Fifty Shades of Grey Revisited Chapter Five: Panic! At The Kidnapper’s Hotel Room

I’m back.

*Checks watch* Oh wow, I completely lost track of time there; what has it been, about two years? Man, the last time I opened my copy of Grey I was still struggling to write two different romance sequels under under my old pen name, I hadn’t moved yet out of my ex’s place yet, and I was a dumbass who was still somehow convinced I wasn’t bi.

Lots of big changes since then and plenty of changes still ongoing, obviously. I don’t want to take up too much of the beginning of this post before jumping into the recap proper, so you can read more about what’s been up with me here, and I’ll also probably dedicate another post to updates soon. But long story short, I finally got around to doing some long-overdue housekeeping on this blog and decided once and for all that yeah, maybe I will give these Fifty Shades Revisited recaps another shot. Honestly, after I officially decided to quit romance writing and my life changed in several big ways around the same time I doubted I’d ever come back to these recaps again. I joked before that my plan to purge my unhealthy Fifty Shades obsession from my system worked a little too well, but that actually may not be too far off the mark since in all honesty I can say that I’ve moved on, and it feels pretty fucking good. Then again, I did also say that Fifty Shades was the swirling vortex of doom I could never seem to escape from as a romance writer, especially since it was one of my primary motivators to start writing romance in the first place… so perhaps in freeing myself from the self-imposed pressure of trying to be Siena Noble I also managed to break free of the hold that this cursed series had on me.

Why come back to it now, then? Eh, I don’t know, I guess I just missed doing these recaps a little? Every once in a while I’ve gotten the urge to come back to them, but I suppose it was a recent Twitter thread about billionaire romances (which I sadly can’t find now) that inspired me to want to start this up again in particular. Also, I guess I’m suffering some post-Succession withdrawal and I’m looking for some other horrible fictional rich person to be my emotional support billionaire. Also, I’ve admittedly been struggling hard lately with wanting to go back to my some of my old romance books–mainly possibly republishing High Risk and actually continuing the series–and I guess I’m hoping doing this will either give me inspiration or convince me that it’s a bad idea.

So, here I am, brushing off my dusty copy of Grey, taking out the McDonald’s gift card I’d been using as a bookmark, and staring blankly at my laptop as I realize–much to my chagrin–just how hard it is pick up where I left off a quarter of the way through of a chapter recap of two parallel books, neither of which I’ve so much as glanced at in over two years. And yet press on I shall, because apparently my self-love hasn’t improved as much as I thought it had in all that time…

Let’s fuckin’ go.

(Content Warning for stalking, kidnapping, discussions of sexual assault and rape. Also, quotes from FSOG are in purple and quotes from Grey are in green.)

Breaking from the established pattern of these recaps, let’s start out with a look at Grey, since this is the first time we get a few scenes from Christian’s POV that Ana is technically involved in but weren’t included in her POV in FSOG. Because–as you might recall–she’s currently passed out drunk. Or maybe it’s a semi-conscious blackout? It’s actually a little unclear:

“Fuck–” By some miracle I catch her as she passes out in the middle of the bar. I’m tempted to haul her over my shoulder, but we’d be too conspicuous, so I pick her up once more, cradling her against my chest, and take her outside to the car.


“Ana.” I give her a little shake, because she’s worryingly quiet. “Ana!”

She mumbles something incoherent and I know she’s still conscious.

So, which is it? Ok, I guess she could’ve briefly lost consciousness entirely before waking up again then drifting off to sleep, all while being too blackout inebriated to remember any of it. But this was one thing (you know, besides the entire rest of the book) that always irked me in the original; if Ana fainted dead away in his arms, then how did she make it all the way back to the hotel with him without attracting a fuck-ton of attention? I guess I’d always assumed that maybe she passed out for a moment, but after that was simply too blacked out to remember walking out of the bar/into the hotel with him.

Except no, actually, because Grey specifies that Christian carries the sleeping Ana in his arms from the hotel’s underground garage, into the elevator, and up to his suite. I’m going to go ahead and assume that no one got on the elevator with them and that they didn’t have to pass through the lobby on their way up, because man, can you imagine being the front desk clerk on duty? I’m sure it would set off more than a few alarm bells to see this supposedly-famous guest of yours who’d left alone–well, technically he was with Elliot, but still–about an hour ago returning with an unconscious woman in his arms.

And on the subject of his attempt to be less conspicuous I just have to say: lmao.

Oh, and his excuse for taking her to a secondary location, by the way?

I know I should take her home, but it’s a long drive to Vancouver, and I don’t know if she’ll be sick again. I don’t relish the idea of my Audi reeking of vomit. The smell emanating from her clothes is already noticeable.

At least he took my advice and bought himself some self-awareness. Because knowing that you’re doing something weird and creepy for your own benefit and not the other person’s is the same thing as not doing it at all, right? And what is hell he talking about, i.e., her clothes smelling like vomit? Last I read in both his and Ana’s POVs, she threw up on the ground and in a flowerbed. Sure, some of it could’ve splashed onto her clothes, but probably not enough for her to be “reeking” of it. And so fucking what if she gets sick in your car on the way home? It’s not like you can’t afford to rent–or even just straight-up buy–another one just to drive back to Seattle while you have the inside of this one cleaned.

Anyway, he dumps her onto his bed, takes off her shoes, socks, and jeans to be washed, and pauses for a moment to be creepy(er):

[…] for a moment I picture those legs wrapped around my waist as her wrists are bound to my Saint Andrew’s cross. There’s a fading bruise on her knee and I wonder if that’s from the fall she took in my office.

She’s been marked since then… like me.


One more touch is all I allow myself as I stroke her cheek with the back of my index finger.

Well, as long as he’s giving himself permission to touch her, then I guess that makes it all okay.

He orders up another background check, this time on José, since “I want to know if he preys on drunk young women.” Um… *side-eyes the drunk young woman currently passed out on his bed* Okay. He then emails Taylor, telling him to pick up new clothes for Ana by 10:00 the next morning and giving him her sizes. Interestingly, while he gives exact sizes for everything else, Christian has to estimate that her bra size is 34C. I don’t know why this annoys me, but like… we’re already into romanticized kidnapping and undressing territory, yet peeking at the tag on her bra is a bridge too far? Did he check the tag on her panties since he had an exact size for those?

Whatever. At least he has the sense to text Elliot to tell Kate that Ana is with him, though his brother’s response is… uh, questionable:

Will do.

Hope you get laid.

You soooo need it. 😉

The clock strikes twelve, which means it’s time for a new chapter in Grey. Because this is the worst example of the “there’s only one bed!” trope (I’m sorry, this giant hotel suite doesn’t have a fucking couch? He couldn’t get some blankets and sleep on the floor?), Christian climbs into bed with the still-unconscious and intoxicated Ana. But it’s all cool and romantic, guys, because watching her sleep apparently keeps his nightmares at bay! Aww, she’s fixing him already, and she doesn’t even know it.

He wakes up in the morning feeling oddly refreshed and aroused (blech) after his first night spent in bed next to a woman and decides to go for a run because: “I have to get out of here before I do something I’ll regret.” You mean before you do a rape? Because you’re implying that you have to leave the room before you take your brother’s alarming advice and start humping the unconscious woman you’ve just abducted. So, he leaves for his jog, but not before setting a glass of orange juice and two Advil on the nightstand for Ana when she wakes up. Hey, genius, you know not everyone can take the same types of painkillers, right? How do you know she wouldn’t have a severe allergic reaction to the ibuprofen in the Advil; was that in your stalker dossier, too? Also, you have no idea how soon she might wake up, so that orange juice could be nice and ass-warm by the time she drinks it for all you know. Just leave her some water, asshole.

Phew, now that Christian is gone, we can finally get into FSOG chapter five proper! Hoo-fuckin’-ray. Ana just woke up in her underwear:

It’s very quiet. The light is muted. I am comfortable and warm, in this bed. Hmm … I open my eyes, and for a moment I’m tranquil and serene, enjoying the strange, unfamiliar surroundings. I have no idea where I am. The headboard behind me is in the shape of a massive sun. It’s oddly familiar. […] My befuddled brain struggles through its recent visual memories. Holy crap. I’m in the Heathman Hotel … in a suite. […] Oh, shit. I’m in Christian Grey’s suite. How did I get here?

(By the way, if the ellipses (apart from the […] I use to indicate I cut something unnecessary) ever look weirdly spaced in quotes, it’s because that’s how they were formatted in the original book. I tend to copy/paste most long quotes from FSOG since I have the Kindle edition, but I have to type all quotes from Grey by hand since I own that one as a paperback, and when doing so I tend to just type ellipses the way I normally would, not the way ELJ did.)

Oh shit indeed, Ana. How is she not freaking the fuck out right now and immediately trying to find her clothes so she can escape ASAP? Sure, she thinks “holy crap” and “holy shit” a few times, but mostly she just “cringe(s) inwardly” with embarrassment at the memory of drunk-dialing Christian and then throwing up in front of him.

The drinking—oh no, the drinking—the phone call—oh no, the phone call—the vomiting—oh no, the vomiting. José and then Christian. Oh no.

See, I’m torn here, because the children’s picture book cadence of Ana’s recapping of the previous night’s events really makes me want to believe that this was intentionally funny, and I’m starting to worry that I’ve gotten over my virulent hatred of these books so well that now I’m giving E.L. James far more credit than she deserves…

No, no. I can’t go soft now, I have to stay firm and upright, like Christian Grey’s penis when he thinks about the kidnapped college student passed out in his bed.

OH, speaking of Christian Grey’s penis, I guess I haven’t mentioned yet that Christian’s dick pretty much is to his POV what Ana’s subconscious/Inner Goddess are to hers. It hasn’t come up much yet (heh, see what I did there), but Christian mentioning that “[his] cock agrees” earlier in this scene is–much to my vexation–far from the last time that we will see this man in conversation with his dick. Actually, I retract my vexation; this is probably the most hilarious development in Grey, since what ELJ has done by putting an italicized thought after almost every description of his cock twitching at or “concurring” with something Grey thinks is she’s accidentally (or maybe intentionally??? The mind of ELJ is truly an enigma) implied that his penis talks back. And what it has to say is usually way more rational and less repugnant than his surface-level thoughts because 99% of the time it’s telling him to slow his fucking roll and be less of an Ana-obsessed freak.

Man, I never thought I’d say this, but Christian Grey should really think with his dick more.

AHEM. Oh, right, I’m still only on page two of this chapter in FSOG, shit. Ana sees the orange juice and Advil Christian left for her and downs both without thinking twice even as she calls him a control freak while doing so. I think ELJ missed a trick here by not having her hesitate to take the pills and juice, and I don’t mean because the scene as written displays Ana’s utter lack of self-preservation instinct in its purest form (well, I don’t mean only that). What I mean is that a smarter but equally corny author might’ve taken this as an opportunity to allude to Persephone eating the pomegranate seeds, thus forever binding her to Hades and sealing her destiny to return to his underworld realm again and again.

All that pales in comparison to my biggest beef with this scene, though: the fact that she refers to the orange juice (which has by now been sitting there for ???) as not merely “thirst-quenching and refreshing” but flat-out “divine.” Ah yes, because nothing pairs better with the taste of last night’s vomit that’s been coating your teeth for eight hours than a nice serving of citric acid. Bull-fucking-shit Ana isn’t a masochist after gleefully chugging that right down. Sickest, most depraved shit in the entire book right there.

Christian comes back, picking up the bag of new clothes for Ana that Taylor left outside the door of the suite, thinking, “The man is a marvel,” for his ability to buy it all before 9:00 am. Bet you $100 Taylor just went to Walmart and dumped the clothes into an empty Nordstrom bag or whatever to appease his label-whore, “I demand the best of everything” boss who doesn’t get that “money” isn’t a magic word that makes high-end stores open at 7:00 am. Speaking of tacky nouveau riche behavior, he also orders “a selection from the breakfast menu” (which is so vague that I’m just gonna assume he ordered the whole menu or nearly all of it, which Ana’s POV later backs up) in what he has the audacity to call a “rare moment of indulgence.” His Hedonism-bot software must have a bug, because that’s the only reason I can think of that would cause this man to string the words “rare” and “indulgence” together in that order.

You’d better be saying that with the thickest of sarcasm, pal. And also planning to take all those damn leftovers with you.

After deciding that she’s had enough sleep because he’s bored of his abductee just laying there doing nothing, Christian goes to the bedroom to wake up Ana in the most obnoxious way possible: knocking but then entering anyway without waiting for a response. I’m not the only one who thinks that’s somehow even ruder than not knocking at all, right? It must be the veneer of politeness that does it for me.

Ana–who we’ve established has the spine of a jellyfish–does not chew him out for the impropriety of barging in on a half-naked woman (or, you know, being the reason why she’s there half-naked in the first place). She does, at least, have what is the most logical response to seeing this man waltz into the room, which is, uh, fear:

There’s a knock on the door. My heart leaps into my mouth, and I can’t seem to find my voice. He opens the door anyway and strolls in.

Unfortunately, this bout of rationality gets knocked right out of her once she gets a good look (and apparently a good whiff) of him, courtesy of the classic E.L. James one-two punch of “getting horny over an oddly specific fetish followed by literal toddler behavior.”

Christian Grey’s sweat—the notion does odd things to me. I take a deep breath and close my eyes. I feel like a two-year-old; if I close my eyes, then I’m not really here.


He’s close enough for me to touch, for me to smell. Oh my…sweat and body wash and Christian. It’s a heady cocktail—so much better than a margarita, and now I can speak from experience.

Funny you should mention that, Ana; I find that the notion of Christian Grey’s sweat does odd things to me, too, though I find its effects to be more akin to that of a rage pheromone. We’ll have to take a sample back to the lab to figure out why it seems to be more of an an aphrodisiac to you. Let’s also just ignore for the moment how it’s kinda contradictory for him to smell like both sweat and body wash.

According to Grey, she goes pale when Christian walks in, so it’s nice to know that this prick can clearly tell that she’s afraid. This prompts him (or maybe his dick?) to think:

“Keep it casual, Grey. You don’t want to be charged with kidnapping.”

Yeah, better leave the formal kidnappings to the mafia romances, I guess…

Ana’s hangover isn’t all that bad, “Better than I deserve,” she says in fact, repeating out loud to him what she’d mused to herself earlier. Honestly, probably the most depressing thing about this reread has been reading this woman constantly denigrate herself, not just to Christian but also in her own private thoughts. Again, I have to ask, what is so damn attractive or relatable about a main character that puts herself down all the time? Yeah, I know that’s pretty rich coming from someone so self-deprecating as myself, and I’ve reluctantly had a few “she just like me fr” moments regarding Ana (thought still more so movie!Ana than book!Ana), but it’s not like I want to read her bemoaning how ugly and stupid and clumsy and unworthy she is all the time! Would it be so impossible to allow her to take pride in herself and stand by her life choices every once in a while? And sure, hangover regret after a night of drinking during which she fully expected to get drunk is normal, but regret is one thing; it’s another thing entirely to be all self-blaming and apologetic about getting drunk to the guy who kidnapped you while you were drunk!

She doesn’t “deserve” anything because she didn’t do anything wrong. Would be pretty nice to see our romantic hero say as much and tell her she doesn’t have anything to feel sorry for, but this is Christian Grey we’re talking about, and heaven forbid he not take the opportunity to reprimand and victim-blame her, lest we forget for one fucking second how dominant and commanding and protective he’s supposed to be. Not to mention making himself out to be the put-upon one who just had to come and rescue her and then just had to bring her to his hotel and then just had to undress her because he didn’t want to have to air out the smell of puke from his fancy car. Throughout the three pages of conversation (in Grey) between them from him asking her how she’s feeling to him taking a shower, this asswipe considers all of once that maaaaybe he should “go easy on her” after the rough night she had and instead of actually reassuring her, he spends the whole time thinking about how hot and irresponsible she is and how hot it would be to punish her for it.

Speaking of victim-blaming, ELJ delicately dances around both the possibility of rape (committed by Christian, anyway), and also the word itself. I’m just gonna put these couple juxtaposed quotes from both books in full here, because you should really get the fully effect before I pick this bit of dialogue apart:

“We didn’t…?” My mouth is drying in mortified horror as I can’t complete the question. I stare at my hands.

Christ, what kind of animal does she think I am?

“Anastasia, you were comatose. Necrophilia is not my thing.” My tone is dry. “I like my women sentient and receptive.” She sags with relief, which makes me wonder if this has happened to her before, that’s she’s passed out and woken up in a stranger’s bed and found out he’s fucked her without her consent. Maybe that’s the photographer’s modus operandi. The thought is disturbing. But then I recall her confession from last night–that she’d never been drunk before. Thank God she hasn’t made a habit of this.

“I’m so sorry.” [she says, her voice full of shame.]

Hell. Maybe I should go easy on her.

His mouth lifts in a wry smile. “It was a very diverting evening. Not one that I’ll forget in a while.” [I hope that sounds conciliatory, but her brow creases.]

Me neither. Oh, he’s laughing at me, the bastard. I didn’t ask him to come get me. Somehow I’ve been made to feel like the villain of the piece.

Oooh boy…

  1. First of all, Christian:

I don’t mean “stop reading into everything” in regards to wondering “what kind of animal” (i.e. the rapist kind, like a duck) Ana thinks he is. Whether or not he–in Christian’s own words–“fucked her without her consent” while she was blackout drunk is a pretty fair question given the circumstances! Especially fair given his own hypocrisy and wild assumptions just a few sentences later. One moment he’s offended that she’d assume he’d raped her (and we’ll get to whether or not that is what she’s really thinking, don’t you worry) all because she happened to wake up half-naked in his bed with no memory of how she got there, and the next he assumes that she reacted that way because not only has she been raped like this before, but that José–apparently a chronic date rapist in Grey’s mind–was possibly the one who did it.

Now, I don’t mean to exonerate José here; he did force a kiss on Ana, and that is sexual assault. But I don’t think it’s exonerating to say that it’s quite the leap of logic to go from him kissing a protesting Ana while he himself was also drunk, to assuming that he would’ve not only escalated to dragging her home to rape her if Christian hadn’t showed up, but that he’s a serial sex offender. Granted, Christian doesn’t know José at all, but that’s kind of my point? And it’s not like he thinks much of Ana telling him no (or if she’s even conscious to tell him no) when it comes to him doing what he wants, as we’ve already seen and will continue to see throughout the book. Methinks Mr. Grey is just telling himself stories about José the sex criminal as self-justification for absconding with Ana in exactly the same way her potential rapist might have. Also, is it just me, or does him musing about the possibility of Ana being raped read almost like a weirdly horny fantasy? I know he called it disturbing, but the generally angryhorny context it’s placed in and the unnecessary detail just makes it feel off somehow…

2. Christian’s mind immediately jumped to rape (which, again, would’ve been a fair assumption on Ana’s part), but given her choice of the word “we” and not “you,” apparently what Ana was thinking was “had sex.” Which, uh, would still be rape, of course, considering she was both drunk and unconscious. There’s no mutual, consensual sex-having in this scenario. Is this supposed to drive home the point about Ana’s “innocence” and “purity” (bleh), that she can only conceive of what might’ve happened as her having lost her virginity to a near-stranger and being mortified that she let herself get carried away like that and doesn’t even remember it? It this some kind of internalized sex-shamey, victim-blamey reaction, or an automatic defense mechanism against the idea that what possibly happened was a horribly violating act and not of her choice? Why am I bothering with all these questions when obviously the only takeaway that really matters here is that Christian is meant to be seen this chivalrous hero for not taking advantage of her and ELJ clearly gave it no thought beyond that?

3. That’s not what necrophilia is, asshole. You attempts to make light of her concerns only make me wish that you’d choke on your own dick all the more urgently. Same goes for your smarmy little “diverting evening” comment in response to her apologizing(!) to you for getting drunk and “forcing” you to whisk her away to safety. Seriously, I hate this man so much. He obviously wants her continue to feel all contrite about it so he has an excuse to lord himself over her and fantasize about punishing her for doing something that he perceives as irresponsible. Because clearly Ana is just so swooningly helpless and delicate (although TBH I’m not entirely sure I disagree with him about her being a swooning disaster, but only because her author chose to make her that way) that she needs a big strong Domly Dom like him to take responsibility for her.

