Home > Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1)(9)

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1)(9)
E.L. James

"My brother Elliot is talking to Miss Kavanagh."

"Oh?" I don't understand.

"He was with me when you phoned."

"In Seattle?" I'm confused.

"No, I'm staying at the Heathman."

StillWhy?

"How did you find me?"

"I tracked your cell phone Anastasia."

Oh, of course he did. How is that possibleIs it legalStalker, my subconscious whispers at me through the cloud of tequila that's still floating in my brain, but somehow, because it's him, I don't mind.

"Do you have a jacket or a purse?"

"Err... yes, I came with both. Christian, please, I need to tell Kate. She'll worry." His mouth presses into a hard line, and he sighs heavily.

"If you must."

He sets me down, and, taking my hand, leads me back into the bar. I feel weak, still drunk, embarrassed, exhausted, mortified, and on some strange level absolutely off the scale thrilled. He's clutching my hand - such a confusing array of emotions. I'll need at least a week to process them all.

It's noisy, crowded, and the music has started so there is a large crowd on the dance floor. Kate is not at our table, and Jose has disappeared. Levi looks lost and forlorn on his own."Where's Kate?" I shout at Levi above the noise. My head is beginning to pound in time to the thumping bass line of the music.

"Dancing," Levi shouts, and I can tell he's mad. He's eyeing Christian suspiciously.

I struggle into my black jacket and place my small shoulder bag over my head so it sits at my hip. I'm ready to go, once I've seen Kate.

"She's on the dance floor," I touch Christian's arm and lean up and shout in his ear, brushing his hair with my nose, smelling his clean, fresh smell. Oh my. All those forbidden, unfamiliar feelings that I have tried to deny surface and run amok through my drained body. I flush, and somewhere deep, deep down my muscles clench deliciously.

He rolls his eyes at me and takes my hand again and leads me to the bar. He's served immediately, no waiting for Mr. Control-Freak Grey. Does everything come so easily to himI can't hear what he orders. He hands me a very large glass of iced water.

"Drink," he shouts his order at me.

The moving lights are twisting and turning in time to the music casting strange colored light and shadows all over the bar and the clientele. He's alternately green, blue, white, and a demonic red. He's watching me intently. I take a tentative sip.

"All of it," he shouts.

He's so overbearing. He runs his hand through his unruly hair. He looks frustrated, angry. What is his problemApart from a silly drunk girl ringing him in the middle of the night so he thinks she needs rescuing. And it turns out she does from her over amorous friend. Then seeing her being violently ill at his feet. Oh Ana... are you ever going to live this down My subconscious is figuratively tutting and glaring at me over her half moon specs. I sway slightly, and he puts his hand on my shoulder to steady me. I do as I'm told and drink the entire glass. It makes me feel queasy. Taking the glass from me, he places it on the bar. I notice through a blur what he's wearing; a loose white linen shirt, snug jeans, black Converse sneakers, and a dark pinstriped jacket. His shirt is unbuttoned at the top, and I see a sprinkling of hair in the gap. In my groggy frame of mind, he looks yummy.

He takes my hand once more. Holy cow - he's leading me onto the dance floor. Shit.

I do not dance. He can sense my reluctance, and under the colored lights, I can see his amused, slightly sardonic smile. He gives my hand a sharp tug, and I'm in his arms again, and he starts to move, taking me with him. Boy, he can dance, and I can't believe that I'm following him step for step. Maybe it's because I'm drunk that I can keep up. He's holding me tight against him, his body against mine... if he wasn't clutching me so tightly, I'm sure I would swoon at his feet. In the back of my mind, my mother's often-recited warning comes to me: Never trust a man who can dance.

He moves us through the crowded throng of dancers to the other side of the dance floor, and we are beside Kate and Elliot, Christian's brother. The music is pounding away, loud and leery, outside and inside my head. I gasp. Kate is making her moves. She's dancing her ass off, and she only ever does that if she likes someone. Really likes someone. It means there'll be three of us for breakfast tomorrow morning. Kate!

