That gives me a certain sense of responsibility ï¿½ power, if you will. If I were to decide I was no longer interested in the telecommunications business and sell up, twenty thousand people would struggle to make their mortgage payments after a month or so. I am staggered by his lack of humility. I flush. Of course, I would know this if I had done some research. I change tack. His eyes are alight with some wicked thought.
I stop breathing. He really is beautiful. No one should be this good-looking. Why, specifically? Why does he make me so uncomfortable? I like to know how things work: what makes things tick, how to construct and deconstruct. And I have a love of ships. What can I say? I go a long way to protect my privacy.
She badgered and badgered my PR people, and I admire that kind of tenacity. Why are you interested in this area? Is it something you feel passionately about? I glance at the next question, confused by his attitude. If so, what is it? I like control ï¿½ of myself and those around me. I swallow hard. I just want this interview to be over. Surely Kate has enough material now? I glance at the next question.
His brow furrows. I flush, again. I move on quickly. I try again. I have a brother and a sister and two loving parents. Damn Kate and her curiosity! He does not look pleased. My heart- beat has accelerated, and my cheeks are heating up again.
Nervously, I tuck my loosened hair behind my ear. He cocks his head to one side. Oh no. Kate ï¿½ Miss Kavanagh ï¿½ she compiled the questions. I have nothing to do with the student paper. My face is aflame. Grey, forgive me for interrupting, but your next meeting is in two minutes. Please cancel my next meeting. He turns his head slowly to face her and raises his eyebrows.
She flushes bright pink. Oh good. He frowns, and turns his attention back to me. Double crap. He places his elbows on the arms of the chair and steeples his fingers in front of his mouth. His mouth is veryï¿½ distracting. I swallow. Come to Seattle with Kate, find a place, find a job. I just need to get through my final exams.
I raise my eyebrows in surprise. Is he offering me a job? His gaze is intense, all humor gone, and strange muscles deep in my belly clench suddenly. I tear my eyes away from his scrutiny and stare blindly down at my knotted fingers. I have to go ï¿½ now. I lean forward to re- trieve the recorder.
Grey, and I do have a long drive. He glances out of the window. Why should he care? His eyes narrow, speculatively. As I rise, he stands and holds out his hand.
I frown. When will we ever meet again? I shake his hand once more, astounded that that odd current between us is still there. It must be my nerves. Moving with lithe athletic grace to the door, he opens it wide. Andrea and Olivia both look up, equally surprised. He holds it up and, feeling ridiculously self-conscious, I shrug it on.
Grey places his hands for a moment on my shoulders. I gasp at the contact. If he notices my reaction, he gives nothing away. His long index finger presses the button summoning the elevator, and we stand waiting ï¿½ awkwardly on my part, coolly self-possessed on his. The doors open, and I hurry in desperate to escape. I really need to get out of here. He really is very, very good-looking. His burning gray eyes gaze at me.
And mercifully, the doors close. My heart is pounding. The elevator arrives on the first floor, and I scramble out as soon as the doors slide open, stumbling once, but fortunately not sprawling on to the immaculate sandstone floor. Raising my face, I welcome the cool refreshing rain. No man has ever affected me the way Christian Grey has, and I cannot fathom why.
Is it his looks? His civility? I breathe an enormous sigh of relief. Leaning against one of the steel pillars of the building, I valiantly attempt to calm down and gather my thoughts. I shake my head. Holy crap ï¿½ what was that? My heart steadies to its regular rhythm, and I can breathe normally again.
I head for the car. As I leave the city limits behind, I begin to feel foolish and embarrassed as I replay the interview in my mind. Well, on the surface. An involuntary shiver runs down my spine. While cruising along the I-5, my mind continues to wander. Some of his answers were so cryptic ï¿½ as if he had a hidden agenda.
The adoption and asking him if he was gay! I shudder. Ground, swallow me up now! Every time I think of that question in the future, I will cringe with embarrassment. Damn Katherine Kavanagh! I check the speedometer.
Forget it, Ana, I scold myself. Put it behind you. I never have to see him again. I switch on the MP3 player and turn the volume up loud, sit back, and listen to thumping indie rock music as I press down on the accelerator.
