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I hold my hand up to silence her. “Forget those for now. Get me Welch on the line and find out when Flynn is back from vacation. Once I’ve spoken to Welch we can pick up the day’s schedule.” “Yes, sir.” “And I need a double espresso. Get Olivia to make it for me.” But looking around I notice that Olivia is absent. It’s a relief. The girl is always mooning over me and it’s fucking irritating. “Would you like milk, sir?” Andrea asks. Good girl. I give her a smile. “Not today.” I do like to keep them guessing how I take my coffee. “Very good, Mr. Grey.” She looks pleased with herself, which she should be. She’s the best PA I’ve had. Three minutes later she has Welch on the line. “Welch?” “Mr. Grey.” “The background check you did for me last week. Anastasia Steele. Studying at WSU.” “Yes, sir. I remember.” “I’d like you to find out when her last final exam takes place and let me know as a matter of priority.” “Very good, sir. Anything else?” “No, that will be all.” I hang up and stare at the books on my desk. I need to find a quote. ROS, MY NUMBER TWO and my chief operating officer, is in full flow. “We’re getting clearance from the

Sudanese authorities to put the shipments into Port Sudan. But our contacts on the ground are hesitant about the road journey to Darfur. They’re doing a risk assessment to see how viable it is.” Logistics must be tough; her normal sunny disposition is absent. “We could always air-drop.” “Christian, the expense of an airdrop—” “I know. Let’s see what our NGO friends come back with.” “Okay,” she says and sighs. “I’m also waiting for the all-clear from the State Department.” I roll my eyes. Fucking red tape. “If we have to grease some palms—or get Senator Blandino to intervene—let me know.” “So the next topic is where to site the new plant. You know the tax breaks in Detroit are huge. I sent you a summary.” “I know. But God, does it have to be Detroit?” “I don’t know what you have against the place. It meets our criteria.” “Okay, get Bill to check out potential brownfield sites. And let’s do one more site search to see if any other municipality would offer more favorable terms.” “Bill has already sent Ruth out there to meet with the Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, who couldn’t be more accommodating, but I’ll ask Bill to do a final check.”

E l james grey  

Fifty Shades of Grey