The text in this chapter has come from E L James version for the extract she had released I have changed somethings to make it more my work!
Hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer - All rights belong to E L James
Monday, May 9th, 2011
"Tomorrow," I mutter, dismissing Claude Bastille as he stands on the threshold of my office.
"Golf, this week, Grey." Bastille grins with easy arrogance, knowing that his victory on the golf course is assured.
I scowl after him as he turns and leaves. His parting words rub salt into my wounds because despite my heroic attempts in the gym this morning, my personal trainer has kicked my ass. Bastille is the only one who can beat me, and now he wants another pound of flesh on the golf course. I DETEST GOLF, but so much business is done on the fairways I have to endure his lessons there too… and although I hate to admit it, Bastille does go some way to improving my game.
As I stare out at the Seattle skyline, the familiar ennui seeps into my consciousness. My mood is flat and grey as the weather outside. My days seem to blend together with no distinction, and I need some kind of diversion. I've worked all weekend and now, in the continued confines of my office, I am completely restless. I shouldn't feel this way, not after several bouts with Bastille.
I frown. The sobering truth is that the only thing to capture my interest recently has been my decision to send two freighters of cargo to Sudan. This reminds me – Ros is supposed to come back to me with numbers and logistics. What the hell is keeping her? I reach for the phone, intently staring at my schedule on the computer in front of me. What is she playing at?
Oh, Christ! I have to endure an interview with the persistent Miss Kavanagh for the WSU student magazine. Why the fuck did I agree to this? I loathe interviews inane questions, inane journalists, ill-informed, vacuous idiots. The phone buzzes.
"Yes," I snap at Andrea as if she's to blame. At least I can keep this interview short.
"Miss Anastasia Steele is here to see you, Mr.. Grey."
"Steele? I was expecting Katherine Kavanagh."
"It's Miss Anastasia Steele who's here, sir."
I scowl. I hate the unexpected. "Show her in," I mutter, aware that I sound like a sulky teen but who gives a fuck.
Well, well… Miss Kavanagh is unavailable. I know her father, the owner of Kavanagh Media, We've done business together, and he seems like a shrewd operator and a rational human being. This interview was a favor to him – one that I mean to cash in later when it suits me. And I have to admit I was vaguely curious about his daughter, all of the pressure to the PR department on setting up this interview and she can't make it, interesting enough that the apple does fall far from the tree. Mr. Kavanagh would have rescheduled before sending someone else unannounced.
A commotion at the door brings me to my feet as a whirl of long chestnut brown hair, pale limbs and brown boots dives head first into my office. I roll my eyes and repress a natural annoyance to the girl over her clumsiness. She has landed on her hands and knees; I clasp her slim shoulders and help Miss Steele to her feet.
Clear, bright-blue, embarrassed eyes meet mine and halt me in my tracks. They are the most extraordinary colour-guileless, powder blue-and for one awful moment, I think she can see straight through me. I feel … exposed. A rare; and unnerving thought.
She is still staring up at me with wide almond shaped eyes. She has a small, sweet face that is blushing now, and innocent pale rose. I wonder briefly if all her skin is like that – flawless- and what it would like striped pink and warm from the bite of a cane. Fuck. I stop my wayward thoughts, alarmed at their direction. What the fuck are you thinking, Grey. This girl is much too young. She gapes at me, and I almost roll my eyes again. Yeah, yeah, baby, it's just a face; and the beauty is only skin-deep. I want to dispel that unguarded, admiring look from those big blue eyes.
Showtime, Grey. Let's have some fun. My inner beast is glaring through huge eyes smirking with his eyebrows raised, nodding in approval. "Miss Kavanagh? I'm Christian Grey. Are you all right? Would you like to sit?"
She blushes again, a darker pink. In command once more, I study her. She's quite attractive, in a gauche way – slight; pale, with a mane of hair barely contained by a hair tie. A brunette. Okay, she is attractive. I extend my hand and she stutters the beginning of a mortified apology ad places her small hand in mine. Her handshake is surprisingly firm.
