Chapter Fifteen of the book Fifty Shades Freed

I am too warm. Christian warm. His head is on my shoulder, and he’s breathing softly on my neck while he sleeps, his legs threaded through mine, his arm around my waist. I linger on the edge of consciousness, aware that if I wake fully I’ll wake him, too, and he doesn’t sleep enough. Hazily my mind wanders through the events of yesterday evening. I drank too much—boy did I drink too much. I’m amazed Christian let me. I smile as I remember him putting me to bed. That was sweet, real sweet, and unexpected. I conduct a quick mental inventory of how I’m feeling. Stomach? Fine. Head? Surprisingly, fine, but fuzzy. My palm is still red from last night. Sheesh. Idly I think about Christian’s palms when he’s spanked me. I squirm and he wakes.

“What’s wrong?” Sleepy gray eyes search mine.

“Nothing. Good morning.” I run the fingers of my uninjured hand through his hair.

“Mrs. Grey, you look lovely this morning,” he says, kissing my cheek, and I light up from within.

“Thank you for taking care of me last night.”

“I like taking care of you. It’s what I want to do,” he says quietly, but his eyes betray him as triumph flares in their gray depths. It’s like he’s won the World Series or the Super Bowl.

Oh, my Fifty.

“You make me feel cherished.”

“That’s because you are,” he murmurs and my heart clenches.

He clasps my hand and I wince. He releases me immediately, alarmed. “The punch?” he asks. His eyes frost as he scrutinizes mine, and his voice is laced with sudden anger.

“I slapped him. I didn’t punch him.”

“That fucker!”

I thought we’d dealt with this last night.

“I can’t bear that he touched you.”

“He didn’t hurt me, he was just inappropriate. Christian, I’m okay. My hand’s a little red, that’s all. Surely you know what that’s like?” I smirk, and his expression changes to one of amused surprise.

“Why, Mrs. Grey, I am very familiar with that.” His lips twist in amusement.

“I could reacquaint myself with that feeling this minute, should you so wish.”

“Oh, stow your twitching palm, Mr. Grey.” I stroke his face with my injured hand, my fingers caressing his sideburn. Gently I tug the little hairs. It distracts him, and he takes my hand and plants a tender kiss in my palm. Miraculously, the pain disappears.

“Why didn’t you tell me this hurt last night?”

“Um . . . I didn’t really feel it last night. It’s okay now.”

His eyes soften and his mouth twists. “How are you feeling?”

“Better than I deserve.”

“That’s quite a right arm you have there, Mrs. Grey.”

“You’d do well to remember that, Mr. Grey.”

“Oh really?” He rolls suddenly so that he’s fully on top of me, pressing me into the mattress, holding my wrists above my head. He gazes down at me.

“I’d fight you any day, Mrs. Grey. In fact, subduing you in bed is a fantasy of mine.” He kisses my throat.

What?

“I thought you subdued me all the time.” I gasp as he nibbles my earlobe.

“Hmm . . . but I’d like some resistance,” he murmurs, his nose skirting my jaw.

Resistance? I still. He stops, releasing my hands, and leans up on his elbows.

“You want me to fight you? Here?” I whisper, trying to contain my surprise.

Okay—my shock. He nods, his eyes hooded but wary as he gauges my reaction.

“Now?”

He shrugs, and I see the idea flit through his mind. He gives me his shy smile and nods again, slowly.

Oh my . . . He’s tense, lying on top of me, and his growing erection is digging tantalizingly into my soft, willing flesh, distracting me. What’s this about? Brawling? Fantasy? Will he hurt me? My inner goddess shakes her head— Never. She’s got her karate suit on, and she’s limbering up. Claude would be pleased.

“Is this what you meant about coming to bed angry?”

He nods once more, his eyes still wary.

Hmm . . . my Fifty wants to rumble.

“Don’t bite your lip,” he warns.

Compliantly, I release my lip. “I think you have me at a disadvantage, Mr.

Grey.” I bat my lashes and squirm provocatively beneath him. This could be fun.

“Disadvantage?”

“Surely you’ve already got me where you want me?”

He smirks and presses his groin into mine once more.

“Good point well made, Mrs. Grey,” he whispers and quickly kisses my lips.

Abruptly he shifts and takes me with him, rolling over so I’m straddling him. I grab his hands, pinning them to the side of his head, and ignore the protesting ache from my hand. My hair falls in a chestnut veil around us, and I move my head so that the strands tickle his face. He jerks his face away but doesn’t try to stop me.

