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Ray,” Kavanagh says, and she kisses a middle-aged man in an ill-fitting suit standing beside Ana. This must be Raymond Steele. “Have you met Ana’s boyfriend?” Kavanagh asks him. “Christian Grey.” Boyfriend! “Mr. Steele, it’s a pleasure to meet you.” “Mr. Grey,” he says, quietly surprised. We shake hands; his grip is firm, and his fingers and palm are rough to the touch. This man works with his hands. Then I remember—he’s a carpenter. His dark brown eyes give nothing away. “And this is my brother, Ethan Kavanagh,” says Kate, introducing the beach bum who has his arm wrapped around Ana. Ah. The Kavanagh offspring, together. I mutter his name as we shake hands, noting that they are soft, unlike Ray Steele’s. Now stop pawing my girl, you fucker. “Ana, baby,” I whisper, holding out my hand, and like the good woman she is, she steps into my embrace. She’s discarded her graduation robe and wears a pale gray halter-neck dress, exposing her flawless shoulders and back. Two dresses in two days. She’s spoiling me. “Ethan, Mom and Dad wanted a word.” Kavanagh hauls her brother away, leaving me with Ana and her father. “So how long have you kids known each other?” Mr. Steele asks. As I reach across to grasp Ana’s shoulder I gently trace my thumb across her naked back and she trembles in response. I tell him we’ve known each other for a couple of weeks. “We met when Anastasia came to interview me for the student newspaper.” “Didn’t know you worked on the student newspaper, Ana,” Mr. Steele says. “Kate was ill,” she says. Ray Steele eyes his daughter and frowns. “Fine speech you gave, Mr. Grey,” he says. “Thank you, sir. I understand that you’re a keen fisherman.” “Indeed I am. Annie tell you that?” “She did.” “You fish?” There’s a spark of curiosity in his brown eyes. “Not as much as I’d like to. My dad used to take my brother and me when we were kids. For him it was all about the steelheads. Guess I caught the bug from him.” Ana listens for a moment, then excuses herself and moves off through the crowd to join the Kavanagh clan. Damn, she looks sensational in that dress. “Oh? Where d’you fish?” Ray Steele’s question pulls me back into the conversation. I know it’s a test. “All over the Pacific Northwest.” “You grew up in Washington?” “Yes, sir. My dad started us on the Wynoochee River.”

E l james grey  
E l james grey  

Fifty Shades of Grey

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