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Home > Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades #2)(2)

Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades #2)(2)
Author: E.L. James

I cry myself to sleep at night, wishing I hadn't walked out, wishing that he could be different, wishing that we were together. How long will this hideous overwhelming feeling last? I am in purgatory.

Anastasia Steele, you are at work! I must be strong, but I want to go to Jose's show, and deep down, the masochist in me wants to see Christian. Taking a deep breath, I head back to my desk.

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Tomorrow

Date: June 8, 2011 14:25

To: Christian Grey

Hi Christian

Thank you for the flowers; they are lovely.

Yes, I would appreciate a lift.

Thank you.

Anastasia Steele

Assistant to Jack Hyde, Commissioning Editor, SIP

Checking my phone, I find that it is still switched to divert. Jack is in a meeting, so I quickly call Jose.

"Hi, Jose. It's Ana."

"Hello, stranger." His tone is so warm and welcoming it's almost enough to push me over the edge again.

"I can't talk long. What time should I be there tomorrow for your show?"

"You're still coming?" He sounds excited.

"Yes, of course." I smile my first genuine smile in five days as I picture his broad grin.

"Seven thirty."

"See you then. Good-bye, Jose."

"Bye, Ana."

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Tomorrow

Date: June 8, 2011 14:27

To: Anastasia Steele

Dear Anastasia

What time shall I collect you?

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Tomorrow

Date: June 8, 2011 14:32

To: Christian Grey

Jose's show starts at 7:30. What time would you suggest?

Anastasia Steele

Assistant to Jack Hyde, Commissioning Editor, SIP

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Tomorrow

Date: June 8, 2011 14:34

To: Anastasia Steele

Dear Anastasia

Portland is some distance away. I shall collect you at 5:45.

I look forward to seeing you.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Tomorrow

Date: June 8, 2011 14:38

To: Christian Grey

See you then.

Anastasia Steele

Assistant to Jack Hyde, Commissioning Editor, SIP

Oh my. I'm going to see Christian, and for the first time in five days, my spirits lift a fraction and I allow myself to wonder how he's been.

Has he missed me? Probably not like I've missed him. Has he found a new submissive from wherever they come from? The thought is so painful that I dismiss it immediately. I look at the pile of correspondence I need to sort for Jack and tackle it as I try to push Christian out of my mind once more.

That night in bed, I toss and turn, trying to sleep. It is the first time in a while I haven't cried myself to sleep.

In my mind's eye, I visualize Christian's face the last time I saw him as I left his apartment. His tortured expression haunts me. I remember he didn't want me to go, which was odd. Why would I stay when things had reached such an impasse? We were each skirting around our own issues - my fear of punishment, his fear of... what? Love?

Turning on my side, I hug my pillow, filled with an overwhelming sadness. He thinks he doesn't deserve to be loved. Why does he feel that way? Is it something to do with his upbringing? His birth mom, the crack whore? My thoughts plague me into the early hours until eventually I fall into a fitful, exhausted sleep.

The day drags and drags and Jack is unusually attentive. I suspect it's Kate's plum dress and the black high-heeled boots I've stolen from her closet, but I don't dwell on the thought.

I resolve to go clothes shopping with my first paycheck. The dress is looser on me than it was, but I pretend not to notice.

Finally, it's five thirty, and I collect my jacket and purse, trying to quell my nerves. I'm going to see him!

"Do you have a date tonight?" Jack asks as he strolls past my desk on his way out.

"Yes. No. Not really."

He cocks an eyebrow at me, his interest clearly piqued. "Boyfriend?"

I flush. "No, a friend. An ex-boyfriend."

"Maybe tomorrow you'd like to come for a drink after work. You've had a stellar first week, Ana. We should celebrate." He smiles and some unknown emotion flits across his face, making me uneasy.

Putting his hands in his pockets, he saunters through the double doors. I frown at his retreating back. Drinks with the boss, is that a good idea?

I shake my head. I have an evening of Christian Grey to get through first. How am I going to do this? I hurry into the restroom to make last-minute adjustments.

In the large mirror on the wall, I take a long, hard look at my face. I am my usual pale self, dark circles round my too-large eyes. I look gaunt, haunted.

Jeez, I wish I knew how to use makeup. I apply some mascara and eyeliner and pinch my cheeks, hoping to bring some color their way. Tidying my hair so that it hangs artfully down my back, I take a deep breath. This will have to do.

Nervously I walk through the foyer with a smile and a wave to Claire at reception. I think she and I could become friends. Jack is talking to Elizabeth as I head for the doors.

Smiling broadly, he hurries over to open them for me.

"After you, Ana," he murmurs.

"Thank you." I smile, embarrassed.

Outside on the curb, Taylor is waiting. He opens the rear door of the car. I glance hesitantly at Jack who has followed me out. He's looking toward the Audi SUV in dismay.

I turn and climb into the back, and there he sits - Christian Grey - wearing his gray suit, no tie, his white shirt open at the collar. His gray eyes are glowing.

My mouth dries. He looks glorious except he's scowling at me. Oh no!

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