Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian(4)


by E.L. James

And I don’t do waiting. I hate waiting…for anything.

I’ve never pursued a woman before. The women I’ve had understood what I expected of them. My fear now is that Miss Steele is just too young and that she won’t be interested in what I have to offer. Will she? Will she even make a good submissive? I shake my head. So here I am, an ass, sitting in a suburban parking lot in a dreary part of Portland.

Her background check has produced nothing remarkable—except the last fact, which has been at the forefront of my mind. It’s the reason I’m here. Why no boyfriend, Miss Steele? Sexual orientation unknown—perhaps she’s gay. I snort, thinking that unlikely. I recall the question she asked during the interview, her acute embarrassment, the way her skin flushed a pale rose…I’ve been suffering from these lascivious thoughts since I met her.

That’s why you’re here.

I’m itching to see her again—those blue eyes have haunted me, even in my dreams. I haven’t mentioned her to Flynn, and I’m glad because I’m now behaving like a stalker. Perhaps I should let him know. No. I don’t want him hounding me about his latest solution-based-therapy shit. I just need a distraction, and right now the only distraction I want is the one working as a salesclerk in a hardware store.

You’ve come all this way. Let’s see if little Miss Steele is as appealing as you remember.

Showtime, Grey.

A bell chimes a flat electronic note as I walk into the store. It’s much bigger than it looks from the outside, and although it’s almost lunchtime the place is quiet, for a Saturday. There are aisles and aisles of the usual junk you’d expect. I’d forgotten the possibilities that a hardware store could present to someone like me. I mainly shop online for my needs, but while I’m here, maybe I’ll stock up on a few items: Velcro, split rings—Yeah. I’ll find the delectable Miss Steele and have some fun.

It takes me all of three seconds to spot her. She’s hunched over the counter, staring intently at a computer screen and picking at her lunch—a bagel. Absentmindedly, she wipes a crumb from the corner of her lips and into her mouth and sucks on her finger. My cock twitches in response.

What am I, fourteen?

My body’s reaction is irritating. Maybe this will stop if I fetter, fuck, and flog her…and not necessarily in that order. Yeah. That’s what I need.

She is thoroughly absorbed by her task, and it gives me an opportunity to study her. Salacious thoughts aside, she’s attractive, seriously attractive. I’ve remembered her well.

She looks up and freezes. It’s as unnerving as the first time I met her. She pins me with a discerning stare—shocked, I think—and I don’t know if this is a good response or a bad response.

“Miss Steele. What a pleasant surprise.”

“Mr. Grey,” she says, breathy and flustered. Ah, a good response.

“I was in the area. I need to stock up on a few things. It’s a pleasure to see you again.” A real pleasure. She’s dressed in a tight T-shirt and jeans, not the shapeless shit she was wearing earlier this week. She’s all long legs, narrow waist, and perfect tits. Her lips are still parted in surprise, and I have to resist the urge to tip her chin up and close her mouth. I’ve flown from Seattle just to see you, and the way you look right now, it was really worth the journey.

“Ana. My name’s Ana. What can I help you with, Mr. Grey?” She takes a deep breath, squares her shoulders like she did in the interview, and gives me a fake smile that I’m sure she reserves for customers.

Game on, Miss Steele.

“There are a few items I need. To start with, I’d like some cable ties.”

My request catches her off guard; she looks stunned.

Oh, this is going to be fun. You’d be amazed what I can do with a few cable ties, baby.

“We stock various lengths. Shall I show you?” she says, finding her voice.

“Please. Lead the way.”

She steps out from behind the counter and gestures toward one of the aisles. She’s wearing chucks. Idly I wonder what she’d look like in skyscraper heels. Louboutins…nothing but Louboutins.

“They’re with the electrical goods, aisle eight.” Her voice wavers and she blushes…

She is affected by me. Hope blooms in my chest.

She’s not gay, then. I smirk.

