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to be with this girl. You miss her. Do you want to be with her?” Be with Ana? “Yes,” I whisper. “Then you have to focus on that goal. This goes back to what I’ve been banging on about for our last few sessions—the SFBT. If she’s in love with you, as she told you she is, she must be suffering, too. So I repeat my question: have you considered a more conventional relationship with this girl?” “No, I haven’t.” “Why not?” “Because it’s never occurred to me that I could.” “Well if she’s not prepared to be your submissive, you can’t play the role of dominant.” I glare at him. It’s not a role—it’s who I am. And from nowhere, I recall an earlier e-mail to Anastasia. My words: What I think you fail to realize is that in Dom/sub relationships it is the sub who has all the power. That’s you. I’ll repeat this—you are the one with all the power. Not I. If she doesn’t want to do this…then neither can I. Hope stirs in my chest. Could I? Could I have a vanilla relationship with Anastasia? My scalp prickles. Fuck. Possibly. If I could, would she want me back? “Christian, you have demonstrated that you are an extraordinarily capable person, in spite of your problems. You’re a rare individual. Once you focus on a goal, you drive ahead and achieve it—usually surpassing all your own expectations. Listening to you today, it’s clear you were focused on getting Anastasia to where you wanted her to be, but you didn’t take into account her inexperience or her feelings. It seems to me that you’ve been so focused on reaching your goal that you missed the journey that you were taking together.” The last month flashes before me: her tripping into my office, her acute embarrassment at Clayton’s, her witty, snarky e-mails, her smart mouth…her giggle…her quiet fortitude and defiance, her courage—and it occurs to me that I have enjoyed every single minute. Every infuriating, distracting, humorous, sensual, carnal second of her—yes, I have. We’ve been on an extraordinary journey, both of us—well, I certainly have. My thoughts take a darker turn. She doesn’t know the depths of my depravity, the darkness in my soul, the monster beneath— maybe I should leave her alone. I’m not worthy of her. She can’t love me. But even as I think the words, I know that I don’t have the strength to stay away from her…if she’ll have me. Flynn summons my attention. “Christian, think about it. Our time is up now. I want to see you in a few days and talk through some of the other issues you mentioned. I’ll have Janet call Andrea and arrange an appointment.” He stands, and I know it’s time to leave.

E l james grey  
E l james grey  

Fifty Shades of Grey

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