4. “THANK GOD SHE HASN’T MADE A HABIT OF THIS.” Need I say say more?

Realizing that Christian has turned things around on her and made her feel like the bad guy, Ana does finally snap at him, saying, “You didn’t have to track me down with whatever James Bond gadgetry you’re developing for the highest bidder.” I think I’ve been listening to too much Kill James Bond recently (banger podcast btw, go check it out) because I read this line and went on a 30-minute mental tangent thinking about Christian tailing her in the invisible car or injecting her with smart blood while she’s passed out. Then somehow I started picturing Christian Grey as played by Roger Moore, and the thought was so unsettling that I had to go and lie down for somewhere between two hours and two years. Thankfully, I was able to conjure up a lovely mental image of Grey getting his dick and balls whipped with a knotted rope to regain the fortitude to continue with this recap. And then I got distracted daydreaming about Dakota Johnson dressed up like Electra King at the end of The World is Not Enough. God, it would be so hot and satisfying to see Ana have a femme fatale good-girl-gone-bad arc and torture Christian to death in his own playroom…

(Also, I’ve had a theory ever since I first read these books about what ELJ’s favorite Bond movie is which will come up later, and it’s deeply upsetting to me since it’s also a movie that I like.)

Christian, unused to the idea of women having boundaries they don’t generally like to have crossed, is utterly bamboozled by Ana being mad about this. His programing then resets to factory settings after this brief glitch and the dial turns from angryhorny to angry as he gets himself more worked up with his bullshit justifications:

He stares at me, surprised and, if I’m not mistaken, a little wounded. “First, the technology to track cell phones is available over the internet. Second, my company does not invest or manufacture any kind of surveillance devices. And third, if I hadn’t come to get you, you’d probably be waking up in the photographer’s bed, and from what I can remember, you weren’t overly enthused about him pressing his suit,” he says acidly.

Grey adds the thought, “Well, the Deep Net…” as a lame explanation for the tracking technology bit, so I guess ELJ was aware of how unrealistic it would be for him to be able to track her cell phone at a moment’s notice; she just didn’t care enough to actually bother looking up how or even if that might work. More importantly, though, you might notice that not once does this guy actually address the core issue of her snide remark and acknowledge that he did something extremely creepy and invasive. Instead, he neatly sidesteps the issue by deliberately taking Ana’s words as literally as possible, reinforcing the idea that she is the one in the wrong. He quite slickly also continues to victim-blame her by downplaying the seriousness of potential date rape, phrasing it as her simply “waking up in [José’s] bed” and not being “overly enthused,” as if he’d saved her from making a mistake she’d regret rather than from being horribly violated by a trusted friend. And I think we also have confirmation right here that Christian is indeed getting high off his own supply and is now fully convinced that his headcanon of José the serial rapist is simply fact.

All of this goes right over Ana’s head, of course, and she promptly forgets to be mad at him because it’s impossible to take him seriously when he’s saying goofy archaic shit like “pressing his suit.” She starts giggling, which is one of the two correct responses to the words that come out of this guy’s mouth, the other being to punch him in the balls. Christian, having no sense of humor and being a self-obsessed and self-serious weirdo, takes offense to her laughing at him per usual. Oh, if only this man knew that people all over the world have been owning him for over a decade now; he’d probably shrivel up into a corncob like that Dril tweet. Also per usual in Grey, ELJ tries and fails to convince us that he actually likes being teased by Ana and that her alleged “smart mouth” is part of what makes her so different and special to him:

She’s beguiling. She’s calling me out… again, and her irreverence is refreshing, really refreshing.

Yeah, which do you think is more likely: that Mr. Super Serious Domly Dom actually likes a “brat” (heavy air quotes on that since Ana very much is not that, no matter how much ELJ wants to sell us on her playful, “smart-mouthed” brattiness), or that he just get’s off on being angry?

This is in response to Ana calling him a “courtly knight” and asking him “Which medieval chronicle did you escape from?” Because this of course is all very chivalrous and heroic. Christian, being the overly-dramatic, self-obsessed weirdo he is who has apparently never heard of Batman, tells Ana without a shred of irony that he’s more like a “Dark knight” and expects her not to laugh right in his face. Unlike me, Ana does not, so I take it that ELJ really did mean for us to take this seriously, because being into BDSM means that Mr. Grey must be a dark and brooding anti-hero who needs a good woman to show him the light.

[…] I’m under no illusion that I’m a knight in shining armor. Boy, has she got the wrong idea. And though it may not be to my advantage, I’m compelled to warn her that there’s nothing chivalrous or courtly about me.

Can you even imagine a conversation between Christian Grey and motherfucking Roman Roy? Go ahead, try. I bet you can’t do it.

Because Christian must maintain the upper hand at all times, he changes the subject to scold her for drinking on an empty stomach the night before. I must begrudgingly admit that this is good advice, though I hate that the infantilization of Ana train keeps chugging along, not to mention the disturbing pattern that’s beginning to emerge of her constantly needing to be reminded to eat by Christian. She asks what he means by her being lucky that he’s only verbally reprimanding her, to which he has this to say:

“Well, if you were mine, you wouldn’t be able to sit down for a week after the stunt you pulled yesterday. You didn’t eat, you got drunk, you put yourself at risk.” He closes his eyes, dread etched briefly on his face, and he shudders. When he opens his eyes, he glares at me. “I hate to think what could have happened to you.”

I scowl back at him. What is his problem? What’s it to him? If I was his… Well, I’m not. Though maybe part of me would like to be.

Can I just say how much I HATE when males characters threaten to put their female love interests “across their knee” or whatever and spank them for being disobedient or feisty? Because this is far from a trope invented by Fifty Shades and it makes me gag every time, though thankfully outside of kinky-ish romance novels it seems to mainly exist in older media. But in regards to romance specifically, there’s just something about it that makes me grind my teeth, usually because it happens early in the story and is one of the first indications that we get that the MMC is into kinky sex. Trust me, I understand very well that in certain contexts the consensual “threat” of being spanked can be super hot, and I know that the readers are supposed to be turned on by the hero explicitly displaying his sexual dominance to the heroine for the first time, but it just never works for me. The context of the spanking threat is not only usually some kind of argument or the MMC being mad at/frustrated with the FMC for some bullshit reason (which is a red flag on its own since it’s NEVER cool for someone to take out their anger on a partner with S/M play), but also usually well before they’ve even discussed kink at all. Here, Christian–like far too many of his BDSM billionaire brethren that I’ve read–has no idea yet if Ana is into spanking at all, and as such his comment about her not being able to sit down for a week just comes across as a literal threat of violence rather than sexy.