As I hit the , I realize I can drive as fast as I want. As I pull up outside, I know Kate is go- ing to want a blow-by-blow account, and she is tenacious. Well, at least she has the mini- disc. She bounds up to me and hugs me hard. I expected you back sooner. I owe you, I know. How was it? What was he like? I struggle to answer her question. He was rather intimidating, you know.
Really young. I frown at her. He made me feel like such an idiot for skimping on basic research. How old is he anyway? I should have briefed you, but I was in such a panic. Did you eat your soup? I check my watch. I leave all that to my dad. Clayton is pleased to see me. I can do a couple of hours.
When I arrive home later, Katherine is wearing headphones and working on her laptop. Well done. He obviously wanted to spend more time with you. I flush, and my heart rate inexplicably increases. He just wanted to show me around so I could see that he was lord of all he surveyed. But she seems absorbed in her transcrip- tion.
Did you take any notes? I can still make a fine article with this. I distract her with flattery, always a good ploy. Come on ï¿½ he practically offered you a job. Given that I foisted this on you at the last minute, you did very well. I make a hasty retreat into the kitchen. Think of something ï¿½ quick. Incidentally, that was the most embarrass- ing question. I was mortified, and he was pissed to be asked too. The whole thing was embarrassing. I think he sounds quite taken with you.
Damn, but that woman was in the wrong place at the wrong time in the wrong century. That night I dream of dark places, bleak white cold floors, and gray eyes. Kate is busy too, compiling her last edition of her student magazine before she has to relinquish it to the new editor while also cramming for her finals. I call my mom in Georgia to check on her, but also so she can wish me luck for my final ex- ams. She proceeds to tell me about her latest venture into candle making ï¿½ my mother is all about new business ventures.
She worries me. He does seem a lot more grounded than Husband Number Three. Have you met someone? The excitement in her voice is palpable. You worry me. Ray is not a talker. Ray is a skilled carpenter and the reason I know the difference between a hawk and a handsaw.
All seems well with him. Friday night, Kate and I are debating what to do with our evening ï¿½ we want some time out from our studies, from our work, and from student newspapers ï¿½ when the doorbell rings. Great to see you! As a result, our fathers have become firm friends too.
Kate beams at him too. I should put this in the paper. Nothing like last minute editorial changes on a Friday evening. I want you to come to the opening. Until very recently, the unwelcome, still small voice of my subconscious whispers. I banish the thought immediately. I am not going there, not after that painful inter- view. Are you gay, Mr. I wince at the memory.
Saturday at the store is a nightmare. We are besieged by do-it-yourselfers wanting to spruce up their homes. Clayton, John and Patrick ï¿½ the two other part-timers ï¿½ and I are all rushed off our feet. Heart failure. What a pleasant surprise. Holy crap. What the hell is he doing here looking all tousled-hair and outdoorsy in his cream chunky-knit sweater, jeans, and walking boots? I shake my head to gather my wits.
I am utterly thrown by the sight of him standing before me. My memories of him did not do him justice. Go figure. Finally my cognitive functions are restored and reconnected with the rest of my body.
It is so disconcerting. I can do this. Cable ties? Shall I show you? I glance up at him and regret it almost immediately. I blush. Why is he in Portland? No way! I dismiss it immediately. Why would this beauti- ful, powerful, urbane man want to see me? The idea is preposterous, and I kick it out of my head. Try to be cool Ana! Not here to find you at all, my subconscious sneers at me, loud, proud, and pouty.
I flush at my foolish wayward thoughts. What on Earth is he going to do with those? I cannot picture him as a do-it-yourselfer at all. His fingers trail across the various packages displayed, and for some inexplicable reason, I have to look away.
He bends and selects a packet. Surely he hires laborers or has staff to help him decorate? Am I that funny? Funny looking? I blush even more brightly. Why the hell does he have this effect on me? Eyes front Steele! To distract myself, I reach down and select the two widths of masking tape that we stock.