“So, you want to play rough?” I ask, skimming my crotch over his.

His mouth opens and he inhales sharply.

“Yes.” He hisses, and I release him.

“Wait.” I reach over for the glass of water beside the bed. Christian must have left it here. It’s cool and sparkling—too cool to have been sitting here for long—and I wonder when he came to bed.

As I take a long draught, Christian trails his fingers in small circles up my thighs, leaving tingling skin in their wake before he cups and squeezes my naked behind. Hmm.

Taking a leaf from his impressive repertoire, I lean forward and kiss him, pouring clear cool water into his mouth.

He drinks. “Very tasty, Mrs. Grey,” he murmurs, sporting a boyish and playful grin.

After placing the glass back on the bedside table, I remove his hands from my backside and pin them by his head once more.

“So I’m supposed to be unwilling?” I smirk.

“Yes.”

“I’m not much of an actress.”

He grins. “Try.”

I lean down and kiss him chastely. “Okay, I’ll play,” I whisper, trailing my teeth along his jaw, feeling his prickly stubble beneath my teeth and my tongue.

Christian makes a low, sexy sound in his throat and moves, tossing me onto the bed beside him. I cry out in surprise, then he’s on top of me, and I start to struggle as he makes a grab for my hands. Roughly, I place my hands on his chest, pushing with all my might, trying to move him, while he endeavors to pry my legs apart with his knee.

I continue pushing at his chest— Jeez he’s heavy—but he doesn’t flinch, doesn’t freeze as he once might have. He’s enjoying this! He attempts to grab my wrists, and finally captures one, despite my valiant attempts to twist it free. It’s my sore hand, so I surrender it to him, but grab his hair with my other hand and pull hard.

“Ah!” He yanks his head free and gazes down at me, his eyes wild and carnal.

“Savage,” he whispers, his voice laced with salacious delight.

In response to this one whispered word, my libido explodes, and I stop acting. Again I struggle in vain to wrest my hand out of his hold. At the same time I try to hook my ankles together, and attempt to buck him off me. He’s too heavy.

Gah! It’s frustrating and hot.

With a groan, Christian captures my other hand. He holds both my wrists in his left hand, and his right travels leisurely—insolently, almost—down my body, fondling and feeling as it goes, tweaking my nipple on the way.

I yelp in response, pleasure spiking short, sharp, and hot from my nipple to my groin. I make another fruitless attempt to buck him off, but he’s just too on me.

When he tries to kiss me I jerk my head to the side so he can’t. Promptly his insolent hand moves from the hem of my T-shirt up to my chin, holding me in place as he runs his teeth along my jaw, mirroring what I did to him earlier.

“Oh, baby, fight me,” he murmurs.

I twist and writhe, trying to free myself from his merciless hold, but it’s hopeless. He’s much stronger than me. He’s gently biting at my lower lip as his tongue tries to invade my mouth. And I realize I don’t want to resist him. I want him—now, like I always do. I stop fighting and fervently return his kiss. I don’t care that I haven’t brushed my teeth. I don’t care that we’re supposed to be playing some game. Desire, hot and hard, surges through my bloodstream, and I’m lost. Unhooking my ankles, I wrap my legs around his hips and use my heels to push his pajamas down over his behind.

“Ana,” he breathes, and he kisses me everywhere. And we’re no longer wrestling, but all hands and tongues and touch and taste, quick and urgent.

“Skin,” he murmurs hoarsely, his breathing labored. He drags me up and tugs off my T-shirt in one swift move.

“You,” I whisper while I’m upright, because it’s all I can think of to say. I seize the front his pajamas and yank them down, freeing his erection. I grab and squeeze him. He’s hard. The air whistles through his teeth as he inhales sharply, and I revel in his response.

“Fuck,” he murmurs. He leans back, lifting my thighs, tipping me down onto the bed as I pull and squeeze him tightly, running my hand up and down him.

Feeling a bead of moisture on his tip, I swirl it around with my thumb. As he lowers me to the mattress, I slip my thumb in my mouth to taste him while his hands travel up my body, caressing my hips, my stomach, my breasts.

“Taste good?” he asks as he hovers over me, eyes blazing.

“Yes. Here.” I push my thumb into his mouth, and he sucks and bites the pad.

I groan, grasp his head, and pull him down to me so I can kiss him. Wrapping my legs around him, I push his pajamas off his legs with my feet, then cradle him with my legs around his waist. His lips trail from across my jaw to my chin, nipping softly.