Christian leans over and shouts in Elliot's ear. I cannot hear what he says. Elliot is tall with wide shoulders, curly blonde hair, and light, wickedly gleaming eyes. I can't tell the color under the pulsating heat of the flashing lights. Elliot grins, and pulls Kate into his arms, where she is more than happy to be... Kate! Even in my inebriated state, I am shocked. She's only just met him. She nods at whatever Elliot says and grins at me and waves. Christian propels us off the dance floor in double quick time.

But I never got to talk to her. Is she okayI can see where things are heading for her and him. I need to do the safe sex lecture. In the back of my mind, I hope she reads one of the posters on the back of the toilet doors. My thoughts crash through my brain, fighting the drunk, fuzzy feeling. It's so warm in here, so loud, so colorful - too bright. My head begins to swim, oh no... and I can feel the floor coming up to meet my face or so it feels.

The last thing I hear before I pass out in Christian Grey's arms is his harsh epithet.

"Fuck!"

Chapter Five

It's very quiet. The light is muted. I am comfortable and warm, in this bed. Hmm... I open my eyes, and for a moment, I'm tranquil and serene, enjoying the strange unfamiliar surroundings. I have no idea where I am. The headboard behind me is in the shape of a massive sun. It's oddly familiar. The room is large and airy and plushly furnished in browns and golds and beige. I have seen it before. WhereMy befuddled brain struggles through its recent visual memories. Holy crap. I'm in the Heathman hotel... in a suite. I have stood in a room similar to this with Kate. This looks bigger. Oh shit. I'm in Christian Grey's suite. How did I get here?

Fractured memories of the previous night come slowly back to haunt me. The drinking, oh no the drinking, the phone call, oh no the phone call, the vomiting, oh no the vomiting. Jose and then Christian. Oh no. I cringe inwardly. I don't remember coming here.

I'm wearing my t-shirt, bra, and panties. No socks. No jeans. Holy shit.

I glance at the bedside table. On it is a glass of orange juice and two tablets. Advil.

Control freak that he is, he thinks of everything. I sit up and take the tablets. Actually, I don't feel that bad, probably much better than I deserve. The orange juice tastes divine.

It's thirst quenching and refreshing. Nothing beats freshly squeezed orange juice for reviv-ing an arid mouth.

There's a knock on the door. My heart leaps into my mouth, and I can't seem to find my voice. He opens the door anyway and strolls in.

Holy hell, he's been working out. He's in gray sweat pants that hang, in that way, off his h*ps and a gray singlet, which is dark with sweat, like his hair. Christian Grey's sweat, the notion does odd things to me. I take a deep breath and close my eyes. I feel like a two-year old, if I close my eyes then I'm not really here.

"Good morning Anastasia. How are you feeling?"

Oh no.

"Better than I deserve," I mumble.

I peek up at him. He places a large shopping bag on a chair and grasps each end of the towel that he has around his neck. He's staring at me, gray eyes dark, and as usual, I have no idea what he's thinking. He hides his thoughts and feelings so well.

"How did I get here?" My voice is small, contrite.

He comes and sits down on the edge of the bed. He's close enough for me to touch, for me to smell. Oh my... sweat and body wash and Christian, it's a heady cocktail - so much better than a margarita, and now I can speak from experience.

"After you passed out, I didn't want to risk the leather upholstery in my car taking you all the way to your apartment. So I brought you here," he says phlegmatically.

"Did you put me to bed?"

"Yes." His face is impassive.

"Did I throw up again?" My voice is quieter.

"No."

"Did you undress me?" I whisper.

"Yes." He quirks an eyebrow at me as I blush furiously.

"We didn't," I whisper, my mouth drying in mortified horror as I can't complete the question. I stare at my hands.

"Anastasia, you were comatose. Necrophilia is not my thing. I like my women sentient and receptive," he says dryly.

"I'm so sorry."

His mouth lifts slightly in a wry smile.

"It was a very diverting evening. Not one that I'll forget in a while."

Me neither - oh he's laughing at me, the bastard. I didn't ask him to come and get me.

Somehow I've been made to feel like the villain of the piece.

"You didn't have to track me down with whatever James Bond stuff you're developing for the highest bidder," I snap at him. He stares at me, surprised, and if I'm not mistaken, a little wounded.

