Her chin tilts up in defiance. Ah…topping from the bottom, again. She always finds a way. “Well, I suppose you could, but I may crack under the strain.” “Crack? How?” she queries, her eyes alive with curiosity. “Could get really ugly,” I tease, narrowing my eyes. “Ugly, how?” Her grin matches mine. “Oh, you know, explosions, car chases, kidnapping, incarceration.” “You’d kidnap me?” “Oh yes.” “Hold me against my will?” “Oh yes.” Now, that’s an interesting idea. “And then we’re talking TPE twenty-four-seven.” “You’ve lost me,” she says, perplexed and a little breathless. “Total Power Exchange—around the clock.” My mind whirls as I think of the possibilities. She’s curious. “So you have no choice,” I add, with a playful tone. “Clearly.” Her tone is sarcastic and she rolls her eyes to the heavens, perhaps looking for divine inspiration to understand my sense of humor. Oh, sweet joy. “Anastasia Steele, did you just roll your eyes at me?” “No!” “I think you did. What did I say I’d do to you if you rolled your eyes at me again?” My words hang between us and I sit down again on the bed. “Come here.” For a moment she stares at me, blanching. “I haven’t signed,” she whispers. “I told you what I’d do. I’m a man of my word. I’m going to spank you, and then I’m going to fuck you very quick and very hard. Looks like we’ll need that condom after all.” Will she? Won’t she? This is it. Proof of whether she can do this or not. I watch her, impassive, waiting for her to decide. If she says no, it means she’s paying lip service to the idea of being my submissive. And that will be it. Make the right choice, Ana. Her expression is grave, her eyes wide, and I think she’s weighing up her decision. “I’m waiting,” I murmur. “I’m not a patient man.” Taking a deep breath, she unfurls her legs and crawls toward me, and I hide my relief. “Good girl. Now stand up.” She does as she’s told, and I offer her my hand. She lays the condom on my palm, and I grasp her hand and abruptly pull her over my left knee, so that her head, shoulders, and chest are resting on the bed. I drape my right leg over her legs, holding her in place. I’ve wanted to do this since she asked me if I was gay. “Put your hands up on either side of your head,” I order and she complies immediately. “Why am I doing this, Anastasia?” “Because I rolled my eyes at you,” she says in a hoarse whisper.