Read Darker Online

Authors: E L James

Darker (29 page)

A few moments later, she says, “I was just getting my clothes ready for work tomorrow.”

“Work?” I release her.

“Yes, work,” she says, confused.

“But Leila, she’s out there.” Doesn’t she get the risk? “I don’t want you to go to work.”

“That’s ridiculous, Christian. I have to go to work.”

“No, you don’t.”

“I have a new job, which I enjoy. Of course I have to go to work.”

“No, you don’t.”
I can look after you.

“Do you think I am going to stay here twiddling my thumbs while you’re off being master of the universe?”

“Frankly, yes,” I respond.

Ana closes her eyes and rubs her forehead as if she’s calling on all her inner strength. She doesn’t understand. “Christian, I need to go to work,” she says.

“No, you don’t.”

“Yes. I. Do.” Her tone is forthright and determined.

“It’s not safe.”
Suppose something happens to you?

“Christian, I need to work for a living, and I’ll be fine.”

“No, you don’t need to work for a living, and how do you know you’ll be fine?”

Fuck.
This is why I like having submissives. This would not be an argument if she’d signed the fucking contract.

“For heaven’s sake, Christian, Leila was standing at the end of your bed, and she didn’t harm me, and yes, I do need to work. I don’t want to be beholden to you. I have my student loans to pay.” She places her hands on her hips.

“I don’t want you going to work.”

“It’s not up to you, Christian. This is not your decision to make.”

Fuck.

She’s made up her mind.

And of course she’s right.

I run my hand through my hair, trying to hold on to my temper, and eventually I have an idea. “Sawyer will come with you.”

“Christian, that’s not necessary. You’re being irrational.”

“Irrational?” I snap. “Either he comes with you or I will be really irrational and keep you here.”

“How, exactly?”

“Oh, I’d find a way, Anastasia. Don’t push me.” I’m about to explode.

“Okay!” she shouts, holding up both her hands. “Okay, Sawyer can come with me if it makes you feel better.”

I want to kiss her or spank her or fuck her. I step forward and she immediately takes a step back, watching me.

Grey! You’re frightening the poor girl.

I take a deep cleansing breath and offer Ana a tour of my apartment. If she’s going to stay, she should really get to know this place.

She gives me an uncertain look, as if I’ve caught her off guard. But she agrees and takes my outstretched hand. I give her hand a squeeze.

“I didn’t mean to frighten you,” I offer as an apology.

“You didn’t. I was just getting ready to run,” she says.

“Run?”

You’ve pushed her too far again, Grey.

“I’m joking!” she cries.

That’s not funny, Ana.

I sigh and lead her through the apartment. I show her the spare room next to mine, then take her upstairs to the additional spare rooms, the gym, and the staff quarters.

“Are you sure you don’t want to go in here?” she asks coyly, as we walk past the playroom door.

“I don’t have the key.” I’m still smarting from our argument. I hate arguing with her. But as usual, she’s calling me out on my shit.

But what if something happens to her?

It will be my fault.

All I can do is hope Sawyer will protect her.

Downstairs, I show her the TV room.

“So you
do
have an Xbox.” She laughs. I love her laugh. It immediately makes me feel better.

“Yes, but I’m crap at it. Elliot always beats me. That was funny, when you thought I meant this room was my playroom.”

“I’m glad you find me amusing, Mr. Grey,” she says.

“That you are, Miss Steele, when you’re not being exasperating, of course.”

“I’m usually exasperating when you’re being unreasonable.”

“Me? Unreasonable?”

“Yes, Mr. Grey. ‘Unreasonable’ could be your middle name.”

“I don’t have a middle name.”

“Unreasonable would suit, then.”

“I think that’s a matter of opinion, Miss Steele.”

“I would be interested in Dr. Flynn’s professional opinion.”

Lord, I love sparring with her.

“I thought Trevelyan was your middle name,” she asks.

“No. Surname. Trevelyan-Grey.”

“But you don’t use it.”

“It’s too long. Come.”

