him as the old-timer from the last time we were here. Christian smiles and releases my hand to shake Joes warmly. Keep her safe for Stephan.
Hell be along around eight or nine. Will do, Mr. Maam, he says, nodding at me. Your cars waiting downstairs, sir. Oh, and the elevators out of order; youll need to use the stairs. Thank you, Joe. Christian takes my hand, and we head to the emergency stairs. Good thing for you this is only three oors, in those heels, he mutters in disapproval.
No kidding. Dont you like the boots? I like them very much, Anastasia. His gaze darkens and I think he might say something else, but he stops. Well take it slow. I dont want you falling and breaking your neck. My anxiety has returned full force, and I realize that our time in Charlie Tango has been the eye of the storm. Christian is quiet and brooding. Theres so much I want to say, but this journey is too short. Christian stares pensively out the window.
Jos is just a friend, I murmur. Christian turns and gazes at me, his eyes dark and guarded, giving nothing away. His mouthoh, his mouth is distracting, and unbidden. I remember it on meeverywhere. My skin heats. He shifts in his seat and frowns.
Those beautiful eyes look too large in your face, Anastasia. Please tell me youll eat. Yes, Christian, Ill eat, I answer automatically, a platitude. I mean it. Do you, now? I cannot keep the disdain out of my voice. Honestly, the audacity of this manthis man who has put me through hell over the last few days. No, thats wrong. Ive put myself through hell. Its him. I shake my head, confused. I dont want to ght with you, Anastasia. I want you back, and I want you healthy, he says.
But nothings changed. Youre still fty shades. Lets talk on the way back. Were here. The car pulls up in front of the gallery, and Christian climbs out, leaving me speechless. He opens the car door for me, and I clamber out. Why do you do that? My voice is louder than I expected. Do what?
Christian is taken aback. Say something like that and then just stop. Anastasia, were here. Where you want to be. Lets do this and then talk. I dont particularly want a scene in the street. I glance around. Hes right. Its too public. I press my lips together as he glares down at me. Okay, I mutter sulkily. Clasping my hand, he takes me into the building. We are in a converted warehousebrick walls, dark wood oors, white ceilings, and white pipe work. Its airy and modern, and there are several people wandering across the gallery oor, sipping wine and admiring Joss work.
For a moment, my troubles melt away as I grasp that Jos has realized his dream. Way to go, Jos! Good evening and welcome to Jos Rodriguezs show. A young woman dressed in black with very short brown hair, bright red lipstick, and large hooped earrings greets us. She glances briey at me, then much longer than is strictly necessary at Christian, then turns back to me, blinking as she blushes.
My brow creases. Hes mineor was. I try hard not to scowl at her. As her eyes regain their focus, she blinks again. Oh, its you, Ana. Well want your take on all this, too. Grinning, she hands me a brochure and directs me to a table laden with drinks and snacks.
You know her? Christian frowns. I shake my head, equally puzzled. He shrugs, distracted. What would you like to drink? Ill have a glass of white wine, thank you. His brow furrows, but he holds his tongue and heads for the open bar. Jos comes barreling through a throng of people. Holy cow! Hes wearing a suit. He looks good and hes beaming at me. He enfolds me in his arms, hugging me hard. And its all I can do not to burst into tears. My friend, hes my only friend while Kate is away.
Tears pool in my eyes. Ana, Im so glad you made it, he whispers in my ear. Abruptly he holds me at arms length, examining me. Hey are you okay? You look, well, odd. Dios mo, have you lost weight? I blink back my tears not him too.
Jos, Im ne. Im just so happy for you. Congratulations on the show. My voice wavers as I see the concern etched on his oh-so-familiar face, but I have to hold myself together. How did you get here? Christian brought me, I say, suddenly apprehensive. Joss face falls and he releases me. Where is he? His expression darkens.
Over there, fetching drinks. I nod in Christians direction and notice that hes exchanging pleasantries with someone waiting in line. Christian glances up and our eyes lock.
And in that brief moment, Im paralyzed, staring at the impossibly handsome man who gazes at me with some unfathomable emotion. His gaze hot, burning into me, and were lost for a moment staring at each other. Holy cow. This beautiful man wants me back, and deep down inside me sweet joy slowly unfurls like a morning glory in the early dawn.
Jos distracts me, and Im dragged back to the here and now. Jos, the journalist from the Portland Printz is here to see you. Come on. She gives me a polite smile.