"Firstly, the technology to track cell phones is available over the Internet. Secondly, my company does not invest or manufacture any kind of surveillance devices, and thirdly, if I hadn't come to get you, you'd probably be waking up in the photographer's bed, and from what I can remember, you weren't overly enthused about him pressing his suit," he says acidly.

Pressing his suit! I glance up at Christian, he's glaring at me, his gray eyes blazing, aggrieved. I try to bite my lip, but I fail to repress my laughter.

"Which medieval chronicle did you escape from?" I giggle. "You sound like a courtly knight."

His mood visibly shifts. His eyes soften and his expression warms, and I see a trace of a smile on his beautifully chiseled lips.

"Anastasia, I don't think so. Dark knight maybe." His smile is sardonic, and he shakes his head. "Did you eat last night?" His tone is accusatory. I shake my head. What major transgression have I committed nowHis jaw clenches, but his face remains impassive.

"You need to eat. That's why you were so ill. Honestly Anastasia, it's drinking rule number one." He runs this hand through his hair, and I know it's because he's exasperated.

"Are you going to continue to scold me?"

"Is that what I'm doing?"

"I think so."

"You're lucky I'm just scolding you."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, if you were mine, you wouldn't be able to sit down for a week after the stunt you pulled yesterday. You didn't eat, you got drunk, you put yourself at risk." He closes his eyes, dread etched on his lovely face, and he shudders slightly. When he opens his eyes, he glares at me. "I hate to think what could have happened to you."

I scowl back at him. What is his problemWhat's it to himIf I was his... well I'm not. Though maybe, part of me would like to be. The thought pierces through the irritation I feel at his high-handed words. I flush at the waywardness of my subconscious - she's doing her happy dance in a bright red hula skirt at the thought of being his.

"I would have been fine. I was with Kate."

"And the photographer?" he snaps at me.

Hmm... young Jose. I'll need to face him at some point.

"Jose just got out of line." I shrug.

"Well the next time he gets out of line, maybe someone should teach him some manners."

"You are quite the disciplinarian," I hiss at him.

"Oh, Anastasia, you have no idea." His eyes narrow, and then he grins wickedly. It's disarming. One minute, I'm confused and angry, the next I'm gazing at his gorgeous smile.

Wow... I am entranced, and it's because his smile is so rare. I quite forget what he's talking about.

"I'm going to have a shower. Unless you'd like to shower first?" He cocks his head to one side, still grinning. My heartbeat has picked up, and my medulla oblongata has neglected to fire any synapses to make me breathe. His grin widens, and he reaches over and runs his thumb down my cheek and across my lower lip.

"Breathe, Anastasia," he whispers and rises. "Breakfast will be here in fifteen minutes.

You must be famished." He heads into the bathroom and closes the door.

I let out the breath that I've been holding. Why is he so damned attractiveRight now I want to go and join him in the shower. I have never felt this way about anyone. My hormones are racing. My skin tingles where his thumb traced over my face and lower lip.

I feel like squirming with a needy, achy... discomfort. I don't understand this reaction.

Hmm... Desire. This is desire. This is what it feels like.

I lie back on the soft feather filled pillows. 'If you were mine.' Oh my - what would I do to be hisHe's the only man who has ever set my blood racing around my body. Yet, he's so antagonizing too; he's difficult, complicated, and confusing. One minute he rebuffs me, the next he sends me fourteen-thousand-dollar books, then he tracks me like a stalker.

And for all that, I have spent the night in his hotel suite, and I feel safe. Protected. He cares enough to come and rescue me from some mistakenly perceived danger. He's not a dark knight at all, but a white knight in shining, dazzling armor - a classic romantic hero - Sir Gawain or Lancelot.

I scramble out of his bed frantically searching for my jeans. He emerges from the bathroom wet and glistening from the shower, still unshaven, with just a towel around his waist, and there am I - all bare legs and awkward gawkiness. He's surprised to see me out of bed.

"If you're looking for your jeans, I've sent them to the laundry." His gaze is a dark obsidian. "They were spattered with your vomit."

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