Page 304

“I would probably have gone the way of my birth mother, had it not been for Mrs. Robinson.” She tucks a damp tendril behind her ear, staying quiet. What can I say about Elena? I think about our relationship: Elena and me. Those heady years. The secrecy. The furtive couplings. The pain. The pleasure. The release…The order and calm she brought to my world. “She loved me in a way I found…acceptable,” I muse, almost to myself. “Acceptable?” Ana says in disbelief. “Yes.” Ana’s expression is expectant. She wants more. Shit. “She distracted me from the destructive path I found myself following.” My voice is low. “It’s very hard to grow up in a perfect family when you’re not perfect.” She inhales sharply. Hell. I hate talking about this. “Does she still love you?” No! “I don’t think so, not like that. I keep telling you, it was a long time ago. It’s in the past. I couldn’t change it even if I wanted to, which I don’t. She saved me from myself. I’ve never discussed this with anyone. “Except Dr. Flynn, of course. And the only reason I’m talking about this now, to you, is because I want you to trust me.” “I do trust you,” she says, “but I do want to know you better, and whenever I try to talk to you, you distract me. There’s so much I want to know.” “Oh, for pity’s sake, Anastasia. What do you want to know? What do I have to do?” She stares at her hands under the surface of the water. “I’m just trying to understand; you’re such an enigma. Unlike anyone I’ve met before. I’m glad you’re telling me what I want to know.” Abruptly filled with resolve, she moves through the water to sit beside me, leaning against me so my skin sticks to hers. “Please don’t be angry with me,” she says. “I am not angry with you, Anastasia. I’m just not used to this kind of talking—this probing. I only have this with Dr. Flynn and with—” Damn. “With her? Mrs. Robinson? You talk to her,” she says, her voice breathy and quiet. “Yes, I do.” “What about?” I turn to face her so suddenly that water sloshes out of the bath and onto the floor. “Persistent, aren’t you? Life, the universe—business. Anastasia, Mrs. R and I go way back. We can discuss anything.” “Me?” she asks. “Yes.”

E l james grey  

Fifty Shades of Grey