I apologize for no post yesterday.  I had far too much going on.  Each of these entries takes between two and three hours.


(Directory of recap links)

Good for Grey.  He slept well last night (remember this for later, for when he tells Ana he hasn’t slept well until he had her).  Maybe it’s what he tells us is “closure” over sending Ana those books.  I don’t think he knows what closure is.  No, wait, he does, and he calls himself out on it because he’s hoping she’ll call.  She owes it to him!  This inner dialogue he’s having with himself reminds me of someone…

gollumExcept Gollum had some good in him (Smeagol) that was being suppressed by the bad side.  Christian Grey is all Gollum, and like Gollum, he knows how to like a put on the kitty cat eyes to get his way with people.  It’s all manipulation with him.

In our first introduction to Gail Jones, Grey calls her by her first name, a rather intimate act from someone who is all about the distance of using last names.  While she’s making him breakfast, he manages to power-read through the Wall Street Journal AND the New York Times, and get started on The Seattle Times.  I guess Gail’s really slow as making an omelet.

His brother calls and says he needs to get out of town because “this chick is all over my junk.”  Elliot, Dear, tell her no.  If she persists, she’s harassing you.  If she forces you somehow, it’s rape.  Just like your little brother is wrong for what he does, you, too, can be the victim of a sex-crime.

Elliot take a slight jab at Grey for not having any junk in a moment of believable brotherly interaction.

I ignore his jibe, and then a devious thought occurs to me. “How about hiking around Portland. We could go this afternoon. Stay down there. Come home Sunday.”

Great.  See wha he’s doing there?  He’s looking for an excuse to go stalk Ana.  He’ll use his brother to do it.  It’ll work out for Elliot in the end, though.

But first, some slut-shaming!

Elliot has always had a problem containing himself. As do the women he associates with: whoever the unfortunate girl is, she’s just another in a long, long line of his casual liaisons.

Ana spent time talking to Kate about Elliot, and never once was there any indication that he couldn’t contain himself.  Know who can’t?  Grey.  I’m dreading the Chapter 12 rape from the first Fifty Shades book, though I am curious how James will try to wash way the rape.

Also who cares how many women he’s had sex with, as long as it’s all consensual and he’s using protection to protect himself and his partners, and he’s not leaving behind a trail of unsupported kids?  Christian’s had 15 subs/victims.  We know he’s hurt at least one unnamed victim, and mentally destroyed Leila, who will make a shattered appearance in this book.

Moving on.

ELLIOT SLEEPS MOST OF the way to Portland. Poor fucker must be fried. Working and fucking: that’s Elliot’s raison d’être. He sprawls out in the passenger seat and snores.

Working and fucking.

greasepot

Heh.  He’s looking down on Elliot because “working and fucking” are his reasons for living.  At least Elliot works, and obtains freely-given consent.  As we saw, Christian doesn’t so much more than complain to Ros while she’s running the show.

He calls Andrea and tells her to order a couple mountain bikes delivered to the hotel (there are three bike shops in downtown Portland, and only one delivers…via mail, not courier), and then he confuses me.  He’s driving a car, so why does he heed to call Taylor to bring a different car?  Why not take the car he wanted in the first place?

As we cruise down I-5 my excitement mounts.
Have the books been delivered yet? I’m tempted to call Andrea again, but I know I’ve left her with a ton of work. Besides, I don’t want to give my staff an excuse to gossip. I don’t normally do this kind of shit.
Why did you send them in the first place?
Because I want to see her again.

Again, he confirms he only sent the books so she’d owe it to him to see him.  He sent them with an expectation.  That isn’t a gift.  It’s payment.

We pass the exit for Vancouver and I wonder if she’s finished her exam.

Which one?  There are THIRTEEN EXITS for Vancouver, though only twelve going south.  If I could look up the road conditions for my books (the two helicopters Juliette sees lifting up from the Grapevine in Sacred Honor were written in because I found out that, in real life, there was an accident on that road at that time, and unfortunately, someone did die, and I felt ignoring that would wipe out what happened), then James could look up the exits for Vancouver.

