Chapter 15

Gathering my belongings, I head towards the elevator while Mr Grey locks up the outside door to his business. By the time the elevator opens, he comes bustling in to ride it down with me, looking a little frustrated for some reason.

"We really have to stop meeting like this," I joke to Christian when we stand in the elevator together.

He gives out a short sexy laugh while pressing the button that takes us down to the main floor, his frustration evaporating. "I know, Miss Steele," he says, playing along. "It's terrible, isn't it?" I suppress a smile, tightening the strap of my handbag over my shoulder. When I peek into his direction, I see he is trying not to smile himself. "Can I give you a ride home? Or do I need to physically drag you into the car?" He sounds threatening, yet at the same time playful. There is humor in his gray eyes. "Do I need to threaten to fire you just to convince you?"

"Oh, no. No physical force or threats are necessary, sir," I murmur gratefully. "I would appreciate it if you could actually drive me home."

"Good," he replies happily. "Then I will."

The elevator opens on our floor and we walk out together. I can tell walking is going to be difficult, just as much as sitting in the seat of his car will be. My ass is still stinging, but it's a pleasant stinging. It's fairly cold tonight and I can't help shivering on the brisk walk towards his car. He unlocks the door, then holds it open for me. Just as I imagined, it stings when the fabric of my skirt slides up over my ass and I wince. I must still look pained when he gets into the car, because he looks at me in a confused way while starting the engine.

"Is something wrong, Miss Steele?" he asks uncertainly.

"My backside hurts."

He doesn't look apologetic at all for being the reason for it hurting. If anything, he appears satisfied. "Then good. I wanted you to be sore."

And I'm sure he does... Bastard.

The ride towards my house is peaceful and quiet, though not entirely easy to get through. I seem to be hyper-aware of Grey's presence in the car. Also, I find myself regretting declining his offer for dinner tomorrow night after work. Why had I done that? I suppose it was an impulsive thing and I had felt confused after he had made it perfectly clear he wanted this to be strictly an office thing. But I do want to go out to dinner with him. Pretending otherwise had been silly. I suppose the only thing I can do now is suck it up and tell him the truth; that I do actually like the idea of dinner with him.

"Did you still want to go out to dinner tomorrow night?" I ask, breaking the silence between us. "Were you still interested?"

"I would like to go out to dinner with you, yes."

"Then I think I'd like that, too." I clasp my hands tightly in my lap, turning to look at him hopefully. "So tomorrow night straight after work?"

He makes a heavy, exasperated noise through his mouth. "Actually, I can't now. Something came up." His words are short.

"Oh, okay. I understand." I feel my heart sink.

"It's just that when you were gathering your things to leave and I was alone in my office, my mother called," he explains, rather disappointed. "Believe me, I would love nothing more than to go out to dinner with you tomorrow night rather than spending time with my mother, but... I just can't. Maybe we can take a rain check?"

"Okay, sure," I say, pleased that my moment of foolishness has been somewhat rectified. "That would be great."

When we finally reach where I live with Kate, he pulls over to the side of the road, putting the car into park.

"Thanks for the lift."

"That's fine, and I'm happy to. Seeing as I'm the one responsible for holding you back after dark, I figure it's the least I could do. Protecting you from stalkers."

"Yes, thank God for your protection," I say teasingly, grabbing my bag. "I suppose I'll see you at work tomorrow."

"I guess so." When I climb out of the car and turn to shut the door, he says while leaning over towards me in his seat, "Sleep well."

"Thanks. You too, Mr Grey."

I wait until he drives off and disappears before heading inside. Kate's already home, eating her dinner.

"Hey," she calls when I get in. "I'm sorry. I didn't make you anything for dinner."

"That's cool," I call back while hanging up my handbag. "I'll fix something up for myself anyway."

I end up making a chicken salad sandwich for dinner and we sit on the couch, watching TV together. All the while, serving as a reminder of what happened with Christian, my backside aches every time I sit and apply pressure to it. What we've been doing together, it's been fun, and I realize I really like him. I'm into him in a way I don't think I've ever been into a man before, and that's rather scary, especially because he's my boss.

We've already broken so many rules that should be upheld, as far as an employer-employee relationship goes. Yet it's strangely fun and liberating and oddly enough, I wouldn't have it any other way. I just hope we will end up having dinner together sometime soon. It would be nice to get to know each other a whole lot more outside a work setting.

