Home > Grey (Fifty Shades #4)(17)

Grey (Fifty Shades #4)(17)
Author: E.L. James

I want her.

Here.

Now.

In the elevator.

“Oh, fuck the paperwork.” The words come from nowhere and on instinct I grab her and push her against the wall. Clasping both her hands, I pin them above her head so she can’t touch me, and once she’s secure, I twist my other hand in her hair while my lips seek and find hers.

She moans into my mouth, the call of a siren, and finally I can sample her: mint and tea and an orchard of mellow fruitfulness. She tastes every bit as good as she looks. Reminding me of a time of plenty. Good Lord. I’m yearning for her. I grasp her chin, deepening the kiss, and her tongue tentatively touches mine…exploring. Considering. Feeling. Kissing me back.

Oh, God in heaven.

“You. Are. So. Sweet,” I murmur against her lips, completely intoxicated, punch-drunk with her scent and taste.

The elevator stops and the doors begin to open.

Get a fucking grip, Grey.

I push myself off her and stand beyond her reach.

She’s breathing hard.

As am I.

When was the last time I lost control?

Three men in business suits give us knowing looks as they join us.

And I stare at the poster that’s above the buttons in the elevator advertising a sensual weekend at The Heathman. I glance at Ana and exhale.

She grins.

And my lips twitch once more.

What the fuck has she done to me?

The elevator stops at the second floor and the guys get out, leaving me alone with Miss Steele.

“You’ve brushed your teeth,” I observe with wry amusement.

“I used your toothbrush,” she says, eyes shining.

Of course she has…and for some reason, I find this pleasing, too pleasing. I stifle my smile. “Oh, Anastasia Steele, what am I going to do with you?” I take her hand as the elevator doors open on the ground floor, and I mutter under my breath, “What is it about elevators?” She gives me a knowing look as we stroll across the polished marble of the lobby.

The car is waiting in one of the bays in front of the hotel; the valet is pacing impatiently. I give him an obscene tip and open the passenger door for Ana, who is quiet and introspective.

But she hasn’t run.

Even though I jumped her in the elevator.

I should say something about what happened in there—but what?

Sorry?

How was that for you?

What the hell are you doing to me?

I start the car and decide that the less said, the better. The soothing sound of Delibes’s “Flower Duet” fills the car and I begin to relax.

“What are we listening to?” Ana inquires, as I turn onto Southwest Jefferson Street. I tell her and ask her if she likes it.

“Christian, it’s wonderful.”

To hear my name on her lips is a strange delight. She’s said it about half a dozen times now, and each time it’s different. Today, it’s with wonder—at the music. It’s great that she likes this piece: it’s one of my favorites. I find myself beaming; she’s obviously excused me for the elevator outburst.

“Can I hear that again?”

“Of course.” I tap the touch screen to replay the music.

“You like classical music?” she asks, as we cross the Fremont Bridge, and we fall into an easy conversation about my taste in music. While we’re talking I get a call on the hands-free.

“Grey,” I answer.

“Mr. Grey, it’s Welch here. I have the information you require.” Oh yes, details about the photographer.

“Good. E-mail it to me. Anything to add?”

“No, sir.”

I press the button and the music is back. We both listen, now lost in the raw sound of the Kings of Leon. But it doesn’t last long—our listening pleasure is disturbed once more by the hands-free.

What the hell?

“Grey,” I snap.

“The NDA has been e-mailed to you, Mr. Grey.”

“Good. That’s all, Andrea.”

“Good day, sir.”

I sneak a look at Ana, to see if she’s picked up on that conversation, but she’s studying the Portland scenery. I suspect she’s being polite. It’s difficult to keep my eyes on the road. I want to stare at her. For all her maladroitness, she has a beautiful neckline, one that I’d like to kiss from the bottom of her ear right down to her shoulder.

Hell. I shuffle in my seat. I hope she agrees to sign the NDA and to take what I have to offer.

When we join I-5 I get another call.

It’s Elliot.

“Hi, Christian, d’you get laid?”

Oh…smooth, dude, smooth.

“Hello, Elliot—I’m on speakerphone, and I’m not alone in the car.”

“Who’s with you?”

“Anastasia Steele.”

“Hi, Ana!”

“Hello, Elliot,” she says, animated.

“Heard a lot about you,” Elliot says.

Shit. What has he heard?

“Don’t believe a word Kate says,” she responds good-naturedly.

Elliot laughs.

“I’m dropping Anastasia off now. Shall I pick you up?” I interject.

There’s no doubt Elliot will want to make a quick getaway.

“Sure.”

“See you shortly.” I hang up.

“Why do you insist on calling me Anastasia?” she asks.

“Because it’s your name.”

“I prefer Ana.”

“Do you, now?”

“Ana” is too everyday and ordinary for her. And too familiar. Those three letters have the power to wound…

And in that moment I know that her rejection, when it comes, will be hard to take. It’s happened before, but I’ve never felt this…invested. I don’t even know this girl, but I want to know her, all of her. Maybe it’s because I’ve never chased a woman.

Grey, get control of yourself and follow the rules, otherwise this will all go to shit.

“Anastasia,” I say, ignoring her disapproving look. “What happened in the elevator—it won’t happen again—well, not unless it’s premeditated.”

That keeps her quiet as I park outside her apartment. Before she can answer me I climb out of the car, walk around and open her door.

As she steps onto the sidewalk, she gives me a fleeting glance. “I liked what happened in the elevator,” she says.

You did? Her confession halts me in my tracks. I’m pleasantly surprised again by little Miss Steele. As she walks up the steps to the front door, I have to scramble to keep up with her.

Elliot and Kate look up when we enter. They’re sitting at a dining table in a sparsely furnished room, befitting a couple of students. There are a few packing boxes beside a bookshelf. Elliot looks relaxed and not in a hurry to leave, which surprises me.

Kavanagh jumps up and gives me a critical once-over as she hugs Ana.

What did she think I was going to do to the girl?

I know what I’d like to do to her…

As Kavanagh holds her at arm’s length I’m reassured; maybe she does care for Ana, too.

“Good morning, Christian,” she says, her tone cool and condescending.

“Miss Kavanagh.” And what I want to say is something sarcastic about how she’s finally showing some interest in her friend, but I hold my tongue.

“Christian, her name is Kate,” Elliot says with mild irritation.

“Kate,” I mutter, to be polite. Elliot hugs Ana, holding her for a moment too long.

“Hi, Ana,” he says, all fucking smiles.

“Hi, Elliot.” She beams.

Okay, this is becoming unbearable. “Elliot, we’d better go.” And take your hands off her.

“Sure,” he says, releasing Ana, but grabbing Kavanagh and making an unseemly show of kissing her.

Oh, for fuck’s sake.

Ana’s uncomfortable watching them. I don’t blame her. But when she turns to me it’s with a speculative look through narrowed eyes.

What is she thinking?

“Laters, baby,” Elliot mutters, slobbering over Kavanagh.

Dude, show some dignity, for heaven’s sake.

Ana’s reproachful eyes are on me, and for a moment I don’t know if it’s because of Elliot and Kate’s lascivious display or—

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