“You’re so beautiful.” He dips his head lower to the base of my throat. “Such beautiful skin.” His breath is soft as his lips glide down to my breasts.

What? I am panting, confused—wanting, now waiting. I thought this was going to be quick.

“Christian.” I hear the quiet plea in my voice and reach down, fisting my hands in his hair.

“Hush,” he whispers and circles my nipple with his tongue before pulling it into his mouth and tugging hard.

“Ah!” I moan and squirm, tilting my pelvis up to tempt him. He grins against my skin and turns his attention to my other breast.

“Impatient, Mrs. Grey?” He then sucks hard on my nipple. I tug his hair. He groans and peers up. “I’ll restrain you,” he warns.

“Take me,” I beg.

“All in good time,” he murmurs against my skin. His hand travels down at an infuriatingly slow speed to my hip as he worships my nipple with his mouth. I moan loudly, my breath short and shallow, and I try once more to entice him into me, rocking against him. He’s thick and heavy and close, but he’s taking his own sweet leisurely time with me.

Fuck this. I struggle and twist, determined to buck him off me again.

“What the—”

Grabbing my hands, Christian pins them down on the bed, my arms spread wide, and rests his full bodyweight on me, completely subduing me. I am breathless, wild.

“You wanted resistance,” I say, panting. He rears up over me and gazes down, his hands still locked around my wrists. I place my heels under his behind and push. He doesn’t move. Gah!

“You don’t want to play nice?” he asks astonished, his eyes alight with excitement.

“I just want you to make love to me, Christian.” Could he be any more obtuse? First we’re fighting and wrestling then he’s all tender and sweet. It’s confusing. I’m in bed with Mr. Mercurial.

“Please.” I press my heels against his backside once more. Burning gray eyes search mine. Oh, what is he thinking? He looks momentarily bewildered and confused. He releases my hands and sits back on his heels, pulling me into his lap.

“Okay, Mrs. Grey, we’ll do this your way.” He lifts me up and slowly lowers me on to him so I’m straddling him.

“Ah!” This is it. This is what I want. This is what I need. Curling my arms around his neck, I twist my fingers in his hair, glorying in the feeling of him inside me. I start to move. Taking control, taking him at my pace, at my speed. He moans, and his lips find mine, and we’re lost.

I trail my fingers through the hair on Christian’s chest. He lies on his back, still and quiet beside me as we both catch our breath. His hand thrums rhythmically down my back.

“You’re quiet,” I whisper and kiss his shoulder. He turns and looks at me, his expression giving nothing away. “That was fun.” Shit, is something wrong?

“You confound me, Mrs. Grey.”

“Confound you?”

He shifts so that we’re face to face. “Yes. You. Calling the shots. It’s . . . different.”

“Good different or bad different?” I trail a finger over his lips. His brow furrows, as if he doesn’t quite understand the question. Absentmindedly, he kisses my finger.

“Good different,” he says, but he doesn’t sound convinced.

“You’ve never indulged this little fantasy before?” I blush as I say it. Do I really want to know any more about my husband’s colorful . . . um, kaleidoscopic sex life before me? My subconscious eyes me warily over her tortoiseshell half-moon specs. Do you really want to go there?

“No, Anastasia. You can touch me.” It’s a simple explanation that speaks volumes. Of course, the fifteen couldn’t.

“Mrs. Robinson could touch you.” I murmur the words before my brain registers what I’ve said. Shit. Why did I mention her?

He stills. His eyes widen with his oh-no-where’s-she-going-with-this expression. “That was different,” he whispers.

Suddenly I want to know. “Good different or bad different?”

He gazes at me. Doubt and possibly pain flit across his face, and fleetingly he looks like a man drowning.

“Bad, I think.” His words are barely audible.

Holy shit!

“I thought you liked it.”

“I did. At the time.”

“Not now?”

He gazes at me, eyes wide, then slowly shakes his head.

Oh my . . . “Oh, Christian.” I’m overwhelmed by the feelings that swamp me.

My lost boy. I launch myself at him and kiss his face, his throat, his chest, his little round scars. He groans, pulls me to him, and kisses me passionately. And very slowly, and tenderly, at his pace, he makes love to me once more.

“Ana Tyson. Punching above your weight!” Ethan applauds as I head into the kitchen for breakfast. He’s sitting with Mia, and Kate at the breakfast bar while Mrs.

Bentley cooks waffles. Christian is nowhere to be seen.

“Good morning, Mrs. Grey.” Mrs. Bentley smiles. “What would you like for breakfast?”