I gasp involuntarily as I feel it, all the way down to somewhere dark and unexplored, deep in my belly. Desperately, I scrabble around for my equilibrium.
His eyes widen slightly. Holy cow. I dare not look at him. Jeez, could I feel any more self- conscious? Taking my Stanley knife from the back pocket of my jeans, I cut it then coil it neatly before tying it in a slipknot.
By some miracle, I manage not to remove a finger with my knife. I gaze at him unable to express myself. Try and be cool, Ana, my tortured subconscious begs on bended knee.
You are my thing! I slap it down instantly, mortified that my psyche is having ideas above its station. Why is he so interested? The usual. The classics. British literature, mainly.
What else would you recommend? I flush, and my eyes stray of their own accord to his snug jeans. He raises an eyebrow, amused, yet again.
I must be the color of the communist manifesto. Stop talking. Stop talking NOW. I try and dismiss the unwelcome image of him without jeans. He ignores my inquiry. I grasp it tightly with two hands as if were a life raft, and I go for honesty. Miss Kavanagh. Kate will be in seventh heaven if I can pull this off. And you might see him again tomorrow, that dark place at the base of my brain whispers seductively at me. For a fraction of a second, he looks lost somehow, and the Earth shifts slightly on its axis, the tectonic plates sliding into a new position.
Oh my. It has my cell number on it. Kate is going to be thrilled. Paul hugs me hard taking me by surprise. Then he releases me but keeps a possessive arm draped over my shoulder.
I shuffle from foot to foot, embarrassed. I drag Paul over to meet him, and they weigh each other up. The atmosphere is suddenly arctic. Grey, this is Paul Clayton. His brother owns the place. Of Grey Enterprises Holdings?
Damnï¿½ have I offended him? Tak- ing a deep breath, I turn and head for the till. What is his problem? I ring up the rope, coveralls, masking tape, and cable ties at the till. I can hardly breathe. Hurriedly, I place his purchases in a plastic carrier. I nod, rendered speechless yet again, and hand back his credit card. Until tomorrow perhaps. Okay ï¿½ I like him. I cannot hide from my feelings anymore. I find him attractive, very attractive.
It was just a coincidence, his coming here. But still, I can admire him from afar, surely? No harm can come of that. And if I find a photographer, I can do some serious admiring tomorrow. I bite my lip in anticipation and find myself grinning like a schoolgirl. I need to phone Kate and organize a photo-shoot. Kate is ecstatic. The dull, disap- pointing reality is that he was here on business. So do you want these photos? He likes you. No doubt about it.
He does polite, maybe. And a small quiet voice whis- pers, perhaps Kate is right. My scalp prickles at the idea that maybe, just maybe, he might like me. I hug myself with quiet glee, rocking from side to side, entertaining the possibility that he might like me for one brief moment. Kate brings me back to the now. Then call Grey and find out where he wants us. She is so bossy sometimes. I frown at my cell, sticking my tongue out at it. He shakes his head as if to clear it. Is Grey?
My subconscious asks me, her eyebrow figuratively raised. I slap her down. I need to study tonight. I have my finals next week. Clutching my cell, I pace the living area of our apartment, star- ing out of the window at the fading evening light.
Ana will call back with the location and the call time. All we need to do now is decide where and when. Call him. My stomach twists. I take a deep, steadying breath, and with shaking fingers, I dial the number. He answers on the second ring. His tone is clipped, calm and cold. How nice to hear from you. My breath hitches, and I flush. My lungs drag in a hasty breath. Where would be convenient for you, sir?
Shall we say, nine thirty tomorrow morn- ing? How can he make seven little words hold so much tantalizing promise? I hang up. You like him! She blinks at me with surprise ï¿½ I very rarely throw my toys out of the pram ï¿½ and I briefly relent.
Then I need to study. I am restless that night, tossing and turning. Dreaming of smoky gray eyes, coveralls, long legs, long fingers, and dark, dark unexplored places. I wake twice in the night, my heart pounding. I punch my pillow and try to settle. The Heathman is nestled in the downtown heart of Portland. Its impressive brown stone edifice was completed just in time for the crash of the late s.
