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Bill doesn’t pick up, so I call Andrea. “Mr. Grey.” “Is the jet free today and tomorrow?” “It’s not scheduled for use until Thursday, sir.” “Great. Can you try Bill for me?” “Sure.” My conversation with Bill is lengthy. Ruth has done an excellent job scouting all of the available brownfield sites in Detroit. Two are viable for the tech plant we want to build, and Bill is certain that Detroit has the available labor force we require. My heart sinks. Does it have to be Detroit? I have vague memories of the place: drunks, hobos, and crackheads shouting at us on the streets; the seedy dive we called home; and a young, broken woman, the crack whore I called Mommy, staring into space while she sat in a drab, grimy room filled with stale air and dust motes. And him. I shudder. Don’t think about him…or her. But I can’t help it. Ana has said nothing about my nocturnal confession. I’ve never mentioned the crack whore to anyone. Perhaps that’s why Ana attacked me this morning: she thinks I need some TLC. Fuck that. Baby. I’ll take your body if you offer it up. I’m doing just fine. But even as the thought pops into my head I wonder if I’m “just fine.” I ignore my unease; it’s something to discuss with Flynn when he’s back. Right now, I’m hungry. I hope she’s gotten her sweet butt out of that shower, because I need to eat. ANA IS STANDING AT the kitchen counter talking to Mrs. Jones, who has set places for our breakfast.

“Would you like something to eat?” asks Mrs. Jones. “No thank you,” Ana says. Oh no you don’t. “Of course you’ll have something to eat,” I growl at both of them. “She likes pancakes, bacon, and eggs, Mrs. Jones.” “Yes, Mr. Grey. What would you like, sir?” she replies, without batting an eyelid. “Omelet, please, and some fruit. Sit,” I tell Ana, pointing to one of the barstools. She does, and I take a seat beside her while Mrs. Jones makes our breakfast. “Have you bought your air ticket?” I ask. “No, I’ll buy it when I get home, over the Internet.” “Do you have the money?” “Yes,” she says, as if I’m five years old, and she tosses her hair over her shoulder, flattening her lips, peeved, I think.

E l james grey  

Fifty Shades of Grey