"Miss Kavanagh is indisposed, so she sent me. I hope you don't mind, Mr.. Grey." Her voice is quiet, shy, with a hesitant musicality, and she blinks erratically, long lashes fluttering over those big blue eyes.
Unable to keep the amusement from my voice as I recall her less-than-elegant entrance into my office, I ask who she is.
"Anastasia Steele. I'm studying English Literature with Kate, um… Katherine…um…Miss Kavanagh at Washington State."
A nervous, bashful, book type eh? She looks it; hideously dressed, hiding her slight frame beneath a shapeless sweater and A-line brown skirt. Christ, does she have no fashion sense at all? She looks nervously around my office –everywhere but at me, I note with amused irony.
How can this young woman be a journalist? She doesn't have an assertive bone in her body. She's all charmingly flustered, meek, mild… submissive. I shake my head, bemused at where my inappropriate thoughts are going, leading me into my secret lifestyle of a sex-driven sadist. Muttering some platitude, I ask her to sit, then notice her discerning gaze appraising my office paintings. Before I can stop myself, I find I'm explaining them. "A local artist. Trouton."
"They're lovely. Raising the ordinary to extraordinary," she says dreamily, lost in the exquisite, fine artistry of my paintings. Her profile is delicate –an upturned nose, full lips –and in her words she has mirrored my sentiments exactly. "The ordinary raised to extraordinary." It's a keen observation. Miss Steele is bright. My stomach burning; twisting, churning with lust; the greedy beast that is my subconscious glaring intently, nodding in approval. I mutter my agreement and watch that flush creep slowly over her skin once more like an invasion. As I sit down opposite her, I try to bridle my thoughts.
She fishes a crumpled sheet of paper and a mini-disc recorder out of her overly large bag. Mini-disc recorder? Didn't those go out with VHS tapes? Christ –she's all thumbs, dropping the damned thing twice on my Bauhaus coffee table. She's obviously never done this before, but for some reason I can't fathom, I find it rather amusing. Normally this kind of fumbling maladroitness irritates the fuck out of me, but now I hide my smile beneath my index finger and resist the urge to set it up for her myself.
As she grows more and more flustered, it occurs to me that I could refine her motor skills with the aid of a riding crop. Adeptly used it can bring even the most skittish filly to heel. The errant thought makes me shift in my chair. She peeks up at me and bites down on her full bottom lip. Fuck! Her mouth. Why hadn't I noticed her sexy mouth before?
"Sorry, I'm not used to this."
I can tell, baby. But right now I don't give a flying fuck, because I can't take my eyes off your god damn mouth!
"Take all the time you need, Miss Steele." I need yet another moment to marshal my wayward thoughts, internally shaking my head over such ridiculous things to consider. Grey… stop this, now.
"Do you mind if I record your answers?" she asks, her face a little candid and expectant.
I want to laugh. My eyes rise slightly. Oh, thank Christ.
"After you've taken so much trouble to set up the recorder, you ask me now?" She blinks surprised, her eyes large; lost for a moment, I feel an unfamiliar twinge of guilt. Stop being such a shit, Grey.
"No, I don't mind," I mutter, not wanting to be responsible for the look she is now giving me.
"Did Kate –I mean Miss Kavanagh –explain what the interview was for?"
"Yes, to appear in the graduation issue of the student newspaper as I shall be conferring the degrees at this year's graduation ceremony." Why the fuck I've agreed to do that, I don't know. Sam in PR tells me it's an honor, and the environmental science department in Vancouver needs the publicity in order to attract additional funding to match the grant I've given them.
Miss Steele blinks, all big blue eyes once more, as if my words are a surprise and fuck –she looks disapproving! Hasn't she done any background work for this interview? She should know this! The thought cools my blood. It's… displeasing, not what I expect from her or anyone else I give my time to.
