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Home > Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1)(10)

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1)(10)
Author: E.L. James

"Wow - is there anything I can get you?"

"Anastasia has it covered, Mr. Clayton. She's been very attentive." His expression is impassive, but his words... it's like he's saying something else entirely. It's baffling.

"Cool," Paul responds. "Catch you later, Ana."

"Sure, Paul." I watch him disappear toward the stock room. "Anything else, Mr.

Grey?"

"Just these items." His tone is clipped and cool. Damn... have I offended himTaking 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.

"That will be forty-three dollars, please." I glance up at Grey, and I wish I hadn't. He's watching me closely, his gray eyes intense and smoky. It's unnerving.

"Would you like a bag?" I ask as I take his credit card.

"Please, Anastasia." His tongue caresses my name, and my heart once again is frantic.

I can hardly breathe. Hurriedly, I place his purchases in a plastic carrier.

"You'll call me if you want me to do the photo shoot?" He's all business once more. I nod, rendered speechless yet again, and hand back his credit card.

"Good. Until tomorrow perhaps." He turns to leave, then pauses. "Oh - and Anastasia, I'm glad Miss Kavanagh couldn't do the interview." He smiles, then strides with renewed purpose out of the store, slinging the plastic bag over his shoulder, leaving me a quivering mass of raging female hormones. I spend several minutes staring at the closed door through which he's just left before I return to planet Earth.

Okay - I like him. There, I've admitted it to myself. I cannot hide from my feelings anymore. I've never felt like this before. I find him attractive, very attractive. But it's a lost cause, I know, and I sigh with bittersweet regret. It was just a coincidence, his coming here. But still, I can admire him from afar, surelyNo 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.

Chapter Three

Kate is ecstatic.

"But what was he doing at Clayton's?" Her curiosity oozes through the phone. I'm in the depths of the stock room, trying to keep my voice casual.

"He was in the area."

"I think that is one huge coincidence, Ana. You don't think he was there to see you?"

she speculates. My heart lurches at the prospect, but it's a short-lived joy. The dull, disappointing reality is that he was here on business.

"He was visiting the farming division of WSU. He's funding some research," I mutter.

"Oh yes. He's given the department a $2.5 million grant."

Wow.

"How do you know this?"

"Ana, I'm a journalist, and I've written a profile on the guy. It's my job to know this."

"Okay, Carla Bernstein, keep your hair on. So do you want these photos?"

"Of course I do. The question is, who's going to do them and where."

"We could ask him where. He says he's staying in the area."

"You can contact him?"

"I have his cell phone number."

Kate gasps.

"The richest, most elusive, most enigmatic bachelor in Washington State, just gave you his cell phone number."

"Er... yes."

"Ana! He likes you. No doubt about it." Her tone is emphatic.

"Kate, he's just trying to be nice." But even as I say the words, I know they're not true

- Christian Grey doesn't do nice. He does polite, maybe. And a small quiet voice whispers, perhaps Kate is right. My scalp prickles at the idea that maybe, just maybe, he might like me. After all, he did say he was glad Kate didn't do the interview. 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.

"I don't know who we'll get to do the shoot. Levi, our regular photographer, can't.

He's home in Idaho Falls for the weekend. He'll be pissed that he blew an opportunity to photo one of America's leading entrepreneurs."

"Hmm... What about Jose?"

"Great idea! You ask him - he'll do anything for you. Then call Grey and find out where he wants us." Kate is irritatingly cavalier about Jose.

"I think you should call him."

"Who, Jose?" Kate scoffs.

"No, Grey."

"Ana, you're the one with the relationship."

"Relationship?" I squeak at her, my voice rising several octaves. "I barely know the guy.""At least you've met him," she says bitterly. "And it looks like he wants to know you better. Ana, just call him," she snaps and hangs up. She is so bossy sometimes. I frown at my cell, sticking my tongue out at it.

I'm just leaving a message for Jose when Paul enters the stock room looking for sand-paper.

"We're kind of busy out there, Ana," he says without acrimony.

"Yeah, um, sorry," I mutter, turning to leave.

"So, how come you know Christian Grey?" Paul's voice is unconvincingly nonchalant.

"I had to interview him for our student newspaper. Kate wasn't well." I shrug, trying to sound casual and doing no better than him.

"Christian Grey in Clayton's. Go figure," Paul snorts, amazed. He shakes his head as if to clear it. "Anyway, want to grab a drink or something this evening?"

Whenever he's home he asks me on a date, and I always say no. It's a ritual. I've never considered it a good idea to date the boss's brother, and besides, Paul is cute in a whole-some all-American boy-next-door kind of way, but he's no literary hero, not by any stretch of the imagination. Is Grey My subconscious asks me, her eyebrow figuratively raised.

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