Kate has managed to acquire the use of a room at the Heathman free of charge for the morning in exchange for a credit in the article. Just a regular-sized suite, however, as apparent- ly Mr. Grey is already occupying the largest one in the building. The rooms are elegant, understated, and opulently furnished. We have half an hour to set up.
Kate is in full flow. Ana, could you ask housekeeping to bring up some refresh- ments? And let Grey know where we are. She is so domineering. Half an hour later, Christian Grey walks into our suite. Holy Crap! His unruly hair is still damp from a shower. Grey is followed into the suite by a man in his mid-thirties, all buzz-cut and stubble in a sharp dark suit and tie who stands silently in the corner.
His hazel eyes watch us impassively. Oh myï¿½ he really is, quiteï¿½ wow. How do you do? Anastasia said you were unwell last week. I remind myself that Kate has been to the best private schools in Washington. I am in awe of her. Damn it. His eyes cool when he looks from me to Grey. His tone sounds vaguely threatening. Grey ï¿½ if you could sit here, please? Be careful of the lighting cables. Travis switches on the lights, momentarily blinding Grey, and mutters an apology.
He takes several photographs hand-held, asking Grey to turn this way, then that, to move his arm, then put it down again. My wish has come true: I can stand and admire Grey from not-so-afar.
Twice our eyes lock, and I have to tear myself away from his cloudy gaze. He stands, and Travis scurries in to remove the chair. I glance anxiously at Kate, who shrugs at me. What does he want? I pause in the hotel corridor, fidg- eting nervously as Grey emerges from the room followed by Mr.
Buzz-Cut in his sharp suit. Taylor wanders back down the cor- ridor, and Grey turns his burning gray gaze to me. Crapï¿½ have I done something wrong? A date? Christian Grey is asking me on a date. I clear my throat trying to control my nerves. Taylor, who had been retreating down the cor- ridor, turns and heads back toward us. I nod, too stunned to speak. Now can you join me for coffee? I frown at him. Oh myï¿½ and he opens the door of the suite so I can re-enter.
By some miracle, she does. Speechless Kate! I savor the moment. Especially to someone like you. Finally, she fishes her car keys out of her pocket and hands them to me. I hand her mine. 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. He grins. 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 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 him? His soft, warm voice startles me from my reverie.
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. The young couple says nothing, and we travel down to the first floor in embarrassed silence.
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 accel- erates. As he leads me out of the elevator, we can hear the suppressed giggles of the couple erupting behind us. Grey grins. 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.
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. 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. What would you like?
No, stupid ï¿½ do you take sugar? I surreptitiously gaze at him from beneath my lashes as he stands in line waiting to be served. Once or twice he runs his long, graceful fingers through his now dry but still disorderly hair. 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. I go crimson. I was just thinking about running my fingers through your hair and wondering if it would feel soft to touch.
He has a coffee which bears a wonderful leaf-pattern imprinted in the milk. How do they do that? I wonder idly. 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.
He frowns. I pop the teabag into the teapot and almost immediately fish it out again with my teaspoon. As I place the used teabag back on the side plate, he cocks his head gazing quizzically at me. Is he your boyfriend? What gave him that impression? Why did you think he was my boyfriend? Grey nods slightly, seemingly satisfied with my response, and glances down at his blueberry muffin. His long fingers deftly peel back the paper, and I watch, fascinated.
I told you yesterday. I hear his sharp intake of breath. I like to see your face. I glance at him, and he gives me an encouraging but wry smile.
Wowï¿½ how am I managing that? This is bewildering. Me, self-contained? No Way. I just wish I knew what you were blushing about.
And as if on cue, I blush. Have I offended you? Why has this conversation become so serious? Two control freaks together. I take a sip of my tea, and Grey eats another small piece of his muffin.
Whoaï¿½ he keeps changing direction. My stepdad lives in Monte- sano. Holy shit. I start babbling about my mother ï¿½ anything to block that memory. Christian is watching me intently, taking occasional sips of his coffee. Those lips. I grew up with him. I shrug.
What does this man expect? My life story? I refrain from rolling my eyes at him. My mom met Husband Number Three when I was fifteen.