“Good Morning. Whatever’s going, thank you. Where’s Christian?”

“Outside.” Kate gestures with her head toward the backyard. I wander over to the window that looks out over the yard and the mountains beyond. It’s a clear, powder-blue summer day, and my beautiful husband is about twenty feet away in deep discussion with some guy.

“That’s Mr. Bentley he’s talking to,” calls Mia from the breakfast bar. I turn to look at her, distracted by her sulky tone. She looks venomously at Ethan. Oh dear. I wonder once more what’s going on between them. Frowning, I turn my attention back to my husband and Mr. Bentley.

Mrs. Bentley’s husband is fair-haired, dark eyed and wiry, dressed in work pants and an Aspen Fire Department T-shirt. Christian is dressed in his black jeans and T-shirt. As the two men amble across the lawn toward the house lost in their conversation, Christian casually bends to pick up what looks like a bamboo cane that must have been blown over or discarded in the flowerbed. Pausing, Christian absentmindedly holds out the cane at arm’s length as if weighing it carefully and swipes it through the air, just once.

Oh . . .

Mr. Bentley appears to see nothing odd in his behavior. They continue their discussion, nearer to the house this time, then pause once more, and Christian repeats the gesture. The tip of the cane hits the ground. Glancing up, Christian sees me standing at the window. Suddenly I feel as if I’m spying on him. He stops. I give him an embarrassed wave then turn and walk back to the breakfast bar.

“What were you doing?” asks Kate.

“Just watching Christian.”

“You have got it bad.” She snorts.

“And you don’t, oh soon-to-be sister-in-law?” I reply, grinning and trying to bury the disquieting visual of Christian wielding a cane. I am startled when Kate leaps up and hugs me.

“Sister!” she exclaims, and it’s hard not to be swept up in her joy.

“Hey, sleepyhead.” Christian wakes me. “We’re about to land. Buckle up.”

I fumble sleepily for my seat belt, but Christian fastens it for me. He kisses my forehead before settling back into his seat. I lean my head on his shoulder again and close my eyes.

An impossibly long hike and a picnic lunch on top of a spectacular mountain have exhausted me. The rest of our party is quiet, too—even Mia. She looks despondent, as she has all day. I wonder how her campaign with Ethan is going. I don’t even know where they slept last night. My eyes catch hers, and I give a small are-you-okay smile. She gives me a brief sad smile in return and goes back to her book. I peek up at Christian through my lashes. He’s working on a contract or something, reading it through and annotating the margins. But he seems relaxed. Elliot is snoring softly beside Kate.

I have yet to corner Elliot and quiz him about Gia, but it’s been impossible to pry him away from Kate. Christian isn’t interested enough to ask, which is irritating, but I haven’t pressed him. We’ve been enjoying ourselves too much. Elliot rests his hand possessively on Kate’s knee. She looks radiant, and to think that only yesterday afternoon she was so unsure of him. What did Christian call him?

Lelliot. Perhaps that’s a family nickname? It was sweet, better than manwhore.

Abruptly, Elliot opens his eyes and gazes straight at me. I blush, caught staring.

He grins. “I sure love your blush, Ana,” he teases, stretching. Kate gives me her self-satisfied, cat-ate-the-canary smile.

Officer Beighley announces our approach to Sea-Tac, and Christian clasps my hand.

“How was your weekend, Mrs. Grey?” Christian asks once we’re in the Audi heading back to Escala. Taylor and Ryan are up front.

“Good, thank you.” I smile, feeling shy all of a sudden.

“We can go anytime. Take anyone you wish to take.”

“We should take Ray. He’d like the fishing.”

“That’s a good idea.”

“How was it for you?” I ask.

“Good,” he says after a moment, surprised by my question, I think. “Real good.”

“You seemed to relax.”

He shrugs. “I knew you were safe.”

I frown. “Christian, I’m safe most of the time. I’ve told you before, you’ll keel over at forty if you keep up this level of anxiety. And I want to grow old and gray with you.” I grasp his hand. He looks at me as if he can’t comprehend what I’m saying. He gently kisses my knuckles and changes the subject.

“How’s your hand?”

“It’s better, thank you.”

He smiles. “Very good, Mrs. Grey. You ready to face Gia again?”

Oh crap. I’d forgotten we were seeing her this evening to go over the final plans. I roll my eyes. “I might want to keep you out of the way, keep you safe.” I smirk.

“Protecting me?” Christian is laughing at me.

“As ever, Mr. Grey. From all sexual predators,” I whisper.

