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

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

“Christian,” she answers, her voice soft. And the elevator doors close, leaving my name hanging in the air between us, sounding odd and unfamiliar, but sexy as hell.

I need to know more about this girl.

“Andrea,” I bark as I return to my office. “Get me Welch on the line, now.”

As I sit at my desk and wait for the call, I look at the paintings on the wall of my office, and Miss Steele’s words drift back to me. “Raising the ordinary to extraordinary.” She could so easily have been describing herself.

My phone buzzes. “I have Mr. Welch on the line for you.”

“Put him through.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Welch, I need a background check.”

SATURDAY, MAY 14, 2011

* * *



Sept. 10, 1989, Montesano, WA


1114 SW Green Street, Apartment 7, Haven

Heights, Vancouver, WA 98888

Mobile No:


Social Security No:



Wells Fargo Bank, Vancouver, WA:

Acct. No.: 309361:

$683.16 balance


Undergraduate Student

WSU Vancouver College of Arts and Sciences

English Major



Prior Education:

Montesano Jr. Sr. High School

SAT Score:



Clayton’s Hardware Store, NW Vancouver

Drive, Portland, OR (part-time)


Franklin A. Lambert, DOB: Sept. 1, 1969,

Deceased Sept. 11, 1989


Carla May Wilks Adams,

DOB: July 18, 1970

m. Frank Lambert March 1, 1989,

widowed Sept. 11, 1989

m. Raymond Steele June 6, 1990,

divorced July 12, 2006

m. Stephen M. Morton Aug. 16, 2006,

divorced Jan. 31, 2007

m. Bob Adams April 6, 2009

Political Affiliations:

None Found

Religious Affiliations:

None Found

Sexual Orientation:

Not Known


None Indicated at Present

I pore over the executive summary for the hundredth time since I received it two days ago, looking for some insight into the enigmatic Miss Anastasia Rose Steele. I cannot get the damned woman out of my mind, and it’s seriously beginning to piss me off. This past week, during particularly dull meetings, I’ve found myself replaying the interview in my head. Her fumbling fingers on the recorder, the way she tucked her hair behind her ear, the lip biting. Yes. The lip biting gets me every time.

And now here I am, parked outside Clayton’s, a mom-and-pop hardware store on the outskirts of Portland where she works.

You’re a fool, Grey. Why are you here?

I knew it would lead to this. All week…I knew I’d have to see her again. I’d known it since she uttered my name in the elevator. I’d tried to resist. I’d waited five days, five tedious days, to see if I’d forget about her.

And I don’t do waiting. I hate waiting…for anything.

I’ve never pursued a woman before. The women I’ve had understood what I expected of them. My fear now is that Miss Steele is just too young and that she won’t be interested in what I have to offer. Will she? Will she even make a good submissive? I shake my head. So here I am, an ass, sitting in a suburban parking lot in a dreary part of Portland.

Her background check has produced nothing remarkable—except the last fact, which has been at the forefront of my mind. It’s the reason I’m here. Why no boyfriend, Miss Steele? Sexual orientation unknown—perhaps she’s gay. I snort, thinking that unlikely. I recall the question she asked during the interview, her acute embarrassment, the way her skin flushed a pale rose…I’ve been suffering from these lascivious thoughts since I met her.

That’s why you’re here.

I’m itching to see her again—those blue eyes have haunted me, even in my dreams. I haven’t mentioned her to Flynn, and I’m glad because I’m now behaving like a stalker. Perhaps I should let him know. No. I don’t want him hounding me about his latest solution-based-therapy shit. I just need a distraction, and right now the only distraction I want is the one working as a salesclerk in a hardware store.

You’ve come all this way. Let’s see if little Miss Steele is as appealing as you remember.

Showtime, Grey.

A bell chimes a flat electronic note as I walk into the store. It’s much bigger than it looks from the outside, and although it’s almost lunchtime the place is quiet, for a Saturday. There are aisles and aisles of the usual junk you’d expect. I’d forgotten the possibilities that a hardware store could present to someone like me. I mainly shop online for my needs, but while I’m here, maybe I’ll stock up on a few items: Velcro, split rings—Yeah. I’ll find the delectable Miss Steele and have some fun.

It takes me all of three seconds to spot her. She’s hunched over the counter, staring intently at a computer screen and picking at her lunch—a bagel. Absentmindedly, she wipes a crumb from the corner of her lips and into her mouth and sucks on her finger. My cock twitches in response.

What am I, fourteen?

My body’s reaction is irritating. Maybe this will stop if I fetter, fuck, and flog her…and not necessarily in that order. Yeah. That’s what I need.

She is thoroughly absorbed by her task, and it gives me an opportunity to study her. Salacious thoughts aside, she’s attractive, seriously attractive. I’ve remembered her well.

She looks up and freezes. It’s as unnerving as the first time I met her. She pins me with a discerning stare—shocked, I think—and I don’t know if this is a good response or a bad response.

“Miss Steele. What a pleasant surprise.”

“Mr. Grey,” she says, breathy and flustered. Ah, a good response.

“I was in the area. I need to stock up on a few things. It’s a pleasure to see you again.” A real pleasure. She’s dressed in a tight T-shirt and jeans, not the shapeless shit she was wearing earlier this week. She’s all long legs, narrow waist, and perfect tits. Her lips are still parted in surprise, and I have to resist the urge to tip her chin up and close her mouth. I’ve flown from Seattle just to see you, and the way you look right now, it was really worth the journey.

“Ana. My name’s Ana. What can I help you with, Mr. Grey?” She takes a deep breath, squares her shoulders like she did in the interview, and gives me a fake smile that I’m sure she reserves for customers.

Game on, Miss Steele.

“There are a few items I need. To start with, I’d like some cable ties.”

My request catches her off guard; she looks stunned.

Oh, this is going to be fun. You’d be amazed what I can do with a few cable ties, baby.

“We stock various lengths. Shall I show you?” she says, finding her voice.

“Please. Lead the way.”

She steps out from behind the counter and gestures toward one of the aisles. She’s wearing chucks. Idly I wonder what she’d look like in skyscraper heels. Louboutins…nothing but Louboutins.

“They’re with the electrical goods, aisle eight.” Her voice wavers and she blushes…

She is affected by me. Hope blooms in my chest.

She’s not gay, then. I smirk.

“After you.” I hold my hand out for her to lead the way. Letting her walk ahead gives me the space and time to admire her fantastic ass. Her long, thick ponytail keeps time like a metronome to the gentle sway of her hips. She really is the whole package: sweet, polite, and beautiful, with all the physical attributes I value in a submissive. But the million-dollar question is, could she be a submissive? She probably knows nothing of the lifestyle—my lifestyle—but I very much want to introduce her to it. You are getting way ahead of yourself on this deal, Grey.

“Are you in Portland on business?” she asks, interrupting my thoughts. Her voice is high; she’s feigning disinterest. It makes me want to laugh. Women rarely make me laugh.

“I was visiting the WSU farming division. It’s based in Vancouver,” I lie. Actually, I’m here to see you, Miss Steele.

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