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“Sounds great.” “I don’t know where you keep your placemats,” she says, seeming at a loss, and I think she’s embarrassed, because I caught her dancing. Taking pity on her, I offer to set places for breakfast and add, “Would you like me to put some music on so you can continue your…er…dancing?” Her cheeks pink and she looks down at the floor. Damn. I’ve upset her. “Please, don’t stop on my account. It’s very entertaining.” With a pout she turns her back on me and continues to whisk the eggs with gusto. I wonder if she has any idea how disrespectful this is to someone like me…but of course she doesn’t, and for some unfathomable reason it makes me smile. Sidling up to her, I gently tug one of her braids. “I love these. They won’t protect you.” Not from me. Not now that I’ve had you. “How would you like your eggs?” Her tone is unexpectedly haughty. And I want to laugh out loud, but I resist. “Thoroughly whisked and beaten,” I reply, trying and failing to sound deadpan. She attempts to hide her amusement, too, and continues her task. Her smile is bewitching. Hastily, I set up the placemats, wondering when I last did this for someone else. Never. Normally over the weekend my submissive would take care of all domestic tasks. Not today, Grey, because she’s not your submissive…yet. I pour us both orange juice and put the coffee on. She doesn’t drink coffee, only tea. “Would you like some tea?” “Yes, please. If you have some.” In the cupboard I find the Twinings teabags I’d asked Gail to buy. Well, well, who would have thought I’d ever get to use them? She frowns when she sees them. “Bit of a foregone conclusion, wasn’t I?” “Are you? I’m not sure we’ve concluded anything yet, Miss Steele,” I answer with a stern look. And don’t talk about yourself like that. I add her self-deprecation to the list of behaviors that will need modifying. She avoids my gaze, busy with serving up breakfast. Two plates are placed on the placemats, then she fetches the maple syrup out of the fridge. When she looks up at me I’m waiting for her to sit down. “Miss Steele.” I indicate where she should sit. “Mr. Grey,” she replies, with contrived formality, and winces as she sits. “Just how sore are you?” I’m surprised by an uneasy sense of guilt. I want to fuck her again, preferably after breakfast, but if she’s too sore that will be out of the question. Perhaps I could use her mouth this time. The color in her face rises. “Well, to be truthful, I have nothing to compare this to,” she says tartly. “Did you wish to offer your commiserations?” Her sarcastic tone takes me by surprise. If she

E l james grey  

Fifty Shades of Grey