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Maybe I can do this. I drift back to sleep, the mantra in my head: She’s mine. She’s mine…and I smell her, feel her soft skin, taste her lips, and hear her moans. Exhausted, I fall into an erotic, Anafilled dream. I wake suddenly. My scalp tingles, and for a moment I think whatever’s disturbed me is external rather than internal. I sit up and rub my head and slowly scan the room. In spite of the carnal dream, my body has behaved. Elena would be pleased. She texted yesterday, but Elena’s the last person I want to talk to—there’s only one thing I want to do right now. I get up and pull on my running gear. I’m going to check on Ana. HER STREET IS QUIET except for the rumble of a delivery truck and the out-of-tune whistling of a

solitary dog walker. Her apartment is in darkness, the curtains to her room closed. I keep a silent vigil from my stalker’s hide, staring up at the windows and thinking. I need a plan—a plan to win her back. As dawn’s light brightens her window, I turn my iPod up loud, and with Moby blaring in my ears I run back to Escala. “I’LL HAVE A CROISSANT, Mrs. Jones.”

She stills in surprise and I raise a brow. “Apricot preserves?” she asks, recovering. “Please.” “I’ll heat up a couple for you, Mr. Grey. Here’s your coffee.” “Thank you, Gail.” She smiles. Is it just because I’m having croissants? If it makes her that happy, I should have them more often. IN THE BACK OF the Audi, I plot. I need to get up close and personal with Ana Steele, to begin my

campaign to win her back. I call Andrea, knowing that at 7:15 she won’t be at her desk yet, and I leave a voice mail. “Andrea, as soon as you’re in, I want to run through my schedule for the next few days.” There—step one in my offensive is to make time in my schedule for Ana. What the hell am I supposed to be doing this week? Currently, I don’t have a clue. Normally I’m on this shit, but lately I’ve been all over the place. Now I have a mission to focus on. You can do this, Grey. But deep down I wish I had the courage of my convictions. Anxiety unfurls in my gut. Can I convince Ana to take me back? Will she listen? I hope so. This has to work. I miss her. “MR. GREY, I CANCELED all your social events this week, apart from the one for tomorrow—I don’t

know what the occasion is. Your calendar says Portland, that’s it.” Yes! The fucking photographer! I beam at Andrea, and her eyebrows shoot up in surprise. “Thanks, Andrea. That’s all for now. Send in Sam.”

E l james grey  
E l james grey  

Fifty Shades of Grey