"Good. I have some questions, Mr. Grey." She tucks a lock of hair behind her ear, distracting me from annoyance making me wonder what it would be like to run my fingers through her long hair.
"I thought you might," I mutter dryly. Let's make her squirm. Obligingly, she squirms, then pulls herself together, sitting up straight and squaring her small shoulders. Leaning forward she presses the start button on the mini-disc, and frowns as she glances down at her crumpled notes.
"You're very young to have amassed such an empire. To what do you owe your success?"
Oh Christ! Surely she can do better than this? What a fucking dull question. Not one iota of originality. It's rather disappointing. I trot out my usual response about having exceptional people in the U.S. working for me. People I trust, insofar as I trust anyone, and pay well –blah, blah, blah … But Miss Steele, the simple fact is, I'm a fucking genius at what I do. For me it's like falling off a log. Buying ailing, mismanaged companies and fixing them, or if they're really broken, stripping their assets and selling them off to the highest bidder. It's simply a question of knowing the difference between the two, and invariably it comes down to the people that are in charge. To succeed in business you need good people, and I can judge a person, better than most.
"Maybe you're just lucky," she says quietly.
Lucky? A frisson of annoyance runs through me. Lucky? No fucking luck involved here, Miss Steele. She looks unassuming and quiet, but this question? No one has ever asked me if I was lucky. Hard work, bringing people together with me, keeping a close watch on them and second-guessing them if I need to; and if they aren't up to the task, ruthlessly ditching them. That's what I do, and I do it well. It's nothing to do with luck! Well, fuck that. Flaunting my erudition, I quote the words of my favourite American industrialist to her.
"You sound like a control freak," she says, and she's perfectly serious.
What the fuck? Maybe those guileless eyes can see through me. Control is in my nature, my middle name if you wish.
"Oh, I exercise control in all things, Miss Steele." And I'd like to exercise it over you, right here, right now.
Her eyes widen yet again. That attractive blush steals across her features, and she is biting down on that lip again. I ramble on, trying yet again to distract myself from her mouth. Her glorious, sexy mouth.
"Besides, immense power is acquired by assuring yourself, in your secret reveries, that you were born to control things."
"Do you feel that you have immense power?" she asks in a soft soothing tone, she arches her delicate brow, revealing the censure in her eyes. My annoyance grows. Is she deliberately trying to goad me? Is it her questions? Her attitude? Or the fact that I find her utter mind-blowingly attractive that it's putting me off.
"I employ over forty thousand people, Miss Steele. That gives me a certain sense of responsibility –power, if you will. If I were to decide I was no longer interested in the telecommunications business and sell up, twenty thousand people would struggle to make their mortgage payments after a month or so.
Her mouth pops open in response. That's more like it. Suck it up, Miss Steele. I feel my control slowly returning.
"Don't you have a board to answer to?"
"I own my company. I don't answer to a board," I answer sharply. She should know this. I raise a questioning brow. Haven't done your homework, Miss Steele?
"And do you have any interests outside of your work?" she continues hastily. She knows I'm annoyed, and for some inexplicable reason this pleases me enormously.
"I have varied interests, Miss Steele. Very varied." I smile. Images of her on display in different positions in my playroom flashes through my mind: shackled on the cross, spread-eagle on the four poster bed, splayed over the whipping bench. Fucking hell! Get a grip Grey! Where did this come from? And behold –there's that blush again. It's like a defense mechanism. Calm down!
"But if you work so hard, what do you do to chill out?"
"Chill out?" I grin, those words coming from her smart mouth sound odd. Besides when do I get time to chill out? Does she not have any idea of the number of companies I control? But she looks at me with those eyes, and to my surprise I find myself considering her question. What do I do to chill out? Sailing, flying, fucking… testing the limits of little brown-haired girls like her, and bringing them to heel… the thought makes me shift I my seat, but I answer her smoothly, omitting my two favourite hobbies.
