Read Darker Online

Authors: E L James

Darker (10 page)

“Take your bra off.” She sits up and hurriedly does as she’s told, for once.

“Lie down. I want to look at you.”

She lies back on her sheets, eyes on me. Her hair is tousled and free, a luscious chestnut halo spilled across the pillow. Her body is flushed a delicate pink with arousal. Her nipples are hard, calling to me; her long legs are parted.

She’s stunning.

I rip the foil packet open and roll on the rubber. She watches my every move, still panting. Waiting for me.

“You’re a fine sight, Anastasia Steele.”

And you’re mine. Again.

Crawling up the bed, I kiss her ankles, the insides of her knees, her thighs, her hip, her soft belly; my tongue swirls around her navel and she rewards me with a loud moan. I lick the underside of one breast, then the other. And take her nipple in my mouth, teasing it, elongating it as it hardens between my lips. I tug hard, and she writhes brazenly beneath me, calling out.

Patience, baby.

Releasing that nipple, I lavish my attention on its twin.

“Christian, please.”

“Please what?” I murmur between her breasts, enjoying her need.

“I want you inside me.”

“Do you, now?”

“Please.” She’s all breathy and desperate, just how I like her. I push her legs apart with my knees. Oh, I want you, too, baby. I hover over her, poised and ready. I want to savor this moment, this moment when I reclaim her beautiful body, reclaim my beautiful girl. Her dark, smoky eyes meet mine and slowly, slowly, I sink into her.

She feels so good. So tight. So right.

She tilts her pelvis up to meet me, throws her head back, her chin in the air, and her mouth is open in soundless adulation. She grasps my upper arms and groans without restraint. What a wonderful sound it is. I place my hands around her head to hold her in place, ease out of her, then slide into her again. Her fingers find my hair, tugging and twisting, and I move slowly, feeling her tight, wet warmth around me as I relish every single fucking inch of her.

Her eyes are dark, her mouth slack, as she pants beneath me. She looks gorgeous.

“Faster, Christian, faster. Please,” she pleads.

Your wish is my command, baby.

My mouth finds hers, claiming that, too, and I start to move, really move, pushing and pushing. She’s so damned beautiful. I have missed this. Missed everything about her. She feels like home. She
home. She’s everything. And I lose myself, burying myself in her over and over again.

She starts building around me, reaching her peak.

Oh, baby, yes.
Her legs tense. She’s close. So am I.

“Come on, baby. Give it to me,” I whisper through my gritted teeth. She cries out as she detonates around me, clenching and drawing me deep inside her, and I come, pouring my life and soul into her.

“Ana! Oh, fuck—Ana!”

I collapse on her, pressing her into the mattress, and bury my face in her neck, inhaling her delicious, intoxicating Ana perfume.

She’s mine once more.


No one will take her away from me, and I’ll do everything in my power to keep her.

Once I’ve caught my breath I lean up and take her hands in mine as her eyes flutter open. They are the bluest of blue, clear and sated. She gives me a shy smile and I trail the tip of my nose down the length of hers, trying to find the words to express my gratitude. In lieu of any suitable words, I offer her a swift kiss as I reluctantly ease out of her. “I’ve missed this.”

“Me, too,” she says.

I grip her chin and kiss her once more.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for giving me a second chance.

“Don’t leave me again,” I whisper.
And I’m in the confessional, disclosing a dark secret:
my need for her.

“Okay,” she answers with a tender smile that flips my heart into overdrive. With one simple word she stitches my torn soul together. I’m elated.

My fate is in your hands, Ana. It’s been in your hands since I met you.

“Thank you for the iPad,” she adds, interrupting my fanciful thoughts. It’s the first gift I’ve given her that she’s accepted with grace.

“You’re most welcome, Anastasia.”

“What’s your favorite song on there?”

“Now, that would be telling,” I tease her. I think it might be the Coldplay, because it’s the most apt.

My stomach growls. I’m starving, and it’s not a condition I tolerate well. “Come cook me some food, wench. I’m famished.” I sit up and pull her onto my lap.

“Wench?” she repeats, giggling.

“Wench. Food. Now. Please,” I order, like the caveman I am, while nuzzling her hair.

“Since you ask so nicely, sire, I’ll get right on it.”

She wriggles in my lap as she gets up.


When she climbs off the bed she shifts her pillow. Beneath it is a rather sad, much deflated helicopter balloon. I pick it up and look at her, wondering where it’s from.

“That’s my balloon,” she stresses.

Oh yes, Andrea sent a balloon with flowers when Ana and Katherine moved into this apartment. What is it doing here? “In your bed?”

“Yes. It’s been keeping me company.”

Charlie Tango.

