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“Do you need anything else?” she says, sounding breathless as she hands me a pair of blue coveralls. She’s mortified, eyes still cast down. Christ, she does things to me. “How’s the article coming along?” I ask, in the hope she might relax a little. She looks up and gives me a brief relieved smile. Finally. “I’m not writing it, Katherine is. Miss Kavanagh. My roommate, she’s the writer. She’s very happy with it. She’s the editor of the newspaper, and she was devastated that she couldn’t do the interview in person.” It’s the longest sentence she’s uttered since we first met, and she’s talking about someone else, not herself. Interesting. Before I can comment, she adds, “Her only concern is that she doesn’t have any original photographs of you.” The tenacious Miss Kavanagh wants photographs. Publicity stills, eh? I can do that. It will allow me to spend time with the delectable Miss Steele. “What sort of photographs does she want?” She gazes at me for a moment, then shakes her head, perplexed, not knowing what to say. “Well, I’m around. Tomorrow, perhaps…” I can stay in Portland. Work from a hotel. A room at The Heathman, perhaps. I’ll need Taylor to come down, bring my laptop and some clothes. Or Elliot —unless he’s screwing around, which is his usual MO over the weekend. “You’d be willing to do a photo shoot?” She cannot contain her surprise. I give her a brief nod. Yeah, I want to spend more time with you… Steady, Grey. “Kate will be delighted—if we can find a photographer.” She smiles and her face lights up like a cloudless dawn. She’s breathtaking. “Let me know about tomorrow.” I pull my wallet from my jeans. “My card. It has my cell number on it. You’ll need to call before ten in the morning.” And if she doesn’t, I’ll head on back to Seattle and forget about this stupid venture. The thought depresses me. “Okay.” She continues to grin. “Ana!” We both turn as a young man dressed in casual designer gear appears at the far end of the aisle. His eyes are all over Miss Anastasia Steele. Who the hell is this prick? “Er, excuse me for a moment, Mr. Grey.” She walks toward him, and the asshole engulfs her in a gorilla-like hug. My blood runs cold. It’s a primal response. Get your fucking paws off her. I fist my hands and am only slightly mollified when she doesn’t return his hug. They fall into a whispered conversation. Maybe Welch’s facts were wrong. Maybe this guy is her boyfriend. He looks the right age, and he can’t take his greedy little eyes off her. He holds her for a moment at arm’s length, examining her, then stands with his arm resting on her shoulder. It seems like a casual gesture, but I know he’s staking a claim and telling me to back off. She seems embarrassed, shifting from foot to foot.

E l james grey  

Fifty Shades of Grey