I am too warm. Christian warm. His head is on my shoulder, and he’s breathing softly on my neck while he sleeps, his legs threaded through mine, his arm around my waist. I linger on the edge of consciousness, aware that if I wake fully I’ll wake him, too, and he doesn’t sleep enough. Hazily my mind wanders through the events of yesterday evening. I drank too much—boy did I drink too much. I’m amazed Christian let me. I smile as I remember him putting me to bed. That was sweet, real sweet, and unexpected. I conduct a quick mental inventory of how I’m feeling. Stomach? Fine. Head? Surprisingly, fine, but fuzzy. My palm is still red from last night. Sheesh. Idly I think about Christian’s palms when he’s spanked me. I squirm and he wakes.
“What’s wrong?” Sleepy gray eyes search mine.
“Nothing. Good morning.” I run the fingers of my uninjured hand through his hair.
“Mrs. Grey, you look lovely this morning,” he says, kissing my cheek, and I light up from within.
“Thank you for taking care of me last night.”
“I like taking care of you. It’s what I want to do,” he says quietly, but his eyes betray him as triumph flares in their gray depths. It’s like he’s won the World Series or the Super Bowl.
Oh, my Fifty.
“You make me feel cherished.”
“That’s because you are,” he murmurs and my heart clenches.
He clasps my hand and I wince. He releases me immediately, alarmed. “The punch?” he asks. His eyes frost as he scrutinizes mine, and his voice is laced with sudden anger.
“I slapped him. I didn’t punch him.”
I thought we’d dealt with this last night.
“I can’t bear that he touched you.”
“He didn’t hurt me, he was just inappropriate. Christian, I’m okay. My hand’s a little red, that’s all. Surely you know what that’s like?” I smirk, and his expression changes to one of amused surprise.
“Why, Mrs. Grey, I am very familiar with that.” His lips twist in amusement.
“I could reacquaint myself with that feeling this minute, should you so wish.”
“Oh, stow your twitching palm, Mr. Grey.” I stroke his face with my injured hand, my fingers caressing his sideburn. Gently I tug the little hairs. It distracts him, and he takes my hand and plants a tender kiss in my palm. Miraculously, the pain disappears.
“Why didn’t you tell me this hurt last night?”
“Um . . . I didn’t really feel it last night. It’s okay now.”
His eyes soften and his mouth twists. “How are you feeling?”
“Better than I deserve.”
“That’s quite a right arm you have there, Mrs. Grey.”
“You’d do well to remember that, Mr. Grey.”
“Oh really?” He rolls suddenly so that he’s fully on top of me, pressing me into the mattress, holding my wrists above my head. He gazes down at me.
“I’d fight you any day, Mrs. Grey. In fact, subduing you in bed is a fantasy of mine.” He kisses my throat.
“I thought you subdued me all the time.” I gasp as he nibbles my earlobe.
“Hmm . . . but I’d like some resistance,” he murmurs, his nose skirting my jaw.
Resistance? I still. He stops, releasing my hands, and leans up on his elbows.
“You want me to fight you? Here?” I whisper, trying to contain my surprise.
Okay—my shock. He nods, his eyes hooded but wary as he gauges my reaction.
He shrugs, and I see the idea flit through his mind. He gives me his shy smile and nods again, slowly.
Oh my . . . He’s tense, lying on top of me, and his growing erection is digging tantalizingly into my soft, willing flesh, distracting me. What’s this about? Brawling? Fantasy? Will he hurt me? My inner goddess shakes her head— Never. She’s got her karate suit on, and she’s limbering up. Claude would be pleased.
“Is this what you meant about coming to bed angry?”
He nods once more, his eyes still wary.
Hmm . . . my Fifty wants to rumble.
“Don’t bite your lip,” he warns.
Compliantly, I release my lip. “I think you have me at a disadvantage, Mr.
Grey.” I bat my lashes and squirm provocatively beneath him. This could be fun.
“Surely you’ve already got me where you want me?”
He smirks and presses his groin into mine once more.
“Good point well made, Mrs. Grey,” he whispers and quickly kisses my lips.
Abruptly he shifts and takes me with him, rolling over so I’m straddling him. I grab his hands, pinning them to the side of his head, and ignore the protesting ache from my hand. My hair falls in a chestnut veil around us, and I move my head so that the strands tickle his face. He jerks his face away but doesn’t try to stop me.
“So, you want to play rough?” I ask, skimming my crotch over his.
His mouth opens and he inhales sharply.
“Yes.” He hisses, and I release him.
“Wait.” I reach over for the glass of water beside the bed. Christian must have left it here. It’s cool and sparkling—too cool to have been sitting here for long—and I wonder when he came to bed.
As I take a long draught, Christian trails his fingers in small circles up my thighs, leaving tingling skin in their wake before he cups and squeezes my naked behind. Hmm.
Taking a leaf from his impressive repertoire, I lean forward and kiss him, pouring clear cool water into his mouth.
He drinks. “Very tasty, Mrs. Grey,” he murmurs, sporting a boyish and playful grin.
After placing the glass back on the bedside table, I remove his hands from my backside and pin them by his head once more.
“So I’m supposed to be unwilling?” I smirk.
“I’m not much of an actress.”
He grins. “Try.”
I lean down and kiss him chastely. “Okay, I’ll play,” I whisper, trailing my teeth along his jaw, feeling his prickly stubble beneath my teeth and my tongue.