Home > Grey (Fifty Shades #4)(14)

Grey (Fifty Shades #4)(14)
Author: E.L. James

If you’re still with Kate, tell her.

He texts by return.

Will do.

Hope you get laid.

You soooo need it. ;)

His response makes me snort.

I so do, Elliot. I so do.

I open my work e-mail and begin to read.

SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011

* * *

Nearly two hours later, I come to bed. It’s just after 1:45. She’s fast asleep and hasn’t moved from where I left her. I strip, pull on my PJ pants and a T-shirt, and climb in beside her. She’s comatose; it’s unlikely she’s going to thrash around and touch me. I hesitate for a moment as the darkness swells within me, but it doesn’t surface and I know it’s because I’m watching the hypnotic rise and fall of her chest and I’m breathing in sync with her. In. Out. In. Out. In. Out. For seconds, minutes, hours, I don’t know, I watch her. And while she sleeps I survey every beautiful inch of her lovely face. Her dark lashes fluttering while she sleeps, her lips slightly parted so I glimpse her even white teeth. She mutters something unintelligible and her tongue darts out and licks her lips. It’s arousing, very arousing. Finally I fall into a deep and dreamless slumber.

IT’S QUIET WHEN I open my eyes, and I’m momentarily disoriented. Oh yes. I’m at The Heathman. The clock at my bedside says 7:43.

When was the last time I slept this late?

Ana.

Slowly I turn my head, and she’s fast asleep, facing me. Her beautiful face soft in repose.

I have never slept with a woman. I’ve fucked many, but to wake up beside an alluring young woman is a new and stimulating experience. My cock agrees.

This will not do.

Reluctantly, I climb out of bed and change into my running gear. I need to burn off this…excess energy. As I change into my sweats I can’t remember the last time I’ve slept so well.

In the living room, I fire up my laptop, check my e-mail, and respond to two from Ros and one from Andrea. It takes me a little longer than usual¸ as I’m distracted knowing that Ana is asleep in the next room. I wonder how she’ll feel when she wakes.

Hungover. Ah.

In the minibar I find a bottle of orange juice and empty it into a glass. She’s still asleep when I enter, her hair a riot of mahogany spread across her pillow, and the covers have slipped below her waist. Her T-shirt has ridden up, exposing her belly and her navel. The sight stirs my body once more.

Stop standing here ogling the girl, for fuck’s sake, Grey.

I have to get out of here before I do something I’ll regret. Placing the glass on the bedside table, I duck into the bathroom, find two Advil in my travel kit, and deposit them beside the glass of orange juice.

With one last lingering look at Anastasia Steele—the first woman I’ve ever slept with—I head out for my run.

WHEN I RETURN FROM my exercise, there’s a bag in the living room from a store I don’t recognize. I take a peek and see it contains clothes for Ana. From what I can see, Taylor has done well—and all before 9:00.

The man is a marvel.

Her purse is on the sofa where I dropped it last night, and the door to the bedroom is closed, so I assume she’s not left and that she’s still asleep.

It’s a relief. Poring over the room-service menu, I decide to order some food. She’ll be hungry when she wakes, but I have no idea what she’ll eat, so in a rare moment of indulgence I order a selection from the breakfast menu. I’m informed it will take half an hour.

Time to wake the delectable Miss Steele; she’s slept enough.

Grabbing my workout towel and the shopping bag, I knock on the door and enter. To my delight, she’s sitting up in bed. The tablets are gone and so is the juice.

Good girl.

She pales as I saunter into the room.

Keep it casual, Grey. You don’t want to be charged with kidnapping.

She closes her eyes, and I assume it’s because she’s embarrassed.

“Good morning, Anastasia. How are you feeling?”

“Better than I deserve,” she mutters, as I place the bag on the chair. When she turns her gaze to me her eyes are impossibly big and blue, and though her hair is a tangled mess…she looks stunning.

“How did I get here?” she asks, as though she’s afraid of the answer.

Reassure her, Grey.

I sit down on the edge of the bed and stick to the facts. “After you passed out, I didn’t want to risk the leather upholstery in my car, taking you all the way to your apartment. So I brought you here.”

“Did you put me to bed?”

“Yes.”

“Did I throw up again?”

“No.” Thank God.

“Did you undress me?”

“Yes.” Who else would have undressed you?

She blushes, and at last she has some color in her cheeks. Perfect teeth bite down on her lip. I suppress a groan.

“We didn’t—?” she whispers, staring at her hands.

Christ, what kind of animal does she think I am?

“Anastasia, you were comatose. Necrophilia is not my thing.” My tone is dry. “I like my women sentient and receptive.” She sags with relief, which makes me wonder if this has happened to her before, that she’s passed out and woken up in a stranger’s bed and found out he’s fucked her without her consent. Maybe that’s the photographer’s modus operandi. The thought is disturbing. But I recall her confession last night—that she’d never been drunk before. Thank God she hasn’t made a habit of this.

“I’m so sorry,” she says, her voice full of shame.

Hell. Maybe I should go easy on her.

“It was a very diverting evening. Not one that I’ll forget in a while.” I hope that sounds conciliatory, but her brow creases.

“You didn’t have to track me down with whatever James Bond gadgetry you’re developing for the highest bidder.”

Whoa! Now she’s pissed. Why?

“First, the technology to track cell phones is available over the Internet.”

Well, the Deep Net…

“Second, my company does not invest or manufacture any kind of surveillance devices.”

My temper is fraying, but I’m on a roll. “And third, if I hadn’t come to get you, you’d probably be waking up in the photographer’s bed, and from what I can remember, you weren’t overly enthused about him pressing his suit.”

She blinks a couple of times, then starts giggling.

She’s laughing at me again.

“Which medieval chronicle did you escape from? You sound like a courtly knight.”

She’s beguiling. She’s calling me out…again, and her irreverence is refreshing, really refreshing. However, I’m under no illusion that I’m a knight in shining armor. Boy, has she got the wrong idea. And though it may not be to my advantage, I’m compelled to warn her that there’s nothing chivalrous or courtly about me. “Anastasia, I don’t think so. Dark knight, maybe.” If only she knew—and why are we discussing me? I change the subject. “Did you eat last night?”

She shakes her head.

I knew it!

“You need to eat. That’s why you were so ill. Honestly, it’s drinking rule number one.”

“Are you going to continue to scold me?”

“Is that what I’m doing?”

“I think so.”

“You’re lucky I’m just scolding you.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, if you were mine, you wouldn’t be able to sit down for a week after the stunt you pulled yesterday. You didn’t eat, you got drunk, you put yourself at risk.” The fear in my gut surprises me; such irresponsible, risk-taking behavior. “I hate to think what could have happened to you.”

She scowls. “I would have been fine. I was with Kate.”

Some help she was!

“And the photographer?” I retort.

“José just got out of line,” she says, dismissing my concern and tossing her tangled hair over her shoulder.

“Well, the next time he gets out of line, maybe someone should teach him some manners.”

“You’re quite the disciplinarian,” she snaps.

“Oh, Anastasia, you have no idea.”

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