Christian is brushing his teeth when I crawl into bed. Tomorrow we go back to reality—back to work, the paparazzi, and to Jack in custody but with the possibility that he has an accomplice. Hmm . . . Christian was vague about that. Does he know? And if he did know, would he tell me? I sigh. Getting information out of Christian is like pulling teeth, and we’ve had such a lovely weekend. Do I want to ruin the feel-good moment by trying to drag the information out of him?

It’s been a revelation to see him out of his normal environment, outside this apartment, relaxed and happy with his family. I wonder vaguely if it’s because we’re here in this apartment with all its memories and associations that he gets wound up. Maybe we should move.

I snort. We are moving—we’re having a huge house refurbished on the coast.

Gia’s plans are complete and approved, and Elliot’s team starts building next week. I chuckle as I recall Gia’s shocked expression when I told her that I’d seen her in Aspen. Turns out it was nothing but co-incidence. She’d camped out at her holiday place to work solely on our plans. For one awful moment I’d thought she’d had a hand in choosing the ring, but apparently not. But I still don’t trust Gia. I want to hear the same story from Elliot. At least she kept her distance from Christian this time.

I look out at the night sky. I will miss this view. This panoramic vista . . .

Seattle at our feet, so full of possibilities, yet so far removed. Maybe that’s Christian’s problem—he’s been too isolated from real life for too long, thanks to his self-imposed exile. Yet with his family around him, he is less controlling, less anxious—freer, happier. I wonder what Flynn would make of all that. Holy crap!

Maybe that’s the answer. Maybe he needs his own family. I shake my head in denial—we’re too young, too new to all this. Christian strides into the room, looking his usual gorgeous but pensive self.

“Everything okay?” I askHe nods distractedly as he climbs into bed.

“I’m not looking forward to going back to reality,” I murmur.

“No?”

I shake my head and caress his lovely face. “I had a wonderful weekend.

Thank you.”

He smiles softly. “You’re my reality, Ana,” he murmurs and kisses me.

“Do you miss it?”

“Miss what?” he asks, perplexed.

“You know. The caning . . . and stuff,” I whisper, embarrassed.

He stares at me, his gaze impassive. Then doubt crosses his face, his where-is-she-going-with-this look.

“No Anastasia, I don’t.” His voice is steady and quiet. He caresses my cheek.

“Dr. Flynn said something to me when you left, something that’s stayed with me.

He said I couldn’t be that way if you weren’t so inclined. It was a revelation.” He stops, and frowns. “I didn’t know any other way, Ana. Now I do. It’s been educational.”

“Me, educate you?” I scoff.

His eyes soften. “Do you miss it?” he asks.

Oh! “I don’t want you to hurt me, but I like to play, Christian. You know that. If you wanted to do something . . .” I shrug, gazing at him.

“Something?”

“You know, with a flogger or your crop—” I stop, blushing.

He raises his brow, surprised. “Well . . . we’ll see. Right now, I’d like some good old-fashioned vanilla.” His thumb skirts my bottom lip, and he kisses me once more.

From: Anastasia Grey

Subject: Good Morning

Date: August 29, 2011 09:14

To: Christian Grey

Mr. Grey

I just wanted to tell you that I love you.

That is all.

Yours Always

A x

Anastasia Grey

Commissioning Editor, SIP

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Banishing Monday Blues

Date: August 29, 2011 09:18

To: Anastasia Grey

Mrs. Grey

What gratifying words to hear from one’s wife (errant or not) on a Monday morning.

Let me assure you that I feel exactly the same way.

Sorry about the dinner this evening. I hope it won’t be too tedious for you.

x

Christian Grey,

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

Oh yes. The American Shipbuilding Association dinner. I roll my eyes . . .

More stuffed shirts. Christian really does take me to the most fascinating functions.

From: Anastasia Grey

Subject: Ships that pass in the night Date: August 29, 2011 09:26

To: Christian Grey

Dear Mr. Grey

I am sure you can think of a way to spice up the dinner . . .

Yours in anticipation

Mrs. G. x

Anastasia (non-errant) Grey

Commissioning Editor, SIP

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Variety is the Spice of Life Date: August 29, 2011 09:35

To: Anastasia Grey

Mrs. Grey

I have a few ideas . . .

x

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Now Impatient for the ASA Dinner Inc.

All the muscles in my belly clench. Hmm . . . I wonder what he’ll dream up.

Hannah knocks on the door, interrupting my reverie.

“Ready to go through your schedule for this week, Ana?”

