“Do you have anything in mind?” Christian murmurs, pinning me with his bold gaze. I shrug, suddenly breathless and agitated. I don’t know if it’s the chase, the adrenaline, my earlier bad mood—I don’t understand, but I want this, and I want it badly. A puzzled expression flits across Christian’s face. “Kinky fuckery?” he asks, his words a soft caress.
I nod, feeling my face flame. Why am I embarrassed by this? I have done all manner of kinky fuckery with this man. He’s my husband, damn it! Am I embarrassed because I want this and I’m ashamed to admit it? My subconscious glares at me. Stop overthinking.
“Carte blanche?” He whispers the question, eyeing me speculatively as if he’s trying to read my mind.
Carte blanche? Holy fuck—what will that entail? “Yes,” I murmur nervously, as excitement blooms deep inside me. He smiles a slow sexy smile.
“Come,” he says and tugs me toward the stairs. His intention is clear. Playroom! My inner goddess wakes from her post-R8-sex slumber, wide-eyed and rar-ing to go.
At the top of the stairs, he releases my hand and unlocks the playroom door.
The key is on the Yes Seattle keychain that I gave him not so long ago.
“After you, Mrs. Grey,” he says and swings the door open.
The playroom smells reassuringly familiar, of leather and wood and fresh polish. I blush, knowing that Mrs. Jones must have been in here cleaning while we were away on our honeymoon. As we enter, Christian switches on the lights and the dark red walls are illuminated with soft, diffused light. I stand gazing at him, anticipation running thick and heavy through my veins. What will he do? He locks the door and turns. Inclining his head to one side, he regards me thoughtfully and then shakes his head, amused.
“What do you want, Anastasia?” he asks gently.
“You.” My response is breathy.
He smirks. “You’ve got me. You’ve had me since you fell into my office.”
“Surprise me then, Mr. Grey.”
His mouth twists with repressed humor and carnal promise. “As you wish, Mrs. Grey.” He folds his arms and raises one long index finger to his lips while he appraises me. “I think we’ll start by ridding you of your clothes.” He steps forward. Grasping the front of my short denim jacket, he opens it and pushes it over my shoulders so it falls to the floor. He clasps the hem of my black camisole.
“Lift your arms.”
I obey, and he peels it off over my head. Leaning down, he plants a soft kiss on my lips, his eyes glowing with an alluring mix of lust and love. The camisole joins my jacket on the floor.
“Here,” I whisper gazing nervously at him as I remove the hair tie from around my wrist and hold it up for him. He stills, and his eyes widen briefly but give nothing away. Finally, he takes the small band.
“Turn around,” he orders.
Relieved, I smile to myself and oblige immediately. Looks like we’ve over-come that little hurdle. He gathers my hair and braids it quickly and efficiently before fastening it with the tie. He tugs the braid, pulling my head back.
“Good thinking, Mrs. Grey,” he whispers in my ear, then nips my earlobe.
“Now turn around and take your skirt off. Let it fall to the floor.” He releases me and steps back as I turn to face him. Not taking my eyes off his, I unbutton the waistband of my skirt and ease the zipper down. The full skirt fans out and falls to the floor, pooling at my feet.
“Step out from your skirt,” he orders. As I step toward him, he kneels swiftly down in front of me and grasps my right ankle. Deftly, he unbuckles my sandals one at a time while I lean forward, balancing myself with a hand on the wall under the pegs that used to hold all his whips, crops and paddles. The flogger and the riding crop are the only implements that remain. I eye them with curiosity. Will he use those?
Having removed my shoes so I’m just in my lacy bra and panties, Christian sits back on his heels, gazing up at me. “You’re a fine sight, Mrs. Grey.” Suddenly he kneels up, grabs my hips and pulls me forward, burying his nose in the apex of my thighs. “And you smell of you and me and sex,” he says inhaling sharply. “It’s intoxicating.” He kisses me through my lace panties, while I gasp at his words—my insides liquefying. He’s just so . . . naughty. Gathering up my clothes and sandals, he stands in one swift, graceful move, like an athlete.
“Go and stand beside the table,” he says calmly, pointing with his chin. Turning, he strides over to the museum chest of wonder.
He glances back and smirks at me. “Face the wall,” he commands. “That way you won’t know what I’m planning. We aim to please, Mrs. Grey, and you wanted a surprise.”
I turn away from him listening acutely—my ears suddenly sensitive to the slightest sound. He’s good at this—building my expectations, stoking my desire . . . making me wait. I hear him put my shoes down and, I think, my clothes on the chest, followed by the telltale clatter of his shoes as they drop to the floor, one at a time. Hmm . . . love barefoot Christian. A moment later, I hear him pull open a drawer.
Toys! Oh, I love, love, love this anticipation. The drawer closes and my breathing spikes. How can the sound of a drawer render me a quivering mess? It makes no sense. The subtle hiss of the sound system coming to life tells me it’s going to be a musical interlude. A lone piano starts, muted and soft, and mournful chords fill the room. It’s not a tune I know. The piano is joined by an electric guitar. What is this? A man’s voice speaks and I can just make out the words, something about not being frightened of dying.