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BY 6:30 I’M HOME and my earlier ebullient mood has soured—I still haven’t heard from Ana. I select a

pair of cuff links from the drawers in my closet and as I knot my bow tie for the night’s event I wonder if she’s okay. She said she would contact me when she got home; I’ve called her twice, but I’ve heard nothing, and it’s pissing me off. I try her once more and this time I leave a message. “I think you need to learn to manage my expectations. I’m not a patient man. If you say you are going to contact me when you finish work, then you should have the decency to do so. Otherwise I worry, and it’s not an emotion I’m familiar with, and I don’t tolerate it very well. Call me.” If she doesn’t call soon I am going to explode. I’M SEATED AT A table with Whelan, my banker. I’m his guest at a charity function for a nonprofit that

aims to raise awareness of global poverty. “Glad you could make it,” Whelan says. “It’s a good cause.” “And thank you for your generous contribution, Mr. Grey.” His wife is cloying, thrusting her perfect, surgically enhanced breasts in my direction. “Like I said, it’s a good cause.” I give her a patronizing smile. Why hasn’t Ana called me back? I check my phone again. Nothing. I look around the table at all the middle-aged men with their second or third trophy wives. God forbid this should ever be me. I’m bored. Seriously bored and seriously pissed. What is she doing? Could I have brought her here? I suspect she would have been bored stiff, too. When the conversation around the table moves to the state of the economy, I’ve had enough. Making my excuses, I leave the ballroom and exit the hotel. While the valet is retrieving my car, I call Ana again. There’s still no answer. Perhaps now that I’m gone she wants nothing to do with me. When I get home, I head straight to my study and switch on the iMac.

From: Christian Grey Subject: Where Are You? Date: May 27 2011 22:14 To: Anastasia Steele “I am at work. I will e-mail you when I get home.” Are you still at work or have you packed your phone, BlackBerry, and MacBook? Call me, or I may be forced to call Elliot. Christian Grey

E l james grey  

Fifty Shades of Grey