“Sure. Sit.” I smile, recovering my equilibrium, and minimize my e-mail program. “I’ve had to move a couple of appointments. Mr. Fox next week and Dr.—”

My phone rings, interrupting her. It’s Roach. He asks me up to his office.

“Can we pick this up in twenty minutes?”

“Of course.”

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Last night

Date: August 30, 2011 09:24

To: Anastasia Grey

Was . . . fun.

Who would have thought the ASA annual dinner could be so stimulating?

As ever, you never disappoint, Mrs. Grey.

I love you.

x

Christian Grey

In awe, CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

From: Anastasia Grey

Subject: I love a good ball game . . .

Date: August 30, 2011 09:33

To: Christian Grey

Dear Mr. Grey

I have missed the silver balls.

You never disappoint.

That is all.

Mrs. G. x

Anastasia Grey

Commissioning Editor, SIP

Hannah taps on my door, interrupting my erotic thoughts of the previous evening. Christian’s hands . . . his mouth.

“Come in.”

“Ana, Mr. Roach’s PA just called. He’d like you to attend a meeting this morning. It means I have to move some of your appointments again. Is that okay.”

His tongue.

“Sure. Yes,” I mutter trying to halt my wayward thoughts. She grins and ducks out of my office . . . leaving me with my delicious memory of last night.

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Hyde

Date: September 1, 2011 15:24

To: Anastasia Grey

Anastasia

For your information, Hyde has been refused bail and remanded in custody. He’s charged with attempted kidnap and arson. As yet no date has been set for the trial.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

From: Anastasia Grey

Subject: Hyde

Date: September 1, 2011 15:53

To: Christian Grey

That’s good news.

Does this mean you’ll lighten up on security?

I really don’t see eye to eye with Prescott.

Ana x

Anastasia Grey

Commissioning Editor, SIP

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Hyde

Date: September 1, 2011 15:59

To: Anastasia Grey

No. Security will remain in place. No arguments.

What’s wrong with Prescott? If you don’t like her, we’ll replace her.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

I scowl at his high-handed e-mail. Prescott isn’t that bad.

From: Anastasia Grey

Subject: Keep your hair on!

Date: September 1, 2011 16:03

To: Christian Grey

I was just asking (rolls eyes). And I’ll think about Prescott.

Stow that twitchy palm!

Ana x

Anastasia Grey

Commissioning Editor, SIP

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Don’t tempt me.

Date: September 1, 2011 16:11

To: Anastasia Grey

I can assure you, Mrs. Grey, that my hair is very firmly attached—has this not been demonstrated often enough by your good self?

My palm, however, is twitching.

I might do something about that tonight.

x

Christian Grey

Not bald yet CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

From: Anastasia Grey

Subject: Squirm

Date: September 1, 2011 16:20

To: Christian Grey

Promises, promises . . .

Now stop pestering me. I am trying to work; I have an impromptu meeting with an author. Will try not to be distracted by thoughts of you during the meeting.

A x

Anastasia Grey

Commissioning Editor, SIP

From: Anastasia Grey

Subject: Sailing & Soaring & Spanking Date: September 5, 2011 09:18

To: Christian Grey

Husband

You sure know how to show a girl a good time.

I shall of course be expecting this kind of treatment every weekend.

You are spoiling me. I love it.

Your wife

xox

Anastasia Grey

Commissioning Editor, SIP

From: Christian Grey

Subject: My Life’s Mission . . .

Date: September 5, 2011 09:25

To: Anastasia Grey

Is to spoil you, Mrs. Grey.

And keep you safe because I love you.

Christian Grey

Smitten CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

Oh my. Could he be any more romantic?

From: Anastasia Grey

Subject: My Life’s Mission . . .

Date: September 5, 2011 09:33

To: Christian Grey

Is to let you—because I love you, too.

Now stop being so sappy.

You are making me cry.

Anastasia Grey

Equally Smitten Commissioning Editor, SIP

The following day, I gaze at the calendar on my desk. Only five days until September 10—my birthday. I know we are driving out to the house to see how Elliot and his crew are progressing. Hmm . . . I wonder if Christian has any other plans? I smile at the thought. Hannah taps on my door.

“Come in.”

Prescott is hovering outside . Odd . . .

“Hi, Ana,” says Hannah. “There’s a Leila Williams here to see you? She says it’s personal.”

“Leila Williams? I don’t know a . . .” My mouth goes dry, and Hannah’s eyes widen at my expression.

Leila? Fuck. What does she want?

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