Lazy writing.  You may think people won’t care about that stuff, but to people local to an area, it’s grating.

Behold!  They are going to go mountain biking!  I don’t know where since there aren’t mountain biking trails in Portland.  Here is a website dedicated to trails, and you can see what’s nearest.

Aw, a poor-Christian memory of how he and his dad were close, but he’s the one out of the three adopted kids who didn’t live up to his dad’s expectations.  Grey blames it on puberty.  In the other books, Mia confided in Ana that her brother was extremely violent as a teenager.

I won’t bore you with pseudo-eco talk of Elliot’s business.  I will roll my eyes as Christian driving into the underground parking lot under the Heathman Hotel.  There is no parking lot under the hotel.  This one photo shows the lack of an underground parking entrance.

Heathman

Heathman’s at the red arrow.  The purple blocks are parking garages, and the lines are street parking.  Do you see a garage on the block for the hotel?  Nope.  Another FAIL, James.

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 11.57.39 PM

All the buildup to mountain biking, and when we get some, it’s almost none.  They also magically found a place close enough that they could bike right back to the hotel.  Shall I point out the fail?

For some strange reason, Grey’s acting traumatized over the Bike of Doom that nearly killed Ana.  Just kidding.  He’s traumatized because another man could have touched the property he already peed on and marked.

We don’t need to know how many emails and text messages he has.  I don’t care that he’s depressed that she had to have gotten the books, but hasn’t yet called him.  She owes him!

He showers, dresses, sits down to watch the rest of the Mariners game.  James can’t be bothered to look up anything relevant to the story, but she did, surprisingly, get the teams right (Mariners and Padres, playing in San Diego), and the score (4-1, Mariners).  She has Grey call soccer “European football,” but has the baseball game into right.  I am not impressed.

Ana calls!  He’s excited, at least until he answers and she asks him why he sent the books in a tone he describes as accusatory.  Well, yeah, she has every reason to be bothered.

This doesn’t go so well.  He demands to know who she’s with (he describes her as getting belligerent when he asks), where she is, how she’s getting home, and where she is again.  She won’t tell him, and wants to know, again, why he sent the books.  He can tell she’s drunk, and this means he has the right to demand to know where she is.

You’re so…domineering.” She giggles. In any other situation I would find this charming. But right now—I want to show her how domineering I can be.

ASS.  HOLE.  (I’m not going to be able to contain my swearing, so please pardon my French for this entry.)  She clearly doesn’t want you to know where she is or who she’s with.  BUTT OUT.  But does he?  Of course not.

I wander into [Elliot’s] bedroom while I decide if I should call Barney or Welch. Barney is the most senior engineer in the telecommunications division of my company. He’s a tech genius. But what I want is not strictly legal.
Best to keep this away from my company.
I speed-dial Welch and within seconds his rasping voice answers.
“Mr. Grey?”
“I’d really like to know where Anastasia Steele is right now.”
“I see.” He pauses for a moment. “Leave it to me, Mr. Grey.”
I know this is outside the law, but she could be getting herself into trouble.

“Not strictly legal”?  How about ENTIRELY ILLEGAL, not to mention a gross violation of her privacy?  SHE SAID NO.  SHE SAID FUCKING NO!!

Ladies who think this is romantic: IT IS NOT.  This is CREEPY, and it’s INCREDIBLY disrespectful.

It’s a no-brainer at this point.  He tracks down the bar, shows up, and mentally insults Kate for being surrounded by guys.  Oh, the hussy….  He also notes that our local indie music is “indie crap.”  Note to James: Don’t insult the local indie scene if you want to endear yourself to the locals.  Portlanders (and Vancouver people, who are more or less Portlanders) take the indie scene with a measure of pride.

He makes a pest of himself, though Kate tells him what she knows.

“I think she went outside for some fresh air,” Kavanagh responds, but she doesn’t look at me. She has eyes only for Mr. Love ’Em and Leave ’Em. Well, it’s her funeral.

