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Therefore, she cannot attend the interview she’d arranged to do, with some mega-industri-alist tycoon I’ve never heard of, for the student newspaper. Ihave final exams to cram for, one essay to finish, and I’m supposed to be working this af-ternoon, but no – today I have to drive a hundred and sixty-five miles to downtown Seattlein order to meet the enigmatic CEO of Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. Kate is huddled on the couch in the living room.“Ana, I’m sorry. It will take anothersix to reschedule, and we’ll both have graduated by then. Please,” Kate begs me in her rasping, sore throat voice. Evenill she looks gamine and gorgeous, strawberry blonde hair in place and green eyes bright,although now red-rimmed and runny. She’s wearing the sharpest charcoal suit jacket and white shirt Ihave ever seen. I am beginning to wish I’d borrowed one of Kate’s formal blazersrather than wear my navy blue jacket. The elevator whisks me with terminal velocity to the twentieth floor. Trouton,” says Grey when he catches my gaze.“They’re lovely. I stayed with Ray.”He frowns as if he doesn’t understand.“You didn’t want to live with your mom? As an exceptionalentrepreneur and major benefactor of our University, his time is extraordinarily precious– much more precious than mine – but he has granted Kate an interview. I ignore my pang of unwelcome sympathy.“Of course I’ll go Kate. I have made an effort and worn my one and onlyskirt, my sensible brown knee-length boots and a blue sweater. I tuckone of the escaped tendrils of my hair behind my ear as I pretend she doesn’t intimidate me.“Miss Kavanagh is expected. You’ll want the lastelevator on the right, press for the twentieth floor.” She smiles kindly at me, amused nodoubt, as I sign in. The doors slideopen, and I’m in another large lobby – again all glass, steel, and white sandstone. Raising the ordinary to extraordinary,” I murmur, distracted both byhim and the paintings. I refrain from rolling my eyes at him.“He likes soccer – European soccer especially – and bowling, and fly-fishing, and mak-ing furniture. Kate isbusy too, compiling her last edition of her student magazine before she has to relinquishit to the new editor while also cramming for her finals. And if I finda photographer, I can do some serious admiring tomorrow. My heart lurches at the prospect, but it’s a short-lived joy. When she explains at reception that we’re here to photograph Christian Grey CEO, we are instantly upgraded to a suite. His hazel eyes watch us impassively.“Miss Steele, we meet again.” Grey extends his hand, and I shake it, blinking rapidly. Grey.” She shakes his hand firmly without batting an eyelid. And thenwe’ll do a few standing, too.” She directs him to a chair set up against the wall. Maybe he thinks you haven’t woken up yet,my subconsciouswhines at me in a sneering mood again. We have a large 4x4 here, so he’ll be able totake the equipment too.”“Mr. ” Taylor asks when he reaches us, giving nothing away.“Please, can you drive the photographer, his assistant, and Miss Kavanagh back home? Finally, she fishes her car keys out ofher pocket and hands them to me. Don’t be long, or I’ll send out search and rescue.”“Thanks.” I hug her. ”Oh, an easy questions for starters.“Since our freshman year. ”“You seem nervous around men.”Holy crap, that’s personal. I glance at him, and he gives me an encouraging but wry smile.“It gives me some sort of clue what you might be thinking,” he breathes.
It’s a stunning vista, and I’m momentarily paralyzed by the view. I sit down, fish the questions from my satchel, and go through them, inwardly curs-ing Kate for not providing me with a brief biography. ”“Um – no.” Oh dear, is Blonde Number One in trouble? Next, I set up the mini-disc recorder and am all fingersand thumbs, dropping it twice on the coffee table in front of me. Grey says nothing,waiting patiently – I hope – as I become increasingly embarrassed and flustered. I’m feeling much better.” She smiles at me in grati-tude. I can still make my shift at Clayton’s.”“Ana, you’ll be exhausted.”“I’ll be fine.
I know nothing about this man I’mabout to interview. The uncertainty is galling,and my nerves resurface, making me fidget. ” the latest blonde asks.“Yes,” I croak, and clear my throat. Blonde Number Two frowns and eyes the young woman at the desk.“Would you like tea, coffee, water? I’m wondering idly ifthat’s legal, when the office door opens and a tall, elegantly dressed, attractive African-American man with short dreads exits. When Ipluck up the courage to look at him, he’s watching me, one hand relaxed in his lap and theother cupping his chin and trailing his long index finger across his lips. I’m driving more cautiously than I would on any other occa-sion. I switch on the MP3 player and turn the volume uploud, sit back, and listen to thumping indie rock music as I press down on the accelerator. He made me feellike such an idiot for skimping on basic research.” Kate clamps a hand to her mouth.“Jeez, Ana, I’m sorry – I didn’t think.”I huff.“Mostly he was courteous, formal, slightly stuffy – like he’s old before his time. I’ll see you later.”I’ve worked at Clayton’s since I started at WSU.
