Home > Grey (Fifty Shades #4)(15)

Grey (Fifty Shades #4)(15)
Author: E.L. James

An image of her shackled to my bench, peeled gingerroot inserted in her ass so she can’t clench her buttocks, comes to mind, followed by judicious use of a belt or strap. Yeah…That would teach her not to be so irresponsible. The thought is hugely appealing.

She’s staring at me wide-eyed and dazed, and it makes me uncomfortable. Can she read my mind? Or is she just looking at a pretty face.

“I’m going to have a shower. Unless you’d like to shower first?” I tell her, but she continues to gape. Even with her mouth open she’s quite lovely. She’s hard to resist, and I grant myself permission to touch her, tracing the line of her cheek with my thumb. Her breath catches in her throat as I stroke her soft bottom lip.

“Breathe, Anastasia,” I murmur, before I stand and inform her that breakfast will be here in fifteen minutes. She says nothing, her smart mouth silent for once.

In the bathroom I take a deep breath, strip, and climb into the shower. I’m half tempted to jerk off, but the familiar fear of discovery and disclosure, from an earlier time in my life, stops me.

Elena would not be pleased.

Old habits.

As the water cascades over my head I reflect on my latest interaction with the challenging Miss Steele. She’s still here, in my bed, so she cannot find me completely repulsive. I noticed the way her breath caught in her throat, and how her gaze followed me around the room.

Yeah. There’s hope.

But would she make a good submissive?

It’s obvious she knows nothing of the lifestyle. She couldn’t even say “fuck” or “sex” or whatever bookish college students use as a euphemism for fucking these days. She’s quite the innocent. She’s probably been subjected to a few fumbling encounters with boys like the photographer.

The thought of her fumbling with anyone irks me.

I could just ask her if she’s interested.

No. I’d have to show her what she’d be taking on if she agreed to a relationship with me.

Let’s see how we both fare over breakfast.

Rinsing off the soap, I stand beneath the hot stream and gather my wits for round two with Anastasia Steele. I switch off the water and, stepping out of the shower, grab a towel. A quick check in the steamed-up mirror and I decide to skip shaving today. Breakfast will be here shortly, and I’m hungry. Quickly I brush my teeth.

When I open the bathroom door she’s out of bed and searching for her jeans. She looks up like the archetypal startled fawn, all long legs and big eyes.

“If you’re looking for your jeans, I’ve sent them to the laundry.” She really has great legs. She shouldn’t hide them in pants. Her eyes narrow, and I think she’s going to argue with me, so I tell her why. “They were spattered with your vomit.”

“Oh,” she says.

Yes. “Oh.” Now, what do you have to say to that, Miss Steele?

“I sent Taylor out for another pair and some shoes. They’re in the bag on the chair.” I nod at the shopping bag.

She raises her eyebrows—in surprise, I think. “Um. I’ll have a shower,” she mutters, and then as an afterthought she adds, “Thanks.”

Grabbing the bag, she dodges around me, darts into the bathroom, and locks the door.

Hmm…she couldn’t get into the bathroom quick enough.

Away from me.

Perhaps I’m being too optimistic.

Disheartened, I briskly dry off and get dressed. In the living room I check my e-mail, but there’s nothing urgent. I’m interrupted by a knock on the door. Two young women have arrived from room service.

“Where would you like breakfast, sir?”

“Set it up on the dining table.”

Walking back into the bedroom, I catch their furtive looks, but I ignore them and suppress the guilt I feel over how much food I’ve ordered. We’ll never eat it all.

“Breakfast is here,” I call, and rap on the bathroom door.

“O-okay.” Ana’s voice sounds a little muted.

Back in the living room, our breakfast is on the table. One of the women, who has dark, dark eyes, hands me the check to sign, and from my wallet I pull a couple of twenties for them.

“Thank you, ladies.”

“Just call room service when you want the table cleared, sir,” Miss Dark Eyes says with a coquettish look, as if she’s offering more.

My chilly smile warns her off.

Sitting down at the table with the newspaper, I pour myself a coffee and make a start on my omelet. My phone buzzes—a text from Elliot.

Kate wants to know if Ana is still alive.

I chuckle, somewhat mollified that Ana’s so-called friend is thinking about her. It’s obvious that Elliot hasn’t given his dick a rest after all his protestations yesterday. I text back.

Alive and kicking ;)

Ana appears a few moments later: hair wet, in the pretty blue blouse that matches her eyes. Taylor has done well; she looks lovely. Scanning the room, she spots her purse.

“Crap, Kate!” she blurts.

“She knows you’re here and still alive. I texted Elliot.”

She gives me an uncertain smile as she walks toward the table.

“Sit,” I say, pointing to the place that’s been set for her. She frowns at the amount of food on the table, which only accentuates my guilt.

“I didn’t know what you liked, so I ordered a selection from the breakfast menu,” I mutter by way of an apology.

“That’s very profligate of you,” she says.

“Yes, it is.” My guilt blooms. But as she opts for the pancakes, scrambled eggs, and bacon with maple syrup, and tucks in, I forgive myself. It’s good to see her eat.

“Tea?” I ask.

“Yes, please,” she says between mouthfuls. She’s obviously famished. I pass her the small teapot of water. She gives me a sweet smile when she notices the Twinings English Breakfast tea.

I have to catch my breath at her expression. And it makes me uneasy.

It gives me hope.

“Your hair’s very damp,” I observe.

“I couldn’t find the hair dryer,” she says, embarrassed.

She’ll get sick.

“Thank you for the clothes,” she adds.

“It’s a pleasure, Anastasia. That color suits you.”

She stares down at her fingers.

“You know, you really should learn to take a compliment.”

Perhaps she doesn’t get many…but why? She’s gorgeous in an understated way.

“I should give you some money for these clothes.”

What?

I glare at her, and she continues quickly, “You’ve already given me the books, which, of course, I can’t accept. But these, please let me pay you back.”

Sweetheart.

“Anastasia, trust me, I can afford it.”

“That’s not the point. Why should you buy these for me?”

“Because I can.” I’m a very rich man, Ana.

“Just because you can doesn’t mean that you should.” Her voice is soft, but suddenly I’m wondering if she’s looked through me and seen my darkest desires. “Why did you send me the books, Christian?”

Because I wanted to see you again, and here you are…

“Well, when you were nearly run over by the cyclist—and I was holding you and you were looking up at me—all ‘kiss me, kiss me, Christian’—” I stop, recalling that moment, her body pressed against mine. Shit. Quickly I shrug off the memory. “I felt I owed you an apology and a warning. Anastasia, I’m not a hearts-and-flowers kind of man. I don’t do romance. My tastes are very singular. You should steer clear of me. There’s something about you, though, and I’m finding it impossible to stay away. But I think you’ve figured that out already.”

“Then don’t,” she whispers.

What?

“You don’t know what you’re saying.”

“Enlighten me, then.”

Her words travel straight to my cock.

Fuck.

“You’re not celibate?” she asks.

“No, Anastasia, I’m not celibate.” And if you’d let me tie you up I’d prove it to you right now.

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