Then again, maybe I don’t have much of a leg to stand on when it comes to judging what makes a spanking or the threat thereof hot or not in a book. After all, I did once write a “sexy” roleplay spanking scene between two characters in Star Wars costumes in the stall of a bar restroom. I will go to my grave cringing about that… But hey, at least it was consensual.

Naturally, though, this unexplained and vaguely threatening comment flies right over Ana’s head. At least movie!Ana questioned it, which I’m pretty sure somehow lead into the sexy toast eating scene that was just so hilariously out of left field that it lives rent free in my head to this day. In the book, however, rather than ponder what he could possibly do to her ass that would make her unable to sit she instead latches onto the idea of being “his,” and gets so flustered at the notion that she mixes up her subconscious and inner goddess:

I flush at the waywardness of my subconscious—she’s doing her happy dance in a bright-red hula skirt at the thought of being his.

Isn’t her subconscious supposed to be the prudish and snarky one, while her inner goddess is the one always dancing and doing horny backflips and shit? I’m so embarrassed that I’m better at keeping ELJ’s own canon straight than she is…

Ana remarks that she would’ve been fine with Kate at the bar if Christian hadn’t shown up, which is probably true, at least for one of Kate’s personalities that we’ve seen. The Kate who’s a bit protective of Ana and suspicious of Grey’s intentions would’ve likely handed José his ass for kissing her then gotten a cab for the two of them to go home. Unfortunately, Sir Spanksalot the Dark Knight of Seattle just had to bring his brother along and flip Kate into boy-crazy “Ana who?” mode. “Some help she was!” he thinks, and as loathe as I am to agree, she doesn’t seem to have even noticed Ana faint in the bar or disappear with Christian, hasn’t called or texted her, and the only reason she even knows Ana’s safe is because Christian told Elliot, which she has no real reason to even trust since both of the Grey bros are strangers to her. Let’s just ignore Grey’s hypocrisy with his snide comment here, considering that last chapter his test of loyalty for Kate was whether or not she’d tell him–a near-total stranger–where her drunk best friend was… which she passed by telling him. I almost feel sorry for ELJ if this is what her idea of true friendship is. Almost.

None of these people are and I hate them all.

Then, as if to prove my point about Christian’s three settings being angry, horny, and angryhorny, Grey gives us this little gem:

“You’re quite the disciplinarian,” she snaps.

“Oh, Anastasia, you have no idea.”

An image of her shackled to my bench, peeled gingerroot inserted in her ass so she can’t clench her buttocks, comes to mind, followed by judicious use of a belt for strap. Yeah… that would teach her not to be so irresponsible. The thought is hugely appealing.

To reiterate what I said in my chapter one recap, yeah, I do totally get having an involuntary salacious thought about someone you’re attracted to and would like to fuck, and given that he’s into kinky stuff it makes sense that his random fantasies would run along those lines. But again, it’s the fact that he seems to use these elaborately detailed fantasies of physically punishing her in ways that he has no idea if she’d be into as a way to calm himself down from being mad at her for some arbitrary reason that makes them so alarming and deeply uncomfortable. Especially when paired with the fact that he genuinely seems to believe that she deserves to be punished and “taught a lesson.” Gross.

Also, it must be said just how terminally unsexy his fantasies are with such awkward, clinical phrasing like “peeled gingerroot inserted” and “buttocks.” To be fair, I highly doubt the vast majority of Fifty Shades fans would know what the hell he was talking about if he just said figging (probably including ELJ herself, because this legitimately is such a highly specific kink that I’m honestly curious who could’ve possibly told her about it), but still. I think it’s pretty obvious that this is one of those things that only got inserted shoved into Grey so that ELJ could show off how “shocking” and totally not-tame Christian’s interests really are without having to actually write too much of that icky kinky stuff she doesn’t want to think too hard about.

After Ana goes into such raptures over Christian smiling at her and thinking about him showering that he has to remind her to breathe (omg just like Bella and Edward), Grey takes a shower. He contemplates masturbating while he’s in there but:

[…] the familiar fear of discovery and disclosure, from an earlier time in my life, stops me.

Elena would not be pleased.

Old habits.

I have so many questions about this that I know will never be answered. It’s just such a vague reference to his past, which I know is meant to be a provocative and compelling little morsel, but knowing what I do about his and Elena’s relationship from the series as a whole it’s just frustrating because their relationship makes so little sense (which I will touch on more later when it becomes more relevant). Is he referencing his old fear of being caught masturbating by Elena and punished for it? Or is he randomly thinking about his old fear of them being caught together, which doesn’t make nearly as much sense in context but is also the only explanation that I can think of that would make his mention of “disclosure” make sense? Does he mean that he used to fear being caught jerking off by his family or something and that Elena would be displeased to see him suppressing his needs and desires now? What was it–if anything–about his interaction with Ana that triggered this particular memory? Does this “old habit” specifically pertain to rubbing one out in the shower, and is it something he always things about while showering?

I also can’t help but find this intriguing because it’s not the only moment in Grey which supports my theory that Christian is actually a switch rather than a straight-up Dominant, and it was a real missed opportunity to not have him reconnect with that submissive/masochistic side of himself in a healthy way and engage in a bit of role-reversal with Ana. Again, something to delve deeper into later, but suffice it to say for now that ELJ doesn’t seem to grasp the concept of switches being real and valid, so obviously that was never gonna happen.

He rationalizes that Ana “cannot find me completely repulsive” since she’s still there, completely ignoring that a) he’s the one who brought her there so finding a way home might be a bit of a problem; b) her pants and shoes are missing and he hasn’t bothered to tell her yet that Taylor bought her new clothes; and c) for all he knows, she could be running the hell away at that very moment. None of that’s particularly important, though; what matters is whether or not she’d be down to submit for him!

It’s obvious she knows nothing of the lifestyle. She couldn’t even say “fuck” or “sex” or whatever bookish college students use as a euphemism for fucking these days. She’s quite the innocent.

Uh, couple things. First of all, once again:

How do you know she doesn’t know anything about BDSM? What would you know about what bookish college students are or are not into in bed, you crusty 60-year-old-sounding fuck? Because if you think shy nerds aren’t freaks between the sheets then boy do I have news for you. Like yeah, I know that Ana isn’t particularly complex and multi-faceted–what you see is what you get with her–but he doesn’t know that! Oh, she’s “innocent,” you say? Because she couldn’t say out loud what she thought you might’ve done to her while she was blackout drunk? Nah, that couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the fact that the subject of conversation was rape and putting her fears into words at that moment might’ve been just a little emotionally traumatic!

I know this is in here to show how perceptive Christian is supposed to be, but coming on the heels of his earlier wild assumptions it only reinforces how bad he actually is at reading people and how quick he is to jump to conclusions, especially when it comes to making his perception of someone fit with the narrative he’s crafted in his head. And what makes this dumbfuckery all the more ridiculous is that he manages to convince himself of Ana’s blushing innocence and yet will still be shocked later when it turns out she’s a virgin.

Much to my surprise, Christian does consider simply asking her if she’d be interested in engaging in D/s with him. What’s this? Clear and open communication in my Fifty Shades novel? How refreshing!

Bwahaha who am I kidding, Christian promptly shits all over that idea one sentence later:

No. I’d have to show her what she’d be taking on if she agreed to a relationship with me.

Or? Maybe? Just here me out, maybe you could try using your words to explain a bit first instead of just showing her your sex dungeon with zero context??? No? Whatever…

Meanwhile, back in the bedroom, Ana’s sexual awakening continues as it occurs to her for apparently the first time that the funny thing Christian makes her feel is desire. I thought she’d already keyed in on that at the end of chapter three/beginning of chapter four without needing to say it in so many words when she wanted him to kiss her, but okay. She thinks some thinky thoughts about what the hell Christian’s deal could possibly be:

Oh my—what would I do to be his? He’s the only man who has ever set the blood racing through my body. Yet he’s so antagonizing, too; he’s difficult, complicated, and confusing. One minute he rebuffs me; the next he sends me $14,000 books, then he tracks me like a stalker. And for all that, I have spent the night in his hotel suite and I feel safe. Protected. He cares enough to come rescue me from some mistakenly perceived danger. He’s not a dark knight at all but a white knight in shining, dazzling armor, a classic romantic hero—Sir Gawain or Sir Lancelot.

Ana, honey. He’s not that complicated. He likes bad drugs and weird sex and kissing guys on molly. All you need to know about Christian Grey is that he’s a dramatic, self-obsessed weirdo and then everything else clicks into place.

But may I just ask where the hell this feeling of safety and protection is coming from? Did you not just acknowledge his habit of “tracking you like a stalker” in this very paragraph? Lady, this man has dragged your hammered and non-consenting ass away from your friends to a secondary location that only his brother whom you’ve never met knows about and proceeded to undress you, sent those $14,000 books to a home address that you never gave him, just so happened to show up at your place of work shortly after meeting him to buy rope and zip ties, every sober interaction you’ve had with him so far has left you either an anxious mess or sobbing on the ground, and he just admitted that he is somehow capable of tracking your cell phone at a moment’s notice. The conversation you just had consisted of him making you feel like shit for exercising your free will to get sloppy drunk while with a trusted friend (Kate) and then threatening to go sicko mode on your butt. But yeah, sure, he hasn’t physically hurt you, only insinuated that he would very much like to, so I guess there’s no reason not to feel totally safe with this guy!

I’m gonna try to speed things up here at this point because there is a disheartening amount of chapter left (like, I’m not even halfway through the chapter in FSOG and already I think this post is one of my longest recaps yet), but thankfully a lot of it is really filler-y stuff from here on. To be fair, trying to cover two parallel POV’s at once is slowing me down, but still, there is a lot of bloated bullshit in here so I hope you don’t mind if I skip over anyone’s (un)favorite lines/passages. I really have to hand it to the filmmakers for how much they managed to condense the hotel scene in the movie (and for gifting the sexy toast scene to the world that is just *chef’s kiss*).

Ana takes the bag of new clothes and scurries into the bathroom to shower. While she’s in there, she has some more incredibly tame sexual fantasies:

I want Christian Grey. I want him badly. Simple fact. For the first time in my life, I want to go to bed with a man. I want to feel his hands and his mouth on me.


I reach for the body wash and it smells of him. It’s a delicious smell. I rub it all over myself, fantasizing that it’s him—him rubbing this heavenly scented soap into my body, across my breasts, over my stomach, between my thighs with his long-fingered hands. Oh my. My heartbeat picks up again. This feels so…so good.

Unfortunately, her naughty thoughts are tempered by her insecurity over the fact that he didn’t take advantage of her. Because I guess now her subconscious has suddenly remembered she’s supposed to be a bitch?

He said he likes his women sentient. He’s probably not celibate then. But he’s not made a pass at me, unlike Paul or José. I don’t understand. Does he want me? He wouldn’t kiss me last week. Am I repellent to him? Yet I’m here; he brought me here. I just don’t know what his game is. What’s he thinking? You’ve slept in his bed all night, and he’s not touched you, Ana. You do the math. My subconscious has reared her ugly, snide head. I ignore her.

*Sigh* Do I even have to dig into why this is so depressing and so troubling? I will say, though, that this does somewhat harken back to an older era of romance novels, the (primarily) historical romances from the 70s and 80s that first pushed the sexual boundaries of the genre and gave it that “bodice ripper” reputation. So, I guess it isn’t so surprising that someone of E.L. James’ generation who’s formative experiences with erotic romance were probably with books that we would now consider to be non-con/dub-con dark romance would have this idea in her head of what the classic romance tropes are supposed to be.

I’m not quite sure how to articulate it, but I have this idea? Thesis? That Fifty Shades and the general niche subgenre of kinky billionaire romances it spawned exists in this sort of limbo (a GREY area, if you will… if you won’t that’s fine, too) between the explicitly-labeled dark romances that could be thought of as carrying on the legacy of the old-school bodice-ripper, and the rest of modern mainstream romance that has been shakily trending more progressive, sex-positive, and consent-positive over the past few decades. I’ve already talked a bit about my conflicted thoughts on dark romance as a category in my 365 Days review that I also linked above (TLDR: they’re not my cup of tea but read em’ if you want), but at least with a dark romance there’s a kind of self-awareness that the relationship it’s depicting would be dangerous and toxic and real life, while also being entertaining to fantasize about for a couple hundred pages. But a Fifty Shades bandwagon billionaire book–while not necessarily aiming for realism–is arguably trying to be more mainstream and grounded, if that makes sense. It doesn’t have the same kind of self-aware, subversive tone as a typical dark romance. It has a veneer of sex-positivity and respect for consent, and they usually aren’t nearly so overtly rapey as some of the darker of the modern dark romances or old bodice-rippers, but more often than not, they can’t help but have a thread of sex-shamey, “forcing himself self on her until she admits she likes it”-style internalized misogyny bleed through.

While Ana is showering, Christian is busy doing super important CEO stuff, like checking emails and waiting for breakfast to arrive. Riveting. The only halfway noteworthy thing is that when breakfast is carried in by two women, he pointlessly notes that one of them has “dark, dark eyes” in a way that I can’t help but feel is usually reserved for speaking about someone that the POV character would be attracted to. But the whole purpose of this is I guess to show that he totally only has eyes for Ana and finds the plethora of women who are constantly throwing themselves at him annoying, since he dubs her with the rather catty (and rather Ana-esque, as Jenny Trout noticed) nickname “Miss Dark Eyes.” Because obviously all female service workers who deign to smile at him are doing so because they’re blatantly trying to get in his pants, not because they want a good tip/to keep their jobs.

