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Home > Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1)(2)

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1)(2)
Author: E.L. James

I roll my eyes at myself. Get a grip, Steele. Judging from the building, which is too clinical and modern, I guess Grey is in his forties: fit, tanned, and fair-haired to match the rest of the personnel.

Another elegant, flawlessly dressed blonde comes out of a large door to the right. What is it with all the immaculate blondesIt's like Stepford here. Taking a deep breath, I stand up. "Miss Steele?" the latest blonde asks.

"Yes," I croak, and clear my throat. "Yes." There, that sounded more confident.

"Mr. Grey will see you in a moment. May I take your jacket?"

"Oh please." I struggle out of the jacket.

"Have you been offered any refreshment?"

"Um - no." Oh dear, is Blonde Number One in trouble?

Blonde Number Two frowns and eyes the young woman at the desk.

"Would you like tea, coffee, water?" she asks, turning her attention back to me.

"A glass of water. Thank you," I murmur.

"Olivia, please fetch Miss Steele a glass of water." Her voice is stern. Olivia scoots up immediately and scurries to a door on the other side of the foyer.

"My apologies, Miss Steele, Olivia is our new intern. Please be seated. Mr. Grey will be another five minutes."

Olivia returns with a glass of iced water.

"Here you go, Miss Steele."

"Thank you."

Blonde Number Two marches over to the large desk, her heels clicking and echoing on the sandstone floor. She sits down, and they both continue their work.

Perhaps Mr. Grey insists on all his employees being blonde. I'm wondering idly if that's legal, when the office door opens and a tall, elegantly dressed, attractive African-American man with short dreads exits. I have definitely worn the wrong clothes.

He turns and says through the door. "Golf, this week, Grey."

I don't hear the reply. He turns, sees me, and smiles, his dark eyes crinkling at the corners. Olivia has jumped up and called the elevator. She seems to excel at jumping from her seat. She's more nervous than me!

"Good afternoon ladies," he says as he departs through the sliding door.

"Mr. Grey will see you now, Miss Steele. Do go through," Blonde Number Two says.

I stand rather shakily trying to suppress my nerves. Gathering up my satchel, I abandon my glass of water and make my way to the partially open door.

"You don't need to knock - just go in." She smiles kindly.

I push open the door and stumble through, tripping over my own feet, and falling head first into the office.

Double crap - me and my two left feet! I am on my hands and knees in the doorway to Mr. Grey's office, and gentle hands are around me helping me to stand. I am so embarrassed, damn my clumsiness. I have to steel myself to glance up. Holy cow - he's so young.

"Miss Kavanagh." He extends a long-fingered hand to me once I'm upright. "I'm Christian Grey. Are you all rightWould you like to sit?"

So young - and attractive, very attractive. He's tall, dressed in a fine gray suit, white shirt, and black tie with unruly dark copper colored hair and intense, bright gray eyes that regard me shrewdly. It takes a moment for me to find my voice.

"Um. Actually - " I mutter. If this guy is over thirty then I'm a monkey's uncle. In a daze, I place my hand in his and we shake. As our fingers touch, I feel an odd exhilarating shiver run through me. I withdraw my hand hastily, embarrassed. Must be static. I blink rapidly, my eyelids matching my heart rate.

"Miss Kavanagh is indisposed, so she sent me. I hope you don't mind, Mr. Grey."

"And you are?" His voice is warm, possibly amused, but it's difficult to tell from his impassive expression. He looks mildly interested, but above all, polite.

"Anastasia Steele. I'm studying English Literature with Kate, um... Katherine...um... Miss Kavanagh at Washington State."

"I see," he says simply. I think I see the ghost of a smile in his expression, but I'm not sure. "Would you like to sit?" He waves me toward a white leather buttoned L-shaped couch.

His office is way too big for just one man. In front of the floor-to-ceiling windows, there's a huge modern dark-wood desk that six people could comfortably eat around. It matches the coffee table by the couch. Everything else is white - ceiling, floors, and walls except, on the wall by the door, where a mosaic of small paintings hang, thirty-six of them arranged in a square. They are exquisite - a series of mundane, forgotten objects painted in such precise detail they look like photographs. Displayed together, they are breathtaking.

"A local artist. Trouton," says Grey when he catches my gaze.

"They're lovely. Raising the ordinary to extraordinary," I murmur, distracted both by him and the paintings. He cocks his head to one side and regards me intently.

"I couldn't agree more, Miss Steele," he replies, his voice soft and for some inexplicable reason I find myself blushing.

Apart from the paintings, the rest of the office is cold, clean, and clinical. I wonder if it reflects the personality of the Adonis who sinks gracefully into one of the white leather chairs opposite me. I shake my head, disturbed at the direction of my thoughts, and retrieve Kate's questions from my satchel. Next, I set up the mini-disc recorder and am all fingers and thumbs, dropping it twice on the coffee table in front of me. Mr. Grey says nothing, waiting patiently - I hope - as I become increasingly embarrassed and flustered. When I pluck up the courage to look at him, he's watching me, one hand relaxed in his lap and the other cupping his chin and trailing his long index finger across his lips. I think he's trying to suppress a smile.

"Sorry," I stutter. "I'm not used to this."

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