I stayed with Ray. This really is none of his business. My home was in Montesano. Andï¿½ you know my mom was newly married. My mom never talks about Husband Number Three. Where is Grey going with this? This is none of his business. Two can play at this game. He shrugs. They live in Seattle. And I wonder about a successful couple who adopt three kids, and one of them turns into a beautiful man who takes on the business world and conquers it single-handed. What drove him to be that way?
His folks must be proud. Have you been? What is he hiding? Concentrate, Steele. I glance at my watch. I have to study. They start Tuesday. I take it, bemused, and follow him out of the coffee shop. He at least looks his usual calm, collected self.
My mind is reeling. This is it. Perhaps he has someone. Holy crap - I just said that out loud? His lips quirk up in a half-smile, and he looks down at me. Ohï¿½ what does that mean? Oh, maybe he is - crap! He must have lied to me in his interview. I have to go. I have to try to reassemble my thoughts. I have to get away from him. I walk forward, and I trip, stumbling headlong onto the road.
I inhale his clean, vital scent. He smells of fresh laundered linen and some expensive body-wash. I inhale deeply. He has one arm around me, clasping me to him, while the fingers of his other hand softly trace my face, gently probing, examining me.
His thumb brushes my lower lip, and I hear his breath hitch. And for the first time in twenty-one years, I want to be kissed. I want to feel his mouth on me. Kiss me damn it! Kiss me, please. He closes his eyes, takes a deep breath, and gives me a small shake of his head as if in answer to my silent question.
Where is this coming from? Surely I should be the judge of that. I frown up at him, and my head swims with rejection. Adrenaline has spiked through my body, from the near miss with the cyclist or the heady proximity to Christian, leaving me wired and weak. My psyche screams as he pulls away, leaving me bereft. I have royally screwed up the coffee morning.
How could I have misread the situation between us so utterly? I need to get away from him. I shudder to think what could have happened to you. Do you want to come and sit down in the hotel for a mo- ment?
With a shake, I clear my head. I just want to go. All my vague, unarticulated hopes have been dashed. What was I thinking? I scold myself. What would Christian Grey want with you? My subconscious mocks me. I wrap my arms around my- self and turn to face the road and note with relief that the green man has appeared. I quickly make my way across, conscious that Grey is behind me. Outside the hotel, I turn briefly to face him but cannot look him in the eye. His gray eyes are bleak as he runs his hand through his hair.
He looks torn, frustrated, his expression stark, all his careful control has evaporated. I need to take my fragile, wounded pride away and somehow nurse it back to health. This is why he looks so desolate? This is the big send off? Just to wish me luck in my exams? Once underneath the dark, cold concrete of the garage with its bleak fluorescent light, I lean against the wall and put my head in my hands. Unbidden and unwelcome tears pool in my eyes.
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The author way of developing the characters is impressive and her characters are well drawn and compelling. It is a unique novel in many ways, and yet, of course, its themes are universal. No doubt this novel is a truly original and unforgettable literary creation. There is no book out there like this, it is pure magic. This book is available in ePub and PDF format with a single click unlimited downloads. We have detected that you are using extensions to block ads.
Please support us by disabling these ads blocker. Last updated in August 9, Share on facebook. The author way of developing the characters is impressive and her characters are well drawn and compelling.
It is a unique novel in many ways, and yet, of course, its themes are universal. No doubt this novel is a truly original and unforgettable literary creation.
There is no book out there like this, it is pure magic. This book is available in ePub and PDF format with a single click unlimited downloads. We have detected that you are using extensions to block ads. Please support us by disabling these ads blocker. Last updated in August 9, Share on facebook.
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WebJun 20, ï¿½ï¿½ Fifty Shades of Grey PDF book by E.L. James Read Online or Free Download in ePUB, PDF or MOBI eBooks. Published in June 20th the book . WebJun 20, ï¿½ï¿½ Fifty Shades of Grey PDF book by E.L. James Read Online or Free Download in ePUB, PDF or MOBI eBooks. Published in June 20th the book . WebRequest a review. Learn more. Loading.