She returns my smile as she wraps a robe around her beautiful body.

“My balloon,” she warns, before she sashays out of the bedroom.

Proprietary, Miss Steele!

Once she’s left I remove the condom, knot it, and toss it in the trash basket at Ana’s bedside. I fall back onto the pillows, examining the balloon. She kept it and slept with it. Every time I stood outside her apartment pining for her, she was curled up in this bed and pining for me, holding this.

She loves me.

I’m suddenly awash with mixed, bewildered emotions and panic rising in my throat.

How can this be?

Because she doesn’t know you, Grey.


Don’t dwell on the negative.
Flynn’s words fog my brain.
Focus on the positive.

Well, she’s mine once more. I just have to keep her. Hopefully we’ll have the whole weekend together to get to know each other again.

I have the Coping Together Ball tomorrow.

I could skip it—but then my mother would never forgive me.

I wonder if Ana will accompany me?

She’ll need a mask if she agrees.

On the floor, I find my phone and text Taylor. I know he’s seeing his daughter in the morning, but I hope he can source a mask.

I’m going to need a mask for

Anastasia for tomorrow’s event.

Do you think you can source something?


Yes, sir.

I know just the place.



What color?

Silver or dark blue.

And as I text I have an idea, which may or may not work.

Could you get me a lipstick, too?


Any particular color?

No. I’ll leave that to you.

The stir-fry is delicious. I’m calmer now that I’ve had something to eat and I can’t remember being this casual or relaxed with her. We’re both sitting on the floor, listening to music from my iPod, as we eat and sip chilled pinot grigio. What’s more, it’s gratifying to see her devour her food. She’s as hungry as I am.

“This is good.” I’m appreciating every forkful.

She glows in response to my compliment and tucks a stray strand of unruly hair behind her ear. “I usually do all the cooking. Kate isn’t a great cook.” She’s cross-legged beside me, her legs on display. Her rather worn robe is a fetching shade of cream. When she leans forward it hangs open and I glimpse the soft swell of her breast.

Grey, behave.

“Did your mother teach you?” I ask.

“Not really.” She laughs. “By the time I was interested in learning how to, my mom was living with
Husband Number Three in Mansfield, Texas. And Ray, well, he would’ve lived on toast and takeout if it weren’t for me.”

“Why didn’t you stay in Texas with your mom?”

“Her husband, Steve, and I—” She stops, and her face clouds with what I assume is an unpleasant memory. I regret asking her and want to change the subject, but she continues. “We didn’t get along. And I missed Ray. Her marriage to Steve didn’t last long. She came to her senses, I think. She never talks about him,” she adds quietly.

“So you stayed in Washington with your stepfather.”

“I lived very briefly in Texas. Then went back to Ray.”

“Sounds like you looked after him.”

“I suppose,” she says.

“You’re used to taking care of people.”

It should be the other way around.

She turns to study my face. “What is it?” she asks, concerned.

“I want to take care of you.” In every way. It’s a simple statement, but it says everything for me. She’s taken aback.

“I’ve noticed,” she says wryly. “You just go about it in a strange way.”

“It’s the only way I know how.” I’m feeling my way in this relationship. It’s new to me. I don’t know the rules. And right now, all I want is to take care of Ana and give her the world.

“I’m still mad at you for buying SIP.”

“I know, but you being mad, baby, wouldn’t stop me.”

“What am I going to say to my work colleagues, to Jack?” She sounds exasperated. But an image of Hyde at the bar, leaning over her, leering, crowding her, springs to mind.

“That fucker better watch himself,” I grumble.

“Christian. He’s my boss.”

Not if I have anything to do with it.

She’s scowling at me and I don’t want her mad. We’re having such a chill time.
What do you do to chill out?
she asked me during the interview. Well, Ana, this is what I do, eat chicken stir-fry with you while we’re sitting on the floor. She’s still fretting, dwelling on her work situation, no doubt, and what she should tell them about GEH acquiring SIP.

I offer a simple solution. “Don’t tell them.”

“Don’t tell them what?”

“That I own it. The heads of agreement was signed yesterday. The news is embargoed for four weeks while the management at SIP makes some changes.”

“Oh.” She looks alarmed. “Will I be out of a job?”

“I sincerely doubt it.” Not if you want to stay.

Her eyes narrow. “If I leave and find another job, will you buy that company, too?”

“You’re not thinking of leaving, are you?” Jesus, I’m about to spend a small fortune on acquiring this firm and she’s talking about leaving!

“Possibly. I’m not sure you’ve given me a great deal of choice.”

“Yes, I will buy that company, too.”

This could get expensive.

“Don’t you think you’re being a tad overprotective?” There’s a hint of sarcasm in her voice.


She’s right.