Next I take her to Taylor’s office. He stands when we enter. “Hi, Taylor. I’m just giving Anastasia a tour.” He nods at both of us. Ana looks around, surprised, I think, by the size of the room and the bank of CCTV monitors. We move on. “And, of course, you’ve been in here.” I open the door to the library, where Ana spies the billiards table.

“Shall we play?” she challenges.

Miss Steele is up for a game. “Okay. Have you played before?”

“A few times,” she says, avoiding eye contact.

She’s lying.

“You’re a hopeless liar, Anastasia. Either you’ve never played before or—”

“Frightened of a little competition?” she interrupts me.

“Frightened of a little girl like you?” I scoff.

“A wager, Mr. Grey.”

“You’re that confident, Miss Steele?” This is a new side to Ana I’ve not seen before.

Game on, Ana.

“What would you like to wager?”

“If I win, you’ll take me back into the playroom.”

Shit. She’s serious.

“And if I win?” I ask.

“Then it’s your choice.” She shrugs, trying to act nonchalant, but her eyes shine with mischief.

“Okay, deal.” How hard could this be? “Do you want to play pool, English snooker, or carom billiards?”

“Pool, please. I don’t know the others.”

I retrieve the pool balls from a cupboard under the bookshelves and rack them on the green baize. I choose a cue for Ana that should be right for her height. “Would you like to break?” I ask, as I hand her the chalk.

She is so going down.

Hmm. Maybe that could be my prize.

An image of her on her knees in front of me, hands bound, servicing my cock, comes to mind.
Yeah. That would work.

“Okay,” she says, her voice breathy and soft as she chalks her cue. She purses her lips, and while watching me through her lashes, she slowly, deliberately blows off the excess.

I feel it in my dick.

Damn.

She lines up the cue ball, then hits it with such force and mastery that it scatters the rack. The corner ball, the yellow striped number nine, dives into the top right pocket.

Oh, Anastasia Steele, you are so full of surprises.

“I choose stripes,” she says, and has the gall to give me a coy smile.

“Be my guest.” This is going to be fun.

She prowls around the table, seeking her next victim. I like this new Ana. Predatory. Competitive. Confident. Sexy as hell. She leans over the table, stretching out her arm, so that her blouse rides up, showing a little skin between the hem and the top of her jeans. She hits the cue ball and the maroon stripe bites the dust. Circling the table again, she gives me a cursory glance before leaning over, stretching across the table again, ass in the air, as she pockets the purple.

Hmm. I may need to revise my plans.

She’s good.

She makes short work of the blue but misses the green.

“You know, Anastasia, I could stand here and watch you leaning and stretching across this billiard table all day,” I tell her.

She flushes.

Yes!

That’s the Ana I know.

I slip off my sweater and examine what’s left on the table.

Showtime, Grey.

I proceed to pocket as many solids as I can; I have some catching up to do. I sink three and line up to pocket the orange. I hit the cue ball and the orange hurtles into the bottom left pocket, followed by the white.

Shit.

“A very elementary mistake, Mr. Grey.”

“Ah, Miss Steele, I am but a foolish mortal. Your turn, I believe.” I wave my hand in the direction of the table.

“You’re not trying to lose, are you?” She cocks her head to one side.

“Oh no. For what I have in mind as the prize, I want to win, Anastasia. But then, I always want to win.”

Blow job on her knees or…

I could stop her from going to work. Hmm…A wager that could cost her her job. I don’t think that would be a popular choice.

She narrows her eyes, and I would pay good money to know what she’s thinking. At the top of the table she bends down to take a closer look at the lie of the balls. Her blouse gapes and I catch sight of her breasts.

She stands and there’s a little smile on her lips. She moves next to me and bends over, and shifts her ass first left, then right. She walks back to the top of the table and leans over again, showing me all she has to offer. As she bends over, she peeks up at me.

“I know what you’re doing,” I whisper.

And my cock approves, Ana.

Big-time.

I adjust my stance to accommodate my growing erection.

She straightens up and tilts her head to one side while running her hand up and down the cue, slowly. “Oh. I am just deciding where to take my next shot.”

Fuck.
She’s a temptress.

She leans over, taps the orange stripe with the cue ball so it aligns with the pocket, then takes the rest from under the table and lines up the shot. As she takes aim at the white, I can see the swell of her breasts down her blouse. I inhale, sharply.