Yeah, the funeral, in real life, would be Ana’s.

In the first book, all signs point to the bar being downtown.  Glance back at the Heathman photo, and tell me if you think that any mere bar would have a parking lot next to it.  I’ll wait.  Go look.

NO.  No bars or clubs downtown have a private parking lot with flower beds.  Real estate is too valuable to waste on a flower bed for a bar.  Off the top of my head, I can’t think of anywhere in the city that would.  Maybe on the east side, but even the ones coming to my mind out there are all street parking.  Regardless.

He spots Jose trying to force himself onto Ana.  Grey intervenes, though doesn’t punch Jose.  I admit I would have.  I admit that, when a jerk named Andre tried forcing himself on me in the Buddha Lounge, I grabbed his balls and told him I’d rip them off if he didn’t back the hell off.  And then I called an ex I knew would make sure I got safely home.  Yeah….  It was, all in all, a couple VERY fun years.

Jose’s face and jewels remain intact, to my disappointment.  The one time I’d cheer Grey hitting someone, and he doesn’t.

She throws up, and Grey grabs her hair to keep it out of her way.  He notes that she doesn’t appear to have eaten all evening, because it’s his business what she eats.

Wiping her mouth, she turns and rests against the bricks, avoiding eye contact because she’s ashamed and embarrassed. And yet I’m so pleased to see her.

First, how does he know she’s ashamed and embarrassed?  Realistically, she probably is, but chances are, when she was just so violently ill, she’s more likely to be focused on how sick she feels.  And second, I’m bothered by how he’s “so pleased” to see someone who clearly didn’t want him around.  And she’s not feeling good.  Naturally this means he enjoys giving her a hard time.

Why is it such fun to tease this young woman? “It’s about knowing your limits, Anastasia. I mean, I’m all for pushing limits, but really this is beyond the pale. Do you make a habit of this kind of behavior?”

Real Prince Charming, that guy?  He doesn’t wait for an answer before thinking,

Perhaps she has a problem with alcohol. The thought is worrying, and I consider whether I should call my mother for a referral to a detox clinic.

What right does he had to start making medical decisions for her?  In Fifty Shades Freed, we see his mother, a doctor licensed in Washington, try to take over the ER in another state where her license is invalid.  So it’s not like she respects laws or boundaries herself.  Also she did tell him it’s her first time drinking.  Remember this for later in this entry.

She might pass out, so without giving it a thought I scoop her up into my arms.
She’s surprisingly light. Too light. The thought irks me. No wonder she’s drunk.

Based entirely on “she might,” he decides it’s within his right to carry her, and I just learned that only light people get drunk!  I wonder what I was when I weight more than twice my current weight.  I thought I got pretty plastered, but I guess I couldn’t have been.  His obsession with her weight carries throughout the series.

“Come on, I’ll take you home.”
“I need to tell Kate,” she says, as her head rests on my shoulder.
“My brother can tell her.”
“What?”
“My brother Elliot is talking to Miss Kavanagh.”
“Oh?”
“He was with me when you called.”
“In Seattle?“
“No, I’m staying at The Heathman.”
And my wild-goose chase has paid off.
“How did you find me?”
“I tracked your cell phone, Anastasia.” I head toward the car. I want to drive her home. “Do you have a jacket or a purse?”
“Er…yes, I came with both. Christian, please, I need to tell Kate. She’ll worry.”
I stop and bite my tongue. Kavanagh wasn’t worried about her being out here with the overamorous photographer. Rodriguez. That’s his name. What kind of friend is she? The lights from the bar illuminate her anxious face.
As much as it pains me, I put her down and agree to take her inside.

I had to leave that incredibly awful quote intact.

The first issue we encounter is Ana clearly wants to tell Kate Grey’s going to take her home (he has no intention of doing any such thing).  No.  Grey will have his brother tell Kate, though who’ll tell Elliot?  She’s drunk enough to think he was in Seattle when she called, and got there in a flash.  A woman that drunk?  Can’t consent to anything.

