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I cannot hide from my feelings anymore. I find him attractive, very attractive. It was just a coincidence, his coming here. But still, I can admire him from afar, surely? No 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. Kate is ecstatic. The dull, disap- pointing reality is that he was here on business.
So do you want these photos? He likes you. No doubt about it. He does polite, maybe. And a small quiet voice whis- pers, perhaps Kate is right. My scalp prickles at the idea that maybe, just maybe, he might like me. 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. Then call Grey and find out where he wants us. She is so bossy sometimes. I frown at my cell, sticking my tongue out at it.
He shakes his head as if to clear it. Is Grey? My subconscious asks me, her eyebrow figuratively raised. I slap her down. I need to study tonight. I have my finals next week. Clutching my cell, I pace the living area of our apartment, star- ing out of the window at the fading evening light.
Ana will call back with the location and the call time. All we need to do now is decide where and when. Call him. My stomach twists. I take a deep, steadying breath, and with shaking fingers, I dial the number.
He answers on the second ring. His tone is clipped, calm and cold. How nice to hear from you. My breath hitches, and I flush. My lungs drag in a hasty breath. Where would be convenient for you, sir? Shall we say, nine thirty tomorrow morn- ing? How can he make seven little words hold so much tantalizing promise? I hang up.
You like him! She blinks at me with surprise — I very rarely throw my toys out of the pram — and I briefly relent. Then I need to study. I am restless that night, tossing and turning.
Dreaming of smoky gray eyes, coveralls, long legs, long fingers, and dark, dark unexplored places. I wake twice in the night, my heart pounding. I punch my pillow and try to settle. The Heathman is nestled in the downtown heart of Portland. Its impressive brown stone edifice was completed just in time for the crash of the late s.
Kate has managed to acquire the use of a room at the Heathman free of charge for the morning in exchange for a credit in the article. Just a regular-sized suite, however, as apparent- ly Mr. Grey is already occupying the largest one in the building. The rooms are elegant, understated, and opulently furnished. We have half an hour to set up.
Kate is in full flow. Ana, could you ask housekeeping to bring up some refresh- ments? And let Grey know where we are. She is so domineering. Half an hour later, Christian Grey walks into our suite.
Holy Crap! His unruly hair is still damp from a shower. Grey is followed into the suite by a man in his mid-thirties, all buzz-cut and stubble in a sharp dark suit and tie who stands silently in the corner.
His hazel eyes watch us impassively. Oh my… he really is, quite… wow. How do you do? Anastasia said you were unwell last week. I remind myself that Kate has been to the best private schools in Washington.
I am in awe of her. Damn it. His eyes cool when he looks from me to Grey. His tone sounds vaguely threatening. Grey — if you could sit here, please? Be careful of the lighting cables. Travis switches on the lights, momentarily blinding Grey, and mutters an apology. He takes several photographs hand-held, asking Grey to turn this way, then that, to move his arm, then put it down again. My wish has come true: I can stand and admire Grey from not-so-afar. Twice our eyes lock, and I have to tear myself away from his cloudy gaze.
He stands, and Travis scurries in to remove the chair. I glance anxiously at Kate, who shrugs at me. What does he want? I pause in the hotel corridor, fidg- eting nervously as Grey emerges from the room followed by Mr. Buzz-Cut in his sharp suit. Taylor wanders back down the cor- ridor, and Grey turns his burning gray gaze to me. Crap… have I done something wrong? A date? Christian Grey is asking me on a date. I clear my throat trying to control my nerves. Taylor, who had been retreating down the cor- ridor, turns and heads back toward us.
I nod, too stunned to speak. Now can you join me for coffee? I frown at him. Oh my… and he opens the door of the suite so I can re-enter. By some miracle, she does. Speechless Kate! I savor the moment. Especially to someone like you. Finally, she fishes her car keys out of her pocket and hands them to me. I hand her mine. I emerge from the suite to find Christian Grey waiting, leaning up against the wall, looking like a male model in a pose for some glossy high-end magazine.
He grins. I make my way down the corridor, my knees shaky, my stomach full of butterflies, and my heart in my mouth thumping a dramatic uneven beat.
I am going to have coffee with Christian Grey We walk together down the wide hotel corridor to the elevators. What should I say to him? My mind is suddenly paralyzed with apprehension. What are we going to talk about? What on Earth do I have in common with him? His soft, warm voice startles me from my reverie.
What is he thinking? At the elevators, he presses the call button, and the bell rings almost immediately.
