They burst into the boathouse and Anastasia is freaking out just a little bit.
“Please don’t hit me,” I whisper, pleading (page 347).
It’s like I’m reading a domestic abuse survival story.
Grey is surprised and then they start kissing. He’s confused by her and by what she’s doing to him.
“No one’s ever said no to me before. And it’s so – hot.” (page 348)
He agrees not to spank her, although it’s what she deserves for, you know, not telling him about Georgia and going drinking with Jacob Black. Instead, he’s going to fuck her, but only for his pleasure. She’s not allowed to come. So I guess this will be the one time in this book where they don’t have simultaneous orgasms?
They have sex and it’s pretty awesome even though she doesn’t get to come. And that’s about it. The evening wraps up, she surreptitiously asks Kate to not antagonize Christian and Kate surreptitiously responds that he needs antagonizing because he’s really controlling. Ah, Kate. You have no idea.
As they drive home, Grey asks if he can accompany her to Georgia but Anastasia says no because she needs some space to think about things. They talk about what they want. Anastasia thinks about things but doesn’t actually say any of them because as we’ve established she has communication issues. Her thinking is occasionally lucid:
He’s not a hero, he’s a man with serious, deep emotional flaws (page 355).
They both agree to try more and Anastasia says she’ll sign his contract and he tells her to wait until after Georgia. They get home and he asks her to spend the night so they head indoors and Anastasia wants him to make love to her and to be able to touch him, but he freaks out because he has issues being touched in certain areas of his body.
Anastasia makes a deal that he can spank her if he tells her about his past, so Grey pulls out some balls, and we get this scene, which is pretty funny. He stuffs the balls inside her and gives her a sexy spanking which feels amazing, and then they fuck and have a simultaneous orgasm. They climb into bed and she asks him to spill the beans. So he does. Well. He spills a bean.
“The woman who brought me into this world was a crack whore, Anastasia. Go to sleep.”
Holy fuck … what does that mean? (page 367).
It means his mother was a crack whore, Anastasia. It’s not code.
When she wakes up Grey is gone so she wanders out dressed only in Christian’s t-shirt and encounters an attractive middle-aged blonde.
I feel self-conscious and embarrassed by my lack of clothing (page 369).
This is the quality of writing that makes the New York Times bestseller list.
She’s Mrs. Jones, Grey’s housekeeper. Anastasia asks for some tea and scuttles off towards the study, where Grey is on the phone engaged in important-sounding CEO talk that doesn’t really make sense unless they’re skipping from topic to topic over the phone.
His is without a doubt the most beautiful man on the planet, too beautiful for the little people below, too beautiful for me (page 370).
Get it, readers? He’s really attractive.
Once the call finishes she flirts shamelessly with him and says that she wants it right there on the desk. So Grey does the throw-everything-off-the-desk move, whips the condom out of his pocket that he always has available, and they.have.sex.
Nothing really happens for awhile. They have breakfast and Grey offers to let her take his private jet to Georgia, and eventually Anastasia has to take off for her job interviews. The first one goes well, and then she gets to Seattle Independent Publishing which is where she really wants to work anyway, as an editorial assistant.
She gets in and has an interview with Jack Hyde, who’s one of the editors, and a chick named Elizabeth from HR. Hyde comments on her truly impressive GPA (Anastasia’s a 4.0 student, naturally), which doesn’t really make any sense because if there’s one thing companies don’t give a fuck about it’s your GPA.
After she gets home she exchanges emails with Grey and asks if Mrs. Jones is an ex-sub of his, because when I see attractive middle-aged blonde housekeepers I immediately wonder if they used to be a submissive in a BDSM relationship with their employer. I think that’s the plot of a few pornos, actually. Anyway, Grey fires back that of course she’s not, he has NEVER employed anyone that he’s had a sexual relationship with and he never would…well, except he’d totally employ Anastasia. Because she’s Special.
Kate drops her off at the airport where at check-in she finds out she’s been upgraded to first class. Surprise!
Inside the first class lounge at SeaTac Anastasia gets a manicure, a massage, and a couple glasses of champagne, which is great, except the first-class lounge at SeaTac doesn’t offer manicures or massages. This took me about five minutes to establish via Google. She exchanges some emails with Grey and talks about the cute guy who gave her the massage, leaving out the part that he’s gay. Grey emails her back and says next time she’ll be in the cargo hold, tied up and gagged in a crate. Isn’t he just the cutest?
During the layover in Atlanta she writes Grey a very long email where she explains him spending money on her makes her feel uncomfortable because it’s like he’s paying her for sex, and also that comments like tying her up and stuffing her in a crate is kinda overreacting and she’s not sure whether he’s joking or being serious. Normally, I’d say that’s an obvious joke, but this is Christian Grey. I’d bet solid money he’s made previous submissives travel via cargo hold crate from New York to LA in his private jet while he sits in the first class, furiously masturbating to the thought of them suffering.
In Georgia she hugs her mom and says hi to Bob, the latest model of husband.
He takes my backpack.
“Jeez, Ana, what have you got in here?”
That would be my Mac (page 396).
The fuck? Macbook Pros are extremely light laptops.
They head out to the beach and of course her mom immediately wants to know about Grey.
I can’t talk about Christian in any great detail because of the NDA, but even then, would I choose to talk to my mother about it? (page 397)
Maybe this is just me, but if someone asks you about your relationship with someone and you immediately cannot think of anything to talk about except for the sex, it’s probably not that great of a relationship. Eventually Anastasia describes him as ‘mercurial’, a word I have heard in actual real people conversation exactly never.
When she gets home she has a very long email from Grey which is actually pretty good. He explains that he’s rich, and he likes to spend money on whatever he sees fit, which includes her. Then he apologizes for frightening her and says that obviously he would never do anything like stuffing her in a crate.
What I think you fail to realize in Dom/sub relationships it is the sub who has all the power. That’s you. I’ll repeat this – you are the one with all the power. Not I. in the boathouse you said no. I can’t touch you if you say no (page 400).
This is all actually correct about actual Dom/sub relationships. Except for a couple things. This isn’t an actual Dom/sub relationship, Grey doesn’t act like she has all the power, and Anastasia doesn’t understand it at all. As will be amply demonstrated.
They exchange lots of emails which really aren’t interesting. Eventually Grey mentions that he’s having dinner with an old friend, Anastasia asks if it’s Mrs. Robinson, Grey says yes, she’s just an old friend.
Anastasia is aghast.
He was having dinner with her. My scalp prickles as adrenaline and fury lance through my body, all my worst fears realized. How could he? I am away for two days, and he runs off to that evil bitch (page 416).
Overreacting much? I mean, sure, she likes having sex with 15-year-old boys, but we’ve already established that Grey doesn’t have a problem with that. More to the point, why is she flipping her shit because he’s having dinner with an ex? Newsflash: people can remain friends with people they used to be in relationships with. One of my best friends is an ex-girlfriend.
Anastasia writes him a hostile email, he replies that he doesn’t want to discuss it via email, and then asks her how many Cosmopolitans she’s going to drink. And Anastasia realizes that he’s there, watching her.
This would be the scream moment in a horror movie.
Except this is an erotic romance novel. So, instead of being pissed off that he followed her across the country when one of the specific reasons she wanted to leave was to get a little space and think about things, I think this is probably going to turn into a wonderful sexy encounter.