“Yes. I am fully aware of how this looks,” I concede.

“Paging Dr. Flynn,” she says, rolling her eyes. And I want to reprimand her for that, but she stands and holds her hand out for my empty bowl. “Would you like dessert?” she says with an insincere smile.

“Now you’re talking!” I grin, ignoring her attitude.

You can be dessert, baby.

“Not me,” she says quickly, as if she can read my mind. “We have ice cream. Vanilla,” she adds, and smiles as if she’s privy to some inside joke.

Oh, Ana. This just gets better and better.

“Really? I think we could do something with that.” This is going to be fun. I rise to my feet in anticipation of what’s to come and who’s to come.



Both of us.

“Can I stay?” I ask.

“What do you mean?”

“The night.”

“I assumed that you would.”

“Good. Where’s the ice cream?”

“In the oven.” Her smirk is back.

Oh, Anastasia Steele, my palm is twitching.

“Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, Miss Steele. I could still take you across my knee.”

She arches a brow. “Do you have those silver ball things?”

I want to laugh. This is good news. It means she’s amenable to the occasional spanking. But that’s for another time. I pat down my shirt and jeans pockets as if in search for some kegel balls. “Funnily enough, I don’t carry a spare set around with me. Not much call for them in the office.”

She gasps with faux outrage. “I’m very glad to hear it, Mr. Grey, and I thought you said that sarcasm was the lowest form of wit.”

“Well, Anastasia, my new motto is ‘If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.’ ”

Her mouth drops open. And she’s dumbfounded.


Why is it so much fun to spar with her?

I head toward the fridge, grinning like the fool that I am, open the freezer door, and pull out a pint of vanilla ice cream. “This will do just fine.” I hold up the container. “Ben. And. Jerry’s. And. Ana.” From the cutlery drawer, I grab a spoon.

When I look up, Ana has a greedy look and I don’t know if it’s for me or the ice cream. I hope it’s for a combination of both.

It’s playtime, baby.

“I hope you’re warm. I’m going to cool you down with this. Come.” I hold out my hand, and I’m thrilled when she takes it. She wants to play, too.

The light from her bedside lamp is insipid and her room’s a little dark. She might have preferred this ambiance at one time, but judging by her behavior earlier this evening, she seems less shy and more comfortable with her nudity. I place the ice cream on her bedside table and drag the duvet and pillows off the bed and onto the floor. “You have a change of sheets, don’t you?”

She nods, watching me from the threshold of her room.
Charlie Tango
lies crumpled on the bed. “Don’t mess with my balloon,” she warns when I pick it up. I let it go and watch as it floats to the duvet on the floor.

“Wouldn’t dream of it, baby, but I do want to mess with you and these sheets.” We’re going to get sticky and so is her bedding.

Now to the important question: Will she or won’t she? “I want to tie you up,” I whisper. In the silence that stretches between us I hear her soft gasp.

Oh, that sound.

“Okay,” she says.

“Just your hands. To the bed. I need you still.”

“Okay,” she repeats.

I stalk toward her, our eyes locked. “We’ll use this.” I grab the sash from her robe, tug gently, and her robe opens, revealing a naked Ana; a further tug and the sash is free. With a gentle push at the shoulders, her robe falls to the floor. She doesn’t take her eyes off mine and she doesn’t make any attempt to cover herself.

Well done, Ana.

My knuckles graze her cheek; her face is smooth like satin beneath my touch. I give her a quick peck on the lips. “Lie on the bed, faceup.”

Showtime, baby.

I sense Ana’s anticipation as she does what she’s told, lying down on the bed for me. Standing over her, I take a moment to admire her.

My girl.

My stunning girl. Long legs, narrow waist, perfect tits. Her flawless skin is radiant in the dusky light and her eyes glint darkly with carnal longing as she waits.

I’m a lucky guy.

My body stiffens in agreement.

“I could look at you all day, Anastasia.”

The mattress dips as I crawl onto it and straddle her. “Arms above your head,” I demand. She complies immediately, and, using the sash, I fasten her wrists together, then to the metal spindles of her headboard.


What a mighty fine sight she is…

I give her a quick and grateful peck on the lips and climb off the bed. Once I’m standing, I pull off my shirt and jeans and place a condom on the bedside table.

Now. What to do?

At the end of the bed once more, I grab her ankles and pull her down the mattress so that her arms are fully extended. The less she can move, the more intense the sensations will be.

“That’s better,” I mutter to myself.

Grabbing the ice cream and spoon, I straddle her again. She bites her lip as I lift the lid and try to scoop out a spoonful. “Hmm, it’s still quite hard.” I contemplate smearing some of this on me and inserting myself into her mouth. But as I taste how cold it is, I fear it might have a negative, shriveling effect on my body.