Any resemblance to actual peopleliving or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental. ” he asks, his irritation forgotten.“I’ve never left mainland USA.” So now we’re back to banalities.
The Writer’s Coffee Shop(Australia) PO Box 2013 Hornsby Westfield NSW 1635(USA) PO Box 2116 Waxahachie TX 75168Paperback ISBN-978-1-61213-028-6E-book ISBN-978-1-61213-029-3A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the US Congress Library.
His eyes arealight with some wicked thought.“But if you work so hard, what do you do to chill out? ” You are a control freak.“I want to deserve to possess them, but yes, bottom line, I do.”“You sound like the ultimate consumer.”“I am.” He smiles, but the smile doesn’t touch his eyes. I’m not inter-ested in extending my family beyond that.”“Are you gay, Mr. That night I dream of dark places, bleak white cold floors, andgray eyes. Travis is José’s friend and gopher, here to help out with the lighting. As I touch his hand, I’m aware of that delicious cur-rent running right through me, lighting me up, making me blush, and I’m sure my erraticbreathing must be audible.“Mr. I scoot around him to enter theroom, finding Katherine in deep discussion with José.“Ana, I think he definitely likes you,” she says with no preamble whatsoever. By some miracle, she does.“Kate, if you take the Beetle, can I take your car? ”“Christian Grey has asked me to go for coffee with him.”Her mouth pops open. “He’s gorgeous, Iagree, but I think he’s dangerous. “There’s nothing mysterious about me.”“I think you’re very self-contained,” he murmurs.
Again this is at odds withsomeone who wants to feed the world, so I can’t help thinking that we’re talking aboutsomething else, but I’m absolutely mystified as to what it is. The tempera-ture in the room is rising or maybe it’s just me. For the rest of the week, I throw myself into my studies and my job at Clayton’s. Kate has managed to acquirethe use of a room at the Heathman free of charge for the morning in exchange for a creditin the article. Grey is followed into the suite by a man in hismid-thirties, all buzz-cut and stubble in a sharp dark suit and tie who stands silently in thecorner. Grey, this is Katherine Kavanagh,” I mutter, waving a hand toward Kate whocomes forward, looking him squarely in the eye.“The tenacious Miss Kavanagh. ” He gives her a small smile, look-ing genuinely amused. Anastasia said you were unwell lastweek.”“I’m fine, thank you, Mr. Especially to someone like you.”“What do you mean, someone like me? You know what I mean,” she says a little irritated. I’m starting my exams this week, and I need to study, so I won’tbe long.”She purses her lips as if considering my request. His soft, warm voice startles me from myreverie.“How long have you known Katherine Kavanagh? First published by The Writer’s Coffee Shop, 2011Copyright © E L James, 2011The right of E L James to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by herunder the Copyright Amendment (Moral Rights) Act 2000This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968,no part maybe reproduced, copied, scanned, stored in a retrieval system, recorded ortransmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of thepublisher. Names, characters, places and incidents are either a prod-uct of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. She hands me a security pass that has VISITOR very firmly stamped on the front. I’mconfronted by another desk of sandstone and another young blonde woman dressed impec-cably in black and white who rises to greet me.“Miss Steele, could you wait here, please? I stand rather shakily trying to suppress my nerves. Holy cow – he’s soyoung.“Miss Kavanagh.” He extends a long-fingered hand to me once I’m upright. He cocks his head to one side and regards me intently.“I couldn’t agree more, Miss Steele,” he replies, his voice soft and for some inexpli-cable reason I find myself blushing. ” She points to a seated area of white leatherchairs. “Good afternoon ladies,” he says as he departs through the sliding door.“Mr. Gathering up my satchel, I abandon myglass of water and make my way to the partially open door.“You don’t need to knock – just go in.” She smiles kindly. Grey’s office, and gentle hands are around me helping me to stand. Apart from the paintings, the rest of the office is cold, clean, and clinical. My only option is to restrain my wayward hair ina ponytail and hope that I look semi presentable. Oh, the Merc is a fun drive, and the miles slip away as I floor the pedal to the metal. It’s a quarter to two when Iarrive, greatly relieved that I’m not late as I walk into the enormous – and frankly intimi-dating – glass, steel, and white sandstone lobby. If this guy is over thirty then I’m a monkey’s uncle. As our fingers touch, I feel an odd exhilaratingshiver run through me. They are exquisite – a series of mundane, forgotten objects painted insuch precise detail they look like photographs.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating