Full disclosure? I’m eating an insane amount of candy right now.
Yesterday, this blog got 13,000 hits. I remember when I used to get excited to get fifty hits. So, thank you, whoever posted the link to reddit, which is yet another internet thing I do not understand.
On the other hand, now I know that many people are looking at this blog, and that means I’m under enormous pressure to perform. All this pressure, on the lady who can’t even self promote correctly. Oy.
Also, my dogs are really going to town on each other right now. The humping. Dear god, the humping.
So, with that image in mind, onto the recap.
Chapter eighteen begins with another evil blonde:
Dr. Greene is tall, blond, and immaculate, dressed in a royal blue suit. I’m reminded o the women who work in Christian’s office. She’s like an identikit model – another Stepford blond.
At this point, I’m not sure E.L. James isn’t an elaborate double life for Laurell K. Hamilton, because Ana hates on blondes the way Anita Blake hates on blondes. I’m waiting for Ana to say she doesn’t need to wear base, it’s getting to that point with the blonde comments. Look, we get it, Anata. Blondes are evil. Let’s move on.
We shake hands, and I know she’s one of those women who doesn’t tolerate fools gladly. Like Kate. I like her immediately.
I’m having a hard time with the prose here. Is Ana saying that Kate is a fool? Or that the doctor is like Kate? I’d believe the former before I’d believe the latter, because Ana doesn’t seem to like Kate much. Doctor Greene examines her and gives her a prescription for the pill.
I love her no-nonsense attitude – she has lectured me until she’s as blue as her dress about taking it at the same time every day. And I can tell she’s burning with curiosity about my so-called relationship with Mr. Grey.
Or, she’s burning with curiosity as to how a woman gets to be twenty-one without ever seeing a gynecologist. Seriously, Ana, people are not as obsessed with your relationship as you are. They go downstairs to find Christian sitting in his living room, listening to an aria with his eyes closed. I bet Christian only does that shit when people are around, and when he’s by himself, he listens to Hot Chelle Rae.
“Are you done?” he asks as if he’s genuinely interested.
Why would he ask if he wasn’t interested?
“Yes, Mr. Grey. Look after her; she’s a beautiful, bright young woman.” Christian is taken aback – as am I. What an inappropriate thing for a doctor to say.
Yes, that is an inappropriate thing for a doctor to say. It’s left me wondering what kind of spectacular vagina Ana must have, if the doctor could tell she was bright just from examining it. Is it full of brains and MENSA literature? Does a light bulb come on automatically when she uncrosses her legs?
Taylor appears from nowhere to escort her through the double doors and out to the elevator. How does he do that? Where does he lurk?
This brings up something I’ve been meaning to address for some time. I have the same questions about Taylor. Here’s the thing, Ana has walked around Christian’s house and cooked him bottomless breakfast. Christian intends to make Ana his sex slave, which I assume will entail some degree of sexual activity outside of the bedroom, possibly walking her on a leash, hell, I don’t know what he’s into. But I think I would be super uncomfortable if there was just some creepy Matrix guy who stepped out of seemingly no where at any time. What if Ana is getting rammed over a pool table, is he going to surreptitiously take a shot at the corner pocket? That’s not a sex euphemism, I’m just genuinely wondering how much of Christian’s sex life he watches, and possibly films.
He narrows his eyes, and I immediately stop laughing. In fact, he looks rather forbidding. Oh shit. My subconscious quails in the corner as all the blood drains from my face, and I imagine him putting me across his knee again.
“Gotcha!” he says and smirks.
Oh ho, what a jolly jape that fellow is having with a sex partner who fears his temper! La, what cheek, to jest with the lady about threats of physical violence! Encore! Encore!
Chedward decides that Ana needs to eat, because the reader isn’t yet tired of listening to them argue about whether or not she’s eaten enough. This happens often enough in the book that I’m pretty sure women aren’t actually fantasizing about the sex. I think it’s more like:
I step off the digital scale slowly. Jeez, my subconscious thinks, quite consciously. He looks so terrifyingly angry. Is it because I’m so much fatter and unfortunate looking than my roommate, Barbie? It must be, for I am so unworthy of this shimmering Adonis. Gazing at him, I open my mouth to apologize, when he picks up the scale and smashes it into the wall, breaking it. Holy crap! He walks over to me and kisses me, hard. Breathless in his arms, I hear his voice as if from far away. “I have ordered pizza for you, the cheese-and-meatiest my considerable fortune could procure. It is being flown directly from Chicago via Charlie Tango, my helicopter which you may have forgotten about. You don’t eat enough. I should know. I can drive a helicopter.”
Yeah, that’s pretty much the fantasy I think these books are inspiring. RPattz railing some woman as she’s bent over a kitchen counter strewn with pizza boxes, stuffing her face.
Christian gets out a salad and Ana admires his grace as he moves around the kitchen. Of course, grace is really in the eye of the beholder. I’m sure Ana finds anyone who can walk three consecutive steps without tripping “graceful”. Christian also gets out the wine, because it’s five o’clock somewhere, literally every hour of the day for these people. Christian asks what birth control method Ana opted for, and when she tells him, he frowns.
“And will you remember to take it regularly, at the right time, every day?” Jeez… of course I will. How does he know? I blush at the thought, probably from one or more of the fifteen.
Setting aside the massive amounts of clunk in that sentence, I’m actually surprised that Christian is okay with this method of birth control. A guy like this, with this amount of money, it seems like he’d wrap it the fuck up to avoid paying child support. He’s such a control freak, I’d think he’d want to know for sure and certain that he’s not going to be spawning any little Greys.
They eat their salads, and Christian asks Ana if she really wants to do this. When she points out that she hasn’t signed anything, he tells her it’s okay, because he’s breaking a lot of rules lately.
“Are you going to hit me?”
“Yes, but it won’t be to hurt you. I don’t want to punish you right now. If you’d caught me yesterday evening, well, that would have been a different story.” Holy cow. He wants to hurt me… how do I deal with this? I can’t hide the horror on my face.
“Don’t let anyone try and convince you otherwise, Anastasia. One of the reasons people like me do this is because we either like to give or receive pain. It’s very simple. You don’t, so I spent a great deal of time yesterday thinking about that.” He pulls me against him, and his erection presses into my belly. I should run, but I can’t. I’m drawn to him on some deep, elemental level, that I can’t begin to understand.
It’s “battered woman syndrome” according a commenter (thanks, commenter!) a few entries back. That’s the deep, elemental pull. Notice, she’s still saying “hit” instead of “spank” or “punish” or another one of those fun, tingly in the pants region BDSM words. And I take issue with Christian’s assessment that people involved in BDSM are in it for the pain. I hate pain, but I like being tied up and told what to do. Where is your God now, Christian Grey? WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW?
So, of course, he’s thought about the fact that she doesn’t like pain, but he hasn’t reached a conclusion either way about whether or not their relationship will include those elements. But there’s no time to talk about such trivial things now, for he must fuck her!
My heart starts pounding. This is it. I’m really going to do this. My inner goddess is spinning like a world-class ballerina, pirouette after pirouette. He opens the door to his playroom, standing back for me to walk through, and I am once more in the Red Room of Pain. It’s the same, the smell of leather, citrus, polish and dark wood, all very sensual. My blood is running heated and scared through my system – adrenaline mixed with lust and longing. It’s a heady, potent cocktail. Christian’s stance has changed completely, subtly altered, harder and meaner. He gazes down at me and his eyes are heated, lustful… hypnotic.
If this is not a BPAL perfume collection within six months, I’ll eat a vegetable. This would be a perfect excerpt to use as the description. It would just be followed by something like, “Lustful notes of leather, crisp citrus, feral musk and rich mahogany, blended together in an hypnotic, sensual dance.” There, BPAL, I just made you another $35 bucks, at least.
Christian reiterates that Ana is there for his enjoyment, to do whatever he wants. He gets her undressed, and tells her that her body is “a joy to behold.” If a dude said that to me, I would immediately take the awkward phrasing as a sign that he was being totally sarcastic. He wants Ana to be unembarrassed by her nakedness, which is easier said than done, when a fully dressed guy is just standing there, staring at you. She isn’t allowed to make a sound, unless he asks her to, and she has to call him “Sir”. She’s also supposed to keep her hair braided, and wear just her panties when she’s in the Red Room.
“Good girl.” His eyes burn into mine. “When I tell you to come in here, I expect you to kneel over there.” He points to a spot beside the door. “Do it now.” I blink processing his words, turn, and rather clumsily kneel as directed.
“You can sit back on your heels.”
I sit back.
“Place your hands and forearms flat on your thighs. Good. Now part your knees. Wider. Wider. Perfect. Look down at the floor.”
Not many people know this, but Chedward used to be a photographer at the Sears portrait studio.
“I’m going to chain you now, Anastasia. Give me your right hand.” I give him my hand. He turns it palm up, and before I know it, he swats the center with a riding crop I hadn’t even noticed is in his right hand. It happens so quickly that the surprise hardly registers. Even more astonishing – it doesn’t hurt. Well, not much, just a slight ringing sting.
This is one of those things that drives me crazy about this book. We’re supposed to believe that Ana notices his pants before she notices that he’s carrying a freaking riding crop? She’s so keyed up and fearful about being in the Red Room of Pain, she’s not going to notice when he’s holding an implement? The very implement she had a sex dream about? But she’ll notice, in no less than four adjectives, that his jeans are “older, ripped, soft, and over-washed”? I’m not buying it.
Christian tells her that what they’re going to do won’t hurt. I don’t know, being hit with a riding crop seems like it would hurt, but what do I know? He shackles Ana to the metal grid on the ceiling, and explains that he can move her around the room. I guess it’s like those tracks they put curtains on in the hospital, then.
I oblige immediately, feeling like I’m exiting my body – a casual observer of events as they unfold around me. This is beyond fascinating, beyond erotic. It’s singularly the most exciting and scary thing I’ve ever done. I’m entrusting myself to a beautiful man who, by his own admission, is fifty shades of fucked-up. I suppress the brief thrill of fear. Kate and Elliot, they know I’m here.
Nothing says “erotic” quite like, “My roommate knows my whereabouts, so if he murders me, at least he’ll get caught.” I’m surprised they didn’t just title the book “Fifty Shades of Fucked-Up,” since it fits a lot better.
Standing in front of me again, he hooks his fingers into my panties, and at a most unhurried pace, peels them down my legs, stripping me agonizingly slowly, so that he ends up kneeling in front of me. Not taking his eyes off mine, he scrunches my panties in his hand, holds them up to his nose, and inhales deeply. Holy fuck. Did he just do that? He grins wickedly at me and tucks them into the pocket of his jeans.
Keep in mind, she’s just had a gynecological exam. So, enjoy that whiff of KY and latex you’re getting, man. I’m not sure why this shocks Ana. He sucked on her toes after she had gone running and sat around in her sweaty socks for literally hours. It’s not like he isn’t into her bodily aromas. Then, he starts hitting her in the vagina with the riding crop, and she loves it.
He comes to a stop… but I can no longer see him. My eyes are closed as I try to absorb the myriad of sensations coursing through my body. Very slowly, he rains small, biting licks of the crop down my belly, heading south. I know where this is leading, and I try and psyche myself up for it – but when he hits my clitoris, I cry out loudly.
Jesus Christo, I would, too. Unfortunately, she’s not crying out the safe word, so the scene keeps going.
“See how wet you are for this, Anastasia. Open your eyes and your mouth.” I do as I’m told, completely seduced. He pushes the tip of the crop into my mouth, like my dream. Holy shit.
So, Ana finally acknowledges that this is exactly like the dream she had, and Christian makes her come by twacking her in the clit with the riding crop. Then he pushes her up against the wooden cross on the wall and fucks her.
I feel so weak, but I do as he asks as he wraps my legs around his hips and positions himself beneath me. With one thrust, he’s inside me, and I cry out again, listening to his muffled moan at my ear. My arms are resting on his shoulders as he thrusts into me. Jeez, it’s deep this way. He thrusts again and again, his face at my neck, his harsh breathing at my throat. I feel the build up again. Jeeze no… not again… I don’t think my body will with-stand another earth-shattering moment. But I have no choice… and with an inevitability that’s becoming familiar, I let go and come again, and it’s sweet and agonizing and intense.
I think Ana might be the only person alive who doesn’t like orgasms. Seriously? “Jeez no… not again…?” It’s like, orgasm #2. I wonder if this is some symptom of our messed up culture, we can show the heroine of an erotic novel having orgasms, just so long as they’re portrayed as mildly unpleasant? I suppose only dirty, dirty sluts like Kate enjoy multiple orgasms.
Ana is all wore out from the sexing, but Christian has no refractory period, apparently, because he’s “not finished with you yet.”
Not finished with me yet. Holy Moses. There’s no way I can do any more. I am utterly spent and fighting an overwhelming desire to sleep. I’m leaning against his chest, my eyes are closed, and he’s wrapped around me – arms and legs – and I feel… safe, and oh so comfortable. Will he let me sleep, perchance to dream?
Will he murder you? Because that line is about dying, specifically, about whether or not you should kill yourself before your uncle-dad gets a crack at you. I have this crazy feeling that this does not apply to Ana’s situation.
I flush and look back at his chest in longing. I want to run my tongue through the hair, kiss him, and for the first time, I notice he has a few random and faint small, round scars dotted around his chest. Chicken pox? Measles? I think absently.
So, there you go. Christian has scars. He takes off the shackles and has her kneel by the door. Ana is so tired, her inner goddess has gone to sleep. I know you were dying to know what Ana’s inner goddess was doing. He ties Ana’s hands together with a cable tie.
Jeez… the plastic cable ties. Restocking at Clayton’s! It all becomes clear.
How was it unclear from the moment you found out about the BDSM? He’s a millionaire! Do you really think he’s going to do his own remodel? Are you serious with this? Christian tells her that he wants more (more cable ties?) but that he’ll make it quick, because he knows she’s tired. Where have heard this exchange before?
Because Ana’s business hours are over, Chedward settles for fucking her from behind while she holds onto the bed with wrists ziptied together.
I grip harder round the post and push back against him as he continues his merciless onslaught, again and again, his fingers digging into my hip. My arms are aching, my legs feel uncertain, my scalp is getting sore from his tugging on my hair… and I can feel a gathering deep inside me. Oh no… and for the first time, I fear my orgasm… if I come…
Are you kidding me? “For the first time?” Didn’t we already establish that WORDS MEAN THINGS? You feared the last one, you were all, “Oh jeezy crap, I’m going to come again,” and now suddenly it’s the first time you dread having an orgasm?
My body is responding… how? I feel a quickening.
He stoops to help me to my feet and leads me to the door, on the back of which hangs a grey waffle robe. He patiently dresses me as if I’m a small child.
And then Christian takes her to her bedroom and gets in bed with her, instead of going to his own room, because, you know, she’s healing him with her love or something. And the chapter ends.
Now, in an act of shameless self promotion, allow me to remind you that you still have a few hours to enter the Sex Saturday contest, which closes at 6pm EST: You could win a book.