“After you.” I hold my hand out for her to lead the way. Letting her walk ahead gives me the space and time to admire her fantastic ass. Her long, thick ponytail keeps time like a metronome to the gentle sway of her hips. She really is the whole package: sweet, polite, and beautiful, with all the physical attributes I value in a submissive. But the million-dollar question is, could she be a submissive? She probably knows nothing of the lifestyle—my lifestyle—but I very much want to introduce her to it. You are getting way ahead of yourself on this deal, Grey.

“Are you in Portland on business?” she asks, interrupting my thoughts. Her voice is high; she’s feigning disinterest. It makes me want to laugh. Women rarely make me laugh.

“I was visiting the WSU farming division. It’s based in Vancouver,” I lie. Actually, I’m here to see you, Miss Steele.

Her face falls, and I feel like a shit.

“I’m currently funding some research there in crop rotation and soil science.” That, at least, is true.

“All part of your feed-the-world plan?” She arches a brow, amused.

“Something like that,” I mutter. Is she laughing at me? Oh, I’d love to put a stop to that if she is. But how to start? Maybe with dinner, rather than the usual interview…now, that would be novel: taking a prospect out to dinner.

We arrive at the cable ties, which are arranged in an assortment of lengths and colors. Absentmindedly, my fingers trace over the packets. I could just ask her out for dinner. Like on a date? Would she accept? When I glance at her she’s examining her knotted fingers. She can’t look at me…this is promising. I select the longer ties. They are more flexible, after all, as they can accommodate two ankles and two wrists at once.

“These will do.”

“Is there anything else?” she says quickly—either she’s being super-attentive or she wants to get me out of the store, I don’t know which.

“I’d like some masking tape.”

“Are you redecorating?”

“No, not redecorating.” Oh, if you only knew…

“This way,” she says. “Masking tape is in the decorating aisle.”

Come on, Grey. You don’t have much time. Engage her in some conversation. “Have you worked here long?” Of course, I already know the answer. Unlike some people, I do my research. For some reason she’s embarrassed. Christ, this girl is shy. I don’t have a hope in hell. She turns quickly and walks down the aisle toward the section labeled Decorating. I follow her eagerly, like a puppy.

“Four years,” she mumbles as we reach the masking tape. She bends down and grasps two rolls, each a different width.

“I’ll take that one.” The wider tape is much more effective as a gag. As she passes it to me, the tips of our fingers touch, briefly. It resonates in my groin. Damn!

She pales. “Anything else?” Her voice is soft and husky.

Christ, I’m having the same effect on her that she has on me. Maybe…

“Some rope, I think.”

“This way.” She scoots up the aisle, giving me another chance to appreciate her fine ass.

“What sort were you after? We have synthetic and natural filament rope…twine…cable cord…”

Shit—stop. I groan inwardly, trying to chase away the image of her suspended from the ceiling in my playroom.

“I’ll take five yards of the natural filament rope, please.” It’s coarser and chafes more if you struggle against it…my rope of choice.

A tremor runs through her fingers, but she measures out five yards like a pro. Pulling a utility knife from her right pocket, she cuts the rope in one swift gesture, coils it neatly, and ties it off with a slipknot. Impressive.

“Were you a Girl Scout?”

“Organized group activities aren’t really my thing, Mr. Grey.”

“What is your thing, Anastasia?” Her pupils dilate as I stare.

Yes!

“Books,” she answers.

“What kind of books?”

“Oh, you know. The usual. The classics. British literature, mainly.”

British literature? The Brontës and Austen, I bet. All those romantic hearts-and-flowers types.

That’s not good.

“Anything else you need?”

“I don’t know. What else would you recommend?” I want to see her reaction.

“For a do-it-yourselfer?” she asks, surprised.

I want to hoot with laughter. Oh, baby, DIY is not my thing. I nod, stifling my mirth. Her eyes flick down my body and I tense. She’s checking me out!

“Coveralls,” she blurts out.

It’s the most unexpected thing I’ve heard her say since the “Are you gay?” question.