of the world, and I know next to nothing!" My voice rises, growing louder and higher, as I complete my tirade.
"You're also the most well-read person I know," he counters earnestly. "You love a good book. You couldn't leave your job while we were on our honeymoon. You read how many manuscripts? Four?"
"Five," I whisper.
"And you wrote full reports on all of them. You're a very bright woman, Anastasia. I'm sure you'll manage."
"Are you crazy?"
"Crazy for you," he whispers.
What? And I snort because it's the only expression my body can make. He narrows his eyes.
"You'll be a laughing stock. Buying a company for the little woman, who has only had a full time job for a few months of her adult life."
"Do you think I give a fuck what people think? Besides, you won't be on your own."
I gape at him. He really has lost his marbles this time. "Christian, I . . ." I put my head in my hands - my emotions have been through a wringer. What is he thinking? And from somewhere dark and deep inside I have the sudden, inappropriate need to laugh. When I look up at him again, his eyes widen.
"Something amusing you, Miss Steele?"
His eyes widen further, shocked but also amused. "Laughing at your husband? That will never do. And you're biting your lip." His eyes darken . . . in that way. Oh no - I know that look. Sultry, seductive, salacious . . . No, no, no! Not here.
"Don't even think about it," I warn, alarm clear in my voice.
"Think about what, Anastasia?"
"I know that look. We're at work."
He leans forward, his eyes glued to mine, molten gray and hungry. Holy shit! I swallow instinctively. "We're in a small, reasonably soundproofed office with a lockable door."
"Gross moral turpitude." I enunciate each word carefully.
"Not with your husband."
"With my boss's boss's boss," I hiss.
"You're my wife."
"Christian, no. I mean it. You can fuck me seven shades of Sunday this evening. But not now. Not here!"
He blinks and narrows his eyes once more. Then unexpectedly he laughs.
"Seven shades of Sunday?" He arches an eyebrow, intrigued. "I may hold you to that, Ms. Steele."
"Oh, stop with the Ms. Steele!" I snap and thump the desk, startling us both. "For heaven's sake, Christian. If it means so much to you, I'll change my name!"
His mouth pops open as he inhales sharply. And then he grins, a radiant, all-teeth-showing, joyous grin. Wow . . .
"Good." He claps his hands, and all of a sudden he stands. What now?
"Mission accomplished. Now, I have work to do. If you'll excuse me, Mrs. Grey."
What? Gah - this man is so maddening! "But - "
"But what, Mrs. Grey?"
I sag. "Just go."
"I intend to. I'll see you this evening. I'm looking forward to seven shades of Sunday."
"Oh, and I have a stack of business-related social engagements coming up, and I'd like you to accompany me."
I gape at him. Will you just go?
"I'll have Andrea call Hannah to put the dates in your calendar. There are some people you need to meet. You should get Hannah to handle your schedule from now on."
"Okay," I mumble, completely bemused, bewildered and shellshocked. He leans over my desk. What now? I am caught in his hypnotic gaze.
"Love doing business with you, Mrs. Grey." He leans in closer as I sit paralyzed, and he plants a soft tender kiss on my lips. "Laters, baby," he murmurs. He stands abruptly, winks at me, and leaves. I lay my head on my desk, feeling like I've been run over by a freight train - the freight train that is my beloved husband. He has to be the most frustrating, annoying, contrary man on the planet. I sit up and frantically rub my eyes. What have I just agreed to? Okay, Ana Grey running SIP - I mean, Grey Publishing. The man is insane. There's a knock on the door, and Hannah pokes her head around.
"You okay?" she asks.
I just stare at her. She frowns.
"I know you don't like me doing this - but can I make you some tea?"
"Twinings English Breakfast, weak and black?"
"Coming right up, Ana."
I stare blankly at my computer screen, still in shock. How can I make him understand? E-mail!
From: Anastasia Steele
Subject: NOT AN ASSET!
Date: August 22, 2011 14:23
To: Christian Grey
Next time you come and see me, make an appointment, so I can at least have some prior warning of your adolescent overbearing megalomania.