Darker (Fifty Shades 5) - Page 54

Man, that was good.

I’m spent.

After all the teasing and the anticipation during that meal…this was inevitable. I kiss her shoulder and pull out of her and remove the condom, tossing it into the wastebasket by the bed. That will give my mother’s housekeeper something to think about.

Ana’s still in her mask, panting, smiling. She looks satiated. I kneel over her, resting my forehead on her back as we both find our equilibrium.

“Mmm,” I murmur in satisfaction, and plant a kiss on her flawless back. “I believe you owe me a dance, Miss Steele.”

She hums a contented response from somewhere deep in her throat. I sit back and pull her onto my lap.

“We don’t have long. Come on.” I kiss her hair. She moves off my lap and sits on the bed, beginning to dress as I do up my shirt and redo my bow tie.

Ana gets up and walks over to where I’ve placed her dress. Wearing only her mask, corset and shoes, she embodies sensuality. I knew she was a goddess, but this…She’s beyond all my expectations.

I love her.

I turn away, feeling suddenly vulnerable, and straighten the comforter on my bed.

The uneasy feeling ebbs like a receding tide as I finish and see Ana examining the photographs on my bulletin board. There are many—from all over the world. My parents were fond of a foreign vacation.

“Who’s this?” Ana asks, pointing to an old black-and-white photograph of the crack whore.

“No one of consequence.” I slip on my jacket and straighten my mask. I’d forgotten about that picture. Carrick gave it to me when I was sixteen. I’d tried several times to throw it away, but I could never quite bring myself to dispose of it.

“Son, I have something for you.”

“What?” I’m in Carrick’s study, expecting a dressing down. But for what I don’t know. I hope he hasn’t found out about Mrs. Lincoln.

“You seem calmer, more collected, more yourself these days.”

I nod, hoping that my expression gives nothing away.

“I was going through some old files and I found this.” He hands me a black-and-white photograph of a sad young woman. It’s like a gut punch.

The crack whore.

He studies my reaction. “We were given this at the time of the adoption.”

“Oh,” I manage to say through my closing throat.

“I thought you might want to see it. Do you recognize her?”

“Yes.” I squeeze the word out.

He nods, and I know he has something else to say.

What more does he have?

“I don’t have any information on your biological father. By all accounts he wasn’t part of your mother’s life in any way.”

He’s trying to tell me something…It wasn’t her fucking pimp?

Please tell me it wasn’t him.

“If you want to know anything else…I’m here.”

“That man?” I whisper.

“No. Nothing to do with you,” my dad says, to reassure me.

I close my eyes.

Thank fuck. Thank fuck. Thank fuck.

“Is that all, Dad? Can I go?”

“Of course.” Dad looks troubled, but he nods.

Clutching the photo, I leave his office. And I run. Run. Run. Run…

The crack whore was a sad and pathetic creature. She looks every bit the victim in this old black-and-white. I think it’s a police mug shot but with the numbers cut off. I wonder if things would have ended up differently for her if my parents’ charity had existed then. I shake my head. I don’t want to talk about her with Ana. “Shall I zip you up?” I ask, to change the subject.

“Please,” Ana says, and turns her back to me so I can zip up her dress. “Then why is she on your bulletin board?”

Anastasia Steele, you have an answer and a question for everything.

“An oversight on my part. How’s my tie?”

She examines my tie and her eyes soften. She reaches up and straightens it, pulling on both ends. “Now it’s perfect,” she says.

“Like you.” I fold her in my arms and kiss her. “Feeling better?”

“Much, thank you, Mr. Grey.”

“The pleasure was all mine, Miss Steele.”

I’m feeling grateful. Content.

I hold out my hand and she takes it with a shy but satisfied grin. I unlock the door and we head downstairs and back out to the gardens. I don’t know at which point our security joins us, but they follow us onto the terrace through the sitting room’s French doors. A few smokers are gathered there, puffing away, and they watch us with interest, but I ignore them and lead Ana toward the dance floor.

The MC announces, “And now, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for the first dance. Mr. and Dr. Grey, are you ready?” Carrick nods, my mother in his arms. “Ladies and gentlemen of the First Dance Auction, are you ready?” I circle Ana’s waist and peer down at her, and she grins.

“Then we shall begin,” the MC declares with gusto. “Take it away, Sam!” The band leader bounds across the stage, turns to the band and snaps his fingers, and the band begins a cheesy version of “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” I pull Ana close as we start to dance and she falls easily into step with me. She’s captivating as I twirl her around the dance floor, and we grin at each other like the lovesick fools we are…

Tags: E.L. James Fifty Shades Billionaire Romance
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