How cool is this? The fame. He grins, and I cant help but grin backhes so happy. Catch you later, Ana. He kisses my. Joss photographs are everywhere, and in some cases, blown up onto huge canvases. There are both monochromes and colors. Theres an ethereal beauty to many of the landscapes. In one taken near the lake at Vancouver, its early evening and pink clouds are reected in the stillness of the water.
Briey, Im transported by the tranquility and the peace. Its stunning. Christian joins me, and hands me my glass of white wine. Does it come up to scratch?
My voice sounds more normal. He looks quizzically at me. The wine. Rarely does at these kinds of events. The boys quite talented, isnt he? Christian is admiring the lake photo. Why else do you think I asked him to take your portrait? The pride is obvious in my voice. His eyes glide impassively from the photograph to me. Christian Grey? The photographer from the Portland Printz approaches Christian. Can I have a picture, sir? Christian hides his scowl. I step back, but he grabs my hand and pulls me to his side.
The photographer looks at both of us and cant hide his surprise. Grey, thank you. He snaps a couple of photos. Ana Steele, I reply. Thank you, Miss Steele.
He scurries off. I looked for pictures of you with dates on the Internet. There arent any. Thats why Kate thought you were gay. Christians mouth twitches into a smile. That explains your inappropriate question. No, I dont do dates, Anastasiaonly with you. But you know that. His voice is quiet with sincerity. So you never took yourI glance around nervously to check no one can overhear ussubs out? Not on dates.
Shopping, you know. He shrugs, his eyes not leaving mine. Oh, so just in the playroomhis Red Room of Pain and his apartment. I dont know what to feel about that. Just you, Anastasia, he whispers. I blush and stare down at my ngers.
In his own way, he does care about me. Your friend here seems more of a landscape man, not portraits. Lets look around. I take his outstretched hand.
We wander past a few more prints, and I notice a couple nodding at me, smiling broadly as if they know me. It must be because Im with Christian, but one young man is blatantly staring. We turn the corner, and I see why Ive been getting strange looks.
Hanging on the far wall are seven huge portraitsof me. I stare blankly at them, stupeed, the blood draining from my face.
All in super close up, all in black and white. Holy shit! I remember Jos messing with the camera on a couple of occasions when he was visiting and when Id been out with him as driver and photographers assistant. He took snapshots, or so I thought. Not these invasive candid shots. Christian is staring, transxed, at each of the pictures in turn. Seems Im not the only one, he mutters cryptically, his mouth settling into a hard line.
I think hes angry. Excuse me, he says, pinning me with his bright gaze for a moment. He heads to the reception desk. Whats his problem now? He shes out his wallet and produces his credit card.
He must have bought one of them. Youre the muse. These photographs are terric. A young man with a shock of bright blond hair startles me.
I feel a hand at my elbow and Christian is back. Youre a lucky guy. Blond Shock says to Christian, who gives him a cold stare.
That I am, he mutters darkly, as he pulls me over to one side. Did you just buy one of these?
One of these? You bought more than one? He rolls his eyes. I bought them all, Anastasia. I dont want some stranger ogling you in the privacy of their home. My rst inclination is to laugh. Youd rather it was you? I scoff. He glares down at me, caught off guard by my audacity, I think, but hes trying to hide his amusement. Frankly, yes. Pervert, I mouth at him and bite my lower lip to prevent my smile.
His mouth drops open, and now his amusement is obvious. He strokes his chin thoughtfully. Cant argue with that assessment, Anastasia. He shakes his head, and his eyes soften with humor.
Id discuss it further with you, but Ive signed an NDA. He sighs, gazing at me, and his eyes darken. What Id like to do to your smart mouth, he murmurs. I gasp, knowing full well what he means. Youre very rude.
I try to sound shocked and succeed. Has he no boundaries? He smirks, amused then frowns. You look very relaxed in these photographs, Anastasia. I dont see you like that very often. Change of subjecttalk about non sequitur from playful to serious. I ush and glance down at my ngers. He tilts my head back, and I inhale sharply at the contact with his ngers. I want you that relaxed with me, he whispers. All trace of humor has gone. Deep inside me that joy stirs again.
But how can this be? We have issues. You have to stop intimidating me if you want that, I snap. You have to learn to communicate and tell me how you feel, he snaps back, eyes blazing.
I take a deep breath. Christian, you wanted me as a submissive. Thats where the problem lies. Its in the denition of a submissive you e-mailed it to me once. I pause, trying to recall the wording. I think the synonyms were, and I quote, compliant, pliant, amenable, passive, tractable, resigned, patient, docile, tame, subdued. I wasnt supposed to look at you. Not talk to you unless you gave me permission to do so. What do you expect? I hiss at him. His frown deepens as I continue.