The doors slide open revealing a young couple in a passionate clinch inside. Surprised and embarrassed, they jump apart, staring guiltily in every direction but ours.
Grey and I step into the elevator. I am struggling to maintain a straight face, so I gaze down at the floor, feeling my cheeks turning pink. The young couple says nothing, and we travel down to the first floor in embarrassed silence.
The doors open and, much to my surprise, Grey takes my hand, clasping it with his long cool fingers. I feel the current run through me, and my already rapid heartbeat accel- erates. As he leads me out of the elevator, we can hear the suppressed giggles of the couple erupting behind us. Grey grins. The sun is shining and the traffic is light. Grey turns left and strolls to the corner, where we stop waiting for the lights of the pedestrian crossing to change. No one has ever held my hand.
I feel giddy, and I tingle all over. I attempt to smother the ridiculous grin that threatens to split my face in two. Try to be cool, Ana, my subconscious implores me. We walk four blocks before we reach the Portland Coffee House, where Grey releases me to hold the door open so I can step inside. What would you like? No, stupid — do you take sugar? I surreptitiously gaze at him from beneath my lashes as he stands in line waiting to be served.
Once or twice he runs his long, graceful fingers through his now dry but still disorderly hair. The thought comes unbidden into my mind, and my face flames. I bite my lip and stare down at my hands again not liking where my wayward thoughts are headed.
I go crimson. I was just thinking about running my fingers through your hair and wondering if it would feel soft to touch. He has a coffee which bears a wonderful leaf-pattern imprinted in the milk. How do they do that? I wonder idly. Putting the tray aside, he sits opposite me and crosses his long legs. He looks so comfortable, so at ease with his body, I envy him. He frowns. I pop the teabag into the teapot and almost immediately fish it out again with my teaspoon.
As I place the used teabag back on the side plate, he cocks his head gazing quizzically at me. Is he your boyfriend? What gave him that impression? Why did you think he was my boyfriend?
Grey nods slightly, seemingly satisfied with my response, and glances down at his blueberry muffin. His long fingers deftly peel back the paper, and I watch, fascinated. I told you yesterday. I hear his sharp intake of breath. I like to see your face. I glance at him, and he gives me an encouraging but wry smile. Wow… how am I managing that?
This is bewildering. Me, self-contained? No Way. I just wish I knew what you were blushing about. And as if on cue, I blush. Have I offended you? Why has this conversation become so serious?
Two control freaks together. I take a sip of my tea, and Grey eats another small piece of his muffin. Whoa… he keeps changing direction. My stepdad lives in Monte- sano. Holy shit. I start babbling about my mother — anything to block that memory. Christian is watching me intently, taking occasional sips of his coffee.
Those lips. I grew up with him. I shrug. What does this man expect? My life story? I refrain from rolling my eyes at him. My mom met Husband Number Three when I was fifteen.
I stayed with Ray. This really is none of his business. My home was in Montesano. And… you know my mom was newly married. My mom never talks about Husband Number Three.
Where is Grey going with this? This is none of his business. Two can play at this game. He shrugs. They live in Seattle. And I wonder about a successful couple who adopt three kids, and one of them turns into a beautiful man who takes on the business world and conquers it single-handed.
What drove him to be that way? His folks must be proud. Have you been? What is he hiding? Concentrate, Steele. I glance at my watch.
I have to study. They start Tuesday. I take it, bemused, and follow him out of the coffee shop. He at least looks his usual calm, collected self. My mind is reeling. This is it. Perhaps he has someone. Holy crap - I just said that out loud? His lips quirk up in a half-smile, and he looks down at me. Oh… what does that mean?
Oh, maybe he is - crap! He must have lied to me in his interview. 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. I inhale his clean, vital scent. He smells of fresh laundered linen and some expensive body-wash. I inhale deeply. 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. And for the first time in twenty-one years, I want to be kissed. I want to feel his mouth on me. Kiss me damn it! 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. Where is this coming from?
Surely I should be the judge of that. I frown up at him, and my head swims with rejection. Adrenaline has spiked through my body, from the near miss with the cyclist or the heady proximity to Christian, leaving me wired and weak. My psyche screams as he pulls away, leaving me bereft. I have royally screwed up the coffee morning. How could I have misread the situation between us so utterly?
I need to get away from him. I shudder to think what could have happened to you. Do you want to come and sit down in the hotel for a mo- ment? With a shake, I clear my head. I just want to go. All my vague, unarticulated hopes have been dashed.
