Home > Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1)(9)

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1)(9)
Author: E.L. James

"Enough sitting." Katherine wades in again. "Standing, Mr. Grey?" she asks.

He stands, and Travis scurries in to remove the chair. The shutter on Jose's Nikon starts clicking again.

"I think we have enough," Jose announces five minutes later.

"Great," says Kate. "Thank you again, Mr. Grey." She shakes his hand, as does Jose.

"I look forward to reading the article, Miss Kavanagh," murmurs Grey, and turns to me, standing by the door. "Will you walk with me, Miss Steele?" he asks.

"Sure," I say, completely thrown. I glance anxiously at Kate, who shrugs at me. I notice Jose scowling behind her.

"Good day to you all," says Grey as he opens the door, standing aside to allow me out first.

Holy hell... what's this aboutWhat does he want I pause in the hotel corridor, fidgeting nervously as Grey emerges from the room followed by Mr. Buzz-Cut in his sharp suit.

"I'll call you, Taylor," he murmurs to Buzz-Cut. Taylor wanders back down the corridor, and Grey turns his burning gray gaze to me. Crap... have I done something wrong?

"I wondered if you would join me for coffee this morning."

My heart slams into my mouth. A dateChristian Grey is asking me on a date. He's asking if you want a coffee. Maybe he thinks you haven't woken up yet, my subconscious whines at me in a sneering mood again. I clear my throat trying to control my nerves.

"I have to drive everyone home," I murmur apologetically, twisting my hands and fingers in front of me.

"TAYLOR," he calls, making me jump. Taylor, who had been retreating down the corridor, turns and heads back toward us.

"Are they based at the university?" Grey asks, his voice soft and inquiring. I nod, too stunned to speak.

"Taylor can take them. He's my driver. We have a large 4x4 here, so he'll be able to take the equipment too."

"Mr. Grey?" Taylor asks when he reaches us, giving nothing away.

"Please, can you drive the photographer, his assistant, and Miss Kavanagh back home?"

"Certainly, sir," Taylor replies.

"There. Now can you join me for coffee?" Grey smiles as if it's a done deal.

I frown at him.

"Um - Mr. Grey, err - this really... look, Taylor doesn't have to drive them home." I flash a brief look at Taylor, who remains stoically impassive. "I'll swap vehicles with Kate, if you give me a moment."

Grey smiles a dazzling, unguarded, natural, all-teeth-showing, glorious smile. Oh my... and he opens the door of the suite so I can re-enter. I scoot around him to enter the room, finding Katherine in deep discussion with Jose.

"Ana, I think he definitely likes you," she says with no preamble whatsoever. Jose glares at me with disapproval. "But I don't trust him," she adds. I raise my hand up in the hope that she'll stop talking. By some miracle, she does.

"Kate, if you take the Beetle, can I take your car?"

"Why?"

"Christian Grey has asked me to go for coffee with him."

Her mouth pops open. Speechless Kate! I savor the moment. She grabs me by my arm and drags me into the bedroom that's off the living area of the suite.

"Ana, there's something about him." Her tone is full of warning. "He's gorgeous, I agree, but I think he's dangerous. Especially to someone like you."

"What do you mean, someone like me?" I demand, affronted.

"An innocent like you, Ana. You know what I mean," she says a little irritated. I flush.

"Kate, it's just coffee. I'm starting my exams this week, and I need to study, so I won't be long."

She purses her lips as if considering my request. Finally, she fishes her car keys out of her pocket and hands them to me. I hand her mine.

"I'll see you later. Don't be long, or I'll send out search and rescue."

"Thanks." I hug her.

I emerge from the suite to find Christian Grey waiting, leaning up against the wall, looking like a male model in a pose for some glossy high-end magazine.

"Okay, let's do coffee," I murmur, flushing a beet red.

He grins.

"After you, Miss Steele." He stands up straight, holding his hand out for me to go first.