Goose chase?  I’m barely containing my anger.  Ana is the goose, and he’s the hunter out for the kill.

I guess at least he admitted to having her cell phone tracked?  By the way, he really has no intention of driving her home.  What he’s doing might qualify as abduction.

Ana’s really worried about making sure Kate knows she’s leaving, and Grey has to get in another jab at Kate being a bad friend.  Kate’s literally the person supporting Ana financially, by the way.  Yet she’s a bad friend since she didn’t know exactly where Ana was (Ana didn’t know exactly where Kate was either), and how dare Kate not know what Ana’s life-long friend might try to do.

Apparently it is so hard for Grey to set Ana down and let her go find her friend.  Respect is hard, though he’s not doing this out of respect.

“Drink.”
Eyeing me over the glass, she takes a tentative sip.
“All of it,” I command. I’m hoping this will be enough damage control to avoid one hell of a hangover tomorrow.”

Command.  Not coax, and not plead.  COMMAND.  He’s seen her three times, and he thinks he has a place to command her.

Also one glass of water won’t stave of the killer hangover she’d have in real life.

She’s oil on my troubled, deep, dark waters.

Prose so purple that it’s urple.

Steeling myself, I grab her hand and lead her toward the dance floor. She hesitates, but if she wants to talk to her friend, there’s only one way; she’s going to have to dance with me.

It’s starting.  See it?  Forcing her to have contact with him without regard for what she wants.

This next part is literally deadly.

“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.
“Christ,” I mutter as I fish the key out of my jeans and hold her at the same time. Amazingly, I manage to get her into the front seat and strap her in.
“Ana.” I give her a little shake, because she’s worryingly quiet. “Ana!”
She mumbles something incoherent and I know she’s still conscious. 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.”

Her first time drinking, and she passes out.  After he gets her to the the car, he admits she’s “worryingly quiet.”  Also why did he buckle her I before trying to rouse her?  Alcohol poisoning can kill.  But what is his concern?  HIS CAR.  She also didn’t consent to not go home because she legally can’t consent.  If he isn’t taking her home, he should take her to an ER.  Does he?  Hell no.

I head to The Heathman, telling myself that I’m doing this for her sake.
Yeah, tell yourself that, Grey.

At least he admits to himself he’s not doing it for her.  Doesn’t make it less wrong.

Somehow no one at the hotel calls the cops on the man carrying an unconscious woman around a hotel.  Since no one others him, he has no trouble getting her into his room, where he decides to strip her.

Briskly I remove her shoes and socks and put them in the plastic laundry bag provided by the hotel. Then I unzip her jeans and pull them off, check the pockets before stuffing the jeans in the laundry bag. She falls back on the bed, splayed out like a starfish, all pale arms and legs, and for a moment I picture those legs wrapped around my waist as her wrists are bound to my Saint Andrew’s cross.

Consent?  What’s what?  Also I know I can’t be the only one reading that who thinks that he sounds like he’s contemplating raping her right then and here.  Even when she’s passed out drunk (still needing a doctor), he wants to have sex with her.  And she does owe him for those books, remember?  So it’s a relief he settles on only stroking her face intimately.

He texts Welsh again, for a background check on Jose Rodriguez.  Unless court-ordered or with consent, this is illegal.  Laws are for us non-rich people.

He also emails Taylor at 11:46pm (if you’ve never read these books, then you might not know that James gives us the full header for every email), and orders him to buy very specific clothes for Ana in specific sizes.  He even got her panty size.  Make of that what you will.

Finally, he texts Elliot to let him know he has Ana (it was so important to her to tell Kate, and nope, Grey didn’t let her).  Remember Elliot doesn’t know that Ana’s drunk.  So his reply with, “Hope you get laid. You soooo need it. ;)” is fairly benign.

Christian’s response, however…

“I so do, Elliot. I so do.”

He probably would have, if he wasn’t worried about her throwing up again.


Well, this was grosser than I expected it to be.  I feel like I need to go bathe in bleach, and cry because of how many women think that that guy is desirable.

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