That would be inconvenient.

“Delicious.” I lick my lips for effect as it melts in my mouth. “Amazing how good plain old vanilla can taste.” I watch her and she grins at me, her expression luminous. “Want some?”

She nods—a little uncertain, I think.

I take another spoonful, and offer her the contents so that she opens her mouth. I change my mind and pop it into my mouth.
It’s like taking candy from a baby.
“This is too good to share,” I declare, teasing her.

“Hey,” she starts.

“Why, Miss Steele, do you like your vanilla?”

“Yes,” she exclaims, and surprises me by trying to buck me off, but my weight is no match for her.

I laugh. “Getting feisty, are we? I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”

She stills. “Ice cream,” she whines, pouting in frustration.

“Well, as you’ve pleased me so much today, Miss Steele.” I scoop some more onto the spoon and present it to her. She regards me with amused uncertainty, but she parts her lips and I acquiesce, tipping the vanilla into her mouth. My erection hardens as I imagine her lips around me.

All in good time, Grey.

Gently, I ease the spoon from her mouth and scoop up more ice cream. She takes the second spoonful greedily. It’s a little runnier, as it’s beginning to melt from the warmth of my hand around the tub. Slowly, I feed her another spoonful.

“Hmm, well, this is one way to ensure you eat. Force-feed you. I could get used to this.”

She clamps her mouth shut when I offer her more and there’s a defiant gleam in her eye as she shakes her head. She’s had enough. I tip the spoon and oh-so-slowly the melted ice cream drips onto her throat and as I move the spoon the drips fall on her sternum. Her mouth opens.

Oh yes, baby.

Bending down, I lick her clean with my tongue.

“Mmm. Tastes even better off you, Miss Steele.”

She tries to flex her arms, pulling against her robe tie, but it holds, keeping her in place. The next spoonful I dribble artfully over her breasts and nipples, watching with fascination as each nipple hardens under the cold assault. With the back of the spoon I spread the vanilla over each pebbled peak and she squirms beneath me.

“Cold?” I ask, and, not waiting for an answer, I gorge myself, licking and lapping wherever there are rivulets of ice cream, sucking at her breasts, elongating her nipples further. She closes her eyes and groans.

“Want some?” I take a large mouthful, swallowing some, then kissing her, thrusting my tongue and ice cream into her waiting mouth.

Ben. And. Jerry’s. And. Ana.


I sit up and scoot back so I’m straddling her thighs and dribble melted ice cream off the spoon from the bottom of her sternum and down the center of her abdomen. I leave a large dollop of vanilla in her navel. Her eyes spring open in heated surprise.

“Now, you’ve done this before,” I warn. “You’re going to have to stay still, or there will be ice cream all over the bed.” I pop a large spoonful of vanilla into my mouth and return to her breasts, sucking each of her nipples in turn with my cool lips and tongue. I crawl down her body, following the melted ice cream, lapping it up. She writhes beneath me, her hips pulsing in a familiar rhythm.

Oh, baby, if you kept still you’d feel so much more.

I devour what’s left of the ice cream in her navel using my tongue.

She’s sticky. But not everywhere.


I kneel between her thighs and trail another spoonful of ice cream down her belly and into her pubic hair, to my ultimate goal. I dribble the remaining vanilla onto her swollen clitoris. She cries out and tenses her legs.

“Hush now.” Leaning down, I slowly lick and suck her clean.

“Oh. Please. Christian.”

“I know, baby, I know,” I whisper against her sensitive skin but continue my lascivious invasion. Her legs tense again. She’s close.

Abandoning the tub of vanilla so that it falls to the floor, I ease one finger inside her, then another, enjoying how wet, warm, and welcoming her body feels, and concentrate on her sweet, sweet spot, caressing her, feeling her, knowing that she’s nearly there. Her climax imminent.

“Just here,” I murmur, as my fingers slowly pump in and out of her.

She lets out a strangled cry as her body convulses around my fingers.


I withdraw my hand and reach over for the foil packet. And even though I hate these things, it takes only a second to put on. I hover over her while she’s still in the throes of her orgasm and thrust into her. “Oh yes!” I moan.

She’s heaven.

My heaven.

But she’s sticky. All over. My skin is sticking to hers and it’s disconcerting. I withdraw and flip her onto her elbows and knees. “This way,” I mutter, and reach forward to undo the sash, freeing her hands. When she’s free I pull her up so she’s sitting astride me: her back to my front. I palm her breasts and tug on her nipples as she groans and tilts her head back so that it’s resting on my shoulder. I nuzzle her neck and begin flexing my hips, driving deeper inside her. She smells of apples and vanilla and Ana.

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