What was I thinking? I scold myself. What would Christian Grey want with you? My subconscious mocks me. I wrap my arms around my- self and turn to face the road and note with relief that the green man has appeared. I quickly make my way across, conscious that Grey is behind me. Outside the hotel, I turn briefly to face him but cannot look him in the eye. His gray eyes are bleak as he runs his hand through his hair. He looks torn, frustrated, his expression stark, all his careful control has evaporated.
I need to take my fragile, wounded pride away and somehow nurse it back to health. This is why he looks so desolate? This is the big send off? Just to wish me luck in my exams? Once underneath the dark, cold concrete of the garage with its bleak fluorescent light, I lean against the wall and put my head in my hands. Unbidden and unwelcome tears pool in my eyes. Why am I crying? I sink to the ground, angry at myself for this senseless reaction.
Drawing up my knees, I fold in on myself. I want to make myself as small as possible. Perhaps this nonsensical pain will be smaller the smaller I am. Placing my head on my knees, I let the irrational tears fall unrestrained. I am crying over the loss of something I never had. How ridiculous. Mourning something that never was — my dashed hopes, dashed dreams, and my soured expectations.
I have never been on the receiving end of rejection. Okay… so I was always one of the last to be picked for basketball or volleyball — but I understood that — running and doing something else at the same time like bouncing or throwing a ball is not my thing. I am a serious liability in any sporting field. So I have always been the one to rebuff any would be admirers. There was that guy in my chemistry class who liked me, but no one has ever sparked my interest — no one except Christian damn Grey.
Perhaps I just need a good cry. Stop Now! Get in the car, go home, do your studying. Forget about him… Now! And stop all this self-pitying, wallowing crap. I take a deep, steadying breath and stand up. Get it together Steele. I will not think of him again. I can just chalk this incident up to experience and concentrate on my exams. Kate is sitting at the dining table at her laptop when I arrive. Her welcoming smile fades when she sees me.
I shake my head at her in a back-off now Kavanagh way — but I might as well be dealing with a blind, deaf mute. The thought brings a wry smile to my face.
She stands, her green eyes brimming with concern. She puts her arms around me and hugs me. I need to say something just to get her to back off. Were you hurt? How was coffee? I know you hate coffee. It was fine, nothing to report really. I need to study. She frowns. And there he is, staring at me in black and white, staring at me and finding me lacking. We are poles apart and from two very different worlds.
I have a vision of myself as Icarus flying too close to the sun and crashing and burning as a result. His words make sense. This is what he meant, and it makes his rejection easier to accept… almost. I can live with this. I understand. I turn on to my side. I close my eyes and begin to drift. Well not for you, my sleepy subconscious has a final swipe at me before unleashing itself on my dreams.
I put my pen down. My final exam is over. I feel the Cheshire cat grin spread over my face. I might even get drunk! This is it, the end of my academic career. I shall never have to sit in rows of anxious, isolated students again.
Kate stops writing and puts her pen down. She glances across at me, and I catch her Cheshire cat smile too. We head back to our apartment together in her Mercedes, refusing to discuss our final paper. I am busily fishing around in my purse for my keys. Kate gives me the parcel and takes my keys to open the front door.
I open the parcel, and inside I find a half leather box containing three seemingly identi- cal old cloth-covered books in mint condition and a plain white card. Written on one side, in black ink in neat cursive handwriting, is: I recognize the quote from Tess. I open the front cover. Osgood, McIlvaine and Co.
Kate is at my shoulder gazing at the books. She picks up the card. I have no idea why. Warnings or no. Okay… so his gray eyes are still haunting my dreams, and I know it will take an eternity to expunge the feel of his arms around me and his wonderful fragrance from my brain. Why has he sent me this? But yours looks in much better condition. They must have cost more. I repack the books and leave them on the dining table.
Kate hands me a glass of champagne. The bar is loud and hectic, full of soon to be graduates out to get trashed. As I down my fifth, I know this is not a good idea on top of the champagne. Kate has the constitution of an ox.
He only has eyes for Kate. Head spin. I have to grab the back of the chair. Tequila based cocktails are not a good idea. I make my way to the bar and decide that I should visit the powder room while I am on my feet. Good thinking, Ana. I stagger off through the crowd. I reach for my cell phone to relieve the boredom of waiting in line. Hmm… Who did I last call? Oh yes. Grey, I think this is his number. I giggle. If he wants me to stay away, he should leave me alone. I suppress a drunken grin and hit the automatic re-dial.