At ten o'clock, I get ready to go to bed. I brush my teeth and remove my day's worth of make-up, then head inside my bedroom to change. My curtains have still been left open from the morning, and when I head towards them, peering out into the street, I realize a car is parked opposite our driveway.

Though it's dark, it seems like its Mr Grey's car. Why Christian would be parked outside where I live with Kate at this ridiculous hour of the night, I have no idea. But the interior lights are on inside it, and I can just see the outline of a man's head. I'm about seventy percent certain it's Christian in that car, but I could be mistaken too, as there really is no logical sense for him to be sitting outside in his car.

Standing closer to the window, I separate the opening of the curtains slowly, peering out. I think I see the person in the car glance up at my window, and I'm fairly certain its Christian then. It has to be. It's definitely the same model of the car he took me home in tonight.

A sudden devious yet exciting idea forms in my head. It may be dangerous and excruciatingly embarrassing if it doesn't end up being him, but I just know it is him. It has to be.

I pull the curtains apart enough that a small slit in them remains open so that he can see me.

I take off my coat, yanking my arms free from the sleeves, letting it fall to the ground. Then I bend down, slithering out of my business skirt that I wore today, staring out the window at my boss in the car all the while. Surely enough, he is still watching, almost glued to me. My heart races in my chest with excitement when I start unbuttoning my blouse. I step closer to the window while taking it off, standing there clad in just the nude-colored bra I'm wearing and my underwear. Astonishingly, I don't feel as self-conscious or embarrassed as I probably ought to be. Doing what I've been doing with Grey lately, it has worked at boosting my confidence and making me feel liberated in a hugely big way.

But taking off my underwear or my bra in front of the window is where I draw the line at. Exhibitionism is not something I'm willing to experiment in. I could never do that, even although I almost intuitively know its my boss in that car.

I stare him down in the car one last time while biting my bottom lip, bringing up both hands to comb my fingers through my dark brown hair. Then, satisfied, I move back, slamming the curtains closed. It takes barely a full minute for him to start his car and speed away, horrified that I'd noticed him out there.

It's definitely Christian that was parked outside in his car, though. I know that without a doubt.

It's funny how he said he liked driving me home because it was like he was protecting me from stalkers. Who's the stalker now?

When I walk into work the next morning, dressed in my coat, skirt, and blouse, I feel aching and eager to see Christian again. I'm dying to see what his reaction is after last night or if he'll pretend it never happened. I wonder if I ask him outright, whether he will deny being parked outside the house, looking into my window. Will he be embarrassed? Will he admit to stalking me?

I get to my work station, tucking my handbag beneath my desk, then stand, taking my time in unbuttoning my coat. I glance over to where Mr Grey's office is. His blinds are down and closed which is unusual for him so early of a morning. But I know I'll find out what his problem is very shortly, once I do my normal daily duty in bringing him in his cup of coffee.

When I prepare his coffee- with the right amount of sugars in it this time around- I make the walk towards his office, my hand that is holding his coffee cup trembling for some reason. His door is closed as well, another unusual thing for this early in the morning. I knock once, waiting for him to permit me in. When he does, I open the door, shoving it the full way open with my shoulder as I peer in.

He sits behind his desk in his chair, leaning back while talking to someone. He's on the phone, taking a call, probably speaking to a client. He doesn't look up at me as I move towards his desk, swaying a little with my hips. He seems far too preoccupied arguing over the phone.

"I thought I had made it perfectly clear that I needed them sent to me by no later than this afternoon," he says, raising his voice a little. He lifts a hand, running his fingers through his hair, his eyes pinched in frustration. "Is it really that difficult? I had told your assistant that... Might I suggest you find a new one?"

Usually he isn't this rude over the phone in all the times I've heard him. He usually sounds so professional and calm, yet obviously something has gotten him extra frustrated this morning. I place his coffee on his desk, feeling practically non-existent.

"Well, have them sent to me by three o'clock this afternoon." Finally, he hangs up, chucking his cell on his desk loudly. He reclines back even more in his chair, tilting his head back as he runs both hands over his face and into his hair. I've never really seen him this bothered before.

"Bad start to the morning?" I ask sympathetically.

It seems to bring his attention to me. Christian sighs loudly, sitting up in his chair. "You have no fucking idea, Miss Steele." I can tell he must be really pissed off; Usually he tries to refrain from using such vulgar language, particularly around his staff. "I don't know what's wrong with people this morning, but they can't seem to understand such simple things."