I make my way down the corridor, my knees shaky, my stomach full of butterflies, and my heart in my mouth thumping a dramatic uneven beat. I am going to have coffee with Christian Grey... and I hate coffee.

We walk together down the wide hotel corridor to the elevators. What should I say to him My mind is suddenly paralyzed with apprehension. What are we going to talk about?

What on Earth do I have in common with himHis soft, warm voice startles me from my reverie.

"How long have you known Katherine Kavanagh?"

Oh, an easy questions for starters.

"Since our freshman year. She's a good friend."

"Hmm," he replies, non-committal. What is he thinking?

At the elevators, he presses the call button, and the bell rings almost immediately. The doors slide open revealing a young couple in a passionate clinch inside. Surprised and embarrassed, they jump apart, staring guiltily in every direction but ours. Grey and I step into the elevator.

I am struggling to maintain a straight face, so I gaze down at the floor, feeling my cheeks turning pink. When I peek up at Grey through my lashes, he has a hint of a smile on his lips, but it's very hard to tell. The young couple says nothing, and we travel down to the first floor in embarrassed silence. We don't even have trashy piped music to distract us.

The doors open and, much to my surprise, Grey takes my hand, clasping it with his long cool fingers. I feel the current run through me, and my already rapid heartbeat accelerates. As he leads me out of the elevator, we can hear the suppressed giggles of the couple erupting behind us. Grey grins.

"What is it about elevators?" he mutters.

We cross the expansive, bustling lobby of the hotel toward the entrance but Grey avoids the revolving door, and I wonder if that's because he'd have to let go of my hand.

Outside, it's a mild May Sunday. The sun is shining and the traffic is light. Grey turns left and strolls to the corner, where we stop waiting for the lights of the pedestrian crossing to change. He's still holding my hand. I'm in the street, and Christian Grey is holding my hand. No one has ever held my hand. I feel giddy, and I tingle all over. I attempt to smother the ridiculous grin that threatens to split my face in two. Try to be cool, Ana, my subconscious implores me. The green man appears, and we're off again.

We walk four blocks before we reach the Portland Coffee House, where Grey releases me to hold the door open so I can step inside.

"Why don't you choose a table, while I get the drinks. What would you like?" he asks, polite as ever.

"I'll have... um - English Breakfast tea, bag out."

He raises his eyebrows.

"No coffee?"

"I'm not keen on coffee."

He smiles.

"Okay, bag out tea. Sugar?"

For a moment, I'm stunned, thinking it's an endearment, but fortunately my subconscious kicks in with pursed lips. No, stupid - do you take sugar?

"No thanks." I stare down at my knotted fingers.

"Anything to eat?"

"No thank you." I shake my head, and he heads to the counter.

I surreptitiously gaze at him from beneath my lashes as he stands in line waiting to be served. I could watch him all day... he's tall, broad-shouldered, and slim, and the way those pants hang from his hips... Oh my. Once or twice he runs his long, graceful fingers through his now dry but still disorderly hair. Hmm... I'd like to do that. The thought comes unbidden into my mind, and my face flames. I bite my lip and stare down at my hands again not liking where my wayward thoughts are headed.

"Penny for your thoughts?" Grey is back, startling me.

I go crimson. I was just thinking about running my fingers through your hair and wondering if it would feel soft to touch. I shake my head. He's carrying a tray, which he sets down on the small, round, birch-veneer table. He hands me a cup and saucer, a small teapot, and a side plate bearing a lone teabag labeled 'Twinings English Breakfast' - my favorite. He has a coffee which bears a wonderful leaf-pattern imprinted in the milk. How do they do that I wonder idly. He's also bought himself a blueberry muffin. Putting the tray aside, he sits opposite me and crosses his long legs. He looks so comfortable, so at ease with his body, I envy him. Here's me, all gawky and uncoordinated, barely able to get from A to B without falling flat on my face.

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