Fifty Shades of Grey
Author:E.L. James

"We run an excellent internship program here," he says quietly. I raise my eyebrows in surprise. Is he offering me a job?

"Oh. I'll bear that in mind," I murmur, completely confounded. "Though I'm not sure I'd fit in here." Oh no. I'm musing out loud again.

"Why do you say that?" He cocks his head to one side, intrigued, a hint of a smile playing on his lips.

"It's obvious, isn't it?" I'm uncoordinated, scruffy, and I'm not blonde.

"Not to me," he murmurs. His gaze is intense, all humor gone, and strange muscles deep in my belly clench suddenly. I tear my eyes away from his scrutiny and stare blindly down at my knotted fingers. What's going on I have to go - now. I lean forward to retrieve the recorder.

"Would you like me to show you around?" he asks.

"I'm sure you're far too busy, Mr. Grey, and I do have a long drive."

"You're driving back to WSU in Vancouver?" He sounds surprised, anxious even. He glances out of the window. It's begun to rain. "Well, you'd better drive carefully." His tone is stern, authoritative. Why should he care"Did you get everything you need?" he adds.

"Yes sir," I reply, packing the recorder into my satchel. His eyes narrow, speculatively.

"Thank you for the interview, Mr. Grey."

"The pleasure's been all mine," he says, polite as ever.

As I rise, he stands and holds out his hand.

"Until we meet again, Miss Steele." And it sounds like a challenge, or a threat, I'm not sure which. I frown. When will we ever meet againI shake his hand once more, astounded that that odd current between us is still there. It must be my nerves.

"Mr. Grey." I nod at him. Moving with lithe athletic grace to the door, he opens it wide.

"Just ensuring you make it through the door, Miss Steele." He gives me a small smile.

Obviously, he's referring to my earlier less-than-elegant entry into his office. I flush.

"That's very considerate, Mr. Grey," I snap, and his smile widens. I'm glad you find me entertaining, I glower inwardly, walking into the foyer. I'm surprised when he follows me out. Andrea and Olivia both look up, equally surprised.

"Did you have a coat?" Grey asks.

"Yes." Olivia leaps up and retrieves my jacket, which Grey takes from her before she can hand it to me. He holds it up and, feeling ridiculously self-conscious, I shrug it on.

Grey places his hands for a moment on my shoulders. I gasp at the contact. If he notices my reaction, he gives nothing away. His long index finger presses the button summoning the elevator, and we stand waiting - awkwardly on my part, coolly self-possessed on his.

The doors open, and I hurry in desperate to escape. I really need to get out of here. When I turn to look at him, he's leaning against the doorway beside the elevator with one hand on the wall. He really is very, very good-looking. It's distracting. His burning gray eyes gaze at me.

"Anastasia," he says as a farewell.

"Christian," I reply. And mercifully, the doors close.

My heart is pounding. The elevator arrives on the first floor, and I scramble out as soon as the doors slide open, stumbling once, but fortunately not sprawling on to the immaculate sandstone floor. I race for the wide glass doors, and I'm free in the bracing, cleansing, damp air of Seattle. Raising my face, I welcome the cool refreshing rain. I close my eyes and take a deep, purifying breath, trying to recover what's left of my equilibrium.

No man has ever affected me the way Christian Grey has, and I cannot fathom why.

Is it his looksHis civilityWealthPowerI don't understand my irrational reaction.