I stare at him, hoping to see any sign there that tells me what I need to know; That it was him parked outside where I live last night, hanging around. That he saw me stand in my bra for him, yet he's keeping his facial expressions in check today. I decide I'll have to be straightforward.

"What did you do last night?" I ask, trying to be indirect with it all. "You seem as though you've had a late night last night, Mr Grey?"

He fixes his gaze onto me, his eyebrows arching slightly. "What makes you think that, Miss Steele? That I've had a late night last night?"

Tell me it was you, I beg him with my eyes. Tell me you were there outside where I live last night in your car, that you were trying to perve on me through the window. I know it was you!

I flounder around for a second for something good to say. "You just look kind of... tired," I say, the only thing I can manage. "Like you didn't sleep very well last night?"

"I slept perfectly fine, thank you." He sits up, resting both elbows on his desk while he stretches out to take his coffee. I notice he avoids my eyes while he drinks down a mouthful of his coffee. "Good job, Miss Steele," he says, gesturing to the cup. "You managed to make my coffee perfectly today."

I start to wonder if maybe it hadn't been him outside the house after all. If not, how embarrassing. I only took my clothes off while standing in front of the window because I had assumed it was him. I feel my cheeks redden as I press my lips tightly together, turning away. God, who had I undressed in front of last night then? What's wrong with me?

I realize I just have to be direct and ask though. It would definitely ease the panic inside of me if I knew for sure. I pause at the doorway, turning back to look at him. Already, he has his nose practically buried in a bit of paperwork that he is filling out. What harm would there be to ask?

"Did you happen to drive past where I live again after dropping me off?" I ask hopefully.

Christian glances up from the paperwork, using his fingers to rub around his chin. I might be mistaken, but I think he looks a bit embarrassed by my question. "Again, what makes you think that?"

I hesitate before saying it. After all, I don't exactly want to be accusing him of it. "Because, Mr Grey, I could have sworn that I saw your car parked outside where I live at around ten o'clock last night? I know I might be mistaken but... it definitely looked like your car?"

He stands from his chair, strolling slowly around his desk, still stroking around his chin and mouth with his fingers. Then he leans against it, his eyes not leaving mine once. Am I supposed to take that as a sign that it was him?

"What do you think, Anastasia?" he asks me, something there in his tone. "Do you really think I was parked outside where you live last night? That I was... what?" He pauses for a moment, thinking deeply. "That I was parked outside, sitting in my car, watching you through the window?" Some identifiable emotion flickers in his eyes as he presses his lips together, suppressing a smile. "Wouldn't that be me grossly abusing my position as your boss if I dared to do such a thing like that?"

But his words alone leave me filled with relief, and my shoulders sag, immediately free of tension.

Oh, thank God! It was him! His words confirm it!

"So it was you in your car," I breathe, confident on that. "Did you enjoy the show?"

"Show?" He's pretending to not understand me. I know he is. "And what show might that be?"

"You know exactly what show I mean." I fold my arms over my chest, stepping closer toward him slowly. "I hope you enjoyed it while it lasted. Remember what you told me in your car, Mr Grey?"

Christian's eyes are dancing with mirth. "What did I tell you?"

"You said you were protecting me from stalkers."

"Then I have to say I'm genuinely concerned. Is that what you think is a safe way to respond to a stalker? Putting on a show for them? Teasing them?"

"You're the one I really need to be careful of, don't I? You're my stalker."

I'm just teasing him, yet I don't think he knows that. Mr Grey's face goes somber all of a sudden, all the humor and playfulness dissipating from him. He opens his mouth, about to say something back to me, yet he's disrupted when a knock comes at the open door of his office. We both turn in time to see one of my colleagues standing there, looking between us apprehensively.

He clears his throat loudly, moving back behind his desk, putting distance between us, not just with our bodies, but with the way he is behaving as well. Suddenly, he's distant and closed-off. "Thank you for the coffee, Miss Steele," he says curtly, obviously dismissing me. "Now, if you'll go do some work..."

Getting the hint, I leave, smiling as I pass my colleague. His reaction over me calling him a stalker confuses me, but by the time I get to my work station, I push it aside for the sake of getting my work done.

Sorry I took so long to update. Hope you liked this one and that you are still interested in the story? Life has been crazy busy at the moment.