Home > Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1)(7)

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1)(7)
Author: E.L. James

Grey raises an eyebrow.

"What sort of photographs does she want?"

Okay. I hadn't factored in this response. I shake my head, because I just don't know.

"Well, I'm around. Tomorrow, perhaps... " he trails off.

"You'd be willing to attend a photo shoot?" My voice is squeaky again. Kate will be in seventh heaven if I can pull this off. And you might see him again tomorrow, that dark place at the base of my brain whispers seductively at me. I dismiss the thought - of all the silly, ridiculous...

"Kate will be delighted - if we can find a photographer." I'm so pleased, I smile at him broadly. His lips part, like he's taking a sharp intake of breath, and he blinks. For a fraction of a second, he looks lost somehow, and the Earth shifts slightly on its axis, the tectonic plates sliding into a new position.

Oh my. Christian Grey's lost look.

"Let me know about tomorrow." Reaching into his back pocket, he pulls out his wallet. "My card. It has my cell number on it. You'll need to call before ten in the morning."

"Okay." I grin up at him. Kate is going to be thrilled.

"ANA!"

Paul has materialized at other the end of the aisle. He's Mr. Clayton's youngest brother. I'd heard he was home from Princeton, but I wasn't expecting to see him today.

"Er, excuse me for a moment, Mr. Grey." Grey frowns as I turn away from him.

Paul has always been a buddy, and in this strange moment that I'm having with the rich, powerful, awesomely off-the-scale attractive control-freak Grey, it's great to talk to someone who's normal. Paul hugs me hard taking me by surprise.

"Ana, hi, it's so good to see you!" he gushes.

"Hello Paul, how are youYou home for your brother's birthday?"

"Yep. You're looking well, Ana, really well." He grins as he examines me at arm's length. Then he releases me but keeps a possessive arm draped over my shoulder. I shuffle from foot to foot, embarrassed. It's good to see Paul, but he's always been over-familiar.

When I glance up at Christian Grey, he's watching us like a hawk, his gray eyes hooded and speculative, his mouth a hard impassive line. He's changed from the weirdly attentive customer to someone else - someone cold and distant.

"Paul, I'm with a customer. Someone you should meet," I say, trying to defuse the antagonism I see in Grey's eyes. I drag Paul over to meet him, and they weigh each other up. The atmosphere is suddenly arctic.

"Er, Paul, this is Christian Grey. Mr. Grey, this is Paul Clayton. His brother owns the place." And for some irrational reason, I feel I have to explain a bit more.

"I've known Paul ever since I've worked here, though we don't see each other that often. He's back from Princeton where he's studying business administration." I'm babbling... Stop, now!

"Mr. Clayton." Christian holds his hand out, his look unreadable.

"Mr. Grey," Paul returns his handshake. "Wait up - not the Christian GreyOf Grey Enterprises Holdings?" Paul goes from surly to awestruck in less than a nanosecond. Grey gives him a polite smile that doesn't reach his eyes.

"Wow - is there anything I can get you?"

"Anastasia has it covered, Mr. Clayton. She's been very attentive." His expression is impassive, but his words... it's like he's saying something else entirely. It's baffling.

"Cool," Paul responds. "Catch you later, Ana."

"Sure, Paul." I watch him disappear toward the stock room. "Anything else, Mr.

Grey?"

"Just these items." His tone is clipped and cool. Damn... have I offended himTaking a deep breath, I turn and head for the till. What is his problem

I ring up the rope, coveralls, masking tape, and cable ties at the till.

"That will be forty-three dollars, please." I glance up at Grey, and I wish I hadn't. He's watching me closely, his gray eyes intense and smoky. It's unnerving.

"Would you like a bag?" I ask as I take his credit card.

"Please, Anastasia." His tongue caresses my name, and my heart once again is frantic.

I can hardly breathe. Hurriedly, I place his purchases in a plastic carrier.

"You'll call me if you want me to do the photo shoot?" He's all business once more. I nod, rendered speechless yet again, and hand back his credit card.

"Good. Until tomorrow perhaps." He turns to leave, then pauses. "Oh - and Anastasia, I'm glad Miss Kavanagh couldn't do the interview." He smiles, then strides with renewed purpose out of the store, slinging the plastic bag over his shoulder, leaving me a quivering mass of raging female hormones. I spend several minutes staring at the closed door through which he's just left before I return to planet Earth.

Okay - I like him. There, I've admitted it to myself. I cannot hide from my feelings anymore. I've never felt like this before. I find him attractive, very attractive. But it's a lost cause, I know, and I sigh with bittersweet regret. It was just a coincidence, his coming here. But still, I can admire him from afar, surelyNo harm can come of that. And if I find a photographer, I can do some serious admiring tomorrow. I bite my lip in anticipation and find myself grinning like a schoolgirl. I need to phone Kate and organize a photo-shoot.

Chapter Three

Kate is ecstatic.

"But what was he doing at Clayton's?" Her curiosity oozes through the phone. I'm in the depths of the stock room, trying to keep my voice casual.

"He was in the area."

"I think that is one huge coincidence, Ana. You don't think he was there to see you?"

she speculates. My heart lurches at the prospect, but it's a short-lived joy. The dull, disappointing reality is that he was here on business.

"He was visiting the farming division of WSU. He's funding some research," I mutter.

"Oh yes. He's given the department a $2.5 million grant."

Wow.

"How do you know this?"

"Ana, I'm a journalist, and I've written a profile on the guy. It's my job to know this."

"Okay, Carla Bernstein, keep your hair on. So do you want these photos?"

"Of course I do. The question is, who's going to do them and where."

"We could ask him where. He says he's staying in the area."

"You can contact him?"

"I have his cell phone number."

Kate gasps.

"The richest, most elusive, most enigmatic bachelor in Washington State, just gave you his cell phone number."

"Er... yes."

"Ana! He likes you. No doubt about it." Her tone is emphatic.

"Kate, he's just trying to be nice." But even as I say the words, I know they're not true

- Christian Grey doesn't do nice. He does polite, maybe. And a small quiet voice whispers, perhaps Kate is right. My scalp prickles at the idea that maybe, just maybe, he might like me. After all, he did say he was glad Kate didn't do the interview. I hug myself with quiet glee, rocking from side to side, entertaining the possibility that he might like me for one brief moment. Kate brings me back to the now.

"I don't know who we'll get to do the shoot. Levi, our regular photographer, can't.

He's home in Idaho Falls for the weekend. He'll be pissed that he blew an opportunity to photo one of America's leading entrepreneurs."

"Hmm... What about Jose?"

"Great idea! You ask him - he'll do anything for you. Then call Grey and find out where he wants us." Kate is irritatingly cavalier about Jose.

"I think you should call him."

"Who, Jose?" Kate scoffs.

"No, Grey."

"Ana, you're the one with the relationship."

"Relationship?" I squeak at her, my voice rising several octaves. "I barely know the guy.""At least you've met him," she says bitterly. "And it looks like he wants to know you better. Ana, just call him," she snaps and hangs up. She is so bossy sometimes. I frown at my cell, sticking my tongue out at it.

I'm just leaving a message for Jose when Paul enters the stock room looking for sand-paper.

Books
     Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1)
     Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades #2)
     Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades #3)
     Grey (Fifty Shades #4)