You sound strange. There - that told him, my courage fuelled by alcohol. Where are you? I imagine him as an old time movie director wearing jodhpurs, holding an old fash- ioned megaphone and a riding crop.
The image makes me laugh out loud. I giggle again. Mission not ac- complished. I am really quite drunk - my head swims uncomfortably as I shuffle with the line. Well, the object of the exercise was to get drunk. I have succeeded. I stare blankly at the poster on the back of the toilet door that extols the virtues of safe sex. Holy crap, did I just call Christian Grey?
My phone rings and it makes me jump. I yelp in surprise. Only Christian Grey could sound so calm and so threatening at the same time.
I pull my jeans up. My heart is thumping. Coming to get me? Hang on. I wash my hands and check my face in the mirror. I look flushed and slightly unfocused. Hmm… tequila. I wait at the bar for what feels like an eternity for the pitcher of beer and eventually return to the table. More unsteady than usual. Drinking in the cool evening air in the parking lot makes me realize how drunk I am. Why did I let myself get this messed up? His breath is soft and smells too sweet — of margarita and beer.
He gently trails kisses along my jaw up to the side of my mouth. I feel panicky, drunk, and out of control. The feeling is suffocating. Holy shit! I glance anxiously up at Christian. My stomach heaves, and I double over, my body no longer able to tolerate the alcohol, and I vomit spectacularly on to the ground. Grey grabs my hair and pulls it out of the firing line and gently leads me over to a raised flowerbed on the edge of the park- ing lot.
I try awkwardly to push him away, but I vomit again… and again. Oh shit… how long is this going to last? This is just too appalling for words. Finally, it stops. My hands are resting on the brick wall of the flowerbed, barely holding me up - vomit- ing profusely is exhausting. Grey takes his hands off me and passes me a handkerchief. Only he would have a monogrammed, freshly laundered, linen handkerchief. Vaguely I wonder what the T stands for as I wipe my mouth. I cannot bring myself to look at him.
I want to be swallowed up by the azaleas in the flowerbed and be anywhere but here. I groan and put my head in my hands.
This has to be the single worst moment of my life. I risk a peek at him. I glare at him. Apologize for the phone call. Please, please can I die now?
Do you make a habit of this kind of behavior? What the hell has it got to do with him? He sounds like a middle-aged man scolding me like an er- rant child. Why is he still standing there? I begin to feel faint. He notices my dizziness and grabs me before I fall and hoists me into his arms, holding me close to his chest like a child. How is that possible? Is it legal?
Christian, please, I need to tell Kate. I feel weak, still drunk, embarrassed, exhausted, mortified, and on some strange level absolutely off the scale thrilled. Levi looks lost and forlorn on his own. My head is beginning to pound in time to the thumping bass line of the music.
I struggle into my black jacket and place my small shoulder bag over my head so it sits at my hip. All those forbid- den, unfamiliar feelings that I have tried to deny surface and run amok through my drained body. I flush, and somewhere deep, deep down my muscles clench deliciously. He rolls his eyes at me and takes my hand again and leads me to the bar. Control-Freak Grey. Does everything come so easily to him?
He hands me a very large glass of iced water. The moving lights are twisting and turning in time to the music casting strange colored light and shadows all over the bar and the clientele. I take a tentative sip. He runs his hand through his unruly hair.
He looks frustrated, angry. Apart from a silly drunk girl ringing him in the middle of the night so he thinks she needs rescuing. And it turns out she does from her over amorous friend. Then seeing her being violently ill at his feet. Oh Ana… are you ever going to live this down?
My subconscious is figuratively tutting and glaring at me over her half moon specs. I sway slightly, and he puts his hand on my shoulder to steady me. It makes me feel queasy. Taking the glass from me, he places it on the bar. His shirt is unbuttoned at the top, and I see a sprinkling of hair in the gap. In my groggy frame of mind, he looks yummy. He takes my hand once more. I do not dance. He can sense my reluctance, and under the colored lights, I can see his amused, slightly sardonic smile.
The music is pounding away, loud and leery, outside and inside my head. I gasp. Kate is making her moves. Really likes someone. I cannot hear what he says. Elliot is tall with wide shoulders, curly blonde hair, and light, wickedly gleaming eyes. Elliot grins, and pulls Kate into his arms, where she is more than happy to be… Kate! Even in my inebriated state, I am shocked. She nods at whatever Elliot says and grins at me and waves. Christian propels us off the dance floor in double quick time.
