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Page 47

“By Mrs. Robinson?”

“Mrs. Robinson?” I laugh out loud. Anne Bancroft in The Graduate. “I’ll tell her you said that; she’ll love it.”

“You still talk to her regularly?” Her voice is high-pitched with shock and indignation.

“Yes.” Why’s that such a big deal?

“I see.” Now her voice is clipped. She’s mad? Why? I don’t understand. “So you have someone you can discuss your alternative lifestyle with, but I’m not allowed.” Her tone is petulant, but once again she’s calling me out on my shit.

“I don’t think I’ve ever thought about it like that. Mrs. Robinson is part of that lifestyle. I told you, she’s a good friend now. If you’d like, I can introduce you to one of my former subs. You could talk to her.”

“Is this your idea of a joke?” she demands.

“No, Anastasia.” I’m surprised by her vehemence and shake my head to reinforce my denial. It’s perfectly normal for a submissive to check with exes that their new Dominant knows what he’s doing.

“No—I’ll do this on my own, thank you very much,” she insists, and reaches for her comforter and quilt, pulling them up to her chin.

What? She’s upset?

“Anastasia, I…I didn’t mean to offend you.”

“I’m not offended. I’m appalled.”

“Appalled?”

“I don’t want to talk to one of your ex-girlfriends, slave, sub, whatever you call them.”

Oh.

“Anastasia Steele, are you jealous?” I sound bewildered…because I am. She flushes beet red, and I know I’ve found the root of her problem. How the hell can she be jealous?

Sweetheart, I had a life before you.

A very active life.

“Are you staying?” she snaps.

What? Of course not. “I have a breakfast meeting tomorrow at The Heathman. Besides, I told you, I don’t sleep with girlfriends, slaves, subs, or anyone. Friday and Saturday were exceptions. It won’t happen again.”

She presses her lips together with her stubborn expression. “Well, I’m tired now,” she says.

Fuck.

“Are you kicking me out?”

This is not how this is supposed to go.

“Yes.”

What the hell?

Disarmed again, by Miss Steele. “Well, that’s another first,” I mutter.

Kicked out. I can’t believe it.

“So nothing you want to discuss now? About the contract?” I ask, as an excuse to prolong my stay.

“No,” she grunts. Her petulance is irritating, and were she truly mine, it would not be tolerated.

“God, I’d like to give you a good hiding. You’d feel a lot better, and so would I,” I tell her.

“You can’t say things like that. I haven’t signed anything yet.” Her eyes flash with defiance.

Oh, baby, I can say it. I just can’t do it. Not until you let me. “A man can dream, Anastasia. Wednesday?” I still want this. Why, though, I don’t know; she’s so difficult. I give her a brief kiss.

“Wednesday,” she agrees, and I’m relieved once again. “I’ll see you out,” she adds, her tone softer. “If you give me a minute.” She pushes me off the bed and pulls on her T-shirt. “Please pass me my sweatpants,” she orders, pointing to them.

Wow. Miss Steele can be a bossy little thing.

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