Fifty shades darker – Chapter 03

The one good thing about being car-less is that on the bus on my way to work, I can plug my headphones into my iPad while it’s safely in my purse and listen to all the wonderful tunes Christian has given me. By the time I arrive at the office, I have the most ludicrous grin on my face.

Jack glances up at me and does a double take.

“Good morning, Ana. You look . . . radiant.” His remark flusters me. How inappropriate! “I slept well, thank you, Jack. Good morning.” His brow crinkles.

“Can you read these for me and have reports on them by lunchtime, please?” He hands me four manuscripts. At my horrified expression, he adds, “Just first chapters.”

“Sure,” I smile with relief, and he gives me a broad smile in return.

I switch on the computer to start work, finishing my latte and eating a banana. There’s an e-mail from Christian.

 

 

 

From: Christian Grey

Subject: So Help Me . . .

Date: June 10, 2011 08:05

To: Anastasia Steele

I do hope you’ve had breakfast.

I missed you last night.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Old books . . .

Date: June 10, 2011 08:33

To: Christian Grey

I am eating a banana as I type. I have not had breakfast for several days, so it is a step forward. I love the British Library App—I started rereading Robinson Crusoe . . . and of course, I love you.

Now leave me alone—I am trying to work.

Anastasia Steele

Assistant to Jack Hyde, Commissioning Editor, SIP

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Is that all you’ve eaten?

Date: June 10, 2011 08:36

To: Anastasia Steele

You can do better than that. You’re going to need your energy for begging.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Pest

Date: June 10, 2011 08:39

To: Christian Grey

Mr. Grey—I am trying to work for a living—and it’s you that will be begging.

Anastasia Steele

Assistant to Jack Hyde, Commissioning Editor, SIP

 

 

 

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Bring it On!

Date: June 10, 2011 08:36

To: Anastasia Steele

Why Miss Steele, I love a challenge . . .

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

I sit grinning at the screen like an idiot. But I need to read these chapters for Jack and write reports on all of them. Placing the manuscripts on my desk, I begin.

At lunchtime I head to the deli for a pastrami sandwich and listen to the playlist on my iPad. First up there’s Nitin Sawhney, some world music called “Homelands”—it’s good.

Mr. Grey has an eclectic taste in music. I wander back, listening to a classical piece, Fanta-sia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis by Vaughn Williams. Oh, Fifty has a sense of humor, and I love him for it. Will this stupid grin ever leave my face?

The afternoon drags. I decide, in an unguarded moment, to e-mail Christian.

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Bored . . .

Date: June 10, 2011 16:05

To: Christian Grey

Twiddling my thumbs.

How are you?

What are you doing?

Anastasia Steele

Assistant to Jack Hyde, Commissioning Editor, SIP

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Your thumbs

Date: June 10, 2011 16:15

To: Anastasia Steele

You should have come to work for me.

You wouldn’t be twiddling your thumbs.

I am sure I could put them to better use.

In fact I can think of a number of options . . .

I am doing the usual humdrum mergers and acquisitions.

 

 

It’s all very dry.

Your e-mails at SIP are monitored.

Christian Grey

Distracted CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

Oh shit. I had no idea. How the hell does he know? I scowl at the screen and quickly check the e-mails we’ve sent, deleting them as I do.

Promptly at five thirty, Jack is at my desk. It is Dress-down Friday so he’s wearing jeans and a black shirt. He looks very casual.

“Drink, Ana? We usually like to go for a quick one at the bar across the street.”

“We?” I ask, hopeful.

“Yeah, most of us go . . . you coming?”

For some unknown reason, which I don’t want to examine too closely, relief floods through me.

“I’d love to. What’s the bar called?”

“50s.”

“You’re kidding.”

He looks at me oddly. “No. Some significance for you?”

“No, sorry. I’ll join you over there.”

“What would you like to drink?”

“A beer please.”

“Cool.”

I make my way to the powder room and e-mail Christian from the Blackberry.

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: You’ll Fit Right In

Date: June 10, 2011 17:36

To: Christian Grey

We are going to a bar called Fifty’s.

The rich seam of humor that I could mine from this is endless.

I look forward to seeing you there, Mr. Grey.

A x

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Hazards

Date: June 10, 2011 17:38

To: Anastasia Steele

 

 

Mining is a very, very dangerous occupation.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

From: Anastasia Steele

Subject: Hazards?

Date: June 10, 2011 17:40

To: Christian Grey

And your point is?

From: Christian Grey

Subject: Merely . . .

Date: June 10, 2011 17:42

To: Anastasia Steele

Making an observation, Miss Steele.

I’ll see you shortly.

Sooners rather than laters, baby.

Christian Grey

CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.

I check myself in the mirror. What a difference a day can make. I have more color in my cheeks, and my eyes are shining. It’s the Christian Grey effect. A little e-mail sparring with him will do that to a girl. I grin at the mirror and straighten my pale blue shirt—the one Taylor bought me. I am wearing my favorite jeans today, too. Most of the women in the office wear either jeans or floaty skirts. I will need to invest in a floaty skirt or two. Perhaps I’ll do that this weekend and bank the check Christian gave me for Wanda, my Beetle.

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