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buoyant. Her mood is infectious and I don’t remember if I’ve ever felt this upbeat, either. I can’t help my big, fat grin as I hold open the car door for her. With Kings of Leon belting from the sound system I ease the Mustang out of the airfield toward I95. As we cruise along the freeway, Ana’s BlackBerry starts beeping. “What’s that?” I ask. “Alarm for my pill,” she mutters. “Good, well done. I hate condoms.” From the sideways look I give her, I think she’s rolling her eyes, but I’m not sure. “I like that you introduced me to Mark as your girlfriend,” she says, changing the subject. “Isn’t that what you are?” “Am I? I thought you wanted a submissive.” “So did I, Anastasia, and I do. But I’ve told you, I want more, too.” “I’m very happy that you want more,” she says. “We aim to please, Miss Steele,” I tease as I pull into the International House of Pancakes—my father’s guilty pleasure. “IHOP?” she says in disbelief. The Mustang rumbles to a stop. “I hope you’re hungry.” “I would never have pictured you here.” “My dad used to bring us to one of these whenever my mom went away to a medical conference.” We shuffle into a booth, facing each other. “It was our secret.” I pick up a menu, watching Ana as she tucks her hair behind her ears and examines what IHOP has to offer for breakfast. She licks her lips in anticipation. And I’m forced to suppress my physical reaction. “I know what I want,” I whisper, and wonder how she would feel visiting the restroom with me. Her eyes meet mine, and her pupils expand. “I want what you want,” she murmurs. As ever, Miss Steele does not back away from a challenge. “Here?” Are you sure, Ana? Her eyes dart around the quiet restaurant, then come to rest on me, darkening and full of carnal promise. “Don’t bite your lip,” I warn. Much as I’d like to, I’m not going to fuck her in the restroom at IHOP. She deserves better than that, and frankly, so do I. “Not here, not now. If I can’t have you here, don’t tempt me.” We’re interrupted. “Hi, my name’s Leandra. What can I get for you…er…folks…er…today, this mornin’?” Oh, God. I ignore the redheaded server. “Anastasia?” I prompt her. “I told you, I want what you want.” Hell. She might as well be addressing my groin. “Shall I give you folks another minute to decide?” the waitress asks. “No. We know what we want.” I cannot tear my gaze from Ana’s. “We’ll have two portions of the original buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup and bacon on the side, two glasses of orange juice, one

E l james grey  

Fifty Shades of Grey