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Home > Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1)(9)

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1)(9)
Author: E.L. James

"Were you a Girl Scout?" he asks, sculptured, sensual lips curled in amusement. Don't look at his mouth!

"Organized, group activities aren't really my thing, Mr. Grey."

He arches a brow.

"What is your thing, Anastasia?" he asks, his voice soft and his secret smile is back. I gaze at him unable to express myself. I'm on shifting tectonic plates. Try and be cool, Ana, my tortured subconscious begs on bended knee.

"Books," I whisper, but inside, my subconscious is screaming: You! You are my thing!

I slap it down instantly, mortified that my psyche is having ideas above its station.

"What kind of books?" He cocks his head to one side. Why is he so interested?

"Oh, you know. The usual. The classics. British literature, mainly."

He rubs his chin with his long index finger and thumb as he contemplates my answer.

Or perhaps he's just very bored and trying to hide it.

"Anything else you need?" I have to get off this subject - those fingers on that face are so beguiling.

"I don't know. What else would you recommend?"

What would I recommendI don't even know what you're doing.

"For a do-it-yourselfer?"

He nods, gray eyes alive with wicked humor. I flush, and my eyes stray of their own accord to his snug jeans.

"Coveralls," I reply, and I know I'm no longer screening what's coming out of my mouth.

He raises an eyebrow, amused, yet again.

"You wouldn't want to ruin your clothing," I gesture vaguely in the direction of his jeans.

"I could always take them off." He smirks.

"Um." I feel the color in my cheeks rising again. I must be the color of the communist manifesto. Stop talking. Stop talking NOW.

"I'll take some coveralls. Heaven forbid I should ruin any clothing," he says dryly.

I try and dismiss the unwelcome image of him without jeans.

"Do you need anything else?" I squeak as I hand him the blue coveralls.

He ignores my inquiry.

"How's the article coming along?"

He's finally asked me a normal question, away from all the innuendo and the confusing double talk... a question I can answer. I grasp it tightly with two hands as if were a life raft, and I go for honesty.

"I'm not writing it, Katherine is. Miss Kavanagh. My roommate, she's the writer.

She's very happy with it. She's the editor of the magazine, and she was devastated that she couldn't do the interview in person." I feel like I've come up for air - at last, a normal topic of conversation. "Her only concern is that she doesn't have any original photographs of you."

Grey raises an eyebrow.

"What sort of photographs does she want?"

Okay. I hadn't factored in this response. I shake my head, because I just don't know.

"Well, I'm around. Tomorrow, perhaps... " he trails off.

"You'd be willing to attend a photo shoot?" My voice is squeaky again. 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. I dismiss the thought - of all the silly, ridiculous...

"Kate will be delighted - if we can find a photographer." I'm so pleased, I smile at him broadly. His lips part, like he's taking a sharp intake of breath, and he blinks. 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. Christian Grey's lost look.

"Let me know about tomorrow." Reaching into his back pocket, he pulls out his wallet. "My card. It has my cell number on it. You'll need to call before ten in the morning."

"Okay." I grin up at him. Kate is going to be thrilled.

"ANA!"

Paul has materialized at other the end of the aisle. He's Mr. Clayton's youngest brother. I'd heard he was home from Princeton, but I wasn't expecting to see him today.

"Er, excuse me for a moment, Mr. Grey." Grey frowns as I turn away from him.

Paul has always been a buddy, and in this strange moment that I'm having with the rich, powerful, awesomely off-the-scale attractive control-freak Grey, it's great to talk to someone who's normal. Paul hugs me hard taking me by surprise.

"Ana, hi, it's so good to see you!" he gushes.

"Hello Paul, how are youYou home for your brother's birthday?"

"Yep. You're looking well, Ana, really well." He grins as he examines me at arm's length. Then he releases me but keeps a possessive arm draped over my shoulder. I shuffle from foot to foot, embarrassed. It's good to see Paul, but he's always been over-familiar.

When I glance up at Christian Grey, he's watching us like a hawk, his gray eyes hooded and speculative, his mouth a hard impassive line. He's changed from the weirdly attentive customer to someone else - someone cold and distant.

"Paul, I'm with a customer. Someone you should meet," I say, trying to defuse the antagonism I see in Grey's eyes. I drag Paul over to meet him, and they weigh each other up. The atmosphere is suddenly arctic.

"Er, Paul, this is Christian Grey. Mr. Grey, this is Paul Clayton. His brother owns the place." And for some irrational reason, I feel I have to explain a bit more.

"I've known Paul ever since I've worked here, though we don't see each other that often. He's back from Princeton where he's studying business administration." I'm babbling... Stop, now!

"Mr. Clayton." Christian holds his hand out, his look unreadable.

"Mr. Grey," Paul returns his handshake. "Wait up - not the Christian GreyOf Grey Enterprises Holdings?" Paul goes from surly to awestruck in less than a nanosecond. Grey gives him a polite smile that doesn't reach his eyes.

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