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wine. And there she is: disarming once more, surprising me at every turn. My cock concurs. We are cutting to the chase on this deal, but before we explore the details, I need her to sign the NDA. I excuse myself and head into my study. The contract and NDA are ready on the printer. Leaving the contract on my desk—I don’t know if we’ll ever get to it—I staple the NDA together and take it back to Ana. “This is a nondisclosure agreement.” I place it on the coffee table in front of her. She looks confused and surprised. “My lawyer insists on it,” I add. “If you’re going for option two, debasement, you’ll need to sign this.” “And if I don’t want to sign anything?” “Then it’s Angel Clare high ideals, well, for most of the book anyway.” And I won’t be able to touch you. I’ll send you home with Stephan, and I will try my very best to forget you. My anxiety mushrooms; this deal could all go to shit. “What does this agreement mean?” “It means you cannot disclose anything about us. Anything, to anyone.” She searches my face and I don’t know if she’s confused or displeased. This could go either way. “Okay. I’ll sign,” she says. Well, that was easy. I hand her my Mont Blanc and she places the pen at the signature line. “Aren’t you even going to read it?” I ask, suddenly annoyed. “No.” “Anastasia, you should always read anything you sign.” How could she be so foolish? Have her parents taught her nothing? “Christian, what you fail to understand is that I wouldn’t talk about us to anyone anyway. Even Kate. So it’s immaterial whether I sign an agreement or not. If it means so much to you, or your lawyer, whom you obviously talk to, then fine. I’ll sign.” She has an answer for everything. It’s refreshing. “Fair point well made, Miss Steele,” I note dryly. With a quick, disapproving glance, she signs. And before I can begin my pitch, she asks, “Does this mean you’re going to make love to me tonight, Christian?” What? Me? Make love? Oh, Grey, let’s disabuse her of this straightaway. “No, Anastasia, it doesn’t. First, I don’t make love. I fuck, hard.” She gasps. That’s made her think. “Second, there’s a lot more paperwork to do. And third, you don’t yet know what you’re in for. You could still run from here screaming! Come, I want to show you my playroom.” She’s nonplussed, the little v forming between her brows. “You want to play on your Xbox?”

E l james grey  

Fifty Shades of Grey