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Home > Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1)(15)

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1)(15)
Author: E.L. James

"Elliot's in construction, and my little sister is in Paris, studying cookery under some renowned French chef." His eyes cloud with irritation. He doesn't want to talk about his family or himself.

"I hear Paris is lovely," I murmur. Why doesn't he want to talk about his familyIs it because he's adopted?

"It's beautiful. Have you been?" he asks, his irritation forgotten.

"I've never left mainland USA." So now we're back to banalities. What is he hiding?

"Would you like to go?"

"To Paris?" I squeak. This has thrown me - who wouldn't want to go to Paris"Of course," I concede. "But it's England that I'd really like to visit."

He cocks his head to one side, running his index finger across his lower lip... oh my.

"Because?"

I blink rapidly. Concentrate, Steele.

"It's the home of Shakespeare, Austen, the Brontsisters, Thomas Hardy. I'd like to see the places that inspired those people to write such wonderful books."

All this talk of literary greats reminds me that I should be studying. I glance at my watch.

"I'd better go. I have to study."

"For your exams?"

"Yes. They start Tuesday."

"Where's Miss Kavanagh's car?"

"In the hotel parking lot."

"I'll walk you back."

"Thank you for the tea, Mr. Grey."

He smiles his odd I've got a whopping big secret smile.

"You're welcome, Anastasia. It's my pleasure. Come," he commands, and holds his hand out to me. I take it, bemused, and follow him out of the coffee shop.

We stroll back to the hotel, and I'd like to say it's in companionable silence. He at least looks his usual calm, collected self. As for me, I'm desperately trying to gauge how our little coffee morning has gone. I feel like I've been interviewed for a position, but I'm not sure what it is.

"Do you always wear jeans?" he asks out of the blue.

"Mostly."

He nods. We're back at the intersection, across the road from the hotel. My mind is reeling. What an odd question... And I'm aware that our time together is limited. This is it. This was it, and I've completely blown it, I know. Perhaps he has someone.

"Do you have a girlfriend?" I blurt out. Holy crap - I just said that out loud?

His lips quirk up in a half-smile, and he looks down at me.

"No, Anastasia. I don't do the girlfriend thing," he says softly.

Oh... what does that mean He's not g*yOh, maybe he is - crap! He must have lied to me in his interview. And for a moment, I think he's going to follow on with some explanation, some clue to this cryptic statement - but he doesn't. 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.

"Shit, Ana!" Grey cries. He tugs the hand that he's holding so hard that I fall back against him just as a cyclist whips past, narrowly missing me, heading the wrong way up this one-way street.

It all happens so fast - one minute I'm falling, the next I'm in his arms, and he's holding me tightly against his chest. .I inhale his clean, vital scent. He smells of fresh laundered linen and some expensive body-wash. Oh my, it's intoxicating. I inhale deeply.

"Are you okay?" he whispers. 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. He's staring into my eyes, and I hold his anxious, burning gaze for a moment or maybe it's forever... but eventually, my attention is drawn to his beautiful mouth. Oh my. And for the first time in twenty-one years, I want to be kissed. I want to feel his mouth on me.

Chapter Four

Kiss me damn it! I implore him, but I can't move. I'm paralyzed with a strange, unfamiliar need, completely captivated by him. I'm staring at Christian Grey's exquisitely sculptured mouth, mesmerized, and he's looking down at me, his gaze hooded, his eyes darkening.

He's breathing harder than usual, and I've stopped breathing altogether. I'm in your arms.

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. When he opens his eyes again, it's with some new purpose, a steely resolve.

"Anastasia, you should steer clear of me. I'm not the man for you," he whispers.

WhatWhere is this coming from Surely I should be the judge of that. I frown up at him, and my head swims with rejection.

"Breathe, Anastasia, breathe. I'm going to stand you up and let you go," he says quietly, and he gently pushes me away.

Adrenaline has spiked through my body, from the near miss with the cyclist or the heady proximity to Christian, leaving me wired and weak. NO! My psyche screams as he pulls away, leaving me bereft. He has his hands on my shoulders, holding me at arm's length, watching my reactions carefully. And the only thing I can think is that I wanted to be kissed, made it pretty damned obvious, and he didn't do it. He doesn't want me. He really doesn't want me. I have royally screwed up the coffee morning.

"I've got this," I breathe, finding my voice. "Thank you," I mutter awash with humiliation. How could I have misread the situation between us so utterlyI need to get away from him.

"For what?" he frowns. He hasn't taken his hands off me.

"For saving me," I whisper.

"That idiot was riding the wrong way. I'm glad I was here. I shudder to think what could have happened to you. Do you want to come and sit down in the hotel for a moment?" He releases me, his hands by his sides, and I'm standing in front of him feeling like a fool.

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