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“If you’re sure.” “I’m sure.” “Okay. I’ll call Andrea to schedule. I have the stats on Detroit v. Savannah.” “Bottom line?” “Detroit.” “I see.” Shit…not Savannah. “Let’s talk later.” I hang up. I sit, brooding in the back of the Audi, as Taylor speeds through the traffic. I wonder how Anastasia will be getting to work this morning. Perhaps she bought a car yesterday, though somehow I doubt it. I wonder if she feels as miserable as I do…I hope not. Maybe she’s realized that I was a ridiculous infatuation. She can’t love me. And certainly not now—not after all I’ve done to her. No one’s ever said they loved me, except Mom and Dad, of course, but even then it was out of their sense of duty. Flynn’s nagging words about unconditional parental love—even for kids who are adopted—ring in my head. But I’ve never been convinced; I’ve been nothing but a disappointment to them. “Mr. Grey?” “Sorry, what is it?” Taylor has caught me unawares. He’s holding the car door open, waiting for me with a look of concern. “We’re here, sir.” Shit…how long have we been here? “Thanks. I’ll let you know what time this evening.” Focus, Grey. ANDREA AND OLIVIA BOTH look up as I come out of the elevator. Olivia flutters her eyelashes and tucks

a strand of hair behind her ear. Christ—I’m done with this silly girl. I need HR to move her to another department. “Coffee, please, Olivia—and get me a croissant.” She leaps up to follow my orders. “Andrea—get me Welch, Barney, then Flynn, then Claude Bastille on the phone. I don’t want to be disturbed at all, not even by my mother…unless…unless Anastasia Steele calls. Okay?” “Yes, sir. Do you want to go through your schedule now?” “No. I need coffee and something to eat first.” I scowl at Olivia, who is moving at a snail’s pace toward the elevator. “Yes, Mr. Grey,” Andrea calls after me as I open the door to my office. From my briefcase I take the padded envelope that holds my most precious possession—the glider. I place it on my desk, and my mind drifts to Miss Steele. She’ll be starting her new job this morning, meeting new people…new men. The thought is depressing. She’ll forget me. No, she won’t forget me. Women always remember the first man they fucked, don’t they? I’ll

E l james grey  
E l james grey  

Fifty Shades of Grey