I sense his smile against my belly as his journey continues north. We have until we touch down on the Emerald Isle.
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Gazing up at me, his eyes are dark like a tropical storm as he teases me. Oh my He runs his nose down mine, and I run my hands down his strong, supple back to his fine, fine backside.
We aim to please. I want to see you. What have I done? Chapter Two I am suddenly very awake, my erotic dream forgotten. I must have turned over in my sleep. His eyes blaze with fury. He reaches down, scoops up my bikini top from his sun lounger and tosses it at me. Why do I keep forgetting about them? I grasp my breasts in panic, hiding them.
Do you want to be all over the cover of Star magazine? Naked this time? The paparazzi!
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As I hurriedly scramble into my top, all thumbs, the color drains from my face. I shudder. The unpleasant memory of being be- sieged by the paparazzi outside SIP after our engagement was leaked comes un- welcome to mind — all part of the Christian Grey package. He pulls on his shorts, even though his trunks are dripping wet, then his gray T-shirt.
The waitress is back in a moment with his credit card and the check. Reluctantly, I wriggle into my turquoise sundress and step into my flip-flops. Once the waitress has left, Christian snatches up his book and BlackBerry and masks his fury behind mirrored aviator glasses.
My heart sinks. In fact I look odd with my top on. I sigh inwardly, my spirits sinking. I thought Christian would see the funny side. Weirdly, they are identical twins. They have been patiently watching us and everyone else on the beach from the verandah.
Taylor is stony-faced behind his dark glasses. Taylor and his team shadow us. I have no idea of the time. I think it must be about five or six in the afternoon. When we reach the marina, Christian leads me onto the dock where the motorboat and Jet Ski belonging to the Fair Lady are moored.
I glance nervously up at him, but like Christian, his expression gives nothing away. Why am I the only one who has to wear a life jacket? Christian and Taylor exchange some kind of look.
Jeez, is he angry with Taylor, too? Christian then checks the straps on my life jacket, cinching the middle one tightly. He climbs gracefully on to the Jet Ski and holds out his hand for me to join him. Grasping it tightly, I manage to throw my leg over the seat behind him without falling into the water while Taylor and the twins clamber into the motor- boat.
Christian kicks the Jet Ski away from the dock, and it floats gently into the marina. This is my favorite part of traveling by Jet Ski. I hug him closely, my nose nuzzling into his back, mar- veling that there was a time when he would not have tolerated me touching him this way. He smells good Forgive me, Christian, please? He stiffens. I kiss his back and rest my cheek against him, looking back toward the dock where a few holidaymakers have gathered to watch the show.
Christian turns the key and the motor roars to life. With one twist of the ac- celerator, the Jet Ski bucks forward and speeds across the cool dark water, through the marina and out to the center of the harbor toward the Fair Lady. I hold him tighter. Christian glances at him then accel- erates again, and we shoot forward, whipping over the top of the water like an ex- pertly tossed pebble.
Taylor shakes his head in resigned exasperation and heads straight to the yacht, while Christian shoots past the Fair Lady and heads out to- ward the open water. The sea spray is splashing us, the warm wind buffeting my face and flaying my ponytail crazily around me. This is so much fun. He steers in a huge semicircle and I study the shoreline — the boats in the marina, the mosaic of yellow, white and sand-colored offices and apartments, and the craggy mountains behind.
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It looks so disorganized — not the regimented blocks that I am used to — but so picturesque. I nod enthusiastically. His answering grin is dazzling, and he opens the throttle and speeds around the Fair Lady and on out to sea once more. I anxiously try to assess his mood. We are on deck aboard the yacht, and one of the stewards is standing quietly nearby, waiting for my life vest. Christian passes it to him. I love his French accent. Christian glances at me, takes off his shades, and slips them into the collar of his T-shirt, letting them hang.
Oh, what is he thinking?
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He leans forward and kisses my forehead. You should know that by now.
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What was I thinking? I mentally castigate myself. The steward appears with our drinks and snacks and places them on the teak table. Christian takes a seat beside me and passes me a gin and tonic. I deploy my patented dis- traction technique. Sir Somebody-or-Other.
His great-grandfather started a grocery store. I blink rapidly All mine? I gaze out at the sea, tuning out his conversation with Ros — I think — his number two. I am rich. I have done nothing to earn this money. I shudder as my mind drifts back to our con- versation about prenups. It was the Sunday after his birthday, and we were seated at the kitchen table enjoying a leisurely breakfast Elliot, Kate, Grace, and I were debating the merits of bacon versus sausage, while Carrick and Christi- an read the Sunday paper.
Then her mouth purses as some obviously unpleasant thought crosses her mind. Christian frowns. Mia reads the column out loud. But who is the lucky, lucky lady?