Darker (Fifty Shades 5) - Page 25

“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.

Tags: E.L. James Fifty Shades Billionaire Romance
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