"You invest in manufacturing. Why, specifically?"
Her question drags me rudely back to the present.
"I like to build things. I like to know how things work, what makes things tick, how to construct and deconstruct. And I have a love of ships. What can I say?" They distribute food around the planet –taking goods from the haves to the have-nots and back again. What's not to like?
"That sounds like your heart talking, rather than logics and facts."
Heart? Me? Oh no, baby. My heart was savaged beyond recognition a long time ago. "Possibly, though there are people who'd say I don't have a heart."
"Why would they say that?"
"Because they know me well." I give her a wry smile. In fact no one knows me that well, except Elena. I wonder what she would make of Little Miss Steele here. The girl is a mass of contradictions: shy, uneasy, obviously bright, and arousing as hell. Yes, okay, I admit it. She's alluring.
She recites the next question by rote. "Would your friends say you're easy to get to know?"
"I'm a very private person, Miss Steele. I go a long way to protect my privacy. I don't often give interviews." Doing what I do, living the life I've chosen, I need my privacy.
"Why did you agree to do this one?"
"Because I'm a benefactor of the university, and for all intents and purposes, I couldn't get Miss Kavanagh off my back. She badgered and badgered my PR people, and I admire that kind of tenacity." But I'm especially glad it is you who turned up and not her. My thoughts are going crazy.
"You invest in farming technologies. Why are you interested in this area?"
"We can't eat money, Miss Steele, and there are too many people on this planet who don't have enough to eat." I stare at her, poker-faced.
"That sounds very philanthropic. Is that something you feel passionately about? Feeding the world's poor?" She regards me with a quizzical expression as if I'm some kind of conundrum for her to solve, but there is no way I want those big blue eyes seeing into my dark bottomless pit of a soul. This is not an area open to discussion. Ever.
"It's a shrewd business." I shrug. Overcoming the feigning boredom, I imagine fucking her smart mouth, distracting myself from all the painful thoughts of hunger. Oh, yes that mouth needs fucking! I'd love to train her to my satisfaction. The thought is appealing, I let myself imagine her on her knees right before me. I smirk at the thought.
"Do you have a philosophy? If so, what is it?" she recites by rote again.
"I don't have a philosophy as such. Maybe guiding principle, Carnegies' 'A man who acquires the ability to take full possession of his own mind may take possession of anything else to which he is justly entitled.' I'm very singular, driven. I like control… of myself and those around me."
"So you want to possess things?" Her eyes widen. Yes, baby. You, for one.
"I want to deserve to possess them, but yes, bottom line, I do."
"You sound like the ultimate consumer." Her voice is tingled with disapproval, pissing me off yet again. She sounds like a rich kid who's had all she ever wanted, but as I take a closer look at her clothes –she is dressed in Wal-mart, or Old Navy possibly –I know that isn't it. She didn't grow up an affluent household. I could really take care of you.
Shit, where the fuck did that come from? Although, now that I consider it, I do need a new submissive. It's been, what –two months since Susannah? And here I am, salivating over this brown-haired girl. I try to smile and agree with her. Nothing wrong with consumption –after all, it drives what's left of the American economy.
"You were adopted. How far do you think that's shaped the way you are?"
What the fuck does this have to do with the price of oil? I scowl at her. What a ridiculous question. If I'd stayed with my crack whore of a mother, I'd probably be dead. I blow her off with a non-answer, trying to keep my voice level, but she pushes me, demanding to know how old I was when I was adopted. Shut her down, Grey!
"That's a matter of public record, Miss Steele." My voice is arctic. She should know this shit. Now she looks contrite. Good.
"You've had to sacrifice a family life for your work."
"That's not a question," I snap. She blushes again and bites down on that goddamn lip. She glares at me, apologizing with her eyes; the words escape her mouth gracefully.
"Have you had to sacrifice a family life for your work?" What do I want with a fucking family?
