a vintage ebook edition - ?· fifty shades of grey, fifty shades darker, and fifty shades freed...
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I am indebted to thefollowing people fortheirhelpandsupport:Tomyhusband,Niall,
thank you for toleratingmy obsession, being adomesticgod,anddoingthefirstedit.
To my boss, Lisa,thankyouforputtingupwith me over the lastyear or so while Iindulged in thismadness.To CCL, Ill never
babes, thank you foryour friendship andconstantsupport.To SR, thank you for
all the helpful advice
from the start and forgoingfirst.To Sue Malone,
thanks for sorting meout.ToAmandaandallat
TWCS, thank you fortakingapunt
I scowl with frustration atmyself in the mirror. Damnmy hairit just wontbehave, and damn KatherineKavanagh for being ill andsubjectingmetothisordeal.Ishould be studying for myfinal exams, which are next
week,yethereIamtryingtobrush my hair intosubmission. I must not sleepwith it wet. I must not sleepwith it wet. Reciting thismantra several times, Iattempt, once more, to bringit under control with thebrush. I roll my eyes inexasperation and gaze at thepale, brown-haired girl withblueeyestoobigforherfacestaring back at me, and giveup. My only option is to
restrainmywaywardhairinaponytail andhope that I looksemi-presentable.Kate ismy roommate, and
she has chosen today of alldays to succumb to the flu.Therefore, she cannot attendthe interview shed arrangedto do, with some mega-industrialisttycoonIveneverheard of, for the studentnewspaper. So I have beenvolunteered. I have finalexams to cram for and one
essay to finish, and Imsupposed to be working thisafternoon, but notoday Ihave to drive 165 miles todowntownSeattle inorder tomeet the enigmatic CEO ofGrey Enterprises Holdings,Inc. As an exceptionalentrepreneur and majorbenefactor of our university,his time is extraordinarilypreciousmuch moreprecious than minebut hehas granted Kate an
interview. A real coup, shetells me. Damn herextracurricularactivities.Kate is huddled on the
nine months to get thisinterview.Itwilltakeanothersix to reschedule, and wellbothhavegraduatedby then.As the editor, I cant blowthis off. Please, Kate begsmeinherrasping,sorethroatvoice. How does she do it?
Evenillshelooksgamineandgorgeous, strawberry blondhair in place and green eyesbright, although now redrimmed and runny. I ignoremy pang of unwelcomesympathy.Of course Ill go, Kate.
You should get back to bed.WouldyoulikesomeNyQuilorTylenol?NyQuil, please. Here are
the questions and my digitalrecorder. Just press record
here. Make notes, Illtranscribeitall.I know nothing about
him, I murmur, trying andfailing to suppress my risingpanic.The questions will see
you through. Go. Its a longdrive. Idontwantyou tobelate.Okay, Im going. Get
backtobed.Imadeyousomesouptoheatuplater.Istareat her fondly. Only for you,
Kate,wouldIdothis.I will. Good luck. And
thanks,Anaasusual,youremylifesaver.Gathering my backpack, I
smilewrylyather, thenheadout the door to the car. IcannotbelieveIhaveletKatetalk me into this. But thenKate can talk anyone intoanything. Shell make anexceptional journalist. Shesarticulate, strong, persuasive,argumentative, beautiful
THEROADSARECLEARasIsetoff from Vancouver,Washington,towardInterstate5.Itsearly,andIdonthavetobe inSeattleuntil two thisafternoon. Fortunately, Katehas lent me her sportyMercedesCLK. Im not sureWanda, my old VW Beetle,would make the journey intime. Oh, the Merc is a fun
drive,andthemilesslipawayasIhitthepedaltothemetal.My destination is the
headquarters of Mr. Greysglobal enterprise. Its a hugetwenty-story office building,all curved glass and steel, anarchitects utilitarian fantasy,with GREY HOUSE writtendiscreetly in steel over theglass front doors. Its aquarter to twowhen I arrive,greatly relieved that Im notlate as I walk into the
enormousand franklyintimidatingglass, steel,andwhitesandstonelobby.Behind the solid sandstone
desk, a very attractive,groomed, blonde youngwoman smiles pleasantly atme. Shes wearing thesharpest charcoal suit jacketand white shirt I have everseen.Shelooksimmaculate.ImheretoseeMr.Grey.
Anastasia Steele forKatherineKavanagh.
Excuse me one moment,Miss Steele. She arches hereyebrow as I stand self-consciously before her. Imbeginning to wish Idborrowed one of Katesformal blazers rather thanworn my navy-blue jacket. Ihavemadeaneffortandwornmy one and only skirt, mysensible brown knee-lengthboots,andabluesweater.Forme, this is smart. I tuck oneof theescaped tendrilsofmy
hair behind my ear as Ipretendshedoesntintimidateme.Miss Kavanagh is
expected.Pleasesigninhere,Miss Steele. Youll want thelast elevator on the right,pressforthetwentiethfloor.She smiles kindly at me,amusednodoubt,asIsignin.She hands me a security
pass that has visitor veryfirmlystampedonthefront.Icant help my smirk. Surely
its obvious that Im justvisiting. I dont fit in here atall. Nothing changes. Iinwardly sigh. Thanking her,I walk over to the bank ofelevators and past the twosecuritymenwhoarebothfarmore smartly dressed than Iam in their well-cut blacksuits.The elevatorwhisksme at
terminal velocity to thetwentieth floor. The doorsslideopen,andIminanother
large lobbyagain all glass,steel, and white sandstone.Im confronted by anotherdeskofsandstoneandanotheryoung blonde woman, thistime dressed impeccably inblackandwhite,whorisestogreetme.Miss Steele, could you
waithere,please?Shepointsto a seated area of whiteleatherchairs.Behindtheleatherchairsis
a spacious glass-walled
meetingroomwithanequallyspaciousdarkwoodtableandat least twenty matchingchairsaroundit.Beyondthat,there is a floor-to-ceilingwindow with a view of theSeattle skyline that looks outthrough the city toward theSound. Its a stunning vista,and Im momentarilyparalyzedbytheview.Wow.I sit down, fish the
questionsfrommybackpack,and go through them,
inwardlycursingKatefornotproviding me with a briefbiography. I know nothingabout this man Im about tointerview.Hecouldbeninetyor he could be thirty. Theuncertaintyisgalling,andmynerves resurface, making mefidget. Ive never beencomfortable with one-on-oneinterviews, preferring theanonymity of a groupdiscussion where I can sitinconspicuously at the back
of the room. To be honest, Iprefer my own company,reading a classic Britishnovel,curledup inachair inthe campus library. Notsitting twitchingnervously ina colossal glass-and-stoneedifice.I roll my eyes at myself.
Get a grip, Steele. Judgingfrom the bu