Oh, there is one relevant thing that happens: Elliot texts him again to say that Kate is curious whether or not Ana is currently dissolving in a bathtub in Hell’s Kitchen alive and well. Grey “chuckle(s), somewhat mollified that Ana’s so-called friend is thinking about her.” Again, I must begrudgingly agree with his assessment of (at least this version of) Kate, since I don’t think we ever get any indication that she tried contacting Ana herself first and only asked Elliot as a last resort when she didn’t respond.

Speaking of, Ana joins him for breakfast, and continues to not beat the allegations (by which I mean my own headcanon) that she has undiagnosed ADHD (shout out to my fellow adult-diagnosed and/or currently unmedicated girlies):

Christian is sitting at a dining table on the other side of the room reading a newspaper. It’s the size of a tennis court or something—not that I play tennis, though I have watched Kate a few times.


“Crap, Kate!” I croak.

Damn, that’s a big newspaper.

She calls his unnecessarily huge breakfast buffet order “profligate” (looks like Grey isn’t the only one who likes to flaunt their erudition). Surprisingly, contrary to my memory of reading this book previously, she doesn’t mean this sarcastically, which is the only way in which I can imagine using the word profligate. But no, this is legitimately meant to be taken as impressively generous instead of impressively wasteful (not to mention pretty fucking annoying for not bothering to ask her what she’d want to eat before ordering), though Mr. “Feeding the World’s Poor” does feel a smidge guilty for it. If only the world’s poor could feed off the guilt of billionaires… well, they’d still be starving.

Christian, who if you’ll recall from the photoshoot didn’t give a rat’s ass about drying his hair, proceeds to scold Ana for her wet hair, lest she catch her death from cold (no, seriously, he unironically thinks “she’ll get sick”) because she is a woman and is therefore a creature of frail constitution. Then he negs her:

“You know, you really should learn to take a compliment.” [His tone is castigating.]

Perhaps she doesn’t get many…but why? She’s gorgeous in an understated way.

They bicker a bit about him buying the Tess first editions and clothes for her and my eyes start to glaze over BECAUSE I’M JUST SO FUCKING TRHILLED by the knowledge that I’m going to get to experience basically this exact same argument about him paying for stuff ad nauseum throughout these books. When she questions why her sent her the first editions, Grey confirms in his thoughts that it was because he wanted an excuse to see her. Not sure how that would’ve worked, since any rational person would probably have mailed them back to his office, moved to a new address, and changed their name, but knowing Anastasia Steele I’m sure through some contrived reasoning she would’ve felt obligated to deliver them in person.

Out loud, though:

“Well, when you were nearly run over by the cyclist—and I was holding you and you were looking up at me—all ‘kiss me, kiss me, Christian’—” He pauses and shrugs. “I felt I owed you an apology and a warning. Anastasia, I’m not a hearts-and-flowers kind of man. I don’t do romance. My tastes are very singular. You should steer clear of me.” He closes his eyes as if in defeat. “There’s something about you, though, and I’m finding it impossible to stay away. But I think you’ve figured that out already.”

Translation: “Because I’m a dramatic, self-obsessed weirdo. With kiss-o-vision, the world’s most useless superpower.” And oof, those em-dashes, man. And I thought I was excessive with them…

Call this man the Soviet Union because he is just COVERED in red flags. All Ana hears is that he can’t stay away from her, though, which thrills her because the power of his pheromone-laced sweat has overridden any and all sense of stranger danger she might have had. He asks about her weekend plans: she has work at the hardware store that afternoon, then she has to start packing for her and Kate’s move to Seattle. Then he asks about her employment plans once she’s settled into her new place (isn’t he supposed to be anxious to arrange a not-date with her right now?) and gets offended when she says she hadn’t applied for an internship at his company. I know I’m being pedantic, but why is ELJ so insistent that Ana is applying for internships when really it feels like this soon-to-be college grad should be applying for regular jobs? I know internships aren’t just for students, but they often are and at least in the US they often aren’t paid, so I’m just going to chalk this up to either a UK/US cultural difference or ELJ meaning a temp position instead of an internship, since as we’ll see in the next book Ana’s eventual job really just seems like regular full-time employment.

Didn’t I say I was speeding things up? Right. Christian switches into Roger Moore fuck-voice which makes Ana blush and bite her lip, which in turn makes Christian want to bite her lip, too. She asks why he doesn’t:

“Because I’m not going to touch you, Anastasia—not until I have your written consent to do so.” His lips hint at a smile.


“What does that mean?”

“Exactly what I say.” He sighs and shakes his head at me, amused but exasperated, too. “I need to show you, Anastasia. What time do you finish work this evening?”


“Why can’t you tell me now?”

“Because I’m enjoying my breakfast and your company. Once you’re enlightened, you probably won’t want to see me again.”


Seriously, I hate this man so much. Of course Ana’s gonna be mystified, because since fucking when does he need to file a formal notarized application signed by at least to witnesses to touch her? Hell, he hasn’t even needed her verbal consent to touch her, but now all of a sudden he’s all about respecting boundaries? Not even her boundaries, mind you, just the boundaries he’s set for her.

And yes! Yes you can tell her now! Maybe not the details of every single fetish you’re into, but in what world is it better to just be all like “POOF! Here we are in my sex dungeon! Thoughts?” with zero preparation to someone who you think is so sexually naïve that she’s never even heard of BDSM? How hard does ELJ think it is to simply say to a prospective partner, “I like to be dominant in bed. It’s a little more complicated than that, but if you’d be open to it, I’d love the chance to show you and explain in more detail later”???? Just use! Your fucking! WOOOOOOORDS!!!!

Yikes, remember how placid I was about 20 paragraphs ago when I first came back to this recap after two years? Maybe this was a bad idea. It’s possible that I’ve been infected with the Christian Grey anger parasite. Eh, whatever, maybe if I just keep going I’ll feel better…

They set a not-date for later than night and Christian calls up Taylor (seriously, I hope this man gets paid an obscene amount of money because he just does everything) to arrange for his helicopter to be brought to Portland so he can fly Ana to his penthouse in Seattle. Apparently this is a big deal for Christian because he’s never flown a girl in his helicopter before without dropping her lifeless body out of it into a ravine and Ana is Just That Special. Keep in mind that Portland and Seattle are several hours’ drive apart, so she is essentially entirely dependent on his whims if she doesn’t want to be trapped in his apartment. To be fair, Grey does make it clear that he’s aware of this:

I’ll show her what I have in mind . . . and the rest will be up to her. She may want to come home once she knows. I’ll need Stephan, my pilot, to be on standby so he can bring her back to Portland of she decides to have nothing more to do with me. I hope that’s not the case.