"I have a family. I have a brother and a sister and two living parents. I'm not interested in extending my family beyond that."
"Are you gay, Mr. Grey?"
What the fuck! I cannot believe she's just said that out loud! The unspoken question that my family dares not ask, much to my amusement. How dare she! I have to fight with myself to stop the urge to pick her up from her seat and force her over my knee, spanking the living shit out of her, then fuck her over my desk with her hands tied tightly behind her back. Would that answer the fucking question? How frustrating this woman is and I've only known her 20 minutes! I take a deep calming breath. To my vindictive delight, she appears to be acutely embarrassed by her own question.
"No, Anastasia, I'm not." I raise my eyebrows, but keep my expression impassive. Anastasia. Such a lovely name. I like the way my tongue rolls around it.
"I apologize. It's um… written here. "Nervously, she tucks her hair behind her ear once more.
She doesn't know her own questions? Perhaps they're not hers. I ask her, and she pales. Fuck, she really is very attractive, in an understated sort of way. I would even go so far as to say she is beautiful. Very beautiful.
"Er… No. Kate –Miss Kavanagh –she compiled the questions."
"Are you colleagues on the student paper?"
"No, she's my roommate."
No wonder she is all over the place. I scratch my chin, debating whether to give her a really, really hard time. "Did you volunteer to do this interview?" I ask, and I'm rewarded with her submissive look: eyes large, nervous about my reaction. I like the effect I have on her.
"I was drafted. She's not well," she says softly.
"That explains a great deal."
There's a knock on the door, and Andrea appears. "Mr. Grey, forgive me for interrupting, but your next meeting is in two minutes."
"We're not finished here, Andrea. Please cancel my next meeting."
Andrea hesitates, gaping at me. I stare at her intently. Out! Get the fuck out now! I'm busy with Little Miss Steele here. Andrea blushes scarlet, but recovers quickly. "Very well, Mr. Grey," she says, and turning on her heel, she leaves us.
I turn my attention back to the intriguing, yet frustrating creature on my couch. "Where were we, Miss Steele?"
"Please don't let me keep you from anything?"
Oh no, baby. It's my turn now. I want to know if there are any secrets to uncover behind those beautiful blue eyes.
"I want to know about you. I think it's only fair." As I lean back and press my fingers to my lips, her eyes flick to my mouth and she swallows. Oh, yes –the usual effect. And it is gratifying to know she isn't completely oblivious to my charms.
"There's not much to know," she says, blushing. I intimidate her. Good.
"What are your plans after you graduate?"
She shrugs. "I haven't made any plans, Mr. Grey. I just need to get through my final exams."
"We run an excellent internship program here." Fuck. What possessed me to say that? I'm breaking a golden rule –never, ever fuck the staff. But Grey, you're not fucking this girl. She looks surprised, and her teeth sink into that lip once more. Why is that so arousing?
"Oh. I'll bear that in mind," she mumbles. Then as an afterthought she says, "Though I'm not sure I'd fit in here." Why the hell not? What's wrong with my company?
"Why do you say that?" I ask.
"Well, it's obvious, isn't it?"
"Not to me." I'm confounded by her response.
She's flustered again as she reaches for the mini-disc recorder. Shit, she's going. Mentally I run through my schedule for the afternoon –there is nothing that won't keep.
"Would you like me to show you around?"
"I'm sure you're far too busy, Mr. Grey, and I do have a long drive."
"You're driving back to WSU in Vancouver?" I glance out the window. It's one hell of a drive, and it's raining. Shit. She shouldn't be driving in this weather, but I can't forbid her. Maybe I can invite her to stay the night? Don't be so stupid Grey! My inner thoughts arguing with one another, it irritates me.
"Well, you'd better drive carefully." My voice is sterner than I intended.
She fumbles with the mini-disc. She wants out of my office, and for some reason I can't explain; I don't want her to go...