But I never got to talk to her. Is she okay? I can see where things are heading for her and him. I need to do the safe sex lecture. In the back of my mind, I hope she reads one of the posters on the back of the toilet doors. My thoughts crash through my brain, fighting the drunk, fuzzy feeling. My head begins to swim, oh no… and I can feel the floor coming up to meet my face or so it feels.
The light is muted. I am comfortable and warm, in this bed. I have no idea where I am. The headboard behind me is in the shape of a massive sun. The room is large and airy and plushly furnished in browns and golds and beige.
I have seen it before. My befuddled brain struggles through its recent visual memories. I have stood in a room similar to this with Kate. This looks bigger. Oh shit. How did I get here? Fractured memories of the previous night come slowly back to haunt me. The drink- ing, oh no the drinking, the phone call, oh no the phone call, the vomiting, oh no the vomit- ing.
I cringe inwardly. No socks. No jeans. I glance at the bedside table. On it is a glass of orange juice and two tablets. Control freak that he is, he thinks of everything. I sit up and take the tablets. The orange juice tastes divine. Nothing beats freshly squeezed orange juice for reviv- ing an arid mouth. He opens the door anyway and strolls in. I take a deep breath and close my eyes. How are you feeling? I peek up at him. He places a large shopping bag on a chair and grasps each end of the towel that he has around his neck.
He hides his thoughts and feelings so well. He comes and sits down on the edge of the bed. I stare at my hands. Necrophilia is not my thing. Pressing his suit! I try to bite my lip, but I fail to repress my laughter. His eyes soften and his expression warms, and I see a trace of a smile on his beautifully chiseled lips. Dark knight maybe. What major transgression have I committed now? His jaw clenches, but his face remains impassive.
When he opens his eyes, he glares at me. Though maybe, part of me would like to be. The thought pierces through the irritation I feel at his high-handed words. I was with Kate. My heartbeat has picked up, and my medulla oblongata has ne- glected to fire any synapses to make me breathe. His grin widens, and he reaches over and runs his thumb down my cheek and across my lower lip.
You must be famished. Why is he so damned attractive? Right now I want to go and join him in the shower. I have never felt this way about anyone. My hormones are racing. My skin tingles where his thumb traced over my face and lower lip.
I feel like squirming with a needy, achy… discomfort. Hmm… Desire. This is desire. This is what it feels like. I lie back on the soft feather filled pillows. One minute he rebuffs me, the next he sends me fourteen-thousand-dollar books, then he tracks me like a stalker.
And for all that, I have spent the night in his hotel suite, and I feel safe. He cares enough to come and rescue me from some mistakenly perceived danger. I scramble out of his bed frantically searching for my jeans. He emerges from the bath- room wet and glistening from the shower, still unshaven, with just a towel around his waist, and there am I — all bare legs and awkward gawkiness.
Why oh why does he always catch me on the back foot? What an unexpected bonus. I grab the bag and dart into the bathroom away from the unnerving proximity of naked Christian.
I strip off my clothes and quickly clamber into the shower anxious to be under the cleansing stream of water. But when Vinnie invites her for a romantic evening at his secluded mansion, she discovers the secrets that he has been hiding from the world. She is conflicted about how far to surrender, but before long gives in to her deepest desires and discovers the pleasures of domination as she becomes "fifty shades of black and blue.
Genres Romance. Loading interface About the author. Naughtie 3 books 3 followers. Write a Review. Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book! Community Reviews. Search review text. Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 reviews. The idea of a parody of this popular book is a good one.
However, the execution was not very good. The writing is very simple and the plot a bit obvious. However it does point out the absurdities of the original and it very funny at times. Unfortunately, while a parody, it does strike close to home to the blindness that some people have about their 'true love' and how they will often put up with ridiculous and very harmful behaviors in the name of love.
Marie Jose. Well, it doesn't get any better but having said just that it could not have been worse than the real thing. This 'Fifty Shades of Mobster' version. Good thing it is short and from start to finish takes about 2 hours reading OH MY I know it is supposed to be a parody but how can you parody something that is a parody on its own already I sincerely wish for someone to wave a wand and make it all disappear Make it go away and make us forget it ever existed.
Sandra Ingham. I went into this book with an open mind and the hopes of a giggle. Being a parody I must say I didn't have high expectations, but I am left with feelings of frustration, annoyance and frankly, a need for a delete button of the mind to wipe it from my memory!
I forced myself to the end, though admittedly skipping over quite a few paragraphs. So glad it was only short. My recommendation for this book
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