…But as is to be expected from this series, it’s ruined about half a page later. I’m pretty sure this was meant to read as “sexy bad boy” and not as a bit sinister:

Her mouth drops open, forming a small o. It’s a pleasing moment.

“We’ll go by helicopter to Seattle?” she whispers.



“Because I can.” I grin. Sometimes it’s just fucking great to be me.

Sounds like a man whose whims can be depended upon to me!

Ana’s too excited to finish her breakfast, which makes Christian mad again because he has “an issue with wasted food.” Then why did you order–! Fuck it, nevermind, I’m too tired to be pissed anymore. Ana is “too much of a coward” to explain her lack of appetite, but watching him sulk apparently helps her relax because she starts thinking of him as a little boy. Um…

MOVING RIGHT ALONG. After learning that she’s the first woman he’s ever shared a bed with (again, did not need to do that), she goes to dry her hair and… wait. Hold on. It this it? Is this the moment when I finally get to use the gif I’ve been waiting two years to use? Oh my god, it actually is:

I want to brush my teeth. I eye Christian’s toothbrush. It would be like having him in my mouth. Hmm… Glancing guiltily over my shoulder at the door, I feel the bristles on the toothbrush. They are damp. He must have used it already. Grabbing it quickly, I squirt toothpaste on it and brush my teeth in double time. I feel so naughty. It’s such a thrill.

Now I call that a well-used toothbrush, if you know what I’m sayin’… *wink wink*

I can’t believe I almost forgot I saved this gif. I had to take a solid five minutes to compose myself enough to finish this post after finding it again because just looking at it sent me off on a hysterical laughing fit. This is what searching “naughty toothbrush” on Giphy gets you.

Ah, another classic E.L. James highly specific fetish, brought to you by the billionaire who thinks of everything… except that maybe his kidnappee might want to brush her teeth at some point in the 8-10 hours since vomiting up five margaritas. This is the same menace to society that thought room temperature orange juice would be just what she wanted after that… aaaand he was right, so I guess these two sick fucks are perfect for each other.

While he’s waiting, Christian texts his PA, Andrea, to send him an NDA, because “if Ana wants enlightenment, she’ll need to keep her mouth shut.” The NDA thing always skeeved me out in the original book, but this is just one of those things that was recast in an especially sinister light for me after reading Catch and Kill. Before, it was just an extra dollop of creepiness on top of everything else related to the contract that mostly made me roll my eyes for how over-the-top ELJ made Christian’s BDSM lifestyle out to be. Isn’t an NDA just slightly overkill? Like I said previously, there’s no way Christian’s that much of a celebrity, and even if he was, who would really care all that much about what he allegedly gets consensually up to in bed?

Now, though, I’m just thinking of the sobering reality that there aren’t a lot of benign reasons why a real-life Christian Grey-type would make all of his sexual partners sign away their rights to publicly speak about their relationship with him. Yeah, and now a significant plot thread from the next book is starting to look a whole lot more horrifying… but we’ll cross that bridge when we (hopefully) get to it. I presume that either ELJ didn’t realize just how suspicious it makes Christian look that he does this with all his subs, or that it’s supposed to be somehow better that he legally binds them with NDAs before the relationship begins rather than after it ends so that he can claim they signed it of their own free will fully knowing what they were getting into, but we’ll get into why that’s still a huge problem next chapter.

I really don’t want to end this recap on such a heavy note. Hmm, let’s see, what’s up next that I can use for a bit of levity? Well, ELJ, The Writer’s Coffee Shop, Vintage Books, and Random House all dropped the ball on dialogue formatting:

“They want two?… How much will that cost?… Okay, and what safety measures do we have in place?… And they’ll go via Suez?… How safe is Ben Sudan?… And when do they arrive in Darfur?… Okay, let’s do it. Keep me abreast of progress.” He hangs up.

“Ready to go?”

This is all meant to be Christian speaking, but since that can’t possibly be right I must therefore assume that he is conversing with his penis again. Darn thing just had to take a business call right when Christian was antsy to leave with Ana…

Ana does that impossible thing that drives me insane where she “peek(s) up at him through my lashes.” I don’t know what kind of alien anatomy she has, but the closest I can manage is furrowing my brow so deeply that I see the bottom of my eyebrows when I look up. Then they get in the elevator and the sexual tension is just too hot to handle and the Thing happens. We all know the Thing, right? It’s the Thing from all the movie posters; Christian’s all like, “Oh, fuck the paperwork,” forces her up against the wall, and kisses her. I have been informed that this is all very sexy. There’s really not much to say about it upon revisiting, except that it’s rough in a way that would be hot between two people who knew each other better, but is uncomfortably violent for a first kiss between a) a girl with no sexual experience who also had an unwanted kiss forced on her just the night before, and b) a guy who just a few minutes ago promised that he wouldn’t touch her without her explicit written consent but who is also angling to use said written consent to get this girl whom he’s already judged to be an “innocent” to comply with sexual things she may or may not want to do.

It’s actually a pretty short scene, but it does have a few crunchy morsels like:

My tongue tentatively strokes his and joins his in a slow, erotic dance that’s all about touch and sensation, all bump and grind.

But of course Christian has to one-up her in his POV:

She moans into my mouth, the call of a siren, and finally I can sample her: mint and tea and an orchard of mellow fruitfulness. She tastes every bit as good as she looks. Reminding me of a time of plenty. […] her tongue tentatively touches mine… exploring. Considering. Feeling. Kissing me back.

Three businessmen get on the elevator, forcing them to break apart. Ana’s all “wtf was that?” and trying to catch her breath, but her inner goddess takes over for her subconscious and starts dancing, so we know it was good for her. Christian notices that she brushed her teeth. She tells him that she used his toothbrush, which he finds “pleasing, too pleasing.” Gross.

It’s just so… wrong… and yet it feels so right…

And with that, our two lovebirbs exit the elevator and I can finally bring this recap to a blessed end.

Wow, I’m not sure if I’m just overcompensating since it’s been over two years, but I think this was one of my longest recaps yet. It took me several days working on it between my job and rehearsals for Godspell (because it’s not like I’m busy enough, so why not commit myself to a community theater production), but I did honestly have a lot of fun coming back to this. Who knows at this point if I’m just posting into the void, but I really do want to keep going with these recaps. Considering how long-winded these are getting, though, I’m debating whether or not to split the chapters up into two or more parts, we’ll see how things pan out. I can’t promise that I’ll have these posts out on any kind of regular schedule, but I’m on a role here so hopefully chapter 6 will be out soon!

Chapter Four ~ Table of Contents ~ Chapter Six (part one)

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