She misses.

Good.

I stroll around to stand behind her while she’s still bent over the table, and place my hand on her behind. “Are you waving this around to taunt me, Miss Steele?” I smack her hard.

Because she deserves it.

She gasps.

“Yes,” she whispers.

Oh, Ana.
“Be careful what you wish for, baby.”

I aim the cue ball at the red, and it sinks into the left top pocket. Then I try for the top right with the yellow. I hit the cue ball gently. It kisses the yellow, but the ball stops just short of its destination.

Shit. Miss.

Ana grins at me. “Red Room, here we come,” she crows.

I like your kinky fuckery.

She really does.

It’s confusing. I signal to her to continue, knowing that I don’t want to take her to the playroom. The last time we were there, she left me.

She pockets the green stripe. She gives me a triumphant smile and sinks the orange.

“Name your pocket,” I mutter.

“Top left-hand,” she says as she wiggles her ass in front of me. She takes the shot and the black skirts wide of its target.

Oh, joy.

Quickly I dispatch the remaining two solids, and now I’m left with the black. I chalk my cue, gazing at Ana. “If I win, I am going to spank you, then fuck you over this billiard table.”

Her lips part.

Yes.
She’s excited by the idea. That’s what she’s been asking me for all day. She thinks I’ve lost my edge?

Well, we’ll see.

“Top right,” I announce, and bend to take the shot. My cue taps the white and it sails up the table and pecks the black, which rolls toward the top-right pocket. It balances on the edge for a moment, and I stop breathing until it drops with a satisfying clunk into its goal.

Yes!

Anastasia Steele, you are mine.

I swagger over to where she stands with her mouth open, looking a little crestfallen. “You’re not going to be a sore loser, are you?” I ask.

“Depends how hard you spank me,” she murmurs. Taking the cue from her, I place it on the table, hook my finger into the top of her blouse, and tug so she steps toward me.

“Well, let’s count your misdemeanors, Miss Steele.” Holding up my fingers, I number her misdeeds. “One, making me jealous of my own staff.” Her eyes widen. “Two, arguing with me about working. And three, waving your delectable derrière at me for the last twenty minutes.”

Leaning down, I rub my nose against hers. “I want you to take your jeans and this very fetching shirt off. Now.” I kiss her gently on her lips, stroll over to the library door, and lock it.

When I turn, she’s frozen to the spot. “Clothes, Anastasia. You appear to still be wearing them. Take them off, or I will do it for you.”

“You do it,” she breathes, and her voice is as soft as a summer breeze.

“Oh, Miss Steele. It’s a dirty job, but I think I can rise to the challenge.”

“You normally rise to most challenges, Mr. Grey.” She bites her lip.

Innuendo from Ana.

“Why, Miss Steele, whatever do you mean?” On the library desk I spy a Perspex ruler.

Perfect.

All day long she’s been making not-so-veiled remarks about missing this side of me. Let’s see how she fares with this. I hold it up so she can see it and flex it between my hands, then slip it into my back pocket and stroll over to her.

Shoes off, I think.

I drop to my knees and undo both her Chucks, removing them and her socks. I undo the top button of her jeans and pull down her zipper. I look up at her as I slowly tug them off. Her eyes don’t leave mine. She steps out of her pants, and she’s wearing her white thong.

That thong.

I’m a fan.

So is my cock…

I grab the back of her thighs and run my nose up the front of her panties. “I want to be quite rough with you, Ana. You’ll have to tell me to stop if it’s too much,” I whisper, and through the lace plant a kiss on her clitoris.

She moans.

“Safe word?” she says.

“No, no safe word, just tell me to stop and I’ll stop. Understand?” I kiss her again and swirl my nose around the potent little bud at the apex of her thighs. I stand before I get carried away. “Answer me.”

“Yes, yes, I understand.”

“You’ve been dropping hints and giving me mixed signals, Anastasia. You said you were worried I’d lost my edge. I’m not sure what you meant by that, and I don’t know how serious you were, but we are going to find out. I don’t want to go back into the playroom yet, so we can try this now, but if you don’t like it, you must promise to tell me.”

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