Its very confusing being with you. You dont want me to defy you, but then you like my smart mouth. You want obedience, except when you dont, so you can punish me. I just dont know which way is up when Im with you. He narrows his eyes. Good point well made, as usual, Miss Steele. His voice is frigid. Come, lets go eat. Weve only been here for half an hour. Youve seen the photos; youve spoken to the boy. His name is Jos.
Youve spoken to Josthe man who, the last time I met him, was trying to push his tongue into your reluctant mouth while you were drunk and sick, he snarls. Hes never hit me, I spit at him. Christian scowls, fury emanating from every pore. Thats a low blow, Anastasia, he whispers menacingly. I pale, and Christian runs his hands through his hair, bristling with barely contained anger. I glare back at him.
Im taking you for something to eat. Youre fading away in front of me. Find the boy, say good-bye. Please, can we stay longer? Say good-bye. I glower at him, my blood boiling. Damned Control Freak. Angry is good. Angry is better than tearful. I drag my gaze away from him and scan the room for Jos.
Hes talking to a group of young women. I stalk off toward him and away from Fifty. Just because he brought me here, I have to do as he says? Who the hell does he think he is? The girls are hanging on Joss every word. One of them gasps as I approach, no doubt recognizing me from the portraits. Excuse me, girls. Jos grins at them and puts his arm around me, and on some level Im amusedJos all smooth, impressing the ladies. You look mad, he says. I have to go, I mutter mulishly. You just got here.
I know but Christian needs to get back. The pictures are fantastic, Josyoure very talented. He beams.
It was so cool seeing you. Jose sweeps me into a big bear hug, spinning me so I can see Christian across the gallery. Hes scowling, and I realize its because Im in Joss arms. So in a very calculating move, I wrap my arms around Joss neck.
I think Christian is going to expire. His glare darkens to something quite sinister, and slowly he makes his way toward us. Thanks for the warning about the portraits of me, I mumble. Sorry, Ana. I should have told you. Dyou like them? I dont know, I answer truthfully, momentarily knocked off balance by his question. Well, theyre all sold, so somebody likes them. How cool is that? Youre a poster girl. He hugs me tighter as Christian reaches us, glowering at me now, though fortunately Jos doesnt see.
Jos releases me. Dont be a stranger, Ana. Oh, Mr. Grey, good evening. Rodriguez, very impressive. Christian sounds icily polite. Im sorry we cant stay longer, but we need to head back to Seattle. He subtly stresses we, and takes my hand as he does so. Bye, Jos. Congratulations again. I give him a quick kiss on the cheek, and before I know it Christian is dragging me out of the building.
I know hes boiling with silent wrath, but so am I. He looks quickly up and down the street then heads left and. He grabs my face between his hands, forcing me to look up into his ardent, determined eyes. I gasp, and his mouth swoops down. Hes kissing me, violently. Briey our teeth clash, then his tongue is in my mouth.
Desire explodes like the Fourth of July throughout my body, and Im kissing him back, matching his fervor, my hands knotting in his hair, pulling it, hard. He groans, a low sexy sound in the back of his throat that reverberates through me, and his hand moves down my body to the top of my thigh, his ngers digging into my esh through the plum dress. I pour all the angst and heartbreak of the last few days into our kiss, binding him to me, and it hits mein this moment of blinding passionhes doing the same, he feels the same.
He breaks off the kiss, panting. His eyes are luminous with desire, ring the already heated blood that is pounding through my body. My mouth is slack as I try to drag precious air into my lungs. Mine, he snarls, emphasizing each word. He pushes away from me and bends, hands on his knees as if hes run a marathon.
For the love of God, Ana. I lean against the wall, panting, trying to control the riotous reaction in my body, trying to nd my equilibrium. Im sorry, I whisper once my breath has returned. You should be. I know what you were doing. Do you want the photographer, Anastasia? He obviously has feelings for you. I shake my head, guiltily. Hes just a friend. I have spent all my adult life trying to avoid any extreme emotion. Yet you.
Its very. He frowns, grasping for the word. I like control, Ana, and around you that justhe stands, his gaze intenseevaporates. He waves his hand vaguely, then runs it through his hair and takes a deep breath.
He clasps my hand. Come, we need to talk, and you need to eat. I do not own any photos or books I post. However I claim photos or books that are watermarked or stated. If you saw your photo or books just tell me right away, and I'll give you a proper credit. Flag for inappropriate content.
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